Category: rsaws

NGT imposes ₹5 crore fine on West Bengal for failing to curb air pollution

first_imgThe National Green Tribunal (NGT) has imposed a fine of ₹5 crore on the West Bengal government for failing to take steps to improve the air quality of Kolkata and Howrah. Subhas Datta, the petitioner, said that the cost has been imposed for failing to comply with an earlier order of the NGT in August 2016.In an order on Tuesday, the principal bench of NGT’s Eastern Zone, comprising Judges S.P. Wangdi and non-judicial member Nagin Nanda, directed the State’s Chief Secretary to file an affidavit by January 8, 2019 regarding the payment of compensation and the action taken report in this regard. The NGT directed that the cost should be paid within two weeks to the Central Pollution Control Board. If the government failed to do so, it would have to pay an additional ₹1 crore as fine for every month’s delay. The 2016 order included taking steps like augmentation of air monitoring network, traffic management, streamlining of efficiency auto emission training centres, and phasing out of commercial vehicles more than 15-years-old.last_img read more

Indo-Canadian Held For Crash That Left 16 Dead

first_imgA 29-year-old Indian-origin truck driver in Canada has been arrested in connection with a bus crash that killed 16 people, mostly members of a junior hockey team, one of the worst disasters in the country’s sporting community. The driver, Jaskirat Singh Sidhu, was arrested at his home in Calgary city on Friday and remanded into custody, the CBC reported, quoting the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), the national police force of the country.Read it at Tribune India Related Itemslast_img

Gupta Brothers’ Assets to be Frozen in South Africa Over Corruption Scandal

first_imgThe Opposition in South Africa has made calls to ensure that the under-scrutiny Gupta brothers don’t leave the country before their imminent arrest over charges of corruption and state capture. The whereabouts of the three brothers are unknown, Xinhua reported.The opposition Democratic Alliance (DA) made the comments after a news report on Jan. 15 said that warrants of arrest for at least one of the Gupta brothers and a few associates of the family are being prepared by The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA).Two companies, multinational consultancy McKinsey and local company Trillian, linked to the Guptas, were summoned on Jan. 16 by the Asset Forfeiture Unit (AFU) of NPA. They are also preparing to serve a summon to the Gupta family to freeze their assets worth R1.6-billion under the Prevention of Organised Crime Act.The DA said that the Guptas shouldn’t flee the country with the help of the government. The businesses of the Gupta brothers — Ajay, Rajesh and Atul — are also linked to President Jacob Zuma and other senior politicians like Minister of Mineral Resources Mosebenzi Zwane.“Our borders should be urgently secured to prevent the Guptas from slipping through the net. It is unlikely that the Gupta family will sit and wait for their arrest,” DA leader Mmusi Maimane said, according to the news agency. “There is a strong possibility that the Guptas will attempt to flee the country, if they have not done so already,” said Maimane.The NPA has applied for three different orders in the high courts in Pretoria and in Bloemfontein to freeze the family’s assets in the country. Their assets that were allegedly acquired through criminal activities will be seized pending the outcome of the legal case. If found guilty, they would have to forfeit the assets.The case against the Guptas has also expedited Zuma’s exit from the party’s presidency. The NPA told the City Press that they were waiting to go ahead with prosecuting the Indian-origin brothers until after the African National Congress (ANC) election, which took place in December. Cyril Ramaphosa took over as the president of the party for the next five years. Related ItemsSouth Africalast_img read more

Gadkari suffers dizziness yet again at Solapur function

first_imgUnion Minister and senior BJP leader Nitin Gadkari on Thursday suffered yet another bout of dizziness during a public function in Solapur district.Mr. Gadkari, who is Minister for Road Transport and Highways, was guest of honour on the occasion of the foundation day of the Punyashlok Ahilyadevi Holkar Solapur University.The Minister, who is heavily diabetic and frequently prone to such spells, experienced dizziness towards the end of the hour-long program as he stood up to sing the National Anthem along with other members on the dais, which included State Cooperation Minister Subhash Deshmukh .Mr. Gadkari, who reeled and slumped in his chair, attempted to stand up again till the completion of the Anthem. Following its conclusion, he remained seated in his chair for some time after the event, being tended with medicines and observed by an anxious Mr. Deshmukh as well as Dr. Mrunalini Fadnavis, the Vice-Chancellor of Solapur University along with doctors and members of the Minister’s security detail.According to reports, the Minister experienced the fainting spell following a sudden dip in his sugar level. His condition is stable now.However, he was compelled to cancel further engagements for the day following the advice of his doctors.Mr. Deshmukh said that Mr. Gadkari had headed back to Nagpur after resting for awhile in Solapur city.This is not the first such incident. In December last year, Mr. Gadkari had experienced a similar bout of dizziness during a function in Rahuri in Ahmednagar district.At the time, Mr. Gadkari had fainted and remained slumped on his chair towards the end of the convocation ceremony of the Rahuri Krishi Vidhyapeeth following a sudden dip in his sugar level.Mr. Gadkari, who suffers from diabetic nephropathy, was forced to undergo a gastric bypass surgery in Mumbai in 2011 to combat his weight problem.The BJP leader suffers from Type-2 diabetes, which makes an individual highly susceptible to heart diseases and nerve and kidney damage.last_img read more

Home United zaps Kaya-Iloilo hopes

first_imgEthel Booba twits Mocha over 2 toilets in one cubicle at SEA Games venue Two-day strike in Bicol fails to cripple transport LATEST STORIES Kaya had high hopes of making the next round as the best second-placed team, but it needed maximum points against Home United.The result also meant that the only remaining Filipino club standing, Ceres-Negros, will face either Hanoi FC or Tampines Rovers of Singapore in the zonal semifinals. —CEDELF P. TUPASFEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSPalace wants Cayetano’s PHISGOC Foundation probed over corruption chargesSPORTSSingapore latest to raise issue on SEA Games food, logistics PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games PLAY LIST 02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss Cayetano: Senate, Drilon to be blamed for SEA Games mess Catholic schools seek legislated pay hike, too MOST READ Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting Kaya-Iloilo conceded twice in the first 18 minutes as it fell to Home United of Singapore, 2-0, on Tuesday night that doomed its hopes of reaching the knockout phase of the AFC Cup at Jalan Besar Stadium.The Filipino club was caught napping early with Adam Swandi’s volley putting the home side within 30 seconds before Abdil Qaiyyim directed Izzdin Shafiq’s free kick into the back of the net for the second goal.ADVERTISEMENT Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. ‘Rebel attack’ no cause for concern-PNP, AFP Duterte wants probe of SEA Games mess DA eyes importing ‘galunggong’ anew Not today View commentslast_img read more

Asteras Wins, But PAOK Loses

first_imgAsteras Tripolis stayed alive in the Europa League with a 2-0 win over APOEL of Cyprus, but PAOK was beaten 2-1 by the Russian side Krasnodar on Nov. 5.Facundo Bertoglio and Apostolos Giannou gave the Tripoli team the win with their scores in a game interrupted for 14 minutes in the second half because of a flare thrown onto the field.The win gives Asteras four points in its group, one ahead of APOEL and two behind Sparta Prague that is its next opponent in the European play.The Thessaloniki team PAOK, which lost to Asteras earlier, couldn’t stay on the field with the tough Krasnodar team that dominated.Ari opened the scoring for the winners in the 33d minute and it got another from Joaozinho before PAOK scored a consolation goal through Robert Mak in injury time.PAOK has three points, four behind second-place Krasnodar and two ahead of the Thessaloniki squad’s next opponent, Qabala of Azerbaijan.TweetPinShare0 Shareslast_img read more

RAW or SmackDown, who won WWE Survivor Series? Results and reactions

first_imgIn the Survivor Series 2018 kickoff match, SmackDown’s tag team division defeated the counterparts from RAW in a 10-on-10 Tag Team Traditional Survivor Series Elimination match.Women’s 5-v-5 Elimination matchThe first match of the show proper was the Women’s 5-on-5 elimination match. Both teams had put themselves in prime position for internal dissent during the Kickoff. To secure the “total humiliation” of the blue brand, RAW team captain Alexa Bliss subbed out the quarreling Ruby Riott and Natalya for best buddies Sasha Banks and Bayley. SmackDown’s captain Naomi, decided to fill the vacant position on her team with the more-than-willing Mandy Rose.The match progressed with the usual back and forth eliminations, with Smack Down’s Asuka and RAW’s Nia Jax and Banks being the final three. Jax let Sasha handle most of the work, but she had no desire to give up the glory.With Banks perched atop the turnbuckle and closing in on a victory, Jax snuck onto the apron and shoved her head-first into the waiting clutches of Asuka, who ensnared Banks in the ‘Asuka Lock’ and quickly notched a submission. Jax immediately struck, flattening Asuka with a trifecta of leg drops and sealed the deal with a ‘Samoan Drop’.Seth Rollins vs Shinsuke NakamuraWith RAW 1-0 up, Intercontinental Champion Seth Rollins locked horns with United States Champion Shinsuke Nakamura. After a slow-build match, filled with high-risk spots and stiff hits, it was the ‘King Slayer’ that walked away with the win, beating the ‘King of Strong Style’.advertisementAOP vs The BarRAW Tag Team Champions AOP defeated the SmackDown Tag Team Champions The Bar to make it 3-0 in favour of the red brand.Men’s 5-v-5 Elimination matchIn the Men’s 5-on-5 elimination match, Braun Strowman was easily ‘The Monster Among Men’ as he singlehandedly won the contest with four straight eliminations.Strowman had made his distaste for all his teammates – Finn Balor excluded – clear before the bell rang, and the feeling was clearly than mutual, especially between himself and Drew McIntyre. McIntyre threatened to seize control of the match from the start, when he tagged himself in and scored a surprise elimination of Samoa Joe (the only Team RAW elimination not recorded by Strowman). That set off a chain of events that culminated in a brief throw down between Strowman and McIntyre.Team SmackDown responded in opportunistic fashion. Rey Mysterio ousted Balor after a dizzying back-and-forth. The Miz called a surprisingly crisp game as Team Captain. Shane McMahon put his death-defying bonafides to good use with a ‘Leap of Faith’ that took out both Strowman and the announce table, as well as a ‘Coast-to-Coast’ that helped send RAW’s Dolph Ziggler to the showers.It seemed, for a moment, like SmackDown had the chance to outlast the red brand, until Strowman re-entered the picture. Strowman clotheslined McMahon clean out of the air on a second Coast-to-Coast attempt (this one to Lashley) and stormed back with near-immediate eliminations of Jeff Hardy, Mysterio and Miz. That left Shane as the last man standing for Team SmackDown. The SmackDown Commissioner refused to drop his hands, but even Shane knew he was destined to go down fighting. Strowman scooped him up for a ‘Running Powerslam’ and put the match away in monstrous fashion, giving RAW a 4-0 advantage over SmackDown and effectively sealing the Survivor Series for RAW.Ronda Rousey vs Charlotte FlairIt was the dream match between RAW Women’s Champion Ronda Rousey and Charlotte Flair, but the finish was a nightmare for Rousey, who won by disqualification after Flair blasted her with a kendo stick.Another WWE ‘Face’ turned ‘Heel’, as the Flair thrashed Rousey with the kendo stick, drove her into a steel chair, and then wrapped the chair around Rousey’s throat and ruthlessly stomped on it. Rousey staggered to her feet with welts from the attack raising on her flesh. This wasn’t what she, or the entire WWE Universe, expected from this dream match.Brock Lesnar vs Daniel Bryan Another dream match, this time between newly crowned WWE Champion Daniel Bryan against Universal Champion Brock Lesnar.Whatever plan Bryan had of playing with the Beast, it didn’t work, as he got caught in ‘Suplex City’ and found himself mercilessly tossed around the ring like a sack of potatoes. While Bryan had the look and pose of a post-collision crash-test dummy, the Universal Champion grew so bored with his own dominance (Paul Heyman, by contrast, looked horrified) that he let Bryan up after the first F-5 of the match.advertisementLesnar and Bryan exchanged blows, the Universal Champion with his F-5s and German suplexes and the WWE Champion with his signature ‘Yes’ kicks and dangerously stiff running knees. Bryan briefly countering with a triangle but Lesnar hoisted the WWE Champion onto his shoulders, hit the F-5 and secured the win. The night ended with RAW clean-sweeping SmackDown 6-0.(With inputs from WWE)last_img read more

Ashes catch was better Stokes

first_imgLondon: England all-rounder Ben Stokes, who took a brilliant catch against South Africa in the World Cup opener, says that it doesn’t rank as the best of his career. On Tuesday, Stokes was back to his dominant best in the 104-run win against the Proteas as he top-scored with 89. England posted 311/8 in their full quota of 50 overs at Kennington Oval. And then on the field, he helped with a run out and two wickets as the tournament favourites bundled out the Proteas for 207 in 39.5 overs. Also Read – We don’t ask for kind of tracks we get: Bowling coach ArunHowever, it was his soaring effort to remove Andile Phehlukwayo in the deep that left the Oval crowd stunned. Diving backwards to dismiss Phehlukwayo with a one-handed take on the boundary off Adil Rashid, Stokes’ sensational effort was labelled “the catch of the century” by former England spinner Phil Tufnell on the BBC. Asked if it was the greatest catch of his life, Stokes told the media: “Nah, that one was against the Aussies, so that one ranks higher,” reports Stokes had taken a stunning one-handed catch in the gully of an Adam Voges edge during a 2015 Ashes Test against Australia at Trent Bridge. The 27-year-old also admitted he had misjudged the flight of the ball initially, leading Phehlukwayo’s shot to flash past him until he leapt backwards to complete the catch with his right hand. “I was actually in the wrong position. It would have been a regulation catch if I was in the right place, but yeah it is one of those that sticks or doesn’t,” Stokes said.last_img read more

Dreaded criminal killed in police encounter at Ghaziabad

first_imgGhaziabad/Noida: In a joint operation carried out by Noida Special Task Force(STF) and Ghaziabad police, a dreaded criminal who was wanted in over two dozen incidents of loot and murder was gunned down after a brief exchange of fire in Sahibabad area of Ghaziabad on the intervening night of Wednesday and Thursday.Cops said that two STF personnel were also injured in the gun battle. According to police, the accused has been identified as Meharbaan (32), a native of District Bulandshahr. He carried a bounty of Rs 1 lakhs on his head and was wanted in Rs 65 lakhs robbery incident in Jarcha area of Greater Noida, that happened on May 27, said police officials. Also Read – Gurdwara Bangla Sahib bans single use plastic”Acting on a tip-off received, a joint operation was carried on near Bhopura roundabout, around 12:30 am on Thursday and police spotted the accused travelling in a Santro car. When we signalled to stop, the criminals opened fire on police party and tried to flee. Police also retaliated and during the gun battle, Meharbaan and two STF personnel sustained bullet injuries. They were rushed to a nearby hospital where doctors declared Meharbaan dead on arrival. Two other criminals managed to escape taking advantage of darkness and we are making efforts to nab them,” said Raj Kumar Mishra, Deputy Superintendent of Police, Noida STF. Also Read – After eight years, businessman arrested for kidnap & murder”STF’s head constable Anil Kumar and constable Hariom Singh were injured in the gun battle,” added Mishra. The officer further said that Meharbaan was wanted in around 30 cases of loot, murder and other incidents of heinous crimes. “The accused was involved in the sensational Rs 65 lakhs loot incident in Jarcha area of Dadri on May 27. Apart from this, in year 2001 he was involved in the murder case of a rice trader in Bulandshahr area but got bail from a higher court. A couple of months before, court has ordered a life time imprisonment for him but as he was continuously evading arrest a Non-bailable warrant was issued against him in connection with the case,” Mishra said. Meanwhile family members of the accused declared this encounter to be fake and alleged that the accused was picked up from Ghazipur area and then killed. “Meharbaan owned a meat shop in Bulandshahr district and had gone to Ghazipur area . He was picked up by the police from Ghazipur mandi on Wednesday evening and then later killed. We will take the matter of fake encounter to human right commission,” alleged Haji Usman, Meharbaan’s brother.last_img read more

Documents show how Liberals put abortion summer jobs on collision course

first_imgOTTAWA – It was February 2017 when the first letter about anti-abortion groups and the Canada Summer Jobs program landed in Labour Minister Patty Hajdu’s office.The Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada wanted Hajdu to keep crisis pregnancy centres — which offer an anti-abortion spin on pregnancy counselling — from getting summer-jobs funding. Applications were already being reviewed, and the centres were likely on the list, the letter warned.There was no response.Not until April of that year — when media reports emerged about a rookie Liberal MP who approved $56,000 in funding for an anti-abortion group in her riding in 2016 — did the issue seem to catch Hajdu’s attention.Since then, there has been no shortage of media attention paid to the Liberal government’s efforts to screen organizations applying for Canada Summer Jobs money, blocking any that refuse to attest that neither they nor the summer jobs in question would support an anti-abortion agenda.On Tuesday, Hajdu launched the 2018 version of the program, playing down any issues with the employer declaration by saying that faith-based groups had accessed funding. The Employment and Social Development Canada website shows hundreds of churches among the employers approved for funding this year, along with faith-based camps.Hajdu said the Canada Summer Jobs program was about the students, despite the attention paid to protesting groups.“Canadians expect us to be thoughtful about how we run programs and that we make sure that especially for these first jobs for kids, that they are with organizations that respect the fundamental rights of Canadians and don’t ask them to do things that are essentially looking to undermine those rights,” Hajdu said.“We made that commitment to Canadians that we would do this and that’s exactly what we’re doing.”The evolution of the Liberals’ policy that stoked concerns from religious groups is laid out in some 200 pages of documents obtained by The Canadian Press under the Access of Information Act or provided by groups, along with interviews with stakeholders and government officials, some speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss private conversations.A briefing note from August shows Hajdu had already directed the department to come up with the new employer declaration to ensure funding went to groups with “mandates that are consistent with the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and court decisions.” Hajdu needed to approve the final wording before the fall, the note said.Her department crafted several pages of legal advice, all of it blocked from release on the grounds of solicitor-client privilege.The Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada, meanwhile, was getting only radio silence from Hajdu’s office.“We didn’t know what was really going on,” said Joyce Arthur, the coalition’s executive director.“Then, in December, they suddenly announced this attestation requirement. At the time we didn’t really know why they chose that solution, but we thought, ‘Whatever works’.”The new requirements appeared to come out of nowhere, said one government official, who described initial political trepidation about the eligibility rules.Faith-based groups howled in protest, saying they violated religious and free-speech rights. Hajdu and Liberal MPs defended the wording of the declaration.One Toronto-area Liberal MP wrote to a complainant, saying that while individuals could disagree with the declaration, “freedom of religion is an individual right and is not something which can be superimposed on an organization.”Religious leaders who met with Hajdu in late March left with the impression there might be some movement on the wording, but a government official said Hajdu only agreed to a review and gave no hint that the language dealing specifically with reproductive rights would be removed.Hajdu said Thursday she is looking to clarify language in the application form and guide that clears up concerns from groups and lets the government meet its policy objectives.In the meantime, Arthur’s organization plans to pore over the full list of this year’s employers to see if any of the hundreds of groups in their database have been approved for funding.Hajdu also said the department is working with employers who are concerned that increases in provincial minimum wages in provinces like Ontario may force them to cut back on hours offered to summer students.— Follow @jpress on Twitterlast_img read more

Julie Snyder files sexassault complaint against Gilbert Rozon

first_imgMONTREAL – Julie Snyder, one of the biggest names in Quebec’s entertainment industry, has filed a complaint of sexual assault against Just For Laughs founder Gilbert Rozon.The former wife of business tycoon Pierre Karl Peladeau went to police in the past few days to inform them of the alleged attack, a spokesman for Snyder’s production company said Monday.“I can confirm that Julie has filed a complaint of sexual assault againat Gilbert Rozon,” Louis Noel said.“That’s all I’m saying for now.”Noel said Snyder would not be giving any immediate interviews on the matter.Various media reports say the alleged incident occurred around 20 years ago.Snyder, 50, announced Saturday her Productions J company would cut its ties with Just For Laughs as long as Rozon, 62, owned shares in the comedy festival.Ten women accused Rozon last week of sexual harassment or sexual assault, with some claiming they were teenagers at the time.Snyder has been a household figure in Quebec for years. Her face appears regularly on the cover of the numerous publications in the province dedicated to tracking the latest gossip surrounding entertainment personalities.Hundreds of people lined the streets in Quebec City in August 2015 for her nuptials with Peladeau, an event described as “the wedding of the year” and which was attended by politicians and TV and music stars.Quebec City Mayor Regis Labeaume officiated the ceremony.Snyder and Peladeau, who had known each other for some 15 years, separated for good in January 2016.Just For Laughs, meanwhile, said earlier Monday it has mandated RBC Capital Markets to look into the various possible options surrounding the sale of Rozon’s shares.That announcement came three days after the organization said Rozon would sell all his shares amid the allegations.Rozon founded Just For Laughs in 1983 and was serving as president when he resigned last week as news of the allegations surfaced.He also stepped down as vice-president of the Montreal Chamber of Commerce and as head of the committee behind Montreal’s 375th-anniversary celebrations.last_img read more


first_img LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Advertisement PARIS — Director Guillermo del Toro has called out a Canadian airline in a multi-tweet diatribe about his travel woes, which he insists was not fuelled by anger, but rather concern for any passenger attempting to navigate the “Sphinx-like” complexities of baggage retrieval.The Oscar winner recounted his quest to track down a missing bag in a series of tweets mentioning Air Canada on Thursday, saying the saga began when he arrived in Paris two days ago to be welcomed by “1 lost bag. 1 broken handle.”Of possible interest to @AirCanada : Arrived to Paris 2 days ago. 1 lost bag. 1 broken handle. Waited and hour, then filed the report. 24 hours later no one had contacted me. Many calls, email and messages later (no response at all) I spent hours tracking my bag–— Guillermo del Toro (@RealGDT) June 28, 2018 Mexican film director Guillermo del Toro called out Air Canada in a multi-tweet diatribe about his travel woes involving his luggage. – Refugio Ruiz / AP Photo Twitter Advertisementcenter_img Facebook Login/Register With: Advertisement He tweeted that a series of inquiries to Air Canada over the next 24 hours went unanswered, later realizing that his report had been filed under the wrong email address.After enlisting the help of friends in Toronto to call the airline, del Toro says he was assured that the bag would arrive, and it did — but his troubles wouldn’t end there.I offered to go to terminal 2 and pick it up myself. No contact for the delivery company wass offered (except a wrong number) the company is called J.A.P. Transports and the only review you can find on them are 1 star reviews. I must agree…— Guillermo del Toro (@RealGDT) June 28, 2018Del Toro claims Air Canada then handed over the bag to a French delivery service, which after further communication issues, told him to his parcel would be dropped off within a three-hour window.On the penultimate day of his stay, he waited patiently for the delivery, first by the door, then on the street where he chatted with passersby. Several selfies later, he says, still no bag.I contacted them by finding a phone in a complaint in Google. I called. They said it would arrive between 5-8 PM. On my penultimate dsay here I waited patiently, first by the door, then standing on the street for an hour (nice conversation and selfies ensued) but alas, no call…— Guillermo del Toro (@RealGDT) June 28, 2018Despite offering to meet his luggage at the airport terminal, del Toro says he has yet to be reunited with his belongings.It’s not about the bag — although it contains a four-volume set of short stories by Russian writer Anton Chekhov — or demanding preferential service, he insists.last_img read more

Mining company fined 200000 for dumping waste in BC river system

first_imgQUESNEL, B.C. – A mining company operating in British Columbia has been fined for violating the Fisheries Act.The federal Environment Ministry says in a news release that Barkerville Gold Mines Ltd. was fined $200,000 on Jan. 12 after it pleaded guilty in provincial court to violations related to effluent regulations.An inspection of the mine by ministry enforcement officers found the company was depositing liquid waste into Lowhee Creek in B.C.’s Cariboo region without having notified authorities.The creek is part of the Willow River system, which the ministry says is an important fish-bearing watershed.The inspection also found the mine was failing to complete sampling and submit reports on time.The ministry says the fine will paid into the government’s environmental damages fund.last_img read more

SecretaryGeneral condemns deadly dual attacks in Istanbul

28 July 2008Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has strongly condemned last night’s twin bombings in Istanbul that have killed at least 16 civilians and injured many others. “He deeply regrets the loss of life and conveys his sympathies to the families of the victims and the wounded,” Mr. Ban’s spokesperson said in a statement released today.Media reports say two explosions occurred within minutes of each other last night in the Gungoren residential neighbourhood of Istanbul, Turkey’s largest city.

TransCanada PR firm cut ties over Energy East campaign concerns

A Canadian pipeline company will no longer work with a controversial U.S. public relations firm on the Energy East proposal after leaked documents raised concerns about suggested tactics.TransCanada has cut ties with the multinational firm Edelman on the campaign to build support for a plan to bring Alberta’s oil sands crude to eastern refineries after it recommended secretly using third parties to attack the pipeline’s opponents.The tactics were contained in documents leaked to the environmental group Greenpeace.“In the current environment, we can’t have the respectful conversation that we want to have with Canadians and Quebecers about Energy East,” TransCanada spokesman Tim Duboyce said Wednesday in a release.“We need to discuss the project on its merits, responding to valid concerns such as how we will protect water and marine life, instead of talking about communications tactics.”The documents outlined what Edelman call a strategy with a “strong heritage in the more aggressive politics and policy fights in the U.S.”Edelman recommended working with proxies to secretly “add layers of difficulties for our opponents,” the documents say. The plan suggested TransCanada conduct research on environmental groups and hand the results over to third parties, who can “put the pressure on, especially when TransCanada can’t.“We will work with third parties and arm them with the information they need to pressure opponents and distract them from their mission.”TransCanada immediately denied it had implemented those tactics, which were widely criticized. Edelman defended its proposal in a statement released Wednesday, the first time it had addressed the issue.“We stand by our strategy,” it said. “It was both ethical and moral, and any suggestion to the contrary is untrue.“Unfortunately, the conversation about our efforts has become so loud in certain areas that it is impossible to have an open and honest conversation about the pipeline project.”TransCanada has its work cut out for it, said Keith Stewart of Greenpeace.“They’re going to face a skeptical public,” he said.“We want to see a different approach, not just a different PR company. How the debate is conducted is always important to the substance of the debate.”TransCanada has acknowledged some of Edelman’s advice is in play. The company will collect publicly available information on its opponents and has started an extensive social media campaign.But spokesman James Millar said TransCanada will also increase its community meetings and public engagement.“You need to get out there and speak to people,” he said. “That’s a good idea on both sides.” Millar said TransCanada signed up 1,500 supporters on its social media website last week after news broke about Edelman’s suggestions.“It’s not the old world that a lot of people are used to. There’s a new way of doing business and that means engaging with people on their own turf and on their own terms and we need to focus on that.”Edelman, in its documents, proposed a campaign directed at opposition groups like the Council of Canadians and the David Suzuki Foundation, as well as a small community group in Ottawa that usually fights for more bike lanes and park enhancements.Ben Powless, an anti-pipeline campaigner at Ecology Ottawa, said he was somewhat surprised that Edelman, the largest independent public relations firm based on revenues, would be concerned about his small group’s influence. Ecology Ottawa has about nine paid employees and mainly relies on volunteers who tend to be students and retirees.“To me, it’s a smear campaign really trying to shut down the voices of local people who have legitimate concerns,” Powless said.With files from The New York Times News Service read more

Nestle buying Quebec vitamin maker Atrium Innovations for US23 billion

MONTREAL — European packaged goods giant Nestle says it will acquire Quebec-based vitamin maker Atrium Innovations for US$2.3 billion.Nestle says the purchase of the privately-held company will support growth in its consumer health-care business.The deal is expected to close in the first quarter of 2018, subject to customary approvals.Established in 1999, Atrium’s 2017 sales are expected to reach almost US$700 million. Its largest brand is Garden of Life, which is sold in more than 14,000 health food stores and online in the U.S.Atrium and its 1,400 employees will become part of Nestle Health Science, a division of the world’s largest food and beverage company. Its existing management team will remain in place, headed by president and CEO Peter Luther.Nestle Health Science CEO Greg Behar says the Atrium brands will extend its range of products by adding probiotics, plant-based protein nutrition, meal replacements and an extensive multivitamin line that is part of a fast-growing consumer trend. read more

We are not against Muslims – Bodu Bala Sena

He said that even if Singhalese Buddhists take part in unethical activities the ‘Bodu Bala Sena’ will strongly oppose it.“We will not promote anti-religious activities and that is why even on our website we put a statement against the campaign using Facebook,” he said. “We condemn any attempt to degrade any religion. We have nothing against Muslims. We were not involved in the Maharagama incident or in Kulliyapitiya. Our fight is only against unethical elements,” he said. Withanage said that the main goal of the ‘Bodu Bala Sena’ is to strengthen Singhalese and Buddhism and not attack a religion. The ‘Bodu Bala Sena’ says it has lodged a complaint with the police saying some groups were using the name of the organization to create a rift between Buddhists and Muslims.Executive Committee member of the ‘Bodu Bala Sena’ Dilantha Withanage told The Sunday Leader that the logo of the organization had been used in Kulliyapitiya during a protest by a group recently. read more

Warrant reissued for Mahendran Arjun further remanded

A warrant was reissued for the arrest of former Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran over the Central Bank treasury bond scam.The court was told that steps are being taken to obtain an Interpol red notice to arrest Mahendran. Meanwhile Perpetual Treasuries head Arjun Aloysius and Chief Executive Officer Kasun Palisena have been further remanded till April 12 by the Fort Magistrate over the scam. (Colombo Gazette)

Saskatchewans Wall aims to woo Quebec on Energy East as opposition grows

Saskatchewan’s Wall aims to woo Quebec on Energy East as opposition grows SAINT JOHN, N.B. – A day after pitching the Energy East pipeline to an enthusiastic New Brunswick crowd, Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall faces a more skeptical audience Thursday: Quebec.Wall, continuing a swing through Eastern Canada, told an energy conference in Saint John Wednesday the $15.7 billion project proposed by TransCanada (TSX:TRP) will benefit all of Canada, will be safe, and won’t make climate change worse.The project would transport more than a million barrels of western Canadian oil a day to refineries in Eastern Canada and a marine terminal in Saint John.“If we’ve made a mistake, perhaps it’s that we haven’t been as engaged as we could have been, with our neighbours and our friends, with telling the real story,” he said during a speech that closed to a standing ovation.Many of the people in the audience were from the Saint John business community and Irving Oil, who would benefit from the pipeline and a proposed export terminal.But Wall heads to Montreal Thursday for a meeting with Philippe Couillard, the premier of Quebec, where Energy East has run into stiff opposition. Politicians, environmentalists and other critics there question whether the ecological risks outweigh the economic rewards, concerns that Wall said he understands.“While a big part of the project is conversion, the new construction does go through Quebec. So it is reasonable that Quebecers would have serious questions about that. It’s a lot of construction in some potentially pretty sensitive areas,” he said.“Let’s make sure we do it in a safe way, but let’s make sure we answer all of the questions that Quebecers have and satisfy the concerns that they have,” Wall said.On Wednesday, though, the Assembly of First Nations of Quebec and Labrador formally declared its opposition to Energy East.A resolution adopted in Quebec City requests that Ghislain Picard, the AFN chief for the region, lead opposition to the pipeline, both inside and outside the province of Quebec.And it says the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People — officially adopted last month by the Trudeau government — bolsters aboriginal rights over lands and resources affected by the pipeline project.Wall has also been at odds on social media with Montreal-area mayors who oppose Energy East.He has said the pipeline is expected to generate $55 million in economic benefits for Canada, including $4.3 billion in Saskatchewan and $9.3 billion in Quebec.The Council of Canadians issued a statement calling Wall’s tour of Ontario, Quebec and New Brunswick “a desperate attempt to save a failing project.”“Wall is acting as an industry lobbyist for a pipeline that’s a huge economic liability for Saskatchewan and all of Canada, not to mention an environmental and public health disaster,” said the council’s Daniel Cayley-Daoust.In Saint John, Wall said Canada needs to reduce its dependence on imported oil and needs to find a safer way to get western Canadian oil to tidewater for export. Wall said that the pipeline would eliminate 1,500 rail tankers per day from rail lines across the country.Energy East dominated a closed-door discussion between Wall and New Brunswick Premier Brian Gallant earlier in the day.“We talked about how the Energy East project would allow New Brunswick, Quebec and the country to reduce its dependency on foreign oil,” Gallant said in an interview following the meeting.“We also talked about how it is a safer mode of transport. Hundreds of thousands of rail cars each year go through major cities in the country.”Gallant said he and Wall agree that a pipeline would stimulate economic growth and there is a need to continue to promote the project.“It’s important for us to keep going to different areas of the country and to our respective provinces to talk about how we think this will have a positive impact on job creation and the economy,” Gallant said. “It’s great to have national leaders like Brad Wall talk about this in Toronto and in Saint John.” by Kevin Bissett, The Canadian Press Posted Jun 15, 2016 7:52 am MDT Last Updated Jun 15, 2016 at 3:00 pm MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email read more

In turnaround commodities giant Glencore to resume dividend

by The Associated Press Posted Dec 1, 2016 10:35 am MDT Last Updated Dec 1, 2016 at 11:20 am MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email FILE – This April 14, 2011 file picture shows the Glencore headquarters in Baar, Switzerland. Commodities giant Glencore has announced Thursday Dec. 1, 2016 a $1 billion dividend after announcing that its debt-reduction plans are far ahead of pace. The Anglo-Swiss company says it’s reinstating the dividend after having completed divestment processes at $6.3 billion, over three times its previous guidance. (AP Photo/Keystone, Urs Flueeler, file) In turnaround, commodities giant Glencore to resume dividend GENEVA – Commodities giant Glencore will resume paying a dividend worth $1 billion, a sign of improved financial health for a company that was just last year facing questions about its ability to cope with slumping prices.The Anglo-Swiss company says it’s reinstating the dividend next year after having sold off assets worth US$6.3 billion — over three times its previous guidance.Two major Canadian pension funds were among the buyers, paying a total of US$3.125 billion to buy nearly half of the Swiss company’s agricultural products division, which includes the Viterra grain-handling business.Glencore — based in Baar, Switzerland, but listed in London — has about 150 mining and metallurgical sites. It markets over 90 commodities including copper, zinc and nickel to industrial customers.Its shares nosedived last year as investors worried about Glencore’s ability to handle debt. The company responded by cutting production and costs, and selling off assets.It acquired Viterra — a multinational grain handler and agricultural products company headquartered in Regina — in late 2012 for C$6.1 billion.In April of this year, the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board agreed to pay US$2.5 billion for 40 per cent of the Glencore Agri agricultural products business that includes Viterra. In June, the British Columbia Investment Management Corp. agreed to buy 9.99 per cent of Glencore Agri for US$624.9 million cash.CEO Ivan Glasenberg said Thursday that Glencore had delivered on its commitments to cut its debt and strengthen its balance sheet, and now “can look forward to the future with confidence.” read more