New Delhi: Investment banker-turned politician Mahua Moitra, legislator from Krishnanagar Lok Sabha constituency in West Bengal, delivered one of the most feisty speeches – not many thought of. During speaking on the Motion of Thanks for the President’s speech, Moitra attacked the ruling Modi-led NDA government with her maiden speech in the Lok Sabha and said, “All the signs of early fascism were visible in India today.”Giving a glimpse of her oratory skill, the eloquent speaker said, “You may say, acche din are here and the sun will never set on this Indian empire that this Government is seeking to build. But, then you are missing the signs. If you only would open your eyes, you would see that there are signs everywhere that this country is torn apart.” Also Read – Cong may promise farm loan waiver in HaryanaBeginning her speech, she further congratulated the incumbent government on its resonant mandate. “It is the very nature of the overwhelmingness of this mandate that makes it necessary for us to be heard today, the voice of dissent to be heard today. Had the mandate been any less, there would have been a natural checks and balances woven into the narrative.” While concluding Moitra said that the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum had put up a poster in its lobby in 2017 that highlighted the seven signs of early fascism. Moitra declared all these signs could be seen in India now. Also Read – Modi formed OBC commission which earlier govts didn’t do: ShahMaking further attack, she said the Constitution was under threat and accused BJP MPs of thinking that the Sun will never set on the great Indian empire. Taking a dig on the NRC, the first time MP asserted, “Citizens are being thrown out of their homes and are being called illegal immigrants. People who have lived in this country for 50 years have to show a piece of paper to prove they are Indians. In a country where ministers cannot produce degrees to show that they graduated from college, you expect disposed poor people to show papers as proof that they belong to this country?” Referring the increasing numbers of criminal incidents across the country and the recent lynching in Jharkhand, the TMC Parliamentarian also mentioned, “There is resounding disdain for human rights that is permeating in every level of governance. There has been a ten-fold increase in the number of hate crimes between 2014 and 2019… The lynching of citizens in broad daylight is being condoned. From Pehlu Khan in Rajasthan last year to Mr Ansari in Jharkhand yesterday, the list is not stopping.” As the final of her seven warnings, Moitra also noted that there was “erosion of independence in the electoral system” and alleged that how the autonomous “Election Commission was used to transfer key officials. Rs 60,000 crore was spent in this election; 50 percent by one party, Rs 27,000 crore.”
Lucknow: Samajwadi Party President Akhilesh Yadav is in political hibernation after the announcement of Lok Sabha results. His father Mulayam Singh Yadav has not spoken on the party’s debacle or the end of its alliance with the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and other party leaders are also tight-lipped on these issues. But Aparna Yadav, the younger daughter-in-law of Mulayam Singh Yadav, has said that “Mayawati did not acknowledge the respect that we gave her.” Also Read – Modi formed OBC commission which earlier govts didn’t do: Shah Talking to a TV channel, she said: “Mayawati could not digest the respect that the Samajwadi Party gave her. According to the Vedas, it is said that those who cannot digest respect are the ones who cannot digest disrespect either.” Aparna further said that the decision to enter into an alliance with the BSP was taken by Akhilesh Yadav on his own. “Akhilesh Yadav can tell if he consulted anyone before formalising the alliance. I would not like to comment on whether Netaji (Mulayam) was happy with this decision or not,” she said. Aparna said that all Samajwadis would have to come together and introspect on the reasons behind the party’s performance in Lok Sabha elections. “The BJP has whipped up a huge wave in its favour and it should ring an alarm bell for the Samajwadi Party,” she said.
New Delhi: To enable small and medium businesses )SMBs) save critical time and cost of business operation, PC and printer major HP Inc on Wednesday introduced high-capacity “HP Neverstop Laser” printers in India. “HP Neverstop Laser 1000” series is available from Rs 15,846 (non-wireless) and Rs 17,236 (wireless) while “Neverstop Laser MFP 1200” series would cost Rs 22,057 (non-wireless) and Rs 23,460 (wireless). With the advantage of replacing the toner in 15 seconds and reducing common printing interruptions through innovations and digital integration, “HP Neverstop Laser” printer gives businesses a competitive edge, said the company. Also Read – Spotify rolls out Siri support, new Apple TV app “With breakthrough innovations like Laser Tank, we are helping businesses enjoy high quality laser printing at an affordable rate, and run their print-based workflows without interruption,” said Sumeer Chandra, Managing Director, HP Inc. India. “Now, a larger number of customers can affordably take advantage of HP’s market leading laser printing technology, which has always stood for the highest levels of quality and durability,” Chandra added. Also Read – New Instagram tool to help users spot phishing emails “HP Neverstop Laser” has a printing speed of 20 ppm (A4) with a sharper and bolder text quality. The cost per page starting at 29 paise per page (with the dual laser Toner reload kit) offers customers the opportunity to print with a mess free self reload experience. “As the market leader in Laser printers, we are strengthening our existing portfolio with this new Printer to cater to a wider gamut of customers,” added Leo Joseph, Senior Director, Printing Systems and Solutions, HP Inc. India. The key features include up to 5,000 pages without interruptions and print up to 5,000 pages right out of the box with virtually no interruptions-perfect for high-volume printing. The printers have options for mobile scanning, Wi-Fi Direct and printing with HP Smart App. The “HP Neverstop Laser” toner reload kit is available at Rs 849 (single Pack) and Rs 1,449 (double pack).
Gurugram: It took the courage of five girls of a government school in Manesar to highlight once again the lack of security faced by thousands of students in government schools of Gurugram.Five students of Government Girls Middle School, Manesar, have filed a writ petition in the Punjab and Haryana High Court seeking the court’s intervention in the issue related to the safety of students. The petition mentions that the school premises are used for non-educational purposes and multiple outlets operate out of the school compound. Also Read – After eight years, businessman arrested for kidnap & murderLast month, the girls had also sent a letter to the district education officer outlining their concerns. “A post office, primary health centre, panchayat Bhavan, Anganwadi, and a park run from the school premises. Under the pretext of accessing these public places, many anti-social elements also frequent the school which makes us feel unsafe and also disrupts our education,” stated the letter. The girls had requested the education officer to get the non-educational set-ups removed from the school premises. Also Read – Two brothers held for snatchingsAfter five girls approached the Punjab and Haryana high court against the alleged lack of security at Government Girls Senior Secondary School, Manesar, Deputy Commissioner of Gurugram Amit Khatri on Saturday visited the school to check security arrangements. He later announced the installing of CCTV cameras which surprisingly was not there in the school. The incident of a class-II student being murdered in the washroom of the school in 2017 highlighted the concerns of the safety of children within the school premises. It seems that there are still many educational institutions especially those managed by the Government where the lackadaisical approach is compromising the security of the students. Co-incidentally at around the same time last year a class 11 student attacked his colleague with scissors after an altercation in Sohna. In most of the government schools, students can still be seen coming in and out of the school premises at their will. Moreover, despite the ban, most of the hawkers selling cigarettes have come around the area. There are also complaints that most of the liquore vending units have also set up their shops around the government to target the students. In a damming report that had come it was cited that 150 government schools in Gururgam do not possess the fore NOC.
Sonbhadra (UP): Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on Tuesday visited the Sonbhadra village where 10 tribals were shot dead over a land dispute, nearly a month after the UP administration prevented her from going to the site of the massacre by detaining her in Mirzapur. Priyanka Gandhi covered the distance from Varanasi to Umbha village in Sonbhadra district, about 100 kilometres apart, by road, prompting Uttar Pradesh Deputy Chief Minister Dinesh Sharma to say she was pulling off a “political stunt”. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM’ Shortly after arriving at the Varanasi airport this morning, she tweeted, “Today, I am going to Sonbhadra to meet the brothers-sisters and children of Umbha village, enquire about their well-being and to be part of their struggle.” “I had promised the members of affected families of Umbha village, who had come to meet me at Chunar Fort, that I will visit them,” she said. Later, the UP Congress tweeted photographs of her reaching the village, where armed men led by a former village pradhan had gunned down 10 Gond tribals when they resited an attempt to take control of the disputed land on July 17. Also Read – Farooq demands unconditional release of all detainees in J&K Congress leaders said she will talk to the villagers and get a first-hand account of the steps taken by the state government for their security in the aftermath of the shooting. Deputy Chief Minister Sharma, however, said Priyanka Gandhi should “repent” in Umbha. “The root cause of the Sonbhadra incident can be traced to the Congress. She should go there to repent (paschataap) the act of former Congress leaders. After so many days, when action has already been initiated into the incident, this is only a political stunt,” Sharma said. On July 21, four days after the shooting incident, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath had visited the area and he too had pinned the blame on the previous Congress dispensations for the land dispute, suggesting that it had been lingering on since 1952. After Adityanath’s visit, Priyanka Gandhi had said “acknowledging one’s duty is good”. Two days before the chief minister’s visit, she had tried to visit the village to meet the families of those affected by the shooting. On way to the adjoining district, authorities stopped her in Mirzapur from proceeding further as section 144 of the CrPC was imposed in the village then due to tension in the area. Her detention at the Chunar Fort triggered a standoff between her the state government. She spent the night at the fort and met the members of the tribal community the next day. Before being detained, she had met at a Varanasi hospital the families of those injured. Opposition parties had dubbed her detention as “undemocratic and unconstitutional”. Priyanka Gandhi had then said took a jibe at the chief minister over his visit, saying “acknowledging one’s duty is good”.
Kazan (Russia): India, projected to have the largest working population between 2022 and 2034, has called upon nations to join hands with it to leverage its skilled manpower, with an estimated 10 million youths entering the workforce per annum.India, with a strong 48-member contingent, is among the 63 countries participating in the world’s biggest international vocational skill competition — WorldSkills Kazan 2019, which is underway in the capital of Tatarstan. Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince ‘snubbed’ Pak PM, recalled jet from US”As we know, India is a young nation in an ageing world with the median age of 27.6 years as compared to median age of above 40 in large parts of developed nations. India is also projected to be the region with the largest working population from 2022 till 2034. In view of this, skilling on global standards can ensure global mobility of highly skilled Indian workforce,” Minister for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship Mahendra Nath Pandey said here. Also Read – Record number of 35 candidates in fray for SL Presidential pollsHe urged nations to come forward to encash this opportunity while attending the second edition of the Summit for Ministers, held in Kazan on the sidelines of the 45th WorldSkills Competition.Ministers from more than 40 countries participated in the summit and deliberated on the most advanced approaches to workforce training system excellence.Participants included Tatyana Golikova, Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation; Olga Vasilyeva, Minister of Education of the Russian Federation; Jos de Goey, Vice President for Strategic Affairs and Chair of the Strategic Development Committee at WorldSkills International; Tang Tao, Vice Minister of Human Resources and Social Security, People’s Republic of China, amongst others. Pandey said India’s focus is on ensuring that its demographic dividend is appropriately skilled, and people are productively employed in decent work.”For India, this demographic dividend is a limited opportunity which will peak around year 2040 wherein it is estimated that there would be 46 dependents per 54 workers,” he said.Currently, India has more than 10 million youths entering the workforce every year, he said.”To provide access to quality skilling opportunities within a short time frame, India has adopted an accelerated modular competency-based programme of 200 to 600 hours duration. For enhancing the employability of youths coming out of these short-term programmes, it is envisaged to further skill them under an industry-led apprenticeship program. Youths directly entering the labour market are trained on in-house bridge courses by industry,” he said.At the same time, the minister said industry interface was equally important and one of the key strategies for skilling with scale, speed and standard is the focus on industry-led apprenticeship training.”A comprehensive set of legislative, policy and administrative reforms have been undertaken to create one of the most liberal and industry friendly interventions in apprenticeship.”The intent behind these interventions is to reduce the burden of compliance by moving towards self-certification, provide flexibility to industry in terms of hiring and training apprentices, creating a role for Industry Chambers to be third party aggregators and leveraging technology for process standardisation and simplification,” he said.A National Apprenticeship Promotion Scheme (NAPS) was launched in August 2016 to extend financial benefits by the government to industries for taking up apprentices.Targeting high population of youths migrating overseas for good opportunities, the minister said the government has taken numerous initiatives to improve opportunities for decent overseas work and enhance the skills level of emigrating workforce.Detailing initiatives, he said these include a number of government-to-government (G2G) agreements focused on testing centres and joint skilling programmes.”A case study in point is the Technical Intern Training Programme (TITP) of Japan…Indian workers are now going to Japan under this programme due to a G2G agreement. This has also led to setting of several Japan-India Institute of Manufacturing at various locations in India,” the minister said.These G2G and other B2B partnerships have led to development of common standards aligned with countries like the UK, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Australia and Japan.”Our endeavour is to adopt World Skills as ‘Global Gold Standard’ across the apex institutions of the skilling ecosystem. We started the India Chapter of World Skills – India Skills Competition in 2016. This competition saw over 50,000 participants across 27 states and Union Territories, supported by over 100 corporates and academic institutions,” he said.He quoted a recent by a global consultancy firm in association with industry bodies in India, forecasting that across the Indian workforce in the next five years, 9 per cent would be deployed in new jobs that do not exist today, 37 per cent would be in jobs that have radically changed skill sets, and 54 per cent will fall under unchanged job category.He said as a result, skilling becomes critical, whether it is entry level skilling for persons in ‘Not in Employment, Education or Training (NEET)’ category, or finishing skills to improve employability of students graduating out of our educational institutions or upskilling or reskilling of current workforce.The Government of India is supporting IT industry body NASSCOM with an outreach target of 200 million youths in various colleges and employer locations. In addition, Centers of Excellence like the Indian Institute of Skills are focusing on the application of Industry 4.0 technologies in the manufacturing sector, he said.Stressing on the need for an effective partnership between the government, industry and academia, he said building such a three-way partnership is one of the key strategies of the government to ensure future-ready workforce.
Mumbai: The lenders to the bankrupt Jet Airways Monday made a presentation to the South American conglomerate Synergy Group, which has reportedly emerged as sole potential buyer of the airline, according to a source. After the August 10 deadline, Synergy Group Corp, which owns majority stake in Colombian carrier Avianca Holdings, had reportedly evinced interest in the airline, which had already received expressions of interest (EoIs) (which were subsequently withdrawn) from energy baron Anil Agarwal’s family trust-backed Volcan Investments, Russian Fund Treasury RA Partners and the Panama-based Avantulo Group. “The lenders of Jet Airways Monday made a presentation to the Synergy Group, which is likely to invest in the carrier. They shared information about the airline’s assets, manpower, liabilities, among others,” a source said.
Six stories in the news for Wednesday, July 5———REPORTS OF $10.5M PAYOUT TO OMAR KHADR SPARK FURYWord that the federal government has agreed to pay former Guantanamo Bay prisoner Omar Khadr more than $10 million and apologize to him to settle a lawsuit has sparked a furious and at times virulent reaction among those who see him as a terrorist killer. But those who see Khadr as an abused “child soldier” say the apparent settlement is overdue. The settlement has been confirmed by sources familiar with the deal.———TOP GENERAL SLAMS ACTIONS BY ARMED FORCES MEMBERS AT HALIFAX INCIDENTCanada’s top soldier has condemned the actions of a group of Armed Forces members who disrupted an Indigenous spiritual event in Halifax on Canada Day. The event was commemorating the suffering of Indigenous Peoples when five men carrying the old Canadian Red Ensign flag approached and sang “God Save the Queen.” Gen. Jonathan Vance, chief of the defence staff, calls the incident “deplorable” and says the men will be removed from training and duties while the incident is investigated.———SUSPECT IN CUSTODY AFTER AMBER ALERT IN SASKATCHEWANA suspect has been arrested after police in Prince Albert, Sask., issued an Amber Alert last evening after an eight-year-old girl was allegedly abducted. A little over an hour after the alert was issued, police said the girl had been found and is safe, but there was no word on whether she had suffered any injuries. Police later arrested Jared John Charles, 19, of St. Louis, Sask., but did not say what charges he may face.———FEDS TO EXPAND SCOPE OF $1.2 BILLION BUSINESS FUNDThe federal government is broadening the scope of its $1.26-billion fund to support innovation-related business investments to include companies from all industrial sectors. Economic Development Minister Navdeep Bains will be in Hamilton later today to announce that Ottawa’s so-called strategic innovation fund will no longer be restricted to just a handful of sectors in Canada.———AUTO SALES IN CANADA DRIVE PAST THE ONE MILLION MARKERDespite slumping passenger car sales, more than one million new vehicles have been sold in Canada by the midway mark of the year for the first time. DesRosiers Automotive Reports says overall car and light truck sales increased five per cent, with 1,039,068 vehicles moving off lots from January through June compared to the same time period last year. The market research firm says June auto sales also set a record, with 203,486 sales.———NEW CFL COMMISSIONER TO BE INTRODUCEDThe Canadian Football League will announce it’s new commissioner today at a news conference in Toronto. A league source tells The Canadian Press that Winnipeg native Randy Ambrosie will be named the league’s 14th commissioner, replacing Jeffrey Orridge, who stepped down last month. Ambrosie played nine years in the CFL, winning a Grey Cup in his final season with the Eskimos in 1993.———ALSO IN THE NEWS TODAY:— Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will meet with Queen Elizabeth at her official residence in Scotland for a private audience.— Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. will release a report on the rental market.— Court appearance in Regina for a 19-year-old who pleaded guilty to killing Hannah Leflar when they were both 16.— The producers of “Corner Gas” and the Town of Rouleau, Sask., launch the Dog River Walking Tour.
HALIFAX – Unwanted visitors of the gelatinous kind are making their way to Nova Scotia waters, spooking some swimmers who have come across potentially lethal Portuguese man-of-war that have travelled far from their tropical homes.Bethany Nordstrom, a biology student at Dalhousie University who is researching jellyfish, said Tuesday that she has had five confirmed sightings of Portuguese man-of-war so far this summer, raising questions about their unusual presence in northern waters.“They prefer tropical and subtropical waters, so they don’t usually end up in our waters unless it’s a windy, stormy summer,” she said. “They’re very much affected by wind and tide and currents because they don’t have a way to move on their own … these guys just go by the wind.”She said man-of-war don’t have a jellyfish’s classic bell shape that pulses water in and out, allowing them to move on their own. Instead, they have a flotation device like a balloon that holds them above the water and are moved by the currents, while their tentacles drag beneath them.They are mostly transparent, but have accent colours of bright pinks, blues and purples, with tentacles that can reach nine metres in length.“It’s kind of like an iceberg — you see this little float on top that is maybe the size of your hand, but everything that is going to do the damage is underneath the water,” she said.They have been spotted in the Bay of Fundy and around the Scotian Shelf before, but perhaps not in such numbers as being reported this summer.Nordstrom said strong winds and currents likely pushed the colourful species into areas around Crystal Crescent, a popular beach outside Halifax, where people have seen the colourful creatures lolling on the sand.Amy Clark was with her family at the beach last week when one of them spotted what they thought was a small toy floating in the water. She said a wave then washed it ashore, leaving it at their feet.“It was beautiful — it literally looked like when you blow a bubble,” Clark told CTV News. “It was see through, it was iridescent. It caught the light beautifully.”She said they did some research after burying it in the sand and determined it was a Portuguese man-of-war, prompting them to warn others on Facebook.Nordstrom said most of the sightings have been near the beach, but one was spotted out in the water on the south shore in late June.The man-of-war, which are siphonophores rather than jellyfish, have stinging cells that act like a little harpoon and can inject a venom into anything that runs into them.She said the creatures can be deadly for people who are allergic to their venom, but that most will just suffer a “very, very painful” sting that can last for hours.Nordstrom said she’s trying to determine if changes in water temperatures are affecting the presence of jellyfish, which are a main food source for endangered leatherback turtles, and other creatures like the Portuguese man-of-war.“I would like to see if there are changes like that happening,” she said from her lab. “I think it’s becoming more and more important to start monitoring species like that to see if that is going to be a problem in the coming years.”She has been gathering data on lion’s mane jellyfish with the help of about 50 citizen scientists. She received about 300 individual emails last year from people who spotted jellyfish and is on track to receive about the same this year.She’s hoping anyone who sees a Portuguese man-of-war or jellyfish takes a picture and emails it to her at email@example.com.
HALIFAX – Hurricane Jose’s slow crawl northwards means Nova Scotia will be shrouded with cloudy skies this week as rough surf pounds the Atlantic coast.Environment Canada says the slow-moving weather system was churning about 400 kilometres southeast of Cape Hatteras, N.C., on Monday afternoon, packing maximum sustained winds of 120 kilometres per hour as it headed north at about 15 km/h.The national weather forecaster says due to Jose’s slow speed, there is uncertainty about its impact on the Atlantic region.However, forecasters say southeasterly winds across the province mean skies will stay mostly cloudy with showers, drizzle and fog expected throughout the week.Showers from the outer fringes of Jose may reach Nova Scotia toward the middle of the week, and rough surf is expected along the Atlantic coast from Tuesday onward.
Canadian Joshua Boyle, his American wife Caitlan Coleman and their three young children have been released from captivity five years after the couple disappeared in Afghanistan. Here is a timeline of their case.July 2012 — Joshua Boyle and Caitlan Coleman travel to Russia. They later move on to Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and finally to Afghanistan over the course of several months.Oct. 8, 2012 — Caitlan Coleman’s father hears from Boyle for the last time before the couple is captured. Boyle said he was in an internet cafe in what he described as an “unsafe” part of Afghanistan. The last withdrawals from the couple’s bank account were made Oct. 8 and 9 in Kabul. An Afghan official later said the couple had been abducted in Wardak Province, a rugged, mountainous Taliban haven.Late 2012 or early 2013 — Coleman’s first child is born. Coleman was pregnant at the time of her capture, and her due date was in December 2012.June 4, 2014 — Coleman’s family releases two videos of Coleman and Boyle in captivity, saying the clips were provided to the family in 2013. Boyle and Coleman are seen calling on the U.S. government to free them and their child from Taliban captors.November 2015 — Coleman’s family receives a letter from Coleman in which she says she has given birth to a second child in captivity.Aug. 30, 2016 — A video of Coleman and Boyle is posted on YouTube. In it, the Boyle says that their captors will kill them and their children “if the policies of the Afghan government are not overturned, either by the Afghan government or by Canada, somehow, or the United States.” A Taliban official has said the video was recorded in 2015.December 2016 — Another video is posted online, this time featuring Coleman, Boyle and their two young children. In the video, Coleman urges governments on all sides to reach a deal to secure the family’s freedom.Oct. 12, 2017 — U.S. officials say Pakistan secured the family’s release. According to officials, Coleman had a third child while in captivity. In a press release, the Pakistani military says Boyle and Coleman will be “repatriated to the country of their origin.”
HALIFAX – Nova Scotia’s inquiry into the shooting deaths of an Afghan war veteran and his family could have sweeping implications for ailing former soldiers, veterans’ advocates say.Lionel Desmond — diagnosed with PTSD after two harrowing tours in Afghanistan in 2007 — shot his wife, daughter and mother before turning the gun on himself on Jan. 3, 2017.The province’s long-awaited decision Thursday to launch a fatality inquiry — and Ottawa’s commitment to provide its “fullest support” to the probe — will put a spotlight on how injured soldiers are transitioned to civilian life across the country.Veterans Affairs Minister Seamus O’Regan said Friday the federal government will work with the province on the inquiry to prevent a similar tragedy from happening again.“Very difficult circumstances led to this investigation and it is important we work together to ensure they do not re-occur,” he said in a statement. “We are committed to co-operate with the province.”Veterans’ advocate Peter Stoffer said that while the inquiry will focus on Desmond, the findings and recommendations will influence “veterans right across the country.”“This will have national implications for the government in the way they operate and for the provinces and territories,” the former Nova Scotia MP said Friday. “Hopefully the transition process exiting the military or RCMP will be much more enhanced.”Family members say Desmond was a radically changed man when he was medically discharged, and returned home to Upper Big Tracadie, N.S., in 2015. They say his outgoing sense of humour had dimmed and, more importantly, he seemed withdrawn and in a defensive posture much of the time, as if he was still in combat mode.Within hours of the killings, relatives came forward to complain the retired corporal did not get the help he needed to cope with civilian life.Retired master warrant officer Barry Westholm called the Desmond family deaths “a national tragedy.”“If Lionel had a place to call, a human being that could say, ‘OK Lionel come on back to the base and let’s sort you out,’ maybe this tragedy could have been prevented,” he said Friday. “It takes something like this to make them do something.”Westholm served as a sergeant major for the Joint Personnel Support Unit — an eastern Ontario unit which provides support and programs for ill or injured soldiers — before resigning in protest.He said the inquiry should examine how injured soldiers are prepared for civilian life and monitored once they’re released.Though he’s cautiously optimistic the inquiry could spark changes for injured soldiers, Westholm said it’s already clear what’s needed.“That’s what’s driving me bananas. They’ve got everything they need except for leadership,” he said. “All the answers are there, the reports are written, the people are there.”“You’ve got the entire Canadian Armed Forces and Veterans Affairs, that’s tens of thousands of people and billions of dollars at your beck and call, and you can’t get a person transitioned out of the military correctly. There is no excuse except leadership.”Dr. Matthew Bowes, the province’s chief medical examiner who recommended the fatality inquiry, said the apparent lack of co-operation between government agencies will likely be a key aspect of the terms of reference.“I was very much struck by the fact that there were many government agencies that touched on Mr. Desmond’s life and I would take the view that the interconnection between all of those may well have been better,” he said Thursday. “It’s my hope that the public nature of the inquiry and its final report will drive change.”Trev Bungay, a retired soldier who served in Afghanistan with Desmond, said one of the biggest issues is a lack of follow-up with injured soldiers once they leave the military.“The mistake is once you leave those facilities there is no contact unless you make it,” he said. “What people don’t understand is if someone has an operational stress injury or PTSD, they have it for life.”Bungay, co-founder of Trauma Healing Centers — a chain of facilities offering treatment for veterans, first responders and civilians suffering from PTSD, trauma and other issues — said injured veterans need to be put on a lifelong treatment plan with regular follow-ups.“If you get off that plan then you’ll go downhill and struggle,” he said. “But if you stay on it and you stay well, then you have a chance at living a great life.”
OTTAWA – Canada’s national inflation rate was 1.9 per cent in December, Statistics Canada says. Here’s what happened in the provinces and territories (previous month in brackets):— Newfoundland and Labrador: 1.7 per cent (2.0)— Prince Edward Island: 2.0 (2.2)— Nova Scotia: 1.7 (1.8)— New Brunswick: 2.9 (2.7)— Quebec: 1.8 (1.7)— Ontario: 1.5 (1.9)— Manitoba: 2.9 (3.2)— Saskatchewan: 3.4 (3.7)— Alberta: 2.0 (2.5)— British Columbia: 2.0 (2.6)— Whitehorse, Yukon: 2.1 (2.3)— Yellowknife, N.W.T.: 2.4 (1.4)— Iqaluit, Nunavut: 1.8 (1.6)
WINNIPEG – A frightened rescue dog that escaped from a plane and scampered onto a runway at Winnipeg’s airport was shot dead by wildlife control officers after officials feared the pooch might cause an accident.Winnipeg-based Manitoba Mutts Dog Rescue says the two-year-old golden-Labrador mix, named Greta, fled from a Perimeter Aviation plane Monday after a flight from Shamattawa First Nation.Airport spokesman Tyler MacAfee says the dog ran onto a runway and forced the crew of a WestJet flight from Las Vegas to abort a landing attempt.MacAfee says the dog started to run back toward the runway a second time and, despite efforts by two officers to coax Greta in, the dog could not be corralled and was shot to avoid another conflict with an aircraft.Rebecca Norman, a Manitoba Mutts director, says Greta had been placed in a standard plastic kennel, but it appears she chewed through the side and jumped from the plane when the door opened.Norman says the organization plans to meet with airport officials to discuss ways to prevent similar incidents.“It was a bit of a shock for all parties involved,” said Norman. “I think everyone did the best that they could, given the scenario. The outcome was as it should be.”Greta was considered a community dog that ran loose, although she wasn’t feral and was still approachable, said Norman.“Dogs don’t take well to taking trips on airplanes. Any dog would be quite fearful after a flight.”Norman said a standard metal kennel had been provided for Greta’s transport, but a volunteer in Shamattawa decided the weight was too heavy to load onto a truck, so the dog was left in the plastic kennel.Norman said the rescue group has flown many dogs in plastic carriers before.A member of a foster family that would have taken Greta before possible placement in a permanent home was waiting at the airport.“They were very upset. This was their first foster dog with us so it was pretty traumatizing. Thankfully, she was able to take another dog that was on the flight,” said Norman.MacAfee said pets have escaped from their crates before, but this is the first time the airport had to shoot an animal.He said they’ve looked at the option of using a tranquillizer gun.“My understanding is that there are no airports in Canada which use that technique, but … if it’s practical and makes sense and works then, absolutely, we would look at it as an option.”Norman said it’s wonderful the airport has offered to meet with her organization, but she’s not sure much will change “in terms of protocol.”“Tranquilizer darts take quite a long time to work and it’s a guessing game on how much the dog weighs and how much medication to give.”Norman also said wire kennels don’t always meet airlines’ size requirements and Manitoba Mutts has spoken to Perimeter Aviation about using carriers with heavier plastic.There was no immediate reply from Perimeter to a request for comment.Manitoba Mutts takes in about 500 dogs a year and has been working with Perimeter for seven years to transport animals from northern communities.— By Ken Trimble in Edmonton
Police have cancelled an Amber Alert for a girl of around seven years old who was allegedly abducted in Matane, on Quebec’s Gaspe Peninsula.The girl was found safe and sound, and a suspect has been arrested.The child was allegedly taken around 10:45 Saurday morning.She was found shortly after Quebec provincial police issued the alert at around 1:15 p.m.
DAWSON CITY, Yn – A snapshot of life for an ancient predator and its prey is being put on display as the mummified ice-age remains of a caribou calf and a wolf pup are unveiled in Yukon.Paleontologist Grant Zazula said Thursday the specimens unearthed southeast of Dawson City, Yukon, are among the oldest mummified mammal soft tissue in the world.“Once in a while we find remains of ice-age voles or squirrels, but in terms of something significant and crazy like this, this is very, very rare,” Zazula said.Both specimens have been radiocarbon dated to a time more than 50,000 years ago, when the northern landscape was an extremely cold, grassy tundra.While the area around Dawson City is a boreal forest today, the pup and calf were likely navigating a world without trees, where cold, dry winds blew dust around, as evidenced by sediment found with the animals, Zazula said.Many other animals that roamed the land when they were alive are now extinct, including western camels and woolly mammoths.Both specimens were discovered by miners.The mummified caribou calf was found on Tony Beets’ placer gold mine on Paradise Hill on June 3, 2016. It includes nearly the entire front half of the caribou carcass, including torso, head and two front limbs and with skin, muscle and hair intact.The caribou was at a site that contains a volcanic ash bed that dates to approximately 80,000 years ago.“We think this is actually probably the oldest mummified mammal tissue in the world for soft-tissue skin, hair and muscle,” Zazula said.The wolf was found July 13, 2016, on the Favron Enterprises Ltd., claim and is exceptionally well preserved.“It’s beautiful, the fur, it’s got the cute little paws and tail and the curled upper lip showing its teeth. It’s spectacular,” he said.Zazula said local paleontologists were thrilled when they saw the remains.“We sometimes get jealous because in Siberia, we have colleagues who work in Russia, and it seems like they find a new woolly mammoth carcass every summer. But we never seem to find those in the Yukon or Alaska,” he said.Yukon paleontologists identified the mummified remains of a horse in the area about 30 years ago, but Zazula said he’s unaware of any significant soft-tissue mammal specimens since then.Researchers will study the remains to see what they can learn about caribou and wolf ancestors through genetic testing. They can also learn about the animals’ diets, which hold clues to what the environment was like at that time, by studying the chemical composition of their bones and other strategies.Beyond the science, Zazula said he hopes the specimens connect viewers with another time.“When you look at fossil bones, that’s one thing. But when you actually see a whole animal from an ancient time, it brings that ancient time to life,” he said.“It just makes you ponder about the amazing changes that have happened in the environment, the climate and the animal community since that time.”The mummified animals will be on display in Dawson City for the rest of the month, then will join an exhibit at the Yukon Beringia Interpretive Centre in Whitehorse.
TORONTO (680 NEWS) – One week away from cannabis legalization, and it appears managers at work are more likely to consume than regular employees.A new report from IPSOS Reid, commissioned by ADP Canada says managers are twice as likely to toke up.It also finds one-in-five workers don’t believe their workplace has any policies regarding usage at work.“It will be interesting to see how organizations perceive — their reactions — should they start using cannabis before work, and I think the critical piece there is just how are they going to mitigate that?,” ADP’s Hendrik Steencamp said.Ten per cent of managers believe their employers will allow cannabis for recreational purposes, while only two per cent of non-managers said the same.Steencamp said companies have to be clear with their entire workforce before October 17.
VANCOUVER — A Chinese telecommunications executive who was arrested after an extradition request from the United States is scheduled to appear in a Vancouver court for a bail hearing today.Meng Wanzhou, the chief financial officer of Huawei Technologies, was arrested Saturday while in transit at Vancouver’s airport.RELATED: Huawei arrest in Canada adds new wrinkle to fraught China-U.S. trade relationsThe company says she faces extradition to the United States on unspecified charges.Chinese officials have expressed concern about the arrest, with the Chinese Embassy in Ottawa calling it as a serious violation of human rights, while Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang has said Canadian officials should reveal their reasoning for the arrest.Canada is not providing further details about the case because of a court-ordered publication ban.RELATED: Arrest of Huawei exec sheds light on U.S. concerns over possible spy networksHuawei is the most prestigious tech company in China and was founded by Meng’s father, Ren Zhengfei.The company has said it is not aware of any wrongdoing by Meng.The Canadian Press
MOOSE JAW, Sask. — The deputy mayor of a Norwegian town says she may be coming to Saskatchewan to discuss a possible truce in an ongoing battle over the world’s tallest moose sculpture.Linda Otnes Henriksen says she has been following efforts by people in Moose Jaw to raise funds to boost the height of the community’s beloved Mac the Moose.The rivalry started when it was revealed that her town of Stor-Elvdal had a silvery moose sculpture that was taller than Mac by 30 centimetres.Moose Jaw Mayor Fraser Tolmie told CKRM radio that he’s open to conversations about twinning the communities and building relations over the sculptures, but says plans still involve making Mac taller. Otnes Henriksen says Stor-Elvdal doesn’t have the kind of money to keep building bigger sculptures to compete with Moose Jaw.She suggests the Saskatchewan city raises Mac’s height to be equal to the Norwegian moose.“Maybe, you know, we could get out of this by making the moose the same height,” Otnes Henriksen told The Canadian Press in an interview on Sunday.Last week, Moosehead Breweries donated $25,000 towards making Mac the tallest moose statue in the world again. A GoFundMe campaign has also been launched to support the campaign, with the goal of raising $50,000.Some ideas proposed for raising the statue’s height include bigger antlers, although adding an RCMP Stetson hat or stilettos have also been proposed.Mac weighs 9,000 kilograms and has been welcoming visitors from his perch along the Trans-Canada Highway since 1984.Tolmie says the people of Canada want to have the bigger moose.“To be quite honest with you, I think our plans are still going to be that we’re going to be making Mac the tallest moose and regaining that crown,” the Moose Jaw mayor told CKRM on the weekend.The rivalry has gained international media attention, including a segment on “The Late Show” with Stephen Colbert.Otnes Henriksen said the moose in her community was designed by an artist and couldn’t be easily enlarged, although she noted the artist has discussed the idea of building another, taller moose.The current moose is in a spot where it appears to emerge from the woods, and is part of a road safety campaign to remind drivers to be on the lookout for the huge animals.Otnes Henriksen said she’s never been to Canada and looks forward to a possible trip.“I really hope we can make that happen,” she said.— By Rob Drinkwater in Edmonton. With files from CKRMThe Canadian Press
OTTAWA — The family of Supreme Court Justice Clement Gascon says he is in good health a day after he briefly went missing.In a statement issued through the court, the Gascon family acknowledges the judge’s uncharacteristic absence caused “some concern,” but they’re providing no explanation for the odd turn of events.Ottawa police said late Wednesday that Gascon had been found safe and sound after he was reported missing earlier in the day and his family had expressed concern for his safety.Police did not release details on what happened or where he was found.Before he was reported missing Gascon, 58, was last seen near the Supreme Court building just west of Parliament Hill.Last month, the court announced that Gascon would step down from the bench for “personal and family reasons” after five years on the high court.The Canadian Press