Kolkata: The ongoing cease work of the lawyers in the state for over a month was lifted on Friday, with the state Bar Council appealing to the lawyers to postpone their movement and commence their work. Normal work will resume from Saturday. “We have decided to postpone the strike till September 2, keeping in mind the harassment of the people. All steps have been taken and a resolution that was taken at the Council’s meeting today (Friday) has also been put up in the form of a notification. The lawyers are joining work from Saturday,” said Baiswanor Chatterjee, member of the working committee of the Bar Council. A notification urging the lawyers to join work has also been published. Also Read – City bids adieu to Goddess DurgaThe common people seeking justice had to face a lot of problems because of the cease work and people coming to Calcutta High Court and the lower courts from far-flung districts seeking justice have been returning home disappointed. There were indications earlier that the cease work will be withdrawn soon after the election process. A major clash took place between the lawyers and staff of Howrah Municipal Corporation (HMC) over vehicle parking at Howrah Court area on April 24. Some lawyers were injured in the clash after the police intervened, following which the lawyers called for cease work alleging police excess. The lawyers in the other courts also extended solidarity to the movement and it spread to all courts across the state. “We are still sticking to our demand that those responsible for the attack on the lawyers should be punished. However, the strike has been postponed considering the problems faced by the common people,” a member of West Bengal Bar Association said.
New York: A US judge has ordered a white youth, who admitted to attacking a Sikh store owner because of his religion, to learn more about the faith and submit a report in the court as part of his sentence for committing the hate crime. Marion County Judge Lindsay Partridge also sentenced 25-year-old Andrew Ramsey to three years of imprisonment, according to a press release issued by the Sikh Coalition, the largest Sikh body in America. On January 14, Ramsey brutally assaulted Harwinder Singh Dodd, who was working at a convenience store in the US State of Oregon, because of his perception of his religion. Also Read – ‘Hong Kong won’t rule out Chinese help over protests’Ramsey wanted rolling papers for cigarettes, but did not have an ID and the clerk would not sell them to him without the document, as required by law. When Dodd asked Ramsey to leave, he attacked him by pulling his beard, punching him in the face, pulling him to the ground and kicking him. Ramsey also spat on Dodd and ripped his turban off his head, the press release said. The youth pleaded guilty in Marion County Circuit Court to second-degree intimidation, a hate crime under Oregon law. Also Read – Pak Army chief accompanies Imran at key meetings in ChinaSentencing Ramsey to 36 months in jail on Friday, the judge ordered him to attend the local temple’s annual parade to learn more about the Sikh religion, saying bigotry is the result of ignorance and “all of us are able to learn and benefit from cultures in our community”. “Judge Partridge ruled Ramsey is required to seek drug and alcohol treatment along with mental health treatment. Judge Partridge also included restorative justice components as part of Ramsey’s probation, including a requirement that he obtain an awareness of Sikhism and report what he has learned to the court,” the Sikh Coalition said. In a written statement to the court, Dodd said, “Every person should be able to live their life without fear of being targeted because of who they are, or how they practice their faith.” According to the Sikh Coalition, Sikhs in America remain hundreds of times more likely to experience bigotry, bias or backlash than the average American. “This conviction is a much-needed step for Oregon in its broader efforts to make all our communities safe from hate,” it said. As per a FBI report, hate crimes increased by over 40 per cent in Oregon in the last one year. In May 2018, Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum established a special task force designed to explore ways to improve measures to combat and prevent hate. Recently, Senate Bill 577 was introduced to strengthen the state’s laws against hate crimes. This proposed bill renames crime of intimidation as bias crime, the Sikh Coalition said.
Panaji: The Congress on Thursday questioned Chief Minister Pramod Sawant’s resolve to rein in offshore casinos from dumping sewage into the Mandovi river off Panaji, in which the vessels are parked. Addressing a press conference in Panaji, state Congress President Girish Chodankar also said, that casino industry was under-reporting the number of patrons who visit the gambling facilities, which annually causes a loss of Rs 5,000 crore to the state exchequer. Also Read – Over 62.71 lakh pilgrims have visited Vaishno Devi this year “The Chief Minister can warn a biker to not pollute a river with ‘nirmalya’ (flowers offered to God), but has no stern words for the offshore casinos who are dumping sewage into the Mandovi river,” Chodankar said. “He can tell the poor not to pollute, but does not have the guts to tell the powerful casino lobby. He probably knew that randomly cautioning an ordinary person from dumping flowers could give him publicity.” The state Congress president was referring to Sawant’s Twitter post on Wednesday, in which he had uploaded a video of him stopping his convoy to caution a person dumping ‘nirmalya’ into a river. The post had gone viral on social media. Also Read – Man gets life term for raping minor daughter-in-law Chodankar also criticised the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the state for taking a U-turn on the casino issue. “The BJP was opposing casinos initially, late Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar even threatened to finish off the industry. But now they are defending it, calling it integral to tourism,” Chodankar said. “Casinos have complete control over Goa. Every MLA has been given an ATM. Chief Minister is managed by casinos.” The state Congress President also alleged that the casino industry was depriving the state exchequer of Rs 5,000 crore annually by under-reporting its footfalls. “They are only showing 10 per cent entry of patrons. 90 per cent activity on casino is illegal. Most of the transactions including buying of gambling chips is in cash and not accounted for. There is a revenue loss of Rs. 5,000 revenue loss every year,” Chodankar said. There are six operational offshore casinos and nearly a dozen onshore casinos in Goa. The state government earns a percentage of the entry fee charged by the casinos to each individual patron, but Chodankar said, that there was not a single official to oversee and count how many gamblers visit a particular casino on any given day.
Mumbai: Actor Sanjay Dutt, who is venturing into Marathi cinema as a producer with Baba, has dedicated the film to his late father and veteran actor Sunil Dutt. Son of the famous actor, Sanjay Dutt on June 18 took to social media to share a poster of his first Marathi production. “Dedicating our first Marathi film Baba to the person who remained steadfast in my life through everything! Love you dad,” the 59-year-old actor captioned the poster in which a young boy is seen sitting on the rear passenger seat of his father’s bicycle, against the backdrop of a farm. The upcoming film features actors like Deepak Dobriyal, Nandita Dhuri Patkar and child artiste Aaryan Menghji in the pivotal roles, read a statement. The film is co-produced under Sanjay’s banner Sanjay S Dutt Productions, along with Blue Mustang Creations. Directed by filmmaker Raj R Gupta, Baba is scheduled for release on August 2, 2019.
Chester-le-Street: Skipper Faf du Plessis said the victory over Sri Lanka left him with a “bittersweet” feeling as it came a “little bit too late” for South Africa, who are already out of contention for a place in the World Cup semifinals. Du Plessis top-scored with a 103-ball 96 as South Africa beat Sri Lanka by nine wicket Friday for only their second win in the tournament. “Long time coming hey. It was a good game, we did ourselves justice with the talent we have in that dressing room. Set up by a good bowling performance. Dwaine (Pretorius) was exceptional,” said Du Plessis after South Africa overhauled the target of 203, scoring 207 for one in 37.2 overs. Also Read – Dhoni, Paes spotted playing football together “We’ve been trying to get him into the XI, but it’s a balance thing. The nature of the wicket told me it needed to be straight lines with the ball, and that’s why I brought Dwaine and Andile on early. “Line and length was harder to face than pace on that wicket. (This win) feels bittersweet. It doesn’t feel like it means that much. It’s a little bit too late,” he added. Du Plessis said after seven games, South African batsmen finally managed to put up a decent show with the bat in the World Cup. Also Read – Andy Murray to make Grand Slam return at Australian Open “But the basics of batting were shown today. We haven’t had guys batting through, and big partnerships, but that was the case today. One big partnership, and suddenly everything seems so much easier,” he said. “Bangladesh was the one that really took the wind out of our sails. England were too good for us on that day. Bangladesh really sucker-punched us in the stomach, and then we took that into the next game, the first week really set us back, but we can’t use that as an excuse.” Former champions Sri Lanka, on the other hand, are all but out of the tournament after the Islanders produced another dismal batting show. With just six points from seven games, Sri Lanka still have a mathematical chance to be in the semifinals. But for that, they first need to win their last two games against already-eliminated West Indies (on July 1) and India (July 6) and then depend on favourable results from other remaining league stage games. After going down by nine-wickets to South Africa, skipper Dimuth Karunaratne blamed his side’s batting approach, which according to him was the architect of the defeat. “All departments went wrong, especially the batting. Kusal (Perera) and Avishka (Fernando) batted really well, we struggled to get even singles. If you can’t rotate the strike, it’s not easy. There’s pressure, and then there are big shots. The wicket got better and better, and South Africa batted really well,” he said. “The pitch was a bit slow, and South Africa bowled really well. They built pressure and kept fielders in the ring. They planned really well. We couldn’t get singles. We needed to get wickets early. “(Lasith) Malinga started really well, but at the other end we couldn’t build pressure. These are the sorts of things we need to think about and learn from. We have two more games, we have to win those two games. We have to work hard in all three departments. Heads up, and hopefully we’ll do well.”
Lucknow: With accidents becoming the order of the day on the Lucknow Agra Expressway, the Yogi Adityanath government has hit upon a new idea to check speeding on the expressway. The state government has announced that those covering the 302 km-stretch from Lucknow toll plaza to Agra in less than three hours will have to pay a fine for speeding. Avanish Kumar Awasthi, chief executive officer, Uttar Pradesh Expressways Industrial Development Authority (UPEIDA) said that a total of 25 e-challlans have already been issued to vehicles that were found to be over speeding on the expressway over the past two days. Also Read – Bangla Sahib Gurudwara bans use of all types of plastic items “If any vehicle is found to have covered the distance between Agra and Lucknow or vice versa in less than three hours, it will be fined and an e-challan will be sent to the registered address of the vehicle owner,” he explained. He said that high-tech equipments have been installed at the toll plazas in order to capture images of vehicles for data analysis reports. The details are then sent to Superintendent of Poilce (Traffic), of Agra and Lucknow districts for issuance of e-challans. Also Read – After eight years, businessman arrested for kidnap & murder Accidents on the expressway have risen alarmingly. On June 28, seven people were killed when a bus rammed into a truck near Fatehabad. On June 21, three more lives were lost when a car rammed into a stationary truck near Mainpuri. Another life was claimed when a Lucknow-based businessman was killed on June 27 in an accident near Ferozabad on the Agra-Lucknow Expressway. Surprisingly there is no trauma centre or medical facility along the 302 km long expressway which makes it even more difficult for accident victims to get medical aid. Avanish Awasthi said: “We are building utilities along the Expressway and very soon medical facilities will be available along the route.” Meanwhile, a transport official said that apart from speeding, the increase in heat wave conditions was causing tyre bursts which leads to accidents. “Majority of the accidents on the expressway — Lucknow-Agra — as well as the Yamuna Expressway (or the Taj Expressway) — have been caused with SUVs ramming into stationary trucks. This is caused by tyre bursts as the cement laying on the Yamuna Expressway causes heating up of tyres. The Agra Expressway is laid with tarmac and is comparatively safer,” the official explained.
New Delhi: The Supreme Court Wednesday fixed for final disposal a plea challenging the election of Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis to the state assembly for alleged non-disclosure of pending criminal cases against him in the nomination papers. A bench comprising Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justices Deepak Gupta and Aniruddha Bose said that it will list the plea for final disposal on July 23. The bench was hearing a petition filed by one Satish Ukey seeking annulment of Fadnavis’s election to the Maharashtra Assembly on the ground of alleged non-disclosure of all pending criminal cases against him. Also Read – Balakot strikes show major shift in govt’s handling of terror attacks: IAF chief Earlier, the apex court had issued a notice to the chief minister on an appeal by Ukey against a Bombay High Court order which had dismissed his plea challenging the election of Fadnavis. The petitioner had alleged that Fadnavis, in his election affidavit filed in 2014, had failed to disclose the pendency of two criminal cases against him. It was contended that the chief minister did not disclose the information as required of him under the election law and the non-disclosure of these two pending criminal cases was in violation of Section 125A of the Representation of People’s Act of 1951 and constituted an offence in itself. The two cases of alleged cheating and forgery were filed against Fadnavis in 1996 and 1998 but charges were not framed.
New Delhi: Petrol price will be hiked by over Rs 2.5 per litre and diesel by more than Rs 2.3 after Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman Friday raised taxes on the fuels to part-fund her Budget for 2019-20.Sitharaman raised excise duty and road and infrastructure cess on the auto fuels by Rs 2 per litre each to raise over Rs 28,000 crore. Post considering local sales tax or value-added tax (VAT), which is charged after adding central excise duty on base price, the increase in petrol price would be over Rs 2.5 per litre and that on diesel would be Rs 2.3. On Friday, a litre of petrol costs Rs 70.51 in Delhi and Rs 76.15 in Mumbai. Diesel is priced at Rs 64.33 a litre in Delhi and Rs 67.40 per litre in Mumbai.
New Delhi: The National Investigation Agency (NIA) is questioning Anees-ul-Islam, son of separatist leader Altaf Ahmed Shah, now lodged in Delhi’s Tihar Central Jail, in its investigation into terror funding. A senior NIA official told IANS: “Islam was summoned to appear before the NIA.” Islam is the grandson of Hurriyat Conference leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani, who advocates Jammu and Kashmir’s merger with Pakistan. Islam’s father is married to Geelani’s daughter. Also Read – How a psychopath killer hid behind the mask of a devout laity! The NIA arrested Islam’s father in 2017. It registered a case of terror funding for the violence in the Kashmir Valley in May and July 2017. Besides Shah, the agency has arrested Aftab Hilali Shah alias Shahid-ul-Islam, Ayaz Akbar Khandey, Farooq Ahmad Dar alias Bitta Karate, Nayeem Khan, Altaf Ahmad Shah, Raja Mehrajuddin Kalwal and Bashir Ahmad Bhat alias Peer Saifullah. Shahid-ul-Islam is an aide of the Mirwaiz while Khandey is the spokesperson for the Geelani-led Hurriyat Conference.
Sydney: Former captain Allan Border feels Australia should pick their best six batsmen for the upcoming Ashes series against England beginning August 1 in Birmingham. Border revealed his first choice team to foxsports.com.au, naming southpaws David Warner, Marcus Harris and Usman Khawaja as his preferred top three. “The top three batsmen are left-handers, which is not necessarily the wrong thing,” Border said. “A lot of people jump up and down about picking too many left-handers but if they are your best players then go with them. If they were right-handers, no one would say anything,” he added. The former Australia skipper also stated that wicketkeeper-batsman Matthew Wade should come into the side considering his good domestic form. Also Read – Puducherry on top after 8-wkt win over Chandigarh”I’d be very tempted to go with Wade. You talk about picking the guys in form, and he’s in great form. (Marnus) Labuschagne might get that guernseys in that he can bowl some pretty handy leg-spin and he’s good in the field too,” Border said. “Wade can bowl some medium pace. He can get it through alright, you could sling him half a dozen overs if you had to here and there.” The 63-year-old also advised the Australian team to resist from temptation of playing an all-rounder at the number six spot and instead play a proper batsman. “I wouldn’t go the all-rounder at No. 6. I’d pick a straight out-and-out batsman. England’s conditions are a bit softer underfoot and temperature wise. There’s not as much physicality and stress on the bowlers,” he said.
The third dispatch marks the completion of the Phase 3 program and the end of the Mussorie component of the six-week Induction training–and it’s time to cover the Valedictory address, as well as some of the key highlights in the week that went by. More than the academic component, it was the cultural programs, sports meet, photographs, musings, and general bonhomie and the sense of celebration with the visiting family members that marked the last few days–and it is perhaps difficult to encapsulate everything in this column. Its best, therefore, to call it Mile Sur Mera Tumhara! Also Read – A special kind of bondLet me begin with a skit at the cultural program in which the anchor took the voice of the ‘spirit of LBSNAA’ which welcomes and sees off every batch of officers that comes and spends some time at the Academy. For mid-career and induction training programs, officers come across batches and many get to meet each other for the first time, but the spirit of LBSNAA binds them together in a unique esprit de corps, and they go back as friends for a lifetime. When two programs run together, the bonding cuts across batches–for they share many common experiences both inside and outside classrooms. In the mid-career programs, the Academy encourages participants to bring their families–it adds life, colour and vigour to the campus and the bonds of friendship get deeply entrenched. Also Read – Insider threat managementThe Valedictory address to the Phase 3 was delivered by Shatrughan Singh, the Chief Information Commissioner of Uttarakhand, and the ex-Chief Secretary of the state. In his seminal address which drew substantially from Yuval Noah Harari’s trilogy of Homo Sapiens, Homo Deus and Twenty-One lessons for the twenty-first century, he talked about how technology was likely to disrupt almost everything about governance and society that we are currently familiar with. The problems, or rather issues facing the planet are well beyond the ken of national governments–for issues like Climate Change, global migration and social unrest are not confined to any particular region–and need global answers. Even national governments will have to deal with a new set of issues: how will the political leadership deal with issues of access to drugs and therapies that reverse ageing and terminal illnesses and create options like ‘death on demand’, or Biblical longevities! Will these therapies be driven by markets, in which case the largest numbers will be excluded–but if the state decides to extend the benefits, like other freebies, substantial budgets will go to this. How will pension funds cope with having to dole out payments, month after month, ad infinitum? And while one set of technologies will extend the human life, the others–like robotics and Artificial intelligence–will make most of the redundant jobs. Many of the jobs that we know today–from drivers to doctors, from teachers to technical assistants to pimps and plumbers would become irrelevant! How will society deal with an economy which has no shortages, but also a very large section which is ‘unemployable’, and vulnerable to political demagogy which will rise as expectations soar–and ‘expectations’ can always outwit the best delivery systems which new technologies can put on offer! Governance will certainly be under strain on account of changes in global power equations–the US and Europe will no longer be able to set the agenda for global governance, and the Bretton Woods instruments which set the terms for the monetary and development architecture will have to take a back seat. Will India be able to join China in defining the emerging world order? While we are certainly better prepared as we have strong strengths in IT and BT–but what about our strategic thinking? Do we have what it takes to be centre stage? Certainly, food for thought for officers who are just about to enter the ‘policy space’ in both the Centre and states. The theme for the address at the Induction training program was on Sardar Patel and the establishment of the IAS. There were many in India who wanted to do away with a centralised, powerful and networked bureaucracy like the ICS–and wanted the provincial services to replace the ICS. However, it was Patel who, as the Home Minister in the Interim Cabinet, stood his ground and ensured that the country got a first-class civil service in which the best and brightest could contribute to nation-building. In the meeting held on October 21/22, 1946, eight of the eleven provinces (with the exceptions of Punjab, Bengal and Sind) favoured the establishment of an All India service. Incidentally, in this conference, there was a thought that as law and order was a state subject, the IP (the predecessor to IPS) may be provincialised. However, it was finally decided that the IPS should also be recruited centrally by the Federal Public Service Commission, and the Extremal Affairs Ministry also agreed to recruit diplomats through the same exam. It was only at his insistence that Article 311 became a powerful instrument to ensure that the bureaucracy could perform its functions without fear or favour. He was clear that if the civil servant did not have the freedom and independence to speak its mind to the political executive, the very edifice of governance would suffer. Patel’s role in integrating all the 500 odd princely states which held 48 per cent of India’s area and 28 per cent of its population was also highlighted. But for his insistence on a common instrument of accession for all the states–irrespective of their gun salutes and their separate treaties with the Crown of England–the process of getting them all together would have been quite complicated. The Academy is now gearing up for the JCM (Joint Civil-Military Program) on National Security. This program brings together officers of the rank of Joint Secretary and above in civil services and their equivalents in Defence, Police and CPMFs to discuss the broad gamut of national security in all its aspects, and sessions will feature lessons from Kargil to cybersecurity, India and her neighbourhood, including the high seas, left-wing extremism, energy and food security, et al. More on this in the next column! (Dr. Sanjeev Chopra is Director, LBSNAA, Mussoorie, and Honorary Curator, Valley of Words: Literature and Arts Festival, Dehradun. The views expressed are strictly personal)
Beijing: China on Friday urged India and Pakistan to hold dialogue to resolve their disputes even as it stuck to its earlier position, asking India to stop “unilaterally changing the status quo” of Kashmir. The Chinese response came after Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi arrived here to consult Beijing on the next steps to be taken in the wake of New Delhi revoking the special status of Jammu and Kashmir. In a written response, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said: “We call on Pakistan and India to resolve disputes through dialogue and negotiation and jointly uphold regional peace and stability.” “The pressing priority is that the relevant party should stop unilaterally changing the status quo and avoid escalation of tension,” said China without directly referring to India’s decision to revoke Article 370.
New Delhi: With Sonia Gandhi returning to the helm of the Congress, it appears that old guards are now breathing easy. The appointment of Sonia Gandhi as the party’s interim president has helped old guards from facing any conflict of interest with the worriers of Rahul Gandhi.As per political experts, the position of senior leaders like Kamal Nath, Digvijaya Singh, Ashok Gehlot, Harish Rawat, Gulam Nabi Azad, etc would become stronger in the party in comparison to their role in the party under Rahul’s tenure. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM’When Rahul Gandhi had become party president, the Congress’ younger members had gained prominence instead of the trusted old lieutenants of the Gandhi family. “There were reports that Rahul had once proposed respectful ‘retirement’ of most of the party veterans when Gandhi scion was appealed to lead the party following his decision to quit the coveted post after facing unprecedented defeat in Lok Sabha polls. Since Sonia Gandhi has accepted the Congress Working Committee’s (CWCs) decision to be the interim chief of the party, it appears that she may not make any major changes in the grand party, which needs an overall revival,” the experts said. Also Read – Farooq demands unconditional release of all detainees in J&KThough Sonia Gandhi’s selection as interim chief is a stopgap arrangement but challenges galore for her to make a balance between old guards and young leaders, who are the future of the party. “There was a buzz that Congress would get a non-Gandhi chief for the revival of the party. As Rahul Gandhi himself had made it very clear on several occasions that none of Gandhis would be the party head, so the selection of a family member shows that acceptability of non-Gandhi leaders in the party is beyond the imagination,” the experts said. As of now, there would be no change of guard in Madhya Pradesh or in any state, which is under the Congress rule. Notably, during the Madhya Pradesh assembly elections in 2018, the former party chief had zeroed in on Jyotiraditya Scindia for the post of the chief minister. However, Nath with the help from his ‘old friend’ Digvijaya Singh and support from Sonia Gandhi, set aside Scindia scion and took the charge.
Women with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) appear to be at an elevated risk of getting cancer than men with the condition, warn researchers. The study is based on analyses of registry data, collected in the European database ESADA, on a total of some 20,000 adult patients with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). About 2 per cent of them also had a cancer diagnosis. “It’s reasonable to assume that sleep apnea is a risk factor for cancer or that both conditions have common risk factors, such as overweight. On the other hand, it is less likely that cancer leads to sleep apnea,” said the researchers. Also Read – An income drop can harm brainAccording to the researchers, advanced age was associated with elevated cancer risk, but adjusting the data for age, gender, body mass index (BMI), smoking and alcohol consumption nevertheless showed a possible link between intermittent hypoxia at night and higher cancer prevalence. The connection applied mainly to women and was weaker in men. “Our results indicate a cancer risk that’s elevated two- to three-fold among women with pronounced sleep apnea.” Also Read – Shallu Jindal honoured with Mahatma AwardThe condition of sleep apnea is well known to the general public and associated with snoring, daytime fatigue, and elevated risk of cardiovascular disease, especially in men, said the study. This research paves the way for a new view – that sleep apnea may possibly be connected with increased cancer risk, especially in women. “Above all, the focus has been on the connection with one form of cancer: malignant melanoma. Cancer of the breast or womb may now become a new area. There may be a combined effect of female sex hormones and stress activation, induced by nocturnal hypoxia in sleep apnea, that can trigger cancer development or a weakening of the body’s immune system.”
Beijing: Visiting Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte held talks Thursday with his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, in which the Southeast Asian leader was expected to discuss a ruling on the disputed South China Sea. The 2016 Hague arbitration ruling mostly invalidated China’s claim to virtually the entire South China Sea and found that it violated the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea. The row over the waters a major global shipping route thought to be rich in oil and gas reserves has for years marred China’s relationship with the Philippines and other neighboring countries with rival territorial claims. Beijing has transformed a string of disputed reefs into missile-protected island bases. Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince ‘snubbed’ Pak PM, recalled jet from USDuterte, however, has largely avoided the subject in favor of seeking warmer ties with Beijing. Philippine nationalists and left-wing groups have criticized the president for not demanding Chinese compliance with the arbitration ruling, which came the same year Duterte took office. Philippine Ambassador to China Jose Santiago “Chito” Santa Romana told reporters Thursday that Duterte has mentioned the ruling to Xi several times, but not in a direct discussion as he planned to do this meeting. Also Read – Record number of 35 candidates in fray for SL Presidential pollsDuterte “has exerted a lot of diplomatic capital to build a reservoir of goodwill and friendship with President Xi,” Santa Romana said. “So he has decided that it’s time to include in the diplomatic agenda and in the discussions sensitive issues that may have caused misunderstanding if it were brought up in the past.” Santa Romana added that Duterte is in Beijing “to build bridges, not to burn bridges with China.” It’s unlikely that Duterte’s move will have any effect on China, said Jay Batongbacal, a maritime affairs scholar at the University of the Philippines. “China’s position will not change just because Duterte changes tune,” Batongbacal said. “At best, Duterte might be seen as using the arbitration discussion as a move to leverage other concessions. At worst, it may be just for show.” At the start of Thursday’s meeting, Xi said he was willing to work with Duterte to “grasp the current situation” from a long-term, strategic perspective. “This will not only benefit our two countries and our peoples, but also will provide positive energy to the region,” Xi said. Neither leader mentioned the South China Sea in their introductory remarks in the presence of reporters.
Kolkata: Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday proposed to Kolkata Metro Rail Corporation Ltd (KMRCL) to provide compensation of Rs 5 lakh for each family whose houses have been damaged or collapsed at Bowbazar due to tunneling work.KMRCL has already accepted the proposal by Banerjee to build the houses which have collapsed and repair those which have been damaged. Till the completion of work and handing the houses over to the owners, KMRCL will arrange their accommodation. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari PujaThe Chief Minister has also set up a core committee led by Chief Secretary Malay De, which would monitor the whole process. The Commissioner of Police, Kolkata, the Mayor, the Transport Secretary and Disaster Management Group (DMG) officials will comprise the committee. On Tuesday, Banerjee along with Mayor Firhad Hakim, MP Sudip Bandopadhyay and Home Secretary Alapan Bandopadhyay met with senior officials of KMRCL, including the managing director Manas Sarkar. During the meeting, Banerjee proposed to KMRCL to provide compensation of Rs 5 lakh to each of families who have been shifted from their residences. Also Read – Bengal civic volunteer dies in road mishap on national highwayShe also informed that CCTV cameras have already been installed in the area so that no theft can take place. It has also been decided that after taking precautionary measures and checking, one member from each family will be allowed to retrieve their belongings from their damaged houses in presence of police and DMG personnel. She also suggested that the families can be temporarily rehabilitated in a building near Gem Cinema belonging to KMRCL, which is capable of housing the homeless residents. “This is not the time for blame game. All of us must come forward to help the families in distress. We have requested KMRCL to provide interim shelters to the families who have been evacuated. KMRCL has accepted our request and will arrange for the same. They will build and repair the houses which have been damaged,” said the Chief Minister. Apart from the houses, KMRCL will also build and hand over the shops which have been damaged and collapsed, to their owners. She further said: “Several residents have complained that they could not even retrieve a single document like Aadhaar card, ration card or Voter ID card. It has been decided that special camps will be held to reissue such documents to the affected people.” Apart from these decisions, Banerjee requested KMRCL authorities to pay Rs 5 lakh to the family that used to reside at 13A Durga Pithuri Lane, as one of the family members’ marriage has been fixed on January next year. She has also proposed to provide some amount of money as monthly compensation to those who became jobless due to the incident. The Chief Minster stated that an extensive survey of the area by experts must be done at the earliest. Following Banerjee’s request, Sarkar stated that KMRCL is ready to extend help from all sides. But deciding the amount of compensation is not possible for him as it will be decided in KMRCL’s board meeting. He assured that he will place the proposals before the board and will do everything he can.
Noida: Following the death of a 34-year-old techie who died of heart attack at a hospital in Noida, the father of deceased has alleged that his son died after an altercation broke out with traffic police personnel when he stopped him for vehicular checking by hitting the car with baton.According to Noida police, the incident occurred in Ghaziabad on Sunday evening when a traffic policeman stopped the victim who was travelling in his car along with elderly parents near CISF cut. “The deceased who worked at a software company in Gurgaon was a diabetic and he died due to cardiac arrest when traffic police constable stopped him for vehicle checking,” said police officials. Also Read – After eight years, businessman arrested for kidnap & murderHowever, 65-year-old Moolchand Sharma, a resident of sector 52 in Noida alleged that his son, Gaurav Sharma, was driving the car and he along with his wife were also present in the car when a traffic police personnel, wearing white dress, banged a stick on their car’s body to stop them. “My son was driving the vehicle in correct lane and under the prescribed speed limit. There was no such road traffic violation for which the policeman had to react so rude. He hit our car with sticks even after seeing two elderly people sitting inside. My son parked the vehicle along the roadside and we stepped out questioning the policeman for his behaviour. My son fell on road during the altercation and the policemen present over there fled away instead of taking him to the hospital. However, few passersby helped and we took him to hospital where doctors declared him dead,” the father said. Also Read – Two brothers held for snatchings”I can’t face my 5-year-old granddaughter who has lost her father. If the policeman would have reacted softly, I would not have lost my son. We demand the justice from the Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath,” he added. Meanwhile, police are yet to receive any complaint into the matter while the SSP Gautam Buddh Nagar, Vaibhav Krishna confirmed the incident to have occurred in Ghaziabad. “Preliminary investigations into the matter showed that the deceased was prima facie diabetic in nature and he died due to heart attack. The place of incident was near CISF Cut in district Ghaziabad at around 6 pm in evening. We have conveyed the information to Ghaziabad police,” said Krishna.
Lahore: Babar Azam has been named Pakistan’s vice-captain for their upcoming home series against Sri Lanka while Sarfaraz Ahmed has been retained as captain of the side. The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) said in a release that it had confirmed the appointments on the basis of recommendations made by Pakistan head coach and chief selector Misbah-ul-Haq and the PCB Cricket Committee. PCB Chairman Ehsan Mani said that Babar’s elevation is part of his gradual development as a future captain. Also Read – Puducherry on top after 8-wkt win over Chandigarh”I am hopeful the trio of Misbah, Sarfaraz and Babar will do well for Pakistan cricket,” Mani said. Misbah believes that he is better placed to get the best out of Sarfraz as he knows him “better than most of the cricketers” due to the fact that Sarfraz played under Misbah. “I have emphasised on changing the dressing room culture and mind-set of the players to achieve better results, and I believe Sarfaraz is a perfect fit to help me attain these objectives,” said Misbah. Also Read – Vijender’s next fight on Nov 22, opponent to be announced later”In the past couple of weeks, Sarfaraz and I have worked together on certain areas of his cricket that will enhance his overall performance. “Both of us realise it is a performance-oriented world and we are expected to give our best every time we take the field. “I look forward to working with him and hope we will succeed in changing the outlook of the Pakistan cricket team.” Sarfraz echoed Misbah’s opinion. “I have played most of my cricket under Misbah and we know each other pretty well. I think we will make a good combination, which will contribute to improved performances of the side across all formats,” he said. The ODI and T20I series will comprise three matches each and will be played between September 27 and October 9. While the ODIs will be played in Karachi, the T20I series will be played in Lahore.
New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday allowed CPI(M) leader Mohd Yusuf Tarigami to go back to his home state Jammu and Kashmir. A bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and justices S A Bobde and S A Nazeer said the former MLA does not need any permission to go home if doctors at AIIMS allow him. The former MLA alleged that his vehicle has been taken away and he will be confined to his home. The ailing leader was on September 9 shifted to AIIMS following the apex court order.
TORONTO – The overall number of prescriptions for opioids has increased over the last five years, but doctors have been giving patients fewer doses at one time, a report by the Canadian Institute for Health Information has found.The report, released Wednesday, shows the number of opioid prescriptions rose by almost seven per cent between 2012 and 2016, while daily doses on average dropped by five per cent — to 226 million from 238 million.Last year, 21.5 million prescriptions for the potent painkillers were dispensed, up from 20.2 million prescriptions in 2012, CIHI reported. Most were for chronic non-cancer pain relief.“Opioid prescriptions are still going up, but the encouraging trend we’re seeing is the quantity of doses that are being dispensed is going down,” said Michael Gaucher, director of pharmaceuticals and health workforce information services at CIHI.“When you put those two together, it’s encouraging in that the fewer doses being dispensed per prescription means that these drugs are being reviewed more regularly and potentially stopped or at least being assessed and switched perhaps to another mode of pain management,” he said.However, the report also found that Canadians are increasingly being prescribed stronger opioids. In 2016, about 57 per cent of all opioids prescribed were high-potency; four years earlier, that figure was 52 per cent.Canadians 65 and older were those most often prescribed opioids over the four-year period covered by the report, Gaucher said.“When we looked at how often they were being prescribed in the different age groups, about one in five seniors received at least one opioid prescription in a given calendar year.”CIHI data also show that one in eight seniors prescribed an opioid were put on a high-potency drug — such as oxycodone, morphine or the fentanyl patch — for 90 days or longer, he said, noting that the stronger opioids are generally used to relieve more severe pain.“There are a lot of negative outcomes from prescribing opioids to seniors that go beyond death,” said Dr. Robert Strang, co-chair of the federal-provincial Special Advisory Committee on the Epidemic of Opioid Overdoses.“There are substantive negative impacts on people’s lives,” Strang, Nova Scotia’s chief medical officer of health, said in a release.Seniors are at greater risk for opioid-related harms due to several factors, including age-related changes in drug absorption and metabolism, and cognitive changes that may increase the risk of accidental drug poisoning.The report said six types of the powerful narcotics — codeine, tramadol, oxycodone, hydromorphone, morphine and the fentanyl patch — accounted for more than 96 per cent of all opioids prescribed between 2012 and 2016. Of these, the last four are typically given for moderate to severe pain.Gaucher said it’s unclear what’s driving the use of high-potency opioids, but the greying of the population and the attendant pain-inducing medical conditions that accrue with age could be a factor.Since 2012, the number of prescriptions for strong opioids other than the fentanyl patch jumped by 19 per cent, while fentanyl prescriptions declined by almost seven per cent.Gaucher doesn’t know why the fentanyl patch has fallen somewhat out of favour. But he speculated that the high number of overdose deaths, many linked to illicit fentanyl, may have raised both physician and patient awareness of the potency of the prescription form of the drug and its potential harms, leading to reduced use.In June, the Public Health Agency of Canada reported 2,458 apparent opioid-related deaths for the previous year across the country (excluding Quebec). More than 900 of those fatalities occurred in British Columbia.Concern over overdoses with a strong opioid such as the fentanyl patch may have left doctors wondering: “Is it the best choice or is there another choice that may be better?” Gaucher suggested.CIHI also found that opioid prescribing practices varied across the country, with Quebec and British Columbia reporting the lowest number of daily doses per 1,000 residents (3,601 and 5,496, respectively) and Alberta (7,955) and Newfoundland and Labrador (7,878) the highest.Quebec’s figure is not only the lowest in the country, it’s almost half of the Canadian average of 6,110 daily doses per 1,000 people.“This new report rightly points out that we need to look at Quebec in much more detail and try to figure out why it’s so different from the rest of the country with regard to opioid prescribing,” said Strang.While it’s not known why Quebec has such low dose-dispensing levels relative to the rest of the country, Gaucher said demographics, overall population health status and prescribing practices by physicians could all play a role.“But part of it could just be increased awareness of prescribers and the attention they’re paying to managing pain with opioids, given the crisis situation.”Both B.C. and Nova Scotia adopted opioid prescribing guidelines in 2015, and both experienced decreases in dispensing a year later, with daily doses per 1,000 population declining by almost 12 per cent in B.C. and by six per cent in Nova Scotia.Strang said it would be ideal to see a marked reduction in the prescribing of all opioids, especially high-potency formulations.“(But) we have to acknowledge that this is a balancing act,” he said. “While we’re trying to reduce the prescribing of opioids overall, we have to recognize that there are people who, for a very significant period of time, have been dependent on strong opioids.“We’re not going to change that overnight.”— Follow @SherylUbelacker on Twitter.