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Month: October 2019

Fairfax Brings Its Investment in Seaspan to USD 1 Bn

first_imgzoomImage Courtesy: Pixabay Toronto-based financial holding company Fairfax Financial Holdings Limited has agreed to invest an additional USD 500 million of equity in Seaspan Corporation, increasing its total investment in Seaspan to USD 1 billion.“Our Board of Directors and management team are excited by this transformative investment, which will further bolster Seaspan’s strategy to lead consolidation in the fragmented containership sector and capitalize on the most compelling opportunities in the shipping sector and beyond it,” David Sokol, Chairman of Seaspan Corporation, commented.The company’s consolidation push resulted in Seaspan’s acquisition of Greater China Intermodal Investments, which owns a fleet of 18 containerships, comprising 10,000 TEU and 14,000 TEU eco-class vessels. “As the global containership industry continues to consolidate, we believe owner-operators like Seaspan, with financially sound balance sheets, will have excellent growth prospects. We are excited about Seaspan’s outstanding progress over the past six months, and with David Sokol’s proven capital allocation and shareholder value creation credentials, we are thrilled to expand our relationship,” Prem Watsa, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Fairfax.Under the terms of the transaction, upon exercise of the warrants issued to Fairfax, in January 2019 Fairfax will acquire approximately 38.46 million Class A common shares at an exercise price of USD 6.50 per share, for a total equity investment of USD 500 million.Seaspan will issue Fairfax seven year warrants to acquire 25 million Class A common shares at an exercise price of USD 8.05 per share and amend the terms of the debentures that were issued in February 2018 and those to be issued in January 2019 to allow Fairfax to call for early redemption of those debentures.This will bring Fairfax’s total investment in Seaspan to USD 1 billion, consisting of USD 500 million of Class A common shares and USD 500 million in debentures.last_img read more

Nova Scotia Celebrates First Provincial Acadian Day

first_img Premier John Hamm and Acadian Affairs Minister Chris d’Entremontwould like to wish everyone a happy Provincial Acadian Day,Sunday, Aug. 15. “Acadian culture is such an important part of Nova Scotia’shistory as well as its future,” said Premier Hamm. “It’s anhonour that Nova Scotia is the province hosting the Congrèsmondial in a year that is such an important milestone forAcadians and our province.” Premier Hamm has participated in a number of Congrès events,including the official opening in Church Point and the Festivaldu Mitan in Cheticamp. He will also participate in the closingmass in Grand Pré on Sunday, Aug. 15. This year Provincial Acadian Day will fall on the final day ofthe Congrès mondial acadien festivities. “It is fitting that Provincial Acadian Day be proclaimed thisyear as Acadians and friends of Acadians from around the worldcome to Nova Scotia to celebrate the 400th anniversary of theirarrival in North America,” said Mr. d’Entremont. Mr. d’Entremont also took part in the in the official opening ofthe Congrès, has attended numerous Acadian family reunions andwill attend the closing mass at Grand Pré. Since 1881, Acadians have recognized Aug. 15 as their nationalholiday. It has been proclaimed National Acadian Day by thefederal government. Earlier this year, the Nova Scotialegislature unanimously passed Bill 51, enshrining Aug. 15 intolaw as Provincial Acadian Day. PREMIER’S OFFICE/ACADIAN AFFAIRS–Nova Scotia Celebrates FirstProvincial Acadian Daylast_img read more

La Louisiane goûtera à la NouvelleÉcosse

first_imgDes entreprises de la Nouvelle-Écosse offriront à leurs cousinsCajuns les meilleures saveurs de la province à la fin du moisalors qu’ils tenteront d’établir des liens commerciaux avecl’industrie de la restauration de la Louisiane, qui rapporte 4,5milliards de dollars. Chris d’Entremont combinera ses fonctions de ministre del’Agriculture et des Pêches à ses responsabilités de ministre desAffaires acadiennes ainsi qu’à son savoir-faire en matière demarketing pour diriger la mission commerciale néo-écossaise enLouisiane du 21 au 25 février. « Il s’agit d’une occasion exceptionnelle d’explorer un nouveaumarché qui a des liens historiques et culturels acadiens étroitsavec la Nouvelle-Écosse, » affirme M. d’Entremont. « Ces liens,ainsi que l’appréciation traditionnelle louisianaise de la bonnenourriture, offrent des possibilités de marketing intéressantespour les produits agroalimentaires et les produits de la mer dela Nouvelle-Écosse. » Le voyage de M. d’Entremont débute le lundi 21 février par desrencontres et des événements relatifs aux Acadiens. Le reste de la semaine, des rencontres auront lieu avec desgroupes d’affaires et gouvernementaux afin de discuter despossibilités commerciales offertes par les industries desproduits agroalimentaires et des produits de la mer de laNouvelle-Écosse. Des rencontres avec le gouvernement consolidé deLafayette, la gouverneure de la Louisiane Kathleen Blanco, lecommissaire à l’agriculture Bob Odom et le secrétaire responsablede la faune et des pêches Dwight Landreneau sont prévues àl’horaire. d’Entremont sera accompagné de représentants de plusieurs entreprises de l’industrie agroalimentaire et des produits de la mer, notamment : Nova Agri Inc. — producteur de bleuets et de fruits; Country Harbour Sea Farms Limited — exploitant et transformateur de moules cultivées; Stirling Fruit Farms Ltd. — producteur de pommes; Han Beck Sea Products Inc. — transformateur de crabe des neiges, de crabe nordique et de homard; Acadian Maple Products Ltd. — producteur de bleuets et de produits de l’érable; Sambro Fisheries Ltd. — transformateur de saumon de l’Atlantique, de myes, de crabe, de crevettes, de thon, de requin et de poisson de fond; Chef Stephan Inc. — détaillant de sel marin destiné aux amateurs de cuisine familiale et aux chefs d’expérience. La Louisiane compte plus de 4 200 établissements de restauration,dont les trois quarts se trouvent à La Nouvelle-Orléans. Leschefs de cet État servent plus de 11 millions de visiteurs chaqueannée. « Nous espérons établir des relations commerciales durables avecla Louisiane, » a déclaré M. d’Entremont.last_img read more

Amendment to Act Allows New Type of Motorcycle

first_imgA new type of vehicle known as the Can-Am Spyder will now be allowed on Nova Scotia’s roads. New legislation, effective June 10, allows the registration of motorcycles with two wheels on the front steering axle, provided they meet motor vehicle safety standards set by Transport Canada. “We are pleased to make this type of vehicle accessible to motorcycle enthusiasts,” said Murray Scott, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal. Several other provinces also permit these vehicles on their highways. Described as part snowmobile, part sports car, the Bombardier vehicle has two front wheels and one rear wheel which allows for improved stability. Transport Canada has done extensive testing on the Can-Am Spyder, and has developed Canadian Motor Vehicle Safety Standards criteria to address vehicle stability. Any motorcycle that is registered for road use would have to conform to Transport Canada’s safety standards, minimizing road safety concerns. All registered motorcycles must meet Transport Canada and Nova Scotia inspection standards.last_img read more

Traffic Advisory Hants County

first_imgHANTS COUNTY: Highway 101 Closed Between Exits 7 and 8 A section of Highway 101 is closed, between Exit 7 at Falmouth and Exit 8 at Hantsport, because of a traffic collision. The area is expected to be closed for about two hours. -30-last_img

Clean Air Funding Helps With Energy Saving Upgrades

first_imgMore than $358,000 in funding has been announced for projects in Cape Breton that will help reduce greenhouse gases and air pollutants. Environment Minister Sterling Belliveau was in Port Hawkesbury today, July 13, to announce the funding, which comes from the ecoNova Scotia Fund for Clean Air and Climate Change. “This program allows us to fight climate change by working together with municipalities and community organizations,” said Mr. Belliveau. “The funding announced today will help reduce air emissions while cutting energy costs.” The Town of Port Hawkesbury is receiving $183,329 for upgrades to three municipal buildings, including insulation, weather stripping and lighting upgrades. The County of Richmond receives $112,500 for energy saving upgrades to water and sewage treatment plants and to the Richmond Arena in Louisdale. Other projects include an energy and emissions inventory and audit at the Cape Breton Regional Municipality, a solar wall at Telile Community Television in Arichat, and the replacement of an aging refrigeration plant at the Dr. Bernie MacLean Cultural and Recreation Centre in Inverness. These projects are expected to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by about 700 tonnes – equal to taking 150 cars off the road – and cut more than 2,200 kilograms of major air pollutant emissions. ecoNova Scotia funded projects help meet the objectives of the Environmental Goals and Sustainable Prosperity Act and the Climate Change Action Plan. The ecoNova Scotia fund administers funding from an original $42.5 million grant from the government of Canada. All funding is now committed and no new applications are being accepted. With this announcement, ecoNova Scotia has funded more than 130 projects. For more information on the fund, please visit www.gov.ns.ca/ecoNovaScotia .last_img read more

Coxheath Office On The Move July 22

first_imgThe Department of Natural Resources office in Coxheath, Cape Breton Regional Municipality, will be closed on Monday, July 22, while staff move to new offices at the same location. Full service is expected to resume at the office on Tuesday, July 23. To report wildfires, poaching, or emergency wildlife situations at any time, call the Department of Natural Resources toll free, at 1-800-565-2224. General information about DNR programs and services is available from the Baddeck office at 902-295-2554, the St. Peter’s office at 902-535-2032, or from the department’s website, http://www.novascotia.ca/natr Fishing licences are still available from local vendors. -30-last_img read more

SpaceX launches 60 Starlink satellites

first_imgMiami: SpaceX has taken a giant leap towards making global Internet coverage a reality as its fifth Falcon 9 rocket of the year took flight, sending 60 Internet-beaming Starlink satellites into space. The Falcon 9 lifted off at 10.30 p.m. on Thursday from the Space Launch Complex 40 at Florida’s Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, following several delays: first a 24-hour delay due to high upper-level winds on May 15, and then a week-long delay so SpaceX could give the onboard satellites a software software upgrade, reports Space.com. Also Read – Spotify rolls out Siri support, new Apple TV app Tucked inside the rocket’s nose cone were 60 satellites — the first batch of SpaceX’s Starlink mega-constellation, which the company hopes will help provide affordable Internet coverage to the world. Following the successful launch, the rocket’s first stage gently touched down on a floating platform at sea, marking the company’s 40th booster recovery. It was the third flight for this particular booster, marking just the second time SpaceX has flown a Falcon 9 first stage more than twice. Also Read – New Instagram tool to help users spot phishing emails Getting the full constellation up and running will cost in the ballpark of $10 billion dollars, and SpaceX owner Elon Musk has conceded that such efforts have bankrupted others, such as the satellite operator Iridium, reports CNN. But when asked about funding for Starlink last week, he said the company has “sufficient capital” to carry out its plans. He added that SpaceX’s latest funding round attracted “more interest than we were seeking”. In April, the company sought to raise about $400 million. If SpaceX confirms most or all of its satellites deployed successfully, and they are able to make contract with ground stations, the launch will mark the largest step forward for any company attempting such a project. It could even set SpaceX up to beat out competitors such as Amazon and SoftBank-backed OneWeb, which each want to form Internet constellations of their own. SpaceX will need another six missions, according to Musk, before Starlink can provide consistent Internet coverage for small parts of the world. It will take 12 launches before the company can provide coverage for a significant portion of the world’s population, he added.last_img read more

RBI cuts interest rates to 9yr low expects banks to quickly lower

first_imgMumbai: In a move that may lead to lower home, auto and other loan EMIs, the RBI Thursday cut interest rates for the third time this year by 25 basis points to their lowest level in nine years and signalled more easing as it looked to support an economy growing at the slowest pace since the BJP first came to power in 2014. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) cut the repo rate to 5.75 per cent and reverse repo rate to 5.50 per cent and expected banks to transmit these to home, auto and other loan borrowers faster. Also Read – Dussehra with a ‘green’ twist With all the six members of the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) voting unanimously for a rate cut and switching of its stance to “accommodative” from neutral, RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das said the shift in the stance meant that an increase in interest rates is “off the table.” He wanted banks to expedite the transmission of the current reduction in rates as well as similar ones that happened in February and April. In three back-to-back bi-monthly monetary policies, the RBI has lowered interest rates by 75 basis points (0.75 percentage point). Also Read – India receives its first Rafale fighter jet from France With India’s GDP growth slipping to a five-year low of 5.8 per cent in the January-March quarter – the first instance of growth falling below China’s in last few quarters, the RBI lowered its growth forecast for the economy to 7 per cent from the April view of 7.2 per cent for the 2019-20 April-March fiscal year. “Growth impulses have weakened significantly,” the RBI said in the monetary policy statement. The reduction in interest rate will help boost credit growth, helping arrest the slowdown in the economy ahead of the new Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman presenting Modi-2.0 government’s first budget next month that is widely expected to announce measures to generate jobs and revive the economy. While inflation remained below its medium-term target to give “scope” to the MPC “to accommodate growth concerns by supporting efforts to boost aggregate demand”, the RBI marginally raised its retail inflation outlook for the first half of 2019-20 to a range of 3-3.1 per cent from 2.9-3 per cent that it had outlined in last monetary policy in April, due to a broad-based pickup in food prices. It, however, slightly trimmed its inflation outlook for the second half of the year to 3.4-3.7 per cent from its earlier projection of 3.5-3.8 per cent. “The headline inflation trajectory remains below the target mandated to the MPC even after taking into account the expected transmission of the past two policy rate cuts. Hence, there is scope for the MPC to accommodate growth concerns by supporting efforts to boost aggregate demand, and in particular, reinvigorate private investment activity, while remaining consistent with its flexible inflation targeting mandate,” the MPC said. RBI’s medium-term inflation target is 4 per cent. “A sharp slowdown in investment activity along with a continuing moderation in private consumption growth is a matter of concern,” it said. With the 0.25 percentage point cut Thursday, the repo rate, at which the central bank lends to the system, comes down to 5.75 per cent, as was widely expected. Earlier, the repo rate was at 5.75 per cent in July 2010. Consequently, the reverse repo rate under the LAF stands adjusted to 5.50 per cent, and the marginal standing facility (MSF) rate and the Bank Rate to 6.0 per cent. MPC noted that political stability, high capacity utilisation, buoyant stock markets, an uptick in business expectations in the second quarter and financial flows are positive from a growth perspective. It made its disappointment clear at the transmission of rate cuts, saying the weighted average lending rate has gone down by only 0.21 per cent, while the same for older loans has increased 0.04 per cent, as against policy rate cuts of 0.50 percentage point. The central bank also announced doing away with charges on fund transfers through RTGS and NEFT routes to boost digital transactions and asked banks to pass on the benefits to customers.last_img read more

Governors of 5 states meet Home Minister Amit Shah

first_imgNew Delhi: Governors of five states including West Bengal Monday met Home Minister Amit Shah and discussed various issues concerning their respective states, an official said. The governors met Shah separately and officials described the meetings as courtesy calls on the new Home Minister, who assumed charge about 10 days ago. Besides West Bengal Governor Keshari Nath Tripathi, others who met the Home Minister are: Tamil Nadu’s Banwarilal Purohit, Telangana’s E S L Narasimhan, who is also the Governor of Andhra Pradesh, Jharkhand’s Draupadi Murmu and Arunachal Pradesh’s Brigadier (Retd) B D Mishra, a home ministry official said. The Governors discussed with the Home Minister issues concerning their respective state, the official said.last_img read more

Sri Lanka vs Australia Starc gets the breakthrough as SL lose Kusal

first_imgLondon: Australia captain and opener Aaron Finch hit a fantastic century off 97 balls against Sri Lanka at the Oval. Finch hit left-arm spinner Milinda Siriwardana over the long on fence in the 33rd over to bring up his 14th one-day international ton, and third this year. Steve Smith joined Finch, who brought his 50 up off 50 balls, his third half-century at this World Cup. After two washed out games, Sri Lanka are desperate to bring their Men Cricket World Cup 2019 campaign back on track as they meet the defending champions Australia at the Oval in London on Saturday. Sri Lanka have not played a match at the World Cup since June 4 and were forced to split points with Bangladesh and Pakistan following two washed out games. The island nation, who won the tournament back in 1996, stands fifth with just one win — against minnows Afghanistan in a rain-hit match — from four games.(With inputs from Indian Express)last_img read more

Kolkata Police to step up drive against drugs

first_imgKolkata: To Curb the growing number of drug abuse cases in Kolkata, the city police has chalked out a plan to raise awareness among people in the run-up to June 26, International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking.This year, the theme is #unitedagainstdrugs. The Kolkata Police has planned to reach out to maximum people through a competition. “Take a picture while performing any activity such as dancing, reading, running, sleeping, singing, playing, studying, writing or laughing. Put it up on Instagram/Twitter/Facebook with caption — “SAY YES TO (the activity that is seen in the picture eg. reading, running etc); SAY NO TO DRUGS”. Hashtag it with #kolkatapolice #unitedagainstdrugs in Instagram/Twitter/Facebook”, said a senior police officer. The three most innovative pictures will be felicitated by the Kolkata Police.(With inputs from Indian Express)last_img read more

DR Congo Ebola death toll exceeds 1600 mark

first_imgKinshasa: Deaths from an 11-month-old epidemic of Ebola in eastern DR Congo have crossed the 1,600 mark and a new fatality has been reported near the border with Uganda, the health ministry said on Friday. As of Thursday, the health authorities had recorded 2,382 cases of Ebola, of which 1,606 had been fatal, it said. A ministry spokesman told AFP that a patient whose infection had been reported on Monday in Ariwara, in Ituri province bordering Uganda, had died. Also Read – Turkey preparations for Syria offensive ‘completed’The fatality is a mother from neighbouring North Kivu province whose five children had become infected with Ebola, two of whom had died. She had gone to Ituri in order to evade Ebola response teams, the ministry said. Ariwari lies in northern Ituri, about 10 kilometres (six miles) from Uganda and some 60 kms from South Sudan. “So far, 177 people who have been in contact with the family have been identified in Ariwara and 40 have already been vaccinated,” the ministry said.contacts The disease broke out in North Kivu before spreading to Ituri. Also Read – Imran Khan arrives in China, to meet Prez Xi JinpingTwo people also died in Uganda in June after a family returned from eastern Congo where they had buried an Ebola-stricken relative. The current epidemic is the worst on record after more than 11,300 were killed Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone in an outbreak between 2014-2016. Ebola spreads among humans through close contact with the blood, body fluids, secretions or organs of an infected person, or objects contaminated by such fluids.last_img read more

JDU Dalit leader found hanging inside Bihar police station 3 policemen held

first_imgBiharsharif: A local leader of the ruling JD(U) in Bihar was found hanging in the toilet inside a police station, hours after being picked up for interrogation, evoking violent protests from residents of his village in Nalanda district.Three police personnel were arrested in connection with the Dalit politician’s death, a communication from the district administration said on Friday. Ganesh Ravidas (45) was found hanging from the ceiling of the toilet at Nagarnausa police station in Nalanda district on late Thursday night, official sources said. Also Read – How a psychopath killer hid behind the mask of a devout laity!JD(U) national president and Chief Minister Nitish Kumar also belongs to the same district. Ravidas, who was the block president of the partys Mahadalit cell, was picked up for interrogation in connection with the kidnapping of a girl wherein he was not named an accused, the sources said. As the news of the death spread to his village early Friday, his supporters stormed the police station and began hurling stones, leaving a few policemen injured. Also Read – Encounter under way in Pulwama, militant killedThe villagers alleged that it was a suicide abetted by custodial torture. Some of the villagers alleged that they have noticed injury marks on the forehead of the deceased, which indicated that he was driven to suicide by torture at the hands of the police. They alleged that Ravidas had helped the girl marry the man she loved and take shelter in some far-off city, much to the chagrin of her father who had lodged a case of abduction. The locals further alleged that the police had been in cahoots with the girls father and putting pressure on Ravidas to divulge her whereabouts. Meanwhile, DIG, Central Range, Rajesh Kumar rushed to the spot to take stock of the situation and upon his instructions, the SHO of Nagarnausa Kamlesh Kumar, Additional Sub-Inspector Balwinder Rai and Chowkidar Sanjay Paswan have been placed under arrest, a communication from the district administration said. A case has been registered against the three arrested police personnel by the family members of the deceased under the SC/ST Act and various sections of the Indian Penal Code, the communication added.last_img read more

Justice at last Barasat Court convicts Manua Ajit after 23month trial

first_imgKolkata: The Barasat Fourth Fast Track Court on Thursday convicted Manua Majumdar and her paramour for carrying out the cold-blooded murder of Anupam Singha, Majumdar’s husband.The court held Majumdar guilty for conspiring with her lover Ajit Roy to perform the crime, while Roy has been convicted for executing it. The quantum of the punishment will be pronounced by the court on Friday. Singha was found murdered at his home in May 2017 at the Hridaypur area of North 24-Parganas. Majumdar had scripted her husband’s cold-blooded murder with the help of her lover. The incident had created a sensation across the state. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari PujaThe court passed the judgment after a trial of over 23 months and also recorded the statements of 31 witnesses, before holding the duo guilty. The victim’s mother broke down in tears in the court area on Thursday and said that she hopes that the highest punishment will be awarded to Roy and Majumdar. Several friends and relatives of Singha also gathered outside the court with posters and placards, demanding the highest possible punishment for the convicted duo. On May 3, Majumdar, a casual staff at Barasat municipality, left work early to meet her boyfriend Roy at her house. They knew each other since college. On the same day, Singha, a manager at a travel agency, was brutally murdered by Roy, the moment the former stepped into his house after returning from work. Also Read – Bengal civic volunteer dies in road mishap on national highwayMajumdar was not in the house at the time of the incident but she heard the screams of her husband over mobile phone. Roy hit Singha on the head with an iron rod and then slashed his veins with a knife to ensure his death. Roy also called up Majumdar so that she could hear his dying shrieks over phone. After Singha was dead, Roy cleansed the apartment and took a dip in the Ganges on the very next day, when he threw his clothes and the victim’s cell phone into the river. After starting an investigation, the police arrested both the accused two weeks after the incident.last_img read more

Senior pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar says hes always ready to guide youngsters like

first_imgLauderhill (USA): Senior pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar is happy with the coming up of bright prospects like Navdeep Saini and says he’s always ready to guide the youngsters when they come in to the national team. The 29-year-old Bhuvneshwar took two wickets for 19 runs to play an important role in India’s four-wicket win against the West Indies in the first T20 International here on Saturday. “As a senior player you always want to perform. Even you could not perform you have to contribute to the team. That is the first thing I want to do and luckily I did that,” Bhuvneshwar said at the post-match press conference. Also Read – Puducherry on top after 8-wkt win over Chandigarh”When young players like Navdeep Saini does well and Khaleel (Ahmed) does well, you want to always talk to them. You want to make them comfortable. That is the first thing I want to do and I always guide them,” he added. Bhuvneshwar was all praise for Saini who starred in the India’s win with figures of 3/17 in his India debut match. “Just before coming into the team he played for India A against West Indies A in West Indies. That is why he did well. When you do well at international level, it gives you a lot of confidence,” said the senior pacer. Also Read – Vijender’s next fight on Nov 22, opponent to be announced later”He has bolwed really well. The most important thing is, he has proved in different stages. He plays so much of cricket, in IPL and for India A. So when he came into the (senior national) team he was very confident.” Asked about the switching from ODI cricket to T20 format, he said, “Not really mental adjustment because T20 and ODI are the same, not the same format but you have to bowl deck bowling in ODI and T20 as well. “It is only that T20 is a shorter format and when you go to ODI, it takes more load on the body. This is something we always take care of.” He said the pitch used for the first T20 International match was a bit sticky as it was under cover in the last two days, and was not easy to bat on. “The ball was not really coming onto the bat, it was a bit difficult for the batsmen. In the morning, it was a bit moist but got better in the second innings as the sun was out by then.”last_img read more

Punjab CM blames Akalis for scuttling probe into sacrilege incidents

first_imgChandigarh: Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Tuesday blamed the Akalis for “scuttling” the probe into three incidents of desecration of the Guru Granth Sahib and accused them of pressurising the CBI to file closure report in the investigations. During the Zero Hour on the third day of the Monsoon Session of the Punjab Assembly, he held the Akalis responsible for their “failure” to bring the culprits to book. Despite the Akalis’ efforts to “obstruct justice”, his government would take the case to its logical conclusion and ensure justice for the victims, Singh told the Assembly. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM’ He was responding to AAP legislator Aman Arora who had asked the state government to come clean on the closure report of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). Singh asked the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), which was in power in 2015, why it handed over the probe into the sacrilege incidents to the CBI when it had the state police for investigation. “You (Akalis) did not rely on your police and what was the point in giving (the probe) to the CBI,” he asked. Also Read – Farooq demands unconditional release of all detainees in J&K He accused them of handing over the probe to “delay” the investigation and alleged that they pressured the CBI to submit a “hurried” closure report. Singh alleged that the central agency did not conduct a proper inquiry and deliberately did not make any headway in the case on the directives of then deputy chief minister Sukhbir Badal. Amid noisy scenes in the assembly, the chief minister claimed that there had been no investigation into the incidents for three years because of the Akalis. “The CBI had shown an interest in challenging the state’s decision to withdraw three sacrilege cases from it, but then suddenly and inexplicably decided to file its closure report. It is obvious that the agency had acted under political pressure,” he alleged. The agency had filed its closure report last month in a special CBI court in Mohali, giving a clean chit to the accused in the three incidents of desecration of the Guru Granth Sahib in 2015 in Faridkot. The previous SAD-BJP government had handed over the cases to the CBI for probe. One was about the theft of a ‘bir’ (copy) of the holy book from a Burj Jawahar Singh Walagurdwara on June 1, 2015, the second one was putting up of hand-written sacrilegious posters in Bargari and Burj Jawahar Singh Wala on September 25 and the third was the torn pages of the book being found at Bargari on October 12, 2015 in Faridkot. Last year, the Punjab government had issued a notification for withdrawing investigation from the CBI after a resolution was passed in the assembly. The matter was handed over to a special investigation team of the Punjab Police. Singh informed the House that the CBI’s “failure” to make any progress in the investigation had been taken note of by the Punjab and Haryana High Court while reading out a judgement in a case filed by some accused police officers. The court, in its verdict in January, had stated, ” the notification withdrawing the consent is pursuant to resolution passed by the Vidhan Sabha which in clear terms states that the investigation of cases given to CBI needed to be taken back. “Besides, during the course of hearing, this court called for the case diary of the CBI and perused the same. It was evident that investigation in the cases had hardly made any headway,” it said. Earlier, Akalis led by SAD MLA Parminder Singh Dhindsa said the investigation into sacrilege incidents was handed over to the CBI by previous SAD-BJP government on the demand of Sant Samaj, Panthia organisations, the AAP and the Congress. The chief minister directed the advocate general to oppose the closure report in the CBI court, saying the agency had no jurisdiction to file the report in the light of the observations made by the high court, an official spokesperson said. Singh issued the directive on basis of the judicial and legal position shared with him by Advocate General Atul Nanda after a detailed examination of the facts and circumstances preceding the closure report, the spokesperson said.last_img read more

Passenger vehicle sales fall for 9 consecutive months drop 31 pc in

first_imgNew Delhi: Declining for the ninth consecutive month, domestic passenger vehicle (PV) sales dropped 30.98 per cent to 2,00,790 units in July, from 2,90,931 units in the same period a year ago. Domestic car sales were down 35.95 per cent at 1,22,956 units as against 1,91,979 units in July 2018, according to data released by the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) on Tuesday. Motorcycle sales last month declined 18.88 per cent to 9,33,996 units for the month as against 11,51,324 units in the year-ago period. Also Read – Thermal coal import may surpass 200 MT this fiscal Total two-wheeler sales in July declined 16.82 per cent to 15,11,692 units compared to 18,17,406 units in the year-ago month. Sales of commercial vehicles were down 25.71 per cent to 56,866 units in July as compared with 76,545 units in the year-ago period, SIAM said. Vehicle sales across categories registered a decline of 18.71 per cent to 18,25,148 units from 22,45,223 units in July 2018, it added. In fact, all vehicle categories witnessed decline in sales during the month.last_img read more

Suite stories from the grand palaces of Taj

first_imgThis season, Taj invites guests to avail special ‘Suite Surprises’ offer and check in to the regal abodes of erstwhile Maharajas and Maharanis. Guests can experience the bygone era of luxury and grandeur with vintage car arrivals, lounge access, and attentive and personalised royal butler service. Specially curated heritage walks, lavish afternoon teas and a host of exclusive benefits make for the perfect stay.Recognised for its sensitive restoration of authentic Grand Palaces and heritage hotels, Taj presents an exceptionally wide range of historic suites, each with a story to tell. Designed by the renowned Edwardian architect, Henry Lanchester as the residence of the beautiful Maharani of Jodhpur, Badan Kanwar, the Maharani suite epitomises refinement Also Read – An income drop can harm brainand elegance. The Art-Deco style suite at the award-winning Umaid Bhawan Palace, Jodhpur has its very own drawing, dining and dressing rooms, en-suite spa, private Jacuzzi and terrace that overlooks the palace gardens and the stately 500-year old Mehrangarh Fort. Taj Lake Palace, Udaipur, a gleaming white marble oasis houses the magnificent Shambhu Prakash suite. Named after the Maharana – Shambhu Singh who ruled the land of Mewar, the suite is appointed with richly coloured antiques, rare paintings, crystal chandeliers and its very own private library. With panoramic views of Lake Pichola, the suite is the perfect place to watch the setting sun. Also Read – Shallu Jindal honoured with Mahatma AwardThe design of the aristocratic Sukh Niwas suite at Rambagh Palace, Jaipur, draws from Rajasthan’s centuries-old architectural heritage. The Nizam suite at Taj Falaknuma Palace, Hyderabad which was once the sanctum to the world’s richest man, continues to revel in its former glory. This extravagant duplex suite replete with its gorgeous marble fountain, baroque interiors and private swimming pool allows guests to take a page out of the regal history of Hyderabad.last_img read more

Pakistan govt launches its own mineral water to cut costs

first_imgIslamabad: The Pakistan government has launched its own mineral water brand to cut costs as part of its austerity drive to solve the cash-strapped nation’s financial woes, according to a media report.Minister for Science and Technology Fawad Chaudhry said the bottled water called Safe Drinking Water would be a cheaper alternative to other mineral water brands in the market.Earlier in July, the Pakistan Council for Research in Water Resources (PCRWR) told a parliamentary committee that all bottled water companies operating in Pakistan were selling “artificial” water instead of natural water. Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince ‘snubbed’ Pak PM, recalled jet from USChaudhry said that the introduction of cheaper bottled water was in line with the government’s austerity drive.The mineral water bottles will first be used at the Prime Minister’s office, President’s house and Parliament, he added.We have rolled out these water bottles for Rs1 per litre and it is a quality drinking water, the federal minister told The Express Tribune.In the first phase, Chaudhry said, it will be introduced at government offices after which it will be made available to the general public. Also Read – Record number of 35 candidates in fray for SL Presidential pollsThe International Monetary Fund’s executive board recently approved a three-year USD 6 billion bailout plan to resuscitate Pakistan’s ailing economy.But the IMF has attached some tough terms for the bailout, indicating that the government needs to take strict austerity measures.Chaudhry said the government is also planning to introduce environment-friendly motorcycles and rickshaws, which will run on rechargeable batteries.The minister said that the electronic vehicles would help conserve energy and protect the environment.last_img read more