Kolkata: A MoU was signed between the Bengal Chamber and the Indian American International Chamber of Commerce (IAICC) to provide business advisory services to small and medium enterprises of India and USA.The collaboration aims to facilitate B2B links between American businesses and their Indian counterparts of East and north-east. Subhodip Ghosh, director general, the Bengal Chamber, Ambarish Dasgupta, founder and senior partner, Intueri Consulting LLP, A Mukherjee, senior vice-president, The Bengal Chamber, Patricia Hoffman, Consul General of The United States of America in Kolkata, K V Kumar, chairman and CEO of IAICC and other delegates were present during the MoU signing. Also Read – City bids adieu to Goddess Durga”The Bengal Chamber has always been at the forefront to provide platforms for business links irrespective of geographical boundaries and Kumar has served in Trump campaign’s Asian American and Pacific Islander Advisory Council. Being an authority on government relations, alliance building, crisis management and his long association with the World Bank, his visit would be integral for forging business developments between America and India. We have signed an MoU with IAICC to create a joint council to offer services to stake holders in form of B2B links and advisory services for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Whenever, a delegation would come from the US, Kolkata would be a stopover,” said Subhodip Ghosh, director general, The Bengal Chamber. Also Read – Centuries-old Durga Pujas continue to be hit among revellersKV Kumar said: “The IAICC is seeking to open offices in Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Manila, Dubai, Hong Kong and 30 chapters in the US itself. We are looking forward to creative and innovative ways of doing business. There are about 600,000 Indian-American businesses in the US. West Bengal being strategically placed is ideal to act as a gateway to accessing markets in the ASEAN countries. At present, we are working in four states in India where each state has made a Chamber of Commerce a platform to create business links. We are putting up an innovative challenge — a new platform for doing business, which is part virtual and part real, where businesses are initiated through virtual media between traders, buyers, sellers establishing B2B links that later involves personal meet ups and visits to check products or services. We are going to invite Amit Mitra, West Bengal state minister of Finance and IT, and Electronics, Industry, Commerce, Enterprise and E-governance and MSME to USA on August 30 to attend a business forum where the innovative ideas would be introduced.” The IAICC works with entrepreneurs, professionals, businesses and governments to develop entrepreneurship and commerce through mentor-protégé programmes, training, seminars and networking opportunities.
Gurugram: In a tragic incident in Gurgaon, one residential society in Sector-84a person tasked for maintenance of the lifts died during his duty.The deceased has been identified as Anup aged 24 years. The fact that how painful the death would have been for Anup could be gauged from the fact that it occurred in the eighteen floors. According to Gurugram police, Anup while maintaining the lifts got stuck in the wires and got crushed. He died on the spot. Also Read – Cylinder blast kills mother and daughter in Karawal NagarFollowing the tragic incident, a case under Section-304 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder) has been registered against the management of the Alpha one builders. “We have registered the case under the following sections and begun our investigations in the mater. The main reason for the death has been attributed to the faulty equipment that resulted in the accident,” said a senior official from Gurgram police. The incident has once again reflected the faulty lifts that are posing risks to the people who are maintaining it as well as the residents. Prior to this incident, life in a residential society in Golf Course extension road got stuck for 45 minutes. Also Read – Two persons arrested for killing manager of Muthoot FinanceMost of the residents have addressed the concerns to the Chief Minister using various platforms. Having unable to find an effective solution most of the resident bodies have also written to the Prime Minister Office for intervention. There are over 20 societies that have formally registered their complaints against the builder with the Department of Town and Country Planning (DTCP). Meanwhile, certain resident bodies have taken the task of maintenance from the builders. The resident bodies however claim that there is no support from the strong builder lobby as they do not forego the heavy maintenance fee that is being obtained from the residents.
New Delhi: The first meeting of the new council of ministers will be held on Wednesday in which Prime Minister Narendra Modi is likely to outline the roadmap of his government, sources said Tuesday.The prime minister is expected to underline the role of ministers of state in the running of ministries and may ask Cabinet ministers to give their deputies adequate responsibilities. Deliberations are also likely to be held on an action plan for the government’s next five years and Modi is expected to brief the ministers on it. Also Read – IAF receives its first Rafale fighter jet from FranceThe meeting of the council of ministers was a regular feature in the previous tenure of the Modi government. He used to brief them about the government’s various welfare schemes and how to make people aware of them. Modi used to review the performances of key ministries and sectors. The Union Cabinet will also meet Wednesday ahead of the council of ministers’ meeting. With Parliament session beginning next week, the ministers of state will have a key role as in most of the ministries they are responsible to handle parliamentary questions which are tabled on the floor of the House. Cabinet ministers usually handle questions for which oral replies are to be given. In the first Cabinet meeting, the Modi government had approved the expansion of the PM-KISAN scheme to cover all farmers who will get Rs 6,000 financial assistance per annum.
London: British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt warned Saturday there was a “great risk” of escalation in the Gulf, adding that Washington wanted the situation to end in negotiations. A Japanese-owned tanker, the Kokuka Courageous, and a Norwegian-operated one, the Front Altair, were attacked on Thursday and left ablaze as they were passing through the Gulf of Oman. Britain has concluded that responsibility “almost certainly” lies with Iran. Asked on BBC television about the possibility of escalation, he said: “This is the great risk of the situation that we are in. Also Read – Merkel warns UK Brexit deal ‘unlikely’ without compromise: London”Both sides in this dispute think that the other side wouldn’t want a war. We are urging all sides to de-escalate. “Having spoken to President Trump, I am absolutely clear that for America they want this to end in negotiations. “Let’s see Iran stop its destabilising activities in Lebanon through Hezbollah, in Yemen where they are firing missiles into Saudi Arabia, on the Gulf as we have seen. That is the long-term solution.” The damaged Kokuka Courageous arrived Sunday at a UAE anchorage site as Saudi Arabia accused arch-rival Iran of being behind the attack. US President Donald Trump has said the twin attacks had Iran “written all over it” — rejecting Tehran’s vehement denial. Hunt defended his assertion that Iran was “almost certain” to blame for the attacks. “We have done our own intelligence assessment. We have got videos of what happened. We have seen evidence. We don’t believe anyone else could have done this,” he said.
New Delhi: The ongoing trade war between the US and China offers an opportunity to India for boosting exports of as many 350 products such as chemicals and granite to these countries, a study by the Commerce Ministry has said. The identification of these products is part of a study carried out by the ministry which states that the ongoing tariff or customs duties war between the US and China proves a big window of opportunity for enhancing India’s exports to these two nations. Also Read – Maruti cuts production for 8th straight month in SepBoth the US and China are imposing heavy import duties on each other’s products, which has triggered a trade war kind of situation. According to the study, as much 151 domestic products including diesel, X-ray tubes and certain chemicals have an outright advantage to displace the US exports to China. Similarly, 203 Indian goods like rubber and graphite electrodes have the advantage to displace Chinese exports to the US. It said that the specific products in which India can potentially expand exports to China immediately based on its strengths and available market access in the neighbouring country and also those in which concerted efforts need to be made to acquire market access are being shared with the line ministries. Also Read – Ensure strict implementation on ban of import of e-cigarettes: revenue to CustomsThe ongoing trade war may bring about a shift in the global trading patterns due to spillover effects and displacement of the bilaterally traded communities to other countries, it said. The Indian products which can tap the Chinese market include copper ores, rubber, paper/paperboard, equipment for transmission voice/data in a wired network, tunes and pipes. Similarly, domestic goods which can grab exports opportunities in the US market include industrial valves, vulcanised rubber, carbon or graphite electrodes and natural honey. Increasing exports would help India narrow the widening trade deficit with China, which stood at $50.12 billion during April-February 2018-19. Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO) President Ganesh Kumar Gupta said that the trade war between the US and China is benefitting India. He has said that India’s exports to the US went up by 11.2 per cent in 2018 and to China by 31.4 per cent in the same year. Echoing the views, Ludhiana-based exporter and former FIEO president S C Ralhan said enormous opportunities are there in the engineering and machinery sector in both the countries and “we have to tap that”.
Kolkata: Mayor Firhad Hakim inaugurated the overhead reservoirs of Talla Pumping station situated in the north-western portion after repair work on Wednesday.The estimated cost of repairing the reservoirs is Rs 80 crore, of which 70% will be borne by the state government, while the Centre will bear the remaining 30%. The amount spent to repair the reservoirs on the northern portion will be around Rs 42 crore. Repairing of all the reservoirs will be done before 2020, Hakim said. Also Read – City bids adieu to Goddess DurgaThe KMC engineers, along with their counterparts in Bridge and Roof – a Central government PSU, have been overseeing the repair work. Hakim said the present civic board took up the repair work in May 2017, after the reservoirs were found to be in shambles. Talla tank is the world’s largest overhead reservoir, located 110 feet above the ground. The reservoirs are being repaired in phases so that the supply of filtered water to Kolkata remains undisturbed. The reservoirs can hold 9 million gallons of water. The construction work began in 1909 and the reservoirs became fully operational in 1911. Also Read – Centuries-old Durga Pujas continue to be hit among revellersHakim said the reservoirs have not been repaired since its inauguration. The KMC took up the repair work as it could have collapsed any time. “Just as we are repairing the reservoirs after 100 years, the people will acknowledge the contribution of the present civic board 100 years later,” he said. The overhead reservoirs were designed by W B MacCabe, the then chief engineer of KMC. The Palta Water Works was set up in 1868 and the filtered water was sent to Tallah. The unique feature of Talla pumping station is that the pipes that fill the tank are also used for delivery. The land to set up the overhead reservoir was donated by Babu Khelat Ghosh, after whom a lane situated close to the Talla pumping station has been renamed. Hakim also visited Mohammad Ali Park, where a portion of the underground reservoir has been badly damaged. He said experts from Jadavpur University have been consulted and they will submit a plan which will be passed on to the Durga Puja organisers. “We want to help the people organise the puja and at the same time their safety and security should be ensured,” he said.
Srinagar: The security forces in Jammu and Kashmir are taking both immediate and long term remedial measures to counter the threat posed to deployed troops by militants’ use of steel-coated armour piercing bullets. “Many immediate and long term remedial measures are being taken to avert the threat to security forces in light of the recent and past use of steel-coated armour piercing bullets by the terrorists in the state. “Immediate measures would include further reinforcement of protective shields used during counter insurgency operations. Long term measures would include upgrade and improvement in the bullet-proof equipment, including helmets and jackets used by the deployed troops,” a senior security forces officer said. An alert was recently sounded across various security agencies and the state police following an internal probe by the CRPF into the killing of five of its troops and an officer of the state police in a militant attack on K.P.Road in Anantnag town on June 12. The probe findings revealed that the lone Fidayeen militant, a Pakistani national belonging to Jaish-e-Muhammad (JeM), involved in the attack was able to inflict maximum damage because of the use of steel-coated bullets. The rifle magazine of the slain militant contained 18 live steel-coated bullets even after he had used quite a few of them to target the CRPF troops and the state Police Station House Officer (SHO), Arshad Khan, sources said. The CRPF probe also revealed that the JeM militants had used steel-coated bullets in 2017, but not during militant attacks carried out last year. “While additional protective layers on bullet proof equipment used by the security forces is being put into practice, future remedial measures would depend on how quickly the present bullet proof equipment is phased out,” said another informed source here.
Kolkata: The state government will pay Rs 50,000 compensation to the youths who had been pushed off a local train by the members of Hindu Sanhati on Sunday, after they refused to say ‘Jai Sri Ram’.Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee called up Shahruk Halder, the Madrasa teacher who had been beaten up and then pushed off a train at Park Circus railway station on Saturday. Halder was returning to his place of work in Hooghly. He took a train from Canning and when the train reached Dhakuria railway station, some youths who were supporters of the militant group Hindu Sanhati, got into the train. Also Read – City bids adieu to Goddess DurgaWhen the train was approaching Ballygunge railway station, they came to Shahruk and asked him why he was wearing a cap and had grown a beard. When Sharuk refused to answer them, they beat him up and asked him to say ‘Jai Sri Ram’. They also told him that he would have to go to Bangladesh if he wanted to grow a beard. Finally, when the train reached Park Circus railway station, they threw him out of the compartment. The victim later lodged an FIR with the Topsia railway station. He was subsequently taken to a local dispensary where he was treated. The family members of Shahruk said they felt threatened owing to the incident. Condemning the incident, intellectuals of the city said such things had never happened in the state earlier. “The political leaders should come forward and play a positive role in cementing communal peace and harmony, particularly at a time when the members of the minority communities are feeling threatened,” they added.
Ahmedabad: Heavy rains Sunday battered parts of south Gujarat, with authorities keeping rescue teams in Valsad on stand-by due to rise in river levels and water- logging in many areas, officials said. Valsad received 203 millimetres rainfall in ten hours since Sunday morning, leaving several areas flooded, while nearby Vapi in the district received 228 mm rainfall during this period. Auranga and Par rivers flowing through the district swelled due to heavy rains though they were still below the danger mark, said Valsad Collector CR Kharsan, adding that a team of the NDRF and personnel from the fire brigade have been kept on stand-by. Also Read – How a psychopath killer hid behind the mask of a devout laity! The national highway connecting Mumbai to Surat was under water on some stretches, causing traffic snarls. Apart from Vapi, areas like Kaprada and Pardi in Valsad district, Khergam in Navsari and Mangrol in Surat district also received heavy rainfall, an official said. While Khergam taluka in Navsari received 126 mm rainfall from 6 am till 2 pm Sunday, Mangrol in Surat received 70 mm rainfall, as per data provided by State Emergency Operation Centre. Also Read – Encounter under way in Pulwama, militant killed The India Meteorological Department (IMD) said some areas of south Gujarat namely Navsari, Valsad, Narmada, Tapi and Surat among others received “extremely heavy” as well as “heavy to very heavy” rainfall in the last 24 hours. The IMD warned of heavy to very heavy rainfall in isolated places in south Gujarat till Monday and advised fishermen to not venture into the sea for the next 24 hours. Most places of south Gujarat received rainfall due to active monsoon conditions, with Saturday’s “upper air cyclonic circulation” over south Gujarat and neighbouring areas persisting in the region, the IMD said in a weather bulletin. “Due to active monsoon conditions, squally weather is very likely to prevail along and off south Gujarat coast during next 48 hours. The sea will be rough with waves from south-westerly to westerly direction for next 24 hours,” the IMD said. It also warned of heavy to very heavy rains at isolated places in the districts of south Gujarat region namely Valsad, Navsari, Dang, Daman, Dadra and Nagar Haveli till Monday.
London: Two-time Wimbledon champion Rafael Nadal had a much more enjoyable experience on Saturday than his previous match as he eased into the last 16 with a 6-2, 6-3, 6-2 romp over French veteran Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. The ease with which Nadal made the fourth round for the ninth time was replicated on the women’s side by Ashleigh Barty — who will be breaking new ground in appearing in the last 16 for the first time — and Serena Williams. Nadal, who embraced Tsonga fondly at the end in stark contrast to the chilly handshake he had with fiery Australian Nick Kyrgios in the previous round, said he was delighted with the manner of his victory describing every match as a battle. Also Read – Dhoni, Paes spotted playing football together”I was very happy,” said Nadal. “I played a great match from the beginning to the end. “Jo is one of those players you don’t want to face early but today was my day.” His great rival eight-time champion Roger Federer followed him onto Centre Court to play another Frenchman, Australian Open semi-finalist Lucas Pouille. Federer and Nadal’s one-time fellow member of the big four Andy Murray’s hopes of men’s doubles glory ended early as he and French partner Pierre-Hugues Herbert went out in the second round. Also Read – Andy Murray to make Grand Slam return at Australian OpenOn the women’s side Barty and Williams could meet in a blockbuster quarter-final if they win their last 16 matches on ‘Manic Monday’. Two of the top 10 seeds did bow out, Dutch fourth seed Kiki Bertens and American ninth seed Sloane Stephens losing to Czech Republic’s Barbora Strycova and Britain’s French Open semi-finalist Johanna Konta respectively. While Barty will be in new territory playng singles at Wimbledon in the second week for the first time, for Williams it is the 16th time. Barty overwhelmed British wild card Harriet Dart 6-1, 6-1 while 37-year-old, seven-time champion Williams produced her most convincing display in dispensing with German Julia Goerges 6-3, 6-4. Barty, bidding to become the first Australian Wimbledon women’s champion since Evonne Goolagong Cawley won her second title in 1980, will play unseeded American Alison Riske for a place in the last eight. She is also the first Australian woman to make the second week since 2010. “That was really good,” said Barty. “I served really well and getting out of the love 40 game was massive. “Incredible it is a first for me (to be in the last 16), new territory for me.” Williams goes on to face Spain’s Carla Suarez Navarro for a place in the quarter-finals. Eleventh seed Williams, who defeated Goerges in last year’s semi-finals, is bidding to equal Margaret Court’s all-time record of 24 Grand Slam titles. “It’s been an arduous year for me, so every match I’m hoping to improve tons,” said Williams, who had a knee problem which affected her season. “Every time I get out there, I try. I’m getting a really late start but all that matters is that I’m still here.” Mixed doubles rarely gets centre stage but British fans will wait till the bitter end as former world number one Murray will partner Williams against Andreas Mies of Germany and Chile’s Alexa Guarachi. “I wanted to play mixed because I’ve only played just about 15 matches so far this year,” said Serena. “It’s such a buzz going around about me and Andy now, that I’ve got nervous. “I’m ready and excited but I’m definitely nervous.”
New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Tuesday asked the Centre to come out with a “uniform” proposal for all cases to resolve the difficulties being faced by lakhs of homebuyers who have not yet got possession of flats despite paying huge amounts of money to real estate builders.The apex court, which was hearing a homebuyers matter related to Jaypee Infratech Ltd, said the issue concerns lakhs of flat buyers and the Centre should give a proposal to resolve it. Also Read – Bangla Sahib Gurudwara bans use of all types of plastic items”We want suggestions from the Union of India which could be uniform for all such cases,” a bench comprising justices A M Khanwilkar and Dinesh Maheshwari said. “This issue will be bothering lakhs of homebuyers. Within the IBC (Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code), we cannot do anything. But outside it, you (Centre) can suggest something. We can consider that,” the bench told Additional Solicitor General (ASG+) Madhavi Divan, who was appearing for the Centre. Also Read – After eight years, businessman arrested for kidnap & murderThe bench made the observation while hearing a plea which has sought that Jaypee Infratech Ltd (JIL) be not sent into liquidation, although the deadline for the corporate inlpsolvency resolution process is over, as it would cause “irreparable loss” to thousands of home buyers. The ASG told the court that proper authority to respond to the plea would be the resolution professional or the bank concerned. “Can some other arrangement be suggested by the Union of India without disturbing the ongoing process?,” the bench asked, adding, “We are keen to know whether you have something to suggest”. “Policy issue has to be resolved by the Union of India,” the bench said and posted the matter for hearing on July 11. The apex court had on August 9 last year ordered re-commencement of the resolution process against JIL and barred the firm, its holding company and promoters from participating in the fresh bidding process. It had also allowed the Reserve Bank of India to direct banks to initiate corporate insolvency resolution proceedings (CIRP) against Jaiprakash Associates Ltd (JAL), the holding company of JIL, under the IBC. It had said there was “no manner of doubt” that JAL and JIL lacked financial capacity and resources to complete unfinished housing projects in which over 21,000 home buyers had not been given the possession of their flats till then. The fresh plea filed in the top court has sought a direction that an “independent and thorough forensic audit” of JIL should be conducted from the date of its incorporation. Referring to the apex court’s last year order, the plea has said, “The court had made a conscious effort to avoid liquidation of Jaypee Infratech Limited. However, the events as have unfolded subsequent to the passing of the judgment have frustrated the efforts as made by the court.” As per apex court’s direction, the 270 days for completion of CIRP have concluded on May 6, it has said. “Till date only two serious bids have been received by the Committee of Creditors. One bid has been submitted by National Buildings Construction Corporation Limited, whereas the other has been submitted by Suraksha ARC. None of the said bids have been accepted by the Committee of Creditors till date,” the plea has said, claiming that “threat” of JIL going into liquidation is “turning into a reality with each passing day”.
Mumbai: Resources major Vedanta is expecting 60-70 percent revenue growth over next three years when its Rs 55,000-crore capex programme gets completed, according to a top company official. The company has completed a Rs 10,000 capital expenditure in the just concluded year. “We had a strong year of performance. We have a capex programme of Rs 55,000 crore for the next three years. Of this, Rs 25,000 crore are for base metal (primarily zinc) expansion, Rs 20,000 crore will be spent in the oil and gas sector and the remaining Rs 10,000 crore in aluminium. Also Read – Maruti cuts production for 8th straight month in Sep”As we complete this capex programme we expect our revenue to grow 60-70 percent from where we are currently and once this capex is over, we expect our volumes to grow by 50 percent,” chairman Navin Agarwal told reporters on the sidelines of the 54th annual general meeting. He said majority of the capex funds will be met through internal accruals and the company will go for any external debt for this. Whether they are planning any production cuts due to the falling commodity prices, he said, “commodity prices will go up and down. We follow a very strict capital allocation policy which is based on very conservative commodity price forecast and our minimum hurdle rate, which is a 20 percent return on investment. And due to this,we don’t see any risks.” Also Read – Ensure strict implementation on ban of import of e-cigarettes: revenue to CustomsHe said following this expansion and the projected growth plans, Vedanta will be the largest zinc producer and one among the top three silver producers globally. The company commissioned the Gamsberg mining complex in South Africa earlier this year, which has the world’s largest zinc deposits, Agarwal said. The country’s largest primary producer of aluminium is expecting 50 percent volume growth to 3 million tonne spread over the next three years from the current 2 million tonne. During FY19, Vedanta had revenue of Rs 93,373 crore with an operating margin of 31 percent at Rs 24,961 crore, giving a free cash-flow of Rs 11,553 crore, which an increase of 47 percent year-on-year. Vedantat had paid Rs 18.85 a share dividend, aggregating to a total payout of Rs 7,005 crore during the year,” he said. Talking about uptake from the Barmer fields in Rajasthan, group chief executive S Venkatakrishnan said, the company is investing around $3 billion for expansion, largely focused on increased recoveries. “You will start to see oil production go up from this year, while we saw just 2 percent increase in production in FY19. We expect 2,00,000-2,20,000 barrels of oil and gas per day. You will see that stretch to around 450,000 barrels from our existing block next year,” he said. About the crisis-hit Tuticorin copper plant, he said, it is one of the best environmentally complaint plants which is even better than some of the smelters in Germany. “The National Green Tribunal has given us a favourable order, which was confirmed by the Supreme Court as well. Now we are awaiting the state process to be completed,” he said, adding the company hopes to reopen the plant at the earliest.
New Delhi: The BJP has called a meeting of its Jammu and Kashmir unit’s core group on Tuesday to discuss the political atmosphere in the state and also the party’s preparedness for assembly elections whenever they are held.Sources said Union minister Jitendra Singh, BJP general secretary Ram Madhav and state unit president Ravinder Raina and other senior leaders from the state will attend the meeting, to be chaired by its national working president JP Nadda. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM’Earlier, Madhav, who is the party’s pointsman for Jammu and Kashmir, had urged the election commission to held polls in the state this year.The state BJP has asserted that it is ready for elections anytime with its general secretary Narinder Singh saying that there is still enough time left for the Election Commission to hold polls in this year. In 2014, the state polls were held in November-December, he said.The election commission is likely to announce the dates of assembly polls once it receives a go-ahead on the law and order situation from both, the Centre and the state government.
Colombo: Skipper Dimuth Karunaratne helped Sri Lanka to 85 for two at stumps on a rain-hit day one of the second Test against New Zealand in Colombo on Thursday. Only 36.3 overs were possible after rain washed out the first session and bad light ended play for the day with Karunaratne unbeaten on 49. Karunaratne, fresh from a match-winning century in the first Test in Galle last week last week, hit six boundaries during his 100-ball stay in overcast conditions. Also Read – Puducherry on top after 8-wkt win over ChandigarhFormer captain Angelo Mathews was giving Karunaratne company in the middle to remain unbeaten on nought after facing 14 deliveries. New Zealand all-rounder Colin de Grandhomme, who made the XI in place of Mitchell Santner, said the match was “evenly poised”. “There’s a bit of more bounce on this track than what we encountered in Galle and that’s nice,” he said after play ended. “If we can get a couple of early wickets tomorrow morning that will be nice.”
London: Hollywood actor Orlando Bloom says he can’t wait to marry singer Katy Perry and have more children. In an interview with OK! magazine, the Carnival Row actor, who has eight-year-old Flynn with former wife Miranda Kerr, expressed his desire to expand his family, reports femalefirst.co.uk. “I can’t wait to get married again and have more kids at some point in my life. That’s really important to me but I still feel like I’m growing up. Being in this industry, there’s so much public attention and you’re often flung to the far corners of the world,” said Bloom, who is engaged to Perry. “You can spend a lot of time apart and that can be challenging, so I think it’s important to make each relationship your own,” added the actor. The 42-year-old actor admitted that their profession bring more challenges to their relationship. He said: “For many people, you go to work in the morning and then you come home at night – and that’s when you see your partner.”
Mumbai: Actors Akshay Kumar and Kareena Kapoor Khan’s upcoming film which was earlier titled Good News, has got a slight change in its name. The film is now called Good Newwz. While wishing Akshay on his 52nd birthday recently, filmmaker Karan Johar, who is co-producing the film, brought the title change to fans’ notice with his tweet. “Happy birthday Akshay, we love you!!!! The GOOD NEWS is that our film #GOODNEWWZ will end the year with a bang!!!! Can’t wait for all of you to see it,” he wrote. Along with Akshay and Kareen, the much-awaited upcoming Bollywood drama also stars actors Diljit Dosanjh and Kiara Advani in pivotal roles. It is a laugh riot, family drama in which Akshay and Kareena are playing a married couple who is desperately trying to have a baby. Good Newwz will release on December 27.
OTTAWA – National parks advocates are frustrated that Environment Minister Catherine McKenna is nine months late responding to concerns over how the parks are managed.“We’re still waiting for her to respond to Canadians,” Alison Ronson of the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society said Wednesday.In early 2017, McKenna invited public comment on the future of the national parks and what goals and management targets should be. Such periodic consultations are required under federal legislation.But Let’s Talk Parks Canada, as the effort was called, turned into the largest consultation the agency has ever held.More than 13,000 people and organizations participated either in person at public meetings, through online surveys or via email submissions or social media sites. Let’s Talk Parks elicited more than 600 concrete suggestions.By law, McKenna had 180 days to respond after the comment period closed on Jan. 27, 2017. That time ran out July 26.“She’s more than nine months overdue on providing a response to Canadians at this point,” Ronson said. “These are thousands of Canadians that took the time either to attend in person or fill out an online survey or provide their ideas online.”The society broke down 481 ideas provided by the end of the comment period. It found nearly 62 per cent were asking Parks Canada to make ecosystem integrity and biodiversity a main goal.More than one-third wanted the agency to limit commercial footprints and infrastructure development. And more than one-quarter suggested Parks Canada’s scientific capacity should be increased.Environment Canada spokeswoman Caroline Theriault said McKenna will deliver her formal response to the consultation next week.“The minister will address feedback and advice received from Canadians … and outline priority areas for future action and investment in Canada’s national parks and heritage places,” Theriault said in an emailed statement.Theriault said Canadians have a strong personal connection to their national parks and care deeply about ensuring natural heritage and historic sites are preserved.“Our government shares that goal and has been working diligently to seek and respond to an unprecedented amount of input from Canadians on how best to manage parks and protected areas.”Ronson said her group provided its own submission to Let’s Talk Parks.That submission strongly echoed public suggestions that environmental concerns should trump all others. It also called for $25 million a year for park science, ecological monitoring and public reporting.The group wants greater transparency as well, noting that assessment reports are no longer available for individual parks. It said no further commercial expansions should be allowed and Parks Canada should focus on “nature-based” experiences rather than mass recreational activities.The submission also recommended that any developments in the parks should receive the most stringent level of environmental review and that national parks currently proposed should be created by 2020.Ronson said her group has been holding ongoing talks with McKenna.“We’re still very frustrated with the delay. We expect the minister to recognize that the vast majority of Canadians who participated in this process are really asking for Parks Canada to refocus on nature and wildlife management in our parks.”— By Bob Weber in Edmonton. Follow @row1960 on Twitter
OTTAWA – Paul Dick, a former Progressive Conservative MP and Mulroney-era cabinet minister, has died at the age of 77.His family says in a statement he died of a heart attack at home on Wednesday.Dick, a lawyer, was first elected to the House of Commons in 1972 and was re-elected five times.He was named to the cabinet by Brian Mulroney in 1986 as associate defence minister and later minister of supply and services.Kim Campbell, Mulroney’s successor, kept Dick in the supply portfolio and later moved him to Public Works.After 21 years in the Commons, he was defeated in the 1993 election which saw the Tories all but wiped out.He went into business after that, finally retiring in 2010.He is survived by his wife, Pierrette Cassista, sons Wyatt and Andrew and two grandchildren.
WINNIPEG – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Saturday the federal government is willing to use all options to force Denver-based Omnitrax Inc. to repair a flooded-out rail line that has cut off the subarctic community of Churchill, Man.The remote town’s 900 residents have had to have goods flown in, at much higher cost, since the rail line was severely damaged by high water this spring. The rail line was once federally-owned but was sold to Omnitrax in 1997.Omnitrax has estimated repairs at between $20-$60 million and has said it cannot afford the cost.After a half-hour meeting with Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister, Trudeau said the federal government will demand Omnitrax follow through.“Omintrax has legal obligations to clean up and to repair the tracks. That is something that we are very serious about making sure that Omnitrax lives up to,” Trudeau said.The prime minister was asked whether the government might sue Omnitrax for breach of contract if the repairs are not made.“We’re looking at all options as we ensure that contracts and obligations are respected and fulfilled,” he told reporters.“We will be using the tools at our disposal to ensure and stand up for the people of Churchill,” he added when pressed further.Churchill mayor Michael Spence said in a news release that he spoke with Trudeau on Friday night, and that the prime minister noted the importance of the railway to Manitoba’s north.The rail line was the main topic of conversation for Trudeau during his meeting with Pallister. But the two men also discussed areas of disagreement, such as Manitoba’s refusal to sign on to the national health accord that outlines health care payments to the provinces for the next 10 years.Manitoba’s Progressive Conservative government is the lone holdout. Other provinces that have signed on since the deal was announced last fall have been given extra money for services such as home care and mental health.Trudeau said he is confident he and Pallister will reach an agreement soon.“I’m very optimistic we’re going to get to a positive resolution on the health care issue in short order,” the prime minister said.Pallister said he remains opposed to the federal offer because it raises federal health care payments to the provinces by only three per cent a year. Under a previous accord struck a decade ago, the payments went up six per cent a year.Still, he said, an agreement could soon be reached that would allow Manitoba to access the extra money for home care and mental health services without giving its nod of approval to the three per cent increases.“We’re not going to likely ever agree to that. But on the separate deal, in terms of … mental health support, home care, we’ve been in negotiation on that for some time, as you know. And, further discussion today, and we’re both optimistic that our officials can arrive at an amicable resolution of the issues there,” the premier said.Manitoba received the three per cent increase automatically this year despite its lack of an agreement with Ottawa.Trudeau attended a community event Saturday where he announced $35 million — just under half the total cost — for a horticultural attraction called Canada’s Diversity Gardens at Assiniboine Park in Winnipeg.
VANCOUVER – A complaint from a parent about a classroom assignment to match the word “squaw” to “Aboriginal woman” has prompted a publisher to remove a book for review and is raising questions about how schools should teach controversial topics.A Vancouver woman took to social media over the weekend to express her shock about educational material used at Templeton Secondary School in Vancouver related to the graphic novel “Susanna Moodie: Roughing it in the Bush.”Publisher Margie Wolfe of Second Story Press apologized Monday and said the book had been removed from the company’s website for review, along with all other material with content related to Indigenous history, peoples, and communities.“We take very seriously the criticisms of this guide and sincerely apologize for the hurt and offence we have caused,” Wolfe said in a statement.“We appreciate the efforts made by everyone who called attention to the guide, particularly the family in Vancouver, British Columbia, who were so hurt by the use of the resource in the classroom.”The woman, whose name isn’t on her social media account, said she was livid about the “stomach-twisting” lesson plan. She could not be reached for comment.The novel is an adaptation of a Canadian classic first published in 1852, in which the word squaw shows up 39 times. It was accompanied by a recently developed teaching guide that describes the book’s language as politically incorrect.One of the exercises asks students to match terms with their “appropriate language” definitions, which for squaw is “an Aboriginal woman.”“Common prejudices in the nineteenth century resulting from … racism perpetrated by white Europeans against blacks and Aboriginals were reflected in the everyday language people used to describe themselves and each other,” the teachers’ resource guide says.“Today it is unacceptable to use words such as Indian, squaw, darkie, Negro, Yankee, and papist. The use of such language in this book should be viewed in the context of its time in history.”Jon Smith, an English professor at Simon Fraser University whose research focuses on the southern United States, applauded the decision to pull the material from circulation.Smith dismissed the notion that discriminatory language is any less offensive in the past just because its use may have been more widespread.“That’s a pretty naive way to talk about racism. My analogies are with the N-word, and that word was always loaded with power and derogatory,” he said.“I mean, my gosh, they actually had the word darkie in there? Even in 1852, that word wasn’t exactly free of racist connotations.“In the U.S. South, people want to say, ‘Heritage not hate.’ But the heritage is hate; hate is part of the heritage. And the only way to get past that it seems to me is to acknowledge that quite forthrightly.”The Vancouver School Board is looking into the context in which the materials were used in the classroom, Supt. John Lewis said in a single-sentence statement.Glen Hansman, president of the B.C. Teachers’ Federation, said it is important for instructors to engage with students on fraught subjects rather than shy away from them.“The responsibility of the teacher then is to unpack that use of language and to situate it in the historical context and to do things in a way that is sensitive to students in the classroom,” Hansman said.“My understanding is that is exactly what was happening in the particular classroom that triggered this incident.”Hansman said he does not presume to know the particular circumstances of this parent, but he would encourage her to reach out and engage with the teacher and the school about her concerns.“Rather than being in denial about attitudes we used to have, we have to acknowledge them, identify them for what they are and then equip our teachers and students with ways of combating those things so they don’t occur again,” he said.Education Minister Rob Fleming said he is always concerned when a student has a negative experience, but added that it is unfortunate the incident is drawing attention away from the overwhelming success of the curriculum to date.“The conversation that British Columbia is having all over the school system is about how exciting the new curriculum is and how inclusive the lessons of Aboriginal culture and their contributions to British Columbia culture are,” Fleming said.B.C. introduced a new curriculum last year that teaches students as young as 10 about the government’s past discriminatory practices, including the crushing legacy of Canada’s residential-school system and the Chinese Head Tax.— Follow @gwomand on Twitter