Voluntary Planning Seeks Community Development Task Force Members

first_imgThe Voluntary Planning Board is looking for Nova Scotians interested in the future of all the province’s communities. Volunteers are needed to participate on Voluntary Planning’s Community Development Task Force. The task force will seek public participation to build a common vision for the future of Nova Scotia communities that will provide a framework for future development. The vision and policy recommendations will be presented to cabinet, the premier, and the public. “Nova Scotia needs to develop a common vision for its many communities,” said Ron Smith, chair of Voluntary Planning’s board of directors. “This is a chance for Nova Scotians to tell us their vision for the future of our communities, and to develop policy recommendations on how to achieve that vision.” Potential volunteers must be willing to invest time and energy over an 18-month period, beginning in October. Individuals interested in becoming a part of the Community Development Task Force should forward an expression of interest by Friday, Oct. 6. Submissions can be made by e-mail to volplan@gov.ns.ca, by fax to 902-424-0580, or by mail to Voluntary Planning, Suite 600, Joseph Howe Building, 1690 Hollis St., Halifax, N.S. B3J 3J9. For more information on the Community Development Task Force call 902-424-5682, toll free at 1-866-858-5850, or see the website at www.gov.ns.ca/vp . Voluntary Planning is Nova Scotia’s citizens’ policy forum. It is an arm’s length board of the government mandated to engage citizens on important policy issues for the future.last_img read more

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Dartmouth NonProfit Housing Society Celebrates 25 Years

first_imgThe Dartmouth Non-Profit Housing Society celebrated 25 years of service and a new plan for the future at a ceremony at its Ochterloney Street offices today, May 24. The society has been quietly helping hundreds of low- and moderate-income families find affordable housing in Dartmouth for a quarter century with the help of an operating subsidy from the Department of Community Services. “I am inspired by the work Dartmouth Non-Profit does to help struggling families,” said Community Services Minister Judy Streatch, who was on hand for the celebration. “Few people appreciate the impact that the Dartmouth Non-Profit Housing Society has on the lives of so many people. Community Services is honoured to be able to work with the society to meet these needs.” The society assists eligible people by providing rent subsidies and has helped families gain access to affordable homes that meet their needs. As part of the ceremony, the board signed a new operating agreement with Community Services. The agreement is the final step in a restructuring process that began in 2003 and helped the society simplify its funding and administrative processes. The society also presented Ms. Streatch with a cheque paying back an $80,000 emergency loan from the department in the late 1990s. “There was a time when we weren’t sure we would be able to keep up operations,” said Chairman Bruce Hetherington. “Thanks to the restructuring plan we developed with Community Services we are financially secure and are better able to provide better quality housing for our tenants.” Three board members were also recognized at the ceremony for their dedication to the society. Bruce Hetherington, Condo Sarto and Garvie Samson received plaques marking their 25 years on the board.last_img read more

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African Heritage Month 2008

first_imgA month filled with fun, informative and thought-provoking activities and events was launched today, Jan. 31, when February was proclaimed African Heritage Month at Province House. “African Heritage Month is an opportunity to reflect upon the valuable contributions African Nova Scotians have made to the rich social and cultural identity of our province,” said Barry Barnet, Minister of African Nova Scotian Affairs, who made the proclamation in the Red Chamber. “It is also a chance to look toward a future of strong participation by African Nova Scotians in all facets of the economic, social, legal and political life of the province.” The African Heritage Month Information Network has been established this year to help form partnerships to enhance celebrations and ensure a provincewide calendar of events and activities are held and highlighted. The Office of African Nova Scotian Affairs mobilized various community organizations from across the province to create the network. “An event could be to host a gala dinner or dance or something smaller like a film screening or book reading,” said Wayn Hamilton, African Nova Scotian Affairs CEO. “For example, a few groups in one community could work together to plan a larger community event, which would truly be in the spirit of Imani – Faith in our community, Faith in each other.” The theme of African Heritage Month 2008 is Imani, which means Faith in Swahili and the historical figure being highlighted is Marcus Garvey, who promoted the ideals of pride, freedom, self-reliance and education. In 1917, Garvey founded what is commonly known as the Universal Negro Improvement Association. He believed people of African descent would be respected only when they were economically strong and a broad education was a good start to realizing this goal. In an effort to unify people, he established more than 1,100 branches of the Universal Negro Improvement Association in more than 40 countries, including halls in Glace Bay, Sydney, and New Waterford. Garvey visited the Glace Bay U.N.I.A. in 1928. Today, it is the only one in Canada. Darlene Strong, a local African Nova Scotian artist from Cumberland County, drew the sketch of Garvey for the poster that will be unveiled at the opening reception. Copies will be distributed to various government and community organizations during the first week in February. There are several ways to access African Heritage Month information. At the African Nova Scotian Affairs website, www.gov.ns.ca/ansa , a page is dedicated to African Heritage Month with background information, a biography of Marcus Garvey and artist Darlene Strong, links to other sites featuring African Heritage Month, and information on events and activities. The calendar of events can be accessed from the homepage of the ANSA website and will be updated as new and/or revised information is received. The events line, new this year, is 902-424-3482. Events scheduled for the following day, including changes or cancellations, will be recorded daily. The line will be operational on Jan. 31. Black History Month was founded in 1926 by Harvard educated black historian, Carter G. Woodson. It started as a week in February to celebrate the history, contributions and culture of African Americans. In 1976, the week was expanded to a month. In Nova Scotia, the celebration of Black History Month was initiated in the early 1980s through the efforts of the Black History Month Association. It is now known as African Heritage Month and has been celebrated in Nova Scotia for 24 years. The African Heritage Month Information Network includes: African Nova Scotian Affairs, African Nova Scotian Music Association, Black History Month Association, Cumberland African Nova Scotian Association, Hankard Street Community Hall, Menelik Hall Association, United Negro Improvement Association and Valley African Nova Scotian Development Association.last_img read more

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Community Meetings in Digby Yarmouth Shelburne Counties

first_imgNova Scotians are invited to community meetings in May and June to share their ideas about the future of the province’s natural resources. The meetings will be hosted by the Voluntary Planning Natural Resources Citizen Engagement Committee. The volunteer committee is gathering Nova Scotians’ views to help government develop a long-term natural resources strategy for the province. The following meetings will take place in Digby, Yarmouth and Shelburne counties. All meetings are from 6:30 to 9 p.m. The meetings in Tusket and Saulnierville will be held in French. Tuesday, May 20Tusket — École secondaire de Par-en-Bas, 360 Highway 308 North Wednesday, May 21Saulnierville — Royal Canadian Legion, 9938 Highway 1 Monday, May 26Shelburne — Shelburne Fire Hall and Community Centre, 63 King St. Tuesday, June 3Weymouth — Royal Canadian Legion, 24 Back St. Wednesday, June 4Yarmouth — Royal Canadian Legion, 75 Parade St. A complete list of meetings around the province and information on submitting written comments are on the website at http://vp.gov.ns.ca . Nova Scotians can also call Voluntary Planning at 902-424-8644 or toll-free at 1-866-858-5850 for more information. -30-last_img read more

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Film Nova Scotia et Empire Theatres font la promotion des cinéastes de

first_imgFilm Nova Scotia et Empire Theatres présenteront les talents de certains cinéastes de la relève lors de projections gratuites des courts métrages Backshift, Sunfish, Red Velvet Girls et D’une rive à l’autre. Les films seront présentés le mercredi 25 novembre à 19 h au théâtre Oxford, à Halifax. Backshift, réalisé par Jeff Coll, et Sunfish, réalisé par Chris Pauley et Steve Richard, ont été tournés localement grâce au programme Bridge Award Program de la CBC et de Film Nova Scotia. Le prix Bridge Award est présenté aux réalisateurs de la relève afin de leur permettre de réaliser une émission qui sera diffusée dans la région de l’Atlantique. Red Velvet Girls, réalisé par Sean Doyle, et D’une rive à l’autre, réalisé par Marc Almon, ont été créés par l’entremise du Centre canadien du film. Ce centre offre des programmes de formation aux réalisateurs de la relève afin de leur permettre de développer leur talent. Ces soirées de projection ont lieu quatre fois par année et donnent l’occasion au public de la région de visionner des films créés localement, et aux réalisateurs de la région de promouvoir leurs œuvres. La date limite pour présenter une demande au programme Bridge Award 2010 de la CBC et de Film Nova Scotia est le 5 février. Les formulaires de demande sont disponibles (en anglais seulement) au www.filmnovascotia.com. Pour obtenir plus d’information sur les programmes du Centre canadien du film (en anglais seulement), consultez le www.cfccreates.com.last_img read more

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Remember to Turn Clocks Ahead

first_imgNova Scotians are reminded to set their clocks ahead one hour on Sunday, March 14, when daylight saving time comes into effect at 2 a.m., or before going to bed Saturday evening. Along with watches and clocks, microwave ovens, VCR and DVD players, answering machines, car clocks and automatic timer lights should be changed. It is also a reminder to replace batteries in smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Smoke alarms should be tested monthly and replaced every 10 years. People are advised to check computer calendars to ensure appointments are up to date when the time change takes effect.last_img read more

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Leadership Opportunities Help Young Women Build Futures

first_imgThe province is helping more young Nova Scotians to take part in activities that connect them to their community, develop their futures and build their confidence. Premier Darrell Dexter announced today, May 15, that the province will fund a new Lighthouses Program Partnership. The Halifax Youth Advocate Program’s Girls United will help girls at risk. “Together, we are helping girls and young women stay on track to a positive future,” said Premier Dexter. “The Girls United project reaches a particularly vulnerable group. By working with our partners, we are building stronger, safer Nova Scotia communities for everyone.” Through the program, about 20 girls will participate in job training and other activities, which will help create friendships and build positive support networks. Some of the girls are helping to develop activities to meet the needs of the group. Program participants face a number of risks, including a lack of positive role models, personal conflict or friends involved in crime or gang activities. They are vulnerable to sexual abuse, prostitution and drug use. By having participants help design and deliver activities, Girls United will be able to connect in ways that traditional programs have not. “Girls face many obstacles and challenges unique to this generation,” said Samantha Rheaume, a youth advocate worker. “Giving them a chance to guide their program development allows them to help themselves and support each other. The activities they plan will help them build life and employability skills and their self-esteem.” In April, Premier Dexter put together an Action Team on Sexual Assault and Bullying to better protect girls, women and all Nova Scotians. Girls United is an example of the kinds of partnerships the province wants to support to help prevent sexual violence and help keep girls and women safer. A wide range of partners are joining to deliver the program, including Heartwood Centre for Community Youth Development, the Elizabeth Fry Society of Nova Scotia, Atlantic Youth, East Dartmouth Boys and Girls Club, the Empathy Factory, the Halifax Youth Attendance Centre, Kachina Health Associates, HRM’s Adventure Earth Centre and Banana Republic. “The Girls United project will empower girls to strive for a productive and fulfilling future as it will equip them to succeed in today’s complex and pressure-filled society,” said Chief Jean-Michel Blais, Halifax Regional Police. “We are proud to join with our partners in supporting this life-changing program for girls that will address some of the root-causes of crime and contribute to the overall health and safety of our community.” The province will support the project with an annual $12,000 grant. The Lighthouses program has invested more than $1.2 million to 21 partners since it began in 2010.last_img read more

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New Artwork Coming to Halifax Stanfield International Airport

first_imgVisitors to Halifax Stanfield International Airport will watch Nova Scotia’s diverse culture come to life in front of their eyes in August. Acclaimed Mi’kmaq artist Alan Syliboy’s project was announced today, July 9, by MLA Lenore Zann on behalf of Premier Darrell Dexter, who is also Minister of Aboriginal Affairs, Communities, Culture and Heritage Minister Leonard Preyra and Peter Spurway, Halifax International Airport Authority vice-president of corporate communications and airport experience. “Showcasing our diverse culture and heritage like this immediately introduces Nova Scotia as a unique destination and encourages visitors to explore everything this province has to offer, including the art of many gifted artists whose work can be seen right across the province,” said Ms. Zann. “As one of the main gateways to the province, Halifax Stanfield airport is the perfect place to show the world how proud Nova Scotians are of our unique heritage and the accomplishments of incredible artists like Alan Syliboy from Millbrook First Nation.” “We are very pleased to have this opportunity to reflect this important element of Nova Scotia’s rich heritage,” said Mr. Spurway. “We really appreciate the support of the government of Nova Scotia that allows us to bring this unique art experience to the nearly 9,000,000 passengers and visitors who pass through our terminal each year.” Mr. Syliboy will create an original piece of art in the main lobby of the airport between Aug. 9 and 11. People will be able to watch his creative work unfold during the day or by webcast at www.flyhalifax.com. “I’m extremely proud to participate in this unique event that will bring the Mi’kmaq culture to life,” said Mr. Syliboy. “I’ve had a close relationship with the airport authority over the last number of years. My art was on display during the Canada Games and since that time, we’ve been organizing this live art project. “It’s exciting to see it become a reality and I look forward to this memorable art experience.” The province is contributing $30,000 towards the project, as part of its support for the arts and commitment to celebrating Mi’kmaq culture and heritage. The artwork will be on permanent display in the airport lobby after it is finished. FOR BROADCAST: Visitors to Halifax Stanfield International Airport will watch Nova Scotia’s diverse culture come to life in front of their eyes from August 9th to 11th. Acclaimed Mi’kmaq artist Alan Syliboy’s project was announced today (July 9th). Visitors to the airport will be able to watch his work in person or by webcast the airport’s website. The province is contributing $30,000 towards the project, as part of its support for the arts and commitment to celebrating Mi’kmaq culture and heritage. The artwork will be on permanent display in the airport lobby after it is finished. -30-last_img read more

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Transition Coordinators Appointed for Mulgrave Parrsboro

first_imgMUNICIPAL AFFAIRS–Transition Co-ordinators Appointed for Mulgrave, Parrsboro John Leefe will serve as transition co-ordinator for Parrsboro and Gordon MacInnis will assume this role for Mulgrave. Municipal Affairs Minister Zach Churchill made the announcement today, Nov. 5, at the fall conference of the Union of Nova Scotia Municipalities. “In seeking strong solutions to real problems, these communities and their leaders are acting with courage and integrity,” said Mr. Churchill. “I’m confident that these transition co-ordinators will help create governance structures that are foundations for healthy, vibrant, sustainable communities for years to come.” Mr. MacInnis is a chartered accountant and vice president of finance and operations at Cape Breton University. He served as town manager for Glace Bay, and as deputy chief administrative officer for Cape Breton Regional Municipality during the 1995 amalgamation. “We’re looking forward to working with Mr. MacInnis through the dissolution process,” said Mulgrave Mayor Lorne MacDonald. “We’re confident he will help us reach an agreement with the Municipality of the District of Guysborough so that our community continues to be a great place to live.” Mr. Leefe served as transition co-ordinator for the process that led to the Town of Springhill merging with the Municipality of the County of Cumberland. He is former mayor of the Region of Queens Municipality and was a long-serving MLA and cabinet minister. “Mr. Leefe’s experience in Springhill gives us confidence in his ability to guide our community through this process,” said Parrsboro Mayor Lois Smith. “We look forward to building a new governance structure with the Municipality of the County of Cumberland that ensures long-term sustainability for our community.” The transition co-ordinators will manage the dissolution process outlined in the Municipal Government Act. The province will provide support to the municipalities throughout the mergers. —————————————————————-FOR BROADCAST ONLY: Transition co-ordinators have been appointed to oversee the change in governance for Mulgrave and Parrsboro. John Leefe will serve as transition co-ordinator for Parrsboro and Gordon MacInnis will assume this role for Mulgrave. Municipal Affairs Minister Zach Churchill made the announcement today (Nov. 5th) at the fall conference of the Union of Nova Scotia Municipalities. Mr. Churchill says that in seeking strong solutions to real problems, these communities and their leaders are acting with courage and integrity. He says he is confident that these transition co-ordinators will help create governance structures that are foundations for healthy, vibrant, sustainable communities for years to come. -30- ————————————————————–Transition co-ordinators have been appointed to oversee the change in governance for Mulgrave and Parrsboro. last_img read more

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Christine Hanson Appointed New CEO of Human Rights Commission

first_imgA Halifax native, diplomat and international lawyer, is the new director and CEO of the Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission. Christine Hanson, a Dalhousie University law graduate, and current Minister-Counsellor for Congressional and Intergovernmental Affairs at the Canadian Embassy in Washington, D.C., will take over the role effective Feb. 8. “I’m very pleased that someone of Ms. Hanson’s impressive background, experience and dedication will be leading Nova Scotia’s Human Rights Commission,” said Diana Whalen, Minister responsible for the Human Rights Commission. “She will be a strong asset for the commission and a strong advocate for human rights in this province.” Ms. Hanson has held a variety of roles in the Legal Bureau of the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, including deputy director of the Human Rights and Humanitarian Law Division. “I am thrilled to have the opportunity to take on this important role in my home province,” said Ms. Hanson. “I look forward to working closely with the commissioners and commission staff to protect and promote human rights in Nova Scotia.” In 2014, she was awarded the Building a Better World alumni award from Dalhousie University. She was also an International Women’s Forum Global Leadership Foundation Fellow in 2014-15. She is married and has two daughters. Ms. Hanson takes over from interim director and CEO, Michelle Higgins, a senior solicitor with the Department of Justice. The Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission is an independent government commission that administers the province’s Human Rights Act.last_img read more

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Le rapport Glaze offre des recommandations pour lamélioration du système dadministration scolaire

first_img « Les Néo-Écossais font du travail novateur dans les écoles, mais les conflits, les fardeaux et les inefficacités dans le système même forment des obstacles pour les enseignants, les directeurs d’école et les élèves », explique Mme Glaze. Mme Glaze possède une vaste expérience en matière d’amélioration des écoles et des systèmes scolaires, et elle a travaillé avec des éducateurs dans presque 50 pays à l’échelle mondiale. À l’heure actuelle, elle est l’une des conseillères de renommée internationale qui contribuent à la réforme de l’éducation en Écosse. Mme Glaze a été commissaire à l’éducation de l’Ontario et conseillère principale auprès du ministre de l’Éducation. Elle a été la première directrice générale du rendement des élèves de la province et présidente fondatrice du Secrétariat de la littératie et de la numératie. Elle a reçu l’Ordre de l’Ontario ainsi que de nombreux prix internationaux pour ses contributions à l’éducation. Le rapport intégral peut être consulté ici : www.ednet.ns.ca/fr/examen-administratif-systeme-educatif. AVIS AUX CHEFS DES NOUVELLES : Le présent communiqué est publié au nom de la consultante, Madame Avis Glaze. Une experte de renommée mondiale souligne que le modèle d’administration scolaire de la province doit être réorienté et restructuré de façon à accorder la priorité à l’apprentissage et au rendement des élèves. « Tous les gens que j’ai rencontrés dans le système font de leur mieux, affirme la consultante, madame Avis Glaze. Ils sont tous très dévoués, mais le système ne fonctionne pas comme il devrait fonctionner pour les élèves, les parents, les enseignants et les directeurs. » « Dans de nombreux cas, les élèves de la Nouvelle-Écosse obtiennent de résultats inférieurs à la moyenne du pays, et le manque de clarté et de cohérence dans le système est un facteur qui contribue au problème. » Le rapport de Mme Glaze s’intitule « Relever la barre : Une approche cohérente et souple d’administration de l’éducation pour la Nouvelle-Écosse ». Dans le cadre de l’examen, le premier du genre en plus de 20 ans, Mme Glaze a évalué l’administration des écoles publiques, y compris les conseils scolaires élus et l’administration de leur bureau central, ainsi que l’administration au sein du ministère de l’Éducation et du Développement de la petite enfance (MEDPE). En octobre et en novembre, Mme Glaze a rencontré plus de 500 intervenants dans le cadre de 91 consultations tenues à l’échelle de la province. De plus, 1 500 personnes ont aussi répondu à un sondage en ligne. Selon le rapport, le système d’administration actuel peut sembler être formé de neuf organismes déconnectés, soit le ministère et huit conseils scolaires individuels, qui ont souvent des priorités contradictoires et des rôles et des responsabilités qui ne sont pas clairs. Cette situation a mené à un modèle qui distrait de l’apprentissage et du rendement des 118 000 élèves de la province. « Le système d’administration doit être réorienté pour mettre un accent coordonné et unifié sur les élèves à l’échelle de la province afin de les aider à réaliser leur plein potentiel, peu importe où ils habitent et peu importe leurs circonstances personnelles, déclare Mme Glaze. De plus, toute économie réalisée grâce à ce plan doit être réinvestie dans les classes. » Voici certaines des recommandations :center_img Les sept conseils scolaires régionaux existants doivent être éliminés pour réduire les priorités contradictoires et favoriser une approche provinciale coordonnée pour relever les défis dans le système. Les sept conseils administratifs régionaux conservent leurs noms et leurs territoires, et fonctionnent comme des bureaux régionaux d’éducation. Les rôles administratifs non essentiels doivent être révisés dans le cadre d’un modèle de partage des services afin de réduire les frais administratifs et de créer un système plus simple et unifié, par exemple : la TI, la paie, les locaux, les finances, les services d’accès à l’information et de protection de la vie privée et les ressources humaines. Les directeurs généraux des conseils scolaires deviennent des directeurs généraux régionaux de l’éducation. Ils assument la responsabilité du rendement des élèves, des programmes d’études et des politiques dans leurs écoles. Ils relèvent directement du sous-ministre de l’Éducation et du Développement de la petite enfance et gèrent les bureaux régionaux d’éducation. Maintenir la structure du Conseil scolaire acadien provincial (CSAP). Le directeur général relève à la fois du sous-ministre et du CSAP. Le CSAP assume le contrôle des aspects culturels et linguistiques tout en suivant les lignes directrices du programme d’études provincial. Améliorer la participation locale en créant dans toutes les localités des conseils d’école consultatifs (CEC) dynamiques et jouissant d’une influence accrue et de la participation continue du ministre, en offrant une possibilité aux parents, aux élèves, aux directeurs d’école et aux membres de la communauté de faire part de leurs points de vue. Veiller à écouter les Mi’kmaq et les Afro-Néo-Écossais à l’échelon ministériel. Il faut enrichir les rôles du Conseil de l’éducation mi’kmaq (CEM) et du Council on African Canadian Education (CACE), et les charger de conseiller le ministre en matière de politiques. Muter les spécialistes du soutien à l’enseignement (responsables de la littératie, mentors de mathématiques, etc.) hors des bureaux régionaux d’éducation et à l’intérieur des salles de classe quatre jours par semaine, le cinquième jour étant réservé à la planification collaborative et à la préparation de la semaine suivante. Former un Bureau indépendant d’évaluation des progrès des élèves (BEPE), qui départira le ministère de l’Éducation et du Développement de la petite enfance de cette responsabilité, afin de créer des évaluations des élèves de haute qualité. Ce bureau fera directement rapport au public des résultats. Nommer un ombudsman de l’éducation, c’est-à-dire un agent indépendant chargé d’examiner et de résoudre les plaintes sur les pratiques et les décisions administratives qui touchent l’éducation. Créer un collège provincial des éducateurs, un organisme indépendant de délivrance des permis, de régie, de discipline et de réglementation de la profession d’enseignant, afin d’améliorer la confiance du public à l’égard du système d’éducation. Retirer les directeurs d’école et les directeurs adjoints du Syndicat des enseignants de la Nouvelle-Écosse (NSTU) et les intégrer à une nouvelle association professionnelle. L’ancienneté, la pension de retraite et les avantages sociaux ne doivent pas être modifiés et il devrait être possible aux administrateurs qui le souhaitent de retourner à l’enseignement et au syndicat. last_img read more

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Court said poetic justice needs to be done in Kathua case

first_imgPathankot: The special court, which convicted six people in the murder case of an 8-year-old nomadic girl in Kathua in Jammu region, has termed the crime “devilish and monstrous” committed in the most “shameful, inhumane and barbaric manner” for which “poetic justice” needs to be done to its perpetrators.District and sessions court here, hearing the matter on the direction of the Supreme Court, convicted six people on June 10 in the case which included Sanji Ram, dismissed policeman Deepak Khajuria and Parvesh Kumar, who have been sentenced to life in jail. Also Read – Cong may promise farm loan waiver in Haryana”Heaven and hell are no geographical locations, our thoughts, actions and character create the situation of heaven or hell for us,” judge Dr Tejwinder Singh wrote in the beginning of his 432-page judgment, a copy of which is with PTI. He said it was needless to say the commission of this “devilish and monstrous crime has sent shockwaves across the society and the actual guilty needs to be brought under the sword of justice.” He also observed the crime committed against the minor is “shameful, inhumane and barbaric” but said the evidence brought on record has to be tested on a “touchstone in order to find out the real culprits, so that no innocent person is crushed under the wheels in an unjust manner.” Also Read – Modi formed OBC commission which earlier govts didn’t do: ShahAfter hearing prosecution lawyers, comprising S S Basra, J K Chopra, Harminder Singh and Bhupinder Singh, as also a battery of 57 defence lawyers, the judge said, “There is nothing on record which could show that there is a false implication (as contended by defence lawyers) of accused persons in this case”. The court listed 11 police cases which showed strained relations between the ‘Bakarwal’ (nomads) community and the local residents and took on record other statements which supported and proved the fact that there was a communal tension in the area where the crime was committed on January 10 last year. “The Bakarwal community was apparently not accepted by the local residents of that area, which led to strained relations between the two and as such there was a strong motive behind the occurrence. “The defence has failed to rebut this motive which apparently was behind the occurrence. As such this court is of the conclusion that there was a strong motive behind this occurrence,” the judge said. Commenting on the plea by the defence claiming the investigation as defective, the judge said the court is of the considered view that the documents are official documents on record which have been “duly proved by the officials of different departments” on the basis of record maintained with them. “….even otherwise this is a serious criminal trial and merely on some hyper technical objections raised by legal experts, no benefit can be given to the accused persons as this trial has to be adjudicated on the basis of detailed and consolidated evidence led by the prosecution in this case,” the judgment said. The judge, after relying on several Supreme Court judgments, said, “If at all, at any point of time, there was a minor lapse in the investigation, the benefit of the doubt cannot be given to the accused in the present trial which is very serious in nature.” PTIlast_img read more

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Three dead five injured as heavy rains lash Mumbai

first_imgMumbai: Three persons were killed and five injured in rain-related incidents on Friday in Mumbai, which was lashed by the first spell of heavy rains this monsoon that marked its most delayed arrival in the city in 45 years, officials said.Mumbaikars woke up to heavy rains, ending a long dry spell, but a few hours of incessant showers left the financial capital struggling with the familiar monsoon woes of waterlogging, delayed trains, traffic jams and choked drains. Also Read – Ahead of Xi’s visit, China says Kashmir issue should be resolved bilaterally; drops UN referencesThree persons died of electric shocks, while two others were injured in two separate incidents in the western suburbs, a spokesperson of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) said. Two others suffered injuries in the Goregaon incident and were admitted to a local hospital, he said. The police were inquiring into the Goregaon electrocution incident, he added. Three persons were injured when a portion of a wall collapsed in Dadar (East), he said, adding that they were admitted to the civic-run KEM Hospital. Waterlogging was reported from areas like Dadar, Wadala, Worli, Kurla, Chembur, Bandra, Andheri, Kandivili, Vikhroli, Kanjurmarg and Bhandup, among others. Responding to the reports of waterlogging, the BMC said pumping out water will take time because of high tide in the Arabian Sea. The BMC appealed to the citizens to avoid driving in the waterlogged areas.last_img read more

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Former Delhi CM Sheila Dikshit cremated with full state honours

first_imgNEW DELHI: Former Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit was laid to rest Sunday with full state honours at Nigambodh Ghat. A host of political leaders across party lines attended the last rites of veteran Congress leader, who died of cardiac arrest on Saturday. Top Congress leaders, including UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, were present at the funeral. Union Home Minister Amit Shah, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, his deputy Manish Sisodia and Home Minister Satyendar Jain were among those who attended the last rites. Also Read – Squadrons which participated in Balakot air strike awarded citations on IAF DayVeteran BJP leaders L K Advani and Sushma Swaraj also visited Dikshit’s residence and paid tributes to her. Earlier in the day, Dikshit’s mortal remains were brought to AICC headquarters at 24 Akbar Road where party leaders, including Manmohan Singh, chief ministers Ashok Gehlot and Kamal Nath, paid their respects. Later, the body was taken to the Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee office, the city unit which she was heading at the time of her death. Also Read – Don’t use ‘lynching’ to defame India: BhagwatOn Saturday, leaders from different political parties paid their tribute to Dikshit, remembering her contribution in shaping the capital city. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, former Congress president Sonia Gandhi, former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, former union minister Vijay Goel and Delhi BJP chief Manoj Tiwari reached her Nizamuddin East home to pay respects after her death. Dikshit, who was the Delhi CM for 15 years from 1998 to 2003, had been out of power for six years, except for a short stint as Kerala governor in 2014. She worked with central governments under both NDA and UPA, with many BJP leaders Sunday calling her a true statesman who went above party lines to ensure Delhi’s development. Condoling Dikshit’s death, Sonia Gandhi said, “She was a friend…almost like an elder sister. This is a big loss to the Congress party.”Kejriwal, a bitter political foe — AAP made several allegations of corruption against Dikshit during its campaign in 2013 and 2015 — Saturday said he was saddened by Dikshit’s demise: “Delhi will miss her… Even though we were from different parties, she was always affectionate. There will be a vacuum in Delhi politics. Unhone Dilli ke liye achha kaam kia.” On Twitter, Prime Minister Narendra Modi wrote: “Deeply saddened by the demise of Sheila Dikshit ji. Blessed with a warm and affable personality, she made a noteworthy contribution to Delhi’s development. Condolences to her family and supporters. Om Shanti.”(Inputs from The Indian Express)last_img read more

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A man for all seasons

first_imgA politician and educationist, policymaker and businessman, Achyuta Samanta has fulfilled many dynamic roles in his journey of inspiring and uplifting lives. A Member of Parliament representing Kandhamal Lok Sabha constituency and founder of Kalinga Institute of Industrial Technology (KIIT) and Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences (KISS), Samanta has committed his life to the empowerment and welfare of weaker sections of society. Born amid palpable poverty while struggling to fulfil his basic needs, Samanta today ensures food for at least 50,000 children every day. In a free-wheeling discussion with Millennium Post, Samanta talks about his inspiration and vision, while discussing the many responsibilities that he has been entrusted with by Odisha Chief Minister and Biju Janata Dal (BJD) president Naveen Patnaik. Excerpts: Also Read – A special kind of bond You have been a successful entrepreneur. What then motivated you to adorn a new role and join politics? Yes, it’s true that I’ve seen some success in providing quality education to all, particularly underprivileged children, while also being a newcomer in politics. But, in practice, I don’t find much difference between donning the hat of politics and performing the tasks of a social reformer – the task is quite similar. What political leaders propose to do is what I have been doing for many decades. I have been in constant touch with lakhs of people all the time, you can even say at every moment. I’ve been reaching people with the help of KIIT and KISS as social service for the entire community through educational institutions. Also Read – Insider threat managementI’ve entered politics with the blessings and good wishes of party president and state chief minister Naveen Patnaik. Last year, I was first offered a Rajya Sabha seat and this year, by acknowledging my contribution to society, the party selected me as the contender for the prestigious Kandhamal Lok Sabha seat. I do believe that destiny has played a significant role in me receiving this new role, and I am really grateful to our beloved chief minister for recognising my work and giving me an opportunity to further serve the people of our state. In my opinion, politics is a bigger platform to serve people and society – for this, I am confident that I can serve the social welfare mandate of the BJD chief in a bigger and better way. Your journey has been marked by struggle. In fact, the constituency you now represent is also perhaps the one plagued by most challenges. In that respect, how have you have prepared a roadmap for resolution and upliftment? My journey has truly been marked by a lot of struggle – right from childhood. I started my institution with just Rs 5,000 while staying in rented accommodation. The biggest service that God has done through me is to have given a decent life to 50,000 poor tribal children. Out of them, 20,000 have already passed out and 30,000 are enrolled in the campus across primary, Master’s and doctoral programmes. KISS is directly transforming the lives of 50,000 underprivileged persons while indirectly, several lakhs are being benefited. So, KISS has become a beacon of tribal empowerment. It’s not a question of just throwing some education at them as they are poor. We are completely transforming their lives by tapping their talent in sports, academics and across every other field. For me, every challenge is an opportunity. So, issues regarding the overall development of Kandhamal constituency will always be my priority and they will be addressed well within the stipulated time. Kandhamal is the poorest district in the entire state and it also finds recognition under the prime minister’s aspirational districts undertaking. In the district, above 52 per cent of the population comprises STs and 17 per cent belong to different SC communities. So, the district’s SC/ST population stands at about 70 per cent, well over the majority. I have immense development work to undertake in the area as I have an uphill challenge of making this poorest district a model district. So, now that our chief minister has vested the responsibility of transforming this district on me, the work is well underway and we will surely see success soon. Do you agree that the Lok Sabha ticket was a reward for your contribution towards the welfare of Odisha’s tribal population? It’s known to all that I have been long engaged in social welfare activities. Besides, I’m a bachelor and live a very simple life in a rented house. My life is committed to the welfare of weaker sections only. So, that may be the driving factor behind selecting me to serve the people of the state. Your party has retained power for the fifth consecutive term in Odisha, what would your major priorities be? The major priorities of CM Patnaik circumscribe the holistic development of the entire state. It includes everything – addressing issues of poverty, hunger, creating employment for the state’s youth, etc. The other very important goal is to lay more emphasis on tourism as Odisha presents great opportunity to attract more tourists. Inviting industries to set up their units in the state is also a key concern for our CM as it would positively induce employment generation among the youth of the state and the state’s economy would consequently witness a major boost. What is your roadmap towards creating employment in the area? I’ve deliberated and also done a lot to generate employment in the state. I’m focusing on methods to improve employability in my district, for which I have planned several models. My areas of emphases are education, health, employment generation, exploring tourism opportunities in Kandhamal district and most importantly, making drinking water available and irrigation facilities more robust and reliable. What are your plans for KIIT and KISS? There is no plan to further expand KIIT. We are now focussing on improving the quality of education in KIIT and, in case of KISS, we are planning to open 10 to 20 new branches in about as many tribal districts of Odisha. Apart from the state, branches of KISS will also come up in Maharashtra, West Bengal and some foreign countries like Bangladesh and Kenya. More branches of KISS are also scheduled to come up in the states of Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Bihar and Jharkhand in the coming years. If all goes as per the plan, KISS branches would be opened in 15 states in the next five years. Presently, the institute is located across Odisha, Delhi and is coming up in Kolkata and Mumbai. How do you plan to channelise your time and energy between your new political responsibilities and your old commitment to your institutions? When a person is totally committed to the welfare of downtrodden people, then s/he won’t face much difficulty in handling multiple responsibilities. I do not see much problem in handling both political responsibilities and taking care of educational institutions. What would be your message to the youth of the country? We all know that it’s the youth that holds the potential to transform nations from within. It is, therefore, essential that the youth remains good to themselves. It is only when they are good to themselves that they can do true good for others. (The author is Special Correspondent, Millennium Post)last_img read more

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Indian Sikh activists turban targeted in racist attack in Austria

first_imgLondon: A Sikh humanitarian campaigner has been allegedly racially targeted in Austria after a woman airport security staffer joked about finding a bomb in his turban, according to a media report. Ravi Singh was confronted by the staff at the Vienna international airport on his way back to the UK on Friday after helping Yazidi women who were enslaved by the ISIS in Iraq, Metro reported. The founder of the Khalsa Aid was changing flights at the airport when he let security staff swab his turban. He walked through the metal detector without setting it off, but a member of staff then insisted on giving his headdress an additional scan with a handheld device. When he asked if there was a problem, one of the security workers said: “Yes, we found explosives”, it said. Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince ‘snubbed’ Pak PM, recalled jet from US Despite feeling hurt by the jibe, Singh says education is a much better way forward than punishment. “If I made that comment I would be thrown in jail. I was so upset,” Singh said. He said the member of staff was “smirking” when she first made the comment but got “very upset” and went “very red” with embarassment when Singh challenged her. She said, “no I will not apologise.” Singh said “I want an apology now.” Singh had been on his second visit to Iraq in three weeks, as part of a new project helping Yazidi women who were captured by ISIS. Also Read – Record number of 35 candidates in fray for SL Presidential polls He said that he forgives the woman who made the remark and has asked airport management if he can sit down to calmly teach her about his faith. He added, “I would not feel good if the person was sacked. You can’t answer hate with hate, it will never work. You will only fuel more hate.” Jasveer Singh, of the Sikh Press Association said, “There is a long held conflation by many in the Western world between the physical appearance of a Sikh and that of a terrorist.” “It seems anyone with a beard or brown skin or a head-covering can find themselves labelled as ignorantly as Ravi Singh was. The fact many Sikhs have all three is why we so commonly face the brunt of this racist and ignorant mindset.” Responding to Singh on Twitter, a spokesperson for the Vienna Airport said they are investigating the incident. “We apologise for the incident, this does not match our understanding of customer service.”last_img read more

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Left out of NRC Doesnt mean you are a foreigner

first_imgNew Delhi: In an effort to allay fears, the Union Home Ministry on Tuesday said non-inclusion of a person’s name in the final list of NRC does not by itself amount to him or her being declared a foreigner and assured that adequate arrangements have been made for appeal against it.The ministry also said it will amend the rules to increase the time limit of filing of appeals in foreigners tribunals (FTs) from 60 to 120 days for those who would be excluded from the final National Register of Citizens, a list of Assam’s residents to be published on August 31. Also Read – India gets first tranche of Swiss bank a/c detailsThe decisions were taken at a high-level meeting chaired by Union Home Minister Amit Shah and attended by Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal and others here on Monday. In a statement, the ministry said under the provisions of Foreigners Act 1946 and Foreigners (Tribunals) Order 1964, only foreigners tribunals are empowered to declare a person foreigner. “Thus, non-inclusion of a person’s name in NRC does not by itself amount to him/her being declared as a foreigner,” it said.last_img read more

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German champs Bayern report record profits

first_imgBerlin: German champions Bayern Munich announced record turnover Wednesday of 750.4 million euros (USD 827m, 677m pounds) over the 2018-2019 season, with after-tax profits surging 78 percent to 52.5 million euros. “Income from matches and TV rights has risen, and we have achieved record figures regarding sponsorship income,” the club’s deputy chairman Jan-Christian Dreesen said on Bayern’s website. Merchandising sales had stabilised, he added, despite declines in the sector across Europe. Also Read – Puducherry on top after 8-wkt win over ChandigarhTurnover was up 14.12 percent from the previous year while profit before tax rose 63 percent. “These excellent results are all the more astonishing given Bayern, despite winning the German Cup, were eliminated at a very early stage of the lucrative Champions League,” said economic daily Handelsblatt. Turnover still trails Spanish giants Barcelona, with figures approaching one billion euros while turnover at Real Madrid stands at 757 million excluding transfers. Top English clubs have yet to report their results for the last financial period by the Premier League’s richest club, Manchester united, reported record turnover of 580 million pounds in 2018. alast_img read more

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BJP has offered Sena 106 seats in Maha Source

first_imgMumbai: The BJP has offered 106 seats to its main alliance partner Shiv Sena for the next month’s Maharashtra Assembly polls, but the latter is not likely to accept less than 120 seats, a source said on Thursday.The seat-sharing talks between the two parties are likely to conclude in a day or two, a BJP source said here. The Assembly has a total of 288 seats. Last time the two parties had fought the elections separately. “We have offered the Sena 106 seats. But the Sena may agree to 120 (and not less),” the source said. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM’The Jan Surajya Shakti Party, another ally, has agreed to contest four seats, he said. The party, which has a presence in western Maharashtra had demanded nine seats to start with, but its leader Vinay Kore agreed to four seats during the talks on Wednesday, the source said. Discussions are still on with the remaining allies, namely, Republican Party of India led by Union minister Ramdas Athawale, ShivSangram and Rashtriya Samaj Party, sources said. The three parties had rejected the BJP’s proposal that their candidates contest with the BJP symbol. In 2014, when they contested the state polls separately (and joined hands later), the BJP had won 122 seats and the Shiv Sena 63.last_img read more

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NDP calls for emergency debate in the Commons on Sears liquidation

first_imgOTTAWA – The NDP is urging the Speaker of the House of Commons to allow an emergency debate on the fate of current and former employees of Sears Canada on Monday.New Democrat MP Scott Duvall says a debate is needed to give the Commons the chance to address the court ordered liquidation of Sears.The retailer is set to proceed with its plan to liquidate roughly 130 stores across the country after getting the green light from the Ontario Superior Court on Friday.Duvall says the liquidation will affect the well-being of current and former workers.He also says it the decision will adversely affect small businesses and other retail suppliers.Sears Canada had as many as 17,000 employees in June.last_img read more

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