PM must preach his MPs before guiding Opposition Congress

first_imgNew Delhi: The Congress on Tuesday responded to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s advice to the Opposition, saying his words were most of the time not implemented by his own party leaders. Stressing on the importance of an active opposition in democracy, Modi on Monday told them not to bother about their numbers and instead actively take part in the Lok Sabha’s proceedings. Before taking oath as a member on the first day of the 17th Lok Sabha, Modi said the role of an “opposition and an active opposition is important in a parliamentary democracy”. Also Read – Cong may promise farm loan waiver in Haryana On Tuesday when former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress chief Rahul Gandhi along with a host of senior party leaders met at UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi’s residence to discuss the party’s strategy in Parliament during the Budget Session, Adhir Ranjan Chaudhary said: “If the Prime Minister’s message is delivered to his ministers or juniors then it will be beneficial for all. “What Prime Minister is preaching is most of the time not being implemented by their party leaders.” Also Read – Modi formed OBC commission which earlier govts didn’t do: Shah The Congress meeting was the first one ahead of the crucial session and was attended also by Anand Sharma, Ghulam Nabi Azad, P. Chidambaram, Jairam Ramesh, K. Suresh and Chaudhary. As the leaders were expected to discuss the party’s stand on issues like ‘one nation, one election’, and triple talaq besides its Leader in the lower House, Chaudhary told the media: “Azadji briefed the party leaders in context to what Prime Minister (Narendra Modi) has said and that has been conveyed to our CPP leader.” He said Sonia Gandhi was apprised about the issues. Asked if the leader of Congress in Lok Sabha was discussed at the meeting, Chaudhary said, “No, Leader of Congress was not discussed.” To a question if the issues like one nation, one election, triple talaq was discussed, he said it will be dealt when it comes up in Parliament. On meeting with opposition leaders, he said, “Certainly… we have good relations with them so we will talk with them.” Speaking about Modi’s remarks over numbers in the lower House, Chaudhary said, “It is the core essence of democracy. Democracy is not determined by numbers, it is determined by opinions, discussions.” He also said that the issue of the Leader of Congress in the House is important and Sonia Gandhi, who was made the Congress Parliamentary Party leader for the second time, has also been given the task to select the leader of Congress in the Lok Sabha. General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra though reached her mother’s residence just minutes after the key meeting ended. Congress is the largest party in opposition, although it fell short of majority by two seats to get Leader of the Opposition post in the Lok Sabha. The source said that as the Congress is biggest opposition in Lok Sabha big responsibility lies on the party to play a key role to provide a strong opposition on the floor of the House. On Monday, senior Congress leader and Rajya Sabha MP Anand Sharma had given a sense of party’s line — the government should end the ordinance culture and respect parliamentary process, important bills should be sent to Parliamentary Committees and then discussed in the house too, before being passed as laws.last_img read more

No communication on H1B visa cap from US says Commerce ministry

first_imgNew Delhi: The commerce ministry has not received any communication from the US on its reported decision to consider caps on H-1B work visa for nations that mandate storing of data locally, sources said. India had last year mandated payment firms to store customer data exclusively in the country without creating a mirror sites overseas. Some US firms are opposed to this as it would require them to make additional investment. Irked by such requirements, the US is considering restrictions on H-1B visa that allow foreign professionals to work in that country, a report said.last_img read more

Halep defeats Buzarnescu in allRomanian match

first_imgLONDON: Great Britain – Former French Open champion Simona Halep kept up her Wimbledon consistency on Wednesday, knocking out fellow Romanian Mihaela Buzarnescu, 6-3, 4-6, 6-2 to reach the third round at the All England Club for the fifth time in six years, where fellow former World No.1 Victoria Azarenka awaits. The 2014 semifinalist has reached the second week of Wimbledon three times – including back-to-back quarterfinal runs in 2016 and 2017 – and put herself one win away from a return trip to the fourth round after a topsy-turvy one hour and 51 minutes on No.2 Court. Also Read – Dhoni, Paes spotted playing football togetherFed Cup teammates, Halep and Buzarnescu played just once before at an ITF Pro Circuit event back in 2008, two months after the former won her maiden junior Grand Slam title at Roland Garros. The two have taken wildly different trajectories since then, with Buzarnescu struggling with injuries before enjoying a sudden surge in 2018, where she reached three WTA finals and won her first title at the Mudabala Silicon Valley Classic in San Jose. She incurred an ankle injury playing the Coupe Rogers shortly thereafter, and has been looking for that same level ever since, though she posted a solid win over Jessica Pegula to start the fortnight at SW19. Also Read – Andy Murray to make Grand Slam return at Australian OpenHalep was fresh off an impressive victory against Aliaksandra Sasnovich, and weathered an early flurry of breaks to gain the ascendency to start, holding for 5-3 and breaking serve for a fourth time to take the opening set. More momentum shifts followed in the second as Buzarnescu clawed back from another 0-2 deficit to take a lead for the first time in the match, winning four straight games behind some feathery dropshots and stab volleys. Halep ended the streak following a protracted break triggered by a spectator falling ill, leveling the set as a Buzarnescu backhand floated wide. Buzarnescu nonetheless regained her form and broke her compatriot once more and forced a third set. Still, the No.7 seed shrugged off her dip in form to take a bright start in the decider, putting down two strong service holds with a break in between to lead 3-0, and just as Buzarnescu threatened one last comeback, the former World No.1 stepped in to win the final three games of the match, sealing it on a stunning forehand passing shot. In all, she hit 11 winners to 19 unforced errors, and while Buzarnescu struck more winners, she also hit more errors, with 25 to 44 by match’s end. Up next for Halep is a second Wimbledon meeting with Azarenka in three years, with the former winning their last match back in 2017 in what was the Belarusian’s second tournament after giving birth to son, Leo. Their head-to-head is tied at two wins apiece, with Halep winning their last two matches, both here and back in 2015 in the US Open quarterfinals.last_img read more

Two arrested with more than 4 kg ganja at Jadavpur

first_imgKolkata: Within 24 hours of arrest of two drug peddlers, who had brown sugar worth Rs 50,000, two more drug peddlers were nabbed with more than 4 kg ganja at Jadavpur on Saturday night.Police claimed that the duo had links with a gang that supplied ganja and other narcotics substances to students of several educational institutes across the city. According to the police, after apprehending the duo identified as Asgar Hossain alias Manu and Arshad Hossain on Friday night, sleuths Also Read – Centuries-old Durga Pujas continue to be hit among revellersgot a tip-off on Saturday evening that two more narcotics sellers were seen in Jadavpur area. Working on the source information, a joint team consist of cops from Detective Department and Narcotics Cell kept a strict vigil in and around the Jadavpur University since evening.Around 10 pm, police officers spotted two persons who had a small bag with them. Police officers realised that they were waiting for someone. Around 10 pm, when the duo was about to leave the place, sleuths surrounded them. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari PujaDuring searching their bag, police found small packets of ganja. They was immediately detained and taken to Jadavpur police station. There it was found that the duo was carrying 4.3 kg of ganja. During the interrogation, the accused persons Abbasuddin Laskar and Asgar Mistri of Dakshin Barasat at Joynagar in South 24 Parganas stated that they were selling ganja to students since the past 3 to 4 months. Later, a case was lodged against the duo under Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act. Sleuths are probing to identify the mastermind of the racket in Kolkata. Also, police will keep a close watch in and around the educational institutions for possible suspects as NDPS racketeers are targeting the students of various schools and colleges across the city.last_img read more

Death toll in floodhit Bihar climbs to 92

first_imgPatna: Death toll in Bihar floods climbed to 92 on Friday with 14 more casaulties reported from different marooned areas of the state in the past 24 hours.The relief and rehabilitation measures were running in full swing with Chief Minister Nitish Kumar launching a drive under which over Rs 180 crore were disbursed among affected people through direct cash transfer. According to the state disaster management department, the death toll which stood at 78 on the previous day included 27 casualties in Sitamarhi, the district worst affected by the flash floods which hit the state in the wake of torrential rainfall in catchment areas of Nepal last week. Also Read – Encounter under way in Pulwama, militant killedSignificant number of casualties have also been reported from districts like Araria, Madhubani, Purnea, Sheohar and Darbhanga. Altogether 66.76 lakh people, spread over 12 districts of the state, have been hit by the calamity, the department said. Meanwhile, the Chief Minister kicked off the program for providing aid to flood victims under the Public Financial Management System, by the click of a mouse at the CMs secretariat, whereby Rs 181.39 crore were transferred directly into the accounts of 3.02 lakh families in the initial phase. Also Read – 14-yr-old girl raped, strangled to death in UP’s ShamliEleven more people died in Assam floods, taking the toll to 47, while 48.87 lakh people were affected in 27 of the 33 districts of the state, an official report said on Friday. A total of 1.79 lakh hectare agricultural land was submerged and around 90 per cent of rhino habitats — the Kaziranga National Park and the Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary — are under water. Of the 11 deaths, five were reported from Dhubri district and three each from Barpeta and Morigaon, the Assam State Disaster Management Authority (ASDMA) said.last_img read more

US financier Jeffrey Epstein found injured in cell after possible suicide attempt

first_imgNew York: Disgraced US financier Jeffrey Epstein, who is accused of trafficking underage girls for sex, was found unconscious in his New York jail cell after a possible suicide attempt, US media reported Thursday. Epstein — a convicted pedophile — was discovered on Tuesday at a federal jail with marks on his neck, anonymous law enforcement sources told multiple media outlets including The New York Times. The 66-year-old, who has befriended countless celebrities and politicians over the years, was taken from the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Manhattan to hospital and the injuries are not believed to be serious, media reports said. Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince ‘snubbed’ Pak PM, recalled jet from USGuards are also investigating whether Epstein was the victim of a possible assault — or if he injured himself in a bid to be transferred out of the jail — as they piece together what happened. Prison officials, lawyers for Epstein, and prosecutors were not immediately available for comment when contacted by AFP. The wealthy hedge fund manager was denied bail last week after appearing at a New York court charged with one count of sex trafficking of minors and one count of conspiracy to commit sex trafficking of minors. He denies the charges and faces up to 45 years in prison if convicted. Also Read – Record number of 35 candidates in fray for SL Presidential pollsIn the ruling, Judge Richard Berman cited Epstein’s ownership of a private jet, along with a fake Austrian passport and 70,000 in cash found in his house, as evidence that the financier could skip bail. Epstein’s lawyers had argued that he should be allowed to remain at his home, fitted with an electronic ankle bracelet and with his building under police video surveillance. Prosecutors say Epstein sexually exploited dozens of underage teenagers, some as young as 14 years old, at his homes in Manhattan and Palm Beach, Florida, between 2002 and 2005. They claim that Epstein was “well aware that many of the victims were minors.” The girls were paid hundreds of dollars in cash to massage him, perform sexual acts and to recruit other girls, prosecutors allege. They say that Epstein had an army of recruiters often not much older than their targets who would approach vulnerable teens.last_img read more

More than 1K people cheated on job pretext

first_imgNew Delhi: A syndicate, running a call centre to cheat people for getting a job in airports of India through advertisement in newspapers, was busted.Police said that approx 1000 innocent job aspirants cheated to the tune of nearly Rs 2.5 crore. Police identified the accused as Chander Shekhar (49), Jitender Arya (26) (Graduate in commerce from DU), Baldev Raj (55), Beena Rani (28), Rinki (23) (Graduation from DU), Versha Kumari (22) (pursuing graduation from DU) and Bhavna (21). Also Read – After eight years, businessman arrested for kidnap & murderDeputy Commissioner of Police (IGI) Sanjay Bhatia said on July 14, a complaint filed by one Rajat Verma who alleged that he read an advertisement in a national newspaper stating direct recruitment at all airports without interview and he immediately contacted the given mobile numbers in the advertisement. “On different pretexts accused took money from the complainant on the pretext of a job,” police said. DCP IGI further said that later complainant came at IGI Airport, Delhi for enquiry regarding recruitment in Airport Authority of India and found that no such job advertisement has been published by Airport Authority of India. Also Read – Two brothers held for snatchingsA team led by ACP Crime (IGIA), Abhishek Gupta started the investigation and conducted raids at the residences of both Chandra Shekhar and Jitendra (Mama and Bhanja) and office of the alleged in Lajwanti Garden, Delhi Cantt and Naraina and arrested the accused. DCP IGI said that Chandra Shekhar wanted to build a house and he needed a huge amount of money for the same. He found this an easy and quick way to accumulate money taking advantage of innocent Job seekers in the Market. This syndicate had been contacted by more than 20,000 job aspirants in last one year and out of these approximately 1000 people fell into the trap. Police said that gang was running a fake job call centre through which they conducted the whole operation.last_img read more

KMC gears up to put an end to illegal parking woes across

first_imgKolkata: Kolkata Municipal Corporation has taken a slew of measures to address the issue of illegal parking in the city. Mayor Firhad Hakim, along with senior officials of the Parking department, held a meeting with Kolkata Police on Friday to discuss the various steps that can be taken in this regard.”We will install glow-signboards along with rate chart at all parking lots in the city. This will enable the people to have a clear idea of the fees they need to pay for vehicle parking. The police have been urged to keep an eye on the boards and ensure that such boards are safe and secure,” said Member, Mayor-in-Council (Parking) Debasish Kumar. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari PujaThe KMC has decided to gradually bring the parking lots in the city under CCTV surveillance, which will help them address any issue regarding parking in a more effective manner. “We had urged the Kolkata Police to organise joint raids from time to time, to curb illegal parking,” an official said. The KMC has identified around 700 places in the city marked for taxi parking, which are being used for parking other vehicles. “We will ensure that these places should be earmarked only for cabs,” Kumar said. Also Read – Bengal civic volunteer dies in road mishap on national highwayKMC has requested Kolkata Police to keep sergeants for supervision of the parking lots. “People often do not have the time to go to the police station for lodging complaints of harassment or extortion at the parking lots. If sergeants are deployed in and around the area, then they can register the complaints of the victims,” the official said. The KMC has showcaused three agencies for malpractice in parking and if their answers are found to be unsatisfactory, then they will be blacklisted. “We are now lodging complaints with police stations when there are allegations of extortion or other malpractices on the issue, so that there is strong action,” the official added.last_img read more

Criminal involved in over 65 cases arrested

first_imgNEW DELHI: Delhi Police’s special cell arrested a 31-year-old man involved in over 65 criminal cases including an attempt to murder, robbery and intimidation. Dhananjay alias Barood, from Phulwaria village in Muzaffarpur in Bihar, is associated with the notorious Shakeel-Satte gang based in Delhi’s trans-Yamuna area for the last seven years.During interrogation, he told the police that he shifted to Delhi’s Nand Nagri area 15 years ago. Police had also announced a reward of Rs 50,000 for any information that could lead to his arrest in three cases of robbery in Delhi’s Laxmi Nagar, Shakarpur and Badarpur areas. Also Read – After eight years, businessman arrested for kidnap & murder”On August 13, police received specific inputs that Dhananjay would come near Shriram Dharamkanta in Lal Kuan area of Ghaziabad between 8-9 pm to meet one of his contacts. Acting on the inputs, a trap was laid and Dhananjay was arrested,” DCP Special Cell, Pramod Singh Kushwaha said. Dhananjay entered crime about 13 years ago with small thefts and small robberies in Delhi. “The accused revealed that he is involved in more than 65 criminal cases including two cases of attempt to murder, 30 cases of dacoity and robbery, 12 cases of snatching, five cases of theft, five cases under arms act and various other cases of assault and intimidation across the national capital,” said Kushwaha. “Dhananjay was earlier arrested along with Shakeel in 2014. Shakeel was again arrested two months ago,” the police officer said.last_img read more

CBI grills Atri Bhattacharya for 2 hrs over Saradha scam

first_imgKolkata: State Tourism department Secretary Atri Bhattacharya was questioned by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Thursday afternoon, in connection with the Saradha chit fund scam.He was grilled for almost two hours. According to sources, during the tenure Bhattacharya served as the Secretary of Information and Cultural Affairs (I&CA) department, several advertisements were published in the media units of Saradha. On Thursday, Bhattacharya was questioned about how many advertisements were given in the media houses owned by Saradha and how much money had been paid for the same. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari PujaBhattacharya was also asked about a specific TV channel where the I&CA department had given the maximum number of advertisements. After Saradha owner Sudipta Sen was arrested, a large amount of money was provided to the channel for its hassle-free running. His former department was even supervising the running of the channel for a few days. Bhattacharya was asked why he had taken those decisions and provided the advertisements.last_img read more

Doctor jumps to death from 8th floor of Delhi hospital

first_imgNew Delhi: A 44-year-old doctor allegedly committed suicide by jumping off the eighth-floor balcony of GTB hospital campus in Shahdara district area on Saturday.Police said that no suicide note was found from the spot and further investigating is going on. According to police, the deceased was identified as Pallav (44), a native of Assam. He was residing in the campus along with his wife and took the extreme step. Deputy Commissioner of Police (Shahdara) Meghna Yadav said that they received an information yesterday regarding the incident. Also Read – After eight years, businessman arrested for kidnap & murderAdding further about the incident, the police officer stated that they got a call from GTB hospital regarding the incident. “As soon as he falls from the height, he was immediately rushed to the hospital,” police said. Dr Pallav was admitted in casualty in serious condition. He was declared unfit for the statement. “On enquiry, it was learnt that he jumped from the balcony of the 8th floor and received severe injuries. Later on, he succumbed to injuries,” said DCP Shahdara. Also Read – Two brothers held for snatchingsAccording to police, his wife works in GTB hospital and was living in hospital accommodation. The deceased was practising in a private hospital at Noida. Police further added that the deceased’s family was informed about the incident. The body was preserved in the mortuary and after his family arrive in the city the process for postmortem will start. “Action under section 174 CrPc is initiated. Facts being verified,” police said. According to investigators, no suicide note was found from the spot. When asked about the reason, the investigator further added that the probe is going on from different angles including family issues. “There is no clarity now we have questioned a few people in this regard. Once his family arrive in Delhi they may give us some clues regarding the incident,” police said. The deceased wife was not present at the time of the incident. “She was at her workplace when the incident took place,” police further added. Last year in December, a 34-year-old doctor allegedly committed suicide by jumping off from the fourth floor of his apartment over a petty issue in south Delhi’s Hauz Khas.last_img read more

Manmohan wife get Z VIP CRPF security cover

first_imgNew Delhi: A CRPF ‘Z+’ VIP security cover has been accorded to former prime minister Manmohan Singh whose SPG protection was recently withdrawn by the government, officials said on Monday.They said Singh and his wife have been accorded the cover with a strength of about 45 armed commandos who will guard them round-the-clock at their residence on 3, Motilal Nehru Road here and during their movement across the country. The former PM will also get a advance security liaison (ASL) protocol where the security personnel will conduct an advance recce of the venue that is to be visited by the two VVIPs. The Central Reserve Police Force will soon take over the charge after consultations with the SPG, Delhi Police and central intelligence agencies, they said. The Special Protection Group (SPG) protection given to Singh was recently withdrawn following a review by multiple security agencies.last_img read more

Pakistan PM to make policy statement on Kashmir today

first_imgIslamabad: Pakistan on Thursday said Prime Minister Imran Khan will make a “policy statement” on Kashmir on Friday during his public address at the PoK’s capital Muzaffarabad. Announcing this during his weekly media briefing here on Thursday, Foreign Office Spokesperson Mohammad Faisal said Pakistan is ready for any third party mediation to resolve the Kashmir issue and asserted that the legality of the matter is based on international law. Mediation offers (on Kashmir) are there but India is not ready. We are ready for it. Our considered view is that all problems can be solved through talks, he said. Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince ‘snubbed’ Pak PM, recalled jet from USFaisal said Prime Minister Khan in his public address in Muzaffarabad would make a “policy statement on Kashmir.” However, the Foreign Office spokesperson did not elaborate. India maintains that Kashmir is a bilateral issue between India and Pakistan and there was no role for a third party. New Delhi has also made it clear to Pakistan that cross-border terror attacks and talks cannot go hand in hand. The Pakistan Foreign Office said, “Kashmir struggle is a process and not an event. We have taken some actions and more actions can follow.” Also Read – Record number of 35 candidates in fray for SL Presidential pollsTo a question, he said the legality of the Kashmir issue was based on international law. He said the statement on Kashmir by the chief of UN Human Rights Council showed a “growing concerns” of international community about the situation in Kashmir. The comments came as India and Pakistan engaged in a war of words over the Kashmir issue on Tuesday at the UNHRC with New Delhi stoutly defending its “sovereign decision” to revoke Jammu and Kashmir’s special status.last_img read more

Saskatchewan introduces law to allow control of oil gas exports

first_imgREGINA – The Saskatchewan government has introduced legislation that would allow the province to control its oil and gas exports, similar to a bill recently tabled in Alberta.Once passed, the law would establish a permitting process for people or corporations looking to export energy products outside the province.The proposal does not mention British Columbia specifically, but Saskatchewan has said it is supporting Alberta in a dispute with B.C. over the Trans Mountain pipeline.The expansion of the pipeline to the West Coast has been approved by the federal government, but B.C. is fighting it in the courts.Saskatchewan Energy Minister Bronwyn Eyre says the federal government must ensure its constitutional authority is respected and the Trans Mountain pipeline is built.“Our government will always stand up for Saskatchewan and defend the people and businesses that rely on our oil and gas industry,” Eyre said in a release Monday.“Increasing pipeline access to tidewater would inject billions of dollars into Canada’s economy. We are in this gridlock today because, in the 18 months since the federal government approved the Trans Mountain pipeline, it has failed to ensure that construction could proceed.”Eyre says the bill is a last resort and will only be used if the pipeline continues to be stalled.“The expansion of our national pipeline capacity is vital to the future of our energy sector and to thousands of Canadian jobs,” she said. “It must not be obstructed, either by a lack of federal leadership or by a provincial government that does not have the legal authority to impede a federally approved project.”last_img read more

Tentative contract agreement in place for Quebec provincial police

first_imgSAINT JULIE, – A tentative contract agreement has been reached between the Quebec government and the association representing about 5,400 provincial police officers.The members of the Provincial Police Association have been without a contract since March 31, 2015.No detail of the agreement have been released.The association will spend the next few weeks presenting the agreement to its members, then a ratification vote will be scheduled.According to the provincial police website, a new officer earned $40,706 a year as of April 1, 2015, with the salary rising to $70,973 after five years of service.last_img read more

94yearold woman dies in suspicious blaze at seniors residence near Montreal

first_imgTERREBONNE, Que. – A neighbour who rushed to the scene of a deadly fire in a Quebec seniors’ residence on Sunday said he could hear trapped residents calling out before he turned the corner and saw the building in flames.“There were police officers running, firefighters too, the house was in flames,” Terrebonne resident Nicolas Martel said in a phone interview.“There were two balconies and there was one person on each balcony who were trapped and who couldn’t get out through their doorways because of the fire.”Martel said the rescue went quickly as police and firefighters ran in and out of the Oasis seniors’ residence, carrying some residents and using ladders to reach those who were trapped on balconies.A 94-year-old woman died after being taken to hospital in serious condition.Police say the fire, which broke out around 1:30 a.m. at the facility northeast of Montreal, could be criminal in nature.Quebec’s minister responsible for seniors said the residence was in the process of installing a sprinkler system but could not say whether it had been activated during the fire.“We were a few days from doing the first water tests at the level of the residence,” Francine Charbonneau told The Canadian Press in a phone interview.Forty-three people were rescued from the home, and twelve were hospitalized for smoke inhalation.Two people remained in hospital on Sunday afternoon with injuries that were not considered life-threatening, according to a spokesman for the regional health centre.The surviving victims will be transferred to other residences or long-term care facilities in the area.The issue of sprinklers has previously come up in the province following another deadly seniors’ home fire in 2014.A coroners’ report into the fire recommended that all certified seniors’ homes in the province should be equipped with automatic sprinkler systems after 32 died in the blaze in L’Isle Verte.On Sunday in Terrebonne, Martel said most residents remained calm despite the flames shooting into the night sky behind them and the sparks flying from nearby electrical wires.“They knew the firefighters were there, (so) they were agitated but they knew they weren’t about to die,” he said.He said part of the building later collapsed, although the facade was relatively untouched.Police said preliminary information provided by firefighters suggests the fire may have been deliberately set.An investigation is underway to determine the exact causes of the blaze.According to information on the residence that is listed on a Quebec government website, the residence had smoke detectors and alarms but no sprinkler system when the information was last updated in April, 2016.At that time, all but five of the home’s 32 residents were aged 75 and over.About 70 firefighters fought the blaze, which appeared to be under control by around 6 a.m.— By Morgan Lowrie and Vicky Fragasso-Marquis in Montreallast_img read more

Sidney Crosby welcomes Stanley Cup to Halifax for third hometown celebration

first_imgHALIFAX – Sidney Crosby is welcoming the Stanley Cup to his native Nova Scotia for a third time.Phil Pritchard, the Cup’s keeper, tweeted a photo Saturday night of Crosby hoisting the trophy above his head beside an airplane in Halifax.On Sunday, the Pittsburgh Penguins shared a photo of their captain placing a stuffed, pink kitten on the Cup’s rim while making the rounds at a local children’s hospital.“Sidney Crosby being Sidney Crosby,” the team tweeted.Nick Cox, a spokesman for the IWK Health Centre, said he was among a handful of people at the hospital who knew about Sunday’s special guest in advance.“He’s really there for the kids,” Cox said in an interview. “It’s tough being in the hospital, and I think Sidney recognizes that.”Cox said it was Crosby’s third visit to the facility, and every time he brings the trophy, the kids “go through the roof.”He said Crosby spent about an hour and a half roaming from room to room, visiting with kids and families and taking photos with “Stanley.”“It’s an experience they get to enjoy that they’ll keep with them for a long time,” Cox said. “Any time you can bring a smile to someone’s face, it’s a good day.”Crosby was also photographed at a veterans’ retirement home, chatting with seniors and showing off professional hockey’s most prestigious trophy.The three-time Stanley Cup champion will celebrate his 30th birthday on Monday by parading the trophy through Halifax and Rimouski, Que.Crosby has brought the Cup to his hometown of Cole Harbour, N.S., twice before, including in 2009 and last July, when he carried the trophy in the back of a pickup to a local arena as thousands of cheering fans looked on in the sweltering heat.last_img read more

Montreal mayor and police chief apologize for past antiLGBTQ raids and arrests

first_imgMONTREAL – Puelo Deir, one of the grand marshals in this year’s Pride Parade in Montreal, was at city hall Friday and said he had no idea the mayor and police chief were going to apologize to the LGBTQ community.“I thought: Oh. My. Gay!” Deir said in reaction to Mayor Denis Coderre’s formal apology on behalf of the city for institutional discrimination toward the community.But behind the jokes are dark memories of a time in Montreal when armed police used to force their way into gay bars, he said.“Not only did the police show up with machine-guns and cameras, but they took photos of people, which ended up in the newspapers,” Deir said. “It destroyed lives.”Coderre said “we have a tainted past and the best way to cure it is to recognize it and the best way to reconcile is to recognize what happened.”“There were some bad moments with the police force and the city administration and I would like to, on behalf of the municipal administration of the City of Montreal, offer my apology.”Police Chief Philippe Pichet said, on behalf of the force, he “regrets the events that were produced during police raids on gay bars during the 1960s to the 1990s. The actions attacked the dignity of the people concerned.”Deir, who co-founded a popular series of annual gay events in the city, said police raids on gay bars during that period were regular.One of the most infamous occurred in 1990 at the Sex Garage loft party, which is considered to be a turning point in the history of the city’s LGBTQ community.“People just used to take it,” he lamented. “It wasn’t until Sex Garage that we said we wouldn’t take it anymore.”The subsequent protests and violent police reaction are credited with sparking the modern-day LGBTQ rights movement in Quebec.Valerie Plante, mayoral candidate and city councillor in the district that is home to Montreal’s gay village, said her party called on the mayor a week ago to make a formal apology.“It’s a big victory for the whole LGBTQ community,” Plante said. “People had been telling us about it and we also have the example of Toronto, which did something similar.“I’m glad it was done.”Last summer, Toronto police Chief Mark Saunders said the force “regrets” a series of raids in 1981 that netted hundreds of gay people.He noted that event wasn’t the only time police had harassed the LGBTQ community, but that “the February 1981 event was the most dramatic in its destructiveness and in the number of men arrested — some 300.”Coderre said Montreal will create a new policy of sexual diversity and gender plurality, which will include hiring someone to work as a liaison between Montreal and the LGBTQ community.Montreal’s Pride Parade takes place Sunday.last_img read more

Five things to know about the Avro Arrow fighter jet program

first_imgTORONTO – Five things to know about the much vaunted but secretive Avro Arrow fighter jet program that was scrapped in 1959:— The CF-105, known as the Avro Arrow, was a globally leading-edge interceptor aircraft designed and built by Avro Canada in the 1950s.— The jet could fly at Mach 1.9 speeds at heights of up to 15,000 metres.— The first of five Arrows built was rolled out to the public Oct. 4, 1957, the same day as the Soviets launched Sputnik I.— The Arrow, about 23.71 metres long with a 15.24-metre wingspan, first flew March 25, 1958.— The Conservative government scrapped the Arrow program on Feb. 20, 1959, and ordered destruction of the aircraft and related materials.SOURCE: Arrow Recovery Canadalast_img read more

I knew I was bleeding Lawyer who lost hand in letterbomb blast

first_imgWINNIPEG – A lawyer whose hand was blown apart by a letter bomb recalled the few seconds when she hesitated before opening the strange package that had landed on her desk.Maria Mitousis told an attempted murder trial in Winnipeg that she arrived at work on July 3, 2015 and found a puffy envelope on her desk addressed to her.The return address was a law firm where she previously worked.Inside was a voice recorder and a note.“It said that it would help me with my case and that I should press play,” she testified Wednesday.Mitousis thought the package was “weird” and started walking toward the office of the law firm’s managing partner.“But then I thought, ‘No, that’s silly’ … and I read the note again.”She went back in her office, stood by the window, and pressed the play button. A loud bang followed, then shock and confusion.“I remember feeling off balance … dizzy. I remember feeling pain in my stomach and burning,” she said. “I could feel that I had pieces of metal, pieces of plastic — sharp pieces — in my mouth.“I knew I was bleeding from my neck.”Guido Amsel, the ex-husband of one of Mitousis’s clients, is facing attempted murder charges related to the explosion. Amsel is also accused of sending bombs to his ex-wife and a lawyer at another firm who had represented him. He has pleaded not guilty to all charges.A colleague has already testified that Mitousis walked to her office doorway and slumped down on the floor while an ambulance was called.In the hours that followed, Mitousis’s right hand was amputated. She underwent extensive surgery to repair her left arm, an ear and other areas.“I woke up and discovered that my right arm was completely wrapped and I didn’t have a hand anymore.”Mitousis testified she is still in pain more than two years later.“My right arm is in a constant state of some kind of pain — throbbing, burning.”Mitousis sat turned toward the Crown for most of her testimony Wednesday. She made eye contact with Amsel, who was on the other side of the room, when asked to identify him.Police found two other bombs in the days following the explosion and disposed of them safely. One was at the workplace of Amsel’s ex-wife. The other was at the office of a lawyer that had represented Amsel in a lawsuit filed by his ex-wife.The couple had been in a bitter divorce battle that dragged on for years, along with a lawsuit over an autobody shop they co-owned.The acrimony appeared to end in the weeks leading up to the explosion. Court documents show Amsel agreed to pay his ex-wife $40,000 and sell equipment from the autobody business. The auction was slated for eight days after the explosion.Amsel’s lawyer, Saheel Zaman, asked Mitousis under cross-examination whether Amsel had been polite during their email exchanges and face-to-face meetings.“The correspondence between you and Mr. Amsel was always cordial?” Zaman asked.“Correct,” Mitousis replied.last_img read more