Cancer care, and patient care for pregnant mothers and babies,will improve thanks to millions of dollars in new supportannounced today, Nov. 14, by the Nova Scotia government. Premier John Hamm committed $1.3 million to the IWK Health Centreand $5.8 million to Capital Health toward getting Nova Scotianstests, treatment and care faster. “Giving doctors, nurses, and other health professionals theequipment they need is a critical part of our plan to reduce waitlists,” said Premier Hamm. “The new pieces will allow our healthprofessionals to do more, and will improve their ability to treatpatients.” The IWK will benefit from new diagnostic ultrasound and X-rayequipment. Capital Health will receive funding for new equipmentto treat cancer patients, along with new surgical imagingequipment, to be located at the QEII Health Sciences Centre. The new equipment will be paid for from the $15 million availablethis year from the federal contribution to Nova Scotia for new orreplacement diagnostic medical equipment. Capital Health’s new system will allow for precise tailoring ofradiation doses, and will reduce waiting times by accommodatingan additional 500 patients per year. Capital Health will alsoreceive an image-guided surgery system, which will usecomputerized integration of medical imaging to plan and carry outprecise, complex surgeries at a greater rate — between 150 and200 more than the previous equipment, per year. “The new equipment will improve access to radiation therapyservices to patients of Nova Scotia,” said Capital Health CEO DonFord. “The replacement simulator is new technology which willprovide greater flexibility and increased efficiency in treatmentplanning. The additional high-energy linear accelerator willincrease our capacity to provide more timely access to radiationtherapy for our patients.” For health-care professionals and patients at the IWK, the newultrasound equipment will improve picture quality, and allow fora more detailed diagnosis. The new equipment will perform morethan 12,000 exams a year on mothers and babies. “The IWK is always looking for new ways to reduce wait times andprovide quality care to our patients,” said Dr. Alex Gillis,president and CEO of the IWK Health Centre. “This new equipmentwill give our staff the tools they need to provide more timelydiagnoses to the women and children we serve.” Halifax-area hospitals and nursing homes will also receive$185,000 to purchase equipment such as patient lifts and specialtubs that will provide added comfort to patients and easeworkload for nurses. Funding will also be provided to expand atechnology network that will allow for the digital transfer of X-rays, CAT scans and other diagnostic images among hospitalsacross the province. This technology, called picture archivingcommunications system (PACS), will mean better informationsharing and faster diagnosis. Increasing access to MRIs is another important part of theprovince’s wait list plan. Consultation is now getting underwayto determine the best use of existing MRIs, as well as whereadditional MRIs may be needed. The consultations will alsodetermine what kind of MRIs work best and how the greatest numberof patients can access them. This work will guide spendingdecisions for medical equipment funding in the next two years. In February 2003, the First Ministers’ Accord on Health CareRenewal was released. The accord included a commitment for NovaScotia of $45 million over three years — $15 million each year,beginning in 2003-04 — for diagnostic medical equipment. The district health authorities will announce next week theallocation of the remaining funding for this year.
Credit Unions are a bit safer these days for customers and staff after the development of a number of robbery prevention and response tools. Nova Scotia credit unions are at the forefront in addressing workplace violence risks. North American Occupational Safety and Health Week, May 6-12, is the perfect time to spotlight some of the work they are doing. The week offers an opportunity to focus on the importance of preventing injury and illness in the workplace, at home, and in the community. Georgina Fitzpatrick, risk manager of Credit Union Central in Nova Scotia, said, “Safety is our priority and we ensure, throughout all of our training workshops, that all employees are aware that their safety and the safety of our customers comes first.” The tools that are used in the credit union’s training cover a wide variety of topics and training methods. The Robbery: Are You Prepared DVD allows credit unions the flexibility to complete training in segments during early morning employee meetings. Employees have an opportunity to discuss security and prevention tools, robbery response, and the after effects of robbery. Along with the video, employees are provided a copy of the robbery procedures brochure, which acts as a quick reference guide for internal training. It has instructions for immediate response as well as a suspect identity chart. Employees are recommended to have a copy of the brochure in work areas. The robbery training program also includes a presentation and interactive training tool that provides employees an overview of the physical safeguards that protect credit union, procedures to follow before, during and after a robbery, and guidance for dealing with security equipment and media. They can be used as a stand-alone tool for internal training purposes or with the DVD, or local police. Employees also have access to employee assistance program services and it is standard procedure to have representatives from program services attend meetings with employees after any incident. Fitzpatrick recommends that all employees be trained on robbery response on a regular basis, preferably four times a year, and at least semi-annually. “This way employees have the procedures fresh in their minds should a robbery occur.” The credit union’s workplace violence prevention and awareness training has been implemented in all 81 Nova Scotia locations. -30-
The Department of Environment office in Pictou County will temporarily relocate to Bridgeview Square, 115 MacLean St., New Glasgow, in the former family court area. The temporary office will be open Monday, Dec. 22, during the hours of 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. until further notice. People who need to contact the Department of Environment may visit the temporary office or call 902-396-4194. The relocation is necessary for building repairs after high winds caused damage. A notice about the office relocation will be printed in the Saturday, Dec. 20, edition of the New Glasgow Evening News.
From harvesting the bark to the final touches, 10 Nova Scotia students have participated in making an ocean-going, birch-bark canoe and learned about film-making in one unique experience. Mi’kmaq artisan Todd Labrador built the 17-foot (5.2 metre) ocean-going, birch-bark canoe at the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic. The students participated and filmed the project through ViewFinders: International Film Festival for Youth, in partnership with the Mi’kmaq Liaison Office of the Department of Education. The students were mentored by film industry professionals and helped build Mr. Labrador’s canoe. “The project is a great example of government departments and the community working together to teach students and to record history for future generations,” said Education Minister Ramona Jennex. The 10 students come from diverse cultural backgrounds. Filming began in July and was completed this month. Twenty-seven hours of filming was done on location in Kejimkujik National Park, Maitland Bridge and Bridgewater. There was about 66 hours of filming and workshop time with the students and Mr. Labrador at the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic. More than 100 hours were invested in post-production, which includes editing, sound mixing and colour correction. The documentary film will premiere at the 10th anniversary of Viewfinders: International Film Festival for Youth. It will be scheduled as part of the following programs at Empire Theatres Dartmouth Crossing:– 10th Anniversary Gala event, today, April 13, 7 p.m.– Aboriginal Shorts, Friday, April 15, 12:15 p.m. More information of the Viewfinders Film Festival is available at www.atlanticfilm.com/view .
Nova Scotia’s innovative Extended Care Paramedic nursing home program that allows seniors to be treated at home instead of the emergency department is now an national award winning service. The program, part of the Better Care Sooner plan, won a gold Public Sector Leadership Award in the Health Care category from the Institute of Public Administration of Canada and Deloitte, Monday, Feb. 13, in Toronto. The prestigious award recognizes organizations that have demonstrated outstanding leadership, collaboration and innovation by taking bold steps to improve Canada, through advancements in public policy and management. “Nova Scotia has a skilled and talented team of paramedics who are responsible for providing all residents of the province with quality care when they need it most,” said Health and Wellness Minister Maureen MacDonald. “It’s wonderful to see the Extended Care Paramedic program nationally recognized, especially in its first year of operation.” “One of the goals of our Better Care Sooner plan is to improve emergency care for seniors and this program is doing just that.” Since being implemented last February, the program has responded to nearly 800 calls for care, with 72 per cent of patients receiving treatment at home. The Extended Care Paramedic program is delivered by Emergency Health Services (EHS) in partnership with Capital Health. Monday’s award was accepted by representatives of Emergency Medical Care Inc., EHS’s provider of air and ground ambulance services. There are 17 nursing homes in Halifax Regional Municipality participating in the program, which offers seniors some of the same care received in an emergency department, such as receiving stitches, delivered at the nursing home. This improves the level of comfort for the patient, and reduces the need for non-emergency hospital transports. “The Extended Care Paramedic Program is helping us provide care to our residents in a timlier manner,” said Chris LaBreche, vice president of enhanced care operations at Shannex, which operates senior retirement homes. “In many cases the paramedics can assess and treat the resident at the nursing home, instead of being transferred to the hospital. “In other instances, because the paramedics work closely with the hospitals, the program can arrange a more timely transfer of residents to the emergency department. It’s a good program that is making a difference.” Better Care Sooner is the province’s plan to improve emergency care in Nova Scotia by improving the patient’s experience in the health-care system. Since its launch last year, a number of innovative approaches, including the Extended Care Paramedic Program, have been put in place. To learn more visit gov.ns.ca/bettercaresooner .
A preliminary investigation has found that two offenders at the Central Nova Scotia Correctional Facility had an altercation on Feb. 22 that resulted in one of them being hospitalized. The injured man reported his injuries to correctional staff at about 10 a.m. on Feb. 22. He told staff the injuries happened during an accidental fall while he was alone in his cell in a living unit. He received medical attention from the onsite medical team and at hospital. He returned to the facility later that day. On Feb. 23, new symptoms were reported, and he was taken to hospital and later admitted. He stayed in hospital for five days. On Feb. 27, new information pointed to the injuries happening during an assault in the cell. Correctional Services staff began a preliminary investigation, and the incident was reported to Halifax Regional Police on Feb. 28. The injured man is serving a custodial sentence and is also on remand. This information is being released under the Justice Department’s policy to inform the public of major incidents involving persons in custody. The policy can be found at gov.ns.ca/just/updates.asp .
The province is inviting the Nova Scotia Teachers Union to work together to make sure teachers are teaching to their strengths and training based on classroom needs. Education Minister Ramona Jennex announced today, April 24, that the province will set up a working partners’ group to support effective teaching in every classroom, one of the four priorities of the Kids and Learning First plan. “Without question, teachers are the heart of our education system, and they make a tremendous difference in the lives of our children,” said Ms. Jennex. “But too often they are expected to teach courses without having as much training, background or experience in the subject as they would like. We need to work together to change this, for the best interests of students and teachers alike.” According to the most recent data from 2007, just 37 per cent of junior high math teachers had an academic background directly related to math. At the same time, the data identified twice as many junior high teachers with a math undergraduate major or minor as were actually teaching math. The working group will look for ways to improve the match between teacher qualifications and courses taught. It will review issues including how placement decisions are made, the supply of teachers in certain subject areas, and how growth of the Nova Scotia Virtual School can help with matching teachers’ qualifications and assignments. The group will also review the training teachers take to upgrade their certification to ensure it is based on needs in the classroom. “Professional learning funded by the province must be relevant, comprehensive, of high quality, and clearly linked to classroom needs,” said Ms. Jennex. “We have a responsibility to ensure our sizeable investment in teacher development ultimately puts students first.” The group will examine whether more school-based professional learning and fewer out-of-province conferences will have more practical benefits for teachers and students at less cost. The working group will begin meeting next month. The province continues to mark Education Week this week.
They say you can’t hurry love, but Nova Scotians planning to marry won’t have to wait quite as long for a licence with changes to the Solemnization of Marriage Act introduced today, April 3. The act will be amended to eliminate the five-day wait period between the time a marriage licence is applied for, and the date it is ready for pick up. “A marriage ceremony is a special occasion that should be as hassle-free as possible,” said John MacDonell, Minister of Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations. “To help make preparing for the special day less stressful, we are removing the red-tape from the marriage licence process.” Before the amendment, couples applying for a marriage licence made two trips for a licence, one to apply and, five days later, another to pick up the licence. This was often inconvenient. “The new changes to the Solemnization of Marriage Act will reduce some stress for couples getting married and let them focus on the fun details,” said Lauren Martin, a Nova Scotia wedding planner and designer. “It directly impacts our clients and allows for a seamless and stress-free application process.” The five-day wait period was introduced in 1931 and it is believed it was to force sober second thought. “While this requirement may have served a useful purpose at one time, Nova Scotians no longer need government to play this monitoring role,” said Mr. MacDonell. “We are responding to Nova Scotians’ need to have efficient and convenient access to government services while respecting that adults do not require a government-forced period to think about their marriage.” Eliminating the five-day wait is also more efficient for government. In the 2011-2012 fiscal year, 4,636 marriage licences were issued in Nova Scotia. Nova Scotia is the last province in Canada to have a wait period for marriage licences.
The date and location of the Halifax meeting will be announced in later this summer. More information is available at www.aquaculturereview.ca. Public consultations to help Nova Scotia develop world-class aquaculture standards that include economic development and environmental protection begin next week. In May, Fisheries and Aquaculture Minister Sterling Belliveau announced the plan to develop regulations to ensure Nova Scotia has a more environmentally, socially and economically sustainable aquaculture industry. There are about 20 public meetings scheduled around the province over the next seven weeks. The meetings will be led by independent consultants Meinhard Doelle and Bill Lahey, both Dalhousie law professors. “This information will be invaluable as we begin our work to develop a new regulatory framework for aquaculture,” said Mr. Lahey. “We look forward to learning about the values, interests, priorities and concerns of all interested members of the public,” said Mr. Doelle. Sessions will be 2:30-4:30 p.m. and 6:30-8:30 p.m. at each location. The scheduled meetings are: July 15 — Mabou Community Centre, Hwy. 19, Mabou Old Orchard Inn, 153 Greenwich Road South, Wolfville July 16 — Cultural Centre, 17 Bay St. Lawrence Road, Cape North Royal Canadian Legion, 34 Duke St., Lunenburg July 17 — Days Inn, 480 Kings Rd., Sydney Emera Centre, 50 Queens Place Dr., Liverpool July 18 — Inverary Resort, Exit 9 Hwy. 105, 368 Shore Road, Baddeck Shelburne Fire Hall, 63 King St., Shelburne July 22 –- Royal Canadian Legion Branch 58, 23566 Hwy. 7, Sheet Harbour July 23 –- Oyster Pond Fire Hall, 51 Old Trunk Rd., Head of Jeddore July 24 –- St. James United Church, 3811 Old Sambro Rd., Sambro July 25 — Waterfront Jost House, 106 Main St., Guysborough Village July 30 -– The Rodd Grand Hotel, 417 Main St., Yarmouth July 31 –- Annapolis Basin Conference Centre, Cornwallis Park, Cornwallis Aug. 19 -– Parrsboro Fire Hall, 252 Willow St., Parrsboro Aug. 20 –- Best Western, 150 Willow St., Truro Aug. 21 — Tatamagouche Fire Hall, 202 Main St., Tatamagouche Aug. 26 –- Port Hawkesbury Civic Centre, 606 Reeves St., Port Hawkesbury Aug. 27 –- Claymore Inn, 133 Church St., Antigonish Aug. 29 — Museum of Industry, 147 N. Foord St., Stellarton
To learn more about the application process, eligible costs and guidelines, go to Nova Scotia Film and Television Production Incentive Fund at www.nsbi.ca. Quick facts: Nova Scotia Business Inc. (NSBI) announced a newly approved production through the Nova Scotia Film and Television Production Incentive Fund today, Oct. 18. TV Series Trailer Park Boys Out of the Park: USA, produced by TPB OTP Productions 2 Incorporated, has been approved for a funding commitment of $736,057 based on an eligible Nova Scotia expenditure of $2,676,574. As funding commitments are approved details will be available on the NSBI website at 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
Public libraries across Nova Scotia are hosting a series of programs, activities and reading clubs all summer long for children, teens and families. “Public libraries work hard to offer programs that keep our children active and engaged all year round, especially in the summer,” said Deborah Duke, coordinator, library services, Western Counties Regional Library. “They are also a space where children see all their friends, make new ones and continue to grow as a community.” Some of the things happening this summer include First Nations drumming and dancing, musical instrument making, scavenger hunts, magician shows, a reptile exhibit, story time in the park, fitness activities, art and tech based programs, book clubs and more fun activities. There will be contests and prizes, including books and bikes donated by the Adopt a Library Program, and museum passes donated by the Nova Scotia Museum. Studies show students who read over the summer do better in school. Nova Scotia’s public libraries also offer a variety of reading programs to help children explore their interests and foster a love of reading. One club being offered at many libraries is the TD Summer Reading Club, a joint initiative with Library and Archives Canada. This program provides reading recommendations and free activities for children, all summer long. This year’s theme is Canada, which will honour and celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday. In 2016, more than 14,000 children and teens registered in library summer reading clubs and read more than 120,000 books. More than 33,000 participated in about 1,800 summer programs and activities in public libraries across the province last summer. Summer Reading Program kickoff parties are planned for public libraries until the end of June. Summer programs will run until the end of August. More information about summer programs and reading club activities are available at local public libraries. A map of Nova Scotia public libraries and links to each region can be found at library.novascotia.ca/map.
Washington: Mass rigging of India’s EVMs is “very difficult” to do as these machines are offline that makes them standalone units, an eminent American expert has said as concerned raised by the Opposition over the possibility of their tampering. Ahead of the counting of votes in India, allegations were levelled by some parties that EVMs were being changed in the strong rooms in Bihar ad Uttar Pradesh. The Election Commission on Tuesday rejected reports of alleged EVM tampering and asserted that all machines used in the elections are absolutely safe in the strong rooms. Also Read – ‘Hong Kong won’t rule out Chinese help over protests’ “My impression looking at the serious studies is that it (Indian EVMs) is a pretty reliable technology. While no technology is perfect, but in the case of India, because these machines are offline, the only way of tampering with them is actually to physically tamper with the machine,” Gelb told PTI in an interview. Gelb, who has mainly done studies on EVMs in neighbouring Pakistan and some African countries, said that his understanding is that mass tampering with machines of the type used in India would be very difficult. Also Read – Pak Army chief accompanies Imran at key meetings in China “It would be very difficult to tamper them (Indian EVMs) on a mass basis, without being on a coordinated basis, without being observed. And they almost certainly by their design will cut out other abuses which are very prevalent in manual systems like ballot stuffing,” he said in response to a question. And the addition of voter-verified paper audit trail or VVPAT adds another layer of check to the reliability and authenticity of EVMs, he said. “It’s advisable to have a technology which allows for a human affected process to audit it if necessary. That is usually some form of paper record. I believe that in the US now, almost all of the electronic voting technology is either based on a paper form or create some form of paper record to enable it to be audited, he said. Noting that question is not whether it does work, but the question of whether people feel they have the capacity to oversee it, he said in India some of the controversies about the electronic voting are different from the controversies that have gone on in other countries because India’s not doing internet voting. “It’s simply a standalone electronic device, which is different from some of the voting systems that other countries have where you actually vote over the Internet,” he said. As the row over the EVMs persisted and opposition workers at several places kept a tight vigil at strongrooms storing them, the EC decided to follow the established procedure of counting VVPAT slips for the mandatory five polling stations per assembly segment of each parliamentary constituency at the end of the entire counting process.
Mumbai: State-run Gail India plans to list its subsidiary Gail Gas and is aggressively investing in city gas distribution to create volumes before it takes the company to the market, a top company official said. The Maharatna firm has planned a capital expenditure of Rs 54,000 crore, which it will spend over the next two-three years in laying of gas pipeline network that will feed households and industries such as fertiliser plants. Out of this, Gail plans to invest Rs 12,000 crore in city gas distribution networks to retail CNG to automobiles and piped natural gas to households in towns such as Varanasi and Patna. Also Read – SC declines Oil Min request to stay sharing of documents”Listing Gail Gas is in my mind and we had earlier thought about it. As of now, the subsidiary has reported a topline of Rs 5,300 crore and Rs 120-130 crore of profit. “Last couple of years we have invested heavily in creating infrastructure alone and we believe we need to invest even more to get to the volume level,” Gail India Chairman and Managing Director B C Tripathi told reporters here. He said that apart from Bengaluru and Meerut, Gail Gas is now supplying gas to Mangalore, Rourkela, Cuttack, Bhubaneshwar and big cities like Varanasi, Patna, Jamshedpur, Bhopal among others. Also Read – World suffering ‘synchronized slowdown’, says new IMF chief”We believe that some more time will be required for bringing the company to the level of volume which will be well received by the market,” Tripathi added. Gail Gas, which was incorporated in May 2008, had participated in the 9th and 10th rounds of city gas distribution bidding and won in 15 and eight geographical areas, respectively. Gail India has reported a 20 per cent rise in its March quarter net profit at Rs 1,222.23 crore from Rs 1,020.92 crore in the same period of the previous fiscal year. Revenue rose to Rs 18,763.87 crore in the fourth quarter of 2018-19 fiscal year when compared with Rs 15,430.69 crore net profit in the year-ago period.
Mumbai: A court in Nashik district on Wednesday acquitted Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray in connection with a 2008 case of attack on a hotel by his party workers.According to the prosecution, Thackeray was accused of instigating his party workers to form an unlawful assembly and attack the hotel owned by a north Indian in Igatpuri town of Nashik district in 2008, thus endangering lives and causing hurt to others. A magistrate court at Igatpuri while acquitting Thackeray on Wednesday said the prosecution failed to prove its case that the MNS chief instigated the incident. Also Read – Pak activated 20 terror camps & 20 launch pads along LoCApart from Thackeray, six others were accused in the case. Thackeray’s trial was separated and five prosecution witnesses were examined against him. “The complainant (owner of the hotel) in his testimony said Thackeray was not present at the place of the alleged incident. The prosecution could also not bring forward any evidence to show that Thackeray instigated the attack,” the lawyer for MNS, Sayaji Nangre, said.
New Delhi: Rainfall in the National Capital Region (NCR) on Monday has brought some relief from the scorching heat as the temperature dropped significantly in the region. The Met department is expecting rain and thunderstorm to continue in the capital and the NCR in the next 48 hours. Residents of Delhi have been witnessing pleasant weather for the past four days. The Ridge Observatory in the capital recorded a maximum temperature of 33.8 degree Celsius on Wednesday, which was 5 degrees below normal. Also Read – Kejriwal ‘denied political clearance’ to attend climate meet in Denmark Aya Nagar recorded the highest temperature of 37 degree Celsius, which was expected to go down as the day progressed. The Safdarjung area also recorded similar temperatures. Pleasant conditions were also witnessed in the airport area near Palam where the maximum temperature was around 37 degree Celcius. The pleasant conditions have been attributed to the western disturbance moving across the hills of North India and moisture incursion from the Arabian Sea in the wake of Cyclone Vayu. Temperatures in Delhi, Noida, Gurugram, Faridabad and Ghaziabad are expected to remain pleasant in the coming two days before the mercury again goes up in the weekend.
Jammu: Lauding border residents for providing support to troops and maintaining vigil in their areas, Army chief General Bipin Rawat said on Saturday that the forces were fully prepared for emerging security challenges.”I am fully satisfied with the operational preparedness of troops to meet all security challenges, the Army chief said during his visit to the Akhnoor sector here. On Friday, the Army chief had visited troops on the Line of Control (LoC) in Rajouri district and assured material and moral support to all soldiers for enhancing operational capabilities. Also Read – Cong may promise farm loan waiver in HaryanaHe also reviewed the security situation in the state and exhorted all ranks to remain vigilant to counter nefarious designs of the enemy and anti-national elements. On the second day of his tour, General Rawat, accompanied by General Officer Commanding-in-chief, Northern Command, Lieutenant General Ranbir Singh, visited troops in the Akhnoor sector and was briefed and updated by General Officer Commanding, White Knight Corps, Lt Gen Paramjit Singh and commanders on ground, a defence spokesman said. He said General Rawat reviewed the preparations to respond to ceasefire violations by Pakistani forces, counter infiltration grid and preparation to deal with provocations by enemy on the LoC and the International Border (IB). Also Read – Modi formed OBC commission which earlier govts didn’t do: ShahThe Army chief was also briefed on infusion of technology with operational techniques and integration of force multipliers, which has increased capabilities manifold, the spokesman said. He said the Army chief also interacted with the soldiers and commended them for selfless devotion and high standard of professionalism. He was appreciative of the synergy between Jammu and Kashmir Police, civil administration, Border Security Force and the Army, the spokesman said.
Rio de Janeiro: Japan and Ecuador were left heartbroken as their 1-1 draw in Belo Horizonte on Monday saw them miss out on the Copa America quarter-finals, with Paraguay qualifying instead. Uruguay, meanwhile, topped Group C as Edinson Cavani’s goal eight minutes from time gave them a 1-0 win over champions Chile, who also qualify, at Rio de Janeiro’s Maracana stadium. Japan and Ecuador faced a must win match in their bid to reach the knock-out stages as one of the two best third-placed finishers. Also Read – Djokovic heaps praise on ‘very complete’ MedvedevPeru had already secured their spot from Group A while Paraguay, in Group B, were left sweating on Monday’s result having finished their campaign on Sunday with two points from three games. Shoya Nakajima gave Japan the lead on 15 minutes with a goal validated by VAR, but 10 minutes from half time, Angel Mena equalized for Ecuador. Japan substitute Daizen Maeda was put clean through late on but saw his effort saved by goalkeeper Alexander Dominguez. Also Read – Mary Kom enters quarterfinals, Saweety Boora bows out of World C’shipsDeep into stoppage time teenage sensation Takefusa Kubo had the ball in the net but a dramatic winner was ruled out for offside after consulting VAR. It meant Japan missed out on goal difference while Ecuador came up a point short. Paraguay will play hosts Brazil in the first quarter-final on Thursday in Porto Alegre. Japan coach Hajime Moriyasu had recalled 18-year-old Kubo but it was Nakajima who proved the Blue Samurai’s most potent weapon, at one point trying to chip Ecuador’s goalkeeper from halfway. He and Ecuador’s Enner Valencia both fired early shots over before Nakajima gave Japan a 15th minute lead with a shot from outside the box. It was originally disallowed but then validated following a VAR review. Japan’s Eiji Kawashima saved a shot from Valencia but Ecuador were level on 35 minutes after the veteran goalkeeper failed to hold a Robert Arboleda effort, allowing Angel Mena to tuck home the rebound. Almost immediately, new Real Madrid signing Kubo came to life and forced a save out of Dominguez. Japan impressed with their pace and team-work in the first half but Ecuador’s outfit of strapping, muscular specimens had a clear physical advantage.
An intensive power struggle is going on between the old guard and the Young Turks in the Congress even as the party is struggling with an unprecedented leadership crisis after a humiliating defeat in the recent Lok Sabha polls. Congress President Rahul Gandhi has plunged the party into further crisis by resigning and sticking to his decision so far. The younger leaders feel that Rahul Gandhi’s hands need to be strengthened to purge the old guard to restructure the party. However, the latter argues that Gandhi had led the party’s campaign from the front and most of the decisions were his. They are unwilling to take responsibility for the debacle despite media statements from Rahul like, “I cannot ask others to resign too. It is up to them if they want to take responsibility”. Interestingly, after the drubbing, while Rahul Gandhi blamed the senior leaders for not supporting his campaign, the AICC General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra blamed the workers for the debacle. So the blame game goes on. Also Read – A special kind of bondThe younger leaders have now seized the opportunity to demand the removal of the incompetent old guard. To force their hands, over 140 of them have resigned en masse last week with more resignations in the pipeline. They include a general secretary, six national secretaries and two state working presidents. The resignations were ostensibly to give a free hand to Rahul Gandhi to restructure the party. The resignation drive was started last week by the young Congress leadership, including Pratap Singh Bajwa, vice chairman of AICC foreign affairs department, Vivek Tankha, in charge of the party’s law department, Tarun Kumar, secretary in charge of Rajasthan and Deepak Singh, Congress Legislature Party leader in the Uttar Pradesh Legislative Council. Their main demand is that the present Congress Working Committee (CWC) must be disbanded and that the Pradesh Congress Committee Presidents of the 17 states where the party failed to win a single Lok Sabha seat should step down. They also hope that the mass resignations would convince Rahul to take back his resignation. All these at a time when the party chief spokesman Randeep Surjewala is claiming, “Rahul Gandhi was, is, and will remain the Congress president”. Also Read – Insider threat managementIn a counter move, the old guard, not willing to give up its hold on the party has floated names of three senior party loyalists as the new party president if Rahul is determined to quit. They are former Union minister Sushil Kumar Shinde, former Congress party leader in Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge and Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot. All three of them would vacate the seat whenever the family wants to take back the chair. Shinde seems to have an edge over others. It is clear that the family will not give up its hold on the party easily with three Gandhis at the top level. Congress is certainly going through a rough patch but the leadership problem is something that should be resolved soon. The morale of workers is low, as Congress has suffered two successive disastrous election defeats. Rahul Gandhi is technically in charge as the CWC has rejected his resignation. Rahul has thoughtlessly plunged the party into this chaos without an alternative leadership in place. Even many senior leaders have no clue whether Rahul will remain or go. The party is directionless, clueless and leaderless. As a result, factional fights have broken out in several states including Karnataka, Punjab, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Haryana. At the national headquarters, the tussle between the old guard and the Young Turks has broken out. In Telangana and Maharashtra, Congress is facing erosion. The Congress-ruled Karnataka, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh state governments look precarious. So the first priority is to decide the leadership issue as it is almost a month since Rahul offered to quit. If he insists on quitting, the party should quickly look for someone to replace him. There was even talk of a collegium to run the party while Rahul goes on a countrywide padayatra. There is urgency because of the Assembly elections are due in some states like Haryana, Maharashtra and Jharkhand soon. Secondly, there is a need for a thorough overhaul of the organisation at all levels and the Congress Working Committee has already authorised Rahul Gandhi to address this. People with a mass base should be made in charge of the election-bound states. Thirdly, the communication strategy of the party needs to be improved vastly. Fourthly, the party should also improve its social engineering and alliance strategy. Places where Congress is in a position to give a direct fight to the BJP, local leadership should be encouraged. Above all, Congress should introspect and take corrective steps as soon as possible. In a democracy, there is a need for an effective opposition and Congress being the main national party should lead the opposition in Parliament and outside. Restoration of the party’s health is very important for the Grand Old Party’s survival. (The views expressed are strictly personal)
New Delhi: Actress Sonakshi Sinha says her forthcoming project “Khandaani Shafakhana” will make people think why sex still remains a taboo in the society. Directed by Shilpi Dasgupta, “Khandaani Shafakhana” depicts the journey of a young girl who inherits her dead uncle’s sex clinic in Punjab. “On hearing the film’s one-line pitch — ‘story of a girl who inherits a sex clinic’ — I was like why would they even approach me for such a film,” Sinha told IANS. Also Read – Rihanna to release 500-page ‘visual’ autobiography “But when I heard the full story, I said I must do this film because it’s a very relevant and important subject that should be discussed,” she added. Does she feel the film will take away the taboo around sex? “I don’t know that, but it will definitely get people to start thinking. It’s a step in that direction. How have we as a society labelled the reason for all of us being here as taboo? It’s something to think about,” said the actress. Also Read – Hilarie Burton, Jeffery Dean Morgan tie the knot The film is produced by Bhushan Kumar, Mahaveer Jain, Mrighdeep Singh Lamba and Divya Khosla Kumar and is slated for release on August 2. Soon Sinha will also be seen judging a digital fashion reality show “Myntra Fashion Superstar”. The Zoom Studios, the original content arm of Zoom, and Myntra have collaborated to create fashion influencer hunt titled “Myntra Fashion Superstar”. According to Sinha, “exploring uncharted territories has always been exciting for me.” “And partaking in ‘Myntra Fashion Superstar’ is exactly that for me. If it’s new, unique, never been done before — I am in,” she said. The show is slated to go live in September across The Zoom Studios and Myntra’s social media platforms.
Kolkata: Kolkata Municipal Corporation that began health audit of the College Square swimming pool on Friday will take up the same exercise for all swimming pools in the city.The move by the civic body assumed significance as a Class-IX student Mohammad Shahbaaz of a swimming club drowned at the College Square pool on Sunday. “We had published a booklet with a series of guidelines to be followed by the swimming clubs for the safety and security of the swimmers in 2017. The health audit will be conducted to see whether the pools in the city are adhering to the directives. Action will be taken in case of any negligency,” said Debasish Kumar, Member Mayor in Council (Parks & Gardens ). Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari PujaSwimming pools located at Hedua, Tala Park, Puddapukur in Bhowanipore and all those that are under the jurisdiction of KMC will go through the audit. The exercise will be conducted by Kolkata District Swimming Committee in association with India Life Saving Society. It may be mentioned that the guidelines for the clubs was issued by the KMC after an ace swimmer Kajal Dutta, drowned at the College Square pool in August 2017. The directives included employing at least two trainers at each pool, no swimmers to be allowed in the pool without a life jacket, divers to be deployed in the pool for the swimmers. Also Read – Bengal civic volunteer dies in road mishap on national highwayThe guidelines also stated that in case of children, guardians should not leave their wards and go elsewhere while they are being trained in swimming. KMC has already barred the Calcutta University Institute College Square (Vidyasagar Udyan) club one of the five odd located in College from imparting swimming lessons for novices until further orders. Shabaaz , a novice belonged to this club, encroached into the pool meant for the seniors by crossing the demarcation line. It may be mentioned that Shabaaz’s brother has lodged a complaint with Amherst Street police station alleging negligence on the part of Calcutta University Institute College Square for the former’s death. The Kolkata Municipal Corporation has decided to come up with separate swimming pools for learners across the city. “We have already come up with such pools where there will be no scope to venture into deep water in a similar manner as the victim did,” a senior KMC official said. The KMC has plans to implement this decision by the next swimming season that will begin from March 2020.