Four wines received the Lieutenant Governor’s Award for Excellence in Nova Scotia Wines at a ceremony at Government House in Halifax, today, July 20. The award, established by former Lt.-Gov. J.J. Grant in 2014, recognizes the exceptional quality of locally sourced and produced wines, and honours the dedication and craft of those in Nova Scotia’s wine industry. Through blind tastings an independent panel of experts chose the following wines, in alphabetical order, as the best among the wines submitted: “I am delighted that this award recognizes the wonderful wines that are being produced in our province,” said Lt.-Gov. Arthur J. LeBlanc. “The many quality submissions from wineries is a testament to how far this industry has advanced in a relatively short time and I offer my sincere thanks to the wineries who submitted their wines for judging and I extend my congratulations to the award-winning wineries.” Winery Association of Nova Scotia and Taste of Nova Scotia members were invited to submit up to three commercially available grape wines with 100 per cent Nova Scotia content. “Nova Scotia’s farmers and fishers are the heart and foundation of our culinary heritage,” said Emily Haynes, executive director of Taste of Nova Scotia. “The growth, innovation and opportunities demonstrated by our local grape growers and winemakers helps define us as a culinary tourism destination.The Lieutenant Governor’s Award for Excellence in Nova Scotia Wines recognizes the significance and contribution of the wine industry to our province.” “Year after year, the winemakers in Nova Scotia continue to raise the bar with the wines that they are producing.” said Gillian Mainguy, executive director of the Winery Association of Nova Scotia. “The association and its members are very honoured that the lieutenant-governor has continued this prestigious award and continues to sing the praises of the wines of Nova Scotia.” The award ceremony included the presentation of a certificate and the Wine Award Gold Medal to each winning winery. Domaine de Grand Pré, Grand Pré – Muscat Icewine, 2016 Domaine de Grand Pré, Grand Pré – Riesling, 2016 Luckett Vineyards, Wolfville – Black Cab Mercator Vineyards, Wolfville – Mercator Sauvage, 2015
Effective 12:01 a.m., Monday, April 23, spring weight restrictions will be removed from the following counties and municipality in Nova Scotia: Spring weight restrictions remain in effect for all other counties and Cape Breton Regional Municipality until further notice. -30- Annapolis County Digby County Halifax Regional Municipality Hants County Kings County Lunenburg County Queens County Shelburne County Yarmouth County
The following is the speech from the throne read today, Sept. 6, 2018, by Lt.-Gov. Arthur J. LeBlanc at the opening of the second session of the 63rd General Assembly of Nova Scotia. I would like to begin by acknowledging that we are in Mi’kma’ki, the traditional territory of the Mi’kmaq people. It is a privilege to speak here in the people’s House. And as we begin the second session of the sixty-third assembly, let us not forget those who brought us here: Nova Scotians of all generations and backgrounds who help our province grow and succeed, some of whom are with us in this house today. I am grateful for the opportunity to highlight their successes and speak to the strong foundation government has built and the measures it will undertake to continue that success.We are here on the heels of hosting the country’s Special Olympians in Antigonish — a national event that demonstrates the best of the human spirit, the celebration of sport and community. Congratulations to the organizers and the volunteers for putting on a world-class event. And to the 117 Nova Scotia athletes who competed, taking home a total of 134 medals — well done and thank you for inspiring us to work hard and be the best version of ourselves. This past year was one of impressive records and firsts in Nova Scotia. Our population reached an all-time high. We had a record year in tourism. We reached gender parity on the provincial and family court benches, and the first Mi’kmaw woman was appointed to the judiciary. In Whycocomagh, Premier McNeil sat alongside the family of Donald Marshall Junior to open Nova Scotia’s first aboriginal wellness court — a historic step in supporting indigenous justice in our province. Our Acadian and francophone community is one of several communities that make up the Nova Scotian identity, enriching our province’s diversity through its unique culture and heritage. On this occasion, I would like to congratulate the Fédération acadienne de la Nouvelle-Écosse on 50 years of dedication to our province’s Acadian and francophone community. Avec sa culture et son patrimoine uniques, la communauté acadienne et francophone de la Nouvelle-Écosse est l’une des diverses communautés qui donnent à la Nouvelle-Écosse sa riche identité. Je profite de l’occasion pour féliciter la Fédération acadienne de la Nouvelle-Écosse qui se consacre depuis 50 ans au service de la communauté acadienne et francophone. We have much to celebrate. Our cultural industries continue to thrive. Our wine and spirits are winning global awards. Andy Hay, of Dartmouth, was runner-up in Masterchef Canada — a great example of how our young people are showing the rest of the country what Nova Scotia has to offer. We may be a small province, but we have a big presence on the international stage and that is thanks to our passionate, creative, and innovative people. As we begin this session, let us also take a moment to reflect on the lives of remarkable Nova Scotians we have lost: Grand Chief Kji Saqamaw Ben Sylliboy, who served as the voice for his people for 25 years and led his community for decades. Freeman Douglas Knockwood, a Mi’kmaw elder who helped countless people cope with addiction by using his own experience to educate and counsel them. Joan Grant Dillon, an active volunteer and Order of Nova Scotia recipient, who was a founder of the X-Project, which pairs students from St. FX with children in nearby communities to help with homework and other activities. Philip Riteman, who survived the Holocaust and made his way to Atlantic Canada to build a new life, sharing his story of survival, love, and hope with future generations. And Dr. Robert “Arnold” Burden, who served his community of Springhill for many years, famously responding to help miners who were trapped underground during the town’s mining disasters in the 1950s. We also remember individuals whose contributions were felt in this very chamber: James (Buddy) McEachern, Russell MacNeil, David Muise, and Gerald Doucet. And finally, we remember Kenny Greenham, who was a veteran of the Canadian Armed Forces and served this legislature faithfully as Sergeant at Arms for nearly a decade. As we remember their contributions and honour their lives, we also look to our future generations to continue to lift up this province. Young Nova Scotians are stepping up. They are entrepreneurs; they are hard workers. They are taking a chance on our province, and they are succeeding. They are contributing to the economy and building pride in their communities. Ils misent sur notre province et en sortent gagnants. Ils contribuent à l’économie et ils font la fierté de leurs collectivités. You only need to look around the corner to see it, wherever you live. Young people like Quentrel Provo, the founder and CEO of the Stop the Violence Movement. Quentrel continues to speak and sing at schools, conferences, and other events all over the country, spreading the message of love against violence. Entrepreneurs like cousins Nick Walsh and Erika Usher, who opened a branch of Nova Scotia-founded restaurant Burrito Jax in Sydney River after graduating from Cape Breton University last year; Joey Hawkins, who started Skilled Masons and Restoration in Dartmouth; and the trio of Matt Winchester, Dougal Armour, and Mitchell Kane, who founded the startup company FoodByte out of a sandbox at Acadia University. These and many more young people show courage and confidence in themselves and in the future of this province. Government’s focus is helping to give youth the tools to succeed and grow here at home. Co-op education, Mitacs internships, and new and improved workforce attachment programs are providing young people and under-represented groups with more opportunities. Right now, students are developing their innovative and entrepreneurial skill sets through 10 different sandbox programs on university and community college campuses around the province. The Graduate to Opportunity program is helping employers fill new positions with young people within their first year of graduating from a post-secondary institution. More than 650 new graduates have been hired into full-time jobs in their chosen field of study. Since the diversity bonus was offered in 2017, the number of diverse hires under the program now tops 100. Young people, new residents, and local and international graduates now have more opportunities to connect with leaders in their communities as the Connector Program expands across the province. Nova Scotians like Maigoro Yunana, who moved from Nigeria in 2011, are now able to make meaningful connections that help them build successful careers here in our province. Today, Maigoro works at Green Power Labs in Dartmouth as a building energy modelling specialist. Apprenticeship is on the rise in Nova Scotia. As a result of investments such as the Apprenticeship START program and eliminating tuition for technical training, more apprentices are being trained and more employers are hiring them. As well, dependents of those who receive Employment Support and Income Assistance and youth in the care of the Minister of Community Services now have access to the Career Rising program. Following a successful pilot with 15 young people last year, this program aims to help end the cycle of intergenerational poverty and create career opportunities by giving youth access to training and skills development, paid work experience with local employers, and a grant to help offset the cost of post-secondary studies. Government will continue to identify creative economic solutions, ensuring our youth are part of building a stronger Nova Scotia. Government also relies on the knowledge and experience of our older population. Earlier this year, we celebrated the one-year anniversary of the launch of Shift: Nova Scotia’s Action Plan for an Aging Population. Shift pushes all of us to think differently about our changing demographics and to consider the opportunities and benefits that come with an older, more experienced population. The progress made in the first year reflects our commitment to action — from new entrepreneurship and mentorship initiatives for older adults, to new funding for community transportation and housing. Innovation is critical to the long-term economic success of our province. L’innovation est essentielle au succès économique à long terme de notre province. Our startup community is thriving. There are nearly 500 startups and high-growth companies in the Atlantic provinces, most of which are based in Nova Scotia. The tech sector has become a significant employer in our region, with about 6,400 people working in this area and employment growing at an estimated seven per cent per year. Starting this fall, Mashup Lab’s “Dream” program for budding entrepreneurs will be available across Cape Breton as well as mainland Nova Scotia, in cooperation with Nova Scotia Community College and the Cape Breton Partnership. It’s a six-week program supporting rural entrepreneurs working at the idea stage. Incubators are driving growth across all regions of this province. COVE, the Centre for Oceans Ventures and Entrepreneurship, on the Dartmouth waterfront, will soon be home to 40 ocean technology companies. Halifax’s tech superhub Volta Labs tripled in size over the summer, bringing more startups and innovation-driven enterprises under one roof. Volta has housed more than 50 startups since 2013, employing more than 300 people and raising more than $60 million in equity financing. Volta’s newest tenants include smart travel startup Trip Ninja. Trip Ninja helps travellers book multi-city routes. Co-Founders Andres Collart and Brett Ziegler started the business while attending Dalhousie University. They have since completed their studies and are working on Trip Ninja full-time. Ignite Labs in Yarmouth is helping more technology companies get started, too. Six companies are already working out of Ignite Labs. Scott Dauphinee is one of the first residents of the new business incubator. Scott has developed a recyclable lobster trap that is made of plastic and will last up to 10 years, far outliving the wire traps that most fishermen currently use. Momentum Cape Breton is bringing the island’s startup community closer together, through business coaching, networking, and mentorship opportunities. Sixteen new technology entrepreneurs participated in Momentum activities last year, and a new maker space for entrepreneurs, students, and other creative minds will open soon, in the New Dawn Centre for Social Innovation in downtown Sydney. There is now more support for businesses who want to grow their exports and those who want to start exporting — companies like Angus Poulain’s Halifax-based DRIVECARE which he created following his family’s experience in a serious traffic accident. It is the world’s first device that eliminates cell phone use while driving. And now he deals with businesses from around the globe. Government continues to promote the province to the rest of the world. Le gouvernement continue de faire connaître la province au reste du monde. We are all ambassadors for Nova Scotia and have a role to play in helping investors understand the many reasons why they should look at this province. Exports to Asia continue to grow. Ten years ago, we exported $315 million to Asia. This past year, exports have more than tripled to $1.16 billion, with China as our largest export partner in the region. We are making progress in attracting a direct passenger flight between Halifax and China, which will bring more people to our province and help export our world-class products. Nova Scotia’s first culture sector mission to Asia opened the door for new partnerships, including exhibit opportunities featuring the works of treasured Nova Scotia artist Maud Lewis. We had our best year yet for tourism in 2017, and last year was the fourth consecutive year of growth. Tourism revenue reached $2.7 billion, and a record 2.4 million visitors came to the province. Towns like Tatamagouche are building on our history to invigorate our communities. Led by dedicated volunteer and road train buff Dave Gunn, the town is believed to be the first of its kind in Canada to have a road train. The 28-passenger vehicle looks like a 1950s steam engine with a passenger car and ferries local residents and tourists among the town’s attractions. Our traditional sectors are also embracing innovation. One time-honoured tradition will soon get an innovative twist in Nova Scotia. Researchers have identified a Christmas tree that holds its needles for three months longer than the average balsam fir. Growers will be able to sell the SMART tree for a higher price in established markets, get to market sooner, and supply new markets across greater shipping distances. Our ocean provides us with a significant opportunity for innovation and economic growth, and government will continue to seek ways to drive our ocean advantage. For the third year in a row, Nova Scotia was Canada’s top exporter of seafood last year, with export revenues reaching $2 billion. Our world-famous lobster, crab, scallops, and shrimp were served around the world, on tables in North America, Asia, and Europe. The value of the aquaculture industry itself more than doubled over the previous year. We are proud to be part of Canada’s Ocean Supercluster, which will use innovation to improve competitiveness in our ocean-based industries. Government’s focus will continue to be on creating the conditions for more businesses to start and grow here, to reduce the regulatory burden on business, and to improve government services that support economic growth — efforts that are all being recognized nationally. Innovative and future-minded Nova Scotians are leading the way to help prevent and mitigate the effects of climate change.Thermo Dynamics of Dartmouth designs, manufactures, and installs solar thermal systems for homes and large buildings. Helping Nature Heal of Bridgewater uses natural materials to stabilize shorelines and manage coastal erosion. And Nexus Robotics, a Nova Scotia startup company, is working on a farm in Barss Corner testing its autonomous vehicle that uses artificial intelligence to perform agricultural tasks. These are local people, and national leaders. Every Nova Scotian deserves timely access to primary healthcare. And it’s a government priority to ensure that happens. Healthcare needs are changing, and we must adapt. Our healthcare system needs to reflect how new doctors want to practice and what is sustainable in the long term. Government has worked with doctors to create incentives for them to take on new patients, encourage collaborative practice, and use technology to connect with patients — and incentives for new medical graduates to stay here. Since April 1st, 2017, 160 family doctors and specialists have started working in Nova Scotia. As a result, nearly 18,000 Nova Scotians have been matched with a primary care provider. We know there is more to be done, and government is working hard to make sure all Nova Scotians have access to the care they need, when they need it. Earlier this year, government launched a new immigration stream to attract more doctors and specialists. The new stream makes it easier and faster for doctors to immigrate to Nova Scotia. The Nova Scotia Health Authority heard from more than 400 family doctors who expressed interest in working in collaborative teams. There are now more than 50 collaborative practices in various stages of development across Nova Scotia, and the health authority is working with 100 groups to enhance existing teams and create more. Marla MacDonald is the nurse practitioner at the Westville Medical Clinic. She cares for approximately 800 patients who were on the Need a Family Practice Registry in that area. Team members at clinics like hers support one another and are able to take on more patients, improving access to health care for Nova Scotians. Government is funding a new incentive program and paying for additional seats at Dalhousie University that will result in more nurse practitioners graduating and working in Nova Scotia. Up to 10 registered nurses will continue to receive their salaries while they return to school to become nurse practitioners. Government remains committed to improving timely access to mental health and addictions services. This year, more mental health specialists will be working in schools. CaperBase — an adolescent outreach program — will expand to the Northern and Western areas of the province, and four new youth health centres will open. The Bloom Program is an example of a team of health providers supporting people with mental illness and addiction. The program, led by David Gardner and Andrea Murphy, sees community pharmacists offering patients education and resources about mental illness, addictions, and medications to support their recovery and connect them with local services when needed. Government recognizes that the best quality care must be matched by the quality of the facilities. The QEII and Cape Breton redevelopment projects are once-in-a-generation opportunities to rethink and rebuild the way we deliver healthcare in Nova Scotia. Both projects will see significant investment to modernize services and structures. These changes are about delivering better, more accessible care to Nova Scotians in improved spaces, with newer technologies, helping us recruit and retain more doctors, nurses, and other health specialists. Nova Scotia’s first two residential hospices will open next year and will provide a home-like setting for patients and their families in Halifax and the Annapolis Valley. People often turn to government when they feel they have no other option. They may have lost a job, be raising a child with complex needs, or fleeing an abusive relationship. They may be trying to overcome addictions, or dealing with mental health challenges, or living with physical disabilities that make staying at home next to impossible. Whatever the situation, people in need must be supported to help build the income security they need to lead fully independent lives. Quelle que soit leur situation, il faut aider les gens dans le besoin à obtenir la sécurité du revenu nécessaire pour qu’ils vivent une vie pleinement autonome. That’s why government is working with the Halifax Regional Municipality to pilot a program that provides transit passes to people on income assistance. All those on income assistance in the city, along with their spouses and dependents, are eligible for the pass. Many people told us that getting the transit pass is life changing, because it allows them to go the grocery store, visit with friends and family, and take part in their communities. This year, Nova Scotians saw the biggest tax cut in our province’s recent history as the basic personal exemption increased for half-a-million taxpayers. With this change, 60,000 people will no longer pay provincial income tax. On October 1st, government will introduce part one of the Standard Household Rate — a wage exemption allowing those receiving income assistance to keep more of the money they earn. This will stabilize their income while they transition away from assistance and into the workforce. The more they work, the more financially stable they will become. Also, beginning next month, a new personal items allowance will provide more money each month to help those living in homeless shelters and transition houses to buy essential and personal items. Government is committed to building a stronger province where all Nova Scotians have the dignity, self-esteem, and self-confidence they need to enjoy productive and fulfilling lives. This week, we welcome students, teachers, and support staff all across the province back to school. As they come back to class, students across Nova Scotia will have more inclusive education supports: 190 new staff, including child and youth care practitioners, parent navigators, education assistants, psychologists, and speech-language pathologists, will join our education system to address student and complex classroom needs, with a focus on behaviour and autism supports. Additional classroom specialists will help students like Colleen Murphy’s son who needs more one-on-one support in the classroom. Ms. Murphy, who is from Halifax, says having more support and training for teachers will mean her son and others like him can receive the help they need to thrive. Nova Scotia’s pre-primary program, introduced last year, will welcome more than 2,500 children this month. This free universal program helps support social and emotional development, identifies children with special needs sooner, and supports a successful transition to school. Pre-primary is a great equalizer, and every four-year-old in Nova Scotia will have access to the program by 2020. Government has also created more child care spaces and subsidies, and made it easier to provide regulated child care at home. Government is creating 135 new seats in early childhood education programs over the next three years through the Nova Scotia Community College and will support people from under-represented groups to access early childhood education training. Government is connecting and building stronger communities.Investments in transportation and infrastructure will better connect Nova Scotians to schools, jobs, recreation, healthcare, and other services, both within their own communities and with others. An accessible province is good for everyone. Government wants a province where everyone can live in a positive environment that is inclusive, supportive, and fulfilling. Une province accessible est une bonne chose pour tout le monde. Le gouvernement veut que la province soit un endroit où tout le monde peut vivre dans un environnement positif qui est favorable à l’intégration, solidaire et épanouissant. My congratulations to Callum MacQuarrie who was the driving force behind the project that saw Inverness Beach become one of the most inclusive beaches in Atlantic Canada this summer. Visitors to the beach can now access new beach-friendly wheelchairs, mats that make it easier to move on the sand, and floating chairs that allow people to go in the water. All across the province, people are recognizing the benefits of taking steps to make their businesses and communities more accessible. This fall, government will fulfil its commitment to bring forward a plan to make Nova Scotia an accessible province by 2030. Our 100-series highways are the backbone of our transportation network. They carry people, goods, and services across Nova Scotia every day and are crucial to growing our communities. Our Premier and the Prime Minister stood beside Joe MacDonald, Chief of the Barney’s River Volunteer Fire Department, this summer to announce the twinning of highway 104 from Sutherlands River to Antigonish. This project will make the road safer for generations to come, and we want to thank Chief MacDonald for his continued dedication to road safety. This session, government will introduce a new Traffic Safety Act to replace the outdated Motor Vehicle Act. The new act will make our roads safer for all users — drivers, bicyclists, and pedestrians. Government will introduce legislation that will support businesses to grow our economy and create jobs. We will reduce barriers for entrepreneurs who want to start new businesses. We will reduce inter-provincial trade barriers to help Nova Scotia products get to new markets within Canada. And we will formalize Develop Nova Scotia’s role to drive inclusive economic growth and strategic economic infrastructure. One of Develop Nova Scotia’s top priorities will be to work with communities, service providers, and other levels of government to build a strong, vibrant high-speed internet system across Nova Scotia. In this session, government will build on the tremendous momentum that has been created in Nova Scotia, by Nova Scotians. The people you have heard about in this House today, and many others. There is a buzz about this province, on the national stage and beyond. From Scotiabank Economics: “The compilation of growth initiatives looks to Nova Scotia’s existing strengths, including its skilled work force, multiple post-secondary institutions and growing reputation as an East Coast hub.” From BMO Capital Markets Economics: “Nova Scotia is distinguishing itself from most of its Central and Atlantic-Canada peers.” And from Michelin: “Any company that’s looking to expand in North America should seriously consider Nova Scotia.” We are at a pivotal moment in our history. There are numerous indicators that Nova Scotia is performing at a high level compared to other provinces — and while that can and should make us proud, we must not become complacent. We must capitalize and build on this success, at this moment in time, to propel Nova Scotia toward even greater prosperity. This will require progressive government policy, and it will also require all of our communities and citizens to work together, to support one another, and to truly believe that this is our time. Government believes it is our time — our time to achieve a level of success that would make past generations proud, our time to ensure that future generations prosper. Le gouvernement croit fermement que c’est notre tour; notre tour d’atteindre un niveau de succès qui rendraient fières les générations précédentes; notre tour de faire en sorte que les générations futures soient prospères. Thank you, to all my fellow Nova Scotians. Merci. -30-
NEW DELHI: Aam Aadmi Party on Wednesday slammed the Election Commission after the commission rejected the demand of VVPAT counting prior to the ECM counting. The AAP also raised concern over the security of the EVMs in Delhi. “Decision of EC will lead to disaster, its a recipe for mass riots. It can lead to Civil War. If u first let political parties know the Winner & Loser, then will Winner allow elections to be set aside after VVPAT mismatch? Save this Country,” tweeted AAP chief spokesperson Saurabh Bharadwaj. Also Read – Cylinder blast kills mother and daughter in Karawal NagarAdding to this AAP leader and Deputy CM Manish Sisodia tweeted, “If all the arguments of EC were accepted in past also, then no reform in the election process was needed. Starting from candidate affidavits, VVPAT or VVPAT counting. Everything cannot be correct just because EC says so. Faith comes with Facts and intent behind actions in past.” Delhi Chief Minister was also part of the all opposition delegation to the Election Commission which urged the EC to count all VVPAT. Also Read – Two persons arrested for killing manager of Muthoot FinanceLast week, The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) alleged that the Delhi election commission had got polling diaries manipulated by presiding officers in the South Delhi parliamentary seat after the national capital voted on May 12. The poll commission, however, refuted the allegations and said the Delhi chief electoral officer would meet senior leaders of the AAP on Saturday to clear their doubts. AAP spokesperson Saurabh Bhardwaj said the party had received “credible information” about the alleged poll code violation. The same allegation was leveled by AAP’s South Delhi candidate Raghav Chadha who said that presiding officers were being summoned by the EC and are being asked to “re-create” and “re-sign” EVM related documents. Both the leaders, however, did not substantiate their claims with evidence.
Kolkata: Minister of State for Health Chandrima Bhattacharya on Saturday said all the primary health sub-centres in the districts are being upgraded to provide better healthcare services to the people. Bhattacharya was speaking at the 3rd Nursing Conclave 2019 organised by the CII at a city hotel. She said that following the instructions from Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee steps have been taken to upgrade all the sub-centres. The nurses will be given special training after which they will provide treatment. One of the main objectives is to ensure that better health services reach the remote areas. More number of recruitments in various nursing posts will also take place. Also Read – City bids adieu to Goddess DurgaThese sub-centres will provide basic treatment so that patients can be cured at these centres without having been shifted to district or sub-divisional hospitals. According to the sources, there are around 10,300 primary health centres across the state which will soon witness a major facelift with the release of funds. In addition to that, around 1,50,000 health wellness centres would be set up along the length and breadth of the state. The health wellness centres will have better health infrastructure than what is commonly found at the primary health centres. “Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has the vision to serve people. In her drive to achieve the desired success, cooperation is needed from other sectors. Both the public and private sectors should join hands so that the best services can be provided to the people,” Bhattacharya added.
Mumbai: The central bank is closely monitoring the developments in the NBFC sector and housing finance companies and will ensure that financial stability is maintained, governor Shaktikanta Das said Thursday. The comments come following the bond defaults by mortgage lender DHFL on June 4, which led to a slew of rating downgrades of the company. The stock lost more than 20 percent Thursday. “We have been closely monitoring the performance and developments in the NBFC and HFC sectors,” Das told reporters during the customary post-RBI policy conference. Also Read – SC declines Oil Min request to stay sharing of documents Stating that the central bank is committed to have a robust NBFC sector, Das said, “the RBI will not hesitate to take any measure to ensure financial stability in the sector.” After DHFL’s bond repayment default, rating agencies Crisil and Icra had on Wednesday downgraded rating on its Rs 850-crore commercial paper to ‘default’ from ‘A4’. The rating revision factors in further deterioration in DHFL’s liquidity profile and delays in meeting scheduled debt obligation on June 4, 2019, Icra had said in a note. The company has commercial paper worth Rs 750 crore maturing in June with the first repayment on June 7.
Dubai: The theme of the web series “Kaafir” is so powerful that it will transcend all barriers, says its lead actress Dia Mirza, adding that it has been an “incredibly insightful personal journey working on this show”. Speaking to PTI, Mirza said the fact that the Kashmir-set story is inspired by true events, there was a deep sense of curiosity to understand what this entire situation entailed for women and how they got their freedom. “Kaafir” is based on the life and struggle of a Pakistani woman and her daughter who crossed over to India and are held prisoner. Also Read – ‘Will be acting till I die’ “When I first heard a one-line narration from Siddharth Malhotra (producer of the show), my instantaneous reaction was ‘you have to tell the story’. And then of course when I read the script that Bhavani Iyer (the writer) had written, I was blown away by how much humanity there was in the story,” she said. Mirza said the real challenge was to understand how prejudice works. “Because it is such an inward journey and there is so much that one is representative of through the character and the narrative, within the storyline, I think the real challenge was to understand in depth what prejudice does to us as people,” she said. Also Read – ‘Always looking for that one great love’ The actor said prejudices create divisions among us. “They fundamentally rob us of our true spirit which is love,” she said, adding that the effort was to understand that. “So that meant reading poetry of the Progressive Writers’ Movement, especially at the time of Partition, what families went through at the time and what families go through today even in the economic context,” Mirza said. Also starring Mohit Raina, the web series is directed by Sonam Nair. “Kaafir” is scheduled to be launched on ZEE5 on June 15.
San Francisco: Adding to the plethora of outages that apps from major tech giants have been suffering lately, Google’s Calendar refused to work for over nearly three hours for users around the world. Google Calendar users trying to access the service were met with a 404 error message through a browser from around 10 a.m. to 12.30 p.m., The Verge reported on Tuesday. Accepting the outage the G Suite team took to Twitter and posted: “Google Calendar is currently experiencing a service disruption.” Also Read – Spotify rolls out Siri support, new Apple TV app Replying to a user on its thread the G Suite team informed that the Calendar app on the mobile phones we operational amid the chaos. “Hi Rick, thanks. Indeed the Google Calendar app on the mobile is still operational an can be used. The support team will be posting updates about the Calendar issue on the Status Dashboard,” the team informed. The Calendar did start working later. While Google Calendar suffered the outage, other Google services such as Gmail and Google Maps appeared to be unaffected except for Hangouts Meet that has been experiencing some difficulties, the report said. The outage also came just over an hour after Google’s G Suite Twitter account sent out a tweet promoting Google Calendar’s ability to making scheduling simpler. Google Calendar broke down on Tuesday just days after a massive Google outage took YouTube, Gmail and Snapchat offline because of problems with the company’s overall Cloud service.
New Delhi: Bollywoods ‘King Khan’ Shah Rukh Khan will be bringing the life of King Mufasa alive with his voice in the Hindi version of Jon Favreaus re-imagination of Disneys classic The Lion King. It shows how Hollywood franchises are adding a Bollywood twist to get it going in India. Shah Rukh is dubbing for the film along with his son Aryan, who is lending voice to the character of Simba, in the upcoming live-action movie. It is important to note that Hollywood films are scripting a success story in India. Now, the studios have started to add diverse and more relatable chapters to appeal to a bigger audience. The trend is shining bright with more star power. While Bollywood’s Ranveer Singh lent his voice to Ryan Reynold’s avatar as an adult superhero with a twisted sense of humour in the Hindi version of Deadpool 2, actor Tiger Shroff took on the duty to infuse his own touch in the Hindi version of Spider-Man: Homecoming.
Manchester: The Virat Kohli-led Indian team is currently unbeaten in the ongoing 2019 World Cup and the skipper is leaving no stones unturned to keep the winning momentum going. Even though the players have been given a couple of days off after the win over Afghanistan, Kohli has been sweating it out in the gym. In the short video, Kohli is seen lifting heavy weights and the skipper captioned it saying: “No days off. Nothing can be done without hardwork.” Also Read – Djokovic heaps praise on ‘very complete’ MedvedevKohli, known to be one of the fittest cricketers in modern day cricket, has been credited with bringing in a change in the approach and attitude of the Indian players when it comes to maintaining top-level fitness. While he was alone in this video, he often shares pictures and videos with teammates from the gym sessions. In their five matches so far, the Men in Blue have won four with the game against New Zealand being washed out. Placed third on the points table, India will now take on the eighth placed West Indies in Manchester on Thursday before locking horns against tournament favourites and hosts England, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka on June 30, July 2 and July 6 respectively.
Kolkata: Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Friday expressed her concern over depletion of groundwater and stressed upon its conservation, urging citizens to play their individual roles to prevent any wastage.”Chennai is facing an acute water crisis and even drinking water is scarce there. The effect of global warming has contributed to this scarcity of drinking water and groundwater is also depleting. We have conducted a survey and have identified a number of blocks in which groundwater is very scarce. We are working on the conservation of open sky water (surface water) in every possible way,” Banerjee said in response to a query on “Jal Dharo Jal Bharo” project by Trinamool Congress MLA Gita Rani Bhunia at the state Assembly. Also Read – Ahead of Xi’s visit, China says Kashmir issue should be resolved bilaterally; drops UN referencesBanerjee’s remarks assume significance as a 2018 report by government-run think tank NITI Aayog has sounded alarm and stated that a total of 21 major cities are poised to run out of groundwater by 2020. The Chief Minister also maintained that the state government has already cleaned up 2,78000 ponds under “Jal Dharo Jal Bharo” scheme. “We have formed a committee in convergence with four departments — Panchayats and Rural Development, Irrigation, Water Resources Investigation and Development along with the Fisheries department led by Chief Secretary Malay De. The committee will sit down and chalk out steps to urge farmers to opt for the cultivation of crops that need less water in those blocks where groundwater is scanty. The Fisheries department will take measures to encourage fish cultivation in those ponds that have been cleaned up,” she added. Also Read – Rajnath Singh arrives for Rafale handover ceremony in FranceBanerjee urged the MLAs, irrespective of their party affiliations, to take the initiative in their own possible way to carry forward the message of “Save Energy, Save Green, Save Water”. “The MLAs, while addressing people in different meetings, can speak for a minute on the importance of saving water,” she maintained. She also added that her government has taken up some projects to desilt clogged rivers to prevent floods and is conducting a review of the situation. She also touched upon projects like the Lower Damodar Basin which is being implemented at a cost of Rs 2,700 crore, the project involving Keleghai – Kapaleshwari river, the Ghatal Master plan that the state has taken up in this regard. “We have constructed several check dams for the conservation of water,” Banerjee said. Suvendu Adhikari, minister for Water Resources Investigation and Development, further added that there is nothing to panic with the government taking up rainwater harvesting in 31 blocks where the groundwater level is extremely low. “We have taken up a target to clean up another 5,505 ponds by March 2020,” Adhikari said.
India and Pakistan will hold the second round of officials talks on modalities of Kartarpur corridor will take place on July 14 at Wagah, Pakistan. Taking a step forward to break the deadlock on stalled India-Pakistan officials level talks on Kartarpur Corridor, New Delhi had last week asked Islamabad to pick a date between July 11-14 for the 2nd round of talks which are to take place at Attari-Wagah on the Pakistani side. Agreeing to the date, Pakistan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said it has conveyed to India that the second meeting to discuss the draft agreement for finalising the modalities of Kartarpur Corridor and related technical issues will be held on July 14, 2019 at Wagah. Also Read – Balakot strikes show major shift in govt’s handling of terror attacks: IAF chiefThe Indian side has been requested to convey the composition of its delegation, it said. “Pakistan remains committed to expedited progress on the matter to ensure that the Corridor is operationalized in time for the 550th birth anniversary celebrations of Baba Guru Nanak in November 2019,” it added. The 2nd round of talks was originally expected to take place on April 2 but India had postponed the talks as Pakistan had appointed Khalistani elements on a committee associated with the Kartarpur corridor. Also Read – Pak activated 20 terror camps, 20 launch pads along LoC A known Khalistani and close aide of 26/11 mastermind Hafiz Saeed, Gopal Singh Chawla was appointed to Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee which oversees the project on Pakistan side.The first round of India Pakistan talks were held on March 14 on the Indian side of Attari-Wagah border. The focus of the upcoming meeting, if Pakistan agrees, would be to discuss the draft agreement on the Kartarpur corridor which includes movement of pilgrims, alignment and infrastructure along the corridor. India during the first round of talks had proposed that the corridor should be open to Indian citizens and Indian diaspora with 5000 people allowed very day, Pakistan said it can allow only 700 people that too only Indian citizens on designated days with a paid permit.Other than India Pakistan officials level talks, 3 technical level discussions have taken place between both sides to discuss and finalise alignment and other related issues. Work is in full swing on the Indian side of the Kartarpur corridor with 45% of work already completed. India is building a four-lane highway and passenger bus terminal. The deadline for construction for the entire project is October 2019, just a month ahead of 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Devji in November.(Inputs from DNAIndia.com)
Kolkata: The result of the first round of counselling of Joint Entrance Examination (JEE) students was announced by the West Bengal Joint Entrance Board on Wednesday. The successful candidates will have to present themselves between July 4 and 7 at 23 centres set up in Bengal and Agartala to verify their documents. The students can opt for the institutions where they have been allotted or can wait for the subsequent counselling round to upgrade their position.
Kolkata: A massive blast occurred at a primary health centre building on Thursday in West Bengal’s Birbhum district but there was no report of any casualty, police said. Preliminary police investigation pointed to a suspected stockpile of explosives in the house, which blew up. The severity of the blast was such that the roof and wall of one side of the building at Labhpur were blown away. Two rooms were reduced to rubble. “The building of Dwarka health centre was blown off due to an explosion around 2.45 a.m. We are at the spot investigating the matter and there is no report of any injury or casualty,” an officer of Labhpur police station said. Also Read – Centuries-old Durga Pujas continue to be hit among revellers An employee of the health centre said they were lucky that the incident occurred at night but there is an atmosphere of fear all around. Incidentally, the health centre is barely a few metres away from the police station. Trinamool Congress supporters staged an angry demonstration, accusing the police of arriving at the spot eight hours of the incident. On June 29, another explosion inside the club building at Mollarpur had blown away the walls and damaged some of the houses in the vicinity. A local BJP leader said that there should be proper investigation of these blasts, while Trinamool Congress members feel that the BJP is responsible. “We want the NIA to investigate, not just the police or CID of West Bengal Police,” the BJP leader said.
Kolkata: Senior cabinet ministers in the state on Thursday sharply reacted to the Centre’s privatisation move in which various public sector units are being handed over to private companies.The ruling party in the state moved a motion in the Assembly, protesting against the decision taken by the Centre. The leader of the Opposition in the Assembly Abdul Mannan and CPI(M) leader Sujan Chakraborty also supported the move and echoed the voice of the government on the Centre’s stand. Also Read – Centuries-old Durga Pujas continue to be hit among revellersState Power minister Sobhandeb Chattopadhyay said that as many as 26 PSUs have been liquidated by the Narendra Modi government in the last five years. Many others will either be liquidated or shut down by the Centre in the course of time. “What Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on privatisation is a dangerous trend. He said the government’s job is to run the government and it will not do business. Selling out PSU units is an attempt by the Centre to hide their failure. There have been attempts to sell out Navratna and Miniratna companies as well,” Chattopadhyay said. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari PujaHe also criticised the decision taken by the Vice-Chairman of Niti Aayog on the issue of privatisation. Foreign investments are being encouraged at the cost of state public sector units. He also criticised the Centre for changing the labour law, thereby infringing upon the rights of the workers. The workers have been denied bonus and gratuity. Even the right to strike for the workers has been withdrawn. Speaking on the issue, Parliamentary Affairs minister Partha Chatterjee said in the Assembly that various Centre owned units are being sold at a lower price and unemployment is gradually going up in the country. He also said that the matter would be discussed with Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. “The Centre had promised to bring back black money from foreign banks. But in reality the Centre is selling out its profitable units. There have even been attempts to hurt the sentiments of people in Bengal. The rail budget for Bengal has been slashed down drastically. They are also trying to financially bankrupt the state,” Partha Chatterjee said. The state government would urge the Centre to dissuade from selling out the profitable units after the motion taken up by both the ruling party and the oppositions gets passed in the Assembly.
Dhaka: Myanmar on Monday expressed its readiness to take back Rohingya Muslims even as Bangladesh said the neighbouring country must earn the persecuted minority group’s trust for launching the repatriation process, amid fears of their fate once they returned to their homeland. The development came as a high-level Myanmar delegation visited the Rohingya camps in Cox’s Bazar and talked to their representatives. “I asked them (Rohingyas) that this is the right time to consider whether they should go back or not, because we provided explanation to their key issues,” Myanmar’s Foreign Affairs Permanent Secretary Myint Thu, who led a 19-member delegation, told reporters in Dhaka. Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince ‘snubbed’ Pak PM, recalled jet from US”Myanmar is ready to welcome the Rohingyas (back home)… but the only thing is they (Rohingyas) have to decide (about their return) by themselves,” Thu said. Bangladesh’s acting Foreign Secretary Kamrul Ahsan, who was also present at the briefing, however, said Naypyidaw must generate trust among the Rohingyas for their spontaneous return. “As long as confidence is not built up they (Rohingys) won’t go back,” he said. Ahsan added: “We (Bangladesh) won’t push back anyone forcibly”. Also Read – Record number of 35 candidates in fray for SL Presidential pollsSome 740,000 Rohingya fled a crackdown by Myanmar’s military in 2017 in Rakhine state and are living in camps in Cox’s Bazar. Myanmar has faced international pressure to allow the Rohingya to return to Rakhine and grant them citizenship rights. A 19-member Myanmar delegation in the last two days visited the Rohingya camps, one specially erected for Hindu residents of Rakhine who were also forced to flee their home along with the Rohingya Muslims. This was the third visit by a Myanmar delegation to the Rohingya camps, but this time they were accompanied by a 5-member ASEAN observer group during the interactions. Thu said during the interactions they tried to convince the Rohingyas to go back to Myanmar, saying the situation in their homeland in northern Rakhine is now better and called the discussion “very candid”. “Then we tried to build up trust between the community leaders and our delegation,” he said. Thu said they also showed fact-sheet to Rohingyas detailing the proposed repatriation process as well as their access to justice and access to education, health and social services. The top Myanmar foreign affairs bureaucrat said a part of the discussion was related to the Rohingya’s citizenship NVC card issues. Bangladesh’s Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen, meanwhile, in a separate media interaction on Monday said Myanmar has expressed its plan for the first time to provide the Rohingyas the natural citizenship which he called a “major breakthrough”.
New Delhi: A court here has directed a deputy commissioner of Delhi Police to give one-week training to the SHO of a police station apprising him of basic law, procedure and ethics after he failed to file reports with the requisite sanctions in a 2018 alleged murder case.Additional Sessions Judge Sonu Agnihotri directed the DCP of south west Delhi’s Dwarka to conduct an inquiry against the station house officer (SHO) of Chhawla Police Station for filing a supplementary charge sheet without the required sanction from the concerned authorities and for “deliberately” not filing reports in the case. Also Read – After eight years, businessman arrested for kidnap & murder”ASI (Assistant sub inspector) has produced supplementary charge sheet containing FSL (forensic science lab) result of ballistics. The same does not contain any sanction of DCP Dwarka,” the court said. “Further, such supplementary charge sheet should have been filed before concerned metropolitan magistrate for the purpose of taking cognizance under the Arms Act and should have been received by this court by way of committal. SHO of Police Station Chhawla does not appear to be aware of this basic procedure or is trying to play smart with the court,” it added. Also Read – Two brothers held for snatchingsThe SHO is the investigating officer (IO) in the case in which three persons have been arrested for allegedly entering a man’s house and shooting his wife dead in 2018. The court asked the DCP to file the status report on the training and the inquiry before it on September 4, the next date of hearing. “Let copy of this order be sent to DCP Dwarka with direction to give one week training to SHO PS Chhawla to apprise him of basic law, procedure and ethics Perusal of record shows that SHO PS Chhawla is sending requests in the present matter consistently and is not appearing,” the court said. “It appears that deliberately reports are not being filed by SHO PS Chhawla in the present matter for reasons known to him. Let an inquiry in this regard be conducted by DCP Dwarka and report in this regard be filed before this court,” it said. The court was informed that the FSL report regarding Digital Video Recorder (DVR) has not been filed by the SHO even after one year of filing the charge sheet in 2018 and hence testimonies of witnesses in the case could not be recorded yet.
New Delhi: Former finance minister P Chidambaram asked for “helping” his son Karti’s business and make overseas remittances in lieu of granting FIPB approval to INX Media, Indrani Mukerjea had told investigators probing the money laundering and corruption case related to the media firm.Mukerjea recorded her statement under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) and said she and her husband Peter Mukerjea met Chidambaram at his office in Delhi’s North Block. Also Read – India gets first tranche of Swiss bank a/c detailsBoth P Chidambaram and his son Karti have denied the allegations.”Peter started the conversation with Mr P Chidambaram referring to the application of INX Media for bringing in FDI and handed copy of the application to Mr P Chidambaram.”After having understood the issue, Mr P Chidambaram told Peter to help his son Karti in his business and make possible overseas remittances in lieu of FIPB approval,” Indrani said in her statement to the Enforcement Directorate (ED). Also Read – Tourists to be allowed in J&K from ThursdayThe Mukerjeas were the promoters of the INX Media group and are facing charges of allegedly killing their daughter Sheena Bora.In 2008, Indrani said in the statement seen by PTI, when they came to know that there were alleged irregularities in the FIPB approval request, Peter decided that they should approach P Chidambaram to “resolve” these issues.”Peter said that the alleged violations can be regularised with Karti P Chidambaram’s help and advice to resolve these issues related to FIPB,” she said. She added that the couple then met Karti in a hotel in Delhi.”Karti knew about the issue and asked if 1 million US dollars could be transferred into an overseas account either owned by him or his associates in order to sort out the matter. When Peter said that the overseas transfer will not be possible, Karti suggested the names of 2 companies, Chess Management and Advantage Strategic as alternatives to make the desired payments into their accounts and that they will present themselves as consultants to INX Media Pvt Ltd,” she said.Indrani, however, added in her statement that these payments were “handled” by Peter and that she did not know as to how much money was paid for “addressing” the senior Chidambaram’s interest of helping his son.Indrani added that the Group Director (Legal and Regulatory Affairs) of the INX group “interacted” with Karti’s company Chess Management for the FIPB related manner and “to the best of her knowledge” another firm linked to Karti, Advantage Strategic Consulting Pvt Ltd (ASCPL), never rendered any services to INX Media Pvt Ltd.The ED probe had found that INX Media paid about Rs 9.96 lakh to ASCPL through a cheque in 2008 and this, the agency alleges, was a quid pro quo amount for grating the FIPB approval to the INX Media.In his statement, Peter Mukerjea told ED investigators that he met the senior Chidambaram two or three times and on each occasion the meetings were courtesy calls to explain the transition of their media business.However, he added that he met Chidamabram also “to ensure that there was no hold up or delay in their application and Chidambaram asked for his son’s business interests to be kept in mind, if any opportunity arose and for making overseas payments”.He said in his statement that he along with his wife “met Karti along with another person at Hyatt Delhi”.”The issue at hand was to regularise the over-invested amount as FDI,” Peter said.He added that he met Karti to “work this out” and get fresh FIPB approvals. Karti in turn, he stated, demanded USD 1 million and when he was informed that this was not possible, he suggested that payments would be made to his companies.Chess Management Services Pvt Ltd was suggested by Karti during their meeting at Hyatt, Peter said.”The amount of Rs 10 lakh paid to ASCPL by INX Media was part of USD 1 million demanded by Karti,” he said.Peter, however, added that his executive, who was dealing with Karti’s firm, sent him an email stating that there was a change of mind at their end and a different way of receiving payment wold have been devised.
New Delhi: Former India captain Sourav Ganguly has once again backed Rohit Sharma for the Test opener’s role and feels that the batsman deserved an opportunity in the longest format of the game. Ahead of the India and West Indies series, Ganguly had opined Rohit should be tried for the opening slot. However, he was left out for both the games. Ganguly also said K L Rahul’s poor form can push the team management to try out Rohit as the opener with Mayank Agarwal. Also Read – Puducherry on top after 8-wkt win over ChandigarhRohit had a great run in the recently concluded World Cup 2019, where he slammed five hundreds. “I had suggested earlier about trying Rohit Sharma as an opener in Test cricket and I still believe that he needs to be given an opportunity because he is too good a player to be left out in the cold,” Ganguly said. “After a fantastic World Cup, I believe he will be itching to grab the opportunity to open in Tests. With Ajinkya Rahane and Hanuma Vihari settling in nicely, there is not much left to play around in the middle-order,” the former captain added. Also Read – Vijender’s next fight on Nov 22, opponent to be announced laterGanguly also felt fixing the problem with the opening slot is the need of the hour for India in longest format of the game. “The opening still remains an area to work on. Mayank Agarwal looks good but will need a few more opportunities. His partner KL Rahul, though, has flattered to deceive and that creates an opening at the top,” he opined. Speaking on the poor show by Jason Holder-led West Indies where they were whitewashed 0-2, Ganguly said the hosts lacked application. “As has been clearly evident in every form of the contest, West Indies have the talent but in terms of application, the they are a long way off. How they manage to resurrect themselves from here on will define the future of West Indies cricket.”
Gurugram: To make sure that their voice is represented by the leaders during the upcoming assembly elections, a group of around 40 residents of the city have drafted a charter of demands.With a major focus on the protection of the Aravallis, the prominent resident groups have also highlighted other issues ranging from urban planning, environment, water and waste. One of the demands made in the charter is repealing the Punjab Land Preservation (Haryana Amendment) Bill, which the Haryana government had passed in February this year, opening thousands of acres of land in the Aravalli range for real estate development and mining. Also Read – After eight years, businessman arrested for kidnap & murder”The Aravallis is an important zone for groundwater recharge and its degradation is badly affecting the city’s air quality. We want that declaring the Aravallis as deemed forest be an issue taken up this election. The Aravalli Biodiversity Park should also be declared a forest,” said Chetan Agarwal, a city-based environmentalist. The emphasis on the protection of Aravallis comes at a time when residents of villages around the forested area are forced to consume poisonous and polluted water. The sample of water collected from the villages of Baliawas and Bandhwari has shown high amounts of substances that can cause deadly diseases like cancer. Also Read – Two brothers held for snatchingsEarlier too, the water samples collected from the Bandhwari have shown a large number of substances that includes chlorides, nitrites manganese and calcium were way above than even the unhealthy levels. It is important to note that with a landfill site spread around 30 acres in Bandhwari, large amounts of garbage are being dumped daily at the landfill site from Gurugram as well as Faridabad. Over 90 trucks come daily and dump the garbage. A set of demands to tackle Gurugram’s year-round air pollution includes setting up at least six air quality monitors in the city.