NEET results declared Rajasthans Nalin Khandelwal tops exam

first_imgNew Delhi: The results of the National Eligibility Cum Entrance Test (NEET) 2019 were declared on Wednesday, with Rajasthan’s Nalin Khandelwal topping the exam. The NEET is conducted by the National Testing Agency (NTA) for admission to MBBS and BDS courses in medical and dental colleges approved by the Medical Council of India and the Dental Council of India. Khandelwal scored 701 marks out of 720 to top the exam. Delhi’s Bhavik Bansal and Akshat Kaushik from Uttar Pradesh secured the second and the third positions respectively. Also Read – Dussehra with a ‘green’ twist Both, Bansal and Kaushik scored 700 out of 720 marks, but Bansal was ranked second because he secured more marks in biology than Kaushik. Telangana’s Madhuri Reddy G emerged as the topper among girls by securing an all-India rank of seven. She secured 695 marks out of 720. Rajasthan’s Bheraram topped among the differently-abled candidates by scoring 604 out of 720 marks. As many as 14,10,755 candidates had appeared for the exam out of which 7,97,042 qualified the test. Also Read – India receives its first Rafale fighter jet from France NEET was conducted across 154 cities in 11 languages and 2,546 centres. Out of 6,30,283 males who took the exam, 3,51,278 qualified for it. While 7,80,467 females appeared for it, 4,45,761 qualified. Out of five transgenders who appeared for the exam, three qualified for it. As many as 15,19,375 candidates had registered for the exam, but 1,08,015 did not appear for it. The NTA conducted the NEET throughout the country on May 5 and May 20. The Medical Council of India and the Dental Council of India come under the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.last_img read more

CBI books 2 LIC officials for swindling over Rs 3 cr

first_imgNew Delhi: Two officials of the Life Insurance Corporation of India have been booked by the CBI for allegedly swindling more than Rs 3 crore by making death claims on the basis of forged documents in 190 insurance policies in which they inserted bank accounts of their acquaintances in place of nominees, officials said. The policy holders, who were alive, did not realise that their policies have been redeemed by the swindlers, they said. The scam went undetected in Kodad branch of Suryapet district, Telangana for nearly 10 years between 2008 and 2018 till an internal audit by the LIC caught the ongoing fraud, the officials said.last_img

Karnataka crisis Floor test to be held on Thursday

first_imgNew Delhi: The Congress-JDS alliance which is hanging by a thread after the mass resignations will have to prove its majority on Thursday. The floor test will take place at 11 am on July 18, said Congress’s Siddaramaiah after a meeting of a panel that decides the agenda of the state assembly. Sixteen MLAs of the ruling coalition have submitted their resignations to the Speaker. If the resignations are accepted, the coalition will have 101 MLAs in the 224-member House versus the BJP’s 105. Also Read – Squadrons which participated in Balakot air strike awarded citations on IAF Day The BJP, which was pressing for a floor test today, said it won’t allow the House to proceed unless the no-confidence motion is held at the earliest. The Supreme Court today also agreed to take up the pleas of five more rebel Karnataka MLAs who alleged that they were “being threatened to support the government on the threat of disqualification”. The hearing will take place tomorrow. Those who moved the court are Anand Singh, K Sudhakar, N Nagaraju, Roshan Baig and Munirathna. On July 11, acting on the plea by 10 rebels, the Supreme Court had asked the Speaker to decide on the resignations before the end of the day.(With inputs from Indian Express)last_img read more

Rajasthan govt declares Super 30 taxfree

first_imgJaipur: Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot has announced that Hrithik Roshan-starrer Super 30, based on the life of educationist Anand Kumar, who runs the Super 30 programme for IIT-JEE aspirants from poor families, has been declared tax-free in the state. Making the announcement on Twitter on July 18, Gehlot wrote: “Super 30, based on the real story of Anand Kumar, is an inspiring film of recent times. It is an excellent example of exceptional will power and determination, that despite all odds, success is achievable.” Also Read – Hilarie Burton, Jeffery Dean Morgan tie the knot”We must take inspiration from such films and imbibe the value of ‘excellence in education’ in the youth of our society today. I hereby declare this film tax-free in the state of Rajasthan,” he added. Super 30, which acknowledges the importance of teachers in the building society, has already been made tax-free by the Bihar government. In Rajasthan, Kota is witnessing a huge footfall of students for the movie. The movie collected over Rs 50 crore at the box-office within three days of its release on July 12.last_img read more

Celebrities throng Martyrs Day rally join voice with Mamata

first_imgKolkata: Writers, academicians and eminent personalities from the cultural sphere of the city attended the Martyrs’ Day rally at Esplanade on Sunday, to express their solidarity with Trinamool Congress.Trinamool MPs Deb, Mimi Chakraborty and Nusrut Jahan joined the rally, along with a host of other noted celebrities. Eminent folk singer Pratul Chakraborty sang a song which he has composed for the Martyrs’ Day rally. He also sang the evergreen ‘Ami Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari PujaBanglae gan gai’ tune, which enthralled the audience assembled at the rally. Meanwhile, popular singer Nachiketa also sung a song before the meeting started. Singers Saumitra Roy and Shantanu Roy Chowdhury also attended the rally, along with noted Sanskrit scholar Nrisingha Prasad Bhaduri and writer Abul Basar. Celebrities from Tollywood and others from the cultural sphere joined Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee in shouting slogans to cheer up the party workers about the presence of the party throughout the state. Also Read – Bengal civic volunteer dies in road mishap on national highwayComing down heavily on BJP, Mamata Banerjee said the party has let loose the Central agencies to harass celebrities. “Satabdi was telling me the other day that Enforcement Directorate had summoned and interrogated her. They have interrogated Prosenjit and Rituparna as well. I got the information that they are creating pressure on a person now in CBI custody to tell the name of a political leader. They had earlier kept Sudip Bandyopadhyay and Tapas Pal in custody for several months,” Banerjee said, adding: “They have been harassed only for their connection with Trinamool Congress.”last_img read more

Trains slowed down as another heatwave set new temperature records in Europe

first_imgParis: Trains were slowed down and holidaymakers flocked to swimming pools, beaches and lakes in western Europe on Wednesday as another heatwave set new temperature records. A host of French cities saw their highest levels since records began on Tuesday, with wine capital Bordeaux recording 41.2 degrees Celsius (106.16 Fahrenheit), beating the previous high of 40.7C registered in August 2003, weather service Meteo-France said. Forecasters predicted new temperature highs in neighbouring countries Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany and the Netherlands, where the mercury could beat the previous record of 38.6 degrees Celsius on Wednesday, according to the Dutch weather office. Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince ‘snubbed’ Pak PM, recalled jet from USMany Dutch farmers are leaving their cows outside to sleep, rather than bringing them in at night, while some kindergartens have closed their doors because of the risks for young children. Britain’s Met Office has said there is a chance that the UK temperature record of 38.5 degrees Celsius, which was recorded in Faversham, Kent, in August 2004, will also be exceeded on Thursday at the peak of the heat. The operator of the British rail network, Network Rail, said it was slowing down trains in response to the extreme weather, which comes only weeks after another record-breaking heatwave in Europe in June. Also Read – Record number of 35 candidates in fray for SL Presidential polls”Extreme heat can cause overhead wires to sag and become damaged by fast trains. We slow down services to keep passengers safe when this happens,” the company said on Twitter. Across the area affected by the unusually high heat, stretching from France up to Norway in the north, people sought out ways to cool off in lakes and rivers, leading to an increase in drowning incidents. In London, police were searching for three people who have gone missing in the River Thames while swimming. France’s weather office said the scorching conditions “require particular care, notably for vulnerable or exposed people” with almost the entire country under an orange-level weather alert, the second highest level.last_img read more

DHFL seeks 15000cr lifeline as resolution plan gets delayed

first_imgMumbai: Troubled mortgage lender Dewan Housing Finance (DHFL) has sought Rs 15,000-crore immediate funding from banks for on-lending to retail customers as well as to project developers, say sources. Last week, the nearly crippled company had submitted a draft resolution plan to lenders which are yet to be approved by them. “The company has asked for an additional funding of Rs 15,000 crore. The money will be used to fund viable projects that are stuck due to lack of money,” said one of the sources. Also Read – Thermal coal import may surpass 200 MT this fiscalWhen contacted, a DHFL spokesperson said it did not have any comment to offer apart from what it has informed the stock exchanges last week on the draft resolution plan. Under the draft resolution plan, the company has asked for funds from banks/NHB for restarting retail funding which was stopped after liquidity crisis hit it late year. According to sources, the decision on any additional or the quantum of funding will be taken only after due deliberations by lenders. Also Read – Food grain output seen at 140.57 mt in current fiscal on monsoon boostThe beleaguered home financier, which has defaulted on multiple times on payment to bondholders since June owes close to Rs 90,000 crore to banks, the National Housing Bank (NHB) and other creditors. Last month, lenders had signed an inter-creditor agreement (ICA), as mandated by the Reserve Bank in the new NPA resolution/recognition framework effective June 7. However, the company had said one of its debenture – trustees Catalyst Trusteeship Servicesis in the process of seeking consent from the debenture holders to be a party to the ICA. In a separate filing to exchanges on August 8, the company said it may not be able to meet its financial obligations in the near future. “Given the ongoing discussions on the resolution plan with the lenders who have signed the ICA, we believe that our payment obligations falling due in the immediate future, may not be met as per their existing schedule,” the company informed the exchanges. It has been facing liquidity issue since last September and has back paid Rs 41,000 crore of its financial obligations through a combination of securitization of assets and repayment collections since. The Wadhawan family, who owns a little over 39 per cent, has been looking at various ways to come out of the stress which first came to light late last year following the IL&FS bankruptcy. These include selling stakes in group entities, including in the flagship to the extent of giving up half of their stake. DHFL has seen a rash of rating downgrades in June after it defaulted on Rs 1,150 crore to its bond-holders due on June 4. This led to a downgrade of its Rs 850-crore commercial papers to ‘default’ by three rating agencies.last_img read more

BJP again banks on OBC leader in Bihar appoints LS member Jaiswal

first_imgNew Delhi: After ‘testing’ the potency a backward leader in bringing the vote share of the backward community into its fold, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has again given the baton to lead the party in Bihar to a leader belonging to other backward community (OBC) by appointing three-time Lok Sabha member Sanjay Jaiswal as party’s Bihar unit president.Jaiswal, who has been winning from Paschim Champaran constituency in a row since 2009, is seen as an ideological moderate and he enjoys a non-controversial image. The appointment was made by BJP president Amit Shah. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM’As per political experts, the appointment of Jaiswal may help BJP in bringing some harmony in its uneven tie-up with Nitish Kumar-led JD(U). “The recent statements of BJP leaders suggesting Kumar shift the political base from Bihar to Delhi have only brought embarrassment to the party instead of any gain. There are some senior BJP leaders who are eyeing the CM post, which they cannot ‘claim’ until Nitish Kumar is there,” the political commentator said, adding that Jaiswal has the ability to push the party’s agenda as well as safeguard the interests of the alliance partners. Also Read – Farooq demands unconditional release of all detainees in J&KAs the state is scheduled to face the assembly polls later next year, the appointment of Jaiswal is seen as a move aimed at placating backward voters. Jaiswal has replaced Nityanand Rai after the later was inducted into the Modi cabinet as a Minister of State for Home Affairs. Notably, Rai had been asked to hold the post of the state BJP president till the appointment of a new full-time chief. BJP won its 17 Lok Sabha seats in the 2019 general elections and JD(U) won 16 seats. The vote share of BJP has also increased in comparison to previous elections under the leadership of Rai. Earlier, Jaiswal’s father Madan Prasad Jaiswal, who was also a doctor, had won the Bettiah Lok Sabha seat for three-time in 1996, 1998 and 1999 polls on BJP ticket. Talking to Millennium Post over Jaiswal’s appointment, Bihar BJP spokesperson Nikhil Anand said, “After Nityanand Rai’s successful tenure as a state president, Jaiswal is the next ideologically committed, honest and dynamic new generation leader will continue to expand the party among masses as well as strengthen it at the root level.”last_img read more

BC election Key developments from Day 25

first_imgVANCOUVER – A look at some key developments from Day 25 of the B.C. election campaign for each of the parties:Liberals:— Liberal Leader Christy Clark’s bid to ban or tax thermal coal received a boost as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he would “seriously” consider her suggestion.— Clark is defending a little-known tax rebate program meant to attract international business, which TD Bank used to claim a $2.8-million refund that a court says the province must consider after it first rejected the claim over a missed deadline.— Clark says the International Business Activity Act has created more revenue than it has cost and it’s aimed at luring companies to B.C. after it came under more scrutiny this week when a newspaper report looked at its effectiveness as a job creator.NDP:— The NDP says people deserve answers about the international business activity program because it allows unnamed corporations to receive an unknown amount of taxpayer money with no discernible benefits for B.C.— NDP Leader John Horgan is taking aim at Green voters, appealing to them to back his party to oust the Liberals from power.— Horgan says the New Democrats have much in common with the Greens, including support to reform the electoral system, reducing greenhouse gases and opposing the Kinder Morgan pipeline expansion.Greens:— Green Leader Andrew Weaver stopped by at an NDP event to challenge to the party’s bid for Green voters.— Weaver says Horgan’s comments smack of voter suppression.— He says he is trying to inspire voters and criticized the Liberals and NDP for running negative ad campaigns that turn off voters to the point they don’t cast a ballot.last_img read more

Exwife in online harassment case tells jury emails left her scared

first_imgVANCOUVER – A woman who says a series of harassing emails from her ex-husband left her constantly looking over her shoulder, wept as she relayed the torment to a B.C. Supreme Court jury on Tuesday.Patrick Fox is charged with criminal harassment over alleged online communications and publications regarding his ex-wife Desiree Capuano.Crown counsel Mark Myhre told the court emails sent by Fox to Capuano asserted the man would do anything to make her life miserable.“The singular role for the rest of my life is to destroy your life,” Myhre read from one email.The emails sent to Capuano were signed by Patrick or Richard.After providing her testimony from behind a screen in order to block the accused from her view, the screen was removed and Capuano was asked if she recognized the man who sent the emails.She grimaced before turning her head to identify Fox, seated in the prisoners box wearing a red inmate suit.Many emails Fox is alleged to have sent between 2014 and 2016 criticize Capuano’s parenting and call her an “idiot” and “moron.” The court heard those emails were also copied to their son, whose name is protected under a publication ban.In one series of emails read out by the Crown, Fox wrote that he told their son he would shoot Capuano if shooting someone was not morally wrong and illegal.He allegedly wrote that wanting to hurt someone wasn’t illegal and he wouldn’t actually hurt Capuano unless it was in self-defence.“To me what that meant was … if the risk for going to jail was not there, he would shoot me, and he discussed it with our child,” Capuano testified.Fox also faces a charge of possession of firearms in a place where he was not authorized to do so.Capuano told the jury that her son would visit Fox in Vancouver, then return to her home to Arizona acting like a different person, appearing withdrawn and scared.“He would not associate with the family, he would not accept hugs like he normally would,” Capuano said of her son.The court heard Fox created a website revealing Capuano’s personal information, including her home address, place of work, and family photos, along with copies of their email correspondence.The website referred to Capuano as a white supremacist, child abuser and drug addict.Capuano said she was fearful of having her personal information and the identities of her son with Fox and her other son accessible to anyone.“We talked about moving, we talked about hiding identities, about what we could do to disappear so I could protect my family,” she testified.Myhre asked Capuano about her attempts to have the website taken down, including filing an order of protection against Fox in Arizona, contacting the website host and the RCMP.“I couldn’t get anyone to do anything about the website or the harassment and I was still at a point anybody any time Googled my name the website would come up, and it appeared that I wrote the website,” Capuano said.The jury heard that Capuano turned to the media for help and did a televised interview with the CBC in 2016.After the interview, the website changed to reflect that it wasn’t written by her, she said.But the website remained active and Capuano said she believed she lost a job offer because of it.She said she increasingly feared for her safety, believing Fox could illegally enter the U.S.“I know how much he despises me and all of the times he told me the world would be better without me in it,” she said.Capuano said she considered relinquishing custody of their son, but didn’t believe it would help end the harassment.“I could give him everything he wanted and it wouldn’t matter, he wouldn’t stop,” she said.The jury has yet to hear from the defence.—Follow @Givetash on Twitter.last_img read more

Most Canadians dont want to follow Trumps path but its appeal remains

first_imgOTTAWA – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau heads to Washington Tuesday to further strengthen the ties between Canada and the U.S. just as a new poll suggests Canadians don’t want this country heading down the same path as its southern neighbour.But the results of the Ekos-Canadian Press survey don’t necessarily mean Canadians’ points of view are completely at odds with those who voted U.S. President Donald Trump into office, said Ekos president Frank Graves.Ekos and the Canadian Press surveyed 4,839 Canadians via telephone between Sept. 15 and Oct. 1 as part of an ongoing effort to understand whether the same drivers exist in Canada as those behind populist movements supporting a more isolationist viewpoint around the world.The results suggest Canada favours a more open approach — 60 per cent of those asked don’t want a “Canada First” foreign policy that mirrors the “America First” rallying cry that put Trump in office. Eighty per cent of those surveyed also disapprove of the way Trump is handling his job, and 52 per cent want to see Canada become less like the U.S.“Canada is clearly pivoting open, you can make the case with some of the data on that,” said Graves.“But if you look at more of the data, I’m not so sure. It’s not that clear.”The data also suggests 22 per cent of those surveyed think Canada ought to become more isolated, a marked increase after years of the number remaining relatively flat.Also, among those surveyed 37 per cent think Canada’s immigration policy admits too many visible minorities. Twenty-nine per cent said they’ve experienced an incident of racism in the last month, and 33 per cent said they believe racism is becoming more common.Ekos conducted the survey between Sept. 15 and Oct. 1, and the survey of the entire sample has a margin of error of plus or minus 1.4 percentage points 19 times out of 20.Different sample sizes were polled for each question to increase the number of questions researchers were able to ask.Ekos has been tracking attitudes towards visible minority immigration for 25 years because it serves as a way to test levels of racial intolerance in Canada, said Graves.The question of whether it is too high was put to 1,154 people during the recent survey, and the margin of error for those findings was 2.9 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.Forty-two per cent believe the right amount are being let in and 15 per cent say too few.Graves said the incidence of those believing it’s too high peaked before the last federal election and seems to be on the decline. It’s still lower than it was in the 1990s, he said.The survey also probed for people’s perceptions of their economic future, and the results suggest Canadians are pretty pessimistic about the way things are going, despite economic indicators to the contrary.That, coupled with the responses on how open this country ought to be, suggests the door can’t be closed on the argument that the same economic and social frustration that’s fuelled populism elsewhere doesn’t exist here, Graves said.“There’s clearly a significant portion of Canada that’s not going to be convinced by the whole notion that an open welcoming Canada is the right answer to the problems that they see in their lives and the country.”What that might mean for Canada’s political landscape remains to be seen. Sixty-four per cent of those who say Canada is letting in too many visible minorities identify as Conservative supporters; 62 per cent of those who think the number is just right are Liberal.But Graves noted that studies done in the U.S. before and after that election revealed that people who were exhibiting racial intolerance and who voted for Trump said they would have voted Democrat if that party had put forward a more progressive platform.Maintaining support for immigration ranks high on the Liberals’ list of priorities; in the coming weeks, they’re poised to unveil how many newcomers Canada will admit in 2018.The Liberals are keen on immigration to foster economic growth, but complicating the issue is the ongoing arrival of asylum seekers at the border prompting criticism the government has lost control of the system.In Britain, a survey after the surprising yes vote in a referendum on leaving the EU found that nearly 73 per cent of those who voted to leave were worried about immigration levels being too high.The Ekos survey found 41 per cent feel too many immigrants are currently being let in overall.last_img read more

NDP announces task force to end BCs medical services plan premiums

first_imgVICTORIA – An expert task force will advise the British Columbia government on how to eliminate medical premiums within four years.Finance Minister Carole James says the panel’s expertise “will ensure the path we take is fiscally responsible, fair and evidence-based” as the government seeks to eliminate “regressive” Medical Service Plan premiums.The task force will be chaired by Prof. Lindsay Tedd, an expert in applied economic research and policy analysis at the University of Victoria.Paul Ramsey, a former NDP cabinet minister for health, environment and education, has also been appointed to the task force along with David Duff, a law professor from the University of British Columbia.The NDP government already announced in its budget plans this fall, which will cut premiums by 50 per cent as of Jan. 1. That would save individuals up to $450 a year and families up to $900.The threshold for households exempt from the premiums was also raised by $2,000, meaning couples with a net income of up to $35,000 and single parents with two children and a net income of up to $32,000 would pay nothing.“People know that MSP premiums are unfair and place significant burden on British Columbian families,” James said Thursday in a news release.The New Democrats had promised ahead of the spring election to get rid of the premium in favour of a progressive tax system similar to other provinces where higher-income earners pay more than middle- or lower-income earners.The move to get rid of the fee was also included in Premier John Horgan’s list of priorities for James after the NDP took power in June.The former Liberal government had also promised to cut premiums in half as of January, but the party said ahead of the election that it wouldn’t ditch the fees within the next three years.The Liberals said eliminating the fee would cost the province $1.7 billion.The Greens want to roll medial premiums into payroll and personal income taxes.The newly appointed task force will consult citizens, businesses and other groups on their views of replacing the premiums and look at health funding models in other provinces to determine an alternative revenue stream that is stable, efficient and simple.Keeping the premiums in place or increasing provincial sales tax are not options the task force is allowed to propose.It is expected to deliver a final report on its findings to the government by March 31.last_img read more

Guncontrol activists urge Trudeau not to compromise with firearm lobby

first_imgOTTAWA – Gun-control activists implored Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Thursday to not let the pro-gun lobby slow down his government’s efforts to introduce firearm legislation.Serge St-Arneault, who lost his sister during the Ecole polytechnique massacre in 1989, asked Trudeau to keep his party’s campaign promise.“I know the gun lobby is strong and noisy,” he said, standing with eight other gun-control activists in Ottawa.“But your party…was elected with a majority due to, among other things, your promise to reverse the damage caused by the Harper government.”Trudeau promised firearm-tracing regulations that would help police better trace guns used in crimes.The campaign pledge was not popular with the firearm community, which has long opposed the rules and “continues to advocate against their coming into force,” according to an internal note to Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale, obtained by The Canadian Press last spring.Heidi Rathjen, co-ordinator of an organization comprised of survivors of the Polytechnique massacre and members of victims’ families, criticized the government’s working group on firearms.“The new committee … has had only two meetings — one in March and one in May,” she said. “When the minister (Goodale) was asked when the gun control bill would be tabled, one of his responses was the committee was ‘hard at work.’”Rathjen said the delays are due to the “objections of firearm owners.”Her group, called PolySeSouvient, has recently found new allies: members of Quebec’s Muslim community who are still in shock over the shooting deaths of six men in a Quebec City mosque last January.“I lived this event, I saw the destructive force of these firearms,” said Nizar Ghali, who survived the attack and who was among the activists in Ottawa.“I saw my brothers fall and die in a pool of their own blood. What are you waiting for to act?”A spokesperson for Goodale released a statement to say, “in the near future, we will introduce a host of legislative measures in harmony with what was in our electoral program.”The statement also said the Liberal party has no intention of creating another long-gun registry, which was destroyed by the Harper government.last_img read more

Olympic Roundup Snowboarders strike first on multimedal day for Canada

first_imgJustine Dufour-Lapointe was close to making Olympic history. The Montreal freestyle skier had a chance to become the first woman to defend an Olympic moguls title, and she knew her fast and aggressive final run in Sunday’s final would be tough to beat.She ended up coming just short, edged off the top of the podium by France’s Perrine Laffont. But Dufour-Lapointe’s silver medal capped an impressive Day 2 for Canada at the Pyeongchang Olympics that saw its athletes pick up three silver medals plus a bronze.Snowboarders Max Parrot and Mark McMorris got things started claiming silver and bronze, respectively, in men’s slopestyle. Parrot fell in his first two runs but nailed his third to bump McMorris out of the silver medal position with a score of 86.00.“It’s my first Olympic medal, so it’s a little check next to that,” said Parrot, who is from Bromont, Que. “It’s mission accomplished for me here. I’m really happy.”Later, Calgary speedskater Ted-Jan Bloemen took the silver in the men’s 5,000 metres, finishing second only to Dutch legend Sven Kramer.Bloemen, the world-record holder in the distance, didn’t feel he had his best performance Sunday but said he gave it everything he had.“That perfect race where you get into a flow and just fly to the finish, it doesn’t always happen and it didn’t happen today,” Bloemen said. “But I made the most out of it and I got everything out of myself that I had. I’m a little bit disappointed that I didn’t have more to give today. But overall I’m really happy and really proud to be on the podium and it’s a really big reward for my whole team.”In other results, Canada’s mixed-doubles curling team of John Morris and Kaitlyn Lawes finished round-robin play with a 7-3 rout of South Korea. The Canadians finished the round robin at 6-1 and had already qualified for the semifinals.In figure skating, ice dancers Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir, women’s singles skater Kaetlyn Osmond and pairs stars Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford made sure made sure Canada kept a solid grip of first place in the team event.In women’s hockey, Rebecca Johnston and Melodie Daoust each scored twice as Canada opened its quest for a fifth straight Olympic women’s hockey title with a 5-0 win over the Olympic Athletes from Russia.And in luge, Calgary’s Sam Edney finished sixth in his final Olympic men’s singles race. That’s the best ever Olympic result for Canada in the event.After two days of competition, Canada’s four medals is good for a third place tie with Germany on the overall medals table. Norway leads with eight, followed by the Netherlands with five.Germany leads all nations with three gold medals.McMorris had been sitting atop the standings after his second-run score of 85.20 before American Redmond Gerard surpassed him with 87.16 points in his final attempt. McMorris fell in his last trip down the course.It’s the second Olympic bronze for McMorris, who is coming back from life-threatening injuries suffered in a backcountry crash less than a year ago.The 24-year-old from Regina suffered breaks to his jaw and left arm, a ruptured spleen, a stable pelvic fracture, rib fractures and a collapsed left lung. He spent 10 days in hospital and was on a liquid diet for six weeks.“I’m on the podium. I probably shouldn’t even be here,” said McMorris.From the start of his recovery, he was determined to get back to his previous snowboarding form. McMorris showed he could do it by winning a World Cup just eight months after the crash.“The lowest point (was) not being able to move,” he said of the time after the crash. “Being super uncomfortable, not being able to talk, that sucked. It was for one stupid mistake. I wish I could take that back every day of my life.”McMorris, who won bronze four years ago at the Sochi Games when slopestyle made its Olympic debut, hit a tree off a jump during a trip to the backcountry with some friends, including his brother Craig.In women’s slopestyle, Laurie Blouin of Stoneham, Que., was cleared to return to the hill after suffering an apparent head injury during a training session earlier this week at Phoenix Park. She was on the start list for Sunday’s qualification round, which was postponed due to poor weather.“Canadian snowboarder Laurie Blouin has been cleared for practice by Team Canada medical staff,” Canada Snowboard spokesman Brendan Matthews said in an email. “Following thorough testing and evaluation including an independent second opinion, Blouin is asymptomatic and is cleared for practice this morning.”The reigning world champion took a hard fall Friday when her board got stuck in a crack after she landed a double jump. Blouin was taken to a regional hospital as a precaution before returning to the athletes’ village later that day.Most of the slopestyle competitors will also compete in the big air event in Pyeongchang, a new addition to the Olympic program for 2018. The big air finals are set for Feb. 23-24 at Alpensia Ski Jumping Centre.Bloemen finished in the 5,000 in 6:11.616. He skated head-to-head with Sverre Lunde Pedersen, edging the Norwegian by two-thousandths of a second.The Dutch-born, Calgary-based skater said he didn’t know if he had beaten Pedersen when he crossed the finish line.“I was just trying to catch that guy in front of me. I was so tired I could barely stand on my legs but just taking every risk and giving it all to get ahead.”In figure skating, three-time ice dancing world champions and Olympic gold and silver medallists Virtue and Moir scored 80.51 points for their short dance to the Rolling Stones’ “Sympathy For The Devil,” “Hotel California” by the Eagles and Santana’s “Oye Como Va.”Osmond of Marystown, N.L., earned a 71.38 score in the women’s competition, good for third in her segment of the event. That added eight points to Canada’s total.Duhamel, of Lively, Ont., and Radford, of Balmertown, Ont., then took top spot in pairs, giving Canada an additional 10 points and 45 overall.Evgenia Medvedeva’s 81.06 points were best in the women’s competition on Sunday, giving the Olympic Athletes from Russia 10 points for a cumulative score of 39, good for second.The United States sat third after the women’s with 36 points. Japan and Italy also qualified for the next round.Note to readers: This is a corrected story. A previous version had Bloemen winning silver by two-hundredths of a second.last_img read more

Evacuation at Winnipeg airport over following possible security incident

first_imgWINNIPEG – The Winnipeg Airport was evacuated because of a “possible security incident” on Sunday morning before returning to normal operations nearly an hour later.Officials did not release much information about the incident, saying only that people at the airport should follow directions on site and those on their way to the facility should check with their airlines for the latest flight information.Claire Renic, who was at the airport to drop off her boyfriend’s family, says she was among the throngs of people left waiting outside the building for 45 minutes starting at about 7:30 a.m.She says the airport was evacuated of travellers and staff alike.Renic says police vehicles and armoured cars could be seen nearby, but it wasn’t clear what was going on.The evacuation was lifted at about 8:15 a.m., but several flights were delayed following the incident.last_img read more

Fake abduction and Bitcoin ransom the latest way to trick victim RCMP

first_imgRICHMOND, B.C. – Mounties in Richmond, B.C., say it appears criminals have added Bitcoin ransom to the growing list of manoeuvres to swindle money from unsuspecting victims.Officers responded to a report of an abduction on July 16 where a victim said they had received a call from a person demanding money for the safe return of their partner.Police say the threat was taken seriously because the cellphone call was from their partner’s phone number and the victim then transferred $10,000 into a Bitcoin machine in Richmond.The victim’s partner was later located unharmed and unaware of the supposed abduction.Cpl. Dennis Hwang says police are warning that criminals are trending towards more sophisticated techniques in gathering personal information from their victims.Hwang says the most widely demanded forms of payment related to the scams are iTunes and gaming gift cards or Bitcoin.last_img read more

Woman has finger ripped off at West Edmonton Mall waterslide

first_imgSASKATOON – A Saskatchewan woman says she lost a finger after her ring got caught on a waterslide at one of the largest malls in North America.Claire Clark was celebrating her granddaughter’s third birthday at West Edmonton Mall’s water park on Aug. 5 when Clark decided to take a ride on a slide called the Corkscrew.She said she was grabbing onto a thin piece of mesh and foam padding at the top to push herself down when she got snagged.“My ring caught on that thing that I grabbed and it ripped off my finger, and my finger went with it,” Clark said. “It was awful.”Clark said the skin on her right ring finger was torn at the first knuckle and there was only bone on the rest of the finger.Clark said she remembers going down the slide and holding her hand so that she wouldn’t get blood everywhere. She lifted it to make sure it didn’t go under the water.“Then I said to my husband, ‘We have to go get first aid. Look at my finger.’ And so I showed him my finger and I thought he was going to pass out because it’s kind of ugly.”Clark’s 28-year-old daughter found the finger and pointed it out to a lifeguard, who dove into the pool to retrieve it and the ring.A plastic surgeon at the University of Alberta hospital told Clark that there was nothing left to sew the finger back into and it had to be amputated. The surgeon did the procedure that day and Clark has six millimetres of her finger left.Clark, who has three children and five grandchildren, said her finger hurt a little bit after it happened, but not very much. She gets her stitches out on Monday.West Edmonton Mall said it was unable to comment on what happened because of an internal investigation.Clark wants the mall to advise people who are wearing jewelry to take it off before they go down the waterslides.She was working again at her job as a mobile mortgage specialist for RBC the same night she lost her finger and plans on seeing an occupational and physical therapist.She said she’ll never go to a water park again.“I didn’t lose my life. So I’m happy about that,” Clark said.“I’ll have tears once in awhile and I’ll wish I could get my finger back sometimes, but I don’t think I ever will.”— By Ryan McKenna in Regina. Follow @RyanBMcKenna on Twitterlast_img read more

Parliament Hill security investigating alleged incident of racial profiling

first_imgOTTAWA — The department responsible for security on Parliament Hill is apologizing after an apparent incident of racial profiling took place on Parliament Hill this week.A spokesman for the Parliamentary Protective Service says the force is investigating the incident, which took place Monday during an event known as Black Voices on the Hill.Joseph Law, the chief of staff to the director of the PPS, says the department “has zero tolerance for any type of discrimination,” and it took action as soon as it learned of the incident.The Federation of Black Canadians says several participants in Monday’s lobbying event were referred to as “dark-skinned people” and asked to leave a parliamentary cafeteria.The federation says it has requested a meeting with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau as it seeks a “formal commitment to end racial profiling at the federal level.”It’s also asked for a meeting with House of Commons Speaker Geoff Regan to seek an official apology.The Canadian Presslast_img read more

Few incentives in spendingheavy BC budget global downturn worries business

first_imgVICTORIA — Business leaders say they’re concerned the British Columbia government’s budget pays too little attention to the potential impacts of a slowing global economy and a shifting housing market.B.C. Business Council president Greg D’Avignon says finance Minister Carole James is banking on robust economic growth to fund long-term social and environment programs amounting to $2 billion over the next three years.He says the council, which represents many of the largest employers in the province, credits the government for the initiatives that support families and environment programs, but the government is taking business for granted in a darkening economy. Real estate developer Jason Turcotte says the government depends on tax revenue from home sales to help fund its programs, but the budget hinders new property developments which create that wealth.James says B.C. is forecast to lead Canada in economic growth for the next two years and her budget has set aside more than $2.6 billion in contingency and allowance funds in the event of a downturn.Opposition Liberal Leader Andrew Wilkinson says the budget does nothing to stimulate the economy. The Canadian Presslast_img read more

Snuggles with feathers City of Calgary allows livestock as emotional support

first_imgCALGARY — A sense of calm comes over Nikki Pike when she’s with her three hens Nugget, Nibble and Noodle.The Calgary woman has had anxiety and depression since she was sexually abused as a girl. Spending time with backyard chickens provided a safe haven during that traumatic time, and the mental link between the birds and peaceful feelings has followed her into adulthood.“When I’m holding them, I’m feeling, I’m smelling, I’m hearing,” she says. “What calms me down is all of those sensory aspects of being with them.”Pike is working to formally register her “girls” as livestock emotional support animals under a new city program. In December 2017, a complaint prompted the city to investigate her backyard chicken coop.“I was worried that somebody was going to come and take them away,” she recalls. “That’s incredibly stressful on top of my already crazy life that involves a lot of anxiety.”Pike urged the city to amend its pet bylaw to allow animals normally found on farms into urban homes for mental-health purposes. Council voted to make the change last fall.Pike is happy the city has recognized her chickens’ importance to her mental health — and that the bylaw takes into account animal welfare and effects on neighbours.Pike’s hens spend most of their time in a heated coop decked out with disco balls, but they come inside at night for cuddles and treats. Her two sons, eight and six, like to read them bedtime stories.Chickens are more affectionate and show more personality than people realize, says Pike.“They will hop up on you and demand snuggles.” To get a permit, an applicant must provide a letter from a licensed psychologist or psychiatrist stating an animal is needed to treat a mental-health condition. Many websites will provide a boilerplate letter for a fee. But Aalika Kohli, a business and policy analyst for the city, says those won’t do.“The process is pretty robust to ensure there are no loopholes.”The city must be satisfied the animal has adequate space and that there’s contact information for a veterinarian who can provide specialized care. An alternate home for the animal must also be lined up.The city has not received any applications since its online portal opened in March, but Kohli says she’s expecting five to 10 a year.She thinks most applications will be for chickens, pot-bellied pigs and miniature horses. Larger animals, like cows, would probably require too much space, but Kohli says each application will be weighed case by case.Strathmore, east of Calgary, is the only other jurisdiction the city found with a similar bylaw. An exception there was made for a family with a pot-bellied pig.  In 2014, Trevor Dahl and his family convinced Strathmore’s town council to allow Chuckles, a pot-bellied pig, into their home.The Dahls had taken in Chuckles as a rescue a few years earlier, but were told he couldn’t stay. Dahl says the pig was a big help to his daughter, then 10, who had been having nightmares after a large fire on their street.“As soon as he started sleeping through the night, she started sleeping through the night, too,” he says.The Dahls have since moved to a more rural area where county officials have no problem with Chuckles and another pig named Fairie as long as they’re not a nuisance.Unlike service animals — such as dogs that help blind people get around — emotional support animals don’t need training.Dahl took Chuckles to be trained in Edmonton anyway to bolster the case before Strathmore’s town council. The course was a breeze for the pig, he says.Dahl believes municipalities should regulate pot-bellied pigs the same as cats or dogs. They’re clean and quiet, but their sharp minds do need to be kept occupied with games and toys to keep them out of trouble.“They are more loyal than a dog. They’re incredibly intelligent. They’re extremely affectionate.”Lauren Krugel, The Canadian Presslast_img read more