No decision on any meeting between Modi Imran at SCO summit

No decision on any meeting between Modi Imran at SCO summit

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first_imgNew Delhi: India’s policy of not having talks with Pakistan unless it stops cross border terrorism remains unchanged and no decision has been taken yet on any meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Pakistani counterpart Imran Khan on the sidelines of the SCO summit in Bishkek next month, official sources said. India has not been engaging with Pakistan since early 2016 following a terror attack on the Indian Air Force base at Pathankot in January that year, maintaining that talks and terror cannot go together. Also Read – Pak activated 20 terror camps & 20 launch pads along LoCModi is attending the annual summit of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) in Kyrgyztan’s capital Bishkek on June 13-14. Khan is also scheduled to participate in the annual meet of the China-dominated grouping. Government sources said no decision has been taken on any meeting between Modi and Khan on the sidelines of the SCO summit. “A decision on the issue will be taken by the new government,” said a source. In a reflection of India’s reluctance to engage with Pakistan, the government has preferred to invite leaders of the BIMSTEC (Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation) countries for the swearing-in ceremony of Narendra Modi as prime minister for a second term on May 30. Also Read – Two squadrons which participated in Balakot airstrike awarded citationsBesides India, BIMSTEC comprises Bangladesh, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Nepal and Bhutan. In 2014, Modi had invited all SAARC leaders including the then Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif for his swearing-in ceremony, in a major initiative to reach out to the neighbourhood. Sharif’s attendance at the swearing-in ceremony had triggered hopes of better ties between the two countries and there were several engagements between the leaders of the two countries. However, the ties derailed again after January 2016. In a carefully crafted move, the government has this time decided to invite BIMSTEC leaders apart from Kyrgyz President Sooronbay Jeenbekov, who is the current chair of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, and Mauritius Prime Minister Pravind Jugnauth for the swearing-in ceremony. “This is in line with government’s focus on its ‘Neighbourhood First’ policy,” the Ministry of External Affairs said Monday.last_img read more

India Maldives ink 6 pacts as PM Modi Prez Solih hold talks

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first_imgMale: Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Maldivian President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih held wide-ranging talks on Saturday as the two countries signed six agreements to strengthen bilateral ties in a number of key areas including defence and maritime. Modi arrived in the Indian Ocean archipelago on Saturday on his first foreign visit after re-election as Prime Minister to strengthen the bilateral ties, reflecting the importance India attaches to its ‘Neighbourhood First’ policy. Also Read – Dussehra with a ‘green’ twist The first Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was for cooperation in the fields of hydrography. Another was on health. The other agreements included on the establishment of passenger and cargo services by sea, cooperation in customs capacity building between the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs of India and the Maldives Customs Service. An MoU was also signed between the National Centre for Good Governance, Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances and Maldives Civil Service Commission on Training and Capacity Building Programme for Maldivian civil servants. Also Read – India receives its first Rafale fighter jet from France A technical agreement on sharing white shipping information between the Indian Navy and the Maldives National Defence Force was also signed. Prime Minister Modi and President Solih held warm discussions, External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said. “Mutually beneficial partnership. Warm discussions marked the meeting between PM @narendramodi & President of Maldives @ibusolih. Focus on further deepening our special relationship by expanding cooperation across sectors,” he said on Twitter. A coastal surveillance radar system and a composite training centre for the Maldives defence forces were jointly inaugurated by the two leaders. After the talks, Prime Minister Modi said that the focus of the various projects that India is undertaking in the Maldives is to touch the lives of people. He said India has agreed on the construction of a Friday Mosque in the southern part of the Maldives where an urban development centre is being built. The two countries have agreed to start a ferry service between Kochi and the Maldives, he said. Prime Minister Modi said that the launch of RuPay Card in the Maldives will give a boost to tourism in the island nation. “There have been discussions over making the defense services stronger in Maldives. India wants a strong relationship with the Maldives and believes that a strong and prosperous Maldives will be in the interest of the region,” Modi said. He said that maritime and defence ties are a top priority and the radar system will boost maritime security. India is committed to help the Maldives in every way possible, he added.last_img read more

Gurudas College prof jumps in front of train with 4yrold son

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first_imgKolkata: A woman reportedly committed suicide by jumping in front of a train along with her four-year-old son on Thursday. The woman was rushed to Barasat District Hospital, while the child was sent to R G Kar Medical College and Hospital, where doctors declared them both brought dead.According to police, on Thursday at around 8:30 am, the woman identified as Barsha Biswas, along with her four-year-old son, went to Bisharpara railway station. There she waited for a few minutes and started walking along the railway track. Also Read – City bids adieu to Goddess DurgaAfter walking a few meters she saw a local train coming her way and reportedly jumped on the track on which the train was coming, with her son. Both of them were run over by the train. After reaching the Bisharpara station, the locomotive pilot submitted a knockdown memo. Upon getting informed about the incident, Government Railway Police (GRP) personnel recovered Biswas and rushed her to Barasat District Hospital. In the meantime, some locals had taken the child to R G Kar Medical College and Hospital, where doctors declared both Biswas and her son brought dead. Also Read – Centuries-old Durga Pujas continue to be hit among revellersLater, sleuths came to know that Biswas was a professor of mathematics at Gurudas College and was living away from her husband Pinaki Roy, who is a general surgeon of a state-run medical college and hospital. Sources informed that there were several problems between the couple and Biswas eventually got separated from Roy a few years ago. She subsequently bought a flat near Roy’s home in Bisharpara, where she used to live with her son. It is suspected that Biswas committed suicide due to depression. Till Friday night, no complaint was lodged at the airport police station. However, two Unnatural Death (UD) cases have been lodged in this connection. As Biswas was taken to Barasat District Hospital, one UD case has been lodged at the Barasat police station, while another UD case has been lodged at the Tala police station as the child was declared brought dead at R G Kar Hospital. Sleuths are probing to know whether there is any sign of abetment behind the suicide.last_img read more

Infosys Q1 net grows 52 to 3802 cr increases revenue guidance to

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first_imgNew Delhi: The country’s second-largest IT services firm Infosys Friday reported 5.2 per cent growth in consolidated net profit to Rs 3,802 crore for the quarter ended June 30, 2019. It had posted a net profit of Rs 3,612 crore in the April-June 2018 quarter, Infosys said in a BSE filing. Revenue from operations of the Bengaluru-based firm grew 13.9 per cent to Rs 21,803 crore in the June 2019 quarter, compared to Rs 19,128 crore in the year-ago period, it added. Also Read – Maruti cuts production for 8th straight month in SepInfosys has increased its revenue growth guidance for FY20 to 8.5-10 per cent in constant currency. In April quarter, Infosys had said it expects a revenue growth of 7.5-9.5 per cent in FY 2019-20. “We had a strong start to FY’20 with constant currency growth accelerating to 12.4 per cent on year over year basis and digital revenue growth of 41.9 per cent. This was achieved through our consistent client focus and investments which have strengthened our client relationships,” Infosys CEO and Managing Director Salil Parekh said. Also Read – Ensure strict implementation on ban of import of e-cigarettes: revenue to CustomsHe added that the company has consequently raised its revenue guidance for the year from 7.5-9.5 per cent to 8.5-10 per cent. In US dollars terms, Infosys net profit grew to $546 million in the June quarter from $534 million in the year-ago period, while revenues rose to $3.13 billion as against $2.83 billion. The company noted that its current policy entails paying up to 70 per cent of the free cash flow annually by way of dividend and/or buyback. The Board has reviewed and approved a revised Capital Allocation Policy after taking into consideration the strategic and operational cash requirements, it said. “Effective from Financial year 2020, the company expects to return approximately 85 per cent of the free cash flow cumulatively over a five-year period through a combination of semi-annual dividends and/or share buyback and/or special dividends, subject to applicable laws and requisite approvals, if any,” it added. The results were announced after the market hours. Infosys shares closed marginally higher at Rs 727.10 apiece on BSE.last_img read more

Cate Blanchett in talks for Guillermo del Toros Nightmare Alley

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first_imgLos Angeles: Double Oscar winner Cate Blanchett is in negotiations to star in filmmaker Guillermo del Toro’s next feature, the remake of “Nightmare Alley”. If things get finalised, the actor will star alongside Bradley Cooper in the film, which is del Toro’s follow-up project to his Oscar-winning feature “The Shape of Water”. Cooper, who last featured in his directorial debut “A Star is Born”, boarded the project in June. Before him, Leonardo DiCaprio was circling the project, reported Variety. Also Read – I have personal ambitions now: Priyanka del Toro will direct the new film from a script he has co-written with Kim Morgan. The movie is based on the 1946 novel of the same name by William Lindsay Gresham. The story follows Stanton Carlisle, an ambitious young con-man who teams up with a female psychiatrist who is even more corrupt than he is. At first, they enjoy success fleecing people with their mentalist act, but then she turns the tables on him, out-manipulating the manipulator. Gresham’s novel previously adapted into a 1947 movie starring Tyrone Power. del Toro will also produce the project with J Miles Davis. The movie will be distributed by Fox Searchlight. Blanchett, 50, is currently awaiting the release of Richard Linklater-directed “Where’d You Go Bernadette?”. She is also working on the FX limited series “Mrs. America”.last_img read more

Boy kills self over scolding for playing mobile games

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first_imgKolkata: A 19-year-old boy committed suicide after being allegedly rebuked by his mother for playing games on his mobile phone. Police sources informed that they found Soumajit Paul’s body hanging from an iron road inside his residence at Bagan Para under Regent Park police station area on Sunday morning. Investigations revealed that the boy was Christian and introvert by nature. He was rebuked by his mother on Saturday night for playing games on the phone. Paul had passed his Higher Secondary this year and was studying law. He wanted to be an advocate. The police have seized his mobile phone and are questioning his family members and neighbours to know what prompted the teenager to take the extreme step.last_img read more

BSP AAP BJD spring surprise by backing govt on Article 370 JDU

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first_imgNew Delhio: In an embarrassment for the BJP, BJP’s Bihar ally JD(U), which had also opposed the Triple Talaq Bill, staged a walkout as soon as Home Minister Amit Shah moved the J&K reorganisation bill.Even as the government on Monday abolished Article 370, which gives special status to Jammu and Kashmir, and moved a bill to bifurcate the state into two separate union territories, it received support in the Parliament from unlikely quarters, with staunch critics like Mayawati’s BSP and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) backing the move. Also Read – India gets first tranche of Swiss bank a/c detailsApart from BSP and AAP, fence-sitters like Naveen Patnaik’s BJD, Jagan Mohan Reddy’s YSRCP and Bodoland People’s Front (BDF) also supported the J&K Reorganisation Bill, which provides for the formation of the Union Territory of Ladakh without legislature and a separate one for Jammu and Kashmir with the legislature. NDA allies Shiv Sena, AIADMK and SAD also backed the government move amid a massive uproar by the Opposition. In an embarrassment for the BJP, BJP’s Bihar ally JD(U), which had also opposed the Triple Talaq Bill, staged a walkout as soon as Home Minister Amit Shah moved the resolution on Article 370 as also the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Bill 2019. Also Read – Tourists to be allowed in J&K from Thursday “Our chief Nitish Kumar is carrying forward the tradition of JP Narayan, Ram Manohar Lohia and George Fernandes. So our party is not supporting the Bill moved in the Rajya Sabha today. We have different thinking. We want that Article 370 should not be revoked,” senior JD(U) leader KC Tyagi said.Besides JD(U), Congress, TMC, DMK, PDP and Vaiko’s MDMK vehemently opposed the move, with members creating a ruckus in the Well of the House and shouting slogans such as ‘We want justice’ and ‘Don’t divide Kashmir’. Samajwadi Party (SP) members, however, did not join them in the well. PDP members Nazir Ahmad Laway and Mir Mohammad Fayaz shouted slogans and tore posters. Laway even tore the ‘kurta’ he was wearing. MDMK’s Vaiko said the government was killing democracy. “Emergency days have come back,” he said. “You have played with the sentiments of people of Kashmir. When additional army personnel were deployed there, I was worried. Kashmir should not become Kosovo, East Timor and South Sudan,” Vaiko said in the Rajya Sabha on Monday. Delhi Chief Minister and AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal said his party supported the Centre’s decisions on Jammu and Kashmir. “We hope this will bring peace and development in the state,” the chief minister tweeted.last_img read more

CoA clears Kapils panel of conflict paves way for coach appointment

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first_imgNew Delhi: The Kapil Dev-led Cricket Advisory Committee was on Monday cleared of any conflict of interest by the Committee of Administrators (COA), paving the way for the panel to appoint India’s next men’s coach by mid-August. Besides the country’s first World Cup-wining skipper Dev, the newly-appointed Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC) comprises Anshuman Gaekwad and former women’s captain Shantha Rangaswamy. “We have checked (the declaration form). It is fine. All clear,” COA chief Vinod Rai said when asked if the CAC has got the mandate to appoint the next chief coach. Also Read – Puducherry on top after 8-wkt win over ChandigarhHowever, one of the committee members Diana Edulji, who has consistently been at loggerheads with chairman Vinod Rai and Lt Gen (Retd) Ravi Thodge, expressed her dissent, stating that CoA had no authority to appoint an ad-hoc committee and clear it of conflict. “It was a 2-1 call (against me). I said it has to go to the Ethics Officer (DK Jain) to decide on conflict of interest. Ad-Hoc committee is not in the constitution. As such I have voiced my dissent,” Edulji said. Also Read – Vijender’s next fight on Nov 22, opponent to be announced later”It is not CoA’s domain to decide who is conflicted or not. It has to be done by the Ethics Officer. I stick to my earlier stand (when Raman was appointed). An ad-hoc committee cannot pick the coach. It is not in the constitution,” Edulji further added. The current support staff comprising incumbent head coach Ravi Shastri, bowling coach Bharat Arun, batting coach Sanjay Bangar and fielding coach R Sridhar were given a 45-day extension following the World Cup, covering the ongoing West Indies tour from August 3 to September 3. The trio of Dev, Gaekwad and Shantha, then called an ad-hoc committee, had appointed W V Raman as the women’s team coach in December. Regarding the conduct of BCCI elections on October 22, Rai said that 26 state associations are fully compliant with the Lodha reforms and have appointed their electoral officers for the state unit polls. The CoA met in the capital to discuss a host of issues ahead of the Supreme Court hearing on August 8, and screening the conflict of interest declaration form topped its agenda. He added that the “CAC’s decision will be final and the meeting (interview) with shortlisted candidates will happen in middle of August followed by appointment.”last_img read more

BJP leader held for duping Mukul Roy named in complaint

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first_imgKolkata: A trade union leader of the BJP was arrested on Wednesday for allegedly duping a businessman by promising him a berth in one of the railway committees.According to police, businessman Santu Ganguly, lodged a complaint against BJP trade union leader Baban Ghosh and a few others on duping charges. BJP leader Mukul Roy was also named in the complaint. Ghosh was produced at the Alipore Court and has been remanded to police custody till August 28. Ganguly said he had given Rs 65 lakh to Ghosh between 2015 to 2016. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari PujaAccording to sources, Ghosh allegedly took Mukul Roy’s name to instill confidence in Ganguly and exact the money out of him. Ganguly had given the money in phases between 2015 to 2016. Several years passed but Ganguly did not get the railway committee berth and failed to meet Ghosh or get in touch with him over the phone. On January 25, this year, Ganguly lodged a complaint at the Sarsuna police station against Ghosh and a few others. On Tuesday night, Ghosh was detained at his house at Sakuntala Park in Patuli. He was grilled throughout the night and was arrested early on Wednesday morning. Earlier, Ghosh had tried to set up an organisation by involving Tollywood film actors. At present, he holds the post of BJP trade union president in Bengal. He had reportedly admitted before the police that he took money from Ganguly. However, while he being taken to the Alipore Court, he claimed he was innocent.last_img read more

US Open Medvedev fined 9000 for gesture actions

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first_imgNew York: Russian fifth seed Daniil Medvedev was fined USD 9,000 (8,187 euros) by the US Open after his unsportsmanlike remarks and obscene gesture in a Friday night triumph. Medvedev defeated Spain’s Feliciano Lopez to reach the fourth round of the year’s last Grand Slam tournament at Flushing Meadows. He was issued a code violation early in the match for tossing a towel. As he later walked to his chair, Medvedev lifted his middle finger to the side of his head away from the view of the chair umpire but not from stadium cameras, which showed the image on the stadium video screen. While he was not issued a violation, the umpire only having seen the image on replay, Medvedev drew boos from the crowd the remainder of the night.last_img read more

Cara says modelling destroyed her movie career

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first_imgLos Angeles: Model-actor Cara Delevingne has claimed modelling has made it difficult for her to become an actor because she was always “trying to look hot”. The supermodel turned to acting in 2012 after landing a role in Anna Karenina. She said director Joe Wright had to constantly remind her to shake off techniques she had picked up from modelling, reports mirror.co.uk. Delevingne told Elle UK magazine: “Fashion really f***ed me when it came to acting. When I did my first film – Anna Karenina, which I didn’t have a speaking part in – every time I was on screen, the director would come up to me and say ‘Cara, you’re modelling again, stop trying to look pretty’. Also Read – I have personal ambitions now: Priyanka”I was an extra with 60 other people on screen at the time. I was like ‘but what do you mean?’ And he’d tell me ‘you’re not in the moment, you’re just trying to look hot’,” he said. Delevingne added that trying not to be the centre of attention for the camera was a difficult thing to learn. “I never thought I did that. Modelling makes you know where the camera is at all times, and you have to forget that when you’re acting,” she further added.last_img read more

Soft drink consumption linked to risk of early death

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first_imgConsumption of soft drinks – whether sweetened with sugar or artificial sweeteners – may be associated with an increased risk of premature death, according to a study. The study, involving over 450,000 participants from 10 European countries, found that those who drank two or more glasses of soft drinks, including sugar-sweetened and artificially sweetened soft drinks, per day had a higher risk of mortality from all causes than those who consumed less than one glass per month. Also Read – An income drop can harm brainSpecific associations were also observed between artificially sweetened soft drinks and deaths from circulatory diseases and sugar-sweetened soft drinks with mortality resulting from digestive diseases, researchers said. The study, published in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine, surveyed participants on their food and drink consumption between 1992 to 2000 and followed up an average of 16 years later. “This study adds to the growing body of evidence that suggests possible negative associations between soft drinks and common causes of deaths such as heart disease and stroke,” said Jonathan Pearson-Stuttard from Imperial College London in the UK. Also Read – Shallu Jindal honoured with Mahatma AwardWhile the study found an association between consumption of soft drinks and increased mortality the researchers stress that the link is a complex one and cannot be assumed to be causal. “We found that compared with those reporting low consumption, participants who reported high consumption of soft drinks were at greater risk of all-cause death in our study sample,” said Neil Murphy, one of the study’s lead authors, based at International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) in France. “This doesn’t mean that soft drinks cause early death as in these types of studies there are other factors which may be behind the association we observed,” Murphy said. “For instance, high soft drink consumption may be a marker of overall unhealthy diet. Also, in our study, high soft drinks consumers had higher body mass Index (BMI) and were also more likely to be current tobacco smokers,” he said. “Additionally, and importantly, we generally saw similar associations in people smoking and non-smoking and among lean and obese participants which adds weight to the soft drink and mortality association not being strongly influenced by smoking habits and BMI,” Murphy said. “However, we cannot rule out the possibility that these factors were influencing our findings, hence why we cannot say the associations we observe are causal,” he said.last_img read more

Canada captain Christine Sinclair looks to score for MS Society of Canada

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first_imgCanada soccer captain Christine Sinclair is stepping out of her comfort zone this summer.That means everything from serving root beer floats to kicking burgers at goal in a bid to put the boot to multiple sclerosis. The 34-year-old from Burnaby, B.C., whose mother has MS, is joining forces with A&W to raise money for the MS Society of Canada.According to the MS Society, Canada has the highest rate of multiple sclerosis in the world, with an estimated one in 340 Canadians living with the disease.Now in its ninth year, A&W’s “Burgers to Beat MS” campaign is the single biggest fundraiser for the MS Society having already raised close to $10 million. The restaurant chain hopes to raise another $2 million this year.A&W will donate $2 from every Teen Burger sold across Canada on Aug. 24, augmented by other fundraising efforts.Sinclair will be making appearances at A&W restaurants in Vancouver on Aug. 23 and Toronto and Montreal on Aug. 24 as part of the campaign. She will also be featured showing off her soccer skills with burgers in a video on A&W’s Facebook page.“Being able to join this campaign, it’s massive for me,” Sinclair said in an interview. “All along I said I just want to be able to help and hopefully this is a start. Hopefully this is a start to be able to make a difference for those people living with MS.“Hopefully years down the road people aren’t having to deal with what my family’s had to deal with and that’s my ultimate goal.”Sinclair’s mother Sandi lives in a care home in suburban Vancouver.“She’s doing well,” Sinclair said of her mom. “She loves the summer, she’s out and about every day now. She loves the sun.“She’s proud of the journey that I’m starting.”The fundraising campaign has also united the family, with Sinclair’s aunt joining her on the cross-Canada trip.“It’s been amazing to see,” she added.Since announcing in June that she planned to take a front-line role in the fight against MS, Sinclair says she has been amazed by the support she has received via social media and other channels.“There’s so many people that are affected by MS that I had no idea. People that I know who have an aunt or a sister. So the support has been incredible.”While Sinclair is used to the soccer spotlight, she has largely kept to herself away from the field. That has changed, with this new role.“It’s been one of the hardest things I’ve ever done,” she said. “Because I am a private person, I keep everything to myself. But for me it’s good to step out of my comfort zone. Where I am in my career, I want to be able to make a difference.“Yes, I hope that I inspire young kids to play soccer, play sports, to reach and dream big. I hope I’ve done that over these years. But I don’t want it to end when my career eventually does end. I want to have a lasting impact and hopefully this is something that can continue for years and years.”MS is an autoimmune disease of the central nervous system (brain, spinal cord). The disease attacks myelin — the protective covering of the nerves, causing inflammation and often damaging the myelin, which is necessary for the transmission of nerve impulses through nerve fibres.The effects are wide-ranging and unpredictable: extreme fatigue, lack of co-ordination, weakness, tingling, impaired sensation, vision problems, bladder problems, cognitive impairment and mood changes.The cause remains a mystery — the belief is lifestyle, environmental, genetic and biological factors all contribute.The disease is most commonly diagnosed in people between 15 and 40. Women are three times more likely to develop MS than men.Currently there is no cure.“Burgers to Beat MS started with a small group of A&W operators wanting to make a difference,” Paul Hollands, chairman and CEO of A&W Food Services of Canada Inc., said in a statement. “Every year it has grown, making a real difference in helping those affected by this debilitating disease.”Sinclair has carried the Maple Leaf at the Olympics, represented her country 259 times, scored 168 goals and led Canada to back-to-back Olympic bronze medals.The Portland Thorns star was recently appointed to the Order of Canada, an honour she says that still leaves her near speechless.“To be honoured by your country for what you’ve done over the course of your career is pretty remarkable,” she said. “I think it just goes to show the progress our team has made. We’re now in the forefront of sports in this country. We have an impact on people’s lives and we’re making a difference in continuing to improve and grow the sport.“It’s been an honour to be a part of that journey. To be recognized (with the Order of Canada), I don’t know what to say.”— For more information visit www.BurgersToBeatMS.ca—Follow @NeilMDavidson on Twitterlast_img read more

Quebec man credited with saving fellow seniors in LIsleVerte fire dies

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first_imgL’ISLE-VERTE, Que. – A Quebec man who was lauded as a hero for helping to save the lives of three of his neighbours in a deadly 2014 seniors’ home fire has died at the age of 87.L’Isle-Verte Mayor Ursule Theriault said Arnaud Cote died in his sleep last Friday.Cote, then 84, was credited with rushing to save the lives of three fellow residents in January 2014 as fire consumed the Residence du Havre in L’Isle-Verte, about 250 kilometres northeast of Quebec City.Thirty-two people died in the blaze.In a 2015 interview with The Canadian Press, Cote recalled waking up, yelling for help, stopping to bang on the doors to wake up three female tenants in his wing and helping them to safety.Cote lived in the Residence du Havre but in a newer section where all but one resident survived thanks to a firewall.At the funeral for the victims, the son of one of the three women ran up and hugged Cote, thanking him for saving his mother’s life.Cote downplayed his actions, which many saw as heroic.“It was something I was happy to do and the kids all came to thank me for saving their mothers,” he said in an interview on the one-year anniversary of the blaze.An obituary for Cote said he was given an honourable mention by the Governor General in recognition of his bravery.Theriault said Cote’s actions that night were typical of his character.She described the retired dairy farmer as a humble man who always wanted to help others.“He was always someone who was discreet, who didn’t want to bother and who especially wanted to help,” she said in an interview. “If he could help someone, it was his greatest pleasure.”After the fire, Cote admitted he had a hard time after so many friends had died or moved away.Most of the surviving residents were spread out to homes in neighbouring communities, and Cote was one of the few who was able to stay in town.Theriault said Cote became “a bit pensive” after the tragedy but was always determined to move forward.“He was an optimist, yes, in the sense that he understood life was important,” she said.Nancy Dumont, who manages the residence where Cote spent his final years, remembered him as a “good and proud man” who liked to play bingo, went to visit his sick sister and was always generous with his time.“All the residents were devastated when he left us for another world — a better one, we hope, because he deserves it,” Dumont said.“He left it the way he lived, without bothering anyone.”A funeral is scheduled for Saturday in L’Isle-Verte.— By Morgan Lowrie in Montreallast_img read more

NAFTAs environmental arm demands Canada explain oilsands tailings leaks

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first_imgOTTAWA – The environmental arm of NAFTA is demanding Canada explain what it is doing to stop oilsands tailings ponds from leaking into Alberta waterways.The request comes in a decision by the commission which oversees the North American Agreement on Environmental Co-operation, a parallel agreement to NAFTA signed by Canada, the United States and Mexico.Canada has until Sept. 28 to officially respond to allegations it is failing to enforce the Fisheries Act by allowing contaminants from the ponds to leak into water without forcing the companies involved to fix the problem.The complaint was made in June by Canada’s Environmental Defence group and the Natural Resources Defense Council based in the United States.Environmental Defence executive director Tim Gray says studies have suggested as much as 11 million litres of tailings water containing substances like benzene, arsenic and cyanide leaks into the Athabasca River every day.A spokeswoman for Environment Minister Catherine McKenna said the government will work with the commission to respond to the request and expects this to be resolved soon.“Our government takes the protection of water very seriously,” Marie-Pascale Des Rosiers said in an e-mail.“We are proud of our world-class, joint oilsands monitoring system we have with the government of Alberta.”NAFTA’s environment annex allows non-governmental organizations and citizens of the three countries to submit complaints alleging their government is failing to enforce its environmental laws and regulations.The commission has 30 days to decide if a complaint warrants a response from the government involved.The request for a response from Canada means the commission found the complaint was submitted by legitimate organizations which offered science-based evidence for their complaints and that it was intended to promote enforcement of environmental law rather than simply harass industry.Gray said the commission’s request for a response is a sign that the complaint appears legitimate, so far.“They’re saying, based on the evidence presented to them and their legal review, it looks like the Canadian government isn’t enforcing the Fisheries Act and they want to know what the Canadian government thinks about that,” he said.While the deadline for a government response is Sept. 28, it could request an extension until Nov. 10.After Canada responds, the commission will determine whether to produce a public factual record of the matter. That record does not include recommendations or conclusions.However, Gray said the record can be used as a court document and if the case gets to that point, Environmental Defence could sue the Canadian government with the intent of forcing it to enforce its own laws.This is the second time these groups have made such a submission to the commission. The first time it was tossed out because there was a court challenge underway in Canada about the same thing, which disqualifies a complaint under the environment agreement.That court challenge was ultimately thrown out by a judge in Alberta.Ben Brunnen, vice president of oilsands, fiscal and economic policy for the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers said in a statement it was up to Canada to respond directly to the case.“Numerous measures are in place to ensure the safe operation of tailings ponds,” said Brunnen. “Alberta law requires all land disturbed by oil sands operations be reclaimed, including tailings ponds.”last_img read more

Montreal retiree wins 18 million on Montreal Casino slot machine

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first_imgMONTREAL – A Montreal retiree had more than a million reasons to smile on Boxing Day.Chi Hoc Huynh wagered $30 on a Grand Prix slot machine and collected one of the biggest slots jackpots yet at the Montreal Casino — $1.8 million.His and his wife, Kim, celebrated their windfall with some champagne at the casino.Huynh — who visits the casino three or four times a year — told Loto-Quebec he wants to spend some of the money on travel, including a cruise.On April 30, a couple from Laval, Que., won $1.7 million at a slot machine at the Montreal casino.last_img read more

Very intense winter storm shuts schools offices in Atlantic Canada

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first_imgA massive and powerful storm pummelled Atlantic Canada on Thursday, shutting down everything from schools to bridges as wind, rain and snow thrashed the region.“This is a very large, very intense storm,” said Darren Borgel, a meteorologist with Environment Canada. “This one will definitely be memorable for its extreme winds, especially in Nova Scotia.”Social media images showed one Halifax house with its roof gone, and another building that had partially collapsed.At high tide the storm surge flooded parts of Halifax’s famed waterfront boardwalk, moving a Canada 150 sign and lapping at an ice cream outlet. Water also poured into an excavation site of a massive hotel/office complex.And 20 minutes before high tide, the surging ocean had swallowed a dock at Halifax’s Dingle Park and flooded the short causeway connecting the nearby Armdale Yacht Club to the mainland.While parts of Nova Scotia were whipped by wind and rain amid temperatures well above freezing, New Brunswickers faced heavy snow that made it impossible to see across the street.“If you are in your home and don’t need to travel, don’t travel,” said Greg MacCallum, director of New Brunswick’s Emergency Measures Organization, who called it a “serious storm.”Environment Canada said high waves combined with storm surges could cause damage along the Atlantic coast of Nova Scotia and in Prince Edward Island later in the evening, and that flooding was also likely in those areas.The weather agency said high waves would persist overnight and may cause further flooding and pounding surf near high tide on Friday morning for southwest facing coastlines.Borgel noted high tide was expected to coincide with the greatest surge in the evening along the Atlantic coast of Nova Scotia, just as winds were forecast to pick up again.“I expect there’s going to be some serious damage when things come to light on Friday morning,” he said.The agency warned that people should not attempt to travel across flooded roads because even shallow, fast-moving water can sweep a vehicle away.Environment Canada had issued warnings for everything from wind and rain to blizzards and storm surges along much of the Atlantic coast.“There’s a varied mix of weather conditions depending on where you are in the Maritimes — the whole spectrum of weather,” said Borgel.The federal agency had issued a range of winter storm warnings and watches for Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, P.E.I. and parts of Newfoundland and Labrador, saying the low-pressure system would bring fierce winds that could gust up to about 140 km/h in parts of Nova Scotia and snowfall amounts of up to 40 centimetres in New Brunswick.Nova Scotia was expected to see up to 50 millimetres of rain, possibly causing localized flooding.By Thursday evening, many lights were out across Nova Scotia. About 94,000 utility customers were without power as of about 1:30 a.m., Friday, many along the Atlantic coast.In downtown Halifax, the wind started to howl early in the afternoon, sending sheets of rain sideways, stinging pedestrians as they headed home early from work.Sandra Simons, who lives across the harbour in Dartmouth, was running to catch the last ferry of the day. The service was cancelled early at 2:30 p.m. as the harbour was churned into a roiling mass of whitecaps and heavy swell.“It’s lovely,” said Simons. “I like the wind, I like the waves, but it’s hard walking. Still, the wind is really bad here. The ferry behind us is the last one going across, so I’m just running for that.”Breanne Barry was also on her way home to Dartmouth, but she missed the last ferry.“It’s crazy — the wind is getting really bad,” said Barry, as she grabbed the fur-lined collar of her parka as it was whipped by the wind. “I’m just happy that we haven’t got any snow. I just want everyone to stay safe and stay off the road.”Halifax also pulled its buses off the road at 4 p.m., closed the city’s Public Gardens and shut one of two harbour bridges because of the wind.Later in the evening at the Herring Cove lookoff near the mouth of the Halifax harbour, a row of spectators gathered in the dark, the headlights of their cars illuminating massive waves breaking against the rocks.The severe weather prompted Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to urge Atlantic Canadians to be vigilant.“To everyone in Atlantic Canada — stay safe, stay indoors, and stay updated on the latest,” he said on Twitter, linking to the Environment Canada website.Virtually all of New Brunswick was under either winter storm, rainfall or wind warnings and the central and northern parts of the province were expected to see roughly 40 centimetres of snow, along with wind gusts of up to 90 km/h in some areas.Environment Canada said early Friday that while heavy snow and blowing snow was expected to continues for the northern half of New Brunswick, the snow has changed to a mix of freezing rain and ice pellets for central areas overnight.Snow was expected to end by late morning over southern New Brunswick but persist into the afternoon for northern areas.MacCallum said NB Power added extra crews and pre-positioned them in areas of the province where outages were likely to occur. The utility was reporting about 10,400 outages as of about 1:30 a.m. Friday.MacCallum also warned about the dangers of carbon monoxide, and said people should have carbon monoxide detectors in their homes.“If not, be aware of the threat and avoid doing things like cooking over open flames, using generators near the house or in a garage. These things produce carbon monoxide gas and it will kill people,” he said.Two people died and others were hospitalized during an ice storm that hit the province in January of last year.MacCallum said EMO is working with the Red Cross to identify warming centres and shelters in the event people are left without power for an extended time.P.E.I. was expected to be hit by fierce winds and up to 25 centimetres of snow before it changes to rain and ice pellets in the evening. Maritime Electric said early Friday that power was out in about 20 communities.The Confederation Bridge linking New Brunswick and P.E.I. was closed to all traffic “for user safety” Thursday night “until the current weather situation changes,” but later reopened to cars.Nova Scotia Power said it had more than 1,000 people at the ready in what is its biggest-ever pre-storm mobilization of personnel and resources.More than 50 departures and arrivals were cancelled at Halifax Stanfield International Airport early Thursday. Marine Atlantic also cancelled sailings between Nova Scotia and Newfoundland, while Bay Ferries shelved its crossings between Nova Scotia and New Brunswick.School boards in Nova Scotia and P.E.I. didn’t wait for the storm to arrive, with most schools and some universities closing well before the weather set in. Many government offices, schools and businesses also shut down for the day.The Halifax Regional School Board warned Thursday evening that almost half of its 134 schools were without power, and further cancellations were possible on Friday.Environment Canada said the storm — which was being dubbed a “bomb cyclone” — was expected to continue its northerly trek, with snow and strong winds in expected parts of Newfoundland and Labrador Thursday evening and into Friday.In the U.S., the storm dumped as much as 45 centimetres of snow from the Carolinas to Maine and unleashing hurricane-force winds.Forecasters expected the system to be followed immediately by a blast of face-stringing cold air that could break records in more than two dozen cities, with wind chills falling to -40 in some places this weekend.Three people were killed in North Carolina after their vehicles ran off snow-covered roads, authorities said.With files from Kevin Bissett in Fredericton, Michael MacDonald in Halifax, and The Associated Press.last_img read more

Manitoba judge says fatal police shooting of machetewielding man was justified

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first_imgWINNIPEG – A Manitoba provincial court judge has ruled that the fatal police shooting of a man wielding a machete in public was a justified use of force.In an inquest report, Judge Sandra Chapman says Eric Daniels ignored police warnings to drop his weapon and charged directly at one officer before being shot.Daniels died at the age of 28 on March 6, 2010.The inquest was told Daniels was intoxicated and had earlier used his machete to rob a liquor store and threaten a passenger on a transit bus.Later, Daniels confronted a family on a residential street and police were called.The inquest report says two officers in uniform gave repeated warnings to Daniels to drop the machete, but he charged at one and was shot three times.“Despite those commands, Mr. Daniels did not drop the machete and in fact quickly advanced towards the police officers, ignoring their command, with the machete raised above his head,” the report released Tuesday says.“Mr. Daniels’s very unfortunate demise was caused wholly as a result of Mr. Daniels’s actions. The officers had no option but to fire their weapons as they did.”The inquest heard from a toxicologist who testified Daniels had a high level of alcohol in his system. There was also surveillance footage of the liquor store robbery and of the confrontation on the transit bus.Inquests in Manitoba are mandatory when someone dies from the use of force by police.last_img read more

Minimum wages jump in Alberta Saskatchewan and Manitoba on Oct 1

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first_imgEDMONTON – Minimum wage across the Prairies is going up, with raises in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba set to take effect Monday.Alberta’s hike in the minimum hourly rate is the highest, where the current $13.60 an hour will rise to $15 _ becoming the highest minimum wage in the country.In Manitoba, the minimum hourly wage will climb 20 cents from $11.10 to $11.35.Saskatchewan’s lowest-wage earners will see the smallest raise, with the minimum pay rising 10 cents from $10.96 to $11.06 an hour.Alberta’s NDP government has raised the minimum wage every year from $10.20 an hour when they were elected in 2015.Manitoba says this year’s increase is based on the province’sinflation  rate in 2017, while Saskatchewan says its minimum wage is also indexed based on inflation, as well as the average hourly wage for Saskatchewan.last_img read more

Alberta judge throws out Karlheinz Schreiber lawsuit against federal government

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first_imgEDMONTON — An Alberta judge has dismissed a lawsuit filed by Karlheinz Schreiber in 1997 in which the German-Canadian businessman alleged he had been defamed by the Attorney General of Canada.In the lawsuit, Schreiber says details of a letter sent by Canada to the Government of Switzerland seeking his banking information as part of an RCMP investigation were published in the media in 1995 and made public by Brian Mulroney at a news conference.Schreiber also sued the federal government for negligence, abuse of process and abuse of public office.He claimed for losses including denigration of his reputation and loss of economic opportunity and income associated with the loss of his liberty and livelihood.In 1995, RCMP accused Schreiber and another man of sending kickbacks to Mulroney on the sale of Airbus planes to Air Canada which was a Crown Corporation at the time.Schreiber, who is now 85, was extradited to Germany in 2009 after testifying before the Senate’s ethics committee.In 2013, he became involved in a corruption scandal linked to former German chancellor Helmut Kohl, was convicted of tax evasion and sentenced to 6.5 years in prison.In 2017, Schreiber sought to resume his legal action but Ottawa argued that more than eight years had passed since the last meaningful action on the lawsuit.In Edmonton, Queen’s Bench Justice Lucille Birkett ruled that Schreiber waited too long to resume his legal action and threw out the lawsuit.“Schreiber’s allegation that Canada engaged in tactics that caused the delay in this action by its decision to extradite him to Germany is unfounded,” Birkett wrote in a ruling released Thursday.“Schreiber bears the ultimate responsibility for advancing this action.“As more than 3 years have passed without a significant advance, and on the application of Canada to dismiss the action for long delay pursuant to Rule 4.33, the Court must dismiss the action brought by Schreiber.”The ruling noted that Schreiber fought the extradition request from Germany for five years before he was committed for extradition and for a further five years in appealing the committal unsuccessfully to the Ontario Court of Appeal, the Supreme Court of Canada and the Federal Court. (CTV Edmonton, The Canadian Press)The Canadian Presslast_img read more