Hopping into Spring at the Museum of Natural History

first_img Spring has officially sprung at the Museum of Natural History.The giant peeper will be placed on the side of the museum onWednesday, May 11. This marks the 20th anniversary of the peeper’s appearance on theside of the building. This year the frog will be changing hisusual perch. The public will see him on the south-east corner ofthe museum, peering down at the museum backyard. “For many of our visitors and motorists, the peeper has become awelcome sight as one of the first real signs of spring” saidJanet Maltby, museum manager. During the early weeks of spring museum staff receive numerouscalls from across the province reporting sounds of peepingincluding many inquiries as to when the frog will be going on thebuilding. “Traditionally, he goes out with the first consistentrecorded sounds of spring peepers,” said Ms. Maltby. The peeper is a giant wood and fibreglass model of the NorthernSpring Peeper, a sub-species of the treefrog family. Thesequarter size frogs leave their winter hibernation in early springand begin their familiar chorus of peeping to attract mates asthe nights become warmer. “For many of us growing up in Nova Scotia, the tranquil sound ofspring peepers late at night is part of our childhood experiencesand it let’s us know that warmer weather will soon be on itsway,” said museum curator Christine Sykora. The frog made his debut in 1985 marking the release of thepopular museum publication Amphibians and Reptiles of Nova Scotiaby John Gilhen, and as part of the award-winning museum programFrog Watch. Visit the museum’s website at nature.museum.gov.ns.ca for moreinformation on Nova Scotia nature. NOTE TO EDITORS: The model of the giant peeper will be placed onthe side of the Museum of Natural History on Wednesday, May 11,at 11 a.m.last_img read more

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Partners in Transportation Workshop

first_imgAgri-food and seafood processors and exporters will be among the people discussing how to get Nova Scotia products to market more efficiently during a workshop being hosted by the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries on Wednesday, Nov. 2, in Truro. “This workshop will identify the food industry’s transportation challenges, constraints and concerns,” said Chris d’Entremont, Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries. “It’s the first step in finding efficiencies together.” The Partners in Transportation workshop will be held, free of charge, at the Best Western Glengarry Hotel in Truro. To register, participants are asked to fill out a form and survey on the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries’ website at www.gov.ns.ca/nsaf/mbd/transport.shtml or call 902-424-0333. This one-day session will take place before another workshop that is being sponsored by the Atlantic Chamber of Commerce and the Colchester Regional Development Agency. That workshop is called Partners in Trade, and is being presented as part of a conference on Growing the Atlantic Economy: The Transportation Factor, being held from Nov. 2 to Nov. 4 in Truro.last_img read more

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Celebrate Life 2007 Marks National Cancer Survivors Day

first_imgPier 21 in Halifax provides the backdrop for an afternoon of music and festivities on Sunday, June 3, as Nova Scotians mark National Cancer Survivors Day with Celebrate Life 2007. Presented by Cancer Care Nova Scotia, this is the sixth year the Halifax celebration has been held. The event takes place between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. Doors open at 1 p.m. for an information fair. Admission is free and everyone is welcome. “Celebrate Life is about hope, inspiration and remembrance,” said Emmie Luther-Hiltz, co-ordinator, cancer patient family network, Cancer Care Nova Scotia. “It’s an opportunity to come together with those important people in our lives and share a strong sense of community.” Terry Kelly, honourary event chair and a cancer survivor, will perform a song he wrote for the event in English and French Launched last year, the song is becoming an anthem for survivorship events throughout the country. Other performers include J.P. Cormier, Doris Mason, the Greene School of Irish Dance and the Sacred Heart School Elementary Choir. Acadian musician and singer/songwriter, Ron Burgeois, will be master of ceremonies. CTV’s Peter Mallette will share his personal experience with cancer and speak about ways he has been able to remain positive, be thankful for and celebrate life while dealing with a cancer diagnosis. The family-oriented afternoon will also include a candle lighting ceremony to honour those touched by cancer. National Cancer Survivors Day events, like Celebrate Life 2007, will be recognized by thousands of people in communities throughout North America on Sunday. It is a day to honour those around the world who are living with a history of cancer. In Nova Scotia, the 28,000 people who are living with, living through or living beyond a cancer diagnosis are invited to join with their families, friends and health providers to celebrate life. Cancer Care Nova Scotia is a program of the Department of Health, created to reduce the burden of cancer on individuals, families, and the health-care system through prevention, screening, education and research.last_img read more

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Premier Announces Highspeed Connections in Cape Breton

first_imgPremier Rodney MacDonald joined staff and residents of L’Arche Cape Breton today, Sept. 29, to celebrate their high-speed connection to the Internet. The event in Orangedale, Inverness Co., was another milestone for the province’s $75-million Broadband for Rural Nova Scotia initiative that promises 100 per cent high-speed access to all Nova Scotians by the end of 2009. “We are celebrating Orangedale as the first area in Cape Breton to experience the benefits of high-speed through this initiative that connects rural Nova Scotia quickly and economically to the world,” said Premier MacDonald. “By making this important service available, we are encouraging people to build careers, raise their families and enjoy the advantages of living in rural Nova Scotia.” L’Arche Cape Breton is part of an international program creating homes and jobs for people who have developmental disabilities. The Cape Breton location is the only rural member of the L’Arche organization in Canada. “Our organization is now able to communicate more efficiently and effectively within its partner communities worldwide,” said Jenn Power, executive director of L’Arche Cape Breton. “We attract international staff who now have high-speed connections for research, as well as the ability to communicate with colleagues and family around the world.” Seaside Communications won the contract to provide high-speed access in northeastern Nova Scotia and Cape Breton. When its network is completed, the company will be providing upwards of 39,000 civic addresses with the opportunity to subscribe to high-speed. “We are pleased to partner with the province to help provide this service in our region,” said Irving Schwartz, president of Seaside Communications. “Orangedale is the first of hundreds of sites in our coverage area that we are pleased to connect as a result of rigourous planning.” The Broadband for Rural Nova Scotia initiative will give our Nova Scotia schools, businesses and families the opportunity to connect and compete worldwide. It is being cost shared by the provincial and federal governments and high-speed service providers.last_img read more

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LÉcole secondaire de Clare devient la première école francophone dont lamélioration est

first_imgLes élèves et le personnel de l’École secondaire de Clare ont été honorés, aujourd’hui 27 mars, puisqu’il s’agit de la première école du Conseil scolaire acadien provincial dont l’amélioration est confirmée. La confirmation de l’amélioration est obtenue après cinq années de travail par l’école visant à établir des normes plus élevées, à améliorer le rendement des élèves et à améliorer le rendement de l’école en général. « L’École secondaire de Clare peut être très fière de cette distinction, » a dit Judy Streatch, ministre de l’Éducation. « Je veux féliciter le personnel, les élèves, le comité d’école consultatif et la communauté scolaire, qui ont déployé tellement d’efforts envers une stratégie d’amélioration de l’école en vue de rendre une bonne école encore meilleure. » Cette école a été l’une des premières à être choisies en 2003 afin de mettre à l’essai le Programme de confirmation de l’amélioration des écoles de la Nouvelle-Écosse, un processus d’amélioration des écoles identifié comme une priorité dans le plan d’éducation pluriannuel de la province intitulé « Vie et apprentissage II ». Presque toutes les 433 écoles de la province travaillent actuellement à l’élaboration de plans d’amélioration de l’école. « Le Programme de confirmation de l’amélioration des écoles de la Nouvelle-Écosse assure l’amélioration continue des écoles et la satisfaction des besoins des élèves en matière d’éducation, » a dit Mme Streatch. L’École secondaire de Clare, une école accueillant les élèves de la 8e à la 12e année, a concentré ses efforts sur l’amélioration du rendement général des élèves en mathématiques et en sciences. Elle a également établi un objectif visant à s’assurer qu’un plus grand nombre d’élèves francophones de la 12e année possèdent les compétences linguistiques en français requises pour l’admission à une université francophone telle que l’Université Sainte-Anne. « Le processus de confirmation de l’amélioration nous a permis d’examiner attentivement ce que nous faisons, notre rendement, et surtout, les possibilités d’amélioration, » a dit le directeur Phillip LeBlanc. Le Programme de confirmation de l’amélioration des écoles de la Nouvelle-Écosse exige que chaque école réponde à une norme d’excellence basée sur des objectifs spécifiques et stratégiques, mesurables, réalisables, axés sur les résultats et opportuns. Dans le cadre du programme, les écoles forment des équipes d’examen interne qui sont responsables de recueillir et d’évaluer les données identifiant les forces et les domaines où une amélioration est nécessaire. Les écoles élaborent ensuite des objectifs et travaillent en vue d’atteindre ces objectifs par l’entremise d’un plan quinquennal d’amélioration de l’école. Le plan est examiné par une équipe d’examen externe formée d’éducateurs et d’administrateurs indépendants qui visitent chaque école avant de donner leur approbation. Les écoles mettent en œuvre le plan d’amélioration et fournissent des mises à jour annuelles aux comités d’école consultatifs. Une équipe de confirmation de l’amélioration retourne à l’école après quatre ans pour évaluer les progrès. Les écoles reçoivent la confirmation de l’amélioration après avoir effectué des progrès dans l’atteinte des objectifs du plan d’amélioration.last_img read more

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Traffic Advisory Halifax Regional Municipality

first_imgHALIFAX REGIONAL MUNICIPALITY: Route 212 Route 212, from Pratt & Whitney Drive east for about 7.7 kilometres, will be reduced to a one lane until Monday, Aug. 31. Traffic control people are on site. Work takes place from sunrise to sunset. -30- Local Area Office: 902-424-6144 Fax: 902-424-7116last_img

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Ellenwood Lake Beach in Yarmouth County Closed to Swimmers

first_imgBecause of high levels of bacteria, the Nova Scotia Lifeguard Service has closed Ellenwood Lake Beach, in Yarmouth County, for swimming. The beach will reopen when water testing shows it is safe. To check when the beach has reopened, call the Nova Scotia Lifeguard Service beach information line at 902-429-0635. -30-last_img

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Traffic Advisory Halifax Regional Municipality

first_imgHALIFAX REGIONAL MUNICIPALITY: Highway 102 Highway 102 (Bicentennial Highway) will be closed for about 20 minutes today, Oct. 30, between 1 p.m. and 1:30 p.m., for blasting at the Larry Uteck Interchange. Drivers should expect delays or use alternate routes, which will be indicated by electronic signs. -30- Local Area Office: 902-424-5591 Fax: 902-424-7116 last_img

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Traffic Advisory HRM

first_imgTraffic Advisory, Halifax Regional Municipality Motorists are advised that the section of Conrads Road across Queensland Beach is closed because of flooding. Drivers should use Trunk 3 as an alternate route until the road re-opens. -30-last_img

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Nova Scotia Provincial Parks Events Kicks Off

first_imgThis season, visitors to Nova Scotia’s provincial parks can participate in events that promote a healthy, active lifestyle. The Park Events Guide highlights educational opportunities and the many possibilities for outdoor adventure. Nova Scotians are encouraged to discover our nature by attending a nature-based event. The Park Events Guide includes more than 180 events and activities from May 22 to March 31 in more than 55 provincial parks, wilderness areas, nature reserves and Crown land locations throughout the province. “Our provincial parks provide an affordable way for families and friends to spend time together and discover Nova Scotia’s natural beauty,” said Natural Resources Minister John MacDonell. “We encourage people to come out and participate in this year’s events.” They include natural or cultural history education, paddling, astronomy, and outings to keep communities green such as a beach sweep and nature art. There are attractions for all ages and activities for everyone, from the observer to the experienced outdoors person. Various events are scheduled for the Park Events opening weekend. On Sunday, May 23, at 8:00 a.m., an informative birding hike will take place at Taylor Head Provincial Park near Sheet Harbour. Participants will be birding by ear on a guided walk along the beautiful shoreline of Bob’s Bluff and Spry Bay trails. Mira River Provincial Park in Cape Breton will once again host Come Walk Our Park on Sunday, May 23, at 1 p.m. The Friends of Mira Park Society will feature a day of nature walks, wildlife displays, family events and children’s games. The Park Events Guide is a co-operative effort by government agencies, recreation clubs, community organizations and interested individuals, and is co-ordinated by the Department of Natural Resources. Most events are free and some require advance registration. For more information and updates on park events, call the information line at 902-424-4321 or visit www.novascotiaparks.ca .last_img read more

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Government Announces Funding Support for Grand Slam of Curling

first_imgPort Hawkesbury will play host to the Elite 10 Grand Slam of Curling event March 16 to 19. Energy Minister Michel Samson, on behalf of Communities Culture and Heritage Minister Tony Ince, announced today, March 10, that the province will contribute $35,000 to the event. “The province is proud to invest in this event which will bring outstanding curlers to our province,” said Mr. Samson. “Port Hawkesbury has proven its ability to host events of this calibre, which generate economic activity, and benefit local residents, surrounding communities, and the entire province.” The Elite 10 Grand Slam of Curling event is one in a series of seven curling bonspiels that are a part of the annual World Curling Tour. The Grand Slam events feature the best men’s and women’s curling teams from across Canada and around the world. “Events of this nature grow capacity and create a tremendous legacy in small-town Nova Scotia,” said Paula Davis, marketing and events director for the Town of Port Hawkesbury. “Volunteers have a great opportunity for engagement and are essential to the success of such an event. We can already feel the enthusiasm in anticipation for the Elite 10 Grand Slam and we are excited to showcase our wonderful facilities.” The Port Hawkesbury Civic Centre will be converted into a curling rink for the four-day event. Events like this help build strong communities, a binding feature of Communities, Culture and Heritage’s recently unveiled Culture Action Plan.last_img read more

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Settlement Approved with Wayne Berry EnCharge Inc and EnCharge Canada Corp

first_imgThe Nova Scotia Securities Commission has approved a settlement agreement with Wayne Berry, EnCharge Inc. and EnChargeCanada Corp. Mr. Berry was an official with EnCharge and EnChargeCanada. The two companies and Mr. Berry admitted to violating Nova Scotia securities laws by soliciting investments from, and distributing securities to, residents of Nova Scotia without being registered to do so and distributing securities without having filed a prospectus. These actions undermined investor confidence in the fairness and efficiency of capital markets. Mr. Berry admitted to the violations and accepted responsibility for his conduct and was co-operative with commission staff. The commission approved the settlement agreement and ordered the three to: cease trading in securities for five years be denied the use of exemptions contained in Nova Scotia securities law for five years be prohibited from becoming or acting as a director or officer of any issuer, registrant or investment fund manager for three years be prohibited from becoming or acting as a registrant, investment manager or promoter for five years. comply with Nova Scotia securities laws be reprimanded pay an administrative penalty of $40,000 pay costs for the commission proceedings of $3,500. In addition Mr. Berry is to: EnCharge and EnChargeCanada are denied the use of exemptions contained in Nova Scotia securities law for 10 years. The Nova Scotia Securities Commission is the provincial government agency responsible for regulating trading in securities in the province. To view the order please visit http://nssc.novascotia.ca.last_img read more

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Mineral Resources Development Fund Grants Awarded

first_imgGrants awarded through the new Mineral Resources Development Fund will help in the search for new mineral discoveries, move projects closer to production and attract investment into Nova Scotia. Energy and Mines Minister Derek Mombourquette announced the 28 grants totaling $799,800 today, July 11. “Nova Scotia’s mining industry is an important component of the province’s rural economy,” said Mr. Mombourquette. “This program will support prospectors and exploration, assist in growing the province’s mineral sector and help train the next generation of young people entering the industry.” The Mineral Resources Development Fund was introduced in Budget 2018-19, replacing a smaller program. The fund is timed with a renewed national focus in Nova Scotia’s mineral opportunities stemming from the success of the Atlantic Gold mine, the only new gold mine to open nationally in 2017. This new provincial initiative is designed to encourage investment and development in the mineral resource sector. The fund supports grassroots prospecting to more advanced mineral exploration. It also provides marketing grants that enable prospectors to promote their mineral prospects and assists in securing research grants that build partnerships between university researchers, prospectors and mineral exploration companies. “The Mineral Resource Development Fund is a huge benefit to the exploration community and highly beneficial to the rural economy of Nova Scotia,” said Lindsay Allen, owner-operator of ELK Exploration Limited in Terence Bay. “I’m hopeful we can make some new discoveries.” Eighteen of the 28 grants are going to prospectors, many of which are one-person companies or junior exploration companies. Grants provide essential support for them to find mineral deposits and promote their projects to investors. Geology departments at Dalhousie, Memorial, Acadia and Saint Mary’s universities also received a portion of the approved grants. In addition to funding the research, the program links industry with innovative university researchers while providing training and support for the next generation of mineral deposit geologists. For a full list of grant recipients and more information on the fund visit http://www.novascotia.ca/natr/meb/mrdp/mrdp_results.asp .last_img read more

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New Program to Help Young Adults Get Jobs

first_imgGovernment is piloting new supports for young people on income assistance to help them become independent and get into the workforce more quickly. The EDGE pilot program is a job search and readiness program designed for young adults aged 18 to 26 who receive Employment Supports and Income Assistance. The program is the first of its kind in Nova Scotia. “This program is part of our commitment to helping young people find a path into the job market,” said Premier Stephen McNeil. “We want to make sure every Nova Scotian has the opportunity to be part of the economy and succeed in this province. I’m proud that young adults came forward to help design this program that builds skills and confidence.” EDGE is delivered in peer groups, with mentorship and youth-focused supports. It helps young adults develop skills and gain access to the resources they need in a supportive environment designed to meet their needs. “I am so pleased to be able to offer our young adults more options to help them reach their goals,” said Minister of Community Services Kelly Regan. “The program resulted from listening to young people and responding to what they need to be independent.” “Going through a patch of hard luck, EDGE helped by connecting me with peers in the same situation, a good atmosphere to socialize and work in, and helped ease my sense of frustration and isolation,” said Brandon, 25, program participant. The program is delivered in two sites, by three service providers, MetroWorks in Halifax Regional Municipality, and Community INC., partnered with The Portal Youth Centre in Kentville. “The EDGE program efficiently helped us fill two positions with well-prepared and responsible young people,” said Rachel Bedingfield, Kentville Department of Parks and Recreation. “We value our role in mentoring local young people to build skills and experience. It is clear that because these youth are supported by the EDGE staff and program, they are continuing to be successful in their jobs.” “Programs like EDGE not only support youth with employment, but they also drive economic development by strengthening our future workforce to meet the needs of our diverse business community,” said Dave Rideout, president and CEO of MetroWorks. Government has invested $1 million in the EDGE pilot program. Under changes to Employment Supports and Income Assistance, the department is building supports to help young people build connections to communities, self-confidence, a career path and independence from income assistance, breaking the cycle of poverty from generation to generation. Those interested in learning more about the EDGE program in these regions should contact their Employment Supports and Income Assistance caseworker or call 1-877-424-1177.last_img read more

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Honey Garlic Pork Chops

first_imgIngredients Ketchup 1/2 cup Honey 2.5 tbsp Soy Sauce (low-sodium) 2 tbsp Garlic (crushed) 2 cloves Pork Chops (1-inch thick) 6 (4 ounce) Preparation Preheat grill for medium heat and lightly oil the grate. Whisk ketchup, honey, soy sauce, and garlic together in a bowl to make a glaze. Sear the pork chops on both sides on the preheated grill. Lightly brush glaze onto each side of the chops as they cook; grill until no longer pink in the centre – about 7 to 9 minutes per side. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the center should read 145 degrees F (63 degrees C). (Courtesy: www.allrecipes.com)last_img

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Rahul picks holes in PMs Kerala dear to me remark accuses him

first_imgThiruvambady (Ker): Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Sunday sought to dismiss Prime Minister Naredra Modi’s assertion that Kerala was as dear to him as Varanasi, alleging that the PM was meting out stepmotherly treatment to non-BJP-ruled states and he did not expect any cooperation from him. In his speech, thanking the voters of the Wayanad Lok Sabha constituency for electing him, Gandhi claimed that the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was blinded by “hatred and anger” and viewed those not following the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) ideology as not Indians, while vowing to fight it. Also Read – Dussehra with a ‘green’ twist He was addressing a gathering at Engapuzha near here, a tiny town in Kozhikode district and part of his Lok Sabha constituency, after a roadshow on the third and final day of his thanksgiving visit to Wayanad. “The prime minister considers BJP-ruled states and non-BJP ruled states differently. I know, he will never consider Kerala the way he considers Uttar Pradesh because the CPI(M) is ruling here,” he said, referring to Modi’s speech at Guruvayur in Kerala on Saturday. Also Read – India receives its first Rafale fighter jet from France After offering prayers at the famous Krishna temple in Guruvayur, Modi had said the BJP was not working for mere electoral politics and that it was keen on building the country and ensuring that India got its place of pride in the international arena. “Elections have their place in democracy and it is the responsibility of the winner to take care of the 130 crore people. Those who made us win or those who did not, both are our (people). Kerala is as dear to me as Varanasi,” he had said, referring to his Lok Sabha constituency in Uttar Pradesh. The Congress chief, however, said he was not expecting any cooperation from the prime minister and the BJP-led central government for the development of Wayanad and Kerala. Referring to his Saturday meeting with the CPI(M) MLA from Kalpeta, which falls under the Wayanad Lok Sabha constituency, Gandhi said there might be “ideological differences” (between the Congress and the Left), but those would be set aside and both parties would work together for the development of Wayanad. But, such cooperation was not coming from the prime minister and the BJP, he charged. “Because they are blinded by hatred and anger…because either you follow the ideology of the RSS or you are not an Indian…. We will fight that and I promise you that we will not be ruled by Nagpur (where the RSS is based),” Gandhi said. As in the last two days, hundreds of party workers and locals, including women and children, greeted Gandhi during the roadshow at Engapuzha in the morning. Several people in the crowd were seen wearing T-shirts with slogans such as “Rahul we need you” and “Rahul pada” (army). Before leaving for New Delhi in the afternoon, Gandhi would take out one more roadshow at Mukkam, near here. This is the All India Congress Committee (AICC) president’s first visit to Wayanad after his thumping poll victory with a margin of about 4.31 lakh votes. The Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF) swept the parliamentary election in Kerala, winning 19 of its 20 seats. Besides Wayanad, Gandhi had also contested the polls from his pocket borough of Amethi in Uttar Pradesh. He lost the Amethi poll battle to Union minister Smriti Irani. After arriving in Kerala on June 7, the Congress chief took out massive roadshows in various parts of his high-range constituency, which spreads over three districts — Wayanad, Malappuram and Kozhikode. He accepted memorandums and complaints from people and spent time listening to the grievances of representatives of tribals and farmers at the Wayand district collectorate on Saturday. During his roadshows, Gandhi lashed out at Modi and assured the people that he would raise the issues of not only Wayanad, but of entire Kerala in Parliament. Reviving his attack on Modi after the polls, he alleged that the prime minister’s election campaign was filled with “lies, poison and hatred”, while his party stood for “truth, love and affection”. Gandhi’s visit to Kerala came days after he offered to resign as the Congress president in view of the party’s dismal showing in the second consecutive general election. But the offer was rejected by the Congress Working Committee, the highest decision-making body of the party.last_img read more

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NCST to convene meeting on alleged displacement of tribals from Chgarh

first_imgNew Delhi: The National Commission For Scheduled Tribes (NCST) will convene a meeting to discuss the issue of alleged displacement of tribals from Chhattisgarh due to Maoist violence with the Union ministries of home and tribal affairs.Besides the Union ministries, representatives from Chhattisgarh, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Maharashtara will be invited for the meeting that is likely to take place in June end or early next month, NCST Joint Secretary S K Rathore said. “We discussed the matter at the 115th meeting of the commission held on June 4. The claim is that a lot of people from Chhattisgarh have gone to Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Maharashtra due to violence,” he said. Also Read – Cong may promise farm loan waiver in HaryanaSome members of the commission opined that like Kashmiri Pandits fled Jammu and Kashmir due to violence, something like that happened in Chhattisgarh also because of Maoist violence and they wanted to seek ground reports from the four states, Rathore said. “We have called for feedback from these states. We have to ascertain if it is true. If yes, how many such people have settled there and thereafter, we will take it up with the ministries of home and tribal affairs,” he said. According to tribal rights activists claim around 30,000 people, who fled Chhattisgarh due to Maoist violence, are living in 248 settlements in the forests of Odisha, Andhra Pradesh, and Telangana. These tribals are living in deplorable conditions without any access to drinking water and electricity. They get lower wages. Most of them don’t have ration cards or voter IDs and cannot prove their citizenship, the activists claim, adding these states don’t recognise them as tribals.last_img read more

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Philippines Abu Sayyaf chief likely plotted suicide attacks

first_imgJolo (Philippines): An Abu Sayyaf commander aligned with the Islamic State group most likely plotted the suicide attacks on an army camp in the volatile southern Philippines by two militants whose identities remain unknown, a Philippine official said Saturday. Interior Secretary Eduardo Ano cited intelligence as showing Hajan Sawadjaan most likely harbored the two suicide bombers and plotted Friday’s attack in an army camp that killed three soldiers, two civilians and themselves. The military says 22 other soldiers and civilians were wounded. Also Read – Turkey preparations for Syria offensive ‘completed’The Islamic State group claimed in a statement that two of its fighters carried out the attack with explosive belts but overstated the military casualties at about 100. It posted what it claimed was a picture of the two young-looking militants before the attack, wearing what appeared to be explosive vests and standing beside a black IS-style flag with lush foliage in the backdrop. Ano and other security officials have previously blamed Sawadjaan, who is based in the jungles of Sulu province’s mountainous Patikul town, for the Jan. 27 suicide bombing of a Roman Catholic cathedral during a Mass that killed 23 people in Sulu’s capital town of Jolo. Also Read – Imran Khan arrives in China, to meet Prez Xi JinpingHe is also the suspected mastermind of a July 31, 2018, explosion of a bomb-laden van that killed its driver, reportedly a foreign jihadist with Moroccan blood, and 10 other people in nearby Basilan province. The Associated Press has seen a captured militant’s video of the foreign jihadist, who used the nom de guerre Abu Kathir Al-Maghribi, with Sawadjaan and his men in a jungle encampment before the foreign militant died in last year’s blast in Basilan. Philippine officials vowed to hunt down and destroy Sawadjaan and his men. “We’ve monitored Sawadjaan’s group training suicide bombers before they were deployed. So we will go to the source and destroy his camp,” Ano said. “If these bandits have not learned from the terrorists who were annihilated in Marawi, then this time they will,” said presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo, referring to the southern city where Philippine troops quelled a five-month siege two years ago and killed hundreds of Islamic State group-linked militants and their commanders. In Friday’s attack, military officials said one militant tried to enter the camp but set off his explosive when he was stopped, killing three soldiers at the gate. The second militant dashed into the camp but was shot by other soldiers. He yelled “Allahu akbar,” or “God is great,” before detonating the bomb that he carried, damaging vehicles in a parking lot. If the two attackers turn out to be Filipinos, they would be the first known local suicide attackers in the country’s south, a prospect deemed unlikely by some Filipino officials in the past. The southern region has been the scene of decades-long minority Muslim unrest in the largely Roman Catholic nation. “Philippine authorities were always deluding themselves to think that somehow it was impossible culturally for Filipinos to become suicide bombers,” said Jakarta-based terrorism analyst Sidney Jones. “This isn’t about culture, it’s about indoctrination, and no one is culturally ‘immune.'” The suicide attacks underscore an effort by Islamic State group supporters in the region, especially in the Philippines, to show that despite the brutal group’s battle setbacks in the Middle East, “their commitment to the caliphate remains and their fight will continue,” Jones said. Battle setbacks have reduced the number of Abu Sayyaf armed fighters to less than 400 but they have remained a national security threat. Mostly based in impoverished Sulu and outlying islands, the group has been blacklisted as a terrorist band by the United States and the Philippines for bombings, ransom kidnappings and beheadings.last_img read more

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CongressJDS leaders in a huddle as Ktaka govt battles for survival

first_imgBENGALURU: Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy, who cut short a private visit to the US, went into damage control mode, calling a meeting of Janata Dal-Secular (JDS) lawmakers at a hotel. Sources close to him said at least some of the rebel MPs of the ruling coalition, who resigned over the last week, bringing the government to the brink of collapse, may return to the fold.Through the day, his father former Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda held a string of meetings with leaders of his party as well as the Congress. If the resignation of all 13 lawmakers is accepted, the government of the Congress and JDS which has a wafer-thin majority could come apart. The JDS patriarch also met Congress’s troubleshooter DK Shivakumar. Former chief minister Siddaramaiah too has called a meeting of Congress Legislature Party on Tuesday. Also Read – IAF Day: Tributes paid to soldiers killed in line of duty in JammuMeanwhile, the Congress’ state in charge, KC Venugopal, has come to Bengaluru and met state party leaders at a private hotel. Congress played down the crisis, with its former chief minister, Siddaramaiah, saying, “There is no threat to the coalition government. It is safe”. Congress veteran, Mallikarjun Kharge, dismissed rumours about plans to make him the next chief minister. Kharge blamed the BJP for destabilising the government. Speaker Ramesh Kumar said he would look at the latest batch of resignations only after he returns to work on Tuesday. The Congress and the JDS together have 118 members in the 224-seat state assembly, along with one BSP and one Independent member. The defections will bring its numbers down to 105 and the majority mark in the assembly from 113 to 106. The BJP also has 105 members. The BJP has said it should be invited to form a new government if the ruling coalition lacks the numbers. But it has denied the coalition’s accusations of engineering the crisis. It has called a meeting of its legislature party Monday at 5 pm. “Let’s wait and watch. Are we sanyasis (hermits)?,” state BJP chief BS Yeddyurappa said. P5last_img read more

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12yrold Maharashtra boy comes out with innovative solutions for traffic rule violators

first_imgNew Delhi: Innovations come naturally to this Maharashtra boy who has barely turned 12 but has already applied for four patents for the apps designed to curb road accidents and vehicle theft.Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari saw a presentation by this young talent master, B S Revant Namburi, and assured him support to bring the technologies into reality, subject to technical clearances from his department. A Class VII student of Mount Litera Zee School in Nagpur, the apps developed by Revant relate to monitoring traffic violations in real time and includes tools like a seatbelt sensor, breathalyser, heart rate analyser, and CPU, designed to store information and alert the authorities. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM’The second app developed by Revant uses quick response (QR) codes to enable printing of data and document anywhere without the requirement of network connectivity. The other patents relate to a system for preventing or detecting theft of vehicles through a smart key, a pre-installed SIM card, and an authorisation process ensuring the security of the vehicle besides detecting theft of vehicles using a licence verification. Revant says that idea behind the patents is that his technology could be transferred and utilised by the government or any private company for the larger welfare of the society. Also Read – Farooq demands unconditional release of all detainees in J&KGadkari said his department always encouraged innovators, and innovative technologies could be absorbed to minimise accidents if found right on technical parameters. Such innovations assume significance in the wake of India accounting for as high as 5 lakh road accidents per annum in which 1.5 lakh people die and another 3 lakh are rendered crippled. Revant’s mother Shilpa Shekhar Namburi, an MD in Ayurveda, said initially she could not notice the potential of his curiosity over issues but soon she realised that his concepts sounded mature and worthy of thorough attention. She shared an experience as to how a road accident became a driving force behind Revant’s curiosity and finding out solutions. She said her car had met an accident after a cargo vehicle rammed into her car despite red traffic light signal and fled the spot and how Revant who was sitting with her in the car was impacted and said why they could not take action against the culprit. Shilpa said Revant sought two days’ time from her and came out with an app to detect real-time traffic violators when he was only in class VII. She said that after the incident, she also met Vivek Dahiya, director of Boudhik Ventures Pvt Ltd in Nagpur, which proved to be turning point not in Revant’s life rather few more school students. “It was concluded in the meeting that Team Boudhik will shape Revant’s raw thoughts into logical solutions and file patent application/s for each of them after checking patentability threshold of the concept/s. Thereafter, joined efforts of team Boudhik and Revant resulted into filing of three patent applications,” she said. She said Revant happens to be one of the youngest innovators in India to apply for four patents at the age of 12 years. The Lok Sabha earlier this month passed the Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill, 2019, that seeks to remove corruption, improve road safety and use technology to regulate traffic.last_img read more

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