A partnership of government and community agencies invested almost $26 million to help about 15,000 Nova Scotians with disabilities access education and job programs and support during the 2005-06 fiscal year. The Canada-Nova Scotia Labour Market Agreement for Persons with Disability annual report was released by the province today, Dec. 1, in recognition of the International Day of Disabled Persons, which is Sunday, Dec. 3. “Nova Scotia is committed to working with the disabled community and other government partners to address issues and offer services to meet the diverse needs of people with disabilities,” said Community Services Minister Judy Streatch. The Canada-Nova Scotia Labour Market Agreement for Persons with Disabilities helps people with disabilities become employed, succeed in their jobs and remain in the workplace. The bilateral agreement provides an opportunity for governments to work together to improve labour market opportunities for people with disabilities in Nova Scotia. “This report is timely and clearly illustrates why this agreement is integral to assisting people with disabilities gain access to education and employment,” said Anne MacRae, executive director of the Disabled Persons Commission. “This year’s theme, E-accessibility, highlights the importance of providing information in different formats. It can play a key role in assisting people with disabilities access education and employment opportunities.” The Disabled Persons Commission was created in 1990 to advise the provincial government and educate Nova Scotians on issues concerning people with disabilities. About one in five Nova Scotians has a disability. In Nova Scotia the departments of Community Services, Education and Health work together to offer programs that enhance employment for persons with disabilities, such as career counselling, campus-based supports, addiction treatment and mental health services. The Canada-Nova Scotia Labour Market Agreement for Persons with Disabilities Annual Report 2005-06 is available at www.gov.ns.ca/coms/whatsnew.html . More information on the Disabled Persons Commission and the International Day of Disabled Persons can be found at www.gov.ns.ca/disa/ .
Assessment notices are in the mail today, Jan. 22, to property owners in the northern region of the province. In the region, the total value of property assessments is almost $9.2 billion, an increase of about 9.7 per cent from 2007. “The real estate market continued to be strong and this is reflected in rising property values,” said Lloyd MacLellan, senior director of operations and commercial valuation for Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations. “The residential sector is very strong.” Regionally, residential property values increased by 11.7 per cent and commercial assessments increased by 3.5 per cent from 2007. Provincially, residential property values increased by 11.2 per cent and commercial assessments increased by 5.9 per cent from 2007. Overall, Nova Scotia property values were up 9.8 per cent. Notices of property assessments for most residential properties will include a personal identification number as well as an assessment account number. By entering the information on the assessment website, www.nsassessment.ca , owners can look up assessment information about their property. Those without Internet access can obtain the information and answers to assessment questions by calling 1-800-667-5727. Property owners may appeal the market-value assessment if they do not believe it is a reasonable estimate of market value as of Jan. 1, 2006. To appeal, the form on the bottom of the assessment notice must be filled out and returned to the regional assessment office by midnight Monday, Feb. 11. This is the first year where property owners did not have to apply to the Capped Assistance Program (CAP), a provincial program designed to protect Nova Scotia property owners from dramatic increases in market values. Last year, the CAP value was set at 10 per cent. Now, it is tied to the Nova Scotia Consumer Price Index which was 2.3 per cent this year. As a result, there were 278,338 properties capped this year, up from 32,721 properties last year. In the Northern region, there were 51,520 capped properties this year, up from 3,407 capped properties last year. Where an assessment notice shows a taxable market value and a taxable Capped Assistance Program CAP value, the municipality will calculate property tax on the lower of the two values.
INVERNESS COUNTY: Craton Cross Bridge Craton Cross bridge in Margaree Centre will be closed to traffic for repairs from Monday, July 19 to Friday, Aug. 20. A marked detour is in place. Local Area Office: 902-295-2700 -30-
Nova Scotians can begin to apply for the annual antlerless deer hunt starting Friday, July 22. There will be 11,500 permits available again this year. To manage the deer population in Nova Scotia, a zone system is used to set the number of antlerless licences, based on the abundance of deer in various areas. There are 12 deer zones across the province and applicants should review them before applying for the draw. The permits will be awarded by a computerized random draw in seven of the twelve deer management zones. Hunters can also buy a bonus antlerless deer stamp for Zone 102 only. Hunters are allowed to harvest only one deer of either sex in zones 102, 105 and 107 with no antlerless deer permit required. No antlerless deer permits are available in zones 111 and 112. For more information on deer zones check www.gov.ns.ca/natr/draws/deerdraw/ddZones.asp Beginning at 7 a.m., July 22, hunters can apply online using a credit card at www.gov.ns.ca/natr/draws/deerdraw/. A non-refundable application fee of $7.40 plus HST will be charged. People can also call 1-900-565-DEER (3337) 24 hours a day, to apply. The line will remain open until midnight, Sept. 2. It is not possible to call from a cellphone. The draw will take place on Sept. 3 and results will be available online Sept. 5 on the department website. Hunters who do not apply or who are unsuccessful in the draw, will still be eligible to hunt deer where permitted. However, other than zones 102, 105, and 107, where there are no deer restrictions, they will be limited to hunting for bucks with antlers a minimum of 7.62 centimetres (three inches)in length. Information on the 2011 draw can be found where hunting and angling licences are sold, or on the department website.
Department of Natural Resource officials are hoping to tranquilize an errant moose, which is being contained near the top of Main Avenue in Halifax. Officials are asking drivers on Highway 102, near the top of Dunbrack Street, to use extra caution in case the moose heads toward the highway. People are advised not to approach the animal and ensure there is an escape route for it. -30-
Many people have been touched by mental illness, either personally, or through a family member, friend or colleague. It doesn’t discriminate. Mental illness affects people of all ages, from all walks of life. As a former paramedic, I witnessed first-hand the effects that untreated and neglected mental health issues have on Nova Scotians’, their families and communities. I was called to homes on several occasions to bring children struggling with mental illness to the hospital for treatment. My thoughts were always the same: if these children had access to mental health treatment sooner, they would never have gotten to this point. As Minister of Health and Wellness, I am drawing upon those experiences to make significant and positive changes to the mental health services Nova Scotians receive. Earlier this year, the province issued its first mental health and addictions strategy, called Together We Can. The plan was developed with help from people who shared their personal experiences with mental health and addiction, family members of people with a mental illness and health care providers. Through this strategy, we will address the needs of all Nova Scotians, and implement services that will improve their quality of life. We know that all of the goals in the mental health and addictions strategy can’t be achieved overnight. But I am very proud to say that after only five months, we have begun to work on many of the strategy’s commitments. This month, the province is celebrating key milestones in our movement to strengthen mental health services across the province. We’ve added four health counselors and two mental health clinicians to every junior and senior high school in the South Shore board, and a new anti-bullying co-ordinator for schools across the province. This winter we look forward to: I encourage all Nova Scotians to challenge the common myths and misconceptions surrounding mental health. Reaching out to a member of your community who lives with a mental illness is a great way to begin breaking down those barriers and learning more about the many facets of mental health. -30- Putting mental health clinicians in SchoolsPlus families of schools across Nova Scotia to identify and treat mental health problems of children and youth earlier Expanding the Strongest Families program provincewide to provide telephone coaching to families that have children with behavioural and anxiety difficulties Reducing mental health service wait times to meet standards through new approaches Expanding the 1-800 toll-free crisis line across the province to ensure that people with mental health and addiction concerns can talk to someone immediately Expanding peer support to help people with mental illness transition successfully from the hospital to their community; Funding community agency projects that help Nova Scotians of all ages living with mental illness and addictions Working to remove the stigma associated with mental health disorders.
COLCHESTER COUNTY: Plains Road Sections of Plains Road, from the intersection of Masstown Road west to Highway 4, will be reduced to one lane for repairs to the road and the bridge over the Debert River. Temporary traffic signals will direct traffic over the bridge. Motorists are asked to use caution through the construction zone. The project is scheduled to be finished Friday, Aug. 8. -30-
A number of Icelandic business leaders were also part of the visiting delegation: A delegation of government and business leaders from Iceland visited Nova Scotia, Oct. 27-28, to promote opportunities for innovation in Nova Scotia’s seafood, aquaculture and biotechnology sectors. Fisheries and Aquaculture Minister Keith Colwell welcomed the group to Halifax as a followup to a memorandum of understanding signed in January between provincial Crown corporation Perennia and Matis Limited of Iceland. “Strengthening our relationship with Iceland can connect Nova Scotia companies with new technologies, knowledge and potential new markets,” said Mr. Colwell. “We can benefit from Iceland’s experience in growing its economy through innovation and I am looking forward to more collaboration as we exchange knowledge and ideas.” The delegation met with representatives of the province’s seafood industry, agricultural producers and the wine industry. “Iceland has been pursuing innovation through technology and research to grow the value of our biotechnology and agriculture and seafood industries,” said Sigurour Ingi Johannsson, Minister of Fisheries and Agriculture for Iceland. “We see opportunities to collaborate with Nova Scotia to promote development in these sectors.” The main purpose of the agreement between Perennia and Matis Limited is to strengthen research and development capacity in the areas of fisheries, agriculture, aquaculture, biotechnology and agri-food. It commits both parties to work together on local, national and international projects, share personnel and cross promote services. Government officials in the Icelandic delegation also included: Sturla Sigurjonsson, Icelandic Ambassador to Canada Sveinn Margeirsson, CEO of Matis Limited Kristin Thorarinsdottir of food processor Marel Bjorn Margeirsson of Saeplast, a supplier of containers to the shipping industry Jon Osmann of Martak Iceland, a leading supplier of processing equipment for shrimp exporters Helga Sigurros Valgeirsdottir, Arion Bank FISHERIES/AQUACULTURE–Icelandic Delegation Visits Nova Scotia Perennia is a provincially owned agri-food and bio-resource development company with a mission to help farmers, fisher harvesters and food processors be prosperous and profitable. More information about its programs and services is available at www.perennia.ca . Matis Limited is a government-owned, independent research company in Iceland supporting the food and biotech industries. Information about its work is available at http://www2.matis.is/ .
These investments complement the ongoing work with the Nova Scotia Health Authority and IWK Health Centre to establish a provincial health system that is well planned and collaborative in its approach. Since becoming minister of Health and Wellness in 2013, I have personally met with more than 400 doctors across the province on various issues. I know they have their patients’ best interests at heart and have important perspectives to share. There is a strong commitment to opening the lines of communication with doctors in order to find and implement workable solutions to our health-care system challenges so that our system can sufficiently respond to the changing health-care needs of our population. -30- $10 million will improve access to primary care with new collaborative care practices that bring together doctors, nurse practitioners and other health providers. Collaborative practices are also an important recruitment tool $3 million is provided so doctors can provide care in situations that may not require face-to-face consultations. Nova Scotia is the very first province to include this in its contract with doctors and we will continue to work with them to find other opportunities for innovation We have long heard calls for redesigning Nova Scotia’s health-care system, and that’s exactly what we have been working toward for the past three years. We know there are improvements to be made in access to and quality of care. The types of changes needed, if done well, will take time. In order to have success, we need to involve doctors in discussions about how health care is planned, resourced, and delivered across this province. They are essential partners who bring valuable expertise and insights into how the system works and how it can change for the better. And yet I know many doctors have not felt adequately engaged, specifically as contract negotiations were underway over the past year. I am pleased the new four-year agreements Doctors Nova Scotia negotiated on behalf of doctors were recently ratified, and by a strong margin. Eighty per cent and 87 per cent of those who voted were in favour of each of the agreements. These contracts were reached after a tremendous amount of time discussing things like recruitment, innovation, compensation, etc. And while no negotiated contract is perfect, I believe these ones move us closer to our goals. That’s why it deeply concerns me that some doctors who may be dissatisfied are pointing out only what they see as problems with the final result, and not acknowledging the progress that has been made. Many Nova Scotians may be interested to know some of what is included in the agreements with doctors that will directly impact access to care: –- $2.8 million is earmarked for new family doctors during the life of the agreement, and $2.3 million for new specialists
Black legislative leaders, including Tony Ince, Minister of African Nova Scotia Affairs, are meeting in Ontario this week to discuss ways to build a better future for African Canadians. The second Black Government Leaders’ Summit will take place in Toronto from Aug. 10 to 13. The first summit took place in Nova Scotia in Birchtown, Shelburne Co. last year and brought together federal and provincial legislators. Mr. Ince co-chaired that meeting. “This summit is a chance for African Canadian leaders to discuss issues that affect our communities, from racism to jobs to leadership opportunities,” said Mr. Ince. “I am proud to be a black leader in Canada, and I look forward to meeting with fellow black leaders once more to talk about how we can continue to build a bright future for our children.” This year’s meeting will focus on several key areas: youth engagement, economic opportunities, education and health of African Canadians. “The Black Government Leaders’ Summit is a unique opportunity for federal, provincial and municipal leaders to work on policy issues that impact black Canadians, “said Michael Coteau, Minister of Children and Youth Services, and Minister Responsible for Anti-Racism. “Ontario is proud to host the second annual summit, building on the success of last year’s inaugural event. “I look forward to working with my counterparts to examine effective methods to enhance business innovation and advancement in the black community, develop black leadership, and improve health and education outcomes for black Canadians. As co-chair for this year’s summit, I am thrilled to meet with my colleagues at this significant occasion.” The meetings will feature presentations by international and local experts. The summit is in support of the goals of the United Nations’ International Decade for People of African Descent.
Chandigarh: Union Minister of State for Housing and Urban Development and the BJP’s candidate from Punjab’s Amritsar Lok Sabha seat Hardeep Singh Puri on Thursday said he would “abide by what he (the almighty) decides”.”Everyone is subject to Hukam; no one is beyond it. O Nanak! One who understands Hukam, does not speak in ego,” Puri tweeted.”As I wait for the result, I shall with no doubt, remorse or ego abide by what he decides,” he added.Puri had earlier said the election campaign was spirited and yet dignified after meeting his rival and Congress’ incumbent MP Gurjeet Singh Ji Aujla.”Met my colleague in Parliament Sardar Gurjeet Singh Ji Aujla at Sri Durbar Sahib Ji this morning,” he tweeted along with photos in which he was seen exchanging pleasantries and exchanging notes with Aujla on day of polling for Punjab’s 13 Lok Sabha seats on May 19.
Fukuoka: One down, still others to go. President Donald Trump claimed a victory after Washington and Mexico agreed on measures to stem the flow of Central American migrants into the United States. Trump called off plans to impose a 5 per cent tax on Mexican exports, and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, speaking to reporters Saturday in Fukuoka on the sidelines of a meeting of financial leaders of the Group of 20 major economies, urged China to follow suit and return to stalled negotiations. Also Read – ‘Hong Kong won’t rule out Chinese help over protests’ Mnuchin said he planned to have a private conversation with the head of China’s central bank, Yi Gang. In a G-20 group meeting later in the day, the two were seen exchanging friendly remarks, but there were no fresh signs Beijing is ready to compromise in the dispute over trade and technology. “From our perspective of where we are now, it is a result of them backtracking on significant commitments,” Mnuchin said. “I don’t think it’s a breakdown in trust or good or bad faith. … If they want to come back and complete the deal on the terms we were negotiating, that would be great.” Mnuchin said he had no direct message to give to Yi, who has participated in the 11 rounds of talks so far on resolving the dispute between the world’s two largest economies over technology and trade. Also Read – Pak Army chief accompanies Imran at key meetings in China He said there were no plans for trade talks in Washington or Beijing before Presidents Donald Trump and Xi Jinping are due to meet in Osaka for the G-20 summit on June 28-29. “This will be a one-on-one with Gov. Yi to talk alone about the trade issues,” Mnuchin said. But he added, “I would expect the main progress will be at the G-20 meetings of the presidents.” The Trump administration began slapping tariffs on imports of Chinese goods nearly a year ago, accusing Beijing of using predatory means to lend Chinese companies an edge in advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence, robotics and electric vehicles. Those tactics, the US contends, include hacking into US companies’ computers to steal trade secrets, forcing foreign companies to hand over sensitive technology in exchange for access to the Chinese market and unfairly subsidizing Chinese tech firms. The deal with Mexico helps alleviate uncertainty over the deal Washington recently reached on revising the North American Free Trade Agreement. The new US-Mexico-Canada deal has been heading toward a vote in Congress and might have been stymied by new tariffs. But the US is still negotiating new trade deals with Japan after withdrawing from a Pacific Rim arrangement, the Obama-era proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership. America’s huge trade deficit with China a record USD 379 billion last year is one factor driving Trump’s frustrations with Beijing. The United States now is imposing 25 per cent taxes on USD 250 billion in Chinese goods. Beijing has counterpunched by targeting USD 110 billion worth of American products, focusing on farm goods such as soybeans in a deliberate effort to inflict pain on Trump supporters in the US heartland. The US side has been preparing to expand retaliatory tariff hikes of 25 per cent on another USD 300 billion of Chinese products, and Mnuchin indicated it was prepared to take that step if negotiations with Beijing fail. But he said Trump had not yet made a decision on that, suggesting room for further delays depending on the outcome of his discussion with Xi later this month. “As the president has said, if we can get the right agreement, that’s great. If we can’t, we will proceed with tariffs,” he said.
Gurugram: Samajwadi Party patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav was shifted to the Medanta Hospital in Gurugram, after his health deteriorated. Yadav was taken to Gurugram in a chartered flight on Monday night. On Sunday, the Samajwadi leader had been admitted to the Lohia Hospital in Lucknow after he complained of uneasiness and weakness. The doctors found his sugar levels were high and he was also suffering from acute hypertension. However, he was later discharged from hospital early Monday morning. The doctors closely monitored his heath throughout the day but his condition apparently deteriorated in the evening after which he was shifted to Medanta. Also Read – Dussehra with a ‘green’ twist On Monday, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath visited Mulayam’s residence and inquired about his health. Samajwadi President Akhilesh Yadav and Mulayam’s younger brother Shivpal Yadav were present during the meeting with Adityanath who presented a book on the Kumbh to Mulayam Singh Yadav. Meanwhile, party sources said that the senior leader would be kept under close observation for the next few days in Medanta hospital.
Chennai: Focus on UDAN scheme; reduction or removal of aviation turbine fuel (ATF) tax; a single Goods and Services Tax (GST) rate for hotels and tourism sectors; tax rebates for people; higher allocation for tourism industry and infrastructure status for hotel sector are a few things on the budget wishlist of hotel and travel industry players. Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will present her maiden budget on July 5. “We look forward to increased focus and sustained delivery on key initiatives like UDAN aimed at enhancing the regional connectivity and affordable air travel, Heritage City Development and Augmentation Yojana (HRIDAY), integrated development of pilgrimage destinations through Pilgrimage Rejuvenation and Spirituality Augmentation Drive (PRASAD),” Mahesh Iyer, Executive Director and CEO, Thomas Cook (India) Ltd told IANS. Also Read – Prohibitory orders lifted from Mumbai’s stir-hit Aarey Colony He also said the proposed Union budget should increase allocation to extend the e-Visa initiative to more countries, develop new tourism circuits as well as create better infrastructure – roads, railways, airports, waterways and sanitation – to catalyse growth. “There is no great private airline success story in India. The government should look at removing the tax on ATF. Air connectivity has become extremely important for government programmes like PRASAD as elderly pilgrims cannot reach distant places travelling several hours in a train,” Iyer added. Also Read – How a psychopath killer hid behind the mask of a devout laity! According to him, the government should check the arbitrary fare hikes by airlines and work on passenger compensation like hotel stays by Low Cost Carriers (LCCs) in case of delay beyond 4 hours or cancellation of flights. Rationalisation of various GST rates is one of the demands of the hospitality/tourism sectors. “Now there are three GST rate slabs, as a result of which four and five star hotels are losing out to three-star hotels. A single rate structure would also be beneficial for the people,” Yangya Prakash Chandran, Founder and CEO, Crossway Hotels & Resorts told IANS. According to a report by credit rating agency CARE Rating’s, rationalisation of GST rates on premium segment hotels (from 28/18/12 per cent) can boost investments while also increasing demand for the category. “Industry wants the government to announce measures in the budget to promote investment in the tourism sector. We expect the allocation to the Tourism Ministry to be higher in the budget 2019-20 vis-a-vis last year,” CARE Ratings said. “The hospitality industry should also be given the infrastructure status to attract increased investments. The infrastructure status would reduce our cost of funds,” Chandran added. Iyer also expressed hope that Finance Minister Sitharaman would provide necessary impetus to develop cruise tourism in which Indian travellers are now showing interest.
London: Sophie Turner says playing Sansa Stark in “Game of Thrones” prepared her to face the world. The actor was 14 when she started filming the show in 2010. She was “forced” to grow up faster as her character went through lot of arcs — from a starry-eyed girl of nobility to the Queen in the North — by the end of season eight in 2019. “When you’re starting your career at a young age, you’re forced to grow up much faster. Also, playing a character like Sansa and having to endure all the things she did, toughens you up,” Turner, 23, told Psychologies magazine. Also Read – Rihanna to release 500-page ‘visual’ autobiography The “Dark Phoenix” actor said her “GoT” co-star Maisie Williams, who played her on-screen Arya, has been her rock. “Maisie has been the most wonderful friend to me over the years. We grew up together on ‘Game of Thrones’ and we have shared so many things and talked about everything. “We both leaned on each other during those times when we felt out of place and a little lost. It’s been so good to have such a great friend like her around and we are still very close,” she said. Over the weekend, Turner tied the knot with singer Joe Jonas, 29, for a second time, in France. The couple is yet to make an official announcement.
Los Angeles: US authorities said Wednesday they are investigating allegations of abuse of migrant children by border agents, including the groping of a Honduran teenage girl, at a facility near the southern border with Mexico. The allegations were reported by NBC News, which cited official reports of the incidents — including the children’s accounts — at a Customs and Border Protection facility in Yuma, Arizona, where the migrants were held. Also Read – Imran Khan arrives in China, to meet Prez Xi Jinping One incident involved a 15-year-old girl from Honduras, who alleged that a border agent put his hand inside her bra, then pulled down her underwear and groped her in front of other migrants and officials during what NBC News said should have been a routine pat-down. The girl said in her account that “she felt embarrassed as the officer was speaking in English to other officers and laughing,” NBC reported. The US Customs and Border Protection agency (CBP), which has faced severe criticism over its treatment of detained migrants, said it takes “all allegations seriously and investigate all formal complaints.” Also Read – US blacklists 28 Chinese entities over abuses in Xinjiang CBP “treats those in our custody with dignity and respect and provides multiple avenues to report any allegations of misconduct,” a spokesman for the agency said in a statement. “The allegations do not align with common practice at our facilities and will be fully investigated.” The spokesman added that the sexual assault allegation is already being investigated by the Department of Homeland Security. The reports obtained by NBC News also included an account by a 16-year-old boy from Guatemala who said that after he and other detainees complained about the taste of the water and food, agents took away sleeping mats and forced them to sleep on the hard floor in retaliation. Another teenager’s account involved border agents scolding detainees whenever they came close to a window. There has been a public outcry in recent months over the conditions at detention facilities where migrants are held, and there is fierce debate in Congress on how to address the crisis. Border officials, who have been defended by President Donald Trump, say they are overwhelmed by the surging numbers of refugees crossing the southern US border. The abuse allegations come a week after CBP announced that it had launched an investigation into a secret Facebook group for current and former agents that is filled with racist memes and posts mocking migrants.
Sydney: Australia is poised to bar its citizens who have fought for the Islamic State militant group from returning home for up to two years, under new laws discussed in parliament Tuesday. The controversial legislation would give hardline Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton the ability to invoke “exclusion orders” to prevent suspected terrorists from returning to the country. It is based on similar legislation introduced in the United Kingdom, where a judge is tasked with deciding whether to impose an exclusion order. Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince ‘snubbed’ Pak PM, recalled jet from USDutton told parliament in early July the bill targets 230 Australians who travelled to Syria and Iraq to fight for Islamic State, 80 of whom he said were still in active conflict zones. Concerns have been raised that the Australian proposal could be unconstitutional and places too much power in the minister’s hands, with the opposition Labor Party calling for it to be referred back to a parliamentary intelligence and security committee for further consideration. Also Read – Record number of 35 candidates in fray for SL Presidential pollsHowever, shadow home affairs minister Kristina Keneally said in a statement the opposition would support the bill but wanted a scheme that was “constitutional, keeps Australians safe and that withstands High Court challenges”. It is one of several controversial measures being considered by parliament in the first legislative sitting week since Australia’s conservative government was re-elected in May. Other proposals include repealing the so-called “Medevac” law that allows sick asylum seekers and refugees held in Pacific camps to be brought to Australia for medical treatment. The opposition has to date appeared reluctant to back a repeal of the law, with Labor leader Anthony Albanese telling Sky News on Tuesday he did not believe the government had made a case for change.
Chennai: Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu on Sunday backed the scrapping of special status under Article 370 to Jammu and Kashmir, saying it was in the interest of the nation and should not be treated as a political issue. It was the need of the hour and people of the country should stand with their counterparts in J and K, he said here at the release of a book on his two-year term in office titled “Listening, Learning & Leading”, by Union Home Minister Amit Shah. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM’Naidu said Shah was being appreciated for the passage of the bill. “Now that the bill is passed, I can speak…that (abrogation) is the need of the hour. Its a good thing,” Naidu, who is also the Chairman of the Rajya Sabha, said. Naidu said the abrogation “is in the interest of the nation, for its future, for its security, for its safety. I can say that as a Vice President with considerable experience in public life and now that the Parliament has voted it also.” Also Read – Farooq demands unconditional release of all detainees in J&K”We should all think in terms of national interest rather than party interest. Art 370 should not be treated as a political issue but as a national issue that Kashmir is an integral part of India,” he said. Whatever problems are faced by the people of Kashmir, we have to stand by them and “assuage their feelings and see to it that steps are taken to restore normalcy” and that the development agenda is implemented at the earliest, Naidu said. Referring to a newspaper report, he said Parliament had earlier discussed the scrapping of Art 370 in 1964, with three members from Kashmir calling for its removal saying the state did not benefit from it. Those who spoke on the bill included the veteran socialist leader Ram Manohar Lohia, he said citing the report. “So, irrespective of the parties, everybody supported the resolution at that time. Still it could not happen which is a different thing. Always you must remember history,” he added. The vice-president cited it to counter criticism that the abrogation happened suddenly. Naidu said he was gripped by “tension” when the bill came up for discussion on August 5 in the Rajya Sabha since he had to manage the affairs of the House.
New Delhi: Actor Hina Khan, who made her debut at Cannes Film Festival this year, has taken her next step in the international market by signing an Indo-Hollywood film, which is based on H G Wells’ novel ‘The Country of the Blind’. The film titled Country of Blind is being directed by Rahat Kazmi and will be shot in the Himalayas. It is a story set in the 1800s about the inhabitants of a valley who have no vision yet are living a fulfilled life without any attachment to the outside world. Also Read – I have personal ambitions now: PriyankaHina will be seen playing the character of a blind woman who belongs to the valley. “Country of Blind was the first script that Rahat had narrated to me, even before Lines. And I knew I had to do this one,” Hina said. The film is being co-produced by Rahat Kazmi Films and Tariq Khan Productions along with Hiro’s Faar Better Films and Turn Key Films (US). Hina had attended the Cannes fest in May this year for the first look launch event of her film Lines. Also Read – Salman Khan remembers actor Vinod Khanna”Country of Blind was signed on before Cannes happened, but yes we definitely got international producers on board after my Cannes appearance,” said the ‘Kasautii Zindagii Kay’ actor. “Everything in this film is one of a kind. It’s always better to lead by example rather than follow.” It is being shot in English and Hindi. “Each language, each culture, each dialect has its own nuances.” Much before entering the film world, Hina was known to the Indian audience as Akshara from ‘Yeh Rishta Kya Kehlata Hai’. She then shed her “good bahu” image by participating in the reality show.
VANCOUVER – The practice of declawing a cat is now banned in British Columbia.The College of Veterinarians of B.C. says the new standard was implemented Tuesday after it researched other jurisdictions and consulted with provincial vets.It says in a news release that declawing is “ethically problematic” and not an appropriate means of dealing with cat behaviour issues.College registrar and CEO Louisa Hlos says there is consensus among the public and profession that declawing cats is inhumane and ethically unacceptable, similar to the outdated practices of tail docking and ear cropping.The group has the power to investigate and impose disciplinary action on veterinarians who ignore the new standard.The college says there are a number of medical conditions that may necessitate partial or full amputations and those procedures will be allowed to continue.It says Nova Scotia is the only other Canadian province to ban declawing, but the practice is also banned in Australia, New Zealand, Israel, Brazil, the United Kingdom, parts of Europe and some cities in California.