BSES launches EV charging station in Delhi plan for 150 more

first_imgNew Delhi: Delhi electricity distribution company BSES on Tuesday unveiled its first public electric vehicle (EV) charging station as part of its plan to set up over 150 EV charging stations across its licensed area in the capital. BSES said in a statement that the first of these smart EV charging stations was inaugurated at the discom’s grid sub-station at South Extension Part II by Delhi Power Minister Satyendar Jain. “BSES has entered into partnerships with several organisations to set up over 150 smart EV charging stations across its licensed area. Of this, around 50 smart EV charging stations will be set-up in financial year 2019-20,” it said. Also Read – Cylinder blast kills mother and daughter in Karawal Nagar “Located in the heart of the busy South Extension Part II market, the smart EV charging station – Blue Smart Charge – can charge two EVs simultaneously. This has been set up in partnership between BSES Rajdhani Power Ltd (BRPL), Gensol Charge Pvt Ltd and Techperspect,” the statement said. According to the discom, these smart charging stations being set up are equipped with an “analytic platform” which will help EV owners get a seamless online experience. Also Read – Two persons arrested for killing manager of Muthoot Finance “Through the ElectreeFi Mobile App, an EV consumer can locate the nearest charging station, make advance online booking and even pay on-line through multiple options,” it said. The tentative total cost of charging, including the cost of electricity (as per DERC tariff) and the overheads (parking charges, recovery of equipment cost etc) is expected to be Rs 160-200 for a full charge. This translates into a Rs 1.60 to Rs 1.80 cost per km, which is extremely competitive compared to petrol, diesel and even CNG vehicles,” it added. Commenting on the development, ABRPL Chief Executive Amal Sinha said in a statement: “Along with promoting renewable power in a big way, we are now gearing up to aggressively push the case of electric vehicles and their charging. For this, we are engaging with key stakeholders and domain experts Ato evolve strategies and framework to create an ecosystem for the promotion of e-mobility.”last_img read more

Cashstrapped Pakistan inks deal with ADB to get 34 bn

first_imgIslamabad: Pakistan will get a loan of USD 3.4 billion from the Asian Development Bank for budgetary support, Prime Minister Imran Khan’s adviser on finance has said as the cash-strapped country tries to overcome a ballooning balance-of-payments crisis that threatens to cripple its economy. Of the total amount, USD 2.1 billion would be released within a year of the agreement between the ADB and the finance ministry, Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Reforms Khusro Bakhtiar was quoted as saying by Dawn. Also Read – Merkel warns UK Brexit deal ‘unlikely’ without compromise: LondonThe loan from the Philippines-headquartered global finance institution was “on a concessional rate”, the minister said. Adviser to the Prime Minister on Finance Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh said on Twitter that the ADB will provide USD 3.4 billion to Pakistan for budgetary support. “USD 2.2 billion will be released this fiscal year (FY), starting in the first quarter of FY 2019-20. This will help the reserve position and the external account,” he said in a tweet. Also Read – India, China should jointly uphold peace and stability, resolve disputes through dialogues: Chinese ambassadorADB’s Director General Werner Leipach and its country director Xiaohong Yang called on Shaikh and discussed with him matters relating to ADB’s upcoming operations in Pakistan, the finance ministry said in a statement. “The director general (Leipach) briefed the adviser that in addition to strong project portfolio, the bank is also keen to provide balance of payments financing to support the government of Pakistan’s structural reform agenda,” according to the statement. Pakistan seeks help to overcome a ballooning balance of payments crisis. Last month, it reached an agreement in principle with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for a three-year, USD 6 billion bailout package aimed at shoring up its finances and strengthening a slowing economy. The ADB financing would come on top of the IMF loan. In April, three influential US lawmakers urged the Trump adminstration to oppose the proposed multi-billion bailout package being sought by Pakistan from the IMF arguing it could be used to repay the Chinese debt. Chine is investing heavily in Pakistan under the USD 60 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). Launched in 2015, CPEC is a planned network of roads, railways and energy projects linking China’s resource-rich Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region with Pakistan’s strategic Gwadar Port on the Arabian Sea.last_img read more

Downton Abbey film ties up lots of loose ends Robert JamesCollier

first_imgLondon: Robert James-Collier says the upcoming “Downton Abbey” film will put an end to all the questions that have lingered around the series for long. The actor, who reprises his role Thomas Barrow from the acclaimed period drama series for its big screen adaptation, said he is happy the movie finally saw the light of day. “Yeah, but with shows like ‘Sex and the City’ and ‘The Inbetweeners’ having successful films, there was precedence there. Also Read – Rihanna to release 500-page ‘visual’ autobiography “‘Downton’ is an established brand now, so for me it was a bit of a no-brainer to do a film. And I’m glad they did. It ties up a lot of loose ends and I think there was a demand for it,” James-Collier told Metro. The trailer of the film dropped romantic hints for his character and the actor said he is pleased to see Thomas go on an “adventure”. “He’s sort of a film within a film. Mr Carson is brought back to help when the royal family visit the abbey and Thomas sees it as a slight of his abilities so he stands himself down for the duration of their visit and goes off and has an adventure. “So it was strange because I was back with everyone for parts of it but for big parts I was on my own filming up in Bradford. It was like I was doing a Thomas Barrow special, which I think everyone wants to see!” he said. “Downton Abbey”, the film, will be released on September 13 in the UK.last_img read more

Healthcare for the commoner

first_imgThe health of the common people reflects the health of a nation. It is essential to a socialist and democratic state to ensure the prevalence of a fair degree of public health and to facilitate for the common man hassle-free access to basic to necessary healthcare. Although we stand very proud on the constitutional ideals that categorically uphold the will and well-being of the people, when it comes to implementation, that gaping distance between what ought to be and what is, is one to bring embarrassment. Healthcare is as complex a sector as it is crucial: the requirement of quality manpower and its management for optimal result is no simple feat in a socialist democracy like India. The very intricate network of a variety of professional demands and requirements make healthcare sector one whose any anomaly cannot be addressed in isolation. Beginning with education, the training of doctors has severely compromised on the quality of young professionals produced, owing largely to the inadequate number of seats in reputed colleges (reputed for providing quality learning and the facilities to enable such learning) and numerous medical colleges mushroomed across the country. After the vigorous struggle at the very basic level, the dearth of hospitals and suitable medical facilities add to the unreasonable workload of government-employed doctors; the pitiable, well-below-recommended doctor-patient ratio, substandard facilities, lack of convenient connectivity and accessibility in general make a doctor’s job in India far much harder. Add to the tendency of Indian relatives to lash out on the doctor in case of death. The trust deficit between the family of the patient and doctors is yet another factor that fuels this kind of outburst that is rather common, unfortunately, across the country. The incident at Kolkata’s NRS Hospital that made national headline is a case in point: the demise of an elderly patient led to a situation which proved the far graver implications than just bringing to standstill the hospital administration at large. It is definitely not unpredictable what might become of a society in the absence of a well-functioning healthcare system. Coming to facilities that a reasonable hospital must be equipped with, the epidemic that has struck Bihar’s Muzaffarpur area screams loud and clear of the need to have in place some very basic components of healthcare facilities, beginning with a reasonable number of doctors to attend to the host of patients coming in. The not-so-distant incident of Gorakhpur where several children had to die in a hospital due to lack of oxygen is, in fact, murder if sate and administration could commit it. And yet again children have died there of acute encephalitis syndrome. There is an urgent need for upgraded and better-maintained infrastructure in combination with coordinated facilities for the convenience of the common man. Redressing the issue by privatising is not the solution, commercialisation and profit motive do no good to public health. It is the government which must effectively come to rescue.last_img read more

Steel ministry sees 56 jump in budget allocation to Rs 241 cr

first_imgNew Delhi: The Union Budget 2019-20 allocation for the steel ministry has jumped by 55.78 per cent to Rs 241.29 crore in 2019-20 from Rs 154.89 crore in 2018-19. The increase has been over the revised estimates of the Budget 2018-19, according to Budget documents. While the expenditure was Rs 154.89 crore for 2018-19, in the case of 2017-18 (actual) it was Rs 41.50 crore, it added. The expenditure budget of Rs 241.29 crore in 2019-20 includes Rs 15 crore on central sector schemes or projects and Rs 190.04 crore towards upgradation of Ispat General Hospital Rourkela to a Super Specialty Hospital. The investment in public enterprises under the ministry, including Steel Authority of India Ltd and Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Ltd, has increased to Rs 9,019.26 crore in the Budget 2019-20, over the revised estimate of Rs 7,892.71 crore in 2018-19.last_img read more

Crop loans worth Rs 16000 crore will be distributed in Rajasthan Gehlot

first_imgJaipur: Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot Thursday said the process to sanction fresh crop loans to farmers had started after their existing borrowings were waived.He said crop loans worth Rs 16,000 crore will be given this year and that there will be no shortage of fertilisers and seeds in the state. During the Congress’ previous tenure, the scheme for disbursing interest-free crop loans to farmers was initiated. Now we have made arrangements to ensure there is no defect in loan distribution and debt waiver, Gehlot said at an online crop loan distribution launch event here. On the occasion, the chief minister also inaugurated a cooperative bank ATM. To tackle the stray animal menace, the state government has announced opening ‘nandi shala’ in every gram panchayat, Gehlot said.last_img read more

Cisco to train 10 lakh Indian students in digital skills by 2025

first_imgKochi: In line with the government’s efforts to train the youth in emerging technologies, networking giant Cisco on Tuesday committed to train 10 lakh students by 2025 by expanding its Networking Academy programme. For Cisco, the Networking Academy programme in India is one of its largest in the world. Across 583 academies nationwide, more than 350,000 Indian students have been trained since its inception so far. The Cloud-delivered skills-development programme helps students learn how to design, build, secure and maintain digital infrastructure. The curriculum include courses on IT essentials, networking, cybersecurity, programming and Internet of Things. Also Read – Swiggy now in 500 Indian cities, targets 100 more this year In 2016, Cisco had committed to train 250,000 students by 2020, which was achieved a year ahead of schedule, the company announced at the “Cisco India Summit” here. “The most impactful initiatives that the government has seen in the CSR (corporate social responsibility) space is when companies work to create capabilities in young people and nurture innovation. That I think is the strongest component of the Cisco CSR programme,” Union Telecom Secretary Aruna Sundararajan said in a video message streamed at the event. Also Read – New HP Pavilion x360 notebook with in-built Alexa in India “I certainly believe that government will not only partner with companies like Cisco but also adopt the Cisco-like model,” she added. Through the programme, schools, colleges, universities, vocational institutions, government and non-profit organisations are provided a Cisco-developed curriculum that can be integrated with the institution’s own educational offerings. Cisco also supports government education institutes in providing training on networking and cybersecurity skills aimed at improving the employability of engineering graduates. “Through strategic collaboration between governments, businesses, and NGO’s, we extend our experience in networking technology to elevate the standards of living and foster sustainable economic development,” said VC Gopalratnam, Senior Vice President-IT and Chief Information Officer-International, Cisco.last_img read more

Hamilton wins thrilling Hungarian Grand Prix

first_imgBudapest: Lewis Hamilton regained the momentum in the world championship with a memorable strategic victory on Sunday when he overcame young rival Max Verstappen with three laps to go in a tense Hungarian Grand Prix. The 34-year-old defending five-time world champion started third on the grid in his Mercedes and, after stalking the 21-year-old Dutch tyro for most of a fascinating tactical contest swept into the lead on lap 67 of a stirring 70-lap contest. Also Read – Puducherry on top after 8-wkt win over ChandigarhIt was Hamilton’s record seventh win in Hungary, his eighth this year and the 81st of his career, wrecking Red Bull’s hopes of turning Verstappen’s maiden pole position into victory, and increased his lead in the title race to 62 points before the sport’s European summer break. Verstappen, who led most of the race before his tyres faded, had no time to match Hamilton’s tactics when the Briton made his second stop, came home 17.796 seconds behind in second and clocked a record race fastest lap for the Hungaroring after a late pit-stop. Also Read – Vijender’s next fight on Nov 22, opponent to be announced laterFour-time champion Sebastian Vettel was third for Ferrari ahead of team-mate Charles Leclerc, Carlos Sainz of McLaren and Pierre Gasly in the second Red Bull. Kimi Raikkonen was seventh for Alfa Romeo ahead of Hamilton’s Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas who had been forced into an early pit-stop after a first lap incident. British rookie Lando Norris was ninth in the second Mercedes and Alex Albon 10th for Toro Rosso. “What a drive, what a strategy,” said Hamilton’s race engineer Peter Bonnington. “Only you could make that work today.” Mercedes matched Red Bull’s strategy until gambling with a late additional pit-stop that left Hamilton with 20 laps to make up a 20-second deficit on fresh tyres –- a move that worked as Verstappen’s tyres faded away. “They rolled the dice and it worked for them, unfortunately,” Red Bull team boss Christian Horner told Verstappen. “But you drove your heart out.” A week after his forlorn error-riddled exit from last weekend’s tumultuous German Grand Prix, won by Verstappen, Hamilton had bounced back in style. “It feels like a new win for us,” he said. “I didn’t know if I could do it and I am sorry I doubted our strategy -– it was brilliant.” A crestfallen Verstappen admitted: “We just weren’t fast enough. I tried everything I could to keep the tyres alive, but I couldn’t.” Hamilton had earned a 1,000-euro fine for Mercedes for speeding in the pit lane before the start on a hotter-than-expected afternoon with an air temperature of 26 degrees Celsius.last_img read more

HK chief warns of economic fall rules out concessions

first_imgHong Kong: Hong Kong’s leader Carrie Lam warned Friday that two months of pro-democracy demonstrations were causing economic chaos in the city but ruled out making concessions to “silence the violent protesters.” The embattled leader abruptly announced a press conference after meeting business leaders as demonstrators rallied at the airport, with the protest movement entering its third month. Lam, whose support for a bill to allow extradition to mainland China sparked the crisis, warned that the economic impact of the unrest threatened to be worse than the 2003 SARS outbreak in the financial hub. Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince ‘snubbed’ Pak PM, recalled jet from US”The downturn this time came very quickly. Someone described it as coming like a tsunami,” Lam said. “Compared to the economic downturn caused by SARS that we handled previously, which caused an economic storm, the situation this time is more severe.” “In other words, the economic recovery will take a very long time,” she added. While Lam is a figure of hatred for many pro-democracy activists, her comments echo worried statements from the private sector and the tourism industry in particular. Also Read – Record number of 35 candidates in fray for SL Presidential pollsHong Kong carrier Cathay Pacific has warned bookings are down, travel agencies have reported drops of up to 50 percent in group tour bookings and the tourism board reported double-digit declines in visitor arrivals in the second half of July. Protesters have continued to stage almost daily rallies despite increasingly violent confrontations with police that have prompted several countries to issue Hong Kong travel warnings for their citizens. On Friday, thousands of pro-democracy protesters staged a sit-in at the airport to bring their message to arriving visitors. Lam has suspended the bill that sparked the crisis, but has not yet responded to protester calls to withdraw it altogether, and she has brushed aside demands for an enquiry into police brutality. She ruled out meeting the demands of protesters, which also include a call for the direct election of the city’s chief executive, currently chosen by Beijing. “As far as political solution is concerned, I don’t think we should just sort of make concessions in order to silence the violent protesters,” she said.last_img read more

Kin donate organs of accident victim

first_imgKolkata: A private hospital in the city has started harvesting organs on Wednesdayfrom a woman, who was declared brain dead by the state health department on Tuesday. The family members of the victim, Manisha Rai, agreed to donate her organs and made a pledge to the private hospital authorities in this regard. The hospital then contacted the state health department. The officials from ROTTO visited the hospital and declared the patient brain dead after conducting necessary tests. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari PujaAccording to a hospital official, the process of harvesting organs from the victim started in the evening and would continue till late in the evening. Manisha was riding pillion when her friend Abhishek Roy (21) lost control over the motorcycle he was riding on. It rammed into the median divider on EM Bypass on Saturday night. Abhishen died as he received a fatal injury while the girl received serious injuries after she fell on the road. She was taken to a private hospital on EM Bypass and she was under treatment since Saturday night. According to police, the incident occurred around 1:50 am on Saturday. They were heading towards Ultadanga when the accident took place. The police came to know during the course of investigation that the bike was moving too fast and as a result of which he lost control.last_img read more

Fuel supply ban due to fund issues not ops performance Air India

first_imgMumbai: The ban on jet fuel supply to Air India at six airports by the oil marketing firms was on account of fund crunch and not due to carrier’s operational performance, airline chief Ashwani Lohani has said. Lohani in a Facebook post on Sunday also wrote that regardless of the situation the Maharaja must keep afloat. The oil marketing companies led by Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) last week stopped supplying fuel to Air India’s aircraft at Kochi, Pune, Patna, Ranchi, Vizag and Mohali airports over payment defaults, amid their combined dues mounting to a whopping around Rs 5,000 crore. Also Read – Thermal coal import may surpass 200 MT this fiscalThe disinvestment-bound flag carrier has a debt pile Rs 58,351 crore as on March 31 this year, while the cumulative loss is to the tune of Rs 70,000 crore with no fiscal support to the airline coming from the government his year. “The constraints on fueling imposed on AI by the OMC’s at six stations is because of an overall shortage of funds but does not in any way mean reflect on the operational performance and recent efforts of the airline,” Lohani said. The joint decision to stop fuel supply to Air India from six airports was taken by the oil marketing companies in the wake of long-overdue payments to the tune of Rs 5,000 crore, IOC said in a statement issued on behalf of the three firms.last_img read more

Iran begins using advanced centrifuges violating deal

first_imgTehran: Iran said Saturday it has fired up advanced centrifuges to boost its enriched uranium stockpiles, in the latest scaling back of commitments under a crumbling 2015 nuclear deal. The country’s Atomic Energy Organisation said, however, that it would honour commitments to give UN inspectors access to monitor its nuclear sites. Three European countries — Britain, France and Germany — have been engaged in talks to try to rescue the 2015 deal that gave Iran relief from sanctions in return for curbs on its nuclear programme. Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince ‘snubbed’ Pak PM, recalled jet from USTensions have been escalating between Iran and the United States since May last year when President Donald Trump pulled out of the accord and began reimposing sanctions that have crippled its economy. The arch-foes were on the cusp of confrontation in June when Iran downed a US drone and Trump ordered retaliatory strikes before cancelling them at the last minute. On Saturday, Iran’s Atomic Energy Organisation said it had activated 20 IR-4 and 20 IR-6 centrifuges as its latest step back in rolling back its commitments. Also Read – Record number of 35 candidates in fray for SL Presidential polls”The centrifuge machines, as they are engaged in research and development, will help with increasing the stockpile,” said the agency’s spokesman, Behrouz Kamalvandi. “The capacity of these machines is many times more than the previous machines. This started as of yesterday (Friday),” he told a news conference in Tehran. Under the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), Iran was allowed to enrich uranium using only first generation — or IR-1 — centrifuges. US Defence Secretary Mark Esper said he was “not surprised that Iran has announced that it’s going to violate the JCPOA”. “It’s no surprise that the Iranians are going to pursue what the Iranians have always intended to pursue,” he said in Paris. Kamalvandi said Iran would allow the International Atomic Energy Agency to continue monitoring its nuclear programme, as it has done under the 2015 accord. “Regarding the monitoring and accesses of the IAEA… so that everything is clear (Iran’s) commitments regarding transparency will be followed as before,” the spokesman said. The European Union on Friday emphasised its reliance on the UN nuclear watchdog to monitor Iran’s activities as it voiced “great concern” over the country’s decision to roll back its commitments. The IAEA in its latest report, on August 30, said it continues to verify compliance through cameras and on-site inspections. But in an apparent hint at worries about access it said “ongoing interactions… require full and timely cooperation by Iran”. The latest move by Iran came after EU members Britain, France and Germany were unable to find a way to offset the impact of sanctions on the country before a September 7 deadline set by the Islamic republic. “If Europe wants to do something, it must hurry, because returning to the situation before reducing commitments could take time,” Kamalvandi said. Tehran has already hit back twice with countermeasures in response to the US withdrawal from the 2015 deal. On July 1, Iran said it had increased its stockpile of enriched uranium to beyond the 300-kilogram maximum set by the deal. A week later, it announced it had exceeded a 3.67-percent cap on the purity of its uranium stocks. On Saturday, however, Iran indicated it had no plans to step up the enrichment of uranium to higher levels. “We currently do not need 20 percent enrichment, and if we do so at some time, we will first increase the 4.5 percent stockpile and then act,” said Kalamvandi. The announcement came on the eve of a visit to Iran by the acting head of the IAEA, Cornel Feruta. Kamalvandi said Feruta would meet the head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organisation, Ali Akbar Salehi, and Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif.last_img read more

Alberta adds twoyear sunset clause to bill that would regulate oil shipments

first_imgEDMONTON – Alberta is putting an expiry date on proposed legislation that would allow the province to regulate oil and gas shipments.The government has said it might use such a law against British Columbia if that province continues to block an expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline.Parties on both sides of the house voted on Wednesday to accept an Alberta Party amendment to put a two-year limit on the bill.It proposes that Alberta have the power to restrict and redirect flows of oil, gasoline and natural gas to maximize profits, given the bottlenecks in pipelines.The amendment gives the government the option to extend the bill after the two-year limit, but it would need to go back to the legislature for approval.Energy Minister Marg McCuaig-Boyd told the house that two years is a reasonable time and the amendment doesn’t tie the government’s hands.Premier Rachel Notley has threatened consequences to B.C. for opposing and delaying Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain project.The bill has the potential to cause gasoline and other fuel-related prices to spike in B.C.The dispute is heading for a showdown on May 31. That’s the date Kinder Morgan Canada has set for a decision on whether it might cancel the $7.4-billion project.(Companies in the story: TSX:KML)last_img read more

Calgary quadruple homicide Owner of burnedout car believed to be main target

first_imgCALGARY – A man and two sisters found dead in a burned-out car may not have been the intended targets in what Calgary police are describing as a brutal and ruthless quadruple homicide.Investigators are exploring the possibility that Cody Pfeiffer, 25, Glynnis Fox, 36, and Tiffany Ear, 39, were “simply at the wrong place and at the wrong time with the wrong people,” acting Insp. Paul Wozney said Thursday.Lorenzo Ear, the younger brother of the two women, said his sisters leave behind 16 children between them.“The younger ones, they don’t know yet,” he said. “That’s going to be something that we as family are going to have to find out how to explain to them, that their mothers are no longer around.”The bodies of Pfeiffer, Fox and Ear were found Monday after firefighters extinguished a burning 2011 Chevrolet Cruze at a construction site in a new subdivision on Calgary’s northwestern edge.Wozney, with the major crimes unit, said it’s believed the Cruze’s owner, Hanock Afowerk, 26, was the target.Police confirmed that Afowerk was found dead in a rural area west of Calgary on Wednesday and that it was a homicide. They had earlier appealed to the public for help finding him and expressed concern for his safety.It’s possible Fox and Ear — from the Stoney Nakoda Nation west of Calgary — were caught up in a targeted attack against Afowerk, police said.All four victims suffered significant traumatic injuries, but Wozney declined to elaborate.“I will say that it … certainly has been surprising to some very seasoned investigators.”Police believe multiple people may have been involved and that it’s possible there are several different crime scenes.“We know that there’s people in the community that have information regarding this event. We know that people know what happened. If they’re scared, if they are in any way hesitant to contact us, they can do so anonymously through Crime Stoppers or through our tip line,” said Wozney.It appears the sisters got to know Pfeiffer and Afowerk recently, he added.Lorenzo Ear said his sisters were generous, caring and kind mothers who loved their children. Tiffany had nine, and had recently become a grandmother.“I believe she really enjoyed that role. Even though it made her seem a little bit older, she was still happy.”Glynnis had seven children and was about to become a grandmother when she died.Both women were working on upgrading their education, their brother said, adding Tiffany loved books and Glynnis had a passion for learning about First Nations culture.They wanted to one day find jobs as teachers or in other professions that would allow them to help people, he said.An aunt who did not want her name published said in an email that Tiffany had been through a lot and struggled to make ends meet at times.“She kept her head up, always positive and recently completed a treatment program in December of 2016 and changed her life around,” said the aunt.The sisters were among 11 siblings, Lorenzo said, adding he wants to speak out about them to help the families of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls.The family has been gathering at Tiffany’s home to get it ready for the wake, finding comfort in sprucing up the lawn and putting a fresh coat of paint on the inside.“What we’re doing is being a family unit, being together, being closer, laughing with each other, helping each other.”last_img read more

The Friday news briefing An ataglance survey of some top stories

first_imgHighlights from the news file for Friday, Sept. 1———THE CANADIAN PRESS TURNS 100: The Canadian Press marked its 100th birthday on Friday. The national news agency was created during the First World War to bring home stories from the European battlefields. It went on to become a journalistic institution in Canada, playing a central role in providing news stories, photos, videos and broadcast items to media outlets across Canada.———GOVERNMENT EXPANDS ASYLUM OUTREACH: The Trudeau government is expanding its outreach efforts in the U.S. to send a message that seeking asylum in Canada isn’t a sure bet. Transport Minister Marc Garneau says those thinking about crossing the border into Canada must know there is specific criteria to qualify. There already have been some efforts to reach out to the Haitian community in the U.S. as the vast majority of those who crossed illegally into Quebec this summer have been Haitians. Garneau says that effort will be expanded into other communities.———ORGANIZED LABOUR PUSHES ITS AGENDA AT NAFTA TALKS: The labour movement is trying to ensure its voices are heard at the negotiations on a revamped North American Free Trade Agreement. Union leaders staged a rally Friday as negotiators from Canada, the U.S. and Mexico arrived for a second round of negotiations. They made a number of demands, including a transformation of Mexico’s unionization practices, higher wages in Mexico and an international mechanism to make sure countries respect promises to labour.———CANADIAN IN THIRD ROUND OF US OPEN: An Ontario tennis player has made it to the third round of the U.S. Open after his British opponent retired with an injury. Denis Shapovalov of Richmond Hill, Ont., was leading 3-6, 6-3, 6-3, 1-0 before Kyle Edmund abandoned the match.———CANADIANS SHELLING OUT MORE AT THE PUMP THIS WEEKEND: The price at the pump is set to soar this weekend after already jumping by nearly 10 cents per litre since hurricane Harvey roared ashore in Texas a week ago. Analysts say the increases will differ greatly by region with prices in Eastern Canada going up by up to nine cents a litre while Western Canadian prices will be more or less stable.———PM SAYS CANADIANS MUST FIGHT ISLAMOPHOBIA: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is calling on Canadians to stand together against Islamophobia. He made the comments in Saskatoon on Friday at an event recognizing the beginning of Eid al-Adha, a Muslim holiday. Trudeau says Canadians must be there for each other and stand up for each other.———BC WILDFIRES WON’T BE OUT UNTIL NEXT YEAR: A municipal leader at the heart of British Columbia’s wildfire zone says the fires raging in the central Interior likely won’t be extinguished until 2018. Cariboo Regional District chairman Al Richmond says hot spots from many of the largest fires likely won’t be doused until the spring. The wildfires have chewed through more than 10,600 square kilometres of woodland this summer.———CANADIAN TROOPS KEEPING AN EYE ON RUSSIAN MILITARY EXERCISE: The Russian bear will be on the prowl this month and Canadian troops in Latvia are feeling the tension in the region. Russia is holding its largest military exercise since the end of the Cold War. The Zapad exercise is set to start Sept. 14 and is also the first of its kind since NATO decided to send troops to eastern Europe to deter further Russian aggression. Canada is leading one of those multinational brigades, with 450 troops based in Latvia. The exercise has already caused jitters in eastern Europe with Poland announcing it will close the airspace on its border with Belarus — which is taking part in Zapad.———RUSSIAN DIPLOMATS IN SAN FRANCISCO APPARENTLY BURN DOCUMENTS: Black smoke was seen coming out of the Russian consulate in San Francisco on Friday, a day after the Trump administration ordered its closure amid escalating tensions between the two countries. San Francisco fire department officials said they received a call about the smoke, but crews who responded determined smoke was coming from a fireplace. The deadline for the consulate to close is Saturday.———HARVEY RELIEF HEADING TO CONGRESS: An initial $5.9 billion down payment in Harvey recovery aid will head for congressional passage as early as next week, and it looks likely to be the vehicle to increase the federal debt limit to stave off default. The Harvey proposal is a first instalment to keep recovery efforts adequately funded. Republican leaders aim to use the popular vote on the Harvey money to sweeten the contentious but necessary vote to increase the nation’s debt limit.———last_img read more

Plant protein producers aim for mainstream with new research investments

first_imgCALGARY – Prairie farmers who grow, rather than raise, protein sources are looking to break into the mainstream with new research and investments on how to sustainably feed the world.The push for plant-based protein such as beans and lentils — as opposed to animal sources like meat or dairy — comes as the global population continues to grow rapidly and more consumers think about their health and the environment, said Pulse Canada CEO Gordon Bacon.“Consumers are looking for better nutrition in the foods they buy, they are looking to protect their health.”Canadian farmers are poised to be at the forefront of the world’s top producers of protein-rich plants with a growing network of processors — and a new government-funded incubator — to support them.The industry’s push to provide more choices got a big boost earlier this month when an alliance of 120 companies and organizations focused on developing plant-based proteins won a spot in the federal government’s $950 million supercluster proposal, promising to bring new research and momentum.The investment comes as the $13 billion global plant-protein market is expected to grow by as much as 98 per cent by 2050, said Frank Hart, chair of the Protein Industries Canada group that put together the supercluster bid.“It’s a market that’s expected to expand in a significant way.”While not yet fixed, the expected $150 million or so in funding from the federal program will help anchor another roughly $400 million in spending commitments across the prairies from the private sector, said Hart.The funding will underpin research into everything from improved farming methods, to new food possibilities for flax, hemp, oats and pulses — which include lentils, chickpeas and dried peas and beans — to finding new ways to extract and make use of the protein in canola.The research is being driven by changing eating habits and the demand for more choice in protein sources, said Dan Prefontaine, president of the Saskatchewan Food Industry Development Centre Inc., which develops new kinds of foods.“I was born on meat and potatoes, and my kids are born more on diversity. They’re getting protein from multiple sources.”A Nielsen survey released last fall showed the increasing demand for alternatives. It found that 43 per cent of Canadians are actively trying to incorporate more plant-based foods into their diets.Prefontaine said the supercluster investment will help anchor Canada as a major player in the space.“This is just the start. This is really giving Western Canada the opportunity to pool our resources to really create an environment and an equal system that promotes innovation and growth.”Growing interest in alternative proteins has already led to big investments in recent years, including hundreds of millions of dollars committed to pea processing facilities from companies like Roquette, Canadian Protein Innovation, and James Cameron-backed Verdient Foods Inc., as well as into newer protein sources like Hempco and Manitoba Harvest’s hemp products.The investments are increasing as companies develop new ways to process the protein-rich plants, like a steam-injection method to create pulse-based pasta that acts more like traditional products, or adding plant proteins to make yogurt, said Bacon.“It’s a combination of a shift in processing, it’s a shift in consumer awareness, and it’s also a shift in cost, where meat companies, dairy companies, are looking for plant-based protein to complement their product line. … it’s not one versus the other.”Big brands such as Maple Leaf Foods are also taking note of the growing trend. Maple Leaf spent US$120 million last year to buy Seattle-based Field Roast Grain Meat Co. and took over Massachusetts-based LightLife Foods in a $140-million deal, following on Tyson Foods Inc.’s investment in plant-protein company Beyond Meat a year earlier.The company invested in the space after seeing double-digit annual growth in ready-made plant-based protein options, said Dan Curtin, president of alternative proteins at Maple Leaf.“We see this as advancing and enhancing to the Maple Leaf portfolio of products,” he said. “We felt that the different options for the protein segment was something we wanted to play in.”Maple Leaf is still in early days for investments. The two companies it recently purchased are largely limited to U.S. distribution, but Curtin said Maple Leaf will be looking at expanding options to Canada as well.The plant-protein segment also still only makes up a very small portion of Maple Leaf, as overall demand for meat is still expected to see strong growth going forward.A Rabobank report out last fall said that while the meat industry should wake up to the growing demand for alternative proteins, that growth still pales in comparison to expected meat demand.The Dutch bank said alternative protein demand in Canada and the U.S. is expected to increase from around 165,000 tonnes in 2016 to slightly over 200,000 tonnes by 2022, making up only two per cent of the total growth in protein, while meat constitutes the rest.last_img read more

Loud loving parrots at Vancouver sanctuary can stay for now but need

first_imgVANCOUVER – A group of parrots awaiting adoption in Vancouver can stay put for now, after a lease on a warehouse full of the chattering birds was extended.Jan Robson, spokeswoman for the Greyhaven Exotic Bird Sanctuary, said the property is up for development, but permits have yet to be approved, so a lease that was set to expire on Feb. 28 will now be in place until the end of April.That will buy time while another site is sought for 88 moluccan cockatoos, amazons and macaws needing forever homes, Robson said.The sanctuary received 170 parrots in July of 2016. The birds were among 600 rescued from the World Parrot Refuge in Coombs, B.C., on Vancouver Island after a woman who operated the facility died.Some of the parrots have found new homes in other provinces, including an umbrella cockatoo named Chewy, who two weeks ago ended up in Nova Scotia with his “new momma,” Robson said.“She has been sending us videos and always has hearts all over them. She’s head over heels in love with him. She came to see him on a Saturday, and by seven o’clock they were both on a plane.”Another bird named Colton has moved to Calgary, where his new owner changed his name to Maverick.“She sent several videos as well,” Robson said. “The most recent one was of him singing along to a country western song. It’s just hysterical. He’s got all the bells and whistles in his cage, and new toys, so he looks like he’s living the life.”Anyone wanting to adopt a parrot must undergo rigorous checks to ensure they’re keen on putting up with the noisy, attention-loving birds.“When it’s distance adoptions like that we either know someone who checks out the home at that end or we’ve done some Skype checking to get a sense, and of course, checking references. Then they have to come out and meet the bird.”A family on British Columbia’s Gulf Islands is also ready to adopt a parrot, Robson said.A particularly loud peach-coloured moluccan cockatoo named Bob has a special bond with Robson and tends to be fond of women.“He has more female attention than anyone can reasonably expect in a lifetime,” she said of Bob, who recently became the sanctuary’s star when a group of fawning female veterinarian technicians showed up.“He was in his element,” Robson said, adding that Bob has been a hard sell because of his jet-engine decibel level.She said that while parrots are a lovable lot, anyone wanting to adopt one should know they live up to 80 years and have a penchant for destroying furniture with their beaks.— Follow @CamilleBains1 on Twitter.last_img read more

The unusual suspects British Columbias middleclass gangs by the numbers

first_imgSURREY, B.C. — Law enforcement in British Columbia report the gang landscape in the province is unlike any other because so many members are joining from the middle and upper classes. Here’s a look at some of the numbers as reported by Statistics Canada and the Mayor’s Task Force on Gang Violence Prevention in Surrey, B.C.37: The percentage of homicides in B.C. that were linked or suspected to be linked to organized crime or street gangs in 2018.32: The percentage by which the homicide rate rose in 2017 in B.C., the highest rate since 2009.47: The percentage of all gang-related homicides in Canada that occurred in British Columbia and Alberta in 2017.53: The percentage of B.C.’s 2017 homicides involving firearms.68: The percentage of B.C.’s 2017 homicides involving firearms that were known or suspected to be gang-related.46: The number B.C.’s 2017 homicides with a nexus to organized crime.40: The percentage of individuals involved in the 2014-16 gang conflict that Surrey RCMP say had been exposed to some type of domestic violence in their upbringing either as victims or witnessing it in the home.55: The percentage of gang-involved youth who reported their crime was motivated by a lack of parental supervision in a study of incarcerated youth in B.C. between 1998 and 2012.36: The percentage of youth incarcerated for non-gang related crimes who say they were motivated by a lack of parental supervision in the same study.91: The percentage of incarcerated gang-involved youth who say their crime was motivated by friends.69: The percentage of youth incarcerated for non-gang related crimes who say they were motivated by friends.69: The percentage of incarcerated gang-involved youth who reported their crime was motivated by status.19: The percentage of youth incarcerated for non-gang related crimes who say they were motivated by status.35: The percentage of incarcerated gang-involved youth who reported their crime was motivated by a sibling.12: The percentage of youth incarcerated for non-gang related crimes who say they were motivated by a sibling.51: The percentage of incarcerated gang-involved youth who say their crime was motivated by dropping out of school.32: The percentage of youth incarcerated for non-gang related crimes who say their crime was motivated by dropping out of school.The Canadian Presslast_img read more

Car2Go to shut down operations in Calgary

first_imgCALGARY (660 NEWS) – Car2Go has announced it is ending operations in Calgary effective Oct. 31.On it’s website, the company says despite its best efforts it underestimated the resources and investment necessary to make the business successful.It’s with a heavy heart that we must share that our last day of car2go service in Calgary will be October 31, 2019. Thank you to every Calgarian who supported us over the years and we regret any inconvenience caused when service ends October 31. https://t.co/yu2t6DPDcV— car2go Calgary joins SHARE NOW (@car2goCalgary) September 27, 2019FULL STATEMENTThe company said it’s leaving the cities of Austin, Denver and Portland the same day and Chicago on December 31.“The transportation market is highly volatile, especially in North America,” the statement reads. “We are certainly not the only transportation player – from traditional automakers to ride-hail giants to micro-mobility disruptors – who have had to face this reality and adjust course. Ultimately, we know that in order to ensure the future of our business in North America, we have to think differently about where and how we operate.”Councillor Evan Woolley said he uses Car2Go on a daily basis and was shocked by the news.“This is a significant mobility option for many, many thousands of my constituents. We’re interested to know more.”Woolley said he has already contacted the city’s transportation department and will look to see if there are other companies who can fill the void.I’ve spoken with senior transportation staff and car2go. We’re working on a solution to keep this important mobility option in Calgary. https://t.co/86MECOexFU— Evan Woolley (@EWoolleyWard8) September 27, 2019last_img read more