Illustration: Nordwest3D (LMG 200-PCS)Croatian shipbuilder Brodosplit has entered into an agreement to construct a new polar expedition cruise ship, of LMG Marin design, for Quark Expeditions.Built to Polar Class 6 standard, the ship will be constructed specifically for the high latitudes of the Arctic and Antarctica.To feature a length of 128 meters and a width of 21.5 meters, the vessel will accommodate 200 passengers and will be staffed with 116 crew members.The project is scheduled for completion in time for the 2020/2021 Antarctic sailing season.The Government of the Republic of Croatia decided in its 96th Session to issue a warranty for a refund of the buyer’s advanced payment, which secured construction financing and fulfilled one of the conditions of the agreement with the buyer, Brodosplit informed.
Grade 6 students in Nova Scotia continue to do well in readingand writing. The 2004 elementary literacy assessment shows that89 per cent of Grade 6 students are meeting expectations inwriting, and 87 per cent are doing so in reading. The 2004 assessment shows an improvement in writing with an eightper cent increase in the number of students meeting expectations.This achievement is significant because the criteria for meetingexpectations in writing were raised in this year’s assessment.Although there was a decrease of two per cent in reading, theresults remain high. “I’m pleased that so many students are succeeding in reading andwriting again this year,” said Education Minister Jamie Muir.”The writing results have really improved and we know teachersand students have worked hard to make that happen.” The assessment is part of the province’s Learning for Life planto help students reach their full potential. It measures readingand writing skills that students have developed in their firstlanguage by the end of Grade 5 and helps identify students whoneed extra help. “This assessment is important because it identifies students whoare struggling in reading and/or writing,” said Mr. Muir.”Support for students in reading and writing will continue to bea priority this year and students who need extra help to catch upbefore they go to junior high will get it.” After the initial elementary literacy assessment in 2003, thedepartment made an investment of $1 million to help schoolsprovide extra support for students who did not meet expectations.Additional funding to support students not meeting expectationsin the 2004 assessment will be considered as part of the springbudget. The department has also invested more than $3 million this yearthrough its Literacy Success Strategy, to provide support toteachers and students in reading, writing, and grammar. “The literacy support plan is just one initiative to supportstudents,” said Lynn Landry, Grade 6 teacher at Caudle ParkElementary. “The department has implemented many others, likeWriters in Action and Active Young Readers, and has provided in-service training for teachers and helpful resources for teachersand students. These initiatives support all students and, inparticular, help to bridge the gap for students who arestruggling in reading and writing.” Parents should get their children’s results this week. Teachersand parents will then work together on literacy support plans forstudents who need more support to improve their reading, writing,or both. The support will continue through the junior high years. Alice Galpin-Nicholson, parent of a Grade 7 student at RidgecliffMiddle School, is pleased with the support her son has receivedafter not meeting expectations in writing in last year’sassessment. “As a result of the support he’s received, my son is moreconfident in his writing ability,” said Ms. Galpin-Nicholson.”This has been a tremendous benefit for my son and I applaud theDepartment of Education, the school board and Ridgecliff MiddleSchool for implementing this initiative.” The department made some changes to this year’s assessment tobetter align it with others in Nova Scotia and otherjurisdictions — students’ writing had to meet expectations inideas, organization and matters of correctness (spelling, grammarand usage). In 2003, students’ writing had to meet expectationsin ideas and organization only. In addition, the format of theassessment itself was improved in response to feedback fromstudents and teachers. Nova Scotia teachers helped develop the assessment, set thestandards for meeting expectations and field-tested it withstudents across the province. More than 100 teachers helped markthe assessment earlier this year. In addition, school boards areproviding teachers with professional development to help themdevelop literacy support plans. English results of the 2004 Elementary Literacy Assessment areavailable on the website at www.ednet.ns.ca. French results werereleased on March 8 and are also available online.
Employers are joining students this fall as they go back to school. It is all part of a new program called Options and Opportunities. The program was officially launched in a press conference today, Sept. 14. Norm Kemp, an employer from the Department of National Defence and student Amy McKay from Auburn Drive High School were on hand to share their experience in last year’s pilot program. “This is an opportunity for those students who may not be meeting their academic potential because they are not fully engaged in our public school program,” said Education Minister Karen Casey. “We need to ensure these students are prepared to take advantage of the opportunities Nova Scotia has to offer. By taking this program, students not only earn their high school diploma, they also graduate with work-ready skills and a plan for the future.” The province is investing more than $2 million in the program which is designed to better prepare students for the labour market and help them make more informed career choices. It focuses on career development and matches students with qualified employers to give them opportunities to gain real experience in a real workplace. Schools can offer students experience in arts, culture, and recreation; business; health and human services; hospitality and tourism; information technology; and, trades and technologies. Ms. McKay said the program helped her go from a frustrated student to a high-achiever who now loves school and boasts a perfect attendance record. “Last year everything improved. School is a lot less stressful,” said Ms. McKay, who is starting her second year in the Options and Opportunities program. She also said the program helped keep her engaged in her school work and her marks rose by 20 per cent. The program was piloted by Auburn Drive High School during the 2005-06 school year. This year, it will be expanded to 26 more schools across the province. Mr. Kemp said programs like this are beneficial and that all employers should consider getting involved. “More than half of our civilian workforce is going to retire by 2014 and we need to retain that skill and knowledge base,” said Mr. Kemp, Maritime Forces Atlantic (MARLANT) civilian workforce renewal analyst. “Youth are our future and as an employer it’s our responsibility to support students by exposing them to the many diverse careers that exist in MARLANT, as well as the education and training they need to seize those opportunities. We believe it’s critical to participate in programs like Options and Opportunities. It’s part of our succession planning and it’s the right thing to do.” The Department of Education is also working with the Nova Scotia Community College (NSCC)on a framework for admitting Option and Opportunities graduates to NSCC programs. As part of this process, teachers in the program will work with NSCC to introduce students to NSCC programs. This school year, nine graduates of the pilot program at Auburn Drive High School are entering the college. Recognizing the importance of working with all of its partners to better prepare students, the department is encouraging employers across the province to work with schools to help young people connect with the workplace. An initiative called Invest in Youth, will raise awareness of the many ways employers can get involved, from taking on a student for an Options and Opportunities work placement to hosting a workplace tour. It will also include the creation of a secure database of employer profiles for use by select school, school board and Department of Education staff. The Options and Opportunities program was first announced in June 2005 as part of Learning for Life II: Brighter Futures Together.
Seventeen 4-H members will represent Nova Scotia in dairy and beef classes at the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair in Toronto in early November. Participants were selected at the Nova Scotia 4-H Show in September. “We are proud of the 4-H members who will be representing Nova Scotia this year at the winter fair,” said Brooke Taylor, Minister of Agriculture. “Not only are they knowledgeable about the provincial 4-H program, but they are smart agricultural representatives that exhibit true sportsmanship skills in competition.” Nine dairy members will compete in the Scotiabank Dairy Classic against 4-H members from across Canada. The Nova Scotia participants include Patrick Thomson, Elise MacDonald, Tristan Grant and Daniel MacDonald from Antigonish Co.; Daniel Angus, Cumberland Co.; Brendan Lamb, Kings Co.; Andrea Crowe, Hants Co. and Bridget Wilson, Inverness Co. Brendan Grant of Antigonish Co., will attend as the winner of the Versteeg Memorial Award. This award is presented to a 4-H Holstein member based on a 50 per cent of the conformation of the calf and 50 per cent of their showmanship ability. Eight Nova Scotians will participate in the Scotiabank Classic Canadian Royal Junior Beef Heifer Show with their beef heifers. They are Nathan Greenough and Andrea Carter, Cumberland Co.; Carolyn Van den Heuvel, Antigonish Co.; Jane Ogilvie, Kenna Rousseau, Andre Horsnell from Kings Co., Megan Robertson, Pictou Co. and Rebecca Gilby, Halifax East Hants. While at the Winter Fair the 4-H members will compete in the 4-H showmanship and conformation classes and spend a day enjoying events at the exhibition. The fair is being held from Friday, Nov. 3 to Saturday, Nov. 12 at Exhibition Place in Toronto. The Scotiabank Dairy Classic Committee and the Scotiabank Classic Canadian Royal Junior Beef Heifer Show Committee obtain sponsorship funding so that 4-H members can attend the Royal Winter Fair.
New reporting requirements introduced today, May 3, will help make patient care better and safer for Nova Scotians. The Improving Patient Safety and Health System Accountability Act will require district health authorities and the IWK Health Centre to report publicly and to the Department of Health and Wellness on a number of patient safety indicators beginning with the hand hygiene adherence rates. Other indicators, including rates of infections will be added in the future. “This act will support and strengthen our efforts to improve patient safety by providing greater public accountability to the patients who rely on our health-care system for safe care,” said Health and Wellness Minister Maureen MacDonald. “Patient safety is about managing and reducing risks to ensure that the care patients receive is as safe as possible. Hand hygiene adherence rates will be our first priority under the act because it is considered by many experts to be one of the best ways to measure patient safety overall.” Although district health authorities and the IWK monitor and report on many patient safety indicators, they are not always reported publicly or to the Department of Health and Wellness, and may not be reported the same way. The Department of Health and Wellness will work with the districts and the IWK to develop consistent collection methods and reporting processes to ensure information can be compared across the province. The legislation is an important step towards developing a provincial surveillance program that will track and monitor key infection rates and other patient safety indicators. “Our health-care providers are committed to providing the safest care possible to patients. This legislation will let the public know how well we’re performing and allow us to better monitor rates over time, track improvements and develop strategies to address areas of concern,” said Dr. Peter Vaughan, vice president of Medicine for South Shore Health, member of the province’s Quality and Patient Safety Advisory Committee and current chair of Accreditation Canada’s Board of Directors. Nova Scotia is the second province in Canada to take a strong legislated position requiring patient care indicators to be reported publicly. Ontario introduced similar reporting requirements in 2008.
Improvements to the Glooscap District Arena in Canning is one of 10 projects in the Valley region receiving grants totalling $270,000 to help Nova Scotians stay fit and have fun. The region’s grants were announced today, June 18, through the Recreation Facility Development Program. “Community organizations and recreation facilities like this arena offer Nova Scotians a wide variety of ways to get active and lead healthier lives,” said Kings North MLA Jim Morton, on behalf of Health and Wellness Minister David Wilson. “The province is providing nearly $2 million for 59 projects provincewide so children, youth, and families can stay fit and have fun.” The Canning and District Recreation Commission is getting $40,000 to replace the chiller for making ice at the arena. “This funding could not have come at a better time,” said Dave Morton, chair of the arena improvement project. “With this grant, we’ll be able to get the new chiller installed and open the arena in the fall for everyone in the community to enjoy.” The grants help community groups, municipalities and other not-for-profit organizations develop facilities to increase public participation in sport and physical recreation. Examples include renovations to buildings, developing and maintaining walking trails, and building and upgrading fields used for sport and recreation. The grants support Thrive!, the province’s plan for a healthier Nova Scotia. The plan has 34 actions to create supportive environments for healthy eating and physical activity. Learn more at http://thrive.novascotia.ca .
Nearly 650 foster families in Nova Scotia open their hearts and homes to children in need of a loving, stable home. Foster Family Appreciation Week runs to Sunday, Oct. 26, and provides an opportunity to thank foster parents for providing safe, loving homes for young Nova Scotians. “Every young person deserves stability and support in a welcoming home where they can achieve their potential,” said Joanne Bernard, Minister of Community Services. “That’s why we are interested in recruiting and supporting foster parents from a wide variety of backgrounds.” The number of foster parents in the province has declined by 24 per cent since 2008, while the need for homes for children in care remains steady. This trend is not unique to Nova Scotia, it is an ongoing concern throughout North America. “You’ve just got to love kids, that’s all,” said Joanne Mutton, who has been a foster parent for 10 years in Yarmouth. “The benefits far outweigh anything else that might happen along the way.” The influence of a foster parent can last for a lifetime. Foster parents can be married or common-law, in a same-sex partnership or single. They may work full-time or part-time, outside or at home. Nova Scotians are encouraged to join the team working to help children safely reunite with a parent, live with extended family or transition to an adoptive family. Those interested in becoming foster parents can call 1-800-565-1884 or visit http://gov.ns.ca/fostercare .
Events East, operators of the Halifax Convention Centre, Scotiabank Centre and Ticket Atlantic, announced today, Oct. 24, they have secured Rogers Communications Canada to provide information and communications technology (ICT) services to support its operations. Rogers will provide Internet, mobile, voice and networking connectivity services between the Halifax Convention Centre, Scotiabank Centre and Events East’s corporate offices. They will also provide the system to manage public and client Internet access. “Rogers provides a state-of-the-art technology solution that meets the evolving needs of our business as we transition to our new Halifax Convention Centre,” said Carrie Cussons, president and CEO of Events East. ”They play a key role in ensuring that our team remains integrated through daily operations, helping to provide a seamless event experience for our guests.” “Customers like Events East depend on our quality business solutions and reliable, worry-free network to increase productivity and provide a truly connected experience for all guests in their facilities,” said Bruce MacDougall, Atlantic vice-president, Rogers. “That’s why we are committed to supporting the region’s business community through investments in our mobile network and with technology services that support how our customers work.” Rogers was selected following a competitive procurement process that included an evaluation by members of the Events East team with expertise in networking solutions, event technology and operations. The estimated value of the contract is $825,000 over a five-year period. The Halifax Convention Centre is part of the Nova Centre, a one-million square-foot, mixed-used development including a hotel, financial tower and retail space. It is the largest integrated development project in the province’s history. The funding of the convention centre is shared between three levels of government, totaling $169.2 million. For more information, visit HalifaxConventionCentre.com.
Nova Scotia has answered the call to help fight wildfires in Ontario. A 21-person crew of wildfire fighters is leaving Halifax on Friday, July 5, and will spend two to three weeks on the fireline near Thunder Bay. Nova Scotia’s assistance was requested through the Canadian Interagency Forest Fire Centre. Current fire conditions in Nova Scotia allow for resources to be shared. The Department of Lands and Forestry will ensure proper firefighting resources are maintained within the province. Nova Scotia is a member of the Canadian Mutual Aid Resource Sharing Agreement, which ensures all provinces and territories will receive help if forest fires become too big to handle. The affected province covers the costs of the jurisdictions sending help. In May, Nova Scotia sent 21 firefighters to help fight wildfires in Alberta. NOTE TO EDITORS: The crew will arrive at the main terminal of Halifax Stanfield International Airport on Friday, July 5 at 4:30 a.m. for their flight to Toronto. The airport is located at 1 Bell Blvd, Enfield. Media will need to show proof of identification.
Jharkhand: Jharkhand Congress chief Ajoy Kumar resigned from his post on Monday taking ‘moral responsibility’ for party’s poor performance in Lok Sabha elections in the state, days after the PM Modi-led NDA swept to power bagging 352 of 542 seats. “PCC chief has taken moral responsibility of the party’s performance and sent his resignation on May 24. However, party’s performance was not that bad as we won Singhbhum comfortably and lost Khunti and Lohardaga by a wafer thin margin,” said Jharkhand Congress spokesperson Alok Dubey. Also Read – Dussehra with a ‘green’ twist Congress lost in Khunti by 1,400 votes and Lohardaga with 10,000 votes. While Congress president Rahul Gandhi himself offered to quit, which was rejected, at the CWC meeting on Saturday, a bunch of resignation landed on his table with four state leaders quitting or offering to quit on Friday. Uttar Pradesh, state from where the Congress president lost in shock defeat, state unit chief Raj Babbar sent his resignation to Gandhi taking responsibility for the poor show. “The results are depressing for the Uttar Pradesh Congress. I find myself guilty of not discharging my responsibility in a proper manner. I will meet the leadership and apprise it of my views,” Babbar tweeted in Hindi. Also Read – India receives its first Rafale fighter jet from France Yogendra Mishra, president of district Congress Committee- Amethi, the constituency that handed out a defeat to the Gandhi, also resigned taking responsibility for the defeat. Rahul Gandhi lost Amethi to BJP’s Smriti Irani in the biggest upset of Lok Sabha election 2019. With this Amethi snapped its 39-year-old ties with the Gandhis that started in 1980 with Rahul Gandhi’s uncle Sanjay Gandhi contesting and winning this seat. The Congress managed to hold on to just one seat in the state, that of Sonia Gandhi’s Rae Bareli. Another leader who quit on Friday was Niranjan Patnaik, president, Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee. “I too had contested the election, party had given me a responsibility, I take the moral responsibility for this debacle and relinquish this job. I’ve communicated it to my AICC President,” he said after the Congress managed leads in just one of the state’s 21 Lok Sabha seats and its tally came down to 9 from 16 of the outgoing assembly. Karnataka Congress campaign committee president HK Patil also put in his papers writing to party president Rahul Gandhi, ‘It is time for all of us to introspect. I feel it my moral duty to own up the responsibility, hence, I submit my resignation from the post.’ In Karnataka, the state Congress rules in coalition with the JD(S), the grand old party just manage 1 seat as compared to 9 of 2014 with stalwarts like Mallikarjun Kharge and Veerappa Moily falling by the wayside. This was Kharge’s first electoral defeat in his political career spanning several decades. Moily, who was the Karnataka Chief Minister from 1992 -1994, was trounced by the BJP’s Bache Gowda.(With inputs from Hindustan Times)
San Francisco: Apple Music has surpassed 60 million subscribers globally in the past four years since its launch in 2015, company’s iTunes chief Eddy Cue has said. Cue said this in an interview with French media site Numerama, and added that “in the Apple ecosystem, Apple Music is the number one streaming service”. In April 2018, the subscriber number was at 40 million and a report from July 2018 claimed that Apple Music had more paying users than Spotify in the US, news portal GSM Arena reported late on Thursday. Also Read – Spotify rolls out Siri support, new Apple TV app It gained 10 million subscribers in the first six months of its launch on June 30, 2015 and the numbers went up to 20 million in December 2016. Apple Music’s paid subscriber count in January was at over 50 million, as per the iPhone-maker, while Spotify had reached the 75-million mark. The Cupertino-based company is also expected to revamp the way users access Apple Music in its upcoming macOS Catalina update. Following price cuts by domestic music streaming services like JioSaavn and Gaana in India, Apple is now offering Apple Music subscription for Rs 99/month from the previous of Rs 120/month. With Apple Music’s new monthly plan, the iPhone-maker has become cheaper than Spotify that charges Rs 119/month in India. According to consulting firm Deloitte, online music market in India is expected to surpass $273 million by March 2020.
Mumbai: Actor Rana Daggubati is set to produce the biopic on celebrated cricketer Muttiah Muralitharan, the makers announced on Tuesday. The film to be produced under Rana’s banner Suresh Productions, features Vijay Sethupathi as the Sri Lankan spin legend. Rana said he is excited to have Sethupathi on board for the film to be directed by MS Sripathy and co-produced by Dar Media Pvt Ltd. “Suresh Productions is going to be associated with Dar films in telling the story of a legend through legendary actor – Vijay Sethupathi as Muttiah Muralitharan… Coming soon,” Rana said in a statement here. Rana’s recent home production film “Oh Baby!” was a blockbuster. The currently untitled biopic will go on floors in December.
Kolkata: New Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar took oath at a function at Raj Bhavan on Tuesday morning.Chief Justice of Calcutta High Court T B Nair Radhakrishnan conducted the oath-taking ceremony. Dhankhar becomes the 28th Governor of Bengal and succeeds Keshari Nath Tripathi. He arrived in Kolkata on Monday. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and the council of ministers, Speaker Biman Bandyopadhyay and Abdul Mannan, the Leader of Opposition were present at the Central Hall of the Raj Bhavan where the oath-taking ceremony took place. Banerjee greeted the new Governor with a bouquet of 365 red roses and an Uttariya. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari PujaState Urban Development minister Firhad Hakim and Finance minister Amit Mitra along with other dignitaries were also present. The new Governor, who is also a noted Supreme Court advocate, met the Vice-Chancellors of Calcutta University, Jadavpur University, Presidency University and Visva-Bharati University on this occasion. Dhankar was earlier the president of the Rajasthan Bar Council and a member of the ICC International Court of Arbitration. He was an MP from 1989–1991. He joined BJP in 2003. The Centre decided to make him the Governor of Bengal at a meeting that took place in the house of the Prime Minister on July 19. Shortly after his name as the Governor was announced, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee greeted him through her Twitter post.
Montreal: India’s Rohan Bopanna and his partner Denis Shapovalov progressed to the semi-final of the men’s doubles event at the ATP Montreal Masters here after receiving walkover from their opponents. The Indo-Canadian got a walkover in their quarterfinal clash against France’s Benoit Paire and Swiss Stan Wawrinka. Bopanna and Shapovalov will now face the Dutch duo of Robin Haase and Wesley Koolhof in the semifinal. The unseeded duo of Bopanna and Shapovalov had knocked out the fourth seed French pair of Nichola Mahut and Edouard Roger-Vasselin before defeating Kyle Edmund and Taylor Fritz in straight sets in the round of 16.
New Delhi: Disgruntled Aam Aadmi Party MLA Alka Lamba met Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Tuesday, fuelling speculations of her joining the grand old party ahead of the Delhi Assembly elections scheduled to be held early next year. Lamba, however, said that she met Gandhi to discuss a number of issues, including the current political situation of the country. She started her political career with the Congress, and had served the party in various capacities for around 20 years before joining the AAP. Also Read – After eight years, businessman arrested for kidnap & murderThe AAP MLA from Chandni Chowk had last month announced that she has made up her mind about leaving the party and contest the upcoming Assembly election as an Independent. Lamba has been at odds with the Aam Aadmi Party for some time now. After the party’s defeat in Lok Sabha polls, she had sought accountability from its national convener Arvind Kejriwal. She was then removed from the official WhatsApp group of the party lawmakers. She had also refused to campaign for party in the Lok Sabha polls and refrained from participating in Kejriwal’s roadshow after she was asked to walk behind his car during the event. Lamba first hit a rough patch with the AAP over its decision to pass a resolution to revoke Rajiv Gandhi’s Bharat Ratna. She raised objections to the party’s resolution.
Jakarta: In his first bilateral visit to an ASEAN country, Minister of External Affairs S Jaishankar on Thursday met his Indonesian counterpart Retno Marsudi and they agreed to step up cooperation in connecting Aceh and Andaman and Nicobar islands to promote trade, tourism and people-to-people contacts. Jaishankar is on a September 4-6 visit to Indonesia. “FM Jaishankar and I agreed to step up cooperation in Aceh – Andaman/Nicobar connectivity. Indonesia stands ready to participate in its infrastructure and connectivity development,” Marsudi said in a tweet. Also Read – India gets first tranche of Swiss bank a/c details India and Indonesia last year agreed to set up a special task force to enhance connectivity between the strategic Andaman and Nicobar Islands and provinces in Sumatra Island. Aceh province is located on the northern end of Sumatra. During the parleys that included global and regional issues of mutual interest, the two sides also agreed to strengthen Indo-Pacific cooperation. The two countries also committed to reach a target of USD 50 billion bilateral trade by 2025, including through broader market access. Also Read – Tourists to be allowed in J&K from Thursday During the talks, Indonesia also requested India for reduction of tariff for its palm oil. “FM Jaishankar and I agreed that the long and strong bond between the two countries should be reflected in the current bilateral relations,” Marsudi said in her tweet. Highlighting the historical linkages between the two countries, Jaishankar expressed hope of a modern partnership between India and Indonesia through fashion. “Pleasure to meet my Indonesian counterpart @Menlu_RI. My 1st bilat’l visit as EAM to ASEAN. Drawing on historical linkages to fashion a modern partnership. Agreed to address common challenges & explore shared opportunities. Our talks highlighted mutual support for territorial integrity,” Jaishankar tweeted. Jaishankar also met Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs Gen(Retd) Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan and discussed closer cooperation between Andaman and Nicobar and Aceh. “Glad to meet with Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs Gen(Retd) Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan. Discussed closer cooperation between Andaman & Nicobar and Aceh. Look forward to early meeting of the Joint Task Force,” Jaishankar said in his tweet. During his meeting with Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal and Security Affairs, Jaishankar discussed cooperation in counter terrorism and defence. “A detailed exchange with Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal & Security Affairs @PolhukamRI Gen (Retd) H. Wiranto. Discussed cooperation in defence, security and counterterrorism. Shared resolve to protect territorial integrity,” he tweeted. Jaishankar will also hold bilateral meetings with other senior ministers of Indonesia. The visit reflects the high priority India attaches to its bilateral relationship with Indonesia, with which “we share a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership and a Shared Vision on Maritime Cooperation in the Indo-Pacific,” a press release issued by the Ministry of External Affairs said ahead of his visit to Indonesia.
Kiev: A court in Ukraine on Thursday released from pre-trial detention a man suspected of involvement in the downing of flight MH17, amid speculation he might be used in a prisoner swap with Russia.Ukraine captured Vladimir Tsemakh, accused of fighting for pro-Russian separatists, in June, but he is believed to be a person of interest in the downing of MH17. European lawmakers described him as a “key suspect” and asked Kiev to make him available for testimony in the probe. Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince ‘snubbed’ Pak PM, recalled jet from USAn AFP journalist saw Tsemakh being released after appellate court judge Yury Sliva in Kiev ruled to release him, cautioning him to remain available for questioning and not attempt to flee. Tsemakh is a Ukrainian who is believed to have been in charge of an air defence unit in the forces of the separatist Donetsk People’s Republic near Snizhne in eastern Ukraine. This is where Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 came down in 2014, killing 298 people, most of them Dutch citizens.Though his involvement in MH17 has never been confirmed by Ukraine, 40 European lawmakers on Wednesday asked President Volodymyr Zelensky to make sure he is available to be questioned by the Dutch-led Joint Investigation Team. Russian and Ukrainian media have reported that Moscow is demanding that Tsemakh be handed over to Russia as part of an expected prisoner swap between two countries.
New Delhi: The Supreme Court allowed CPI (M) leader Mohd Yusuf Tarigami to go back to his home state Jammu and Kashmir. A bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and justices S A Bobde and S A Nazeer said the former MLA does not need any permission to go home if doctors at AIIMS allow him. The former MLA alleged that his vehicle has been taken away and he will be confined to his home. The ailing leader was on September 9 shifted to AIIMS following the apex court order. The top court had said Tarigami should be shifted “at the earliest” to “the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), Delhi, from Srinagar, where he was under house arrest”. He was put under house arrest on August 5 after the Centre abrogated special status to Jammu and Kashmir under the Constitution. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM’The top court had earlier allowed CPI (M) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury to visit Jammu and Kashmir to meet his ailing party colleague and file an affidavit on his health condition. Besides mentioning Tarigami’s health condition in the affidavit, Yechury had also referred to other issues that have arisen in Jammu and Kashmir after the abrogation of Article 370. The court had earlier made it clear that Yechury was allowed to visit Jammu and Kashmir to meet his party colleague only as attention had been drawn to an interim application seeking the court’s orders to bring Tarigami to AIIMS.
SYDNEY, N.S. – A section of Cape Breton’s famed Cabot Trail has reopened after heavy rain washed out stretches of the coastal highway and damaged other roads in the area.Several days of steady rainfall have left the land saturated and watercourses brimming with water.With more rain on the way, residents on the island are fearing the worst.Victoria County warden Bruce Morrison said sections of the Cabot Trail were submerged under water and impassable.He said numerous homes in the area have flooded basements and the situation could worsen.Up to another 50 millimetres of rain are expected before Cape Breton skies begin to clear late Thursday.“Most residents will continue to be very concerned until rain lets up,” Morrison said. “It’s a concern not only in residential areas but there has been farmland affected by the conditions.”The Nova Scotia Transportation Department’s area manager, Stephen MacDonald, said some roadways have been reopened with minor damage that still needs repair while other roads could be closed for weeks.“Two roads are still closed to through traffic because large culverts were washed out,” he said. “The heavy rain washed debris downstream and blocked the entrance to the culverts, causing flooding.”He said new environmental regulations require the department to meet more stringent design criteria when replacing road infrastructure like culverts.The department needs to build for a one-in-a-hundred-year storm event, as well as make considerations for fish passage, MacDonald said.Meanwhile, Sydney-area residents are on edge about swelling brooks and streams.Cape Breton Regional Municipality spokeswoman Christina Lamey said people have their sump pumps “going like crazy” to keep basements dry.While there are currently no reports of overland flooding or road closures in the area, she said city crews are closely monitoring waterways and changes in weather that could worsen the situation.Unlike the flash flooding in Sydney last October after 225 millimetres of rain fell in a day, the region is under a large low pressure area that has lingered for days.Still, Environment Canada meteorologist Linda Libby said much of Cape Breton has seen rainfalls levels in the last nine days that surpass what would normally fall in a month.As a result, she said the ground is saturated with water and has little ability to absorb more rain.A rainfall warning remains in effect for metro Sydney and Inverness, Richmond, Victoria and Cape Breton counties.— By Brett Bundale in Halifax
WASHINGTON – Canada and the United States have responded in drastically different ways to bizarre attacks on diplomatic personnel in Havana, with the Americans pursuing a hardline approach that escalated Tuesday.The U.S. expelled 15 of Cuba’s diplomats from Washington, just days after removing more than half its personnel from Havana to protest the failure to protect Americans from unexplained sonic attacks that have caused dizziness, hearing loss and cognitive damage.Although several Canadian personnel were also affected this year, the federal government says the attacks have apparently stopped; there have been no incidents since the spring; the Cuban government has been co-operative in investigating the incidents; and there is no change in policy.A prominent anti-Castro hardliner says he doesn’t blame Canada for taking a different tack. While Sen. Marco Rubio urged the U.S. to respond forcefully, he said circumstances will differ from country to country.”Every nation will have to make their own determination, obviously,” Rubio told The Canadian Press.”But for us it was indisputable that we could not expose our diplomats and people serving abroad to physical attacks. If the host nation can not guarantee their safety, they can’t be there.”The U.S. announced Tuesday that it had given the Cuban government a list of 15 names of people who had to leave Washington within one week, the latest move in the fallout of the strange attacks and one which was criticized by the Cuban government..The move reverses several years of historic momentum toward closer relations between the old enemies, as the Cold War foes only recently re-established diplomatic relations and reopened embassies that had been shuttered for decades.But the U.S. was adamant Tuesday: diplomatic relations with Cuba will continue. It also stressed that the latest announcements do not mean it believes the Cuban government is behind the unexplained attacks.”This move does not signal a change of policy or determination of responsibility,” a U.S. State Department official said Tuesday.”We are maintaining diplomatic relations with Havana. The decision on expulsions was taken due to Cuba’s inability to protect our diplomats in Havana, as well as to ensure equity in the impact on our respective operations. …”We will need full assurances from the Cuban government that these attacks will not continue before we can even contemplate returning personnel.”The U.S. also disclosed that the attacks had produced a 22nd victim, one more than previously reported. That person was the victim of an attack in January. The incidents stopped for a time, but reportedly recurred as recently as late August.The Canadian government said there have been no known Canadian victims since the spring. Canada, which has historically had far warmer relations than the U.S. with Castro-led Cuba, announced last week that it is not following Washington’s lead in withdrawing diplomats.”We do not have any reason to believe Canadian tourists and other visitors could be affected,” said a statement last week from Ottawa.”Canada currently has no plans to change its travel advice and advisory for Cuba or remove its staff from Cuba.”The Associated Press reported that Cuban official called the American response “irresponsible,” and “hasty.”President Raul Castro’s government has denied involvement in the attacks.Before full diplomatic relations were restored in 2015, Cuba had about two-dozen accredited staffers at what was then called the Cuban interests section, according to a State Department list. The AP reports that the number at times climbed as high as more than 50, and the latest edition of the U.S. “Diplomatic List” identifies 26 accredited Cubans at the embassy, almost all accompanied by spouses.The removal of 15 will reduce the Cuban staffing to roughly a dozen accredited diplomats.In Havana, the U.S. had roughly 54 diplomats in its embassy until deciding Friday to pull more than half of them out and leave behind only “essential personnel.” The departing Americans are expected to have all left Cuba by week’s end, officials said.The Cuban diplomats being expelled will not be deemed “persona non grata,” officials said, a designation that would prevent them from ever returning to U.S. soil.To medical investigators’ dismay, symptoms have varied widely. In addition to hearing loss and concussions, some people have experienced nausea, headaches and ear-ringing. The AP has reported that some now suffer from problems with concentration and common word recall.___With files from The Associated Press