New Delhi: Amid speculation that Congress President Rahul Gandhi may offer to resign, a Congress Working Committee (CWC) meeting is scheduled on Saturday to look into the reasons for the party’s Lok Sabha elections debacle and decide on its further course of action to take on the BJP, which has grown in strength over the last five years. Rahul Gandhi has taken full responsibility for the party’s poll defeat and there is speculation that he may offer to resign at the CWC meeting. Also Read – Dussehra with a ‘green’ twist However, the party leaders are backing him strongly and have said that the blame for party’s poor showing cannot be put on any one individual. At the CWC meet, Rahul Gandhi and other party leaders are expected to give their assessment of what went wrong and the remedial steps that must be taken. There was reports of Rahul Gandhi having offered to resign on Thursday, after the results, but the Congress denied those. Rahul Gandhi himself answered the question at a press conference he addressed later in the day. “We will have a meeting of the Working Committee. That you can leave between me and the Working Committee,” he said. Also Read – India receives its first Rafale fighter jet from France He also admitted that the road for the party was long and tough, but asked party workers and leaders not to lose heart. The Congress has won 52 seats in the elections, just eight more than the 44 it won in 2014. Rahul Gandhi was a prominent face in both the elections. The party won a single seat (Rae Bareli) in Uttar Pradesh, but Rahul Gandhi himself failed to retain his family bation of Amethi in India’s biggest state. The loss is likely to have implications not just on Congress’ revival plans in Uttar Pradesh, but also on his own political standing as a leader. He won from Kerala’s Wayanad. The results show that Rahul Gandhi, who became the Congress chief in 2017, has not been able to galvanise the party to offer a strong counter against the BJP, which has handed the main opposition party its worst electoral outcomes. The Congress scored a nil in 18 states and Union territories in these elections, and failed to dent the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the Hindi heartland states of Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh, where it formed governments last year. It delayed formation of an alliance in Bihar following which the opposition could win only one seat in the state. Its poor electoral strategy has allowed saffron party to become a dominant force in West Bengal and strengthen itself further in Karnataka. The party is again unlikely to have its own Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha as it does not have the minimum strength required to get the status as per rules. Nine former chief ministers and the party’s leader in the Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge are among some of Congress’ prominent losers.
Mumbai: Dressed nattily — in black and white suits, and sporting blue ties, the cast of upcoming Bollywood film “83” has left for the London round of its shooting schedule. The movie will trace India’s historic victory at the 1983 cricket World Cup. Ranveer Singh, who leads the cast of the Kabir Khan directorial playing the role of former Indian skipper Kapil Dev, chose to call the squad “Kapil’s Devils”. The rest of the cast, includes Saqib Saleem, Adinath Kothare, Chirag Patil, Harddy Sandhu, Ammy Virk, Jatin Sarna, Pankaj Tripathi, Tahir Raj Bhasin, Dinker Sharma, Jiiva, Sahil Khattar, Dhairya Karwa, Nishant Dahhiya and R Badree. Also Read – ‘Will be acting till I die’ “About to embark on a remarkable cinematic journey. Proud, blessed,” tweeted Ranveer Singh on Tuesday. “Let the games begin,” tweeted Salim, who will play Mohinder Amarnath on the screen. The young actor also shared a video of his moustached look, and wrote: “Jimmy is ready, Jimmy is about to embark on this beautiful journey… I am super excited to be a part of this film. Boys, this is going to be itihasik (historical).” ’83’ is being presented by Reliance Entertainment, and will release on April 10, 2020 in Hindi, Tamil and Telugu.
New Delhi: Brett Lee knows a thing or two about being part of great bowling lineups. In his illustrious international career, Lee has shared the dressing room with Glenn McGrath, Shane Warne, Jason Gillespie and then the generation that came after that included a young and fiery Shaun Tait and Mitchell Johnson. So when the 42-year-old former pacer says that the current Indian bowling line up can help the team dominate world cricket, it is high praise. Also Read – We don’t ask for kind of tracks we get: Bowling coach Arun”India have got a good pace line up,” Lee said. “This is the first time we are seeing some real pace throughout India. They have a lot of youngsters coming through and obviously there are the likes of (Mohammed) Shami and (Jasprit) Bumrah; the Indian bowling stocks right now are very healthy. “So as a foreigner coming to your country it is great to see. There is no reason why India can’t dominate world cricket because of their bowling,” he said. Lee’s own former team Australia, who have had a torrid time in ODI over the past two years, seem to have found form at the right time and he feels they can go “as far as they want” in the World Cup beginning on Thursday.
New Delhi: The Delhi High Court Wednesday sought the response of the Centre on a PIL seeking implementation of measures to control the country’s rising population on the grounds that it was the root cause of the rise in crimes, pollution and the dearth of resources and jobs.A bench of Chief Justice Rajendra Menon and Justice Brijesh Sethi issued a notice to the Ministry of Home Affairs and the Law Commission of India seeking their stand on the plea which was listed for hearing next on September 3. Also Read – Dussehra with a ‘green’ twistThe petition by BJP leader Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay, who is also a lawyer, has sought implementation of the recommendations for population control made by the National Commission to Review the Working of the Constitution (NCRWC) headed by Justice Venkatchaliah. “The NCRWC, after making immense efforts for two years and elaborate discussion, had suggested addition of Article 47A in the Constitution and formulation of Population Control Law. “Till now the Constitution has been amended 125 times, hundreds of new laws have been enacted, but population control law, utterly required for country, is not made, though it will curtail more than 50 per cent problems of India,” the petition has said. It has also sought an order from the court declaring that the Centre “may set two-child norm, as a criteria for government jobs, aids and subsidies, and, may withdraw statutory rights viz. right to vote, right to contest, right to property, right to free shelter, right to free legal aid”, for not complying with it.
New Delhi: Delhi University attributed another delay in enrolling the 30 new courses at both under graduation and post graduation level in around 20 colleges, which was approved during the academic council meeting in January and were also approved to get enrolled in this academic session. However, sources informed that with some more reasons the entire DU admission process will be delayed again and expecting the first cut off on June 22. The official also said that the council has approved to increase around 232 seats in two colleges and also given nod to introduce 10 vocational courses in the some colleges from this session but the university is not gearing up to all these new courses in this academic session. Also Read – Kejriwal ‘denied political clearance’ to attend climate meet in Denmark”The courses are presently taught at other colleges in the university. With this decision, these courses will now be available at more colleges. The council has also given nod to introduce 10 vocational courses in some colleges from the upcoming session,” Hansraj Suman, an AC member, said. The committees approved to introduce the following undergraduate courses in these colleges: BA (H) in Bhimrao Ambedkar College; BA (H) in Economics in Dayal Singh College (evening) and Guru Nanak Dev Khalsa College; BA (H) in Philosophy in Hasraj College; BA (H) in Psychology in Laxmibai College and Bhaskaracharya College; BA (H) in History Dyal Singh College; BA (H) in Political Science in Bhimrao Ambedkar College; BA (H) Hindi Journalism and Mass Communication in Jesus and Mary College, and BSc (H) in environmental science in Vivekananda College and Indraprastha College for women, among others. Also Read – Bangla Sahib Gurudwara bans use of all types of plastic itemsMoreover, MA in English at Shri Gurunank Dev College), MA in Hindi at Sri Venkateswara College and Shaheed Bhagat Singh College, and MSc in operational research at Shaheed Sukhdev College of Business Studies and Keshav College, courses have been approved. However, the number of seats in BA (programme) at Hansraj College has been increased from 40 to 200 from the next academic session. Also, the number of seats in BSc program at Aditi Mahavidhlaya has been increased from 55 to 80. The college will also admit 50 more students in B Com (H) from the next academic session,” the minutes mentioned. Professor, Hansraj Suman, Member, Academic Council said, “These course are approved by the varsity, but the colleges would face difficulties in commencing these courses as principals of these colleges informd that though permission have been granted to run these courses but teachers have not been appointed to teach these courses. However, the UGC has also said that the colleges msut manage to run these courses with sactioned post in the respective colleges.” The professor also said that authorites can take loan from Higher Education Financing Agency (HEFA) to pay the payment for these new teachers.
Karachi: Pakistan’s humiliating defeat to India in a World Cup game in England was due to feud among players and their unhappiness with captain Sarfaraz Ahmed, local media reported Monday. A defeat to arch-rivals India is always difficult to digest for the passionate Pakistani cricket community anywhere in the world and particularly when it is in a World Cup. A day after the defeat in Manchester on Sunday, the media here ran stories about groupings in the team and how some players wanted to topple the captain. Also Read – Djokovic heaps praise on ‘very complete’ MedvedevThe ‘Samaa’ news channel reported that soon after he got out, Sarfaraz allegedly lost his cool in the dressing room and accused some players including Imad Wasim and Imam-ul-Haq, of forming a group against him and not supporting him. The ‘Duniya’ news channel did a similar report about how there were different groups in the team — one led by Muhammad Aamir and another led by Imad — which were letting Sarfaraz down. After the defeat to Australia, a well-known actor and cricket fan had released a voice message on the social media where he blamed Shoaib Malik, Imad, Inam and Babar among others of forming a group against Sarfaraz which had led to problems in the team. Some newspapers on Monday also hinted at internal problems within the team. Also Read – Mary Kom enters quarterfinals, Saweety Boora bows out of World C’shipsBut when PTI contacted two players in the Pakistan team, they denied any groupings but confirmed that Sarfaraz returned to the dressing room very angry and let go at some players. “But it was more out of frustration and I don’t recall him blaming anyone or talking about groupings in the team but he did say the players needed to give more,” the player said on condition of anonymity. He insisted that all the players were heartbroken and depressed after the defeat to India but had not given up hope of qualifying for the semi-finals. “Even after we lost to Australia we had meetings to encourage each other and to discuss the areas where we had gone wrong. But when you are not doing well we tend to see these speculative stories in Pakistan media,” he said. Some former players have also hinted at problems in the team but former captain Moin Khan said it was the duty of the Pakistan Cricket Board to back its management. “It is normal in our country that when the team is not doing well in a major event or otherwise there is always talk about problems in the dressing room,” he said. Moin said he fully backed Sarfaraz although key mistakes were made against Australia and India. “The point of concern is that our fielding and catching standards have been very shoddy and that has not helped,” he said.
Chandigarh: Film actor and Gurdaspur MP Sunny Deol has been asked to explain his poll expenditure during the recent Lok Sabha elections after it was found to have crossed the statutory limit of Rs 70 lakh, an official said on Wednesday.The notice to Deol to “reconcile” his poll expenditure account was issued by Gurdaspur District Election Officer-cum-Deputy Commissioner Vipul Ujjwal. His poll expenditure was found to be more than Rs 70 lakh limit, said Ujjwal. Also Read – Cong may promise farm loan waiver in HaryanaDeol was elected MP from Gurdaspur Lok Sabha seat. He defeated Congress nominee Sunil Jakhar with a margin of 82,459 votes. Though Ujjwal refused to comment on the election expenditure figure, official sources said as per preliminary calculations, Deol’s poll expenditure was found to be Rs 86 lakh. Ujjwal said the amount of Deol’s poll expenditure was not a final figure. We have issued a notice to him (Deol) for reconciliation of accounts and the final figure of the poll expenditure will be known only after the reconciliation and settlement of the accounts, he said. It is too early to comment on the overspending right now, added Ujjwal. Also Read – Modi formed OBC commission which earlier govts didn’t do: ShahFor Lok Sabha candidates, the statutory poll expenditure limit has been fixed at Rs 70 lakh. Deol’s poll expenditure was found to be in excess of the limit among all other candidates in the Gurdaspur Lok Sabha constituency, officials said. The reconciliation of accounts is likely to continue till June 22 and 23. Ujjwal further said after the elections, every candidate was issued notice for the reconciliation of their accounts. It is a normal statutory notice, he added. Earlier on May 15, the Election Commission had issued directions for adding Rs 1.74 lakh to Deol’s poll expenditure after he failed to respond to its query about a Facebook page being run in his support. The order had come on a complaint by the Punjab Congress, which claimed the Facebook page, ‘Fans of Sunny Deol’, was being run without any prior permission of the poll watchdog.
Mumbai: The rupee appreciated by 6 paise to 68.83 against the US dollar in opening trade Thursday, tracking positive opening in domestic equities and easing crude oil prices. Forex traders said rupee is trading in a narrow range as market participants are awaiting cues from the Economic Survey scheduled to be tabled in Parliament Thursday. The rupee opened strong at 68.86 at the interbank forex market then gained further to touch 68.83 per dollar, displaying gains of 6 paise over the previous closing. Also Read – Maruti cuts production for 8th straight month in Sep On Wednesday, the rupee had settled at 68.89 against the US dollar. Ahead of the Union Budget Friday, an economic survey projecting the state of health of the country’s economy and outlining the challenges will be tabled in Parliament Thursday. Moreover, easing crude oil prices, positive opening in domestic equities supported the rupee. The benchmark BSE Sensex was trading 84.86 points, or 0.21 per cent up to quote at 39,924.11 while the NSE Nifty was trading at 11,945.70, higher by 28.95 points, or 0.24 per cent. Brent crude, the global benchmark, was trading at 63.38 per barrel lower by 0.69 per cent. Meanwhile, foreign institutional investors (FIIs) remained net sellers in the capital markets, pulling out Rs 390.18 crore on Wednesday, as per provisional data.
NEW DELHI: Delhi Police has arrested five people in two cases including theft case of a UP legislator (BJP) from Hathras, Hari Shankar Manohar, was robbed off his personal belongings and cash near Apollo Hospital’s parking by tricking the driver.Accused persons used to particularly target only those vehicles in which only driver were sitting and there used to be a laptop or luggage bag on the car seat. Accused persons used to follow the target vehicle on motorcycle and TSR. The accused used to spread currency notes on the road and then point-out to the driver towards the currency notes, luring them to pick them up while picking up the money, the other gang members swiftly open the car gate from opposite side and remove the bag kept on the seat and fled away with the booty in a hired auto in which Murugan, one of the accused used to supervise the entire operation. Also Read – Bangla Sahib Gurudwara bans use of all types of plastic items20 notes of Rs 10 denomination, two laptops, documents, one country made pistol and two live cartridges, Rs 18,000 cash, foreign currency notes were also recovered. During sustained interrogation, accused persons disclosed that they are native of Trichy, Tamil Nadu and work for Murugan and Govindan. Both Murugan and Govindan, allure young alcohol addicted and unemployed youths and bring them to Delhi for stealing bags from vehicles with different modus operandi. In another incident in Pul Prahladpur, two men have been arrested who used to puncture cars and beak window panes with the help of stones. “Thereafter, accused persons used to punctured the target car to distract the driver and point-out to the driver about the puncture. Once the driver comes out of the car, accused persons swiftly pull out the bag from the car,” said Chinmoy Biswal, DCP South East.
New Delhi: A man has been arrested in Delhi for divorcing his wife after pronouncing the word ‘talaq’ thrice, police said Saturday. The arrest was made after a complaint was lodged in north Delhi’s Bara Hindu Rao police station on Friday. The 29-year-old woman got married to Atir Shamim, a resident of Azad Market area, in November, 2011. “On June 23, her husband pronounced talaq three times upon her and sent a fatwah on Whatsapp mentioning that triple talaq was pronounced,” said Nupur Prasad, Deputy Commissioner of Police (North). He has been booked under the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Act, 2019, the officer said. The law, which came into being last week, makes talaq-e-biddat or any other similar form of talaq having the effect of instantaneous and irrevocable divorce pronounced by a Muslim husband void and illegal.
Moscow: Russian opposition politician Ilya Yashin was detained moments after his release from jail on Sunday after completing a 10-day sentence for his role in Moscow’s recent wave of protests. “I have been detained once again outside the jail,” Yashin said on his Twitter account. He posted a video of a policeman saying he was being detained for urging people to take part in unsanctioned protests. The video shows Yashin being escorted into a police van. Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince ‘snubbed’ Pak PM, recalled jet from USYashin was one of several opposition figures excluded from Moscow’s upcoming local elections, triggering a month of protests in the Russian capital. Sunday’s scenario was the same as that following a 10-day sentence meted out after Yashin was arrested ahead of a July 27 unsanctioned protest in Moscow that led to more than 1,400 arrests. After completing the term, he was detained upon his release on August 8 and given an additional 10 days in jail. The Russian opposition has staged several large protests in Moscow this month demanding free elections. The rallies were the biggest since mass protests broke out in 2011 against President Vladimir Putin’s return to the Kremlin after a term as prime minister.
New Delhi: After former Union Minister Jairam Ramesh, his party colleague and senior Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi said on Friday that “demonising Prime Minister Narendra Modi is wrong” and that acts should be judged “issue-wise, and not person-wise”. “Always said demonising Modi wrong. Not only is he PM of nation, a one way opposition actually helps him. Acts are always good, bad and indifferent — they must be judged issue wise and not person wise. Certainly, Ujjawala scheme is only one amongst other good deeds. #Jairamramesh,” Singhvi said in a tweet. Also Read – India gets first tranche of Swiss bank a/c details Singhvi’s remarks came a day after Ramesh said at a book launch that it was “time we recognise Prime Minister Modi’s work and what he did between 2014 and 2019 due to which he was voted back to power by over 30 per cent of the electorate.” Ramesh said that Modi spoke a language that connected him with the people. “Unless we recognise that he is doing things which people recognise and which have not been done in the past, we are not going to be able to confront this guy. Also Read – Tourists to be allowed in J&K from Thursday “Also, if you are going to demonise him all the time, you are not going to be able to confront him,” he said, adding that he was not asking anyone to applaud the Prime Minister but just wanted the political class to “recognise the traits he has brought to governance,” said Ramesh. The Congress in recent times has witnessed difference of opinion within the party with many leaders supporting the Modi government’s move to abrogate Article 370, which granted special status to J&K, and bifurcate of the state into two Union Territories — — Jammu and Kashmir with an Assembly and Ladakh sans one.
New Delhi: Ravichandran Ashwin is all set to join Delhi Capitals for the next edition of IPL after Kings XI Punjab decided to release their skipper of last two seasons. KXIP releasing Ashwin was on expected lines after the franchise finished seventh in 2018 and sixth in 2019 under his leadership. “Ashwin’s release approval is already with the BCCI and an announcement is likely soon. Delhi Capitals showed interested in him and KXIP, after thinking it through, felt they needed a younger spinner in the squad,” a source close to the development said. Also Read – Puducherry on top after 8-wkt win over ChandigarhAfter finishing runners-up in 2014, KXIP have not made the IPL play-offs. The franchise has under-performed since IPL’s inaugural season in 2008 and along with Delhi are the two franchises, who have not won the title. Last week, Delhi Capitals advisor Sourav Ganguly had said the team would be happy to have the services of 32-year-old Ashwin, who is no more a certainty in the Indian Test playing XI, having all but permanently lost his slot in the white ball format. The franchise will only think about the new captain once the head coach is appointed. Former New Zealand head coach Mike Hesson, who was in charge of KXIP in 2019, has joined Royal Challengers Bangalore as director of Cricket Operations after not being picked for the India head coach job.
Six stories in the news for Wednesday, May 17———PM TRUDEAU TO PROMOTE CANADIAN TECH AT MICROSOFT MEETINGPrime Minister Justin Trudeau is expected to pitch major companies on investing in Canada’s technology sector today, joining top business leaders inside the closed-door Microsoft CEO Summit in Redmond, Wash. Trudeau’s visit comes as U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration poses both challenges and opportunities for Canada’s high-tech industry. Trudeau’s office says he is the first sitting head of government or state to be invited to address the annual gathering of CEOs.———REPORT: OPIOID PRESCRIBING IN ONTARIO HITS NEW HIGHSA new report says almost two million Ontarians — or 14 per cent of the province’s population — filled prescriptions for opioids in fiscal year 2015-2016. The report, by Health Quality Ontario, suggests patients continue to receive the potent narcotics despite efforts to curtail what’s been called a national epidemic of overuse. The agency found that more than nine million prescriptions for the painkillers were filled between April 1, 2015, and March 31, 2016, the most recent fiscal year for which data is available.———LIBERALS BRIEF ALLIES ON NEW DEFENCE POLICYThe Liberal government has been providing select allies with what officials say is a broad overview of its long-awaited defence policy update, even as Canadians wait for the specifics. Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan says the government will release the details on June 7 after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau meets with fellow NATO leaders. But The Canadian Press has learned that Sajjan has already briefed counterparts from Britain, Australia and New Zealand.———VICTIMS TO SPEAK AT HEARING OF SCHOOL SHOOTERSome victims of a school shooting in Saskatchewan will read victim impact statements today at a sentencing hearing for the teenage shooter. The hearing began Tuesday for the teen who killed two brothers at a home in La Loche in January 2016 before killing a teacher and a teacher’s aide and wounding seven others at the high school. The teen has pleaded guilty to all charges, including two counts of first-degree murder.———THIRD N.S. CANDIDATE LOST TO WEB POSTINGSInappropriate language left on the Internet has been exacting a toll on the list of political hopefuls in Nova Scotia’s election, with a third candidate forced to withdraw. The Tories say their candidate for Dartmouth South, Jad Crnogorac, was dropped because of her social media postings. Her tweets included an off-colour joke about a date rape drug referred to as “roofies,” and a comment that white people not winning Black Entertainment Television awards is an example of “inequality.”———OILFIELD SERVICE PROVIDERS STEP UP MERGER ACTIVITYCanadian drillers and other oilfield service providers have stepped up merger and acquisition activity, with more deals expected in coming months, as players battered by more than two years of weak oil prices look to lower costs and strengthen finances by scaling up. Crude prices have stabilized from the lows of early 2016 and the big energy companies that hire drillers are increasing spending from depressed levels.———ALSO IN THE NEWS TODAY:— Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will be greeted at city hall by Mayor Denis Coderre on the exact day of Montreal’s 375th birthday.— Trudeau will also attend a ceremony commemorating the founders of Montreal before heading to Redmond, Wash.— Statistics Canada will release the monthly survey of manufacturing for March.— Interim Conservative Party Leader Rona Ambrose will address the national caucus.— Supporters of Hassan Diab, a Canadian citizen detained in France, hold a vigil outside the prime minister’s office.— Princess Margriet of the Netherlands and Professor Pieter van Vollenhoven wrap up their trip to Ontario.
OTTAWA – The federal government says it has reached a self-governance agreement with 23 Ontario First Nations, the largest such deal of its kind in Canada.The agreement with Anishinabek Nation First Nations, the culmination of more than 20 years of negotiations, grants communities greater control over education on reserve from junior kindergarten to Grade 12.It also allows First Nations to more administrative control of funding for post-secondary education.The deal shows the federal government’s commitment to advancing self-determination for First Nations and sets the stage to inspire change in other communities, Indigenous Affairs Minister Carolyn Bennett said Wednesday following the announcement in Chippewas of Rama First Nation.“The evidence is clear: First Nations-led and First Nations-governed education systems, which ensure culturally appropriate and quality education, achieve better results for First Nation students,” Bennett said in a statement.First Nation communities have long sought the authority to educate their own children, said Anishinabek Nation Grand Council Chief Patrick Wedaseh Madahbee.“I am pleased that the Anishinabek Nation Education Agreement is finalized,” he said. “This will provide the foundation of strength, hope, pride, and academic excellence for our children for generations to come.”Ottawa said the agreement also allows additional Anishinabek Nation First Nations and other communities in the province to sign on to the deal in the future.It said the next step will be to craft and pass federal legislation to give the agreement the force of law, noting the parties will have to agree on a date for the final agreement to come into effect.A complementary education agreement was also announced Wednesday with Ontario designed to outline the partnership between the new Anishinabek Education System and the provincially funded education system.“This agreement, rooted in a deep commitment to meaningful reconciliation, is the first of its kind in Ontario,” said Indigenous Relations Minister David Zimmer.The agreement, however, remains conditional upon the official signing of the education self-government agreement between the federal government and participating First Nations, Ontario said.—Follow @kkirkup on Twitter
GOULDS, N.L. – Newfoundland’s wildly popular Chase the Ace saga will soon fold.The province has approved an exit date of Aug. 30 if the winning card is not drawn next Wednesday at a church on the outskirts of St. John’s, N.L.Lineups for last Wednesday’s draw began overnight at the St. Kevin’s Parish hall in Goulds for a jackpot that reached $1.7 million.Firefighter Jason Wood drew the ace of diamonds for a consolation prize of just over $210,000 — leaving nine cards left.The province says if the ace of spades isn’t drawn next week, details will be announced for a final draw Aug. 30.Organizers have said they didn’t want the draw to interfere with school, which starts in early September in the building next door to the parish hall.Goulds has been inundated with crowds for Chase the Ace, buying numbered tickets for about $5 each.The winner gets a percentage of total ticket sales and a bigger jackpot if they pull the ace of spades from a deck of cards that gets smaller with each draw.
ST. JOHN’S, N.L. – She was 12, and seeking an abortion after being sexually assaulted and impregnated by her stepfather.A report released Wednesday found Newfoundland and Labrador’s child protection system responded inadequately to her case, and missed opportunities to intervene.It took two more years, and a second abortion, before the girl told authorities in another province about the abuse, according to the report from the province’s child and youth advocate.“It was really shocking and it was saddening to see that this could happen to this little girl of 12 years old,” said Jacqueline Lake Kavanagh.Kavanagh says questions weren’t asked, risk wasn’t assessed, and consents were not appropriately obtained when the girl sought and ultimately obtained an abortion after saying she had become pregnant through consensual sex with her teenaged boyfriend.“She received inadequate screening and assessments, which potentially enabled the sexual abuse of the child to continue,” Kavanagh wrote.“Had appropriate measures been taken when this child presented to terminate her pregnancy, or when child protection concerns were reported, the abuse may potentially have been detected and stopped.”The report said the family lived in Newfoundland and Labrador for about five months before moving to another province, where the girl told authorities two years later that she had repeatedly been sexually assaulted by her stepfather over a period of 26 months, resulting in two abortions.The stepfather pleaded guilty in the case and to other offences including sexual assault on other individuals, and was sentenced to 16 years in prison.The report says that shortly after arriving in Newfoundland and Labrador, the stepfather took the girl to a Planned Parenthood medical clinic seeking an abortion.The man claimed to be the girl’s biological father even though he wasn’t — the girl’s mother lived outside the province and wasn’t involved.The report says although the girl said she had consensual sex with her boyfriend, questions were’t asked about his age and the stepfather’s guardianship status wasn’t verified.The child was referred to the Eastern Health Authority for an abortion where again, age-appropriate screening and counselling services weren’t offered.“The surgery was performed despite two sections of the consent form being incomplete, one of which included the legal capacity of the stepfather to sign for consent,” the report states.The child was discharged from the hospital with her stepfather with no further followup.The report says officials with the Department of Children, Seniors and Social Development (CSSD) became involved a month later, after multiple protection referrals, including one that alleged the stepfather had physically abused the 12-year-old and one of her siblings.Although the CSSD conducted some followup interviews, the child’s grandmother and stepfather eventually became unco-operative, with the stepfather claiming harassment and the grandmother refusing to allow the children to be interviewed.The family moved out of the province after four months of sporadic contact with authorities.“Essentially she was a little girl going through an adult health care system and the responses really hadn’t been set up and tailored to the needs of the child,” Kavanagh said. “There’s a red flag that should go up when a 12-year-old girl comes in pregnant.”The report says the province’s health care system needs better co-ordination of services, while health care professionals need better knowledge of child protection legislation and the CSSD needs “appropriate protective intervention and follow up.”“Work together, find out who your resources are, develop your training programs or whatever methodology that you are going to use and share it,” said Kavanagh.Noni Classen, director of education at the Canadian Centre for Child Protection in Winnipeg, said in light of the report, child protection systems across the country could stand to revisit how they deal with young children in similar circumstances.She said if there aren’t specific protocols in place, there need to be.“Right at 12 there should be an automatic response to engage in an inquiry into what’s going on,” Classen said.– By Keith Doucette in Halifax
Highlights from the news file for Monday, Nov. 6———CANADA SEEKING TRANS-PACIFIC PARTNERSHIP CHANGES IN 3 YEARS: Canadian negotiators are pushing for three key changes to the original Trans-Pacific Partnership as leaders of the remaining countries interested in reviving the controversial treaty prepare to meet this week. A senior government official says Ottawa’s negotiating team is seeking modifications to the original TPP deal in many areas — but primarily in the intellectual-property provisions, its approach on cultural exemptions and Canada’s supply management system for dairy, poultry and eggs. The 11 remaining TPP economies have moved ahead with talks in recent months in an effort to resurrect the Pacific Rim deal after U.S. President Donald Trump withdrew earlier this year.———NEW MONTREAL MAYOR WANTS TO GET GOING ON PROJECTS: Montreal’s new mayor says she wants to get going quickly on projects with the provincial and federal governments, including the creation of a 29-stop subway line. “We can’t wait five, 10 years — the (infrastructure) money is there now,” Valerie Plante said Monday, a day after causing a major surprise by winning more than 51 per cent of the vote to defeat incumbent Denis Coderre. Plante is promising open and transparent government and noted her leadership style is starkly different from Coderre’s. Plante, 43, said she was “honoured” at becoming Montreal’s first female mayor. Her campaign promises included improving public transit and lessening road congestion, as well as adding green spaces and social housing.———TEXAS CHURCH ATTACK STEMMED FROM DOMESTIC SITUATION: The gunman who opened fire in a small Texas church, killing 26 people during worship services, sent threatening text messages to his mother-in-law before the attack and had been confronted about domestic violence at least twice in the last five years, authorities said Monday. The deadliest mass shooting in state history claimed multiple members of some families, with the dead ranging from 18 months to 77 years old, and tore gaping holes in a town with a population of just 400 people. The massacre, which happened Sunday morning, appeared to stem from a domestic situation and was not motivated by religion, Texas Department of Public Safety regional director Freeman Martin said.———LAWYERS FOR ONTARIO ACTRESS CAN’T FIND WEINSTEIN: A lawsuit against Harvey Weinstein alleging the Hollywood mogul sexually assaulted an Ontario actress nearly two decades ago is being allowed to proceed even though lawyers have not been able to track him down. A Toronto court gave the woman’s lawyers permission to file a statement of claim Monday despite their failure to serve Weinstein and his former assistant, who is also named as a defendant, with legal documents. Alex Smith, who represents the actress, said they tried and failed to serve Weinstein at his home in Westport, Conn., and believe he could also be in Phoenix, Ariz., or somewhere in Europe. The court issued an order Monday for substituted service, meaning lawyers can take other means to serve the defendants with the lawsuit instead of doing so in person.———CHRETIEN, BRONFMAN DENY OFFSHORE TAX HAVEN LINK: A former Liberal prime minister and the party’s top fundraiser are firing back at reports that raise questions about their connections to offshore tax havens. Former prime minister Jean Chretien and businessman Stephen Bronfman both say reports suggesting they were involved in any tax avoidance scheme are false. The pair are among more than 3,000 Canadian individuals and entities whose names come up in a leak of some 13.4 million financial records, dubbed the Paradise Papers, that outline details of offshore accounts that could be used to avoid paying high tax rates. Neither the CRA nor any court has determined the Canadians did anything wrong. Among the leaked records is a register of investors in Madagascar Oil, which lists Chretien as having received 100,000 stock options. Chretien says Madagascar Oil was a client of Heenan Blaikie, a now-defunct Canadian law firm. As a lawyer with the firm, Chretien said he did some work for Madagascar Oil but all fees were billed by and paid to the law firm itself.———FAMILIES LOSING PATIENCE FOR NO-FLY KID WOES: A gaggle of young constituents — and their parents — descended on Parliament Hill on Monday to press politicians to resolve ongoing airport hassles children face due to security list snags. Ten families from the group known as the No Fly List Kids planned to make their case to MPs and ministers with the aim of ensuring that funding for a new computer system to fix the problem is included in the 2018 federal budget. Parents of children who have repeatedly endured nerve-wracking airport delays because a youngster’s name matches one on a no-fly list say federal security legislation now before Parliament will do nothing in the short term to ease their woes. The government is proposing an amendment to the Secure Air Travel Act that would allow the public safety minister to tell parents that their child is not on the Canadian no-fly list, meaning the name simply matches that of someone who is actually listed. The government says this would provide assurance to parents about their child’s status.———B.C. TO INCREASE PENALTIES FOR DISTRACTED DRIVERS: Distracted drivers are facing higher penalties in British Columbia. The provincial government says it wants to designate distracted driving as a high-risk behaviour under the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia’s driver risk premium program. That means a driver with two tickets for distracted driving over a three-year period will see their total financial penalties rise to as much as $2,000, an increase of $740 over existing penalties. The changes will take effect March 1. It says distracted driving is a factor in more than 25 per cent of car crashes fatalities in B.C. and kills an average of 78 people annually.———TRIAL HEARS OF WINNIPEG LETTER-BOMB AFTERMATH: Members of a police bomb squad have testified about the aftermath of an explosion at a Winnipeg law office that cost one lawyer her right hand. The officers told the trial of Guido Amsel about searches that were done in July 2015 after a bomb went off inside the office of Maria Mitousis and caused her severe injuries. Const. Rommel Vianzon geared up in a bomb suit and went in after the blast to check for other explosives, and to see whether there were body parts such as fingers that could be recovered for surgery. Amsel, who is 51, has pleaded not guilty to five counts of attempted murder. Mitousis had represented Amsel’s wife in the couple’s divorce — undetonated bombs were found at Amsel’s former wife’s workplace and at a law firm that had represented Amsel.———NEXTBLOCK SCRAPS PLANS TO GO PUBLIC IN WAKE OF CONTROVERSY: A blockchain-focused venture capital fund headed by a Toronto-based expert is abandoning plans to go public amid reports alleging it made misleading statements in its marketing materials. NextBlock Global, whose chief executive is business author Alex Tapscott, said it is “no longer doing a go-public transaction” and is in the process of reaching out to investors to discuss next steps, including the return of their original investment. NextBlock had aimed to go public via a reverse takeover of Nobelium Tech Corp., which is listed on the TSX Venture Exchange. The fund’s statement on Sunday follows reports that NextBlock Global’s investor presentation allegedly incorrectly named four people as its advisers. Last week, Forbes reported that NextBlock in its efforts to raise $100 million named four blockchain advisers, who told the publication they had not signed on in that capacity.———DOWN SYNDROME SOCIETY CAMPAIGN AIMS TO BAN ‘SORRY’: The Canadian Down Syndrome Society wants to educate people about how to act when a family member or friend gives birth to a baby with the genetic condition — especially avoiding the word “sorry.” The society has launched a campaign called “Anything But Sorry” that includes a YouTube video called “The ‘S’ Word.” The video begins with a question: “What do you say to parents who just had a child with Down syndrome?” The answers are provided by people with Down syndrome, who offer up suggestions of what people can say to new parents using every inappropriate phrase they know except “sorry.” The video project also gives the cast a platform to express their sense of humour and personalities.
OTTAWA – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and members of the Canadian Olympic Committee will announce the flag bearer for the upcoming Winter Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea on Tuesday morning.Joining the Prime Minister will be Kent Hehr, Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities, COC president Tricia Smith and Canada’s chef de mission Isabelle Charest.The announcement will be made in the House of Commons.Hockey player Hayley Wickenheiser was the flag bearer for the opening ceremony of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.The opening ceremony for the Pyeongchang Games will be Feb. 9.
BURNABY, B.C. – The City of Burnaby wants to appeal a National Energy Board decision that exempts Kinder Morgan from local land and tree clearance bylaws in the expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline.A decision by the board last December overruled two sections of the bylaw, which would have required Trans Mountain to have preliminary plans and clearing permits.Burnaby is seeking leave to appeal in the Federal Court of Appeal.The board released three decisions this week approving a tunnel route for a portion of the pipeline through Burnaby.The city argues in a news release that the company should be required to comply with all municipal bylaws, despite its argument they were unconstitutional because they conflicted with approval from the federal government and the National Energy Board Act.The city also wants to appeal an energy board’s ruling that found Burnaby’s timeline for issuing permits represented an “unreasonable delay.”Burnaby’s legal action comes as tensions increase between British Columbia and Alberta over the pipeline.