By Jorge BarreraAPTN National NewsOTTAWA-Canada’s continued refusal to fully involve First Nations in the development of natural resource projects on their territories could undermine the energy security needs of the U.S., says a Manitoba chief.Roseau River First Nations Chief Terry Nelson said he wants First Nations leaders to appear before US Congress to testify about their concerns around oil developments in Canada.Nelson wants U.S. politicians to understand the link between Washinton’s energy security requirements in Canada and the need for First Nations to be fully involved in the development of energy resources. Unless Canada brings First Nations onside, blockades and protests could threaten energy supplies to the U.S., he said.“Americans need to be brought on side,” said Nelson. “Our enemy is not the Americans. The Americans buy products from Canada, they invest in Canada.”Canada is one of the U.S.’s top oil suppliers, the majority coming from the Alberta tar sands. The Canadian economy also depends heavily on U.S. investment and consumption.Nelson has crafted a resolution calling on the Assembly of First Nations to begin the work on appearing before the U.S. Congress.Nelson hopes to have the resolution debated at the upcoming AFN special chief’s assembly in Gatineau, Que., later this month.“The U.S. Congress has committees specifically to enhance information gathering and dialogue on matters affecting the security of the U.S.,” reads the resolution. “The possible escalation of the blockades and protests against the pipelines by Canadian First Nations and Native Americans is a concern for the U.S. security of energy access.”The draft resolution has the support Manitoba Canupawakpa Dakota Nation Chief Frank Brown who is listed as backing it.Brown said his community is not planning any blockades, but supports the resolution because it’s time for First Nations to get a cut of the revenues from resources that flow through and from their territories.“We have been trying to address this for 40 years now we have been neglected,” said Brown. “We are the natural inhabitants of this land and we are all saying we are not being consulted, we are not being involved, and we are not benefiting.”The resolution calls on the AFN to develop a joint approach on dealing with oil development the involvement of First Nations in any oil trade negotiations between Canada and the U.S. whenever it impacts Treaties and First Nations territories.The resolution calls on the AFN to recognize the “right of a First Nation to take direct action to enforce the Treaties.”Nelson said our communities are growing increasingly frustrated with the tactics of the Conservative government. He said many believe the government is behind the Canadian Taxpayers Federation recent release of chief and band council salaries.“This thing was done deliberately to talk about the wages of the chiefs to divert the attention of the Canadian public from the tremendous amount of waste going on in the Conservative government,” said Nelson. “Indian Affairs is just a miniscule amount of the total Canadian budget.”The 2010-2011 budget had $280 billion in total expenditures and about $10 billion of that went for programs directed to Aboriginal people through 34 different departments. The bulk of the spending went through Indian Affairs.Nelson was the author of the 2007 day of action resolution.He also ran for national chief of the AFN and received about 10 per cent of the chiefs’ email@example.com
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APTN National NewsFormer junior hockey coach Graham James has a date to appear in court.He is scheduled for a sentencing hearing on Feb. 22. The Crown will be asking for jail time.James pleaded guilty two counts of repeated sexual assault spanning from 1983 to 1994.James was previously convicted for sexual assaults on three former players, including Sheldon Kennedy, back in 1997.He served three-and-a-half years.APTN National News reporter Tiar Wilson was in court to hear the details.
APTN National NewsIt’s a landmark day for Indigenous rights.It was 55 years ago, today, that a bill was passed granting Indigenous people the right to vote in federal elections.The occasion was marked in Winnipeg.APTN’s Dennis Ward has the story.
APTN National NewsCarolyn Bennett’s pre-inquiry consultation meetings arrived in Winnipeg Monday.The minister will hear from family and friends about what a federal inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women should look like and how it should work.APTN’s Shaneen Robinson firstname.lastname@example.org
Kenneth JacksonAPTN NewsAs the family of Kanina Sue Turtle continues to struggle for answers about how their daughter was able to film her own suicide in a Sioux Lookout foster home the minister responsible for child welfare in Ontario says they could always give him a call.Children and Youth Services Minister Michael Coteau was asked in Ontario’s Queens Park Monday morning if he was going to let Turtle’s family know what happened, as they say they’ve been kept in the dark for over 16 months.“She was a very troubled youth. She was left alone and she took her own life,” said Monique Taylor, NDP MP and critic of children and youth services, during question period.“Will the minister tell this family what happened to their daughter?”Coteau had this to say in response: “Of course any family that wants to connect with the ministry, and with me, to talk about any issue in regards to their children, I’m always available.”Turtle’s mother Barbara Suggashie lives in Poplar Hill First Nation near the Ontario/Manitoba boarder. It’s a world away from Queens Park in Toronto.In a follow-up interview with Taylor she slammed Coteau for the comments.“I think it’s shameful that it was like a one-off, ‘well just give me a call’. No, minister it’s time to get serious,” said Taylor.Watch the full exchange at Queens Park Monday: Suggashie has told APTN News she just wants answers as how her daughter was able to film her own suicide when she was suicidal and visited the hospital at least two times for self-harming within nine days of her death on Oct. 29, 2016.Turtle also tried to kill herself the day before death and filmed that too.APTN first reported the video last week after viewing it through the family’s lawyer Marco Frangione.First story: Family wants to know why daughter left alone to film her suicide in foster homeThe video shows it takes about 45 minutes before a foster care worker comes to check on Turtle.“Without question, the video was the most horrific thing I have ever seen in my life and career,” said Frangione. “My take on the video is that it really is the visual embodiment of how our system is broken, particularly as it relates to Aboriginal children in care.”Suggashie said Tikinagan Child and Family Services never told her how Turtle was left alone to kill herself when it first happened or that there was a video that was filmed on Turtle’s iPod.“Tik didn’t tell me anything at all,” she said.Suggashie said she didn’t find out about the video until months later when she said police returned Turtle’s belongings, including the iPod, last summer. Turtle’s father told APTN police said they were unable to access the device but advised the family of the video’s existence. The family later determined the device’s passcode and saw the video.Turtle is seen propping up her iPod as the video begins and she hangs herself. She doesn’t say a word.It happens quickly and then nothing until a worker abruptly comes through the door to check on her. A baby is heard crying in another room.The follow: Family feels hounded by Tikinagan to hand over video of daughter’s suicide: LawyerThe unidentified female worker realizes the iPod is recording at about the 50-minute mark of the video as she is on the phone with 911.Tikinagan has refused to answer questions citing privacy for the family.Coteau’s office has also declined to offer any answers as to what happened, including any ramifications for the foster home as a result of the email@example.com
Annette FrancisAPTN NewsAfter being left off the guest list at a number of meetings between the federal government and other national Indigenous organizations, the Congress of Aboriginal Peoples (CAP) has decided it will turn to the Senate for help.National Chief Robert Bertrand appealed to the Senate Committee on Aboriginal Peoples to explain what CAP does, and why it should not be left out of firstname.lastname@example.org@aptnafrancis
HONOLULU, Hawaii – Just offshore from Waikiki’s pristine white sand beaches, a fishing boat transporting foreign workers destined for low-paying jobs in Hawaii’s fishing fleet smashed into a shallow reef last month.The stranded boat has been leaking oil and diesel ever since in an area prized by swimmers and surfers, and there was a visible sheen around the boat this week.The crash of the 79-foot (24-meter) Pacific Paradise illustrates a potential environmental impact of the Hawaii fishing fleet’s practice of transporting foreign workers by boat.The industry already faced criticism following a 2016 Associated Press investigation revealing that the workers from Southeast Asia and Pacific nations work without visas, some making less than $1 an hour and living in squalid conditions.Swimmers and surfers say they feel and smell the petroleum even when they’re in the water far from the wreck site. Some visitors mistakenly assume the crippled boat is a tourist attraction.The wrecked vessel had about 1,500 gallons (5,700 litres) of diesel and hydraulic oil left in its tanks after the vessel caught fire days after the Oct. 10 crash.Coast Guard spokesman Lt. Cmdr. Scott Carr on Wednesday minimized the possibility of environmental damage, saying there is a sheen on the water but that diesel fuel evaporates quickly and that surf breaks it apart.“The environment is fairly resilient,” Carr said.Crews replaced booms aboard the Pacific Paradise to collect oily water and fuel leaking from the engine room of the crippled boat, according to a statement by the U.S. Coast Guard late Thursday. The boom has been in place since the grounding and is replaced as needed.The team also secured danger signs on the hull, officials said.The Coast Guard said the pollution removal will take several more weeks to complete.Efforts to remove the boat have failed so far, but swimmer Chris McDonough said more should be done. He said his surfer friends can smell and feel the fuel in the water hundreds of yards (meters) away from the wreckage at a popular surfing spot.“I could feel it on my skin,” the Honolulu resident said, adding that the boat removal attempts so far seem “like an inadequate response.”The boat is a longline tuna fishing boat that somehow crashed into the shallow reef in the middle of the night as it headed to drop off the foreign workers for their transfer to other fishing boats.No one aboard called for help when it ran aground and the Coast Guard is investigating the cause of the crash. The crew members were taken into U.S. Customs and Border Protection custody and released to the boats that had contracted to bring them to the state.While a salvage crew was preparing to tow the boat away, it caught fire and sent thick black smoke over tourists in Waikiki as the workers jumped off the burning deck and into the ocean. Another attempt using a powerful tug boat and specially designed cables also failed.Officials designated a 500-yard (460-meter) safety zone around the wrecked vessel. But they do not continuously monitor the site and the beach closest to the boat has no signs or warnings for people to stay away.Some tourists had no idea the wreck was recent and leaking.“I thought it was a tourist thing, I thought it was some attraction or something,” said Lauren Benschoter, of Adrian, Michigan, on vacation with her husband Bryan.The wreckage is also near the Waikiki Aquarium, which pumps in seawater for its marine life. Water samples taken there and at the beach closest to the boat have shown no signs of fuel or oil, officials said.Keith Kawaoka, Hawaii’s deputy director of environmental health, said “people should, for their own safety, stay away from that area.”The oil and diesel fuel pose possible risks to other nearby reefs and several endangered species, including an endangered Hawaiian monk seal seen swimming near the boat Wednesday by an Associated Press reporter.Officials are also concerned about the impact of the fuel on green and hawksbill turtles and have said the extent of damage to the coral won’t be known until the boat is removed.The Coast Guard has hired experts to review salvage plans for the boat proposed by its owner, TWOL LLC. The company’s lawyer, Bryan Ho, asked The Associated Press to send him questions by email but said Thursday he could not immediately respond to them.Fishing boats regularly transport groups of foreign workers to Hawaii because the men do not have visas and are not permitted to fly into country.There were 19 foreign men from Vietnam, Indonesia, Philippines and Kiribati with one American captain on the Pacific Paradise when it hit the reef.Hundreds of foreign workers are currently confined to fishing vessels in Honolulu for years at a time. Legislation introduced last Thursday in Congress could change the way the system works.The Sustainable Fishing Workforce Protection Act would offer workplace protections a year after the AP’s investigation found that the fleet is crewed by about 700 men who are confined to their boats for the duration of their contracts, often a year or two at a time.While some of the 140 boats are clean and safe, AP found some fishing crews living in squalor, forced to use buckets instead of toilets and suffering running sores from bed bugs. There have been instances of human trafficking, active tuberculosis and low food supplies.The bill would close a loophole in the law that has allowed the Hawaii fleet to employ the workers for a fraction of the pay an American worker would get, in part by collecting them by boat from Pacific islands.
VANCOUVER – British Columbia’s former premier is joining a Canadian law firm as a senior adviser in its Vancouver office.Law firm Bennett Jones issued a news release Wednesday, saying Christy Clark is the newest member of its government affairs and public policy team.The group also includes former deputy prime minister Anne McLellan and former foreign minister John Baird.Clark’s history of creating a diversified economy in B.C. fits in well with the interests of the firm’s clients, said Radha Curpen, managing partner of Bennett Jones’ office in Vancouver.“She has worked in areas that are important to our clients — infrastructure, technology, Asia Pacific, trade,” Curpen said. “All those areas are important to our clients across our platform and also in Vancouver.”The former premier will help lawyers understand issues from a variety of perspectives to help make them more informed as they give advice to clients, Curpen added.“The way people practise law is different today than it was even 10 years ago, so she will help us in becoming even better as we define the way we want to practice law.”Clark resigned from politics last summer after her Liberal party failed to secure a majority in the May election and the New Democrats formed government with support from the Green party.She was first elected to the B.C. legislature in 1996 but left politics in 2004 to spend time with her son, Hamish. She made a failed bid to become Vancouver’s mayor the following year before launching a successful leadership bid for the Liberals and becoming premier in 2011.When Clark stepped down last summer, she said she had no plans to return to politics.“I am done with public life,” Clark said at the time. “There is nothing worse than a politician hanging on because they think they’re irreplaceable.”Andrew Wilkinson was tapped to lead the Liberals in February following a leadership race.Clark said in a statement that she’s excited about her new job.“The firm is helping clients seize opportunities in sectors such as infrastructure, technology and innovation, trade with Asia and natural resources. These are areas I am passionate about and worked on closely as premier,” she said.Bennett Jones has more than 380 lawyers and business advisers in nine offices around the world.
BILLINGS, Mont. – The Trump administration is considering using West Coast military installations or other federal properties to open the way for more U.S. fossil fuel exports to Asia in the name of national security and despite opposition from coastal states.The proposal was described to The Associated Press by Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke and two Republican lawmakers.“I respect the state of Washington and Oregon and California,” Zinke said in an interview with AP. “But also, it’s in our interest for national security and our allies to make sure that they have access to affordable energy commodities.”Accomplishing that, Zinke said, may require the use of “some of our naval facilities, some of our federal facilities on the West Coast.” He only identified one prospect, a mostly abandoned Alaska military base.The idea generated a quick backlash Monday from some Democrats and environmentalists. It’s tantamount to an end-run around West Coast officials who have rejected private-sector efforts to build new coal ports in their states.Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, a Democrat, called the proposal a “harebrained idea,” and said President Donald Trump should instead consider that climate change represents a national security threat.Boosting coal and gas exports would advance the administration’s agenda to establish U.S. “energy dominance” on the world stage. The potential use of government properties for exports underscores a willingness to intervene in markets to make that happen.The administration in recent months has cited national security as justification for keeping domestic coal-burning power plants online to prevent disruptions of electricity supplies.Zinke said the administration was interested in partnering with private entities in the use of federal facilities designated to help handle exports and cautioned that the idea is still in its early stages.He specified only one site, for natural gas: the former Adak Naval Air Facility in Alaska’s Aleutian Islands, which he suggested could receive fuel by barge from the North Slope. The base closed in 1997 and has been largely abandoned. Roughly 300 people live in the town of Adak, the westernmost community in the U.S.Zinke did not name government properties that could serve as potential coal ports or which states they are in.Inslee responded to the proposal in a statement that Washington state officials had been left in the dark on any planning by the Trump administration. Another Democrat, Oregon Sen. Ron Wyden said the proposal shows the Trump administration was “disregarding the realities around climate change.”Republican U.S. Sen. Steve Daines of Montana said Zinke was looking at all possibilities for export terminals, including West Coast military installations. Six proposed coal ports in Washington and Oregon have been rejected or shelved due to worries about air and water pollution and rail safety, combined with changing market conditions.“As a Montanan, he’s looking for ways here to help these Rocky Mountain states like Montana and Wyoming get access to Asian markets,” Daines said.Jan Hasselman, an attorney for opponents of coal ports in Washington state, said using federal property for exports would get around some local land use restrictions, but not the need for state and federal clean water permits.Asian exports have been held up as a lifeline for struggling U.S. coal miners as demand from the domestic power sector has plummeted and utilities switch to cheaper, cleaner fuels. The West Coast offers the most economical route because of its relative proximity to the largest coal-producing region in the U.S.: the Powder River Basin, which straddles the Montana-Wyoming border.Any export site needs access to deep waters to accommodate large ships and enough land to store fuel awaiting shipment. Few such locations can be found on the West Coast, said Joe Aldina, a coal industry analyst with S&P Global Platts Analytics.U.S. coal exports lately have been growing but are expected to fall over the long-term, particularly in Europe. Aldina expressed skepticism that government intervention could make much difference.“Like everything else the Trump administration has tried to do, it’s a long shot whether some of these things will work, and it’s questionable whether they will really help the market,” he said.A $680 million project in Longview, Washington, was denied a key permit last year by state regulators who said it would increase greenhouse gas emissions and cause “significant and unavoidable harm to the environment.”That brought a backlash from elected officials in coal-producing states. They argue the rejection of the Longview port, sponsored by Utah-based Lighthouse Resources, violated the commerce clause in the Constitution that says only Congress has the power to regulate international and interstate trade.Montana, Wyoming and four other states joined Lighthouse Resources in a lawsuit challenging the rejection of the company’s Millennium Bulk Terminals port, which could handle up to 48.5 million tons (44 million metric tons) of coal a year.Rep. Liz Cheney, a Wyoming Republican, said she’s spoken with Zinke and U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry about how to break through the bottleneck of port capacity that now exists.“That might be, for example, retired military facilities or other places where we would be able to use those for exports — frankly, to get around some of the unreasonable obstacles that have been thrown up,” Cheney said.Prior to joining Trump’s cabinet, Zinke was a Montana congressman and Perry was governor of Texas. Both states are among the top U.S. coal producers.Coal exports to Asia more than doubled in 2017, according to the Energy Information Administration.The rise continued in the first half of 2018 with almost 23 million tons (21 million metric tons) of U.S. coal exported to Asian nations through June. South Korea, Japan and China were among the biggest recipients.___Follow Matthew Brown on Twitter at https://twitter.com/MatthewBrownAP
MONTREAL — National Bank of Canada had $566 million of net income in its fourth quarter, up eight per cent from the same period last year as each of its three main business units improved earnings.The Montreal-based bank says the profit amounted to $1.52 per share on a diluted basis and $1.53 per share after adjustments.Analysts had estimated $1.52 per share of net income and $1.52 per share of adjusted earnings, according to Thomson Reuters Eikon.Revenue for the three months ended Oct. 31 was $1.87 billion, slightly above analyst estimates.During the same period of fiscal 2017, National Bank had $525 million of net income or $1.39 per share and $1.76 billion of revenue.The bank says its quarterly dividend will rise three cents to 65 cents per common share, payable Feb. 1. Companies in this story: (TSX:NA)The Canadian Press
FREDERICTON — The premier of New Brunswick says he believes he can convince Quebec’s skeptical premier of the benefits of reviving the Energy East pipeline project.Higgs, along with a number of premiers and federal politicians, are pressing for a restart of the $16 billion Energy East pipeline project to get oil from Alberta to refineries in Eastern Canada and to an export terminal in Saint John, N.B.The pipeline would have to pass through Quebec, but Premier Francois Legault has signalled he’s not interested.Higgs says he’s hoping to convince Legault that Energy East would benefit all provinces including Quebec when the two men are face-to-face this week at a first ministers’ meeting in Montreal.Alberta is cutting production and buying rail cars in an effort to address slumping prices for its oil.Higgs says he’s worried the level of transfer payments to provinces like his could be at risk if Alberta’s oil revenues aren’t addressed, and he believes a pipeline to move western crude to Eastern Canada and foreign markets could be the solution.TransCanada, the original proponent of the pipeline, has stated it has no plans to revisit the project.Higgs suggests that a holding company be formed to start the application process to the National Energy Board, and that TransCanada or another company could become interested then.The Canadian Press
VICTORIA, B.C. — The B.C. government and the Invasive Species Council of B.C. have released an updated five-year strategic plan to combat invasive species, while the government also proclaimed May 2018 as Invasive Species Action Month.Invasive species are plants or animals that are not native to this province, or are outside of their natural distribution areas. Invasive plants, for example, can reduce biodiversity, increase soil erosion, alter soil chemistry and adversely affect commercial crops. Some may pose a health risk to animals and people.“Once invasive species become established, they can spread rapidly, and seriously disrupt B.C.’s ecosystems if left unchecked,” said Doug Donaldson, Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development. “The close partnerships that our government has developed with the Invasive Species Council of B.C., regional invasive species organizations and several local governments have gone a long way toward managing these harmful species.” The Invasive Plant Program identifies sites where new invasive plant species have been found and responds quickly to contain and eradicate them before they become established and start spreading.The Invasive Species Strategy for British Columbia 2018-2022 includes recommendations for the management of problem species, habitat restoration, monitoring programs, regulation and policy, funding and research.“The updated Invasive Species Strategy for British Columbia demonstrates our ongoing commitment to contain the spread of invasive species in this province,” said George Heyman, Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy. “Proclaiming May 2018 as Invasive Species Action Month will help raise awareness of how these species can affect both urban and rural environments.”Members of the public can report sightings of invasive plant species anywhere in B.C. by using the Report-A-Weed or Report Invasives BC smartphone apps, by calling 1 888-WEEDSBC (1 888 933-3722), or by using the online reporting tool available at: http://www.gov.bc.ca/invasive-species.
FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. — The Spark Women’s Leadership Conference was yet again a huge success as it celebrated a big milestone in Fort St. John on Thursday.Conference organizing board chair Jennifer Moore said that this year was the biggest year yet for the conference, which turned five years old in 2018. Moore said that the theme of this year’s conference – Big Impact – was incredibly suitable considering the tremendous impact the conference has had since its inception in 2014. “We know that in the five years of this conference it really has had a big impact, not only on the people in the room but also on the people that they’ve interacted with,” said Moore. “We have a story of someone reconnecting that they haven’t seen since they were just a little girl. Their relationship has blossomed over the last year, the business has developed and she’s actually opening a satellite office on the other side of the country because of a connection she made at Spark.”Moore said that including the CISAL delegation from Colombia and Peru, there were a total of 280 attendees in the room at any time, making it the highest-attended conference so far. Moore said that the conference sold out this year, and that the board’s goal is to increase attendance from local women in the coming years. Key note speakers at this year’s conference included Drew Dudley – famed for his Ted Talk – and LNG Canada’s Susannah Pierce. Moore said that planning for next year’s conference has already started, with the hopes of seeing an even bigger turnout in 2019.
NEW DELHI: AAP’s South Delhi Lok Sabha candidate Raghav Chadha, who is himself a Chartered Accountant by profession, met with a delegation of CAs from South Delhi in presence of Rajya Sabha MP and Senior Chartered Accountant ND Gupta, Ex-ICAI President Naveen Gupta and Senior Chartered Accountant Pankaj Mangal on Saturday. The CAs presented a collection of cheques towards Raghav Chadha’s election campaign.The delegation held a brief discussion with him regarding his profile, his work experience and vision of Aam Aadmi Party for Delhi. They congratulated him on being one of the youngest candidates for the Lok Sabha elections from not just Delhi but the whole country. They also appreciated the fact that he was able to accomplish this without any political background or muscle power, but on the basis of merit alone. Also Read – After eight years, businessman arrested for kidnap & murderRaghav Chadha thanked the delegation for supporting him; “As a Chartered Accountant myself, I know that CAs value hard work, diligence, transparency, merit and precision and thus I am humbled by your faith in me.” Speaking to the delegation, Raghav Chadha said ” South Delhi has immense potential for development but politics of muscle and money power has hindered its progress. Elected MP from South Delhi has not done any work in the past five years. Successive Congress and BJP governments have also neglected the core issues of providing basic amenities since independence.” Also Read – Two brothers held for snatchingsHe said, “The Aam Aadmi Party government is the first government to lay emphasis on education, healthcare and ensuring access to basic amenities for all. Working on improving sewage systems, pipeline infrastructure among other things. Arvind Kejriwal’s government has been able to achieve major milestones in the past four years but there is more to be done, which could not be possible due to obstructions by the Central Government. Hopefully, when all the seven MPs are elected from the AAP, Delhi will see exponential growth in its pace of development.”
Wayanad: CPI leader D Raja has attacked the Congress for pitching its president Rahul Gandhi against the Left candidate in the April 23 Lok Sabha election from coffee-rich high-altitude constituency of Wayanad in Kerala and said it was a “short-sighted” decision.”What is the message the Congress wants to convey to the whole nation by fielding Rahul Gandhi from Wayanad? In a way, they are subjecting Gandhi to embarrassment by forcing him to fight CPI and the Left,” Raja told PTI in an exclusive interview on Thursday. Gandhi, accompanied by his sister Priyanka Gandhi Vadra and a host of Congress leaders, filed his nomination papers from Wayanad Thursday morning. P P Suneer of the CPI is the LDF candidate from the constituency while the BJP-NDA has fielded Thushar Vellappally. PTI
Amaravati: TDP president and Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu Friday latched onto veteran BJP leader L K Advani’s blog to attack Prime Minister Narendra Modi, saying it was “self first and country last” for him. “Advani’s remarks in the blog reflected his anguish. For him, country came first, party second and self last. It’s reverse in the case of Modi. For Modi and (Amit) Shah, it is self first and country last. The ideals of Advani and Atal Bihari Vajpayee no longer have value in the BJP,” Naidu, an erstwhile ally of the BJP, said. Also Read – India gets first tranche of Swiss bank a/c details In his blog, Advani has said his party has never regarded those who disagreed with it politically as “anti-nationals” or “enemies”. Advani’s comments assume significance as top BJP leaders, including Modi and BJP president Amit Shah, have been attacking opposition parties with anti-national barbs in the aftermath of the Balakot air strikes. Addressing a sit-in in front of Ambedkar’s statue in Vijayawada and condemning recent Income Tax Department raids on some Telugu Desam Party (TDP), Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK), Samajwadi Party (SP), Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), Congress, Janata Dal (Secular) and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leaders, Naidu said such raids were being carried out in a planned manner. Also Read – Tourists to be allowed in J&K from Thursday He claimed all liberties had vanished under Modi’s rule. “It’s a fascist regime. Unrest, insecurity and fear have gripped all sections,” the TDP chief said, adding that there was a need to protect democracy and the Constitution. Citing I-T raids on some TDP leaders in the last few days, Naidu warned department officials not to act according to the “diktat of the ruling party” in Delhi. “You will pay a heavy price if you continue with such acts,” he warned the officials, even as he maintained that the leaders would cooperate if they acted as per law. “These raids are a part of the BJP-YSRC-TRS conspiracy against the TDP. They are intended to demoralise our leaders,” he said. In a symbolic gesture, Naidu submitted a memorandum to Ambedkar’s statue, denouncing the I-T raids. As a mark of protest, he also released into the air black balloons with pictures of Modi, Telangana Rashtra Samithi president and Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao and YSR Congress (YSRC) chief Jagan Mohan Reddy attached.
Mumbai: Actor Akshay Kumar has shot for a special song for his brother-in-law Karan Kapadias “Blank”, and says it is his way of wishing him good luck. Karan, the cousin of Akshay’s wife Twinkle, will be making his Bollywood debut with “Blank”, which has been helmed by Behzad Khambata. Akshay shot for the song on Monday at a studio here. The groovy number is picturised on Akshay and Karan. It is composed by Arko and sung by B Praak, who recently gave his voice for the song “Teri mitti” in “Kesari”. The dance number is choreographed by Ranju Varghese, read a statement. “The boy has genuine acting skills and I saw a spark in the boy for a short film that he again did all by himself that was recognised by Cannes,” Akshay said. “And with ‘Blank’, this boy has gone multi-fold in terms of acting and performance. Karan has chosen an unconventional route for his debut and I am proud of him. Doing this song for him is my way of wishing him all the best,” he added. The story line of the action thriller revolves around the life of a suicide bomber essayed by Karan. The film is presented by Carnival Motion Pictures and EaseMyTrip.com, and backed by Echelon Production, Shrikant Bhasi, Nishant Pitti, Tony D’souza, Vishal Rana and &Pictures. It also stars Sunny Deol, and is set to release on May 3.
He is a PhD holder in education, fighting against a popular Punjabi singer from BJP and a grass root politician of AAP, Rajesh Lilothia of Congress talks exclusively to Sayantan Ghosh on his poll promises and challenges in North-West Lok Sabha constituency. North West Delhi is one of the most underdeveloped constituencies of Delhi and you are fighting from this seat, so what are the major issues you are looking at in this election? This constituency as you know is known as Delhi dehat area. This area is very underdeveloped because neither the central government nor the state government has done much for this area. Here the main issue I am focusing on is of women safety which is the law and order situation. In the villages, if you go you will see that the women are scared of antisocial elements here. I have also launched an app called Indira Shakti where women can register their number and in need can call the emergency button. Earlier also I have worked on this app and when we come to power I will develop this app across the constituency. Apart from this, the sealing has caused a lot of trouble to the poor traders of this are so I will work on that too and lastly, the expansion of Lal Dora has not been done as promised by administrations earlier, therefore, I am focusing on this issue too. Also Read – Odd-Even: CM seeks transport dept’s views on exemption to women, two wheelers, CNG vehiclesFrom the very first day, you were among the few leaders of the Congress party who were against the alliance between AAP and Congress and finally it did not happen, so do you think it will help you? I will always be against any alliance with the AAP because once CM Arvind Kejriwal said that the party will never go with Congress neither with BJP but recently he was desperate to make an alliance with Congress which shows his weakness. I was against alliance because it would have hurt the sentiments of our cadres and now they are very pleased. I am getting a lot of support from the cadres because they are very enthusiastic and more energetic as the alliance did not happen. Also Read – More good air days in Delhi due to Centre’s steps: JavadekarThis seat is reserved for the schedule caste and also has a large caste minority population, so how challenging this is for you to fight from this seat? Most importantly whatever is the nature of the seat, the Congress party is a secular party and I do not believe in caste-based politics. I am not asking votes in the name of caste but in the name of priorities. The BJP has given this seat to a Punjabi singer who is a celebrity and the people believe that he will never stay in area which is majorly rural. On the other hand, AAP’s candidate was also earlier in BJP so people understand the nature politics they are into. People are very much positive with my approach to work when I am talking to them. What is your biggest strength in this election? As I already said that here people do not want a celebrity candidate but a person who will always stay with them. I am from a village of this area and people understand that I will always be with them. I am a graduate in English and also a PhD holder, education matters to people. They understand that an educated person can serve much better and deal with issues much better. Lastly, people want a young and energetic person in the field which is a plus point for me.
RABAT – Morocco welcomed 10.5 million tourists last year, a gain of seven percent, but the money they spent in a country whose cash-strapped government relies on them actually dipped.“The number of tourists who went to Morocco in 2013 reached 10,046,000,” Tourism Minister Lahcen Haddad told the official MAP news agency Friday.But ministry figures showed that revenues from non-resident tourists eased 0.5 percent to 57.5 billion dirhams (5.1 billion euros/$6.9 billion). The North African kingdom was badly affected by the financial crisis in Europe, its top trade partner, aggravating the economic challenges facing the government of Islamist premier Abdelilah Benkirane.The rise in arrivals last year was due, notably, to an influx of tourists from Italy, Germany and England, with the number of holidaymakers from those countries rising by between 12 and 15 percent.By contrast, tourist arrivals from France and Spain grew by just four percent.Marrakesh and the coastal city of Agadir were the most popular destinations, receiving two-thirds of the visitors.Tourism is the second-largest economic sector in Morocco. It accounts for around eight percent of GDP, employing some 500,000 people, and the government hopes to see the number of visitors rise to 20 million by 2022.Haddad said in November that the government planned to levy a small tax on all flights out of the country, which he said would be used to promote it as a holiday destination.
Rabat – Despite progress over the years, there are considerable deficits in early childhood development (ECD) in Morocco, according to a new report by the World Bank issue late Tuesday.Morocco has substantial gaps: just 68 per cent of births received parental care and only 31 percent regular parental care (at least four visits), the World Bank’s “Expanding Opportunities for the Next Generation: Early Childhood in the Middle East and North Africa” report said.The study said there are a number of shortcomings that need to be addressed in terms of children’s social and emotional development in Morocco. For instance, only two thirds (63 per cent) of births had a skilled attendant at delivery, while in the first month of life, 2.5 per cent of children die, and 3.8 per cent in the first year of life.66 children under the age of one die every day. In 2004, infant mortality, which refers to children dying before their first birthday, was 38 deaths per thousand births. This is above the 2012 average rate for the Middle East and North Africa region (24 per thousand.)25 children out of every thousand die during their first month of life, which is above the 2012 regional average of 15 in every thousand (UNICEF 2014), the report said.In terms of immunization rates, Morocco is doing fairly well with 90 per cent of children age 1 fully immunized. Children are considered fully immunized if they have received immunizations for all six major preventable childhood diseases: tuberculosis, diphtheria, whooping, cough, tetanus, polio, and measles.Malnutrition is a problem in Morocco, where 23 percent of children are stunted, 10 per cent are underweight, and 12 per cent are wasted.Children’s nutritional status is measured by stunting (height-for-age), underweight (weight –for-age), and wasting (weight-for-height).In 2004, 23 per cent of Moroccan children under five were stunted, 10 per cent were underweight, and 12 per cent were wasted, the report said.According to the report, the health status of Moroccan children is examined through indicators of early mortality, pre-natal care, having a skilled attendant at birth, and immunizations.A number of background characteristics at the child, family, and community levels affect ECD outcomes: gender, parents’, education, household socioeconomic status (wealth), geographic location (region or governorate), and residence (urban or rural).