Iggy Azalea to release new album on July 19

first_imgLos Angeles: Rapper Iggy Azalea has announced that she would be releasing her new album on July 19. The LP would mark Azalea’s first since her debut record ‘The New Classic’, which released back in 2014. ”In My Defense: July 19th Pre Order: June 28,” Azalea posted on Instagram along side the album art. She also shared the inspiration behind her album art. ”It’s a statement about women not having the ability to defend themselves under public gaze, not rebirth. I guess I don’t feel women are really given a fair chance to be ‘heard out’ so how could anyone survive that amount of judgement. ”I wore a ‘going out’ dress and clutch because I wanted it to feel like I had been out somewhere and was clearly unprepared for a fight,” Azalea tweeted.last_img read more

Read more

Wanted to commit suicide after India loss Mickey Arthur

first_imgLondon: Pakistan head coach Mickey Arthur has claimed that he was feeling so low and disappointed after his team’s loss to India in the ongoing World Cup that he wanted to “commit suicide”. On June 16 at the Old Trafford in Manchester, Pakistan had to face an embarrassing 89-run loss (D/L method) against arch-rivals India. This was their seventh loss against the Men in Blue in all the editions of the World Cups. The entire team, including skipper Sarfaraz Ahmed and the team management, had drawn a lot of flak from former cricketers and fans on social media. Also Read – Djokovic heaps praise on ‘very complete’ MedvedevHowever, Pakistan came back strongly to keep their hopes alive of making it to the semi-finals as they registered a convincing 49-run victory over South Africa, knocking the Faf du Plessis-led team out of the competition. “Last Sunday I wanted to commit suicide,” Arthur said at the post-match press conference after the Proteas game at the Lord’s on Sunday. “But it was, you know, it’s only one performance. “It happens so quick. You lose a game; you lose another game; it’s a World Cup; media scrutiny; public expectation, and then you almost go into sort of survival mode. We’ve all been there,” he added. Also Read – Mary Kom enters quarterfinals, Saweety Boora bows out of World C’shipsHe had also said guys in the team were “burnt” last week post their defeat to Virat Kohli’s men. Pakistan have five points from six games and are currently placed at the seventh spot in the table. They need to win all their remaining three games against New Zealand (Wednesday), Afghanistan (Saturday) and Bangladesh (July 5), and also hope that results of matches of other teams go in their favour so that they can make it to the last four stage.last_img read more

Read more

Superhero without a cape

first_imgFrom selling papads on the streets to giving free education to underprivileged students, the journey of well- known mathematician and founder of ‘Super 30 Programme’ Anand Kumar is an inspiration to many, so much so that his life has become a script for an upcoming movie, featuring Hrithik Roshan.”The career journey is not new to the world, but struggles of my personal life and the motivation to overcome them is still an unknown aspect to many,” said Anand Kumar. Also Read – An income drop can harm brainIt was during his Graduation days that Anand received a letter from Cambridge University, United Kingdom. But unfortunately, things didn’t turn out the way they were supposed to. “I wanted to go to Cambridge, but due to my father’s demise and other financial constraints, I had to compromise with the situation.” There was a time when Anand’s mother used to make papads at home and the two children (Anand and his brother) would roam around the streets of Patna to sell them. Also Read – Shallu Jindal honoured with Mahatma Award”My father always inspired me to give my best in everything that I do. He always taught that ‘if you cannot do best, at least try to do something that could bring a meaningful change’. And that’s what always kept me motivated in my life,” mentioned the renowned mathematician. The idea for Anand’s biopic was conceived 8.5 years back, and the proposal was initially put forward by scriptwriter Sanjeev Datta, revealed Kumar. “Sanjeev worked on the script for almost a year and Anurag Basu was to direct this movie. However, after a while, Basu’s enthusiasm fell short and the idea was dropped.” 2.5 years back, when Biopics started ruling the box office, Sanjeev once again approached Kumar and the project was finalised with Madhu Mantena as Producer and Vikas Bahl as Director. Anand was overwhelmed when he came to know about it, but the most crucial aspect – selection of the lead actor – was yet to be finalised. “The discussion took a whole lot of time and after a long search, we finally approach Hrithik Roshan. The decision, however, was doubted by many. ‘How an actor who is said to resemble a Greek God will play a Bihari on screen’ – they would question.” “The questions were valid, but after seeing the amount of effort he has put in to get under the skin of the character, I can say that nobody could have been a better fit for this role than Hritik,” he added. Recalling his first reactions on seeing Hrithik in the character, Anand said, “When I first saw Hrithik shooting for the film, I couldn’t believe my eyes. It felt like I am standing in front of a mirror and looking at my reflection.” Concluding the interview, Anand said, “This movie will inspire young minds and fill them with motivation. To be a hero, you don’t necessarily have to be powerful. Every person who is capable of making a change for the betterment of society is a ‘hero’ according to me.” Anand’s story of struggle stands as a motivation for all the youngsters who do not have resources, but an urge to fulfill their dreams.last_img read more

Read more

I could not believe it when I got India cap Saini

first_imgLauderhill (USA): An impressive India debut under his belt, fast bowler Navdeep Saini said he could not believe himself when he was handed the India cap to play in the first T20 International against the West Indies here. The 26-year-old Saini starred in India’s 4-wicket win by taking three wickets for 17 runs on Saturday. He was adjudged man-of-the-match for his impressive bowling display which saw India restrict West Indies to 95 for 9. Also Read – Puducherry on top after 8-wkt win over Chandigarh India made a heavy weather of the modest run chase before pulling off a 4-wicket win with 2.4 over to spare. “When I received the India cap (on Saturday morning), I could not believe that today is the day which I was waiting for,” Saini told his senior pace colleague Bhuvneshwar Kumar in an interview posted on BCCI Twitter handle. Asked about the tatoo on his left hand which depicted a wolf, Saini said, “During my childhood, I and my big brother used to watch a lot of movies on wolves. That is why I have this tatoo.”last_img read more

Read more

Doctor assaulted at SSKM one arrested

first_imgKolkata: Despite repeated requests and awareness by police and the state government, a doctor was assaulted again on Monday morning at SSKM Hospital. Later, police arrested the accused and initiated a criminal case against him.According to sources, approximately a month ago a youth identified as Md Sakir (30) was admitted at SSKM Hospital with problems in his kidney and chest. After examining him, doctors found that he was suffering from kidney failure. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari PujaAs the condition of Sakir was not good, his family members requested hospital authorities to allow one of them to stay with him. After getting permission, his brother identified as Md Sajid was staying there as Sakir’s attendant. Since Sakir got admitted, his dialysis was going on in regular intervals. Early on Monday morning, Sakir suffered a sudden cardiac arrest and died. But his family members claimed that when Sakir was feeling unwell, they tried to call the doctor as there was no doctor present in the ward. After several requests when a doctor came, he allegedly did nothing. A few moments later, Sakir died due to alleged medical negligence. Also Read – Bengal civic volunteer dies in road mishap on national highwayAs soon as Sakir was declared dead, Sajid got furious and started abusing the on-duty doctor Saugata Dasgupta and other medical staff. He also hit the glass pane of the doctor’s cubicle with a fist and broke the same. As a result, Sajid also received severe bleeding injuries on his hands. When Dasgupta and other staff tried to resist, they were assaulted. Within minutes police reached the spot and detained Sajid. After Dasgupta lodged a complaint with the police, Sajid was arrested.last_img read more

Read more

Noted journalist Ranjit Guru passes away

first_imgBhubaneswar: Noted journalist and columnist Ranjit Guru passed away at a private hospital here following a brief illness, family sources said on Sunday. He was 61 and is survived by wife and a daughter. Guru, who was admitted to a private hospital here a few days ago, breathed his last in the early hours at around 12.30 am, they said. A host of dignitaries including Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and Union Petroleum and Steel Minister Dharmendra Pradhan have condoled the demise of Guru. Guru had carved a special identity for himself by highlighting important issues through his writings and columns, Patnaik said on Twitter while expressing grief over the passing away of the senior journalist.last_img

Read more

After membership drive TRS focus now on strengthening party organisation in Tgana

first_imgHyderabad: The ruling TRS in Telangana, which has enrolled 60 lakh members during its recently-concluded membership drive, is now focused on strengthening its party organisation in the state.TRS working president K T Rama Rao, who held a meeting with the party’s general secretaries on Wednesday, told them to complete the process of constitution of party committees by August 31 and submit a report by September 1, sources said. He was told that the constitution of party committees had almost been completed, they said. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM’He suggested that constituency-level (party) meetings be organised, as membership drive and constitution of party committees have come to an end. Rama Rao, son of TRS president and Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao, also reviewed the construction of party offices in districts, the sources said. The construction of party offices is going on at a brisk pace in all the districts, the sources added. TRShas enrolled about 60 lakh members during its membership drive which began in the last week of June and concluded recently. The last date for submission of membership books was August 25, party sources had said earlier. The party has got over Rs 20 crore through membership fee. It offers insurance facility to its members. TRShad returned to power in the Assembly polls held in December last with a massive majority, winning 88 of the total of 119 seats. Though the party expected to bag at least 13-14 of the total of 17 seats in Lok Sabha polls, it won nine. The loss of sitting MP and Chief Minister Rao’s daughter K Kavitha, in particular, came as a setback to the party.last_img read more

Read more

System to be ready in 3 months to offer Aadhaar to NRIs

first_imgNew Delhi: The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) has said its systems will be ready within three months to offer the facility of issuing Aadhaar cards to NRIs with Indian passports without the mandatory 180 days waiting period, as announced in the Budget.UIDAI systems are being readied for the facility and necessary legal measures are to be notified soon, UIDAI CEO Ajay Bhushan Pandey told PTI. UIDAI systems will be tuned to offer the facility within three month’s time, he said. Also Read – Thermal coal import may surpass 200 MT this fiscal”We are working to make the appropriate technological changes and we will provide an appointment facility where people outside the country also can apply for a time slot and specify the place they would like to go to get their Aadhaar made…as soon as they come to India they can, very conveniently, go and get their Aadhaar made,” Pandey said.In her Budget speech on July 5, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had said: “I propose to consider issuing Aadhaar card for Non-Resident Indians with Indian Passports after their arrival in India, without waiting for 180 days.” Also Read – Food grain output seen at 140.57 mt in current fiscal on monsoon boostSources privy to the development said that a notification in this regard has to be issued by the IT ministry, which is currently awaited.Meanwhile, the UIDAI — which has made operational two more Aadhaar Seva Kendras (ASKs) in Bhopal and Chennai after the fourth centre in Hisar was launched recently — is confident of meeting its target of opening 114 such centres across the country in the coming months. The UIDAI is setting up Aadhaar Seva Kendras — similar to the concept of Passport Seva Kendras — covering 53 cities across the country at an estimated project cost of Rs 300-400 crore. These Aadhaar centres, meant to facilitate enrolment, updation and other activities, are UIDAI’s own and operate in addition to thousands of centres currently being run by banks and post offices, as well as in government premises (offering similar Aadhaar services).As ASKs have more capacity, more requests for enrolment and updation can be processed on a daily basis compared to other centres. Besides, the new ASK model entails an online appointment management system to allow people to book a slot as per their convenience. The online appointment booking facility is already available at UIDAI’s website.last_img read more

Read more

Women in the workforce

first_imgEasily half the workforce that contributes to India’s economy is the women and most often, their contribution in a smaller context is taken less than seriously. With respect to the larger picture, a major chunk of work performed regularly by women is unpaid. The empowerment of women in terms of job acquisition and performance has brought significant changes in how women have come to operate in manners different from how the normalised situation had been marked by oppression and social and gender inequality. Certainly, there is a much longer way to go but thus far, the economic importance of women has been brought to highlight in a more quantifiable way. The government-sponsored Mudra scheme was introduced with the objective to provide loans upto Rs 10 lakh to non-corporate, non-farm small or micro enterprises. This essentially meant monetarily empowering the lowers rungs of the contributing society. Non–corporate small business segment of comprising numerous partnership firms operating as small manufacturing units, service sector units, shopkeepers, fruits or vegetable vendors, food-service units, repair shops, machine operators, small industries, artisans, etc. in rural and urban areas, are eligible for the scheme. What very interestingly turns out is that women get more Mudra jobs than men, albeit only in smallest loan group. Women have comprehensively edged out men by cornering 68.92 lakh extra jobs, i.e., 56.3 per cent of the total 1.12 crore additional employment generated with Mudra loans disbursed during 33 months between April 2015 and December 2017 over 90 per cent of these jobs come on account of Shishu loans which has the smallest ticket size of up to Rs 50,000, according to an Indian Express analysis. It is widely observed that this trend could be an indicator to the fact that while female workers tip the scales in terms of overall numbers, their employment is largely restricted to smaller units funded by loans under the Mudra scheme. There is also the socio-economic dynamics at play here as women are willing to work but are met with restricted options in nearly every stratum. Different from the traditional childcare occupations, Mudra Yojana, provided substantial impetus to micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME sector). The MSME sector is critical for India’s transformation. Undertaking necessary steps to facilitate further growth will better harness the tremendous potential of women in the workforce.last_img read more

Read more

Taika Waititi confirms Chris Hemsworth will be at forefront of Thor Love

first_imgLos Angeles: “Thor: Love And Thunder” director Taika Waititi has revealed Chris Hemsworth will continue to topline the upcoming fourth movie in the Thor franchise. At July’s San Diego Comic-Con, it was announced that Natalie Portman, who plays scientist Jane Foster in the franchise, is set to return and get to adapt a version of the Lady Thor arc in the new film. Asked who the star of “Love and Thunder” was, Waititi told MTV News, “It’s Chris. It’s a Thor film. He is Thor, it’s a Thor film. She’s (Portman) in it.” Also featuring Tessa Thompson, the movie is scheduled for a November 5, 2021 release.last_img

Read more

The Canadian Press explains the Ontario budgets health care funding

first_imgTORONTO – After years of restricting health-care funding growth, the Ontario budget released Thursday promises new money to reduce wait times and increase capacity at overcrowded hospitals, as well as free prescription medication for children and youth.“BOOSTER SHOT”The budget promises to increase health-care spending by a total of $11.5 billion over the next three years. The government had previously intended to keep annual health-spending increases low during this time, and the new so-called “booster shot” of funding is $7 billion higher than the previous plan.Of that $7 billion, $1 billion is coming this budget year. Ontario will spend $53.8 billion on health care this year, up from $52.2 billion last year. Spending will rise to $58.1 billion in 2019-20, according to the budget plan.This comes after the province’s Financial Accountability Office warned that if the government continued with its plan to restrain health-care funding — without the booster shot — the level of austerity would have been the strictest in 20 years, and possibly unsustainable in the face of a growing and aging population.The budget indicates $1.3 billion of the new funding will be dedicated to reducing wait times over the next three years.OHIP+ CHILDREN AND YOUTH PHARMACAREThe biggest surprise policy announcement of the budget is free prescription medication for Ontarians under age 25. The pharmacare program will cover medication for all of the province’s four million children, regardless of their family’s income. It will be most beneficial for families that don’t have work drug plans and aren’t on social assistance.It will cover the 4,400-plus drugs included in the Ontario Drug Benefit Program, which is used by seniors and those on social assistance. However, children’s caregivers will not have to pay the deductibles and co-pay costs that those groups pay.The program will cover common childhood medications including antibiotics, asthma inhalers, diabetes medication, attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder medication. It also includes oral cancer medication, while hospital-based medication is already free in Ontario.The pharmacare program is set to begin on Jan. 1, 2018. The cost of its first full year is estimated at $465 million.Earlier this month, the Ontario NDP announced plans for their own pharmacare program that, if the party is elected, would cover 125 basic medications for Ontarians of all ages.HOSPITALSThe budget includes an increase of $518 million in hospital funding, a three-per-cent boost. It comes after hospitals warned of overcrowding and patients being placed in hallways, boardrooms and even cafeterias when there weren’t enough beds. The Ontario Hospital Association had asked for a larger funding increase of 4.9 per cent.The budget promises an extra $9 billion for hospital construction projects over 10 years, and announced newly approved hospital construction projects in Niagara, Windsor, Hamilton, Mississauga and the Weeneebayko hospital replacement project in northern Ontario, as well as a new $2.5 million for the planning of an expansion to the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) in Toronto.SENIOR HEALTHThe budget includes $100 million over three years for the province’s new dementia strategy, which will include helping patients and their caregivers find support, and improving training and education for health-care workers in dementia care.The budget includes an extra $58 million for long-term care homes, a two-per-cent increase. Residents’ food allowance will increase by six per cent, which comes after negative news reports that the province spends more per capita on food for inmates than seniors in long-term care.The budget also increases funding to Behavioural Supports Ontario by $10 million, which will help long-term care homes handle patients with complex behavioural issues related to dementia.ABORTION PILL FUNDINGThe budget promises public funding for the new abortion pill Mifegymiso. Women with a prescription will be able to get it for free at a pharmacy.Note to readers: This is a corrected story. An earlier version carried incorrect details about abortion pill funding based on information provided by a government official.last_img read more

Read more

Man drunk and speeding before crash that killed BC Mountie Crown

first_imgCOLWOOD, B.C. – A man who sped his truck through a red light and rammed a RCMP cruiser, killing the officer inside, had a blood-alcohol level more than three times the legal limit, the Crown said Wednesday.Crown attorney Tim Stokes told Kenneth Fenton’s sentencing hearing the man’s truck was estimated to be going as fast as 90 kilometres an hour in a 50-kilometre zone when it entered the intersection and slammed into Const. Sarah Beckett’s vehicle in April 2016.Stokes told the court, Fenton, 29, had been drinking beer and was distraught over the recent suicide of a friend. He refused to provide a breath or blood sample, but police obtained a warrant within an hour of the crash to analyze blood taken from Fenton while he was at the hospital, the court heard.Fenton’s blood-alcohol reading was .287 milligrams of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood, Stokes said. The legal blood-alcohol limit is .08.The Crown is seeking a sentence of between three and five years in prison. Defence lawyer Dale Marshall said an appropriate sentence would be three years in prison.Stokes said the court must consider Fenton’s level of impairment and vehicle speed in the sentence.“He was quite oblivious to the fact he was entering an intersection where the light was red,” he said.Marshall said Fenton pleaded guilty almost immediately and will address the court to express his remorse.Fenton’s sentencing hearing was expected to be completed Wednesday, but it was adjourned late Wednesday until July 6 to set another date to for the hearing to continue.At the time of the crash, Fenton’s truck was being followed by another RCMP vehicle after that officer noticed the tail lights were out, Stokes said.He described the crash as an explosion of glass and smoke to a full courtroom in Colwood, B.C., as people sitting in the gallery held tissues and wiped away tears.Stokes said the truck hit Beckett’s vehicle on the driver side and an autopsy determined Beckett’s death was caused by blunt force trauma.He said a witness at the accident scene reported hearing Fenton say “one stupid decision.”Fenton pleaded guilty last month to charges of impaired driving and dangerous driving causing the death of Beckett, a mother of two boys who had recently returned to the West Shore RCMP detachment from maternity leave.Beckett’s husband, Brad Aschenbrenner, read his victim impact statement to the court.His hands shook and his voice was low and cracked at times when he told the court about losing the love of his life and the mother of their young sons, Lucas and Emmett.The hardest thing after his wife’s death was telling six-year-old Lucas “mommy wasn’t coming home,” Aschenbrenner said.His youngest son was two years old when his mother died and “will have no memory of her at all,” he added.He said the family tries to celebrate Christmas, Halloween and Thanksgiving, but “there’s always the undercurrent of sadness and loss.”He has not been able to work, and suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder, depression and anxiety, he said.Aschenbrenner said he left his family in Idaho to come to Canada to be with Beckett. He is scheduled to get his Canadian citizenship at a ceremony on Friday.In a written victim impact statement submitted to the court, Beckett’s mother, Gurcharn Beckett said she is haunted by her daughter’s cruel and sudden death.“I wonder did she see death rushing at her? Did she have a moment?”last_img read more

Read more

No winning ticket for Friday nights 10 million Lotto Max jackpot

first_imgTORONTO – No winning ticket was sold for the $10 million jackpot in Friday night’s Lotto Max draw.That means the jackpot for the next draw on Aug. 18 will grow to approximately $15 million.last_img

Read more

Rough seas complicate situation for cargo boat stranded off Newfoundland coast

first_imgInclement weather is causing a dangerous situation as crews try to tow a disabled cargo ship to safety near the coast of Newfoundland, says a Canadian Coast Guard official.MV Baby Leeyn, a 132-metre cargo ship with nearly 300 tons of fuel onboard, ran into engine trouble just after midnight Sunday when it was 15 kilometres south of Cape St. Mary.Larry Crann, a senior response officer with the Canadian Coast Guard, said the vessel was drifting in the ocean Sunday afternoon in what he called a “fluid” situation because of rough sea conditions.The owner of MV Baby Leeyn has hired a tug boat, but Crann said the conditions make it difficult to safely attach the disabled ship.“The biggest challenge for us right now is the safety of the people who are on board and the safety of the crew that’s trying to attach the tow line,” he said.Gusting winds in the area created waves about three metres tall on Sunday, Crann added.The coast guard has hired a second tug boat and have sent one of their own ships to assist with the situation in case any complications arise.Crann said that in the current conditions, a tug boat would have to move very slowly back to port if they are able to get a tow line attached.“Right now we’re just monitoring the situation and getting updates from the tug on site,” he said. “It’s hard to say how long it’ll take because of the sea state.”Crann said the vessel was not on a collision course with land as of Sunday afternoon.MV Baby Leeyn was not carrying any cargo when it left port from Argentia, N.L, on Saturday night.last_img read more

Read more

Balaclava rapist Larry Takahashis day parole continued no overnight leave

first_imgABBOTSFORD, B.C. – The Parole Board of Canada has continued day parole in British Columbia for the man known as the balaclava rapist for another six months while ruling out overnight leave privileges for now.Larry Takahashi is serving three concurrent life sentences for multiple counts of rape, aggravated sexual assault and other attacks on 23 women in the Edmonton area in the 1970s and ’80s, which he committed while wearing a balaclava.The 66-year-old was granted day parole in 2016 and the board has extended it several times, saying in its latest decision on Aug. 3 that he is seeing a psychiatrist, is following his release plan and continues his “slow and steady reintegration.”However, it did not authorize overnight leave, saying Takahashi has limited community supports in his release area and caution must be exercised given the gravity of his offences.Takahashi must obey conditions including avoiding alcohol or drugs, not contacting his victims or their families, not accessing pornography and not using a computer or any device with the internet.The parole board decision says Takahashi has reported feeling lonely, but that he has attended occasional community events on his own and his daily routine includes exercising, going for walks and having coffee alone.“You do not appear to be experiencing sexual preoccupation at this time and you do not currently articulate an interest in a romantic relationship,” says the decision.“You have been encouraged to expand your community supports but you appear reluctant to reach beyond the supports of family and two couples who are your friends.”Takahashi has not been employed while in the community but has volunteered for the work experience program at the halfway house where he is staying, it adds.last_img read more

Read more

NB Liberals promise to modernize liquor laws expand where alcohol can be

first_imgDIEPPE, N.B. – New Brunswick’s Liberal Party says it’ll modernize the province’s liquor laws and expand the sale of beer, wine and alcohol to retail outlets like convenience stores if re-elected later this month.“To create more opportunities here in New Brunswick, we will give consumers more choice and flexibility,” leader Brian Gallant said in a news release Saturday.He said the Liberals would expand the practice of letting patrons bring their own bottles of wine to more restaurants and allow them to purchase products to go.The party would work with local producers and entrepreneurs from the province’s beer, wine and distillery industries to update their liquor laws, according to Gallant.“A major component of our multi-year Economic Growth Plan has been the development and promotion of local food and beverages,” he said. “We will give local entrepreneurs more opportunities to grow their businesses here in our province, so they can create more jobs for New Brunswickers.”In August, the Atlantic Convenience Stores Association commissioned MQO research to poll nearly 400 New Brunswickers to see what they would think of expanded sales of packaged beer and wine in convenience stores across the province.Nearly 75 per cent of those polled responded favourably, and association president Mike Hammoud said this points to an appetite for increased convenience when it comes to buying alcohol.“Those people are already coming into our stores, so it just makes sense, from a convenience point of view,” he said in an interview.“We’re in every community. Most people won’t even have to drive to get the products.”He added that he would like to hear more about how exactly the government intends to roll out this plan.The province’s opposition leader, meanwhile, said an elected Progressive Conservative government would introduce a tax credit for children’s sports, arts and culture programs.In a release, Blaine Higgs said Saturday that such a credit would allow families to claim eligible fees paid to register their kids in these types of programs.Families would be able to claim up to $500 in expenses per child for a program involving physical activity, and up to $250 per child for programs involving arts, culture and recreational activities.He said the party would also work to reverse Policy 711, which limits foods sold in schools with a low nutritional value and are higher in saturated fats, sugar or salt.“Certainly we should educate our children about the importance of good nutrition and regular physical activity on good health outcomes,” said Higgs.“But we think helping them participate in activities with their peers is the goal — not legislating what’s on the menu.”Also on Saturday, the People’s Alliance of New Brunswick said they would work to ban herbicide spraying on Crown lands if the party is elected Sept. 24.Party leader Kris Austin said he would like to replace spraying with more environmentally friendly methods like mechanical thinning.“It is long past time for us to stop poisoning ourselves and our wildlife,” said Austin in a release.“We have to think about our own health, we have to think about protecting the wildlife which we share our region with.”— By Alex Cooke in Halifaxlast_img read more

Read more

Text of Bank of Canada interest rate announcement

first_imgOTTAWA – The Bank of Canada raised its key interest rate target Wednesday. Here’s the text of the central bank’s announcement:The Bank of Canada today increased its target for the overnight rate to 1.75 per cent. The Bank Rate is correspondingly 2 per cent and the deposit rate is 1.5 per cent.The global economic outlook remains solid. The US economy is especially robust and is expected to moderate over the projection horizon, as forecast in the Bank’s July Monetary Policy Report (MPR). The new US-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) will reduce trade policy uncertainty in North America, which has been an important curb on business confidence and investment. However, trade conflict, particularly between the United States and China, is weighing on global growth and commodity prices. Financial market volatility has resurfaced and some emerging markets are under stress but, overall, global financial conditions remain accommodative.The Canadian economy continues to operate close to its potential and the composition of growth is more balanced. Despite some quarterly fluctuations, growth is expected to average about 2 per cent over the second half of 2018. Real GDP is projected to grow by 2.1 per cent this year and next before slowing to 1.9 per cent in 2020.The projections for business investment and exports have been revised up, reflecting the USMCA and the recently-approved liquid natural gas project in British Columbia. Still, investment and exports will be dampened by the recent decline in commodity prices, as well as ongoing competitiveness challenges and limited transportation capacity. The Bank will be monitoring the extent to which the USMCA leads to more confidence and business investment in Canada.Household spending is expected to continue growing at a healthy pace, underpinned by solid employment income growth. Households are adjusting their spending as expected in response to higher interest rates and housing market policies. In this context, household credit growth continues to moderate and housing activity across Canada is stabilizing. As a result, household vulnerabilities are edging lower in a number of respects, although they remain elevated.CPI inflation dropped to 2.2 per cent in September, in large part because the summer spike in airfares was reversed. Other temporary factors pushing up inflation, such as past increases in gasoline prices and minimum wages, should fade in early 2019. Inflation is then expected to remain close to the 2 per cent target through the end of 2020. The Bank’s core measures of inflation all remain around 2 per cent, consistent with an economy that is operating at capacity. Wage growth remains moderate, although it is projected to pick up in the coming quarters, consistent with the Bank’s latest Business Outlook Survey.Given all of these factors, Governing Council agrees that the policy interest rate will need to rise to a neutral stance to achieve the inflation target. In determining the appropriate pace of rate increases, Governing Council will continue to take into account how the economy is adjusting to higher interest rates, given the elevated level of household debt. In addition, we will pay close attention to global trade policy developments and their implications for the inflation outlook.Information noteThe next scheduled date for announcing the overnight rate target is December 5, 2018. The next full update of the Bank’s outlook for the economy and inflation, including risks to the projection, will be published in the MPR on January 9, 2019.last_img read more

Read more

Romaine lettuce particularly susceptible to E coli outbreaks

first_imgGrocery stores have pulled romaine lettuce off their shelves and many restaurants have stopped serving caesar salads after the leafy green has been linked to an E. coli outbreak for the third time in about a year.The lettuce is more susceptible to E. coli contamination partly because of how it’s grown, experts say, and its increasingly tarnished image could shake consumer confidence into not buying the salad green even after non-contaminated produce appears on store shelves and restaurant tables again.“Romaine lettuce is particularly susceptible,” said Keith Warriner, a University of Guelph professor. “In our own research, what we found is that E. coli likes romaine lettuce out of all the other lettuces we have.”There have been 19 confirmed cases of E. coli illness investigated in Ontario, Quebec and New Brunswick as of Wednesday, the Public Health Agency of Canada said in a public health notice. The sick range from five to 93 years old and most reported eating romaine lettuce before experiencing symptoms.People living in those provinces should avoid eating romaine lettuce for now, the agency said.In the states, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ordered retailers and restaurants to stop selling the product. The strain infected 32 people across 11 states as of Tuesday, according to the agency’s most recent update.Warriner conducted a study that showed romaine lettuce extracts prompted E. coli out of a dormant state, which it can remain in for about a year in soil, and allowed it to flourish.Romaine’s increased susceptibility comes down to several factors, he said.The crop is mostly grown in Arizona and California, Warriner said, which is also cattle country. Irrigation water used on romaine fields can become tainted with bacteria from the animals. It doesn’t help that both states are quite hot and romaine lettuce already requires an abundance of water, he said.Certainly, other crops like spinach and kale are also grown in those areas under similar conditions, however those leaves are “tough as nails,” he said and can better withstand damage.The centralized production also means if an outbreak occurs, it becomes widespread as the product is sent all over Canada and the U.S., he said.Finally, washing lettuce at home doesn’t do anything, said Warriner, and “more likely re-contaminates than de-contaminates it.” Not to mention, the product is consumed raw, meaning cooking can’t kill off any bacteria.Recalls cause a lot of mistrust in consumer confidence in the food chain, said Katy Jones, chief marketing officer at North Carolina-based FoodLogiQ. The company offers technology that helps companies in the food industry track their supply chain and respond to recalls effectively.Some consumers complained on Twitter about consistently being told to throw out pricey packages of products containing romaine. Others said they’ve long since stopped buying the lettuce variety.It’s reminiscent of a 2006 E. coli outbreak linked to spinach, Jones said. In the U.S., 199 people were infected and three died, according to the CDC. Canada had at least one confirmed case.Some have speculated that incident led consumers to shun spinach in favour of kale, she said. The so-called superfood saw a meteoric rise with kale-devoted cookbooks containing recipes of chips and caesar salads made with kale bringing the food into the mainstream.But consumers tend to continue buying from companies that handle such recalls well, Jones said, meaning honestly and responsibly.“As opposed to some of these other types of recalls that we see where they drag on for weeks,” she said. “That’s what’s going to increase consumer confidence is if companies get ahead of the curve.” Follow @AleksSagan on Twitter.Aleksandra Sagan, The Canadian Presslast_img read more

Read more

Lack of oxygen likely caused fatal plane crash near Calgary TSB report

first_imgKANANASKIS, Alta. — The Transportation Safety Board of Canada says lack of oxygen likely played a role in a plane crash southwest of Calgary that killed two people a year ago.The board says in a report that hypoxia, or in-flight oxygen deprivation, caused the pilot to lose control before crashing in the Kananaskis area on Aug. 1, 2018.It says the pilot was travelling in a Piper PA-31 Navajo with a survey technician and they were headed to the Springbank Airport near Calgary.The TSB says although a portable oxygen system was available on the plane, the pilot was not continuously using it while the aircraft was above 4,000 metres above sea level, which is required by regulation.It says hypoxia slows down body functions, but its onset can be slow and gradual, so it’s likely the pilot did not recognize the symptoms.The board also found that flight crews do not undergo practical hypoxia training and there is a risk they will not recognize early symptoms in higher altitudes.WATCH: Two dead in Kananaskis plane crashlast_img read more

Read more