₹97 cr. in banned currency seized, 16 arrested in Kanpur

first_imgAs many as 16 people, including a noted builder, were arrested by police and demonetised currency worth ₹97 crore seized from his ancestral house at Swaroop Nagar in Kanpur.Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Akhilesh Kumar Meena said on Wednesday that ₹95 crore belonged to builder Anand Khatri and the remaining amount to over a dozen others.This is the biggest seizure of banned currency since notes in the denominations of ₹500 and ₹1,000 were demonetised in November, 2016.Mr. Akhilesh Kumar Meena said the National Investigation Agency (NIA) had gathered inputs about some companies and individuals involved in converting illegal currency into legal money and shared the information with Inspector General (IG) of Police, Kanpur, Alok Singh.The IG collected more information about those running the racket and briefed the SSP, directing him to carry out raids discreetly. Following a tip-off, the SSP formed teams headed by SP (East) Anurag Arya and SP (West) Gaurav Grover. They nabbed four men from the Swaroop Nagar area.Stored in gunny bagsInitially they tried to mislead the police but later, during intensive interrogation, broke down and confessed their crime, the SSP said. They divulged information about the builder. It was revealed that huge amount of demonetised currency was stored in gunny bags in the builder’s ancestral house near Gole Chauraha in Swaroop Nagar. Police later nabbed the builder, who led the team to the site where the currency was stashed, Mr. Arya told PTI.Police also raided three hotels from where 11 people, including professor Santosh Yadav, were arrested, he said. Preliminary probe indicated that the cash was hidden with the intention of converting them into legal currency, the SP said, but discounted the possibility of any terror angle.The arrested were identified Khatri, Santosh Yadav, key liasioner Mohit Dhingra, Sanjay Agarwal, Manish Agarwal – all residents of Kanpur, Koteshwar Rao from Andhra Pardesh, Sanjay Kumar from Varanasi, Anil Yadav from Saharanpur. Santosh Pathak and Sanjay Rai — both from Mirzapur, Ram Asrey, Dhirendra, Sanjeev Agarwal, Omkar Yadav, Ali Husain, and a woman from Andhar Pardesh whose identity was not immediately known.last_img read more

Bengal schools use contaminated water

first_imgStudents in some primary schools in West Bengal may be drinking water with high levels of arsenic, almost 60 times more than the permissible limit of 10 mcg/L (microgrammes per litre) prescribed by the World Health Organisation (WHO).Between September 2016 and September 2017, researchers from the School of Environmental Studies, Jadavpur University, sent several letters to headmasters and teachers in charge of five primary schools in West Bengal’s North 24 Parganas district, warning them about high arsenic contamination in the water being used by them.In the letters, Tarit Roychowdhury, director, School of Environmental Studies, asked the authorities to switch to alternative water sources. “Supplement of arsenic-free water is highly recommended. Installation of a deep tubewell/alternate source as well as an arsenic remedial plant on the school premises is recommended for the purpose,” said the letter written to the headmistress of the Medudandi Suiecegate Sishu Sikhsha Kendra (MSSSK) in the Basirhat I Block.The letter, dated September 15, 2017, puts the arsenic content in the school tubewell at almost 60 times the WHO limit.Researchers also recorded a high concentration of arsenic in the urine samples of children. A mean value of arsenic content in the urine of 45 children in the MSSSK is about 213 mcg/L, whereas the WHO’s permissible limit is between 3-26 mcg/L.“There is little that I can do but allow children to drink this arsenic-laced water. We have raised this issue a number of times but nothing has been done,” Suchitra Sarkar, headmistress of a primary school, told The Hindu. The headmistress said 76 students from pre-primary to Class IV are provided a mid-day meal in the school.“What is alarming is that in many schools, a mid-day meal is cooked using the same water source. So the children are not only drinking water highly contaminated with arsenic, but arsenic is getting into their system through food also,” Prof. Roychowdhury said.Problem at home tooThe high concentration of arsenic in the urine samples, finger nails and hair of the children is an indication that they might be drinking water with high arsenic content even at home, he added.“Children will only show manifestation like pigmentation of skin or keratosis when they grow older, at about 12 years of age,” said Dr. Kunal Kanti Majumdar, a public health expert. He added that long exposure to arsenic could be carcinogenic.Arsenic in groundwater has been reported from 83 of the 241 blocks in the State. Districts like North 24 Parganas, Nadia, Murshidabad and Malda have recorded a high concentration in groundwater. “We have inspected schools in Gaighata block and we will be soon issuing letters,” Professor Roychowdhury said.last_img read more

No panchayat polls for now, says J&K

first_imgThe Jammu & Kashmir Government has expressed unwillingness to hold the much-delayed panchayat polls before August 2018. It is also pushing for holding by-polls to the solitary Anantnag Lok Sabha seat only next year due to the “prevailing security scenario”.An official at Raj Bhavan said Governor N.N. Vohra and Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti met on April 17 in Srinagar and held “an elaborate discussion over the long-pending elections to urban local bodies and Panchayats”.Ms. Mufti, according to official sources in the Chief Minister’s office, has termed the current situation “unfavourable for panchayat polls”. She suggested they could be held after the Amarnath Yatra, which will end on August 26 this year. “Tourism remains a priority for the government. We want a healthy tourist season before we decide on holding panchayat polls,” said a senior Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) leader.Sources said the yatra will allow the State government to mobilise more paramilitary troops to J&K and “will be followed up by additional deployments from outside the State for the panchayat polls”.Volatile timesMs. Mufti shelved the panchayat polls scheduled in February, a decision forced by a worsening law and order situation and increasing encounters between militants and security forces in south Kashmir, which also resulted in civilian casualties.J&K held its first panchayat polls in 2011 after a gap of four decades and witnessed 80% turnout to fill seats in 4,378 Panchayats.last_img read more

Firm supplied old ACs and dodgy fittings for Commonwealth Games

first_imgAn air-conditioner and a poor quality pedestal fan reveal the Games’ underbelly.Headlines Today has dug out damning proof of the CWG Organising Committee’s (OC) oversight in approving overlays for the Games venues.Highly confidential internal emails accessed by Headlines Today and copied to Swiss-based company M/s Nussli and the Organising Committee detail a litany of problems with the overlays.In the emails also marked to A.K. Saxena, joint director, overlays and venue operations, exasperated venue employees have expressed disgust at the substandard items being installed at the venues allotted to Nussli.The venues included the Major Dhyan Chand National hockey stadium, the Indira Gandhi stadium, the SP Mukherjee stadium and the Talkatora stadium.While the OC and Nussli maintained they were providing top-class equipment, India cut a sorry figure before the world.According to the contract signed between the OC and Nussli, the work was supposed to have been finished by September 10.But in an email dated September 15 an angry venue manager writes: “M/s Nussli has diluted the standards much lower than Indian, forget international M/s Nussli has delayed work to force us into a situation where we have no option but to accept poor standard of workmanshi as intimated through earlier emails, M/s Nussli has installed very old window-type air-conditioners.” In another email, the complaints gets worse.A venue managers writes: “I inspected each machine (air-conditioner) by removing the front grill and found they were very old. The two defective machines were lying outside the cabins and close inspection showed they were old locally assembled machines. Do you still maintain that you were providing world class international quality work?”advertisementAir-conditioners were not the only items found faulty and substandard. Take the case of pedestal fans. According to the contract, the fans were rented at Rs 4,500. They, too, turned out to be substandard.A branded pedestal fan would cost between  Rs 1,800 and Rs 2,500. Why then was the OC ready to rent them for double the price? Why were switches and plugs allowed to be rented between Rs 396 and Rs 2,700?The proof of this is contained in an email which states: “The pedestal fans are of Chinese make which are poor in quality. We are not aware how much long they will last during the Games. The base of these fans is so poor they are not able to withstand little more than normal winds.”The CWG organising committee divided the 17 venues into 7 clusters. Nussli got the contract for Cluster 2 and 4. HEADLINES TODAY has also accessed the price list offered by different contractors for the very same items.While one contractor quoted Rs 396 as the rate for ONE-PHASE plug point, another charged ` 2,700 for the same plug. Similarly, the rent on a 1 KVA diesel generator set varied between Rs 53,738 and Rs 2,01,067.When HEADLINES TODAY sought a reaction from M/s Nussli, the head of marketing and communications Karin Ruhland stated: “I regret to tell you that due to our contract we are not allowed to handle media requests in a direct way and without the prior approval of our client. Consequently, I am not able to answer your questions.”The income tax authorities have already started raiding overlay companies and the contracts awarded by the OC will no doubt come under the scanner.last_img

Former Olympic Champion Li Xue Rui Quits International Badminton

first_img badmintoncarolina marinGoldgold medal First Published: October 18, 2019, 7:44 AM IST New Delhi: Former Olympic champion Li Xue Rui has announced her retirement from international badminton, the BWF announced on Thursday.The 28-year-old Chinese, who won gold medal at the 2012 London Olympics, was among the most dominant players of her time before an injury at the Rio Olympics disrupted her career. Li had announced her arrival when she had beaten Indian shuttler Saina Nehwal and compatriot Liu Xin as a 19-year-old on way to her first major title at the Badminton Asia Championships in 2010.She soon emerged as one of the most difficult players to beat as she dominated the top-tier events.She won the 2012 All England Championship before going to claim the coveted gold medal at the Olympics.Li went on to win silver medals at the 2013 and 2014 editions of the World Championships, beaten in the finals by Thailand’s Ratchanok Inthanon and Spain’s Carolina Marin respectively.She had entered the Rio Olympics as a favourite but suffered an injury, which was later diagnosed as an Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) rupture, at the semifinal against Marin. She lost the match and was out of action for over a year.On comeback, Li won the Lingshui China Masters in April, before completing a hat-trick of titles — winning the US Open and the Canada Open.The Chinese, however, couldn’t reclaim the form at top-tier events. She last played the Korea Open last month when she retired from her first-round match against Japan’s Sayaka Takahashi.In her illustrious international career, Li has won 14 Superseries titles and was named the BWF Female Player of the Year in 2013. Get the best of News18 delivered to your inbox – subscribe to News18 Daybreak. Follow News18.com on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Telegram, TikTok and on YouTube, and stay in the know with what’s happening in the world around you – in real time.last_img read more

All new Jaguar F-Pace SUV prices announced for India, Hyundai Elantra receives 1100 bookings in 6 weeks of launch and more

first_imgJaguar F-PACE SUV coming to India on October 20Jaguar Land Rover India today announced the price of Jaguar’s first performance SUV, the all-new F-PACE starting from Rs 68.40 Lakh (ex showroom, New Delhi). Customers can now book it online or through any of the 23 authorised Jaguar Retailers located near them.Hyundai Elantra receives 1100 bookings in 6 weeks of launchHyundai Motor India Limited (HMIL) has achieved yet another milestone for the All New Elantra. Marking the Premier of the 6th Generation of Elantra in India on August 23, 2016, the car has received bookings of more than 1100 units and 18000 enquiries within 6 weeks of its launch.Datsun honours Olympic medallist P.V. Sindhu with redi-GO SportDatsun honoured Olympic medallist P.V. Sindhu for her achievement at the summer games recently held in Rio de Janeiro by presenting her with a Datsun redi-GO SPORT.What to expect from the all new Toyota FortunerToyota Kirloskar Motors (TKM) has announced that the all new Toyota Fortuner will come to Indian on November 7. The all new Toyota Fortuner was unveiled first at the Gaikindo Indonesia International Auto Show a few months ago, and now will be coming to India next month.last_img read more

Leigh Griffiths says Astana tie is ‘make or break’ for Celtic’s season

first_img The Fiver: the Guardian’s take on the world of football “But the European games we had last year helped us gain a resilience. It was interesting watching last season’s qualifiers back and in terms of how we played the game, what our idea of football was, it was nowhere near what it is now.“So what we have built up since then is that mental resilience. We’re missing some key players but it’s not a computer game. It’s not Football Manager where, if you lose one, you can just pick one straight off the computer and put him straight in.“It’s much more difficult than that – but I have always put trust in the players I have.”Griffiths grabbed goals in both legs last year before Dembele’s late penalty edged out Astana 3-2 on aggregate.With the Frenchman out injured, the responsibility for firing Celtic through now falls squarely on Griffiths’ shoulders.He has shaken off a calf injury to declare himself “fully fit and raring to go” but Rodgers has already admitted the uncertainty over his top two marksmen could see him bring in a third poacher.But the Scotland striker reckons there is enough firepower in the Parkhead dressing room to make that unnecessary.“You have got Moussa and me but when we’re both injured it’s obviously difficult at times,” he said. “But when we’re fully fit I wouldn’t have any other two strikes in the league to be honest.“I don’t think there’s any added pressure on me right now [being the only fit striker]. I showed last year even when Moussa was fit I was still the main man to go to and get the goals to fire us into the Champions League.“Yeah if Moussa was fit it would be a massive help to us but with the quality we have got in the dressing room we’re more than capable of getting through the two ties.”. Read more Read more Share on Messenger news Champions League Leigh Griffiths says the success of Celtic’s entire campaign could hinge on Wednesday tonight’s Champions League play-off first leg with Astana.After sweeping all domestic rivals aside last season Brendan Rodgers’ side again have aspirations of making their mark in Europe. They take on the Kazakhstan champions in the opening leg of their final qualifier, with a ticket for the group stages and a potential £30m windfall on the line.But Griffiths admits that, with the season barely a month old, they are already facing a match that could define their year. He said: “It makes or breaks our season if we get to the Champions League. Share on Pinterest Leigh Griffiths double breaks Hearts as Celtic begin title defence in style Celtic Share on Twitter Topics Share on WhatsApp Share via Email Share on LinkedIn “Last year it set us up on a great platform. We knew it was a difficult group but having Champions League football back at Celtic Park after two disappointing years previously was massive for everybody involved.If we can get back into the group it will put everyone on a real high. The fans will be shouting from the rooftops and it will make the start we’ve made to the season worthwhile.”Victory over Rosenborg in the previous round guaranteed that Rodgers’ treble winners would be playing in European fixtures until December at worst.All that remains to be settled against Astana is whether that is in the continent’s premier competition or its poor relation, the Europa League.However, Griffiths was defiant when it was put to him by a local reporter that defeat by their opponents from Central Asia would be “catastrophic”.“I don’t think about losing,” he said. “We as a club don’t think about losing. I only think about the Champions League group stages. I don’t think about the Europa League.”Celtic head into the first leg boosted by having faced Astana in the third qualifying round last year. “We played them last year and had two tough games which thankfully we got through,” said Rodgers, who will still be without the defenders Erik Sviatchenko and Dedryck Boyata and the striker Moussa Dembélé.“The style hasn’t changed so much. It’s the same coach, a lot of the same players and the game in which they play is quite direct. They play up to the big striker who has good technique and has good mobility for a big striker. They then play off the wide player Patrick Twumasi who is very fast on the counter attack. So that actual style of the game is pretty much the same. Share on Facebook Reuse this contentlast_img read more

A Major CFB Program Just Followed Jalen Hurts On Twitter

first_imgJalen Hurts of the Alabama Crimson Tide reacts after their 33-14 win over the Texas A&M Aggies at Bryant-Denny Stadium.TUSCALOOSA, AL – OCTOBER 22: Jalen Hurts #2 of the Alabama Crimson Tide reacts after their 33-14 win over the Texas A&M Aggies at Bryant-Denny Stadium on October 22, 2016 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)The college football transfer market has become flush with talent over the past few days – specifically at the quarterback position. Arguably the top quarterback in the transfer portal is Alabama quarterback Jalen Hurts – who officially put his name in the portal earlier this week.Now, Hurts placing his name in the portal doesn’t guarantee he’s transferring from the program, but it is likely. This has been the expected move since Tua Tagovailoa took over as the starting quarterback.Earlier this week, he followed one head coach on Twitter: Miami’s Manny Diaz.Now, a top program has followed him. Washington State football’s official Twitter account followed Hurts on Thursday night.? pic.twitter.com/gckzCvcYOE— Bleacher Report CFB (@BR_CFB) January 11, 2019Mike Leach and company “stole” Gardner Minshew from Alabama before the 2018 college football season and he was a Heisman Trophy finalist. Hurts doesn’t exactly fit the mold of an air raid quarterback, but Leach tends to play to the strengths of his quarterbacks.Stay tuned.last_img read more

IPL 2019: Williamson hopeful of SRH’s playoff chances despite crushing defeat to RR

first_imgIPL 2019: Williamson hopeful of SRH’s playoff chances despite crushing defeat to RRSunrisers Hyderabad remained on the fourth spot of IPL 2019 points table despite their 7-wicket loss to Rajasthan Royals on Saturday. Having sealed 10 points from 11 matches, Kane Williamson’s men need to win at least two of their last three matches to stay in contention for a playoffs berthadvertisement Akshay Ramesh JaipurApril 28, 2019UPDATED: April 28, 2019 09:24 IST IPL 2019: Sunrisers need to win at least two of their last three matches to stand a chance of making the playoffs ( Courtesy by BCCI)HIGHLIGHTSSunrisers Hyderabad were handed a 7-wicket thrashing by Rajasthan Royals on SaturdaySRH remain on the 4th spot of IPL 2019 points table with 10 points from 11 gamesSunrisers next face Kings XI Punjab at home on MondaySunrisers Hyderabad captain Kane Williamson called for improvement after Saturday’s crushing defeat to Rajasthan Royals in their Indian Premier League (IPL) 2019 meeting in Jaipur. RR vs SRH – Report | HighlightsHowever, Williamson said he is hopeful Sunrisers would come up with better performances in their last three league matches of IPL 2019 and make a strong bid to reach the playoffs.Sunrisers Hyderabad suffered their second straight defeat on Saturday but have managed to retain the fourth spot on the IPL 2019 points table. With 10 points from 11 matches, Sunrisers need to win at least two of their next three matches to stand a chance of making the playoffs.Sunrisers are tied on 10 points with Kings XI Punjab and Rajasthan Royals but have a better Net Run Rate than their nearest rivals.”The last three games are going to be big names naturally for us to qualify. Look we go into every game to win it. It’s nice to back home. We also appreciate the fact that every game is a tough game. Everybody has been beaten at some point in time,” Williamson told the media in Jaipur after SRH’s 7-wicket defeat.He added: “For us, it’s about focussing on our game. Today’s performance was certainly not our best. But we do need to build on it and be better in our next one.”Sunrisers have three more matches to play in IPL 2019. Williamson’s men will host Kings XI Punjab on Monday before playing Mumbai Indians and Royal Challengers Bangalore on the road next week.advertisementWeren’t able to build momentum: WilliamsonOn Saturday, Sunrisers suffered a middle-order collapse after a solid start given to the team by David Warner (37 off 32) and Manish Pandey (61 off 36). Vijay Shankar, Shakib Al Hasan, Deepak Hooda and Wriddhiman Saha all failed to get into double figures as Sunrisers went from 103 for 1 in 12 overs to 160 for 8 in 20 overs.In reply, Rajasthan Royals got off to a good start, thanks to some big-hitting display from Liam Livingston who was ably supported by Ajinkya Rahane. Sanju Samson remained unbeaten on 48 (32 balls) as the Royals went past the finish line with five balls and seven wickets to spare.Conceding that Sunrisers weren’t able to stitch partnerships on a sluggish wicket, Williamson added: “In some ways, there were able to do to us what we weren’t able to do to them, which is just to be able to pick up wickets and get new batters in. It wasn’t easy for a new batsman to start on this wicket. Unfortunately for us, we did lose wickets and weren’t able to build any momentum. Something we would want to look on certainly going into the last three matches.”The last three games are going to be big names naturally for us to qualify. Look we go into every game to win it. It’s nice to get back home. We also appreciate the fact that every game is a tough game. Everybody has been beaten at some point of time. For us, it’s about focussing on our game. Today’s performance was certainly not our best. But we do need to build on it and be better in our next one.In some ways, there were able to do to us what we weren’t able to do to them, which is just to be able to pick up wickets and get new batters in. It wasn’t easy for a new batsman to start on this wicket. Unfortunately for us, we did lose wickets and weren’t able to build any momentum. Something we would want to look on certainly going into the last three matches.Also Read | Need to continue winning, says Steve Smith on playoff chances after beating SRHAlso Read | David Warner hits 600 runs in 3rd successive IPL seasonAlso See:For sports news, updates, live scores and cricket fixtures, log on to indiatoday.in/sports. Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for Sports news, scores and updates.Get real-time alerts and all the news on your phone with the all-new India Today app. Download from Post your comment Do You Like This Story? Awesome! Now share the story Too bad. Tell us what you didn’t like in the comments Posted byAkshay Ramesh Tags :Follow Kane WilliamsonFollow Sunrisers HyderabadFollow Rajasthan RoyalsFollow Manish PandeyFollow David WarnerFollow IPL 2019last_img read more

Women’s Ashes: Sarah Taylor withdraws from England T20I squad

first_imgWomen’s Ashes: Sarah Taylor withdraws from England T20I squadSarah Taylor was part of both ODI and Test squad of the ongoing Ashes in the UK. Australia with eight points retained the Ashes after the one-off Test was drawn.advertisement Asian News International July 26, 2019UPDATED: July 26, 2019 21:58 IST Sarah Taylor played in two of the ODIs and the Test match against Australia. (Reuters Photo)HIGHLIGHTSSarah Taylor withdrew herself from the T20 International series of the Women’s AshesMiddle-order batter Fran Wilson will replace Taylor in the squad, ECB announcedTaylor was part of both ODI and Test squad of the ongoing Ashes in the UKEngland wicket-keeper batter Sarah Taylor on Friday withdrew herself from the T20 International series of the Women’s Ashes due to the ongoing management of her anxiety issues.Taylor with the help of England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) staff has been working to manage her mental health over the last three years. She had taken a break from cricket in 2016 before making a comeback for the ICC Women’s World Cup 2017.The wicket-keeper batter, however, missed the ICC Women’s World T20 2018 in the Caribbean to again manage her anxiety issues. Taylor returned in the squad during England tour of India but only for the ODI series. She again made a comeback in the team for West Indies tour of England.Taylor was part of both ODI and Test squad of the ongoing Ashes in the UK. Australia with eight points retained the Ashes after the one-off Test was drawn. England with two points in their kitty can still draw the multi-format series if they win all three T20Is, which carry two points on winning each match.Middle-order batter Fran Wilson will replace Taylor in the squad, ECB announced.Taylor said that she has progressed from the way she used to be in 2016. But she added that mental health is continual management and she does not feel good enough to compete in the series.”I first took a break from the game in 2016 but I don’t want people to feel this is exactly the same. I’ve made progress in that time and there are plenty of challenges I’ve met on the way and hurdles I’ve overcome,” Taylor said.advertisement”That said, mental health is not something you ‘beat’. It’s a continual management process and at the moment I don’t feel in a good enough place to compete in international sport,” she added.Taylor conveyed good wishes to her England teammates for the T20Is with a hope that her team draws the series.”I wish the girls all the best across the T20I series. 8-8 is a very different score from 8-2 and I know they’re all working incredibly hard to win these last three matches and draw the series,” she said.Earlier, all-rounder Jenny Gunn had withdrawn from the T20I series due to a side strain. She left the group to undergo rehab ahead of the Women’s Super League, also known as KIA Super League.England and Australia will play in the three-match T20I series, the final leg of Women’s Ashes, on July 26, 28 and 31.Also Read | Chris Gayle named in West Indies ODI squad for India seriesAlso See:For sports news, updates, live scores and cricket fixtures, log on to indiatoday.in/sports. Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for Sports news, scores and updates.Get real-time alerts and all the news on your phone with the all-new India Today app. Download from Post your comment Do You Like This Story? Awesome! Now share the story Too bad. Tell us what you didn’t like in the comments Posted bySaurabh Kumar Tags :Follow Sarah TaylorFollow England women cricketlast_img read more

Jamaica Has World Class ICT Industry – State Minister Robinson

first_imgMinister of State in the Ministry of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining, Hon. Julian Robinson, says that the country’s Information Communication Technology (ICT) industry is among the best in the world.He said that businesses can be easily set-up without hassle and huge capital layout, as is the case with many other sectors.“We offer free zone incentives, which are there for export-based industries, and allow you to bring down your equipment duty free. It allows for no corporate tax on your profits, and most importantly, we have high quality Jamaicans, who can work in these facilities,” he stated.The State Minister, who was addressing a forum on opportunities in the business processing industry on Monday, June 17, as part of the 5th Biennial Jamaica Diaspora Conference, stated that the services provided by Jamaican workers are not just on par with the rest of the world “but actually, are way ahead of the world”.“That is what has made international companies decide to invest in Jamaica. Xerox, they have 6,000 employees here in Jamaica. We have also attracted some of the major brands that have made the decision to outsource the companies here in Jamaica,” he informed.Mr. Robinson told the delegates that Jamaica is a prime location for ICT operations, given its proximity to North America, which is the largest market for business outsourcing.He noted also that Jamaica is an English-speaking country, and there is ease of travel to the island.He also highlighted the improvement in the country’s telecommunication infrastructure over the past 15 years, after Government liberalised the industry.He told the prospective investors that broadband Internet access is available right across the country, resulting from investment made by Governments and telecommunications companies.According to Mr. Robinson, ICT provides the greatest opportunity for job creation for the country in the short-term.“We have the people, we have the infrastructure, and we have a global market. We believe that it is a sector that can employ Jamaicans, not just at the entry level. More and more companies are looking to do high value service, which ultimately will lead to young Jamaicans developing their own solutions, developing their own applications, and using that as a basis to earn foreign exchange for themselves and the country,” he said.Contact: Garfield L. Anguslast_img read more

Seaspan Prepays Debt for Six Boxships

first_imgzoomIllustration. Image Courtesy: Pixabay under CC0 Creative Commons license Hong Kong-based containership owner Seaspan Corporation said that it had prepaid two credit facilities which were secured by six of its vessels.The repayment of the loans brings the company’s pool of unencumbered vessels from 12 to 18 by October 2018. These include two 2,500 TEU, two 3,500 TEU, ten 4,250 TEU, two 9,600 TEU and two 10,000 TEU containerships.“Seaspan’s management team remains committed to its stated strategic priorities for the company, which include de-leveraging and adding flexibility to the company’s capital structure. We expect to continue strengthening our balance sheet as we position the company for future growth,” Ryan Courson, Chief Financial Officer of Seaspan, said.The announcement is being made on the back of the pricing of the company’s public share offering targeting USD 150 million in net proceeds.Seaspan plans to use the freshly raised capital for funding acquisitions, debt repayments and redeeming certain of its existing preferred shares.last_img read more

Statement MLA Expense Claims

first_img In the days following the issuance of my February Report, my office has received additional information concerning some of the transactions identified in my report related to MLA expense claims. This led us to conduct some preliminary fact-finding. As a result, I have decided to conduct an investigation into certain transactions. I will report on my findings to the Speaker, in due course. Meanwhile, I cannot discuss the specifics of the investigation, nor provide information about the conduct of the investigation, or the individual members involved, until such time as the investigation has been completed. -30- The following is a statement issued today, Feb. 12, by Auditor General Jacques Lapointe.last_img

Gatineau residents in good spirits as rising flood waters persist

first_imgGATINEAU, Que. – Lise Veillette and her husband Jean-Pierre Subercaze lost one car and a few of their belongings before finally deciding Monday to leave their home near the Gatineau River.Flood waters on their street were rising relentlessly and the military was stepping up sandbagging operations in the community.But in typical Canadian fashion, Veillette sounded optimistic as she was brought to shore in an aluminum fishing boat with just a few belongings stuffed into two suitcases, a large grey cooler, a backpack and a couple of black briefcases.“At least you get to know your neighbours,” she said as she stepped out of the boat at the crest of what is now her submerged road, aided by neighbours and people who spontaneously showed up to help out.Veillette and Subercaze live in an upper apartment on a street about 100 metres away from the normal shoreline, she said.Watching water slowly seep into the apartment below hers since the previous Tuesday, Veillette said she was horrified, but decided to stay put, expecting the flood to recede.But the water kept coming, and coming. And by Monday, after being told by local authorities that the electricity was being shut off, she and Subercaze had had enough.“No water, and no electricity? No, we can’t do that,” Veillette said.“So we decided to leave.”Local residents had set up a makeshift ferry system, using boats and trucks to get supplies to those who chose to stay in their homes, and to help others leave.Higher up the road, dozens of Canadian Forces personnel aided local residents and volunteers as they continued to fill sandbags at a frantic pace, loading them onto tractors and high-riser trucks for delivery to the desperate homeowners in the flood zone.As a cold drizzle turned to wet snow, even small children were lending a hand. Using garden utensil shovels, three toddlers painstakingly moved back and forth from a sandpile to a bag held by their mother, Manon.“They saw everyone here and asked me ‘can I help’,” she said.The Canadian Red Cross set up a relief fund for flood victims in Quebec, with the provincial government contributing $500,000. About 1,650 soldiers were expected to be battling floodwaters across the region by late Monday, helping crews in some of the communities across the province that are under states of emergency.Water levels across Quebec were expected to peak by Wednesday.last_img read more

Recording of child sexual abuse haunts already reeling victims research

first_imgOTTAWA – Victims of childhood sexual abuse often suffer great distress over the fact video or pictures of the crimes are circulating in cyberspace — adding to the pain they already experience, says a new report.The existence of images that may still be possessed by the abuser or publicly available for others to see has “an enormously negative impact” on victims, says the report by the Canadian Centre for Child Protection, a national charity that fights child exploitation.“The impact can persist into adulthood and may significantly reduce the ability of survivors to cope with day-to-day stressors, maintain healthy relationships, and reach their full potential.”The report draws on the experiences of 150 child sex-abuse victims from Canada, the United States and several European countries who filled out an extensive survey to help researchers better understand what they’re facing as adults.Almost 70 per cent of those who took part worried about being recognized by someone because of the recording of their child sexual abuse. One in every five reported being identified by a person who had seen their abuse imagery.“It’s not something that will ever go away. Being the adult I am now, my photos are still out there, as long as the internet exists my photos will always be out there,” one respondent told the researchers. “Sites will be taken down but new ones are somehow being put back up. … There is no way I can finally be done with this abuse.”The report recommends considering global adoption of a centre-developed tool known as Project Arachnid, an automatic web crawler that detects images and videos based on digital fingerprints of illegal content. The tool has already identified tens of thousands of online images of child sexual abuse.When such material is identified, a notice is sent to the hosting internet provider to request immediate removal.“We need other countries to be aware of it, that this is available,” said Lianna McDonald, the child protection centre’s executive director.The researchers found almost half of the respondents were victims of organized sexual abuse, assaulted by multiple offenders. In such scenarios, the main offenders were often parents or extended family members.Many victims did not tell anyone about the abuse until they were an adult. Very few first told someone at school, a place where children spend much of their time. Many said no one ever asked them directly if they had been abused.As a result, the report recommends improving education and training on child sexual abuse among professionals, such as teachers and doctors, to help them recognize signs and respond appropriately.The centre’s report also recommends:— Strengthening co-ordination and communication between organizations that deal with victims of child abuse and online exploitation, including schools, child welfare, hotlines, therapists, police, industry, child-serving organizations and advocacy centres;— Developing comprehensive remedies to recognize the rights and needs of victims whose abuse was recorded, such as knowledgeable therapists, means of financial compensation and opportunities to have their voices heard within the criminal justice system.— Follow @JimBronskill on Twitterlast_img read more

Global support needed to help Haiti meet AIDS needs says UN report

“It is unprecedented to have such a huge natural disaster in a country with a high HIV prevalence,” said Michel Sidibé, Executive Director of the Joint UN Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), which issued the new publication.Before the 12 January quake, there were approximately 120,000 people living with HIV in Haiti, out of a total population of some 3 million. The country’s epidemic is driven largely by heterosexual sex and more than half of those living with HIV are women. Most of the structural damage caused by the magnitude-7.0 quake occurred in three departments – Sud-Est, les Nippes and Ouest, where the capital, Port-au-Prince is located – where nearly 60 per cent of all people living with HIV in Haiti reside. More than half of the antiretroviral treatment sites in Haiti are also situated in those three departments. With over 1 million people taking refuge in temporary shelters, they are at greater risk of violence, including sexual and gender-based violence, Mr. Sidibé said. “Programmes are urgently needed to reduce vulnerabilities to HIV and ensure protection.” Makeshift treatment clinics under tents have popped up to increase access to treatment, but the Ministry of Health estimates that less than 40 per cent of the 24,000 people living with HIV who were on treatment before the disaster have access them. As Haiti experiences a critical interruption of HIV services and programmes, stepped up support is vital for the country to allow it to regain momentum towards reaching universal access goals for HIV prevention, treatment, care and support. The new UNAIDS report has identified seven priority areas, including rebuilding health systems, protecting the displaced from HIV and revitalizing HIV prevention programmes. Haiti’s annual AIDS budget was $132 million prior to the earthquake, and UNAIDS believes that an extra $70 million will be necessary to meet the country’s immediate response needs over the next six months. The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reported today that some 285,000 houses had been damaged or destroyed in the earthquake, and Government and humanitarian organizations, as well as engineers, are working to register the displaced and plan relocation sites for those who cannot return to their homes. Spokesperson Elisabeth Byrs said that creating adequate sanitary conditions and waste disposal systems is also essential to mitigate the risk of a large-scale outbreak of disease. She announced that the $1.44 billion revised humanitarian appeal launched earlier this month by the UN and its aid partners – the largest ever in the wake of a natural disaster – is 48 per cent funded, but expressed concern that the portion for agriculture has only received 8 per cent of the funds requested. For its part, the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and its partners are setting up provisional schoolrooms in Port-au-Prince and other areas, as schools destroyed in the quake are being rebuilt. Haiti’s educational system, said Marc Vergara of the agency, virtually ceased to function in affected areas, leaving some 2.5 million children out of school after the earthquake. Together with the Ministry of Education, UNICEF is helping to establish over 150 tent schools to get children back to school before April. With more than half of school-age children not attending classes prior to the quake, the agency’s goal is to “build back better” to create conditions to allow many young Haitians to attend school for the first time. 26 February 2010Haiti – the country most affected by HIV in the Caribbean region – needs the world’s support in bolstering its defence against the spread of AIDS in the wake of last month’s catastrophic earthquake, according to a United Nations report. read more

Somalia Security Council calls on world to step up supplies for African

“The Security Council stresses the importance of predictable, reliable and timely resources for AMISOM,” the 15-member body said in a presidential statement, using the acronym of the African Union peacekeeping mission, during a day-long debate on the Horn of Africa country. It also stressed the need to reinforce the forces of the Transitional Federal Government (TFG).“The Security Council calls on the international community to make contributions urgently and without caveats to the UN Trust Fund for AMISOM or directly in support of AMISOM,” it added, underlying shortfalls in a force whose increase to 12,000 troops from 8,000 it authorized in December.It was a message Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon highlighted in a speech at the beginning of the debate, at which some 40 Member States are speaking.“AMISOM and the TFG need more than authorized troop levels – they need actual troops, equipment and enhanced capacity,” he said, stressing that the African force would be even more effective if it had more resources, including helicopters and support for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance.“The military gains by the Transitional Federal Government and AMISOM are fragile. The humanitarian situation is dire. Violence continues to rage,” he added of a country that has not had a functioning central government since 1991, and where Al Shabaab Islamist and other rebel groups now control much of the land, especially the south, and areas of Mogadishu, the capital.The TFG and AMISOM have succeeded in expanding their lines in Mogadishu, and with its ally Ahlu Sunna wal Jamaa the TFG has taken control of major southern towns held by insurgents. “We must help them to sustain these gains in order to restore security and deliver basic services, humanitarian aid and support for recovery and reconstruction,” Mr. Ban said.“The international community must keep its end of the bargain. There are critical gaps in the UN support package to AMISOM, and significant shortfalls of military assets and equipment. I appeal to Member States to increase their contributions to the Trust Fund for AMISOM and to reimburse contingent-owned equipment and troop-contributing countries.” Somalia’s transitional period was originally scheduled to end in August but the transitional parliament recently extended its mandate, without carrying out necessary reforms, by three years beyond that deadline, by which time it was to enact a new constitution and hold general elections. The Council today urged it to refrain from any further unilateral actions. It called on the TFG to engage in reaching agreement on post-transitional arrangements “in a more constructive, open and transparent manner that promotes broader political dialogue and participation.”It also voiced serious concern at the worsening humanitarian situation, compounded by the current drought, which has left some 2.4 million Somalis in urgent need of aid and noted a continuing decline in humanitarian funding for Somalia.Mr. Ban cited reports that the drought had displaced some 50,000 people during the past two months, while in the central Hiraan region 70 per cent of the population is in crisis and food has not been distributed there since the UN World Food Programme (WFP) was forced to suspend its operations there in January 2010 because of fighting.“This year’s humanitarian appeal for Somalia seeks $529 million for urgent needs. As of last month, only one quarter of that amount had been funded,” he warned. On piracy, which has plagued the waters off Somalia’s shores, at times interfering with UN efforts to feed the country’s desperately poor, the Council condemned “in the strongest terms such violence, including hostage taking, murder and other acts of violence against individuals.” It called for a comprehensive response to tackle piracy and its underlying causes.In calling for today’s debate China, which holds the Council’s monthly presidency for March, noted that pirate attacks soared from 35 in 2005 to 219 last year, and that more than 20 ships with some 700 sailors are still in captivity. Mr. Ban also noted the underlying causes, calling for an integrated response to piracy based on three pillars: deterrence, development, and security. He has frequently stated that development, by providing alternative job opportunities on shore, forms a central plank in combating the scourge.“Somalia urgently needs our help. It faces levels of violence, damaging weather conditions and insecurity that would shake even strong countries,” he concluded. “AMISOM and the TFG have made some progress. But they need more support.“If we reinforce the military gains, provide humanitarian relief and achieve political progress, we can set Somalia on course for greater stability and peace. If we fail, we risk a growing humanitarian crisis, a deteriorating security situation, and a worsening threat to regional peace and stability.” 10 March 2011The Security Council today called on the world community to provide urgently needed equipment to African peacekeepers in Somalia to consolidate recent fragile gains in stabilizing a country torn asunder by factional fighting for the past 20 years. read more

Business Highlights

___Why a US-China deal that once looked close now seems far offWASHINGTON (AP) — As recently as May, the Trump administration and China seemed on the verge of resolving their dispute over Beijing’s combative trade policies. Then it all collapsed. A cease-fire failed to stick. Now, global financial markets are shaking and central banks across the world are trying to cushion their economies from the worst by slashing interest rates — all in the expectation that a trade war between the world’s two biggest economies will continue to rage.___China’s yuan weakens after signs of stability calm marketsBEIJING (AP) — China’s yuan has weakened again after the central bank told companies the currency would not be allowed to continue to fall sharply. The yuan edged down on Wednesday to about 0.4 per cent below its level late the previous day. Financial markets tumbled after Beijing allowed the yuan to fall Monday to an 11-year low against the dollar.___US stocks erase most of an early loss as volatility surgesStocks overcame a big loss on Wall Street Wednesday, though the market’s recovery left plenty of signs of worry among investors that the fallout from the trade war between the U.S. and China will spread. An afternoon rally lifted most of the major stock indexes out of the red, reversing most of an early slide that briefly pulled the Dow Jones Industrial Average down more than 580 points. Bond yields fell, the price of oil tanked and the price of gold surged as traders sought safe-haven holdings.___Lyft continues to post losses despite revenue growthNEW YORK (AP) — Lyft is reporting strong revenue growth but deep losses in its second quarter, a trend that it has so far been unable to reverse. The ride-hailing company on Wednesday posted revenue of $867.3 million, up 72% from the same time last year. But the San Francisco-based company lost $664.2 million in the quarter, which was worse than what analysts polled by FactSet expected. They had predicted Lyft would lose $445 million.___Samsung ditches headphone jack after jabs at jackless rivalsNEW YORK (AP) — Samsung’s newest smartphone won’t have a headphone jack. The Galaxy Note 10 loses that, even though Samsung executives have long poked fun at rivals for ditching it. The Note 10 squeezes in more battery power and other goodies. That’s forcing the company to do an about-face and declare that many people use wireless headphones anyway. Samsung is releasing the Note 10 in two sizes on Aug. 23.___Japan says export step not aimed at hurting ties with SeoulTOKYO (AP) — A spokesman says Japan’s downgrading of South Korea’s trade status is not intended as retaliation for disputes over court rulings ordering Japanese companies pay compensation for their treatment of Korean labourers during World War II. The move to drop South Korea from a list of countries granted preferred trade status became official Wednesday, and will take effect on Aug. 28. It adds to Japan’s export controls imposed in July on three key materials for South Korea’s semiconductor industry.___German production drops in June in latest sign of weaknessBERLIN (AP) — German industrial production dropped significantly for the second time in three months in June, the latest sign of weakness from Europe’s biggest economy. Wednesday’s report fueled expectations of an overall decline in the second quarter.___Trade war escalation comes at inopportune moment for economyWASHINGTON (AP) — The escalation of the U.S.-China trade fight comes at a particularly inopportune moment for the global economy, when growth in the United States and the world is already weakening. The trade tensions threaten to turn a period of slower growth into recession. The conflict could also spread to currency markets and threaten to involve other countries.___Perdue: US farmers will regain markets lost in trade warU.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue is telling nervous farmers he’s confident they’ll eventually regain the markets they’ve lost in the Trump administration’s trade war with China. Perdue spoke Wednesday at a trade show in Minnesota. After hearing criticism from farmers about the trade war, Perdue said he believes U.S. farmers will get the China market back. But he says it’s got to be a fair, reciprocal and free trade environment.___FedEx to end ground delivery business with AmazonNEW YORK (AP) — FedEx will no longer make ground deliveries for Amazon as the online shopping giant builds its own fleet and becomes more of a threat to delivery companies. The decision comes two months after FedEx said it was terminating its air delivery contract with Amazon. FedEx said the dumping of Amazon is part of its plan to go after more e-commerce deliveries from other companies.___The S&P 500 index eked out a gain of 2.21 points, or 0.1%, to 2,883.98. The Dow dropped 22.45 points, or 0.1%, to 26,007.07. The Nasdaq climbed 29.56 points, or 0.4%, to 7,862.83. The Russell 2000 index of smaller companies lost 1.40 points, or 0.1%, to 1,500.69.The Associated Press read more

Huawei launches new phone with own version of Android

MUNICH — Huawei is launching a new flagship smartphone that will run on the Chinese tech giant’s own version of Google’s Android operating system because of U.S. export sanctions.The Chinese tech giant unveiled the Mate 30 series of phones at an event in Munich, Germany on Thursday.The device wasn’t expected to come with popular Google apps such as Chrome, YouTube, Gmail or the Google Play Store, limiting its appeal to consumers.Huawei, the world’s second-biggest smartphone maker, is fighting to save its business after the Trump administration blocked access to U.S. components and technology in May on national security grounds.Washington has issued temporary exemptions that let Huawei maintain software for existing devices, but they don’t cover new products such as the Mate 30.The Associated Press read more

Travale returns to town hall

A familiar presence at Governor Simcoe Square is set to make his return.Former Norfolk mayor Dennis Travale, of Simcoe, applied for and has been appointed to two key county committees.Following an in-camera session last week, Norfolk council appointed Travale to Norfolk’s Police Services Board and to Norfolk’s committee of adjustment.Travale, 74, was Norfolk’s mayor from 2007 to 2014. Following his defeat at the hands of former mayor Charlie Luke, Travale served as a security consultant for two years with Canada Border Services and the federal Treasury Board in Ottawa.Since returning to Simcoe, Travale and his wife Barb have travelled and enjoyed their time off together.“I fully appreciate we’re getting on and we have to make sure to enjoy the time we have left,” Travale said Tuesday. “But this is all about giving back to the community.”Travale was a police officer during his time with the Canadian air force and as a manager with Canada Border Services. He served on Norfolk’s PSB while mayor of Norfolk.Peter Hellyer of Simcoe, the long-serving chair of the PSB, stepped down after last fall’s municipal election. The PSB is looking for a replacement. Travale says he is willing to serve in this capacity if that is the board’s wish.The committee of adjustment handles minor planning matters on Norfolk council’s behalf. These include minor variances, lot line adjustments and the like.Appointed along with Travale to the committee of adjustment were Linda D’Hondt-Crandon, Lisa Dove, Marcel Vanhooren, Alan Strang, Rudy Stickl and Adam Veri. Their term begins April 1 and runs till Nov. 30, 2022.Other committee appointments approved last week include:Agriculture advisory board: Hayden Dooney, Remi Van De Slyke, Trish Fournier, Anita Buehner, Anthony DeCarolis and Ann Vermeersch. The four-year appointments expire Dec. 31, 2022. Heritage and culture advisory committee: John Paul Antonacci, Margaret Bancroft, Mary Jane Kekes, Andrew Kicak, Jean Hamel, Janice Robertson, Ron Klein, Wanda Nelson, Suzan Yates and Linda Campbell. Their appointments are effective immediately and run till Nov. 30, 2022. Tourism and economic development advisory board: Amanda Dooney, Cathy Gilvesy, Cindy Vanderstar, Chantal Zorad and Nicole Inglis. The two-year terms are up for renewal Dec. 31, 2020. Norfolk heritage committee: Robert Wood, Robert Andrews, Stephen Armstrong, Mary Caughill, Karen Culver, Jean Hamel, Judy Schaefer and Jean Norman. Their appointments are effective immediately and run till Nov. 30, 2022. Norfolk environmental advisory committee: Brett Schuyler, Cynthia Waugh and Dr. Harold Schroeter. Appointed for a three-year term expiring Dec. 31, 2021. Norfolk County Library Board: Mike Bauslaugh, Ron Klein, Adam Veri, Ronald Kozak, Carolyn Nordheimer, Susan Ashton and Diane Lefler. The four-year appointments expire in December, 2022. Alligator tug advisory committee: Fred Judd, Keith Button, Neil Dunning, Cheri Emerson and Sandra Steven. Their term expires Nov. 30, 2022. Norfolk has yet to name BIA appointees in Simcoe and Delhi. The county also continues to advertise for representatives to Norfolk accessibility advisory committee.The county will continue to receive BIA applications until March 15. This week, clerk Andy Grozelle said the county is especially interested in hearing from individuals who are prepared to sit on the Delhi BIA committee.Grozelle added that Norfolk has one vacancy on the county’s recreational facilities advisory board. A previous appointee from the Simcoe Seniors Centre has since stepped down, creating the opening. read more