APTN National NewsThere’s a new proram called Moving the Mountain that helps troubled Aboriginal teens.One part of the program teaches at risk youth to climb mountains.APTN’s Brandi Morin joined two teens as they climbed Mount Norquay in Banff National Park.firstname.lastname@example.org
HONG KONG – Young Hong Kong democracy activist Joshua Wong warned Wednesday that China’s rise means human rights are in increasingly greater danger of being overshadowed globally by business interests.He was responding to questions about his expectations for an upcoming Asian tour by U.S. President Donald Trump, who will visit China and four other countries.The 21-year-old Wong, Hong Kong’s most famous activist, is out on bail while he appeals a prison sentence related to his involvement in massive 2014 pro-democracy protests.“Business interests override human rights,” he said in an interview with The Associated Press. “It unfortunately seems to be a common trend in the world” under a rising China.During Trump’s Asian trip, he said there’s likely to be “a lot of uncertainty. No one can expect what will suddenly be published on his Twitter.” But he urged Trump to not let human rights lose out to commercial considerations, hinting that U.S. business interests could also someday be directly affected by China’s rising clout.As an example, he referred to the recent case of British human rights activist Benedict Rogers, who was barred from entering Hong Kong on what many suspect to be Beijing’s request, and said it might happen again.“The day may come for U.S. politicians to be blocked from entering Hong Kong and when politicians or businessmen from the U.S. might not be possible to enter such an international financial centre, how can they keep silent on the erosion of Hong Kong autonomy?” he said.Beijing promised to let Hong Kong maintain wide autonomy and civil liberties after its 1997 handover from Britain under the “one country, two systems” blueprint, but pro-democracy activists and lawmakers fear that China’s Communist rulers are reneging on their pledge.Wong urged the U.S. and other Western countries to pay closer attention to “how the China model threatens Asia-Pacific stability.”The China model is a reference to economic development without corresponding democratic reforms, as well as the name of a controversial booklet praising China’s one-party rule that the Hong Kong government planned to distribute in 2012 to schools as part of “moral and national education.” Wong helped lead protests that forced the government to shelve those plans.Wong was given bail last week, two months into a six-month prison sentence. He and a fellow activist, Nathan Law, were both sent to prison after the justice secretary won a legal challenge overturning more lenient sentences. The move sparked fears Hong Kong’s independent judiciary is under threat. They are due in court Nov. 7 to appeal the sentences.Wong, who is also awaiting sentencing in another case, is prepared to go back to jail. He turned 21 while behind bars and said it “might not be the last time I will celebrate my birthday inside prison.”Though he has become synonymous with Hong Kong’s democracy movement, Wong said it was important not to forget others who are also paying a price but haven’t attracted the same international spotlight. About two dozen other young activists are serving prison sentences longer than his, “just because they were asking for democracy, freedom and human rights by non-violent civil disobedience,” he said.During his time behind bars, Wong did compulsory marching exercises 30 minutes a day and ate with a spoon because forks, knives and chopsticks are banned.Asked if the prison guards singled him out for harsher treatment, he said, “They treated me fairly with swear words and foul language.”Not allowed a phone, he couldn’t update his popular social media accounts but said being unplugged allowed him the opportunity for “spiritual reflection.” Prison news was limited to Hong Kong’s pro-Beijing publications, but he read books such as “I Am Malala” by 20-year-old Pakistani activist and Nobel Peace laureate Malala Yousafzai. Letters from supporters in places like New York, London and Berlin helped buoy his spirits.Out of prison, he is making the most of time, hanging out with his parents and girlfriend, playing video games and enjoying favourite local foods like Hong Kong-style milk tea.Wong plans to keep fighting for full democracy in Hong Kong. In the short term, he said his political party, Demosisto , will announce a candidate as early as next week to run in an election next year to fill a seat in the city’s semi-democratic legislature vacated when Law was disqualified because of a government legal challenge.In the long run, he said there’s plenty of work to do getting Hong Kongers to “adjust their mindset” to resist Beijing’s tightening grip.“I still believe Hong Kong people can overcome, even though we are inside the prison set by China.”___Follow Kelvin Chan on Twitter at twitter.com/chanman and Yi-ling Liu at twitter.com/yilingliu95 .
TORONTO – Five things to watch for in the Canadian business world in the coming week:Bombardier investor day: Shareholders will have a chance to question Bombardier executives next week in New York about the company’s plans for 2018 after a turbulent 2017. The company faced heat from Toronto City Council over delayed streetcars, fended off a trade complaint from Boeing and partnered with rival Airbus on it C Series jets.This year in data: Statistics Canada will release some of its last major reports of the year. Canada’s international investment position for the third quarter comes out on Wednesday, the new housing price index for October on Thursday and the monthly survey of manufacturing for October on Friday.Season’s earnings: As earnings season comes to a close, tour operator Transat A.T. and printer/publisher Transcontinental Inc. discuss fourth-quarter and 2017 results on Thursday. Transat shares have had a banner year, despite challenges from hurricanes Irma and Maria.Transcontinental is planning to close its Metropolitan printing plant in Montreal in January.CREA numbers: Real estate market watchers will want to keep an eye out for the Canadian Real Estate Association’s monthly home sales numbers, expected on Friday. November’s report revealed the third consecutive monthly increase, and recent reports point to a flurry of activity before changes to mortgage lending guidelines take effect in January.What he does in the shadows: At his last public address of the year, Bank of Canada governor Stephen Poloz will discuss some of the issues that keep him awake at night at an event hosted by the Canadian Club of Toronto on Thursday. Poloz has already indicated that cybersecurity for the financial sector is a particular area of concern.
Scheduled one day before the critical May 31 deadline on the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project, the head of the Calgary Chamber of Commerce said it is no surprise tickets for an upcoming speech from Canada’s finance minister sold out fast.“The fact that it came together so quickly is a strong indication of the voice and the impact, of particularly, the Trans Mountain project would have on the Canadian economy,” president and CEO Sandip Lalli said. “It was definitely them reaching out to us.”After the Chamber got the offer Thursday, tickets went on sale Friday morning and sold out in a matter of hours, followed by a waitlist.Morneau’s Wednesday event is titled: Securing Canada’s economic future.“It is a Canadian conversation but choosing Calgary is a strong indication of support for the Calgary business community,” she said. “The business community wants to hear from the minister, specifically around the things that he’s mentioned he’s going to talk about, investor confidence and business competitiveness.“But it would be remiss if we didn’t mention the critical infrastructure piece around Trans Mountain, what we’re looking for is some meaningful, actionable contribution to that decision.”Kinder Morgan has imposed a May 31 deadline to announce whether or not it will move on with the expansion, depending on if it can be assured that the British Columbia government’s court actions won’t ultimately thwart it.Morneau announced last week that the Liberals were willing to cover cost overruns and said if Kinder Morgan were to walk away, there are other investors willing to take its place.However, none have come forward publicly with interest.Alberta Premier Rachel Notley has also expressed taking a financial stake in the project.Earlier this week, she skipped the western premiers’ meeting to focus on ongoing talks with Kinder Morgan and the federal government.At the meeting with Deputy Premier Sarah Hoffman in Notley’s place, Alberta declined to sign the conference’s closing communique on future work on projects like Pharmacare.“I understand that some of our colleagues might not feel as passionately about the jobs and the opportunities,” Hoffman said. “I don’t disagree with the other initiatives that were discussed in the communique, but Pharmacare doesn’t grow on trees, we need those jobs to generate income tax, to have a strong national economy, to be able to fund things.”On Tuesday, B.C. filed a statement of claim in Alberta’s Court of Queen’s Bench, challenging Alberta’s Bill 12, which would authorize the restriction of oil shipments to B.C.There’s also a court challenge in B.C. going on, and B.C. Premier John Horgan was asked if these specific challenges will be the final ones.“We are in court, and we are awaiting the outcome of those proceedings, and then we’ll make other decisions at that time,” he said.As for Wednesday, Lalli said it is clear observers will want to see some sort of leadership.“That pushes this through and crosses the line in a meaningful way, that improves and impacts the Canadian economy,” she said.
Verizon, AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile have pledged to stop providing information on U.S. phone owners’ locations to data brokers, stepping back from a business practice that has drawn criticism for endangering privacy.The data has apparently allowed outside companies to pinpoint the location of wireless devices without their owners’ knowledge or consent. Verizon said that about 75 companies have been obtaining its customer data from two little-known California-based brokers that Verizon supplies directly — LocationSmart and Zumigo.Verizon was the first major carrier to declare it would end sales of such data to brokers that then provide it to others. It did so in a June 15 letter to Sen. Ron Wyden, an Oregon Democrat who has been probing the phone location-tracking market. AT&T, T-Mobile and Sprint followed suit Tuesday after The Associated Press reported the Verizon move.None of the carriers said they are getting out of the business of selling location data. The carriers together have more than 300 million U.S. subscribers.Verizon Chief Privacy Officer Karen Zacharia said the company would be careful not to disrupt “beneficial services” such as fraud prevention and emergency roadside assistance. In an email to the AP, AT&T spokesman Jim Greer cited similar reasons for cutting off the intermediaries “as soon as practical.”Last month, Wyden revealed abuses in the lucrative but loosely regulated field involving Securus Technologies, whose contract Verizon says was approved only for the location tracking of outside mobile phones called by prison inmates.Verizon notified LocationSmart and Zumigo, both privately held, that it intends to “terminate their ability to access and use our customers’ location data as soon as possible,” Zacharia wrote.Location data from Verizon and other carriers makes it possible to identify the whereabouts of nearly any phone in the U.S. within seconds. Popular commercial uses for the information include keeping tabs on packages, vehicles and employees; bank fraud prevention; and targeted marketing offers.The cutoff won’t affect users’ ability to share locations directly with apps and other services. Rather, it deals with the practice of providing data to third parties with whom users have no direct contact.Wyden wrote all four major U.S. wireless carriers on May 8 after learning about a web portal that let law officers track Americans’ locations without proper oversight. A former sheriff in Missouri has been accused of using Securus data for unauthorized surveillance of a judge, a sheriff and state highway patrol officers.Days later, a Carnegie Mellon University security researcher discovered a security flaw in LocationSmart’s website that could have allowed any reasonably sophisticated hacker to secretly track almost any phone in the U.S. or Canada.Wyden asked the carriers to identify which third parties have been acquiring carrier location data and to provide details such as any third-party sharing of location data without customer consent. His office shared the companies’ responses with The AP.None of the four carriers named any third parties, with two exceptions. One was Securus, which all four carriers have since cut off. The other was 3CInteractive, the reseller that supplied Securus.“Verizon did the responsible thing and promptly announced it was cutting these companies off,” Wyden said in a statement, referring to the aggregators as “shady middle men.”“The big concern was that this was probably the tip of the iceberg,” said Laura Moy, deputy director of the Georgetown Center on Privacy and Technology. She said Verizon’s move “indicates that it cannot actually police this process, that it doesn’t have the ability.” Nor can the other carriers, she said.None of the four carriers responded to questions from the AP on whether they plan to sell location data directly instead of relying on the two California companies and, if so, how.AT&T and T-Mobile, No. 2 and 3 in customers, said in letters to Wyden they only allow authorized third parties to access customer location data if the affected customers have given consent or if it is required by law — for instance, a court order. Verizon said the same.Sprint said account holders must “generally be notified” if the data is to be used so they can decide whether they consent. T-Mobile has offered to buy Sprint for $26.5 billion.The carriers left most of Wyden’s questions unanswered — such as how many of their customers had been affected by location sharing they never agreed to.Gigi Sohn, a former top advisor at the Federal Communications Commission in the Obama administration, said Verizon has lately proven itself a “shining example” on privacy. “I think they understand that bad privacy practices are bad for business,” she said.Moy said Verizon may have been motivated by a $1.4 million FCC fine for an earlier episode in which the company quietly tracked its wireless customers’ online travels with a “supercookie” for at least 22 months beginning in December 2012.The company subsequently signed a consent order with the FCC promising to restrict that tracking to customers who affirmatively agreed to it.The case also spurred FCC rules that would have required carriers to obtain consent for selling their customers’ wireless location data. But the GOP-led Congress quashed those rules last year.Analysts say it’s difficult to gauge the size of the location-tracking aggregation market.On its website, LocationSmart claims it is the No. 1 “location-as-a-service” provider with data from every top tier U.S. wireless carrier and more than 200 enterprise customers. Zumigo appears oriented to the financial sector, and lists Intel, Wells Fargo and Capital One among investors.In a statement, LocationSmart said it respects user privacy, doesn’t provide access to location information without user consent and doesn’t warehouse data or track user location histories.The CEO of Zumigo, Chirag Bakshi, said his 7-year-old company provides location data to less than a half dozen big banks and financial institutions for fraud prevention. He said Zumigo does not let its customers resell the location data — and hopes to renegotiate with the carriers.Analyst Rich Mogull of Arizona-based Securosis said telecom providers track and sell location data as a matter of course. A wide range of other businesses such as Google also assiduously compile location datasets on consumers.“We are all tracked, all the time, primarily for marketing purposes, by such a large number of companies I’m not sure I would even know where to start the math,” said Mogull.___Associated Press technology writers Matt O’Brien in San Francisco and Mae Anderson in New York contributed to this report.
PICTOU, N.S. – The proposed route of a pipeline that would carry effluent from the Northern Pulp mill into the Northumberland Strait will be changed due to concerns over potential ice damage.Kathy Cloutier, director of communications at Paper Excellence, said Tuesday a sonar study found ice scouring near the proposed location of the pipeline’s outfall off Pictou, N.S.She said that will mean the pipeline may have to go into deeper waters to avoid the ice that scrapes along the ocean bottom.“You’re doing this study to discover unknowns. Nobody would go into a project without full clarity on your proposed route,” she said in a telephone interview.“You’re trying to avoid any impacts and have as clear a route as possible.”In addition, the undersea scans by Marine Geotech and Habitat Assessment in April, May and June found the proposed route was too close to a shipwreck discovered in July 2015 and a collapsed pier.Cloutier said the new information means a delay in the company filing its environmental assessment report, and will lead to higher project costs.Under provincial legislation, the mill has until Jan. 30, 2020, to replace its current wastewater treatment plant in Boat Harbour.The wastewater lagoons contain nearly 50 years worth of toxic waste that provincial Environment Minister Iain Rankin has called one of the worst cases of environmental racism in the province.It has been a major concern for the local Mi’kmaq community, which launched a lawsuit in 2010 seeking to eject the treatment plant from its land.The proposal for a pipeline to transport the treated effluent from a new facility into the ocean has also met with opposition.In February, groups representing fishermen in Nova Scotia, P.E.I., and New Brunswick suspended further meetings with the mill after voicing frustration over its insistence on a pipe.The company has said it had thoroughly investigated the treatment options available to bleached kraft mills like Northern Pulp, which produce a higher quality paper.It calls for a system that would meet all federal environmental standards for suspended solids and oxygen depletion.Effluent would be carried by polyethelyne pipe across Pictou Harbour and released through six dispersal pipes into the Strait.The company said the proposed system would reduce the need for bleaching chemicals by about 30 to 40 per cent.Northern Pulp was originally to submit an environmental assessment to Nova Scotia’s Environment Department sometime in July.However, Cloutier said the latest sonar work means the environmental submission likely wouldn’t be until the fall.“This will mean winter construction,” she said.— Story by Michael Tutton in Halifax.
TORONTO – Aecon Group Inc. has signed a deal to sell its contract mining business to North American Construction Group Inc. for $199.1 million in cash.The contract mining business provides overburden removal and environmental reclamation services, primarily in the Alberta oilsands.Upon the deal, NACG paid Aecon a $10-million deposit, while the balance will be paid in four instalments with the first payment of $153.6 million due when the deal closes.The remaining three payments of $11.8 million each will be paid six, 12 and 18 months following closing.The sale is subject to various purchase price adjustments and customary closing conditions.Aecon says it will continue to operate the business, with no disruption to its clients or employees, pending the close of the transaction.“Aecon is executing on a record level of backlog and pursuing an unprecedented number of opportunities across our infrastructure and industrial segments,” said Jean-Louis Servranckx, president and CEO of Aecon.“The capital intensive contract mining business is outside Aecon’s core construction activities and focus. This transaction is consistent with Aecon’s drive to maintain and strengthen our balance sheet flexibility, which is key to the strong growth trajectory we are seeing in our core business.”Companies in this story: (TSX:ARE)
VANCOUVER – Shares of Goldcorp Inc. sank to their lowest level in more than 16 years after the miner swung to a $101-million net loss in the third quarter.The Vancouver-based company’s shares closed down $2.50 or 18.4 per cent to $11.09 Thursday on the Toronto Stock Exchange after hitting an intraday low of $11.That’s the lowest level since July 2002 and the lowest closing price since April 2001.Goldcorp says production declined more than 20 per cent to 503,000 ounces while sales fell 16 per cent to 508,000 ounces.The net loss equalled 12 cents per share for the period ended Sept. 30, compared with a 13 cents per share or $111-million profit a year earlier.Goldcorp says it has identified an extra $30 million in annual cost savings that will bring it closer to its goal of achieving $350 million in savings by the end of 2019.Companies in this story: (TSX:G)
TOKYO — Nissan says Chief Performance Officer Jose Munoz, who oversaw the Japanese automaker’s global strategies, is taking a leave of absence to work on “special tasks arising from recent events,” referring to the arrest of former Chairman Carlos Ghosn.Nissan Motor Co. spokesman Nicholas Maxfield did not offer any other details Saturday.Munoz is among several executives media have speculated could be a possible successor to Ghosn.Ghosn led Nissan for two decades after being sent in by Renault in 1999 when Nissan was near bankruptcy. Renault owns 43 per cent of Nissan.Ghosn was arrested Nov. 19 and has been charged with falsifying financial reports in underreporting his income.He has said repeatedly he is innocent, including on the latest allegation that he had Nissan temporarily shoulder investment losses.The Associated Press
In a release, Cpl. Saunderson said the suspect is facing two counts of Robbery, two counts of possessing a dangerous weapon, and two counts of intent to commit an indictable offence with face masked. Cpl. Saunderson added that the man’s identity has not been released, as charges have not yet been laid.The suspect remains in police custody and is scheduled to appear in Provincial Court on Thursday, April 19th.Anyone with information about the two robberies is asked to call the Fort St. John RCMP at 250 787- 8140 or Crime Stoppers at 1 800 222-8477. FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. — One man has been arrested after allegedly robbing a business in Fort St. John, and police believe it was his second robbery in three days.At around 10:30 p.m. last Friday, members of the Fort St John RCMP responded to report of a robbery at a local business whose name is not being disclosed by police. Officers quickly apprehended a male suspect, recovering money, cigarettes and liquor that are believed to have been taken during the robbery. Cpl. Madonna Saunderson with North District RCMP stated that police believe the man person is also behind another robbery that occurred last Wednesday evening at Wink’s Convenience Store.
EDMONTON – A.B. – Alberta NDP Leader Rachel Notley has kicked off her second day of campaigning with a promise to get more value out of the province’s oil and gas products.She announced the plan at an Edmonton-based fabrication and engineering company.It aims to unlock $75 billion in investment, create 70,000 jobs and significantly increase the amount of petroleum processed in-province by 2030. Notley says that will be achieved, if the NDP are re-elected, by doubling incentives for petrochemical and upgrading projects over the next decade to $7 billion.She says the expanded incentives will be made available on a more flexible, rolling basis.Notley says it’s time to act like resource owners once again in Alberta, just like under former Progressive Conservative premier Peter Lougheed in the 1970s and 80s.“We didn’t get where we are today in Alberta by sitting back and waiting for things to happen,” she said Wednesday.“The world is changing quickly and Albertans expect their government to look forward, not back. Our plan is to make and ship more of the upgraded products the world needs. This will mean finally getting off the boom and bust roller-coaster after decades of talk.”Notley is to make stops in Red Deer and Lethbridge later today. Election day is April 16.
A short distance later, the driver lost control of the truck which flipped onto its side, losing its load of gravel, causing the road to be blocked.From there, Police say the suspect fled on foot to a local golf course and was seen running through the 10th hole of the golf course. He was eventually apprehended by Police with the use of golf carts.A 42-year-old Hudson’s Hope man remains in custody and faces possible charges of theft of a motor vehicle. VERNON, B.C. – A Hudson’s Hope man was arrested by Vernon North Okanagan RCMP following the theft of a dump truck.According to RCMP, they received a report, on May 15, of a theft of a vehicle in progress located in the 9500 block of Eastide Road, Vernon B.C.RCMP say while en-route to the area, front line officers were advised a suspect male had allegedly stolen a dump truck full of gravel and was driving at a high speed.
New Delhi: A 40-year-old, Jaggu, resident of Bulandshar got a new lease of life after getting operated at the All India Institute of Medical Science (AIIMS), who was suffering from obese disorder and having weight around 180 kg, while suffering from a multi fatal disorder, with this additional fatal disorder makes the simple bariatric surgery into a complex surgery.”The patients was suffering from the obesity with multi-disorder, which itself a threat to his life. Meanwhile, he was suffering from the cirrhotic liver, portal hyperostosis ( dilated), sleep apnea — with complications in both lung and heart, and was also suffering from fragile dietary duct, which challenges the the country’s largest medical institution,” said Dr Sandeep Agarwal, surgeon, bariatric surgery AIIMS. Also Read – After eight years, businessman arrested for kidnap & murderHis entire family was willing that patient could get rid off from his obese disorder, so they keep visiting the different hospitals, but here in AIIMS we took the challenge to perform this surgery, country best institute never disappoint any patients, he added.During the initial stage of the admission to the hospital, doctors started taking steps to perform the bariatric surgery while controlling the other ailments at bay. “Operation was really challenging for the surgeon due to the liver problem and in such situations, patient had 10 per cent chances of liver failure,” he added. Also Read – Two brothers held for snatchings”After the surgery, the Jaggu’ s weight reduced to around 135-kg and further in course of time, patients will also reduce more weight,” he added.The patient came to us ‘C-pap” machine having problems in breathing with disorder in chest and heart, which makes the operation more challenging, because any miss-happening could occur to patient due to its other ailments,” expert said. “His condition was so vulnerable that his blood has high level of carbon dioxide, lips were blue and also suffering from diabetes. Operation was a major challenge for doctors due to such problems. Therefore, for the first time, they had to admitted to the hospital for before a month to the scheduled surgery and discharged after a month, while monitoring the all parameters of his body function, doctor added.”Otherwise, after two to three days the patient sent home after bariatric surgery. This is how this surgery makes it rare,” Dr Sandeep added.According to surgeons, we were most vigilant over as his dietary tube was fragile and had chances of further severity to develop and due to heavy anitbiotics the patients’ liver affected. With the help of gestro department supervision, the patients survive with the disorder and successfully recovered fromthe ailments. Moreover, the patients is almost fine and required come only for routine screening at AIIMS.
New Delhi: For any level of security, barricades play an important role whether it is a violent protest or trapping any criminal, the metal bodies always stand firm.Recently in a meeting between the officers in Delhi Police headquarters, a discussion was held regarding the compliance of instructions related to barricades in which it was found that 978 barricades across the city were not in good shape and will be returned to one of the departments in the city police. According to police sources, the city is guarded by more than 19,000 barricades and recently 9,517 of them were repaired or repainted. Also Read – After eight years, businessman arrested for kidnap & murderThe Delhi Police Commissioner in a meeting with senior officers reviewed the condition of barricades in the city. In the meeting, it was found that in one of the districts, 270 barricades were not found in good shape or to be returned back to P&L Unit of Delhi Police. Whereas in the other two districts 270 and 126 barricades were in bad conditions. Moreover, the city police also plan to bring 10,044 barricades in the city which will be adding more strength in the policing. Also Read – Two brothers held for snatchingsPlays an important role in law and order arrangements According to police officers, barricades always plays an important role as through proper barricading many criminals were not able to escape from police trap and also during any major law and order issues, the metal body helps them in controlling situation. The police record stated that as many as 8,594 programmes held in Delhi in 2018. All these laws and order arrangements were dealt with strategic policing and barricading. Police said that 1,568 demonstrations were reported in the city whereas 451 processions held in 2018. “As many as 608 meetings took place in different parts of the city. There were around 406 rallies and marches in national Capital whereas 5,541 dharnas, strike, and other programme took place in 2018. Pickets across the city Sources further said that in more than 900 police pickets, (permanent and temporary) barricades are placed. The metal bodies play an important role in the Delhi Police strategy to check criminals with firearms. The picket staffs till March have recovered 88 firearms during checking. The proper barricading played an important role in the recovery. In the year 2018, a 21-year-old biker died in North West Delhi after his throat was slit by a wire which was tied between two police barricades. Since then questions were raised on the conditions and placement of barricades. Sources further told that more than 18000 barricades have provisions fluorescent strip or tape and blinkers. Also, all the barricades have the serial number of the districts.
Colombo: The Islamic State on Tuesday claimed responsibility for the horrific Easter Sunday bombings in Sri Lanka which killed at least 321 people and injured more than 500 in the worst outbreak of violence in the island nation in a decade. An Arabic language statement on the group’s official al-Amaq news agency made the claim on the encrypted messaging app Telegram, saying the suicide bombers were “fighters of the Islamic State”. “The perpetrators of the attack that targeted nationals of the crusader alliance (anti-IS US-led coalition) and Christians in Sri Lanka were Islamic State fighters,” the brief message said, according to a translation by BBC journalist Faisal Irshaid. The group did not provide any evidence to back the claim. The statement came after an unconfirmed video posted to social media earlier by an affiliated group strongly suggested that the Islamic State was behind the Easter horror. That video showed photos of three of the alleged suicide bombers. The men, who are described as “assailants” rather than the more common “martyrs”, were named as Abul Barra, Abul Mukhtar and Abu Ubaida and featured in front of a black IS flag giving the one-finger salute, the news.com of Australia said. Sri Lankan authorities have thus far named a Sri Lankan Muslim group, the National Thowheed Jamath (NJT), for the bombings but said that it could not have been done without international support. The Islamic State’s claim gives an international dimension to the Sunday carnage that killed mostly Sri Lankans but also some 35 foreigners, including from the US and other Western countries as well as India that lost ten citizens. Earlier on Tuesday, Sri Lanka’s Defence Minister Ruwan Wijewardene said the Sunday attacks were a “retaliation” for last month’s Christchurch mosque shooting. Authorities have arrested some two dozen suspects following the bombings and suggested that a total of seven suicide bombers were involved.
Kolkata: Mumbai Indians skipper Rohit Sharma has been fined 15 percent of his match fee for hitting the stumps with his bat after his dismissal during their IPL match against Kolkata Knight Riders here. Expressing his frustration after being given out leg before wicket, the batsman hit the stumps with his bat at the non-striker’s end, violating the Indian Premier League’s code of conduct at Eden Gardens on Sunday night. Mumbai Indians lost the high-scoring match by 34-runs, helping the hosts snap a six-match losing streak. Rohit admitted to the Level 1 offence 2.2 of the IPL’s code of conduct and accepted the sanction. “Mr. Sharma admitted to the Level 1 offence 2.2 of the IPL’s Code of Conduct and accepted the sanction,” an IPL release said. With MI chasing an imposing target of 233 to win and ensure a play-offs berth, Rohit looked in good touch before misreading a Harry Gurney delivery which hit his back leg.
Kolkata: Train services were disrupted on Monday night and Tuesday afternoon in the Sealdah South section of Eastern Railway.On Monday, around 8:30 pm, one pantograph of Down Sealdah-Lakshmikantapur local broke after reaching Baruipur station. As a result, power services to the train was cut-off. Immediately engineers of Eastern Railway were informed. One tower van was also sent to repair the damaged pantograph. But, engineers were not able to repair it soon. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari PujaSome passengers allegedly ransacked the Baruipur station around 11:30 pm as the repair-work was taking time. Railway Protection Force (RPF) and Government Railway Police (GRP) intervened and brought the situation under control. Repair work went on throughout the night and normal train services were resumed on Tuesday morning. After Monday night, train services were again hampered in the South Section on Tuesday afternoon due to road traffic congestion at Kakulia Gate near Ballygunge railway station. Also Read – Bengal civic volunteer dies in road mishap on national highwayAccording to Eastern Railway authority, train services in Ballygunge – Sonarpur and Ballygunge – Budge Budge sections were delayed due to road traffic congestion at the Level Crossing (LC) Gate No. 5ST near Ballygunje, which popularly known as Kakulia Gate. The heavy rush of road traffic at this LC Gate since 3 pm caused delay in closing the gate and granting proceed signal to the trains. Situation turned normal in the evening. Eastern Railway authority has also informed that train services will be partially affected due to the maintenance work on down line between Chakdaha, S imurali and Madanpur stations in Naihati-Ranaghat section which will commence from May 2. It will continue till May 15 as traffic block will be implemented. Several trains will be cancelled and many more will be controlled enroute.
New Delhi: With only nine candidates making it to the interview level out of the 14,000 aspirants who gave the preliminary examination for post of Civil Judge in Haryana, the Supreme Court Friday appointed its former judge Justice A K Sikri to assess the evaluation of the main written exam.The top court directed the Punjab and Haryana High Court to place the answer scripts of all the candidates who appeared in the main written examination before Justice (retd) Sikri. Also Read – 2019 most peaceful festive season for J&K: Jitendra SinghA bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice Deepak Gupta did not fix any time-frame but requested Justice Sikri to communicate his views and findings at the earliest. The bench said: “We request a former Judge of this Court, Justice A K Sikri to look into some of the answer scripts of the main written examination at his discretion to make an assessment whether the evaluation undertaken should be accepted by the Court. “The High Court will place before Justice A K Sikri, the answer scripts of all the candidates, who have appeared in the main written examination, out of which at his discretion, His lordship (Justice Sikri) may select some of the answer scripts for further evaluation.” Also Read – Personal life needs to be respected: Cong on reports of Rahul’s visit abroadIt will take up the matter after summer vacation of the top court. Senior advocate Maninder Singh, appearing for Registrar General of the high court said that for 107 advertised vacancies of civil judge (junior division) in Haryana, more than 34,000 candidates had applied. He said that more than 14,000 aspirants out of 34,000 appeared for the preliminary examination out of which 1,282 candidates qualified for the main examination. “Only 1,195 candidates appeared out of 1,282 aspirants for the main examination in which only nine of them qualified. The results were declared on April 11, 2019,” Singh said and submitted a note to the bench. The top court’s order came on a plea filed by 92 aspirants to the post of Civil Judge (Junior Division) in Haryana, seeking quashing of the result of its Main (Written) Examination. The apex court had on April 29 restrained the Punjab and Haryana High Court Registry from appointing any civil judge in Haryana without its nod. The petition challenged the selection process and evaluation method adopted in the examination on the grounds of being “unreasonable, arbitrary and mala fide”. It alleged that if the examination’s selection process was not stayed, it would cause irreparable damage to the petitioners and other un-successful candidates. The petitioners have alleged that various RTI applications were filed immediately after the result of the main examination seeking disclosure of marks, copies of answer scripts, model answers and marking criteria, but to no avail and the interview tests were scheduled on the basis of the already declared results. The petitioners have also alleged that there was a “serious problem” with the evaluation method being conducted for selecting judicial officers in Haryana. The plea further said that it was “surprising” and “invited disbelief” that at least 20-30 candidates, who had appeared for the main exam but were not selected for the interview are those who have already cleared judicial examinations of other states or are sitting judges in their respective states. “Some of the candidates who have not been found fit for the interview are the toppers and gold medalists in their respective reputed law colleges, the plea has said. Through the information obtained under RTI Act, it is clear that in the last examination cycle leading to appointment of successful candidates to state judicial services, there was “no marking criteria” for the evaluation of answer scripts in the related mains examination and the performance of the candidate in the written examination depended solely on discretion of the examiner, the plea has alleged. It also alleged that the Punjab and Haryana High Court had further responded that information was not available with the concerned branch about existence of model answers or their copies and principles governing grace marks. The petition said the high court has already scrapped the entire preliminary examination held earlier on July 16, 2017 on account of paper leak and had issued direction for an enquiry in to the entire issue. It said that unless the selection process is re-examined to make it more rational and reasonable, one of the most important factors responsible for “huge pendency” and “delay in justice”, which is lack of sufficient number of judicial officers, will not be tackled.
Taroudant, Morocco – French company “la Société Capital Biotech” (biotech company) has developed a new product known as “Halal test,” a device that will allow Muslim consumers to detect the presence of pork or alcohol in food, according to Le Nouvel Observateur.Created by Franco-Algerian duo Abderrahmane Chaoui, a 25-year-old graduate graduate student in business, and French entrepreneur Jean-François Julien, the device is designed to detect substances banned by Islam in foods, namely alcohol and pork.For 6.90 euros, the device consists of a strip, which the consumer must put into a glass of warm water containing a sample of food in order to see whether it contains ingredients prohibited by Islam. Muslims can easily test their food with this device. Once the consumer dips the strip into warm water with a sample of food, “The first bar then emerges on the strip. . . . And if another one appears, this means that the mixture contains pork,” said Abderrahmane Chaoui, co-founder of the brand.According to the same source, Chaoui said there is no test currently that allows Muslims to check whether the food they bought contains ingredients banned by their religion. The “Halal Test” is important to confirm that the food that Muslims consume is free of any ingredient, precisely pork and alcohol, forbidden by the Quran.Because French law prohibits collecting statistics based on religious criteria, France does not have official statistics on the actual number of Muslims living in its territory However, Islam is widely considered to be the second most prevalent religion in France after Christianity. With France home to a large Muslim community, and the increasing demand for Halal food, the device is likely to gain popularity.© Morocco World News. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributed.
Rabat – Over a million Iranian pilgrims headed to Karbala instead of Saudi Arabia after a Saudi-Iranian disagreement that resulted in banning them from performing Hajj. Shia sheikh says their visit “equals a visit to God in his throne”The disagreement between Saudi Arabia and Iran in connection to Hajj goes back to last May when the Iranian-Saudi Hajj Association accused Saudi Arabia of “putting obstacles and preventing the Iranians from performing the obligation of Hajj.” The Saudi ministry of Hajj stated that Iran refused to sign a contract pertaining to Hajj arrangement. The ministry added that the Iranian officials are responsible “in front of God and the Iranians” for not letting its people perform Hajj this year.Instead of Saudi Arabia, Iranians headed to Karbala in south West of Baghdad where the shrine of Hussein, the Prophet’s grandchild and first Shia imam, is located.Mustapha Shahurdi, the sermon leader at the Holy Shrine of Hussein, expressed his joy that many Iranians visited the Shrine of Hussein in the day of Arafat and said that the visit “equals visiting God in his throne.”The sheikh continues in a sermon posted on Youtube Saturday 10th that day of Arafat, the 9th of the Arabic month of Dhul Hijjah where the pilgrims stand on Mount Arafat, honors prophet Abraham.“God has made Abraham’s foothold a shrine that all pilgrims pray in recognition of Abraham who sacrificed his son, although his sacrifice was realized in reality,” said the Sheikh.Shahurdi continued that Hussein has sacrificed his sons without being asked directly by God and therefore deserved a better reward than that given to Abraham.“God says to Hussein,” stated the Shia sheikh “I have given you gifts that I haven’t given to others, and I have made a visit to you as a visit to me. God leaves his visitors in Arafat and goes to the visitors of Hussein, forgives all their sins and then go back to Arafat.”