Defence analyst Abhijit Iyer-Mitra on Saturday filed an affidavit before a House Committee of the Odisha Assembly in connection with his alleged remarks amounting to breach of privilege of the State’s lawmakers.Leader of Opposition and Chairperson of the House Committee Narasingha Mishra told press persons that the Committee will review Mr. Iyer-Mitra’s statement and affidavit, and if required he will be asked to depose again.Mr. Mishra said that the House Committee would submit its report to the Speaker in the next session of the Assembly, which is scheduled to begin on November 16.Mr. Iyer-Mitra is in judicial custody at present following his arrest for his alleged derogatory and objectionable comments on art and culture of Odisha, Lord Jagannath and Odia community.
The Supreme Court on Friday cautioned the Haryana government against doing “anything” to harm the ecologically fragile Aravalli range.A Bench, led by Justice Arun Mishra, was responding to a submission by Solicitor General Tushar Mehta that he would prove that the State has not introduced amendments in the Punjab Land Preservation Act (PLPA), 1900, in order to give a leeway to illegal mining or builders.Liable for contempt“We are concerned with Aravalli. If you are doing anything with Aravalli or Kant Enclave (where the top court had ordered demolition of buildings due to illegal constructions in forest area) you will be in trouble. If you are doing anything with forest, you will be in trouble. We are telling you,” the bench told Mr. Mehta.On March 1, the court had threatened the Haryana government with contempt if it went ahead with the amendments virtually allowing massive scale of construction in the Aravalli Hills.The court had said the amendments pull the carpet from under a series orders passed by the Supreme Court over the years to protect the Aravalli and Shivalik ranges from builders and indiscriminate mining. The court had pointed out how the once-lush Aravalli region was devastated after years of indiscriminate and illegal mining. “The entire Aravalli area is devastated and entire flora and fauna there has gone,” the court had said in a hearing on February 4.In October last, the court had expressed shock over 31 “vanished” hills in the Aravallis and had asked Rajasthan to stop illegal mining in 115.34-hectare area.
New Delhi: Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju has written a letter to Nicky Morgan, Member of Parliament in the UK, asking for her personal intervention to get shooting included in the 2022 Commonwealth Games, scheduled to be held in Birmingham.In June, the executive board of the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) had decided to exclude shooting from the 2022 Games, following which the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) had threatened to boycott the event. In the letter dated September 3, Rijiju said the decision of the CGF executive board to exclude shooting is based on the premise that shooting had never been a compulsory sport and there is no venue available for holding shooting events.”Unfortunately, at present, India is not represented in the Commonwealth Games executive council and in the functional committees of the Commonwealth Games. Therefore, it could not put forward its case for the inclusion of shooting in 2022 Birmingham CWG,” the Sports Minister said in the letter addressed to Morgan, a Conservative Party member who is also the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.”As you are aware, the Commonwealth of Nations comprises 53 countries with a population of 2.4 billion. India alone has more than half of this. India has always been a strong votary and supporter of the Commonwealth and would continue to be so.”The Indian public takes keen interest in shooting events involving Indian shooters. In a constructive gesture, the International Shooting Federation has offered to share the cost of inclusion of shooting in Birmingham CWG. I request your personal intervention in ensuring the continued inclusion of shooting in 2022 CWG,” he added.Earlier, CGF Chief Louise Martin had insisted that shooting will not be a part of the 2022 edition of the Games due to space constraints.Indian shooters bagged 16 medals, including seven gold, at last year’s Gold Coast Games where they finished in third place with 66 medals.It will be for the first time since 1974 that shooting won’t a part of the Commonwealth Games and only the second time since its first inclusion in 1966. Get the best of News18 delivered to your inbox – subscribe to News18 Daybreak. Follow News18.com on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Telegram, TikTok and on YouTube, and stay in the know with what’s happening in the world around you – in real time. 2022 Commonwealth Games2022 CWGCommonwealth gamesCWG First Published: September 4, 2019, 3:43 PM IST
SAN ANTONIO (AP) — Golden State made sure the inevitable was unavoidable.Heavily favored to beat the Spurs, especially once Kawhi Leonard sustained a series-ending injury, the Warriors completed a dominant sweep in the Western Conference Finals.Stephen Curry scored 36 points and Golden State beat injury-ravaged San Antonio with a 129-115 victory Monday night, becoming the first team in league history to start the playoffs 12-0.“(Being) 12-0 is great, but it doesn’t mean anything going into the next series, and we understand that,” Curry said.Golden State led by as many as 22 points in cruising to its third straight NBA Finals. The Warriors await a possible third straight championship matchup with Cleveland, which leads Boston 2-1 in the East finals.“It’s great to be one of the last two teams standing, we’ll see how it goes,” said Kevin Durant, who had 29 points and 12 rebounds.San Antonio’s only lead came on the opening possession when Manu Ginobili tossed in a left-handed scoop shot. The Spurs started Ginobili in what could be his final game with the team. The 39-year-old had maintained he will not ponder whether to retire or return until after the season.“We started him tonight out of respect,” San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich said. “That was the whole reason for starting him. Before the game, you think it may or may not be his last game that he ever plays in, and I did not want to miss the opportunity to honor him in front of our home fans for his selflessness over the years.”San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich gestures as he talks to an official during the second half in Game 4 of the NBA basketball Western Conference finals against the Golden State Warriors on Monday, May 22, 2017, in San Antonio. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)Unsure if the beloved veteran will return, the crowd serenaded Ginobili with “Manu, Manu” chants as the game came to a close.“He kind of worked us pretty good these four games,” said Draymond Green, who had 16 points, eight rebounds and eight assists for the Warriors. “So, I think he’s got quite a bit left in the tank. Obviously, it’s up to him how much longer he wants to go. But one thing about it, he’s definitely not a liability on the floor.”Ginobili finished with 15 points in 32 minutes.Kyle Anderson scored 20 points to lead the Spurs, who were without Leonard, Tony Parker and David Lee.“Obviously it (stinks) that Kawhi wasn’t there and Tony wasn’t there and David wasn’t out there,” Green said. “But, at the end of the day, a win is a win and you have to beat whoever is out there against you.”San Antonio didn’t go down without a fight despite the injuries.Anderson dove on the court for a loose ball that the Spurs had tipped away defensively, pushing the ball upcourt to Patty Mills who fed Ginobili for a 3-pointer that pulled San Antonio to 108-94 with 7 minutes remaining.The effort made Popovich smile and clap at times, but the Warriors’ depth and talent proved too much for short-handed San Antonio.“It’s the second time we’ve gotten swept in 15 years, and those are the easiest to digest because you’ve been overplayed,” Ginobili said. “The opponent was better than us, and in this case, way better than us.”TIP-INSWarriors: Golden State has won five straight games over San Antonio, including the regular season, which is the team’s longest against the Spurs. .. Warriors starting center Zaza Pachulia missed his second straight game with a bruised right heel. Pachulia’s absence allowed him to escape the ire of the Spurs fans, who blame him for Leonard’s absence after his controversial close-out on a 3-pointer that Popovich called “dangerous” and “unsportsmanlike.” … Golden State has won six straight road games in the postseason, which is a franchise record.Spurs: Leonard missed his third straight game with a sprained left ankle. Popovich announced his All-Star forward would not play about two hours prior to tipoff. … Ginobili had come off the bench in 55 straight playoff games prior to his start in Game 4. … Murray’s four steals in the first half tied Ginobili’s franchise record for most steals in a playoff game.NOTHING BUT LOVEGolden State coach Mike Brown said it was tough competing against Popovich, his longtime friend and one of his mentors, but the veteran coach put the series in perspective during a phone call prior to the start of the series.“He called, we talked, we laughed,” Brown said. “He said, ‘Hey, I love you. I told him I loved him and he said, ‘But you know once this starts, we’re going to try to kick your (butt). I said, ‘Ok, it’s on.’”NO WORDSSpurs forward LaMarcus Aldridge closed out a disappointing series with his second eight-point effort against the Warriors.He entered Game 4 averaging 18 points, but was held to 4-for-11 shooting in 22 minutes in the series finale. Aldridge didn’t address his own personal struggles, but praised the team’s effort.“No excuses but a lot of unfortunate things happened, but we still tried to compete and do the best we could do,” Aldridge said. “They’ve been the best team in the west for the last few years and they proved it again. (Warriors) came out and competed, they had a good game plan for the guys that we had out there, we just came out and did everything we could do.”GRANDPA?Ginobili’s closest friend on the Spurs is Mills, which puzzles the 28-year-old.“I don’t know why we have such a good relationship, he is so much older than me, you know,” Mills said, jokingly. “It’s weird, it’s like grandpa and grandson, but still very close.”RAUL DOMINGUEZ, Associated PressTweetPinShare0 Shares
GREENVILLE, NC – SEPTEMBER 16: Head coach of the Virginia Tech Hokies Justin Fuente instructs his team in the second half against the East Carolina Pirates at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium on September 16, 2017 in Greenville, North Carolina. Virginia Tech defeated East Carolina 64-17. (Photo by Michael Shroyer/Getty Images)The Virginia Tech Hokies are up big on Marshall in the fourth quarter. With a win, the Hokies will go to 6-6, and likely keep their record bowl streak alive. Let’s take a look at the latest regarding where Virginia Tech football could land.Virginia Tech is in the middle of a very down season by the program’s standards. The Hokies entered the year with significant injury issues on the defensive side of the ball, and lost its starting quarterback Josh Jackson four games into the season.Throw in an early season bout with ECU that was cancelled due to a storm, and Virginia Tech really ran the risk of missing a bowl for the first time since 1992. With Florida State going 5-7 this year, thanks in part to a season-opening loss to the Hokies, Virginia Tech now has the undisputed longest active streak in the country at 26 years.With this win over Marshall, in a late-scheduled game to make up for the ECU rain out, the Hokies will push it to 27.If Virginia Tech football finishes off this win, the 6-6 Hokies will head to a middling bowl game.Earlier this week, ESPN released a new set of bowl projections. Penciling in a Va Tech win, Mitch Sherman projected them to go to the Birmingham Bowl and facing Memphis. Head coach Justin Fuente came over from the Tigers a few years ago, and Memphis is a fun team, so there would be some interesting storylines here.The Tigers play later today in the AAC Championship against the McKenzie Milton-less UCF Knights, a team that they’ve played tough in recent years, and with a ton of other 6-6 and 7-5 ACC programs, plenty can change there.Virginia Tech will be the last team in the country to clinch bowl eligibility, and will bump a Group of Five program out of a slot. The ACC now has 11 bowl eligible programs in the conference.This wasn’t a banner year for Fuente’s Hokies, but with all of the injuries, you can point to where things got off track. He’ll need the team to bounce back next year, or there might start to be some pressure in Blacksburg.The Birmingham Bowl is played at Legion Field on December 22. The game will be broadcast at noon ET on ESPN.[ESPN]
Minister of National Security, Hon. Dr. Horace Chang, is reporting that the operational activities associated with the enhanced security measures in sections of St. James, West Kingston and St. Catherine have resulted in significant crime reduction in those areas.The Minister was speaking in the House of Representatives during his contribution to the 2018/19 Sectoral Debate on June 12.Dr. Chang said since the Zone of Special Operations (ZOSO) in Mount Salem, St. James, there was only one murder and one shooting between September 1 and December 31, 2017.In Denham Town for the period January 1 to October 17, 2017, there were 18 murders and 58 shootings. He said since the establishment of the ZOSO on October 18, 2017 to the end of the year, there was no murder recorded.“Despite the initial reservations, some of the things are working. Rest assured, this Administration will continue to place emphasis on crime prevention and security using the ‘all of society’ approach,” he said.He pointed out that with the State of Public Emergency (SOE), the joint security forces have recovered 38 illegal firearms in the St. James area.“With the declaration of the State of Public Emergency in St. James, as at June 9, murders have declined by 45, compared to 129 for the same period in 2017. Shooting declined by a similar per cent, but if we transfer this into raw numbers, it is a reduction of some 84 in that zone. We are saying that as a result of the introduction of that particular activity, there are 84 more citizens alive today,” he said.The Minister added that since the declaration of the SOE in the St. Catherine North Police Division, murders have been reduced.“In North St. Catherine where we had a dramatic spike in murders in the first three months of the year, between January 1, 2018 and March 18, 2018, there was an average of almost five murders a week in North St. Catherine. Since the declaration of the State of Public Emergency, we have had less than one per week,” Dr. Chang said.He added that the organisations responsible for the provision of social amenities have been working to improve the social conditions in the areas.Dr. Chang said the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) will continue to partner with the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) to conduct joint security operations.“Last year, some 7,115 such operations were conducted, resulting in the recovery of 129 assorted weapons. This model has been effectively utilised in the SOEs and ZOSOs and in recent times has led to the capture and demise of some of Jamaica’s most wanted men,” he saidThe Minister pointed out that the joint security operations have also significantly disrupted the activities of the gangs, particularly in the Westmoreland Division. The Minister was speaking in the House of Representatives during his contribution to the 2018/19 Sectoral Debate on June 12. Story Highlights Minister of National Security, Hon. Dr. Horace Chang, is reporting that the operational activities associated with the enhanced security measures in sections of St. James, West Kingston and St. Catherine have resulted in significant crime reduction in those areas. Dr. Chang said since the Zone of Special Operations (ZOSO) in Mount Salem, St. James, there was only one murder and one shooting between September 1 and December 31, 2017.
An expansion in the Michelin facility in Bridgewater will result in an increased capacity for the production of steel cable and the phasing in of about 36 jobs, as the project progresses. The province of Nova Scotia and Michelin North America (Canada) Inc. announced today, Aug. 29, a $36-million project to expand and modernize the steel cord products operation at Michelin’s Bridgewater facility. The expansion addresses growing demand for steel cable, which is used in the production of earthmover and truck tires, and is due to be completed in 2008. Michelin is investing $32 million and the province is investing up to $4.38 million, to increase the operation’s cable capacity by 11 per cent to supply plant expansions for truck and earthmover tires at Michelin’s Waterville, Nova Scotia, and Lexington, South Carolina, facilities. “This is exciting news for Bridgewater and for Nova Scotia. Attracting continued investment from global companies like Michelin is a key factor to building a prosperous economy and providing stable, long-term employment in our local communities,” said Premier Rodney MacDonald. “This investment supports our commitment to the success of our advanced manufacturing industry in rural Nova Scotia.” The $4.38 million investment incentive is being funded from the Industrial Expansion Fund, which is used to help establish, develop or expand industries in the province. The fund can help companies, like Michelin, secure investment capital and with a return to the province of $3 for every dollar invested, the fund represents a significant return on investment. “We appreciate the province’s financial contribution towards this project and its support of Michelin in Nova Scotia,” said Carrie-Jane Bernard, manager of Michelin’s steel cord products operation at Bridgewater. “We have a significant success story to tell here in Bridgewater with our steel cord production and this investment in our production capacity clearly demonstrates our ability to grow and remain competitive in the global market.” The growing demand for Michelin earthmover and truck tires is a key driver for this investment in Bridgewater. Michelin’s plans for expansion include the addition of about 8,700 square metres to the existing plant structure, modernization of cabling process machinery, and the addition of technical and manufacturing employees related to the production of steel cord products. “For more than 30 years, the province has enjoyed an excellent working relationship with Michelin,” said Carolyn Bolivar-Getson, acting Economic Development Minister. “This expansion is another example of the co-operation between Michelin and the province to work together to create good, high-paying jobs for Nova Scotians.” Michelin’s Bridgewater facility produces steel cord products and tires for cars, light trucks and SUV’s. Michelin opened the facility in 1971 beginning with the production of steel cord product and two years later followed with its first passenger tire. The world’s largest tire maker, Michelin designs, manufactures and sells tires for every type of vehicle, including airplanes, automobiles, bicycles, earthmovers, farm equipment, heavy-duty trucks, motorcycles and the space shuttle. The company also publishes travel guides, maps and atlases covering Europe, Asia, Africa and North America. Headquartered in Laval, Quebec, Michelin North America (Canada) Inc. employs about 3,500 people in Nova Scotia and operates three plants in the province making them the fourth-largest employer in Nova Scotia.
Nottingham: The Indian team’s alternative strategy in the absence of an injured Shikhar Dhawan will be put through a stern test by a feisty New Zealand attack ready to ask a few probing questions if weather does not play spoilsport in their World Cup encounter here on Thursday. The contest, which could be a curtailed one due to inclement weather, will have a quality Black Caps seam attack ready to make life difficult for a new opening pair that is likely to feature KL Rahul at the top alongside Rohit Sharma. Also Read – Andy Murray to make Grand Slam return at Australian OpenDhawan has been ruled out of at least the next three games owing to a hairline fracture in his left thumb. New Zealand have had a good record against India at global events. Kane Williamson’s men would be more than determined to win four-on-trot and maintain their pole position. Dhawan has unintentionally forced Virat Kohli and Ravi Shastri to go for a tactical rejig despite convincing performances in the first two games against South Africa and Australia. Also Read – Mandhana ruled out of South Africa ODI seriesIf being forced to tinker with a successful opening combination that has cumulatively scored 4681 runs is a bit unsettling, there is also a positive side to the Dhawan injury saga. It has provided India with an opportunity to test how good their Plan B is. Rahul’s probable elevation at the top will certainly bring Vijay Shankar and Dinesh Karthik into the picture as far as the No.4 slot is concerned. Shankar’s all-round abilities are pitted against Karthik’s experience. The thick cloud cover and damp conditions could also bring in Mohammed Shami into the equation at the expense of one of the wrist spinners. In case both Shankar and Karthik find a place in the playing XI, then Kedar Jadhav will be the one to miss out. The situation demands technical nous from skipper Kohli and more so from coach Ravi Shastri, known to be a shrewd tactical operator. It couldn’t have been a more ideal time to go for such a rejig given that the tournament is still in its second week and one of the bounciest yet good batting tracks is on offer on Thursday. This might not be the best of circumstances to open the batting but the talented Rahul will be determined to make this opportunity count. Dealing with adversity separates men from boys and if Rahul is able to successfully play out a testing opening spell from Trent Boult, it could work wonders for his confidence going into the next set of games. He would have a great reference point in the dynamic Rohit Sharma, who will be at the other end of the 22 yards. The manner in which Rohit has transformed his game according to conditions has been more than commendable.
Six stories in the news for Wednesday, May 3———PM TRUDEAU TO HEADLINE FUNDRAISER IN MONTREALPrime Minister Justin Trudeau promised political donors would not get preferential access to his government, and now the Liberals are trying to show they mean it as they revive their fundraising efforts. Trudeau will appear at a party fundraiser this evening in Montreal, which is unremarkable except for the fact that anyone can go. Anyone, that is, who has up to $250 to spare for a ticket, wants to give that money to the Liberal Party of Canada, and is not registered to lobby the PMO.———B.C. NDP VOWS TO FIGHT PIPELINE, BUT WON’T SAY HOWBritish Columbia’s New Democrats are vowing to do all they can to stop Kinder Morgan Canada’s Trans Mountain pipeline expansion if they’re elected next Tuesday, but Leader John Horgan isn’t saying how he would do so. Horgan will only say he’ll raise the $7.4-billion pipeline expansion with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau the day after the election.———FINAL ARGUMENTS IN FATAL GAS AND DASH TRIALA Calgary jury will hear final arguments today in the trial of a man charged in the hit-and-run death of a gas station worker. Joshua Cody Mitchell, 22, is on trial facing several charges, including second-degree murder. Maryam Rashidi, 35, tried to stop a driver from leaving a Calgary Centex gas station without paying for $113 worth of fuel in June 2015.———CROWN WRAPS ARGUMENTS IN B.C. POLYGAMY TRIALThe prosecution in the trial of two B.C. men accused of having multiple wives has wrapped up its case. Winston Blackmore is the head of a religious group in the province where residents follow the Fundamentalist Church of Latter-Day Saints, a faith that condones plural marriage. Blackmore is on trial in B.C. Supreme Court in Cranbrook, B.C., alongside James Oler, and each is charged with one court of polygamy. Blackmore allegedly has 24 wives, while Oler is accused of marrying four women.———VERDICT TODAY FOR WOMAN WHO GAVE PIGS WATERA judge will deliver the verdict today in the case of a Toronto woman charged after giving water to pigs on a truck headed to slaughter. Anita Krajnc, of the group Toronto Pig Save, has pleaded not guilty to a mischief charge, although she has admitted that she gave water to the pigs. One of Krajnc’s lawyers has argued Krajnc was acting in the public good, and was therefore not breaking the law. The Crown has argued the pigs were the property of a farmer, and Krajnc was interfering with his property.———GIN RECALL EXTENDED COUNTRYWIDEFederal health authorities have extended a recall of gin that contains far more alcohol than what is declared on the label. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency says the recall of 1.14-litre bottles of Bombay Sapphire London Dry Gin began in Ontario and is now countrywide. The recall was initiated the gin’s alcohol content was found to be 77 per cent — not the 40 per cent declared on the label.———ALSO IN THE NEWS TODAY:— Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will meet in Montreal with Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny.— Bank of Canada governor Stephen Poloz will speak to a business audience in Mexico City.— Statistics Canada will release the Canadian international merchandise trade figures for March.— The Supreme Court of Canada is expected to decide if it will hear an appeal over a ruling on cross-border alcohol shopping.— The Fraser Institute will release a study examining carbon taxes and the cap-and-trade systems in Canada.
MISSISSAUGA, Ont. – Maple Leaf Foods Inc. has signed an agreement to buy two poultry plants and associated supply from Cericola Farms, a privately held company.The plants are in Bradford, Ont., and Drummondville, Que., and together process a total of about 32 million kilograms of chicken per year.Financial terms of the deal were not immediately available.Cericola specializes in air-chilled processing of antibiotic free and animal by-product free and organic poultry products.Maple Leaf said it has also signed a deal for 100 per cent of the processed chicken from Cericola’s primary plant in Schomberg, Ont., and an option to acquire the plant and associated supply in three years.The deal is expected to close in August, subject to normal closing requirements including Competition Bureau review.Companies in this story: (TSX:MFI)
Gurugram: The district court in Gurugram has sentenced two men to rigorous imprisonment of 10 years and imposed a fine of Rs 25,000 each for allegedly attacking a man with sticks and robbing him of Rs 500 in 2017. The convicts, Anoop Sharma alias Ramphal, 28, and Kuldeep, 22, both residents of IMT Manesar, were held guilty for the offence under sections 379-B, 420, 205 of the IPC.The victim, Rajesh Kumar, a native of Rohtas, Bihar, was returning from duty to his rented room in Sector 3, Manesar around 1:15 am on July 23, 2017, and had reached Bas Village Chowk when two men, armed with sticks, intercepted and beat him up. The accused men took the victim’s voter ID card and snatched Rs 500 from his trouser pocket. Two policemen, who were on patrol, heard the commotion and arrested the accused men. After a rise in incidents of snatching in Haryana, the state government had added two clauses (379 A and 379 B), defining snatching as a non-bailable offence, which will attract rigorous imprisonment for 10 to 14 years and a fine of Rs 25,000. Also Read – After eight years, businessman arrested for kidnap & murderEven though there are claims by Gurugram police that incidents of snatchings have reduced, two incidents on an average are reported daily from the city. The incident occurred despite the fact that snatching is a non-bailable offence in Haryana in which conviction can lead to five to 10 years of imprisonment. One of the biggest impediments is the lack of filing the FIR in most of the cases to pursue the case further. There are also problems in identifying the victims who normally target their victims in groups. Also Read – Two brothers held for snatchingsRecently, a person who was accused of stealing the phone from the women was let off by the court due to lack of evidence. What seems to be a worrying factor in these cases is that most of the criminals who start of criminal activities like snatchings are not deterred even when they are held by the police. “Most of the culprits continue to indulge in these activities and progress toward becoming more sinister criminals who then commit burglaries, kidnappings and murder. Snatching is a stepping stone for them to enter into big crime,” said a police official from Gurugram police.
“As popular protest and political change continue to sweep the region, the Israeli-Palestinian political process remains at a dangerous standstill,” Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs B. Lynn Pascoe said in a briefing to the Security Council. “Resumption of meaningful negotiations is urgent.”Mr. Pascoe informed the 15-member body that Secretary-General Ban is increasingly worried about the impasse in Israeli-Palestinian talks, which have been stalled since late September following Israel’s refusal to extend a 10-month freeze on settlement activity in the occupied Palestinian territory. That decision prompted Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to withdraw from direct talks with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, which had only resumed a few weeks earlier after a two-year hiatus.Mr. Pascoe said that, with both the Palestinians and Israel stressing their desire to negotiate, United States President Barack Obama’s recent speech contained ideas that the international community can rally behind to offer a framework to resume talks and seek an agreement. He added that the Secretary-General looks forward to the diplomatic Quartet – comprising the UN, European Union, Russia and the US – giving impetus to this objective through a principals-level meeting soon.“But what is most important is that the leaders on the ground rise to the challenge. They face political risks and there are many questions in the minds of their publics. There is also a gulf of confidence between the parties,” said Mr. Pascoe.“But we appeal to them to return to negotiations in the interests of their respective peoples, without further delay, and to negotiate seriously in order to reach an agreement.”Turning to Gaza, Mr. Pascoe noted that while an “overall state of calm” between Israel and Gaza has generally prevailed for the past 10 weeks, two rockets and two mortars were fired at Israel from Gaza during the past month, causing no injuries or damage, while Israel conducted six incursions and one air strike.In addition, one Palestinian civilian was killed by Israeli fire on 21 May while approaching the border fence during the night, and two civilians were injured by Israeli forces on 20 and 29 May, respectively.“We continue to urge calm and restraint for the sake of civilian populations on both sides,” he stated.Regarding reports that a new flotilla is planned in the next few days, Mr. Pascoe reiterated the strong view of the UN that assistance for the population of Gaza should be delivered through official crossings. The Under-Secretary-General also reported on recent developments in the Golan Heights, including the violence that occurred on 5 June, as well as the situation in Lebanon, where the formation of a new Government was announced last week by the Prime Minister. 23 June 2011The United Nations political chief called today for the urgent resumption of Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, stressing the need for leaders on both sides to rise to the challenge of reaching an agreement that is in the interest of their respective peoples.
TORONTO — Canada’s largest real-estate trust says it will sell about 100 properties in secondary markets over the next two to three years.RioCan Real Estate Investment Trust says the properties have an estimated value of $2 billion and it expects to net about $1.5 billion after expenses.Some of the money will be used to repurchase RioCan trust units from the open market.RioCan also plans to invest $300 million to $400 million per year on property development in the six major markets that already account for about 75 per cent of its annual rental revenue.
In a statement released in Geneva, WHO Director-General Dr. Gro Harlem Brundtland pointed out that existing vaccines, while effective, could carry adverse side effects. “The risk of adverse events is sufficiently high that mass vaccination is not warranted if there is no or little real risk of exposure,” she said. The new guidelines come out against vaccinating entire populations. “The reason for not recommending such mass vaccination is that there is a risk of severe reactions to the vaccine, including death, and the fact that vaccination can prevent smallpox even after exposure to the virus,” Dr. Brundtland explained. The WHO Director-General acknowledged that increasing attention was being given to the extent and quality of existing vaccine stocks, and to the possible need both to stimulate vaccine production and increase stocks of vaccine for use in the event of an outbreak. In addition to disseminating the new guidelines, as well as fact sheets and training materials on the disease, the agency has re-established a team of smallpox experts who are available to assist countries in the investigation and response to outbreaks.Dr. Brundtland said that if smallpox were to be found anywhere, it would be a global crisis. “I want to emphasize that should an outbreak of smallpox be detected in any country, this should be considered an international emergency.”Highly contagious and often deadly, smallpox existed for at least 3,000 years and was one of the world’s most feared diseases before being eradicated by a collaborative global vaccination programme led by WHO. The last known natural case was in Somalia in 1977.
WASHINGTON – A Federal Reserve survey shows economic growth remained healthy in most U.S. regions in late November and December, helped by gains in consumer spending and factory output.Nine of the Fed’s 12 banking districts described growth as moderate, according to the Beige Book survey released Wednesday. That’s up from seven districts in October through early November. And two of those districts said growth had accelerated since the previous report.Only two districts — Boston and Philadelphia — said growth was modest, while Kansas City said it “held steady.”Three-quarters of the districts said shoppers spent more over the winter holidays. And all but Kansas City said manufacturing production grew.The Beige Book survey is based on anecdotal reports from businesses and will be considered along with other data when the Fed meets next Jan. 28-29.The report showed little signs of the slowdown in hiring that the government reported last week. The Labor Department said Friday that employers added only 74,000 jobs last month, down from an average of 214,000 in the preceding four months.The Fed survey, however, said two-thirds of the districts reported increases in hiring. That may bolster the view among many economists that December’s hiring slowdown was temporary and partly the result of bad weather.Still, weaker December job gains could lead the Fed to rethink its recent decision to pull back on some of its stimulus.Fed policymakers decided last month to cut the monthly purchases to $75 billion from $85 billion and suggested it would further trim its buying in future meetings. The bond purchases are intended to spur more borrowing and spending.But Dana Saporta, an economist at Credit Suisse, said the report was positive enough to suggest that the Fed will continue reducing its purchases.“We find nothing that threatens to divert the Fed from its current tapering path,” she said.There have been other signs that the economy is growing at a solid pace. Americans increased their spending at retailers in November and December at a faster pace than the previous year, according to the National Retail Federation.Greater consumer spending is a key reason that most economists expect growth will top 3 per cent at an annual rate in the October-December quarter. That would mark a second straight quarter of healthy growth after a 4.1 per cent expansion from July through September.Several districts reported significant improvement in manufacturing, suggesting businesses and consumers are spending more. A manufacturer in the Dallas district said that his company “had too many jobs to bid on … for the first time since before the recession,” according to the Beige Book.Most districts also said home sales, construction and prices continued to rise. Several districts said the housing recovery was boosting output “all the way from raw materials like lumber to finished products like kitchen cabinets.”However, reports on tourism were more mixed. Atlanta reported healthy increases in hotel room reservations. But hotels in Manhattan said revenues per room in November fell more than 10 per cent from a year earlier, the first 12-month decline since the fall of 2012. Travel and tourism were also weaker in Hawaii and Las Vegas.__Follow Chris Rugaber at http://Twitter.com/ChrisRugaber Fed: Economy picked up slightly over Thanksgiving, Christmas, driven by consumers, factories FILE – In this Monday, Dec. 2, 2013 file photo, FedEx Packages move on a conveyor belt at the FedEx hub at Los Angeles International Airport in Los Angeles. A Federal Reserve survey shows economic growth remained healthy in most U.S. regions in late November and December, helped by gains in consumer spending and factory output. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong) AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email by Christopher S. Rugaber, The Associated Press Posted Jan 15, 2014 12:01 pm MDT