India is a Key Player in America’s South Asia Strategy: Pentagon

first_imgIndia is a key player in ensuring the success of United States’ South Asia strategy, the Pentagon said on Feb. 1. Pentagon Chief Spokesperson Dana W. White added that the America-India relationship was “multifaceted” when she was asked about the role of the United States in the “India, Israel, and U.S. triangle” at a press conference.“India is helping with respect to the South Asian strategy. They’ve provided a tremendous amount of developmental aid. They’ve also offered to help with aviation maintenance. So there’s an opportunity. India’s a perfect example of where the secretary wants to find and build relationships with partners, and so that’s what we are doing,” White said, when asked about India’s role in fighting terrorism.Watch live as @ChiefPentSpox and Director of @TheJointStaff brief reporters at the #Pentagon. #Periscope— U.S. Dept of Defense (@DeptofDefense) February 1, 2018In December 2017, the Pentagon had said that India is the “most reliable regional partner” of Afghanistan.“India is Afghanistan’s most reliable regional partner and the largest contributor of development assistance in the region,” the Pentagon said in its report to the Congress titled Enhancing Security and Stability in Afghanistan.During the latest press briefing, the Pentagon addressed the terrorism issue in Pakistan as well.Pakistan “has been a victim of terrorism, and it has supported terrorism. And we are looking for Pakistan to actively join — it can do the things we need them to do to confront terrorism,” White said.The United States and India have jointly called on Pakistan to address the terrorism problem on its homeland, which is also percolating across the border to India and Afghanistan.Elaborating on the South Asia Strategy during the briefing, Joint Staff Director Lt. Gen. Kenneth F. McKenzie Jr., said, “I would tell you that we’re in the process of executing a new approach as part of the South Asia Strategy. As you know that we’ve flown additional forces in to a level of approximately 14,000. But actually more important than the numbers is the approach that we’re going to use, which is to aggressively mentor, advise, assist and support our Afghan partners.”Afghanistan has said that the recent multiple attacks were “genocide” and insisted that Pakistan had declared war on the Afghan people while India offered help for the victims.“Prime minister Modi called me to offer condolences on the recent senseless killings of civilians by the enemies of humanity,” Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani had tweeted on Jan. 31 after the multiple terror attacks in Kabul that killed 100 people. He said that Modi and he discussed the need for ending terrorist sanctuaries in “our neighborhood.”  Related ItemsPakistanpentagonUnited Stateslast_img read more

Take This Earful!

first_imgWe are not sure if the clip will involve Mike Tyson nibbling on Sunny Deol’s ear but the ear biting, disgraced former world boxing champion, is set to star in a promotional Bollywood music video.Tyson, who rose to fame as the youngest heavyweight champion in boxing history, once proclaimed himself the “baddest man on the planet.” He was convicted of rape in 1992 for which he served three years in jail, declared bankruptcy in 2004 and is currently awaiting trial on a cocaine possession charge in Arizona.Tyson’s Bollywood debut, appropriately, will be for an action comedy titled Fool-n-Final.  Related Itemslast_img read more

India’s Right to Information Comes to the US

first_imgIndians in America now have access to government information under the 2005 Right to Information Act.Acting on a petition from overseas Indians, Chief Information Commissioner Wajahat Habibullah issued a directive in April that brings all Indian foreign missions under the act. The Indian Embassy in Washington D.C. is the first to establish a protocol for handling these requests, appointing Rahul Chhabra, counselor for Press, Information and Culture at the embassy, as public information officer. Under the RTI Act, overseas Indians who hold an Indian passport may request government information by submitting a written or electronic request with a fee of Rs 10 (25 cents). Officials are required to respond to public information requests within 35 days. According to local activists, the embassy long resisted efforts to gain access through the RTI act. Says Arun Gopalan, a resident of Maryland: “Our repeated attempts since November 2006 to get the Indian embassy officials in Washington D.C. to implement the RTI Act went unheard and then we were left with no other option but to get in touch with the Central Information Commission directly.”Presently the Indian Embassy is only accepting RTI applications for information relating to the embassy. However overseas Indians have launched an online petition to require the embassy to transfer applications regarding information from other agencies, which is also provided in the act. However, the embassy asserts that the provision “for the transfer of an application by a receiving PIO to another [concerned] PIO, this is clearly meant to cover situations where the application is addressed to a PIO on the assumption that it has been directed to the concerned PIO.”The Association for India’s Development insists this interpretation violates the RTI Act, which, they say in a petition to India’s U.S. Ambassador Ronen Sen, “states without any ambiguity that if an application for information is received that pertains to another public authority, then within 5 days, the Public Information Officer (at the embassy) should transfer the application to the relevant public authority.”The hrefusal of the embassy to transfer such requests, the organization claims, would hobble the ability of overseas Indians to take advantage of the RTI Act.  Related Itemslast_img read more

A Step Out Of Orbit

first_imgI had this weird feeling as I sat down with my doctor to discuss my upcoming brain surgery. I couldn’t help thinking that it would have been the stuff of science fiction a century ago. Even a few decades ago, the thought of having brain surgery as a matter of choice would have been inconceivable.I was about to undergo a procedure at the very bleeding edge of medicine, called Deep Brain Stimulation or DBS for short. It has given me relief from the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, a condition I had been diagnosed with many years ago.It is a disease not very well understood; what is known is that there is a loss of cells that produce the neurotransmitter dopamine, responsible for initiating movement, in a part of the brain that is shrouded in mystery, called the Substantia Nigra. Before my diagnosis, I had hounded doctors of every kind, and tried all the alternative therapies known to mankind, in the hope one of them could pin a label to the odd assortment of symptoms that were disrupting my life. I think I must have tried everything other than voodoo, which, I am reasonably sure, cannot be found in the suburbs of Chicago.Finally it was a neurologist at a well-respected hospital in Chicago, who made the diagnosis. He sounded almost gleeful as he announced “Mrs. Ramaswamy, what you have is Parkinson’s,” with a sense of drama that could have easily earned him an Oscar.I did not share his mirth. With the upbringing of two active, healthy boys at stake, I was not particularly amused by his diagnosis.As the doctor droned on – I was only partially listening to him by now – apparently, I was something of an anomaly, the profile of the typical Parkinson’s patient being 65, white and male. “Was I then merely masquerading as a 30-something Asian Indian female?” The idle thought ran through my mind. I vaguely remember him saying that with treatment, I could have a fairly normal life for the next 10-15 years.His words were of cold comfort to me as I drove home with an impending sense of doom, knee-deep in self-pity as I had visions of being unable to fend for myself, losing the one thing that meant so much to me – my independence. But my 15-year old put things in perspective with that wisdom peculiar to teenagers. After listening patiently to my story, he asked me the one question that was weighing heavily on his mind: what was I planning for dinner that night? That brought me back to the here and now in a hurry, and pretty much set the tone for my life, then on.“How soon can we expect a cure?” I asked my neurologist on my return visit. No betting man, he would not hazard a guess. Stem cell research, which holds the most promise, has been mired in politics. Scientists wring their hands and hope that politicians, who hold the keys, come to their senses and realize that the best hopes for cures for horrible diseases such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s can only be found when research can be pursued unhindered. Rani Ramaswamy with her husbandDegenerative diseases, both Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s, take a cruel toll on the patient and the family. The patient steps out of orbit and the family is left to cope as best as it can. Spouses are the most cruelly affected, as they must be seen as supportive, for society demands it, while dealing with what is merely the ghost of the partner who once was. It is one lonely road, as activities such as walking, dancing, hiking, biking, all things that make for a good marriage, slowly fall out of the patient’s sphere.Meanwhile, dedicated medical professionals in the field continue to look for ways to relieve the symptoms of these dreadful diseases and the good news is that they have been largely successful. There is a whole arsenal of drugs with which a neurologist can now treat patients and although it takes time to arrive at the precise cocktail, it is possible to lead a fairly normal life for a good number of years.In my case, over time the drugs that had propped me up, slowly began losing their effectiveness and I began to slip. I reviewed the options available to me, which included pallidotomy and thalidotomy, both of which cause lesions in the brain. I shot them down immediately. I did not want any part of me dying before its time. When I am good and ready, I would like to go in one piece.My other choice was Deep Brain Stimulation. A procedure pioneered in France, it had been found very effective, particularly in patients of my age group, considered “young,” who responded well to drugs. Flattered that at 50 I was considered young by any yardstick, I was already in a good mood as the surgeon explained the process. It involved putting tiny electrodes in the brain and connecting it to a device, much like a pacemaker, which stimulated the production of the vanishing dopamine.It was less invasive, with minimal risk; DBS was truly manna from heaven. It was entirely reversible, in case a cure was found for Parkinson’s, which was the clincher for me.It was a long drawn out procedure, only because so little is known about the human brain, so they have to tiptoe around it. It is ironic that we have more precise data on the components of the soil on Mars, billions of miles away, than an organ that is found on every human on this earth. The brain is so complex, its workings so elusive, it remains a wondrous testament to the creative process.Other than my comfort – the vice in which they put my head prior to the surgery to keep it still had screws that were beginning to hurt after six or seven hours – and my vanity – the loss of my hair – the surgical procedure was a breeze. I wore a scarf for some time, pretending that my lack of hair was a big secret. To my chagrin it was a cause of endless amusement to my sons, the younger one dubbing me “The Great Baldini.” The two, however, I must admit, kept my feet firmly on the ground. Rani Ramaswamy with her son  after the surgeryThe period soon after the two procedures was difficult, plagued by accidents that resulted in several visits to the emergency room. But, surrounded by family and friends and plenty of reasons to live to the fullest, I am now well on the way to a complete recovery.Still fiercely independent, I drive myself to the grocery store, the mall and wherever else my fancy strikes. I am a testament to the efficacy of modern medicine and to the compassion of medical practitioners who care deeply about their patients. I have to make allowances for my condition – I use a walker to ferry me around; for without it I tend to wobble like a bowling pin!I don’t think we realize how far we have come from the days the barber also did double duty as surgeon. Modern medicine is nothing short of miraculous. Sure, they still don’t have a cure for cancer or Parkinson’s for that matter. But I am not complaining.   Related Itemslast_img read more

Hanuman For Obama

first_imgBarack Obama, who reportedly keeps a monkey king good luck charm he picked up in Indonesia in his pocket has to make way for a weightier idol.His ardent supporters in India held prayers and are preparing to present him with a two foot tall, 30 lb gold-polished brass Hanuman statue with help from Democrats Abroad-India. There is just one hitch: federal law prohibits senators from accepting gifts over $10 in value.“We have heard that he carries a small monkey charm in his pocket. So he is a devotee of Hanuman. That’s why we want to present him with this idol,” according to Brij Mohan Bhama, a Mumbai businessman and Congress politician, who organized the group. “He will be good for India if he becomes the next president.”Bhama is certainly passionate: his email id is bhamaforobama. Related Itemslast_img read more

Bride Barred From Contact With Groom

first_imgSo how do you hold a wedding when the bride is barred from contact with the groom? An Iowa judge has ordered a Rucha A Patel, of Des Plaines, Ill., who is charged with domestic abuse, to stay away from her fiancé, two weeks before their wedding. According to police, Patel ran her car over her fiancé’s foot, then bit his hand when he attempted to grab her keys.  Related Itemslast_img

Hearty Insult?

first_imgA Kochi court has summoned Shashi Tharoor, the former UN diplomat, who is running as the Congress Party parliamentary candidate from Thiruvananthapuram, to defend himself against a charge of insulting the national anthem.Human rights activist Joy Kaitharath alleges that Tharoor, after delivering a public lecture in Kochi in December last year, interrupted the national anthem by urging the audience to place their palm over the heart, following the U.S. practice, instead of the Indian tradition of standing at attention. The judge, in his order, said Tharoor’s alleged request was a “grossly inappropriate gesture” that potentially violated the Prevention of Insults to National Honour Act.Tharoor denies disrespecting any national symbol: “The allegation is totally false. There was no interruption. Before the national anthem was sung and while the singers were walking up to the mike, I just stated that in the wake of the Mumbai horrors, the national anthem had a special place in all our hearts. There were about 2,000 people in the audience and I am sure any of them would be able to give evidence that there was no interruption.’’  Related Itemslast_img read more

Burger King Withdraws Ad

first_imgThe fast food chain Burger King has apologized to Hindus and withdrawn its ad in Spain depicting the Hindu goddess Lakshmi above a beef burger with the slogan “La merienda es sagrada” — the snack is sacred. After several Hindu groups protested the ad, Burger King issued a public apology: “We are apologising because it wasn’t our intent to offend anyone. Burger King Corporation values and respects all of its guests as well as the communities we serve. This in-store advertisement was running to support only local promotion for three restaurants in Spain and was not intended to offend anyone. Out of respect for the Hindu community, the limited-time advertisement has been removed from the restaurants.”  Related Itemslast_img read more

Moon Water

first_imgA NASA instrument carried aboard India’s first lunar mission Chandrayaan-1 has found evidence of water molecules on the polar regions of the moon, a discovery that eluded all previous lunar explorations. NASA’s Moon Mineralogy Mapper, M3, discovered evidence of water on the lunar surface. “Water ice on the moon has been something of a holy grail for lunar scientists for a very long time,” said Jim Green, director of the Planetary Science Division at NASA. “This surprising finding has come about through the ingenuity, perseverance and international cooperation between NASA and the India Space Research Organization.”One scientist told the London Times: “This is the most exciting breakthrough in at least a decade. And it will probably change the face of lunar exploration for the next decade.” Related Itemslast_img read more

Gopinath Munde says he is with BJP, scotches talk of shift to Congress

first_imgAfter days of flip-flop over whether he will quit the BJP and join the Congress, Gopinath Munde on Wednesday decided to stick with the saffon party. Munde announced his decision after a meeting with leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj. “I’m not leaving the party,” Munde told reporters in Delhi.  Munde also dismissed the reports that he had met Congress leader Ahmed Patel. “I never met Ahmed Patel in my entire life,” Munde said, adding, he would meet other BJP leaders as well. When asked about Munde’s grievances, Swaraj told reporters, “Grievances shouldn’t never be made public.” Swaraj added speculation about his future course pained Munde the most.Earlier, the disgrunted BJP leader from Maharashtra said “I’m in the party”, minutes before he went into a last-ditch meeting with Swaraj. Sources said the two leaders discussed the issues raised by him.Earlier, reports said Munde had held talks with Patel and Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan late on Tuesday night.Union minister and former Maharashtra chief minister Vilasrao Deshmukh was said to be playing a major role in trying to bring Munde into the Congress fold.Munde – the BJP’s OBC face in Maharashtra – has been unhappy after being sidelined by BJP president Nitin Gadkari, who is said to be a rival in the state politics.For more news on India, click here.For more news on Business, click here.For more news on Movies, click here.For more news on Sports, click here.last_img read more

Sharjeel Khan banned for five years in PSL spot fixing case

first_imgLeft-handed batsman Sharjeel Khan was on Wednesday handed a five-year ban by Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB)-appointed Anti-Corruption Unit in connection with the Pakistan Super League (PSL) spot-fixing case.Sharjeel was facing five major charges of breaching the PCB’s anti-corruption code and was found guilty for all five.According to the Dawn, he will not be able to play any form of cricket for at least 30 months, after which he may be allowed to play domestic cricket until the completion of the ban — subject to terms and conditions set by the PCB.The spot-fixing allegation relates to a match between Sharjeel’s team Islamabad United and Peshawar Zalmi in Dubai in February during the second edition of the PSL, where the left-handed batsman scored a single off four deliveries including two dot balls.On March 6, a three-member tribunal was formed by the PCB to investigate the spot-fixing case allegedly involving Sharjeel and Khalid Latif.Asghat Haider headed the three-member tribunal, which included former PCB Chairman Lt Gen (R) Tauqir Zia and ex-Test cricketer Waseem Bari.Mohammad Irfan and Mohammad Nawaz, who were also accused, have already received their punishments and have been suspended for failing to report fixing offers. Nasir Jamshed is other player involved in the scandal.last_img read more

Neymar’s mother defends her son after Brazil star admits to exaggerated falls

first_imgNeymar’s mother Nadine Goncalves has come out in defence of her son after the Brazilian superstar admitted that he sometimes exaggerated his reactions upon being fouled during the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.Neymar used an advertisement to admit to his theatrics, that led to a lot of social media criticism and memes for the former Barcelona man.The video, published Sunday and broadcast on several Brazilian TV networks, features the striker accepting criticism for the first time and promising to pick himself up.”You may think I exaggerate. And sometimes I do exaggerate. But the truth is I suffer on the pitch,” Neymar said in the ad sponsored by personal care products maker Gillette.Now Goncalves took to Instagram to tell her son to keep his chin up and not get upset by the words and accusations of people. In her long post, she told Neymar to know the people who are against him “are a minority compared to the people who love you.”Also read – Neymar on his FIFA World Cup 2018 theatrics: ‘I do exaggerate'”I am your biggest admirer and with all respect, do not get upset with words and accusations of those who do not have love for others, know that they are a minority compared to the people who love you and mainly who know their hearts. I love you and I will always be with you my son … My warrior!” Goncalves wrote on her Instagram account.Goncalves also said that people know only the footballer and superstar Neymar Jr but there are very few people who know the person he is.advertisement “People know the name of Neymar Jr, but the person who is, few know it”: Neymar’s mother (R) said on Instagram. (Getty Images)”Many times in our lives things do not go as we would like, mainly our dreams and desires. God speaks that we should not stop dreaming and believing, not letting us down, much less stop believing in oneself. I as a mother, and I think most other parents, also become sad when others talk (badly) about their children, even more so when they do not know them.”People know the name of Neymar Jr, but the person who is, few know it, but I raise my eyes to God and I beg him, because only he will give the answers for everything and everyone, we are human, we have defects. He is my son… The fall can be of man, but the uprising is of God! I just want you to know that God’s plans are greater and better than yours, and that your dreams are still carried out, because I believe in the God of the Impossible.”WATCH: Brazil superstar Neymar mocks himself, teaches kids how to fallSince Brazil’s elimination, Neymar only spoke about the defeat in Russia via Instagram. In the ad he tried to explain why he did not speak right after the Belgium game, which fostered even more criticism of his behavior at home.”When I leave without giving interviews it is not because I only want the victory laurels. It is because I still haven’t learned to disappoint you. When I look impolite, it is not because I am a spoiled kid. It is because I have not learned how to be frustrated,” the player said.Neymar said his football style is akin to a boy’s that “sometime charms the world, sometimes irritates the whole world.” ”I fight to keep that boy alive inside of me, but not on the pitch,” he said.Also read – Neymar leaves FIFA World Cup debacle behind, shows off poker skills”You may think I fall too much,” Neymar continued. “But the truth is I did not fall. I fell apart,” he said, in a reference to Brazil’s quarter-finals elimination against Belgium. “That hurts more than any step on an operated ankle.”The piece ends with Neymar’s pledge to be a new man less than a month after Brazil was knocked out of the World Cup.”I took long to accept your criticism. I took long to look at myself in the mirror and become a new man,” Neymar said. “I fell, but only who falls can pick himself up.”Neymar ends his ad asking fans to make a choice.”You can keep casting stones. Or throw these stones away and help me stand. When I stand, all of Brazil stands with me,” he said.(With IANS inputs)last_img read more

Ashes 2019: England women gear up for Test series

first_imgEngland cricketers are all geared up for the only Test, scheduled for Thursday at the Cooper Associates County Ground, in the ongoing Women’s Ashes.Women’s Ashes consists of three One-Day Internationals (ODIs), one Test and three T20 Internationals. England trail Australia by six points following three ODIs in the multi-format series. With four points on offer for the Test, England can still turn around the tables.Batter Tamsin Beaumont, who was named as one of the five Cricketers of the Year by Wisden, in an Instagram post said she loves getting into the whites. She also added that she ironed her jersey for the longest format.”Not many better settings for a cricket ground! Great Test Match prep for us last week at Millfield School. Always love getting the whites back on for the purest form of the game!” she said.”Probably the tidiest my spot has ever looked! Even ironed the whites tonight!” Beaumont added.Pacer Katherine Brunt wrote that it a rare opportunity to play cricket in its purist form.”A rare opportunity to play the game in its purist form…tomorrow we get to relish every moment,” Brunt said.Wicket-keeper batter Sarah Taylor said that she cannot wait to take the field with her teammates.”Can’t wait to walk onto the field with these girls tomorrow….,” Taylor said.advertisementAll-rounder Natatlie Sciver shared a couple of pictures with teammate Laura Marsh and with the entire squad, asking users to caption it.Following is the squad: Heather Knight (c), Tamsin Beaumont, Katherine Brunt, Kate Cross, Sophie Ecclestone, Georgia Elwiss, Kirstie Gordon, Amy Jones, Laura Marsh, Natalie Sciver, Anya Shrubsole, Lauren Winfield, Sarah Taylor (wk).Women’s Ashes is a point-based series and the team which earns the most points at the end of the series will clinch the trophy. Australia are the current holders of the Ashes as they won it in the backyard of England in 2015 and then retained the trophy in Australia in 2017.A team will be entitled to earn two points on winning an ODI or T20I. If the match is tied or abandoned, both the teams will receive a point each. The only Test consists of four points to grab, however, in case there is a draw, the teams will get two points each.Also See:last_img read more

APL Boxship Hits Gantry Crane at Port Said, No Injuries

first_imgzoom A Singapore-flagged containership owned by APL struck a ship-to-shore gentry crane while berthing in Egypt’s Port of Said last week.The incident has been confirmed to World Maritime News by an APL Spokesperson, saying that “on 27 October 2015 at 1642 hours local time, APL Temasek came into contact with a gantry crane and a navy barge while berthing at the Suez Canal Container Terminal at Port Said in Egypt.”As informed, there have been no injuries or pollution reported.Local media reports said that the crane has sustained substantial damage, however; APL did not provide any details on the extent of damage as investigation is still underway.“APL is presently cooperating with the relevant authorities and stakeholders in damage assessment and in investigating the incident. Further updates will be provided as they develop,” the company said in an emailed statement.According to the latest vessel tracking data, the 2013-built cargo ship remains in the Port of Said. The vessel’s previous port was Singapore and the ship’s destination is Port of Suez, Egypt.World Maritime News Stafflast_img read more

IMOs BWM Convention to Enter Into Force in September 2017

first_imgzoom With Finland’s accession of the International Ballast Water Management Convention, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) said that the remaining condition for entry into force has been met and therefore the BWM Convention is scheduled to enter into force on September 8, 2017.IMO has approved draft amendments to the Convention’s implementation scheme and if adopted in October 2016, then approved ballast water treatment systems meeting the D-2 biological standard will need to be installed on new ships constructed on or after September 8, 2017, as well as on existing ships, not later than the first MARPOL IOPP Renewal Survey carried out on/after September 8, 2017.Accession by Finland has triggered the entry into force of a key international measure for environmental protection that aims to stop the spread of potentially invasive aquatic species in ships’ ballast water.BWM Convention’s entry into force will mark a landmark step towards halting the spread of invasive aquatic species, which can disrupt local ecosystems, affect biodiversity and lead to substantial economic loss.Under the Convention’s terms, ships will be required to manage their ballast water to remove, render harmless, or avoid the uptake or discharge of aquatic organisms and pathogens within ballast water and sediments“The entry into force of the Ballast Water Management Convention will not only minimize the risk of invasions by alien species via ballast water, it will also provide a global level playing field for international shipping, providing clear and robust standards for the management of ballast water on ships,” said IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim.Image Courtesy: IMOHer Excellency Päivi Luostarinen Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary, Permanent Representative of Finland to IMO, handed over the country’s instrument of acceptance to the Ballast Water Management Convention to IMO Secretary-General Lim today.The accession brings the combined tonnage of contracting States to the treaty to 35.1441%, with 52 contracting Parties. The convention stipulates that it will enter into force 12 months after ratification by a minimum of 30 States, representing 35% of world merchant shipping tonnage.The BWM Convention was adopted in 2004 by the International Maritime Organization (IMO), the United Nations specialized agency with responsibility for developing global standards for ship safety and security and for the protection of the marine environment and the atmosphere from any harmful impacts of shipping.last_img read more

Credit Rating Increases

first_imgFor the second year in a row, Nova Scotia’s finances havereceived positive international recognition. The highly respected Standard & Poor’s Rating Services announcedearlier today, Aug. 20, that it has raised its long-term issuercredit and senior unsecured debt ratings on the Province of NovaScotia from A-minus to A. In 2003, the outlook increased from Aminus negative outlook to A minus positive outlook. “Nova Scotia taxpayers should take comfort in the knowledge thatone of the most highly regarded bond rating agencies in the worldcontinues to have confidence in the management of our province’sfinances,” said Premier John Hamm. “Living within our means andbalancing budgets each and every year will help keep our economygrowing, which in turn helps government pay for the things thatNova Scotians care most about, such as health care andeducation.” According to the Standard & Poor’s report, Nova Scotia’s creditrating improved because of the following factors: “Nova Scotians have made many sacrifices to realize thisprogress,” added the premier. “But thanks to their hard work andcommitment, government was able to make the tough choices toimprove Nova Scotia’s finances to a position not seen in ageneration.” A copy of the full report can be found on the Standard & Poor’swebsite at . the province’s “sustained improvement in fiscal performance over the last four years”; “the achievement of three consecutive balanced budgets due to the restraint measures undertaken by the (provincial) government to control budgetary expenditures”; “the dramatic reduction in the foreign exchange exposure of Nova Scotia’s debt to less than 17 per cent of total debt at the end of fiscal 2004 from more than 50 per cent in 1999 due to active debt management initiatives”; and “solid economic performance in the past five years” and a “rebounding” economy this year.last_img read more


first_imgAdvertisement Advertisement LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment TORONTO, August 31, 2017 – Shaftesbury and CBC today revealed additional casting for new one-hour original drama FRANKIE DRAKE MYSTERIES (11 x 60). Starring Lauren Lee Smith (This Life, The Listener, The L Word) and Chantel Riley (Race, The Lion King) and set in 1920s Toronto, the series follows the adventures of Frankie Drake (Smith) and her partner Trudy Clarke (Riley) at Drake Private Detectives, the city’s only all-female detective agency, as they find themselves fighting crime in the age of flyboys, gangsters, rum-runners, and speakeasies. With production underway on location in Toronto and southern Ontario until late October, the series will air Mondays at 9p.m. ET (9:30 NT) on CBC and stream at beginning November 6, and make its UK debut on Alibi (UKTV) in early 2018.Joining the cast are Rebecca Liddiard (Alias Grace, Houdini & Doyle, Slasher 2: Guilty Party) as police morality officer Mary Shaw, Sharron Matthews (Mean Girls, Odd Squad) as morgue attendant Flo, and Emmanuel Kabongo (21 Thunder, Teenagers) as boxer Moses Page. Guest stars include Lucas Bryant(Haven, Shoot the Messenger), Wendy Crewson (Saving Hope, Slasher, Revenge), Laurence Fox (Inspector Lewis), Grace Lynn Kung (Carmilla The Movie, Mary Kills People), Steve Lund (Reign, Bitten), Charlotte Sullivan(Chicago Fire, Rookie Blue), and Laura Vandervoort (Bitten, Smallville).“From Gatsby-esque garden parties to rough-and-tumble speakeasies, there’s a global appeal to the 1920s that we’re excited to bring to life in Frankie Drake Mysteries. This was a time in Toronto of booming construction, considerable population growth, and a major shift in the role of women from the home and farm into the workplace,” said Christina Jennings, Chairman & CEO, Shaftesbury / Executive Producer, FRANKIE DRAKE MYSTERIES. “Frankie has come back from the war to work as a private detective with her partner Trudy and a network of associates, from Mary who works in the police station as a Morality Officer, to Flo who works in the morgue. We are going to see women fighting crime and fighting the system – a lot of action and a lot of fun.” Twitter Set in 1920s Toronto, FRANKIE DRAKE MYSTERIES follows the city’s only female private detectives as they take on the cases the police don’t want to touch. In a time of change and hopefulness, their gender is their biggest advantage as they defy expectations and rebel against convention. The Drake Private Detectives take on cases that explore every cross-section of Toronto, from gospel church choirs, bathing beauties and the early cinema scene, to the homes and private parties of the city’s elite. Frankie and Trudy’s fearless sense of adventure gets them into all kinds of trouble, but they always manage to find a way out. They are new detectives for a new world – but is the world ready for them?Created by Carol Hay and Michelle Ricci, who also serve as executive producers, FRANKIE DRAKE MYSTERIES is executive produced by Christina Jennings, Scott Garvie, and Cal Coons, who is also showrunner, and produced by Jonathan Hackett. The series is written by Hay, Ricci, Coons, Andrew Burrows-Trotman, John Callaghan, Ian Carpenter, and Adrianna Maggs and directed by Leslie Hope, Norma Bailey, Eleanor Lindo, Ruba Nadda, Peter Stebbings, and Sudz Sutherland.A CBC original series, FRANKIE DRAKE MYSTERIES is developed and produced by Shaftesbury in association with CBC and UKTV, with the participation of the Canada Media Fund, the Canadian Film or Video Production Tax Credit, the Ontario Film and Television Tax Credit, the Cogeco Program Development Fund, and the Bell Fund. Content Media is the global distributor of the series.– 30 –Shaftesbury is an award-winning creator and producer of original content for television and digital platforms. Shaftesbury’s current slate includes 11 seasons of Murdoch Mysteries for CBC, UKTV, and ITV STUDIOS Global Entertainment, detective drama Frankie Drake Mysteries for CBC and UKTV, and two seasons of critically acclaimed thriller series Slasher. Shaftesbury’s digital arm, Smokebomb Entertainment, produces original digital, convergent, and branded entertainment projects including the hit YouTube series Carmilla, funded by U by Kotex®, mystery series V Morgan Is Dead, brought to life by RBC, supernatural drama Inhuman Condition, and the Slasher VR app for iOS, Android, and Oculus Rift. In June 2014, Shaftesbury partnered with Youth Culture to launch shift2, a branded entertainment agency that drives profitable engagement with millennials using scripted series, turning brands into executive producers.CBC/Radio-Canada is Canada’s national public broadcaster and one of its largest cultural institutions. We are Canada’s trusted source of news, information and Canadian entertainment. Deeply rooted in communities all across the country, CBC/Radio-Canada offers diverse content in English, French and eight Indigenous languages. We also provide international news and information from a uniquely Canadian perspective. In 2017, CBC/Radio-Canada will at the heart of the celebrations and conversations with special 2017-themed multiplatform programming and events across Canada.For more information including series synopses, press releases, hi-res images, video clips and bios, please visit the CBC Media Centre at is a commercial broadcaster reaching over 41m viewers every month. The award-winning independent has eleven imaginative brands – UKTV Play, Dave, W, Gold, Alibi, Yesterday, Drama, Really, Home, Eden and Good Food. These include the two most popular non-PSB channels in the UK and account for nearly 10% of the British commercial TV market. The company’s most recent financial results showed record-breaking year-end revenue of £344.8m and EBITDA of £91.3m. It invested £151.2m in programming and related launches last year, and is a significant investor in British creativity. The network embraces technology to deliver inspired channels to audiences through Freeview, Sky, Virgin Media, BT, TalkTalk, YouView, Freesat, Amazon Fire and UKTV Play, and distributes its highly valued original programmes to 200 territories. Now celebrating over 20 years at the forefront of digital television, UKTV – an independent commercial joint venture between BBC Worldwide and Scripps Networks Interactive, Inc. (SNI) – is proud to be the first British television broadcaster in The Sunday Times top 100 companies list. Login/Register With: Facebook Advertisementlast_img read more

Federal budget bringing highspeed internet to northern rural communities

first_imgBUDGET 2014APTN National News OTTAWA–The federal government is investing $305 million over five years to get 280,000 Canadians living in rural and northern communities on high-speed, broadband networks, according to the federal budget unveiled Tuesday.Details of the broadband investment will be released in the coming months, according to the budget document.The broadband initiative was one of several targeting northern communities in the budget.Ottawa will also be continuing in its attempts to map out the country’s claim over the continental shelf which includes the North Pole. Canada filed a submission under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea in December to secure rights over 1.2 million square kilometres of the continental shelf. The budget document said that the government is “developing options” to secure the scientific data needed to bolster its claim. The document, however, doesn’t spell out any dollar figures or details of its plan.The federal government will also be investing $70 million over three years to improve health services in the Yukon, the Northwest Territories and Nunavut.Ottawa will soon announce enhanced funding to the Nutrition North program targeting 103 isolated Northern communities, according to the budget document. The program is supposed to improve the availability and accessibility of healthy foods in the North. The program currently has a budget of $60 million year used to subsidized retailers in northern, isolated communities to keep prices low.The federal government will also be investing $40 million over two years to the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency’s Strategic Investments in Northern Economic Development program.In 2011-2012, there were about 115,400 First Nation students enrolled in schools, 71,000 were enrolled in band run schools and 41,800 in the provincial system, according to Aboriginal Affairs read more