Concordia Maritime Inks Sale Leaseback for Stena Important

first_imgzoom Swedish tanker shipping company Concordia Maritime has decided to sell its 50,000 dwt IMOIIMAX tanker Stena Important to a Japanese financial institution through a sale and leaseback agreement.Under the transaction the parties agreed to a sale price of USD 36 million. The 2015-built vessel will be chartered back on a bareboat basis for nine years, with a purchase obligation in year nine.Featuring a length of 183 meters and a width of 32 meters, the tanker is scheduled to join its new owner at the end of March.In October 2016, the company inked two sale and leaseback deals for the 158,000 dwt Suezmax tanker Stena Supreme and the IMOIIMAX tanker Stena Image.Under the deal with a Japanese ship owning company, the Stena Supreme was chartered back on a bareboat basis for a period of 12 years, with annual purchase options from year three onwards.While the company’s 50,000 dwt Stena Image was chartered back to Concordia Maritime on a bareboat basis for eight years, with annual purchase options from year four onwards.“Once again, we have successfully conducted a good transaction that creates significant values. Just as with the previous transactions in autumn, this is a way of preparing ourselves for a subdued market situation and the good business opportunities that may arise there,” Kim Ullman, CEO of Concordia Maritime, said.“We are working actively on the fleet’s structure and disposition, and the leaseback arrangement enables us to continue employing the vessel in the successful Stena Weco pool,” Ullman added.With the agreement, the company said that it is taking a further step into “the interesting Japanese financing market.”Fearnley Securities AS acted as broker and financial advisor to Concordia Maritime for the transaction.last_img read more

Ocean Yield Secures USD 330 Mn of New Loans

first_imgzoomIllustration. Image Courtesy: Pixabay under CC0 Creative Commons license Norwegian shipowner Ocean Yield signed several new loan agreements with a number of banks, totaling around 330 million, during the second quarter of 2018.The company said that the new loans were signed for the long-term financing of recent investments, including two dry-bulk vessels, three Suezmaxes and two VLCC crude tankers.As of quarter end some USD 265 million of this is undrawn, Ocean Yield said, adding that the loan facilities have maturities between five and seven years and are priced at attractive terms.“We have completed a number of new loan facilities for the long-term financing of recently announced investments and successfully issued a new unsecured bond at attractive terms,” Lars Solbakken, CEO of Ocean Yield, said.In May, Ocean Yield issued a new 5-year unsecured bond issue of NOK 750 million. The net proceeds from the bond issue would be used to refinance existing debt, finance future growth of the group and general corporate purposes.The company unveiled the loan agreements as part of its financial report for the second quarter ended June 30, 2018.The company’s operating revenues during the period were USD 69.8 million compared with USD 66.3 million in reported in the first quarter of the year. The increase mainly relates to the vessel Connector, which has been fully employed on the time-charter contract for cable installation on Ørsted’s Hornsea Project One during the second quarter.Ocean Yield’s net profit after tax was USD 35.1 million in the second quarter of 2018, up from USD 33.3 million reported in the previous quarter.Ocean Yield continued to expand and diversify its fleet of vessels on long-term charter, evidenced by the commitment to invest in another 15 vessels during the first six months of 2018. In the coming 12 months, the company will take delivery of another eleven vessels on long term charter.last_img read more

Funding to Reduce Municipal Emissions

first_imgNine Nova Scotia municipalities will measure the energy used by their operations and find ways to reduce it with financial help from the Nova Scotia Municipal Clean Air and Climate Change program. The funding will help municipalities conduct audits of energy use and related air emissions to identify the best ways to cut emissions, which could lead to more municipal program funding. The program is part of the Nova Scotia Ecotrust for Clean Air and Climate Change. “We are working with municipalities to increase energy efficiencies that help reduce greenhouse-gas and air-pollutant emissions,” said Mark Parent, Minister of Environment. “We are committed to reducing greenhouse-gas emissions to at least 10 per cent below 1990 levels by 2020, and to significant drops in air-pollutant levels by 2010.” Funding applications were reviewed and recommended by an intergovernmental panel with expertise in emissions reductions and economic development. “I am very pleased with the applications we’ve received so far,” said Richard Hurlburt, Minister of Energy. “We look forward to more municipal units coming forward with their plans to reduce energy consumption.” These municipal program grants are the first of nine rounds of grants from the Nova Scotia Ecotrust for Clean Air and Climate Change, which was developed with the federal government. The municipal program will contribute a total of $68,521 to nine projects with a combined cost of $96,092. More support for larger projects will be announced in the near future. Municipalities and towns receiving the first round of funding from the program are: Antigonish, Berwick, Bridgetown, Digby, Kentville, Kings County, Parrsboro, Trenton and Wolfville. The province’s goal is to have all municipal units complete an emissions inventory and audit. The nine latest projects will increase the total to 16. To apply for funding from the municipal program or for more information, visit the EcoTrust website at www.gov.ns.ca/ecotrust .last_img read more

Traffic Advisory Lunenburg County

first_img Local Area Office: 902-543-4671 Fax: 902-543-5596 -30- Drivers should expect delays of up to 20 minutes Wednesday, May 20 and Thursday, May 21, at the temporary, one-lane bridge at Gold River on Trunk 3 between Mahone Bay and Chester for girder delivery. Drivers should allow more time during the two days or take an alternate route.last_img

Premier Dexter and Premier Williams Send Letter to the Premier of New

first_imgPremier Darrell Dexter and Premier Danny Williams of Newfoundland and Labrador, jointly released a letter today, Dec. 2, they have sent to Premier Shawn Graham of New Brunswick. The letter addresses concerns about the Memorandum of Understanding between New Brunswick and Quebec and asks for a response regarding open access for transmission of electricity. “We are seeking assurances that the best interests of Nova Scotia and the best opportunities for our region are protected,” said Premier Dexter. “It is important that Premier Graham recognizes that an agreement on a new interprovincial transmission line is best for all our provinces.” “The previous statements made by the Premier of New Brunswick are not sufficient to give us confidence that reliable open access will be available across New Brunswick to the Maine border after the deal with Quebec is consummated,” said Premier Williams. “This situation requires clear and explicit clarification and certainty.” -30-last_img read more

NSBI Invests in Intelivote Systems Inc

first_img FOR BROADCASE USE: The province, through Nova Scotia Business Inc., is supporting Intelivote Systems of Dartmouth with a venture capital investment of 800-thousand-dollars. Having secured most municipal elections in Nova Scotia, Intelivote is aiming for new contracts in growing national and international markets. -30- Intelivote Systems of Dartmouth is positioning itself to remain a leader in the market, stay competitive, and attract new contract opportunities, thanks to a significant investment by the province. The province, through Nova Scotia Business Inc., is supporting its growth with a venture capital investment of $800,000. “Supporting a world-leading company like Intelivote will help it to position itself to reach larger markets,” Economic and Rural Development and Tourism Minister Percy Paris said today, July 6. “Intelivote’s unique technology and its ability to seek global opportunities are in line with the jobsHere plan to help grow the economy.” Having secured most municipal elections in Nova Scotia, Intelivote Systems Inc. is aiming for national and international markets. “The interest and demand for electronic voting services is significant, particularly from Ontario and British Columbia municipalities who will hold their next municipal elections in 2014,” said Dean Smith, president and founder of Intelivote Systems Inc. “This investment from NSBI Venture Capital will help us add new features for our clients, and pursue new contracts in bigger markets.” Of the about 730,000 eligible voters in Nova Scotia, more than 490,000 will be able to vote using telephone, wireless devices or the Internet during the election period. “The primary benefit is that electronic voting increases the accessibility and convenience of voting,” said Mark Phillips, chief administrative officer of the town of Kentville. “We hope it will increase the voter count through all demographics.” Intelivote’s unique features and integrated Internet and telephone voting sets them apart as a world leader in electronic voting technology. “The company has already done the hard work of setting themselves apart as a world leader in its field,” said Stephen Lund, president and CEO of NSBI. “We’re looking to capitalize on the economic opportunity for the province by growing this business.” Intelivote is an electronic voting technology provider in Dartmouth. The company is globally recognized as a leader in electronic voting technology. For more information, visit www.Intelivote.com . Nova Scotia Business Inc. is the province’s private-sector-led business development agency. Through trade development, investment attraction, business financing and venture capital, NSBI helps local companies and attracts international businesses to Nova Scotia.last_img read more

Province Invests in Chorus Aviation Helps Protect Create Jobs

first_imgJazz Aviation LP, a subsidiary of Chorus Aviation, is expanding its Nova Scotia operations and creating new jobs, supported by an investment from the province. Premier Darrell Dexter today, July 16, announced provincial support to help Jazz expand its heavy maintenance facilities in Nova Scotia, creating 150 new jobs in maintenance, management, administrative, and technical support, and protecting hundreds of existing positions. “Jazz’s decision to expand its operations in Nova Scotia reinforces that this province is a great place to live, work and raise a family,” said Premier Dexter. “Today, the province is helping Jazz create and maintain hundreds of good jobs in Nova Scotia. It is another example of how this government is growing the province’s economy and helping to create jobs that Nova Scotians can count on.” Jazz will renovate its Halifax airport location to expand the systems operations control centre and heavy maintenance base in Nova Scotia. The company will also buy a new head office building. The provincial investment includes a $2.5-million forgivable loan, based on employment targets, and a $2-million employee incentive to recruit, train and develop new employees or to upgrade the skills of current employees. Over a five-year period, the investment is expected to generate about $11 million in revenue from the jobs created and protected. The province is also providing a $12-million interest-bearing, repayable loan. “Nova Scotia has a competitive advantage, and is an ideal location for national and international companies to do business. Jazz’s decision drives that home,” said Premier Dexter. “These kinds of investments line up with jobsHere, and strengthen Nova Scotia’s economy by creating good, high-value jobs and helping companies become even more competitive.” Jazz operates more than 860 daily flights to 84 destinations in North America on behalf of Air Canada under the Air Canada Express brand. Jazz employs 720 people in Halifax, and has more than 5,000 employees across Canada. It is one of the world’s largest regional airlines and is the largest operator of Dash 8 aircraft. “With the support of the province of Nova Scotia, we will significantly expand our heavy maintenance hangar, convert our administrative building into a world-class operations centre and establish a new corporate headquarters,” said Joe Randell, president and Chief Executive Officer, Chorus. “This is part of our overall strategic plan to increase our efficiency and cost competitiveness, thereby improving our operating economics and delivering more value to our stakeholders.” The province’s investment is from the Nova Scotia Jobs Fund, which pursues investment opportunities for communities in transition, industry sectors, regional support, small businesses programs, infrastructure and large industrial ventures.last_img read more

Traffic Advisory Cape Breton Regional Municipality

first_imgCAPE BRETON REGIONAL MUNICIPALITY: Highway 125 Blasting Delays The blasting scheduled for 1 p.m., today, Oct. 11, on Highway 125 between Exits 7 and 8 is being moved to 2 p.m. because of the weather. The highway is expected to be closed no longer than 20 minutes and drivers should be prepared for delays or use alternate routes if possible. Blasting closures are also scheduled for Friday and Saturday at 1 p.m. -30-last_img

Changing Lives Through Learning

first_img “Anytime there is an opportunity to highlight what a great resource we have in our libraries and partner within our communities is important,” said Tony Ince, Minister of Communities, Culture and Heritage. “It’s great that there is a week designated to adult learning. Our regional libraries are available year-round, offering a wide range of programs and activities that support literacy for everyone.” For more information on adult learning in Nova Scotia, go to http://careers.novascotia.ca or call 1-877-go-NSSAL (1-877-466-7725). Books2Eat, a reading and eating cake event held at McConnell Library in Sydney a keynote address by Writer-in-Residence author Sheree Fitch at the Pictou-Antigonish Regional Library a book club gathering of the Hantsport Library Book Club to discuss Half-Blood Blues by Esi Edugyan. Four adult learners are being recognized for sharing their powerful stories about how learning has changed their lives. Stephanie Paul, from Eskasoni First Nation; Mamawa Kamara of Halifax; Scott Vaughan, of Bridgewater; and Linda Larade, from Dingwall, were recognized at a Literacy Nova Scotia event today, April 4, in Halifax. More than 50 students submitted essays as part of a contest to celebrate adult learning. “My family looks at me in a more positive way because I am doing something to better my life,” said Ms. Paul. “I have received many positive comments and am seen as a role model. I have a new appreciation of life and all it has to offer.” Learners talked about gaining confidence by returning to school and experiencing success. Ms. Kamara has learned to read and write, is able to tutor her children, find employment and send money home to her family in Africa. “I have the confidence to further my education, to become independent and be a better mother,” said Ms. Kamara. Mr. Vaughan continues to learn every day. His poem told of the different ways people learn and of having pride in successes. Ms. Larade has become a much stronger, independent woman who believes there are no boundaries with learning. “These individuals have proven to themselves and others the positive impact that learning can have at any age,” said Kelly Regan, Minister of Labour and Advanced Education. “They now have the tools to access new learning and career opportunities, and the confidence of knowing they can achieve whatever they set their minds to.” “Literacy Nova Scotia supports learning wherever it happens, in workplaces, communities, classrooms and within families,” said Jayne Hunter, executive director, Literacy Nova Scotia. “Our contest winners are ambassadors of adult learning, their submissions speak of change and optimism, and are an inspiration to us all.” International Adult Learner’s Week, which runs through Sunday, celebrates the achievements of adult learners, the organizations that support them and the value and rewards of life-long learning. The province’s regional libraries have been hosting Adult Learning Week activities all week, including:last_img read more

Chief Medical Officer Addresses National Summit on Opioid Use

first_imgThe recent national summit into the opioid crisis in Canada emphasized two distinct, but related, issues unfolding here in our province and across the country. We have an increase of opioid overdoses and overdose deaths related to the arrival in Canada of illicit fentanyl in street drug supplies. But we also have a problem with the significant increase in prescriptions of opioids for pain treatment. Part of our response to this serious public health problem is accepting that people struggling with drug addictions and abuse must be treated with dignity and respect – the same as any other person dealing with a health issue. These are our young people, our neighbours and our most vulnerable, and they live beside us in our communities. The prescription of opioids within the health care system over the past 20 years has created large numbers of people who are dependent on opioids, many of whom shifted to prescription and/or illicit fentanyl when changes were made to the formulation of Oxycontin. The current situation highlights the complexity of the issues we are dealing with and the need to move carefully to change opioid prescribing and pain management practices to avoid having more people accessing illicit opioids. Nova Scotia has begun developing a coordinated response. A joint statement of action to address the opioid crisis was agreed upon at the national summit, and Nova Scotia is a key part of that plan. At the summit, Health Minister Leo Glavine committed to advancing our existing opioid misuse and overdose response, while supporting a national response. Nova Scotia doesn’t have the number of overdoses and overdose deaths being experienced in British Columbia and Alberta, but we have had 49 overdose deaths so far this year. Those are 49 families and communities forever changed. It is also a tremendous strain on an already taxed health-care system. Opioid overdoses are overwhelming emergency services and departments, and needlessly taking lives. This is most acute in the western provinces, but it is moving east. The response requires international police and border security efforts to cut off the supply of illicit fentanyl from China. It requires widespread implementation of safer consumption sites, ready access to naloxone, better access to evidence-based opioid addiction treatment, and enhanced monitoring to track progress across the country. Our response also requires fundamental changes in how pain, mental health and addiction issues are handled in the health-care system, and how primary care is structured to allow treatment of the whole individual by collaborative teams and practices. A key component is going back to basics with a greater focus on creating healthy and supportive families and communities as the backbone of improving our collective health. Fundamental changes in these areas will lead to substantive improvements in our health-care system and are part of the overall transformation currently underway. -30-last_img read more

First Construction Tender Issued for Expansion of Dartmouth General Hospital

first_imgThe first tender for construction services at the Dartmouth General Hospital was issued today, March 14. This expansion and renovation is part of the QEII redevelopment project. The tender is for site services, excavation, underground services, foundations and structural concrete for the new addition and a new emergency generator building. It also includes renovation of the loading dock area, elevators for the new addition and relocation of the bulk oxygen storage tanks. The expansion and renovations at the Dartmouth General will result in space for 48 beds on the fifth floor plus eight new operating rooms to replace four existing operating rooms and extensive upgrades to outpatient and diagnostic imaging areas. This is in addition to work already underway on the third and fourth floors. The deadline for submissions is April 13. Details of the tender are available at http://novascotia.ca/tenders/tenders/ns-tenders.aspx. Additional tenders for construction services are expected to be released later this year. This construction is expected to begin in May but work is already taking place in preparation for the expansion and renovation project. Ongoing work can be viewed online at https://youtu.be/NVCRMbbXyI0. The cost estimate for the entire Dartmouth General Hospital project remains between $132 million and $138 million. The QEII redevelopment includes projects at the Halifax Infirmary, Dartmouth General Hospital, Hants Community Hospital and other sites that will support the eventual closure of the Centennial and Victoria buildings in Halifax. For updates on the QEII redevelopment project, go to http://QE2redevelopment.ca.last_img read more

Chronic Disease Innovation Fund Targets Risk Groups

first_img “This project is about coaching that responds to the health needs of African-descended people, including our history and lived experiences,” said Sharon Davis Murdoch, co-president of the Health Association of African Canadians. “Coaches will reach out to community leaders and key organizations to introduce themselves and the project. Building trust in the health system, and responding to individual and community challenges and strengths, will better enable health improvements.” The Chronic Disease Innovation Fund will invest $300,000 in 18 projects across the province. Community groups, in partnership with community health boards, applied for funding for projects that will help people stop smoking, reduce alcohol consumption, get active, and eat better. “Many Nova Scotians want to find ways to live healthier lives, but need some help and support. Communities know what they need, and these grants offer them a way to help meet those needs,” said Janet Knox, president and CEO, Nova Scotia Health Authority. For more information about the Matter of Black Health project, visit www.diabetes.ca. African Nova Scotians will be getting some help managing their health with the support of personalized health coaching. A Matter of Black Health: Health Coaching to Live Well in Nova Scotia is a project from the Health Association of African Canadians and Diabetes Canada. The province is supporting the project with $96,666 over the next two years from the new Chronic Disease Innovation Fund, Premier Stephen McNeil announced today at the Upper Hammonds Plains Community Centre. People of African descent have a higher-than-average risk of developing diabetes. “We want to help all Nova Scotians reduce their risk of chronic disease and live healthier, longer lives,” said Premier McNeil. “By working with a coach, this one-on-one approach will help individuals modify their behavior and tailor plans to better manage their health or chronic disease.” The Medavie Health Foundation is contributing an additional $100,000 to the project. The funding will be used to hire health coaches to work with individuals who have a chronic disease, or are at risk of developing one. Health coaching will be available to African Nova Scotians in the following communities: Halifax Regional Municipality Hants County Cape Breton, Antigonish and Guysborough South Shore Annapolis Valley Digby and Yarmouth. last_img read more

Proclamation de la nouvelle loi sur le parentage et le soutien aux

first_img Remplacer les termes tels que « visite » et « privilèges de visite » par les concepts suivants : « temps passé avec l’enfant », « communication avec l’enfant » et « interaction » Établir un cadre pour le plan parental qui énumère les responsabilités de chaque parent et les arrangements pour la garde de l’enfant afin d’encourager la planification et de réduire la confusion Établir de nouvelles lignes directrices qui exigent que les parents qui déménagent à l’extérieur de la province fournissent un préavis et déterminent, selon les ententes parentales, si ce déménagement sera avantageux ou non pour l’enfant Fournir une liste claire de mesures qui peuvent être prises dans les cas où les ordonnances concernant le temps passé avec l’enfant, la communication avec l’enfant ou l’interaction avec l’enfant ne sont pas respectées Plusieurs règles seront également mises à jour en raison de ces modifications. Il s’agit de modifications d’ordre administratif visant à uniformiser le langage et la terminologie. Pour obtenir plus d’information, consultez le www.nsfamilylaw.ca (en anglais seulement). Des modifications législatives adoptées par l’Assemblée législative visant à améliorer le soutien aux enfants et à faire passer les intérêts des enfants avant tout le reste pendant une rupture familiale entreront en vigueur le 26 mai. Les modifications apportées à la loi sur les ordonnances alimentaires et la garde d’enfants (Maintenance and Custody Act), qui a été renommée la loi sur le parentage et le soutien aux enfants (Parenting and Support Act), inclut des mesures législatives familiales modernisées et des règles et formulaires mis à jour. « Nous avons modernisé cette loi pour mieux aider les familles lorsqu’elles se présentent en court pour la prise de décisions qui sont dans l’intérêt supérieur de leurs enfants, souvent dans des circonstances très difficiles », souligne Diana Whalen, ministre de la Justice. La loi, qui a été adoptée en décembre 2015, met à jour le langage et la terminologie utilisée pour parler de la garde d’enfants et des ententes parentales, présente de nouveaux termes pour décrire la façon dont les parents interagissent et passent du temps avec leurs enfants, et établit l’utilisation d’un plan parental pour aider les parents à clarifier leurs responsabilités. Les modifications établissent également des lignes directrices précises que les familles devront respecter lorsqu’un parent ou un tuteur souhaite déménager avec ses enfants. Les modifications clés incluent, notamment :last_img read more

Help Cheer on Team Nova Scotia

first_img Twitter, @teamnovascotia Facebook, facebook.com/teamns Instagram, @teamnovascotia and Flickr, Team Nova Scotia 2017 SnapChat, teamnovascotia (special filters available for pep rally and Summer Games) Help cheer on Nova Scotia’s best young athletes on Saturday, July 8, as they get ready to represent the province at Canada’s largest multi-sport event later this month. The public pep rally will be held from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. at the Grand Parade, 1790 Argyle St., Halifax, for the 425 athletes, coaches and managers who will be attending the 2017 Canada Summer Games, July 28 to Aug. 13, in Winnipeg. “I’ve seen a video of the last pep rally and it seemed like it was a lot of fun,” said Ryan Munro, a member of Team Nova Scotia’s men’s basketball team. “The team will be there and everyone will get to see what athletes are going to Winnipeg, and our team gear. I’m very excited for the games, just the atmosphere and how many people are actually going to be there.” Team Nova Scotia includes athletes from across the province. They will unveil their 2017 uniforms and name two flag-bearers at the rally. “This is the largest team we’ve sent to the games in more than 15 years,” said Nova Scotia chef de mission Stephen Gallant. “These young athletes have been working very hard so that they can do their best while representing their province and communities at the Canada Games.” The Canada Games are held every two years, alternating between summer and winter. This year is the 50th anniversary of the first Canada Games, held in Quebec City in 1967. Nova Scotia hosted the first Summer Games in Halifax and Dartmouth in 1969. Nova Scotia has earned 482 medals at the Canada Games. The games are key in developing the country’s young athletes, producing the next generation of national, international and Olympic champions. The 2017 Canada Games will see more than 4,000 athletes and coaches complete in 16 sports. Nova Scotians can find information and photos about Team Scotia and its athletes at www.teamnovascotia.ca. They can also follow Team Nova Scotia on social media: Sponsors and partners of Team Nova Scotia include the Government of Nova Scotia, Sport Nova Scotia, the Nova Scotia Provincial Lotteries and Casino Corp., Atlantic Lottery Corp. and Karbon Sports. For more information on the 2017 Canada Summer Games, visit canadagames.ca/2017/.last_img read more

China ups tariff on US wine pianos condoms

first_imgBeijing: Condoms, perfume, wine and pianos are among a cocktail of American products that will be hit by a steep increase in Chinese tariffs on Saturday as Beijing retaliates in an escalating trade war. The move will cap a week that was marked by a heated war of words and Chinese threats to curb exports of rare earths, which are key to US tech industries, after President Donald Trump blacklisted telecom giant Huawei. Washington and Beijing resumed their tariffs battle earlier this month after trade talks in Washington ended without a deal, with the US side accusing Chinese negotiators of reneging on previous commitments. Also Read – SC declines Oil Min request to stay sharing of documentsThe countries have exchanged tariffs on $360 billion in two-way trade so far. Trump more than doubled punitive tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese goods to 25 per cent, and launched the process to hit nearly all remaining imports from the Asian country. China responded by announcing that it would increase tariffs on $60 billion in American products on June 1, giving some room for a potential resolution which has not materialised. Since then, China has warned that the US must show “sincerity” if negotiations are to resume and angry officials accused Washington this week of engaging in “naked economic terrorism.” The US tariffs appear to have already had an impact on Chinese manufacturing activity, which contracted more than expected this month, official data showed on Friday. Also Read – World suffering ‘synchronized slowdown’, says new IMF chiefNow China is hitting back Saturday with tariffs ranging from five per cent to 25 per cent on 5,410 products. Those facing the 25 per cent hike include: Beauty products such as perfume, eye makeup and lipstick. Kitchenware such as ovens, microwaves and coffee machines. Sports equipment including tennis table balls, badminton rackets and footballs. Pianos and string instruments. Liquor including gin, wine and tequila. Other items include condoms, diamonds, industrial robots, tires, fabric, wood and toys.last_img read more

Leopard scare grips Lower Kaijaley in Darjeeling

first_imgDarjeeling: A leopard that had been tormenting the villagers at Lower Kaijaley in the Darjeeling Hills was finally trapped on Thursday.Villagers of Kaijaley, 2 km from Bijanbari, are spending sleepless nights with leopards taking away their dogs, goats and pigs. “It has been more than one and a half months that two adult leopards have been sighted in the Lower Kaijaley area. There is a small forest near the Reling Khola (river) which the leopards inhabit. They come to the village in search of easy prey,” stated KB Wattar, a resident. Also Read – Centuries-old Durga Pujas continue to be hit among revellersAccording to Wattar, the leopards have killed most of the dogs of the village and nearby areas numbering hundred. Then they switched to goats. The two have killed more than 40 goats and pigs also. Finally the villagers had given a deputation to the forest department. The Forest department had set up a leopard trap in which the leopard was trapped. It had killed the goat that had been used as bait. “We had received information from the villagers and accordingly the range office had set up a leopard cage on Wednesday. On Thursday morning a female adult leopard was found trapped in the cage. We will take the trapped leopard to Bengal Safari in Siliguri,” stated Vikas V, Divisional Forest Officer (DFO.) The villagers have requested for more traps to trap the other leopard also. Bijanbari is located at a distance of 30 km from Darjeeling town.last_img read more

Accused of racism Trump blasts black congressman as racist

first_imgWashington: Facing growing accusations of racism for his incendiary tweets, President Donald Trump lashed out at his critics Monday and sought to deflect the criticism by labelling a leading black congressman as himself racist. In the latest rhetorical shot at lawmakers of color, Trump said his weekend comments referring to Rep. Elijah Cummings’ majority-black Baltimore district as a “disgusting, rat and rodent infested mess” where “no human being would want to live” were not racist. Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince ‘snubbed’ Pak PM, recalled jet from US Instead, Trump argued, “if racist Elijah Cummings would focus more of his energy on helping the good people of his district, and Baltimore itself, perhaps progress could be made in fixing the mess.” “His radical ‘oversight’ is a joke!” Trump tweeted Sunday. After a weekend of attacks on Cummings, the son of former sharecroppers who rose to become the powerful chairman of the House Oversight and Reform Committee, Trump expanded his attacks Monday to include a prominent Cummings defender, the Rev. Al Sharpton, who held a press conference in Baltimore to condemn the president. Also Read – Record number of 35 candidates in fray for SL Presidential polls “Al is a con man, a troublemaker, always looking for a score,” Trump tweeted ahead of the press conference, adding that the civil rights activist and MSNBC host “Hates Whites & Cops!” Sharpton fired back at the president in a tweet of his own, saying, “I do make trouble for bigots.” Trump later shifted focus back to Baltimore, claiming that “Billions of dollars have been pumped in” to the city. “The money was stolen or wasted,” Trump tweeted. “Ask Elijah Cummings where it went. He should investigate himself with his Oversight Committee!” Earlier Monday, Trump convened a group of “wonderful Inner City Pastors” for an unannounced closed-door meeting to discuss the issues facing the black community Monday. “This country needs healing. There’s so much division in America along racial lines,” said Bill Owens, president of the Coalition of African American Pastors, who said he was among about 20 pastors who had met with the president. “He wanted to know from us: What should he do in America? What best can he do?” Owens said of Trump, insisting the gathering “was not damage control.” Asked by a reporter whether he thought Trump was racist, Owens said he found that “hard to believe,” but said the president could do more to address racism in the country, “absolutely.” Alveda King, the niece of civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. and a longtime Trump supporter, also noted Trump’s longtime relationships with Sharpton and civil rights activist Jesse Jackson. “These are his brothers,” King said. Trump appeared to dig a deeper hole even as a top White House aide sought to dismiss the controversy by describing Trump’s comments as hyperbole. Two weeks ago, Trump caused a nationwide uproar with racist tweets directed at four Democratic congresswomen of colour as he looked to stoke racial divisions for political gain heading into the 2020 election. Trump noted that Democratic presidential contender and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders had “recently equated” parts of Baltimore to a “third world country” in 2015 comments. “I assume that Bernie must now be labeled a Racist, just as a Republican would if he used that term and standard,” Trump tweeted Monday. Sanders tweeted back that “Trump’s lies and racism never end. While I have been fighting to lift the people of Baltimore and elsewhere out of poverty with good paying jobs, housing and health care, he has been attacking workers and the poor.” Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, a Republican, on Monday called the president’s comments “just outrageous and inappropriate.” Hogan, the new chairman of the National Governors Association, said he recently gave an address at the NGA about the angry and divisive politics that “are literally tearing America apart.” “I think enough is enough,” Hogan said on the C4 Radio Show in Baltimore. “I mean, people are just completely fed up with this kind of nonsense, and why are we not focused on solving the problems and getting to work instead of who’s tweeting what, and who’s calling who what kind of names. I mean, it’s just absurd.” Michael Steele, the state’s former lieutenant governor who went on to serve as the national chairman of the Republican National Committee, said it was “reprehensible to talk about the city the way” Trump did, but he hoped the attention would elevate the conversation about how to help urban areas, and he invited the president to be a part of the conversation. “Put down the cellphone and the tweeting and come walk the streets in this community so that you can see firsthand the good and the difficult that needs to be addressed, and let’s do it together,” Steele told the radio show. Speaking in television interviews on Sunday, acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney said Trump was reacting in frustration to the Democrats’ unrelenting investigations and talk of impeachment. He said Trump swung hard at Cummings and his Baltimore district because he believes such Capitol Hill critics are neglecting serious problems back home in their zeal to unfairly undermine his presidency. “I understand that everything that Donald Trump says is offensive to some people,” Mulvaney said. But he added, “The president is pushing back against what he sees as wrong. It’s how he’s done it in the past, and he’ll continue to do it in the future.” The president has tried to put racial polarization at the center of his appeal to his base of voters, tapping into anxieties about demographic and cultural changeslast_img read more

Defence global warming and mortgages how federal politics touched us this week

first_imgOTTAWA – When is an “architect” not an architect?That question, which spurred many a conversation this week on Parliament Hill, was far from funny to Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan, who sought forgiveness from veterans and MPs for falsely claiming to have filled such a role in a major military operation.Sajjan admitted he overstepped — the opposition says he “lied” — when he boasted recently that he was the mastermind of Operation Medusa, a controversial and bloody Canadian-led military mission in Afghanistan in 2006.Justin Trudeau strenuously defended his defence minister in the House of Commons, then left it to Sajjan to weather the storm.If Trudeau was upset by the controversy, he didn’t show it on May 4, also known as Star Wars Day (‘May the 4th,’ get it?), when the notoriously nerdy PM showed up to meet his Irish counterpart wearing colourful chaussettes featuring C3PO and R2D2.But the week wasn’t all military bickering and mismatched sock banter — substantive discussions took place on defence spending, controlling greenhouse gas emissions and the destabilizing effects of the Toronto housing market.Here are three ways federal politics touched us this week:DEFENCE SPENDINGWhen pressure to resign has a cabinet minister squirming in his seat every day during question period, it’s time for a government to “change the channel” and distract the media and the public by making big, unrelated news.Sajjan did so Wednesday by offering a sneak peek at a forthcoming blueprint for overhauling the country’s defence policy. Months of analysis found previous governments had starved many core defence programs of basic funding, leaving the Forces unable to carry out their daily jobs with confidence, he told a defence-industry gathering.Sajjan has not said yet how the government plans to fill this funding “hole.” The needs, in some cases, appear to be immediate. But his funding rhetoric suggests the government is looking at long-term funding that won’t put a dent in the fiscal framework.The policy review, expected later this month, will likely provide some answers — and also discuss how the government plans to deal with the perennial problems of crumbling ships and fighter jets, and the election promise to bolster peacekeeping efforts.CARS ON THE ROAD TO PARISNumber crunching this week shows that even if Canadians took every car they own off the road, the country would still not be anywhere close to reaching the emissions targets the Trudeau government agreed to in Paris last year.The feds committed to cutting emissions to 523 million tonnes a year by 2030. In 2015, however, the level was 722 million tonnes — down just 0.7 per cent from a year earlier.Getting to 523 would require dramatic change. Environment Minister Catherine McKenna points to Ottawa’s climate change accord with the provinces as a catalyst for meaningful reductions. Boosts for public transit, clean technology and carbon sinks, along with getting rid of coal-fired electricity, could provide the rest.Others say meeting Canada’s targets will be next to impossible as long as new pipelines are encouraging oil production, some provinces cling to coal, and the cross-country effort remains too feeble to reach 200 million extra tonnes a year.HOMES AND INSTABILITYThe Bank of Canada and successive finance ministers have warned for years about overheated housing markets in Canada’s largest cities. A bursting bubble, they warned, would destroy wealth in Canada’s key urban economies, spook investors and destabilize financial institutions.Now, Home Capital, a Toronto-based alternative mortgage lender, has run into substantial trouble and has had to arrange for a high-priced $2-billion lifeline from a pension fund in order to maintain liquidity.The jitters around that institution and the housing market in general are taking a toll on the Canadian dollar. Many questions are swirling about whether Home Capital’s problems could spread. Bank shares are down, and Equitable Group Inc., a Home Capital competitor, is bracing for trouble.Finance Minister Bill Morneau, for his part, doesn’t seem worried.Morneau, who oversees regulators of the financial services sector. told the Commons that the system is working as it should, and that he sees no link between Home Capital’s problems and overheating in the housing market.last_img read more

Oh no Here comes the sun Hot Calgary playground slide too hard

first_imgCALGARY – A popular Calgary playground has been forced to close for improvements because the sun is making metal slides too hot for kids to handle.Slides on the south-facing side of the playground are getting so heated that they reportedly singed a child.The play structure was opened just two years ago on St. Patrick’s Island, but now it’s closed for the $100,000 renovation.Shades had been installed to keep the metal cool, but they ended up being used as hammocks.The facelift will focus on adding more shade, more seating and additional bike racks.The metal slides are to be replaced with concrete ones in a new location.“The reality is sometimes you get these things wrong, and that’s OK. The issue is to address it and tell the public what it is you are doing,” said Susan Veres with the Calgary Municipal Land Corp.“Because of the volume of people that use that park, concrete is more durable and we won’t have to worry about hot slides.”The cost of renovating the playground is to be covered by taxpayers in the neighbourhood.The revamped park is set to open June 3.(CTV Calgary)last_img read more

Alberta advisory group sets out recommendations on oilsands emissions cap

first_imgCALGARY – Alberta’s Oil Sands Advisory Group is recommending a series of escalating measures including financial penalties and potentially halting projects to ensure greenhouse gas emissions from the oilsands remain within a mandated 100-megatonne limit.As a first step, the report recommends steps that will reduce future emissions including using better technology, setting out emissions plans, and improved regulations.The oilsands currently emit about 70 megatonnes of greenhouse gases. The group of 18 advisers suggests that when they hit 80 and 90 megatonnes there should be reviews of the system and how facilities might be affected as emissions approach the cap.It also recommends establishing annual and 10-year forecasts, with more reviews triggered when the cap is expected to be hit in five years.When the cap is expected to be hit within a year, the report says high-intensity emitters could be forced to reduce emissions or face penalties and the government could suspend projects that haven’t started construction.The Alberta government says it will now review the consensus advice from the group and begin stakeholder consultations.last_img read more