Two weeks of family reunions and cultural events of the CongrèsMondial Acadien will climax on Sunday, Aug. 15, with a mass inGrand Pré and a concert on Citadel Hill in Halifax. Nova Scotia’s Minister of Acadian Affairs is inviting all NovaScotians, especially Acadians, to the final events. “The Congrès is clearly the success that everyone hoped it wouldbe, and a triumph of organization, hospitality and enthusiasm,”said Chris d’Entremont. “The mass and the concert on Citadel Hillwill provide a fitting end to this wonderful event.” The mass will be celebrated by bishops from all over l’Acadie atthe pilgrimage site of Park Grand Pré. Mass will begin at 11:30a.m., with the official closing ceremonies following at about12:30 p.m. The concert at Citadel Hill will begin at 4 p.m., with thetelevised concert starting at 9 p.m., and will includeperformances by Zachary Richard, Wilfred LeBoutilier, EdithButler, Blou and Grand Dérangement. The final concert isscheduled to end at 11 p.m. “The Congrès mondial acadien is strengthening Acadian culture –and Nova Scotia’s culture — with every family encounter, everystory, every song, and it’s happening thousands of times everyday,” said Mr. d’Entremont. “Acadians are learning about theirfamilies and their shared history, and they’re having a wonderfultime doing so.” Six thousand people helped launch the Congrès mondial acadien ata ceremony in Church Point, on July 31. By the time the Congrèsends this Sunday, 2,000 activities will have taken place intraditional Acadian regions and in some predominately Englishspeaking areas throughout Nova Scotia. A parking and shuttle service will be available for thoseinterested in attending the festivities in Grand Pré. For a feeof $5 per person, participants s can park at one of five sites,and use a return shuttle to the Grand Pré site. Parking lots atthe Windsor Exhibition Grounds and Fort Edward Mall (Windsor),County Fair Mall and Walmart (New Minas), and Horton High School(Grenwich) will open at 7 a.m. For concert ticket information or further details on the Aug. 15events see the Congrès website at www.cma2004.com .
— Aug. 17 to 18: Halifax for public cruises July 7 to 10: Marblehead, Mass. for the 100th anniversary of the Marblehead to Halifax Race Sept. 22 to 23: Western Shore (vessel will be at anchor for maintenance; it will be visible to the public, but not open for viewing) Aug. 12 to 14: Port Hawkesbury for the 50th anniversary of the Canso Causeway, and public cruises — July 20 to 22: Lunenburg for public cruises July 13 to 14: Saint John, N.B. for an open house (will be dependent on tides) — July 25 to Aug. 3: Halifax for public cruises — Aug. 6 to 9: North Sydney for public cruises The Bluenose II will hit the seas on May 27 for another season ofpublic cruises and special appearances. The Lunenburg Marine Museum Society today, Feb. 23, announced thefamed schooner’s 2005 sailing schedule. The sailing season runsuntil Sept. 30. The schedule for 2005 includes: — May 27 to June 8: Halifax for public cruises — June 10 to 14: Lunenburg for public cruises — June 17 to 22: Halifax for public cruises — June 24 to July 1: Lunenburg for public cruises — July 4 to 5: Gloucester, Mass. for an open house July 16: Port Royal for the 400th anniversary of Samuel Champlain’s founding and a re-enactment of Champlain’s landing at Port Royal; vessel will be at anchor Aug. 20 to Sept. 6: Lunenburg for International Dory Races, Fishermen’s Memorial Service and public cruises July 23: Lunenburg for the 38th anniversary of the Fisheries Museum of the Atlantic and the official launch of the Amos H. Stevens vessel — Sept. 8 to 18: Halifax for public cruises — Sept. 20 to 21: Lunenburg for public cruises — Sept. 24 to 30: Lunenburg for public cruises. This schedule may change due to required ship maintenance orunfavourable weather conditions. All sailings are weatherpermitting. On the day of a scheduled sailing, the ship’s mastermay have to cancel the sailing prior to departure, in the eventof reduced visibility, fog, rain or heavy wind. To obtain a copy of the sailing schedule, visit the FisheriesMuseum of the Atlantic website at http://museum.gov.ns.ca/fma . For up-to-date information on reservations, arrivals, departuresand sailing times, contact the museum at 1-866-579-4909. The Lunenburg Marine Museum Society will begin operating theBluenose II on April 1. The locally based, non-profit societyoperates the Fisheries Museum of the Atlantic in Lunenburg.
Local Area Office: 902-893-5797 Fax: 902-896-2259 COLCHESTER COUNTY: Lilyvale Bridge Lilyvale Bridge on Lilyvale Road is closed for repairs until further notice. Traffic control consists of signs. Detours are available on Camden Road and Riversdale Road. Local Area Office: 902-542-6344 Fax: 902-542-6342 NEW WORK KINGS COUNTY: Highway 101 Full road closure of Highway 101 between Exit 8A Ben Jackson Road and Exit 9 Avonport for erection of bridge girders over Highway 101 at the West Brooklyn Underpass on Sunday, Jan. 14 Traffic control will consist of traffic control persons, barricades and detour signage. Work will take place from 7 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. PICTOU COUNTY: West River East Side Road The West River East Side Road near Salt Springs is reduced to one lane for repairs until further notice. Traffic control consists of traffic signals. Local Area Office: 902-755-7060 Fax: 902-755-7049 PICTOU COUNTY: Big Gut Bridge Big Gut Bridge, on Route 348 near Pictou Landing, is opened to motorists. A temporary bridge will accommodate one-lane traffic and will be controlled by traffic signals. The bridge width restriction is 4.2 metres. Motorists should proceed with caution. Local Area Office: 902-755-7146 Fax: 902-755-7049 Local Area Office: 902-625-4200 Fax: 902-625-1946 KINGS COUNTY: West Brooklyn Road West Brooklyn Road over Highway 101 will be closed until Saturday, March 31. to remove and replace the overpass. Work takes place from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Local Area Office: 902-827-5388 Fax: 902-827-5190 -30- Local Area Office: 902-755-7147 Fax: 902-755-7149 HALIFAX REGIONAL MUNICIPALITY: Lawrencetown River Bridge Lawrencetown River Bridge on Highway 207, near Lawrencetown Beach, will be closed for replacement until Thursday, May 31. A one lane bridge will be installed with traffic lights until construction is complete. Local Area Office: 902-679-4308 Fax: 902-679-6124 PICTOU COUNTY: Thorburn Road Overpass The Thorburn Road overpass at Exit 26 on Highway 104 will occasionally have a reduced speed limit because of shoulder work until Sunday, Jan. 21. Drivers are asked to reduce speed and watch for construction equipment and personnel when passing through the area. Thorburn Bridge has a maximum posted weight of 25 tonnes. A detour around the bridge is available either along the paved section of Hollow Road, from Thorburn Road southerly to Route 347 (Sherbrooke Highway) or via a short gravel section of Hollow Road that runs parallel to the bridge. Work takes place from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. Local Area Office: 902-752-7907 902-752-7908 PICTOU COUNTY: St. Paul’s Road St. Paul’s Road, from Route 348 to East River West Road, will be closed to traffic for repairs to the St. Paul’s Bridge until Friday, Jan. 26. KINGS COUNTY: Old Baxters Mill Bridge Weight Restrictions The Old Baxters Mill Bridge near Baxters Harbour is open to one lane of traffic. Vehicles weighing more than 5,000 kilograms are restricted from using the bridge. RICHMOND COUNTY: Black River Bridge Black River Bridge in Dundee will be reduced to one lane until Wednesday, Jan. 31, for repairs. Traffic control consists of traffic signals. CONTINUING WORK Local Area Office: 902-542-6344 Area: 902-542-6342
-30- HALIFAX REGIONAL MUNICIPALITY: Highway 102 Today, Aug. 10, and on Wednesday, Aug. 12, there will be a 20 minute closure of Highway 102 (Bicentennial Highway) between 6 p.m. and 7 p.m. to allow for blasting at the Larry Uteck Interchange. Drivers should expect delays or use alternate routes which will be indicated by electronic signs. Local Area Office: 902-424-5591 Fax: 902-424-7116
new silviculture work harvesting, including a six month stockpiling program road maintenance on Crown land forestry training program establishing a woodlands core team The province’s seven-point plan to provide jobs, specialized training and to keep the NewPage mill in Point Tupper re-sale ready, is progressing. An agreement has been reached with NewPage Port Hawkesbury to establish a $14-million Forestry Infrastructure Fund, pending court approval. The agreement has been filed with the court-appointed monitor for a hearing Friday, Sept. 23, under the Companies Creditors Arrangement Act proceedings. “We are working as fast as we can to help workers and their families in the Strait area,” said Natural Resources Minister Charlie Parker. “But we appreciate and respect that there is a court process that must be followed.” The Forestry Infrastructure fund will allow for: A four-member management committee, led by Julie Towers, executive director of renewable resources at the Department of Natural Resources, has been formed to oversee the fund and work. The other members of the committee are representatives of Economic and Rural Development and Tourism, the monitor and NewPage. The agreement also creates a $988,200 Silviculture Reserve Fund to resolve outstanding payments for silviculture work for NewPage before Sept. 9.
A highly respected educator is being appointed to help African Nova Scotian students reach their full potential through an improvement in the delivery of education and services. Education Minister Ramona Jennex announced today, Feb. 14, that Dwayne Provo will serve as African Nova Scotia Regional Education Officer in the province. The appointment is one of the recommendations outlined in the recently released Kids and Learning First plan. “Our Kids and Learning First plan is about ensuring all students receive a quality education and complements the Reality Check report, which will help make life better for African Nova Scotian students,” said Ms. Jennex. Reality Check contains 68 recommendations and was released in December 2009 after a review of government programs and supports to Nova Scotia’s estimated 4,000 students of African ancestry. Mr. Provo, a former provincial administrator who addressed African Nova Scotian issues, will focus on ensuring the reports’ recommendations are being effectively implemented. He will also serve as the liaison between the Education minister and school boards. “It is important that we continue to develop more curriculum that reflects all students in addition to encouraging the employment of African Nova Scotian teachers,” said Mr. Provo. “We also want to improve the lines of communication and get all African Nova Scotian communities more involved in the school system.” The appointment of a regional education officer is in response to concerns raised by African Nova Scotian communities, including Digby. “We are extremely pleased with Mr. Provo’s appointment and the commitment from the department to issues facing learners of African descent,” said Digby education committee chair Darlene Lawrence. “We know there is work to be done, but we are on the right track by providing more programs and opportunities and putting kids first.” Mr. Provo was named the province’s first school health co-ordinator in 2006 and holds several education degrees, including a Master of Arts in Education, Bachelor of Education, Bachelor of Physical Education, and a degree from the Dalhousie School of Health Professions.
More than 1,500 global leaders in marine mammalogy are coming to Nova Scotia and the new Halifax Convention Centre in 2017 for the international society’s biennial conference. The Society for Marine Mammalogy announced Halifax as the host city today, June 8, in honour of World Oceans Day. This is the first time the conference will be hosted in Atlantic Canada. “This conference will provide a valuable opportunity for our scientists and others who work for the good of marine mammals to better understand the challenges and opportunities for survival these species face in our oceans today,” said Gail Shea, federal Minister of Fisheries and Oceans. The Conference on the Biology of Marine Mammals will connect experts across government, industry, business and academia to promote collaboration and information sharing. “We’re proud to partner with our local researchers to help bring this conference to Halifax and our new state-of-the-art convention centre,” said Scott Ferguson, president and CEO of Trade Centre Limited, the Crown corporation tasked with marketing and selling the Halifax Convention Centre. “Events like this highlight the cutting-edge work of our ocean experts and put our province on the world stage.” The successful bid was led by local scientists with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans and the Marine Animal Response Society, together with the Halifax Convention Centre, last September. “We’re very excited that Halifax was chosen to host this prestigious gathering of marine mammal researchers from across the world,” said Tonya Wimmer, biologist, Marine Animal Response Society and local chair for the 2017 Conference on the Biology of Marine Mammals. “It will be a terrific opportunity to not only learn about innovative and critical research being conducted globally, but also to highlight our city and the high-quality research being conducted right here.” The seven-day event will feature a series of speakers, workshops and poster sessions focused on marine mammal research, conservation and improving the quality of marine research within the scientific community. Delegates will gain exposure to Nova Scotia’s rich ocean expertise, including the region’s advancements in acoustics, behaviour, sensors, instrumentation and other ocean-based research. Nova Scotia is home to the world’s highest concentration of scientists in ocean-related subjects, including Canada’s largest ocean-related research institution, the Bedford Institute of Oceanography. The 2015 Conference on the Biology of Marine Mammals will be held in San Francisco before leaders in the field from around the world make their way to Halifax in 2017.
CAPE BRETON REGIONAL MUNICIPALITY: Highway 125, Cow Bay Overpass Open The overpass connecting Cow Bay Road to Upper Prince Street in Sydney is now open to traffic. The structure also features an active transportation trail that is also open. The temporary access route from Highway 125 that was in place during construction has been closed. -30-
Panaji: Union Minister of State for AYUSH and sitting BJP MP Shripad Yesso Naik is leading over his nearest rival and state Congress President Girish Chodankar by 11,587 votes from North Goa, election officials said. In the South Goa Lok Sabha, former Chief Minister and Congress candidate Francisco Sardinha polled 48,778 votes against 38,770 votes received by his BJP rival and sitting MP Narendra Sawaikar. In counting for the four Assembly by-polls, the Congress is leading from the Mapusa and Panaji constituencies while the BJP and the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP) are ahead in the Mandrem and Shiroda Assembly seats respectively.
New Delhi: Former civil aviation minister and NCP leader Praful Patel appeared before the Enforcement Directorate for a second day Tuesday for questioning in connection with a money laundering probe related to losses suffered by Air India as part of an alleged multi-crore aviation scam, officials said. Patel appeared before the agency at its headquarter here in Khan Market around 10.00 am. On Monday also, he was questioned by the agency for about right hours. Also Read – Dussehra with a ‘green’ twist The investigating officer of the case recorded Patel’s statement under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) on Monday and the former Union cabinet minister of the UPA government was understood to have “cooperated” with the agency. The Rajya Sabha MP was asked to appear again on Tuesday as the questioning and recording of his statement has to continue, officials said. The case emerges from a criminal complaint registered by the ED for alleged irregularities in fixing air slots for international airlines that purportedly led to losses for Air India, the national carrier. A case for purchase of 111 aircraft for the national Air carrier during Patel’s tenure is also under probe. Also Read – India receives its first Rafale fighter jet from France Patel, 62, has also been named in a recent chargesheet filed by the federal agency before a court, as a person known to alleged aviation lobbyist Deepak Talwar. Talwar was arrested by the ED sometime back. The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader, who was incharge of the civil aviation ministry between 2004 and 2011, has not been mentioned as an accused in the case. The ED has already questioned a number of people in the senior management of the state-owned airline and the aviation ministry. The ED had said in the chargesheet that “the investigation so far from the accused and others reveal that Patel is a dear friend of Deepak Talwar”. Patel had earlier told the media that “he will be happy to cooperate with the ED for their understanding of the complexities of the aviation sector”. The ED chargesheet in the case named Talwar and claimed he was in regular touch with Patel. It has alleged that Talwar finalised various communications addressed to Patel on behalf of Emirates and Air Arabia. Talwar obtained undue favours for the private airlines using his contacts, according to the chargesheet. The agency has also alleged that Talwar was engaged in lobbying with politicians, ministers, public servants and officials in the civil aviation ministry for Emirates, Air Arabia and Qatar Airways in order to secure undue benefits for these airlines. “He (Talwar) illegally managed to secure favourable traffic rights for these airlines during 2008-09 at the cost of the national carrier Air India,” the ED has claimed. It has also been alleged that in lieu of securing favourable traffic rights, these airlines made payments to the tune of Rs 272 crore to Talwar during 2008-09. “He created a web of his own entities and used the companies of his son, Aditya Talwar, in India and international offshore havens to launder Rs 272 crore received from foreign airlines. “Part of these payments were made to a bank account in the Bank of Singapore, belonging to a company called Asiafield Limited, registered in the British Virgin Islands and beneficially owned by Deepak Talwar,” the agency has said in the chargesheet. Talwar was arrested by the ED early this year after he was deported from Dubai.
New Delhi: In a major catch, a Canadian cricketer is among four people arrested by Customs Department sleuths at the Delhi airport for allegedly trying to smuggle gold worth Rs 1.7 crore into the country.The official said that all the four accused, two men and as many women, are relatives and had arrived from Bangkok. The investigation further revealed that the accused had confessed of smuggling gold in past too. According to the press statement, three Indian nationals and one Canadian passport holder arrived at T-3 IGI airport on June 7. The accused were intercepted by the customs officers at IGI airport after they had crossed the green channel. Also Read – Cylinder blast kills mother and daughter in Karawal NagarA detailed personal and baggage search of the passengers resulted in the recovery of five gold pieces, collectively weighing 5.2 kg and having a market value of Rs 1.7 crore, an official said. The recovered gold items have been seized under relevant sections of the Customs Act. They went to Bangkok on Wednesday and returned on Saturday on a combined ticket booked by one of the passengers, identified as Rakesh Luthra, the Customs Department said in a statement issued on Tuesday. The two male passengers, including the cricketer, have reportedly confessed of smuggling 5.46 kg gold worth Rs 1.72 crore in past, it said. Also Read – Two persons arrested for killing manager of Muthoot FinanceThe accused cricketer is a Canadian national. He has represented Canada in the ICC under-19 World Cup held in Bangladesh, the officials said. All the four accused were refused bail on production before a magistrate here and sent to judicial custody, they added. “Further investigation is under progress to get the detailed clue,” added official. Earlier two men have been arrested by customs officials at Delhi airport for allegedly smuggling gold and forex worth lakhs by concealing them in the rectum in two separate cases. With agencies inputs
Kolkata: A parking fee collecting agency is illegally charging Rs 20 per hour from car owners on Jawaharlal Nehru Road flouting the tariff of Kolkata Municipal Corporation.The KMC’s tariff is Rs 10 per hour. South End Fee Car Parking Cooperative Society is collecting Rs 20 per hour illegally from car owners. The agency has gone a step further and printed receipts which they are giving to the owners. This has helped the agency to collect lakhs of rupees per month. As the agency is giving a printed receipt most of the car owners do not raise any question and give the money. Also Read – City bids adieu to Goddess DurgaSenior KMC officials when contacted said this is illegal and assured that they will look into the matter. Santanu Samanta, a businessman had taken his wife to a private diagnostic centre on June 11. He parked his car near the Haldiram shop on Jawaharlal Nehru Road. He parked his vehicle at 9.54 am and came back at 12.07 pm. The man collecting the car parking asked him to pay Rs 60 (Rs 20 per hour for three hours) and gave him a receipt. When Samanta said that why was he charging more money, the person said recently the parking fee has been hiked all over the city. “As they gave me receipt I thought that the KMC must have hiked the parking fees. But there was an uncanny feeling that the collector was not telling me the truth,” said Samanta. Also Read – Centuries-old Durga Pujas continue to be hit among revellersHe immediately contacted Tapas Chowdhury, special municipal commissioner who said that no decision to hike the parking fee has been taken by KMC and what the agency has done is illegal. It was learnt that the civic authorities had proposed to hike the parking fee to Rs 20 per hour instead of Rs 10 per hour. But the matter has not yet been implemented. When contacted, the South End Fee car parking Cooperative Society said they had hiked the fee as the KMC officials had told them earlier that they would hike the parking fee.
New Delhi: More than 700 terrorists have been killed in Jammu and Kashmir over the last three years, the Home Ministry said on Tuesday. A total of 113 terrorists were killed between January and June 16 this year, 257 were killed in 2018, 213 in 2017 and 150 in 2016, taking the total number of those killed during the period to 733, it said. As many as 112 civilians have also lost their lives during this period in the state. Of them, 15 had died in 2016, 40 in 2017, 39 in 2018 and 18 between January and June 16, this year. Also Read – IAF receives its first Rafale fighter jet from France “The government has adopted a policy of zero tolerance towards terrorism. Security forces are taking effective and continuous action in countering terrorism. This has resulted in corresponding change in the number of such incidents, including casualties,” Minister of State for Home Affairs G Kishan Reddy said in a written reply to Lok Sabha. “Security forces keep a close watch on persons who attempt to provide support to terrorists and initiate action against them,” he added.
New Delhi: The DMK on Tuesday launched a blistering attack in the Lok Sabha on the Tamil Nadu government, calling it the “most corrupt” and the state’s ruling party AIADMK a “slave” of the BJP. Speaking during a debate on the Motion of Thanks to the President’s address, DMK’s Dayanidhi Maran asked the BJP to “introspect” as to why people of Tamil Nadu rejected it during the recent Lok Sabha polls and said the saffron party’s strength lies in “opposition’s weakness”. His sharp condemnation of the AIADMK, which has only one member in the House, drew protests from BJP members, who quoted rules to claim that Maran cannot use “offensive” words against a state government or raise such an issue while speaking on the President’s address. When Maran retorted saying that it is the duty of master to take care of slaves, a jibe at the BJP’s alliance with the AIADMK, Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Arjun Ram Meghwal objected to his remarks. The DMK member accused the BJP of misusing probe agencies like the CBI and ED, and also the Election Commission.
Bengaluru/Thiruvananthapuram: Union Minister for State for External Affairs V. Murlaeedharan on Sunday dismissed media reports which claimed that former Kerala track-and-field star Anju Bobby George had joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) during a meeting in Bengaluru. Speaking to the media, Muraleedharan said there was nothing political about the meeting which took place on Saturday. “I have had a long association with Anju and her husband Robert Bobby George. Yesterday, I had a party programme in Bengaluru. She called me and asked if we could meet to which I agreed. When she came to the programme in which I was taking part, the event was about to begin. So I invited her to the dais, as she is an internationally acclaimed athlete,” said Muraleedharan, the only leader from Kerala in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s cabinet. Also Read – How a psychopath killer hid behind the mask of a devout laity! “As the meeting was going on, we talked and not a word of politics was spoken. She was talking about her institute,” he added. Former long jumper George (42) hails from Kottayam in Kerala and is presently employed with the Customs in Bengaluru. In 2003, She made history by becoming the first Indian athlete to win a medal at the World Championships when she won the bronze in Paris with a leap of 6.70m. She achieved her personal best of 6.83m, which is still a national record, at the 2004 Athens Olympics which fetched her the fifth position. Also Read – Encounter under way in Pulwama, militant killed An Arjuna awardee, George has represented the country at the Olympics, Commonwealth Games, Asian Games and World Championships from 2002 onwards. During the previous United Democratic Front (UDF) government in Kerala in 2015, George was appointed the chairperson of the Kerala State Sports Council. However, a month after the present Left Democratic Front (LDF) government assumed office in May 2016, she quit from her post.
Lucknow: The Uttar Pradesh government has sought a report from district magistrates, municipal commissioners and other officials within three days on non-compliance of the ban on plastic in the state capital. A list of traders has also been sought who are selling banned plastic. “A report has been sought from the DMs, municipal commissioner, SSP, Secretary Pollution control board, Assistant Commissioner Commercial Tax on non-compliance of plastic ban in the state capital,” Additional Chief Secretary, Home said in a directive issued on Monday night. Officials have been asked to inform representatives of traders in writing and talk to peoples’ representatives about the plastic ban, he said. After August 31, if there is any report of sale of banned plastic, strict action will be taken against the SHO, municipal corporation and other officials concerned. As per the government’s order last year, polythene below 50 micron has been banned. The government has proposed a fine of up to Rs 1 lakh and 6 months jail for violators.
Copenhagen: A former Danish prime minister on Thursday lashed out at US President Donald Trump for his tweet about military spending, saying defense willingness is not just about the amount of money spent. Lars Loekke Rasmussen’s comment is the latest in an escalating spat between the US and Denmark after Trump scrapped a visit to the country, saying current Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen was “nasty” when she rejected his idea of buying Greenland as an absurdity. Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince ‘snubbed’ Pak PM, recalled jet from USLoekke Rasmussen, who led the country until June, tweeted Thursday to Trump: “We have had (proportionally) exactly the same numbers of casualties in Afghanistan as US. We always stands firm and ready.” Trump, who has urged NATO members to do more to meet the alliance’s goal of committing 2 per cent of gross domestic product to defense, earlier tweeted that “Denmark is only at 1.35%”. “We will not accept that our defence willingness is only about percentages,” Loekke Rasmussen tweeted. “I told you at the NATO Summit in Brussels last year.” Also Read – Record number of 35 candidates in fray for SL Presidential pollsIn January, Denmark agreed to increase its long-term defense spending after a coalition in Parliament agreed to add 1.5 billion kroner (USD 223 million) to the already agreed-upon defense budget for 2023, which would put defense spending at 1.5 per cent of gross domestic product for that year. The US spends about 3.4 of its GDP on defence. Trump abruptly cancelled his planned September 2-3 visit to Denmark on Tuesday, after Frederiksen had called Trump’s idea to buy Greenland “an absurd discussion”. Trump said her comment “was nasty. I thought it was an inappropriate statement. All she had to say was say, ‘No, we wouldn’t be interested.'” Frederiksen said the US remains one of Denmark’s close allies. The political brouhaha over the world’s largest island comes from its strategic location in the Arctic. Global warming is making Greenland more accessible to potential oil and mineral resources.
Milan: Inter Milan forward Mauro Icardi, his club’s leading scorer in each of the last five seasons and former captain, is set to join Paris St Germain, the Gazzetta dello Sport and other Italian media said on Monday. The move would end a turbulent spell at the club for the Argentine, who has fallen out with fans along on the way and provided fodder for the gossip columns thanks to his marriage to Wanda Nara, a media personality who also acts as his agent. Gazzetta published what it said was a photograph of Icardi and Nara at Malpensa airport, saying would board a private jet for Paris to finalise a loan spell at PSG with an option to buy. Other Italian media carried the same story, including Sky Sport Italia. Also Read – Puducherry on top after 8-wkt win over ChandigarhThe 26-year-old, an out-and-out centre forward who is deadly in the penalty area but whose contribution elsewhere on the pitch has been questioned, has scored 124 goals in 219 appearances in all competitions during six years at the club. Despite his scoring exploits, Icardi fell out with Inter’s hard core fans over an account of an argument with supporters in his autobiography in 2016. Curva Nord ultras responded that “Icardi is not our captain, not now or ever” and applauded when he missed a penalty in one of Inter’s next games. Also Read – Vijender’s next fight on Nov 22, opponent to be announced laterIn February, he was stripped of the captaincy after becoming embroiled in protracted negotiations over a new contract. He then said he could not play because of a knee injury although the club said a medical exam had found nothing wrong. He returned to the side in April after talks between his lawyer and the club, although Luciano Spalletti, the Inter coach at the time, said it had been “humiliating” for Inter to have to negotiate with a player to get him to play.
New Delhi: The Telecom Department has made it clear to MTNL and BSNL managements that it will no longer accept any claims raised by them for their staff working in DoT offices on an ‘informal’ or ‘loan’ basis, without proper sanction or approval. Saddled with past claims and HR-related bills from the two cash-strapped firms, DoT has now shot-off letters to the two ailing corporations asking them to withdraw such employees. DoT has also written to its own field units and offices asking them to ensure that no such staff is retained unless strictly in compliance with the rules, that is, on deputation basis against sanctioned and vacant posts. Also Read – Thermal coal import may surpass 200 MT this fiscalThe move assumes significance as both Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) and Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd (MTNL) have approached Department of Telecom (DoT) seeking payments and reimbursements for cases where their staff worked in the Department on ‘loan’ basis. Alarmed by the claims, DoT has issued fresh instructions to its various units to avoid a similar situation in future, citing a notice issued earlier this year that such arrangements would not be allowed to continue after March 2019. DoT sources said that the idea is to ensure that these employees – engaged in the Department on informal basis – return to their offices in BSNL and MTNL. There is also no clear estimate on how many such employees are working in DoT, at present, they said. Also Read – Food grain output seen at 140.57 mt in current fiscal on monsoon boostSources said payment issues have cropped up even for past reimbursement claims filed by BSNL and MTNL pertaining to such ‘loaned’ staff (without approvals) as neither Ministry of Finance nor Department of Personnel support such payments. The past claims by the two telecom corporations in this regard, adds up to almost Rs 300 crore, sources pointed out. “Even the past claims are stuck, so DoT is trying to avoid a similar situation in future,” one of the sources added. Distressed telecom PSUs MTNL and BSNL have been incurring losses and have been facing problems in clearing staff salaries on time in recent past. The massive cash crunch has prompted the two organisations to chase outstanding dues and receivables from all avenues. The loss-making telecom firms have also approached the Telecom Department for immediate help to tide over their financial crisis, that was aggravated due to sustained competitive heat in the market following entry of Reliance Jio. A revival plan – that entails components like Voluntary Retirement Service (VRS) and allocation of 4G spectrum – for the state-owned telecom firms is under active consideration. The employee cost of BSNL is 75.06 per cent and that of MTNL is 87.15 per cent of their total income, while the same for private telecom companies varies between 2.9 per cent to 5 per cent. According to data shared in the Lok Sabha in June this year, the market share of MTNL in the two circles where it operates (Mumbai and Delhi) has declined to 6.95 per cent at the end of 2018-19 from 7.37 per cent in 2016-17.
New Delhi: In an effort to combine utility and use of renewable energy for scalable adoption and mass acceptance, Indian Oil Corporation has commenced a pilot test-study of an indoor solar cooking system at Leh, Ladakh. The initiative was flagged off by Dr SSV Ramakumar, Director (Research & Development), IndianOil. Heeding the call of Prime Minister for developing low-cost indoor solar cooking solutions, IndianOil has tied up with Sun Bucket System, a US-based start-up working on solar energy-based products, to design, develop and commercialise an innovative, easy-to-use system that collects and stores solar energy as thermal energy for cooking.