Govt reshuffles IPS cadre after MCC lifts

first_imgKolkata: The state government on Sunday removed Kolkata Police Commissioner Rajesh Kumar and reappointed Anuj Sharma in his place. Gyanwant Singh was reinstated as CP of Bidhannagar City Police and Natarajan Ramesh Babu, who was holding the post, was removed. The order came after the Model Code of Conduct (MCC) was lifted on Sunday. Both Sharma and Singh had been removed by the Election Commission from their post as CP Kolkata and CP Bidhannagar respectively on April 5 and Kumar and Babu were handed over the charges. Also Read – City bids adieu to Goddess DurgaSharma was holding the post of ADG (Operation) while Singh was posted as Director in the Economic Offence Directorate till date, as per EC’s order. Shyam Singh, Superintendent of Police of Birbhum, who was removed by the EC and given the charge of Commandant in State Armed Police, was also handed back the charge of Birbhum district. Avvaru Rabindranath, who was posted as SP Birbhum till date as per the Commission’s order, has been appointed as DC (Airport) in Bidhannagar Commissionerate. Also Read – Centuries-old Durga Pujas continue to be hit among revellersAbhishek Gupta has also been handed over the charge of SP Cooch Behar district. He was earlier removed and appointed as commandant in Specialised India Reserve Battalion (SIRB) by the Commission. Amit Kumar Singh, who was appointed as SP of the district, has been removed. IPS Devendra Prakash Singh, who was holding the charge as DIG in Midnapore range, has been given the charge as CP of Barrackpore Police Commissionerate by removing Sunil Kumar Choudhary. A notification effecting changes in the IPS cadre was released by the state Home and Hill Affairs department on Sunday. It may be mentioned that Rajesh Kumar, Natarajan Ramesh Babu, Amit Kumar Singh and Sunil Kumar Choudhary’s postings are still awaited as per the notification.last_img read more

Ten killed in suicide car bomb attack in Raqa Syria

first_imgBeirut: Ten people were killed and 20 wounded Saturday in a suicide car bomb attack in Raqa, a former stronghold of the Islamic State group (IS) in north Syria, a rights watchdog said. The explosion claimed the lives of five civilians and five soldiers of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), a Kurdish-Arab alliance backed by Washington which wrested the city from IS in October 2017, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR). The attack, for which no one has claimed responsibility, was preceded by a bomb explosion that left several people wounded in another part of the city frequently targeted by the Islamic State group, said the SOHR. Also Read – ‘Hong Kong won’t rule out Chinese help over protests'”The car bomb attack was targeting an SDF position,” SOHR director Rami Abdel Rahmane said. The explosion took place at the al-Naim square where IS had carried out beheadings when it was in control of the city. On April 9, a double bombing claimed by IS killed 13 people, mostly civilians, in the jihadist group’s former bastion. IS jihadists seized large swathes of Iraq and Syria in 2014, declaring a “caliphate” in areas it controlled. Several offensives with US-led coalition backing chipped away at the “caliphate” until it was declared eliminated on March 23.last_img read more

Mumbai cricketer hacked to death

first_imgMumbai: A cricketer-cum-coach from Bhandup was attacked with choppers near a petrol pump shortly before midnight, police said here on Friday. Rakesh Panvar was with his girlfriend when three unknown persons pounced on them near Mahavir Petrol Pump in north-east Mumbai. According to a police official, bleeding profusely and seriously injured Panvar was rushed to Mulund General hospital where he was declared brought dead. “We have registered a case of murder against three unknown persons and a manhunt is on,” said the official.last_img read more

French Railways to develop Indian railway stations

first_imgNew Delhi: India and France have signed an agreement under which the French Railways will help develop Indian railway stations. The Indian Railway Station Development Corp (IRSDC) entered into a tripartite agreement with French Railways on Monday, it was announced on Tuesday. Under this pact, French development agency AFD will provide in-kind grant of up to 7,00,000 euros through French National Railways-Hubs and Connexions as a technical partner to IRSDC to support the railway station development programme in India, a press statement said. Also Read – Pak activated 20 terror camps & 20 launch pads along LoC “This will impose no financial liability on IRSDC or Indian Railways,” it said. Minister of State of Railways Suresh Angadi and French Minister of State for Europe and Foreign Affairs Jean Baptiste Lemoyne were present when the agreement was signed. Angadi said both countries have a strong and long-standing partnership in the railway sector and highlighted the French Railways’ association with Indian Railways in conducting speed upgrade study on the Delhi-Chandigarh sector and development of Ludhiana and Ambala stations. “I am sure this effort will go a long way in further strengthening Indo-French cooperation and help Indian Railways in positioning its stations to world class standards,” Angadi said.last_img read more

CJI writes to PM for removal of Allahabad High Court judge

first_imgNew Delhi: Months after an in-house panel found Allahabad High Court’s Justice S N Shukla guilty of misconduct by an internal probe, Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to initiate a motion for his removal.A three-judge in-house committee, comprising Madras High Court Chief Justice Indira Banerjee, Sikkim High Court Chief Justice S K Agnihotri and Madhya Pradesh High Court’s Justice P K Jaiswal, had in January 2018 concluded there was sufficient substance in the allegations contained in the complaint against Justice Shukla and that the aberrations were serious enough to call for initiation of proceedings for his removal. Following the committee’s report, the then CJI Dipak Misra, in accordance with the relevant in-house procedure, advised Justice Shukla to either resign or seek voluntary retirement forthwith. After he refused to do so, the then CJI had asked the Chief Justice of the Allahabad High Court to withdraw judicial work from him with immediate effect, after which he reportedly went on a long leave. On Match 23, Justice Shukla wrote a letter to Gogoi which was forwarded by the Chief Justice of the Allahabad High Court, requesting that he be allowed to discharge judicial work in the high court. “As the allegations against Justice Shukla were found by the committee to be so serious as to warrant the initiation of proceedings for his removal, he cannot be allowed to resume judicial work in any high court. In these circumstances, you are requested to consider further action,” Gogoi wrote to the PM. When the CJI writes to the President and the prime minister for removal of a high court judge, the Rajya Sabha chairperson appoints a three-judge inquiry committee in consultation with the CJI under the provisions of the Judges (Enquiry) Act, 1968 to look into the allegations. The committee appointed by the Rajya Sabha chairperson would examine the evidence and records, and opine if the same formed the basis for whether or not removal motion be debated in the Upper House.last_img read more

Congress recognises work of only Gandhi family not Narasimha Rao Manmohan Singh

first_imgNew Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday came down heavily on the Congress for only ‘recognising the works of the Gandhi-Nehru family’, saying the Grand Old Party did not even credit the work of its own former prime ministers Narasimha Rao and Manmohan Singh, leave alone BJP’s Atal Bihari Vajpayee. “Congress did not recognise the work of others, including their party members. I challenge the government that was in power between 2004-2014 (Congress) to mention if they ever praised the work of Atal Bihari Vajpayee government. Did they ever speak about good work of Narasimha Rao Ji?” Modi, who was speaking on the Motion of Thanks on the President’s address in the Lower House, said. Also Read – IAF receives its first Rafale fighter jet from France “The same people did not even speak of Manmohan Singh Ji in Lok Sabha in this debate. On the other hand, we gave Bharat Ratna to Pranab Mukherjee,” he added. Slamming the Gandhi dynasty for ‘taking credit for national development and not giving recognition to anyone outside the family’, the PM said, “There are some people who feel only a few names contributed to national progress. They only want to hear those few names and ignore the others. We think differently, we feel each and every citizen has worked for India’s progress,” he said. Also Read – Cosmology trio win Nobel Physics PrizeAbout Emergency, Modi said, “A few people were constantly asking during the debate- Who did it? Who did it? I want to ask them- today is 25th June. Who imposed the Emergency? Who trampled over the spirit of the Constitution, gagged the media and bullied the judiciary? We can’t forget those dark days.” Emergency was imposed by the then prime minister Indira Gandhi on this day in 1975 and it was in effect till March 21, 1977. The Prime Minister also claimed that the saffron party was voted back to power with a bigger mandate as it “remained closer to the people at the grassroots”, unlike the Congress, that “has risen so high that they have been uprooted from the ground”. “You have risen so high that you have been uprooted from the ground. Our aim is to remain closer to the people at the grassroots and strengthen them,” he said. Responding to Congress leader in Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury’s remark on the 2G scam, PM Modi said, “Some members asked- why is Person A not in jail or Person B not in jail. I want to tell them- this is not the Emergency where Governments jailed people as they felt like. These decisions are taken by the Courts. Courts will decide on jail and bail.” On Monday, Chowdhury, while addressing the Lower House, had hit out at the BJP for alleging a scam in the sale of 2G spectrum. He said if there were any wrongdoing, UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi and Congress President Rahul Gandhi would not be sitting in the Parliament. “Did you manage to catch anybody in 2G and coal allocation scam? Did you manage to send Sonia Gandhi ji and Rahul Gandhi ji behind the bars? You came to power by calling them thieves, then how are they sitting in the parliament?” he had asked. The Prime Minister also raked up the issue of a water crisis in the country and remembered the works of Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar. “Today, when we talk about water resources, I remember Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar. It was Babasaheb who worked diligently on waterways and irrigation,” he said. Indian voters have proven their concern for the country by re-electing our government “on the basis of our work” and with a bigger mandate after careful consideration, Modi said. “In 2014, the nation had chosen us as an experiment. But in 2019, the people who reign supreme in democracy have reposed their faith in us after evaluating our performance. There is no greater satisfaction than being rewarded on the basis of your work,” he told the House. Asserting that polls aren’t about anyone’s gains or loss, Modi said, “I do not think about elections in terms of who won and who lost. For me, what is satisfying is the opportunity to serve 130 crore Indians and do work that has made a positive difference in the lives of our citizens,” he said.last_img read more

North Korea says it wont surrender to USled sanctions

first_imgSeoul: North Korea said Wednesday it won’t surrender to U.S.-led sanctions and accused Washington of trying to “bring us to our knees.” The statement is yet another reminder that North Korea keeps mistrust of the U.S. though its leader Kim Jong Un and President Donald Trump recently exchanged letters. Their second summit in Hanoi in February ended without any agreement due to disputes over the extent of sanctions relief North Korea should win in return for a limited denuclearization step. Also Read – Merkel warns UK Brexit deal ‘unlikely’ without compromise: London The North’s Foreign Ministry said it “will not hesitate to pull a muscle-flexing trigger in order to defend ourselves” if anyone dares to trample over its sovereignty. It accused the U.S. of maintaining hostility toward North Korea. It cited recent U.S. reports on alleged human trafficking and religious crackdowns in North Korea, and comments by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo that some 80-plus percent of the North Korean economy is sanctioned. Also Read – India, China should jointly uphold peace and stability, resolve disputes through dialogues: Chinese ambassador Pompeo “let loose a sophistry as if the sanctions are rendering the bilateral talks possible,” said the statement, carried by the official Korean Central News Agency. The statement said all these developments show the “wild dream of the U.S. to bring us to our knees by means of sanctions and pressure has not changed at all but grows even more undisguised.” It said North Korea is “not a country that will surrender to the U.S. sanctions.” The letter exchanges between Kim and Trump suggested the two leaders hoped to keep diplomacy alive, though there have been no publicly known official meetings between the two countries since the collapse of the Hanoi summit. Trump is scheduled to arrive for a two-day visit to South Korea on Saturday.last_img read more

Andy Murray Serena Williams form Wimbledon mixed doubles dream team

first_imgLondon: Andy Murray and Serena Williams will form a mixed doubles dream team at Wimbledon, his management announced Tuesday, as he gradually returns to tennis following career-saving surgery. Murray, who is easing his way back into the sport following a radical hip resurfacing, will join forces with Williams in an all-star partnership when the draw is announced on Wednesday. The Scot is already entered into the men’s doubles at Wimbledon where he is playing alongside France’s Pierre-Hugues Herbert. Also Read – Dhoni, Paes spotted playing football togetherThe two-time Wimbledon champion’s partnership with seven-time winner Williams will make them instant favourites for the title. “We’re a lot alike on the court. I’ve always liked that about him,” Williams said of her fellow former world number one. “His work ethic is just honestly off the charts. That’s something I’ve always respected about him. His fitness, everything. “To do what he’s done in an era where there’s so many other great male tennis players, so much competition, to rise above it, not many people have done it. He’s actually one of the few. There’s so many things to be admired.” Also Read – Andy Murray to make Grand Slam return at Australian OpenShe added: “Above all, he really stands out, he really speaks up about women’s issues no matter what. You can tell he has a really strong woman in his life. I think above all that is just fantastic.” Murray had been searching for a mixed doubles partner but had complained that he had been turned down by a number of players. “I do want to play,” the 32-year-old said on Saturday at a pre-Wimbledon media day. “We’ve had a number of conversations with a few players. Yeah, the plan’s definitely to play. “Conditions look like it’s supposed to be good for the fortnight, which is a positive thing. “I was speaking to some of the doubles guys, asking them why they don’t play mixed. It was for the reason that they had some years where they’ve been backed up. Sometimes the mixed is not the priority to get on the court.”last_img read more

Govt does not plan to merge stateowned firms Pradhan

first_imgNew Delhi: Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan Monday said there is no proposal, at present, for the merger of state-owned oil and gas entities under consideration of his ministry. While state-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) had last year acquired government stake in Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd (HPCL), Indian Oil Corp (IOC) and Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd (BPCL) were both keen on acquiring gas utility GAIL India Ltd.”At present, there is no proposal to merge state-run oil and gas entities under consideration of the ministry,” Pradhan said in a written reply to a question in the Lok Sabha here. He had on February 7, 2018, told the Rajya Sabha that IOC and BPCL have separately indicated to the petroleum ministry their interest in taking over GAIL to add natural gas to their oil refining and marketing business. Also Read – Maruti cuts production for 8th straight month in SepThen finance minister Arun Jaitley had in the Budget 2017-18 unveiled the government’s plan to create integrated public sector oil majors “through consolidation, mergers, and acquisitions” so that the merged company has the “capacity to bear higher risks, avail economies of scale, take higher investment decisions” and is “able to match the performance of international and domestic private companies”. In response to this, ONGC expressed interest in taking over refiner HPCL and completed the Rs 36,915 crore acquisition in January last year. “IOC and BPCL had written to the ministry for integration with GAIL (India) Ltd. However, the government has not taken any decision in this regard,” Pradhan had said last year. Also Read – Ensure strict implementation on ban of import of e-cigarettes: revenue to CustomsIn the reply on Monday, he said ONGC has acquired 51.11 per cent of government equity shareholding in HPCL. “Post-acquisition by ONGC, HPCL will continue to be a central government public enterprise (PSE), having become a subsidiary of ONGC. It will maintain its cultural uniqueness and brand identity,” he said. For GAIL, it was said that the government may separate the firm’s natural gas transportation and marketing business and sell off the later to a prospective bidder. Incorporated in August 1984 by spinning off the gas business of ONGC, GAIL (India) Ltd owns and operates about 14,000 km of natural gas pipelines in the country. It sells around 60 per cent of natural gas in the country. The government has a 54.89 per cent stake in GAIL India. Pradhan also informed that the country’s finished steel imports rose 4.7 per cent to 7.83 million tonne (MT) in 2018-19, Parliament was informed Monday. The country had imported 7.48 MT of finished steel in 2017-18. In 2018-19, finished steel import stood at 7.83 MT, an increase of 4.7 per cent in comparison to 2017-18, Steel Minister Dharmendra zsaid in a written reply to the Lok Sabha. Stainless steel, flat products such as hot-rolled and cold-rolled coils, galvanised plain- or galvanised corrugated-coated and electrical sheets are the major categories that are being imported from other countries, he told the House.last_img read more

Pak antigraft court dismisses fake deed case against Maryam Nawaz

first_imgIslamabad: In a relief to jailed former prime minister Nawaz Sharif’s daughter Maryam Nawaz, a Pakistani anti-corruption court on Friday dismissed a plea filed against her for submitting a fake document in the high-profile Avenfield Apartments case. Maryam, 45, the vice president of Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) was accused of providing a fake trust deed during the hearing of the case. The deed was written in Calibri font in 2006 when the font was not available for public use. Also Read – US blacklists 28 Chinese entities over abuses in XinjiangThe National Accountability Bureau (NAB) moved an application before the accountability judge Mohammad Bashir against Maryam for the bogus trust deed. Bashir after hearing the case reserved the judgment and after a while announced that the case was dismissed. Maryam, who was accompanied by her husband, former army captain, Mohmmad Safdar and senior party leaders, was wearing a shirt with a picture of Sharif that read- “Free Nawaz Sharif” when she arrived for the hearing. Also Read – Want to bring back US forces engaged in endless wars: TrumpResponding to the judgement on Twitter, she said that the judge and the NAB made a spectacle of them in sheer frustration. She said the NAB suddenly remembered that after a year the case was decided, it should get her punished in the (fake deed) case. She was sentenced to seven years in jail in July 2018 in connection with the case that pertains to the ownership of the Sharif family’s posh apartments at Avenfield House, London. The sentence was, however, suspended by the Islamabad High Court. The case was one of the three filed by NAB last year in light of the Supreme Court’s verdict against Sharif in the Panama Papers case. Summons for her in the fake deed case were issued on July 9 days after she posted a video on Twitter of accountability court judge Arshad Malik, saying that he awarded sentence to Sharif in Al-Azizia case on December 24, 2018 under pressure. Sharif, 69, is serving a seven-year prison term at the Kot Lakhpat Jail in Lahore since December 24, 2018 in the Al-Azizia case. A large number of PML-N party workers protested outside the court in support of Maryam. Police arrested some of them for causing unrest. Talking to the media on her arrival at the court, Maryam condemned the workers’ arrest and said the Pakistan government was afraid of her presence in Islamabad. Their fear of Maryam Nawaz preceded my presence in the capital. If you were this afraid you should not have gotten selected, she said. She said that Prime Minister Imran Khan’s government is trying to suppress the voices of PML-N leaders but they will continue to raise their voice against injustice, The Express Tribune reported.last_img read more

12 Rohingya refugees stay put at IndoBangladesh border in Tripura

first_imgAgartala: At least 12 Rohingya Muslim refugees, including five children and two women, who tried to enter India from Bangladesh, have refused to leave the Zero Line along the India-Bangladesh border in Tripura for the past three days, Border Security Force (BSF) official said on Saturday. “The 12 refugees tried to enter India from Bangladesh through the Boxanagar border in western Tripura on Thursday. But our troopers stopped them from infiltrating into India,” a BSF official said. Also Read – Encounter under way in Pulwama, militant killed “Later that day, a commandant level meeting was held between the Border Security Force (BSF) and the Border Guards Bangladesh (BGB) in which the latter agreed to take back the refugees, but the group has refused to leave the Zero Line,” the official said. The BSF official said that the refugees are carrying identity cards issued by the Bangladeshi authorities. “They are the inmates of Rohingya refugee camp in Chittagong,” he said. Earlier this week too, Tripura police arrested two Rohingya men from Rajnagar area near the India-Bangladesh international border. Also Read – 14-yr-old girl raped, strangled to death in UP’s Shamli According to the BSF and the police, over 250 Rohingya Muslims have been detained during the past one year in Tripura, southern Assam and Mizoram after they fled the Rohingya refugee camps in Chittagong in southeast Bangladesh. Following a wave of violence in Myanmar’s Rakhine province in 2017, over 7,38,000 Rohingya Muslims took refuge in Cox’s Bazar in southeastern Bangladesh. Refugees from these camps have, on and off, entered the north eastern states of India. Four north eastern states — Arunachal Pradesh (520 km), Manipur (398 km), Nagaland (215 km) and Mizoram (510 km) — share a 1,643-km long unfenced border with Myanmar.last_img read more

Chandrayaan2 to take a billion dreams to Moon

first_imgSriharikota (AP): India’s second moon mission Chandrayaan-2 seeking to explore the unchartered Lunar south pole by landing a rover will be launched onboard its most powerful rocket GSLV-Mk0III-M1 from here Monday, a week after the lift-off was aborted due to a technical snag.The Rs 978 crore mission, which has been rescheduled for Monday after scientists corrected the glitch in the rocket, will be launched at 2.43 p.m from the second launchpad at Satish Dhawan Space Centre here, over 100 km from Chennai. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM’The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) scientists, who aborted the previous launch with 56 minutes left for the countdown to end on July 15, have taken quick remedial action based on an analysis carried out by a team set up to look into the snag and announced the rescheduled launch three days ago. A 20-hour countdown for the launch began at 6.43 pm Sunday, ISRO announced. Chandrayaan-2 comes 11 years after ISRO’s successful first lunar mission Chandrayaan-1 which scripted history by making more than 3,400 orbits around the Moon and was operational for 312 days till August 29, 2009. Also Read – Farooq demands unconditional release of all detainees in J&K”Chandrayaan 2 is ready to take a billion dreams to the Moon now stronger than ever before! Join us for the launch on Monday 22 July, 2019 at 2:43 PM IST,” ISRO had tweeted on July 18 while announcing the rescheduled launch. On the eve of launch, ISRO Chairman K Sivan said all preparations were on and the glitch had been rectified. “Whatever technical snag we observed on July 15 has been rectified. The vehicle is in good health… The (pre-launch) rehearsal has been successfully completed,” he told reporters at the Chennai airport on brief a stopover enroute here. The 43.43m tall three-stage rocket dubbed ‘Baahubali’ for its ability to carry heavy payloads would blast-off carrying Chandrayaan-2 and inject the spacecraft into Earth orbit about 16 minutes later. After lift-off, the 3,850 kg Chandrayaan-2, comprising an orbiter, lander and rover, will undergo 15 crucial manoeuvres before landing on the Moon, expected by the first week of September, Sivan said. Scientists would make soft landing of the lander in the South Pole region of the Moon where no country has gone so far, the ISRO chief said. Billed as the most complex and prestigious mission undertaken by the ISRO since its inception, Chandrayaan-2 will make India the fourth country to soft land a rover on the lunar surface after Russia, the United States and China. About 16.20 minutes after the lift-off, the GSLV rocket will inject Chandrayan-2 into 170 km x 39059 kms Earth orbit. From then onwards, the mission will witness a series of manoeuvres by scientists to carry out different phases of the mission over the next 48 days. Subsequent to the rescheduling of the launch, the space agency has tweaked the orbital phases, increasing Earth-bound phase to 23 days as against 17 days planned orginally. At the end of the Earth-bound phase, the orbit of the spacecraft will be finally raised to over 1.05 lakh km before nudging it into the Lunar Transfer Trajectory taking it to the proximity of Moon in the next two days. Then gradually over the next few days it will be brought to 100 X 100 km circular orbit when the lander will separate and after another few days of orbiting it will make a soft landing at a chosen place on the Lunar surface. The soft landing of the lander – Vikram carrying rover ‘Pragyan’, one of the toughest phases of the mission and described by the ISRO chief as “15 minutes of terror (filled moments), would be attempted between September 6-8. “Chandrayaan-2 is the next leap in technology as we attempt to soft land close to South Pole of Moon. The soft landing is extremely complex and we will experience approximately 15 minutes of terror,” he had said earlier. The mission, which carries a total of 13 payloads, including three from the Europe, two from the US and one Bulgaria, seeks to improve understanding of the Moon which could lead to discoveries that will benefit India and humanity as a whole. A Laser Retroreflector Array (LRA) of US space agency NASA is among the payloads and is aimed at understanding dynamics of Earth’s Moon system and deriving clues on Lunar interior. Sivan Sunday said Chandrayaan-1 revealed the presence of water molecules and similarly there were possibilities of the latest mission returning successful scientific experiments. “It is because of these reasons that Chandrayaan-2 has attracted attention not only from the Indian scientists but also from global scientists,” he said. ISRO encountered the snag on July 15 when the liquid propellant was being loaded into the rocket’s indigenous cryogenic upper stage engine. Veteran scientists heaped praise on ISRO for calling off the launch rather hurrying into a major disaster. President Ram Nath Kovind was present here on July 15 to witness the launch. The launch of Chandrayaan-2 had missed its date earlier too when it was fixed for the first week of January. But it was shifted to July 15. According to ISRO, the lunar South Pole is an interesting surface area which remains in shadow than North pole. There is a possibility of the presence of water in permanently shadowed areas around it, the agency said, adding craters in the South Pole region have cold traps and contain fossil record of the early solar system. The lander ‘Vikram’, named after father of Indian space research programme Dr Vikram A Sarabhai, carrying the rover ‘Pragyan’, will be landed in a high plain between two craters at a latitude of about 70 degrees South of the moon. Then the 27-kg ‘Pragyan’ meaning ‘wisdom’ in Sanskrit and a six-wheeled robotic vehicle, will set out on its job of collecting information on lunar surface. A safe site free of hazards for landing would be decided based on pictures sent back by the camera onboard the lander and after touchdown the rover will carry out experiments for 14 Earth days, equals one Lunar Day. The launch would be witnessed by nearly 5,000 people who will be accommodated at a viewing gallery, located a few kms from the launch pad, thrown open to the public by the ISRO in May last.last_img read more

Death of 2 schoolchildren Asaram son get clean chit from commission

first_imgGandhinagar: The Justice D K Trivedi Commission which probed the death of two children who studied at a residential school run by controversial godman Asaram in Ahmedabad in July 2008 has given a clean chit to him and his son Narayan Sai.The commission’s report, submitted to the Gujarat government way back in 2013, was tabled in the Assembly on Friday, almost six years later. The commission, however, held that school authorities had been negligent. On July 5, 2008, decomposed bodies of cousins Dipesh Vaghela (10) and Abhishek Vaghela (11), studying at Asaram’s ‘Gurukul’ (residential school) in Motera area of Ahmedabad, were found on the bank of the Sabarmati river. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM’The children had gone missing from the school’s hostel two days earlier. Asaram’s `ashram’, which housed the school and hostel, is situated along the riverbank. “There is no evidence to suggest that in the ashram, Asaram-ji and his son Narayan Sai performed Tantrik Vidhi (black magic rituals),” the report said. “The management of the gurukul as well as ashram authorities are custodians and guardians of the children who are staying in gurukul hostel and it is their duty to look after the children,” it said. Also Read – Farooq demands unconditional release of all detainees in J&K”From the perusal of the evidence, the commission is of the view that the same is lacking by the management of the gurukul,” the report added. Parents had alleged that Asaram and his son performed black magic rituals on the two children, causing their death. “Missing of Dipesh and Abhishek, from the ashram campus from 3-7-2008 in the late evening is due to the negligence of the management and according to the commission such negligence is not at all tolerable,” the report said. The medical evidence was conclusive and the possibility of death due to drowning cannot be ruled out, the commission said.last_img

Its challenging to reinvent constantly

first_imgMumbai: Kriti Kharbanda was already an established star in south film industry when she decided to make her debut in Bollywood, a difficult decision that she says meant starting all over again. The actor, who made her debut with 2016 film Raaz: Reboot and went on to star in films such as Guest in London and Shaadi Me Zaroor Aana, says the most challenging aspect is fighting your own doubts. “The toughest part for to start all over again is battling your own emotions. Not just as an actor but as a human being. It is challenging to fight your own thoughts and not put yourself down. Also Read – I have personal ambitions now: Priyanka”Initially, it was difficult for me to come from somewhere where I was established and to start from scratch and then find my place. I have found my place here. I am pretty secure now,” Kriti said. She says she has always been critical of her own work. Kriti has two forthcoming films –Housefull 4 and Pagalpanti. She says she is not worried about being typecast as the ‘go-to actor’ for comedy films at this point but is keen to explore other genres as well. “I have done comedy films but they all have been different. The challenge is to reinvent yourself every time. I would like to explore different genres but I choose from what comes to me.”last_img read more

A QuickSketch profile of BC Green Leader Andrew Weaver

first_imgVANCOUVER – A sketch of B.C. Green party Leader Andrew Weaver:Age: 55.Born: Victoria.Education: Bachelor of science in mathematics and physics from the University of Victoria in 1983, a masters in advanced studies in mathematics from Cambridge University in 1984, and a PhD in applied mathematics from the University of British Columbia in 1987.Academic career: Weaver was a lead author on four scientific assessments by the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the body that shared a Nobel Peace Prize with Al Gore in 2007. He has been a University of Victoria professor for 20 years and has authored or co-authored over 200 peer-reviewed papers.Political career: Weaver says former party leader Jane Sterk asked him to run three times before he agreed. In 2013, he became the first Green elected to B.C.’s legislature and in 2015 he won the leadership.Current riding: Oak Bay-Gordon Head.Quote: “I’m trying to inspire voters.” — Weaver speaking late in the campaign as he accused the NDP of voter suppression by suggesting the only way to defeat the Liberals is to vote for the NDP and not the Greens.last_img read more

Toronto police officers shoot and kill bear in eastend residential area

first_imgTORONTO – Toronto police shot and killed a bear as it roamed through a residential area of the city late Friday night.A police spokesperson said Emergency Task Force members were deployed to a neighbourhood in northeastern Toronto after multiple bear sightings were reported.The police official said the animal, which according to unconfirmed eyewitness reports was an adult black bear, was rummaging through backyards, and at one point banged on the door of a residence.He said officers shot the bear (in the Middlefield and McCowan Road area) after animal control officials advised police that they were not equipped to deal with the potentially dangerous situation.There were no reports of any people or pets being injured.Police had no immediate information about where the bear came from, its gender, or whether a post-mortem examination would be performed to try to determine if it was suffering from any abnormalities.last_img read more

Passenger trains cancelled after freight train derailment in Ontario

first_imgSTRATHROY, Ont. – Via Rail says train service between Toronto and the city of Sarnia, Ont., near the U.S. border, has been cancelled for two days due to a freight train derailment early Wednesday morning.Thirteen cars from a CN freight train derailed in the centre of the community of Strathroy, Ont., — about 230 kilometres west of Toronto — just before 4:30 a.m., said Joanne Vanderheyden, mayor of Strathroy-Caradoc.No one was injured in the incident, she said.The cars that derailed were not carrying any dangerous material when they went off the tracks, said Vanderheyden, who explained that an east-west railway line used by CN and Via Rail effectively divides the town.“Most of the cars were either empty, or had paper in them, or soybeans,” she said. “So, nothing to be too worried about.”One of the cars had residual traces of petroleum, Vanderheyden said, but it wasn’t carrying a load of it when the derailment happened.“That was not a concern, either,” she said.Via Rail said the derailment had led to the cancellation of daily trains between Sarnia and Toronto on Wednesday and Thursday, as well as an early morning train from Sarnia to London, Ont., on Friday. It said trains would still be operating between Toronto and London, Ont.The Transportation Safety Board said it was sending a team of investigators to the site of the derailment.“The TSB will gather information and assess the occurrence,” it said in a statement.Some Strathroy residents said the derailment was the talk of the town on Wednesday.Stu Solomon, a local business owner, said the crash happened near the community’s downtown core.“There’s a lot of walking traffic going by to look,” he said. “That’s what most of the commotion is.”James Poag, a jewellery shop owner in the town’s core said the emergency response to the derailment was “impressive for the size of the town.”“The emergency response to keep everyone informed as to which crossings were opened was so well put together this morning,’ said Poag, who said that none of his employees had trouble getting to work this morning.“It’s really caused less of an angry response than they might have gotten.”The municipality had closed most of the railroad crossings linking north and south Strathroy shortly after the derailment occurred, but most crossings have since re-opened, Vanderheyden said.last_img read more

Both engines running when plane crashed in remote northern Saskatchewan TSB

first_imgWINNIPEG – Investigators have eliminated engine failure as the cause of a passenger plane crash in northern Saskatchewan.All 25 people on board the West Wind Aviation plane survived, albeit seven with serious injuries, when it went down near the Fond du Lac airstrip after taking off on Dec. 13.There was no explosion or fire on impact.The Transportation Safety Board says investigators examined both engines at the crash site and recovered the flight data recorder. The recorder has been sent to a lab in Ottawa for further analysis, but investigators say preliminary results confirm the engines were running until the plane hit the trees and the ground.“What we have learned so far is that the engines were operating up to the point of impact,” Eric Vermette, a regional manager for the TSB, said at a briefing in Winnipeg on Wednesday. “Our investigators are wrapping up the field phase of the operation and will be leaving once the aircraft is moved to a secure location.“The examination and analysis phase is just starting and there is much work to be done.”Vermette said they will also look at the fact all 25 passengers and crew survived.“Part of the accident investigation is to look at the survivability of this accident,” said Vermette. “It is quite remarkable there was no fire, so that’s good news.”They haven’t yet determined what caused the crash, but investigators are still looking at weather conditions, runway length, aircraft maintenance, pilot training and operational policies.They are also weighing the luggage that was on board the flight, but have yet to conclude whether the flight was over its weight limit.Vermette said there’s no timeline for investigators to rule on the cause of the crash.“We take the time required to ensure that we do a thorough investigation,” he said. “We will take the time required to make sure we’ve looked at all aspects and report on those ….“If we do come up with any safety deficiencies as part of our investigation, we won’t sit on it and wait for the report to come out.”West Wind Aviation has grounded its other twin-engine ATR42-320 planes for the time being.— By Colette Derworiz in Edmontonlast_img read more

Prime Minister sides with approval of Kinder Morgan pipeline in interprovincial dispute

first_imgIt didn’t take long for the Alberta/British Columbia dispute to find its way to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Winnipeg town hall Wednesday evening.The prime minister was asked a question by a member of the Manitoba First Nations.Clayton Thomas-Muller began his question by telling him he supported the announcement of the British Columbia to place a new moratorium on “tar sands” shipments to the coast.“I support it because I believe in climate action, clean water and in respecting Indigenous rights,” he said.“You said yourself, only communities grant permission for massive pipelines, now it’s time for you to live up to your word. We already know that First Nation municipalities and people all across B.C. do not consent to Kinder Morgan. Now the B.C. government has made its position clear as well by blocking new tar sands shipments. Will you support the actions of First Nations, the B.C. government, and their citizens or will you stand behind big oil and tear our country apart by going against the B.C. government on the Kinder Morgan pipeline?”Trudeau rejected the premise of the ultimatum in his question and began by telling the room, provinces often have disagreements with one another on policy and programs.“My job at the federal level is to always stand up for the interests of all Canadians, that’s why we put in place a process understanding that you can’t make a choice between what’s good for the environment and what’s good for the economy, you have to make sure you’re taking care of both of them fully at the same time,” he replied.According to the prime minister, that’s why they went through the consultation process and added there have been voices both against and in favour of the pipeline in British Columbia.“We made a determination on Kinder Morgan as being in the national interest, now let me tell you something, I grew up spending my summers in B.C., my mom’s family is from B.C., I grew up on that coast. If I thought there was a danger to beautiful British Columbia’s coast we would not have approved the Kinder Morgan pipeline.”Trudeau says they moved forward on that pipeline while making historic investments into ocean protection. They also moved forward on the national carbon pricing plan that almost every province in the country has agreed to put on a national price on carbon.“Reducing our emission is essential,” he said. “Now there are folks out there who still think it’s a choice, protect the environment or grow the economy but what Canadians now, what I know and even what you know sir I’m sure is we need to both create a better future for Canadians and protect our environment at the same time.”The website reverential ecology refers to Thomas-Muller as an activist for Indigenous self-determination and environmental justice.last_img read more

Canadians creating more waste and lack coordinated way to deal with it

first_imgAn extensive report by the three countries in the North American Free Trade Agreement suggests Canadian homes and kitchens continue to generate more and more waste.And the Commission For Environmental Co-operation concludes there’s a big role for the federal government to help deal with it, starting with co-ordinating the handling of organic garbage from households across the country and helping create markets for products generated through recycled waste.“To have standards available that allow purchasers or agricultural users to know what they’re getting is something that we see has a real potential value,” said report co-author David Donaldson. “That’s one area that real co-ordination at a national level could be useful.”Environment Canada said federal, provincial and territorial governments are working to find solutions to waste issues.In recent years the governments released guidelines on compost quality and are working to increase the amount of organic waste diverted from landfills.“Increasing organic waste diversion is one of the ongoing priority areas of work,” the department said in an email.The federal government also provides money to municipalities for recycling projects through the $675 million Green Municipal Fund.Non-hazardous waste is a provincial and local responsibility in Canada, making it tough to get current information on waste and how it is disposed, Donaldson said. The most recent information in his report is six years old.But that’s enough to suggest that Canadians, already among the world’s champion garbage creators, are making more of it.Residential food, yard and paper waste per person increased from about 230 kilograms per person in 2002 to almost 300 by 2012.“We, as North Americans, are very good at consuming,” Donaldson said.Less than a third of that waste is diverted from landfills into recycling, composting or other such facilities.Simply dumping that material into a hole in the ground squanders an opportunity to turn that waste into a valuable commodity such as soil compost, Donaldson said.It also wastes existing capacity. The study suggests that Canadian composters are underused by 38 per cent and could take 1.6 million more tonnes of waste than they currently do.The report says a national agency is needed to collect data and share best practices. In Nova Scotia, for example, disposing waste in clear bags instead of black ones lets recyclers see what’s inside more easily and has increased organics and recyclables diversion by up to 40 per cent.A consistent product, assuring consumers that compost they buy has the same qualities whether they buy it in Saskatoon or Chicoutimi, Que., would go a long way toward building a market. That’s a job for a federal group, said Donaldson.Governments can also increase recycling by making it more expensive to simply toss waste in the landfill.In Alberta, landfill tipping fees are as low as $25 per tonne, while it costs at least twice that to run a small composting operation, says the report.“It does create a disincentive for organizations to dispose of organic waste in a way that would be ideal,” Donaldson said.Government can also provide incentives for energy created during treatment of organic waste such as biogas to feed back into the system.And they can also provide the education and information to encourage Canadians to generate less waste in the first place.The benefits are big, from reducing taxes spent on landfills to increasing the productivity of agricultural soils. Improving the handling of organic waste could even cut 3.4 megatonnes from Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions as dumps release less methane and carbon dioxide.Recycling organic waste mimics natural cycles, said Donaldson.“You’ve really taken from the land when you grow food,” he said.“You’re taking these nutrients and you’re not returning them. Just that capacity to use nature and benefit from that is an important place to start.”— Follow Bob Weber on Twitter at @row1960Note to readers: This is a corrected story. Previous version used Council on in name of organization in para 2last_img read more