Minor Indian migrant girl died of heat stroke near USMexico border Official

first_imgHouston: Gurupreet Kaur, the six-year-old Indian girl whose body was found near a remote and deserted US-Mexico border died of heat stroke after her mother left her to go in search of water, US officials said Friday as they blamed people smugglers for the tragedy. Kaur, who was a month shy of turning 7, was found by the US Border Patrol officials 27 kilometres west of Lukeville, Arizona on Wednesday, when temperature reached a high of 42 Celsius, the Pima County Office of the Medical Examiner said. Also Read – Merkel warns UK Brexit deal ‘unlikely’ without compromise: London Gregory Hess, Pima County Chief Medical Examiner, identified the girl as Gurupreet Kaur and said that her death was accidental and caused by hyperthermia, CNN reported. However, Border Patrol blamed Kaur’s death on people smugglers. Kaur was travelling with four other persons and dropped near the border by human smugglers who ordered the group to cross in the dangerous and austere location. The US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents got the information after encountering two women from India, who explained how they came to the US and that three others, a woman and two children, got separated from them hours earlier, the agency said in a statement. Also Read – India, China should jointly uphold peace and stability, resolve disputes through dialogues: Chinese ambassador The agents took the two women into custody and began searching the area north of the international border in the remote terrain for the missing persons. Agents used helicopters to search for the people she had been travelling with, and found footprints indicating they returned to Mexico. After walking some way, the girl’s mother and another woman went in search of water, leaving her daughter with another woman and her child. “Once they went to look for water they never saw them again,” said US Border Patrol Agent Jesus Vasavilbaso. Hours later, they discovered the Kaur’s body, it said. “Our sympathies are with this little girl and her family,” Tucson Chief Patrol Agent Roy Villareal said. “This is a senseless death driven by cartels who are profiting from putting lives at risk.” The CBP said Friday that the Border Patrol agents had also located “two missing Indian nationals” after they had crossed the border back into the US. “The mother and her 8-year-old daughter were transported to a local hospital for treatment for dehydration,” the CBP said in a statement. The numbers of Indians crossing US borders from Mexico has steadily risen in recent years, according to immigration officials. They are among thousands of Africans and Asian migrants making the arduous journey, led by smuggling cartels. Last year, more than 9,000 people from India were detained at US borders nationwide — a big increase from the prior year, when that number was about 3,100. A decade ago, in 2009, that number was 204. US President Donald Trump has been promising for more than two years to build a long, impenetrable wall along the border to stop illegal immigration, though Congress has been reluctant to provide the money he needs. In the meantime, he has repeatedly threatened to close the border.last_img read more

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French mother faces 20 years in jail for killing five of her

first_imgColmar (France): French prosecutors on Thursday demanded a 20-year prison term for a woman charged with killing five of her children right after they were born, a crime that only came to light one and a half decades after the corpses were discovered. Sylvie Horning, 55, was detained in November 2017 on suspicions she murdered the five children between 1990 and 2005. Horning, the mother of three adult children, is thought to have hidden her pregnancies even from her partner, giving birth in secret and then strangling the newborns at her house in Wittelsheim in eastern France. Nothing untoward was suspected until the discovery in 2003 of the bodies of four babies in rubbish bags in the nearby Galfingue forest. Also Read – Merkel warns UK Brexit deal ‘unlikely’ without compromise: LondonBut the initial investigation was closed in 2009 after it failed to yield clues to the deaths. It was reopened in 2016 to take advantage of advances in DNA testing, and a year later investigators made the first link between Horning and the deaths, completely by chance, after her DNA was taken in separate case following a fight with neighbours. This then showed that she was the mother of the children whose corpses were found. Horning admitted to strangling five children after giving birth to them in secret in a bathroom. A fifth baby was then found in a freezer at her home. Also Read – India, China should jointly uphold peace and stability, resolve disputes through dialogues: Chinese ambassadorHer partner, who died in 2018, had said he was completely unaware of the events. Horning’s mother is still alive but did not testify at the trial for health reasons. Prosecutor Melody Barbuti said she was asking for 20 years in jail rather than a life sentence, given the possibility that Horning could be reintegrated with society. She told the court in the eastern town of Colmar that the trial has shown Horning “did not love these babies, she considered them as things”. Horning remained immobile in the defendant’s box during the hearings, her voice only breaking with emotion when she described abuse as a child.last_img read more

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Deepa draws parallel between Huma Cate

first_imgMumbai: For filmmaker Deepa Mehta, it was a “luxury” to work on ‘Leila’ with a talent like Huma Qureshi leading the cast. She says the actor is a risk-taker and in a way, in the league of the Oscar-winning Cate Blanchett. Glad that she was dealing with “actors and not the stars that they are” in the Netflix series, Mehta says Qureshi “spoilt” her by slipping effortlessly into the role of Shalini in ‘Leila’, a dystopian drama capturing a mother’s search for her abducted daughter. “It was wonderful to work with her. She has got me spoilt. I felt really lucky. Of course, you really need a talented actor in the first place, but you also need an actor who is absolutely ready to take risks.”last_img

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Flipkart cofounder sells part stake to Walmart for 531 cr

first_imgBengaluru: Binny Bansal, the co-founder of India’s leading e-tailer Flipkart, sold around 54 lakh of his equity shares valued at $76.4 million (Rs 531 crore) to world’s retail giant Walmart’s Luxembourg entity FIT Holdings SARL, business intelligence platform Paper.vc said on Monday. “Walmart increased its equity holding in Flipkart by buying 5,39,912 shares of its erstwhile co-founder Binny Bansal for $76.4 million through its Luxembourg-based entity FIT Holdings SARL,” said the Chennai-based Paper.vc in an e-mail to IANS. Also Read – Maruti cuts production for 8th straight month in Sep “According to regulatory filings by Flipkart, Bansal transferred 5,39,912 of his shares to Walmart’s entity for a cash consideration of $76.4 million,” it added. Though the other co-founder Sachin Bansal exited Flipkart when Walmart bought controlling stake (77 per cent) in it for a whopping $16 billion on May 9, 2018, Binny stayed on to lead its management team. “Binny, however, resigned a few months later (November 13, 2018) after an investigation by Walmart into allegations of personal misconduct (sexual harassment) on his part,” the Paper.vc statement said. Also Read – Ensure strict implementation on ban of import of e-cigarettes: revenue to Customs The latest sell-off, however, is not Binny Bansal’s first monetisation of his equity holding in 12-year-old Flipkart. “Binny’s holding fell to 63,53,838 shares post-acquisition from 74,76,271 in pre-acquisition. Our assessment is he sold 11,22,433 shares of his for $159 million when Walmart took over Flipkart,” the statement added. According to Paper.vc’s calculations, Binny Bansal’s holding has reduced 0.33 per cent to 3.52 per cent from 3.85 per cent after the current sale proceedings. The financial data platform for private markets has derived the share holding in Walmart from its current Esop pool. “Our estimates may vary from the authoritative numbers maintained by Walmart/Flipkart,” added the statement.last_img read more

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Everyone must join to fight water shortage Priyanka

first_imgNew Delhi: Everyone must come together to battle the water crisis in the country or it will be too late, Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi said on Monday. “Water shortage in Maharashtra, Chennai, Bundelkhand and several parts of the country is an issue of concern,” she tweeted in Hindi. “Water is the lifeline but the growing shortage of water is the biggest concern for us. All of us have to come together to solve this problem quickly or else it will be too late.” Her remarks came a day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi urged everyone to work for water conservation.last_img

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Three held for assaulting traffic sergeant at Behala

first_imgKolkata: A traffic sergeant was assaulted by a taxi driver and two of its passengers on Monday night in front of Behala Industrial Estate on Biren Roy Road. Later, all three accused persons were arrested.According to police, on Tuesday night at around 10:30 pm, Anindya Sundar Naskar, a sergeant of Diamond Harbour traffic guard, noticed a taxi parked almost on the middle of Biren Roy Road, due to which movement of other vehicles was getting obstructed. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari PujaHe approached the taxi and asked the driver to move the vehicle from there. In reply to Naskar’s instruction, the taxi driver Jyotish Singh reportedly told that the taxi had encountered some problem and the engine was not starting. Hearing this, Naskar reportedly told Jyotish to push the taxi to a side of the road and said that otherwise he would call a wrecker van to tow the taxi as it was hampering traffic movement. It has been alleged that when Naskar told that he would call the wrecker van, the passengers of the taxi identified as Tapas Sangram and Supriya Singh allegedly used derogatory language and got involved in an altercation with the sergeant. Also Read – Bengal civic volunteer dies in road mishap on national highwayThe trio subsequently started pushing and shoving Naskar. When the sergeant warned them, they allegedly manhandled him. Seeing a police personnel getting beaten up, local residents detained the trio and informed Parnasree police station regarding the incident. Some traffic police personnel nearby also came to know about the incident from pedestrians and rushed to the spot. Later, the trio was taken to a police station and Naskar was rushed to Vidyasagar State General Hospital, from where he was treated and discharged. Late on Monday night, he lodged a complaint against the three accused persons, following which they were arrested on charges of voluntarily causing hurt and assault or criminal force to deter a public servant from his duty. The taxi was also seized.last_img read more

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Integrating Kashmir

first_imgThe dream nurtured by the RSS-Jan Sangh for decades about scrapping Article 370 has finally been sought to be achieved by the BJP. Since dispensing with the Article, which confers special status to Jammu and Kashmir, will require judicial and parliamentary approval, it is yet to be seen whether BJP will have the legal arguments or the numbers in Parliament to push through the measure. But the point is not so much the passage of the move which has been called a “second” independence day by a BJP spokesman as the bulldozing methods adopted by BJP to try to enact a controversial provision. Also Read – A special kind of bondIf Kashmir’s “independence” is supposedly the objective of the dramatic step, it is odd that the sun of “freedom” had to rise in the midst of secrecy and subterfuge with the government claiming that the massive deployment of troops, the unprecedented curtailment of the Amarnath yatra and the evacuation of tourists from the valley were due to a terrorist threat. Before the leaders of the People’s Democratic Party, the National Conference and the People’s Conference were put under house arrest, they had been assured that no “precipitous step” would be taken in Kashmir. Also Read – Insider threat managementNow, at one stroke, the unifying idea of Kashmiryat, insanyat, jamhooryat, which has been the guiding principle of successive governments, including that of Atal Behari Vajpayee, extolling the distinctiveness of Kashmir along with the principles of humaneness and peace, has been obliterated. In its place, the Hindutva mantra of ek bidhan, ek nishan, ek pradhan (one constitution, one flag, one chief), which has a fascistic ring, has been established. The stationing of a large number of troops and the incarceration of mainstream parties may enable the Narendra Modi government to tide over any immediate problems that can arise from what Omar Abdullah has called an “aggression” against the people of the state. But the huge contingents of the armed forces cannot remain in Kashmir for long. Nor can the leaders of the established parties be kept in detention indefinitely. The secrecy which preceded the Union Home Minister, Amit Shah’s announcement recalls the demonetisation move which also hit the public like a bolt from the blue. In a way, this is BJP’s style of functioning, especially in contentious matters. It is not known what the impact this “aggressive” move will have on the Muslim community elsewhere in the country. Until now, the latter had seemingly appeared to be largely indifferent to the events in Kashmir. But they are unlikely to be enthused by the government’s latest initiative. In Kashmir, there was the peace of a graveyard on the day the fateful step was taken to “integrate” Kashmir into India, as BJP likes to say. This sepulchral quietness was due to the presence of the security forces and the shutting down of the Internet and even landlines, rendering the whole state incommunicado. But what the popular mood is under this funereal silence will only be known after some time. For all the disquiet expressed by BJP’s opponents like Congress, Trinamool Congress, Samajwadi Party and a few others, the ruling party will be pleased by the support it has received from BSP, Biju Janata Dal, YSR Congress and some others. These regional parties have virtually been acting as BJP’s “B” team earlier, too, as over the passage of the legislation on the Right to Information or the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act. Among the BJP’s allies, the Janata Dal (United) is formally opposed to the abrogation of Article 370, but whether it will help the government by walking out at the time of voting is yet to be seen. There is little doubt that the removal of Article 370 will further boost Modi’s image among his supporters by reinforcing his macho, decisive reputation. What is more, the opposition parties will be careful with their responses lest they are labelled anti-nationals yet again. They are also hamstrung by the absence of capable leaders, especially Congress (which still has no party chief) so that they can take up the cudgels against the “constitutional monstrosity” enacted by the government. Although the issue of Articles 370 and 35A have been pending for long on BJP’s agenda, why did it choose the present moment? A possible reason is to divert attention from a critical economic situation. As attention is turned towards the new Union territory of Jammu and Kashmir which may become a victim of both Pakistan-sponsored insurgency and local unrest, the concerns over the economy will take a back seat. But it will take several months before the full effect of what has been done will be known either within the country or at the international level.(The views expressed are strictly personal)last_img read more

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Mamata criticises Khattar comment on Kashmir

first_imgKolkata: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee Saturday criticised her Haryana counterpart Manohar Lal Khattar’s remark on Kashmiri girls and said people holding high office should restrain from making insensitive comments about people of Jammu and Kashmir. Without naming Khattar, Banerjee in a tweet said, “We, and more so people holding high public office, must restrain ourselves from making insensitive comments about the beloved people of Jammu and Kashmir. These are hurtful, not only for J&K, but the entire nation.” Her comments comes in the backdrop of Khattar’s recent statement that people from Haryana “could now get brides from Kashmir” apparently in reference to the scrapping of the special status for Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370 of the Constitution.last_img read more

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Ragging at UP college 150 freshers made to tonsure

first_imgSefai (Uttar Pradesh): Over 150 new students of the Uttar Pradesh University of Medical Sciences in Sefai were made to tonsure their heads and parade on the campus in an alleged case of ragging. A video clip of the students with tonsured heads parading on the campus went viral on social media on Tuesday. The newcomers were made to bend and chant “Huzur tohfa kabool hai” — taking cue from the popular Bollywood blockbuster “Three Idioits”. Vice Chancellor Raj Kumar has assured that action would be taken against the guilty. Sefai is the native village of the former Chief Ministers and Samajwadi Party leaders Mulayam Singh and Akhilesh Yadav. Ragging has been banned by the Supreme Court, but incidents continue to happen in educational institutions.last_img read more

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Sleepless nights and a lot of work for SA Team Director ahead

first_imgJohannesburg: South Africa’s newly-appointed interim Team Director Enoch Nkwe says he is enduring a lot of sleepless nights to find the “best formula” for his side to perform well during the tough tour of India starting next week. Nkwe, who was appointed last month following South Africa’s disastrous campaign in the World Cup under coach Ottis Gibson, said a lot of work has been done ahead of the tour beginning with the T20 series on September 15 in Dharamsala. Also Read – Puducherry on top after 8-wkt win over Chandigarh “A lot has been happening behind the scenes to find the best formula of going to India ” he said ahead of the team’s departure on Thursday. “It is sleepless nights but for a good cause and it is also an exciting challenge for everyone. It has been long hours communicating with the support staff and the organisation who have been helpful to ensure that I deliver the right things for the team.” The three-match T20 series will be followed by a three-match Test series beginning October 2. Also Read – Vijender’s next fight on Nov 22, opponent to be announced later “There has been serious amount of work and we are slowly getting there in terms of building up to the tour. We have been working hard enough to ensure that by the time we come together as a group we are able to create clear direction and structure,” said Nkwe. Former Proteas all-rounder Lance Klusener has been roped in as batting consultant for the T20 series and Nkwe said his presence will be valuable. “He has plenty of experience he is someone who embraces and likes his way of dealing with white ball cricket. He has been around the world not just from a playing perspective but he has been involved in T20 leagues around the world over the last few years. “I see him making a serious impact and sharing some of the ides that have worked for him. He is excited with the journey that lies ahead for this team in India and we will unpack with him as we go along. He will add a lot of value for us in the coming months and that is good for us.” India head into the home series high on confidence, having dominated the West Indies in all three formats in the contest played in the Caribbean. Nkwe said they would rather focus on their preparation than think about the opposition. “To be honest I have not had enough time to watch the opposition. I have asked the performance analyst Prasanna Agoram to look into it,” he said. “We also don’t want to invest too much time on the opposition. We need to find our own way for the four years that are coming and hopefully I will form part of that plan going forward. “We want to come back from India with some sort of blueprint for whoever will be taking over on a full-time basis to be in a good position,” added Nkwe.last_img read more

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All that glitters is not gold

first_imgRecent financial news headlines have seen some concern with India’s gold imports and the fact that a significant component of domestic savings is “exported” abroad, which could probably be utilised to spur investments and growth in India. The idea of reducing gold imports is important, but suggestions ranging from raising import duties further to imposing bans need to be reassessed urgently. Regardless of the economic situation, utilising savings of the country for investments and thereby creating growth and jobs is a commendable and much-required objective. However, policies employed to do so must be ones that positively incentivise savers to park their savings in investment options linked to the capital markets rather than in gold. Also Read – A special kind of bondTo facilitate the growth of the financial sector, the financialisation of savings further, if done well, can help the situation in many ways. Besides channelling investments into businesses through the capital markets, the assets can yield much-needed social security through income-generating retirement funds as a generation of workers retires over the next few decades. But, to do so, one must look at structural factors that can induce savers to park their money in the capital markets over and above gold. Also Read – Insider threat managementOver the last several years, increased taxation through a steady rise in the dividend distribution tax, long-term capital gains tax, short-term capital gains tax and securities transaction tax has, to some extent, slowed down the long-term aim of capital markets being a point of interaction between the savings of investors and capital required by companies. It is essential that going forward, policymakers look to address these issues to ensure that markets can operate with as low friction as possible. The importance of a steady flow of savings into the capital markets is essential not just from an equity perspective, but more so from a debt perspective. The focus must be much beyond only the listed markets. Financial instruments traded in the private markets must be made attractive from a tax perspective to increase capital availability for Indian businesses. Essentially, the vital question that the capital market authorities must ask is are we making investing into companies through both debt and equity attractive enough for investors? Additionally, perceptions are critical to capital flow. Investment options will be viewed by market participants not just in terms of current regulations, but also in terms of the participants’ perception of future regulations. While incentives are the way forward, imposing controls on price and volumes will not lead to the desired outcome. Instead, with increased controls, a higher distortion in the market may be observed. While there have been calls from a few quarters for imposing controls of some type on the gold market, what is needed now is to frame policies that channel savings into domestic assets through incentives. It is also essential to be aware of global trends that affect commodity markets. In an age of unprecedented quantitative easing, robust demand for gold is to be expected. While predicting the future path of global interest rates is difficult, an appreciation of global trends and policies that cater to the same will be essential. The policy debate between utilising effective regulations versus controls to channel capital is one that has ramifications much beyond the discussion on gold. Given the need India has in terms of both domestic and foreign capital to finance new businesses, distressed assets, and the general credit markets, a reassessment of the incentive mechanism is essential now. Deregulation and stable policy on the supply side, especially taxation policy, are going to be the biggest drivers of both domestic and foreign capital into India. Capital availability for a country is incumbent upon the three main pillars: (i) of adequate financial instruments and vehicles that investors can utilise, (ii) taxation policies that determine returns from the aforesaid instruments and vehicles, and (iii) most importantly, a stable policy regime. The government and stakeholders must continually evaluate as to how to improve upon the three pillars of capital availability, mentioned above. As India looks to source capital, a relook at the policy frameworks is critical to incentivising savings into channels that can help create capital for investment and growth. The focus must be on incentivisation, as opposed to further controls that may distort the market. (The author heads Development Tracks, an infrastructure advisory firm. The views expressed are strictly personal)last_img read more

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Freeland plays down Trump assertion Canada being difficult spoiled on NAFTA

first_imgOTTAWA – U.S. President Donald Trump says Canada and Mexico are “spoiled” and difficult to deal with in NAFTA negotiations.But Canadian officials are playing down the typically bombastic comments, insisting progress is still being made — particularly on the pivotal issue of automobiles — towards a deal that will be mutually beneficial to all three countries.“Mexico has been very difficult to deal with. Canada has been very difficult to deal with,” Trump said Wednesday.“They have been taking advantage of the United States for a long time. I am not happy with their requests but I will tell you, in the end we win, we will win and we’ll win big.”Trump said what Canada and Mexico are asking for in a renegotiated NAFTA is “not fair” and he called both countries “spoiled because nobody’s done this” — presumably referring to previous American administrations that have not stood up to their NAFTA partners.He also predicted that American auto workers “are going to be extremely happy” with what emerges. That was after starting the day with a tweet suggesting that “there will be big news coming soon for our great American autoworkers. After many decades of losing your jobs to other countries, you have waited long enough!”The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday that the Trump administration is considering a plan to impose new tariffs of up to 25 per cent on imported vehicles.That could impact NAFTA negotiations insofar as it could bolster U.S. demands that vehicles must have greater American and North American content to be eligible for duty-free status under the trade pact. Trade experts have warned that if the requirements are too onerous, auto and auto parts makers will opt out of NAFTA and pay the existing 2.5 per cent tariff on imported vehicles — a move that would be less attractive if the tariff was dramatically increased.Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland said Wednesday that NAFTA negotiations continue “at a very intense level,” with officials from all three countries in close contact. She spoke to her counterparts, U.S. trade czar Robert Lighthizer and Mexican economic secretary Ildefonso Guajardo, on Monday and said they all agreed “to be in constant contact.”“We all agreed that the three of us are ready to jump on a plane and meet anywhere to get this done,” she said. “My suitcase is packed.”Since the U.S. put forward a “creative set of proposals” on auto rules of origin in March, Freeland said the NAFTA partners have been “working very hard at a great level of detail on advancing that discussion.”“We have been making steady, consistent progress on rules of origin on cars and that is the primary focus of the hard work that officials have been doing this week,” she added.Freeland said she’ll let others decide “which adjectives” they’d use to describe Canada’s negotiating stance. But she said it hasn’t changed since the outset of negotiations last summer, which is to be “absolutely resolute in our defence of the Canadian national interest” while “looking creatively for compromises, for win-win-win solutions.”last_img read more

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Pilot climbs down tree after plane crashes into trees soon after takeoff

first_imgGREENFIELD, N.S. – Police say the pilot of an ultralight plane climbed down a tree to safety after his small aircraft crashed into a forested area in southern Nova Scotia.RCMP Cpl. Jennifer Clarke says the plane went into the trees moments after taking off from the local airport in Greenfield at about noon today.She says the pilot was the only person on board and was not injured.The Transportation Safety Board and Transport Canada are assisting in the investigation.Clarke says she wasn’t aware of the weather conditions at the time.She says there is no indication yet as to what caused the crash.last_img

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Seven stories in the news for today July 26

first_imgSeven stories in the news for Wednesday, July 26———PACIFIC NORTHWEST LNG PROJECT SCRAPPEDMalaysian energy giant Petronas and its partners have pulled the plug on the Pacific NorthWest LNG megaproject, which would have been one of Canada’s largest private infrastructure investments. A Petronas executive says the decision boiled down to simple economics — a world market awash in liquefied natural gas, which has driven down prices, making Pacific NorthWest LNG no longer financially viable.———SUPREME COURT TO RULE ON OIL, GAS AND CONSULTATIONThe Supreme Court is set to wade into the area of Indigenous rights and natural resource development once again. The court will decide this morning whether the federal government can rely on National Energy Board reviews to fulfil its duty to consult Indigenous communities before development can take place on their traditional territories. The court will release decisions on one case in Nunavut and another in Ontario.———B.C. RANCHERS COPING WITH DEVASTATING LOSSESRanchers in British Columbia’s cattle country are facing “heartbreak” as they return to scorched fields and dead livestock following weeks of wildfires. Kevin Boon, the general manager of the B.C. Cattlemen’s Association, says it’s expected hundreds if not thousands of cattle were killed or injured by the fires. Kilometres of fencing and infrastructure such as barns built over generations have been lost in the fires which have so far blackened an estimated 377,000 hectares of land.———TRUDEAU: NAFTA REDO MUST INCLUDE DISPUTE MECHANISMPrime Minister Justin Trudeau says any renewal of the North American Free Trade Agreement will have to include a fair process to resolve disputes. That statement runs contrary to the NAFTA goals outlined last week by the White House, which wants to entirely eliminate the Chapter 19 dispute resolution mechanism. Trudeau says Canada will demand that a dispute settlement process remain part of any rebuild of NAFTA.———REPORT OUT TODAY INTO FATAL CAPSIZING OF FISHING BOATThe Transportation Safety Board will release a report today into the fatal capsizing of a fishing boat that claimed the lives of two men off northern New Brunswick in June 2016. Two fishermen died and another was taken to hospital after their boat overturned near a wharf about 11 kilometres from downtown Bathurst. Police said it appeared fishing gear was snared at the bottom of the bay and a wave flipped over the boat.———FIRST NATIONS TO GET MORE CONTROL OVER MONEYFirst Nations leaders say they’ll be able to complete more projects and build more homes thanks to changes that give them more control over financial resources. The federal government says First Nations will now be able to carry funding from year-to-year, instead of having to return money if a project wasn’t completed within a fiscal year. Assembly of First Nations Chief Perry Bellegarde says the problem was that projects often didn’t get approved until late in a fiscal year.———RESIDENTIAL SCHOOL CEMETERY TO BE RECOGNIZEDA residential school cemetery beside a gravel road on the edge of Regina will be recognized today as a heritage site. Saskatchewan. Culture Minister Ken Cheveldayoff will formally designate the Regina Indian Industrial School cemetery as a provincial heritage property. Civic administrators suggested the move after a 2014 land survey found there were potentially 22 to 40 unmarked graves of children in the cemetery.———ALSO IN THE NEWS TODAY:— Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will visit the Quebec cities of Chicoutimi and Roberval.— Companies reporting results today include Suncor, Barrick Gold, Goldcorp, Tembec and Agnico Eagle Mines.— The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation will release its quarterly Housing Market Assessment.— Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne will speak at the World Indigenous People Conference on Education.— Manitoba NDP leadership candidates will hold a forum in Winnipeg.last_img read more

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A NAFTA chapter focused on Indigenous rights will be crucial Bellegarde says

first_imgOTTAWA – The push for an Indigenous chapter in a renegotiated NAFTA could require support from Indigenous Peoples south of the border as well as in Canada, says Assembly of First Nations National Chief Perry Bellegarde — a main advocate for its creation.Indigenous Peoples were left out of North American free trade discussions of the 1990s, Bellegarde said, adding he is pleased to see Ottawa is working to change that as it begins hashing out a new agreement.Bellegarde, who is part of an advisory committee on the trade negotiations, said there is a “certain amount of instability” in the White House at the moment and he acknowledges additional pressure may be required to see movement on the part of the U.S.“We also have to reach out and start working with our Indigenous brothers and sisters on the U.S.A. side,” Bellegarde said.“We never created borders. We’ve always had a lot of international trade amongst ourselves as Indigenous Peoples.”For its part, Canada can be viewed as a strong international leader through its full inclusion and involvement of Indigenous Peoples as part of international trade discussions, he added.“By having an Indigenous chapter, you’re going to get a better agreement to create economic certainty for this country, for all three countries,” he said.“It also opens up the door for potential economic development opportunities for Indigenous Peoples and as well making sure we find that strong balance between the environment and the economy.”Last week, as negotiations were about to get underway, Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland thanked Bellegarde personally for the suggestion of an Indigenous chapter.“I spoke about it with our officials, and they were also very enthusiastic about that,” she said in Ottawa at the time.“That is another really fresh area for us to work on that is in keeping with Canadian values and with the areas our government is pursuing, and I’m very excited about it.”Specifically, the federal government is looking at how provisions in the agreement can support Indigenous economic development while also considering how to make the pact compliant with the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP).The International Inter-Tribal Trade and Investment Organization — a group made up of Indigenous and non-Indigenous trade experts — also made a submission to Global Affairs this summer requesting the creation of an Indigenous chapter, including greater protection of cultural property and traditional knowledge.Risa Schwartz, a lawyer and senior research fellow with the Centre for International Governance Innovation who helped the organization with its research, said she is pleased and surprised to see Freeland’s openness to the idea of an Indigenous chapter.There now needs to be real participation from Indigenous people on the content, she said, noting this involves legal commitments Canada must uphold in light of UNDRIP.Article 19 of the UN declaration outlines the need to co-operate in good faith with Indigenous Peoples to obtain free, prior and informed consent before adopting and implementing legislative or administrative measures that may affect them.The section is designed to apply to issues that would affect Indigenous rights, Schwartz said, adding NAFTA could do just that, possibly in an adverse way.Schwartz does not see an Indigenous chapter as a priority for the current U.S. administration, but she said Mexico may be more amenable.“If you look back at the history of NAFTA, there was huge uproar from Indigenous Peoples in Mexico in 1994 so there may be a more serious conversation to be had with Mexico at this point.”—Follow @kkirkup on Twitterlast_img read more

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Heritage status doesnt mean Glen Abbey cant be built overexpert

first_imgTORONTO – An Ontario town voted this week to designate one of Canada’s most famous golf courses a heritage site, but one expert says the status doesn’t necessarily protect Glen Abbey’s greens from being turned into a housing development.Paul Dilse, a heritage planning consultant in Toronto, says Oakville, Ont., town council’s vote of intent to designate the Glen Abbey Golf Club a heritage zone means that it is immediately protected under the Ontario Heritage Act.The designation, which was voted on Monday night, comes one month before the town council is set to decide whether it will approve or block a housing development that Glen Abbey’s owner, ClubLink, has planned for the course.ClubLink has said it wants to turn the course into a mix of 3,200 residential units, office and retail space — a plan that has drawn considerable opposition from locals who say Glen Abbey is worthy of preservation.The course was designed by golf legend Jack Nicklaus and opened 40 years ago. It has hosted the Canadian Open 29 times and is slated to host it again next year. The Canadian Golf Museum and Hall of Fame, and Golf Canada offices are also housed on the site.But despite the heritage status now granted to the prestigious course, Dilse said the area could still be developed.ClubLink still has 30 days to appeal the heritage designation to the Conservation Review Board, he explained.Even if ClubLink loses its appeal, its development could still proceed, depending on what guidelines Oakville decides to introduce to preserve the site’s heritage. Those guidelines could theoretically be as lenient as requiring parts of the golf course to exist alongside the new housing development, he said.A spokeswoman with Ontario’s Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport said any appeal by ClubLink on the heritage designation will trigger a hearing, the result of which will be sent to Oakville’s town council. Denise Balfour said, however, that whatever the appeal hearing’s findings, “the final decision will ultimately be made by the local council.”Oakville’s mayor noted that the heritage designation and ClubLink’s development proposal are being treated as two separate issues by the town, despite the fact that one will affect the other in some way.“It’s not clear yet how the one could influence the other, it’s too soon to say,” said Burton, who acknowledged that the heritage designation doesn’t mean the ClubLink’s development can’t go ahead.“We have to wait for the planning staff’s report in September on whether or not they recommend (ClubLink’s development) application.”Oakville’s efforts to establish the course as a heritage zone have been in the works for eight years now and were recently expedited, while ClubLink’s proposal for the development came in 2015, Burton said.Burton said that he’s heard from people who are both for and against the development proposal, but said that he’s seen more people against the development than people who are in favour of it.ClubLink’s vice president Robert Visentin came out against the heritage designation, calling it a “blunt tool” that was being used to “block our proposed real estate redevelopment.”Visentin went on to call it a “troubling precedent” for the business of golf in Canada, and said the company will be reviewing its options before taking its next step.One coalition of Oakville residents, called the Save Glen Abbey Coalition, said it has over 7,000 signatures of residents who are opposed to the course being destroyed, and runs with the slogan “If Glen Abbey isn’t heritage then what is?”last_img read more

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Family of Colten Boushie feel their voices were heard during visit to

first_imgOTTAWA – The family of Colten Boushie says they have felt both welcomed and heard in their effort to press the federal government for change following the acquittal of the man charged in his death.Boushie’s cousin, Jade Tootoosis, says that the family felt excluded and ignored by the justice system following the fatal 2016 shooting in Saskatchewan.But Tootoosis says the family’s meetings on and around Parliament Hill this week have made them feel they are finally being heard.A number of visibly Indigenous people were excluded without cause from the jury that last week acquitted Saskatchewan farmer Gerald Stanley, 56, in the shooting death of Boushie, 22, a member of the Red Pheasant First Nation.Tootoosis says the family will continue working to root out what they describe as systemic racism plaguing the Canadian criminal justice system, and that education and open dialogue will help bring about unity.The Liberals have long promised justice reforms, but Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould now says the government is reviewing the use of peremptory challenges, which allow lawyers to reject jury candidates during the selection process.Later today, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is expected to use a speech in the House of Commons to lay out the government’s plans for a new legislative framework for Indigenous rights.last_img read more

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Authorities say no link to terrorism in Toronto rampage

first_imgTORONTO (AP) — Canadian investigators said Tuesday there was no link to terrorism in the mass shooting that killed two people and wounded 13 as they continued to probe the life of the 29-year-old gunman for clues to what prompted the rampage that targeted diners at restaurants and cafes in a popular Toronto neighborhood.The alleged assailant, Faisal Hussain, died after an exchange of gunfire with police. His family has said he suffered from lifelong “severe mental health challenges” but they never imagined he would do such a thing. It was not immediately clear whether he took his own life or was killed by police during the attack Sunday night.On Tuesday, the Ministry of Public Safety knocked down suspicions of any links to terrorism.“At this stage, based on the state of the investigation, which is led by the Toronto police service, there is no connection between that individual and national security,” Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale said.The mass shooting in Toronto’s Greektown neighborhood stunned people in a normally safe city, already unsettled by an attack just three months ago when a man used a van to plow over pedestrians on a downtown sidewalk, killing 10 people and injuring 14 in an attack apparently aimed at women.Hussain’s family issued a statement saying their son had a long history of psychosis and depression and had not responded to numerous treatment approaches, including therapy and medication.“While we did our best to seek help for him throughout his life of struggle and pain, we could never imagine that this would be his devastating and destructive end,” the family said. “Our hearts are in pieces for the victims and for our city as we all come to grips with this terrible tragedy. We will mourn those who were lost for the rest of our lives.”Investigators searched the low-income apartment that Hussain shared with his parents and siblings on Thorncliffe Park Drive in the eastern part of the city, and removed boxes of potential evidence overnight. An autopsy on Hussain was expected Tuesday.Where Hussain got his handgun remains unknown.Canada overhauled its gun-control laws after the country’s worst mass shooting in 1989, when gunman Marc Lepine killed 14 women and himself at Montreal’s Ecole Polytechnique college. It is now illegal to possess an unregistered handgun or any kind of rapid-fire weapon. Canada also requires training, a personal risk assessment, two references, spousal notification and criminal record checks.During a debate in City Council on Tuesday, Councilman Joe Cressy asked if Toronto could outright ban guns and was informed it would be up to the federal government to change the laws. Mayor John Tory has also questioned why anybody would need a gun in Toronto.Don Peat, a spokesman for the mayor, said the Council was considering a motion urging the federal government to ban the sale of handguns and handgun ammunition in Toronto.Canadians have long taken comfort in the peacefulness of their communities and are nervous about anything that might indicate they are moving closer to their American counterparts.Still, though mass shootings are rare in Canada’s largest city, Toronto police had deployed dozens of additional officers over the weekend to deal with a recent rise in gun violence. The city has seen 23 gun homicides so far this year, compared to 16 fatal shootings in the first half of 2017.Police Chief Mark Saunders said he would not speculate on the motive for Sunday’s attack. “We do not know why this has happened yet,” he said. “It’s going to take some time.”Among those killed, was 18-year-old Reese Fallon, a recent high school graduate who volunteered for Canada’s Liberal Party and was to attend McMaster University in the fall. Officials did not identify the other fatality, a 10-year-old girl, or name any of the 13 wounded, who included six women and girls, and seven men. The wounded ranged in age from 17 to 59.Anthony Parise, who taught Fallon’s Grade 12 English class, remembered her as “a leader among her peers” who planned to become a nurse.“She was so excited to be accepted into the McMaster program for nursing. I know that her plan was to become a mental health nurse,” he said.Flags at Toronto City Hall as well as at Fallon’s former high school, Malvern CI, were lowered to half-staff.According to videos and witness accounts, the assailant, clad all in black, was seen walking quickly down a sidewalk on Danforth Avenue, firing a handgun into shops and restaurants in Greektown, a district of expensive homes, eateries and cafes.At the corner of Danforth and Logan, where some of the shots were fired, about 50 people milled about on a small square Monday evening, talking in several languages. They expressed shock at a shooting in such a neighborhood.Some hugged, some wept, and many said they wondered how the attacker obtained a gun in a country with far stricter gun laws than in the neighboring U.S. People signed a makeshift memorial reading: “We are Danforth strong.”“I’m out of my mind just thinking about it. It’s Toronto,” said Augustino Speciale, who paused to smell a bouquet of white lilies attached to a lamppost.Ontario’s police watchdog agency said there was an exchange of shots between the attacker and two officers on a side street before the gunman was found dead.Toronto has long prided itself as being one of the safest big cities in the world.“We were so used to living in a city where these things didn’t happen,” the Toronto mayor said. “This is an attack against innocent families and our entire city.”___Associated Press writer Jennifer Peltz in New York contributed to this report.last_img read more

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Bank of Canada holds interest rate at 15 but pause might be

first_imgThe Bank of Canada is leaving its interest rate unchanged today in what could be a brief pause along its gradual path to higher rates.The central bank kept its benchmark at 1.5 per cent – but many experts are predicting it could introduce another increase as early as next month.In a statement today, the Bank of Canada said the strength of recent economic numbers reinforce the governing council’s view that more hikes will be necessary to keep inflation from rising above its target.The bank said business investment and exports have shown solid growth in recent quarters despite persistent uncertainty about the North American Free Trade Agreement and other trade policy developments.It said the housing market has begun to stabilize as households adjust to higher interest rates and new policies.The bank said credit growth has moderated and improvements in labour and wages have helped support consumption.last_img read more

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Liberals set to unveil Indigenouslanguages law

first_imgOTTAWA — The Trudeau Liberals are poised to introduce a new law to protect and promote Indigenous languages.Just before the weekend, the government put the Commons on notice that it planned to introduce a new bill, titled “An Act respecting Indigenous languages,” for MPs to debate.On Friday, during a UN event kicking off the International Year of Indigenous Languages, Assembly of First Nations National Chief Perry Bellegarde described a law that could create programs to inspire Indigenous people of all ages to speak their languages.First Nations helped develop the soon-to-be-introduced bill that will “help ensure our languages survive and thrive,” Bellegarde said.The most recent census figures from Statistics Canada showed that 263,840 people reported being able to speak an Indigenous language in 2016.The data also showed a two-decade decline in the percentage of Indigenous people able to speak an Indigenous language, going from 29 per cent in 1996 down to 16 per cent in 2016.The Canadian Presslast_img read more

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