APTN National NewsIn Vancouver, all eyes are again on the missing women’s inquiry.Every new hearing day brings more details on how police botched the investigation into serial killer Robert Pickton.APTN National News reporter Tina House speaks with a man who first tried to warn police about Pickton in 1998, but was ignored.
APTN National NewsThe Truth and Reconciliation Commission recently held a national event in Saskatoon.APTN National News reporter Larissa Burnouf found that, for those attending, there is healing and pain.
(Members of Wabanaki Confederacy build the Turtle Lodge Aug. 7, 2014 where the meetings were held in the Esgenoopetitj First Nation in New Brunswick over the weekend.)By Trina RoacheAPTN National NewsOld alliances looked to re-emerge at the Wabanaki Confederacy summer gathering over the weekend.Environmental concerns, Aboriginal title and forging a path away from the Indian Act were all on the agenda.Records date the Wabanaki Confederacy as far back as the 1680s.It was a political alliance between nations in the east, on both sides of what’s now the U.S-Canadian border. The Penobscot, Passamaquoddy, Abenaki, Mi’kmaq and Maliseet joined together against the threat of colonialism and raiding Iroquois.The purpose was peace.Over two decades ago, the Penobscot in Maine lit the sacred fires again and efforts were made to revive the traditional alliance.Gary Metallic is a Mi’kmaw Hereditary Chief from Listuguj. He says the focus of the Confederacy now is to “assert our ancestral jurisdictions because our roots go back further than the Indian Act system. Our roots go right into the ground, since time immemorial.”Metallic’s biggest concern is comprehensive land claims.He says the first issue is centred on who is sitting at the table. The advent of the Indian Act destroyed traditional forms of governance. Metallic calls current chief and councils an arm of the Indian Act and says Canada negotiating with bands today is the equivalent of Canada negotiating with itself.“(As for land claim agreements) we’re saying they’re illegal because we’re not at the table,” says Metallic. “Our people through their traditional governance systems need to be consulted first before any agreements are signed and people don’t know about these because most of the time it’s done behind closed doors.”Secondly, Metallic and others at the Confederacy say Canada has no right to negotiate deals for lands aboriginal people never ceded in the first place.Treaties vary across the country.The roughly seventy agreements with different First Nations took place over the course of three hundred years, mapping out Canada as it exists today. While some ceded land, others such as the Mi’kmaq’s Peace and Friendship treaties signed in the 1700s did not.Metallic says those treaties are strong because at that time the Mi’kmaq negotiated from a position of power; part of that due to the Wabanaki Confederacy.“For us these treaties were just about co-existence, how we lived together,” says.Metallic predicts a ripple effect from the recent Supreme Court ruling that awarded aboriginal title to the Tsilhqot’in Nation, adding, “that’s a big stick that’s been handed to us as traditional hereditary chiefs.”Aboriginal title is a hot topic in New Brunswick. SWN Resources Canada is exploring for shale gas. Worries that fracking will pollute the water table led to protests last summer and fall. The Mi’kmaq of Elsipogtog say instead of meaningful consultation, there were violent clashes with police, court injunctions and lawsuits filed by SWN Resources.Activist Willie Nolan and others filed a lawsuit of their own. In it, they say the shale gas giant, the Province of New Brunswick and Canada violated laws protecting the environment and Aboriginal rights. The Wabanaki Confederacy are interveners. Metallic says the suit asks the basic question, “Who owns this land? We never gave it up.”Hart Perley, a traditional Turtle Clanmother for the Maliseet Nation, says of the gathering, “The energy is so positive, so refreshing…It’s like uniting them and telling the world here we are. We’re here. We’re not dead, our fires are still burning strong.”The mood at the gathering is peaceful, punctuated with lots of laughter. People share ideas and food. A pot of moose stew doesn’t last long. But the purpose is serious.And daunting.“We each have our responsibility as nations to make sure our traditions are passed forward,” says Perley. “That our culture stays alive for future generations.”Perley says the most vital step is away from the Indian Act. She used to be a band councillor on the Tobique First Nation until she grew increasingly conflicted and left the position.Perley says there’s no real power for “Indian Act chiefs.” The true power for First Nations lies in the land she says.Her message to chiefs: “Come to your people. Stand with your people and we can help you get away from the Indian act because guess what? These are your natural resources. This is where you get your money for your programs and services in your communities.”Perley admits, it’s a hard step to take.The Indian Act is ingrained in an Aboriginal way of thinking.“Because of the oppression our people have been put through, they’re kind of stuck there. They don’t see a way out. Well, we’re offering them that. If they stick with our people they would be very strong chiefs,” she says.Tnohere’s funding for this group. No official recognition. Perley says they don’t need it.“The land belongs to all the nations as a collective,” she says.That’s the focus of the Wabanaki Confederacy.To reassert Aboriginal rights to the land. To revive traditional forms of government and to leave the Indian Act firstname.lastname@example.org
APTN National NewsIndigenous Affairs Minister Carolyn Bennett says an inquiry into the issues of missing and murdered Indigenous women should be up and running before the summer of 2016.Bennett added that pre-inquiry meetings are underway to lay the ground rules for the proceedings.APTN’s Trina Roache email@example.com
firstname.lastname@example.org@katmarte Bruce Spence of Winnipeg was forced to hand in his vanity plate after someone complained. (Submitted photo)Kathleen MartensAPTN NewsBruce Spence is not going to give up his NDN CAR vanity licence plate without a fight.Spence has agreed to be part of a legal challenge by the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms (JCCF).The JCCF was in a Winnipeg courtroom this week defending another Winnipeg man whose Star Trek-inspired ASIMIL8 plate was revoked by Manitoba Public Insurance (MPI).The provincial Crown corporation said it received complaints from members of the public who found both licence plates “offensive” and ordered them off the road.But Spence, a producer at APTN News, disagrees.“I don’t know how NDN CAR could possibly be offensive,” he said, noting he applied for the wording seven years ago to honour his Cree heritage and a song of the same name by musician Keith Secola.“I know CAR isn’t an offensive word so it must be NDN. And that’s a contraction for Indian, which is a legal term. Besides, this car is driven by an Indian.”Spence said he received nothing but “thumb’s up” from other motorists and requests from pedestrians to pose next to the plate. He said the demand to turn in his plates in February shocked him.Spence said JCCF, a Calgary-based legal advocacy organization specializing in Canadian constitutional law, is representing him at no charge.“I was going to try and do this on my own anyway,” Spence said Wednesday, “and they approached me after seeing the APTN story.”Winnipeg’s Nick Troller launched a legal challenge after his plate was revoked.JCCF founder John Carpay said he couldn’t let Spence’s battle slide.“Ultimately, all these cases boil down to this: in a free country we do not have the legal right to not be offended,” he said in a telephone interview Wednesday.“One person’s right to express him/herself has to outweigh another person’s claimed right to be offended.”Spence doesn’t know who complained about his plate and was irked he couldn’t respond.“I was hoping for an appearance before some sort of board,” he said, adding that’s something he hopes the judge in his case agrees with and orders MPI to introduce.“Some sort of show-cause hearing” for losing a plate that was initially approved.MPI has said licence plates are its property and it gets to decide what’s written on them and when to revoke them. It has not revealed who complained about Spence’s plate.Carpay is a former Alberta provincial director of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation and a former candidate of the federal Reform Party and provincial Wildrose Party. He said his group is not-for-profit and relies on private donations.“We’re making an argument that this violates the (Canadian) Charter (of Rights and Freedoms) Section 2(b) freedom of expression,” he said. “Our mission is to defend constitutional freedoms of Canadians from violation by government…or governmental authority.”Carpay, a lawyer, said freedoms are lost by “small encroachments.”“Say, with these licence plate cases. If we don’t win them we move closer to a society where people have a legal right not to feel offended which means that there’s less freedom of expression.”The judge in the ASIMIL8 case reserved his decision. Spence does not have a court date yet.
Todd Bailey is fed up with delivery companies that drop his online purchases at his door.A few years ago, the Grande Prairie, Alta., resident was at the hospital for the birth of his child when a big-screen TV he had ordered was left on his front stoop.Bailey figures the enormous box, a target for would-be thieves, was there nearly 24 hours. The frequent online shopper has been repeatedly frustrated that expensive purchases have been left unattended rather than transported to a safe location like a post office.“It’s not the first time but it still surprises me when you come home and there’s a big package on your doorstep out there for everyone to see,” Bailey says.“I think the assumption is it’s being delivered to a person and not to an address. The assumption is it’s being delivered to go inside the house.”For some shoppers, having a package left at their home — especially if it’s placed in an inconspicuous spot — is preferable to trekking to a faraway depot that’s always busy.But Facebook neighbourhood groups and local news broadcasts are now frequently reporting on thieves caught on home security cameras stealing packages left outside.On Thursday, Bailey tweeted a photo to Purolator of a box left against his door. It was a Christmas gift from his mother for his seven-year-old son.“It’s almost too easy (for a thief),” he says. “It just boggles your mind.”In response to his tweet, a customer service representative for Purolator replied: “Our delivery service requires a signature however if the sender selects the signature-not-required service, and there’s no risk of it being stolen or damaged, we’ll honour it.”There are no easy answers for consumers who are victims of theft.In an email, a Purolator spokeswoman said “the receiver should notify local authorities. They can also file a claim with Purolator.”Meanwhile, Canada Post and UPS Canada both say shoppers should contact the retailer. FedEx Canada did not respond to an interview request but a page on its website invites customers to file a claim if a package is lost.Amazon.ca shoppers are told — if they read the legalese in the site’s conditions of use — that “risk of loss and title for items purchased from Amazon.ca pass to you upon our delivery to the carrier or, if such items must cross an international border, then risk of loss and title pass to you when they clear customs.”Amazon added in a statement that “the vast majority of deliveries make it to customers without issue. In the rare case something occurs, we work with customers directly to make it right.”The Seattle-based company thinks it’s solved the problem with its new Amazon Key product, which allows a customer’s door to be wirelessly unlocked to accomodate a delivery. A camera records the drop-off to protect against anything inappropriate and the door locks as soon as the delivery is complete. The service is not yet available in Canada.Canada Post spokesman Jon Hamilton agrees that package theft is still “a small issue that gets a lot of attention,” but could not provide any figures on how many complaints the organization receives.While he acknowledged it does happen, he notes the volume of parcel deliveries is at an all-time high.“What we have right now with (holiday) online shopping is we’re delivering over one million parcels a day across the country,” says Hamilton, noting the postal service hit that daily marker 60 times this year.He invites shoppers that are afraid of theft to use Canada Post’s FlexDelivery service, which allows online purchases to be directed to a post office for pickup.But some Canada Post locations have been overloaded by packages being stored for online shoppers. On Friday, there were six across the country that were jammed full and unable to accept any new deliveries.“The one part of the process we can’t control if a parcel goes to a post office is when people will pick it up. About 80 per cent of the parcels that are dropped off at a post office get picked up within three days and there’s about 20 per cent that will linger,” Hamilton says.“And at this time of year when more and more parcels are arriving every day with online shopping, that can add up.”He added that one major retailer’s recent sale on the Instant Pot wrecked havoc with Canada Post’s network, given how large the cooking devices are.“(We) were chock-a-block with Instant Pots … so you can imagine how that could eat up a lot of space in a short period of time.”Bruce Cran, president of the Consumers’ Association of Canada, says e-commerce is still in its relative infancy so it’s not surprising that there are inefficiencies in the delivery process.He also believes that on a percentage basis, the number of packages being stolen is small.“Consumers love the convenience and at the moment, I don’t think there’s an immense danger in people looking to take deliveries,” Cran said.“I don’t get the impression at the moment that it’s anywhere near the quantity that would prevent us from utilizing these services. We value being able to order on Thursday night and maybe get it on Friday morning.”
REGINA – Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe is heading to Washington, D.C., next week to meet with officials about the United States imposing tariffs on Canadian-made steel and aluminum.Moe says the tariffs, which he calls troubling, will hurt the Evraz steel plant in Regina, which employs about 1,000 people. He adds that he doesn’t think any trade war is productive.“We’ve always been supportive of free and open trade and we continue to be, so we’ll be engaging next week in Washington on this file as well as the broader NAFTA file,” Moe said Thursday.The Saskatchewan government is to meet with senators, members of Congress and three senior members of the White House.Within hours of the U.S. announcement on Thursday, the federal government retaliated by imposing dollar-for-dollar tariff “countermeasures” on up to $16.6 billion worth of U.S. imports into Canada.The tariffs, which apply to a long list of U.S. products that includes everything from flat-rolled steel to playing cards and felt-tipped pens, are to go into effect July 1, Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland told a news conference.Moe said he’s also spoken with Conrad Winkler, the CEO and president of Evraz North America. The two plan to talk further over the phone in the coming days, he said.“Challenging time I’m sure for a company like Evraz that has plants on both sides of the border, and they’ll be assessing how that impacts them as well, I’m certain,” Moe said.Canada, Mexico and Europe had been exempted from import duties of 25 per cent on steel and 10 per cent on aluminum when they were first imposed in March.Moe, who will be visiting Washington for the first time, talked to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Wednesday prior to the U.S. move to lift the exemption and praised the federal government for its work on North American Free Trade Agreement talks.The premier said that 55 per cent of the province’s exports go south of the border and 85 per cent of its imports come from the U.S.One in five Saskatchewan jobs are dependent on trade with other nations, including the U.S., he added.Moe said he’ll be making all those points during his visit.“I’ll be impressing the impact on our province, on the jobs of the province and on the strength that we have globally when we have strong arrangements across the border,” he said.— Follow @RyanBMcKenna on Twitter
CALGARY – The head of Canada’s largest drilling company says he’s not surprised that a Canadian drilling forecast is being chopped despite higher global oil prices so far this year.Kevin Neveu, CEO of Precision Drilling Corp., said Tuesday his company is in the process of moving an idle drilling rig from the Deep Basin of northwestern Alberta to Pennsylvania, where it is expected to find work drilling natural gas wells in the Marcellus Basin.In the past two years, Precision has authorized the building of two new rigs in the U.S. but none in Canada, he said, because demand hasn’t justified it.“Oil prices are not too bad — and when you throw in the exchange rate, they’re actually probably OK — but a lot of our Canadian customers are still quite gassy in their production and rely on natural gas sales to fund a lot of their programs,” said Neveu.“With (Alberta) AECO prices so tight, it’s just really tough for a lot of our customers.”The Petroleum Services Association of Canada said Tuesday it is cutting its 2018 Canadian drilling forecast by 500 wells to 6,900 oil and gas wells, 200 fewer than were drilled in 2017, and nearly seven per cent less than its April forecast for 7,400 this year.“In general terms, revenue numbers for our sector are up year over year but we note that several publicly traded Canadian service companies are reporting minimal improvement in the quality of bottom line earnings; many are sitting at near breakeven or are still in negative territory,” PSAC CEO Tom Whalen said.“This is not sustainable from a business continuity and competitiveness perspective. It’s also a compounding symptom of the sector’s lack of attractiveness for investment.”Producers are drilling longer wells but the number of wells is down by 200 through six months of 2018 compared with the same period of 2017, PSAC reported.Benchmark New York oil prices averaged US$67.91 per barrel in the second quarter ended June 30, up from US$48.33 in the same period of 2017, but Alberta natural prices fell to C$1.20 per million British thermal units from C$2.69.Whalen says Canadian companies aren’t able to gain from higher world crude prices because pipeline capacity is inadequate to take products to market, resulting in higher-than-usual price discounts for western Canadian oil.Meanwhile, natural gas prices continue to languish thanks to both gathering pipeline constraints in B.C. and Alberta and competition from burgeoning U.S. shale gas plays.Precision reported last week it had 78 rigs operating from its fleet of 103 in the United States as of June 30 but only 60 from its larger fleet of 136 in Canada.U.S. operations have recovered to about 80 per cent of their peak 2014 activity but Canadian operations remain at less than 40 per cent, Neveu said.Earlier this year, Calgary-based Akita Drilling Ltd. and Trinidad Drilling Ltd. each announced they would move rigs from Western Canada to West Texas at the invitation of producer customers.Follow @HealingSlowly on Twitter.Companies in this article: (TSX:PD, TSX:AKT, TSX:TDG)
OTTAWA — The Bank of Canada is releasing data today that provides a closer look at just how much stricter mortgage rules and higher interest rates have helped slow the growth of new highly indebted households.The central bank is on a clear rate-hiking path and the pace of future increases hinges significantly on the ability of households — particularly those with high levels of debt — to adapt to higher borrowing costs.The bank’s analysis says tougher mortgage qualification tests have reduced the share of new high-leverage, insured loans — those of more than 4.5 times a borrower’s annual income — to six per cent in the second quarter of 2018 from 20 per cent in late 2016.The report also says another rule change this year aimed at uninsured mortgages dropped the share of these new loans to 14 per cent in the second quarter of 2018, compared with 20 per cent a year earlier. Senior deputy governor Carolyn Wilkins says the new mortgage rules are improving the quality and reducing the quantity of new mortgages.Wilkins says household debt remains very high and has created a vulnerability in the financial system — but she argues the better quality of loans will put the economy on a more-solid footing to withstand future adverse economic developments.The Canadian Press
NEW YORK — Stocks that moved substantially or traded heavily Thursday:Royal Bank of Scotland Group, down 58 cents to $5.93Two British Cabinet ministers quit in protest over Prime Minister Theresa May’s plan for leaving the European Union.Cisco Systems Inc., up $2.44 to $46.77The seller of networking equipment and services reported earnings and revenue that beat Wall Street’s forecasts.J.C. Penney Co., up 14 cents to $1.36The struggling department store operator reported a quarterly loss that wasn’t as big as analysts were expecting.Dillard’s Inc., down $10.94 to $62.85The retailer’s quarterly earnings fell far short of what investors were looking for.Oracle Corp., up $1.79 to $50.63Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway disclosed a new holding in the maker of business software.KB Home, down $3.19 to $17.61The homebuilder issued a weak sales outlook, dragging the entire sector lower.Facebook Inc., down 37 cents to $143.85The New York Times published a lengthy story on how the company responded to a series of scandals.Berry Global Group Inc., up $4.41 to $50.31The packaging company reported earnings and revenue that beat analysts’ forecasts.The Associated Press
HARRISBURG, Pa. — Pennsylvania is aiming to curb air pollution and greenhouse emissions from its vast natural gas exploration fields, even as the Trump administration moves to relax federal requirements.Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf’s administration formally proposed new regulations Thursday that environmental groups welcome but also say should go farther in combating methane leaks.Methane is the primary component of natural gas and is one of the most potent heat-trapping pollutants. Pennsylvania is the nation’s second-largest natural gas producer after Texas.The proposal would impose stronger limits on smog-forming pollutants and require companies to more aggressively search for methane leaks at existing oil and gas installations. A gas-industry trade group, the Marcellus Shale Coalition, says it’s concerned about the cost for companies to comply.Earlier this year, Pennsylvania began enforcing tougher standards on equipment at new or updated installations.Marc Levy, The Associated Press
The legislation passed in the House of Commons last spring and is being debated in the Senate.An agenda posted online shows the committee is to hear from incoming premier Jason Kenney of the United Conservative Party, Chief of Ermineskin Cree Nation Craig Makinaw, Mayor Don Scott of the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo, as well as numerous academics from Alberta universities.The committee heard earlier this month from outgoing NDP premier Rachel Notley, who urged the Senate to toss the bill “in the garbage.”She said the proposed law is discriminatory because it wouldn’t be able to stop international tanker traffic, but would impede Alberta’s efforts to get oil to new markets.Notley added that it’s a double standard given that Ottawa supports the liquefied natural gas industry, tankers on the St. Lawrence Seaway and Newfoundland’s Hibernia oil project.“Let’s show Canadians that 90,000 jobs in downtown Calgary are just as important as 90,000 jobs in downtown Montreal,” Notley said on Apr. 9 via video link from Calgary to senators in Ottawa. EDMONTON, A.B. – A Senate committee is set to hear today from Albertans, including their new premier, on the federal government’s bill to ban tankers off the British Columbia coast.The committee on transport and communications is holding public hearings in Edmonton on Bill C-48.The bill would prohibit oil tankers carrying more than 12,500 tonnes of crude oil in the waters between the northern tip of Vancouver Island and the Alaska border. “Don’t block us, back us,” she added.Kenney has also criticized the tanker bill. He agreed with Notley that it unfairly targets “ethically produced” Alberta oil instead of “dictator oil” imported from overseas.
A bureaucrat by profession and novelist by choice, Dr Rashmi Kamal, launched her debut work on fiction ‘The Philanderer’ at Oxford Book Store, Park Street, Kolkata on March 3, 2019. The launch was held in the gracious presence of Jogen Chowdhary, eminent painter; and Subodh Sarkar, an accomplished writer as well as the Chairman, Poetry Academy, Government of West Bengal.The story of ‘The Philandered’ gives two aspects of how people live in India and how they ought to live a dilemma that has no respite. A story of a restless mind. Expressed in a clear yet silent voice, the protagonist of the story is a small town girl who meets the elite section of the city on her journey, around whom the story is woven. The story begins with a prohibitive note, a taboo about the social norms in which the females ought to live in a society. The wings that Reva aspires to use as a symbol of freedom is trimmed by herself in bits and pieces due to her emotional turbulence. Losing for her (any battle) is like a setback created by her own hands. In this process, she runs after a mirage and she is never complacent. Neil, who happens to be her first love, has an everlasting impression on her. His image is perceivable in every man she meets in her life. She looks for him among every bit and pieces of everything that she comes across. Having no solace anywhere, she agrees for a marriage in which she has no interest. But the pain never withers. She looks for the connect everywhere. She knows her actions would be eventually scrutinised by society but she can’t restrain herself. She goes with the flow and leaves falling with the zephyr. She befriends Shiv only to discover that he wasn’t true to her. Dejected and shamed by him, she finds comfort in the arms of Raj who loves her truly. Fate has something in store for her when he leaves her too. Her love for Raj grows in abundance once he is no more, something that she never realized when he was available for him. Never did she imagine that Neil was looking for her, from behind, everywhere and every time. The novel reflects upon the transient nature of a female mind. The writer has put down all flavours to romanticise every situation that arises. Being her debut novel, the author quotes, “I have tried to pour in as many human feelings as possible, for the readers to instill a bout of empathy with the characters with whom I ate, drank and slept for last few years.” It is not renunciation. It is not reconciliation either. It is not even a decision. She doesn’t surrender her independence or her native wit. But there is a change, an acceptance that the readers cannot miss. Rashmi Kamal, by profession a doctor turned bureaucrat, she has qualified civil services for her greater dreams for the nation. She is originally from a small town Bhagalpur. The experiences from Patna Medical College have left long-lasting footprints on her journey and Kolkata is the melting point of her cognition. In her debut novel ‘The Philanderer’ she explores the uncharted mind of a woman who undergoes upheaval in life and refuses how it is supposed to be, thus, she quotes ” Bold insertions were not necessary but very much required, simply to establish a connection with thousands of readers who live and love life like my characters.”
BALURGHAT: Arpita Ghosh, sitting MP of the Balurghat Lok Sabha seat, filed her nomination papers for the same seat as Trinamool Congress candidate to the District Magistrate and District Election Officer Deepap Priya P at the Balurghat collectorate building on Thursday. She was accompanied by state ministers Rajib Banerjee, Goutam Deb, Purnendu Basu and Bachchu Hansda. Apart from them, district Trinamool president Biplab Mitra and former PWD minister Shankar Chakraborty along with many other party leaders were also present. The nomination filing will be continued till April 4. Balurghat will vote on April 23, in the third phase of the seven phase LS polls. Before filing the nomination, Ghosh went to the ancient Balurghat Buri Kali temple to take her blessings, accompanied by around 5,000 party supporters raising slogans for Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. After filing her nomination, Ghosh said she belongs to that political party which is committed to the welfare of common public. “I have already made a commitment that I would work hard for the common people if elected from this constituency again. Most of the people in the region will bless me in the elections, I am sure,” she said. Answering a question about the challenge of BJP for the Balurghat seat, Ghosh said: “BJP will not be a factor here. We have targeted 42 seats in Bengal. We are the soldiers of Mamata Banerjee who has been working relent- lessly for the common people since 2011. BJP only believes in division between people while for us, people are our strength. Our party will be the decisive faction while forming the new government at the Centre.”
New Delhi: Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee president Sheila Dikshit, accompanied by Congress workers, filed her nomination papers at the DC office, Nand Nagri for the North East Delhi Lok Sabha seat on Tuesday. All seven candidates of the Congress –former Delhi minister Arvinder Singh Lovely, former Delhi Congress chief Jai Prakash Agarwal, former Union minister Ajay Maken, Delhi Congress working president Rajesh Lilothia, former Cong MP Mahabal Mishra along with Dikshit and Vijender Singh filed their papers. Also Read – After eight years, businessman arrested for kidnap & murderTalking to reporters, Dikshit, who has been fielded from North-East Delhi, said, “I have sentiments attached to this seat as I had fought my first election in Delhi from this seat.” When asked whom she considers a bigger challenge between Delhi BJP chief Manoj Tiwari and AAP candidate Dilip Pandey, the Congress veteran said she sees both of them as a challenge and her endeavour will be to win from this seat. “No seat is small or big and it does not belong to any individual. It belongs to the people of the constituency,” she said. Also Read – Two brothers held for snatchingsDikshit had contested from East Delhi constituency in 1998, but faced defeat. The seat included parts of North-East Delhi at that time. Maken in a scathing attack said that the Modi government has withdrawn through its 7th Pay Commission, all the benefits given to government employees through the 6th Pay Commission by the UPA government. Addressing his workers, Ajay Maken informed them that Congress government had got 3,000 flats constructed for the people staying in Katputli colony at the cost of Rs 1 each. He further said that it was Congress policy that if two families were staying in one jhuggi, then each family got a separate flat. Vijender Singh, who is contesting from South Delhi, said he will focus on issues related youth and sports. “I am genuinely concerned about employment, which I think is a prominent issue for the youth. And being a sportsperson, I am also keen on working towards developing sports infrastructure. It’s about time we had good infrastructure so that budding athletes can actually flourish,” he said. Asked why he opted for the Congress, which did not win a single seat in Delhi in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, Vijender Singh said: “I relate to the ideology and the leadership. As is propagated by our leadership, I want to be a friend of the electorate. I don’t wish to be the ‘neta’ that visits once in five years. I am not going to do rallies or road shows. I am going to connect with the voters spontaneously,” Singh said.
Mumbai: Venture capital/private equity investments doubled in March to $7 billion on an annualised basis, boosted by a spurt in large transactions, says a report. Exits during the month were 34 percent lower at $465 million involving 13 transactions, a report by consultancy firm EY said Thursday. March was the best month ever for private equity (PE) and venture capital (VC ) investments, it said, adding that the $7-billion mark in the month was more than double of $3 billion in the previous year and over 30 percent higher than the previous high of $5.4 billion clocked in August 2017. Thirteen large deals of $100 million-plus adding up to $6 billion helped boost the numbers, and Brookfields $1.9 billion buyout of Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL’s) East-West Pipeline was the largest deal during the month. On the back of a busy March, the March quarter has emerged as the best ever quarter for private equity/ venture capital investments, with investments worth $11.4 billion, up 37 percent over the same period a year ago. The month also recorded highest monthly value and number of buyout deals, aggregating at $2.8 billion across seven deals. Private investment in public equity investments rose to $1.9 billion, but massivley down from $3 billion a year ago. From a fund raising perspective, the firepower plunged to a low $40 million in March from $1.1 billion a year ago.
New York (UN) – A photography exhibition highlighting the contribution of the Royal Armed Forces (FAR) in world’s humanitarian action under the UN peacekeeping missions was inaugurated on Tuesday at the UN headquarters in New York.Photography exhibition at UN headquarters on FAR’s contribution in humanitarian actionThe inauguration ceremony was attended by UN Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson, Dmitry Titov, Assistant Secretary-General for Rule of Law and Security Institutions (Department of Peacekeeping Operations), UN Deputy Humanitarian Chief Kyung-wha Kang, and Adama Dieng, United Nations Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide, as well as ambassadors accredited to the UN. The event is organized by the Moroccan representation under the theme “Morocco’s international humanitarian action”, and mirrors, according to Eliasson, Morocco’s commitment to humanitarian action for decades.Eliasson also paid tribute to HM King Mohammed VI for the Kingdom’s mobilization and contribution to this lofty cause, lauding Morocco’s continued commitment to peacekeeping operations.The photo exhibition, which runs until Nov. 15, highlights contribution of the Moroccan contingents deployed under the UN peacekeeping operations in different conflict zones such as in Congo, Somalia, Angola, Cote d’Ivoire, Cambodia, Kosovo, Bosnia and Haiti.
Rabat – Morocco’s telecom operator “Maroc Telecom” announced this Monday it has reached an agreement with UAE’s Etisalat to buy over the UAE company’s units in Benin, Cote d’Ivoire, Gabon, Niger, Central African Republic and Togo. The USD 650-million deal, which also includes Prestige Telecom in Cote d’Ivoire, which provides IT services to the operations of Etisalat in these countries, will allow Maroc Telecom to take control over Etisalat’s participation in these companies as well as shareholders’ loans.The deal is subject to several conditions, particularly the conclusion of Etisalat’s purchase of Vivendi’s participation in Maroc Telecom and the approval of the nine African countries’ authorities, said Maroc Telecom in a release. Etisalat agreed in November to acquire Vivendi’s 53 percent stake in Maroc Telecom in the Middle East’s largest takeover of a phone carrier.Maroc Telecom group posted in the first quarter of 2014 a consolidated turnover of 7.2 billion Moroccan DH, a growth of 0.4 pc compared to the same period of 2013.Etisalat had announced a consolidated net profit of 2 billion Emirates Dirhams in the first quarter of 2014, compared to 1.8 billion Emirati dirhams in the same period of 2013.
Rabat – Four-year old Moroccan Yahya El Jabali, born with no eyes and a hole where his nose should be, has unveiled his new face after undergoing a groundbreaking surgery in Melbourne, Australia.The child was born in a small village near Casablanca with a deformed face because of complications in the womb, which stopped the bones of his face from fusing together.Yahya’s father, Mustapha Zohra, was desperate to find a solution for his son. He consulted several surgeons who refused to perform the operation. Fortunately for him, Yahya’s story spread on social networks and attracted the attention of Fatima Baraka, a Moroccan citizen living in Australia, whotook him to Melbourne for a surgery.Now, after undergoing an 18-hour reconstructive surgery to remodel his face, Yahya El Jabali received a new chance to live a normal life.Yahya before (left) and after (right) the 18-hour reconstructive surgeryProfessor Tony Holmes, who led the surgeons during the operation, said that the surgery on Yahya was as challenging as it gets. He explained that there was a chance that the boy might survive if the doctors did not operate on him, but there wasalso a chance that he might die if they did.“It’s quite remarkable to witness this team of surgeons, they basically reconstructed his face, they broke every bone they could and put it back together in the right spot, ” Tony Holmes added.The successful surgery blewYahya’s father away. Yahya’s father, Mostafa, told Channel Seven’s SundayNight: “It’s a huge joy, a huge happiness to see my son in such a situation.”Fatima Baraka broke into tears upon seeing Yahya’s new face.“I just can’t believe what he’s been through and how he just comes out and gets better and better every time,” Baraka said.Baraka went on to add that she believes Yahya is a smart child, and he deserves to have a bright and healthy future.
By Emma Julia VosRabat – After balancing a busy agenda with his official visits to President Vladimir Putin and Czech president, Milos Zeman, the Moroccan King made an unofficial five day visit to Amsterdam on Friday. Time’s named “King of Cool” of 2006, Mohammed VI, has sparked quite some euphoria during his visit to dutch capital, Amsterdam. The narrow canals of Amsterdam were filled with people expressing their love for the King through chanting to his glory as they were handed biscuits and tea. His visit has also provided his fan page with some interesting content. The Facebook page, which currently has over 3.5 million likes, shared images and videos taken of the King in casual attire walking the streets of Amsterdam and posing for selfies.The King also made sure to visit Keukenhof, also known as the Garden of Europe. He was given a tour and indulged in conversation with many proud supporters which led to chaotic scenes. A cameraman shares that even his experience of when Justin Bieber came to visit Amsterdam, doesn’t compare to the excitement sparked with Mohammed VIs presence in the city.However, there is more to the King’s visit than selfie taking and sightseeing. The Netherlands is home to approximately 350,000 Dutch Moroccans (Moroccan immigrants to The Netherlands and their descendants), which makes up roughly 2% of the Dutch population. With a large Moroccan community it is easy to assume that successful integration is a given, however, many third culture individuals still struggle.“It’s hard, feeling like you’re not Dutch enough to fit in here in The Netherlands, and know that you most certainly won’t fit in at home” a friend studying in Amsterdam tells me. Many struggle with this form of an identity crisis on a daily basis. There is a moment of silence when I ask her what the King’s visit has brought to the Dutch Moroccan community. “The king once said that nothing else is more valuable to a true Moroccan than the sense of belonging to this nation” she then finally says, “he instills a sense of belonging, which I believe is something us, Dutch Moroccans, all seek.”Many Moroccan third culture kids share they feel similarly as they are spotted all over Amsterdam expressing their excitement and proudly presenting their selfies with the King to Dutch reporters. “This is our king” one young boy yells, still in an absolute state of awe and disbelief. It becomes clear that the King, is not only highly praised, but a man that has his way of giving his nation a glimpse of the heritage they might not have been fully introduced to and simultaneously fulfilling their desire to feel at home and truly Moroccan.The King’s visit is believed to have the longest lasting impact on the younger generations. “ I think more and more, even the young people who do not know their native country, will be focusing more on Morocco” 37 year old dutch moroccan, Ahmed Aaras, tells me.