Major Renovations Begin at École RosedesVents

first_imgStudents, teachers and parents are celebrating the start of amajor renovation project at École Rose-des-Vents in Greenwoodtoday, Nov. 26. The $6.5-million project will see the construction of a newgymnasium and information technology lab. “These renovations will make an excellent school even better,”said Premier John Hamm. “And the benefits go far beyond thestudents and staff at École Rose-des-Vents. Any time we improveone of the province’s francophone schools, we’re supporting NovaScotia’s Acadian community and heritage, of which we’re veryproud.” The four-year project will also include the construction of a newfurnace room and electrical room, as well as the conversion ofthe existing gym to a cafeteria. “The new facilities will be a great addition to both thefrancophone and anglophone communities of the Annapolis Valley,”said Louis Cormier, principal at École Rose-des-Vents. “Theschool will more than ever become a real focal point for localpeople and community groups.” École Rose-des-Vents has 183 students in Grades primary to 12. The renovations will be completed in 2007.last_img read more

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Southern Region Reaps Benefits Of Opportunities For Prosperity

first_img In 1999, the government of Nova Scotia did something radical: Itrecognized that ad hoc, piecemeal efforts to grow the economyweren’t working. It recognized that a strategic, co-ordinated andfocused economic growth strategy was needed — a strategy thatwould involve other levels of government, business and thecommunity. In October 2000, Opportunities for Prosperity — Nova Scotia’sgrowth strategy — was born. Today, that strategy has positivelyaffected every region of the province. The numbers tell the story. The first chapter of that story begins with the number ofbusinesses in existence. In 1993, according to StatisticsCanada’s business register, there were 28,922 businesses in NovaScotia. By 2003, there were 52,085 business in the province. If the southern area of the province is singled out, the numberscontinue to be positive. In 1993, according to the register,there were 4,347 businesses in the area. By 2003, that number hadgrown to 8,400. This growth can be attributed to the ingenuity of our workforce,and the fact that the government of Nova Scotia has provided anumber of tools to help small business, and rural Nova Scotia,grow. The Small Business Loan Guarantee Program is one example. Sincethe program began in June of 2003, more than $3.4 million hasbeen put into the hands of 42 businesses which have employed 211Nova Scotians. This $8-million program is in place because smallbusiness was clear that access to capital was a problem. Theprovince agreed and put a solution in the hands of the creditunion system — and in the hands of Nova Scotia’s communitiesthemselves. Community Economic Development Investment Funds, or CEDIFs, arealso helping improve the economy across the province. The province recognized that more than $600 million is investedby Nova Scotians in RRSPs, with less than one per cent findingits way back into Nova Scotia’s economy as reinvestments. Itcreated the Community Economic Development Investment Fundprogram to encourage more people to make investments at home,making the 23 funds currently operating a made-in-Nova-Scotiaplan to local investment. The program allows communities to putideas, and people, to work. To date, $10 million has beeninvested in these funds, most of which has been reinvested inbusinesses within their communities. Since the number of businesses is on the rise, it makes sensethat employment numbers are up as well. In 1993, there were352,100 Nova Scotians working. In 1999, there were 388,000. By2004, there were 421,500. More importantly, the participationrate — or the number of people entering the workforce — grewfrom 58.2 per cent in 1993 to 61.7 per cent in 2004. The latest seasonally adjusted figures from Statistics Canadacontinue to indicate an upward trend. More than 449,200 NovaScotians were working in the month of May, an increase of 3,700people over the previous month. In the southern area — which includes the counties of Yarmouth,Digby, Queens, Shelburne and Lunenburg — 47,200 people wereemployed in 1993. By 1999 that number had grown to 52,200. And,in 2004, there are 55,300 people employed. The participation rates have grown in this area as well, from52.4 per cent in 1993 to 60.3 per cent in 2004. The unemploymentrate has fallen from 12.4 per cent in 1993 to 11.9 per cent in2004. There is more work to do. Regional unemployment rates are stillunacceptably high, but steady progress is being made. Regional development authorities are helping guide that progress.The province of Nova Scotia helps fund 13 regional developmentauthorities around the province because successful efforts togrow the economy are driven by the communities themselves. In the southern area of the province, regional developmentauthority representatives include Frank Anderson in Yarmouth(902-742-3210) and Neil Emenau in Lunenburg (902-543-0491). Input and ideas are also welcome at Nova Scotia Business Inc.(NSBI), an organization borne out of Opportunities for Prosperityand mandated to take a client-focused, private-sector approach togrowing the provincial economy. It does so by developing theprovince’s exports, attracting investment from companies outsideNova Scotia and providing tools for companies to help themrealize growth opportunities. Since it was created in November 2001, NSBI has met with 750businesses across the province. Its business attraction andfinancing clients aim to create or maintain at least 7,200 jobs. Last year alone, the organization helped 230 companies increaseexport sales or find new markets. Companies interested in growthopportunities through NSBI can contact Irvin Surette (902-742-0533). -30- ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT–Southern Region Reaps Benefits OfOpportunities For Prosperitylast_img read more

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Port Bickerton Students Video Second in Canada

first_imgBayne Horton of Port Bickerton, Guysborough Co., has placed second in a national competition for his video promoting the benefits of budgeting, saving, and investing. Mr. Horton was the provincial winner of the Test Your Financial IQ contest organized last spring by the Canadian Securities Administrators. The winners from each province and territory received digital camcorders and an invitation to submit a video for a chance to win a $2,000 scholarship. Mr. Horton, who graduated from St. Mary’s Academy in June, won a personal DVD player for his second-place finish. Mr. Horton’s video featured two young men discussing whether to spend all of your pay cheque or save some for financial commitments, some for investing, and some to spend. “We are very pleased that one of Nova Scotia’s students has been recognized nationally for this contest,” said Chris Pottie, compliance examiner, Nova Scotia Securities Commission. “We encourage all students aged 15 to 20 to keep their eyes open for the 2006 version of the Test Your Financial IQ contest. Details will be available from schools or the Nova Scotia Securities Commission website.” The securities commission website address is www.gov.ns.ca/nssc . The Canadian Securities Administrators, the council of the securities regulators of Canada’s provinces and territories, co-ordinates and harmonizes regulation for the Canadian capital markets. Its mandate is to protect investors from unfair or fraudulent practices through regulation of the securities industry. Part of this protection is educating investors about the risk, responsibilities, and rewards of investing.last_img read more

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Province Municipal Electricity Utilities Look for Savings

first_imgA new study is looking for ways to save money for municipal electric utilities and the customers they serve. The study, launched jointly by the Municipal Electricity Utilities of Nova Scotia Co-operative and the Department of Energy, will examine ways to manage electricity use during winter months. “Electricity is most expensive to produce during times of peak use — during business hours, during hot days, and especially during the winter,” said Energy Minister Bill Dooks. “We want to help municipal electricity utilities manage that peak, and the costs that go with it.” “If we can shift customer demand away from the peak, everybody can save money — our utilities and our customers,” said Don Regan of the Berwick Electric Commission. Mr. Regan represents one of Nova Scotia’s six municipally owned electric utilities. These utilities purchase energy from Nova Scotia Power and distribute it to local residents — in Antigonish, Berwick, Canso, Lunenburg, Mahone Bay, and Riverport. A homeowner or business delaying electricity use by 15 minutes during a period of peak demand could save a local utility company as much as $1,000. “We asked a typical sampling of local businesses and residences to get involved in the study, and they were happy to help out,” Mr. Regan said. “We all want to find ways to save money. And we need to do it with minimal disruption to the routines of these customers, to make sure our study is grounded in reality.” The study is funded jointly by the municipal electricity utilities and the Department of Energy. Acadia Management Group Inc. of Port Williams, will track and analyze data and develop recommendations.last_img read more

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Interprofessional Cancer Education in Guysborough Antigonish Strait Health Authority

first_img Improved patient care is at the heart of a project designed to train cancer health professionals to provide cancer education to their peers. Funded by Health Canada, with Cancer Care Nova Scotia as the project lead, Partners for Interprofessional Cancer Education has trained three health professionals from Guysborough Antigonish Strait Health Authority as facilitators. The training provides expertise in interprofessional learning — a greater appreciation of each others’ values, knowledge and abilities; collaborative, patient-centred care and cultural sensitivity and safety for First Nations communities. These facilitators will educate health professionals in their district. Together with 35 other facilitators from across Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island, they will reach more than 1,100 community-based health professionals over the next year. “Canada’s government commends Cancer Care Nova Scotia and itspartners for their leadership in this project. By April 2008, more than 1,000 Nova Scotian health professionals will be better trained to help cancer patients,” said Tony Clement, federal Minister of Health. “The introduction of interprofessional education across Nova Scotia will benefit not only the patients who will receive unprecedented treatment and support, but also the teams of professionals who work in cancer care.” “With the expertise and commitment of districts, and the strength of our other partners, we are extending the value and reach of Cancer Care Nova Scotia’s original interprofessional education program, the interprofessional core curriculum,” said Theresa Marie Underhill, chief operating officer, Cancer Care Nova Scotia. “Through this project, we are enhancing it, extending the training of health professionals and providing the necessary supports for them to deliver the interprofessional core curriculum to others.” “The Guysborough Antigonish Strait Health Authority is pleased toplay a role in the Partners for Interprofessional Cancer Education,” said Kevin MacDonald, CEO. “These facilitators will have an enormous impact on the delivery of timely and relevant information to healthcare professionals in our district, which will ultimately improve the quality of cancer care treatment for patients and their families. In an area as geographically diverse as Guysborough Antigonish Strait Health Authority, the impact of a program such as this one cannot be underestimated.” Health professionals with an expertise in cancer or palliative care were recruited to participate in the training. Medical and radiation oncologists, palliative care physicians and nurses, social workers, pharmacists, nursing students from St. Francis Xavier University and First Nations representatives working in health were among those trained. “From a palliative care perspective, interprofessional learning has tremendous value,” said Dr. Carolyn Rideout, clinical director of child and adolescent psychiatry and consultant, palliative care. “The benefits of learning from, about and with each other are immense, ” said Heather Brander, palliative care nurse consultant, Saint Martha’s Hospital. “Collaboration of care, heightened awareness of district resources and a true team approach, can only increase the quality of cancer related care to patients and families. ” The Registered Nurses Professional Development Centre, in collaboration with other partners, implemented the first phase of the project, the development of the facilitator training program. First Nations consultants worked with the Registered Nurses Professional Development Centre to ensure cultural safety and sensitivity was woven throughout the training program. The centre also revised the case studies included in Cancer Care Nova Scotia’s interprofessional core curriculum, which facilitators will be delivering. Beginning in April, facilitators will deliver the core curriculumprogram to community based health professionals in Nova Scotia and P.E.I. The curriculum has 10 modules including, pain and symptom management, treatment and side effects. By April 2008, 1,100 health professionals will have a better knowledge in these areas as well as an improved understanding and appreciation of the expertise of their team members and the community resources available to patients and families. The curriculum will also be included in the undergraduate nursing program at St. Francis Xavier University. As part of the project, Cancer Care Nova Scotia will help facilitators develop a community of practice to build interprofessional knowledge and expertise through better interaction. An evaluation, led by Dalhousie Continuing Medical Education, for both facilitators and participants will cover both intended and self reported changes in practice. Possible ways for evaluating the project from the patient perspective are also being discussed. In addition to Cancer Care Nova Scotia, Partners for Interprofessional Cancer Education includes: district health authorities, the IWK Health Centre, the Registered Nurses Professional Development Centre, Dalhousie University Continuing Medical Education, Dalhousie University College of Pharmacy, Division of Continuing Pharmacy Education, the Union of NovaScotia Indians, the Confederacy of Mainland Mi’kmaq, St. Francis Xavier University School of Nursing, Seniors’ Secretariat and Prince Edward Island Department of Health. Cancer Care Nova Scotia is a program of the Department of Health,created to reduce the burden of cancer on individuals, families, and the health care system through prevention, screening, education and research. CANCER CARE N.S.–Interprofessional Cancer Education inGuysborough Antigonish Strait Health Authoritylast_img read more

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Energy Transportation Main Topics at Governors Premiers Meeting

first_imgPremier Rodney MacDonald and other premiers from Atlantic Canada and Quebec met today, Sept. 16, with the six New England governors at the 32nd Conference of the New England Governors and Eastern Canadian Premiers in Bar Harbour, Maine. Among the main topics at the conference were energy and transportation issues. With the growing need to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions, the premiers and governors were presented with an update of renewable energy projects from both sides of the border. They included reports on hydro, wind and the potential for tidal power from the Bay of Fundy. The meeting also focused on the huge task of getting projects to transmission lines that could be networked throughout Atlantic Canada, Quebec and the energy-hungry U.S. Northeast. “Clearly a lot of work would need to be done to bring some of these massive projects together to realize their maximum potential, which would greatly reduce greenhouse-gas emissions and play a huge role in protecting our environment,” said Premier Rodney MacDonald. On issues of transportation, regional agencies will work to harmonize weight limits to allow heavier Canadian trucks better access throughout New England. This would be a positive development for the Atlantic Gateway project. Also promoting the gateway project at the conference was Stephen Hartlen, vice-president of Nova Scotia’s InNOVAcorp. His presentation addressed strategies for promoting innovative industries. “Promoting the gateway project and addressing transportation issues are items that are directly related,” said Premier MacDonald. “The conference provided an excellent forum to work on both of those areas and should, in the long term, be a positive benefit for the Nova Scotia economy.” Next year’s conference will be held in Saint John, N.B.last_img read more

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Traffic Advisory Pictou County

first_imgPICTOU COUNTY: Highway 104 Traffic on Highway 104 near Exit 27 in Sutherlands River, will be diverted today, Aug. 20, to a newly built 450-metre detour around the construction zone. Delays are expected as the changeover occurs but two-lane traffic will be maintained once the detour is in use. A speed limit of 70 km/h remains in place through the construction zone. The detour is expected to be in place until October. Local Area Office: 902-755-7077 -30-last_img

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Lunenburg County Traffic Advisory

first_imgLUNENBURG COUNTY: Highway 331 and Green Bay Road Highway 331, between Risser Beach and Petite Rivere, and Green Bay Road in Lunenburg County are now open to traffic. Power lines, trees, branches and leaves are still down in many parts of the province. People who must drive are asked to use caution. -30-last_img

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Nova Scotia Welcomes Contest Winner

first_imgiLove Nova Scotia contest winner Joerg Knoerchen is enjoying his grand prize vacation, and telling the world about it. Mr. Knoerchen arrived in Halifax late last week and is blogging on novascotia.com about his trip. Launched in July 2009, the iLove Nova Scotia contest generated great response from around the world as contestants submitted personal videos showcasing what they love most about the province. The winner of a $15,000 Nova Scotia vacation was selected through online voting. “We are thrilled to welcome Joerg to Nova Scotia,” said Percy Paris, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Heritage. “The province is using creative marketing opportunities like this to attract visitors from key markets to ensure our tourism industry continues to create good jobs and grow the economy.” Joerg and his wife Nicole, who live in Germany, worked with department staff to develop a Nova Scotia dream vacation customized to their likes and interests. The visit includes a wilderness experience in Annapolis Royal, a visit to Kejimkjik Seaside Adjunct and a tour of the Cabot Trail. “We are so excited to come to Nova Scotia and share our travel experiences with the world,” said Mr. Knoerchen. “I am constantly thinking about how to showcase the beauty of your picturesque province, its hospitality and the friendliness of the people.” Be sure to check out Joerg’s blog at www.novascotiablogs.com/content/i_love_ns/.last_img read more

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Dockside Development on Bedford Waterfront Moves Forward

first_imgA residential-commercial development is moving forward on the Bedford waterfront. Provident Developments is constructing Dockside Waterfront Drive which consists of two new buildings with retail space and condominiums adjacent to 200 Waterfront Drive. The Waterfront Development Corporation Ltd.(WDCL) and Provident Developments are also working together to create enhanced public spaces around the new development. “Our partnership with Provident builds on a private sector investment to create public facilities in Bedford,” said Colin MacLean president and CEO, Waterfront Development Corporation Ltd. “WDCL is dedicated to realizing our vision of developing animated waterfront destinations to distinguish us among world’s greatest waterfronts.” “We are happy to be finishing phase one of the Dockside development, this is great for Provident and great for Bedford,” said John Greenough, president Provident Developments. “Working with WDCL, we are including nice features to encourage the community use of the waterfront.” The facilities for public use include an expansion of the Harbourwalk Trail, new spaces and improvements to the recreational marine facilities. Construction began Feb. 21, and will temporarily affect access to the Harbourwalk Trail, but people will be provided with an alternate route. Information about the development will be posted on WDCL’s website www.my-waterfront.ca, and the Provident Developments website www.providentdevelopments.com. For more than 20 years, Provident Developments has pursued excellence in real estate development. With roots in historic restorations, Provident has established “A Tradition of Excellence” in projects ranging from single-family homes, to luxury waterfront condominiums, to prime Class A commercial space and entire planned communities. Waterfront Development Corporation Ltd. is a Crown corporation that manages provincially-owned land along the waterfronts of Bedford, Dartmouth, Halifax and Lunenburg. WDCL works with many partners to harness private investment that enables communities to maximize the public benefits of the waterfronts.last_img read more

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Historic Fleet Compete for 2012 Tall Ships Challenge Crown

first_imgFresh off the first port of call in the 2012 Tall Ships Atlantic Challenge, the historic fleet started the first of four legs to Nova Scotia today, May 7, from Savannah, Ga. Tens of thousands of people enjoyed the festivities and saw the collection of tall ships over the four day festival in the city before the ships set sail. Nova Scotia’s ambassador at sea, Theodore Tugboat, led the way to the starting line after the ships left the wharfs for the traditional parade of sail. “Theodore made a big splash in Savannah. He has captured the imagination of sailors young and old, and is a regular highlight at every port of call,” said Capt. Peter Murphy. “Theodore will lead the Tall Ships home to Nova Scotia.” The next stop along the race route is Greenport, N.Y., May 24-28, then on to Newport, R.I., July 6–9 and finally, Halifax. Tall Ships Nova Scotia will be the longest stop in one region for the vessels in the Tall Ships Challenge Atlantic Coast 2012 series, beginning in Halifax, July 19–23, and throughout Nova Scotia’s outports from July 24–29. “There are significant maritime and historic connections between Savannah and Nova Scotia,” said Colin MacLean, president and ceo of Waterfront Development. “Theodore was a terrific ambassador for Nova Scotia, and we were delighted he took part in the Savannah event.” Waterfront Development, host of the provincial tall ships event, partnered with Taste of Nova Scotia to showcase the province’s seafood and blueberry products at an opening reception aboard Theodore Tugboat. On May 17, Waterfront Development will announce a listing of ships, outports and shore side activities for the provincial event that will showcase the best of Nova Scotia. Waterfront Development is a provincial crown corporation developing the strategic potential of waterfronts in Halifax, Dartmouth, Bedford and Lunenburg. The corporation fosters the creation of waterfronts that drive economic opportunity, enhance tourism, provide experiences, and reflect and protects marine heritage. The Halifax and Lunenburg waterfronts are two of the most visited tourism destinations in the province. Go to www.my-waterfront.ca for more information. Tall Ships America’s Tall Ships Challenge is an annual series that rotates on a three-year cycle between the Atlantic Coast, Great Lakes, and Pacific Coast. Over the past decade, the Tall Ships Challenge has co-ordinated more than 60 events in 32 cities. In 2013, all eyes will be on the Tall Ships Challenge Great Lakes, when the ships visit more than 20 cities in the U.S. and Canada to continue the commemoration of the War of 1812. For more details go to www.sailtraining.org . Tall Ships America is a non-profit organization dedicated to enriching youth education through character building and leadership programs aboard tall ships. It is the hub for tall ship activity, expertise, and information in North America. For more information go to www.tallshipsamerica.org .last_img read more

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Government Invests in Innovative Arts and Culture Centre

first_imgA new culture hub in Halifax will strengthen small business development, drive economic growth in the culture sector and be a place for artists to gather and perform. Today, Dec. 10, the Government of Nova Scotia, Invest Nova Scotia, the Government of Canada and other partners announced funding to establish the Link Arts Centre in the former World Trade and Convention Centre. The Link Performing Arts Society will redevelop the former convention centre into a state-of-the-art performing arts hub for theatre, dance, film, television and music with additional space and programming for cultural entrepreneurs. “Thanks to some great collaborative partnerships, this exciting new project will bring an unprecedented number of creative sector entrepreneurs under a single roof in the heart of Halifax’s downtown core,” said Leo Glavine, Minister of Communities, Culture and Heritage. “The Link Arts Centre will be transformative for the arts and cultural industries in Nova Scotia and an economic driver for both Halifax and the province.” The province is investing $2.79 million in the project. The Government of Canada is contributing $4.5 million. Armco Capital is also a contributor and is providing more than $2 million. “Cultural spaces like the future Link Arts Centre are outstanding gathering places that allow people from different backgrounds to come together,” said Pablo Rodriguez, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Multiculturalism. “Our government is proud to help make the Link Arts Centre a reality, which will make arts and culture accessible to all members of the community.” The Invest Nova Scotia Fund, a provincial fund with an independent board of directors, is also contributing $2.9 million to help establish the new centre and support business incubation for cultural entrepreneurs, including ten new office spaces, hot desks, workshops and business advisory services. “This is exactly the kind of project Invest Nova Scotia was designed to support,” said Colette O’Hara, vice-chair of Invest Nova Scotia. “The Link Arts Centre will grow our cultural sector and help cultural entrepreneurs build strong businesses.” “We wanted this landmark property to remain a destination for the people of Halifax and that would also leave a legacy to the city,” said Sam Armoyan of Armco Capital Inc. “Culture Link’s combination of performance, production and studio space is a great use of the former convention space. With major funding arrangements in place, we’re excited to keep working on design and construction of this unique and important venue for Halifax’s cultural and arts communities”. “The Link Arts Centre will be a multi-disciplinary centre of creativity that will inspire artists and audiences alike. It will cement Halifax as the cultural capital of Atlantic Canada and help nurture the next generation of creative entrepreneurs in our region,” said Rob Power and Marc Almon, founders of Culture Link. “We are excited to get started on final designs and construction of the Link, which will supercharge the downtown entertainment scene and enrich the cultural sector of Nova Scotia.” In 2016, Nova Scotia’s culture sector was valued at $874 million and supported almost 14,000 jobs. The establishment of the Link Arts Centre aligns with Nova Scotia’s Culture Action Plan: Creativity and Community themes. More information is available at novascotia.ca/culture.last_img read more

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Amazon loses contract with FedEx amid competition

first_imgSan Francisco: Amid increasing competition, global courier company FedEx has decided not to renew its air shipping contract with e-commerce giant Amazon. Amazon’s FedEx Express contract is in question, which according to Amazon is used for air transportation of packages and is not used for last-mile and ground deliveries, The Verge reported on Friday. “FedEx has made the strategic decision to not renew the FedEx Express US domestic contract with Amazon.com as we focus on serving the broader e-commerce market,” Carl Quintanilla, CNBC Journalist tweeted a screenshot of FedEx’s statement. Also Read – SC declines Oil Min request to stay sharing of documents “The decision does not impact any existing contracts between Amazon and other FedEx business units or relating to international services,” the statement added. Amazon is not FedEx’s largest customer and only 1.3 per cent of the total revenue generated by the global courier company in 2018 was attributed to Amazon.com. However, the decision did not really come as a surprise to Amazon, the report said. The e-commerce company has invested years into building its own delivery infrastructure to cut down on logistics costs. Also Read – World suffering ‘synchronized slowdown’, says new IMF chief Currently, Amazon oversees a massive warehouse, air hub, and cargo freight logistics network in addition to its growing network of Flex personal delivery drivers, which are employed using an Uber-like contract model. “We respect FedEx’s decision and thank them for their role serving Amazon customers over the years,” the report quoted an Amazon spokesperson as saying. Since FedEx has refused to transport Amazon parcels via air, it remains unclear how Amazon would be able to keep up with its recently-introduced one-day delivery program for Prime members in the US.last_img read more

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BJP forms new parliamentary party executive Modi leader in Lok Sabha Rajnath

first_imgNew Delhi: The BJP Wednesday announced its parliamentary party executive committee with Prime Minister Narendra Modi as its leader in Lok Sabha and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh as the deputy leader. In Rajya Sabha, Union minister Thaawar Chand Gehlot has been appointed as leader of the house and his cabinet colleague Piyush Goyal as the deputy leader. Gehlot replaced senior BJP leader and former Union minister Arun Jaitley as leader of the house in Rajya Sabha. Jaitley had requested the leadership to relieve him from key positions in view of his health. Also Read – IAF receives its first Rafale fighter jet from France Union minister Smriti Irani’s induction in the BJP’s parliamentary party executive committee shows elevation in her stature within the party after she defeated Congress president Rahul Gandhi from the Amethi parliamentary constituency. The party has appointed Sanjay Jaiswal as its chief whip. It also the first time appointed three women MPs as its whips, specifically for women parliamentarians. Besides these three women whips, 15 other whips for Lok Sabha have also been appointed for parliamentarians from different states, where its strength has increased to 303. Also Read – Cosmology trio win Nobel Physics Prize Other special invitees from Lok Sabha to the BJP’s parliamentary party executive are Nitin Gadkari, Ravi Shankar Prasad, Arjun Munda, Narendra Singh Tomar and Jual Oram. In Rajya Sabha, special invitees are J P Nadda, Om Prakash Mathur, Nirmala Sitharaman, Dharmedndra Pradhan and Prakash Javadekar. BJP general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya has been reappointed as in-charge of the party’s parliamentary office and Balasubrahmanyam Kumarsu as secretary. The newly constituted BJP parliamentary party executive committee marks generational shift in the party as perhaps for the first time L K Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi are not part of it, as both are not MPs. Besides them, Jaitley and Sushma Swaraj are also not its members. The first meeting of the executive will be held on June 16 at 3:30 pm, a day before the commencement of the session. The government has also called an all-party meeting on the same day in the morning which will be chaired by the prime minister.last_img read more

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Making India USD 5 trillion economy challenging but achievable Modi

first_imgNew Delhi: The goal of making India a USD 5 trillion economy by 2024 is “challenging, but achievable” with the concerted efforts of states, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said at the fifth meeting of NITI Aayog’s Governing Council here Saturday. The meeting is being attended by all chief ministers, except Mamata Banerjee (West Bengal) and K Chandrashekhar Rao (Telangana), and senior union ministers. Modi, according to an official release, stressed that NITI Aayog has a key role to play in fulfilling the mantra of “Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas, SabkaVishwas”. Recalling the recent general elections as the world’s largest democratic exercise, the prime minister said that it is now time for everyone to work for the development of India. He spoke of a collective fight against poverty, unemployment, drought, flood, pollution, corruption and violence. The goal to make India a USD 5 trillion economy by 2024 is challenging but can surely be achieved and stressed that the states should recognise their core competence, and work towards raising GDP targets right from the district level. Amid several parts of the country facing drought-like situation, Modi called for effective steps to tackle it by adopting ‘per-drop, more-crop’ strategy. He said that the newly created Jal Shakti Ministry will help provide an integrated approach to water and states can also integrate various efforts towards water conservation and management.last_img read more

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Sixmember panel to address grievances at IP University

first_imgNew Delhi: The Guru Gobind Singh Indraprashta University constituted a six-member committee on Tuesday to address the grievance of the students coming for the admission in session 2019-20.The comittee includes Prof Vaishali Singh as Chairperson, Professor Manpreet Kaur Singh, Director (Student Welfare) and professor Dr Nitin Malik as Jt registrar (admission), Dr Sunita Shiva and Dr Vijay Kumar and Apoorva Vashitha as the student’s representative. The committee will address the students’ admission related issues.last_img read more

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Facebook sets eye on India to monetise messaging

first_imgNew Delhi: Mark Zuckerberg is determined to converge all his platforms — Facebook, WhatsApp, Messenger and Instagram — for a unified experience for billions of users and India which is the largest market for some of its services, including WhatsApp, is going to play a critical role in the success of social networking giant’s new montetisation mission. According to the company, more than 2.1 billion people now use Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp or Messenger (its ‘Family’ of services) every day on average, and more than 2.7 billion people use at least one of its ‘Family’ of services each month. Also Read – Thermal coal import may surpass 200 MT this fiscal In India, Facebook has over 300 million users, WhatsApp another 400 million and Instagram over 70 million (millennials are the largest user group). In recent communications, Zuckerberg has talked about merging many of its services so that people can message seamlessly across platforms. About one-fourth of WhatsApp’s 1.5 billion users are in India. It is, therefore, no surprise, that Facebook chose the Indian market to test-run its digital payment service, before rolling out similar experiments in other countries. Also Read – Food grain output seen at 140.57 mt in current fiscal on monsoon boost After about one and a half years of test run, WhatsApp is now close to launch its Pay service later this year which could dominate the payment economy, given the fact that almost every Indian who has a smartphone or a Jio phone seems to have taken a liking for WhatsApp despite all the flak it received for its failure to effectively contain the spread of fake news. WhatsApp also launched a separate app for businesses last year and while the company is yet to disclose the exact number of businesses using the service, they are in millions globally. While WhatsApp for Business app is free to download, Facebook is trying to find ways to monetise this service by bringing traffic from its other platforms. “We helped businesses make the shift to mobile and now we are helping them shift to Stories, video and eventually messaging,” Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg said during the earnings call with analysts after the second quarter results. An integrated messaging ecosystem plus a payment service may open the doors for various other services, including shopping, for Facebook in India in the near future. With its photo-sharing app Instagram, Facebook has, in fact, dabbled into shopping in a limited way. “It’s early days for shopping on Instagram, but we’re excited about this over the long run,” Sandberg revealed. “In the future, we’ll enable people to use the same payments account to send money to friends and businesses on WhatsApp, shop on Instagram, or make transactions on Facebook,” Zuckerberg said. The challenge for Facebook, would be to get the next billion users to its platform as about 2.7 billion people today use the Facebook app, or the Facebook-owned Instagram, WhatsApp, or Messenger each month out of about 3.8 billion people who are connected to the Internet in the world. Zuckerberg knows it well that it cannot get the next billion users if it ignores India as more than half a billion people in the country are yet to go online. Another challenge would be to retain the people who are already in its network, especial in view of the growing popularity of the Chinese short video-sharing app TikTok in India. The good news for Facebook is that it has continued to grow despite all the challenges it has faced in the past 15 years of its existence, including the Cambridge Analytica scandal. Even its revenue has grown, so has its expenses, especially due to the historic $5 billion settlement that it has reached with US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) due to privacy concerns. Facebook expects its full-year 2019 expenses to grow to 61 per cent compared to last year and the expense linked to FTC settlement alone accounts for close to 16 percentage points of this anticipated expense growth. In fact, besides increasing expenses, the focus on privacy could slow the process of rolling out new products for the social networking giant. For Facebook, the need to create a new robust market is now. India, being the largest market for many of its services, is set to inspire some of the innovations coming from the Facebook camp.last_img read more

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Congress its leaders back P Chidambaram

first_imgNew Delhi: The Congress and a host of its leaders on Wednesday backed P Chidambaram, who could be arrested in a money laundering case related to INX Media, with Rahul Gandhi accusing the government of using probe agencies and the media to “character assassinate” the former finance minister.Alleging that the government was “persecuting” its citizens for speaking truth to power, the Congress said on its official Twitter that the party will stand by him “no matter what”. “A govt that persecutes its citizens for speaking truth to power is only reiterating its own cowardly nature. P Chidambaram is an extremely qualified and respected leader, he has served this nation with dedication & humility. We stand by his quest for truth no matter what,” the Congress said. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM’Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, the party’s chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala, Anand Sharma and Shashi Tharoor were among those who spoke out in solidarity with Chidambaram. On Tuesday, the Delhi High Court refused to grant him any protection from arrest in the INX Media case. A battery of the party’s top leaders who are lawyers, including Kapil Sibal and Abhishek Singhvi, presented themselves before the Supreme Court in favour of their colleague, whose appeal against the high court order will now be taken up by the apex court on Friday. Also Read – Farooq demands unconditional release of all detainees in J&KSibal told the Supreme Court that probe agencies posted a notice at Chidambaram’s home at 2 am on Wednesday, asking him to appear before them within two hours. The Enforcement Directorate (ED) and the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) have issued look out circulars against the former Union minister. “Modi Government is using the ED, CBI and sections of a spineless media to character assassinate Mr Chidambaram. I strongly condemn this disgraceful misuse of power,” Rahul Gandhi said on Twitter. Priyanka Gandhi alleged that Chidambaram is being “hunted down”. “An extremely qualified and respected member of the Rajya Sabha, P Chidambaram ji has served our nation with loyalty for decades including as Finance Minister and Home Minister,” she said in a tweet. “He unhesitatingly speaks truth to power and exposes the failures of this government, but the truth is inconvenient to cowards so he is being shamefully hunted down. We stand by him and will continue to fight for the truth no matter what the consequences are,” she said. According to Singhvi, the “hunger for sensationalisation in the case is deadly and could lead to character assassination of a towering political figure”. “How can somebody be an absconder who was in legal conference with me till 6.30PM yesterday?,” he asked. Surjewala said India is witnessing the worst kind of “virulent vendetta” by the Modi government and alleged that the BJP was running a police state. “Judge reserves judgement for 7 months & delivers it 72 hours before retirement, CBI/ED are sent to raid as a respected former FM is hounded. Banana Republic?” he tweeted. Senior party spokesperson Sharma also termed the action of probe agencies against Chidambaram vendetta and accused the government of targeting opposition leaders.last_img read more

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Bombay HC quashes orders attaching NSEL assets

first_imgMumbai: In a major victory for fintech firm 63 moons, the Bombay High Court on Thursday ruled that the National Spot Exchange Ltd (NSEL) is not a financial institution and hence notifications for attachment of the company’s assets, including bank accounts and properties, under the MPID Act stand quashed. The court also declined to stay its order as was requested by the Economic Offences Wing (EoW) of Mumbai Police. “We have considered the arguments of the learned senior counsel appearing on both sides and we are of the express view that on exhaustive discussion, we have already concluded that NSEL is not an ‘financial establishment’ within the purview of the Maharashtra Protection of Interests of Depositors (MPID) in Financial Establishments Act, 1999, and in such circumstances, we decline the prayer made by the learned senior counsel (Rafique) Dada,” the order said. Also Read – Thermal coal import may surpass 200 MT this fiscalIn a statement, the company said: “The Bombay High Court has quashed all the notifications issued by the State Government in the year 2016 and 2018 attaching movable and immovable properties of 63 moons under the MPID Act 1999, by observing that NSEL is not a financial establishment since it did not accept any deposits as defined under the MPID Act and resultantly, the petitioner who is a promoter of the said establishment cannot be proceeded under the provisions of MPID Act.” Also Read – Food grain output seen at 140.57 mt in current fiscal on monsoon boostAccording to the company, the court noted that despite the forensic audit commissioned by the EOW tracing the entire money trail to the defaulters, the State attached properties of 63 moons which was not legally sustainable. The two-judge bench of Bharati H. Dangre and Ranjit More on Thursday ruled that the Act is not applicable in terms of NSEL as it is not a financial institution. As a result of the order, the assets attached under MPID Act would be released. The company said that it is in the business of developing and selling technology products for facilitating trading on exchanges such as stock and commodity exchanges and claims to have more than 63,000 shareholders and over 800 employees.last_img read more

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Jawan from Jalpaiguri attains martydom in ceasefire violation along LoC in Kashmir

first_imgDarjeeling: Mechpara Tea Estate in the Jalpaiguri district was shrouded in sorrow with news of the martyrdom of a brave heart.Naik Rajib Thapa attained martyrdom in Jammu and Kashmir on Friday. A PIB (Defence Wing,) Government of India, press release stated that the Pakistan Army had resorted to unprovoked ceasefire violation along the line of control in Naoshera Sector, District Rajaouri, Jammu and Kashmir on August 23. In the exchange of fire Naik Rajib Thapa, aged 34 years attained martyrdom. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari PujaThe Indian Army responded strongly and effectively. Heavy damage to the Pakistan Army posts and casualties to Pakistan soldiers have been inflicted claimed the release. “Rajib Thapa was a brave, highly motivated and sincere soldier. The Nation will always remain indebted to him for the supreme sacrifice and devotion to duty,” stated the release. Army sources stated that the mortal remains of the brave heart will be flown to Bagdogra Airport near Siliguri and is scheduled to arrive at around 10:30 am on Saturday and then by road to Mechpara, Jalpaiguri. He will be laid to rest amidst full military honours. “It is a very sad day for us. He was the only earning member of the family. He is survived by his wife Khusbu Mangar Thapa, 8-month-old daughter and elderly parents. He was a valiant man,” stated Ajay Kumar Alay, uncle of the deceased.last_img read more

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