APTN National NewsThe body of Krystal Andrews was found on God’s Lake First Nation in Manitoba earlier this week.A vigil for the 23-year-old mother was held in Winnipeg Thursday night.APTN’s Matt Thordarson has the story.
Dennis Ward APTN National NewsThe Ontario police watchdog is likely to undertake a systemic review of the Thunder Bay police on how it handles cases involving Indigenous people.It’s being called an unprecedented review and one that some feel is long overdue.The investigation comes after years of complaints from Indigenous people.
APTN NewsThe government has signed off on a bill to remove sex-discrimination from the Indian Act.Lillian Dyck, a First Nation senator from Saskatchewan, confirmed on her Facebook page the vote on the bill known as S-3 took place Monday.“I am relieved and happy,” Dyck posted.“It’s not perfect but we in the Senate from all caucuses will ensure that the clause implementing the removal of the 1951 cut-off gets enacted!”Dyck is a member of the Senate’s Committee on Aboriginal Peoples, which refused to move the bill forward without an amendment to who gets status.It introduced an amendment to eliminate the discrimination she says has been hard on Aboriginal women since the Act was introduced in 1876, by preventing them from passing their status onto their children like men do.The government agreed to the amendment but introduced a cut-off date of 1951. That stalled the passage again until this week.Dyck promised to keep an eye on it.“The Senate will not allow the equality to be delayed indefinitely,” she said on Facebook.“The government has to report back to us and to the House of Commons at five months and 12 months after consultations on implementing the inclusion of the pre-1951 group.”The bill is now awaiting Royal Assent before it becomes law.
MONTREAL – HNZ Group reported a $6.4 million third-quarter net profit Monday, which was nearly four times higher than a year ago.The Montreal-based helicopter services company (TSX:HNZ) said its net income amounted to 50 cents per share, including discontinued operations.Net income from continuing operations, attributable to common shareholders, was $6.3 million or 49 cents per share.Those compared with $1.7 million or 13 cents per share of net income including discontinued operations and $2.3 million or 18 cents per share from continuing operations in the third quarter of 2016.Revenue grew to $72 million from $54.7 million of revenue, attributed to new contracts including a multi-year deal to support ExxonMobil Canada and Encana Corp.’s activities offshore Nova Scotia.HNZ’s chief executive recently proposed buying the company and then selling some of its offshore operations in the southern hemisphere to PHI Inc., subject to shareholder and other approvals.HNZ’s operations in Canada, the United States and Antarctica would remain with the company under the leadership of chief executive Don Wall.
WASHINGTON – Addressing a deeply divided nation, President Donald Trump summoned the country to a “new American moment” of unity in his first State of the Union, challenging Congress to make good on long-standing promises to fix a fractured immigration system and warning darkly of evil forces seeking to undermine America’s way of life.Trump’s address Tuesday night blended self-congratulation and calls for optimism amid a growing economy with ominous warnings about deadly gangs, the scourge of drugs and violent immigrants living in the United States illegally. He cast the debate over immigration — an issue that has long animated his most ardent supporters — as a battle between heroes and villains, leaning heavily on the personal stories of White House guests in the crowd. He praised a law enforcement agent who arrested more than 100 gang members, and he recognized the families of two alleged gang victims.He also spoke forebodingly of catastrophic dangers from abroad, warning that North Korea would “very soon” threaten the United States with nuclear-tipped missiles.“The United States is a compassionate nation. We are proud that we do more than any other country to help the needy, the struggling and the underprivileged all over the world,” Trump said. “But as president of the United States, my highest loyalty, my greatest compassion, and my constant concern is for America’s children, America’s struggling workers and America’s forgotten communities.”Trump addressed the nation with tensions running high on Capitol Hill. An impasse over immigration prompted a three-day government shutdown earlier this year, and lawmakers appear no closer to resolving the status of the “Dreamers” — young people living in the U.S. illegally ahead of a new Feb. 8 deadline for funding operations. The parties have also clashed this week over the plans of Republicans on the House intelligence committee to release a classified memo on the Russia investigation involving Trump’s presidential campaign — a decision the White House backs but the Justice Department is fighting.The controversies that have dogged Trump — and the ones he has created— have overshadowed strong economic gains during his first year in office. His approval ratings have hovered in the 30s for much of his presidency, and just 3 in 10 Americans said the United States was heading in the right direction, according to a poll by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. In the same survey, 67 per cent of Americans said the country was more divided because of Trump.At times, Trump’s address appeared to be aimed more at validating his first year in office than setting the course for his second. He devoted significant time to touting the tax overhaul he signed at the end of last year, promising the plan will “provide tremendous relief for the middle class and small businesses.” He also highlighted the decision made early in his first year to withdraw the U.S. from a sweeping Asia-Pacific trade pact, declaring: “The era of economic surrender is totally over.”He spoke about potential agenda items for 2018 in broad terms, including a call for $1.5 trillion in new infrastructure spending and partnerships with states and the private sector. He touched only briefly on issues like health care that have been at the centre of the Republican Party’s policy agenda for years.Tackling the sensitive immigration debate that has roiled Washington, Trump redoubled his recent pledge to offer a path to citizenship for 1.8 million young immigrants — but only as part of a package that would also require increased funding for border security, including a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, ending the nation’s visa lottery method and revamping the current legal immigration system. Some Republicans are wary of the hardline elements of Trump’s plan and it’s unclear whether his blueprint could pass Congress.“Americans are dreamers too,” Trump said, in an apparent effort to reclaim the term used to describe the young immigrants in the U.S. illegally.A former New York Democrat, the president also played to the culture wars that have long illuminated American politics, alluding to his public spat with professional athletes who led protests against racial injustice by kneeling during the national anthem, declaring that paying tribute to the flag is a “civic duty.”Republicans led multiple rounds of enthusiastic applause during the speech, but for the opposition party it was a more sombre affair. Democrats provided a short spurt of polite applause for Trump as he entered the chamber, but offered muted reactions throughout the speech. A cluster of about two dozen Democrats, including members of the Congressional Black Caucus, remained planted firmly in their seats, staring sternly at the president and withholding applause.After devastating defeats in 2016, Democrats are hopeful that Trump’s sagging popularity can help the party rebound in November’s midterm elections. In a post-speech rebuttal, Massachusetts Rep. Joe Kennedy, the grandson of Robert F. Kennedy, was seeking to undercut Trump’s optimistic tone and remind voters of the personal insults and attacks often levelled by the president.“Bullies may land a punch,” Kennedy said. “They might leave a mark. But they have never, not once, in the history of our United States, managed to match the strength and spirit of a people united in defence of their future.”The arc of Trump’s 80-minute speech featured the personal stories of men and women who joined first lady Melania Trump in the audience. The guests included a New Mexico policeman and his wife who adopted a baby from parents who suffered from opioid addiction, and Ji Seong-ho, a defector from North Korea and outspoken critic of the Kim Jong-un government.On international affairs, Trump warned of the dangers from “rogue regimes,” like Iran and North Korea, terrorist groups, like the Islamic State, and “rivals” like China and Russia “that challenge our interests, our economy and our values.” Calling on Congress to lift budgetary caps and boost spending on the military, Trump said that “unmatched power is the surest means of our defence.”Trump’s biggest foreign policy announcement of the night concerned the Guantanamo Bay detention centre, which former President Barack Obama tried but failed to close. Reversing Obama’s policy, Trump said he’d signed an executive order Tuesday directing the Pentagon to keep the prison open while re-examining the military’s policy on detention.Trump said he was also asking Congress to ensure the U.S. had needed powers to detain Islamic State group members and other “terrorists wherever we chase them down,” though it was unclear whether he was referring to a new war powers authorization or some other mechanism. Trump also said he wanted Congress to pass a law ensuring U.S. foreign aid goes only “to America’s friends” — a reference to his frustration at U.S. aid recipients that voted at the U.N. to rebuke his decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.Mrs. Trump arrived at the Capitol ahead of her husband to attend a reception with guests of the White House, but she rode back to the White House with him. It was the first time she was seen publicly with the president following a report that his lawyer arranged a payment to a porn star, Stormy Daniels, to prevent her from talking about an alleged affair. Daniels denied the affair in a new statement released hours before the speech.___Follow Julie Pace at http://twitter.com/jpaceDC and Zeke Miller at http://twitter.com/zekejmiller
ATLANTA – A California man who operated what prosecutors say was one of the most successful illegal music sharing websites on the internet has been sentenced to five years in federal prison.The U.S. attorney’s office in Atlanta said in a news release Thursday that 30-year-old Artur Sargsyan of Glendale, California, owned and operated Sharebeast.com and other websites. Prosecutors say his file-sharing infrastructure allowed the illegal download of about a billion copyrighted musical works from at least 2012 through 2015.Sargsyan pleaded guilty in September to criminal copyright infringement for private financial gain. In addition to the prison term, the judge ordered him to pay $458,200 in restitution and to forfeit nearly $185,000.Prosecutors say Sargsyan ignored repeated notifications that he was illegally hosting and sharing copyrighted works.
GENOA, Italy – Italy’s president demanded guarantees Saturday that all the nation’s roads are safe following the Genoa highway bridge collapse, after he hugged and comforted mourners at a state funeral in the grieving port city.President Sergio Mattarella spoke quietly to victims’ families before the ceremony began on Genoa’s fairgrounds. Usually reserved in demeanour, Mattarella was embraced tightly for a long moment by one distraught woman.He then took his place with other Italian leaders, including Premier Giuseppe Conte and the transportation minister, in the packed yet cavernous hall.Afterward, Mattarella called the funeral, which took place on a day of national mourning, “a moment of grief, shared grief, by all of Italy.”One mourner, a local man who would only give his first name, Alessandro, held a placard that read: “In Italy, we prefer ribbon-cuttings to maintenance” — referring to the country’s dilapidated infrastructure.“These are mistakes that keep on repeating. And now, for the umpteenth time, angels have flown into heaven and paid for the mistakes of other human beings,” Alessandro said.As the city honoured its dead, the toll from Tuesday’s bridge collapse rose unofficially Saturday to 43 with the discovery of four more bodies in the rubble and the death in the hospital of the most severely injured survivor.Firefighter Stefano Zanut told Sky TG24 TV they had extracted from tons of broken concrete the crushed car that an Italian couple on vacation with their 9-year-old daughter had been travelling in.Zanut said the last body pulled out of the wreckage was that of a young Italian man, an employee of Genoa’s trash company, who was working under the bridge when it collapsed. The man’s mother had refused to leave a tent set up a few hundred yards away from the rubble until his body was found.RAI state radio said authorities now believe there are no more missing in the tragedy.Later, San Martino Hospital said a Romanian truck driver who had suffered severe cranial and chest injuries in the bridge collapse died Saturday evening.The families of 19 victims their loved ones’ coffins brought to the hall for the funeral Mass led by Genoa’s archbishop, Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco, who said the tragedy “gashed the heart of Genoa.”“The initial disbelief and then the growing dimension of the catastrophe, the general bewilderment, the tumult of emotions, the pressing “Whys?” have touched us yet again and in a brutal way showed the inexorable fragility of the human condition,” he said.Among the coffins were those of two young Albanian Muslim men who lived and worked in Italy. Their remains were blessed at the end of the Catholic service by a Genoa imam, who drew applause when he prayed for God to “protect Italy and all Italians.”Players and managers from the city’s two major league soccer teams, Genoa and Sampdoria, also attended after their weekend matches were postponed out of respect for the dead.At other bridge funerals on Friday, angry mourners blamed authorities of negligence and incompetence for failing to keep the bridge safe.During the state funeral, applause rang out and many fought back tears Saturday as a prelate read out the first names of some 30 victims who have been identified. The mourners also applauded Italian firefighters, police and volunteers for the civil protection department as they arrived.Mattarella toured what’s left of the Morandi Bridge, which broke apart in a fierce rainstorm, sending a long stretch of roadbed crashing 45 metres (150 feet) into a dry river bed near several apartment buildings. Those buildings have been evacuated and authorities say they will have to be demolished.After the funeral, Mattarella told reporters the bridge collapse “is an unacceptable tragedy.” He demanded that “responsibility be ascertained with rigour” for the collapse of the bridge, which linked two major highways, one leading to Milan and the other toward France.Prosecutors say they are focusing their probe on possible design flaws or inadequate maintenance of the highway bridge, which was completed in 1967.“I, too, have travelled over this bridge many times,” said Mattarella, demanding that authorities commit to carrying out their “duty to guarantee the safety of our roads.”Responding to harsh criticism, the Italian highway company in charge of the collapsed bridge offered Saturday to build a new bridge in eight months.Giovanni Castellucci, CEO of Autostrade per l’Italia, the company that manages Italian highways and bridges, told reporters it has a plan to demolish what’s left of the largely concrete 51-year-old Morandi Bridge and build a “less imposing” steel one.Italy’s government, however, has begun procedures to revoke the company’s concession and has vowed that Autostrade per l’Italia will never again run the nation’s roads.Castellucci declined to talk about the government’s stance. He said even though the cause of Tuesday’s bridge collapse hasn’t been determined “we apologize” since “perceptions count.”Castellucci also said the company would provide funds to help the hundreds of people evacuated from apartment buildings in the shadow of the bridge.But the Italy’s new populist government quickly spurned both the offer of help and the apology.“Let’s be very clear, the state won’t take charity from Autostrade,” Deputy Premier Luigi Di Maio, who attended the funeral, said in a Facebook post. “We’ll insist on credible reimbursement, and there won’t be any bartering. The only road the government will follow is that of going forward with revocation procedures.”At the state funeral, the names of the dead were placed on each coffin before the altar. Photographs, flowers and on one coffin a signed sports jersey, a sports trophy and a stuffed animal added personal touches.Players from a local team in Italy’s Serie D soccer, Campi Corniglianese, came to pay tribute to one of their own. Among the two Albanian dead was Marius Djerri, 22, who played for the team and was on his way to work for a cleaning company along with his compatriot when their truck plunged into the abyss.“(Marius was) a golden boy. Maybe not the strongest player on the pitch, but as a person, I would like all players to be like him,” team president Augustus Pintus said.___D’Emilio reported from Rome.___Frances D’Emilio is on twitter at www.twitter.com/fdemilio
QUEBEC – Quebec’s books are in order and the Liberal government’s budget strategy until the 2020-21 fiscal year is credible, auditor general Guylaine Leclerc said Monday, days before the start of the provincial election campaign.Predictions for future revenues, administrative expenses, salary costs and other budget details are “plausible,” Leclerc told reporters after releasing her report, which was based off her office’s analysis of documents prepared in June by the Finance Department.Leclerc said her review of the province’s books is an “important democratic exercise.”Lawmakers gave the auditor general’s office the mandate in 2015 to evaluate the incumbent government’s finances and budgetary predictions ahead of an election campaign, in order to avoid unpleasant surprises for new political parties that take power.New governments often accused prior administrations of hiding deficits or playing financial trickery, and the Liberals wanted to try to end that by asking the auditor general to review the province’s finances before Quebecers went to the polls.Premier Philippe Couillard said Leclerc’s report demonstrates his Liberal administration is one of the best teams in modern Quebec history with regards to the management of public finances.“We cannot break this momentum,” Couillard said from Scott, Que., in the province’s Beauce region south of Quebec City.Finance Minister Carlos Leitao’s budget documents prepared for Leclerc had predicted Quebec will run an annual budget surplus of roughly $950 million for fiscal 2018-19 through to 2022-23.Revenues from taxes — which represent about 60 per cent of the budget — will increase by 3 per cent in fiscal 2018-19 and maintain the same rate of increase for the next several years.Quebec’s GDP grew by 1.4 per cent in 2016 and 3 per cent the following year. Leitao estimated GDP would increase by 2.1 per cent in 2018 and by 1.7 per cent in 2019.Leclerc said she was not judging the government’s choices but analzying them regarding whether they were realistic.The government also provided sufficient room to manoeuvre in case of unforeseen economic problems, she added.Quebec’s election campaign begins Thursday with the final voting day on Oct. 1.
WASHINGTON – The U.S. economy grew at a robust annual rate of 4.2 per cent in the second quarter, the best performance in nearly four years, though economists believe growth has slowed in the current quarter partly because of a drag from trade.The performance of the gross domestic product, the country’s total output of goods and services, was unchanged from an estimate the Commerce Department made last month, the government reported Thursday.The strong GDP performance has been cited by Trump as proof that his economic program is working.“We’re doing much better than anybody thought possible,” Trump said at a Wednesday news conference.However, a big part of that growth reflected a temporary rush to ship soybeans and other U.S. exports out before penalty tariffs triggered by Trump’s get-tough trade policies took effect.Economists believe growth has slowed in the current quarter to between 3 per cent and 3.5 per cent, still a solid pace. While trade boosted GDP by 1.2 percentage point in the second quarter, due to a surge in exports, it is expected to trim growth by around 1 percentage point in the third quarter. Some of that weakness may be offset by businesses rebuilding their inventories at a stronger pace.“Growth still looks quite strong,” Jim O’Sullivan, chief U.S. economist for High Frequency Economics, said in describing the revised GDP report for the second quarter. He said he was forecasting third and fourth quarter growth at around 3 per cent “before momentum starts to fade in 2019.”A 3 per cent growth average in the second half of this year would leave the annual growth in 2018 at 3 per cent. That would be the best performance since 2005, three years before the 2008 financial crisis pushed the country into the worst recession since the 1930s.The country is currently in the 10th year of an economic expansion, the second longest in history. But growth has averaged a lacklustre 2.2 per cent, making this the weakest recovery in the post-World War II period.Trump often noted that performance when he campaigned for president, blaming the weakness on Obama administration economic policies. He pushed a $1.5 trillion tax cut through Congress last December and has emphasized deregulation and vowed tougher enforcement of trade agreements as ways to boost growth.The administration is projecting growth will return to sustained rates of 3 per cent or better over the next decade. However, others disagree with that assessment, forecasting growth will slow sharply in coming years as the impact of the tax cuts and increased government spending this year begin to fade. There is also an expectation that rising interest rates from the Federal Reserve will temper growth.The Fed pushed its key policy rate up for an eighth time on Wednesday to a new range of 2 per cent to 2.25 per cent.As he has done recently, Trump criticized that move, but Fed Chairman Jerome Powell told reporters at a news conference on Wednesday that outside criticism would have no impact on the Fed’s efforts to follow its mandate of promoting maximum employment and stable prices.The Fed indicated that it planned to stick with its plan to raise rates one more time this year and another three times in 2019.The government’s third and final look at second quarter GDP showed only minor and off-setting changes. Consumer spending, which accounts for 70 per cent of economic activity, was unchanged at a solid growth rate of 3.8 per cent. Business investment grew at a strong 8.7 per cent rate, up slightly from last month’s estimate of an 8.5 per cent growth rate.
NEW YORK — Tesla CEO Elon Musk dismissed the idea that the company’s new chairwoman can exert control over his behaviour.Robyn Denholm, an Australian telecommunications executive, was appointed chairwoman of Tesla’s board last month, replacing Musk as part of as part of a securities fraud settlement with U.S. government regulators.But Musk said “it’s not realistic” to expect Denholm to watch over his actions because he remains the electric car company’s largest shareholder.“It’s not realistic in the sense that I am the largest shareholder in the company,” Musk said in an interview with CBS’ “60 Minutes,” broadcast Sunday evening. “I can just call for a shareholder vote and get anything done that I want.”Musk, who owns about 20 per cent of Tesla, gave up the chairman role under a settlement with the Securities Exchange Commission, which had charged the CEO with misleading investors in August with a tweet that said he had “funding secured” for taking the company private.The SEC settlement also required the company to vet Musk’s tweets and other comments about the company before they are released to the public. Musk also shrugged off that provision, saying none of his tweets have been censored so far and the company does not review his posts to determine beforehand whether they could potentially affect the company’s stock price.“I guess we might make some mistakes. Who knows?” Musk said.Denholm’s appointment in November drew a mixed response from corporate governance experts, who praised her financial expertise but questioned her ability to carve out an independent path for a board that has been dominated by Musk.Denholm has been on Tesla’s board for five years. She is the chief financial officer and strategy head at Telstra Corp. Ltd., Australia’s largest telecommunications company, but will step down from that company after a six-month notice period and work at Tesla full-time.Musk told “60 Minutes” interviewer Lesley Stahl that he had hand-picked Denholm.The SEC settlement would allow Musk to return as chairman after three years, subject to shareholder approval. Musk said he would not be interested.“I actually prefer to have no titles at all,” Musk said.The Associated Press
NEW YORK — Stocks that moved substantially or traded heavily on Friday:Adobe Inc., down $18.08 to $230The software company gave a disappointing profit forecast for the current fiscal year.Alaska Air Group Inc., up 96 cents to $62.30The airline said it flew more passengers and revenue improved in November.Sealed Air Corp., up $1.54 to $33.94The industrial gas company announced a new restructuring program, including job cuts, aiming to save about $200 million a year.Starbucks Corp., down $1.57 to $65.34The coffee company’s forecasts fell short of Wall Street expectations.Costco Wholesale Corp., down $19.45 to $207.06The warehouse club operator’s membership revenue and sales were weaker than analysts expected.Johnson & Johnson, down $14.84 to $133Reuters reported that the health care giant knew for decades that its baby powder was sometimes contaminated with asbestos.Nucor Inc., up 69 cents to $56.39The steelmaker gave a strong profit forecast for the fourth quarter.Schlumberger Ltd., down $1.92 to $39.10Energy company stocks and oil prices fell after reports showed China’s retail sales and industrial output slowed in November.The Associated Press
Another day of big losses knocked U.S. stocks to their lowest levels in more than a year Monday. Investors dumped high-growth technology and retail companies as well as steadier, high-dividend companies. Oil fell below $50 a barrel for the first time since October 2017.On Monday:The S&P 500 index sank 54.01 points, or 2.1 per cent, at 2,545.94.The Dow Jones Industrial Average retreated 507.53 points, or 2.1 per cent, to 23,592.98.The Nasdaq composite tumbled 156.93 points, or 2.3 per cent, to 6,753.73.The Russell 2000 index shed 32.67 points, or 2.3 per cent, to 1,378.14.For the year:The S&P 500 is down 127.67 points, or 4.8 per cent.The Dow is down 1,126.24 points, or 4.6 per cent.The Nasdaq is up 149.66 points, or 2.2 per cent.The Russell 2000 is down 157.37 points, or 10.2 per cent.The Associated Press
NEW YORK — Tesla is naming Oracle’s Larry Ellison and an executive from Walgreens to its board as part of a settlement with U.S. regulators who demanded more oversight of CEO Elon Musk.The company said Friday that Ellison and Kathleen Wilson-Thompson are the new independent directors, effective immediately.Wilson-Thompson spent 17 years at Kellogg and is currently an executive with Walgreens Boots Alliance.The Securities and Exchange Commission charged Tesla CEO Elon Musk with misleading investors in August with a tweet that said he had “funding secured” for taking the company private. The two board members are part of the agreement reached with the SEC.The Associated Press
OTTAWA — Rising interest rates appear to be taking a toll on Canadians’ finances as the total number of insolvencies filed under the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act increased by 5.2 per cent in November from the prior year.The Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcies says the number of consumer insolvencies rose by 5.1 per cent, while business insolvencies increased by 8.9 per cent.The Bank of Canada raised its key lending rate five times since the middle of 2017.The number of insolvencies decreased by 2.5 per cent in November from October with bankruptcies falling by 8.2 per cent and proposals increasing by 2.1 per cent.For the 12-month period ending Nov. 30, the number of bankruptcies and proposals grew by two per cent with consumer bankruptcies falling by five per cent and proposals increasing by 8.4 per cent. Consumer insolvency filings accounted for 97.2 per cent of total insolvency filings.Business insolvencies decreased by 0.6 per cent, with the mining, oil and gas extraction and manufacturing sectors falling the most while construction and retail insolvencies sustained the greatest increases.The number of insolvencies rose in all provinces except Nova Scotia in November compared with the same period a year earlier. Newfoundland and Labrador’s filings rose 11 per cent, followed by Alberta at 8.3 per cent. Quebec and Ontario grew by less than one per cent.The Canadian Press
VANCOUVER, B.C. – The federal government says it will monitor underwater ship and mammal noise in British Columbia’s Salish Sea to help develop measures to support the recovery of endangered southern resident killer whales.Terry Beech, parliamentary secretary to the transportation minister, announced the measures as his government is set to face new scrutiny on the impacts of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion on the threatened species.A court ruling found the National Energy Board failed to assess the pipeline project’s effects on the marine environment and the government has asked the board to reconsider that part of the review by Feb. 22. The project would increase tanker traffic in Burrard Inlet seven-fold and whale experts argue there is already too much traffic for the 74-member southern resident whale population to survive.Beech says Transport Canada will spend $1.6 million on measures including deploying an underwater hydrophone, or listening device, at Boundary Pass in the Salish Sea.He also says the department will carry out a four-year project to better predict propeller noise and hull vibration of a vessel.
“If there is no active injection operation nearby then certainly we will consider this to be a natural tectonic earthquake,” Kao said. ROCKY MOUNTAIN HOUSE, A.B. – A second earthquake in less than a week shook central Alberta on Sunday, although a seismologist notes it occurred in a different geologic region than a quake last week that’s been linked to fracking.Honn Kao with the Geological Survey of Canada says the 4.4 magnitude quake was detected at around 4 a.m., with an epicentre about 32 kilometres northwest of Rocky Mountain House.Kao says no damage has been reported, although he says many people who live in the area have reported feeling it, one as far away as Edmonton. A 4.6 magnitude earthquake last Monday that was felt in the communities of Red Deer and Sylvan Lake has prompted the Alberta Energy Regulator to order a company to suspend fracking operations at a well site.Kao notes that while the two quakes were geographically close, Sunday’s quake happened in the Rocky Mountains geological system, whereas last week’s event occurred in the Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin.Cara Tobin, a spokeswoman for the AER, says there doesn’t appear to have been any industrial activity in the area of the most recent earthquake, but staff will be checking the data to make sure.“As inactive as Alberta is tectonically, this area is comparatively active, and so we do see more seismic activity in that area than we do in other areas,” Tobin said of the region where Sunday’s earthquake occurred.In August 2014, a 4.3 magnitude earthquake occurred in the same region. It didn’t do any damage but power was disrupted to about 500 customers, including a gas plant near Rocky Mountain House.Following last week’s quake, the AER said Vesta Energy Ltd. must suspend hydraulic fracturing operations at its well site, and must submit a report of all seismic activity in the area since April, as well as specific fracturing data for the well site from Jan. 29 to March 4. The regulator has also ordered Vesta to file a plan to eliminate or reduce future seismic activity from fracturing.Hydraulic fracturing involves pumping chemicals and sand underground to break up rocks to help get oil and natural gas flowing.Kao said some of the people who felt Sunday’s quake reported they were woken up by the shaking.He said more analysis will be needed to say definitively that the two quakes weren’t linked, but at the moment there doesn’t appear to be any evidence of it.
Mumbai: State Bank of India has put on sale six non-performing accounts worth Rs 2,337.88 crore, which will be auctioned on March 26. The bank is looking to sell all the accounts on a 100 percent cash basis to banks, ARCs, NBFCs and other financial institutions, according to the auction notice on the lender’s website on Tuesday. The accounts are Indian Steel Corporation (outstanding debt Rs 928.88 crore), Jai Balaji Industries (Rs 859.33 crore), Kohinoor Planet Construction (Rs 207.77 crore), Mittal Corp (Rs 116.34 crore), MCL Global Steel (Rs 100.18 crore), Shree Vaishnav Ispat (Rs 82.52 crore) and Gati Infrastructure (Rs 42.86 crore). Also Read – Maruti cuts production for 8th straight month in SepThe lender said except Mittal Corp and Shree Vaishnav, the auctions are under the Swiss Challenge method and will be conducted on March 26. Last week, the bank had put on block six other NPA accounts worth Rs 1,307.27 crore— Parental Drugs (Rs 429.72 crore), Kamachi Industries (Rs 365.68 crore), Jain Infraprojects (Rs 361.55 crore), MPK Ispat, MPK Steel and MPK Metals (Rs 53.86 crore), Balmukund Polyplast (Rs 50.12 crore) and Martina Biogenics (Rs 46.34 crore). The auction these accounts will be conducted on March 22.
Amaravati (AP): The Andhra Pradesh government Friday transferred the Director General of Intelligence A B Venkateswara Rao shortly after the High Court rejected its plea challenging the Election Commission’s order.Chief Secretary Anil Chandra Punetha issued a G.O transferring Rao and directing him to report to the police headquarters. The high court rejected the state government’s contentions, particularly that the DG had nothing to do with the conduct of elections and that the EC had no jurisdiction over him and ruled there was “no case for interim relief.” Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM’The high court refused to stall EC’s order, transferring two IPS officers, including the Director General of Intelligence and a non-cadre officer in the state government, and keeping them away from election duties. The Chief Secretary directed the Director General of Police (Head of Police Force) to not assign any election-related work to Rao till the completion of current elections. The Election Commission on Tuesday night directed the AP Chief Secretary to shift the Intelligence DG and not assign him any poll duties. Also Read – Farooq demands unconditional release of all detainees in J&KThe Chief Secretary immediately issued an order transferring the 1989 batch IPS officer. However, Punetha issued another order on Wednesday afternoon, after Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu raised an objection to Rao’s transfer, and cancelled Tuesday night’s G.O. Neither the ruling Telugu Desam Party nor the state government were not so particular about the EC’s same directive in respect of the district SPs of Kadapa and Srikakulam. The Chief Minister was adamant the Intelligence chief be continued in the same post and the state officials apparently toed his line. The state government also filed a writ petition in the High Court challenging the EC directive. A division bench of the High Court, comprising acting Chief Justice Praveen Kumar and Justice Satyanarayana Murthy, ruled that there was “no case for interim relief” in the matter and said the state government should comply with the EC order.
Chennai: The Madras High Court on Monday quashed land acquisition process for the Rs 10,000 crore Salem-Chennai eight-lane green corridor project, holding it required a mega realignment as the proposed route would have an adverse effect on environment.A special bench of Justice T S Sivagnanam and Justice Bhavani Subbarayan passed the order allowing a batch of petitions by 35 land owners and PMK leader Anbumani Ramadoss. The bench observed the project would have an adverse effect on the environment, water bodies and it needed a mega realignment. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM’The court had on December 14, 2018, reserved orders on the batch of petitions, challenging land acquisition proceedings. The ambitious 277.3 km long eight-lane greenfield project connecting Salem and Chennai under the Centre’s ‘Bharatmala Pariyojana’ scheme aims to cut travel time between the two cities by half to about two hours and 15 minutes. However, it has has been facing opposition from a section of locals, including farmers, over fears of losing their land, besides environmentalists who are against felling of trees for it.
NEW DELHI: Already divided over whether to forge an alliance with the AAP, the Delhi Congress faces fresh trouble with its senior Muslim leaders resenting that they may be denied party tickets in the Lok Sabha polls.In a letter to Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Saturday, a group of five ex-MLAs –three of them having been elected five times to Delhi assembly –has sought fielding of a Muslim leader either from Chandni Chowk or North East Delhi Lok Sabha seats. Also Read – After eight years, businessman arrested for kidnap & murderThe resentment by the Muslim leaders of the party’s Delhi unit has come to the fore days before finalisation of the list of candidates on seven parliamentary seats in the capital. The letter signed by Mateen Ahmad, Shoiab Iqbal, Hasan Ahmed and Asif Mohammad Khan also mentions the name of Delhi Congress working president Haroon Yusuf, a five-time MLA, for consideration of the party ticket from Delhi. Besides Haroon Yusuf, Mateen Ahmad and Shoiab Iqbal too were elected five times, while Hasan Ahmed and Asif Mohammad Khan were elected twice to the Delhi legislative assembly. “Keeping in view the number of Muslim votes, the contribution and track record of winning elections by the five Muslim leaders, one ticket must be given to anyone of them either from Chandni Chowk or North East Delhi parliamentary seat,” the leaders said in the letter. All the five leaders are “very popular” among the Muslims and other communities and “very active”, said the letter addressed to Gandhi.