Month: October 2019

Norway Joins Forces with USA on Zero EmissionsNorway Joins Forces with USA on Zero Emissions

first_imgzoom As part of its efforts to develop green shipping, the Norwegian Maritime Authority has entered into an environmental agreement with the US state of California.“The agreement with California offers opportunities for Norway. We have a lot to contribute with when it comes to for instance green shipping, green data centres and climate-friendly production,” Vidar Helgesen, Norwegian Minister of Climate and Environment, said.Lasse Karlsen, Technical Director of the Norwegian Maritime Authority, who was part of the Norwegian delegation, gave a speech on green shipping at a seminar organized by the San Francisco Port Authority on August 3.Karlsen informed about NMA’s work on various zero emissions projects, such as the battery-powered ferry Ampere, and he talked about the Authority’s efforts on developing hydrogen-powered vessels.Helgesen also stressed the importance of Norway’s position within battery propulsion and autonomous ships.“Norway’s objective to become a green competitor and to develop new and environmentally friendly technology will however, also require international cooperation,” Helgesen said, adding that Norway has ambitious environmental objectives for 2030 and 2050, including zero emissions in the transportation sector.“A closer cooperation with California will contribute to the fulfilment of these objectives,” Helgesen concluded.World Maritime News Stafflast_img read more

Fred Olsen Orders Trimaran Ferry Duo from AustalFred Olsen Orders Trimaran Ferry Duo from Austal

first_imgzoom Spanish shipping firm Fred Olsen has placed an order for two vehicle passenger trimaran ferries at Australian-based ship building company Austal Limited.Under the deal, valued at EUR 126 million (USD 147.7 million), Austal will construct the 117-metre high-speed ferries over a period of 29 and 36 months, respectively.The two new trimarans will each be capable of transporting over 1,100 passengers and up to 276 cars at speeds of up to 38 knots, with both commencing construction in 2018. The exact build location for the vessels are currently not known.Designed by Austal Australia, the aluminium trimarans will be the second and third trimarans to be delivered to Fred Olsen S.A. who already operate the world’s first and largest trimaran vehicle passenger ferry, the Benchijigua Express, designed and built by Austal in 2005.“The Benchijigua Express has become an industry benchmark for blue-water commercial ferry operations, exceeding expectations for performance, speed and customer experience in the Canary Islands,” David Singleton, Austal Chief Executive Officer, said.“This is a watershed contract for our next generation trimaran design that will deliver new levels of seakeeping, passenger comfort and efficiency, and proves the trimaran is the right tool for the job in the challenging sea conditions of the Atlantic. It is a game-changer in the market,” Ben Marland, Austal Vice President of Sales and Marketing, added.last_img read more

HudongZhonghuas VLEC Gets AIP from ABSHudongZhonghuas VLEC Gets AIP from ABS

first_imgzoom U.S. classification society ABS has granted Approval in Principle (AIP) for a new very large ethane carrier (VLEC) concept developed by Hudong-Zhonghua Shipbuilding (Group) Co.“As demand for different types of liquefied gases increases, concepts like this will expand the infrastructure and enable more efficient transportation to get products to market,” ABS Vice President for Global Gas Solutions, Patrick Janssens, said.The novel VLEC is equipped with a specialized membrane cargo containment system suited to carry liquid gas cargoes such as ethane and propane. Designed with a minimum cargo temperature of -94℃, the concept supports a low cargo boil-off rate.Distinct features of the design include multiple cargo re-liquefaction lines to liquefy vapor gas, a powerful cargo handling system that maintains a stable tank pressure and a Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) system that supports compliance with MARPOL Tier III and USCG requirements for non-US Flag vessels operating in the U.S.“We chose ABS because of their extensive experience in gas-related projects and their leading position in very large gas carriers,”Hudong-Zhonghua Shipbuilding Vice President Jin Yanzi said.“We are pleased to receive this approval from ABS which validates our early design work and helps us advance this concept.”last_img read more

Owners Urged to Look Beyond 2020 Compliance SolutionOwners Urged to Look Beyond 2020 Compliance Solution

first_imgzoomImage Courtesy: Auramarine The marine sector should look beyond just the initial choice of compliance solution ahead of the impending 0.5% global sulphur cap, according to Finland-based provider of fuel supply systems Auramarine.The company added that the industry needs to fully understand the operational impact of using and switching to new low sulphur fuels and distillate products.Without this understanding or by not using best-in-class fuel supply systems, ship owners and operators risk engine damage and potentially catastrophic failure, as well as unexpected costs and unplanned downtime, the supplier explained.Ahead the 2020 sulphur regulation, Auramarine has launched a ‘Get ready for 2020’ initiative, issuing a call to action for owners and operators to drive and encourage them to implement strategic forward planning to protect the future of their vessels and operations. Now more than ever it is crucial for shipowners to work with knowledgeable experts, allowing them to foster an understanding of how best to mitigate risks and minimise disruption, downtime, and unexpected costs and delays.Many of the main and auxiliary engines of vessels currently in operation may originally have been designed to run on fuels that differ from the new low sulphur products that are compliant with the pending regulations. The company said that maintaining the correct fuel viscosity and temperature at the engine inlet is crucial regardless of the fuel in use, and the fuel supply system needs to be able to deliver the fuel at the engine inlet as specified by the engine maker in order to guarantee efficient combustion.When switching fuels, issues arise when different fuels are present in the same pipes and tank, thereby causing issues with compatibility. This typically results in sludging and blockages in bunker and service tanks, pipe runs, filters, separator internals, and fuel injection equipment.“Assessing new technologies or practices is only the first step on the journey towards safe, efficient and compliant operations in a post-2020 environment. Ship owners also need to consider the potential impact that these significant operational changes will have on engines and therefore vessel performance. It is crucial that ship owners thoroughly evaluate the exact needs of their vessels at the outset of assessing which compliance solution they will employ, and set in place an efficient and effective fuel supply system that will not only protect the operational integrity of the vessel but also their profitability,” Ole Skatka Jensen, Chief Executive Officer, Auramarine, said.“Whichever compliance solution is employed, effective and comprehensive management of fuel supply and fuel switching, combined with proactive condition monitoring, can ultimately become the difference between a safe, complaint and efficient vessel, and unintended downtime, lost profitability and potentially catastrophic engine damage.”Through it ‘Get ready for 2020’ service offering, Auramarine would provide expert consultancy, comprehensive guidance and ongoing in-service support for the safe and efficient supply of fuel.last_img read more

Millions Invested in Nova ScotiaMillions Invested in Nova Scotia

first_img The province is investing more than $2.6 million dollars in 53 ofNova Scotia’s leading cultural organizations. The organizationsinclude theatre companies, arts facilities, service organizationsand music festivals. Premier John Hamm and Tourism, Culture and Heritage MinisterRodney MacDonald made the announcement today, June 1, at NeptuneTheatre in Halifax. “Cultural organizations play a vital role in preserving andpromoting the various cultures that help define who we are as aprovince,” said Premier Hamm. “We are committed to investing inNova Scotia culture, in turn strengthening the social fabric ofour communities and enabling our economy to grow.” “All of the organizations receiving funding help to ensure thatNova Scotia’s diverse culture scene remains alive and continuesto develop,” said Mr. MacDonald. “Supporting this sector helps usin our goal to build a more prosperous Nova Scotia, bycontributing to our quality of life and well-being.” The funding comes from the department’s Anchor OrganizationsProgram, which provides operating funds to organizations, helpingthem to develop Nova Scotia’s cultural community. Neptune Theatre, a world-class live theatre venue in Halifax,received $255,000. “Investment by the province helps make so many important thingshappen at Neptune,” said Don Stoddard, vice-president NeptuneTheatre. “Our objectives for cultural growth are closely alignedwith the province. Support for anchor organizations like NeptuneTheatre contributes to initiatives like the development of newworks, opportunities for artists and community outreach.” Each successful applicant had to meet specific criteria,including proof of effective operations, the ability to generatetheir own resources and to offer programs that meet their mandateand the ability to deliver programs and services to the culturesector. With a total investment of $2,602,626 the organizationsare expected to generate an estimated $29 million in economicactivity during the year. Organizations across the province are receiving support, witheight in Cape Breton, nine in Halifax region, 11 in southern NovaScotia, eight in northern Nova Scotia, and 17 that are provincialin scope. The business of culture in Nova Scotia has an estimated yearlyvalue of $1.2 billion and creates more than 28,000 direct andindirect jobs. Overall, the province is investing more than $5 million incultural programming. Additional provincial resources supportcultural tourism and cultural heritage activities throughout theprovince. TOURISM, CULTURE AND HERITAGE–Millions Invested in Nova ScotiaCultural Organizationslast_img read more

Paving Contract Awarded for Halifax CountyPaving Contract Awarded for Halifax County

first_imgA $1,590,695 road-paving contract for Halifax County has been announced by the Department of Transportation and Public Works. The contract was awarded to Dexter Construction Co. Ltd. and involves repaving on the north bound lanes of Highway 102 from Exit 6 at the airport, north for 7.2 kilometres to the Halifax/Hants County line. The off ramps at exits 6 and 7 will also be repaved. The total amount of repaving will be 9.4 kilometres. “This is one of several projects scheduled for Highway 102 this summer,” said Ron Russell, Minister of Transportation and Public Works. “This paving project will make driving more comfortable and safer for those traveling near the Halifax International Airport.” The Department of Transportation and Public Works highways division manages more than 23,000 kilometres of roads in Nova Scotia. It maintains 4,100 bridges and operates seven provincial ferries. Staff provide services from district offices in Bridgewater, Bedford, Truro and Sydney.last_img read more

Halifax 2014 Participates in Candidate City SeminarHalifax 2014 Participates in Candidate City Seminar

first_imgRepresentatives from the Halifax 2014 bid committee are joining delegates from Glasgow, Scotland and Abuja, Nigeria, this week for a three-day seminar on the Commonwealth Games bidding process. The Commonwealth Games Federation invited 10 participants from each candidate city for the 2014 Commonwealth Games to participate in the seminar in Melbourne, Australia, July 10-13. “With our management team fully in place, this is a tremendous opportunity to continue educating ourselves on the bidding process before the May 9, 2007, deadline,” said CEO Scott Logan. “The Melbourne Games’ organizers learned a lot about what they did well and where they would have done things differently — and we’re keen to learn from their experience.” Candidate city participants are attending 17 lectures and receiving final instructions on the requirements for preparing and submitting bids. The Commonwealth Games are an international sport and cultural event held every four years in which athletes from 71 Commonwealth nations and territories compete. In December 2005, Halifax won the right to be Canada’s candidate city for the 2014 Commonwealth Games. In competition with Glasgow, Scotland and Abuja, Nigeria, the Halifax 2014 bid committee is now focused on developing and winning the international bid, which will be awarded by the Commonwealth Games Federation on Nov. 9, 2007, in Sri Lanka. A list of the Halifax 2014 delegates participating in the candidate cities seminar is available at .last_img read more

Budget Bulletin BetterSafer CommunitiesBudget Bulletin BetterSafer Communities

first_imgTo ensure Nova Scotians continue to enjoy safe, secure neighbourhoods, a number of investments are being made to deal with crime in communities. The province is investing $65 million over four years to hire an additional 250 police officers. These officers will address organized crime, street crime, child exploitation, illegal drugs and school safety. Nova Scotians are helping create a provincial crime prevention strategy. The Justice Minister’s Task Force on Safer Streets and Communities is holding meetings across the province to gather information on initiatives that have a positive impact on communities. More than $5 million is being invested to respond to Justice Merlin Nunn’s report on the inquiry into the death of Halifax resident Theresa McEvoy. All 34 recommendations of the report were accepted. Three-million dollars will be spent focusing on prevention and addressing the needs of families and youth in Nova Scotia. A newly formed Family and Youth Services section has been created at the Department of Community Services and additional staff will be hired to develop a provincial child and youth strategy. Another $461,000 will be invested to hire more mental health professionals to reduce delays in completing court-ordered assessments. Three-hundred-thousand dollars is being invested to hire two new Crown attorneys specializing in youth crime. A new attendance centre and bail supervision program in Halifax Regional Municipality will receive $1.3 million. Government is also committed to providing an update on the progress made in implementing the report’s recommendations in June. More than $1 million will be invested in two programs to keep homes and streets safer. A new public safety investigation unit has been established under the Safer Communities and Neighbourhoods Act and will receive $559,000 in this fiscal year. Nova Scotia has set another Canadian first, becoming the first province to use GPS tracking to monitor offenders on house arrest and $499,000 will support this program in 2007-2008. -30- Note: For further 2007-08 budget information, see the Department of Finance website at .last_img read more

Province to Help Pay Travel and Accommodation Costs for PatientsProvince to Help Pay Travel and Accommodation Costs for Patients

first_imgNova Scotians who are approved to travel out of province for necessary medical care that is not available here are now eligible for some assistance thanks to the province’s new travel and accommodations assistance policy. The policy takes effect April 1. “We are meeting our commitment to help cover travel and accommodation expenses for patients who need medically insured care out of province,” said Health Minister Maureen MacDonald. “This also supports our plan to bring better health care to families, and to make the right decisions in difficult times.” Patients will need to have their specialist seek approval from MSI for the treatment. It needs to be medically insured treatment and it has to be a service that is not available in Nova Scotia. Under the policy, patients must pay for their travel and accommodations and submit boarding passes and receipts to the Department of Health for reimbursement. Patients will be eligible for up to $1,000 per round-trip and $125 per night or $1,500 per month for accommodations. A patient can use this assistance for up to 12 medical visits per year. Insured services are generally those determined by experts to have proven medical benefits for patients. This does not include cosmetic procedures, procedures still being researched, or drug therapy. The Department of Health has set aside $750,000 a year to cover these costs. It is estimated the budget will provide assistance to about 100 patients. “We want to remove the financial obstacle that some patients face,” said Ms. MacDonald. “We are doing what we can to provide a reasonable level of assistance while living within our means.” Louis Brill, president and CEO of the Nova Scotia Lung Association, said he is pleased with the new policy and is an improvement over the previous practice of ministerial exceptions, which did not cover travel costs and required patients to be out of province for more than three months. “This is clearly a good day,” said Mr. Brill. “There is no question that this support will have a positive impact on the lives of the people we serve. Where we once trailed, we will be seen as a leader in Canada. We’re going from the back of the line to front of the class.” The Department of Health will soon begin a request for proposals to seek a service provider that could eliminate the need for patients to pay costs up front. More information about the policy will be available on the Department of Health website by April 1. On that day, people can also call 1-877-449-5476 (toll free) or 424-7499 with questions.last_img read more

Second Operating Room for Hants Community HospitalSecond Operating Room for Hants Community Hospital

first_imgRenovating an unused operating room at the Hants Community Hospital in Windsor will mean 800 more surgeries at the hospital each year, nearly doubling the annual number of procedures. Premier Stephen McNeil and Janet Knox, Nova Scotia Health Authority president and CEO, unveiled plans to revitalize a second operating room at the hospital today, March 16. This is part of the QEll Redevelopment Project which will see services transferred from the QEll Health Sciences Centre to support the eventual closure of the Victoria and Centennial buildings at the VG site. “We have been given a privilege not every generation is given – the opportunity to reshape our health-care system and change the way we deliver care,” said Premier McNeil. “The QEII redevelopment project is about co-ordinating care and improving access for all Nova Scotians. Hants Community Hospital is an important part of that.” Right now, the Hants Community Hospital has one functional operating room. A second operating room, dating back to when the hospital was originally built in 1976, will be renovated and prepared for use. “This is a facility that my colleagues, and our community, are really proud of, and we often hear from our patients about the exceptional care they receive from the staff, doctors and volunteers who work here,” said Sherri Parker, senior director, Hants Community Hospital. “We are very pleased that, as a result of this work, twice as many people will be able to have surgery here.” The project is expected to cost about $3.8 million. “The Hants Community Hospital Foundation wholeheartedly supports this project which will provide important operating capacity to both the Windsor and West Hants areas, as well as to the entire province,” said Andy Kirk, chair, Hants Community Hospital Foundation. “With the support of local businesses and citizens we look forward to fundraising to support this important project.” Construction is expected to begin in August and be completed over a three-month period. Surgeries that would normally be done at the hospital during that time will be performed at other facilities in the province. “The expansion of services here at Hants Community Hospital demonstrates the work we do as a provincial health authority – working toward shorter wait times and providing opportunity for less-complex care services closer to home,” said Ms. Knox. The QEII redevelopment includes projects at the Halifax Infirmary, Dartmouth General Hospital, Hants Community Hospital and other sites. For updates on the QEII redevelopment project, go to read more

Government Supports Sustainable Transportation in BridgewaterGovernment Supports Sustainable Transportation in Bridgewater

first_imgBridgewater residents will be better connected to community hubs with support from the province’s sustainable transportation grant program, Connect2. Justice Minister Mark Furey, on behalf of Energy Minister Geoff MacLellan, announced today, Aug. 18, $18,000 for the Town of Bridgewater to extend two existing paths to Glen Allan Drive and Generations Active Park. “Projects like this improve our neighbourhoods and help us reduce emissions by encouraging sustainable transportation,” said Mr. Furey. “This will create the opportunity for residents to walk or cycle from place to place, without having to get in their cars.” The path extensions will make it easier to walk or cycle to the South Shore Regional Hospital, as well as to the dog park, sports centre, and a growing residential area. “The new connector will help us take another step towards achieving our vision of making active transportation part of the culture of our community,” said Bridgewater Mayor David Mitchell. “This link will inspire walking and cycling, connect people to nature, and promote an environmentally friendly lifestyle.” Connect2 aims to create and promote active transportation options for trips of two kilometers or less between community hubs in rural and urban parts of the province. This year Connect2 will support about 22 projects across the province. More projects will be announced in the coming weeks, and all will be completed by the end of March 2018. For more information about Connect2, visit read more

Zverev survives 4hour marathonZverev survives 4hour marathon

first_imgParis: Alexander Zverev survived a bruising four-hour battle to reach the French Open second round on Tuesday while dangerman Juan Martin del Potro also progressed. German fifth seed Zverev, a quarter-finalist in Paris in 2018, battled past Australia’s John Millman 7-6 (7/4), 6-3, 2-6, 6-7 (5/7), 6-3. The champion in Geneva last weekend fired 57 winners past world number 56 Millman who stunned Roger Federer at the US Open last year. However, he also committed 73 unforced errors on a blustery day in the French capital. Also Read – We don’t ask for kind of tracks we get: Bowling coach Arun”John is a tough player who beat Federer so I knew it would be difficult today,” said Zverev, bidding to become the first German man to win the Roland Garros title since Henner Henkel in 1937. “It was very windy today so that made the conditions very difficult. It was a first match against a great opponent. “I got through and that’s all that matters.” Next up for Zverev is Swedish qualifier Mikael Ymer, the world number 148 of Ethiopian origin, who marked his Grand Slam debut with a 6-0, 6-3, 7-6 (7/5) win over Slovenia’s Blaz Rola. Also Read – Bastian Schweinsteiger announces retirement, could join Germany set-up”He (Zverev) has very proven that he belongs up there,” said Ymer, the younger brother of fellow tour player Elias. “He is definitely one of the best in the game at the moment, so it’s a tough challenge.” Argentine eighth seed Del Potro, a semi-finalist in 2009 and 2018, made the second round with a 3-6, 6-2, 6-1, 6-4 win over Chilean world number 58 Nicolas Jarry. “I think I’m playing well at the moment, but my main goal is still the knee, my health,” said Del Potro who is still feeling his way back after knee surgery. Next up for the giant Argentine is a clash against Japan’s Yoshihito Nishioka. Jarry lived and died by the sword on Court Suzanne Lenglen, his 47 winners almost cancelled out by his 41 unforced errors. Other early winners on Tuesday included Monte Carlo champion Fabio Fognini, seeded nine, who defeated Andreas Seppi in an all-Italian clash, 6-3, 6-0, 3-6, 6-3. Earlier, Djokovic laid down an early marker in his bid to hold all four Grand Slam titles simultaneously for the second time, powering past Polish youngster Hubert Hurkacz. The 15-time major champion impressed in a 6-4 6-2 6-2 triumph and will face Swiss lucky loser Henri Laaksonen in round two. “I was very solid. I’m happy with my game today,” said the top seed. “It’s a long tournament… But I just want to concentrate on my next match.”last_img read more

Nepals Pashupatinath temple reveals assets for first timeNepals Pashupatinath temple reveals assets for first time

first_imgKathmandu: Nepal’s iconic Pashupatinath temple owns 9.276 kg gold, 316 kg silver and Rs 120 crore cash, according to a report made public for the first time by a committee formed to study the assets of the country’s most revered and the richest Hindu shrine. According to a probe panel formed by Pashupati Area Development Trust to inquire the income of the temple, the revenue in gold and silver cover the period of 56 years from 1962 to 2018. This is the first time we are making public the report on the assets of Pashupati Area Development Trust, the trust’s Executive Director Ramesh Upreti was quoted as saying by the Kathmandu Post. Also Read – ‘Hong Kong won’t rule out Chinese help over protests’The sacred Hindu temple dedicated to Pashupatinath (Lord Shiva), has Rs 1.2 billion cash (Rs 120 crore) in different banks, 9.276 kg gold, 316.58 kg silver and 3,667 ropanis (186 hectares) of land, the report said. The actual value of the treasures stored in the main temple of Pashupatinath, however, is not included in the report as the Supreme Court had on December 24, 2009, asked authorities not to open its coffers. The 5th century Pashupatinath Temple is the oldest Hindu temple in Kathmandu dating back to 400 AD. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and several of his Cabinet colleagues visited the temple during their visit to Nepal. Also Read – Pak Army chief accompanies Imran at key meetings in ChinaThe 11-member committee was formed by the government on October 23, 2017 under Milan Kumar Thapa. “The trust has land in many places. But due to inadequate evidence, we have not been able to bring them under the trust, said Thapa, expressing concern that land plots belonging to the trust in various places have been encroached upon. Of the total registered land, the trust has leased 1,161 ropanis (59 hectares) to Tribhuvan International Airport and a golf course for 99 years at an annual rent of Rs 5 million a year. Similarly, the trust has leased 17 ropanis of land to five-star hotel Hyatt Regency in Bouddha. In Gothathar, the trust has 534 ropanis (27 hectares) of land which the government had registered under it’s name in 1998. It had acquired 1,505 ropanis (76.5 hecatres) of land near the temple between 2002 and 2013. Padip Dhakal, member secretary at the trust, said Wednesday announcement is the first step towards making public the temple’s assets.last_img read more

Being overweight doubles BP risk in kidsBeing overweight doubles BP risk in kids

first_imgOverweight four-year-olds have a doubled risk of high blood pressure by age six, raising the hazard of future heart attack and stroke, a study has found. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), childhood obesity is one of the most serious public health challenges of the 21st century. The problem is global and the prevalence has increased at an alarming rate. In 2016, more than 41 million children under the age of five were overweight. “The myth that excess weight in children has no consequences hampers the prevention and control of this health problem,” said Inaki Galan, of Carlos III Health Institute in Spain. “Parents need to be more physically active with young children and provide a healthy diet,” Galan said. A recently published study examined the link between excess weight and high blood pressure in 1,796 four-year-olds who were followed up two years later. Blood pressure was measured at both time points, as was body mass index and waist circumference. Compared to children maintaining a healthy weight between ages four and six, those with new or persistent excess weight according to BMI had 2.49 and 2.54 higher risks of high blood pressure, respectively. In those with new or persistent abdominal obesity, the risks for high blood pressure were 2.81 and 3.42 greater, respectively. Children who lost weight did not have an increased risk of high blood pressure. The findings applied to all children regardless of sex or socioeconomic status. “There is a chain of risk, whereby overweight and obesity lead to high blood pressure, which heightens the chance of cardiovascular disease if allowed to track into adulthood,” said Galan. The best way to maintain a healthy weight and lose excess kilos is to exercise and eat a healthy diet, said Galan. In addition to the central role of parents, the school curriculum needs to include three to four hours of physical activity every week. Teachers should supervise activities during breaks, while schools can offer games and sports after classes and provide nutritionally balanced meals and snacks. Doctors should routinely assess BMI and waist circumference at early ages, said Galan. “Some paediatricians think the harms of overweight and obesity begin in adolescence but our study shows they are mistaken. We need to detect excess weight as soon as possible so the damaging impact on blood pressure can be reversed,” he said. Overweight children should have their blood pressure measured. Three consecutive elevated readings constitute high blood pressure. In young children, the most common cause is excess weight, but doctors will rule out other reasons such as heart defects, kidney disease, genetic conditions, and hormonal disorders. If the cause is overweight, more activity and dietary improvements will be advised. If lifestyle changes do not help, blood pressure lowering medication may be prescribed. Galan noted that overweight in children is most accurately assessed using both BMI and waist circumference. In the study, using either measurement alone would have missed 15 per cent to 20 per cent of cases.last_img read more

TrumpXi trade war may lead to collateral damage Australia PMTrumpXi trade war may lead to collateral damage Australia PM

first_imgSydney: Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Wednesday warned that “collateral damage” from trade spats between China and the United States were hurting smaller countries and threatening the global economy. In an usually public warning to allies in Washington, Morrison said the “world’s most important bilateral relationship — the US-China relationship” had become “strained”. “Trade tensions have escalated. The collateral damage is spreading. The global trading system is under real pressure. Global growth projections are being wound back,” he said, speaking in Sydney. Also Read – Maruti cuts production for 8th straight month in Sep”The impact of any further deterioration of the relationship will not be limited to these two major powers,” he added. His comments come on the eve of a G20 summit in Osaka, Japan, that will be overshadowed by talks between Chinese President Xi Jinping and US counterpart Donald Trump aimed at easing tensions between the world’s two largest economic powers. Decades of cautious engagement between China and the United States have been cast aside in the Trump-Xi era, replaced by two geopolitical behemoths openly tussling for economic, diplomatic and military influence. Also Read – Ensure strict implementation on ban of import of e-cigarettes: revenue to CustomsIn Australia, that has caused a dramatic erosion in confidence about both Washington’s and Beijing’s willingness to act responsibly in the world. According to a poll released by respected Sydney think tank the Lowy Institute on Wednesday, only 32 percent of Australians say they trust China — a 20 point fall versus 2018. Just 25 percent of respondents said they had confidence in Trump. Morrison’s conservative government was re-elected in May, largely on promises of continuing the Australian economy’s almost 28 years of near-continuous growth. But that growth is starting to falter, and with a downturn looming, his government has played up the negative impact of an external shock from US-China tensions.last_img read more

Nepal protester shot dead after boy dies in mining pitNepal protester shot dead after boy dies in mining pit

first_imgKathmandu: One person was killed in Nepal when police opened fire on protesters after a 12-year-old boy drowned to death in a sand mining pit, officials said Monday. Angry crowds blocked the highway holding the young boy’s body in the southern district of Sarlahi on Sunday, demanding the government stop rampant sand mining of rivers which they say is putting local communities at risk. They were also demanding compensation for the family of the victim. Also Read – Turkey preparations for Syria offensive ‘completed’Local police chief Gopal Chandra Bhattarai said that a 26-year-old man was killed “in firing to contain agitated locals”. “Police was compelled to fire after nearly two dozen police personnel were injured by stones pelted by the protesters. Unfortunately, one person died in the firing,” Bhattarai told AFP. The boy fell and drowned in the deep pit Saturday when he had gone for a dip in the river as the temperature rose to 35 degrees Celsius (95 degrees Fahrenheit) in the area. Also Read – Imran Khan arrives in China, to meet Prez Xi JinpingHis body was recovered on Sunday with help of local authorities. A construction boom has created a high demand for stones and pebbles, depleting the Himalayan country’s river resources at an alarming rate. “We were there to demand an end to rampant sand mining. Today, one child has died, tomorrow we might lose another one,” said Ramkaran Mahato, who was standing next to the victim when the bullet hit. In recent months, Nepal has seen several protests against the communist government but police have usually resorted to water guns, tear gas or batons to control crowds. In August last year, a protestor was killed in western Nepal when police fired at crowds demanding action for rape and murder of a teenage girl.last_img read more

The budget agendaThe budget agenda

first_imgUnion Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman seems to have a tough task before her if she has to fulfil wishes of Prime Minister Narendra Modi while presenting a fresh budget for 2019-20. The Prime Minister has clearly told a group of economists and sector experts about his intention to undertake fresh reform measures to boost growth and make the Indian economy competitive. This would require a radically different trend in the government’s budgeting exercise which is traditionally loaded on non-developmental expenditure and high debt servicing costs. When the Narendra Modi government first came to power in May 2014, he decided to focus on financial and social inclusion that became extremely popular in the country. The national government’s expenditure management was mainly left with professionals in the North Block. The latter seemed to have been less comfortable and innovative about successfully managing and implementing the government policies and handling additional pressures created by the award of the Seventh Pay Commission, demonetisation of large currency notes, digitisation of the economy and indirect tax reform through GST. Also Read – A special kind of bondThe pay commission’s recommendations on pay, pension hikes for 4.7 million employees and 5.3 million pensioners alone brought a heavy annual burden on the expenditure side. The government failed to link pay hikes with employees’ performance or productivity. There was little pressure on government employees, including officers and top bureaucrats, to perform better to cover additional pay package. The pay and pension increases ranged from 14 to 23.50 per cent. Entry-level basic pay more than doubled to Rs 18,000 per month and at the level of Cabinet Secretary, the top-most civil servant, to Rs 2.5 lakh from Rs 90,000 per month. Also Read – Insider threat managementThe government’s expenditure budget in the last five years went on expanding with a very little link with productivity and development. The first year’s budget expenditure of the Modi government in 2014-15 was Rs 17.95 lakh crore. The amount was Rs 1.30 lakh crore more than the Manmohan Singh-led UPA government’s last budget in 2013-14. The fiscal profligacy continued even under the Modi-1 period. Of the 2014-15 budget expenditure, non-plan expenditure was as high as Rs 12.20 lakh crore against a net tax revenue to the centre of only Rs 9.22 lakh crore. The 2019-20 budget may see the government’s gross expenditure topping the Rs 28 lakh crore mark or around Rs 10 lakh crore more than its budget spending five years ago. The worst part of this fiscal profligacy is that over 70 per cent of the budget expenditure continues to be under the non-development category. The budget of 2017-18 was marked by two important changes. It was advanced to February 1 from the traditional February 28. It also abolished the age-old plan and non-plan expenditure classifications and replaced them by ‘revenue expenditure’ and ‘capex’. The massive borrowing and the government’s continuously forced disinvestment in the public sector by making a high net worth PSEs buying government stakes into each other in the absence of market support to fund a routine annual increase in budget expenditure are hurting the government’s as well as PSEs’ development programmes. The government is spending around 25 per cent of its total budgeted expenditure towards interest payment on loans. Fatter the expenditure budget, higher are loan components and loan service costs. This huge loan liability is severely impinging on the government’s ability to provide more funds for poverty alleviation and development-oriented programmes. Former Finance Minister Arun Jaitley pegged the government’s borrowing for 2018-19 at over Rs 6.24 lakh crore. More than 92 per cent of this amount was meant to be spent on interest on the already running loans of the government. The government had reportedly borrowed 115 per cent of its total estimated borrowing limit in the first 8 months of the last financial year. The government’s interest payment liability alone is equal to almost 40 per cent of its total projected net revenue receipts. This huge liability leaves very little room for the government to spend on developmental schemes. In last year’s budget, the previous finance minister had pegged the Central government’s capital outlay at Rs three lakh crore and its interest payment liability at nearly twice the amount. It’s a kind of debt trap as the country is forced to borrow over Rs 6,00,000 crore every year to meet its interest payment obligations. The practice is unhealthy and must not continue. Finance Minister Sitharaman must break away from the trend to control the wasteful or non-productive expenditure on the administration. It is high time to tighten the expenditure belt of the government, make sarkari jobs productivity-oriented and let the budget focus more on development. That will create large gainful employment, raise public income, spur domestic demand and create higher production and growth. She should encourage the core and manufacturing sectors, including PSEs, to expand substantially in the coming years while compressing the government’s non-productive expenditure supported by borrowing and disinvestment at the cost of PSEs. The task is not easy. A good part of her 2019-20 revenue earning prospect had already been hijacked by the previous NDA government by way of an advance collection of revenues by departments like railways and forcing PSEs part with dividends meant for the current financial year. This may be possibly responsible for the government’s fiscal deficit in the first two months (April-May) rising to 52 per cent of the entire budgeted target for 2019-20 and posing a new challenge to the Centre. The US embargo on oil and other trades with Iran, a growing war-like situation in the West Asian gulf region, rising oil prices and the spectre of drought owing to highly delayed monsoon threaten to bring an unquantifiable impact on the government’s expenditure target during the current financial year. Sitharaman’s expenditure budget must provide for such an impact without compromising on development. (The views expressed are strictly personal)last_img read more

Article 15 movie SC dismisses plea to cancel films certificateArticle 15 movie SC dismisses plea to cancel films certificate

first_imgNew Delhi: The Supreme Court Monday refused to entertain a plea which sought cancellation of the CBFC certificate to ‘Article 15’ alleging that the movie contains “objectionable dialogues” which fan rumours and spread caste hatred.A bench comprising Justices S A Bobde and B R Gavai asked the petitioner’s counsel to approach the appropriate authority with the grievances on the film. “You go to the appropriate authority under the act,” the bench told the counsel appearing for petitioner ‘Brahman Samaj of India’, which had moved the apex court through its national organising secretary Nemi Nath Chaturvedi. Also Read – IAF Day: Tributes paid to soldiers killed in line of duty in JammuThe counsel then withdrew the plea with the liberty to approach the authority concerned on the Ayushmann Khurrana starrer that hit the screens on June 28. The petitioner had moved the top court seeking setting aside of the June 18 certificate issued by the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) under the provisions of the Cinematograph Act 1952 to the movie, produced by Benaras Media Works Pvt Ltd. It also sought a direction to stop the release of the movie. The petitioner had claimed that title of the movie is a “clear misuse of Article 19 (1)(a) of the Constitution” and is in “contravention of section 3 of the Emblems and Names (Prevention of Improper use) Act”.last_img read more

Donate Quran courts bail condition to woman arrested for offensive postDonate Quran courts bail condition to woman arrested for offensive post

first_imgRanchi: A local court here has granted bail to a 19-year-old woman, arrested for sharing an offensive social media post targeting Muslims, on the condition that she will have to donate five copies of the Quran to separate institutions in the city.The court of Judicial Magistrate (First Class) Manish Kumar Singh, after granting the conditional bail, asked Richa Bharti to submit one copy of the holy book to the local Anjuman Committee in the presence of police authorities, and four more copies to different libraries in the city, her advocate Rampravesh Singh told PTI on Tuesday. Also Read – Imran Khan arrives in China, to meet Prez Xi JinpingThe magistrate has also sought the receipt or the acknowledgment of the donation within a fortnight, he said. Bharti was granted bail on Monday.Md Jamil Khan, a member of the Anjuman Committee, said it has welcomed the court’s verdict.”The committee, which looks after the health, education and welfare of the local people, has accepted the verdict wholeheartedly. The woman has been asked to donate copies of the Quran to the committee as well as school and college libraries,” he said. Also Read – US blacklists 28 Chinese entities over abuses in XinjiangSuperintendent of Police (Rural) Asutosh Sekhar, when contacted, said the officers were studying the court order to understand the stipulations.Bharti, a B.Com student at a local college, was arrested on July 12 after the Anjuman Committee filed a complaint against her at the Pithora Police Station for sharing an objectionable post on Facebook, which reportedly hurt religious sentiments.”We moved a petition in the court praying for bail. On Monday, we got conditional bail with the ruling that she should donate one copy of the Quran Sharif to Anjuman Committee at Pithoria and four more to different libraries in the city,” the girl’s counsel said. The judge has also directed the investigating officer of the case to be present when Bharti donates the holy book to the committee, he added.Bharti’s parents, Prakash and Nilam Devi, said they were happy to have their daughter back.”I have not yet received the order copy. I respect the court’s verdict. But I have not done anything wrong and will consult members of my family and lawyer if I can move the high court against the lower court’s verdict,” Bharti told PTI over phone.Her father Prakash Patel also said they did not receive the copy of the order till 5.30 pm on Tuesday.”After receiving it, we will consult our advocate and go through the legal process. We have full faith in the judiciary,” he added.last_img read more

Leonardo DiCaprio finally addresses Jacks death in TitanicLeonardo DiCaprio finally addresses Jacks death in Titanic

first_imgLos Angeles: Could Jack have survived in the final moments of “Titanic” is a question that still haunts fans 20 years later but just don’t ask actor Leonardo DiCaprio. Fans have long argued that Rose should have made room for Jack on the floating piece of lumber after Titanic’s sinking. Rose, who lay atop the door, survived in the end while Jack, who held on to the edge, froze to his death in the icy Atlantic waters. Both director James Cameron and actor Kate Winslet have weighed in on the scene but DiCaprio refused to get drawn into the debate despite gentle coaxing from his “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood co-stars Brad Pitt and Margot Robbie. Also Read – Hilarie Burton, Jeffery Dean Morgan tie the knot During an interview with MTV, DiCaprio was asked, “Could Jack have fit on that door at the end of “Titanic”? Jumping into the conversation, Robbie said, “Oh my gosh, I thought it. I remember bawling my eyes out when I was a (little) girl” but a taciturn DiCaprio said, “I have no comment.” When the question was put to Pitt, he said, “That is funny. Well, I’m going to go back and look now, shoot.” The actor then turned to DiCaprio to slyly ask: “Could you have squeezed there? You could’ve, couldn’t you?” Also Read – ‘Vaastav’ gave me the real sense of being an actor: Sanjay Dutt on film’s 20-year anniversary A smiling DiCaprio said, “No comments”. Calling it the “biggest controversy” in cinema, Robbie attempted to get an answer again. “Did you mention it at the time? Were you like should we make the door smaller.” she asked. “Like I said, I have no comment,” an unmoved DiCaprio offered. Cameron had called Jack ‘s death an “artistic choice”, which had nothing to do with the physics of two people fitting on the door. “The answer is very simple because it says on page 147 (of the script) that Jack dies. Obviously it was an artistic choice, the thing was just big enough to hold her, and not big enough to hold him…,” Cameron had told Vanity Fair in an interview. “The film is about death and separation; he had to die. So whether it was that, or whether a smoke stack fell on him, he was going down. Its called art, things happen for artistic reasons, not for physics reasons,” the director had said. When the question was put to Kate Winslet by popular TV host Jimmy Kimmel, she had teased, “I agree! I think he could have actually fitted on that bit of door.” Stephen Colbert asked her about the ending again in 2017, reminding her about Rose’s promise that she would never let go of Jack. “I lie. I fully lie. I hold my hand up, I let him go,” Winslet told Colbert of her famous line, “I’ll never let you go” but said Jack’s death wasn’t just on Rose. “He just should have tried harder to get on that door, because I think we would have (fit)!”last_img read more