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  • My gut has never let me down

    first_imgNew Delhi: Actor Ayushmann Khurrana says he is known for middle-of-the-road cinema, where there is a collaboration of critical and commercial success. “It’s a default setting for me to choose novel content. I’m always known for middle-of-the-road cinema, where there is a collaboration of critical and commercial success. It’s also my intuition,” Ayushmann said. “My gut has never let me down. I look at stories as a layman and an audience member. I make films that I would like to see myself. It feels great that my choices have been accepted so far,” he added. After his stint on the small screen, Ayushmann entered the industry in the role of a sperm donor in 2012 with Vicky Donor. He faced failure with Nautanki Saala!, Hawaizaada and Bewakoofiyaan. But he returned with a bang with Dum Laga Ke Haisha. Now, he will be seen in Article 15, Dream Girl, Bala and Shubh Mangal Zyada Saavdhan – the 2nd part of Shubh Mangal Saavdhan.last_img read more

  • China vows military action if Taiwan sea claims opposed

    first_imgSingapore: China’s defense minister warned Sunday that its military will “resolutely take action” to defend Beijing’s claims over self-ruled Taiwan and disputed South China Sea waters. Speaking at an annual security conference in Singapore, Gen. Wei Fenghe did not direct the threat at the US but loaded his address with criticism of activities by Washington, including support for Taiwan and leading so-called freedom of navigation operations in the strategic waterways that China virtually claims as its own. Also Read – ‘Hong Kong won’t rule out Chinese help over protests’Wei said the People’s Liberation Army would not “yield a single inch of the country’s sacred land.” China’s ruling Communist Party maintains that Taiwan is part of China, and has used increasingly aggressive rhetoric toward the democratic island, which split from the mainland amid a civil war 70 years ago. It opposes Taiwan’s independence and formally says it seeks a “peaceful reunification” while refusing to rule out the use of force if necessary to achieve that goal. Also Read – Pak Army chief accompanies Imran at key meetings in China”The PLA has no intention to cause anybody trouble but it is not afraid to face up to troubles. Should anybody risk crossing the bottom line, the PLA will resolutely take action and defeat all enemies,” Wei said. Relations between Beijing and Taipei have deteriorated since Taiwan elected a pro-independence president, Tsai Ing-wen, in 2016. China has since increased diplomatic pressure, cut off its contacts with the island’s government and discouraged travel there by Chinese tourists. “China must be and will be reunified. We find no excuse not to do so. If anyone dares to split Taiwan from China, the Chinese military has no choice but to fight at all costs, at all costs, for national unity,” Wei stressed. “We will strive for the prospect of peaceful unification with utmost sincerity and greatest efforts, but we make no promise to renounce the use of force.” Wei was addressing defense chiefs, officials and academics at the Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore. US Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan, who spoke to the same gathering on Saturday, was not present at Wei’s speech. Shanahan called China’s efforts to steal technology from other nations and militarize man-made outposts in the South China Sea a “toolkit of coercion” and urged it to stop activities the U.S. perceives as hostile. China is pitted against smaller Southeast Asian neighbors in multiple disputes over island reefs, corals and lagoons in the South China Sea, where it constructed seven outposts equipped with airstrips, radar and missile stations that Shanahan said Saturday could become “tollbooths” in one of the world’s busiest waterways. Beijing is currently firming up a pact with four rival claimants, containing norms and rules aimed at preventing a shooting war in the disputed waters. On Thursday, China’s Defense Ministry dismissed a report that Australian navy pilots were hit by lasers earlier in May while exercising in the waters claimed by China. And on Sunday, Beijing closed off an area near Paracel Islands, which is also claimed by Vietnam and Taiwan, for military training exercises. Wei said China built “limited defense facilities” but much of it was aimed at improving services and infrastructure for people living there.last_img read more

  • Make Tamil official language in central govt offices DMK

    first_imgChennai: After stridently opposing the Centre’s move to impose the three-language formula, DMK chief M K Stalin Wednesday demanded that Tamil be made an official language in all central government offices. Talking to reporters here after paying homage to former IUML president Quaid-e-Millat on his 124th birth anniversary, he said, “We should take a vow on this day to make Tamil an official language in central government offices.” The DMK will continue to extend support to this cause, he added. Also Read – Dussehra with a ‘green’ twistStalin, who is also leader of the opposition in the state assembly, claimed the Centre was trying to impose Hindi under the three-language formula and it withdrew its decision following opposition from Tamils. On Tuesday, the DMK proposed that the two-language formula devised by Dravidian icon C N Annadurai should be implemented across the country. The proposal came a day after the Centre dropped the contentious provision of compulsory teaching of Hindi in non-Hindi speaking states.last_img read more

  • Uttarakhand BJP MLA suspended over indiscipline

    first_imgDehradun: The ruling BJP in Uttarakhand has suspended Khanpur MLA Kunwar Pranav Singh Champion from the party for three months on charges of indiscipline, a party spokesman said on Sunday. Champion’s suspension on Saturday night came after a preliminary report prepared by the state Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Disciplinary Committee found him guilty of gross indiscipline. It also took cognizance of the legislator’s alleged threats to a journalist. State BJP President Ajay Bhatt later suspended Champion. Recently, a video had gone viral in which Champion appeared to be threatening an electronic media journalist. He was also in the news for publicly making fun of BJP MLA from Jhabreda Deshraj Karnawal. Champion, who wanted a ticket for his wife for the Lok Sabha polls from Haridwar, had described then sitting MP from the seat and now Human Resource Development Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank as a “migratory bird”. He was among the nine Congress MLAs who had rebelled against Harish Rawat and crossed over to the BJP in 2016. Later, all the nine MLAs were disqualified by the Speaker.last_img read more

  • BJP and Cong spar over extension of Prez rule

    first_imgNew Delhi: Home Minister Amit Shah Friday blamed former prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru for the political problems and terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir, as he asserted in the Lok Sabha that Article 370 of the Constitution granting special status to the state is “temporary in nature” and “not permanent”.As the Lok Sabha gave its nod to extend President’s Rule in J and K for another six months beginning July 3 by approving a statutory resolution, Shah also said Assembly polls in the border state will be held in a free, fair and democratic manner once the Election Commission announces the schedule. Also Read – Ahead of Xi’s visit, China says Kashmir issue should be resolved bilaterally; drops UN referencesThe Lok Sabha also cleared the Jammu and Kashmir Reservation (Amendment) Bill, 2019, to replace an ordinance issued by the previous government. The approval for the resolution and the amendment bill was given by voice vote amid protests from the Congress and some opposition parties. The Bill was the first to be piloted by Shah as Home Minister. Replying to the debate on the statutory resolution seeking an extension of President’s Rule in the state, and the amendment bill, Shah asserted that the Modi government has ‘zero tolerance’ policy towards terrorism and its ideology is to ensure the protection of borders and make the country free of terrorism. Also Read – Rajnath Singh arrives for Rafale handover ceremony in FranceLaunching a blistering attack on Nehru and the Congress in his maiden speech as Home Minister in the lower house, Shah alleged that the policies of previous Congress governments widened the wedge between the people of the state and the country. “Today one-third of Kashmir is not with us. Who announced ceasefire when Pakistan encroached in Kashmir after independence and occupied one-third of its territory? The Congress members reacted sharply to this and Shah responded saying he would not take Nehru’s name but referred to him only as the first prime minister. The Home Minister said the present government adopted “zero tolerance” towards terrorism and people who try to divide the country have fear in their hearts, which will increase in the coming times. Shah took on the Congress after its member Manish Tewari alleged that the sense of alienation among the people of J&K has increased under the BJP government.last_img read more

  • Britains ambassador to US resigns amid row over leaked emails

    first_imgLondon: Britain’s ambassador to the US Kim Darroch resigned on Wednesday, amid ongoing diplomatic row over leaked emails critical of US President Donald Trump’s administration. “The current situation is making it impossible for me to carry out my role as I would like,” said Darroch, a career diplomat. The UK Foreign Office confirmed Darroch’s resignation. Darroch is at the eye of a diplomatic storm after remarks he made about President Donald Trump’s administration, and shared with UK officials in confidence, were leaked over the weekend. “Since the leak of official documents from this Embassy there has been a great deal of speculation surrounding my position and the duration of my remaining term as ambassador,” Darroch wrote in a letter to the Foreign Office. “I want to put an end to that speculation,” he added. In response to the letter, Simon McDonald, permanent under secretary and head of the diplomatic service, said Darroch had served a “long and distinguished career, with dignity, professionalism and class”, BBC reported. “You are the best of us,” Simon said, describing the leak as “malicious”. Prime Minister Theresa May said it was a “matter of great regret” that Darroch felt the need to resign. He has “given a lifetime of service to the United Kingdom and we owe him an enormous debt of gratitude,” she added. The scandal broke out over the weekend when classified emails from Darroch to a range of UK government officials emerged in the media. Trump launched a tirade against the diplomat as “not liked or well thought of within the US” and that he would “no longer deal with him”. His characteristic social media attack extended to May, as he tweeted: “I have been very critical about the way the UK and Prime Minister Theresa May handled Brexit.” “What a mess she and her representatives have created. I told her how it should be done, but she decided to go another way.” In some of his communications leaked to the ‘Mail on Sunday’, Darroch, who became ambassador to the US in January 2016 about a year before Trump took office, questioned whether the White House at the time “will ever look competent” but also warned that the US President should not be written off. The emails, dating from 2017, said rumours of “infighting and chaos” in the White House were mostly true, the White House under Trump was “uniquely dysfunctional” and that the policy on sensitive issues such as Iran was “incoherent, chaotic”. The US President took to Twitter to attack Darroch as a “very stupid guy” after disinviting him from an event at the White House on Monday night in retaliation. In a debate for the Tory leadership contest on Tuesday, frontrunner Boris Johnson repeatedly refused to say whether he would keep Darroch in post if he became prime minister. UK foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt, one of two British Prime Ministerial hopefuls alongside Johnson, backed the diplomat, saying it was important for diplomats to be able to give frank views to ministers.last_img read more

  • British Council invites project ideas for crafts sector

    first_imgUnder its new ‘Crafting Futures’ programme, the British Council is currently inviting project proposals around the future of crafts from Indian organisations working across textiles, jewellery, sustainable fashion, handicrafts, furniture and pottery. The programme by British Council, UK’s educational-cultural organisation, aims to boost livelihood for Indian craftspeople – especially women – through digital technology. It is inviting applications till November 11. Also Read – An income drop can harm brainThe India-UK collaboration scheme will bring together Indian and UK partners to co-develop 12-14-month long projects exploring new futures for crafts in India and investigate the new ecosystems for craft and how traditional skills, contemporary design and enterprise can come together to create new systems. The projects will also explore the role of craft as a route to women’s empowerment and leadership, how craft can address global environmental challenges and what role tourism can play to ensure that craft is widely appreciated. Also Read – Shallu Jindal honoured with Mahatma AwardAnother question the projects will seek to answer is: What can digital technology bring to crafts? “Through innovative collaboration and the infusion of entrepreneurial digital technology, we aim to have a positive impact on the social, cultural and economic aspects of the Indian craftspeople and design organisations. We are looking for project ideas that can elevate economic opportunities for women and other crafts entrepreneurs in India,” the British Council said. It added that six winning organisations will receive monetary and technical support, while getting access to potential partners in the UK to collaborate. The projects will aim to benefit India’s seven million-strong crafts community. More details can be found on read more

  • UP FIR against IAS officer for murdering wife

    first_imgLucknow: An FIR has been registered against an IAS officer posted as Director of the State Urban Development Agency (SUDA) for allegedly murdering his wife. “The FIR was registered under IPC sections 302 (murder) and 201 (causing disappearance of evidence of offence, or giving false information) against IAS Umesh Kumar Singh at Chinhat police station here in connection with his wife Anita Singh’s death,” a senior police official said. Anita (42) died of bullet injuries on September 1 at the officer’s residence located in the Chinhat area. The FIR was registered on a complaint lodged by the victim’s cousin Rajiv Kumar Singh, who alleged that the IAS officer had relations with other women due to which his sister was not happy and Umesh used to beat her.last_img read more

  • Youth arrested for thrashing traffic police constable in Ghaziabad

    first_imgGhaziabad: A 23-year-old SUV driver has been arrested by Ghaziabad police for allegedly thrashing a traffic police constable and trying to run the vehicle over him when he tried to stop him from driving on wrong side of the road in Sihani gate police station area of Ghaziabad.According to police, the arrested person has been identified as Tarun Tyagi, a resident of Patel Nagar-3 area in Ghaziabad. “Tyagi is a student by profession and he belongs to a business family,” said police. Also Read – After eight years, businessman arrested for kidnap & murderPrateek Kumar, traffic police constable with Ghaziabad police said that the incident occurred on Saturday afternoon around 2:30 pm when he was deployed at a roundabout in Sihani Gate area. “During duty, I spotted a Toyota fortuner car, bearing a VIP number which was being driven on the wrong side of road. When I signalled the driver to stop, he tried to run the vehicle over me. I had to climb in order to save myself. However, the driver along with three to four other men stepped out of the car and started misbehaving with me. The accused persons thrashed me, hurled abuses and tore my uniform. The threatened me and later fled away from the spot,” Kumar said in his complaint. Also Read – Two brothers held for snatchingsMeanwhile police officials said that the accused was arrested later after locals identified him. “The victim lodged a complaint with police on Saturday evening and a case was registered at Sihani Gate police station. Police questioned nearby shopkeepers to identify him and also get into the details from vehicle’s registration number which was told by the victim. The accused was arrested on Saturday night and he has been booked under section 353 (Assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty), 332 (Voluntarily causing hurt to deter public servant from his duty) and 504 of Indian Penal Code. He has been produced before the court and sent to jail,” said Umesh Bahadur Singh, Station House Officer of Sihani Gate police station.last_img read more

  • Sensitise people to stop power theft Mayor

    first_imgKolkata: Mayor Firhad Hakim has urged Calcutta Electric Supply Corporation ( CESC) to hold camps in every locality to prevent theft of power.He was addressing an awareness drive programme at Metiabruz on Friday. He said some people in connivance with the touts are tapping power from CESC’s supply lines for their benefit. “This is very risky and some people have died while doing this,” he maintained. Hakim said if somebody dies due to the fault of CECC, then the organization is bound to pay compensation to the person. But no compensation is paid when some accident takes places leading to loss of life while tapping power from the CESC’s main line, he said. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari PujaHe regretted that in Kidderpore and Garden Reach two people died while tapping power. Hakim urged senior officials of CESC to hold awareness camps in every locality and to provide electricity connections. “Many people are reluctant to take CESC line as they have to pay deposit money to CESC and submit some documents on the basis of which connection is given to them. Just to avoid this people resort to unfair means,” he said adding drives should be conducted to create awareness. Also Read – Bengal civic volunteer dies in road mishap on national highwayTapping electricity line from CESC is a major issue in many areas. This cause additional pressure on the electrical transformers which become inoperative. It takes several hours for CESC to repair the fault and sometimes the transformers have to be changed causing inconvenience to the residents. In the fringe areas the problem is every more acute. CESC officials said camps will be held in different localities urging people to take CESC connection and avoid tapping of power which is both illegal and risky. Mobile vans with public address system will visit the areas to create awareness.last_img read more

  • BC Liberals stand corrected on claims IamLinda was NDP plant

    first_imgKELOWNA, B.C. – British Columbia’s Liberals say they “stand corrected” on claims the NDP planted a woman at an election campaign event to confront Christy Clark.The brief encounter last week between the woman and Clark has generated a buzz on social media as the hashtag #IamLinda became a rallying point on Twitter for people who oppose the B.C. Liberal government.When asked Wednesday if they believe the woman was an NDP plant, the Liberals issued a short statement that says: “We’re happy to stand corrected.”A video posted online last week shows Clark in a North Vancouver market shaking hands with a woman who introduces herself as Linda and says she would never vote for the premier and begins to explain why.Clark then cuts her off.“You don’t have to. That’s why we live in a democracy,” Clark says before walking away.“Thanks goodness. Hopefully you won’t get elected in,” the woman calls after her.Two people connected to Clark’s campaign later accused the woman of being a New Democrat plant and tweeted a picture of her with Nicholas Simons, a New Democrat member of the legislative assembly for Powell River-Sunshine Coast.The Clark encounter went viral and has been shared or retweeted thousands of times on social media. The hashtag had been used more than 34,500 times on Twitter by Wednesday at midday.In its statement, the Liberals say: “As the premier said, we are fortunate to live in a democracy where we are able to respectfully disagree with each other.”Clark said she didn’t know the answer when asked earlier this week what evidence workers on her campaign had for claiming the woman was an NDP operative.“You’ll have to speak to the people who tweeted that out,” she added.Voters go to the polls in British Columbia on Tuesday.— Follow @gwomand on Twitterlast_img read more

  • Sophie Gregoire Trudeau urges girls to have confidence in themselves

    first_imgWASHINGTON – Sophie Gregoire Trudeau kicked off a United Nations-led girls’ conference in Washington with a pep talk, urging young women to believe in themselves and in their ability to shape the world.The prime minister’s wife referred to her own past eating disorder and talked about the ways young girls often lack confidence, in their appearance or in their ability.She opened the Girl Up Leadership Summit urging the hundreds of young women in attendance to fight back against that lack of confidence.She also promoted Canadian international development programs, tailored to helping women.Gregoire Trudeau said it’s a basic economic fact that societies with empowered women are more prosperous.She delivered a string of extemporaneous remarks, wandering around the stage as she spoke off-the-cuff, and got an ovation from the crowd at the beginning and end.last_img read more

  • Halifax cab driver guilty of sexually assaulting female passenger

    first_imgHALIFAX – A Halifax cab driver has been convicted of sexually assaulting a female passenger last summer.Saher Hamdan, 29, sexually assaulted a young woman as she waited to pay her fare on July 15, 2016, trying to kiss her and touching her sexually without her consent.He was convicted Wednesday in Halifax provincial court, and will be sentenced Oct. 13.The case came at a time of heightened anxiety — Halifax police said in 2016 there had been 14 reported sexual assault cases involving taxi drivers over the previous four years.At the time, police reported Hamdan had picked up a female passenger in the suburb of Clayton Park that night, between 8:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.The driver stopped en route, and reportedly said there was an issue with the meter that needed to be fixed.The woman told police the driver then tried to kiss her, locked the cab doors and touched her inappropriately over her clothes.Police said she got out of the cab and went to a friend’s house.After a news release was put out by police, Hamdan turned himself in to police.Hamdan’s taxi licence is reportedly suspended.There is a ban on the publication of the victim’s name.(The Canadian Press, Global News)last_img read more

  • TSB says pilots should be tested for alcohol and drug use to

    first_imgVANCOUVER – The airline industry and Transport Canada should develop a program requiring pilots to be tested for drugs and alcohol, the Transportation Safety Board said Thursday after releasing a report into a crash that killed two people.Board chairwoman Kathy Fox called on both sides to work with employee representatives to implement a program that would protect public safety. She added that self-policing by the industry has not worked, so the issue of impairment will continue to go unrecognized and unreported.“What’s needed is something more, especially for safety-sensitive positions where, to be plain, people’s lives could be at stake,” she told a news conference.“Alcohol impairment almost certainly played a role,” Fox said of the cargo plane crash on April 13, 2015, in the mountains north of Vancouver.A total of four fatal crashes since 2009, three involving commercial operators, have had drugs or alcohol as a contributing factor, said Fox, who added it was time to learn lessons from the latest disaster.The BC Coroners Service had reported that pilot Robert Brandt had a blood-alcohol level of three times the legal limit for driving.Brandt, 34, was captain of the twin-engine Swearingen cargo aircraft operated by Carson Air. First officer Kevin Wang, 32, also died, but did not have any drugs or alcohol in his system.Other countries, including the United States and Australia, have found mandatory drug and alcohol testing are most effective along with education, employee assistance programs, rehabilitation, return-to-duty programs and peer support, Fox said.The safety board said the crew did not declare an emergency before the aircraft dropped to 900 metres from 2,400 metres in less than 20 seconds.The agency was unable to confirm why the aircraft entered a steep dive and broke apart mid-air, Fox said.“This is not satisfying to the TSB, certainly not for the families involved and not to Canadians who have come to rely on one of the safest transportation systems in the world.”Jason Kobi, the investigator in charge, said the aircraft disappeared from radar 80 seconds after the pilots’ final contact with air-traffic control.There was no cockpit voice recorder or flight data recorder on board, and the lack of hard data significantly undermined the investigation, Kobi said.Investigators found the aircraft entered a steep dive and accelerated to a high speed that exceeded its structural limits and caused it to break apart before crashing, he said. Debris scattered over a wide area.“But the question remained: Why? Unfortunately, we were never able to determine this with certainty.”Kobi said the pilot’s high blood-alcohol content was one possibility, because it meant his physical and mental performance would have been impaired and he could have lost consciousness.“Even if the captain, had been, for example, slumped forward toward the controls we found no indication that the first officer was incapacitated and he should still have been able to regain control of the aircraft.”It’s also possible heaters that provide air speed information were off or malfunctioned or that the aircraft was intentionally placed into a steep dive, with several factors suggesting that could have been the case, Kobi said.They include the duration of the dive, absence of any emergency communication and the lack of recovery efforts when the plane started to descend rapidly.Other possible coincidental factors have been identified, including physical indications that the pilot had a history of heavy alcohol use and “the fact that there is a significant relationship between alcohol use and suicidal behaviour,” Kobi said.“Those several coincidental factors were present (but) the investigation could not conclude anything about the captain’s predisposition to commit an intentional act.”— Follow @CamilleBains1 on Twitter.Note to readers: This is a corrected story. A previous version said there had been four other fatal crashes since 2009 where drugs or alcohol were contributing factors, and that the crash happened in 2005.last_img read more

  • Billionaire founder of Apotex wife found dead in Toronto home

    first_imgTORONTO – Toronto billionaire and philanthropist Barry Sherman and his wife have been found dead, Ontario’s health minister said Friday, calling the couple “wonderful human beings.”Barry Sherman is the founder of generic drug giant Apotex.“I am beyond words right now. My dear friends Barry and Honey Sherman have been found dead,” Eric Hoskins tweeted. “Wonderful human beings, incredible philanthropists, great leaders in health care. A very, very sad day.”Ontario’s minister of economic development has also tweeted about the deaths.“Deeply shocked and saddened to hear of the deaths of Barry and Honey Sherman,” tweeted Brad Duguid. “Philanthropists and entrepreneurs who made our province a better place to live.”Sherman’s wife, Honey, was a member of the board of the Baycrest Foundation and the York University Foundation. She also served on the boards of Mount Sinai’s Women’s Auxiliary, the Simon Wiesenthal Center and the International American Joint Distribution Committee.Toronto police said they were investigating two bodies found at a home in the city, but did not release the names of the deceased.Canadian Business magazine recently listed Barry Sherman as the 15th richest person in Canada, with a net worth of $4.77 billion.Apotex Corp. describes itself as the largest Canadian-owned manufacturer of prescription drugs. It is the U.S. subsidiary of Apotex Inc.last_img read more

  • Government commits to move away from Phoenix and build new pay system

    first_imgOTTAWA – The federal Liberals say the flawed Phoenix pay system is destined for the ash heap — and the government will spend $16 million over the next two years looking for a replacement that can rise in its place.The commitment to begin development of a new pay system is included in Finance Minister Bill Morneau’s latest budget and comes just one day before angry civil servants were set to protest the second anniversary of the launch of the problem-plagued system.Starting in April, the government will begin efforts “on a way forward on a new pay system” in consultation with technology providers, pay system experts and public service unions.In the meantime, the budget provides a sobering estimate of just how long it will take — and how expensive it will be — to deal with problems created by the current pay system.The budget sets aside an additional $431.4 million over six years to fix existing pay problems for more than 300,000 workers.Since its launch in February 2016, tens of thousands of federal employees have been underpaid, overpaid or not paid at all.The government says it will also consider changing tax laws so civil servants who are dealing with pay issues are not forced to pay taxes they may owe on mistaken overpayments until their pay problems are resolved.The budget also opens the door to a potential settlement of lawsuits that have been launched as a result of the pay debacle.At least one civil service union is hailing the budget measure as a positive step.last_img read more

  • BC home sales to fall as interest rates rise but prices stay

    first_imgVANCOUVER – Real estate experts in British Columbia predict residential home sales will dip this year but remain well above the province’s 10-year average, although they warn rising interest rates could leave some B.C. households “vulnerable.”The British Columbia Real Estate Association has released its 2018 first quarter housing forecast, showing residential sales are expected to fall 8.6 per cent to 94,855 units this year, with the decline continuing into 2019.The projected skid follows the 7.5 per cent decrease recorded last year but the association says residential sales in B.C. are still well above the 10-year average of 84,800 units.Strong employment growth, consumer confidence and more workers moving to B.C. are credited for the booming housing market over the last four years, including 2016, when a record 112,209 homes changed hands.But the association predicts the pace of sales will cool due to several factors, including a five-year qualifying rate for a mortgage that is forecast to reach 5.70 per cent by the fourth quarter of 2019.Chief economist Cameron Muir predicts higher interest rates, coupled with slower economic growth, will carry the moderating trend in home sales right through next year.“More stringent mortgage qualifications and rising interest rates will further erode affordability and household purchasing power,” Muir says in a news release.The association also notes the supply of homes for sale continues at, or near, decade lows in most B.C. regions but it says 60,000 new homes are now under construction, well above the 2008 high of 45,000 units.“Slowing consumer demand combined with a surge in new home completions over the next several quarters will create more balance in the housing market and produce less upward pressure on home prices,” the association says in its release.It estimates the average price for a home in B.C. is forecast to increase 6.0 per cent to $752,000 this year, and a further 4.0 per cent to $781,800 in 2019.last_img read more

  • How to buy recreational pot online in Ontario once pot is legalized

    first_imgTORONTO – When recreational cannabis is legalized on Oct. 17, the only legal retailer in Ontario will be the government-run Ontario Cannabis Store through its online website site will be up and running at 12:01 a.m. ET on Wednesday, and consumers will be able access it from computers and mobile devices. The products offered for sale will include dried flower, oils, capsules, pre-rolled joints and accessories, but no seeds for the time being. The government has not released a list of prices, but said they would be competitive to compete with the illicit market.Here’s a primer on how to purchase marijuana online:— Shoppers will be asked to enter their full birth date and then confirm their age. Only those who confirm they are 19 years of age or older will be able to access the site. No proof of age will be required.— Shoppers will have the option to check out educational resources if they want to learn about cannabis, including the plant’s anatomy, facts about consumption and how to choose cannabis products. The information is already available on the newly launched website— Shoppers will then be able to choose from cannabis products including dried flower — there will be 70 strains at first, with that number expected to eventually reach 150 — oils and capsules, pre-rolled joints as well as accessories like vapourizers, rolling papers and trays.— Each product listing information will include the brand and licensed producer, a description, price (including taxes), percentage of THC and CBD, plant type and terpenes, which are fragrant oils found in plants which produce a unique taste and smell.— Shoppers will not be able to buy more than 30 grams of cannabis at one time, in line with the maximum amount allowed for one person to carry in public under law. However, they will be able to place several online orders.— Only VISA or MasterCard will be accepted for online purchases, but OCS officials say they will look at adding other payment options in the future. It is not known how the purchase will appear on the credit card statements, but OCS officials have said the word “cannabis” won’t be included.— When checking out, customers will be required to confirm that they are 19 years of age or older, again.— Deliveries will be made to Ontario addresses only by Canada Post at a flat rate of $5, and will take between one to three business days.— Purchases from the OCS will be in plain packaging and delivered only to anyone who answers the door and is 19 or older. As with other products that require age verification, if the person accepting the package looks under the age of 25, identification will be required. When no one is available, the package will be sent back to the nearest post office. For those who live in condominiums, however, a concierge will not be able to accept the package.SOURCE: Ontario Cannabis Storelast_img read more

  • Eaton Centre shooter seeked street justice after being stabbed prosecution

    first_imgTORONTO – A man opened fire at Toronto’s Eaton Centre six years ago as a form of “street justice” in retaliation for being stabbed months before, a murder trial heard Monday.Christopher Husbands, 29, is accused shooting at a group of young men at the mall’s food court on June 2, 2012 killing two of them and injuring six others caught in the crossfire and subsequent pandemonium.Husbands has pleaded not guilty to the charges, which include two counts of second-degree murder, five counts of aggravated assault, one count each of criminal negligence causing bodily harm and reckless discharge of a firearm.His lawyer, Stephanie DiGiuseppe, said Husbands will testify in his own defence where he’ll admit he was the shooter. But the defence will argue he is not criminally responsible for the crimes due to a mental disorder.“This is about what happened inside Mr. Husband’s mind during that short period of time when shots were fired in the food court,” DiGiuseppe said in her opening remarks to the jury.Crown lawyer Mary Humphrey told the jury that Husbands wanted retribution for being attacked in February.“It is the Crown theory that he had a simple plan to shoot them when he saw them,” Humphrey said. “It is the Crown theory that he wanted to execute his own street justice.”Humphrey said Ahmed Hassan, 24, died on the floor of the food court while Nixon Nirmalendran, 22, died in hospital nine days later due to complications from a bullet wound.Innocent bystanders hurt in the shooting included a 13-year-old boy who was shot in the head and survived, and a pregnant woman who was trampled in the ensuing stampede as shoppers ran for their lives, she said.Humphrey said the Crown will show that Husbands and Nirmalendran used to be friends. Husbands, she said, confided in a girlfriend that Nirmalendran was among his attackers on Feb. 28, 2012.DiGiuseppe said Husbands will testify that Nirmalendran and his younger brother were among the group of men who attacked him that night.The judge told the jury that Husbands faced a previous trial, but did not say what the outcome was or why he was being retried.Humphrey said the jury would see extensive video evidence of the shooting and hear how police tracked down Husbands.She said video shows Husbands standing near a sushi restaurant while his girlfriend bought food. Then a group of five men walked by Husbands, who yelled out at them.It was 6:22 p.m.Husbands ran toward the group and pulled a gun from his satchel and fired 14 bullets into the crowd, she said. He was at the Eaton Centre with his girlfriend and bought a pair of Rollerblades and a jacket from Sport Chek.Shortly after, they went to the recently renovated food court to eat, Humphrey said.Around that time, Nirmalendran, Hassan and three other friends — all in their early 20s — had gone to the mall to get some food and to “talk to girls,” Humphrey said.After the shooting, Humphrey said, video shows Husbands race up the escalators and leave the mall.The gun has never been found.“This was an intentional and voluntary act,” Humphrey said of the shooting.DiGiuseppe said this is a complex case that will feature a variety of mental health experts who will discuss Husbands’ state of mind at the time.She said he grew up with a mother who was addicted to crack and eventually moved from the United States to Toronto to be with his father.Husbands grew up in Regent Park and watched a man be executed at the age of 13, DiGiuseppe said.She said the stabbing in February had a profound effect on Husbands’ mental health, saying experts will testify that he suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder, paranoia and depression, and had nightmares and flashbacks.Husbands will testify that while at the Eaton Centre, he saw the men who attacked him and believed he heard one of them say to another to shoot him.“Following this Christopher Husbands will describe feeling disconnected from his own body he felt his arm move up, but did not feel as if he was in control of his arm,” DiGiuseppe said.“He experienced auditory and visual hallucinations. He has no memory of the events that followed inside the food court.”last_img read more

  • An inappropriate effort Quotes from WilsonRaybould at justice committee

    first_imgOTTAWA — Quotes from former justice minister Jody Wilson-Raybould’s appearance before the House of Commons justice committee, Feb. 27, 2019:“For a period of approximately four months, between September and December of 2018, I experienced a consistent and sustained effort by many people within the government to seek to politically interfere in the exercise of prosecutorial discretion in my role as the attorney general of Canada, in an inappropriate effort to secure a deferred-prosecution agreement with SNC-Lavalin.” — Jody Wilson-Raybould—“There were express statements regarding the necessity of interference in the SNC-Lavalin matter, the potential of consequences, and veiled threats if a DPA was not made available to SNC.” — Jody Wilson-Raybould—“I was concerned that the reason why I was being shuffled out of the minister of justice and attorney general possibly was because of a decision I would not take on SNC and the DPA. I raised those concerns with the prime minister and with Gerry Butts, and as I said in my remarks, those were denied.” — Jody Wilson-Raybould—“The conversations that I had, where they became very clearly inappropriate, was when political issues came up, like the election in Quebec, like losing the election if SNC were to move their headquarters.” — Jody Wilson-Raybould—“I believe if we believe you, which I do, that there is no other conclusion that one can reasonably draw than there was a sustained consistent effort to interfere politically with the critical role an (attorney general) must play in our legal system.” — NDP MP Murray RankinThe Canadian Presslast_img read more