New Delhi: The country’s largest car maker Maruti Suzuki India (MSI) has cut vehicle production by over 18 per cent in May, according to a regulatory filing. It is the company’s fourth consecutive month of taking a production cut.The car market leader produced a total of 1,51,188 units in May, including Super Carry LCV, down 18.1 per cent from 1,84,612 units in the year-ago month, MSI said in the filing. Barring Super Carry, the company reduced production of all other segments, including that of its big selling compact and mini cars last month. Also Read – SC declines Oil Min request to stay sharing of documentsMSI slashed production of passenger vehicles, including Alto, Swift and Dzire, by 18.88 per cent to 1,48,095 as compared to 1,82,571 units in May 2018. The company cut production of mini segment vehicles by 42.29 per cent to 23,874 units last month as against 41,373 units in the year-ago period. MSI also slashed production of compact segment cars by 9.54 per cent to 84,705 units in May from 93,641 units in corresponding month of last year. Production of utility vehicles also witnessed a decline of 3.21 per cent to 24,748 units, as against 25,571 units in May last year. Also Read – World suffering ‘synchronized slowdown’, says new IMF chiefThe company said production of vans declined by 34.99 per cent to 10,934 units last month compared to 16,819 units in May 2018. MSI had cut production by around 10 per cent across its factories in April. In March, the company had reported a production cut of 20.9 per cent across its factories. In February, the company had cut production by over 8 per cent to 1,48,959 units from 1,62,524 units produced in the year-ago month. Auto manufacturers have been facing muted sales for quite some time now. The slowdown has forced companies to adjust their production schedules to market demand. Last week, Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M) said it will shut production across plants for up to 13 days in the ongoing quarter to adjust to market demand. Overall passenger vehicle sales in India dropped over 17 per cent in April, the worst monthly fall in nearly eight years, as subdued sentiment and the ongoing liquidity crunch hit car sales. On Saturday, homegrown auto major Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M) said that it will shut production across plants for up to 13 days in the ongoing quarter to adjust to market demand.
New Delhi: Life would have been on a different track for 23-year-old Sahil Shaukeen if he had not fallen from a train and injured his leg.The National Judo karate player was going to participate in national games when the accident happened in 2014, five years later he is in Tihar jail for fleeing with a rented car from Delhi’s Connaught Place along with his associate. The manner in which the police was dodged resembled the Ajay Devgan starrer ‘Drishyam’ movie. Sahil and his friend Sachin, an engineering student from Haryana were predecided when they hired an XUV 500 car with forged documents and fake name from a car rental company in Connaught Place on June 16. The car was supposed to be returned the next day. The duo also paid 6744 Rs online as the fees. The rental company got suspicious when the car was not returned on the said day. Also, the GPS last location came out to be Mandi, Himachal Pradesh. After this, the GPS was turned off. Delhi police after lodging the FIR formed a team to identify and arrest the accused. Soon, Sahil was arrested from Bahadurgarh Haryana. The other accused 20-year-old Sachin Parashar was arrested from Rohini. The interrogation revealed the Drishyam Movie plot, as the accused after stealing the car first removed the GPS from the vehicle and threw it into a passing truck just like the protagonist did in the movie to dodge the investigators. “Upon detailed interrogation, they confessed that they had earlier also booked and stolen a number of vehicles with this modus operandi. They would then modify the vehicles suitably and supply them to persons who were involved in bootlegging of alcohol from Haryana to UP,” said Madhur Verma, DCP New Delhi.
New Delhi: Honda Cars India is considering to increase vehicle prices by up to 1.2 per cent from next month to offset rise in cost of raw materials and introduction of new safety features, as per a senior company official. The company currently sells a range of models from premium hatchback Brio to premium sedan Accord Hybrid, priced between Rs 4.73 lakh and Rs 43.21 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi). “We are working on price increase on our models from July,” HCIL Senior Vice President and Director Sales and Marketing Rajesh Goel said. Also Read – Maruti cuts production for 8th straight month in SepHe said the cost of raw material has gone up in the last few months, but the same is currently being absorbed by the company. Goel said the company is contemplating to pass on some of the increase in input cost to consumers. “This price increase is due to accumulated raw material cost increases in the past which we have been absorbing so far and also safety regulation implementation.The increase (vehicle cost) would be up to 1.2 per cent,” he noted. This is the second time this year that the company is mulling to increase vehicle prices.
New Delhi: India skipper Virat Kohli has been on song in the ongoing World Cup in England and Wales. With three fifties, Kohli has so far scored 244 runs in the four innings he has played. While he is currently 12th in the list of leading run-getters, Kohli will surely move upwards with India still to play as many as four games in the group stages alone. Before the World Cup, Kohli was not at his usual best in the Indian Premier League. While he did score 328 runs in the 14 matches for the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB), it was not the kind of performance which one associates with India’s ‘run machine’. However, in the World Cup, Kohli is looking a lot more comfortable, be it while facing the quicks or the spinners. If one does an analysis of his performance in the four innings he has played so far, one will find that the 30-year-old has concentrated on playing in the ‘V’ and has resisted from playing cross batted shots. Also Read – Djokovic heaps praise on ‘very complete’ MedvedevThis approach can be seen as an attempt to tackle the swing on offer in English conditions to the pacers and also to adjust with the variable bounce which has been seen on many wickets on which India have played. In India’s first match against South Africa, Kohli was not able to score much as he managed just 18 runs off the 34 balls he faced before he was caught brilliantly by wicketkeeper Quinton de Kock. However, against Australia, the number one ODI batsman looked to be in fine form and scored 82 off 77 balls. During the course of his innings, he scored 60 runs in the V (23 on off side and 37 on leg side). Shikhar Dhawan also scored a brilliant 117 as India defended their 353-run target with ease. Against arch-rivals Pakistan, Kohli continued with his form and hit 77 runs off 65 balls. Out of the 77, 51 runs came in the ‘V’ (26 on off side and 25 on leg side). His knock, along with that off Rohit Sharma’s 140, helped India post 336/5. The Men in Blue won that match by 89 runs (D/L method) and maintained their World Cup dominance over Pakistan. Also Read – Mary Kom enters quarterfinals, Saweety Boora bows out of World C’shipsAnd in their fifth encounter against Afghanistan when most of the Indian batters struggled against the Afghan spinners on a sluggish Rose Bowl wicket, Kohli batted brilliantly and scored 67 runs off just 63 balls. In that game also, the Indian skipper preferred to play in the ‘V’ and collected 42 runs in that region (19 on off side and 23 on leg side). His cover drive has been on full display in the ongoing World Cup and one can surely expect the Indian skipper to come out with those smashing flicks and straight drives against the likes of Sheldon Cottrell and Mark Wood in the remaining matches.
New Delhi: With creditors rejecting NBCC’s bid to acquire Jaypee Infratech, the NCLAT Tuesday directed representatives of banks, allottees and other stakeholders to appear before it on July 17 to consider how the bid could be tweaked for the benefit of home buyers. The tribunal was informed that in the voting that took place on NBCC’s bid, home buyers that account for 34.75 per cent of the total of Committee of Creditors (CoC) had voted in its favour, 1.44 per cent against, whereas 23.8 per cent did not vote. Also Read – Maruti cuts production for 8th straight month in SepHowever, all the 13 banks, which constitute 40.75 per cent of CoC voted against the bid by the state-run firm to acquire Jaypee Infratech. The voting started on May 31 and concluded on June 10. During the hearing on the matter, the three-member bench headed by Justice Chairman S J Mukhopadhyaya said it was not keen on considering Adani Group’s bid at this stage while pulling up the banks for backdoor negotiations with the business conglomerate. Stressing that the appellate tribunal’s priority is to take care of the interest of the home buyers, the bench asked the representatives of various stakeholders involved to appear before it in the next hearing to find how NBCC’s plans could be altered for the benefit of all, specially the home buyers. Also Read – Ensure strict implementation on ban of import of e-cigarettes: revenue to CustomsThe bench said NBCC is a government company and one can rely on it, adding that it knows “the pain of allottees” and wants to do justice for them. It asked the banks to nominate a high ranking officer who will negotiate, while asking them to produce a gist of the resolution plan submitted by NBCC and objections they have with regard to the plan. In its revised offer, NBCC has proposed infusion of Rs 200 crore equity capital, transfer of 950 acres of land worth Rs 5,000 crore to banks and completing construction of flats by July 2023 to settle an outstanding claim of Rs 23,723 crore of financial creditors. When the bench was informed that Adani has come offering faster construction for home buyers, the bench said it was not keen on considering it at the current stage, while stating that if the company was an interested party it should “intervene” before the appellate tribunal. Justice Mukhopadhyaya reiterated that in the interest of home buyers, the resolution of Jaypee Infratech will not be allowed to fail and if it was not possible to find a solution through the NBCC bid, then the bench will consider Adani or any other bids.
Paris: The Netherlands’ rise as a force in women’s football continued on Wednesday as Jackie Groenen’s extra-time strike saw them edge out Sweden 1-0 in a gruelling World Cup semi-final in Lyon, taking the European champions through to this weekend’s final against the United States. After a goalless 90 minutes, midfielder Groenen — a former judo European Championship bronze medallist as a youth who recently agreed a move to Manchester United — broke the deadlock in the 99th minute of a tense contest, breaking Swedish hearts in the process. Also Read – Dhoni, Paes spotted playing football togetherWhen Danielle van de Donk’s pass was touched into her path, Groenen sent a low shot from 20 yards beyond the reach of goalkeeper Hedvig Lindahl and into the far corner. Having knocked out Italy and former winners Japan in the previous two rounds, the Dutch are now just one game away from adding a first World Cup to the title they won at Euro 2017 as hosts. “We never knew this would be possible. It’s one more match and we might possibly be world champions,” said a beaming Groenen. Also Read – Andy Murray to make Grand Slam return at Australian OpenGetting this far is a remarkable achievement for the “Oranje”, appearing at just their second World Cup, but they will need to improve drastically if they are to stand any chance of defeating the holders. The Netherlands have long been a force in the men’s game, but they had never even been to a major women’s tournament until a decade ago. “I think the potential has been in the Netherlands for a longer period of time but the facilities were not there,” said Dutch coach Sarina Wiegman, pointing to the start of the Dutch league in 2007 as the catalyst. “It’s the whole development in the Netherlands and also the individuals that made bigger steps. “Now they have been in a couple of tournaments so they are very experienced now too and they believe they can perform really well.” The USA made it through to their third successive World Cup final after beating England 2-1 on Tuesday. That was a game which had it all, and it was always going to be difficult for this second semi-final to reach the same heights. After ending a long hoodoo against old rivals Germany in the last round, 2016 Olympic finalists Sweden were the better team in the first half here. A Sari van Veenendaal save from Lina Hurtig in the 37th minute was the only chance of note in the first half, but the Dutch goalkeeper and captain denied Sweden again in the 56th minute as she tipped Nilla Fischer’s low shot onto the post. On this evidence, it is remarkable that Van Veenendaal was released by Arsenal prior to the tournament. That was not the best save in the second half, though, with Sweden’s Lindahl displaying stunning athleticism to tip a Vivianne Miedema header onto the bar. Extra time approached, although substitute Shanice van de Sanden might have won it in stoppage time had her powerful strike not been tipped over by Lindahl. The Dutch had seen Lieke Martens go off at half-time having been an injury doubt ahead of the game. She is a concern for the final, which her side reached thanks to Groenen finally getting the breakthrough in the first period of extra time. It was a fine goal by the 24-year-old, but it was agonising for Sweden, and the 2003 World Cup runners-up also saw midfielder Kosovare Asllani go off on a stretcher at the end after being hit in the face by the ball. They will face England in the third-place play-off in Nice on Saturday. “Now it’s about the medal,” said coach Peter Gerhardsson. “Ending up third of course feels a lot better than ending up fourth. We’ll do everything in our power to try to do that.”
New Delhi: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman Friday said government has de-registered 4 lakh shell companies as the Lok Sabha approved a bill seeking to tighten CSR norms and ensuring stricter action for non- compliance of the company law regulations. Piloting the Companies Amendment Bill 2019, the minister said companies not spending the mandatory 2 per cent profit on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) activites for a total period of four years will be required to deposit the amount in a special account. Also Read – India gets first tranche of Swiss bank a/c details The amendments in the Companies Act, she added, were aimed at improving ease of doing business and also reducing compliance burden on the companies, especially the smaller ones. The Bill was later passed by the Lower House unanimously after Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury withdrew statutory resolution opposing it. Responding to the concerns of members on shell companies, Sithsaraman said the word “shell companies” has not been defined in the rule book, but it is loosely referred to inactive companies or those which do not maintain a registered office. Also Read – Tourists to be allowed in J&K from Thursday “Four lakh companies have been identified and de-registered,” she said, adding non-maintenance of registered office will be a ground for de-registration of companies. A key change in the Bill pertains to CSR spending, wherein companies would have to mandatorily keep unspent money into a special account. Under the Act, companies earning profit of over Rs 5 crore, turnover of Rs 100 crore or networth of more than Rs 500 crore are required to shell out at least two per cent of their three-year annual average net profit towards CSR activities. India, Sitharaman said, has become the first country to make CSR spending mandatory through a law. The companies will have one year to firm up the CSR proposal and another three years to spend funds. In case money remains unspent for one plus three years, the money will have to be moved to an escrow account, she said, adding it could even be the Prime Minister’s Relief Fund. The bill empowers the Registrar of Companies (ROC) to initiate action for removal of the name of the company from Register of companies if it is not carrying on any business or operation in according with the company law. Among other things, the bill also provides for re- categorisation of 16 minor offences as purely civil defaults, transferring of functions with regard to dealing with applications for change of financial year to Central government and shifting of powers for conversion from public to private companies from NCLT to the central government, as well as more clarity with respect to certain powers of the National Financial Reporting Authority (NFRA).
New Delhi: Bhubaneshwar Kalita, former Congress chief whip in Rajya Sabha who resigned from the House earlier this week opposing the party’s stand on the government’s decisions on Jammu and Kashmir, joined the BJP on Friday.His resignation was accepted on the day when Home Minister Amit Shah moved the resolution to scrap provisions of Article 370 and bifurcation of the state of Jammu and Kashmir. Kalita, whose term in Rajya Sabha was till April 9, 2020, is the second Congress Rajya Sabha member after Sanjay Sinh, a member of the erstwhile Amethi royal family, who has joined the BJP. Kalita joined the party at its headquarters here in presence of Union minister Piyush Goyal and other senior leaders.
Toronto: Serena Williams won the rematch Friday, dominating Naomi Osaka 6-3, 6-4 to ensure the Japanese star won’t leave Toronto with a title to go with her number one world ranking. Williams fired 12 aces and didn’t face a break point as she beat Osaka for the first time in three meetings — avenging her shock loss in last year’s controversial US Open final in which the American star was docked a point and a game after losing her temper when warned about coaching. Also Read – Puducherry on top after 8-wkt win over ChandigarhThere was no such drama in Toronto, where Williams broke Osaka for a 5-3 lead in the first and closed out the opening set with a service winner. She broke again for a 2-1 lead in the second and never looked like surrendering the advantage. Even a run-in with the net cord — as she raced forward trying to run down a drop shot — didn’t faze her. “It hurt, but it wasn’t the end of the world,” Williams said. The American’s lone wobble came in the final game. After a pair of aces gave her a triple match point, Williams offered up a double fault and two backhands into the net before she closed it out with an ace on her fourth match point. Also Read – Vijender’s next fight on Nov 22, opponent to be announced later”We haven’t played since New York, which was a really good match for her,” said Williams, adding that she feels her own game is coming on as she’d hoped in the buildup to this year’s US Open at Flushing Meadows. “I’m getting there,” said Williams, who hasn’t dropped a set this week as she pursues a fourth Toronto title to go with those she won in 2001, 2011 and 2013. “It’s definitely not where I want to be, but I’m getting there.” Osaka said she played too defensively — something she said was hard to avoid when Williams was hitting 31 winners. “But I think there were chances where she hit shorter balls, but I wasn’t expecting her to hit the shorter balls, so I didn’t move up on time,” she said. In the semi-finals Williams will face Czech qualifier Marie Bouzkova, who advanced when Wimbledon champion Simona Halep retired with Achilles tendon trouble after dropping their first set 6-4. “I’ve always wanted to play Serena,” said Bouzkova, a 21-year-old ranked 91st in the world. “It’s always my dream to play against her.”
In the recent past, the passage of Bills like RTI, Triple Talaq, River water disputes, Abrogation of Article 370 and bifurcation of Jammu and Kashmir, etc., have provided for every reason to critically analyse the aspect of Parliament accountability more deeply. The Indian Parliament completed 60 years of its existence seven years ago. A couple of parliamentarians of yesteryears were also felicitated on the occasion. However, over the years, the effectiveness of the Indian Parliament as an institution of accountability and supervision has been on a decline. The instruments for accountability like motions on the floor, oversight powers, committee system that Parliament can use, are being rendered dysfunctional. The globalisation of Indian economy eroded the power of Parliament. International treaties govern much of the economic decision-making and Parliament does not have a system of effective treaty oversight in place. The decision on these treaties would have been already taken and are unalterable by the time they come to Parliament. Parliamentary oversight on the powers which are being delegated to non-elected institutions is very weak. Also Read – A special kind of bondSlow legislation process, more powers to executive in the form of ordinances substituting for legislation were identified as the weakness of the Indian Parliament. Parliament is increasingly becoming ineffective in providing scrutiny of the executive. Parliament itself has self-abdicated many of its functions. The imperatives of electoral and party politics facilitated in delaying of important legislation just for the sake of delay but not for any qualitative improvement in legislation. Parliament has become more of an oppositional space rather than a forum for genuine debate. Also Read – Insider threat managementIt is debatable as to what extent the Indian Parliament could be held responsible for the successes and failures of Indian democracy. Performance of parliamentary democracy is not independent of the performance of Parliament. Performance of legislators in a parliamentary system is more an outcome of the influence of the political party to which they belong than anything else. The quality of parliamentarians, judged by their qualifications and commitment, seems to be declining. Though India’s current parliamentarians have much higher levels of formal education than in the past, sizable number among them has criminal backgrounds. This certainly has an impact on the functioning of Parliament. The composition of Parliament in general and the Lok Sabha, in particular, has been a reliable index of the changing political preferences of Indian voters. The social composition of Parliament has changed considerably over the years. From its inception as an elite coterie of British educated lawyers, its members today are drawn from a variety of social strata and occupations. Parliament continues to lag behind in the representation of women, and through quotas, a certain number of seats have been earmarked for historically marginalised groups – the Scheduled Castes and Tribes – and this has ensured the representation of these groups in Parliament. Parliament, thus, is a reasonable representation of the diversity of social interests. The “state of emergency” that Prime Minister Indira Gandhi declared in 1975 was probably one of the most precarious episodes for parliamentary democracy and was not warranted by the national interest. There is also a general sense that the procedural norms that are the basis of parliamentary practice began to erode, particularly after the mid-1970s. The weakening of political parties, the multiplicity of political parties represented in Parliament, from five in the first Lok Sabha to nearly 40 subsequently as well as the changing nature of constituent services and re-election incentives have all transformed the institution of the Indian Parliament. The primary objective of Parliament is to enact legislation, although it also has constitutional, financial and governmental powers. It is the sole body that can amend the Constitution. It is also the only body with the power to raise taxes and spend money, including the authority to pass the annual budget. The failure of the government to ensure the passage of the budget is automatically a vote of no-confidence. Finally, the Cabinet is collectively responsible to Parliament. Parliament is the agency through which the government is held accountable. The opposition is the constituent part of Parliament that has the most incentive to use the statutory powers of Parliament to keep the government accountable. The principal reason that opposition parties in India do not scrutinise the day-to-day functions of government with any seriousness is that political parties are weak institutions. The ability of the opposition to function as an independent mechanism of accountability has little to do with the formal rules of Parliament. There are various types of committees in the Indian Parliament namely standing committees like Committee on Public Accounts, the Committee on Estimates, the Committee on Public Undertakings and Ad hoc Committees which are usually appointed for a specific purpose and can be either select or joint. However, the Parliament itself tends to ignore the reports of its committees which is yet another reason for its declining accountability. Legislation in the Parliament involves three stages corresponding to three readings of a bill. A distinction needs to be made between the workings of Parliament as an institution and the processes that go into the making of Parliament itself. The imperatives of raising electoral financing make parliamentarians beholden to special interests and in some cases corrupts them, distorts the legislative process and causes a considerable decline in Parliament standards. Parliament’s working hours has declined over the years. There is a sharp increase in adjournments of Houses as a result of disorderly scenes and interruptions where nothing could be recorded and nobody could hear the MPs. Due to interruptions, legislative proceedings are frequently disrupted to the point where there is no option but to adjourn. The disruption can take many forms including rushing to the well of the House and shouting in front of the speaker. On one hand, it appears that parliamentarians spend most of their time attending to the affairs of their constituents. On the other hand, parliamentarians seem relatively uninterested or ineffective in utilising grants and policies for the development of their constituencies. This is exemplified by the extraordinary failure of the Local Area Development (MPLADS) scheme. It also seems that most MPs and their constituents seem to look upon MPs primarily as distributors of patronage rather than as policymakers. MPLADS is perhaps less important than its implications for Parliament as an institution of accountability. Under the Indian Constitution, the president can, on the advice of the government and even in the absence of parliamentary legislation, promulgate ordinances to deal with matters that might arise from time to time. The frequent use of presidential ordinances cannot be seen other than as a way of bypassing the need to secure parliamentary approval for important legislation. While parliamentary democracy remains healthy, there are significant institutional challenges facing the Parliament and it is absolutely necessary to overcome them. (The author is Chief PRO to Telangana CM. The views expressed are strictly personal)
This country’s relationship with theatre has been much like a classic tale of love: A pot pourri of emotions, melodrama, humour and romance. It started way back as a purely narrative driven form and gradually moved on to our folk dances and music. Live entertainment gradually evolved from the real to the reel, the stage to the screen. But then there were those struggling to keep the spark alive with their grand visions of raw theatrical beauty.One such promoter of the cause is Aadyam — a theatre initiative on a quest to initiate the uninitiated. A product of love and passion for the arts, this initiative is back for its fifth season with a commitment to grandeur and series of performances, unparalleled to anything seen before. Also Read – An income drop can harm brainSince its inception in 2015, Aadyam has been breathing life into scripts, ideas and artistic visions. Plays with big production value and colourful backdrops have been synonymous with their productions. The last season saw both, the stage and the audience, come alive with these majestic sets, making theatre-going a sensory experience rather than just a show. This is also where the core idea of Aadyam is realised – giving producers a chance to experiment at this scale with minimal risk. Also Read – Shallu Jindal honoured with Mahatma AwardSpeaking about what’s in store for this season, Artistic Director and theatre veteran Shernaz Patel says, “Aadyam Season 5 is full of great stories and sweeping sagas that traverse the globe. From the streets of Kabul to the back alleys of Lucknow, from the ghats of Benaras to the court rooms of Washington DC, each of these stories will transport you into different and exciting worlds. And even though these worlds maybe unchartered, these plays will resonate with you. For the human beings who inhabit them are all dealing with universal human emotions…love and loss, joy and hope, honour and retribution. The play genres are also wonderfully varied with a mix of laughter and suspense, drama and music. Adding to this Aadyam’s unrelenting pursuit of high standards in performance, storytelling, direction, design and production, these plays will definitely enrich your lives and entertain you.” Brian Tellis, Co-Founder and Group CEO of Fountainhead MKTG says, “Entering our landmark 5th year of Aadyam theatre productions, we take a moment to pause, reflect upon, and celebrate this country’s rich theatrical heritage. Productions from the very first year of Aadyam – a theatre initiative that has always believed in large scale productions – are still running strong today. This is testament to the fact that us theatre-goers revel in the magic of this storytelling medium and crave for more year upon year. Feeding off this marvelous energy, we want to make this year even more special – with the launch of the Aadyam blog ‘Stage-Write’, we want to talk to our audience directly and together, grow this beautiful art form that we all love so much and engage with it in ever more enriching ways”. Looking forward to another season of Aadyam, he adds, “The productions themselves are oozing with talent of course and they will always comprise the core of Aadyam. Here’s to another year of magic.”
Kingston (Jamaica): Rishabh Pant will be desperate to pay back the faith reposed in him by the team management when India look to steamroll West Indies with another dominant show in the second World Test championship encounter starting on Friday. Having won the first Test by 318 runs, India are runaway favourites going into the second and final match at the Sabina Park against a team that neither showed the resolve nor the aptitude required to put up a sustained fight in five-day cricket. Also Read – Puducherry on top after 8-wkt win over Chandigarh”The conditions here are good and the pitch also looks good. We are expecting another good performance,” bowling coach Bharath Arun said on Wednesday. Jasprit Bumrah (match haul of 6 wickets) and Ishant Sharma (8 wickets) exposed the opposition’s technical frailties and they will be gunning for more in the second game. It is unlikely that India will be tinkering with their playing XI after a big win even though Pant’s form has been a bit of a concern of late. Also Read – Vijender’s next fight on Nov 22, opponent to be announced laterMore than the runs scored, it is the manner of his dismissals that is causing frustration, considering that the Indian cricket establishment has invested heavily in the 21-year-old from Rourkee. His sequence of scores across formats during this current tour has been 0, 4, 65 not out, 20, 0, 24, 7. With veteran Wriddhiman Saha back in the dressing room and the gutsy Kona Bharat waiting in the wings, Pant can ill-afford to take things for granted, especially the kind that one saw in the second innings of the first Test. The pressure was completely off after India took a handsome lead. What the side required from the flamboyant left-hander was something in the range of a solid 30 not out but what it got instead was another impetuous shot. The slog sweep has brought about his downfall more often than not and save a fifty in the dead rubber in the T20 series, he has done precious little with the bat. Opener Mayank Agarwal wasn’t in his elements either in the first Test but it is expected that he would get another opportunity, which he rightfully deserves having worked hard in Australia. The Indian middle-order performed admirably with Ajinkya Rahane back in form with an under-pressure half-century and a century. Hanuma Vihari also justified his selection with a 93 in the second innings, meaning that Rohit Sharma’s wait to make the side could just get a bit longer. However, Agarwal would be on his toes. He may not get too many opportunities if the team management decides to fit in an impact player like Rohit at the top of the order alongside KL Rahul in the coming Test series against South Africa at home. While Rohit’s technique against the moving red ball is a bit suspect but in the sub-continent, he could prove to be a handful. The pace bowling was near flawless in the first game with Ishant and Bumrah looking menacing with five-wicket hauls each. Even Mohammed Shami was very effective in short bursts while Ravindra Jadeja proved his utility as an all-rounder. “Any seamer are at their best when they are getting wickets. The five-wicket haul for both (Ishant and Bumrah) of them will give them tremendous confidence. Also Shami looked good whenever he was given the ball and it augurs well for the team,” Arun said. For West Indies, there hasn’t been much to write home about as none of their players even got a half-century in two innings. Talented players like Shimron Hetmyer and Shai Hope didn’t measure up while the normally dependable Roston Chase also looked out of sorts in the second innings. The only saving grace for them was the new ball pair of Shannon Gabriel and Kemar Roach, who bowled their hearts out without much support from others. Teams: India: Virat Kohli (captain), KL Rahul, Mayank Agarwal, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Hanuma Vihari, Rishabh Pant (wk), Ravindra Jadeja, Mohammed Shami, Ishant Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah, Wriddhiman Saha (wk), Ravichandran Ashwin, Umesh Yadav, Bhuvneshwar Kumar West Indies: Squad: Jason Holder (c), Kraigg Brathwaite, Darren Bravo, Shamarh Brooks, John Campbell, Roston Chase, Rakheem Cornwall, Shane Dowrich, Shannon Gabriel, Shimron Hetmyer, Shai Hope, Keemo Paul, Kemar Roach. Match Starts at 7 pm IST.
Shahjahanpur (UP): BJP leader and former Union minister Swami Chinmayanand has been quizzed by the SIT for around seven hours in connection with a law student’s allegation that he raped her, his counsel said on Friday. The special investigation team, formed on the orders of the Supreme Court, summoned Chinmayanad to the police lines on Thursday night, his counsel Om Singh said. Later, he was brought back to his residence Divya Dham in Mumukshu Ashram under heavy security, he said. Also Read – India gets first tranche of Swiss bank a/c details The SIT team also inspected the bedroom of the BJP leader at the ashram but since it was very late they sealed the room. They are expected to continue their inspection on Friday, he said. The postgraduate student has alleged that she was raped and “physically exploited” for a year by the BJP leader, whose organisation runs several colleges. In a letter on the SIT on Wednesday, the woman had alleged that some vital evidence was removed from her hostel room by Chinmayanand’s supporters before it was sealed by the police.
New Delhi: A court here has asked the Delhi government to decide within one month on the sanction to prosecute former JNU Students’ Union president Kanhaiya Kumar and others in a sedition case. Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Manish Khurana said the delay in taking a decision on the matter has caused wastage of judicial time as the case had been listed and adjourned repeatedly since the filing of the charge sheet. The court passed the directions after the Delhi Police informed the court that the file regarding sanction is pending with the Home Department. Also Read – After eight years, businessman arrested for kidnap & murder “The time which is being taken to finalise the issue of sanction or otherwise has caused wasted of judicial time as the case had been listed and adjourned repeatedly since the filing of the charge sheet. “It is expected of the Delhi government that the decision regarding the sanction or otherwise would be taken within one month so that further processing in the present case may be done,” the court said. The court then posted the matter for October 25, by which the reports have to be filed. Also Read – Two brothers held for snatchings On January 14, the police had filed a charge sheet in the court against Kumar and others, including former Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) students Umar Khalid and Anirban Bhattacharya, saying they were leading a procession and supported seditious slogans raised on the campus during an event on February 9, 2016. The court had earlier directed the police to ask authorities concerned to expedite the process while granting it three weeks to secure the sanction needed to prosecute Kumar and others accused in the case.
OTTAWA – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has named a Nova Scotia judge as the province’s new lieutenant-governor.Arthur LeBlanc, who has been a judge of the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia since 1998, replaces John James Grant in the vice-regal job.Lieutenant-governors represent the Queen in their respective provinces, handling her roles and functions, including granting royal assent to laws.Leblanc was born in West Arichat, N.S. in 1943, graduated from St. Francis Xavier University in 1964 with a commerce degree and earned a law degree from Dalhousie University in 1968.He practised law in the province for 30 years before being named to the bench.He is married to Rosemarie Patricia (Patsy) LeBlanc and they have three sons and six grandchildren.The prime minister said LeBlanc is well respected for his legal work, as well as his contributions to and volunteer organizations.“He is an excellent choice as Nova Scotia’s next lieutenant-governor and I have no doubt that he will make many important contributions to the future of his province,” Trudeau said in a statement.“
TORONTO – Toronto police and firefighters had to deal with another construction crane climber on Wednesday night.Authorities were called at about 11:30 p.m. concerning a man who had scaled a crane at a downtown work site (at Dundas and Jarvis).After about three hours of negotiations involving police and a psychiatrist, the man descended about 20 metres on a fire truck aerial ladder and was taken to hospital to be assessed.There was no immediate word on possible charges.The incident was similar to one in Toronto in April when a 23-year-old woman was stranded for hours after scaling a construction crane in the middle of the night.Marisa Lazo — a dual Canadian-American citizen — was charged with six counts of mischief by interfering with property and released on bail with several conditions, including staying away from construction sites and rooftops. (Newstalk1010)
HALIFAX – The first frantic callers to reach the RCMP were clear: something had crashed in the waters off Shag Harbour, N.S.It was around 11 p.m. on the night of Oct. 4, 1967. Most witnesses thought it was a doomed aircraft.Among those who saw the string of flashing lights on that clear, moonless night were three RCMP officers, scores of fishermen and airline pilots flying along the province’s rugged southwest coast.But a series of searches turned up nothing. No wreckage. No bodies. No clues as to what really happened that night 50 years ago.A Halifax-area man later uncovered a trove of government and police records that would make the Shag Harbour incident Canada’s best-documented and most intriguing UFO sighting.Hundreds of UFO sightings are reported across Canada every year, but none has the paper trail of Shag Harbour.In a series of RCMP reports and correspondence sent by telex between military officials in Ottawa and Halifax, there are specific references to unidentified flying objects, and no attempts were made to explain away what people were reporting.Chris Styles, the UFO researcher who dug up those documents, remains baffled by the case.“To this day, I don’t know the absolute answer, but we’re still finding things,” says Styles, the author of two books about the Shag Harbour incident.Next week, on the eve of the 50th anniversary, Styles will be the keynote speaker at the start of the three-day Shag Harbour UFO Festival. After 20-plus years of dogged research, he says he has new evidence to share.It points to an explanation that hardly seems possible, unless you have a sense of what Styles has uncovered so far.To be sure, the most compelling evidence comes from eyewitnesses like Laurie Wickens, now a 67-year-old former fisherman.“There was four (lights) in a row, and they were going on and off,” says Wickens, at the time a 17-year-old driving home to Shag Harbour with a friend and three young women. “One would come on, then two, three and four — and they’d all be off for a second and come back on again.”Sure he was about to witness an airline disaster, Wickens found a phone booth and called the local RCMP detachment. Questions were asked about his sobriety. But he wasn’t drunk, and he was sure about what he saw.Several other people called the Mounties that night. They all told same story.Soon afterwards, Wickens was among a dozen or so people gathered at the water’s edge, watching in amazement as a glowing, orange sphere — about the size of a city bus — bobbed on the waves about 300 metres from shore.At 11:20 p.m., it slipped beneath the surface without a sound.Three of those at the wharf were Mounties. One of them called the Rescue Co-ordination Centre in Halifax. A coast guard cutter was immediately dispatched to conduct a search.Before the ship arrived, volunteer searchers aboard two fishing boats soon spotted a long trail of bubbling, yellow foam on the calm waters — but no wreckage.A squad of Royal Canadian Navy divers later failed to turn up any clues after a three-day scan of the harbour floor, according to official military records.To this day, Wickens has no idea what he saw.“All I know is that we saw something, and something came down,” he says, adding that he believes the divers pulled something from the water.“I can’t prove it, but in my opinion they found something.”Wickens, now president of the Shag Harbour UFO Society, will take part in a panel discussion Saturday that is expected to include Ralph Loewinger, one of the pilots aboard Pan Am Flight 160, a Boeing 707 cargo aircraft that was at 33,000 feet that same night.They saw the same row of flashing lights over the Gulf of Maine as they approached to coast of Nova Scotia.Loewinger and the other crew members never reported their sighting. Their story came to light about six years ago when Styles tracked them down.“What sets this story apart is that the impact … was witnessed by several independent and very credible witnesses,” says Brock Zinck, a Nova Scotia seafood buyer and vice-president of the Shag Harbour UFO Society.“Nobody reported a UFO. Everybody reported a plane crash. That gives a boost of credibility to the story.”About 36 hours after the initial sightings, several Defence Department officials signed off on a memo that made it clear authorities had no idea what they were dealing with.“A preliminary investigation has been carried out by the Rescue Co-ordination Centre in Halifax,” the memo says. “It has been determined that this UFO sighting was not caused by a flare, float, aircraft or in fact any known object.”It’s worth noting the search at Shag Harbour was conducted during a highly charged period in Canada’s history.The space race was on and so was the Cold War. Russian submarines were known to frequent the East Coast. And the Americans were testing all manner of devices to spy on their communist foes, including crude spy satellites that ejected film canisters at high altitudes.While the official records provide no explanation for what happened, there are vague clues pointing to another incident about 50 kilometres north, just off the coast of Shelburne.In his 2001 book, “Dark Object,” Styles says he eventually interviewed former military insiders and members of the navy’s Fleet Diving Unit, who told him the orange orb spotted in Shag Harbour had submerged under its own power and travelled to a spot on the seabed off Shelburne.At the time, the area was the location for a top-secret U.S. military base, disguised as an oceanographic institute. The facility used underwater microphones and magnetic detection devices to track enemy submarines, but its true purpose wasn’t revealed until the 1980s.“I interviewed anybody who was still alive,” Styles says. “I tracked them down. I was a bulldog with it back then.”In the book, Styles’ sources talk about a secret flotilla of American and Canadian ships dispatched to the area. There was speculation about Russian submarines and, yes, extraterrestrial visitors. But there is no hard evidence to back their claims.But the clues keep coming.During a recent search of an island off Shag Harbour, Styles says he spotted a military marker that indicated it was placed there by staff from the fake institute in Shelburne, which means the U.S. military snoops had been there at some point.“I’m not here to make believers,” he says. “Some people say I’m a believer, but that’s a bit of an exaggeration. I want the real answers.”Follow @NovaMac on Twitter—On the internet:https://www.facebook.com/shagharbourUFO/About Us
OTTAWA- Canadian consumer prices picked up their pace last month as the annual inflation rate moved up from very low levels and closer to the Bank of Canada’s ideal target of two per cent.Statistics Canada says higher gasoline prices helped push the annual inflation rate in September to 1.6 per cent, up from 1.4 per cent a month earlier.The Bank of Canada scrutinizes inflation ahead of its rate decisions and its next benchmark announcement is scheduled for next week.However, only one of the central bank’s three preferred measures of core inflation, which seek to look through the noise of more-volatile items, increased last month while the others stayed put.Statistics Canada also released numbers that showed retail sales fell 0.3 per cent in August, after increasing 0.4 per cent in July.The retail sales data suggests the economy is starting to show signs of slowing down, as widely expected, following its red-hot performance in the first half of the year.Alberta’s consumer price index saw a 1.3 per cent year-over-year increase last month.
OTTAWA – A wave of job creation last month knocked the unemployment rate down to 5.9 per cent — its lowest level in nearly a decade.Statistics Canada says the economy churned out another 79,500 net new jobs in November and drove the jobless rate down 0.4 percentage points from 6.3 per cent the month before.The unemployment rate in Alberta dipped a little at 7.3 per cent compared to 7.8 per cent in October.Calgary came in at 7.8 per cent compared to 8.3 per cent and Edmonton also came in at 7.8 per cent from 8.3 per cent last month. The last time the unemployment rate was 5.9 per cent was February 2008, before the global financial crisis.Economists had expected an increase of 10,000 jobs and the unemployment rate to come in at 6.2 per cent, according to Thomson Reuters.The increase also marked Canada’s 12th straight month of positive job creation as the country posted its best 12-month performance in 10 years.The report says employment rose 2.1 per cent in the 12 months leading up to November as the economy added 390,000 net jobs — with all the gains driven by full-time work.The labour market added 441,400 full-time positions year-over-year for an increase of three per cent and its strongest 12-month period of full-time job creation in 18 years.
SASKATOON – A new study suggests that the incidence of epilepsy among Indigenous Canadians is twice that of non-Indigenous people.Research from the University of Saskatchewan showed a national rate annually of 62 new cases per 100,000 people. But for self-identified First Nations patients, that rate doubles to 122 per 100,000.Lead researcher Jose Téllez-Zenteno, a professor at the University of Saskatchewan College of Medicine, said he couldn’t point to the exact reason for the difference, but it could be connected to higher rates of traumatic brain injury in Indigenous populations.“It’s very well known that some patients who survive a head injury can develop epilepsy later. That would be our main hypothesis, although we cannot rule out other theories,” he said, adding age and genetics could also play a role.Anything that disturbs the normal pattern of brain activity can lead to seizures, but other factors, such as poverty and reduced access to education, may also contribute to a higher risk.The rates in Canada’s Indigenous population are closer to those in Latin American countries with higher levels of poverty, Téllez-Zenteno said.The study, published Thursday in Seizure: European Journal of Epilepsy, had a team of epidemiologist and neurologists use Saskatchewan Health records from 2005 to 2010 to gather data on patients who were either hospitalized for epilepsy or had two physician visits with an epilepsy diagnosis.They then took the data and adjusted it for the rest of the country.Téllez-Zenteno said between 30 and 40 per cent of patients cannot control their epilepsy with medication and will require an operation to stop the seizures. But he said research in Saskatchewan shows 95 per cent of people getting the surgery are non-Indigenous.“That means that these patients … are not having the benefits of epilepsy surgery,” he said, adding more outreach to Indigenous communities is needed.Study co-author Lizbeth Hernández-Ronquillo said epilepsy is the most common neurological condition worldwide but more research is needed, specifically into the disproportionate rates among Indigenous populations.The study also found that incidents of epilepsy increased as people get older due to health problems such as strokes, tumours and dementia.Although the rate of epilepsy is increasing in countries without universal health care, she said the prevalence of epilepsy across Canada decreased slightly in the years studied.“This trend has been seen in other countries with health coverage like Denmark and Finland,” Hernández-Ronquillo said. “What we are thinking is that the prevention measures that have been in place for years are working in general.”— By Kelly Geraldine Malone in Winnipeg