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CP asks senior officers to conduct regular refresher courses in dists

first_imgNew Delhi: The Commissioner of Delhi Police told senior officers to conduct refresher courses regularly in every district to polish the knowledge and professionalism of police station staff. The police chief also directed the DCsP to scrutinise the pending cases related to economic offences should be reviewed personally. Police sources told Millennium Post that in crime review meeting at police headquarters, Police Commissioner Amulya Patnaik directed district that in order to refurbish/polish the knowledge and professionalism of police station staff, refresher courses in each district should be conducted regularly as per instructions already issued. Also Read – After eight years, businessman arrested for kidnap & murderLast year a special soft skill programme to SHOs and Inspectors has been imparted. 17 such soft skill courses have been conducted by training division of city police in which 340 Inspectors (including SHOs, ATOs and Inspector (Investigation) of police stations) have participated. “Other courses include courses for public facilitation desk officers, Gender Sensitization, the workshop on proactive policing and organizational behaviour, sensitization on issues concerning persons belonging to the North-Eastern States, backward sections of the society, women and children were also conducted,” reads Delhi Police Annual Report of 2018. Also Read – Two brothers held for snatchingsPolice sources said that in the crime review meeting CP also directed that half-yearly inspection of the second half of 2018 should be completed by end of this month. He also directed that half yearly inspection of the first half of 2019 should be conducted as per the new SO. Pending investigation The top cop also discussed on the pendency of cases. “District DCsP were directed to personally scrutinise the pending investigation economic offences and these cases should also be reviewed by the Joint CsP/ Ranges,” sources said. CP directed that the Joint CsP/ ranges and district DCsP should personally focus on the disposal of Rape and POCSO Act cases on a top priority basis. District DCsP should personally examine the POCSO cases which are pending for more than two months. Special CP/Crime should call a meeting of Joint CsP/ Ranges and district DCsP who are lagging behind on this front for further improvement.last_img read more

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KMC to create dedicated wing to thwart filling up of waterbodies

first_imgKolkata: The Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) will soon constitute a dedicated wing to curb filling up waterbodies. The move comes in the wake of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee directing her government officials to be vigilant against such acts and take the issue of water conservation very seriously.”We have decided to create a separate department for thwarting attempts of filling up of waterbodies. We are also developing a website which will have a mapping of the ponds in the city and will constantly update the various notifications regarding conservation of waterbodies,” Mayor Firhad Hakim said after visiting the site of a large waterbody at ward 124 in Thakurpukur, Behala. Hakim had received complaints regarding filling up of the waterbody. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari PujaThe Mayor, along with Borough 16 chairman Indrajit Bhattacharya, went to the spot and assured the local residents that KMC will soon clean up the clogged pond to restore it to its original state and also beautify it. “I appeal to the local residents not to throw garbage in the pond as it is an important source of oxygen. We need to take conservation of water very seriously, otherwise our future generation will face serious problems,” he said. Bhattacharya said that a portion of the waterbody was gradually being filled up. “The Mayor has informed me that KMC will put a fencing around the pond,” he added. Also Read – Bengal civic volunteer dies in road mishap on national highwayHakim also visited the residence of one Abul Hayat, who had complained of problem of potable water supply to his residence through the ‘Talk to Mayor’ programme. “I am overwhelmed by the response of the KMC officials after I informed the problem to the Mayor. They immediately responded and took necessary action within 24 hours,” Hayat said. “It gives me great pleasure to find that my initiative to directly connect with the residents of Kolkata through the ‘Talk to Mayor’ programme is yielding results. We may not be able to resolve all the issues but we are committed to work to the best of our ability,” Hakim said. The Talk to Mayor programme is held every Wednesday, where citizens call on a helpline number and inform their problems directly to the Mayor.last_img read more

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All RRTS stations to have platform screen doors

first_imgNew Delhi: In a move to prevent suicides and other incidents, the National Capital Region Transport Corporation plans to install platform screen doors (PDS) at all upcoming stations of rapid rail transit corridors. The NCRTC, the executing agency of the Rapid Rail Transit System (RRTS), said the move would facilitate safe boarding and deboarding from the train which will have an operational speed of 160 kmph. The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation has installed platform screen doors at its several stations owing to instances of people jumping on metro tracks to commit suicide and crowd management. Also Read – After eight years, businessman arrested for kidnap & murderThe National Capital Region Transport Corporation (NCRTC) is executing three proposed RRTS corridors – Delhi-Ghaziabad-Meerut, Delhi-Gurugram-Alwar and Delhi-Sonipat-Panipat. “In recent times, we have seen untoward incidents like commuters on railway track by accident, trespassing on track and suicide cases. The installation of PDS at all RRTS stations will increase safety measures,” Sudhir Sharma, Chief Public Relation Officer of NCRTC, said.He said the PSDs would act as a barrier between the platform and the tracks besides helping in better crowd management at the stations. According to the NCRTC, installation of PDS will also enable trains to arrive and leave the station at greater speed besides reducing the time it takes to pick up and drop passengers.last_img read more

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All 6 accused acquitted in Pehlu Khan lynching

first_imgJaipur: An Alwar court on Wednesday acquitted all six accused in the lynching of Pehlu Khan, killed two years ago by a mob that set upon him while he was transporting cows.The Additional Judicial Magistrate acquitted the six men, giving them benefit of the doubt, according to a lawyer. Pehlu Khan (55), his two sons and a few others were transporting cows when they were allegedly stopped and thrashed by a mob near Behror in Alwar district on April 1, 2017. Also Read – India gets first tranche of Swiss bank a/c detailsKhan died in hospital on April 3, triggering outrage over the murder and focusing attention on attacks by cow vigilantes. “The court gave benefit of the doubt to all six accused and acquitted them of lynching charges. We have not received the court order copy and will wait for it to study it and appeal in the higher court,” Additional Public Prosecutor Yogendra Khatana told reporters. The six accused let off by the court are Vipin Yadav, Ravindra Kumar, Kaluram, Dayanand, Yogesh Kumar and Bheem Rathi. Also Read – Tourists to be allowed in J&K from ThursdayPolice had also named three minors in the case. They are facing trial in a juvenile justice court. The court of Additional District Judge Sarita Swami completed the trial proceedings on August 7 and reserved the case for judgment on Wednesday. The then BJP government in Rajasthan under Vasundhara Raje came under flak over the killing, with the incident escalating the debate over Muslims facing attacks from cow vigilantes. Recently, the Rajasthan Assembly passed a bill introduced by the current Congress government in the state to tackle mob lynching.last_img read more

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Nepalese held with heroin on IndoNepal border

first_imgMahrajganj (UP): Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) personnel arrested a Nepalese man on the Indo-Nepal border and seized 203 gram heroin worth Rs 2.3 crore from him, officials said on Saturday. Company Commandant of the 22nd battalion of the SSB, Amit Kumar said a person was checked on suspicion in Sonauli area on Friday night and he was carrying heroin. Identified as Sandeep Sanehi from Bajhang district in Nepal, he was handed over to the police for further interrogation, Kumar said. A case under NDPS Act has been registered against him at Sonauli Police Station, the SSB officer added.last_img read more

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YouTube invests in learning content across Indian languages

first_imgNew Delhi: Google-owned YouTube which has over 265 million users in India is now actively investing in accelerating the growth of learning content across languages in the country, a top company executive has said. Towards this, the company provided learning fund to eight Indian creators to develop high-quality content during its “EduCon” summit held here on Sunday. “With over 265 million monthly active users on YouTube, we’re seeing incredible viewership coming from tier 2, tier 3 cities and even small towns,” Satya Raghavan, Director Content Partnerships, YouTube in India, said in a statement. Also Read – Swiggy now in 500 Indian cities, targets 100 more this year “We’re now actively investing in accelerating the growth of learning content on YouTube through mentorship for our creators across languages, and funds for them to develop high quality content on a wide variety of topics,” Raghavan added. The eight Indian creators who received YouTube Learning Fund are: ExamFear Education Hindi, Learn Engineering, Don’t Memorise, Study IQ Education, D’art of Science, Learnex-English Lessons Through Hindi, GetSetFlySCIENCE and Let’s Make Engineering Simple. Also Read – New HP Pavilion x360 notebook with in-built Alexa in India These creators are developing high-quality learning content, covering topics like English language training, environmental science, political science, calculus, genetics and chemistry in English, Hindi and Tamil. “It’s exciting to see that our incredible video library is emerging as the largest supplementary learning platform for users across India, with learning videos generating hundreds of millions of views on YouTube every single day,” said Raghavan. In 2019, learning content on YouTube has grown exponentially. “Wifi Study”, one of the largest learning content channels in India which livestreams up to 30 videos a day with live questions and answers, has crossed 9 million subscribers this year. YouTube recently introduced “Learning Playlists” to provide a dedicated learning environment for people who come to YouTube to learn. Joined by a vibrant community of over 200 learning creators, this year’s EduCon witnessed inspiring stories from many creators talking about their journey.last_img read more

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HC refuses to quash case against Navlakha

first_imgMumbai: The Bombay High Court on Friday refused to quash the case lodged against civil liberties activist Gautam Navlakha in the Koregaon-Bhima violence and for having alleged Maoist links, noting that there was prima facie substance in the case. “Considering the magnitude of the case, we feel a thorough investigation is required,” a division bench of Justices Ranjit More and Bharati Dangre said. The case is not without basis and absence of material,” it added. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM’The bench dismissed the petition filed by Navlakha seeking to quash the FIR lodged against him by the Pune police in January 2018 after the Elgar Parishad held on December 31, 2017 that had allegedly triggered violence at Koregaon Bhima in Pune district the next day. The police had also alleged that Navlakha and other accused in the case had Maoist links and were working towards overthrowing the govt. “The offence is not limited to Koregaon-Bhima violence. There are many more facets to it. Hence, we feel investigation is required,” the court said. Also Read – Farooq demands unconditional release of all detainees in J&KAfter the bench pronounced its judgment, Navlakha’s counsel Yug Chaudhary sought an extension of the interim protection from arrest granted to Navlakha by the high court after he had filed the petition. The bench agreed and extended the protection from arrest to Navlakha for a period of three weeks to enable him to approach the Supreme Court in appeal against the HC order. Navlakha and the other accused were booked under the provisions of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) and the Indian Penal Code. Navlakha’s lawyer Yug Chaudhary had argued that the activist was an author & a peace activist and was a specialist on conflict zones.last_img read more

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Illegal parking a hindrance for conservancy workers

first_imgKolkata: Mayor Firhad Hakim on Saturday asked the Kolkata Police officials to take steps to curb illegal parking which is acting as a deterrent to conservancy under Borough VIII of the Kolkata Municipal Corporation. A number of councillors under Borough VIII that comprises parts of Bhowanipore and Kalighat area in South Kolkata expressed concern over the parking issue and requested the Mayor to take it up on a priority basis.According to sources, residents of wards 72, 70, 90 and 85 suffer most because of this problem. Pool cars, app cabs, taxis are found parked here and there in these wards in such a manner that conservancy workers are denied the entry space to clean up the roadside. The roads that bear the brunt of the parking menace include Sadananda Road, Rajsekhar Basu Sarani, Chakraberia Road, Harish Mukherjee Road, Kalighat Road, Shyamananda Road and Chakraberia South. Some house owners also park their cars on the road space in front of their houses creating problems for the conservancy workers. “The Mayor had asked the borough executive engineer to take up the matter with Deputy Commissioner (Traffic) Kolkata Police to ensure that no vehicles are parked in a way that affects conservancy work. House owners should also be asked to remove their vehicles for conservancy work for at least three to four hours in the morning,” a senior KMC official present in the meeting said. Councillors in the area often take drives along with Kolkata Police to assist necessary conservancy work.last_img read more

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Vikram Solar commissions eastern Indias largest rooftop solar project in WB

first_imgNew Delhi: Clean energy solution provider Vikram Solar on Monday said it has commissioned eastern India’s largest single-shed rooftop solar project for Keventer Agro at Nilganj, West Bengal. The 2.15 MW project was awarded to Vikram Solar by Keventer Agro Ltd, a company statement said. The shed top solar plant has been built to increase the capacity of Keventer’s food processing plant as well as to leave a green footprint by using non-conventional energy at the Barasat plant, the statement added. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari Puja The project is spread across 250m x 70m and 6,240 high efficiency 345 Wp monocrystalline modules and 18 ABB inverters were used to ensure performance of the energy system. The project is expected to have 2.835 million unit energy yield and will offset 2,647 metric tonne CO2 annually. “We are glad to share that Vikram Solar’s focus towards innovation, quality, and performance has helped us to successfully commission this project. We are hopeful that Keventer Agro will undertake more solar and other environment friendly projects in the future. As an organization, we look forward to participating in more such innovative projects in West Bengal and the country at large,” Kuldeep Kumar Jain, BU Head- EPC, Vikram Solar, said in the statement. Also Read – Bengal civic volunteer dies in road mishap on national highway Keventer Agro CEO Saurabh Jajodia said, “Given the quality of execution and after-sales customer service accorded by them, they will be paramount in our decision-making for all similar ventures in the future”. Vikram Solar currently has a rooftop portfolio of 70 MW (commissioned + under execution) and has delivered green energy solutions to government entities such as – ISRO, IOCL, SBI, WBSEDCL, and AAI. The client list in private sector includes – SL Group, Century Ply, KBL, and Anmol Biscuits, etc.last_img read more

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Tory critic says old age security report shows need to rethink age

first_imgOTTAWA – Record-high spending forecasts for the old age security program show a need to rethink the age of eligibility, among other measures to keep it sustainable, the opposition Tories say.The chief actuary’s report forecasts spending to hit about $247 billion by 2060 — five times what it is slated to be this year — due to a coming wave of retirements and people living longer, meaning they draw on old age benefits longer than the program originally envisioned.The previous Conservative government raised the age of eligibility for OAS to 67 from 65 to save on costs and prod people to work longer.The Liberals reversed the decision in their first budget, saying the Tories had made the change without any data to support it.The data in the report supports what the Tories tried to do — and what is being done in many other countries — for the program’s long-term financial health, said Conservative social development critic Karen Vecchio.The chief actuary’s report estimates that returning the age of eligibility to 65 will increase spending, which the government says it knew would happen. A spokesman for Social Development Minister Jean-Yves Duclos said not doing so would put 100,000 seniors in poverty and cost low-income seniors about $13,000 a year in benefits.Vecchio said the government needs to come up with a long-term plan for OAS to ensure sustainability in its funding without having to raise taxes.Unlike the Canada Pension Plan, people don’t prepay for old age benefits, which are instead funding through annual tax revenues.A February presentation to a group of deputy ministers said “younger generations may be required to pay higher taxes” to cover a shortfall between tax revenues and OAS spending if the retirement age remains at 65, Canadians live longer and there aren’t enough new workers to replace the ones that are going to retire.“It’s not about raising taxes, it’s about expanding the (tax) base,” Vecchio said.The parliamentary budget officer has said old age security is sustainable in the long-term. The actuarial report suggests as much by noting that spending as a percentage of the overall economy would rise by 2030 and fall through to 2060 as economic growth and resulting tax revenues offset rising costs.Costs to the program are also expected to be offset by an expansion to CPP that the chief actuary estimates will mean $3 billion less in spending on the guaranteed income supplement in 2060 and reduce overall spending on OAS benefits, which are scaled back above $75,000 in annual income.NDP pensions critic Scott Duvall said the Liberals must still do more to help Canadians retire comfortably, including a promised seniors price index to ensure seniors benefits keep pace with rising costs.last_img read more

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National Energy Board to hold hearings on detailed Trans Mountain pipeline route

first_imgVANCOUVER – The National Energy Board will hold hearings in British Columbia and Alberta to review proposals by Trans Mountain for its detailed pipeline corridor through the two provinces.The board will also hold a hearing early next year in Chilliwack, B.C., to review a proposal by Trans Mountain to relocate nearly two kilometres of its pipeline corridor through the city.Meanwhile, hearings will be held in Spruce Grove, Edson and Hinton in November and December on the first two segments of the pipeline through Alberta.More hearings are also planned in both provinces in 2018.The federal government’s approval of the expansion project included a general pipeline corridor from Edmonton to Burnaby, B.C.The board says the company, a subsidiary of Kinder Morgan Canada, has asked for seven variances that affect about four kilometres of the 1,147-kilometre corridor.The federal regulator says from April to July, it received 452 statements opposing the detailed route that Trans Mountain is proposing.On Thursday, the energy board said the project has met conditions required for the expansion of its Westridge Marine Terminal in Burnaby.Trans Mountain has plans to expand the terminal’s dock to load three tankers, up from one, and increase the number of delivery lines connected to its other Burnaby terminal.The expanded terminal is part of a $7.4-billion project that would triple the capacity of the pipeline and increase tanker traffic in the Vancouver area.Peter Watson, chairman and CEO of the National Energy Board, said the route hearings will focus on concerns from landowners and those affected by the pipeline.“By listening to their concerns, the NEB can ensure that the pipeline is placed in the best possible location,” he said in a statement.last_img read more

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Experts suggest math scores higher in Quebec because teachers are better trained

first_imgMONTREAL – Ontario needn’t look too far to find ideas on how to improve its students’ math scores after Premier Kathleen Wynne’s announcement Wednesday her government would begin public consultations to overhaul the school curriculum.Education experts in Quebec credit one main reason why students in the province consistently top the country’s math rankings: Quebec teachers are better trained.A bachelor of education in Quebec takes four years to complete, during which future teachers spend at least 700 hours in elementary or secondary classrooms.In Ontario, teachers often get a four-year undergraduate diploma before starting a two-year teaching degree.Before 2015 in Ontario, teachers received only one year of training — meaning most of the teachers in classrooms in that province have been trained one-fourth as long as their Quebec colleagues.Annie Savard, a professor at McGill University’s department of integrated studies in education, has just finished conducting research on how mathematics is taught in high schools across Canada.Ontario, she explained, has elementary school through Grade 8, while high school in Quebec begins in Grade 7 and ends in Grade 11.Therefore, Savard says, Quebec students in seventh and eighth grades are taught by “math specialists” while their peers in Ontario are instructed by elementary school teachers.“If we look at a Grade 7 teacher who was trained at the elementary level, who went to one year at teachers college, and you compare them to someone in Quebec, who had four years training … it’s clear we have two teachers who are completely different,” Savard said in an interview.Ontario’s poor and stagnant math scores correspond with assessments from the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).It found eight of 10 provinces recorded statistically significant decreases in scores between 2003 and 2012.Only students in Quebec exceeded the Canadian average.Savard said another reason Quebec students perform well is due to their teachers’ understanding of “didactic,” which is a concept championed in French-speaking European countries.Quebec teachers are taught to differentiate between teaching and learning.Didactic teaching concentrates on learning conditions and making content easy for students to digest, she said.“Knowing the content of the course isn’t enough for teachers,” Savard said. “You need what we call didactic (teaching). You need to unpack the content to make it accessible to students.”Lucie DeBlois, a professor in the education department at Universite Laval, agreed didactic teaching is essential to proper teaching.“We study the conditions that allow students to learn,” she said.DeBlois added francophone teachers in Quebec also benefit from strong teacher associations.“The associations in math are particularly strong,” she said. “They regularly propose seminars, conventions. They are very structured organizations and it helps to motivate the troops, so to speak.”Quebec teachers are also exposed to French-language research papers that aren’t immediately accessible to those who can’t read French.“We read as much French as we do in English,” she said. “We are as up to speed on the best practices and the leading research on teaching in both languages.”And it’s not just math scores that set Quebec apart.If Quebec were an independent country, it would rank in the top five in the world for its students’ science scores, according to 2015 statistics by the OECD.last_img read more

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Strip Aung San Suu Kyi of honorary Canadian citizenship advocates demand

first_imgOTTAWA – At least 250 people rallied on Parliament Hill on Sunday to demand the Canadian government do more than use their words to call for an end to the atrocities committed against Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar.The powerful military in Myanmar is accused of burning down the homes Rohingya Muslims, forcing more than 400,000 members of the persecuted minority to flee to neighbouring Bangladesh as refugees, according to the latest figures from the United Nations.Aung San Suu Kyi, the celebrated de facto leader of Myanmar, has come under harsh international criticism for failing to speak out against the violence.Many of those gathered in Ottawa were demanding the Liberal government strip Suu Kyi of her honorary Canadian citizenship.“As Canadians, we believe in democracy, freedom, protection of human rights and a commitment to the rule of law,” said Fareed Khan, who has sponsored a petition calling on the Liberal government to revoke the honour.“When Canada conferred honorary Canadian status on Aung San Suu Kyi, it was because she was said to embody these principles,” Khan told the crowd gathered below the steps leading up to Parliament Hill.“Regrettably, that no longer seems to be the case,” he said. “She no longer deserves the honour of being in the company of people like Nelson Mandela, the Dalai Lama and Malala Yousafzai.”They also called on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to join with allies to create a safe haven for Rohingya Muslims within Myanmar as a way of acting on their commitment to the responsibility to protect vulnerable populations from persecution.They also urged the Canadian government to work with the UN Refugee Agency to ensure those who wish to settle elsewhere are able to do so.At a rally in Toronto on Saturday, Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland said what is happening in Myanmar “looks a lot like ethnic cleansing.”She also said both she and Trudeau plan to focus on the issue during their upcoming visit to the UN General Assembly in New York.Freeland also noted Trudeau spoke directly to Suu Kyi last week, when he asked her to “raise her voice” on behalf of the Muslim minority in her country.Liberal MP Karen McCrimmon, who attended the rally Sunday, told the crowd she is aware that more needs to be done.“We know that action is needed. We know that it is time for Canada to speak up,” said the Ottawa-area MP.“I think our prime minister and our foreign minister have done that already, but now we need more,” she said.— Follow @smithjoanna on Twitterlast_img read more

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Outlaw motorcycle gangs growing in Halifax area more officers needed RCMP

first_imgHALIFAX – Efforts by outlaw motorcycle gangs to expand in the Halifax area have prompted an RCMP request for more front-line officers.RCMP Insp. Robert Doyle said it’s clear the gangs “want to get a foothold here” after the Hells Angels lost their Maritimes beachhead when police smashed their Halifax chapter in 2001.“We want to ensure that they do not,” Doyle said in an interview Tuesday.Doyle requested the funding Monday at a meeting of the city’s Police Board of Commissioners, calling the bikers’ Nova Scotia growth “prolific.”“A number of years ago, through the efforts of policing, they were shut down in the area. What’s happen here in recent years is that they’ve slowly come back into the area to the point now where they’ve got clubhouses set up here.”In 2016, an Angels puppet club threw a high-profile “welcome home” event in Musquodoboit Harbour.“Between Musquodoboit Harbour and Fall River, there is a significant presence of the Gate Keepers, Sedition, Bacchus and the Hells Angels, each intent on growing their presence in the area.”The RCMP is requesting six new constable positions to be stationed in areas such as Tantallon, Cole Harbour, and Lower Sackville.Last November, two Hells Angels members from Nova Scotia and Ontario were charged following a search of the gang’s clubhouse in Musquodoboit Harbour, which turned up drugs, firearms and cash.The arrests came roughly two weeks after several members of the Gatekeepers Outlaw Motorcycle Gang in Halifax were charged with uttering threats and criminal harassment.The RCMP’s request cites a number of other reasons more officers are needed, including the upcoming legalization of cannabis, and an increase in mental health calls and cybercrime investigations.The region’s residential and commercial growth over the last decade means there are new areas for crime to occur, Doyle added.He said there are also concerns about officers who are working overtime hours to fill the staffing gaps.“That’s taking members away from their days off and bringing them back into work. While that can be sustainable in the short term, it does cause us concern over the long term,” said Doyle. “It has an effect on their physical, mental and emotional well-being.”The request said the last time new constable positions were created in RCMP Halifax District — rural and suburban areas not patrolled by Halifax Regional Police — was in 2009.The new hires would cost the municipality $877,890 annually, the report said.Police board member Waye Mason, the municipality’s deputy mayor, said Tuesday a staff report on the request has been ordered.Doyle said if the request is eventually approved by the board, it would then have to be approved by the province’s Justice Department and then by Public Safety Canada.last_img read more

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Pot linked to mammary growth in men officers reportedly tell teens

first_imgAURORA, Ont. – Police north of Toronto are trying to clear the air after officers reportedly told a group of teens that marijuana use can lead to “enhanced mammary growth in men.”York Regional Police Service spokeswoman Const. Laura Nicolle says the erroneous information was included in a presentation by officers for high school students last week.Nicolle says the police force was contacted on social media by several people who were at the session, questioning the link between cannabis and growth in that area in men.In a tweet Friday afternoon, police say marijuana does not cause “enhanced mammary growth in men,” adding that the force is “working to address” the misinformation by the officers.Nicolle says police are looking into exactly what the officers told the students and where they got that information.last_img read more

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How various Ontarians are faring in the provinces housing market

first_imgHousing affordability is a major issue for many Ontarians getting set to cast their ballots in the provincial election.The governing Liberals brought in measures last year that, along with higher interest rates and tighter mortgage lending regulations, led to a modest cooling in home pricing and activity after the market reached dizzying heights. But average home prices and rents in Ontario are still above national averages, and costs in Toronto remain high. The Canadian Press looked at how some Ontarians have fared.____Name: Trudi Johnston, Dennis JohnstonAge: 62, 68Location: Wasaga Beach, Ont.Profession: Realtor, retired construction industry workerHometown: TorontoStatus: Recently downsized from their Toronto house to a Wasaga Beach homeThe Johnstons were living comfortably in their three-bedroom townhouse in Toronto, but the lifestyle in the city was expensive. Although the home they owned had appreciated significantly over the years, that was money on paper, not in their pockets.“We couldn’t retire there. All the money was tied up in our house,” said Trudi Johnston.The pair sold their home for roughly $900,000 and moved to a slightly larger home in the resort town of Wasaga Beach that cost roughly $400,000.They couldn’t have timed it better — they sold their home in early April 2017, just before the Ontario government handed down measures to cool down the market. Dennis Johnston retired last May from the construction industry, while his wife continues to work as a Toronto realtor, driving back into the core when necessary.The Johnstons are among the many older couples moving out of the big cities in search of more budget-friendly options upon retirement age. Rental rates for senior housing in Ontario are the highest in the country at $3,526 month, according to a May report on the Canadian senior housing dilemma by ratings agency DBRS. “National average rent rates could reach just over $4,000 a month by 2025. Keeping up with this rate will become increasingly difficult, especially for those on a fixed income.”____Name: Luke GenikAge: 32Location: TorontoProfession: Production co-ordinator in the film industryHometown: TorontoStatus: Bought a semi-detached triplex in Toronto in 2016, lives in the basement while renting the other unitsGenik had been looking to buy a house in the east end of Toronto near where he grew up, but realized that even though he was lucky to have help from his parents for the down payment, it would be tough to afford ongoing housing costs as a single person.“I could be house poor, spending $2,000 on mortgage, then paying all the property tax, and garbage, and water, and electrical all by myself. It would be somewhere in the range of $3,000, on my own.”Instead, Genik bought a semi-detached triplex in August 2016, gutted and renovated it over the course of three months. Now, he rents out the top two units to help cover the mortgage costs, while living in the basement unit. It’s a creative solution to the worsening housing affordability problem in Toronto, where the cost of real estate and rental rates are among the highest in the country.“I work in an industry where we make very good money, and a lot of my peers who are of similar age older, they can’t afford to buy… or they’re buying a shoebox,” he said.A recent study by the Toronto Region Board of Trade suggested that 65 per cent of young professionals said high housing costs made it hard to pay off debt. Even as home sales slowed this year, the average price of a house in Toronto in April was $804,584, according to the Canadian Real Estate Association.____Name: Jaclyn Desforges, Dan Iwasa-MadgeAge: 29, 32Location: HamiltonProfession: Master’s student, startup ownerHometown: Milton, Ont.Status: Moved from Toronto to Hamilton in April seeking more a affordable rentalDesforges and Iwasa-Madge’s one bedroom apartment in Toronto’s Greektown no longer provided enough space after their daughter was born three years ago. The trio then rented a three-bedroom townhome north of the downtown core for $3,000, which gave them extra space and a backyard. But the location left them feeling isolated.“We sort of had to live in the middle of nowhere in order to continue living in Toronto,” Desforges said.In April, they chose to move to Hamilton, where they could get more bang for their rental buck. They now live in a two-bedroom apartment in an old Victorian home for $1,800 a month.A move out of the big city is an increasingly attractive option for Ontario renters, as costs continue to rise and vacancy rates drop.In the fall of 2017, Ontario rental vacancy rates slipped to 1.6 per cent — the lowest level since 2000 — from 2.1 per cent a year earlier, according to the Canada Mortgage Housing Corporation. In turn, the average rental rate for a two-bedroom unit in Ontario rose to $1,208, up from $1,154 the previous year.A two bedroom unit in Hamilton, however, was just $1,103, compared to $1,404 in Toronto. Desforges now runs creative writing workshops in Hamilton while also staying home with their daughter. Iwasa-Madge, who co-founded the startup Brainsights, splits his weeks between working from home for a couple of days and commuting to the office on others.Not only are rental costs more reasonable in Hamilton, the option to own a home is now within reach for the family. “We never considered the possibility of being able to own a home when we were living in Toronto,” said Desforges. “Now that we’re here, we could actually buy a house in couple of years.”____Name: Sarah Fulton, Daryl ShaughnessyAge: 32, 34Location: TorontoProfession: Human resources director, visual effects artistHometown: Alliston, Ont., Bowmanville, Ont.Status: Renting, looking to buy a larger home in TorontoFulton and Shaughnessy, want to upsize from their rented one-bedroom-plus den condo in Toronto to a larger home of their own, but they have already been outbid on five different homes since October.“We’ve gone $100,000 over asking on all of our offers, and we’re still not even close,” Fulton said.The engaged couple are looking for a three-bedroom to have the option of expanding their family down the line. But because renting has become so pricey in the city, rent on a home in a neighbourhood they want to live in would cost them roughly $3,000 a month, she estimates. Monthly payments on a mortgage would be on par, she said. Having previously commuted for two years from Alliston, moving outside of the core is not an option they want to consider.The pace of housing activity has slowed down and the average selling price of a home in Toronto in April fell 12.4 per cent year-over-year to $804,584, according to CREA. But the cost is still out of reach for many.____Name: Erin Stitt, John StittAge: Early 40s, mid-40sHometown: Bolton, Ont., TorontoStatus: Recently upsized from a Toronto condo to a house in Niagara regionFor an additional $50,000 and an hour-and-a-half drive, the Stitts upgraded last fall from a one-bedroom-plus den condo in Toronto’s west end to a three-bedroom backsplit with a backyard in Niagara Falls.After their son Michael was born in 2016, the family needed more space, but buying a house nearby was too expensive an endeavour.“Homes in that area were beyond what we were going to be able to consider,” said Erin Stitt.She started researching real estate options in various areas of Ontario where they had family connections, including the Scarborough suburb of Toronto, and Kitchener-Waterloo. Niagara won out in the end because of how far their real estate dollar could stretch as well as lower daycare fees, she said.In June, they sold their condo for roughly $425,000 and bought their Niagara home for $469,000. Stitt’s husband’s job as a industrial service technician involves a lot of travel, enabling them to move outside of the Toronto area. Stitt, who had worked as a marketing manager, started looking for employment in the Niagara area and took a job in communications at the regional realtors’ association last month.Escalating real estate prices in Ontario over the years have been pushing more young families to seek housing options further afield. A recent Toronto Region Board of Trade survey of young professionals found that 42 per cent said they were likely to leave because of high housing costs.“Housing is consuming an ever-larger portion of family budgets, reducing residents ability to spend or save including for retirement,” the board said.____last_img read more

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Ailing killer whale swimming off BC Washington diagnosed with parasitic worms

first_imgVANCOUVER – Scientists say an emaciated and endangered killer whale that’s been swimming in waters off the west coast has parasitic worms.Michael Milstein of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says in an email that biologists are standing by to deliver a dart with deworming medication to J50.The administration’s Facebook page says genetic analysis of some results of fecal and breath samples the team collected shows the evidence of parasitic worms.The administration has previously said the nearly four-year-old whale, also known as Scarlet, appears lethargic at times with periods of activity, and that she is in poor condition and may not survive.The statement also says researchers in Seattle have a DNA breath sample collected from J50 last month, and while it yielded little DNA, they are adapting their analysis to make the most of the available material.The Vancouver Aquarium’s head veterinarian Martin Haulena was able to dart the sickly whale with an antibiotic on Monday.last_img read more

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Court appearance for company owner whose truck involved in Broncos bus crash

first_imgCALGARY – The owner of a trucking company involved in the fatal Humboldt Broncos bus crash appeared without a lawyer at his first court appearance Friday.Sukhmander Singh of Adesh Deol Trucking was represented by duty counsel, who asked the matter be set over to Nov. 30.Singh, 36, did not speak to anyone on his way into court in Calgary.Sixteen people were killed and 13 were injured in rural Saskatchewan when the Broncos junior hockey team bus and a semi-truck owned by Singh collided at an intersection last spring.Singh faces eight charges relating to non-compliance with federal and provincial safety regulations.There are seven charges under the federal Motor Vehicle Transport Act: two counts of failing to maintain logs for drivers hours of service, three counts of failing to monitor the compliance of a driver under safety regulations, and two counts of having more than one daily log for any day.The eighth charge under the Alberta Traffic Safety Act alleges failure to have or follow a written safety program.Court documents allege the offences occurred between Jan. 1 and March 31 — prior to the fatal accident on April 6.The maximum penalty for a federal hours of service failing is $5,000 per offence. The provincial charge carries a $310 penalty. A court can, however, use discretion to impose a penalty up to $2,000.Alberta Transportation said Adesh Deol Trucking remains suspended.Jaskirat Singh Sidhu, 29, was driving the semi unit and was charged earlier this year with dangerous driving causing death and dangerous driving causing bodily harm.Sidhu, who was not hurt, was released on $1,000 bail in July under condition he not drive and that he surrender his passport.He is to be back in court in Melfort, Sask., on Nov. 27.— Follow @BillGraveland on Twitterlast_img read more

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Next Canadian federal election will be target for Russian meddling Sajjan

first_imgHALIFAX — With a federal election less than a year away, Canada’s defence minister is warning voters they will be targeted by online cyber-attacks and fake news as Russia steps up its efforts to undermine western democracies.“We have taken this into account very seriously in our defence policy,” Harjit Sajjan said in an interview with The Canadian Press.“We need to further educate our citizens about the impact of fake news. No one wants to be duped by anybody.”Sajjan made the comments while attending a defence and security conference in Halifax, where experts, military officers and politicians representing democracies from around the world spent a great deal of time discussing cyber-warfare.“When we stand up for human rights, and when we stand up … to nations like Russia who are going against the rules-based order … you become a target,” Sajjan said, adding that Canada’s decision to protest Russia’s annexation of Crimea has also raised Russia’s ire.He said the Canadian government has a cyber-security plan that includes establishing the Canadian Centre for Cyber Security within the Communications Security Establishment, Canada’s domestic spy agency.Rose Gottemoeller, deputy-secretary general of NATO, stressed that Russia is not the only country using the internet to spread disinformation, citing a NATO report released Sunday that drew attention to North Korea, China and Iran.The report, presented Sunday to a NATO Parliamentary Assembly meeting in Halifax, was discussed by NATO’s science and technology committee.U.S. Democratic congresswoman Susan Davis told the committee that Russian interference continued in the early stages of the recent U.S. mid-term elections, although not on the scale seen during the 2016 election that saw Donald Trump elected president.Last year, Facebook said hundreds of dubious accounts, likely operated out of Russia, spent about $100,000 on some 3,000 ads about contentious issues such as LGBT rights, race, immigration and guns.Facebook later said an estimated 10 million people in the United States saw the ads.Gottemoeller, who previously served as undersecretary for international security at the U.S. State Department, said democracies have to be ready to defend themselves — on the battlefield or in cyberspace. “There’s a lot of creativity among the bad guys,” she said in an interview Sunday.As an example, Gottemoeller pointed to the Canadian-led NATO Battle Group in Latvia, which has been subjected to a steady stream of fake news aimed at undermining the year-old mission. “The Russians are pumping out a lot of reports about misbehaviour of Canadian troops and how expensive the (battle group) is for Latvia,” she said, adding that Canadian soldiers have taken a proactive role by letting local residents know why they are there. “It’s a great example of how Canada … has made a difference pushing back against disinformation.”Pauline Neville-Jones, chairwoman of the U.K.-based Advisory Board to Cyber Security Challenge, said Russian operatives use online algorithms to distribute false stories that are aimed at sowing division and distrust of democratic institutions.“In the case of Canada, (the Russians) would find it very interesting to try to destabilize your relationship with the United States,” said Neville-Jones, who was David Cameron’s national security adviser before he became prime minister of Britain.“That gets at the sinews of western democracy. It gets at the sinews of NATO relationships.”Neville-Jones said the rise of social media has eroded the influence of traditional media sources, which has left citizens more susceptible to cyber-attacks. The best defence against fake news, she said, is to seek other news sources.She said there was plenty of evidence of online interference in the 2016 U.S. vote, particularly from the Russians.  “Propaganda … has been one of the things they’ve always done,” Neville-Jones said. “They see international relations as a zero-sum game. If you’re losing, then I’m winning.”By Michael MacDonald and Keith Doucette, The Canadian Presslast_img read more

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Woman charged with accessory to murder in triple homicide investigation

first_imgMIDDLESEX CENTRE, Ont. — Provincial police say a woman has been arrested in connection to the deaths of three people from the Six Nations of the Grand River in southwestern Ontario.Police say the three bodies were discovered earlier this month, along with an abandoned pickup truck, in a privately owned field in Middlesex Centre, Ont.They say a 36-year-old woman from Six Nations of the Grand River has been charged with three counts of accessory after the fact to murder.Police have said Melissa Trudy Miller, 37, Alan Grant Porter, 33, and Michael Shane Jamieson, 32, were a close-knit trio.Miller’s brother has said his sister was seven months pregnant with a baby boy at the time of her death.Police have not disclosed the time, location, or cause of death for the three victims and they say the investigation continues. The Canadian Presslast_img read more

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