Ahmedabad: Former Uttar Pradesh MP and strongman Ateeq Ahmad was Monday transferred to high-security Sabarmati central jail here in Gujarat from the Naini jail in Uttar Pradesh on directions of the Supreme Court, an official said.Ahmad was brought to Ahmedabad from Varanasi in a flight in the morning, they said. “Ateeq Ahmad was brought to the Sabarmati central jail today morning as directed by the supreme court,” said a jail official. Ahmad’s son Umar, who was also on the flight, said: “My father was brought here through a flight from Varanasi. He was taken to Sabarmati jail from the airport”. In April, the Supreme Court had ordered shifting of Ahmad to the Sabarmati jail from the Naini central jail where he was lodged for kidnapping and assaulting a businessman in the Deoria prison. The SC order came after businessman Mohit Jaiswal had filed an FIR in December last year alleging that he was kidnapped from Lucknow and taken to the prison where he was assaulted by the jailed don and his aides and was forced to transfer his business to them. The UP government had told the apex court that Ahmad, who was earlier lodged in Deoria jail, had kidnapped and assaulted Jaiswal on December 26.
New Delhi: Members of the c have written to the vice-chancellor to reverse the changes brought in the eligibility criteria for various courses, describing them as “arbitrary” and “unwarranted”. Students have been caught unaware as the eligibility criteria for some courses have been changed. Many aspirants have queried about the changed eligibility criteria for BA (Honours) Economics course. Till the last year, if a student had 50 per cent in Mathematics, he or she could apply for BA (Hons) in Economics, but this year the subject has been made mandatory for ‘Best of Four’, which means Maths has to be part of the top four subjects, aggregate of which will be considered for the admission. Also Read – Cylinder blast kills mother and daughter in Karawal NagarSimilarly, BCom (Honours) required a student to have passed Mathematics/Business Mathematics with an aggregate of 45 per cent marks as a mandatory requirement. This year, the criteria has been tweaked which mandates that a student should have 50 per cent or more marks in Mathematics/Business Mathematics and an aggregate of 60 per cent with number of new conditionalities attached, the letter said. “We, the following members of AC and EC, wish to draw your attention towards the drastic changes in eligibility criteria for admissions in various UG courses. “We are shocked to find these major changes in the basic criteria which are at variance with the eligibility criteria being applied till the last academic session. This is important to note that these changes do not have sanction of the Academic Council,” the letter said. The letter said these changes are “arbitrary, unwarranted and uncalled for” as the admissions are finalised on basis of merit as reflected in cut-off of the various courses and thus causing chaos among the students.
NEW DELHI: In another encounter within 10 days Delhi police shot a criminal in his leg in a brief encounter at Mukhmelpur in Delhi.During the exchange of fire, a total of 14 rounds were fired about 8 rounds by the criminals and 6 by members of the police team in self-defence. The criminals Salman and Nazim were arrested by Special cell after Salma was shot in the leg by police team in self-defence. An information was received on June 6 in Special Cell that two desperate associates of Nasir gang Salman and Nazim fully armed would come at Pusta road near Kali Mata Mandir, Mukhmelpur, Delhi in the wee hours on an Apache motorcycle to meet one of their contacts and to plan to eliminate one of their rivals. Also Read – Cylinder blast kills mother and daughter in Karawal NagarImmediately, a police team rushed at the given spot. Salman and Nazim riding upon Apache bike were spotted at pusta road T-point and they were signalled to stop and surrender. “Instead of surrendering, they whipped out their pistols and started indiscriminate firing at the police party. One bullet hit the bulletproof jacket worn by HC Anil Chadha. Members of police team fired in self-defence and finally overpowered both the criminals,” said DCP Special Cell, PS Kushwah. Also Read – Two persons arrested for killing manager of Muthoot FinanceSalman and Nazim fired more than eight rounds and police fired six rounds in self-defence. Salman got injured in right leg. He was immediately rushed to Babu Jagjiwan Ram hospital where he is out of danger. Two pistols of .32 along with five live cartridges and an Apache motorcycle were recovered from both the arrested criminals. Case under appropriate sections of law has been registered. There is fierce gang rivalry between both Chainu and Nasir gang since last 10 years. More than 35 people have been killed in this violent rivalry during the given period. The rivalry started in the year 2011, when one Atif was killed by Irfan alias Chainu, Akil Mama, Wasim and Akil Don about nine years ago. On May 28, an exchange of fire took place near Khajuri flyover between the team of Special Cell and a robber Rohtash. Rohtash was hit in the hand by the police bullet.
Los Angeles: Singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran on Wednesday shared the tracklist for his upcoming fourth album, ‘No. 6 Collaborations Project’. Two songs from the album, “I Don’t Care”, featuring Justin Bieber, and “Cross Me”, with Chance the Rapper and PnB Rock, were released as singles recently. The concept of the album is that every song is a collaboration. The new LP, consisting 15 tracks, will feature contributions from Camila Cabello, Cardi B, Travis Scott, Eminem, 50 Cent, Skrillex, H.E.R. and Stormzy, among others. Also Read – Rihanna to release 500-page ‘visual’ autobiography “Thanks to all the amazing artists I’ve worked with on this record for sharing your talent with me. ‘No.6 Collaborations Project’ comes out on July 12, hope you like it as much as I do,” Sheeran wrote on Instagram along with a list of tracks. The titles of the songs are; “Beautiful People”, “South Of The Border”, “Cross Me”, “Take Me Back To London”, “Best Part Of Me”, “I Don’t Care”, “Antisocial”, “Remember The Name”, “Feels”, “Put It All On Me”, “Nothing On You”, “I Don’t Want Your Money”, “1000 Nights”, “Way To Break My Heart” and “Blow”.
New Delhi: External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar met Russian Deputy Prime Minister Yury Trutnev on Wednesday and discussed ways to strengthen bilateral ties as well as Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Vladivostok for the Eastern Economic Forum later this year.Jaishankar’s meeting with Trutnev comes days after Prime Minister Modi met Russian President Vladimir Putin on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation Summit in Bishkek, where the two leaders reviewed all aspects of bilateral relations to further strengthen the strategic relationship. “EAM @DrSJaishankar met with Deputy Prime Minister & Presidential Envoy to the Far Eastern Federal District of Russia Yury Trutnev. Discussed various aspects of India-Russia relationship, including the visit by PM @narendramodi to Vladivostok for the Eastern Economic Forum,” Ministry of External Affairs Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar tweeted. Trutnev, who led a high-level delegation to India for a visit from June 15-19, also held meetings with National Security Adviser Ajit Doval and Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan. He also had an interaction with NITI Aayog Vice Chairman Rajiv Kumar and attended a round-table discussion involving representatives of leading Indian universities to foster closer partnership between Indian and Russian Far Eastern Universities in the field of science and education, the MEA said. Trutnev also travelled to Mumbai where he interacted with prominent Indian industry representatives and had meetings with Indian companies having business interests in the Russian Far East. The visit was undertaken to help both sides prepare grounds for the visit of the prime minister to Vladivostok in early September to participate in the fifth edition of the Eastern Economic Forum as the chief guest of the event, the MEA said. The visit also provided opportunity to explore bilateral cooperation in the sectors of diamond-processing, petroleum and natural gas, coal and mining, agro-processing and tourism which have been identified as the priority areas for development in the Russian Far East, it said.
Kolkata: A Trinamool Congress leader from Malda’s Ratua was arrested on Wednesday for receiving cut money.The development comes a day after Trinamool Congress Supremo Mamata Banerjee had given a clear warning that none of her party leaders would be allowed to make money from government funds disbursed for various projects. Banerjee had also made it clear that no party leaders would be allowed to take cut money with an assurance of providing the government schemes. Stern action would be taken against those who will be found grabbing government funds. Also Read – City bids adieu to Goddess DurgaDuring a meeting with the councillors of her party from various municipalities and municipal corporations on Tuesday, Banerjee stated that her party has no place for those who make money out of government funds. She had reiterated that those shifting to other parties after siphoning money will not be spared and will also face corruption probe. The accused, identified as Sukesh Yadav, allegedly received nearly Rs 1 crore as cut money. The Trinamool Congress leader had been the head of Mahanandatola Gram Panchayat in Malda’s Ratua. It has been learnt that Yadav was accused of taking money from the funds allocated for Nirmal Bangla Mission. Also Read – Centuries-old Durga Pujas continue to be hit among revellersSome senior Trinamool Congress leaders in the district had also admitted to his involvement in the misappropriation of public money. There were many complaints against Yadav from various quarters as well. The investigating officers are conducting a probe to find out if Yadav had taken money from any other projects. Police have started a detailed probe into the incident and are trying to ascertain if any others were involved in the incident. It can be mentioned here that on Tuesday, Banerjee had asserted that her party will give election tickets only after reviewing the work of the councillors. She also reminded the councillors that a party representative who works for the people, never loses an election. Individual tickets will be handed over to councillors by the party on the basis of their performance, Banerjee had clarified on Tuesday.
1(584 Words) Download Download PrintPrint 6/20/2019 5:37:00 PM (Eds: Updating with more details) New Delhi, Jun 20 (PTI) The GST Council will on Friday consider slashing GST rate on electric vehicles to 5 per cent, from 12 per cent currently, along with extension of the tenure of the anti-profiteering authority by a year till November 2020, an official said. The 35th meeting of the GST Council and the first under Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will also consider a couple of anti-evasion steps such as integration of e-way bill with NHAI’s FASTag from April 1, 2010, and asking businesses with a turnover of over Rs 50 crore to issue e-invoice for B2B (business-to-business) sales, as well as asking states to make e-ticketing mandatory for all movie halls. Also Read – IAF receives its first Rafale fighter jet from France The Council will also consider tweaking GST rate on lottery. An 8-member group of state finance ministers could not reach a consensus on whether a uniform tax rate should be imposed on lotteries or the current differential tax rate system be continued. Currently, a state-organised lottery attracts 12 per cent GST, while a state-authorised lottery attracts 28 per cent tax. Also, the Council is likely to discuss a mechanism for single-point sanctioning and processing GST refunds. Also Read – Cosmology trio win Nobel Physics Prize The current mechanism entails twin refund sanctioning authority of the central and state tax officers but that could well change by August when the proposed new structure involving a single authority comes in place. Besides, the Council would also deliberate on setting up a national bench of the Appellate Authority for Advance Ruling to reconcile the contradictory orders on similar issues passed by the Authority for Advance Ruling in different states, a move aimed at providing certainty to taxpayers. To give a push to manufacturing electric vehicles, the Council will consider slashing GST rates to 5 per cent from 12 per cent, the official said. GST rate for petrol and diesel cars and hybrid vehicles is already at the highest bracket of 28 per cent plus cess. Besides, the Council will also consider extending the tenure of the National Anti-Profiteering Authority (NAA) by a year till November 30, 2020, as the authority continues to receive consumer complaints of profiteering against companies. The NAA came into existence on November 30, 2017, after its Chairman B N Sharma assumed charge. So far, the NAA has passed 67 orders in various cases. In a move to check evasion, the Council would also discuss the proposal of integrating e-way bill with NHAI’s FASTag mechanism from April 1, 2020. Such an integration would help find the location of the vehicle and when and how many times it has crossed NHAI’s toll plazas and restrict transporters from doing multiple trips by generating a single e-way bill. Transporters of goods worth over Rs 50,000 would be required to present an e-way bill during transit to a GST inspector, if asked. However, lack of harmonisation under the ‘track and trace’ mechanism in terms of sharing information among different agencies is leading to misuse of e-way bill. The Council would also consider another anti-evasion proposal of issuance of e-invoices on a centralised government portal by businesses with turnover of Rs 50 crore and above for B2B sales. An analysis of return filing shows that as many as 68,041 businesses have reported a turnover of over Rs 50 crore and accounted for 66.6 per cent of total GST paid in 2017-18. Further, while these businesses account for just 1.02 per cent of GST payers, they make up almost 30 per cent of the B2B invoices generated in the system.
Los Angeles: Actor Josh Brolin has revealed that he is constantly in touch with Disney/Marvel executives regarding the future of the “Deadpool” franchise. The media conglomerate assumed the control of the Ryan Reynolds-led franchise after its acquisition of the 20th Century Fox. Brolin, who portrayed Cable, the time-travelling mutant with a bionic arm, in “Deadpool 2”, said he has not yet received a response from the studio about the future of the series. Also Read – Rihanna to release 500-page ‘visual’ autobiography “I don’t know what’s going to happen. I’m actually, I’ve been calling them, like, ‘What’s the deal with Cable, man?’ Seriously, 100 percent serious. They’re figuring it out. It’s a big world now, it just got much, much bigger. So who knows,” he said. According to Screenrant, the 51-year-old actor was speaking at the ACE Comic Con in Seattle. The future of “Deadpool” series is facing uncertainty after Disney unveiled its new calendar of Fox-owned movies at the beginning of May. Though Disney gave new release dates to “Avatar 2” and “The New Mutants”, the studio also confirmed that it currently has no “Deadpool” movies planned for the foreseeable future.
New Delhi: A gang of cheats was busted who used to cheat people on the pretext of providing loan on the minimum interest rate. The accused were involved in duping a widow lady of more than Rs. nine lakh on the pretext of providing loan at 5 percent interest rate.Police identified the accused as Abhishek Bhatia (26), Vivek Kumar (24) and Raj Ranjan Das (26). Deputy Commissioner of Police (Dwarka) Anto Alphonse said that one lady complainant filed a complaint at Uttam Nagar police station alleging that the accused duped the complainant of Rs. 9,60,000 in different instalments in the account numbers and wallets provided by them. Also Read – After eight years, businessman arrested for kidnap & murderDCP Dwarka said that the team obtained details of alleged PayTM wallets and account statement of alleged Bank Accounts and analyzed the same. The team visited the places from where transactions were made in alleged bank accounts and conducted local enquiry and based on technical analysis and physical verification, a joint team of Cyber Cell and Uttam Nagar police station raided in Pandav Nagar and arrested two accused. Based on their disclosure, the team raided in Sahibabad and arrested the mastermind of this racket Abhishek Bhatia. Also Read – Two brothers held for snatchingsThe interrogation of accused revealed they first chose random mobile numbers and contact the victims over the phone and assure them of providing easy loans on minimum interest rates. Then, they ask the victims to deposit some amount in a Bank Account as a Processing Fee for documentary formalities. Then they used to provide the victims different Bank Account Numbers to deposit the amounts. After getting the amount deposited in the Given Bank Accounts, they used to change their mobile numbers. Detailed investigation revealed that the Bank Accounts have been opened on fake addresses.
St Margaret’s Bay (UK): A French daredevil who spent years developing a jet-powered hoverboard zoomed across the English Channel on Sunday, fulfilling his quest after pulling off a tricky refuelling manoeuvre that cut short his first attempt 10 days ago. Franky Zapata blasted off on his “Flyboard” from Sangatte on the northern coast of France at 8:17 am (0617 GMT) for the 35-kilometre trip to St. Margaret’s Bay in Dover. Escorted by three helicopters, he glided across the water in the early morning light and landed 22 minutes later in the picturesque bay, to the applause of dozens of onlookers and journalists. Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince ‘snubbed’ Pak PM, recalled jet from US”I’m feeling good. I’m feeling happy, I’m feeling lucky. This is just an amazing moment for me,” Zapata told AFP after landing. He said the indicators in the visor of his helmet showed he raced over the busy shipping lane at a speed of 160-170 km/h, doing zig-zags as he neared the coast to try to ease the fatigue in his legs. “It’s an isometric exercise for the thighs, so it burns — it’s quite hard. But you recover quickly, it’s not like riding a bicycle,” he said. Also Read – Record number of 35 candidates in fray for SL Presidential pollsMinutes after descending from the metal platform where he landed his craft, Zapata had broken down in tears of emotion while talking on the phone to his son, who could be heard saying, “Dad, you’re the best!” Zapata, a 40-year-old former jet-ski champion, made his first attempt on July 25, to coincide with the 110th anniversary of Louis Bleriot’s historic first crossing of the Channel by plane. But the bid was cut short when he tumbled into the water after failing to land on a boat to refuel — his backpack carries some 35 kilogrammes of kerosene, enough to keep him aloft for around 10 minutes. Asked if he considered himself Bleriot’s successor, Zapata told BFM television: “It’s not really comparable, he was one of the first men to fly.” “Let’s just say that I achieved my dream.” This time the refuelling boat was bigger and had a larger landing area, and French navy vessels in the area kept an eye out in case of trouble. Zapata’s team had been racing to repair the hoverboard and its five turbines after it was damaged from falling in the Channel waters 10 days ago. The main uncertainty this time around, Zapata had warned, was that his craft might end up having “a little problem.” But he said Sunday that his team worked around the clock since the failed attempt ten days ago, spending 15 to 16 hours a day to rebuild the device after it was damaged in the water. Zapata’s team said he would return to Sangatte — by boat this time — for a press conference at the city hall. Zapata has been developing his hoverboard for the past three years, despite losing two fingers during its maiden flight in his garage near Marseille, when they got sucked into the turbines. He already holds the Guinness World Record for the farthest hoverboard flight, a 2.2-kilometre trip over the Mediterranean Sea in April 2016. No Guinness adjudicator was on hand for the latest Channel attempt, though a spokeswoman said he could still be awarded a new record if the trip meets its guidelines. Zapata burst into the spotlight at this year’s July 14 Bastille Day military parade in Paris, where he and his craft buzzed above a crowd of stunned onlookers that included French President Emmanuel Macron. His device has also captured the attention of the French defence ministry, which in December gave Zapata’s company, Z-AIR, a 1.3 million euro ( 1.4 million) development grant, in particular for improving the turbines. He acknowledged that for now the hoverboard isn’t ready for military use, not least because of the noise and the hours required to master the craft. But he is aiming higher, hoping to eventually soar into the clouds at altitudes well above the 15 to 20 metres (50-65 feet) currently — something that will require him to figure out how to carry a parachute, guidance equipment and possibly an oxygen tank. Zapata is also working on a flying car that would be easy enough for anyone to pilot. “Everyone wants to fly… We want to give everybody the ability to go flying whenever they want,” he told BFM.
Chandigarh: Former Haryana chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda, who has virtually threatened to part ways with the Congress ahead of the assembly polls, on Tuesday said he would abide by whatever decision a proposed committee decides for his faction. Two days ago, Hooda had raised eyebrows by slamming the Congress’ stand on scraping Jammu and Kashmir’s special status, saying it had “lost its way” and was no longer the party it was before. The infighting in the state Congress unit has intensified at a time when the assembly polls are barely months away. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM’At the rally in Rohtak on Sunday, the Congress leader had announced he would form a 25-member committee that would decide the future course of action for his faction, which has been demanding that he be made the state unit chief in place of Ashok Tanwar. Talking to PTI over phone, Hooda said the committee would comprise 13 sitting legislators loyal to him, adding that most of the remaining members would be other party leaders from the state unit who are close to him. Also Read – Farooq demands unconditional release of all detainees in J&K”The names of all the committee members will be announced on August 23. It will be authorised to take any decision and I will abide by it,” he said when asked what was his future course of action. Reacting to it, state Congress president Ashok Tanwar, who has been at loggerheads with Hooda for quite some time, said the statements and actions of the former chief minister, including the decision to form a committee, were an “act of indiscipline”. “No one is above party. No matter howsoever tall a leader he may be, no one can violate discipline,” said Tanwar, whose removal Hooda’s faction has been demanding for a long time. On the 25-member committee, Tanwar said it had no sanctity and cannot be formed, adding that constituting committees was the prerogative of the All India Congress Committee (AICC) or state unit. Asked about his reaction to Tanwar’s remarks, Hooda said: “I do not wish to make any comment on this. I have said what I had to say.” At the rally in Rohtak, Hooda had promised several sops if he becomes the chief minister, seen as an open challenge to the party that is yet to name its candidate for the top post.
New Delhi: As the final list of national register of citizens (NRC) was released in Assam, Delhi BJP chief Manoj Tiwari on Saturday renewed his demand for a similar exercise in the city and said he will meet the Union Home Minister soon to press for it. The situation in Delhi is “dangerous” due to the presence of a “large number” of illegal immigrants including Bangladeshis and Rohingyas who have been found involved in “criminal activities”, he said. Also Read – India gets first tranche of Swiss bank a/c details Tiwari, who had demanded NRC exercise to identify and evict illegal immigrants from Delhi, wrote to the then Home Minister Rajnath Singh in August and November last year on the issue . “This is a very precarious situation which needs urgent attention. I will soon meet Home Minister Amit Shah to urge him for conducting NRC exercise in the national capital,” Tiwari told PTI. Shah, during his campaign for Lok Sabha elections earlier this year, had repeatedly said that BJP will ensure after coming to power that illegal immigrants are identified and evicted. Also Read – Tourists to be allowed in J&K from Thursday Tiwari said it was wrong to think that he was making the demand for political reasons. “I firmly believe that illegal migrants in Delhi are depriving locals of their rights and opportunities. I have even met Muslims from the city who told me that NRC should be conducted in Delhi because criminal activities of illegal immigrants maligned the image of their community,” Tiwari said. He stated that that the AAP government in Delhi should start the process to identify and evict Rohingyas and Bangladeshi living illegally in the national capital. “It is a very dangerous situation since many of these illegal immigrants have also acquired documents like Aadhaar and ration cards. Delhi government also needs to pay attention to it,” he said. Besides Tiwari, BJP MP from West Delhi Parvesh Verma too has backed NRC exercise. The issue was also raised by him in Lok Sabha. The updated final NRC, which validates bonafide Indian citizens of Assam, was out on Saturday, with over 19 lakh applicants failing to make it to the list.
Mysuru: Shubman Gill shone again with a fine 92 as India A reached 233 for three by the end of first day’s play in the second unofficial Test against South Africa A here on Tuesday. Opener Gill struck 12 fours and a six before getting out eight runs short of a century. This is the second time he has missed out on the three-figure mark, having scored 90 in the first match at Thiruvananthapuram. The out-of-favour Karun Nair was batting on 78 and skipper Wriddhiman Shah was on 36 at stumps, which was called after 74 overs due to bad light. Also Read – Puducherry on top after 8-wkt win over ChandigarhSent in to bat by the visiting captain Aiden Markram, India A didn’t enjoy the best of starts with Bengal opener Abhimanyu Easwaran (5) falling leg-before wicket to Lungi Ngidi in the sixth over. Gujarat batsman Priyank Panchal, a prolific scorer in the domestic circuit like Easwaran, batted for 39 balls before getting dismissed to leave India A at 31 for two. The South African attack, which included Vernon Philander — who got some game time ahead of the first Test against at Visakhapatnam — Ngidi, Luthu Sipamla and Wiaan Mulder, bowled with a lot of discipline and did not offer the rival batsmen any easy scoring opportunities. Also Read – Vijender’s next fight on Nov 22, opponent to be announced laterGill, who was joined by Nair, got a move on as the two played some good shots. They added 35 runs in less than 10 overs before the lunch break. The Punjab right-hander showed impressive technique in dealing with the pacers and spinner Dane Piedt, who had done well in the first match at Thiruvananthapuram. He played some lovely shots on both sides and in Nair’s company, added 135 runs for the third wicket in 34 overs. Gill looked to be on course for a ton, after having missed out in Thiruvananthapuram, but gave a catch to Senuran Muthusamy off Sipamla. Nair, on his part, played some beautiful shots and was unbeaten when bad light brought about an early end to the day’s play. The Karnataka batsmen has so far added 67 runs with Saha for the fourth wicket. Philander bowled steadily but couldn’t pick up a wicket while Ngidi (1/41), Mulder (1/19) and Sipamla (1/54) got a scalp each. The India A team made a few changes with Saha coming in for K S Bharat and Kuldeep Yadav, who is in the squad for the Tests against South Africa replacing K Gowtham. Umesh Yadav, too, was brought into the playing XI in place of Shardul Thakur. Brief scores: India ‘A’ 233 for 3 in 74 overs (Shubman Gill 92, Karun Nair 78 batting, Wriddhiman Saha 36 batting, W Mulder 1/19).
VANCOUVER – The Vancouver Park Board is being asked to consider sticking a pin in the presence of latex and plastic balloons in city parks.The board, which is responsible for all activities in parks and community centres, will consider a motion at its next regular meeting to ban balloons.The motion — tabled by commissioner Stuart MacKinnon — says balloons are non-renewable, clog landfills and should not be permitted.It says the colourful inflatables pose a risk to birds, sea turtles, dolphins and other wildlife that either eat the deflated remains and suffer internal injuries, or die after becoming tangled in balloon strings.Mackinnon’s motion also says young children are among those at risk, referencing a study from the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh and the DuPont Institute that found balloons cause more childhood deaths than any other toy.The two-term park commissioner hopes the board will vote Monday night to prohibit the use or display of balloons in parks, community centres and other areas within its jurisdiction.
Highlights from the news file for Tuesday, Oct. 3———FOURTH CANADIAN CONFIRMED DEAD IN VEGAS: A fourth Canadian has been confirmed dead in a mass shooting at a country music show in Las Vegas. Tara Roe Smith, who was 34 and lived in Okotoks, Alta., was there with her husband, Zach, for a weekend getaway. Jessica Klymchuk of Valleyview, Alta., Jordan McIldoon of Maple Ridge, B.C., and Calla Medig of Jasper, Alta., also were among the nearly 60 people killed when a gunman open fire on the crowd from the window of a hotel on Sunday night. Another six Canadians are among the injured.———VEGAS GUNMAN HAD ARSENAL IN HOTEL ROOM: The retired accountant who opened fire on country music concertgoers in Las Vegas had an arsenal of 23 guns in the hotel room he used as a sniper’s perch. Authorities found more guns, ammunition and explosives in a search of his Nevada home. The rampage by Stephen Craig Paddock killed at least 59 people and injured 527, some from gunfire and some from a chaotic escape. Officials say some of the guns found in Paddock’s room on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Hotel casino had scopes on them. He used 10 suitcases to tote them all to his room.———POT AND TAXES TOP OF MIND FOR PREMIERS: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is getting an earful from premiers about the federal government’s controversial small business tax reform plan and the tight timeline for legalizing cannabis by next July. On their way into a daylong first ministers meeting Tuesday, premiers said they intend to air their concerns about those issues. Alberta Premier Rachel Notley said she wants more clarity from the federal government on the burden the provinces will have to bear to regulate the legalization of marijuana for recreational use.———HARDER OUT AS CHAIR OF COMMITTEE: A Conservative MP whose beliefs on abortion prompted her Liberal counterparts to walk out of a hearing last week won’t be heading up the status of women committee after all. Six Liberals and one NDP member voted against making Lethbridge MP Rachael Harder the chair of the committee, opting instead for her Tory colleague Karen Vecchio, who opposed her own nomination but was chosen anyway. Last week, the Liberals walked out of the committee meeting to protest the nomination of Harder, who holds anti-abortion views.———REPORT SAYS OTTAWA NOT READY FOR CLIMATE CHANGE: The federal government is nowhere near ready for the massive storms and more frequent floods and fires that are expected to result from climate change, warns Canada’s environment commissioner. In her autumn annual reports, Julie Gelfand asked whether Ottawa will be able to protect more than $66 billion in federal assets like bridges, roads and airports, while also continuing to provide services, when fires, floods and extreme storms hit hard. The answer, she said, is a resounding ‘No.’———POLL FINDS LIBERALS AND CONSERVATIVES DEADLOCKED: As the midway point of their four-year mandate approaches, the federal Liberals find themselves statistically tied with a resurgent Conservative Opposition, says a new poll conducted by Ekos Research and commissioned for The Canadian Press. The New Democrats, reeling from a disappointing 2015 campaign and subsequent — and protracted — leadership race, remained a distant third. The Ekos-Canadian Press poll puts the Liberals at 34 per cent, the Conservatives at 33 per cent and the NDP at 15 per cent.———EDMONTON ATTACK SUSPECT APPEARS IN COURT: The case of a Somali refugee accused of attacking a police officer and running down four pedestrians has been put over so he can find a lawyer. Abdulahi Hasan Sharif made his first court appearance Tuesday on 11 charges, including five of attempted murder, that were laid after a driver hit an Edmonton police officer with a speeding car, stabbed him and then mowed down pedestrians with a cube van during a downtown police chase. Tactical officers forced the van on its side and arrested a suspect after using a stun grenade and a Taser.———CANADIAN MUSICUANS REMEMBER TOM PETTY: Sass Jordan always considered Tom Petty a huge musical influence, but says the opportunity to witness him playing on a soundstage was hard to pass up. Tom Cochrane also considers himself another tested fan of Petty’s songbook, ranking his 1989 album “Full Moon Fever” as his transcendent best. Ewan Currie, lead singer of Saskatchewan band the Sheepdogs, sees Petty as an “effortless statesman” of rock music with rare mass appeal. Petty died Monday night at UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles a day after he suffered cardiac arrest at his home in Malibu, Calif. He was 66.———CMHC TURNS TO AIRBNB FOR HOUSING HELP: Canada’s housing agency is looking to an unlikely ally in a bid to boost the stock of affordable rental housing: Airbnb. The head of the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp., says he believes short-term rental companies like Airbnb and Vacation Rental By Owner could help increase the rental supply in the country and, in turn, possibly reduce rents. The government’s upcoming national housing strategy will have a heavy focus on increasing the supply of affordable housing options, including rental units.———CAFE GOES ‘SCREEN FREE’; FACES BACKLASH: A popular Halifax cafe and bar is facing backlash for its decision to be “screen free” after 5 p.m. — but the unusual move has garnered some support as well. Signs at Lion and Bright in the city’s hip north end were recently posted on tables informing patrons of the rule, which requires work-related screens such a laptops to be put away during the evening. Owner Sean Gallagher says during the evening, Lion and Bright becomes a bar with an atmosphere that encourages people to “turn their work off” and relax and socialize, but some patrons say they won’t be visiting Lion and Bright anymore.———
VANCOUVER – When Lynne Barre feels discouraged about the recovery effort of the southern residents killer whale population, she calls her colleague who does a school program about the orcas to see if she can sit in on a class.The children are well informed about the whales, said Barre, who is the recovery co-ordinator for southern resident killer whales with the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or NOAA.“They know what extinction means and they really care. That’s really inspiring.”The latest endeavour for the recovery effort of the whales — listed as endangered in the United States and species at risk in Canada — comes this week to Vancouver where scientists, industry, Indigenous groups, government officials and others meet Oct. 11-12 in a symposium looking for solutions.The symposium is being held as part of the federal government’s Oceans Protection Plan that was announced last November.The last census for southern residents completed in July showed there were just 77 in the three pods that make up the population. Barre said that figure could be even smaller because a young male disappeared recently from J pod after he was spotted by a drone looking very skinny.She said there are three key areas to focus on for the whale’s recovery: their prey, chemical contaminants and vessel disturbances.Southern residents and their northern resident cousins are unique because their diet consists mainly of chinook salmon. The whales live long and their bodies store chemicals such as DDT that has long been banned from use.NOAA has been encouraging Canada to adopt similar regulations as those in the U.S. that protect the whales from vessel noise or strikes, Barre said.Watching the killer whales has spawned a lucrative tourism industry in the waters off B.C. and Washington state.The American government brought in regulations in 2011 stopping vessels from going within 200 yards, or 182 metres, from the whales. Vessels aren’t allowed to go in the path of the whales or try to intercept them.“We’ve found that it has benefited the whales and it hasn’t had an economic impact on the whale-watching industry,” Barre said.Canada proposed similar regulations five years ago, but they haven’t yet been passed. Under the current guidelines, a person can still be charged for disturbing a whale, but the burden of proof for any allegations is on the Department of Fisheries.Barre said she believes both countries should align their regulations.“I think it would help with protection of the whales, it would make education messages to boaters much simpler and I think we could improve compliance with trans-boundry regulations that were similar.”Noise from ships, especially the smaller, fast-moving vessels, seems to interfere with the whales echolocation which helps them hunt and navigate, she said.“These are acoustic animals and they use sound to find their food.”No one from the Transport Canada or the Department of Fisheries and Oceans was available to comment on the regulatory changes.The Vancouver Port Authority launched a vessel slowdown trial over the summer in at the south end of Vancouver Island in the Haro Straight — the summer feeding ground for southern residents. The goal was to better understand the relationship between vessel speed, underwater noise and their effects on killer whales.Underwater microphones were set up and ships were asked to cut their speed.Barre said she’ll be interested to learn about the findings of the study.While experts have been studying these whales for decades, she said there are still some gaps in knowledge.She said suction cups with acoustic tags attached to the whales have led researchers to determine that the noise from boats and other sounds are affecting their foraging behaviour. Drones have also been used to fly over and assess the health of the whales.The population of the pods has hovered around 80 animals over the last few decades, but Barre remains is optimistic for the whales’ recovery.“I’m hopeful because they have shown their ability to be resilient in the past. We did live captures of these animals for public display back in the 1960s and 1970s, following that, they had a long, demonstrated population increase. That was encouraging reaching close to 100 whales.”
MERRITT (NEWS 1130) – Nine people have been hurt after a series of collisions on Highway 5 south of Merritt, as weather conditions deteriorate on the route.B.C. Emergency Health Services says three ambulances were sent to an incident the Coquihalla Highway.The service said in a news release that three people were taken to hospital in stable condition, but no details were available on the other six said to be hurt, or the number of vehicles involved.There were earlier closures southbound and northbound on the highway, but both directions have reopened.A travel advisory has been issued as harsh winter conditions, including snowfall and blowing snow, are expected for the highway between Hope and Merritt.Environment Canada forecasts up to 15 centimetres of snow for the region through Tuesday.On Monday afternoon, Bob Gilowski with VSA Highway Maintenance said there had already been 16 centimetres of snow in the area.“We are planning for that storm event. We are pretty confident we are going to get hit with that snow and our crews will all be ready to combat that issue here,” he said.“It’s safe to say that winter driving conditions certainly exist on the Coquihalla Highway and we’re really encouraging those who need to travel today, tomorrow and into tomorrow evening to use extra caution and allow themselves extra time as they travel the Coquihalla.”
TORONTO – Officials say a downtown armoury will open to Toronto’s homeless Saturday evening as the city faces a 13th day with an extreme cold alert in effect.Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale announced Friday that the armoury would be opened as a temporary homeless shelter for two weeks following a request from the city as it sought more shelter space.The facility, just on the eastern edge of the downtown core, is close to a supervised injection site and near other shelters where scores of people seek refuge every day, but was not expected to open until Monday.The city says the Moss Park Armoury will provide 100 cots in response to unprecedented demand and the continuing extreme weather conditions.The City has also increased the capacity at the Better Living Centre to 200 cots and added an additional 80 cots at a community centre.It has also added an overnight shift for at least four street outreach teams during extreme cold weather alerts.“We are dedicated to meeting the needs of our city’s most vulnerable,” said Mayor John Tory. “I want to extend my sincere appreciation to city staff for this extraordinary response to address this urgent situation.”Tory called the cold conditions “relentless” and said the increased demand for additional homelessness supports is “unprecedented.”City staff gained access to the federally owned armoury on Saturday morning and immediately began retrofitting the facility, which will be available as a winter respite location around the clock for two weeks.When fully operational, services will include access to meals, showers, hygiene kits and referrals to additional supports such as case management and housing supports.
VANCOUVER – Police say a 15-year-old boy is on life support and not expected to survive following a brazen exchange of gunfire on a busy Vancouver street.Chief Const. Adam Palmer says the teen was in a passing vehicle Saturday evening when he was struck by a bullet as shots were fired between at least two people.A 23-year-old man who police say was the target of the attack has died in hospital.Palmer identified the man as Kevin Whiteside and says he was known to police.Other suspects have not been identified but Palmer says more than 50 officers are working on the case and the department is doing everything to bring justice to the family who is grieving for their teenage son.Another bystander who is in his 30s was also injured in the incident but was treated at the scene.
HAINES JUNCTION, Yn – Conservation officers in Yukon have unravelled the mysterious deaths of three apparently healthy bison.The remains were found in a remote valley northeast of Haines Junction and conservation officer T.J. Grantham says it appears the three slipped on a buildup of ice on a hilltop.He says the bison were among a herd that started moving down a hill covered in snow and ice that was nearly an inch thick.Marks in the snow reveal the entire herd likely skidded down the hill, but the unlucky trio was swept over another drop.Grantham says they plummeted a further 300 metres to the bottom of the hill.They careened through trees as they fell and Grantham says the animals probably died of internal injuries.While such accidents probably occur from time to time in nature, Grantham says it has piqued the interest of biologists.“I can say it’s rare for us to encounter it in the field,” Grantham says, adding that scientists don’t often get a chance to document such events. (CKRW)