Amaravati(AP): Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy was Thursday sworn in as the chief minister of Andhra Pradesh and on his first day in office, he ordered enhancement of old age pension for the poor — one of his party’s nine pre-poll promises, “Navaratnalu”. Governor E S L Narasimhan administered the oath of office and secrecy to the 46-year-old leader, whose party won 151 seats in the 175-member strong state assembly. Reddy took the oath in Telugu at 12.23 pm amid thunderous cheers by scores of party leaders and workers in a brief ceremony at the IGMC Stadium in Vijayawada. Also Read – Dussehra with a ‘green’ twist His council of ministers is expected to be sworn in on June 7. “For all the hardship I faced for nine years… the 3,648 km ‘padayatra’ (foot march) I undertook… you all blessed me so much that you gave me a victory as big as the sky. I have seen your troubles, listened to your grievances. I assure you that I am here to address all of them,” an emotional Reddy said after taking oath. After the swearing-in ceremony, Reddy signed a file for enhancing the monthly old age pension from Rs 1,000 to Rs 3,000 for the poor. Also Read – India receives its first Rafale fighter jet from France The chief minister also announced appointment of four lakh village volunteers (educated unemployed youth) by August 15 this year to work in the proposed ‘Grama Sachivalayams’ (village secretariats). Each volunteer would be paid a monthly honorarium of Rs 5,000 till they find a better job, Reddy said. “Navaratnalu” also includes promises of supporting farmers with a grant of Rs 12,500 per annum; phased implementation of liquor ban and implementation of ‘Aaroygyasri’ scheme, under which financial assistance of Rs 10,000 will be given to patients suffering from serious diseases. Reddy also assured of a total clean up of the state administration to root out corruption through “revolutionary and transparent” governance. Any existing contract for development projects would be scrapped if corruption is detected, the YSRCP chief said. He was alluding to the Polavaram project, capital city Amaravati and other major works that stoked controversies during the previous Chandrababu Naidu-led government’s regime. A dedicated call centre would be opened in the Chief Minister’s Office on Independence Day to receive complaints, if any, on corruption at any level, Reddy announced. “All government benefits under different welfare schemes will henceforth be delivered at the doorsteps of beneficiaries by the village volunteers,” he said. “Any new application seeking welfare benefits will be disposed of within 72 hours,” he added. The chief minister also promised that there would be “no discrimination of any kind” in disbursal of welfare benefits. Just before Reddy’s address, Christian pastors, Muslim maulvis and Hindu priests recited prayers and blessed him. He is the second chief minister of the state post its bifurcation in 2014. Vedic scholars from the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams blessed the YSRC president at his residence here ahead of the oath-taking ceremony. Reddy reached the stadium and went round the galleries in an open-top jeep to greet thousands of people who had come to witness the event. Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao, DMK chief M K Stalin and Puducherry Health Minister Malladi Krishna Rao were the special guests at the swearing-in ceremony. Telangana Deputy Chief Minister Mahmood Ali, Assembly Speaker Pocharam Srinivasa Reddy, minister Talasani Srinivasa Yadav also attended the ceremony. Reddy’s mother and YSRC honorary president Y S Vijayamma, his wife Bharati and sister Sharmila and family members were seated on the dais. Maverick film director Ram Gopal Varma, who normally stays away from politics, specially attended Reddy’s swearing-in ceremony. Naidu, who was invited by Reddy over phone, decided to stay away from the function. The YSR Congress also decimated Naidu-led Telugu Desam Party in the recent general election, winning 22 of the 25 Lok Sabha seats in the state. read more
Kolkata: The state Education department on Thursday shortened the duration of summer holidays in state schools and announced that classes in both primary and secondary schools will commence from June 10.A notification in this regard was brought out by the department after state Education minister Partha Chatterjee posted on his Facebook page earlier in the day that schools will open from June 10. The earlier notification of the department had declared summer holidays till June 30. Also Read – City bids adieu to Goddess DurgaIt may be mentioned that Chatterjee had held a meeting with the West Bengal Board of Secondary Education and other concerned officials on Tuesday and had said that the decision to have summer holidays in schools till June 30 was being reviewed. He had said that he would also speak with the weather office and Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, before bringing out any fresh notification in this regard. There have been requests from students, a section of teachers as well as guardians to reconsider the decision of closure of schools till June 30. Also Read – Centuries-old Durga Pujas continue to be hit among revellersIt was May 3 when the Education department had issued a notification declaring that all government, government-sponsored and non-government aided schools in the state will remain closed on May 3 and May 4 due to the predicted severe cyclonic storm Fani. It had further stated that all these schools will also remain closed from May 6 to May 20 until commencement of summer vacation, due to the prevailing heat wave. It had added that schools will remain closed till June 30 due to anticipated extreme weather conditions. read more
Mumbai: Indian Oiltanking limited (IOT) continues its profitable streak for a second consecutive year as it records a near-double total comprehensive income of nearly Rs157 crore in its approved audited financials for FY19. The double-digit percentage rise in profits clearly marks sustained profitability for the company that achieved a turnaround in FY18. Sanjiv Singh, Chairman of IOT Board and Indian Oil Corporation received the performance with enthusiasm and observed, “I am happy to note Indian Oiltanking’s positive financial performance despite volatile market factors during last fiscal. It stands testimony to IOT’s operational efficiencies and versatility across geographies. Looking forward to another exciting financial year for IOT.” Also Read – SC declines Oil Min request to stay sharing of documentsSpeaking on the financials, Vivek Venkatachalam, Managing Director, IOT said, “Despite the market challenges we faced, we’re proud to share that we rose to these challenge We have identified adjacencies and new opportunities to deliver yet another profitable year, and are already working to raise the benchmark for FY20.” Indian Oiltanking is a pioneering and a leading service provider for Oil Marketing Companies, offering its technology, tankage and talent to Store and Distribute fuel products to retailers, letting OMCs focus on their core strengths. Also Read – World suffering ‘synchronized slowdown’, says new IMF chiefSharing IOT’s future strategy, Vivek added, “With our excellence in POL fuel Terminalling established, we’re carving our niche in Compressed Biogas. Our poultry-fed biogas plant in Tamilnadu is already working on vehicle-ready biogas, soon to be retailed across IOC’s outlets in South India. We’re also keen to replicate this model at more places in Maharashtra, Andhra and TN. IOT has inked a Memorandum of Understanding with the Indian Oil Corporation to generate 15 tonnes of Compressed Biogas per day, and the product shall reach IOC’s retail outlets later this year.” read more
New Delhi: In 2019, as many as 1,457 family members were called to police stations so far, after their relatives or children were found involved in eve teasing.The family members were told to control and counselled the eve-teasers. Police sources told Millennium Post that under Delhi Police scheme ‘Shishtachar’ in the current year, as many as 2,352 eve-teasers were nabbed from 15 districts in Delhi. “Rohini district nabbed 1,180 eve-teasers whereas West Delhi successfully caught 547 culprits involved in eve-teasing,” added police data. Also Read – Cylinder blast kills mother and daughter in Karawal NagarIt was further revealed that Central-12, North West-54, Outer North-206, South West-103, East-98, Shahdara-10, North East-31, South East-3, Dwarka-18, Outer-90 eve-teasers were caught. The data further revealed that at various police stations in Rohini district, as many as 1,180 members were called. In Central Delhi-11, East-57, Shahdara-10, North East-18, Outer-87, West-94 family members were called to police stations. As many as 42 eve-teasers were counselled through religious preachers. Also Read – Two persons arrested for killing manager of Muthoot FinanceFor the safety of young girls, women in the city, the Delhi Police had deployed 389 women personnel in 15 districts of city police. Nearly 832 times team reacted during eve-teasing bids. Deputy Commissioner of Police (New Delhi) Madhur Verma said that after they caught eve teasers, their families were called to police stations. “We told parents to control their children and also counselled them,” said DCP (New Delhi) adding that in some incidents, they also register criminal cases. The youth is counselled to not repeat such acts in the future and respect women. Under ‘Shishtachar’, women police officers, dressed in plain clothes, have been deployed at busy places like markets, metro stations, cinema halls and buses to keep watch on eve teasers and anti-social elements. Under the scheme, culprits were apprehended and taken to the police station for further action. Last year, 18,717 persons have been detained under this scheme. According to Delhi Police data, last year as many as 569 cases of eve-teasing reported whereas in 2017, nearly 621 cases and in 2016-894 cases reported. Delhi Police said that they accorded maximum importance in providing safety to women. Preventive efforts of Delhi Police in this regard include measures like police night patrol, a mobile women police team, presence of women in PCR vans and deployment of policemen/policewomen around girls colleges and schools etc. There have been many drives against eve-teasers. read more
Mumbai: Domestic equity benchmark BSE Sensex plunged over 400 points in early trade Monday amid heavy foreign fund outflow and weak domestic as well as global cues. The 30-share index was trading 373.14 points or 0.97 per cent lower at 37,963.87 at 0930 hours; and the broader Nifty also sank 116.80 points or 1.02 per cent to 11,302.45. In the previous session, the 30-share index cracked 560.45 points or 1.44 per cent to settle at 38,337.01. Similarly, the broader NSE Nifty sank 177.65 points or 1.53 per cent to 11,419.25. This was the second-biggest fall for the Sensex in 2019. The index had plunged 792.82 points on July 8 following the Budget. Also Read – Thermal coal import may surpass 200 MT this fiscal In early trade, HDFC Bank was among the top losers in the Sensex pack, cracking up to 3 per cent, after the lender reported a rise in non-performing assets (NPAs). During the quarter, gross NPAs rose to Rs 11,768.95 crore which is 1.40 per cent of the total advances, compared with Rs 9,538.62 crore which was 1.33 per cent in the same quarter 2018-19 fiscal. Other losers included Bajaj Finance, HDFC, IndusInd Bank, Kotak Bank, ONGC, HUL, ITC, NTPC, Bharti Airtel and ICICI Bank, falling up to 2.85 per cent. Also Read – Food grain output seen at 140.57 mt in current fiscal on monsoon boost On the other hand, Vedanta, Tata Motors, Yes Bank, Sun Pharma, Hero MotoCorp, Asian Paints and Maruti were among the top gainers, rising up to 3.54 per cent. On a net basis, foreign institutional investors sold equities worth Rs 950.15 crore, while domestic institutional investors purchased shares to the tune of Rs 733.92 crore, provisional data available with stock exchanges showed Friday. According to experts, the selloff by foreign funds was due to the government’s reluctance to tweak foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) income tax surcharge. The deficiency in monsoon rain and weak corporate earnings have also impacted the risk sentiment, they said. With domestic investors already battling concerns of a slowing economy, markets are witnessing broad-based selling, said Sunil Sharma, Chief Investment Officer, Sanctum Wealth Management. “The market reaction post the BJP victory in 2019 is in stark contrast to the bullish tenor in 2014, and market participants expecting a repeat of 2014 are clearly disappointed, he added. Meanwhile, the Indian rupee depreciated 22 paise (intra-day) to 69.02 against the US dollar. The global oil benchmark Brent crude futures were trading 1.34 per cent higher at 63.31 per barrel. Elsewhere in Asia, Shanghai Composite Index, Hang Seng, Nikkei and Kospi were trading in the red in their respective early sessions. read more
New Delhi: Karnataka political rivals, BJP’s B S Yeddyurappa and D K Shivakumar of Congress, were seen on the same side in the Supreme Court on Friday — opposing an application seeking to revive an alleged corruption case relating to denotification of land in Bengaluru.The matter, which came up for hearing before a bench of Justices Arun Mishra and M R Shah, saw their advocates questioning the maintainability of the application filed by an intervenor for reviving the criminal case in which the complainant has already withdrawn his plea. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM’The issue relates to denotification of 4.20 acres of land allegedly in contravention of the Karnataka Restriction of Transfer of Land Act, 1991. Senior advocates Mukul Rohatgi and A M Singhvi, who were appearing for Yeddyurappa and Shivakumar respectively, told the bench that the complainant in the case had withdrawn his appeal from the apex court last year and a third party, who has nothing to do in the case, cannot be allowed to intervene at this stage. Also Read – Farooq demands unconditional release of all detainees in J&KShivakumar was present in the courtroom during the hearing. Advocate Prashant Bhushan, appearing for intervenor NGO ‘Samaj Parivartana Samudaya’, told the bench that complainant had withdrawn his plea from the apex court on mentioning the matter before a bench but intervention plea can be heard. He sought recall of the February 21 order by which the plea filed by the complainant was “dismissed as withdrawn” by the top court. “A tentative chief minister of Karnataka is one of the respondents (in the matter). A person who is likely to become the chief minister today is involved. The other person was then a minister in Karnataka,” Bhushan told the bench in an apparent reference to Yeddyurappa and Shivakumar. Rohatgi told the court that complainant had withdrawn his plea from the apex court and “the application for revival is by an intervenor”. “What is his concern?,” Rohatgi said. Singhvi argued that the Karnataka High Court had quashed criminal proceedings in the case and the complainant, who had moved the apex court challenging the order, has already withdrawn his appeal. The bench said that it would hear arguments on the maintainability of the application filed by the intervenor. During the hearing, when the bench asked Singhvi as to for whom he was appearing in the matter, the senior counsel said he was representing Shivakumar. “We are not influenced by names,” the bench observed. To this, Singhvi said it is Bhushan who submitted before the court that respondents in the matter are a tentative chief minister and a former minister. A trial court in Karnataka had in February 2012 taken cognisance of a private complaint filed against Yeddyurappa, Shivakumar and others in the matter. The high court had in December 2015, however, quashed the criminal proceedings initiated on the complaint. read more
Kolkata: Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray on Wednesday met Trinamool Congress supremo and Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee at Nabanna and requested her to attend the MNS rally in Mumbai on August 21 in support of reintroducing ballot paper during elections.During the meeting, Thackeray sought support from Banerjee who has organised a rally on July 21 on the same lines. She had given a clarion call to replace the present format of elections with ballots, which was later supported by various Opposition parties, including Congress. Wednesday’s meeting was also significant in the context of the state elections in Maharashtra, which is likely to be held in October. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari PujaIt may be mentioned here that MNS did not contest the Lok Sabha elections, but Thackeray had addressed rallies against Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA). After the meeting, Thackeray told the reporters: “We have to fight together to save democracy. In the recently concluded Lok Sabha polls, there were irregularities. We came to know that in around 370 constituencies, the EVMs had malfunctioned. The rest of the world has abandoned the EVMs. The Bengal Chief Minister has also held a rally here in the city, placing a similar demand. We will take out a similar rally in Mumbai on August 21 and therefore urge her to attend the programme.” Also Read – Bengal civic volunteer dies in road mishap on national highway”Earlier, I also met Sonia Gandhi in this regard. We requested the Election Commission to conduct elections using ballot papers. Mamata Banerjee has been on a relentless stride to restore democracy in the country. We all need to put up a united fight towards this direction,” the MNS chief said. Speaking to the reporters, the Chief Minister said at Nabanna: “Thackeray requested me to go to Mumbai to join the MNS rally on August 21, the basic premise of which is similar to the message we had delivered during our rally on July 21. I could not assure him whether I will be able to visit his place as I have to check if I have some other preoccupations on that day. I have listened to what he intended to say. He is also concerned as to how the democracy in the country can be saved. The main objective of MNS rally is also the reintroduction of ballot papers during elections.” Around 23 Opposition parties had moved the Election Commission ahead of the Lok Sabha elections, urging it to conduct elections in ballot papers but the demand had been rejected. Taking a dig at BJP, Banerjee said: “Like other states, they predicted how many seats they would get in Maharashtra before the election result was out. Who would believe them, if this is the situation in the country? The countries like Japan, UK and USA do not use EVMs during elections. Why should we accept the EVM when we all know the truth?” read more
New Delhi: The ED on Thursday raided the premises linked to erstwhile Ranbaxy promoters, Malvinder Mohan Singh and Shivinder Mohan Singh, in connection with a money-laundering case, agency officials said. They said the raids were conducted after the filing of a case under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). The action is being seen in the backdrop of charges of alleged financial irregularities against the two brothers and the subsequent downfall of their businesses.
Ingredients Milk1l Sugar200 g Cream500 g Panna base100 g Dextrose Sugar20 g Milk Powder20 g Egg Yolk9 Vanilla5 g Fresh Blueberry300 g Sugar60 gPreparation Place the fruits in a large bowl and add sugar. Mix to coat the fruits thoroughly. Let rest at room temperature for 15 to 30 minutes. Transfer the macerated blueberries to a saucepan. Place over medium-high heat and bring to boil. Lower the heat and simmer until the blueberries have broken down and the syrup has thickened, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate at least 2 hours or overnight. Also Read – PUMPKIN MASH, TAMATAR RASSAIn a medium saucepan, mix milk and cream. Warm at 40°C until foam forms around the edges. Remove from heat. In a large bowl, beat the egg yolks and sugar until frothy. Gradually pour the warm milk into the egg yolks, whisking constantly. Return mixture to saucepan; cook over medium heat at 85°C for 2 minutes, stirring until the mixture gels slightly and coats the back of the spoon. If small egg lumps begin to show, remove from heat immediately. Pour the mixture through a sieve or fine strainer into a bowl. Chill on ice bath and keep in the refrigerator. Whisk the blueberry puree into the prepared gelato base. Pour into the bowl of an ice cream maker and churn. Stop the machine when it is icy yet soft. Transfer the gelato to an airtight container and freeze until firm, about two hours. (Courtesy: Shangri-la, New Delhi) read more
Mumbai: Domestic equity benchmark BSE Sensex jumped over 250 points in early session on Friday led by gains in banking and energy stocks amid reports that the government is likely to roll back higher surcharge on foreign portfolio investors. After surging 285 points in opening trade, the 30-share index was trading 238.59 points or 0.64 per cent higher at 37,565.95 at 0945 hours; and the broader Nifty too rose 73.10 points or 0.66 per cent to 11,105.55. Also Read – Thermal coal import may surpass 200 MT this fiscal In the previous session on Thursday, the 30-share index finished at 37,327.36, showing a jump of 636.86 points or 1.74 per cent. While, the NSE Nifty climbed 176.95 points or 1.63 per cent to 11,032.45. Top gainers in the Sensex pack during early trade included PowerGrid, Vedanta, HDFC twins, Hero MotoCorp, RIL, NTPC, Bajaj Finance, L&T and HCL Tech, rising up to 2 per cent. While, Tata Motors, M&M, TechM, ITC, Bharti Airtel, Yes Bank, Infosys and TCS fell up to 1.41 per cent. Also Read – Food grain output seen at 140.57 mt in current fiscal on monsoon boost Trading sentiment received a much-needed boost after reports emerged on Thursday stating the Centre is likely to withdraw higher surcharge on foreign portfolio investors (FPIs), introduced in the Budget, and may also take a re-look at the long-term capital gains tax. Reports also suggest that leading overseas investors will meet finance ministry officials on Friday as the government seeks to ease concerns over dwindling FPI inflow. Foreign investors have been on a selling spree since the Budget was presented in July, putting pressure on both the capital markets and the rupee. FPIs sold shares worth a net of Rs 437.39 crore on Thursday, while domestic institutional investors bought shares worth Rs 291.29 crore, provisional data showed. Market has got a a breather due to the expectation that the government is likely to be lenient on higher surcharge on FPIs. Additionally, prospects of lower interest rate going forward and strength in rupee will ease liquidity crunch situation, said Vinod Nair, Head of Research, Geojit Financial Services. Meanwhile, the rupee appreciated 17 paise against its previous close to trade at 70.51 in early session. Brent crude futures, the global oil benchmark, slipped 0.26 per cent to trade at 57.23 per barrel. Elsewhere in Asia, Hang Seng, Kospi, Shanghai Composite Index and Nikkei were trading on a mixed note in their respective late morning sessions. While, bourses on Wall Street ended higher on Thursday. read more
Pune: A special CBI court here rejected the bail application of Vikram Bhave, an accused in the Narendra Dabholkar murder case, on Saturday. Additional Sessions Judge R M Pande denied bail to Bhave saying that prima facie (on the face of it) there was evidence against him, said special public prosecutor Prakash Suryavanshi. In May, Sanjeev Punalekar, a lawyer, and Bhave, his assistant, were arrested by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in connection with the case. Punalekar is accused of giving advice to Sharad Kalaskar, one of the alleged assailants who shot Dabholkar, to destroy the firearms used in the killings of Dabholkar as well as journalist Gauri Lankesh. He was granted bail last month. read more
New Delhi: Reliance Industries and UK’s BP plc have taken over the 10 per cent shareholding of their partner Niko Resources in the eastern offshore KG-D6 block after the Canadian firm defaulted on paying for its share of gas field development cost. Sources with knowledge of the development said the oil minister has given ‘unconditional’ nod to Reliance and BP for taking over 10 per cent interest of Niko in KG-DWN-98/3 or KG-D6 block in the Bay of Bengal. Also Read – Thermal coal import may surpass 200 MT this fiscalReliance and BP split Niko’s share in proportion to their existing shareholding in the block. Subsequent to this, Reliance’s stake in KG-D6 has gone up to 66.67 per cent from previous 60 per cent and that of BP to 33.33 per cent from 30 per cent, the sources said. E-mails sent to Reliance and BP for comments remained unanswered. Niko, which defaulted on payment of loans to its lenders, has been unsuccessful in seeking a possible buyer for its 10 per cent stake in Bay of Bengal block KG-D6 or securing financing for its share of the $5 billion R-Cluster, Satellite Cluster and MJ development projects in the block. This led to the company defaulting in making payments for its share of development cost in early October 2018. read more
TORONTO – There was no winning ticket for Friday night’s $50 million Lotto Max jackpot.There were also two Maxmillions prizes of $1 million each up for grabs, but neither was claimed.The jackpot for the next Lotto Max draw on May 4 will be approximately $55 million and there will be four Maxmillions prizes offered.
As the married co-creators of “Come From Away” celebrated a Tony Award win, their hearts were with the people of Gander, N.L., whose uplifting stories inspired the hit homegrown musical honoured among Broadway’s best.“Come From Away” headed into Sunday night’s ceremony in New York with seven nominations, including a nod for best musical.Christopher Ashley won for best director of a musical, but the show was shut out in all other categories. “Dear Evan Hansen” emerged as the big musical winner with six awards.Canadian co-creators Irene Sankoff and David Hein attended several Tony after-parties, including a “Come From Away” celebration and a bash at the famed Sardi’s restaurant. But as the duo partied into the wee hours, they couldn’t stop thinking about the residents of Gander.“Come From Away” is set in the remote East Coast town in the aftermath of the Sept. 11 attacks. Gander saw its population swell as the town sheltered 6,579 passengers and crew from 38 planes diverted when U.S. air space was closed.“The entire night last night we were thinking about the parties that they were having out in Gander and we knew Chris was thinking exactly the same thing,” Hein said in a phone interview Monday.“They’ve been in our heads the entire time because (the show) was based on our interviews with them. So they’ve not only followed us on Facebook, and cheered us on online and in person when they come to the show, but they’ve been in our hearts the entire time… It’s their story. It’s this story about how they welcomed the world and gave the world so much.”The province made its presence felt in Radio City Music Hall during the Tonys ceremony as Sankoff and Hein noticed a Newfoundland flag waving from the rafters.“Two lovely Newfoundlanders had come, and we all cheered and they cheered down at us and we thanked them and they thanked us,” said Hein. “It was a just a lovely moment and they came down and we all hugged.”The Newfoundland love also extended to the Tony stage.Sankoff said it “blew her mind” to see host Kevin Spacey and “The View” co-host Whoopi Goldberg engaged in tongue-in-cheek banter with a nod to “The Rock” to kick off the telecast. The Tony winners had both seen “Come From Away” and Goldberg had even sent pies to the cast, said Sankoff.It wasn’t the couple’s only brush with fame at the star-studded ceremony. They also met “Star Wars” icon Mark Hamill on the red carpet.“He is an avid theatre-goer and was so excited about this season and so excited to be coming to ‘Come From Away,’ and loved the story behind it. And it was really cool,” said Hein.“It’s really amazing meeting your heroes and just realizing they’re incredible people.”Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who saw the play in March, also offered his congratulations to Ashley.“Thanks for bringing the story of Gander to life on stage,” he tweeted.“Come From Away” picked up a slew of prizes en route to the Tonys, with outstanding musical honours from New York’s Drama Desk Awards and Outer Critics Circle Awards, and the Helen Hayes Awards in Washington, D.C.The show is also in contention for Toronto’s Dora Mavor Moore Awards later this month and is up for a pair of honours at September’s Chita Rivera Awards, which recognize theatrical dance and choreography on stage, film and TV.“Come From Away” is also preparing for a North American tour next year, as well as a sit-down production at Toronto’s Royal Alexandra Theatre.“Nothing compares to sharing this story with our friends in Newfoundland, to sharing this experience with our incredible ‘Come From Away’ family and with audiences every day,” said Hein.“We’re so blessed and so lucky, and we have the best job in the world.”—Follow @lauren_larose on TwitterNote to readers: This is a corrected story. An earlier version reported that the population of Gander doubled in size. read more
REGINA – An indigenous woman in Regina says she believes “people are going to die” because of the Saskatchewan government’s decision to shut down the provincial bus service.Connie Deiter said that’s why she has filed a complaint with the human rights commission alleging that the decision discriminates against her and other indigenous women.Deiter said First Nations women took the bus because they couldn’t afford couldn’t afford cars.“If you’re poor, you don’t have access to a vehicle, a lot of our people don’t, the only option is to hitchhike and that’s already happening,” Deiter said Thursday.“You’ll see people hitchhiking on the road now where they probably would have been taking (the bus). You never used to see them hitchhiking before … but now you’re seeing men and women with their luggage and their children. I saw that in Fort Qu’Appelle just a couple of days ago.”A friend picked up a First Nations elder who was walking with a cane and suitcase, Deiter said.She said a woman disappeared about two weeks ago while hitchhiking from Yorkton to North Battleford.“And this has been less than a month since the STC closed, so yeah I think we are looking at ‘Highways of Tears’ all over the province,” she said.Her reference was to a notorious stretch of highway in northern British Columbia that became known as the “Highway of Tears” after 18 women were murdered or disappeared since the 1970s.The Saskatchewan government said it would be inappropriate to comment on the complaint because the matter is before the human rights commission.The government shut down the 70-year-old Saskatchewan Transportation Co. at the end of May as part of an effort to tackle a $1.3 billion deficit.STC reported a net loss of $13 million in the 2015-2016 fiscal year and the government said it would need $85 million over the next five years to keep operating.The government hopes private companies will fill the void.Deiter said she’d like to see a system that’s partially funded or organized by the Saskatchewan government.In British Columbia, First Nations leaders and mayors pushed the government to fund transportation along Highway 16, which stretches between Prince George and Prince Rupert.The B.C. government finally came up with a transportation plan last year, but only after a decade of advocacy and a 2012 report from a missing women inquiry that recommended bus service along the 700-kilometre corridor where people often hitchhike to get around.Deiter said the change was only made after women died.She hopes Saskatchewan doesn’t wait for that to happen.“I just hope that the provincial government shows some sympathy or some empathy for those people who are going to be hitchhiking,” said Deiter.“I hate to be the one that’s being a foreteller of bad times, but I mean people are going to die and I’m hoping that there’s going be some sort of a change.” read more
OTTAWA – A quick look at July employment (previous month in brackets):Unemployment rate: 6.3 per cent (6.5)Employment rate: 61.6 per cent (61.6)Labour force participation rate: 65.7 per cent (65.9)Number unemployed: 1,246,800 (1,270,300)Number working: 18,421,900 (18,411,000)Youth (15-24 years) unemployment rate: 11.1 per cent (12.0)Men (25-plus) unemployment rate: 5.6 per cent (5.8)Women (25-plus) unemployment rate: 5.5 per cent (5.3)u?
FREDERICTON – Three years after a troubled Cape Breton man died after being hit repeatedly with pepper spray in prison, two correctional officers have been charged with manslaughter.RCMP had originally said foul play was not suspected in Matthew Hines’s death, but the charges come after Canada’s correctional investigator found prison staff used unnecessary force.Hines, who was serving a five-year sentence for crimes including robbery, died on May 26, 2015, at Dorchester Penitentiary in New Brunswick.Family members were originally told the 33-year-old died of a seizure, and said in a statement Wednesday they are relieved that his death has been thoroughly investigated.“Our parents waited far too long to be told the truth of how Matthew died, and now we feel it is fundamentally important to all Canadians that justice be done, and be seen to be done,” they wrote.“We trust that all who saw Matthew before and during his death look in the mirror every day with the knowledge of what they did and did not do.”On Wednesday, two men, 48-year-old Alvida Ross and 31-year-old Mathieu Bourgoin, both of Dieppe, N.B., were charged with one count each of manslaughter and criminal negligence causing death.Ivan Zinger, Canada’s correctional investigator, said in a May 2017 report that the repeated use of pepper spray at very close range appears to have contributed to Hines’ rapid onset of medical complications.He said correctional staff used unnecessary physical and chemical force and failed to properly respond to the medical emergency.Zinger also said Correctional Service Canada provided misleading and incomplete information to the public and the family about the circumstances surrounding Hines’ death.“Corrective factors taken after the fact failed to reflect the nature and gravity of staff errors and omissions that contributed to this tragic, and, by my estimation, avertable death,” Zinger said.“In this case, everything that could go wrong in a use-of-force intervention went wrong,” he said.“Although the internal investigation identified 21 legal and policy violations in the staff response, subsequently staff disciplinary proceedings were inherently flawed and self-serving.”His family has said Hines struggled with psychiatric issues since adolescence. He had been on parole in 2015 but the family said his mental health was deteriorating and they were told he could get the help he needed at Dorchester.“Matthew was distraught at being sent back to the Dorchester Penitentiary and his last words to his sister Wendy were: ‘Don’t let them kill me,’” the family said in a May 2017 statement.The family noted his death was “captured in graphic detail on video.”Last year Correctional Service Canada said one person was fired and three others were disciplined.In a statement Wednesday, CSC said it is aware of the charges and “have cooperated fully with the police investigation into the death of Mr. Hines.”“Both employees are currently on administrative leave pending review of their situation,” the statement said.Ross and Bourgoin are scheduled to appear in Moncton provincial court on Feb. 26. read more
TORONTO – The number of flu cases is continuing to rise across Canada, suggesting the peak of infections with one of the dominant circulating strains could come within a few weeks — or even sooner, say infectious diseases experts, who describe this influenza season as “unusual.”“We really haven’t seen a season quite like this in a little while,” said Dr. Michelle Murti of Public Health Ontario, referring to the mix of two primary strains making people sick during this year’s epidemic.The dominant influenza A strain is H3N2, a nasty virus that tends to infect the elderly in greater numbers, with concurrent circulation of a B strain, a type that typically causes less severe illness. Influenza B can also affect older people and is the strain that most often infects children.“Normally in a season, we’ll see a peak of influenza A happening some time towards the end of December or through January,” Murti said Monday. “And as that is coming down toward the end of February, that’s when we start to see that peak of influenza B activity into the spring and later season.”But this year’s B strain, known as B/Yamagata, began circulating in the fall, much earlier than is usually the case.British Columbia, for example, is seeing an atypical 50-50 mix of H3N2 and B/Yamagata, although other regions in Canada may have different ratios of the two strains affecting their populations, Dr. Danuta Skowronski of the BC Centre for Disease Control said from Vancouver.“The spike in influenza activity that we’re experiencing now is not unusual,” she said. “In fact, such a sharp increase in activity is a signature feature of influenza that distinguishes it from other respiratory viruses that have a more prolonged, grumbling activity through the winter period.”Skowronski described graphs illustrating flu activity as looking like a church steeple — with a sudden rise, a peak and then a sharp decline.“We are currently spiking, but whether we have passed the peak or are continuing to rise, it’s still too early to tell,” she said, adding that peaks may arrive at varying times across the country as regions and communities experience major upticks in cases at different points in the epidemic.In its weekly FluWatch report, the Public Health Agency of Canada says there were 11,277 laboratory-confirmed cases of flu across the country as of Dec. 30 — about 70 per cent attributed to H3N2 — with more than 1,000 influenza-related hospitalizations and 34 deaths.However, Murti said those figures are an underestimate of the actual number of cases, as most people don’t seek medical attention for flu and, therefore, aren’t tested. As well, not all provinces and territories keep track of hospitalizations due to influenza.“Looking at our numbers over the last couple of weeks and knowing there’s a bit of a reporting delay, we’re certainly on the upswing right now in terms of increasing activity for flu,” she said of Ontario. “So probably in the next few weeks, we’re going to continue to see increased activity.”Murti predicts the province’s peak — for H3N2 cases, at least — will likely come in the next few weeks.“But you really don’t know the peak until you’re coming down the other side,” she said.In the meantime, Skowronski advises that people at risk for influenza complications, including the elderly and those with underlying heart and lung conditions, seek immediate medical attention if they develop flu-like symptoms so they can be treated with an antiviral medication to reduce their risk for hospitalization and death.To be effective, the drugs must be taken in 12 to 48 hours from onset of symptoms, which include cough, muscle aches and fever.“Given the expectation of low vaccine effectiveness this season, especially for H3N2, that advice about getting early care for those with high-risk conditions applies to both vaccinated and unvaccinated people,” she said.Canada’s flu shot contains the same vaccine components as that used by Australia during the Southern Hemisphere’s flu season that ended in August, which was found to have only 10 per cent effectiveness in preventing H3N2.– Follow @SherylUbelacker on Twitter. read more
HUALIEN, Taiwan – Taiwanese broadcasters say two Canadians are among those killed in the earthquake that hit the country this week.They say the bodies of a Canadian couple originally from Hong Kong were found in a partially collapsed hotel on Friday.The hotel was located on the lower floors of a 12-storey building that was leaning at a 45-degree angle, forcing crews to stabilize it with steel beams.The building was one of several damaged by the magnitude 6.4 temblor that struck Tuesday in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Hualien county, whose economy is heavily dependent on tourism.The deaths of the Canadian couple, both 49, raises the death toll from the earthquake to 12, including four tourists from China and a 27-year-old Filipino employed as a household helper.Taiwan’s National Fire Agency has listed 273 people as injured.Taiwan has frequent earthquakes, most of them minor, but a 1999 quake killed more than 2,300 people and was Taiwan’s worst recent natural disaster. read more
OTTAWA – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau added his voice Wednesday to the global chorus condemning the Trump administration’s practice of separating migrant children from their parents at the border — a practice the U.S. president abruptly reversed later in the day with the stroke of a pen.Trudeau had been under pressure to condemn the so-called “zero-tolerance policy,” under which asylum seekers who cross illegally into the U.S. are charged with federal crimes and separated from their children, who are detained in guarded, fenced enclosures.He’d remained largely silent on the issue, saying only that he did not want to “play politics” on immigration policy. On Wednesday, however, his position shifted, just hours before Trump appeared to capitulate to political pressure by reversing course with an executive order.“What the Americans are doing is unacceptable — and it’s not just me who has said it; all kinds of Americans, including Republicans, have said this is unacceptable,” Trudeau told a news conference marking the end of the spring legislative sitting.“We take actions based on facts, not on fears or worries…. It seems they want to change their approach. We hope they’ll improve the system, but as far as we’re concerned this situation cannot last.”Earlier in the day, Trudeau made a point of delivering a statement as he entered the weekly caucus meeting.“What’s going on in the United States is wrong,” he said. “I can’t imagine what the families who are living through this are enduring … this is not the way we do things in Canada.”Trump’s decision to reverse the practice marked a significant turnaround for a president who has made his hardline approach to immigration a cornerstone of his political identity, and who insisted that federal law gave his administration no choice but to separate families apprehended at the border.Illegal migrants in the U.S. will continue to face the “zero-tolerance” policy, which includes detention and criminal prosecution, but the executive order will allow families to remain together while in custody, expedite their cases, and seek departmental help to house families.In Canada, the Trudeau government was again under fire over the Safe Third Country agreement with the U.S., which requires would be asylum seekers to make their claims in the first “safe country” where they arrive.That designation no longer applies to the U.S. in light of what’s happening at the Mexico/U.S. border, the Canadian Council for Refugees argued Wednesday.The government continues to monitor changes in U.S. immigration policy and the effects they will have on asylum seekers in the U.S., namely on their rights to due process in making asylum claims and appeal rights, said Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen.It’s too early to say whether the recent American policy changes will infringe on those rights, he added.“This is an evolving situation — we have to, of course, take it into consideration and see how (the U.S. zero-tolerance policy) impacts the agreement,” Hussen said.“We can’t make rash decisions.”But NDP immigration critic Jenny Kwan raised concern about the 2,300 children who have already been detained away from their parents by U.S. border security and how long it will take before they are reunited with family members now stuck within the U.S. criminal justice system.“As long as Trump is in power, the U.S. will never be a safe country for asylum seekers,” Kwan said.The Canada Border Services Agency does detain some immigrants in Canada who are considered a flight risk or a danger to the public, and those whose identities cannot be confirmed. Canadian policy on child migrants allows detained parents to keep their children with them in holding centres if other alternatives cannot be found.Concerns have been raised in the past over the number of migrant children detained every year by Canadian border officials. In 2016-17, 162 minors were detained or housed with their parents in holding centres, according to figures released by Public Safety Canada.That number has been going down, Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale said earlier this week. Last November, he issued a directive to the Canada Border Services Agency to keep children out of detention and keep families together “as much as humanly possible.”But several scientific studies on the effects of detention on child and adult asylum seekers have found any time in detention can be harmful.A study by three medical researchers from McGill University submitted to the Commons Immigration committee in 2012 found short-term detention of adult asylum seekers leads to high levels of depression and post-traumatic stress disorder, while longer-term detention aggravates these symptoms.The same study also found short term detention has a negative impact on children, with problems that include developmental delays, bedwetting, nightmares, separation anxiety, sleep disturbance, depression and suicidal behaviours.— Follow @ReporterTeresa on Twitter. read more