Nova Scotia Business Inc. (NSBI) announced a newly approved production through the Nova Scotia Film and Television Production Incentive Fund today, May 22. The TV series, Pure Season 2, produced by Pure Season 2 Inc., has been approved for a funding commitment of $2,412,692 based on an eligible Nova Scotia expenditure of $7,539,662. More details about productions approved for incentives through the Nova Scotia Film and Television Production Incentive Fund are available at http://www.nsbi.ca/filmfunding . the fund applies to eligible costs such as labour, goods or services purchased from a Nova Scotia-based supplier when an application is approved, NSBI issues a commitment letter which can be used for bank financing. When the applicant enters the official incentive agreement, the agreement can also be used for the financing process once a production is approved for a funding commitment, the funds are placed in reserve when the production is complete the applicant submits a final claim to NSBI for processing and disbursement all applications and claims are processed and approved by NSBI Quick facts: To learn more about the application process, eligible costs and guidelines, go to Nova Scotia Film and Television Production Incentive Fund at http://www.nsbi.ca . -30-
Colombo: Sri Lanka’s president has sacked the national intelligence chief and will not cooperate with a parliamentary investigation into security lapses before the Easter suicide bombings, officials said Saturday. Maithripala Sirisena summoned an emergency cabinet meeting on Friday night to oppose a parliamentary select committee probe into the April 21 attacks that killed 258 people, including 45 foreigners, and wounded nearly 500. Chief of National Intelligence Sisira Mendis was sacked after testifying to the inquiry last week that the attacks could have been averted. Also Read – ‘Hong Kong won’t rule out Chinese help over protests’He also said the president had failed to hold regular security meetings to assess the threat from Islamic radicals who carried out the bombings on three hotels and three churchs. Sirisena’s office did not give a reason for the sacking. Halfway through the testimony, the live telecast of the proceedings was stopped on the president’s orders, official sources said. A ministerial source told AFP Sirisena has refused to allow any police, military or intelligence personnel to testify before the committee. Also Read – Pak Army chief accompanies Imran at key meetings in ChinaThe source added that the heated cabinet meeting ended “inconclusively” without taking a decision on whether to suspend the parliament probe. Sirisena’s office did not comment on the meeting, but said the president had told senior police officers on Friday that he will not allow any serving officer to testify. Sirisena’s defence secretary and police chief have suggested that the president, who is also defence minister, did not follow proper protocols in dealing with intelligence warnings about the Easter Sunday bombings. Sirisena has repeatedly denied he was aware of an impending threat.
FARIDABAD: Haryana Congress spokesman Vikas Chaudhary was shot dead by unknown men near Delhi this morning. Vikas Chaudhary was attacked after he came out of a gym in sector 9 in Faridabad. Police said that four men came in a Maruti Suzuki SX4 car and fired more than 10 bullets at him. Haryana Congress president Ashok Tanwar hit out at the state government over the incident. “It’s ‘jungle raj’, there is no fear of law. Same kind of incident happened yesterday, where a woman who opposed molestation was stabbed. There should be an investigation,” he said. Mr Chaudhary, 38, had recently switched from INLD to Congress. More details are awaited. (Inputs from NDTV.com)
Parents, please take a note. Researchers have found that trolley bags are better than backpacks for schoolkids for their movement and body posture. They also suggest that children should not carry over 20 per cent of their body weight in their backpack trolleys as it hampers their movement. For the study published in the journal Applied Ergonomics, researchers from the University of Granada and Liverpool John Moores University assessed 49 primary school pupils from Spain. Also Read – An income drop can harm brainIn Spain, more than 40 per cent of the children use trolley backpacks, and until now there have been no studies making weight recommendations for this type of backpack, said researchers. For the study, a kinematic analysis of the children (posture of the trunk and lower limbs) was conducted while they walked freely; carrying no weight; carrying a traditional backpack; and while pulling a backpack trolley with different loads (10 per cent, 15 per cent and 20 per cent of their respective body weights). Also Read – Shallu Jindal honoured with Mahatma AwardIt was found that pulling the backpack trolley produces fewer changes in the child’s kinematics and, therefore, resembles more closely their movement when walking free of any load, compared to carrying backpacks, even when it weighs very little. Findings also indicate that the greatest alterations were produced in the hip and trunk when using trolleys or backpacks while there was little difference in the kinematics of the knee and ankle. The study also confirmed that schoolchildren who use backpacks should avoid carrying loads greater than 10 per cent of their body weight.
Sriharikota (AP): Aimed at taking a giant leap in its space programme, India will Monday launch its second Moon mission Chandrayaan-2 onboard its heavy-lift rocket GSLV-MkIII, nicknamed Baahubali, from the spaceport here, to land a rover near the unexplored Lunar Southern Pole. The lift-off of the three-component spacecraft weighing 3,850 kg and comprising an orbiter, the lander and the rover has been scheduled for 2.51 AM from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC) here. Also Read – Squadrons which participated in Balakot air strike awarded citations on IAF Day Eleven years after its successful first Lunar mission, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) will launch the Rs 978 crore Chandrayan-2 onboard Geosynchronous Launch Vehicle GSLV-MkIII on a voyage which will then take 54 days to accomplish the task of landing on the Moon through meticulously planned orbital phases. After a full dress rehearsal last week, the countdown for the mission commenced Sunday and scientists were involved in propellant filling, ISRO officials said. Also Read – SC declines Oil Min request to stay sharing of documents on Reliance penalty “The launch countdown of GSLV-MkIII-M1/Chandrayaan-2 commenced today (Sunday) at 0651 hrs IST,” ISRO said in its latest update Sunday. Billed as the most complex and prestigious mission ever undertaken by the ISRO since its inception, Chandrayaan-2 will make India the fourth country to soft land on the lunar surface after Russia, the United States and China. Indicating the challenges involved in soft landing, which will feature a series of critical manoeuvres by scientists, ISRO Chairman K Sivan said they will undergo about “15 minutes of terror (filled moments).” After offering prayers at the hill shrine of Lord Venkateshwara at Tirumala Saturday, Sivan said all preparations for Chandrayaan-2 were on for the launch scheduled at 2.51 am on July 15. “Chandrayaan-2 is the next leap in technology as we attempt to soft land close to South Pole of Moon. The soft landing is extremely complex and we will experience approximately 15 minutes of terror,” he said ISRO, which has planned for the landing around September 6, said the mission aims at going where no other nation has so far forayed – the Lunar South Pole and seek to improve understanding of the Moon which could lead to discoveries that will benefit India and humanity as a whole. The Chandrayaan-2 has 13 payloads in total with eight of them in the orbiter, three payloads in Vikram and two in Pragyan. Five payloads are from India, three from Europe, two from the US and one from Bulgaria. A Laser Retroreflector Array (LRA) of NASA is among the payloads and is aimed at understanding dynamics of Earth’s Moon system and deriving clues on Lunar interior. President Ram Nath Kovind will witness the launch at Sriharikota. About 16 minutes after the lift-off, the GSLV MkIII will inject Chandrayan-2 into 170 x 40400 kms Earth orbit. From then onwards, the mission will witness a series of manoeuvres by scientists to carry out different phases of the mission. For the first 17 days from lift-off, the spacecraft will be in Earth-bound phase before its orbit is finally raised to over 1.05 lakh km. After that, it will be nudged into the Lunar Transfer Trajectory taking it to the proximity of Moon in the next two days. Then gradually over the next few days it will be brought to 100 X 100 km circular orbit when the lander will separate and after another few days of orbiting it will make a soft landing at a chosen place on Lunar surface. Through Chandrayaan-2, in which home grown technology is deployed, scientists aim to expand India’s footprint in space, shed light on unexplored section of Moon– the South Pole region, enhance knowledge about space, stimulate advancement of technology and promote global alliances. It is first expedition by ISRO to attempt a soft landing on the lunar surface equipped with “home grown” technology. It would also be the first mission to explore the lunar terrain. But why the South Polar region of the Moon? According to ISRO, the lunar South Pole is an interesting surface area which remains in shadow than North pole. There is a possibility of the presence of water in permanently shadowed areas around it, the agency said, adding craters in the South Pole region have cold traps and contain fossil record of the early solar system. The lander ‘Vikram’, named after father of Indian space research programme Dr Vikram A Sarabhai, carrying the rover ‘Pragyan’, will be landed in a high plain between two craters at a latitude of about 70 degree South of the moon. Then the 27-kg ‘Pragyan’ meaning ‘wisdom’ in Sanskrit and a six-wheeled robotic vehicle, will set out on its job of collecting information on lunar surface. The rover can travel up to half a km leveraging solar energy and both Pragyan and Vikram have a mission life of one Lunar day, which approximately equals 14 Earth days. ISRO officials said the challenges involved in the Moon landing were identifying trajectory accurately; taking up deep space communication; trans Lunar injection, orbiting around the moon, taking up soft landing on the moon surface and facing extreme temperatures and vacuum. Scientists have pegged to make the landing of lander ‘Vikram’ on September 6 and then undertake a series of complex manoeuvres comprising “rough braking” and “fine braking.” A safe site free of hazards for landing would be decided based on pictures sent back by the camera onboard the lander and after touchdown the rover will carry out experiments for 14 Earth days.
New Delhi: Hyundai Motor India sold over 16,200 units in the utility vehicle segment in July to take a lead over Maruti Suzuki India (MSI) and Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M), which have for long dominated the vertical. Last month, Hyundai sold a total of 16,234 units of Creta, Venue, Tucson and Kona Electric, while in comparison M&M sold 16,003 utility vehicles (UVs). M&M sells seven models in the UV segment like XUV 500, Scorpio, Bolero and Thar. Also Read – Thermal coal import may surpass 200 MT this fiscalMSI on the other hand reported sale of 15,178 units in the UV segment last month. Its UV portfolio comprises models like Ertiga, Vitara Brezza and S-Cross. “Hyundai has strong position in compact SUV segment with Creta. Now with Venue, we have further consolidated our position in the UV segment,” Hyundai Motor India National Head-Sales Vikas Jain said. The company’s UV market share is now more than 21 per cent with the combined sales of Creta, Tucson, Venue and Kona Electric, he added. Overall, the passenger vehicle sales continued to be in slow lane last month as well. Continuing to face rough weather, MSI, Hyundai, M&M, Honda and Toyota reported a double-digit decline in sales in July as consumer sentiment remained subdued.
Lahore: Pakistan on Thursday clarified that it has neither closed its airspace for India nor re-routed any route for the Indian flights. “There has been no change to the notice to airmen (NOTAM) and all flights are being operated as per schedule issued earlier,” Civil Aviation Authority Pakistan spokesperson Mujtaba Baig told PTI. “Pakistan has neither closed its airspace for India nor re-routed or closed down any route for the Indian flights,” he said. Also Read – India gets first tranche of Swiss bank a/c details Responding to a question about re-routing of a few routes as reported by the media, he said: “Not a single route has been re-routed after the latest tension between the two countries.” Foreign Office Spokesperson Dr Mohammad Faisal also said that Pakistan had not banned its airspace for India. “We have not banned our airspace for India. It is open for Indian flights,” he told reporters in Islamabad. There were reports that Pakistan had closed down a couple of routes for Indian flights following its decision to downgrade diplomatic ties with India in response to New Delhi’s move to revoke special status of Kashmir. Also Read – Tourists to be allowed in J&K from Thursday Pakistan on July 16 opened its airspace for India after some five months of restrictions imposed in the wake of a standoff with New Delhi earlier this year. Following the Balakot air strikes, Pakistan had closed its airspace on February 26. In March, Pakistan partially opened its airspace but kept it banned for the Indian flights. India also banned its airspace for flights to Pakistan. Federal Minister for Aviation Ghulam Sarwar Khan had said the CAA suffered a loss of Rs 8.5 billion because of airspace restrictions since February. He said this restriction hit India harder than Pakistan. “The loss of India is almost double,” he claimed.
NEW DELHI: Even after a month since Delhi Congress chief Sheila Dikshit passed away, the grand old party is still struggling to find a replacement in the national capital where Assembly elections will be held in about six months. The deliberations on the next head have propped up speculation that among those being considered for the top job is cricketer-turned-politician Navjot Singh Sidhu from Punjab and Bihar’s actor-turned-politician Shatrughan Singh. Also Read – After eight years, businessman arrested for kidnap & murderThe Delhi unit admits it too is in the dark. “We have no role in the selection of the Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee (DPCC) chief. It is for senior party leaders to decide,” one Delhi leader said. Requesting anonymity, a leader said the party was yet to find a face with as much public appeal as Dikshit, who was three-time Chief Minister of Delhi. “There cannot be a replacement for Dikshit. Also, in a short period, the new chief will have a responsibility to lead the party in the Assembly elections. The party has some names in mind but this will be too soon to say anything,” the leader said. “The Congress had no president after Rahul Gandhi resigned. Now, Sonia Gandhi has taken over. So we are expecting a name to be announced by August-end,” he said. Among the leaders in the Delhi, unit is its three Working Presidents –Haroon Yusuf, Devender Yadav and Rajesh Lilothia, who are relatively junior to other leaders including Ajay Maken, Arvinder Singh Lovely and J P Agarwal. Maken had been a DPCC chief earlier and had resigned because of health issues while other leaders do not have a mass appeal like Dikshit. Also Read – Two brothers held for snatchingsThe Assembly polls in Delhi are crucial for the Congress as it will give an opening to bounce back in a city it ruled for 15 long years until an AAP tsunami destroyed it –sweeping 67 of the 70 seats in 2015. Three seats went to the BJP. While the Congress is looking for a face in Delhi, its rivals BJP and AAP have already started work on fighting the Assembly elections. The death of Dikshit on July 20 came as a shock to the Congress, which now has no leader of her stature. The 81-year-old was Delhi Chief Minister from 1998 and 2013 and was named the party chief in January, ahead of the Lok Sabha polls, to strengthen the party in the city. After ruling the city for 15 years, the Congress secured a vote share of 24.55 per cent in the 2013 Assembly polls, which dropped to just 9.65 per cent in the 2015 Assembly polls. After Dikshit came back as chief, the Congress vote share went up to 22.46 per cent in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls from 15.10 per cent in 2014.
Kolkata: The number of mini-buses plying across the city is declining fast, as the unions claim high maintenance cost and closure of beneficial routes are compelling owners to shelve their vehicles.”The number of mini-buses plying in and around Kolkata has reduced from 1,500 to 1,200 in the last 5 years,” said Avashesh Daw, general secretary of Mini-Bus Operators’ Coordination Committee. While the cost of a mini-bus is Rs 15 lakh, the EMI amount has climbed beyond the capacity of the owners. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari PujaIt may be mentioned, however, that the mini-bus, which is a shortened version of its full-sized brethren, is quite cramped and don’t offer adequate space to passengers, who face a particularly harrowing time aboard them in summers. According to the revised mini-bus fare chart, a passenger traveling from zero to three km need to pay Rs 8. In the next stage, which covers distance from three to six km, a passenger needs to pay Rs 9. From six to 10 km, the fare is Rs 10, while between 10 km and 16 km, the fare is Rs 11. Also Read – Bengal civic volunteer dies in road mishap on national highwayThis apart, three profitable mini-bus routes have been closed. “Route number 115 (Bijoygarh-BBD Bagh), Route number 124 (Golf Green-BBD Bagh) and Route number 130 (Bijoygarh-Howrah) have been closed,” Daw pointed out. He reiterated that the maintenance cost of the vehicles has shot up threefold. Apart from that, the diesel cost and insurance amount have also increased a lot. To run a mini-bus, the maintenance cost per day currently stands at Rs 500. “We have talked with officials several times, but those meetings were not fruitful. We want that the government should set up a regulatory committee to rationalise the bus fare and diesel price. We want that the fare should be set up at par with the diesel price. If this situation continues then we will definitely die an unnatural death,” added Daw.
Tehran: Iran will “take a strong step” away from its 2015 nuclear deal with world powers if Europe cannot offer the country new terms by a deadline at the end of this week, a government spokesman said Monday as top Iranian diplomats travelled to France and Russia for last-minute talks. The comments from Ali Rabiei reinforced the deadline Iran had set for Friday for Europe to offer it a way to sell its crude oil on the global market. Crushing US sanctions imposed after President Donald Trump withdrew America from the deal over a year ago have halted those sales. Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince ‘snubbed’ Pak PM, recalled jet from US Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif was in Moscow, while his deputy was to travel to Paris with a team of economists Monday in a renewed diplomatic push. The developments come after French President Emmanuel Macron surprised the Group of Seven summit in France by inviting Zarif last week. Rabiei described Iran’s strategy to journalists at Monday’s press conference in Tehran as “commitment for commitment.” “Iran’s oil should be bought and its money should be accessible to return to Iran,” Rabiei said. Also Read – Record number of 35 candidates in fray for SL Presidential polls “This is the agenda of our talks.” It’s unclear what the terms of negotiation are. In theory, anyone caught buying Iranian crude oil would be subject to US sanctions and potentially locked out of the American financial market. Already, Iran has gone over limits set by the deal. The International Atomic Energy Agency confirmed last week that Iran’s stockpile of low-enriched uranium still exceeds the amount allowed by the so-called Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA as the deal is known. The UN agency also said Iran continues to enrich uranium up to 4.5 per cent, above the 3.67 per cent allowed. Enriched uranium at the 3.67 per cent level is enough for peaceful pursuits and is far below weapons-grade levels of 90 per cent. At the 4.5 per cent level, the uranium can help power Iran’s Bushehr reactor, the country’s only nuclear power plant. It remains unclear what further step Iran will take, though it could involve restarting advanced centrifuges prohibited by the deal or further bumping up its enrichment of uranium. Iran insists the steps it has taken so far are easily reversible. “We will announce implementation of the third step in a letter to the Europeans if the Europeans do not impalement necessary measures by Thursday,” said Zarif in a Sunday interview with Iran’s parliament news agency, ICANA. The nuclear deal is meant to keep Tehran from building atomic weapons in exchange for economic relief. It has been complicated by the unilateral withdrawal of the United States from the deal and Washington’s increased sanctions on Tehran, which have been taking a toll on the Iranian economy. That has left the other signatories Germany, Britain, France, Russia and China struggling to come up with enough incentives to keep Iran in the deal. Meanwhile Monday, an Iranian oil tanker pursued by the US that has been travelling across the Mediterranean Sea is now off the coast of Tripoli in northern Lebanon. The ship-tracking website MarineTraffic.com showed the Adrian Darya 1 moving slowly just outside the Lebanese territorial waters, after it had stood off the coast of Syria a day earlier. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has alleged the ship is bound for a refinery in Syria, which was the reason that authorities had seized the vessel off the coast of Gibraltar in July. The US has warned countries not to accept the Adrian Darya, which carries 2.1 million barrels of Iranian crude oil worth some 130 million.