December 10, 2019
  • 9:50 pm What I Learned Publishing 4,000 Blog Posts
  • 9:49 pm If You Want Greater Engagement, You Go First
  • 11:14 am Nitish launches campaign to end dowry, child marriage
  • 11:13 am Unplanned urbanisation blamed as dengue claims 40 lives in Bengal
  • 11:13 am Bajrang Dal rolls out recruitment drive to mark Babri Masjid demolition anniversary

first_imgThe Commonwealth Games (CWG) in Delhi plunged into grave uncertainty on Tuesday over “unlivable” conditions for athletes at the Games Village. Complaints from advance teams of several countries were followed by Commonwealth Games Federation CEO Mike Hooper flatly dubbing the Village as “filthy” and warning that “time had run out”. Village filthy: Hooper”We are disappointed with the condition we find ourselves in. We came to know about this when we paid a visit (to the Village) on September 15,” Hooper said at a press conference. Fennell asks govt to take immediate steps to fix the condition of Games Village’s residential zone.”Cleanliness and hygiene are great concerns. Electricity and plumbing problems, if any, too need to be addressed. We need to put capable resources and staff to fix the issues tower by tower,” he said.  “The Village is filthy. One can’t occupy the rooms. There is building dust and rubble and the toilets are not working. Reports of excrement being found are true,” Hooper said without mincing words. “The Village is supposed to provide the athletes the right environment to prepare for the events. But at the moment we cannot say that’s the case,” he said. “The promises made have not been kept. Time has run out. Hopefully we will see significant action to fix the problems,” Hooper said. CWG faces call-off threatEarlier, New Zealand’s CWG chef de mission Dave Currie raised an alarm and even suggested that the Games could be called off. “If the Village is not ready and the athletes can’t come, obviously the implications of that are that it’s not going to happen,” Currie said.  “In the timeframe that is left, unless there is tremendous effort and energy and problem-solving ability to get it done, I think it’s going to be extremely hard to get across the line. They’ve got a little bit of time but it’s kind of two seconds to midnight really,” he said. Fennell shockedCommonwealth Games Federation president Michael Fennell too sent a hard-hitting letter to Cabinet Secretary K.M. Chandrashekar on the state of the Games Village. Fennell wrote that he was shocked at the condition of the residential zone and that many contingents had complained about it.  With less than two weeks to go for the sporting extravaganza and the athletes scheduled to arrive in Delhi on Thursday, Fennell expressed doubts over the readiness of the Village. He said the complex had been “seriously compromised”.  NZ, Canada, Scotland complainFennell’s letter came after New Zealand, Canada, Scotland and Ireland strongly protested against the quality of accommodation at the Village. The contingents asked the CWG Organising Committee to put their officials and athletes in hotels if they could not set the Village apartments right.  The complaints included problems with hot-and-cold water supply, doors and windows as well as stained toilets. No pullouts, says OCBut the CWG Organising Committee expressed surprise. CWG Organising Committee CEO Jarnail Singh admitted to the complaints but said no country was pulling out.  “The complaint came three days ago. The teams of the respective countries will be shifted to the older block in the CWG Village,” he said. Singh said more than 700 workers were working overtime at the new block ever since the complaints had been made.advertisementlast_img read more

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first_imgPerhaps the greatest wrestler that India has ever produced, Sushil Kumar’s journey to sporting glory started in a small village on the outskirts of New Delhi.Sushil took up wrestling after watching his father and uncle sweat it out in the mud-pits or akharas of his village. His enormous talent was spotted at a very young age and the family made a number of sacrifices to nurture his dreams. Sushil’s uncle even gave up wrestling so that the family could support and fund the youngster’s training.Soon Sushil was creating waves on the international circuit. As a junior he won a number of tournaments and got his first taste of the Olympics at Athens 2004, where he finished in the bottom half but gained valuable experience.In the years to follow, Sushil collected many medals at various international events and capped these performances with a bronze medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.The medal spurred Sushil to aim even higher and he built on the success of Beijing to capture gold medals at the world championships and the Commonwealth Games in 2010.Sunday’s silver medal at the London Olympics has been a culmination of years of effort put in by Sushil and his family. He has entered the history books as the only individual athlete to win back-to-back medals at the Olympics.last_img read more

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first_imgKarachi, Dec 1 (PTI) The Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) is considering filing a case with the Court of Arbitration for Sports in Geneva against the International Hockey Federation (FIH) for expelling it from the Junior World Cup being held in India from December 8 to 18. A reliable source in the federation told PTI on Thursday that consultations had started with legal experts, who specialise in the field of sports management and disputes as the PHF had spent millions of rupees on preparing its national junior side to first qualify for the World Cup and travel to India. “Nothing is decided as yet but it could happen. Because the PHF is clear that the FIH which is headed by an Indian, Narender Batra has dealt unjustly with it,” the source said. The FIH has announced it has dropped Pakistan from the list of 16 participating nations in the World Cup in Lucknow, saying the PHF had not fulfilled confirmation requirements before the given deadline for teams. It has replaced Pakistan with Malaysia in the tournament. PHF secretary Shahbaz Ahmad also appeared before a national assembly standing committee on sports and briefed them on the situation leading to the FIH decision after the Indian High Commission didnt issue visas for the hockey contingent. Shahbaz told the committee that all legal and rightful steps will be taken against the decision which has deprived Pakistan of the right to play in the World Cup despite having qualified for the mega event. “We are not going to take this lying down. It is unfair with us and has hurt our hockey,” he told the committee members. Ahmad also briefed them about the applications sent to the Indian High Commission or issuance of visas well on time. He confirmed that PHF had sent passports of Pakistani players and officials to the Indian High Commission on November 16. Ahmad said the FIH had made this an issue, stating the PHF had blundered as the directives from the IHC were clear that Pakistani nationals had to apply for visas atleast six weeks in advance. But the former Pakistan captain said it was interesting that while the IHC had not returned passports of Pakistani players India had issued visas quickly for the Malaysian team. “What happened to the deadline and dates while issuing them visas at short notice. We know what has happened with us,” he added. Interestingly the PHF has still not winded up its training camp for the World Cup in Lahore and players are continuing their training under head coach, Tahir Zaman. PTI Cor PM PMadvertisementlast_img read more

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first_imgBOSTON (AP) — Isaiah Thomas scored 53 points — the second-highest total in Celtics playoff history — to help Boston beat the Washington Wizards 129-119 in overtime on Tuesday night and take a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven Eastern Conference semifinals.Fiddling with the mouth guard he began using after losing one of his front teeth in Game 1, Thomas had nine points in overtime, when the Celtics outscored Washington 15-5. He is the fifth player in the history of the NBA’s most-decorated franchise to score 50 or more points in a postseason game, missing John Havlicek’s team record by one point.It was also a career playoff best for Thomas.John Wall had 40 points and 13 assists for the Wizards.The series moves to Washington for Games 3 and 4 on Thursday and Sunday.WARRIORS 106, JAZZ 94OAKLAND, California (AP) — Stephen Curry scored 22 points in three quarters of work and top-seeded Golden State warmed up in a hurry after a weeklong layoff between playoff games, beating Utah in the opener of the Western Conference semifinals.Draymond Green scored Golden State’s first six points of the fourth quarter and wound up with 17 points, eight rebounds, six assists and two more blocks to bring his remarkable five-game playoff swat total to 19.Golden State Warriors’ Stephen Curry (30) celebrates after scoring against the Utah Jazz during the first half in Game 1 of an NBA basketball second-round playoff series, Tuesday, May 2, 2017, in Oakland, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)Kevin Durant added 17 points on an uncharacteristically cold shooting night at 7 for 17 and had five rebounds and five assists. He missed the middle two games against Portland because of a strained left calf then returned for 20 minutes in Game 4. Zaza Pachulia scored 10 points in 14 minutes.Rudy Gobert had 13 points, eight rebounds, two blocks and a Flagrant 1 foul on Green in the fourth for the Jazz, who just finished off the Clippers in a seven-game series Sunday while the Warriors waited after eliminating Portland in a sweep April 24.Game 2 in the best-of-seven series is Thursday night at Oracle Arena.TweetPinShare0 Shareslast_img read more

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first_imgLiverpool will be open to signing players in the January transfer window should they need reinforcements to aid their Premier League title challenge, manager Juergen Klopp said on Monday.Klopp’s side has suffered a number of casualties in recent weeks, with defenders Joel Matip and Joe Gomez ruled out until mid-January with injuries.While full back Trent Alexander-Arnold and midfielder Naby Keita could return against Newcastle United on Wednesday, Klopp suggested further fitness problems could force him to rethink his transfer strategy.”I’m very happy with what I’ve got, but you don’t know. That’s why I always keep the door open, in case something happens and we need to have a look,” Klopp told a news conference.”If a few more things happen then we need to have a look because there are a monstrous number of games still and it’s really important that we can always react.”If something will dramatically change then we need to have a look, that’s all. If nothing happens, then I would say we will not do anything.”Liverpool powered past Wolverhampton Wanderers 2-0 on Friday to extend their lead to four points after rivals Manchester City suffered a shock 3-2 defeat by Crystal Palace.Klopp has urged his players to maintain their focus when they host Newcastle at Anfield on Boxing Day, with potentially season-defining games against Arsenal and Manchester City on the horizon.”The most important thing for us is (the reaction) after you win the last game – that is why the Wolves game was such a big challenge (after win against Manchester United),” he added.advertisement”So I was really happy with our attitude. That is what we need – to stay angry, greedy and in the job. That is what we have to do against Newcastle.”ANFIELD RETURNKlopp expects former Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez to receive a warm welcome when he returns to Anfield for the fifth time as a visiting team manager.Benitez, who won the 2005 Champions League with Liverpool, has endured a difficult season with Newcastle, who are 15th in the league and five points clear of the bottom three.”I think the supporters of this club are famous not to forget people who did an outstanding job here,” said Klopp.”I heard that nobody was really happy with the amount of money they (Newcastle) had to sign players.”Rafa is too experienced to carry that for a full season, those emotions. They are really settled and in a good moment results wise. It is always difficult to play against them.”last_img read more

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first_imgzoom BAE Systems has earmarked a total of approximately USD 100 million to purchase a new dry dock and a range of infrastructure improvements so as to significantly expand dry-docking capabilities at its San Diego shipyard.The company made the announcement during a ribbon-cutting ceremony dedicating a new pier at the shipyard along the San Diego waterfront.“The new pier and dry dock will complement and expand the shipyard’s existing capacity in this homeport and provide greater capabilities to our customers. Our continuing investment in the region further demonstrates our commitment to San Diego and recognizes the important role it plays in our strategy,”  Erwin Bieber, president of BAE Systems’ Platforms & Services sector commented.The new pier and dry dock will support current and future Navy surface ship repair, maintenance, and modernization, along with other ships and vessels under contract, including those for Military Sealift Command, the U.S. Coast Guard, and the U.S. Maritime Administration, according to BAE Systems.The new dry dock will measure 950-feet long and 205-feet wide, with a design lifting capacity of 55,000 tons.The shipbuilder said that when operational in early 2017, the dry dock will be the company’s largest dry dock facility in the United States and will employ several environmental design features, including LED lighting, electric cranes, air-cooled emergency generators, a zero discharge closed-loop salt water system, and storm water recovery systems.last_img read more

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first_imgOn Friday Rope made a public Facebook post about the vicious assault she experienced at the hands of Strongheart, along with a photo of her swollen, bruised face after she was released from hospital.A photo of Melanie Rope from 2010 just days after she says she was released from hospital after being viciously attacked by Strongheart in his Regina home. (Supplied)“He was threatening to kill me as he was beating me,” said Rope, recalling the night when she says Strongheart beat her in his Regina home after flying into a jealous rage. Rope says Strongheart was subsequently charged, convicted and sentenced on two counts of assault causing bodily harm. Advertisement Twitter New York-based actor Will Strongheart plays the supporting role of Virgil in the film Indian Horse. According to his bio on the film’s website he is a member of the Keeseekoose First Nation of Saskatchewan. (Elevation Pictures) Facebook Melanie Rope wants people to know about actor Will Strongheart’s history of violence against her and others, before making a choice about whether or not to see the movie Indian Horse.“It’s not about trying to take away from this movie, but maybe just giving people the option to think twice before before they go and see it,” said Rope, who is Nakoda woman from the Carry the Kettle Nakoda First Nation in Saskatchewan. She is currently a pre-social work student at the University of Regina and says she dated Strongheart for just under a year in 2009-2010.What Rope does want, is for people to know about Strongheart’s past and to discover how he was cast in such an important film.center_img LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Advertisement Login/Register With: Advertisementlast_img read more

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first_imgWINNIPEG – The agreement to restore rail service to the town of Churchill in northern Manitoba will include at least $117 million from the federal government.The federal funding consists of $74 million to help repair the damaged rail line and buy it, along with the town’s port, from Denver-based Omnitrax. Ottawa is also committing another $43 million over 10 years to subsidize operations of the rail line.“Repair work on the rail line has already begun … and every effort is being made to complete the work and restore rail service before winter sets in,” International Trade Diversification Minister Jim Carr said at a news conference Friday that offered few details on what others involved in the deal are putting up.The rail line is the only land link to the subarctic community of 900 people, known for its polar bear tourist season and port on the western shore of Hudson Bay.The line was washed out by flooding in the spring of 2017. Since then, goods and people have had to be flown in and prices for groceries and fuel have skyrocketed.The tourist economy was hit hard, and some residents left town.Two weeks ago, after months of negotiations, a consortium called Arctic Gateway Group hammered out a deal to buy the line and port from Omnitrax, which had said it was losing money on the service and could not afford tens of millions of dollars in necessary repairs.The consortium includes several northern communities, Toronto-based Fairfax Financial Holdings and AGT Food and Ingredients, a Regina-based supplier of pulses and food ingredients.Carr and consortium officials would not reveal Friday how much money the consortium partners are putting in — they referred to an unspecified pool of money — or how much money Omnitrax is being paid.Carr would also not say whether the federal government would put up more money if its annual subsidies are not enough to prevent losses.“You don’t talk about hypotheticals in this business.”The rail line was once government-owned, but a former Liberal government sold it to Omnitrax in 1997. The rail line suffered from high maintenance costs due to the vast boggy terrain it covers, and lost a key customer when the Conservative government in 2012 moved to end the Canadian Wheat Board monopoly on western wheat.Carr said the new ownership group, which includes a built-in customer base with AGT, will make the rail line viable.Fairfax’s president was equally confident the restored line and port has untapped opportunities to ship goods to and from other countries through the Arctic.“The Russians — we have roughly 50,000 people north of the Arctic circle, they have a million and a half people and I said, 20 per cent of their GDP (goes) through there,” Paul Rivett said.Churchill Mayor Mike Spence said the months that have passed without rail service have been hard on the town. But people from other parts of Canada reached out.“I had people sending food hampers … high school students sending cards and school supplies,” Spence said. “So we never felt alone.”last_img read more

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first_imgTAYLOR, B.C. – At a District of Taylor Council meeting, on Tuesday, Council passed the first two readings of a Bylaw that would allow for Micro Breweries, Craft Distilleries, and Cannabis Retail within the District.Earlier this year, the District had been contacted by local business investors that showed interest in developing a small scale craft brewery within the municipality.According to District Staff, after reviewing the District’s Zoning Bylaw, it was determined that the proposed use is not permitted in any of Taylor’s commercial zones. Based on the interest expressed by the proponents, Staff prepared a proposal of zoning by-law amendments which looked at allowing both breweries and the sale of cannabis.The Cannabis Retail amendments proposed to the District of Taylor’s Zoning Bylaw are modelled closely after those adopted by the City of Fort St John.Later this summer, the District will be holding a public hearing on these Bylaw amendments before being adopted.More information on the Bylaw amendments can be found on the District of Taylor’s website.last_img read more

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first_imgWashington: US Acting Defence Secretary Patrick Shanahan has confirmed that North Korea conducted a weapons test, but said that it was “not a ballistic missile”. “I’m not going to go into the detailed intelligence, but the way I’d characterise is it is not a ballistic missile,” Shanahan told the media here on Thursday. Pressed on whether North Korea fired something into the air or conducted a ground test, Shanahan said: “You could use shoot, launch, test – they’re very synonymous terms,” The Hill magazine reported. Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince ‘snubbed’ Pak PM, recalled jet from US He did not directly answer a question on whether the weapon was a new capability. “I’m not being cagey here, it’s just what’s important is it wasn’t ballistic,” he said. Shanahan added that there has been “no change to our posture or to our operations” after the test. North Korean state media announced on Thursday morning that leader Kim Jong-un had observed the test firing of a “new-type tactical guided weapon”. Kim called the test “an event of very weighty significance”, according to the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA). Also Read – Record number of 35 candidates in fray for SL Presidential polls KCNA did not specify what type of weapon was tested, but experts noted the use of the word “tactical” appeared to imply something short-range. As such, the test did not appear to violate North Korea’s self-imposed moratorium on missile and nuclear tests. Wednesday’s test was being interpreted as a sign of increasing impatience by North Korea as talks with President Donald Trump stall. Shanahan said on Thursday that he did not want to “rush” to judgment on the message being sent by North Korea ahead of fully analysing intelligence. But the fact that the weapon was not a ballistic missile is “a statement in and of itself”. A February summit between Trump and Kim ended with an impasse over sanctions relief, and there have been no signs of closing the gap between Washington and Pyongyang since. Last week, Kim said he would be open to a third summit with Trump, but gave the US until the end of the year to be more flexible in negotiations. Trump responded by touting his “excellent” personal relationship with Kim.last_img read more

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Rabat – New evidence revealed by a British newspaper suggests that Morocco had won the 2010 World Cup vote in May 2004, but FIFA decided to award it to South Africa.According to the Daily Telegraph, FIFA and Sepp Blatter were handed tapes in 2010 revealing that, unlike the official result of the vote announced by FIFA in May 2004, Morocco had actually won the vote. The official result of the vote was 10 for Morocco and 14 for South Africa.According to the same source, the information was obtained as part of an undercover investigation conducted by the Sunday Times in 2010, and handed over to FIFA to investigate it. The tapes contain conversations with Ismael Bhamjee, a former FIFA executive member, who resigned from the world football governing body in 2006 over a ticket selling scandal. Ismael was among the FIFA members who voted for Morocco’s bid.But FIFA had no interest in revealing the corruption scheme that surrounded the 2010 World Cup vote and deprived Morocco of its right to host the flagship tournament.These new allegations support the claims made by Saad Kettani, the president of the Organizing Committee for Morocco’s bid for the 2010 FIFA World Cup, earlier this week.In an interview with Moroccan French language website Medias24, he suggested that 2010 World Cup vote was marred by corruption and questionable practices.“Our file was impeccable and clean. Corrupt practices in the ranks of FIFA were known. The day we got the result we realized what had happened, but we played fair. It’s unfortunate, but it’s like that.” read more

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WASHINGTON — Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell says a sharp rise in corporate debt is being closely monitored but currently the Fed does not see the types of threats that triggered the 2008 financial crisis.In remarks prepared for a banking conference in Fernandina Beach, Florida, Powell says views about risker corporate debt — known as leveraged lending — range from “this is a rerun of the subprime mortgage crisis” to “nothing to worry about here.”Powell said his view lies somewhere in the middle. He said the risks currently are “moderate.”His comments followed a Fed report earlier this month which showed that riskier corporate debt had grown by 20% in 2018 to $1.1 trillion, prompting the attention of regulators.Martin Crutsinger, The Associated Press

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10 December 2008The United Nations General Assembly today awarded its top human rights prize to seven global advocates ranging from a Congolese doctor who treats female victims of sexual violence, a nun who fought for indigenous rights before her murder in Brazil, and the assassinated Pakistani leader Benazir Bhutto. The UN Prize in the Field of Human Rights, awarded every five years, was presented at a General Assembly ceremony marking the 60th anniversary of the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). The winners are former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour; United States ex-Attorney-General Ramsey Clark; Executive Director and co-founder of Jamaicans for Justice Carolyn Gomes; Denis Mukwege, co-founder of the General Referral Hospital of Panzi in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC); Human Rights Watch, represented by its executive director Kenneth Roth; Ms. Bhutto; and Dorothy Stang of the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur who was murdered in Brazil three years ago. They join a distinguished roster of previous laureates that includes apartheid fighter and former South African President Nelson Mandela, US civil rights leader Martin Luther King, former US first Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, former US President Jimmy Carter, and Amnesty International. The prize was first awarded on 10 December 1968 on the 20th anniversary of the adoption of the UDHR. “As we mark the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, we acknowledge the tireless work and invaluable contribution of these individuals and organizations that have fought to see the rights and freedoms embodied in this historic document become a reality for people in all corners of the world,” Assembly President Miguel D’Escoto said. “These awardees constitute symbols of persistence, valour and tenacity in their resistance to public and private authorities that violate human rights. They constitute a moral force to put an end to systematic human rights violations.” read more

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HALIFAX — The three Maritime provinces are contributing $32.5-million to a new regional venture capital fund that will be privately managed.Nova Scotia Premier Darrell Dexter said May 14 the Build Ventures fund, based in Halifax, is aimed at helping companies that have had limited access to venture capital in the past.“We’re the furthest behind in Canada and Canada is well behind the United States, despite the fact that we have these extraordinary research institutions all around us,” Mr. Dexter said.“That’s a tragedy as far as I’m concerned.”The new fund will focus on companies that are in their infancy, but they must also have an established business model and some revenue generation, he said.Build Ventures will invest between $1-million and $5-million on each venture.Mr. Dexter said Nova Scotia’s Innovacorp — a Crown corporation — already provides venture capital to early stage companies, but the pool of public funds it draws from is too small.“We noticed there was a real problem with early stage venture capital,” he told an impromptu news conference inside a lab at the Innovacorp offices in Halifax.“The opportunities were segmented and relatively small. There was no pool that was particularly focused on Atlantic Canada.”He said his government first floated the idea four years ago at a premiers conference. Newfoundland and Labrador have yet to invest in the fund, but Mr. Dexter said he’s working on that.The Build Ventures fund now stands at $48.5-million, with Nova Scotia and New Brunswick contributing $15-million each, and P.E.I. putting in $2.5-million.Technology Venture Corp. of Moncton is contributing $5-million and BDC Venture Capital, an arm of the Crown-owned Business Development Bank of Canada, is contributing $10-million.The fund will be managed by Patrick Keefe, who previously worked for Innovacorp, and Rob Barbara, an investment manager at Toronto-based Burgundy Asset Management.They are investing $1-million in the fund.Daniel Boyd, president of Halifax-based ABK Biomedical, said his fledgling company has already received $1.3-million in funding from Innovacorp and other sources, but it needs more money to move on.“We’re limited by what we can get done with smaller funds,” he said.“To penetrate the market we’re after takes an awful lot of money … This fund sits right there and gives up a no-excuses opportunity to go and nail it.”Mr. Boyd said his company is developing small beads, no bigger than a grain of sand, that can be injected into patients with tumours. The beads are designed to accumulate in the vessels that feed tumours, blocking blood flow and killing them.The premier said the performance of the fund will be easily measured.“The fund has all of the reporting mechanisms,” he said. “It won’t be hard to analyze in terms of their … profit and loss statements.” read more

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CALGARY — Cenovus Energy Inc. (TSX:CVE) reported a profit in its second quarter, boosted by its purchase of most of the Canadian assets of ConocoPhillips.The company reported a quarterly profit of $2.64 billion or $2.37 per share, including a $1.8-billion non-cash revaluation gain on its interest in an oilsands joint venture with ConocoPhillips that it acquired full ownership in.The profit compared with a loss of $267 million or 32 cents per share in the same quarter last year.On an operating basis, Cenovus reported a profit of $398 million or 36 cents per share in its latest quarter compared with a loss of $39 million or five cents per share a year ago.Gross sales totalled $4.08 billion, up from nearly $2.75 billion.In May, Cenovus closed the acquisition of most of ConocoPhillips’s Canadian assets including the oilsands joint venture and most of its Deep Basin conventional assets in Alberta and British Columbia. read more

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Former Minister Johnston Fernando made a statement to the police Financial Crimes Investigations Division (FCID) today.Fernando was asked to appear before the FCID to make the statement today.

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Over 200 drunk drivers were arrested during a special Police operation conducted in the Western Province early this morning.The Police said that 222 motorists were arrested for being under the influence of liquor while driving. The arrests were made between 12.00 a.m and 5.00 a.m. today. (Colombo Gazette)

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Western cities expected to lead growth, Conference Board report says OTTAWA – Cities in Western Canada are expected to lead the country’s metropolitan areas in economic growth this year, a report by the Conference Board of Canada says.Saskatoon, Regina, Edmonton, Calgary and Vancouver make up the top five in the board’s latest outlook for 13 Canadian metropolitan areas while Ottawa-Gatineau and Victoria are at the bottom of the list as government spending cuts take their toll.Growth in Saskatoon is forecast to reach 5.2 per cent this year, up from 4.1 per cent in 2012, while Regina’s economy is expected to grow five per cent, repeating its performance last year.“Despite some setbacks, Saskatchewan’s economy is expected to perform well in the near term, with real GDP forecast to expand 3.5 per cent this year — more than twice the national average,” board’s fall metropolitan outlook said.Calgary is expected to grow by 3.3 per cent, Edmonton by 4.2 per cent and Vancouver by 2.2 per cent.That compared with growth of 4.3 per cent, 5.9 per cent and 2.6 per cent for the three cities respectively in 2012.“Despite some risks, Alberta’s economy will get a boost from the rebuilding effort after the floods and the infrastructure investment needed to accommodate increases in oil sands production,” the report said.Meanwhile, Vancouver’s economy is being affected by slower growth in manufacturing and construction.Overall the Conference Board said the Canadian economy is expected to grow by 1.7 per cent this year, however it suggested that the improving U.S. economy would give a boost to 2014.“Through much of the first half of this year, economic indicators provided few encouraging signs. But recently, prospects seem to be changing for the better,” the Ottawa-based economics think-tank said.The five Western Canadian cities stand in contrast with the other eight areas studied, which are expected to growth by less than two per cent this year.In Toronto, which is expected to be hampered by weaker manufacturing and services sectors, growth will be limited to 1.6 per cent in 2013.Halifax is forecast to post growth of 1.7 per cent, while Winnipeg is expected to grow by 1.4 per cent.Montreal, Quebec City and Hamilton are each expected to grow about 1.3 per cent this year.Ottawa-Gatineau is expected to expand by 0.8 per cent in 2013 due to spending cuts by the federal government.Victoria is expected to grow by 0.1 per cent. by The Canadian Press Posted Sep 27, 2013 10:24 am MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email read more

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FedEx 2Q profit jumps 23 per cent, but performance misses expectations In this Dec. 15, 2014 photo, courier Stephen Werts loads packages onto a truck for delivery at a FedEx facility, in Marietta, Ga. FedEx reports quarterly financial results on Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2014. (AP Photo/David Goldman) FedEx’s second-quarter earnings soared 23 per cent, but the package delivery company missed Wall Street forecasts due partially to a lower-than-expected benefit from falling fuel prices.FedEx also said Wednesday that a jump in plane maintenance blunted gains the company reaped from managing costs, lowering its pension expense and growing its export package revenue.Shares of the Memphis, Tennessee, company fell more than 4 per cent in midday trading.FedEx has been saving money from cheaper fuel, but company executives told analysts that fuel delivered only a slight benefit to operating income in the quarter. The company buys its fuel based on contracts tied to prices set during the preceding week or month, and those prices did not decline as quickly as daily rates, which fell almost 30 per cent from August to November.The company said it was working to adjust more quickly to those daily market rates.Removing the fuel issue, analyst Benjamin J. Hartford said he saw “clear margin improvement in the core Express business” in the quarter. Hartford covers FedEx for Robert W. Baird & Co.Overall, FedEx Corp. earned $616 million, or $2.14 per share, in its fiscal second quarter, up from $500 million, or $1.57, in last year’s quarter. Total revenue climbed 5 per cent to $11.94 billion.Analysts expected FedEx to earn $2.22 per share on revenue of $11.97 billion, according to Zacks Investment Research.FedEx and rivals like UPS are heading into the final stretch of their busiest period of the year, the peak holiday shipping season. They are hoping to avoid a repeat of last December, when an ice storm and a surge in last-minute online shopping caught them off-guard. About 2 million packages promised for delivery by Christmas Eve didn’t make it.This time, FedEx planned to hire 50,000 seasonal workers and invest in its ground-shipping network to make deliveries on time. The company has forecast a record number of deliveries, 8.8 per cent more than the holidays in 2013.FedEx executives offered no details on shipping volume so far this season, but company executives told analysts during a conference call that they’ve already had several days that rank among the busiest in company history. They also noted that labour issues at West Coast ports have held up cargo and forced the company to shift resources, which raises expenses.CEO and Chairman Fred Smith said he expects that the port issues will lead to more retail items being out of stock and could cause more gift card purchases instead of merchandise.“The slowdown in the West Coast ports has been a much bigger deal than people think,” he said.FedEx also said Wednesday that it still expects full-year earnings of between $8.50 and $9 per share.Analysts surveyed by FactSet forecast earnings of $9.11 per share for the year.Shares of FedEx fell $7.62, to 4.4 per cent, to $166.64 in midday trading while broader indexes had climbed slightly. The stock had climbed 21 per cent since the beginning of the year through Tuesday’s close, more than tripling the gain of the Standard & Poor’s 500 index. by Tom Murphy, The Associated Press Posted Dec 17, 2014 5:44 am MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email read more

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