Category: hcdeiclo

Dada Vaswani passes away at 99

first_imgSpiritual leader and educationist Dada J.P. Vaswani — the moral force behind the Sadhu Vaswani Mission and a tireless promoter of vegetarianism and animal rights — passed away on Thursday, aged 99, days short of his centenary.Sources at the Sadhu Vaswani Mission said he had been admitted to a private hospital in the city for the past a few days and was discharged on Wednesday night. Dada Vaswani died on the mission premises on Thursday.Born Jashan Pahlajrai Vaswani on August 2, 1918 in the city of Hyderabad in Sindh province (present-day Pakistan), he was a brilliant student in his youth, who matriculated at the tender age of 13 and graduated at 17.His M.Sc. Thesis on the ‘Scattering of X-Rays by solids’ was examined by Nobel Laureate C.V Raman.Acclaimed as a humanitarian and non-sectarian leader, he later gave up a promising academic career to follow in the footsteps of his uncle, Sadhu T.L Vaswani – the legendary Indian educationist who started the Mira Movement in education.In order to propagate Sadhu Vaswani’s ideas and vision, he edited three monthly journals – the Excelsior (which became a popular journal), the India Digest and the East and West series.He also served as one of the earliest Principals of the St. Mira’s College for Girls. Regarded as a philosopher and a modern-day saint by the Sindhi diaspora, he was also an inspiring orator who often exchanged ideas with world spiritual leaders like the Dalai Lama. He was also a prolific author, writing several hundred books on spirituality and communal harmony which have seen translations in a number of world languages. In keeping with his shibboleth that “forgiveness is the golden key to peace,” his birthday on August 2 is celebrated as ‘Global Forgiveness Day’.“Dada J.P. Vaswani lived for society and served the poor and needy with compassion. Blessed with immense wisdom, he was passionate about educating the girl child, cleanliness and furthering peace as well as brotherhood,” said Prime Minister Narendra Modi, adding that Dada Vaswani had been his “guiding light.”His mortal remains were kept at the Sadhu Vaswani Mission for people to pay their last respects. The final rites will be performed on Friday.last_img read more

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Ahead of election results, uncertainty in Congress camp

first_imgAhead of counting of votes in the State, a sense of uncertainty prevails in the Opposition camp. The Congress is especially trying to stay optimistic after the discouraging results the exit polls have predicted for the party.A senior Congress leader, who contested the Assembly polls, said, “We have fought well in the places where we have contested. Our candidates stood firm in the face of the BJP’s money power and propaganda machinery. Yes, the exit poll predictions are discouraging for the party, but we hope to put up a better performance than 2014.”Meanwhile, the party workers are unhappy over the lacklustre poll campaign across the State. The Congress campaign could not even match the impressive efforts put in by its ally the Nationalist Congress Party. Of the 40 star campaigners of the Congress, 15 did not address even a single public meeting in the State. None of the party’s leaders in the State, except for State unit president Balasaheb Thorat, held rallies in double digits. The party also failed to provide monetary and logistical support to its candidates. A party functionary on condition of anonymity said, “Only candidates who were individually strong enough to fight the polls stood their ground. On the ground, there was simmering anger against the BJP, but we failed to channelise it. If the results on Thursday are different from the exit polls, it will only be because of the efforts of workers at the grass roots and not the State leaders.”On the party’s chances of becoming the main opposition in the State, a Congress leader from Delhi said, “I cannot say anything now. I do not trust exit polls. They have proved to be wrong in the past. These polls have predicted a sweep for the BJP in Haryana, but things are totally different for the party there. We may even be in a position to form the government there. We expect something similar to happen in Maharashtra.”last_img read more

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Will Messi be football merchandise messiah for Argentina?

first_imgWhile football lovers in India are eagerly awaiting the arrival of arguably the best player of the present era – Lionel Messi – for an Argentina-Venezuela friendly on September 2, the match will also be a vehicle to tap the huge market for merchandising in the country.Argentina and Barcelona football star Lionel Messi is expected to play in Kolkata this September. APWith even the Spanish League’s kick-off timings set to be reworked for the next season to suit Asian viewers, it comes as no surprise that the craze for the likes of Messi and Carlos Tevez among Indian youngsters will be used to open new avenues for merchandising.Even though Messi, Tevez, Gonzalo Higuain and Javier Mascherano are widely known names in the country, the move to play the friendly on Indian soil – arguably the highest-profile match ever in the country- will help in not only promoting their country and clubs, but also increase the sale of their merchandise here.Bhaswar Goswami, chief of Celebrity Management Group (CMG), says that other than promoting the game in the country, Argentina will also use the opportunity to tap the huge Indian market and promote their stars so as to increase sale of their merchandise.  “There is immense craze for football in the country and we all know the kind of respect the likes of Messi and Tevez commend in this country. So it isn’t too much of a surprise that they will look into merchandising and using the still widely untapped market in the country.advertisement”Despite these stars never setting foot on Indian soil, many youngsters are mad about these players and are often seen buying original jerseys of these stars at huge prices, so their very presence will definitely augur well for Argentina’s marketing team,” he told MAIL TODAY.Clearing all doubts over Messi’s presence in the squad, Goswami said: “I had a direct interaction with the Argentina manager and when the contract was forwarded to them for the friendly to be played at the Yuba Bharati Krirangan in Kolkata, we had clearly mentioned that the presence of Messi and Tevez was a must.”So they signed the contract knowing that Messi and Tevez’s presence was mandatory. The manager has also informed that Mascherano is most likely to lead the team.” Goswami cleared any doubts over the infrastructural capability of the stadium to hold the match.”All these rumours that the match might be shifted to another venue are baseless. The players know that the ground has artificial turf and they have no issues playing on it. There were a few issues with the players’ arena as it is a FIFA friendly and the facilities need to be world- class. But work has already started and with the kind of co- operation that we have got from the state government, I am sure we will be ready well in advance of the September 2 match.”In fact, designs were sent from Argentina to meet the demand of the stars and the refurbishment is being done accordingly. Moreover, we are looking to improve the facilities for the spectators as well, so that they can watch one of the biggest matches comfortably,” he said.Although bucket seats are must for any FIFA match, Goswami reiterated that they are not mandatory for international friendlies.last_img read more

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first_img(REOPENS FGN 9) (REOPENS FGN 9) Earlier, BCCI Secretary Anurag Thakur had assured that security would be foolproof for all the participating teams, including Pakistan, and no side should feel insecure about travelling to India. “BCCI will organise the World Cup in the nicest possible way and will provide every team with highest protection. Earlier also we have hosted many World Cups and international matches and I dont think any country should feel insecure here,” Thakur had said when asked about Pakistans security worries. The PCB had initially hinted that Pakistan might withdraw from the upcoming event if the Pakistan government did not permit them to tour India. There were also reports that the PCB was also under pressure because of the ICCs threat of legal action in case of a withdrawal from the event. The matches of the tournament will be spread over seven Indian cities and Pakistan will play their league matches in Kolkata, Dharamsala and Mohali. PTI Cor PM PMlast_img read more


Is Ansal Plaza all set to be the new hangout for foodies in Delhi?

first_imgRemember the time when you could walk into Ansal Plaza in Khelgaon, and have a good time?Well, those times are now back again.The mall, one of the first to open in Delhi way back in 1999, was quite the pioneer in organised retail in North India. Ansal Plaza soon became a favourite with Delhi-walas.But, with increasing competition in the field, the need to update Ansal Plaza was felt by the management. The mall was renovated and re-launched recently, and is all set to be the hippest hangout for Delhi’s foodies.How, you ask?The newly reopened mall had a soft re-launch owing to the government’s demonetisation move. Picture courtesy: Instagram/sbhm.bWith an international chain of night clubs like The Arena and Taksim, and Food and Beverage retailers like The Sky High and Kofuku, what more can you expect? In fact, Ansal Plaza now claims to be Delhi’s ‘ultimate destination for experiencing a variety of World Cuisine’.Also read: This new food joint in Delhi is all set to produce 10,000 momos an hour. Seriously! The Arena, one of the participants, is one of the classiest bars, and offers Continental cuisine and a fantastic nightlife. This is one place that’s tailor-made for the sophisticated and plush foodies of Delhi.The Sky High is a new restaurant at Ansal Plaza. Picture courtesy: Instagram/blessinvarkeyThe Sky High, on the other hand, has a charm and appeal that very few can resist. It claims to be Delhi’s largest terrace cafe with a breathtaking 360 degree view from the topmost floor of Ansal Plaza. With a menu reflecting cuisines from around the world, The Sky High also has a live barbeque and India’s first ever jellyfish sheesha to offer.advertisementAnsal Plaza also has an outlet of Decathlon, one of the largest international network of sports goods retail chain and brands, opening up soon.The renovated mall opened last week itself, but the re-launch was subdued owing to the recent demonetisation move by the Indian government. And yet, the place hasn’t failed to attract crowds of Delhiites.And given the new attractions this place has to offer this city’s foodies, who could say no to a day spent at Ansal Plaza?last_img read more

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Ravi Shastri’s appointment as India coach likely to solve complex issues

first_imgVirat Kohli and Anil Kumble did not communicate enough with each other – that is now a confirmed fact after India Today revealed the manager’s report from the Champions Trophy.Reports of a rift between Kohli and Kumble had first surfaced before India began their defence of the Champions Trophy in England. Kohli, on the eve of India’s tournament opener against Pakistan, dismissed these reports as mere speculation. (MS Dhoni needs to play till 2019 World Cup: Write him off at your own risk)But it was all crystal clear a couple of weeks later. Following a massive defeat to Pakistan in the Champions Trophy final, Kumble quit citing differences with Kohli. The captain, Kumble said, did not like his style of coaching and his role had become untenable.And then Kohli deleted a tweet he had put out welcoming Kumble as coach of India last year. That perhaps underlined how badly the relationship between the two had soured.There were reports that the captain and coach had stopped talking to each other. Kumble, India’s greatest match-winner, Kohli, young India’s new leader, were clearly at loggerheads.India Today has now accessed the team manager’s report which confirmed communication had broken down between Kohli and Kumble. Kapill Malhotra, who was Team India manager for the Champions Trophy, stated in his report the captain and coach did not communicate much with each other.They were all of course part of team meetings. Now, imagine. How distinctly difficult does it get for the team when the two most important cogs in the wheel do not “communicate with each other.”advertisementIndian cricket has been through this turmoil before. Sourav Ganguly and Greg Chappell had an ugly fallout and the whole team of superstars was up in arms against the Australian whose tenure as coach had wrecked havoc in the dressing-room.The Kumble-Kohli rift was of course totally different. Unlike Chappell, Kumble delivered results and had the empathy of former cricketers, who felt he was was disrespcted.But the show must go on and the BCCI’s vast machinery is hard at work to select Kumble’s successor.So, a year after Kumble’s ceremonious takeover as coach, the Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC) will look at a new set of candidates to succeed a man who left under controversial circumstances.Among the men to be interviewed is Ravi Shastri, the former team director who shaped up the team before Kumble’s appointment. The others in contention are: Virender Sehwag, Lalchand Rajput, Dodda Ganesh, Tom Moody, Richard Pybus and Phil Simmons.Sehwag and Moody were the clear frontrunners till Shastri was convinced to apply again. He had thrown his hat in the ring last year too but Kumble was favoured over him. His entry this year means the CAC is seriously contemplating giving in to Kohli’s wish – the captain and team want him back in the dressing-room as coach.Shastri is well liked by the players and there is mutual respect. Overall, his approach was different to Kumble’s and players seem to trust him more.India were on a high in 2016, winning one Test series after another in a historic home season. But they will face some serious challenges in the months to come. Overseas tours of South Africa, Australia and England would need the team to play at its best.Kumble was fantastic as coach but something did not tick. Kohli was not very pleased. While many may argue that the captain got his way too easily, it is also important to understand that he is the man in charge on the field.Sehwag, it was understood, was the CAC’s second favourite in case Kumble did not continue. The former Delhi opener, however, might want to bring in his own support staff which may not be agreeable to the players – that they want Shastri is no secret.If bringing Shastri back at the helm gives the team some joy then so be it. He is a shrewd cricketer with a sharp cricketing brain and India did not do badly at all under his stewardship – their journey to the World Cup semi-final was memorable.last_img read more

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Kangana Ranaut’s tacky floral attire is something nobody should wear, ever

first_imgIt won’t be unfair to say that we really miss the innumerable ravishing looks that Kangana Ranaut once bestowed upon us. From making regal appearances in gorgeous sarees to donning easy-breezy, summer dresses, we were in awe of her versatile sense of style. While Kangana used to look just so dreamy every time she stepped out of the house, the past few months have seen her style-sense deteriorate with every look.Last seen making frequent public appearances in weird outfits like the printed, night suit attire during the promotions of her previous release, Simran, Kangana Ranaut just ruined florals for us. Adorning the ugliest floral print we’ve seen in a long time, Kangana was spotted at the airport in a pant suit.Photo: Yogen Shah Motted with vivacious colours offset against the flawless, white primary shade, the floral pattern was as shoddy and inconsistent as it could get. Lacking finesse and class, the floral print was a complete disaster. While the print was atrocious, the flared bottom pants made the outfit overdramatic.Photo: Yogen Shah Adding insult to injury, Ms Ranaut sported a massive, bow scarf around her neck. Bow scarfs are popular for the youthful, casual vibe that they emanate, and pairing it with a semi-formal pant suit, Kangana seemed to have overlooked that. Like she wasn’t overdosing on florals already, she even sported a black, shoulder bag with super-ugly, floral motifs that were also mismatched.Photo: Yogen Shah The actress finished the look with a pair of black, pointy shoes, and gave us one of the most sombre public appearances ever.advertisementlast_img read more

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Xiaomi Mi A2 Lite could be a rebranded Redmi 6 Pro, launch likely on July 24

first_imgXiaomi is gearing up for a global product launch, and while it doesn’t say what’s in store, speculations are rife that the Mi A2 may soon be a reality. The company has now confirmed via its official Mi forum that it will be hosting the global product launch in Madrid, Spain on July 24 where it will likely take the wraps off of the Mi A2. The Mi A2 will likely be a rehashed Mi 6X with Android One software.Xiaomi, in addition, is also rumoured to be working on a Lite variant of the Mi A2 that will most likely have stock Android One software but toned down hardware. An AliExpress listing has gone live ahead of the phone’s launch next week, and by the looks of it, the Mi A2 Lite could be a rebranded Redmi 6 Pro. The Mi A2 Lite, as per the listing, has the same design and the same hardware specs as the Redmi 6 Pro which was launched recently in China. Only, in the Mi A2 Lite, Xiaomi will be using stock Android 8.1 Oreo (Android One) software, which is also confirmed by the listing.Surprisingly, the listing seems to be using the product images of the Redmi 6 Pro, since the phone in the images shared is seen running MIUI and not stock Android. That’s probably because the seller may not have had access to the official images of the Mi A2 Lite considering that the phone is yet to be official. The seller has also added pricing confirming that the Mi A2 Lite will have two versions: 3GB RAM and 32GB storage for around $190 and 4GB RAM and 64GB storage for $210. Note that this may not be the final pricing, and may be just placeholder text.advertisementThe Redmi Mi A2, according to the listing, will have a design that seems to be a mashup of the Redmi Note 5 Pro and an iPhone X. The phone looks exactly like the Redmi Note 5 Pro from the back, and from the front, it looks a lot like the iPhone X, only with slightly more bezels. The phone in question will reportedly come with a 5.84-inch screen and dual rear cameras. It will reportedly have a notch up-top resulting in an aspect ratio of 19:9. The phone will reportedly be powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 processor and backed by a 4,000mAh battery.On the optics front, the Mi A2 Lite is said to sport a 12+5 MP setup on the rear and a 5MP camera on the front.ALSO READ: Xiaomi Mi A2, Mi A2 Lite likely to launch on July 24: Rumoured specs, price and everything you need to knowlast_img read more

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Mira Rajput nails gym fashion in backless top and tights. See pics

first_imgOther Galleries 9 images Thu, 24 Oct, 2019 Ileana D’Cruz stuns in tube top and skirt paired with smart blazer at Pagalpanti song launch 10 images Thu, 24 Oct, 2019 Ananya Panday in ganji and mini shorts proves comfy clothing is the best. See pics 10 images Thu, 24 Oct, 2019 Kriti Kharbanda paints the town tangerine in mini dress at Pagalpanti song launch. See pics 10 images Thu, 24 Oct, 2019 Janhvi Kapoor pairs sports bra and mini shorts with Rs 4 lakh bag at gym. See picsOther Photogallery CategoriesIndiaMoviesLifestyleTelevisionAdd new comment Your name * E-mail * The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly. Comment *More information about text formatsPlain textNo HTML tags allowed.Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.Lines and paragraphs break automatically.647×363: 483×271: 370×208: 170×96: 88×50: Section: PhotoLifestyleLifestyleGallery Image: Image: Caption: Mira Rajput is the newest fitness freak in B-Town and the mother of two is slaying workout fashion like a pro.Syndication: SyndicationThumb Image: Enable: EnableOrder: 0Image: Caption: Recently, Mira was spotted outside her gym in Bandra rocking an all-black look.Syndication: SyndicationThumb Image: Enable: EnableOrder: 1Image: Caption: She donned a black backless top with black sports bra and gym tights.Syndication: SyndicationThumb Image: Enable: EnableOrder: 2Image: Caption: She paired her look with black slip-ons and a black over-the-body bag.Syndication: SyndicationThumb Image: Enable: EnableOrder: 3Image: Caption: With a high sleek ponytail and no-makeup look, she gave her outfit a finishing touch.Syndication: SyndicationThumb Image: Enable: EnableOrder: 4Tags: Mira RajputSource type: photogallerySocial media integration: Facebook Instant ArticlePhoto By: Yogen ShahShort description: Recently, Mira Rajput was spotted outside her gym in Bandra rocking an all-black look.Syndicate: YesPreview_unique_id: preview_5c62abd7eb4a21549970391_1454254_editCommentContent Publish date: Tuesday, February 12, 2019 – 16:15Story Extra Data: eyJzZWN0aW9uIjpbIjEyMDY1NjciLCIxMjA4NTIxIl0sImNhdGVnb3J5IjpbIjEyMDg1ODkiXSwic3ViX2NhdGVnb3J5IjpudWxsLCJzdWJfc3ViX2NhdGVnb3J5IjpudWxsLCJzdWJfc3ViX3N1Yl9jYXRlZ29yeSI6bnVsbCwicHJpbWFyeV9jYXRlZ29yeSI6IjEyMDY1NjcifQ==770×433:last_img read more

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Grange: Sport governance structure has to change

first_img The Minister referred to Jamaica, where the sport sector includes more than 40 active national associations and federations which are registered as nongovernment organisations. However, there is a direct relationship with government which provides funding, facilities and other critical support. The Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange, has called for significant changes in the governance structure for sport.Minister Grange made the call in an address to the Commonwealth Sport Ministers’ Meeting in the Gold Coast, Australia on the margins of the Commonwealth Games. The address was given on the Minister’s behalf by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Mr Denzil Thorpe.The Minister referred to Jamaica, where the sport sector includes more than 40 active national associations and federations which are registered as nongovernment organisations. However, there is a direct relationship with government which provides funding, facilities and other critical support.Minister Grange said, “the governance structure has not kept pace with the dynamic growth and meteoric rise of sport and the increasing levels of participation in physical activities — both recreational and competitive — within the country.”According to Minister Grange, “sport is cross-cutting and has an impact on nearly all sectors of Jamaican life. Therefore, the development of a coherent governance system is essential for effective, efficient management and execution of sport programmes, particularly as sports is a vehicle for advancing the development agenda.”The objective of the Commonwealth Sports Ministers meeting was to ‘agree joint strategies and collective action to strengthen policy coherence to maximise the benefits of investing in sport.’Delegations from 45 Commonwealth nations attended the meeting and agreed to take action to strengthen the alignment and coordination of sport policy implementation, in particular across government and with the Commonwealth Games Federation, affiliated member associations and the broader Commonwealth sport movement, but also working with a broad range of stakeholders. Minister Grange said, “the governance structure has not kept pace with the dynamic growth and meteoric rise of sport and the increasing levels of participation in physical activities — both recreational and competitive — within the country.” Story Highlights The Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange, has called for significant changes in the governance structure for sport.last_img read more

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Heavy secrecy surrounds hearing into possible lawyer misconduct

first_imgBy Kathleen MartensAPTN National NewsVANCOUVER —Another serious breach within the residential schools settlement process could be resolved sooner rather than later.That’s because the judge hearing the case Wednesday told the parties to try and work things out on their own.Justice Brenda Brown of the Vancouver Supreme Court took this unusual step at the beginning of a three-day hearing into allegations of extortion involving a convicted killer and the Vancouver lawyer who allegedly hired him.This is an “excellent opportunity for the parties to discuss what can be done,” Brown told Lou Zivot, the lawyer for the court monitor that oversees the compensation process. “I think this is the time to try.”Court was adjourned till the afternoon when the parties were asked to report back on their progress.The last time a violation emerged involving a lawyer and the compensation process was November 2011. Brown ordered an extensive investigation that took many months and wound up costing an estimated $3.5 million.Brown cited the timing and cost of another investigation in sending Zivot and Mark Andrews, who represents the lawyer involved this time, to try and reach a resolution.The murderer has been identified as Ivan Johnny, 62. But the lawyer’s name and evidence connected to the case are protected by a court order.“We’ve made some progress,” Zivot told Brown when court reconvened in the afternoon. He then asked for more time to meet with Andrews.Brown said, “Alright. Sounds good to me. As long as you’re making progress.”APTN Investigates obtained parole documents, which are not covered by the publication ban, to learn more about the case.The documents reveal Johnny’s full parole was revoked Jan. 23 after two members of a parole board heard the new allegations against him: that Johnny worked for a lawyer distributing and collecting compensation application forms from former residential school students, that he persuaded some students to drop their existing lawyers in favour of the one he worked for, that he coached them to exaggerate claims to obtain more financial compensation, and that he threatened and intimidated them for “substantial sums of money” when their compensation arrived.Johnny denies the accusations and has not been charged with a crime in connection with the case. He did confirm, however, that the lawyer bought him a truck to do his work. Parole documents also say Johnny was involved with 275 claims.The compensation is paid through a program called the Independent Assessment Process. It is money for former students who suffered serious physical and sexual abuse in the notorious schools they were forced to attend when they were children.Johnny’s alleged victims are described as “vulnerable” and, in some cases, “cognitively deficient” in the parole documents.The IAP was established as part of the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement. It ran for five years, expiring in September 2012. Due to the complicated and historic nature of the claims, many of them take up to nine months, and are still working their way through the process.The lawyer involved spoke to APTN outside court today but declined to say anything on the record at this time.Other parties at the hearing also declined to comment publicly citing the strict publication ban and the sensitive nature of potential resolution discussions; they are all parties to the original settlement agreement, and include the Indian Residential Schools Adjudication Secretariat.The Secretariat has posted a warning about Johnny on its website. It says Johnny has now been kicked out of the IAP (by Justice Brown on Jan. 18) and that anyone who dealt with Johnny doesn’t have to pay him or anyone trying to collect on his behalf.Johnny was serving a life sentence for first-degree murder from May 1985, after shooting a man he fought with in a Kamloops bar.Meanwhile, one notable absence before the judge yesterday was the Assembly of First Nations. It is a key party to the settlement agreement, having filed the original class-action lawsuit on behalf of survivors.Any steps taken to deal with breaches must be approved by all the parties to the agreement.kmartens@aptn.calast_img read more

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Aurora to file dissident circular against CanniMeds acquisition of Newstrike

first_imgEDMONTON – Aurora Cannabis Inc. is taking further steps to convince CanniMed Therapeutics Inc. shareholders that the proposed acquisition of Newstrike Resources Ltd. is a “terrible deal” compared to its own hostile bid of the Saskatoon-based medical marijuana producer.Aurora (TSX: ACB) plans to file a dissident circular and will solicit votes against CanniMed’s resolution to issue shares in connection with its proposed acquisition of the Tragically-Hip backed Newstrike (TSXV:HIP).Edmonton-headquartered Aurora argues that CanniMed (TSX:CMED) is Newstrike’s “last lifeline” and a significant portion of its capacity is unfunded.Last month, Aurora launched an all-stock takeover bid for CanniMed, with one of its conditions being that CanniMed abandon its own proposed deal for Toronto-based Newstrike.“We reviewed all disclosed and public information on Newstrike and on CanniMed management’s proposed acquisition, and in our opinion it’s a terrible deal for CanniMed shareholders,” said Terry Booth, CEO of Aurora, in a statement Monday.“It doesn’t take a genius to see that a company with no revenues, no sales licence, no patients, no intellectual property of significant value… should not be worth giving 35 per cent of CanniMed away to Newstrike shareholders,” he said of the smaller Newstrike.CanniMed has said its plan to acquire Newstrike is the better plan and alleges that Aurora has launched an “insider bid” working jointly and in concert with some of its shareholders.Both CanniMed and Aurora have called on regulators to intervene, with a hearing scheduled for Wednesday.CanniMed’s chief executive Brent Zettl on Monday called Aurora’s plan to file a dissident circular a “desperate attempt to stop what they know is a better deal for CanniMed shareholders” and “take the spotlight off its own operational deficiencies.”“Aurora is a pumped-up stock listing which relies on proven producers to supply its customers and has had two product recalls in the last year it has been in business,” he said in a statement.“The uncertainty around Aurora’s projected production capacity is one of the main reasons — along with its Monopoly Money offer for CanniMed — why the CanniMed Board rejected its offer.”Note to readers: This is a corrected story. A previous version said Aurora’s headquarters is in Vancouver.last_img read more

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Eby says ICBC shift involves rewarding good driving penalizing poor driving

first_imgVICTORIA – Major shifts in direction are being considered to ensure good drivers in British Columbia receive lower insurance rates, says the minister responsible for the province’s public auto insurer.David Eby said the government introduced an online survey Monday that poses questions about the public mood to realign coverage at the Insurance Corp. of British Columbia in order to offer major incentives for low-risk drivers by changing discount and penalty provisions.The proposed changes are part of the government’s plan to modernize the Crown corporation and restore its dismal finances, which Eby has described as a “dumpster fire.” The provincial budget forecasts a $1.3-billion deficit at ICBC this year.Eby said the government wants to hear from people in B.C. about the government’s plans for change. The public consultation ends April 5.Last month, he said the government will introduce legislation to change ICBC, including a $5,500 cap on claim payouts for minor pain and suffering.“The question is, who is a bad driver and how much more should they pay,” Eby said. “Is it someone who has two speeding tickets? It is someone who has at-fault accidents? Is it someone who has a single infraction with excessive speed?”The survey asks for input on changing policies for at-fault crashes, discounts and penalties.Under the proposed changes, one at-fault accident would be allowed without penalty after 20 years of safe driving, instead of the current 13 years. After an at-fault accident, it would also take drivers 10 years to return to their pre-accident discount rate status instead of the current three years.The proposal includes increased driver penalties and risk points for excessive speeding offences.“Car insurance rates in our province aren’t fair,” Eby says in a video on the government website. “Low-risk drivers with perfect records are paying more than they should. High-risk drivers who are driving up costs for everyone aren’t paying enough. We want to fix this problem.”The government says the auto insurance rating system is 30 years old and has not been updated in 10 years.last_img read more

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Group of 77 developing countries critical to overcoming global crises Ban says

“The crises that erupted last year highlighted the interdependence of economies and countries,” Mr. Ban said in remarks read out by Deputy Secretary-General Asha-Rose Migiro to the Group, which was established in 1964 by 77 States, but now represents more than 130 countries, usually including China.“As we move into 2009, these global challenges remain. They threaten to undo the progress made towards the development goals of the last decade,” he added, stressing that efforts to meet the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) that aim to slash poverty and other ills by 2015 required the hard work of all.In that light, Mr. Ban stressed the importance of cooperation between developing countries and expressed appreciation for the Group’s strong support for his efforts to strengthen the development pillar of the UN. He promised to continue to work to increase the effectiveness of those efforts across the systemHowever, peace and security, development and human rights – the fundamentals of the UN Charter – are interdependent, especially in Africa, where people “so desperately need peace for development.”“I sincerely hope that Sudan’s leadership of the Group of 77 and China will accelerate efforts to find an acceptable resolution of these conflicts,” he said.Also addressing the handover ceremony, General Assembly President Miguel D’Escoto recalled his association with the caucus since its inception and listed some of its achievements.Mr. D’Escoto said he looked forward to working with the Sudan Chairmanship in a spirit of “collective responsibility” with other groups and Member States to enhance the relevance and vitality of the General Assembly.“This is the best way to promote more effective multilateralism and deepen our cooperation and demonstrate our leadership on complex issues, including the ongoing reform of the United Nations,” he said. 23 January 2009The cooperation of developing nations is critical to overcome the concurrent crises in finance, climate change, global health and extreme poverty, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told the ‘Group of 77’ States today, at a ceremony where the leadership of the powerful caucus passed from Antigua and Barbuda to Sudan. read more

Read More Group of 77 developing countries critical to overcoming global crises Ban says

Chorus of oil sands critics grows online as Ottawa says halfway to

OTTAWA — Prime Minister Stephen Harper will be in New York today, pitching Canadian energy prospects to a leading U.S. think-tank.[np_storybar title=”Six-figure salaries no draw as young workers shun Canada’s oil and gas sector for ‘sexier’ industries” link=””%5DThe Canadian oil and gas industry’s faltering reputation is hurting its ability to attract the country’s youth despite the promise of six-figure salaries. Read more. [/np_storybar]At the same time, critics of Canada’s green record are taking to the Internet to warn that the Alberta oil sands are an environmental threat.Speaking to the Council on Foreign Relations, Harper is expected to stress that Canada is halfway towards meeting its greenhouse gas emissions target. Many people in both countries, however, are wondering about the other half.As the Obama administration ponders the TransCanada Corp. proposal to build the Keystone XL pipeline to link the oil sands to Gulf Coast refineries, Harper’s government is trumpeting the steps it has taken to ensure pipeline safety, cut emissions and monitor oil sands pollution.This week, in advance of the prime minister’s Q-and-A with the council, the federal government took out ads in major U.S. publications and fired up a new website to promote its sector-by-sector regulatory approach to reducing emissions.“With these and other means, Canada is honouring its United Nations commitment under the Copenhagen Accord to a 17-per-cent reduction in emissions from 2005 levels by 2020,” the website says.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan “We estimate that as a result of our collective actions taken to date, Canada is already halfway toward closing the gap between what our emissions had originally been projected to be in 2020, and where we need to be to meet our Copenhagen target.”But critics, including Environmental Defence Canada, Equiterre, Forest Ethics Advocacy, Greenpeace Canada and the U.S. Natural Resources Defence Council, have set up their own Internet soapbox.They say “presents peer-reviewed, easy to understand facts about the devastating impacts of the oil sands on climate, economy, human rights, land and species, air and water.”The trouble with Harper’s “halfway” claim is that it lumps together all the measures both provincial and federal governments have taken and the cumulative effect they will have on emissions by 2020.Numerous analyses suggest that closing the rest of the gap will take a near miracle, or some kind of national carbon pricing program.The federal Conservatives reject carbon pricing, although many provinces have already headed in that direction, either on their own or to comply with federal regulations.Something will have to give.Oil and gas are the largest source of emissions growth. Federal, provincial and industry officials have been negotiating for months to produce a plan that would curb emissions at a cost that does not disadvantage the industry.But none of the scenarios will take Canada anywhere near meeting its 2020 target, analysts say.Environment Minister Peter Kent, meanwhile, is looking at the handful of sectors not yet regulated. Commercial and residential buildings are key, he said in a recent interview, adding that he’s also hoping for international action in the aviation sector.Canada, he also noted, is now getting credit for reforestation efforts.But none of those this will give Canada more than a few megatonnes of carbon reductions each by 2020, well short of the needed 100 megatonnes.Canada could buy emissions credits from cash-short developing countries, but the government isn’t keen on that option.The Conservatives have also rejected suggestions that they limit emissions by freezing oil sands development and pipeline construction.This week, the International Energy Association said it expects oil sands production to increase by 1.3 million barrels a day by 2018, to a total of about 5 million a day.Canadian Press read more

Read More Chorus of oil sands critics grows online as Ottawa says halfway to

CPC chairman to resign

His resignation comes amidst the controvercy over the importing of substandard fuel to the country. The Chairman of the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) Thilak Collure is to resign from his post, sources told the Colomboi Gazette.It is understood that Collure had tendered his resignation as he was to go oversaes. He also said that 25000MT of Octane 90 petrol from the same shipment had however been passed to be released to the consumer. (Colombo Gazette) Meanwhile Petroleum Resources Minister Anura Priyadharshana Yapa said that the CPC had rejected 5000MT of imported Octane 95 petrol after two tests had found that it was contaminated. read more

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17 developing countries benefit from nearly 320 million in UN loans

The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), meeting at its headquarters in Rome, approved the loans and grants for rural development projects in Algeria, Argentina, Armenia, Bangladesh, Brazil, Burkina Faso, Ecuador, Ethiopia, Guatemala, Indonesia, Jordan, Lesotho, Nepal, Sudan, Tanzania, Viet Nam and Zambia. Loans to the Asia-Pacific region total $88.4 for projects ranging from the development of marginal upland and coastal communities in Indonesia to poverty reduction programmes in Viet Nam to a microfinance project in Bangladesh. In eastern and southern Africa, loans worth $76.1 million will support agricultural services in Tanzania, rural finance in Zambia, sustainable agriculture and natural resource management in Lesotho and improved agricultural marketing in Ethiopia. For Latin America and the Caribbean, IFAD loans total $75 million for projects ranging from helping small farmers and indigenous communities in Patagonia, Argentina, to supporting rural entrepreneurial activities in Brazil to promoting market-oriented small businesses in Guatemala. In the Near East and North Africa region, IFAD will provide $64 million in loans to help rural communities in the Tlemcen mountainous northern region of Algeria, rural mountain districts in Armenia and poor households in Kordofan, western Sudan, among other projects. In western and central Africa, loans worth $16 million will fund an eight-year sustainable rural development programme in Burkina Faso. The Fund also approved three grants of $3.9 million to support a range of agricultural activities, including emergency assistance to control the spread of desert locusts in northern and West Africa, strengthening a national agriculture strategy in Rwanda and improving the capacity of poor rural communities in seven Pacific Island countries to address development challenges posed by their remoteness and isolation. read more

Read More 17 developing countries benefit from nearly 320 million in UN loans

An evening with two great talents and legendary hearts

Barney BentallYou wouldn’t think it at first, but there are a few similarities between being a professional musician and being a cattle rancher.Both are wildly unpredictable. Both involve forging ahead through changing markets and climates. And both have found their way into the heart of Barney Bentall, venerable singer/songwriter and Canadian household name.Kevin FoxBentall will play the Centre for the Arts on March 11 with Toronto multi-instrumentalist Kevin Fox. The gig comes four years into Bentall’s comeback after taking a decade off to be a full-time cattle rancher.“I used to think being a touring rock n’ roll musician was hard,” he says. “But after I started ranching, I looked back and thought ‘That wasn’t hard at all.’”Born in Toronto, Bentall broke onto the music scene in the 1980s with his band, the Legendary Hearts. Their hits included “Something to Live For,” “Do Ya” and “Come Back to Me.” The band released five studio albums before Bentall halted his music career in 2000 to work a cattle ranch.Bentall loved music, but started to feel like “the years were evaporating.” A longtime fan of agriculture and the cowboy life, he started Cutter Ranch Lamb in Clinton, B.C. He woke at the crack of dawn, rounding up cattle on horseback, fixing tractors and bailers and birthing calves.Ultimately, though, “it wasn’t me,” and he handed operation of the ranch to his daughter and son-in-law, Sacha and Tyler McNaughton. (His other daughter, Jessica, is married to Rob Niedermayer of the Buffalo Sabres, while son Dustin is also a musician.)Bentall reemerged in 2006 with a solo album, Gift Horse. In 2008, he released a CD for The Grand Cariboo Opry, a collaborative jamboree type of project he put together to benefit the residents of Vancouver’s impoverished east side. In 2009, he released a live album, The Inside Passage.Fox and Bentall first joined forces at a show in B.C. more than a year ago. Fox is no stranger to the Sean O’Sullivan Theatre. He’s played there with numerous other artists, including Shaye, Justin Hines, Chantal Kreviazuk and the Niagara Symphony.A professional musician for 19 years, Fox has released two solo CDs, Come Alive and Songs for Cello and Voice. But it’s only with the second that he’s presented himself outside the Toronto market, he says.“It always feels like a luxury to be onstage and presenting myself to an attentive audience,” says Fox, who plans to release a new album in the spring.Fox’s main instrument is the cello, but he plays a slew of other instruments, including piano, guitar and mandolin. Onstage, he likes to engage the audience in conversation and “I like everyone to be comfortable.”Fox will start the show, followed by a performance by Bentall. Then the two will join forces. The result will be “a compatible harmony of enjoyable music,” Fox says.“There’s a warmth to my music, and there’s a warmth to Barney’s music as well,” he says. “I like to create a comfort for myself and the audience. It’s like welcoming people to my living room.” read more

Read More An evening with two great talents and legendary hearts