Chicago: Boeing says it expects to finish work on updated flight-control software for the 737 Max in September, a sign that the troubled jet likely won’t be flying until late this year. The latest delay in fixing the Max came a day after the disclosure that government test pilots found a new technology flaw in the plane during a test on a flight simulator. The plane has been grounded since mid-March after two crashes that killed 346 people. Preliminary accident reports pointed to software that erroneously pointed the planes’ noses down and overpowered pilots’ efforts to regain control. Also Read – Treason case against Musharraf to be heard daily from October 24: CourtA Boeing official said Thursday that the company expects to submit the software update to the Federal Aviation Administration for approval “in the September timeframe.” The official spoke on condition of anonymity because Boeing has not publicly discussed timing of the update. Once Boeing submits its changes, the FAA is expected to take several weeks to analyze them, and airlines would need additional time to take their grounded Max jets out of storage and prepare them to fly again. Airlines were already lowering expectations for a quick return of the plane, which has been grounded since mid-March. Also Read – Turkey preparations for Syria offensive ‘completed’Southwest Airlines, the biggest operator of Max jets, announced Thursday that it has taken the plane out of its schedule for another month, through Oct. 1. Earlier this week, United Airlines pulled the plane from its schedule through early September. While Boeing engineers continue working on the plane’s software, company lawyers pushed Thursday to settle lawsuits brought by the families of dozens of passengers killed in the October crash of a Lion Air Max off the coast of Indonesia and the March crash of an Ethiopian Airlines Max near Addis Ababa. Boeing and the families of Lion Air Flight 610 victims agreed to mediation that could lead to early settlements. However, the families of some Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 passengers are resisting mediation. “There are many families here who will not want to participate in mediation until they know what Boeing knew, when they knew it, what they did about it, and what they’re going to do about it to prevent this kind of disaster from occurring again,” said Robert Clifford, a Chicago lawyer who filed lawsuits on behalf of nearly two dozen victims of the Ethiopian crash.
New Delhi: The Centre has given a one year deadline till June 30, 2020 to states and Union Territories for rolling out the ‘one nation, one ration card’ system, under which beneficiaries can buy subsidised foodgrains from ration shops in any part of the country. Food Minister Ram Vilas Paswan said already 10 states — Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Haryana, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Kerala, Maharasthra, Rajasthan, Telangana and Tripura — are providing portability of Public Distribution System (PDS) entitlements. Also Read – Prohibitory orders lifted from Mumbai’s stir-hit Aarey Colony “By next June 30, 2020, ‘one nation, one ration card’ should be implemented without fail in the entire country. We have written letters to the state government to fast track the implementation of this system,” Paswan told reporters. The new mechanism will ensure no poor is deprived of PDS entitlement if that person shifts from one place to another. The system will also help remove fake ration card holders, he added. Paswan further said there are 11 states, including Tamil Nadu, Punjab, Odisha and Madhya Pradesh, which can easily implement the PDS portability within their state as Point of Sale (PoS) machines have been installed in all ration shops. This is one of the 100-days agenda of the Modi 2.0 government, he added. Since November 2016, the government is implementing the National Food Security Act, under which foodgrains are supplied every month at highly subsidised rates of Rs 1 3 per kg to over 80 crore people in the country.
New Delhi: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman Friday raised tax deduction limit to Rs 3.5 lakh on interest paid on housing loan sanctioned during this fiscal for purchase of first home worth up to Rs 45 lakh, a move aimed at boosting the affordable housing segment. Besides, the government will initiate reform measures to promote rental accommodations and will finalise and circulate a model tenancy law to states, the minister said. In her maiden Budget, Sitharaman announced that 1.95 crore homes will be provided to eligible beneficiaries till 2021-22 under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana – Gramin (PMAY-G). The regulation of housing finance companies will now be done by the Reserve Bank of India instead of the National Housing Bank, she added. Also Read – Maruti cuts production for 8th straight month in SepTo align definition of affordable housing under the Income Tax Act with GST Acts, Sitharaman proposed to increase the limit of carpet area from 30 square metre to 60 square metre in metropolitan regions and from 60 square metre to 90 square metre in non-metropolitan areas. The cost of the affordable house has been fixed at Rs 45 lakh and below. The finance minister said the interest paid on housing loans is currently allowed as a deduction to the extent of Rs 2 lakh. Also Read – Ensure strict implementation on ban of import of e-cigarettes: revenue to Customs”In order to provide a further impetus, I propose to allow an additional deduction of up to Rs 1.5 lakh for interest paid on loans borrowed up to March 31, 2020 for purchase of an affordable house valued up to Rs 45 lakh,” she added. The minister elaborated that a person purchasing an affordable house will now get an enhanced interest deduction of up to Rs 3.5 lakh. “This will translate into a benefit of around Rs 7 lakh to the middle-class home buyers over their loan period of 15 years.” As per the budget document, this interest deduction will be subject to condition that the loan has to be sanctioned during the current fiscal only. The home buyer should not have any other residential property in his name on the date of sanction of loan. To achieve the goal of ‘Housing for All’ and affordable housing, Sitharaman said a tax holiday has already been provided on the profits earned by developers of affordable housing. Sitharaman proposed that several reform measures would be taken to promote rental housing. “Current rental laws are archaic as they do not address the relationship between the lessor and the lessee realistically and fairly. A Model Tenancy Law will also be finalised and circulated to the states,” she added. On land parcels held by the public sector units, the finance minister said that large public infrastructure as well as affordable housing projects could be developed. Sitharaman said the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana Gramin (PMAY-G) aims to achieve the objective of ‘Housing for All’ by 2022 and a total of 1.54 crore rural homes have been completed in the last five years.
Moscow: Russian police arrested almost 1,400 people as they gathered in Moscow at the weekend to demand open elections, a monitor said, the biggest crackdown on a rally in the country in years.Some 3,500 people took part in the unauthorised protest on Saturday, according to official figures, after authorities blocked prominent opposition candidates from taking part in city elections.The meeting came a week after 22,000 took to the streets calling on authorities to reverse their decision ahead of the vote. Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince ‘snubbed’ Pak PM, recalled jet from USPolice used batons on protesters as they tried to gather outside city hall on Saturday, and AFP reporters at the scene saw demonstrators with injuries.The EU in a statement denounced the “disproportionate use of force against peaceful protesters,” which it said undermined “the fundamental freedoms of expression, association and assembly”.Amnesty International also condemned what it said was the use of excessive force by the police.After the rally last week investigators raided the homes and headquarters of a number of disqualified candidates. Top Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny was jailed for 30 days for calling the fresh protest. Also Read – Record number of 35 candidates in fray for SL Presidential pollsSeveral would-be candidates were detained before or during the meeting on Saturday. Among them was Ilya Yashin, who called for another protest next weekend.OVD-Info, an organisation that monitors protests, reported Sunday that 1,373 people were detained.It said this was the highest number since mass demonstrations in 2012, when tens of thousands protested President Vladimir Putin’s return to the Kremlin after four years as prime minister.The new protests come amid wider public anger over declining living standards that has hit Putin’s approval ratings. Elections to Moscow’s 45-seat legislative body, currently controlled by the pro-Kremlin United Russia party, are due to be held in September.While pro-Kremlin candidates enjoy the support of the state, independent candidates say they have been made to jump through countless hoops in order to get on the ballot for the city polls.Following pickets last week, including outside the local election commission building, investigators said they were launching a criminal probe into obstructing the work of election officials.If found guilty, organisers risk up to five years in prison.
New Delhi: Air India received eight sexual harassment complaints internally during the first half of this year as compared to the total 10 complaints in 2018, sources said.On May 16 this year, airline’s chief Ashwani Lohani told the employees through a text message that sexual harassment cases are “often” being witnessed in Air India and the airline needs to come down “very very heavily” on such offenders. The chairman and managing director’s message came after the airline announced on May 15 that it has set up a high-level inquiry to probe a sexual harassment complaint filed by a woman pilot against a commander. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM’A source told PTI, “During 2018, 10 complaints of sexual harassment have been filed at Air India. Between January 1 and July 1 of 2019, eight complaints of sexual harassment have been received.” Another source said on Sunday that Air India has been dealing with each such complaint in the “strictest manner possible”. In May this year, the aforementioned high-level inquiry was initiated after the woman pilot filed a complaint, which stated that the alleged incident took place on May 5 at Hyderabad where she was being trained by the commander. The commander was told on May 20 by the national carrier that he needs a written permission to enter the airline’s offices till an inquiry into the complaint is over. In a letter to the accused, Air India Regional Director (northern region) Abhay Pathak said that “pending (an) enquiry… during the period of suspension, you will not enter the premises of Air India Limited without written permission”. PTI
Sydney: The United States no longer has military primacy in the Pacific and could struggle to defend allies against China, a top Australian think tank has warned. A hard-hitting report from the United States Studies Centre at the University of Sydney released on Monday said the US military is an “atrophying force” that is “dangerously overstretched” and “ill-prepared” for a confrontation with China. If correct, the assessment has far-reaching implications for US allies like Australia, Taiwan and Japan who depend on American security guarantees. Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince ‘snubbed’ Pak PM, recalled jet from USDonald Trump’s presidency has deepened concerns that Washington would not defend its allies in the face of aggression from China. But this latest report has suggested that the United States may struggle to help even if it wanted to. Accusing Washington of “strategic insolvency”, the authors said decades-long Middle East wars, partisanship and under-investment have left Pacific allies exposed. “China, by contrast, is growing ever more capable of challenging the regional order by force as a result of its large-scale investment in advanced military systems,” they warned. Also Read – Record number of 35 candidates in fray for SL Presidential pollsUnder President Xi Jinping, China’s official defence budget has increased by around 75 per cent to USD 178 billion – although the true figure is believed to be much more. Crucially, Beijing has invested in precision ballistic missiles and counter-intervention systems that would make it difficult for the US military to reach contested areas quickly. According to the report, “almost all American, allied and partner bases, airstrips, ports and military installations in the Western Pacific” lack hardened infrastructure and are under major threat. That advantage could be used to seize territory in Taiwan, Japanese-administered islands or the South China Sea before US forces could get there. Experts believe that the deployment of US land-based missiles and a changed role for the United States Marine Corps will be vital to countering China, as well as collective regional defence – with the likes of Australia and Japan doing more. In Australia, concerns have been growing about inadequate defences, prompting debate about whether the country should think about developing nuclear weapons. Similar discussions have periodically taken place in neighbouring Indonesia. A separate report released on Sunday by the Australian Strategic Policy Institute recommended Australia boost and harden military capabilities in the thinly-populated north of the country. “Because of the significantly reduced warning times for future conflict,” wrote author John Coyne, it is likely the north of Australia will be used as a forward operating base or a “lily pad” to reach conflict zones. The US military has already earmarked around USD 210 million to boost a Marine Corps base near Darwin. During a recent visit to Australia, Defense Secretary Mark Esper suggested the United States wants to deploy intermediate-range missiles in Asia.
A murder, two suspects, an indifferent lawyer, and honour, code, and loyalty above all – the 5th leg of Aadyam Theatre, kick-starts with a rendition of Aaron Sorkin’s renowned play, ‘A Few Good Men’, at Delhi’s Kamani Auditorium. The play, which will be directed by theatre polymath Nadir Khan, casts Ashwin Mushran, Danish Husain, Ira Dubey, Junaid Khan, Kenny Desai, Sahir Mehta, Siddharth Kumar, Sukant Goel, Suresh Venkat, Tavish Bhattacharyya, and Zeus Paranjape, to name a few. When: September 28 (7: 30 pm) and September 29 (4:00 pm and 7:30 pm) Where: Kamani Auditorium
Boise (USA): Indian golfer Anirban Lahiri reclaimed his PGA Tour card after finishing tied 5th with a bogey-free five-under 66 in the final round of the Albertson Boise Open here. With a tied 7th finish achieved in the previous week’s Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship, Lahiri has now secured enough points to earn one of the 25 PGA Tour cards at stake in the Korn Ferry Tour (KFT) Finals. The 32-year-old former Asian No.1 sent down three closing birdies, to finish three shots behind winner Matthew NeSmith of the United States. Also Read – Puducherry on top after 8-wkt win over Chandigarh “I haven’t experienced any kind of a high. Right now, I’m more focused on my golf and what I want to do in the time to come. I had a lot of belief in myself that I could get my card back and play well,” Lahiri said. “I’m more relieved with the fact that I’m putting some scores together which was satisfying,” added the Indian, who posted rounds of 68, 65, 69 and 66. After finishing a lowly 174th on the PGA Tours FedExCup points list, he needed to play in the KFT Finals to regain his playing rights on the world’s premier circuit. Also Read – Vijender’s next fight on Nov 22, opponent to be announced later And with his card safely in his back pocket now, he plans to challenge for a victory in the final tournament, the Korn Ferry Tour Championship presented by United Leasing and Finance, this week to try and top the ranking. “I’m playing well enough with a lot of confidence and I’m no longer trying to secure my card. Hopefully it frees me up and I can focus on getting into contention again and maybe get third time lucky and win,” he said. “If I can manage that, it’ll help get me into The Players Championship (PGA Tour flagship event) next year and helps me schedule my events a lot better,” he added. Lahiri refocused on his basics with swing coach Vijay Divecha during the summer. He believes his game is now back on track for the season beginning next month. “It’s coming together. It’s been a while since I was in contention and I needed to feel the adrenaline again and how to respond to it,” he explained. “I didn’t wake up on a different side of the bed the past two weeks. I started working on some basics again when Vijay came over in July. We got some rest, recharged the batteries and game wise I started to feel good again,” he said. “I hit it terribly but got up and down each and every time I was out of position. I kept grinding and had those birdies in the end,” added Lahiri. He was delighted to shoot four rounds in the 60s, which was the first time since last November when he enjoyed his lone top-10 finish of the season at the Mayakoba Classic in Mexico. “…I’m more relieved to see myself scoring consistently and putting four rounds together. The trend is beginning to change and this gives me most satisfaction,” said Lahiri. He is quietly hoping to make an impression to earn a captain’s pick for the Presidents Cup. Lahiri featured for the International Team in 2015 and 2017. “The Presidents Cup is close to my heart but I think I finished 140 places out from the top-8,” he said. “I don’t know when Ernie (Els) will make the picks and I’m not thinking of it right now. I just want to play golf and I’m not expecting to be picked unless I can turn it around. I’m just going to focus on events that are in front me now,” he added.
Jaipur: Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot on Friday said there is an undeclared emergency in the country and the Centre has intimidated the entire nation through ED, CBI and Income Tax Department.His comments came shortly after senior Congress leader D Shivakumar said the Enforcement Directorate (ED) has issued fresh summons to him. The agency asked the former Karnataka minister to appear before it in Delhi on Friday in a money laundering case. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM’The ED and the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) are also probing INX Media money laundering and corruption cases against senior Congress leader P Chidambaram. “Those who win elections should work with a big heart. Everyone should work together. Is Modi’s government doing it? They have frightened the whole country through Enforcement Directorate, Income Tax Department and CBI be it industrialists, businessmen, bureaucrats or anyone else,” Gehlot told reporters at the Congress state headquarters here. The chief minister claimed the people of the country are living in fear. Also Read – Farooq demands unconditional release of all detainees in J&K”There is an atmosphere of an undeclared emergency in the country. The new generation has to understand this,” he said. Gehlot claimed the country is going through a recession and the Centre is not doing enough to tackle it. “There is a period of severe recession in the entire country. People are committing suicides. Earlier, only farmers used to commit suicide. Now businessmen, industrialists, small and big ones, have started committing suicide,” he said. “One million people in the automobile sector have lost their jobs. A well known company in the country making biscuits has fired 10,000 people due to the imposition of GST,” he said. “This central government does not understand anything. The exemptions which were announced recently are not enough. They are late and they are not enough. So they have to think how to get the economy back on track,” he added. The chief minister also claimed that the law and order situation is deteriorating due to people losing their jobs. Accusing Prime Minister Narendra Modi of misleading people with his speeches, Gehlot said the truth is different from what people are being told. “The new generation will have to understand who is right and who is wrong. The reality is different. Modi ji, who specialises in speaking, speaks such words that people are misguided and misled…,” he said.
Srinagar: Authorities in Kashmir have restored 19 more telephone exchanges, a month after telephone services were snapped following abrogation of provisions of Article 370, officials said on Thursday.Landline telephone connections started working in commercial hub of Lal Chowk and press colony in the early hours of Thursday, the officials said.They said 19 telephone exchanges have been restored. There are around 100 telephone exchanges in Kashmir Valley. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM’The officials said no decision has been yet taken on restoration of mobile telephone and Internet services on all platforms. Meanwhile, there was more movement of private vehicles on city roads but the shutdown in the valley continued for the 32nd day on Thursday. Markets and other business establishments remained closed while public transport was off the roads across the valley today, officials said. A large number of private vehicles could be seen plying in many parts of the city while some vendors also plied their trade. Also Read – Farooq demands unconditional release of all detainees in J&KThe efforts of the state government to open schools have not borne any fruit as parents continued to keep children at home due to apprehensions about their safety. Government offices are open but attendance in many offices was thin due to lack of public transport, the officials said adding offices at district headquarters registered normal attendance. Restrictions under section 144 CrPC, which were imposed last month, have been eased in most parts of Kashmir but there were no signs of end to the deadlock. Restrictions continued in old city areas where security personnel have been deployed in strength to maintain law and order in view of a youth succumbing to injuries at a hospital here on Wednesday. The youth was injured during clashes between protestors and security personnel on 6 August and succumbed after battling for life for one month. Officials said the youth had sustained critical injuries after being hit by a stone hurled by protestors. Most of the top level and second rung separatist politicians have been taken into preventive custody while mainstream leaders including three former chief ministers — Farooq Abdullah, Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti — have also been either detained or placed under house arrest.
City of Calgary administration says more information is needed before officials can make a final recommendation on whether Calgary should bid for the 2026 Winter Olympics. A report, to be presented to council Monday, praises the work of the Calgary Bid Exploration Committee, which found the games could create a $2.4 billion shortfall.Administration believes all levels of government should commit to funding the games, and the International Olympic Committee should say who will cover the cost for security, before any decision on a bid can move forward.Administration also says the city should only be paying for infrastructure that will benefit Calgarians long term.
EDMONTON – Edmonton police say an attack on an officer outside a football game and a high-speed chase of a cube van that left four people injured are being investigated as acts of terrorism.Chief Rod Knecht said officers have one man in custody and they think he acted alone, but they aren’t ruling out that others are involved.“It is believed at this time that these two incidents are related,” Knecht told an early morning news conference. “It was determined that these incidents are being investigated as acts of terrorism.”Knecht said Edmonton police are working with the RCMP’s Integrated National Security Enforcement Team, and other Canadian security agencies.“We currently believe that this individual acted alone,” he said. “The investigation is in its very early stages and we are urging Edmontonians to be vigilant and aware of their surroundings.”The chaos began outside the Edmonton Eskimos football game at Commonwealth Stadium when police say a white car rammed a traffic control barricade and sent an officer flying into the air.Knecht said the driver of the vehicle then got out and attacked the officer with a knife before fleeing.The officer was taken to hospital and treated for non life-threatening injuries while a manhunt was launched.Knecht said an Islamic State flag was found in the front seat of the car and seized as evidence.A few hours later, a U-Haul cube van was stopped at an impaired driving checkstop north of downtown. Knecht said the name of the driver was close to the name of the registered owner of the car that hit the officer.He said the U-Haul then sped off toward downtown with police in pursuit.Police say the U-Haul intentionally swerved at pedestrians in crosswalks. Four people were injured by the van, however, the extent of their injuries was not immediately known.The van eventually rolled near a downtown hotel and a suspect was arrested.Knecht said the man was known to police, but did not release his name.
HALIFAX – Christopher Garnier sniffled as a police interrogator described how he allegedly treated Catherine Campbell’s body, using a compost bin to dump it in a wooded area, where it was found amid maggots days later.“You took her and put her in a God damn compost bin,” RCMP Cpl. Jody Allison said to Garnier during a taped police interview on Sept. 16, 2015, hours after the body of the off-duty police officer was found face down in thick brush near Halifax’s Macdonald Bridge.“That poor girl was left there like a piece of trash.”The Nova Scotia Supreme Court jury continued watching the 9.5-hour-long video Tuesday of the interview with Garnier, following his arrest in Campbell’s death on Sept. 16, 2015. There’s still roughly six hours left of the interrogation.Allison often referred to the evidence against Garnier during the interview, including a surveillance video of a man rolling a compost bin away from the McCully Street apartment in which she was allegedly killed.“I know you killed her. I already know that… I know what you did after you killed her. I know where you put her,” Allison said to Garnier, dressed in a T-shirt and pants.He referenced photos spread out chaotically on the table between them in an RCMP interview room with grey walls.“Those are maggots on her right there,” said Allison, showing Garnier an image.He repeatedly asked Garnier what happened inside the McCully apartment, and at one point slams his hand on the table numerous times.“There’s no doubt she was killed in the apartment, Chris. I saw blood right at the scene. Right in front of the pullout couch. That’s where she died, wasn’t it?” asked Allison.“Was she trying to have rough sex? Some people do like rough sex. And it just got to the point where it went a little too far? Is that what happened?”Garnier started to cry and replied: “I can’t.”Garnier has repeated throughout the first three hours and 45 minutes of the interview that he’s “not supposed to say anything.”In a portion of the tape played to the jury on Monday, Garnier said to Allison through tears: “I never wanted to hurt anybody.”The 30-year-old man has pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder and interfering with a dead body.The Crown alleges Garnier punched and strangled the Truro, N.S., constable inside the McCully apartment and dumped her body on a steep embankment near the bridge.Evidence presented at the trial has indicated Campbell was seen kissing and dancing with a man at a downtown bar who bar staff identified as Garnier before leaving with him in the early hours of Sept. 11, 2015.Last week, the defence put forth a hypothetical scenario suggesting Campbell died during a consensual sexual encounter after encouraging Garnier to choke her.Also Tuesday, the jury heard that Campbell’s blood was found inside the apartment.Dr. Gregory Litzenberger, an RCMP forensic DNA specialist, said he tested various swabs of blood found during a search of the McCully Street apartment and found blood on several areas of the flat — including on the TV, floor and stereo speaker — that matched Campbell’s DNA profile.Litzenberger said he tested a T-shirt found in a dumpster across the street from the apartment, and two blood stains matched Campbell’s DNA.He said Campbell’s fingernail clippings taken during an autopsy revealed Campbell’s blood, while another clipping showed both Campbell and Garnier’s DNA.“Most likely, the explanation would be that there was friction, such as scratching,” said Litzenberger when asked how another person’s DNA would end up on a fingernail.Litzenberger also said there was no semen found on Campbell or her underwear. The jury has heard that Garnier told Allison he did not remember having sex with Campbell.Also Tuesday, a former digital forensics analyst for the RCMP testified that he examined a computer that was seized as part of the investigation.Blair MacLellan said he checked its browser history and found searches related to Cipralex, an antidepressant.He said there were queries for Cipralex and alcohol, Cipralex and violence, and Cipralex and memory loss on Sept. 15, 2015 — days after the alleged murder.MacLellan said he was told to look for references to “Catherine Campbell” on the computer, but found none. The computer had one user with the name Garnier, he said.Follow (at)AlyThomson on Twitter.
SANDY COVE, N.S. – A small-scale women’s march in rural Nova Scotia that charmed the internet in 2017 more than doubled its turnout this year to 32 people — amounting to nearly half the village’s permanent population, according to an organizer.As hundreds of thousands of people around the world organized marches last year in the wake of Donald Trump’s inauguration as U.S. president, a plucky group of 15 women trudged down the only road in Sandy Cove, N.S., to show their support for women’s rights without having to travel to Halifax, about 2.5 hours away.Cars honked and onlookers cheered on Saturday as a small band of marchers retraced the spirited trek that turned the fishing village of about 65 year-round residents into an internet darling.“I think sometimes people in larger urban centres sort of feel that people who live in little communities like this perhaps aren’t as in touch with some of the issues and events,” organizer Gwen Wilson said in an interview on Sunday.“We have a population of women down here too, and these issues are important to us as well, and we wanted to take our stand.”Wilson said locals and residents of surrounding communities in the Digby Neck region waved signs and banged on drums as they walked along the roughly one-kilometre route from a 22-student school, down a steep hill and then up another to the fire hall.She said the marchers ranged in age from three years old to 76, and many of them wore suffragette-inspired rosettes to mark 100 years since women in Nova Scotia won the right vote.“I think everybody has their own individual reason for marching,” said Wilson.“For me, personally, this year I was really focused on issues of women’s equality, because I feel that if women were truly equal, that would solve a lot of problems in society across the board.”The 64-year-old retired teacher said she still receives messages of support after an eight-second video of last year’s hastily organized event garnered more than 150,000 views and even attracted the interest of The New York Times.While this year’s march has not received the same world-wide attention, Wilson said, it has had a lasting impact on Sandy Cove.She said the community held a series talks to keep up the momentum from last year’s march, starting with a discussion about the issues of patriarchy and misogyny — weighty topics in what Wilson characterized as a “small-c conservative” part of Nova Scotia.Eight people showed up at that meeting, a turnout Wilson called “groundbreaking.“The kind of changes that need to happen, you have to be patient. We learned early on that you can’t hope to effect change overnight,” she said.“You just do one thing at a time and if you change the mind of one person, then you’ve made progress. So you just keep marching forward.”Canadian organizers said 38 communities hosted marches, rallies and other events on Saturday, representing a 20 per cent increase from the number that took part last January.Wilson said there are already rumblings of Sandy Cove hosting another march in 2019.Otherwise, she said, “Folks will think we’ve become complacent … Or worse, satisfied.”
OTTAWA – Parks Canada is launching a new initiative in Nunavut to collect and share the testimony of Inuit elders who have knowledge of the doomed Franklin expedition of 1845.The project is seeking a contractor to conduct archival research and record interviews with Inuit elders with historical knowledge of the HMS Erebus and HMS Terror shipwreck sites.The two ships were part of Sir John Franklin’s 1845 quest to find the elusive Northwest Passage and their disappearance remains a mystery today. The expedition’s 129 crew members were never found.Catherine McKenna, the minister of the environment and minister in charge of Parks Canada, acknowledged the integral role Inuit oral history played in the search for the Franklin shipwrecks.“In this case, we know that Inuit knowledge helped to find the ships,” said McKenna.It’s important that the Inuit stay involved — for their own sake as well as Canada’s, the minister added.“I think there’s been a lot of focus on European explorers,” she said. “Maybe it’s time to put more of the focus on the Inuit.”Parks Canada archeologists located the wrecked HMS Erebus off the coast of King William Island in 2014 with the help of Inuit historical knowledge passed on orally over generations. The HMS Terror was found at the bottom of Terror Bay two years later, nearly 100 kilometres away.The new project’s co-ordinators are hoping to collect similar knowledge and testimony from Inuit elders to fill gaps in contemporary research on the history of the wreckage sites.Tamara Tarasoff, the project manager of the shipwrecks’ historic sites, said she’s hopeful the project will be a success.“Now that we have the wrecks, it’s time to continue with engaging in additional oral history research,” Tarasoff said.“It could be new stories, new observations, or new information that we’re able to glean from engaging in oral history research with the Inuit of King William Island,” she said.Parks Canada would like to produce video and audio of the testimonies as well as a book with up to 100 images of the site, including archival photographs.Louie Kamookak, a leading Inuit historian and educator whose work helped locate the Erebus, said he is encouraged by the project.“Today’s younger generations have gotten away from the Inuit oral history,” Kamookak said in an email. “Preserving Inuit oral history in today’s technology would be the only way to pass the stories, knowledge, and culture in any aspect of our amazing ancestors that once lived where no other people chose to live.”Kamookak added that although Parks Canada approached him to help with the initiative, he is unsure whether he will, mainly because of his personal health issues.The tender is open for bidding until March 27.
KAMLOOPS, B.C. – Lightning storms that swept across British Columbia are being blamed by the Wildfire Service for many of the blazes that started this week across the province including one that threatened Kootenay Park Lodge on Wednesday.Spokesman Ryan Turcot said more than 300 wildfires have started since Tuesday, with dozens recorded in the last few days in the Cariboo region, the area hard hit by last year’s record-breaking fire season.Unstable weather began Saturday but there were hundreds of lightning strikes Tuesday, said Turcot. Storms were expected to continue through the week.The lodge in Kootenay National Park, near the Alberta boundary, was one of two backcountry resorts that were evacuated in southern B.C. because of fires. The lodge in Cathedral Provincial Park, south of Princeton, was also evacuated.Flames from a 15-square-kilometre fire crept closer to the lodge in the provincial park and could cut into the single road leading to it, said Cameron Baughen, the emergency operations spokesman with the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen.“There are people who hike through that area, the hiking trails are magnificent, some of the best in our area, so people could be as far as a day or two away from the lodge and not be aware that there are changing conditions,” he said.Flames and heavy smoke prompted the closure of Highway 93 between Radium and the Alberta boundary through Kootenay National Park because of two wildfires that were burning in the Vermilion Valley, just off the road.“Once they started, they were very active, fast moving and aggressive right from the early onset,” said Jed Cochrane, a Parks Canada fire and vegetation specialist who’s the incident commander on the fires. “We did have helicopters and crews on scene almost immediately after they started.”The two fires, which were estimated to be between 100 and 200 hectares each in size, were also close to the lodge, he said. The lodge and a second building, the Parks Canada facilities at Kootenay Crossing, were being protected with sprinklers, Cochrane said.The two fires were close to each other in a mature forest, which Cochrane estimated hasn’t seen fire for about 100 years.“There is a fairly substantial buildup of forest fuels,” he said. There were two previous wildfire burns nearby, which he said could serve as fire breaks.Cochrane said five attack crews and six to seven helicopters were working on a total of five fires in Kootenay and Banff national parks. The other three fires were contained, he said.Smoke was heavy in the area and a fire ban is in effect in Kootenay National Park. Trails and other areas in the park were closed.Wildfire activity prompted an evacuation order late Wednesday about 100 kilometres east of Kitimat. The Regional District of Bulkley-Nechako said the order covers the east end of Nadina Lake, including the Nadina Lake Lodge and recreation site.Increased wildfire activity also led to evacuation alerts for separate wildfires burning east and west of Quesnel in central B.C., while an evacuation alert was expanded to cover nearly 900 properties in the Keremeos and Cawston areas.The wildfire service listed 10 fires of note burning across five of B.C.’s six fire centres and Turcot urged extreme caution.“We are dealing with a lot of new lightning-driven activity. The last thing we need right now is human-caused fires to divert critical resources away from the fires we are responding to right now,” he said.Cooler weather and some rain is in the forecast for the upcoming long weekend, but Turcot called the shift a double-edged sword.“When you get instability, you also get a little bit more wind, and wind can drive fire activity as well.”— By Beth Leighton in Vancouver, with files from Colette Derworiz in Edmonton.
TORONTO — Ontario prosecutors want a Toronto man who tried to join Islamic State militants in Syria to be sentenced to six years behind bars.Pamir Hakimzadah, 29, pleaded guilty in early February to one count of leaving Canada to participate in a terrorist activity.At a sentencing hearing taking place today, Crown lawyer Christopher Walsh says the court has no insight into how Hakimzadah became radicalized and is dubious of a plan from the defence for their client’s de-radicalization.Court heard Hakimzadah left Toronto in October 2014 and flew to Istanbul with the goal of finding a way into Syria to join the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.He was turned in to authorities by a taxi driver in Turkey who suspected Hakimzadah wanted to join the terrorist group, and was sent back to Canada where he was later turned in by a family member.Hakimzadah admitted he viewed Islamic State militant propaganda videos online and became sympathetic to their viewpoint.The Canadian Press
COCHRANE, Alta. — There’ll be no need for ashtrays in one Alberta town on the weekend if residents take up a retiring pharmacist’s call for all smokers to butt out for 24 hours.Kelly Kimmett persuaded the town of Cochrane, about 40 kilometres west of Calgary, to proclaim Saturday “Cochrane Quits Smoking Day” Kimmett, who has served the community for 30 years, is hoping a day without tobacco could encourage some smokers to stop for good. Cochrane officials say many smokers fail to quit because they try to do it alone, but could feel empowered if the whole town is behind them.The mayor and council are asking non-smokers to show their support by refraining from their own vices such as soda pop, sugar or alcohol.Things kick off Saturday with a pancake breakfast and registration, followed by presentations on programs and products to help smokers kick the habit.People who attend the event will be entered to win an airline ticket, and will receive an extra entry for all full packages of tobacco they hand in. (CTV Calgary) The Canadian Press
OTTAWA — Canada is being urged to help plug a US$1-million funding shortfall that would allow the Special Criminal Court for war-ravaged Central African Republic to keep operating.That request comes with the release of a report on Wednesday by Human Rights Watch, which calls on Canada and several countries to help preserve the underfunded court, which is widely viewed as a key part of the West African country’s reconciliation process after years of sectarian violence that started in 2013.Elise Keppler, the report’s author, says there are a number of reasons why Canada should be contributing.She says Canada’s feminist foreign policy makes it a natural fit for helping combat the gender-based violence that has been an ugly feature of the country’s ongoing carnage.Canada has also supplied one of the deputy prosecutors to the special court, which Keppler says is a hybrid institution that has domestic jurisdiction but has international help because CAR’s justice system has also been largely destroyed in years of conflict.The latest United Nations estimate cited more than 60 cases of conflict-related sexual violence involving more than 150 victims between February and June of this year.Sectarian violence exploded in the country between 2013 and 2016 before a relative peace was restored, but continuing violence is undermining a series of peace agreements.“Canada has taken an important step by seconding a prosecutor to serve at the Special Criminal Court,” Keppler said in an interview from New York.“We would look to Canada to have an even greater return on that investment by stepping forward to also make a financial contribution to the court so it has the resources it needs to deliver justice for victims in the Central African Republic, where the crimes have included widespread killing, rape and other sexual violence.”Canada has a history of supporting international criminal justice, including a special tribunal for Sierra Leone, another West African country that was plagued by a decade-long civil that ended in 2002, she said.The CAR’s court’s annual budget is a modest US$12 million to US$13 million per year, compared with the US$30-million budget for the Sierra Leone court, which was established by the UN, she added.The Central African Republic is one of the African countries that is often cited as a possible destination for Canadian peacekeepers, but the government has yet to make a decision on where to deploy them.“Not to say that peacekeeping and prosecutions are at all the same,” said Keppler. “Something like peacekeeping is many times more expensive.”Wednesday’s report urges CAR to step up its investigations and urgently recruit additional staff so justice can be administered for victims of war crimes and other offences.Keppler and researchers from her New York-based organization conducted 25 interviews in the CAR capital of Bangui in April with rights defenders, lawyers, and victims. Government officials who work on the court were not available to speak.“Human-rights defenders and victims expressed strong concerns that vague provisions on justice in a peace accord signed in February could limit the government’s co-operation and support to the Special Criminal Court,” Human Rights Watch said in a statement accompanying the report’s release.The report also urges Germany, Japan, Switzerland, Norway, Denmark, and Sweden to consider stepping forward with financial support. Mike Blanchfield, The Canadian Press
The Prince of Wales spoke this week of the increasing number of people turning to the Samaritans for help in the tough economic climate.Joanna Lumley and Prince CharlesCredit/Copyright: http://www.princeofwales.gov.uk/news-and-diary/the-prince-of-wales-celebrates-60-years-of-the-samaritansHis Royal Highness, the charity’s patron since 1999, spoke at a reception at Clarence House celebrating the organisation’s 60th anniversary and looking to its future role.He said it had “touched so many people’s lives” over six decades and would “need to continue to evolve and meet the technological challenges of providing new services within the online environment”.He told an audience which included actress Joanna Lumley and Stephen Fry: “As I need scarcely tell you, our society is facing tough times and the Samaritans have already seen a significant increase in the demand for their services.“More people die by suicide each year, can you believe this, than in road traffic accidents and in 2011 there were more than 6,000 suicides.“With a further 130,000 attempted suicides that year, this is indeed an issue that we need to tackle and, as their patron, I want to continue to support the Samaritans who are at the forefront of supporting our country to do this.”The Prince spoke of people needing help, ranging from isolated farmers in rural areas to stressed urban workers and young people he had met through his Prince’s Trust organisation.The Samaritans was founded in 1953 by Dr Chad Varah and was the world’s first 24-hour telephone helpline. Its aim is to reduce the number of people committing suicide in the UK, which stood at 6,045 in 2011.The first call was made on 2nd November that year and since then it has expanded from one man and a telephone to an operation with 20,665 volunteers in 201 branches answering more than five million calls for help.His Royal Highness spoke about its increasing use of email and text messaging to contact vulnerable people.Actress and campaigner Ms Lumley, who celebrated her 67th birthday at the event, said it was “up to all of us” to help those in need like the original Good Samaritan in the Bible. “I think that what The Prince was saying was that the number of people so wretched they feel like ending their lives, and then those poor ones who do end their lives, it is absolutely horrifying,” she said.“And knowing that through the Samaritans – if they could have got to the Samaritans – the chances are they could… be talked down from such a position of hopelessness.”Ms Lumley told how she became a “pen pal” of Dr Varah, who died aged 95 in 2007, after he wrote “a letter of admiration” when she was a columnist for The Times. They only met when he was 90. She added that he would have been very proud of the organisation today.Source:PrinceOfWales.gov.uk