Pradhan begins Russia visit seeking investments in oil natural gas fields

first_imgNew Delhi: Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan on Thursday began a three-day visit to Moscow, seeking stake in more oil and fields in Russia and inviting Russian investment in refining and petrochemical business. Pradhan met Russian oil firm Rosneft officials to discuss collaboration between the two nations. “Met with Mr Didier Casemiro, Deputy CEO, Mr Krysz Zielicki, Head Business Development, Mr Anand, CEO – Nayara Energy representing @RosneftEN. Discussed scope of collaboration in the Oil & Gas sector & ways to leverage Russian expertise in Indian E&P and Refining sectors,” Pradhan tweeted after the meeting. Also Read – Thermal coal import may surpass 200 MT this fiscalA Rosneft-led consortium had in 2017 bought Essar Oil that operates 20 million tonne refinery at Vadinar and over 5,500 petrol pumps in the country, for $12.9 billion. Essar Oil has since been renamed Nayara Energy. Pradhan welcomed Rosneft to make new investments in refining and petrochemicals business in India. He also met Russian officials to discuss bilateral cooperation. “Met State Secretary and Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade of the Russian Federation Viktor Evtukhov and explored avenues for strengthening economic cooperation, enhancing flow of investments between our two countries,” he said in another tweet. Also Read – Food grain output seen at 140.57 mt in current fiscal on monsoon boostIndia and Russia have a long history of cooperation in the steel sector. “Deliberated on further strengthening our relations in this sector in areas of coking coal sourcing, technology transfer, skill development etc,” he said. He also held discussions with Russian Deputy Prime Minister & Presidential Envoy to Far Eastern Federal Districts of Russia, Yury P Trutnev. “We discussed to expand the scope of co-operation between India & Far Eastern Russia, in the energy and steel sectors,” he tweeted. “Also discussed to further co-operation in the sourcing of metallurgical coal and crude oil from Far East of Russia. Reiterated that Russia is a valued & important energy partner for India in its objective of transforming into a gas-based economy.” India is seeking oil and gas fields in Far East Russia to boost its energy security. “In our further discussions with Trutnev, we also talked about potential Indian investments in oil & gas and steel sectors in Far Eastern Russia,” he said. Pradhan is in Moscow ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Russia. Modi will be the chief guest at this year’s Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok between September 4 and 6. Modi would also meet the Russian President for the annual summit. “Also, reviewed the progress in these sectors in the run-up to the visit of Hon. PM Shri @narendramodi ji during the first week of September to Vladivostok for the Eastern Economic Forum and for the 20th Annual Bilateral Summit,” Pradhan tweeted. Energy-hungry India is keen on sourcing one million barrels per day of oil and oil-equivalent gas from Russia and had identified Sakhalin-3 in the Far East, Vankor in East Siberia, and Terbs and Titov oilfields in Timan Pechora region as fields for potential collaboration. But it has so far been unsuccessful in its attempts. OVL already has 20 per cent stake in Sakhalin-1 oil and gas field in Far East Russia and in 2009 acquired Imperial Energy which has fields in Siberia for $2.1 billion. Russia is wooing Indian investments in its Far East ahead of Modi’s Vladivostok visit to balance China’s expanding presence in the resource-rich region.last_img read more

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Help floods in as BC wildfires force evacuation of 37000 people

first_imgAs thousands of British Columbians are forced from their homes by wildfires, hundreds of people are stepping up to offer whatever support they can.There are up to 37,000 evacuees in the province, including about 10,000 people forced out of Williams Lake on Saturday.Kristi McLean posted to an Facebook evacuee support group saying she has a tent trailer at her home near Kamloops, B.C., that would be perfect for a family.McLean, who has an autistic son, said it would be a good environment for a family with an autistic child.“Being in an evacuation centre, I know it wouldn’t be good for us, for sure,” she said in an interview. “Any family with special needs that need a place … we’re cool with it.”There are numerous offers of accommodation, ranging from a room to full homes.“Chilliwack accommodation for evacuees: three-bedroom house with full basement,” one posting said.Others are offering space for evacuees to park their trailers.Many people have said they can provide shelter for pets.“We have space available for evacuee horses, sheep, goats, chickens and a few dogs and/or cats,” one person said.Supplies for the evacuees are also being offered.“I have a 20-foot container almost full of non perishable food, Gatorade, baby supplies, toiletries, blankets and pillows,” a Chilliwack, B.C., resident said.There was even thought of evacuees who would be missing Sunday night’s premiere of the seventh season of “Game of Thrones.”Kayla Charest posted on Facebook that she’d be willing to host seven or eight fans of the series who’ve been evacuated to Prince George.“There’s not much I can do to help with accommodations but I can definitely house some people for a couple of hours for some entertainment — take their minds off things,” she said in an interview.last_img read more

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Saskatchewan confirms case of animal anthrax seven farm animals dead

first_imgREGINA — Saskatchewan’s Ministry of Agriculture says seven farm animals are dead due to anthrax.The province says the case was confirmed in the Rural Municipality of Chester located about an hour and a half drive southeast of Regina.It says lab results from Thursday confirmed anthrax caused the sudden death of seven animals.Dr. Betty Althouse, the ministry’s chief veterinary officer, says the animals were farmed livestock.She says the last cases of animal anthrax that resulted in death occurred in 2015.Althouse says there have been a few other suspected cases of anthrax throughout the summer, but all of them turned out negative.“We do suspect anthrax in the summer on pasture when there’s sudden deaths in animals. It is important to get a veterinary diagnosis to confirm whether it is or not, so this is the first case that was confirmed.”Anthrax is caused by a bacteria that can survive for decades as spores in soil.The province is warning farmers to be on the lookout for anthrax as changes in soil moisture from flooding or drying can cause spores to build up on pastures.The ministry say animals are more at risk of being exposed to anthrax in drier years.Althouse says the livestock that died were grazing in a slough on a pasture.She says the veterinarian dealing with the herd is considering whether to relocate the rest of the animals off the contaminated pasture, as well as if short term treatment is needed.The province says animal cases pose little risk to humans, but people can become infected through direct contact with sick animals or their carcasses.It says anthrax can be prevented through vaccination.Althouse says couldn’t confirm whether or not the livestock that died were vaccinated.The Canadian PressNote to readers: This is a corrected story. An earlier version using information provided by the Agriculture Ministry said the affected rural municipality was that of Golden West.last_img read more

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Heritage Minister Joly says Netflix money is new for full Canadian productions

first_imgAdvertisement OTTAWA – Heritage Minister Melanie Joly says the marquee $500 million Netflix investment rolled out as part of the government’s just-announced vision for cultural policy is new money that’ll be spent on fully Canadian creations.After days of questioning, Joly finally filled out details of the controversial Netflix deal, and what it means in terms of new Canadian content and production.“This is not supporting service production… This is new money for Canadian productions,” said Joly in an interview with Evan Solomon, host of CTV’s Question Period. Twitter Advertisement Advertisement On Thursday, Joly unveiled the federal government’s new vision for cultural policy in Canada. The marquee portion of the “Creative Canada” announcement was a $500 million agreement with Netflix to set up a Netflix Canada production house that, over five years, will invest in original Canadian productions, as well as $25 million for French-language content.In the interview, Joly said that Netflix will be expected to produce fully Canadian shows with members of Canada’s creative sector, like filmmakers, writers, and actors, and not just supporting service production, which is what’s common now—American shows shooting content in Canada, using Canadian crews.“Of course Netflix has been present in our landscape because they’ve been shooting American films in Vancouver and Toronto, but now they will be investing in Canadian productions,” she said.“That’s why it’s great. It’s $500 million of new money,” she said, explaining that, although the company told the government in 2016 it commissioned “hundreds of millions of dollars of original programming produced in Canada,” this is different, and will help the creators that were never really assisted by American shows being shot here.Joly said that the government took this investment approach instead of a Netflix tax, to make sure there was money to spend in the sector while insuring that Canadians’ internet bills weren’t bigger at the end of the month.It’s a model Joly said she’d like to see replicated by other digital producers.Also part of the agreement, Netflix will help viewers find Canadian shows by including “vignette of Canadian content” on its site, Joly said.The specifics on how the deal and Netflix’s investment will be monitored have yet to come forward, but Joly says that the government will be able to enforce fines, if needed, through the Investment Canada Act.BY Rachel Aiello, Ottawa News Bureau Online Producer Login/Register With: Facebook LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment last_img read more

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Case against Gambhir for rallying without permission

first_imgNew Delhi: Following the directives of the Election Commission (EC), the Delhi Police on Saturday registered a case against cricketer-turned-politician Gautam Gambhir for holding an election rally without taking permission, a police officer said on Saturday. East Delhi Electoral Officer K. Mahesh on Saturday asked the police to take action against Gambhir for rallying in Jungpura on Friday without permission and violating the model code of conduct. “We have registered Delhi Police (DP) Act against Gautam Gambhir and are taking action against him under Non Cognizable Report,” Deputy Commissioner of Police Chinmoy Biswal said. Gambhir is the Bharatiya Janata Party candidate from the East Delhi Constituency.last_img

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Markets Right Now Health companies lead early stock gains

NEW YORK — The latest on developments in financial markets (all times local):9:35 a.m.Health care companies are leading stocks broadly higher in early trading on Wall Street.UnitedHealth Group, the nation’s largest health insurance company, rose 1.3% early Tuesday after beating first-quarter earnings forecasts and raising its estimates for the full year.Other health care sector companies also rose. Abbot Laboratories rose 1.5% and Johnson & Johnson added 2.5%.The S&P 500 index rose 8 points, or 0.3 per cent, to 2,914.The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 110 points, or 0.4%, to 26,492. The Nasdaq rose 28 points, or 0.4 per cent, to 8,004.The Associated Press

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UNESCO welcomes decision to halt oil exploration in home for mountain gorillas

18 March 2011The United Nations today welcomed the decision by the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) to suspend oil exploration in Africa’s oldest national park, home to numerous endangered species, including the mountain gorilla. This week’s halt to exploration in Virunga National Park “constitutes an important step in preserving Virunga, a remarkable site and unique natural habitat for endangered species,” said Irina Bokova, the Director-General of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in a statement.“It is a very positive response to the concerns raised by the World Heritage Committee, the international community and UNESCO on the issue of oil exploration in the park. I hope that the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo will abandon all plans for oil exploitation within this World Heritage site.”Virunga was enshrined on the World Heritage List in 1979 for the diversity of its habitats, including swamps, steppes and snowfields. It is home to one of the last remaining mountain gorilla populations. But in 1994 it was placed on the List of World Heritage in Danger, largely because of the impact of poaching of gorillas and ongoing conflicts in Africa’s Great Lakes region.Announcing the decision to suspend oil exploration, the DRC’s Environment Minister Jose Endundo Bononge said a strategic environmental assessment of Virunga is being undertaken, with the results due by the start of next year. read more

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Security Council extends mandate of UN force in Golan Heights by six

In a resolution adopted unanimously, Council members agreed to renew the UN Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF), which was first established in 1974, through 31 December this year.The resolution calls on both sides to exercise maximum restraint and prevent any breaches of the ceasefire or the area of separation.In his most recent report on the work of UNDOF, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon noted that the events of 15 May and 5 June – when demonstrations in the mission’s area of operations resulted in civilians being killed – were extremely worrying.The 15 May protests commemorated Al-Nakba or “the catastrophe,” the term used by many Palestinians to refer to the displacement of Palestinians when Israel became independent in 1948. The 5 June protests marked An-Naksa or “day of the setback,” which refers to Palestinian displacement that accompanied the Six-Day War in 1967.Council members echoed the concerns of Mr. Ban and urged all parties to cooperate fully with the operations of UNDOF. 30 June 2011The Security Council today agreed to extend the mandate of the United Nations force monitoring the ceasefire in the Golan Heights between Israel and Syria for another six months, voicing grave concern that recent events have put the long-held ceasefire in jeopardy. read more

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TSX up amid Loblaw REIT plan solid bank earnings

The Toronto stock market was higher amid strong earnings reports from TD Bank (TSX:TD), CIBC (TSX:CM) and National Bank (TSX:NA) along with a major announcement from grocer Loblaw Companies Ltd. (TSX: L).The S&P/TSX composite index added 7.68 points to 12,164.97 as the market failed to find lift from the bank reports.Loblaw stock soared almost 25 per cent to $41.84 after the company said it wants to unlock shareholder value by creating one of the largest real estate investment trusts in Canada. Units of the REIT are expected to be sold in an initial public offering to be completed in mid-2013, subject to regulatory approvals.TD Bank’s (TSX:TD) quarterly profit amounted to $1.66 per share before adjustments, down two cents per share from the same time last year. On an adjusted basis, TD had $1.83 per share of diluted earnings, up from $1.75 per share a year earlier and two cents a share above a consensus estimate. Its shares dropped 89 cents to $81.69.TD also announced it is buying the U.S.-based Epoch investment management business for US$668 million in cash.CIBC (TSX:CM) shares dipped two cents to $80.50 as the bank had $852 million or $2.02 of net income in the fourth quarter, an increase of nearly $100 million from the same time last year. On an adjusted basis, CIBC’s fourth-quarter profit amounted to $2.04 per share, six cents above estimates.And National Bank’s (TSX:NA) quarterly earnings ran ahead 20 per cent from a year ago to $351 million or $1.97 per share. Ex-items, the bank earned $1.93 a share, which matched expectations. National is also upping its dividend by five per cent to 83 cents a share but its shares gave back 25 cents to $77.52.The TSX Venture Exchange dipped 1.6 points to 1,182.94.The Canadian dollar rose 0.05 of a cent to 100.89 cents US.U.S. indexes were also positive as traders also hoped that lawmakers are getting closer to an agreement that would avert a fiscal crisis at the end of the year.The Dow Jones industrials rose 9.24 points to 13,043.73, the Nasdaq was up 5.46 points to 2,979.16 while the S&P 500 index added 0.79 of a point to 1,410.07.Stocks finished higher Wednesday amid reports a substantial number of Republicans had signed a letter calling for exploration of “all options” on taxes and entitlement programs, a signal that some rank-and-file members could be ready to bargain.President Barack Obama and House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner spoke Wednesday for the first time in days in a telephone discussion on the so-called “fiscal cliff.” That’s the name for the automatic spending cuts and tax increases that would kick in at the start of next year if no budget deal is reached.Economists think the subsequent sharp drop in economic activity would send the U.S. back into recession.Obama said a compromise was “not that tough” and could even be done quickly, raising the possibility that broader negotiations will soon resume between the White House and congressional leaders.But Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner warned Wednesday after markets closed that the administration will “absolutely” let the double whammy take effect as scheduled unless Republicans give in to Obama’s demand to raise tax rates at upper income levels.The industrials sector led advancers amid a major announcement from transport giant Bombardier Inc.’s (TSX:BBD.B) aerospace division. American carrier Delta Air Lines has placed a firm order for 40 of its CRJ900 NextGen regional jets. Delta has also taken options on an additional 30 planes.Montreal-based Bombardier said that, based on the list price, the firm order is valued at approximately US$1.85 billion and could reach approximately $3.29 billion if the 30 options are exercised and its shares gained 11 cents to $3.39.The gold sector was up 0.2 per cent while February gold declined $5.70 to US$1,688.10 an ounce. Eldorado Gold (TSX:ELD) gained 10 cents to $13.36.Other commodities were lower as the March copper contract on the New York Mercantile Exchange shed two cents to US$3.67 a pound after rising three cents Wednesday amid rising hopes for more economic stimulus in China, the world’s biggest consumer of the metal. The base metals sector was down 0.5 per cent and First Quantum Minerals (TSX:FM) lost 35 cents to $20.50.The energy contract was off about 0.1 per cent as the January crude contract extended losses from Wednesday that resulted from data showing a sharp run-up in U.S. gasoline inventories last week. Crude lost $1.51 to US$86.37 a barrel.In other corporate news, Lululemon Athletica Inc. (TSX:LLL) earned $57.3 million or 39 cents a share in its latest quarter, up from $38.8 million a year ago. Revenue grew by 37 per cent to $316.5 million. Its shares gained $2.18 to $70.22.Dollarama Inc. (TSX:DOL) posted quarterly net profits of $51.5 million or 68 cents per diluted share, up from $41.8 million or 55 cents a year earlier. Revenues soared to just under $458 million from $400.3 million but its shares dipped 49 cents to $62.11.And Rona Inc. (TSX:RON) shares gained 20 cents to $10.35 as it said it is planning to sell non-core assets to focus the business and improve profitability. Rona is Canada’s largest home-improvement retailer.European bourses were positive as London’s FTSE 100 index gained 0.24 per cent, Frankfurt’s DAX climbed 0.89 per cent and the Paris CAC 40 rose 0.07 per cent.Earlier in Asia, shares in China were flat after big gains in the previous session when investors were cheered by hopes of more stimulus measures. The main Shanghai index ended 0.1 per cent lower while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng fell 0.1 per cent. However, Japan’s Nikkei 225 index rose 0.8 per cent to its first closing above 9,500 since April. read more

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Three babies among 100 feared dead off Libya

Libyan deportation centers are rife with abuse, rights groups say, and a CNN undercover investigation last year revealed cases of migrants being sold at slave auctions.Italy’s new populist government has stirred controversy this month by closing its ports to ships rescuing migrants from the Mediterranean.Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte welcomed the European Council deal Friday, saying it took “long negotiation, but from today Italy is no longer alone.”Oscar Camps, president of the Spanish NGO Proactiva Open Arms, complained that the Italian coast guard did not call on a rescue boat his organization had in range to assist the migrants, as it had in the past.“Today 100 people died in the Med. We are outraged, not only for the deaths of these people, but because they didn’t use the rescue boats in the area. The Open Arms has been here for many days, and neither Italy, nor anyone else, is using our capabilities,” he said.“We did it in the past — we intervened at seven miles from the Libyan coast to assist with a shipwreck — we have done so many operations under the coordination of the Italian coast guard. But suddenly, they ignore us, they don’t call us, and people keep dying a few miles away from us. This is a shame and someone needs to take responsibility for this. We are not here to obstruct the work of the coast guard. We are here to collaborate so that people don’t die in the sea.” Aid group Doctors Without Borders, or Médecins Sans Frontières, urged EU leaders Friday to “show some basic decency” by committing to search and rescue operations for those in trouble at sea — and then taking them to a place of safety, rather than Libya.“EU member states are abdicating their responsibilities to save lives and deliberately condemning vulnerable people to be trapped in Libya, or die at sea,” said Karline Kleijer, head of emergencies for the aid group.“They do this fully aware of the extreme violence and abuses that refugees and migrants suffer in Libya.” The news came just hours after European Union leaders hailed a new deal on migration that could see more migrants prevented from making the Mediterranean crossing — if it can be made to work.Hundreds of people have already lost their lives this year attempting the perilous Mediterranean crossing, according to the IOM. Separately, an estimated 345 migrants were returned Friday to Libyan shores by the Libyan coast guard, IOM said.Close to 10,200 migrants have been taken back to Libya so far in 2018, Petre said. More than 2,000 were returned by the Libyan coast guard last week. Meanwhile, EU leaders have squabbled over taking responsibility for migrants rescued at sea and vowed to strengthen Europe’s external borders.Only 14 migrants had been rescued after the boat capsized Friday, the IOM said, as the rescue operation was ongoing.“The bodies of three children under the age of five have been retrieved. How many missing or dead total, we don’t know for now,” IOM spokeswoman for Libya, Christine Petre, told CNN.Doctors are providing medical assistance on site, and additional staff have been deployed, Petre said. “IOM is providing humanitarian direct assistance at the disembarkation point, including water and food,” she said. Held in the outstretched arms of three men close to the water’s edge, one of the babies was still wearing sneakers, fastened shut with pink Velcro straps, another with red socks that matched a pair of red and white dotted pants and the third barefoot, partially wrapped with a makeshift covering. Three babies are among 100 people feared dead off Libya after their boat capsized on Friday, CNN reported.The lifeless bodies of three babies, dressed in brightly colored clothing and looking almost as if they were sleeping, were carried carefully ashore Friday in Libya. They were the latest victims of the migrant crisis, their young lives lost as a rubber boat carrying desperate migrants seeking a better life capsized off the north Africa nation’s coast. A hundred or more people are dead, a spokesman for the UN migration agency, the International Organization for Migration, said in a tweet. read more

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African States must give high priority to agricultural research to cut hunger

With more than 850 million people worldwide suffering from chronic hunger, the head of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) today urged African countries to give high priority to agricultural research and development to meet the goal of halving the number of hungry by 2015.“If current trends continue, the World Food Summit target may not be accomplished until 2150,” FAO Director-General Jacques Diouf warned of the 2015 target first set at the 1996 UN food summit and reaffirmed in the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) set by the UN Millennium Summit of 2000.“The current levels of undernourishment and the alarming trends provide ample justification for giving high priority to agricultural development in Africa,” he told the opening session of the two-day Dakar Agricole Forum, convened by President Abdoulaye Wade of Senegal to formulate a new vision to reduce the world agricultural divide.The first challenge today is to fight and eradicate hunger and poverty from the face of the earth and concurrently sustain the environment, Mr. Diouf said, referring to another MDG of slashing extreme poverty in half, also by 2015.Despite the continuous growth in the world economy and sufficient food availability at the global level, more than 850 million people are chronically hungry, he stressed.Several African Heads of State and world leaders are expected to attend the Forum. Talks will focus on the role of science and technology in agricultural development, which are crucial to solving the global problems of hunger, poverty and environmental degradation, taking into account the various constraints in the least developed regions, and on ways and means to stimulate development and promote international trade.“In Africa, the main condition for agricultural development is the control of water and the building of rural roads, storage facilities and markets,” Mr. Diouf said.Only 7 per cent of arable land in Africa is irrigated, as against 40 per cent in Asia, and only 4 per cent of its renewable water resources are used, as against 14 per cent in Asia. Fertilizer consumption in Africa is only 9 kilograms per hectare compared to 100 in southeast Asia and 206 in industrialized countries, according to FAO. read more

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Smaller large same charge Cineplex shrinks its soft drink sizes

Smaller large, same charge: Cineplex shrinks its soft drink sizes by David Friend, The Canadian Press Posted Jul 8, 2015 2:00 am MDT Last Updated Jul 8, 2015 at 6:40 am MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email Cineplex is shrinking soft drink sizes at its theatres and while the hulking large cup will disappear, moviegoers will be paying the large price for a drink that’s 12 ounces smaller. A Cineplex theatre is seen Friday May 22, 2015 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld TORONTO – Cineplex is shrinking soft drink sizes at its theatres and while the hulking large cup will disappear, moviegoers will be paying the large price for a drink that’s 12 ounces smaller.The movie chain says it has decided to shrink its largest drink size as part of a countrywide reduction in cup sizes.Company spokesman Michael Langdon says the move comes after Cineplex (TSX:CGX) weighed the possibility of raising drink prices to accommodate for the higher costs of running its business.Instead, the company decided to keep prices the same, but make the soft drinks smaller.Under the changes, a large drink will assume the size of the former regular drink — 32 ounces down from 44 ounces.A regular soft drink will be reduced to 24 ounces versus 32 ounces previously. A small drink is unchanged at 16 ounces.Cineplex has been testing the revised drink sizes in British Columbia and Saskatchewan since 2013, Langdon said.“Because we found a general trend toward smaller cup sizes, we made the choice to reduce the size rather than increase the price,” he said.Langdon added that Ontario’s Making Healthier Choices Act, set to be introduced in 2017, also factored into the decision.The Act will require fast-food chains to display calorie counts on their menus, unmasking just how much its biggest drinks counted towards your daily intake.“We’re making a change to help prepare for that,” he said.Follow @dj_friend on Twitter. read more

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UN agencies and Myanmar lay groundwork for possible Rohingya return

Since the conditions are not yet conducive for return, this agreement to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) is being seen as a first and necessary step.Since August last year, some 700,000 mainly-Muslim Rohingya have fled Rakhine State, in majority-Buddhist Myanmar, for neighbouring Bangladesh. Most say they were fleeing violence and persecution, including a military campaign by Myanmar forces, which began in response to violent attacks by Rohingya insurgents.The agreement – reached by the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the UN Development Programme (UNDP) and the Government of Myanmar – will be officially signed within a week or so, with the exact date to be confirmed.Under the agreement, UNHCR and UNDP will be given access to Rakhine State, including to refugees’ places of origin and potential new settlement areas, that so far the UN has been unable to access since the violence escalated last August.The access, once effective, will allow UNHCR to assess local conditions and help the refugees to make informed decisions on voluntary return.The agreement will also allow the two UN agencies to carry out needs assessments in affected communities and strengthen the capacity of local authorities to support the voluntary repatriation process.The Advisory Commission on Rakhine State – a neutral and impartial body composed of six local experts and three international experts, chaired by former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan – has proposed concrete measures for improving the welfare of all people in Rakhine State.Its recommendations include establishing a clear and voluntary pathway to citizenship and ensuring freedom of movement for all people there, irrespective of religion, ethnicity or citizenship status.Meanwhile, the UN migration agency, known formally as the International Organization for Migration (IOM), is helping Rohingya refugees in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, properly prepare for the monsoon season, which is getting underway.Radios, megaphones, first aid kits, stretchers, protective clothing, warning flags and sirens are among the items being distributed to more than 500 Rohingya emergency volunteers in the largest camp there.With most of the refugees forced to live on steep and sandy slopes in low-lying hills, surveys by IOM and other agencies have found that around 200,000 people will be in serious danger from landslides and serious flooding when the worst monsoon weather arrives. read more

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Womens basketball Buckeyes dominate the paint struggle defensively in win versus Cleveland

OSU redshirt sophomore Makayla Waterman (25) attempts a shot during the Buckeyes’ game against Cleveland State on Nov. 16. Credit: Carlee Frank | For The LanternTwo days removed from its first loss of the season, Ohio State recovered to down the Cleveland State Vikings 96-78 on Wednesday evening in Columbus.Despite struggling defensively throughout, the No. 7 Buckeyes (2-1) used their size and athleticism as an advantage to take over the game. The Buckeyes outscored the undersized Vikings 60-24 in the paint.“They’re not very big, so a point of emphasis was to get the ball around the basket,” coach Kevin McGuff said.The inside effort was led by redshirt junior forward Stephanie Mavunga, who put up 12 points and 10 rebounds in 14 minutes. Freshman forward Tori McCoy had the best night of her young career, adding 12 points and six boards.Cleveland State had its chances to score in the first half, but they struggled to finish. OSU junior guard Kelsey Mitchell led all scorers with 14 points at the half and OSU senior forward Shayla Cooper added 12 points on 6-for-8 shooting.The Vikings outscored the Buckeyes 8-4 over the first 1:24 of the third quarter, but that’s the closest they would get in the second half. A 17-0 run gave OSU a 30-point lead and the Buckeyes would close out the quarter leading 79-52.Cleveland State would go on to outscore the Buckeyes 26-17 in the final quarter. OSU held its largest lead of 33 with 6:43 left in the final frame, but the Vikings climbed to within 18 before the final buzzer sounded.“We still let them shoot a lot,” Mitchell said. “Our defense still was not good.”Mitchell finished with a game-high 31 points on 12-for-19 shooting from the field, including a 7-for-14 mark from 3-point territory. Cooper and freshman guard Kiara Lewis each added 12 points.The Buckeyes shot 51.9 percent from the floor, while Cleveland State shot just 39.4 percent.“We missed, I thought, some open shots,” McGuff said. “Especially Sierra [Calhoun] and Asia [Doss], they usually shoot it a little better, but it wasn’t there tonight.”Defensive struggles continueThe night was highlighted by the Buckeyes’ interior play, rebounding and a strong night for Mitchell, but the underlying issue of OSU’s defensive play was still evident. The Buckeyes were sluggish to start the game and allowed Cleveland State to get plenty of good looks.“We had a lack of communication on several possessions,” McGuff said. “I thought we had a good third quarter defensively and just were real spotty to end the game; kind of lost our focus and intensity down the stretch.”In the third quarter, OSU’s defense held the Vikings to just two points in the paint and five turnovers, and Cleveland State managed to convert on just four shots from the field.In the fourth, however, with the game in hand, the Buckeyes reverted to less-than-stellar defensive play. OSU allowed nine fast-break points and 12 points in the paint.“It’s a lack of effort,” Mitchell said. “And that’s the whole team; myself on down, coaches on down.”OSU overcame some of its defensive issues thanks to solid work on the boards. The Buckeyes outrebounded the Vikings 51-32 and limited the opponent’s second-chance opportunities throughout the contest.Even though the Buckeyes’ defensive issues were covered up by other aspects of its game on Wednesday, Mitchell said that OSU still needs to take pride in its defensive efforts.“You can’t teach it,” Mitchell said. “You can do all the help defense, you can do all the drills that we need to do, but at the end of the day it’s about you and yourself.”Up nextLIU Brooklyn will travel to Columbus to take on the Buckeyes on Saturday, Nov. 19. Tipoff is set for noon. read more

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Eircom revenue plunges by €174m

first_imgEIRCOM HAS ANNOUNCED a double digit fall in revenues and earnings for the year to the end of June.Revenues for the year to the end of June fell by €174m to €1.5bn, while the company’s earnings before interest adn tax fell by €104m to €542m.The company continued to shed retail broadband customers but the number of mobile phone customers it had grew by 4 per cent to 1,076,000.“The performance of the business continues to decline, but this was in line with our expectations. We must do more to retain our customers, stabilise our revenues and grow our profitability” said Herb Hribar, Eircom CEO.He said that the telecoms market is witnessing intense competition from other operators, but that the company was endeavouring to do what it could to return to fortunes.“Eircom will do more to fight for, retain existing customers and even win back former customers,” he said.Vanishing phoneboxes doc represents Ireland in China fest>last_img read more

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Explainer What happened to the personal injuries register and why has it

first_img https://jrnl.ie/4774997 Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article Short URL Sunday 25 Aug 2019, 8:00 PM The Four Courts in Dublin. Image: Graham Hughes/Photocall Ireland! 10 Comments Aug 25th 2019, 8:00 PM Explainer: What happened to the personal injuries register and why has it been shelved? Legislation was brought in 15 years ago which provided for a personal injuries register but it never happened. Share6 Tweet Email3 The Four Courts in Dublin. Image: Graham Hughes/Photocall Ireland! THE NUMBER OF personal injury claims brought before the courts, and the compensation awarded to claimants in damages, have become a major talking point in Ireland in recent years as premiums for business and car insurance are on the rise.In 2018, the Courts Service recorded 22,049 personal injuries cases across the courts system in Ireland.While that might be down by around 350 cases compared to 2017, it shows an increase of 4,286 cases compared to the same data for 2014, when there were 17,763 cases filed. There were a further 18,992 cases filed in 2015, 21,898 in 2016, and 22,417 in 2017.Those involved in the insurance industry have called for caps on the compensation awarded in those cases which are successful – the highest amount awarded in damages last year was €15 million.The Personal Injuries Assessment Board (PIAB) – an independent state body which assesses compensation claims – also received over 33,000 claims in 2018.This is up on by around 1,500 on the same figure four years previous in 2014 when there were 31,576 claims made to the board. The debate around insurance claims and the knock-on effect these claims, and the respective compensation payouts, have on insurance premiums has lead to concerns that a ‘compensation culture’ has developed in Ireland. The German-based organisers of the popular annual Oktoberfest event in Dublin announced it would not be returning this year saying they were “not used to the claim culture that has developed in Ireland”. The Ballina Salmon festival was another fatality of rising insurance costs when it announced it would not be proceeding this year. Calls for reform within the insurance industry is not a new phenomenon, and has repeatedly put the issue at the top of the political agenda over the past two decades.One of the measures floated to address the amount of claims being made is the creation of a personal injuries register, a database which could be used by interested parties to identify individuals making several claims, and act as a tool to investigate potential insurance fraud. Legislation was enacted 15 years ago underlining the need for such a register to be established and separately in 2017, the Cost of Insurance Working Group recommended that the register goes ahead.The parties who would be responsible for establishing and maintaining the register – the Courts Service and the Department of Justice – however, have said it will not go ahead, claiming it would be “wasteful of resources” and “prohibitive at a technical level”. They also claim that storing people’s data on a public register would breach GDPR regulations. So, 15 years after a need for a personal injuries register was enshrined in law, and with a working group supporting it, why do we not have one?Civil Liabilities and Courts Act 2004The Civil Liabilities and Courts Act 2004 legislated for changes in how personal injury cases were dealt with in the courts.These changes included restricting the length of time a person had to take a case, as well as stricter penalties for those who misled, or failed to provide all relevant materials, to the courts. One measure provided for in the act was the creation of a personal injuries register.Section 30 of the act states: “The Courts Service shall, on the commencement of this section, establish and maintain a register of personal injuries actions.”It would contain a record of all personal injury cases, with the details of the name and addresses of the solicitors for both sides, and the name, address and occupation of each person who was a party in the case.That register would then be made available to any persons who could show a “sufficient interest” and need for accessing it. Some 15 years later that register has not been established despite repeated calls for a clampdown on personal injury claims. Working groupIn 2016, the Cost of Insurance Working Group was tasked with examining long-term measures to address the rising cost of insurance for citizens and businesses in Ireland. It was made up of individuals from across government departments, who met with organisations including Insurance Ireland, the AA, Consumers Association of Ireland and the Law Society of Ireland. A report from the group on the cost of motor insurance in 2017 made 33 recommendations with 71 associated actions, including the establishment of a claims-by-claims register. “The long-term aim is to tackle the issue of insurance fraud proactively, by making it more difficult to commit the crime in the first place,” it said.A report from the group likened the cost of running the personal injuries register to the costs associated with running the Central Credit Register – which come in at around €47 million over a 10-year-period.Three years on from that working group being established there is still no movement on a personal injuries register. At present the insurance industry’s representative body, Insurance Ireland, runs its own database, which the companies in the market have access to. This in itself has given way to concerns of a cartel operating among insurers in Ireland  which could restrict competition and which would breach EU rules. In May of this year, the European Commission announced it was opening a formal antitrust investigation into Insurance Ireland, with Fianna Fáil’s Finance Spokesperson Michael McGrath, and the Alliance for Insurance Reform, questioning whether this database should have been managed by the State and not the industry. The register vs. the DepartmentAn interim report seen by TheJournal.ie from the Department of Justice this month confirmed it would not be signing off on a public register, citing recommendations from the Courts Service.Those recommendations centred upon the availability of resources and data protection concerns.The report claimed: “…a number of issues were identified which, it is considered, would either make it inefficient from a Courts Service resource perspective to develop the register at this time.”The Department claimed “there are significant concerns around the wording… in relation to the protection of a person’s data protection rights”. In what is arguably the biggest setback to the establishment of such a register, both the Department and the Courts Service have de-prioritised the matter. A spokesperson for the Courts Service told TheJournal.ie that it has not been given the resources to develop the register. It said it was currently working on another project, the civil cases management system (CCMS), and only when that was completed – a deadline for which has not been set – could the personal injuries register be considered. The CCMS project is intended to bring together information relating to cases from 75 databases in Ireland. There is no information as to when this would be completed, or what exact stage it is at, but the spokesperson indicated that it would be a number of years before it would be brought on stream.“For a full decade it was not possible to invest in the full development of this system – as the country did not have the resources to do so,” they said. “Until the civil cases management system is fully developed, we cannot bring together the various standalone systems in offices across the country, from all court jurisdictions.”The Department of Justice agreed that the register should not go ahead but said its decisions was based on the Court’s Service advice. Speaking of its decision, a spokesperson told TheJournal.ie: “The conclusion drawn was very much based on the advice of the Courts Service.“The report concluded that the activation of a register is not feasible for the Courts Service at the present time and that collation of the data required could be better achieved by appropriate use of the proposed CCMS when it comes on stream.”But wouldn’t it breach data protection laws?The answer to this question depends on who you ask. The Courts Service, and subsequently the Department, fears making a register accessible to public and private bodies would infringe upon GDPR and data protection legislation. As mentioned earlier, the register would be available to those with “sufficient interest” but the Courts Service said the onus would be on them to decide who or what constituted a party with sufficient interest. It also claims the “compatibility” of the 2004 Act with GDPR laws in effect today would need to be examined before a register could be set up. Cork-based solicitor Micheál O’Dowd said that GDPR has tightened how an individual’s data is processed and used but that there are “broad exemptions” to safeguard democracy which could be invoked in order to avoid breaching data protection laws. O’Dowd indicated that, relative to the 2004 Act, “[the Courts Service] would be able to avail of the exemption in Article 6(c) or (e) without any obvious need for new legislation”. In layman terms, O’Dowd explained that the register could be established without infringing on GDPR as long as it is “in compliance with a legal obligation” or as a tool “for the performance of a task carried out in the public interest”. “I think if there was a political will this register could be established under the current legal framework, and the GDPR has not changed the ground rules unduly,” O’Dowd added. A spokesperson for the Office of the Data Protection Commissioner (DPC) was asked if the register would affect GDPR legislation. They said a review would need to be carried out of the 2004 legislation to take account of changes in data protection regulations and its consequences. They said: “In order to rely on Article 6(1) (c) or (e) as a lawful basis for collection and processing of personal data, an organisation must be able to justify why such processing is required.“If such a database was created, the operating entity should have a legislative basis, with built-in safeguards and suitable and specific measures to justify the processing of personal data.” Source: The Explainer/SoundCloud 17,786 Views By Conor 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Australia 108 opens its doors to the public

first_imgLast weekend 28-29 July, people were able to take a tour of the Australia 108 building for the first time ever, as part of the Open House Melbourne event.The structure that was designed by partly Greek owned company Fender Katsalidis, is created to be the tallest in the Southern hemisphere at 319 metres.People were able to speak with representatives of the company and explore some of the common areas (such as gyms, pools, spas, and others) in order to learn more about it.The building is not yet completed however, as only one quarter of its apartments are in order as it approaches its 2019 deadline.It is expected to have a total of 1,100 apartments upon its over 100 stories and will be considered a landmark within the city of Melbourne as it stands on Southbank. The higher level apartments will be more luxurious and will offer a privileged aerial view of the city. Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img read more

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Coast Guard Rescues Four Near Kodiak

first_imgAccording to reports the vessel is registered to Joseph Samoilov, of Homer. The CG crew towed the mariners to Lazy Bay Cannery, Alitak Bay. Coast Guard Sector Anchorage received the initial report that the Soulmate was disabled and unable to anchor, on Saturday. Petty Offficer 1stClass Michael Taylor, a Sector Anchorage watchstander: “This case highlights the importance of having multiple means of communications. The availability of both a VHF radio and a satellite phone on board the vessel allowed for consistent communication with the master providing up to date information and situational reports.” According to the CG, initial communication via VHF radio were unreliable. They instituted a 6-hour communications schedule and the crew was dispatched to the scene. Facebook0TwitterEmailPrintFriendly分享The U.S. Coast Guard rescued four mariners after their commercial fishing vessel, the Soulmate, became disabled approximately 57 miles west of Kodiak, on Sunday.last_img read more

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Lehman Brothers invite ire for party to mark 10th anniversary of global

first_imgCelebrations have also been planned in New York in September and Hong Kong in November.Chung Sung-Jun/Getty ImagesThe world witnessed the Great Recession, a period of global financial meltdown, in the late 2000s and early 2010s. While the effects may not have been felt evenly around the world, numerous companies were shuttered, thousands of people lost their jobs and homes and the GDP of various nations nosedived.While the crash may have taken place about a decade ago, the pain and loss that came with it are still fresh in the minds of the people. However, it looks like not many think so and former Lehman Brothers and staff members are strangely even celebrating the 10th anniversary of the global crisis.The former financial services firm, which declared bankruptcy in 2008, has sent an email invitation to the party, according to Financial News, and addressed it to “Lehman Brothers & Sisters.” The reception, complete with cocktails and canapes, is reportedly set to be held in London on September 15.”It’s hard to believe it’s been 10 years since the last of our Lehman days! … One of the best things about Lehman was the people. What better way to celebrate the 10th anniversary than getting everyone from former MDs to former analysts back together again!” read the invitation.Meanwhile, celebrations have also been planned in New York in September and Hong Kong in November.The celebrations have now been labelled as “sickening” and Member of Parliament of UK also said that those who had suffered a “decade of austerity” would be “absolutely disgusted.” Employment levels among young people have fallen sharply since the recession, which has hit the incomes of those in their 20s (Reuters)Adding that the celebrations were “unacceptable and highly inappropriate,” he said: “It’s particularly disgraceful in the context of all the people who lost their jobs and homes to pay for bailing out these bankers who caused the financial crash, as well as against a backdrop of firefighters, police officers and other public servants facing years of brutal Tory pay restraint. People will be absolutely disgusted about this unacceptable and highly inappropriate gathering.” A billboard featuring a 100 US dollar bill saying ‘I’ll be back’, is seen over Times Squares during the recession in 2009.EMMANUEL DUNAND/AFP/Getty ImagesWhile the Lehman brothers were reportedly aware that the plan may face backlash and even kept the venue and details of the party under wraps, things have evidently got out.Several MPs even lashed out at the staff members and taunted that they should even celebrate the sinking of the Titanic.”Couldn’t they wait until April 14, which was the sinking of the Titanic? The downing of two iconic institutions is surely better than one,” MP Nigel Evans said, according to the Daily Mail.last_img read more

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