Not all Nova Scotians who need dialysis will have to travel to a hospital for treatments. Beginning July 1, a new provincial program will offer continuing-care clients with renal failure the option to have dialysis treatments in their homes and at designated long-term-care facilities. “Today, many dialysis patients must travel to the hospital, three times a week, to receive hemodialysis treatments on someone else’s schedule,” said Health Minister Chris d’Entremont. “This new option gives some the freedom that comes with getting the treatment they need in the comfort and privacy of their own homes.” Peritoneal dialysis is a well-established alternative to traditional hemodialysis. In hemodialysis, blood is passed through an artificial-kidney machine to be cleaned. Peritoneal dialysis uses a similar filtration process, but the blood is cleaned inside the body rather than in a machine. This form of dialysis can be performed in the home or in the community, reducing the need for patients to travel, or relocate, to be closer to hospitals. Less invasive and less expensive, peritoneal dialysis is, in many cases, better suited to elderly and disabled patients. It improves blood-pressure control, preserves remaining kidney function and expands dietary options. Combined with the fact that patients do not need to leave home for treatment, peritoneal dialysis often improves overall quality of life. There are about 95 peritoneal dialysis patients in the province; 10 per cent of those patients are continuing-care clients. Based on health and population trends, it is expected demand for dialysis-treatment options will increase. Peritoneal dialysis will be available to continuing-care clients with renal failure through home-care service providers. It will also be available in one long-term-care home in each health district across the province. The new peritoneal dialysis program makes services already available in some areas of the province available to eligible continuing-care clients across Nova Scotia. Continuing-care clients who require dialysis can call 1-800-225-7225 (out of province 1-902-424-4288), any day of the week between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. for more information on peritoneal dialysis services. The Continuing Care Strategy is a 10-year plan to enhance and expand Nova Scotia’s continuing-care system. By building on community support, increasing local solutions and ensuring care options are available when and where they are needed, the strategy aims to create a system that supports Nova Scotians in their desire to live well in a place they can call home. A peritoneal dialysis patient is available for interview upon request. For more information see the website at www.gov.ns.ca/health/ccs/ccs_strategy .
Civil procedure rules that regulate procedures for the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia and the Nova Scotia Court of Appeal will be clearer because of legislation introduced today, Nov. 14, by Justice Minister and Attorney General Cecil Clarke. The legislation ratifies and confirms the rules revised by the judges of the two courts. “The previous rules were made in 1972,” said Mr. Clarke. “Our judges have done considerable work to update them, make them more user-friendly, and put a new focus on plain language.” Although the rules have served the province well, concerns about delays, costs and undue complexity of court proceedings suggested they needed to be examined in detail and re-written as required. The Supreme Court of Nova Scotia conducted a comprehensive review and revision of the rules over the past five years. At the invitation of the Supreme Court, the Law Reform Commission, the Nova Scotia Barristers’ Society, and the Department of Justice helped with the revision.
Local Area Office: 902-538-3877 Fax: 902-538-8288 CAPE BRETON REGIONAL MUNICIPALITY: Grand Narrows Road George’s River Bridge on Grand Narrows Road, known locally as Long Island Road, will be closed for repairs until Friday, March 27. A detour is available on Scotch Lake Road and Route 223. Work takes place from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Local Area Office: 902-543-4671 Fax: 902-543-5596 LUNENBURG COUNTY: Trunk 3, Gold River Bridge A one-lane bridge is open on Trunk 3 between Mahone Bay and Chester while the new Gold River Bridge is being built. Work is expected to continue until August. Traffic lights are in place. Local Area Office: 902-742-2415 Fax: 902-742-0649 Local Area Office: 902-533-2771 Fax: 902-533-4352 KINGS COUNTY: Hantsport Kates Bridge on Tannery Road in Hantsport is closed for repairs until further notice. A detour is available on Avon Street. Local Area Office: 902-679-4308 Fax: 902-679-6124 INVERNESS COUNTY: Doyle’s Bridge Doyle’s Bridge on the East Margaree Road will be closed until further notice. A detour is available on East Margaree Crossroad. Local Area Office: 902-755-7152 Fax: 902-755-7184 GUYSBOROUGH COUNTY: Melford Brook Bridge Closed The Melford Brook Bridge on Route 344 at Middle Melford is closed. A two-lane detour bridge will be used until a permanent bridge is completed. The speed limit has been reduced to 60 km/h at the site and advance warning signs are in place. Reduced weight restrictions are no longer in effect at this crossing. Local Area Office: 902-295-2700 Fax: 902-295-2617 KINGS COUNTY: Hillaton Road Hillaton Road will be closed for bridge repairs until spring. A detour route is available from Route 221 to Route 358 to Saxon Street. KINGS COUNTY: Glebe Bridge Glebe Bridge on Route 201 will have a 2.7-metre height restriction and a 15-tonne weight restriction until further notice. INVERNESS COUNTY: Grand Etang Bridge The Grand Etang Bridge will occasionally be reduced to one lane until Tuesday, March 31, to replace the bridge. A detour is available on a temporary bridge marked with signs and lighting. Traffic control people will be on site. PICTOU COUNTY: Young Road Highway 104 access on Young Road in Pine Tree will be closed until further notice for the Highway 104 twinning project. The road remains open to local residents but has no exit. Local Area Office: 902-527-5448 Fax: 902-527-5371 Local Area Office: 902-625-4200 Fax: 902-625-1946 Local Area Office: 902-893-6194 Fax: 902-893-8175 CUMBERLAND COUNTY: Lane Closure, Highway 104 at Oxford Traffic on the eastbound lanes of Highway 104 on the River Philip Bridge, east of Oxford, will be reduced to one lane to replace the bridge rail. Work will take place from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. until Friday, March 6. Drivers should obey signs and drive with extra caution through the construction area. CONTINUING WORK Local Area Office: 902-625-4388 Fax: 902-625-4393 Local Area Office: 902-578-9679 Fax: 902-563-0540 INVERNESS COUNTY: Murrays Hill Bridge Murrays Hill Bridge, which crosses the Mabou River near Rankinville Road, is closed until summer because of flooding damage. YARMOUTH COUNTY: Grey Bridge The Grey Bridge on Grey Road, East Kemptville, is closed for structural repairs. -30-
Le gouvernement souhaite connaître les points des Néo-Écossais sur la façon dont les gens peuvent rester en bonne santé et actifs tout en contribuant à leur communauté à mesure qu’ils vieillissent. Les gens qui préfèrent soumettre leurs commentaires en français pourront le faire grâce à l’ajout d’une rencontre en français le 6 juillet à 18 h. Les gens peuvent participer à la rencontre en se rendant à l’un des cinq campus de l’Université Sainte-Anne, soit à Pointe-de-l’Église, à Halifax, à Tusket, à Petit-de-Grat ou à Saint-Joseph-du-Moine. Le système de vidéoconférence de l’université permettra aux gens de participer à partir de tous les sites. La rencontre est organisée par le Nova Scotia Centre on Aging, avec l’aide d’un animateur francophone qui demandera aux participants de soumettre leurs idées. Le gouvernement tiendra compte des commentaires du public, des résultats de la recherche et de la contribution d’un comité consultatif afin d’élaborer un plan d’action pour une population vieillissante, dont la publication est prévue plus tard cette année. Des rencontres ont lieu avec le grand public, ainsi qu’avec certains groupes ciblés afin de mieux refléter la diversité de notre province. Les commentaires de tous les Néo-Écossais, y compris les membres de la famille, les entreprises, le secteur à but non lucratif et les groupes communautaires, en plus de ceux des aînés, sont les bienvenus. Les sujets de discussion seront le travail rémunéré, le bénévolat, le vieillissement chez soi et la vie saine. Les gens peuvent s’inscrire à une rencontre publique ou répondre au questionnaire en ligne au http://novascotia.ca/seniorstalk/fr. Le questionnaire est également disponible sur papier auprès du service 211. La date limite pour la soumission des commentaires est le 22 juillet.
Government has reached a tentative agreement with the Nova Scotia Teachers Union. The agreement will be recommended to members by the union’s provincial executive. “I’m pleased to have reached this point,” said Education and Early Childhood Development Minister Karen Casey. “Both government and the union worked hard to come to this agreement. Now the members will have their opportunity to vote through ratification.” As part of the agreement, work to rule action will be suspended and phased out beginning Jan. 23. Government has begun working with school boards and the union to begin that transition. The last agreement with teachers expired on July 31, 2015. Details of the tentative agreement will not be released until the agreement is ratified by union members. -30-
100 additional Educational Assistants and Child and Youth Care Practitioners 70 new autism and behavioral specialists 11 parent navigators six school psychologists and speech language pathologists three student health partnership nurses The province committed $15 million in funding for the 2018-19 school year toward increasing inclusive education supports. In addition to more human resources, eight alternative education programs were added throughout the province. They are designed to help students who learn best in a non-traditional setting. Funding also included two, new Achieve programs at NSCC. Achieve programs help students with complex needs better transition to life after high school. As well, more than $3.5 million is allocated for additional teacher training, professional learning, workforce development and assistive technology to promote student participation and access to curriculum. A key recommendation of the Commission for Inclusive Education was to develop an overall guiding policy on inclusive education, and a mechanism to track results. The province has partnered with Inclusive Education Canada and retained Gordon Porter, director of Inclusive Education Canada, to lead development of an inclusive education policy framework, including oversight and measurement. “Policy drives action, action that supports students and their teachers,” said Mr. Porter. “I’m pleased to be part of a process to help develop a policy embedded with clarity and accountability to support the implementation of a new inclusive education model for Nova Scotia.” The province has also opened 130 new pre-primary classrooms this year, bringing the total to more than 180 classrooms now open. This means about 2,800 four-year-olds and their families are taking part in free, early learning opportunities. By 2020, all communities will have access to pre-primary. All current, pre-primary locations can be found at: http://novascotia.ca/preprimary . A full list of inclusive education supports, and descriptions of those supports, can be found at: http://ednet.ns.ca/inclusiveeducation . All education assistants, parent navigators, autism and behavioral support specialists, school psychologists, and speech language pathologists have now been hired to better support students in the classroom. One remaining student health partnership nurse remains to be hired through the Nova Scotia Health Authority. “We know the model of inclusion needs to change so that all our kids have the supports they need to help them succeed. We’ve started with on-the-ground resources that parents and teachers have told us are needed most urgently,” said Zach Churchill, Minister, Education and Early Childhood Development. “The new supports hired are over and above what already exist and this is just the beginning. We expect to add even more classroom help as we continue to reshape the inclusive education model.” The classroom supports hired include:
Kolkata: Indian Museum is going to celebrate 200 years of discovery of Ajanta paintings by organising a lecture and a symposium in the month of July. The main objective of the programme is to discuss on how these paintings can be conserved in a more effective manner.”Ajanta paintings has had a major influence upon the Bengal School of Art. Sister Nivedita, Nandalal Bose, Abanindranath Tagore, E.B. Havell, Asit Kumar Halder are some of the big names who have been influenced by the Ajanta paintings. How Calcutta is connected with Ajanta will also be the highlight of the discussion,” said Rajesh Purohit, Director of Indian Museum. Also Read – City bids adieu to Goddess DurgaAccording to Purohit, these paintings have survived 2000 years because of its location and the use of vegetable dye and mineral colours. The main colours used were— red ochre, yellow ochre, brown ochre, lamp black, white and lapis lazuli (blue). Problem started when French and Italian conservators carried out renovation of the paintings mistaking these as fresco paintings. “A number of paintings were destroyed and in 1863 the Archeological Survey Of India studied the paintings and did necessary treatment for restoration of the paintings which are actually tempera paintings,” Purohit said. Also Read – Centuries-old Durga Pujas continue to be hit among revellersThe cave which is made of basalt igneous rocks has fissures through which water percolates. There is also water stagnation on the top of the cave as there is vegetation and roots of the trees are also penetrating into and destroying the cave. The museum director said that inflow of tourists is a big problem and visitors should be sent in groups and not randomly inside the cave. “The humidity level goes up with respiration of so many tourists inside the cave and this impacts the pigments in the paintings and a layer of dust and moisture deposit upon them. Experts will share their opinion on conservation,” he maintained. Ajanta is a world heritage site as per UNESCO. It was on April 28 1819, a British officer named John Smith, of the 28th Cavalry, while hunting tigers, “discovered” the entrance to Cave No. 10 when a local shepherd boy guided him to the location and the door. Captain Smith went to a nearby village and asked the villagers to come to the site with axes, spears, torches, and drums, to cut down the tangled jungle growth that made entering the cave difficult. He then vandalised the wall by scratching his name and the date over the painting of a bodhisattva. The Ajanta Caves are approximately 30 rock-cut Buddhist cave monuments which date from the 2nd century BCE to about 480 CE in Aurangabad district of Maharashtra. The caves include paintings and rock-cut sculptures described as among the finest surviving examples of ancient Indian art.
New Delhi: Oil cartel OPEC member UAE has assured India of uninterrupted supply of oil and LPG despite disruptions in the Strait of Hormuz, Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said Monday. India is 83 per cent dependent on imports to meet its oil needs and is reliant on nations like the UAE to meet half of its cooking gas (LPG) needs. Pradhan in Twitter posts said he held telephonic discussions with UAE Minister and Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) Group CEOP Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber over tensions in the Gulf region following attacks on two oil tankers last week. Also Read – Maruti cuts production for 8th straight month in Sep”Expressed concern at the supply disruptions in the Strait of Hormuz. Dr. Jaber assured me of oil and LPG supplies to India despite the disruptions,” he tweeted. The attacks on oil tankers last week raised concerns over supplies through the Strait of Hormuz that is the conduit for a fifth of the world’s oil. “Spoke to UAE Minister of State and Group CEO @AdnocGroup H.E. Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber and discussed ways to collaborate and work together to strengthen our hydrocarbon engagement,” Pradhan said. Also Read – Ensure strict implementation on ban of import of e-cigarettes: revenue to CustomsDuring the telephonic call, he also discussed UAE’s lead role in ongoing India’s strategic petroleum reserves programme. The UAE has hired storages in the underground storages India has built as insurance against supply disruptions. Pradhan said he also spoke to OPEC Secretary-General Mohammed Barkindo on Monday. “SG Barkindo reaffirmed India as an important partner for OPEC and expressed keen interest to further strengthen the India-OPEC partnership,” he said. Pradhan has been making calls to leaders of oil-rich nations ever since the BJP came back to power and he was reappointed petroleum minister. “Reviewed current developments in oil markets and ongoing supply disruptions. Expressed concern over significant oil price volatility and resulting challenges to Indian consumers,” he said on his discussions with OPEC Secretary General. India, he said, “will continue to work with OPEC membership on responsible oil pricing, which is the best interests of both producers and consumers.” Also, it was decided to work towards an early convening of the 4th India-OPEC high-level institutional dialogue, he added.
Gurugram: The state vigilance has sought records of all the officers and registrars who have been accused of conspiring with the property sharks and involved in illegal transaction of forest land in Aravallis. Moreover, the vigilance officials have asked for records of all the officers starting from the year 1992. Environmental activists have often claimed that weak laws are resulting in public agencies to further reduce the forest areas. It is estimated that a large portion of Aravallis forests continues to recede due to the corrupt practices of the officials. Also Read – Bangla Sahib Gurudwara bans use of all types of plastic itemsThe degradation of Aravallis was also raised in the Parliament on July 7 when Congress leader Jai Ramesh made a zero-hour mention of the illegal purchase of 400 acres of forest land by a private company in Kot village, Faridabad, in the Aravalis. He requested the Union ministry of environment and forest to protect the Aravalis by cancelling illegal purchases. Even though it is contributes to the maximum share of the 8 percent green cover of Gurugram, rapid urbanisation, illegal encroachments and rapid extinction of natural aquifers are seen as major factors for quick deterioration of Aravallis. There are as many as 30 cases that are held up in various courts regarding illegal encroachment of Aravallis in Gurugram. Also Read – After eight years, businessman arrested for kidnap & murderThere have also been reports of illegal mining still occurring in the forest area. There have also been cases where incidents of tree felling are reported from Aravallis in Gurugram because of the upcoming reality projects. “There are various challenges in preservation of Aravallis and the difficulties will only increase with the mass urbanisation of districts in Haryana. However, our officials are trying our best to preserve the green belt by taking various sreps like fencing and planting new varieties of plants,” said a senior official from Forest department (South Division).
From adding star power by roping in veteran A-list stars, hosting digital concerts with big names attached, bringing movies onto the streaming services within a few months of theatrical release to reviving cancelled shows on fan demand – the world of over-the-top or OTT platforms is expanding, and what started on the small screens of the smartphones the world over, suddenly threatens to becoming bigger than the big screen. Netflix and Amazon Prime have been producing original shows and films for a while now, which often generate more buzz than much of what is made by traditional sources as movie studios or TV production houses. Also Read – An income drop can harm brainIn this context, these digital players have entered the space of live entertainment, too. Be it Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Eros Now, Hotstar, Voot, Zee5, Viu, ALTBalaji or Sony Liv – the growing number of platforms in India is a testimony to it. Manish Aggarwal, Business Head, ZEE5 India, mentioned that the “digital viewer is seeking fresh, edgy, relatable and engaging content every day” – which is changing the landscape of the content being produced. Also Read – Shallu Jindal honoured with Mahatma AwardThe proliferation of over-the-top or OTT platforms has not come without objection from people associated with the filmmaking business. Netflix’s Roma Oscar glory this year made way for a debate over whether movies for streaming services should be allowed to compete at big award ceremonies, traditionally meant for feature films that get full theatrical release. Filmmaker Steven Spielberg, a member of the Motion Picture Academy’s board of governors, started a campaign to pitch for a rule change to make things more difficult for streaming platforms. Netflix was absent from Cannes Film Festival for second time this year due to the ongoing row between the streaming giant and festival organisers over priorities of persevering the theatrical experience or embracing the new age digital viewing space. The streaming giants are hoping to find a common ground. “(The norm is) it has to be a full release or you won’t be up for an award consideration. That however is not in the ecosystem of this evolving business. I think they have to figure out something in between,” Salke said. Netflix CEO Reed Hastings feels movies must be judged on artistic merit, and not windowing strategy. “Today, the rules are the rules that they are, and we comply fully with those rules. And I think all of you here would say that ‘Roma’ is an Oscar quality movie. We really believe films should be judged upon their artistic merit, not upon their windowing strategy,” Hastings said at an event. The screen size should be no measure of the size of the entertainment, most OTT giants argue. They are roping in big names form Hollywood as well as Bollywood to create big wonders on the small screen. Hollywood stars including, Will Smith, Brad Pitt, Jennifer Aniston, Julia Roberts, Ryan Reynolds, Dwayne Johnson and Gal Gadot have Netflix projects added to their resume. From the world of Bollywood, stars including Shah Rukh Khan, Akshay Kumar, Saif Ali Khan, Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Emraan Hashmi and Abhishek Bachchan have associated with streaming giants. ‘Stranger Things’ producer-director Shawn Levy is happy with the cinematic quality of the content being churned out for the streaming services. “For me, the thrilling part of season three is that it truly feels like a movie. The scope of the action and spectacle, while still keeping the emotional depth of each character, is highly cinematic,” Levy said.
Kolkata: In yet another incident of mob lynching in West Bengal’s Alipurduar district, seven people have been arrested for killing a man on suspicion of being a child-lifter, police said on Monday. “A man, nearly 35-years-old, was beaten to death on Sunday night near Tasati tea-estate. Seven people have been arrested and we are trying to find out the person’s identity,” said a senior officer of Alipurduar Police. The officer said that they had also nabbed two people for posting rumours on social media. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari Puja On Saturday, a youth was severely beaten up by a mob in Majher-dabri tea estate in Alipurduar on similar suspicions of child-kidnapping. He was later rescued by some locals and kept locked inside a primary school building. Rumours of another child-kidnapper being spotted were spread on Saturday night in the district’s Lichutala area. On July 24, six youths selling cookware from a van in Alipurduar district’s Madarihat became the victim of mob violence as some locals suddenly attacked them on suspicion of being child-kidnappers. Three of the youths managed to flee but the rest were caught by the mob and beaten up badly before being rescued by police. On July 22, a middle-aged man was stoned to death by locals in Jalpaiguri district’s Nagrakata on suspicion of being a child-kidnapper. Six persons have been arrested in connection with the incident.
Imphal: A militant has been arrested and a cache of arms and ammunition recovered in separate incidents in Manipur, police said. A team of Manipur Police arrested the militant, belonging to Kangleipak Communist Party (KK Nganba group), while conducting a search operation at Thoubal Bazaar area on Monday, a statement said. Meanwhile, a combined team of Manipur Police and Assam Rifles recovered a cache of arms and ammunition, during a search operation for Kuki National Front (KNF-N) militants, at B Gamnom village in Imphal East district on Saturday, it said. The cache, comprising an AK-47 rifle, a Lethod gun with four shells and a large number of AK-47 bullets were found buried in the ground, it said.
New Delhi: Within 24 hours, the United States witnessed two mass shootings, one at a Walmart store in El Paso, Texas and another at Dayton, Ohio, killing a total of 30 people and leaving at least 42 injured.Ten people, including the shooter, were killed and at least 16 others injured in the wee hours of Sunday morning in Dayton’s Oregon district, a neighbourhood known for its nightclubs, bars, and art galleries. And hours before, a 21-year-old gunman had opened fire with an assault rifle at a crowded Walmart store in Texas’s El Paso, killing 20 people and wounding 26 others. Also Read – India gets first tranche of Swiss bank a/c detailsThe authorities identified the El Paso gunman as Patrick Crusius from an affluent Dallas suburb. They added that they were investigating a manifesto Crusius, who is white, may have posted before the shooting, which described an attack in response to “the Hispanic invasion of Texas.” El Paso has long been both a cultural and political symbol of Hispanic Texas. While the Dayton shooter was shot dead during a stand-off with law enforcement authorities, the Walmart gunman was taken into custody by police “without incident” after he surrendered. Also Read – Tourists to be allowed in J&K from Thursday”The ages and genders of all these people injured and killed are numerous in the age groups,” El Paso Police Chief Greg Allen said. “The situation, needless to say, is a horrific one.” Whereas, Dayton Assistant Chief of Police Lt Col. Matt Carper said that despite the many fatalities, patrolling officers were close by to hear the gunshots at 1 am and bring the situation under control quickly. Officials in Ohio added that the shooter was wearing body armour. However, in the southern border town of El Paso, a packed Walmart store, where shoppers were busy buying back to school stuff for their kids, was filled with gun smoke and the echo of gunfire for several minutes. Footage shot on mobiles appeared to show multiple bodies lying on the ground in the store’s parking lot. “Texas grieves for the people of El Paso,” Texas Governor Greg Abbott told reporters. President Donald Trump condemned the El Paso attack as an “act of cowardice” and said there could be no justification for the killing of innocent people. In a string of mass shootings this year that have killed 522 people and injured over 2,000 others, the Dayton shooting is the 251st mass shooting of 2019. There have been only 216 days in the year so far. Local sources also said that the FBI has initiated a concurrent terrorism investigation in the El Paso shooting. With PTI inputs
New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday said it will hear in May next year a plea by former Congress leader Sajjan Kumar, who was awarded life term by the Delhi High Court in a 1984 anti-Sikh riot case, seeking suspension of his sentence.A bench comprising Justices S A Bobde and B R Gavai said that it is not an “ordinary case” and requires hearing before passing any order. Kumar, 73, who is lodged in jail, resigned from the Congress after he was convicted and awarded life term by the high court. The case in which he was convicted and sentenced to relates to the killing of five Sikhs in Delhi Cantonment’s Raj Nagar Part I area of Southwest Delhi on November 1-2 in 1984 and burning down of a Gurudwara in Raj Nagar Part II. Anti-Sikh riots had broken out after the assassination of then prime minister Indira Gandhi on October 31, 1984 by her two Sikh bodyguards. The former Congressman has challenged in the apex court the Delhi High Court’s verdict of December 17 last year that awarded him life imprisonment for the “remainder of his natural life” in the 1984 anti-Sikh riots case. The high court had convicted and sentenced Kumar for the offences of criminal conspiracy and abetment in commission of crimes of murder, promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion and doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of communal harmony and defiling and destruction of a gurdwara. It had also upheld the conviction and varying sentences awarded by a trial court to five others — former Congress councillor Balwan Khokhar, retired naval officer Captain Bhagmal, Girdhari Lal and ex-MLAs Mahender Yadav and Kishan Khokhar.
Jakarta: Indonesia has shipped tonnes of Australian garbage out of the country, an official said Tuesday, as Southeast Asian nations push back against serving as dumping grounds for foreign trash. Eight containers of trash — weighing some 210 tonnes — left Indonesia’s second-biggest city Surabaya on Monday aboard a cargo ship bound for Singapore, the local customs agency said. The move comes less than a week after Australia pledged to stop exporting recyclable waste amid global concerns about plastic polluting the oceans and increasing pushback from Asian nations against accepting trash. Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince ‘snubbed’ Pak PM, recalled jet from USLast month, Indonesia said it would return the Australian rubbish after authorities found hazardous material and household trash, including used diapers and electronic waste, in containers meant to hold only waste paper. “Six containers contaminated with (hazardous) waste and two containers mixed with household rubbish” left Indonesia on Monday, said Alvina Christine Zebua, a spokeswoman for the East Java customs agency. She could not confirm when the containers might arrive back in Australia. Also Read – Record number of 35 candidates in fray for SL Presidential pollsLast month Indonesia returned seven shipping containers of illegally imported waste to France and Hong Kong that were seized in Batam Island near Singapore. Those containers were loaded with a combination of garbage, plastic waste and hazardous materials in violation of import rules. Batam authorities were also preparing to return another 42 containers of waste, including shipments from the United States, Australia and Germany. China used to receive the bulk of scrap plastic from around the world but closed its doors to foreign refuse last year in an effort to clean up its environment. Huge quantities of waste have since been redirected to Southeast Asia, including Malaysia, Indonesia and to a lesser degree the Philippines.
Hong Kong: China lashed out at Taiwan on Monday over its offer of political asylum to participants in Hong Kong’s pro-democracy protest movement, a day after hundreds of thousands of people marched peacefully in the latest massive demonstration in the Chinese territory. The government of Taiwan, a self-ruled island that China considers its own territory, strongly supports the protests, and Hong Kong students in Taiwan held events over the weekend expressing their backing. Taiwan’s president made the asylum offer last month, though it’s not clear if requests have been received. Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince ‘snubbed’ Pak PM, recalled jet from USTaiwan lacks a formal legal mechanism for assessing and granting asylum requests, although it has granted residency to several vocal opponents of the Chinese government. On Monday, Ma Xiaoguang, spokesman for the Chinese Cabinet’s Taiwan Affairs Office, said Taiwan’s offer would “cover up the crimes of a small group of violent militants” and encourage their “audacity in harming Hong Kong and turn Taiwan into a “heaven for ducking the law.” Ma demanded that Taiwan’s government “cease undermining the rule of law” in Hong Kong, cease interfering in its affairs and not “condone criminals.” Also Read – Record number of 35 candidates in fray for SL Presidential pollsOrganisers said at least 1.7 million participated in Sunday’s Hong Kong rally and march, although the police estimate was far lower. Police said the protest was “generally peaceful” but accused a large group of people of “breaching public peace” afterward by occupying a major thoroughfare and using slingshots to shoot “hard objects” at government headquarters and pointing lasers at police officers. The protests have at times been marked by violent clashes with police, who say they have arrested more than 700 participants since the demonstrations started in June. However, law enforcement officers kept a low profile Sunday, with no riot police seen from the procession’s main routes. When stragglers convened outside a government complex in the late evening, other protesters urged them to go home. More protests are planned for the coming weeks, with various rallies organized by accountants, transport workers, high school students and relatives of police officers. Demonstrators’ frustrations over what they perceive to be the government’s blatant refusal to respond to their demands boiled over last week with the occupation of Hong Kong’s international airport, during which a reporter for a Chinese Communist Party-owned newspaper was assaulted, and attacks on a number of police stations. A former British colony, Hong Kong was returned to Beijing in 1997 under the framework of “one country, two systems,” which promised residents certain democratic rights not afforded to people in mainland China. But some Hong Kongers have accused the Communist Party-ruled central government of eroding their freedoms in recent years. The protest movement’s demands include the resignation of Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam, democratic elections and an independent investigation into police use of force.
New Delhi: The government on Friday exempted all startups that are registered with the DPIIT from the so-called ‘angel tax’, which will help resolve difficulties faced by the fledgling businesses and their investors. “To mitigate genuine difficulties of startups and their investors, it has been decided that Section 56(2)(viib) of the IT Act shall not be applicable to a startup registered under DPIIT,” Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman told reporters here. Also Read – Thermal coal import may surpass 200 MT this fiscalShe added that while the said section will continue to be part of the Income Tax Act, it will not be applicable to the startups registered with the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT). Besides, a dedicated cell, headed by a member of the Central Board for Direct Taxes (CBDT), will be set up to address concerns faced by startups. “After this, if there is a difficulty, it has been decided to set up a dedicated cell under a member of the CBDT. Any startup that has an issue can approach the cell for quick resolution of the problems,” she said. Multiple startup founders had claimed that they have received notices under Section 56(2) (viib) of the Income Tax Act to pay taxes on angel funds raised by them.
Mumbai: A sessions court in Maharashtra’s Dhule district on Saturday sentenced former state ministers Suresh Jain and Gulabrao Deokar along with 46 others to varying jail terms between seven and three years after convicting them in the multi-crore ‘Gharkul’ housing scam. Special Judge Srushti Neelkanth sentenced Jain to seven years in jail and imposed a fine of Rs 100 crore on him. Deokar was given a five-year sentence, while the remaining 46 convicts got jail terms between three and seven years. Apart from Jain and Deokar, the accused include some former municipal councillors and officials. Soon after the court pronounced its verdict, all 48 convicts, who were present in the court, were taken into custody. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM’Shiv Sena leader Jain was arrested in March 2012 for a Rs 29-crore housing project scam when he was state minister of home in the 1990s. He spent over a year in jail before securing bail from the SC. NCP leader Deokar was arrested in May 2012. He spent three years in jail before securing bail. He was a councillor in the Jalgaon Municipal Council between 1995 and 2000. They were accused of favouring a builder and indulging in irregularities to the tune of Rs 29 crore.
CALGARY – Calgary is wrestling with how to get public input, and what question to ask in a plebiscite, as timelines tighten on bidding for the 2026 Olympic and Paralympic Games.A plebiscite, which was a condition of the provincial government contributing money to a bid, will likely be held in November.A council committee overseeing a bid was told by city administration Tuesday a plebiscite can’t happen sooner, or later, than that.The deadline for cities to submit 2026 bid books to the International Olympic Committee is January.The question that will be put to Calgarians is under construction. Mayor Naheed Nenshi would like financial parameters to be included in the question.“It has to be a very simple question,” the mayor said. “Are you in favour of Calgary bidding on the Olympics or not, but it also has to be informed by how much is that going to cost.“Do you support us spending this kind of money on it?”But who is paying for what is a key question still be to fully answered. And there’s a time crunch, as the Calgary bid must have a complete financial breakdown for Calgarians to digest before they go to the voting booths.Committee chair Coun. Evan Woolley said the plebiscite “will be the ultimate arbiter of whether we push the send button on this bid” and “Calgarians need enough time to be able to make that decision.”“It remains an incredibly short runway on timelines,” Woolley said.The Calgary Bid Exploration Committee estimated almost a year ago the 2026 Winter Games will cost $4.6 billion with games revenue covering almost half.How much money will come from the three levels of government and the corporate sector likely won’t be known until September, according to Nenshi.“We should have the cost in June or a little bit later than that,” the mayor said. “What we’re not going to have is what the various contributions are from private sector, from other governments, from the city.“We probably won’t have that until September and that, of course, is critical for the public engagement because people need to know what we’re actually talking about.”The committee, which includes the mayor and six city councillors, declined to recommend holding non-statutory public hearings of council for the games, but asked administration to come back in June with ideas on how Calgarians could still have public input.“If we’re doing a plebiscite, I just think a public hearing is window dressing,” Nenshi stated. “It’s a lot of time, it’s a lot of work, it’s a lot of money to organize that.“It’s very difficult people who are working to come down to (city hall) so you never get a full cross-section of people.”Another variable is work on a bid is slowly transitioning from a city project team to a bid corporation.The bid corporation chair is expected to be named within days and the chief executive officer should be announced within a month, according to Nenshi.The cost of bidding for 2026 is about $30 million, which will be split between the federal and provincial governments and the city if it goes ahead.The plebiscite, which will cost just under $2 million, isn’t included in the bid budget.Nenshi believed the provincial government will contribute funds since the plebiscite was its condition.
EDMONTON – A wildfire expert says a blizzard of blazing embers that were blown by the wind over fireguards and a river sparked the flames that destroyed homes in Fort McMurray last spring and then spread the destruction deeper into neighbourhoods.Alan Westhaver says the embers ignited combustible material such as dry grass, leaves, pine needles, fences, patio decks, wood piles, evergreens and ornamental shrubs that were too close to homes in the northern Alberta city.The smaller blazes set homes on fire and flames then crept to nearby houses in the closely built subdivisions.“Mass ember production and long-distance transport by strong winds subjected neighbourhoods to intense ember showers,” Westhaver wrote in a report for the Institute for Catastrophic Loss Reduction.“Wind-driven embers from the forest fire likely caused the majority of home ignitions near the urban perimeter which, in turn, likely triggered the massive urban conflagration and losses that followed.”The wildfire forced more than 80,000 people from the area and destroyed more than 2,400 buildings. Insured losses are estimated at about $4 billion.The report says few homes caught fire due to direct contact with the flames or heat from the burning forest.“No, this fire was not, at least initially, an insurmountable force that rolled into, and over, an entire community like a smashing tidal wave,” said Westhaver.“Primarily, it was millions of raisin-sized firebrands searching for places to carry on with combustion, and succeeding all too often.”Homes on the edges of neighbourhoods with yards that had less combustible material, including landscaping that kept trees and bushes further away, suffered less damage.The report suggests that plans to protect communities from wildfires should include preventative action by homeowners.Westhaver, a former Parks Canada wildfire manager, said building fireguards and clearing trees and bushes outside of communities isn’t enough.More attention must be paid to raising awareness among homeowners and governments about landscaping and building practices that will reduce the risk.“This progression can only be broken, and disaster avoided, by substantially increasing the proportion of homes that are resistant to ignition — especially by embers,” Westhaver said.“The ignitability of homes and properties is really the weak point.”Other researchers are using computer technology to study the disaster to better understand how wildfires — and embers — behave.Canadian Forest Service scientists are feeding data about the fire into a computer model known as FIRETEC.The program allows scientists to set virtual wildfires to study how flames grow and move. It factors in the effects of weather, topography and the types of trees and shrubs burned.Westhaver’s report is providing some data and context for the work, said wildfire scientist Dan Thompson.The results of the computer program are to be analyzed this fall.FIRETEC was developed at the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico to model fire behaviour in the dry pine forests of the U.S. southwest.Researchers began modifying the program for use in Canada’s boreal forest following the 2011 wildfire that destroyed parts of Slave Lake, Alta.