International News Desk – At Home: Concert promoter to sue over kirpan cancellation – In Foreign News: Virologist says longer school holidays will fight H1N1 spread

International News Desk – At Home: Concert promoter to sue over kirpan cancellation – In Foreign News: Virologist says longer school holidays will fight H1N1 spread

At Home: Concert promoter to sue over kirpan cancellation

A concert promoter is threatening to sue the Telus Convention Centre in Calgary after guards refused entry to fans wearing kirpans, and the event was cancelled.

Punjabi singing star Gurdas Maan was already on stage Sunday evening when about 10 fans were refused entry to the concert. They were stopped by security guards because they were wearing the kirpan, a ceremonial dagger worn by Sikhs.

As the National Post reports, concert promoter Nirmal Dhaliwal explained to convention centre officials that ?the kirpan isn’t considered a weapon,? but officials stood firm on their decision. Dhaliwal notes that he offered to be personally responsible for the patrons wearing the daggers, including escorting them to backstage seats. The Telus Centre’s general manager declined the offer.

At some point during the dispute the event was cancelled by Centre officials, on the grounds that ?patrons refused to comply with the building’s safety policies.? The Centre allows miniature, locket-style kirpans in the venue; however, the kirpans worn Sunday had blades up to 12 centimetres long.

According to a spokesperson for the Centre, security policies are discussed with all event holders in advance, and there was plenty of opportunity for Dhaliwal to raise the issue of kirpans. Still, he’s adamant that Centre officials had no right to cancel the event and he plans to sue.

?It’s going to be a very big legal battle with the Telus Convention Centre very soon,? he told reporters.

In Foreign News: Virologist says longer school holidays will fight H1N1 spread

As the H1N1 virus, or swine flu, takes hold across Germany, a leading virologist has suggested that an extended summer holiday for school children will help prevent the spread of the disease. Alexander KekulĂ©, director of Halle University’s institute for medical microbiology, told reporters that delaying the start of the school year would offer a ?good chance to avert the spread? of swine flu.

According to The Local, Kekulé is predicting ?a growing rate of infection just ahead of the new school year,? and is also cautioning the parents of children in day care about the risks. In the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia school is scheduled to begin August 17, and officials there are deciding whether or not to extend the summer holiday.

In other states, such as Thuringia, Lower Saxony, and Bremen, school officials plan on sticking to the planned schedule. Some students were due back in the classroom as early as August 6, while others return August 10.

The Robert Koch Institute, Germany’s infectious diseases authority, had confirmed 7,177 swine flu cases in the country as of August 4.

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