APTN National NewsIt has been 17 days for a young Vancouver woman literally starving on the doorstep of B.C. Hydro’s downtown corporate offices.She’s there demanding B.C. Hydro stop the construction of the controversial Site C Dam project in the north-eastern part of the province.APTN’s Tina House has this story.
Matt Thordarson APTN National NewsAbout a week ago, Indigenous activists started occupying Indigenous Affairs offices in Toronto.They did it to bring awareness to the suicide crisis in Attawapiskat.Similar occupations soon followed across the country.So a week later, what’s going on?
(MKO Grand Chief Sheila North Wilson at the Assembly of First Nations special chiefs assembly Thursday. Photo: APTN)Paul Barnsley APTN NewsAs Missing and Murdered Women and Girls Inquiry Chief Commissioner Marion Buller was telling APTN that she would ask the federal government for a two year extension of the inquiry’s mandate, a resolution brought to the Assembly of First Nations December assembly floor by Fort William First Nation Chief Peter Collins was being debated by the chiefs and proxies.Shortly after, the resolution endorsing an extension of the mandate was passed.But an amendment calling for Buller to be replaced was included.The vote was 48-15. Although there were close to 250 chiefs in attendance for Day 1 of the three-day affair, the quorum is established based on the number of chiefs in attendance each day.Since the hall in the Ottawa Westin was nowhere as crowded on the assembly’s final day as it had been for the first two days, the 63 votes met the rules for a quorum.(Inquiry commissioner Marion Buller addressing the AFN Thursday. Photo: APTN)Buller had just finished addressing the assembly. It had been an emotional couple of hours.The grief, anger and frustration percolating in First Nations communities across Canada erupted into raw fury at times Thursday morning, with Buller, accompanied by Commissioner Qajaq Robinson, bearing the brunt of it.Delaware Nation at Moravian Town Chief Denise Stonefish, who is also a member of the Assembly of First Nations (AFN) women’s council, predicted on the first day of the assembly that Buller was going to hear some criticism.“The AFN is prepared to call for some changes to the inquiry process if it is not proceeding in a good way,” Stonefish said.As the final day began and the chiefs awaited Buller’s arrival, Stonefish reminded them that they had passed a resolution last July calling for the inquiry to be less legalistic and less top-down.But after Buller’s 35-minute address to the chiefs, the floor was thrown open to comments and questions.Long lines had already formed at the two microphones provided for people on the floor to address the assembly.(Jocelyn Wabano-Iahtail at the AFN meeting Thursday in Ottawa. Photo: APTN)Jocelyn Wabano-Iahtail, an activist from Attawapiskat, went first and she was angry.“You give us our inquiry back,” she told Buller. “Without ceremony, it’s a gong show.”She said people from her community had testified at one of the inquiry’s 28 community visits so far. She said they had been left without food, accommodation or travel.“You left us with no supports whatsoever,” she added. “My nephew is now dead after giving testimony to your inquiry. How do you fix that exactly?”She said the inquiry had lost records that the family needed.Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak (MKO) Grand Chief Sheila North Wilson joined in on the attack.“This issue became a national election issue, an international issue, because of the women, the work they did lobbying for an inquiry,” she said. “You’re making it about yourself and your commissioners.”Buller sat at head table stoically absorbing the criticism without reaction.“You’re probably a brilliant person but you’re not a brilliant commissioner,” North Wilson continued. “I’m actually repulsed that you’re here, showing no emotion. We need to see you resign. We see a commission that’s falling apart. You need to go.”Given the chance to defend herself, Buller chose not to respond to the specific criticisms.“I’m always grateful for constructive criticism because it’s helpful for the work we do,” she said. “Our work is important. The commissioners and I intend to continue because that’s what the survivors and families are telling us. We intend to continue.”Assembly co-chair Harold Tarbell noticed there were still long lines at the microphones so he recognized Neskonlith First Nation Chief Judy Wilson.She referred to reports that the inquiry has cost more than $50 million so far.“Fifty-four million is for nothing if there’s no justice,” she said. “Canada has to get it right. There’s a stark difference between the TRC (Truth and Reconciliation Commission) and this inquiry. Why? Is it money? Is it organization? Is it how it’s led?”Wilson said the scope of the inquiry was too limited and not designed to bring perpetrators to justice.It was then the Fort William chief got the floor.“I want to put a resolution forward to ask for an extension because if the inquiry doesn’t go forward it will have failed,” said Peter Collins.He added that the terms of reference that started the whole process, designed by the federal government, were a failure themselves, seeking to limit accountability for the damage done to thousands of First Nations people.(Inquiry commissioner Qajaq Robinson sits at the AFN and listens to criticism of Marion Buller and the workings of the commission. Photo: APTN)Earlier, Buller seemed to sense she would face some criticism.During her presentation, she pointed out that the job was tough and the commission would continue to need all the help and support it could get.“The task given to the national inquiry is daunting. We cannot do it alone,” she told the chiefs. “I know that we’ve been criticized and some of that criticism has been valid. But we’ve done a lot of work and it’s only been nine months. Somehow that’s been lost in the translation. The TRC had seven years, we’ve been given two.”She reported that a new team of statement takers who would seek out incarcerated women and people on the street. The commission has also asked the federal government to come up with more money for after-care for those who do testify.“We have to dig deeper. That’s what the families and the people in this room have told us,” Buller firstname.lastname@example.org
OTTAWA – Canada’s share of the fastest growing industry in the world has been shrinking over the last decade — and a new report says it’s time to step it up or miss out on a trillion-dollar opportunity.The Ottawa-based Smart Prosperity Institute report — to be released today in Vancouver at the Globe Forum Leadership Summit for Sustainable Business — says clean technology will be a $2.2-trillion industry worldwide by 2022, with an estimated $3.6 trillion of investment up for grabs globally between now and 2030.However, Canada’s market share in the global clean tech industry has fallen 12 per cent in the last decade, and will continue to contract without a solid, long-term commitment to growing the industry, said institute co-chair Stewart Elgie, a professor of law and economics at the University of Ottawa.“Clean innovation is the big global economic prize in the next decade that leading nations are pursuing around the world,” Elgie said. “If Canada wants to win that race, we’ve got to raise our game.”However, the Pan Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change lays out a number of policies that will compel more clean tech innovation in Canada, he said, including a price on pollution with a carbon price, to be in place across Canada by the start of next year, as well as a promised national clean fuels strategy, better energy efficiency standards and limits on greenhouse gases like methane.There also needs to be significant government funding available to help get good Canadian ideas through the development stage and to market. Canada does well at coming up with ideas and making them work, Elgie said, but it’s not so good at commercializing those ideas and scaling up production, often because of a lack of available capital.The private sector is often still leery about clean technology, because it’s all very new.“The truth of it is every major commercial technology of the last century has involved significant public investment and public support,” Elgie said. “Every one — even the oilsands, which has had billions of dollars in public investment before it ultimately became commercially viable and the private sector ran with it.”Last year, Canada jumped three spots to number four on the Global Clean Tech Innovation Index, a measure of where the best clean technology ideas are expected to come from in the next decade. But if Canada can’t provide the financial help to get those good ideas out, it will miss out on huge opportunities, he warned.Of course, not everybody sees the Liberal government’s policies — particularly the carbon price — as helpful.Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer, new Ontario counterpart Doug Ford and Jason Kenney, leader of Alberta’s United Conservatives, have all promised to cancel or roll back carbon pricing if elected. They call carbon pricing a tax that will make Canada uncompetitive, particularly up against a U.S. that doesn’t have a similar burden.Kenney, for one, has called it a “massive tax on everything” and “a massive wealth distribution scheme requiring a massive bureaucracy to administer.”The report says encouraging clean innovation requires government both pushing and pulling industry along. That means setting standards that encourage the new technologies, such as a promised renewable fuels standard, aimed at encouraging ways to ensure fuel consumers like cars and furnaces produce fewer greenhouse gas emissions.— follow @mrabson on Twitter
Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell warned Friday that the Fed’s independence from political pressure must be respected if it is to succeed in controlling inflation, maximizing employment and regulating the financial system.His remarks Friday came after Kevin Warsh, a former Fed official who President Donald Trump interviewed for the chairman post, said in an interview earlier this month with Politico that Trump did not appear to view the Fed as an independent body. He said Trump was direct about how he thought interest rates should be managed.Powell, in a speech in Stockholm, warned against taking that independence for granted given its recent success in keeping inflation low.“We must not forget the lessons of the past, when a lack of central bank independence led to episodes of runaway inflation and subsequent economic contractions,” Powell said in prepared remarks.Following Warsh’s comments regarding Trump, members of the Senate Banking Committee quizzed two of Trump’s nominees for the Federal Reserve Board, Richard Clarida and Michelle Bowman, about the importance of Fed independence.Both said yes when asked by Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, whether they thought it was important for the Fed to remain free from White House influence. Clarida said that neither Trump nor any other member of his administration had said anything during his interviews that would be compromising to the Fed’s independence.“I had a number of meetings over several months with a number of officials, including the president, and in no meeting, at no time, did I ever have any reason to question the independence of the Federal Reserve,” Clarida said then.The double-digit inflation of the late 1970s is often blamed, in part, on then-Federal Reserve Chairman Arthur Burns, who was reluctant to raise short-term interest rates high enough to choke off inflation for fear of causing massive unemployment.Burns and other Fed officials were pressured by President Richard Nixon, who was leery of any political blowback from rising unemployment.Inflation remained high into the early 1980s until Paul Volcker, appointed Fed Chair by President Jimmy Carter, pushed short-term interest rates to nearly 20 per cent. That sparked a sharp recession, but it also reined in inflation.Powell spoke at a conference celebrating the 350th anniversary of the Riksbank, Sweden’s equivalent of the Fed.The Fed is also focused on making its actions transparent, Powell said, in order to bolster public support. That’s increasingly important at a time when “trust in government and public institutions is at historic lows,” he said.Research has shown that an independent central bank typically does a better job regulating banks and the broader financial system, Powell said.“There can be no macroeconomic stability without financial stability,” he said.___AP Economics Writer Martin Crutsinger contributed to this report.
SAN FRANCISCO – A Canadian young computer hacker who American investigators say unwittingly worked for Russian spies was sentenced to five years in prison Tuesday for his role in a massive security breach at Yahoo that U.S. federal agents say was directed by a Russian intelligence agency.U.S. Judge Vince Chhabria also fined Karim Baratov $250,000 during a sentencing hearing in San Francisco.Baratov, 23, pleaded guilty in November to nine felony hacking charges. He acknowledged in his plea agreement that he began hacking as a teen seven years ago and charged customers $100 per hack to access web-based emails. U.S. prosecutors allege he was “an international hacker for hire” who indiscriminately hacked for clients he did not know or vet, including dozens of jobs paid for by Russia’s Federal Security Service.Baratov, who was born in Kazakhstan but lived in Hamilton, charged customers to obtain another person’s webmail passwords by tricking them to enter their credentials into a fake password reset page.He was arrested in Hamilton in March 2017 under the Extradition Act after American authorities indicted him for computer hacking, economic espionage and other crimes.After Baratov’s guilty plea, his lawyers told reporters he hacked only eight accounts and did not know that he was working for Russian agents connected to the Yahoo breach.“He’s been transparent and forthright with the government since he got here,” lawyer Andrew Mancilla said at the time.In August 2017, Baratov decided to forgo his extradition hearing to face the charges in California. His Canadian lawyer at the time said that the move was to speed up the legal process.Meanwhile, U.S. prosecutors said in court papers that Baratov’s Russian-language website named “webhacker” advertised services for “hacking of email accounts without prepayment.”They said Russian security service hired Baratov to target dozens of email accounts using information obtained from the Yahoo hack. Prosecutors argued that Russia’s Federal Security Service targeted Russian journalists, U.S. and Russian government officials and employees of financial services and other private businesses.Baratov and his lawyers also said his work with the Russia spy agency was unwitting.The court documents allege Baratov claimed he could access webmail accounts maintained by Google and Russian providers such as Mail.Ru and Yandezx. He would provide customers with a screenshot of the hacked account and promised he could change security questions so they could maintain control of the account.The U.S. Justice Department also charged two Russian spies with orchestrating the 2014 security breach at Yahoo to steal data from 500 million users. Dmitry Aleksandrovich Dokuchaev and Igor Anatolyevich remain at large and prosecutors believe they are living in Russia, which doesn’t have an extradition treaty with the United States.He is alleged to have collected more than $1.1 million in fees, which he used to buy a house and expensive cars.“Deterrence is particularly important in a case like this,” the judge said during the hearing. He rejected prosecutors call for a prison sentence of nearly 10 years, noting Baratov’s age and clean criminal record prior to his arrest.Lawyer Amedeo DiCarlo, who represented Baratov while he was in Canada, said in an email that Baratov is satisfied with the court’s decision.“The judge used all criteria possible to assist Karim and, given the time he had already served and the time expected to serve, he will be out in approximately three years,” DiCarlo said. “The justice system worked for a man who took responsibility and I’m sure he learned many lessons.”Baratov has been in custody since his arrest last year. He told the judge Tuesday that his time behind bars has been “a very humbling and eye-opening experience.”He apologized to those he hacked and promised “to be a better man” and obey the law upon his release. The judge said it is likely Baratov will be deported once he is released from prison.– With files from The Canadian Press
Toronto’s main stock index plummeted more than 100 points before the long weekend as Canada and the U.S. failed to reach a trade agreement by President Donald Trump’s self-imposed deadline Friday.The two countries met this week for a new round of NAFTA negotiations, hoping to strike a deal by the end of the week, but now it appears talks will continue after the Labour Day long weekend.“With the events that we’re having with NAFTA, certainly having some pressure on the market,” said Sid Mokhtari, with CIBC Capital Markets.The S&P/TSX composite index shed 108.67 points to 16,262.88.“It’s certainly has a lot to do with the politics, and I don’t think it’s primarily anything fundamental at this point,” he said, referencing off-the-record comments made by Trump to Bloomberg News that were leaked to the Toronto Star newspaper and published Friday morning.Trump, who has since confirmed the comments in a tweet, said that any deal with Canada would be “totally on our terms.”Investors may assume the pending deal will not be a good one for Canada or not quite what the country is looking for, said Mokhtari.Both countries have remained stubborn on certain issues and negotiations are expected to continue next week, starting Wednesday. Trump notified Congress that his administration intends to sign a trade agreement in 90 days with Mexico and Canada, should it be willing to do so.The health care and information technology sectors were the only two on the TSX to close in the green and offset some of the losses on the index. Cannabis companies Aphria Inc. and Canopy Growth Corp. led the health care sector where shares gained 6.06 per cent and 2.4 per cent respectively.The rhetoric also pushed down the Canadian dollar. The loonie closed lower at 76.60 cents US compared with an average of 77.04 cents US on Thursday.In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average fell 22.10 points to 25,964.82. The S&P 500 index gained 0.39 points to 2,901.52, while the Nasdaq composite advanced 21.17 points to 8,109.54.The October crude contract retreated 45 cents to US$69.80 per barrel and the October natural gas contract gained four cents to roughly US$2.92 per mmBTU.The December gold contract rose US$1.70 to US$1,206.70 an ounce and the December copper contract declined about five cents to US$2.68 a pound.Follow @AleksSagan on Twitter.
NEW YORK, N.Y. – The Wall Street Journal is reporting that CBS and its parent company National Amusements are in talks to settle pending litigation over who controls the broadcaster.CBS and National Amusements, run by media mogul Shari Redstone, have been duking it out in court since May when CBS attempted to issue a special dividend that would strip National Amusements of its controlling stake in the media company.According to the Journal, the settlement talks include CBS dropping the dividend. In exchange, National Amusements would agree not to push for a merger between CBS and Viacom, which it also controls. The trial had been set for early October.The report cited anonymous sources familiar with the matter. National Amusements and CBS both declined to comment.
GRANDE PRAIRIE, A.B. – The RCMP in Grande Prairie are investigating a fatal collision that occurred at the intersection of Canfor Road and the Forestry Trunk Road on Thursday.At roughly 12:45 p.m. on February 22nd, a truck travelling southbound on the Forestry Road collided with a logging truck that was travelling eastbound on the Canfor Road. The 67-year-old driver of the southbound vehicle and his 27-year-old passenger, both from the Edmonton area, were confirmed to be deceased at the scene.A female passenger from Mundare was airlifted to a hospital via STARS air ambulance with serious injuries. The driver of the logging truck was uninjured. The RCMP is currently investigating all possible contributing factors that could have caused the crash.
The goal for Callihoo’s First Nation is to become a self-sufficient community that does not rely on government subsidies for the next seven generations, he said, and a stake in the pipeline project would go a long way to achieving that objective.The McMurray Metis are flourishing thanks to the economic opportunities provided by the oilsands, said chief executive officer Bill Loutitt, pointing to higher-than-average numbers of Aboriginal graduates in the region. The group will continue to push for a stake in Trans Mountain, he said.Loutitt said Trudeau’s government should pass legislation to urgently resume construction on the project in Alberta, while also fulfilling their obligations to consult and review tanker traffic impacts. It should consider including Alberta Indigenous groups in talks with B.C. First Nations, he added.“The one common thing that we’re concerned about is the environment,” he said. “But the way to take care of the environment is to be involved on the inside. That’s where you’re able to make the changes.” The McMurray Metis have opposed projects in the past and learned development usually happens regardless, he said, so the only difference is whether the community benefits from the project and has control over it.“I really see an opportunity for the coastal First Nations to be a big part in piloting these tankers and actually taking control of what’s going on in their backyard,” he said.But Rueben George, a representative of the Tsleil-Waututh Nation in North Vancouver, said he couldn’t imagine his community ever supporting the project or purchasing a stake.The Tsleil-Waututh commissioned its own 1,200-page environmental assessment and concluded the project was a threat not only to its traditional territories but to the global fight against climate change, he said.“This isn’t good for Canada. This isn’t good for the world,” he said.The community could have negotiated a mutual-benefits agreement worth millions but it chose to protect the land and water instead, he added.But George said he understands why dozens of First Nations signed agreements and why some want to go further and invest in the project. Indigenous Peoples are statistically not doing well in Canada and communities have to make hard choices to keep members fed and housed, he said.“In some communities in our country, we have 90 percent, 95 percent unemployment. I understand they have to make moves forward,” George said. “They have to look out for their people.”(THE CANADIAN PRESS) “There are no shortcuts when it comes to consultation,” said Brad Callihoo, the chief executive officer of the Fort McMurray #468 First Nation. “(The ruling) identifies an issue that needs to be addressed. The system is broken when it comes to consultation and we need to fix it.”Canada has purchased the existing Trans Mountain pipeline for $4.5 billion and pledged to complete the expansion project, which would triple the line’s capacity to 890,000 barrels of oil a day and increase the number of tankers in Metro Vancouver’s Burrard Inlet seven-fold.Several First Nations in coastal and central B.C. filed lawsuits against the project, citing inadequate consultation. As they celebrated their win on the banks of Burrard Inlet on Aug. 30, dozens of construction workers from Callihoo’s First Nation were sent home from their jobs.Indigenous communities on either side of the pipeline fight say they respect each other’s stance and feel no sense of division between them. First Nations aren’t always going to agree, but all deserve meaningful consultation, said Callihoo.“Do I think there could be common ground for all the First Nations? Absolutely. But we have to be able to come to the table and meet the demands of the B.C. First Nations, just as (was done with) the Alberta First Nations.”Not all Aboriginal groups in B.C. oppose the project. Thirty-three First Nations signed mutual-benefits agreements with Kinder Morgan Canada Ltd. before the expansion was taken over by the federal government, and Cheam First Nation Chief Ernie Crey has expressed interest in buying a stake. VANCOUVER, B.C. – Some First Nations and Metis communities are determined to purchase an equity stake in the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion despite a court ruling that halted construction and potentially set the project back for years.The Federal Court of Appeal ruling quashed the government’s approval of the project, requiring it to examine the impacts of increased tanker traffic and consult more deeply with Aboriginal groups along the pipeline route.Indigenous groups in Fort McMurray, Alta., say they still want to invest in the project and believe the ruling creates an opportunity for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government to get consultation right.
“We were happy to get on board to have the consultation in Fort St. John and have invited individuals, parents, support groups and those who care for adults living with developmental disabilities to participate and provide the province with feedback on what community inclusion should be”, said LaBoucane.The community inclusion meeting for adults living with developmental disabilities takes place November 15 at 6:30 p.m. at the Fort St. John Association for Community Living, located at 10251-100 Avenue.For more information and for registration, you can call the Fort St. John Association for Community Living at 250-787-9262 FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The Ministry of Social Development in partnership with the Fort St. John Association for Community Living will be holding a meeting to discuss community inclusion for adults living with developmental disabilities.The objective of the meeting is to update a shared vision for community inclusion and to guide planning for how provincial services and supports should change and evolve over the next 10 years.Renee LaBoucane, Executive Director of Fort St. John Association for Community Living, says they have invited various members of the community to attend.
Co-Campaign Manager Tina Tucker says they are grateful for the support from the community in Fort St. John.“I am proud to say thanks to all the volunteers who helped make the Poppy campaign a huge success this year. I just want to say thank you Fort St. John for supporting our local Veterans and their families.”The Poppy Fund provides support to Veterans, including Canadian Armed Forces and RCMP, and their families who are in need. FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – C.M. Finch Elementary School recently donated $975.00 to the Fort St. John Poppy Campaign.The money was raised through the School where students and community members donated money towards the Poppy Campaign.The $975.00 donation now brings the Campaign’s total to $45,503.48.
Damascus: The Syrian government on Friday condemned US President Donald Trump’s pledge to recognise Israel’s annexation of the Golan Heights, saying it flies in the face of international law. Trump on Thursday called the Golan — a strategic area seized from Syria in 1967 and annexed in a move never recognised by the international community — “of critical strategic and security importance to the State of Israel and Regional Stability!” The Syrian government denounced his comments, saying they flagrantly disregarded international law. “The American position towards Syria’s occupied Golan Heights clearly reflects the United States’ contempt for international legitimacy and its flagrant violation of international law,” a foreign ministry source told the official SANA news agency. The source said Trump’s comments showed the extent of his administration’s bias towards Israel. They “once again confirmed the United State’s blind bias in favour of the Zionist occupation forces and its unlimited support for their aggressive actions.” The source accused the US of stoking tensions and threatening international stability, and urged members of the international community to stand against such positions and act in accordance with international law. “The statements of the US president and his administration on the occupied Syrian Golan will never change the fact that the Golan was and will remain Arab and Syrian,” the source said. The Arab League echoed the Syrian government’s position.
Kolkata: The Election Commission (EC) has given the nod to the state government to continue with its social scheme “Rupashree”.Chief Secretary Malay De has recently sought clarifications from the EC regarding the continuation of some of its schemes with the Model Code of Conduct (MCC) in place after the announcement of the Lok Sabha polls. The Commission, a few days back, had granted permission to the state government to continue its “Somobyathi” scheme. Under the “Rupashree” scheme that was launched in April 2018, one-time financial assistance of Rs 25,000 is given to the economically-stressed families at the time of their daughters’ marriages. In “Somobyathi”, a one-time ex-gratia grant of Rs 2,000 is given to the bereaved family members of a deceased who are in extreme financial need. It may be mentioned that a number of people had approached the state government informing about their difficulty as they were not getting benefits from certain schemes like “Rupashree”, “Somobyathi” and the like. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had directed De to take up the matter with the EC as she felt that the MCC should not be a hindrance in running schemes of public interest that have been announced much earlier and are ongoing. She also expressed her concern over the sufferings of people with the stalling of such schemes. “Marriages are settled much earlier and the rituals are performed as per the convenience of the family members. Similarly, an unfortunate death of a person may occur anytime. The Model Code of Conduct should not be a barrier in providing benefits under these schemes,” Banerjee had reasoned. A senior official of the state government informed that the government has also urged the Election Commission seeking an extension of procurement of potatoes from farmers by a week. The dates for the purchase of potatoes from farmers was scheduled from March 1 to 17. However, with heavy rains affecting the potato cultivation, the state had sought extension till March 24. “The EC is yet to respond to this plea,” the official said.
New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Tuesday issued a notice to advocate Utsav Bains who has alleged that there is a conspiracy to frame Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi in a sexual harassment case.The bench, headed by Justice Arun Mishra, while directing the presence of Bains on Wednesday in the court, asked him to produce evidence in support of paras 17 and 20 of his affidavit filed in the apex court on Monday. The court has taken suo motu cognisance of his affidavit.
New Delhi: Former Army chief Dalbir Singh Suhag has been appointed as India’s next high commissioner to Seychelles, a country which is of strategic importance to India in the Indian Ocean region.”He is expected to take up the assignment shortly,” the Ministry of External Affairs said while making the announcement. General (retired) Suhag was the Army chief from July 31, 2014, to December 31, 2016. He was also part of the Indian Peace Keeping Force (IPKF) in Sri Lanka in 1987. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM’His appointment as Indian High Commissioner to Seychelles comes amid deepening military ties between India and the island nation. India is developing Assumption Island in Seychelles as a naval base to expand its footprint in the strategically-key region where China has been trying to enhance its military presence. An agreement to develop the island was inked in 2015 between India and Seychelles. In June last year, Seychelles President Danny Faure visited India during which both countries agreed to work together on the Assumption Island project. Before his visit to India, there were reports from the island nation that it was cancelling the pact with New Delhi to develop the naval base in Assumption island.
Beijing: Rajasthan’s 17-year-old teenager Divyansh Singh Panwar on Friday secured India’s fourth Olympic quota place in shooting by winning a silver in the ISSF World Cup here. Competing in only his second senior competition, Divyansh shot a total of 249.0 in the 10m air rifle event to finish a creditable second in the International Shooting Sport Federation World Cup for pistol and rifle shooters. In fact, he missed out on the gold medal by just 0.4 points, which eventually went to China’s Zicheng Hui, who shot 249.4. Also Read – We will push hard for Kabaddi”s inclusion in 2024 Olympics: RijijuGrigorii Shamakov of Russia settled for bronze with a score of 227.5. This is India’s fourth 2020 Tokyo Olympic quota after Anjum Moudgil and Apurvi Chandela (10m air rifle women), and Saurabh Choudhary (10m Air Pistol men) had secured berths in the earlier World Cups and last year’s World Championship. Divyansh had qualified in third position for the final with a total score of 629.2 in the 60-shot competition. In the eight-man 24-shot final, Divyansh shot like a seasoned pro and barring a 95, none of his scores were below 10.1. Also Read – Djokovic to debut against Shapovalov at Shanghai MastersWhile a 10.9 in his 21st shot was the highlight, two other shots — a 10.5 to secure bronze and a 10.5 when faced with a bit of pressure from the legendary Hungarian Peter Sidi ahead of his 17th shot — stood out. Hailing from Jaipur, Divyansh was never out of contention in the final, staying in the top three throughout. Among the other Indians in the fray, Ravi Kumar finished 44th with a score of 624.1 while Deepak Kumar was placed 57th with 622.6. “Feeling really proud to have won quota for my country. I have gained in experience from this final. It was very tough with proven shooters, Olympians in fray,” Divyansh said after winning the medal and quota. China had already secured its maximum two quotas in the event, ensuring the two available berths went to Indian and Russia.
Gurugram: As many as 802 booths have been identified as sensitive. These booths are present in Sohna, Badshapur and even the Gurugram city. Under the 802 polling booths, 368 are 368 sensitive areas and 434 hypersensitive areas. The maximum number of sensitive booths have been identified in Sohna which s then followed by Badshapur and even parts of Gurugram urban area.According to officials, there is a possibility that in the booths that have been identified as sensitive there can be violence which can be initiated by the rival groups. Also Read – Odd-Even: CM seeks transport dept’s views on exemption to women, two wheelers, CNG vehiclesIn Sohna, there are 78 sensitive booths and 114 hypersensitive booths. In Pataudi, there are 44 sensitive booths and 45 hypersensitive booths while in Badhahpur there are 77 hypersensitive booths. At 13 there are also a substantial number of hypersensitive booths in Gurugram urban area. Gurugram deputy commissioner Amit Khatri said additional forces will be deployed in such polling stations to maintain law and order and ensure peaceful polling. A polling station is deemed normal, sensitive or hypersensitive after being ranked by the level of its vulnerability to violence based on criteria such as violent incidents in the past, if 75 per cent or more votes went to a single candidate, among other factors.
New Delhi: Congress president Rahul Gandhi Wednesday tendered an unconditional apology in the Supreme Court for wrongfully attributing to the apex court the ‘chowkidar chor hai’ remark in the Rafale verdict. He also sought closure of the criminal contempt proceedings against him on a petition filed by BJP MP Meenakshi Lekhi. In a fresh three-page affidavit, Gandhi said he holds the apex court in the “highest esteem and respect” and that he has never sought to do anything which interferes with the process of administration of justice. Also Read – India gets first tranche of Swiss account details under automatic exchange framework “The deponent (Rahul Gandhi) unconditionally apologises for the wrongful attributions to this court. The deponent further states that any such attributions were entirely unintentional, non-wilful and inadvertent,” Gandhi said in his affidavit. “The deponent most respectfully prays that this court may be graciously pleased to accept the instant affidavit and close the present contempt proceedings,” the affidavit stated. Gandhi also said the affidavit is made “bonafide and in the interest of justice, and nothing material has been concealed therefrom” Also Read – Trio win Nobel Medicine Prize for work on cells, oxygen “At the outset the deponent herein most respectfully submits that he holds this court in the highest esteem, and respect. The deponent has never sought or intended to, directly or indirectly, commit any act that it interferes with the process of administration of justice,” the Congress chief said in his affidavit. BJP MP Meenakshi Lekhi, who filed the contempt petition against Gandhi, had alleged that he has attributed his personal remarks to the top court and tried to create prejudice.
New Delhi: Jamia Millia Islamia’s first woman Vice-Chancellor Najma Akhtar has urged varsity staff to ensure that they pass no comments on students’ clothing, complexion, race or religion. Addressing the members of the teaching and the non-teaching fraternity Monday, Professor Akhtar underlined the need for updating the existing courses, overhauling outdated ones and opening new courses in sync with contemporary demands. “Growth and development of an institution has two dimensions consolidation and expansion. We must try to consolidate what we already have, update and tone up programmes that have been running and overhaul those that are outdated and lagging behind,” she said. Akhtar said JMI is a gender-sensitive institution and right from its inception, it has embraced the idea of co-education and healthy mixing and growth of both genders. “Let us do nothing or make no such utterances that can be even remotely be interpreted as disrespectful or derogatory to women,” she cautioned. Staff members should not make any comments on a student’s clothing, complexion, race, place of origin or religion, Akhtar said. “Women empowerment will be a special focus of the current administration,” the vice-chancellor said, adding, “let us all cultivate common virtues of humanity and cosmopolitanism.”