Government is offering Nova Scotia students an opportunity to work with a business mentor and receive $1,000 to turn their entrepreneurial ideas into reality. The province, in partnership with the Business Education Council, is inviting students in Grades Six to 12 in Nova Scotia public schools to apply for the first Minister’s Entrepreneurship Award of Excellence. “An entrepreneurial mindset can be further fostered in the classroom and supported in our communities,” said Zach Churchill Minister of Education and Early Childhood Development. “Our entrepreneurs are innovators and risk takers who help us make Nova Scotia stronger and grow our economy. I’m very pleased to work with schools and the business community to encourage the development of young entrepreneurs.” The Business Education Council was established in 2015 to create a link between government and business leaders and provide more positive and productive career exploration opportunities for students. This includes career awareness events and symposiums, and the promotion of entrepreneurship. The council is made up of business leaders, entrepreneurs, government and post-secondary representation, and education. “It is in all our best interest that today’s youth have good career opportunities that lead to great futures here in Nova Scotia,” said Calvin Gosse, chair of the Business Education Council. “When our youth have a bright future, we all have a bright future. It is extremely important for the future economic growth of our province that the business community actively engage with students to create a two-way understanding of what each requires.” In the classroom, students from Grades Six to 12 are gaining opportunities to learn about the world of business and exploring their entrepreneurial spirit. “Entrepreneurship 12 teaches students how important entrepreneurs are to our economy in Nova Scotia and about entrepreneurial success stories in the province,” said Tiffany Sparks, Entrepreneurship 12 teacher at Prince Andrew High School in Dartmouth. “The course helps students to realize that this is a possibility for their own future.” Three awards will be given to students that exhibit entrepreneurial pursuits in technology, innovation and creativity, and social enterprise. Students can apply online individually or as a small group by submitting an application that includes a budget and a brief pitch presentation, video or business plan, to be considered by members of the Business Education Council. Three finalists in each category will move on to a pitch competition held in spring 2018. The three winners will be awarded $1,000 each and be given the opportunity to work with a mentor to advance their proposal. The application deadline is Feb. 26, 2018. To apply, visit https://novascotia.ca/entrepreneuraward/.
Singapore: 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.