Ghaziabad: A 52-year-old Ghaziabad based businessman allegedly committed suicide by shooting himself with his revolver inside his house in Dharampura area under city Kotwali police station jurisdiction on Wednesday.Police have recovered a suicide note from the spot which states that the deceased took extreme step after getting mentally harassed by two of his elder brothers over a property dispute. According to police, the deceased has been identified as Naveen Jain, a plastic disposal factory owner. Jain, in his suicide note, claimed that his elder brothers, Pawan Jain and Pankaj Jain, have been threatening to kill his son if he approached police. Also Read – Cylinder blast kills mother and daughter in Karawal NagarShlok Kumar, Superintendent of Police (city), Ghaziabad told Millennium Post that Jain shot himself in his head in front of his mother. “The incident occurred around 12 pm on Wednesday when the deceased has gone to his mother’s home to sort out the property dispute with his brothers. An altercation broke out between the family and in no time, Jain pulled out his pistol and shot a bullet in his head. The victim died on the spot and the family informed police who took the body into custody which was later sent for the post mortem,” said Also Read – Two persons arrested for killing manager of Muthoot FinanceKumar. The officer further said that police have recovered a suicide note from the spot which stated that Jain killed himself under extreme mental stress. “Prima Facie it appears that a family property dispute was the reason behind the incident. Police have recovered a suicide note from the spot which states that Jain was getting mentally harassed by his two elder brothers from past one year. He also mentioned that the duo of brothers had been threatening to kill his son if he report the matter to police.” “Meanwhile we have received a complaint from victim’s son in connection with the case and an FIR under section 306 (Abetment of suicide) of IPC against his two brothers. We are yet to make any arrest into the case while further investigations are underway,” added Kumar. A senior police officer said that Jain was associated with Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP) and was currently a treasurer of BJP Kisan Morcha in Ghaziabad.
New Delhi: Nippon Life Company Friday announced an open offer to acquire nearly 22.49 per cent stake in Reliance Nippon Life Asset Management (RNAM) for Rs 3,179 crore under a deal with Reliance Capital which is exiting the mutual funds business. Nippon Life Company would acquire up to 13.82 crore equity shares or about 22.49 per cent shares of Reliance Nippon Life Asset Management (RNAM) at Rs 230 per share, according to the RNAM’s draft filed with regulator Sebi on Friday. Also Read – SC declines Oil Min request to stay sharing of documentsThe transaction is to be payable in cash for a total consideration of Rs 3,179.41 crore. Reliance Capital in May had announced to exit mutual fund business by selling its stake in Reliance Nippon Life Asset Management Ltd (RNAM) to its joint venture partner Japan’s Nippon Life Insurance. Both partners had 42.88 per cent stake each in the company, while the rest is with public shareholders. Reliance Capital has already signed the binding definitive agreements with Nippon Life Insurance of Japan. Also Read – World suffering ‘synchronized slowdown’, says new IMF chiefAn open offer is a mandatory condition under Sebi guidelines for acquiring equity shares in a company (target) by the acquirer company (Nippon Life). RNAM has already sold 4,82,83,405 equity shares through an offer for sale (OFS) undertaken on May 24 and May 27, 2019. Upon completion of the acquisition of shares, Nippon Life will have the right to re-constitute the board of directors in RNAM including the right to appoint nominee directors or effect resignation of any director on the board. RNAM had registered a net profit of Rs 486.09 crore in fiscal ended March 2019, up by 6.7 per cent from a year ago’s Rs 455.74 crore. Nippon Life of Japan will acquire the stake in RNAM through its internal accruals and it has earmarked Japanese Yen 58,000 million (equivalent to Rs 3,676.04 crore).
Guwahati: Mohammed Rafi struck a last minute goal to snatch a 1-1 draw for Chennaiyin FC against Minerva Punjab in their penultimate group match of the AFC Cup here on Wednesday but the result dented the team’s chances of qualifying for the knockout stage. Samuel Lalmuanpuia gave the ‘hosts’ Minerva the lead in the 62nd minute and the former I-League champions were on the verge of posting their maiden win in the AFC Cup, but Rafi shattered the Punjab side’s hopes by scoring the equaliser in 90th minute here at the India Gandhi Athletics Stadium here. Also Read – Djokovic heaps praise on ‘very complete’ MedvedevWith Abahani Dhaka beating Manang Marshyangdi of Nepal 5-0 in another Group E match in the Bangladesh capital, Chennaiyin dropped down to second place with eight points from five matches. Abahani jumped to top spot with 10 points from five matches while Minerva, who have so far drawn all their five matches, are out of the tournament. If Chennaiyin have to qualify for the Inter-Zone play-off semifinals, they need to beat Manang Marshyangdi in their final group match in Kathmandu on June 26 and hope that Minerva either draw or lose against Abahani on the same day here. Also Read – Mary Kom enters quarterfinals, Saweety Boora bows out of World C’shipsOnly one team from the group will qualify for the Inter-Zone play-off semifinals and if Chhenaiyin and Abahani finish on equal points, the Indian Super League side will go through on better head-to-head record. The match also saw Minerva goalkeeper Arshdeep Singh injuring his nose after a collision with Chennaiyin forward C K Vineeth in the first half and he was stretched off the venue and taken to a local hospital. Minerva owner Ranjit Bajaj said Arshdeep has suffered multiple fracture on his nose and he will need a surgery. “Arshdeep has multiple fractures on his nose. Though the CT scan result is clear and he has no head injury. He will need a surgery and will be out of action for at least two months. We have to decide where we will do the surgery in Chandigarh or Guwahati. It is unfortunate,” Bajaj said from Guwahati.
Srinagar: Union Home Minister Amit Shah, who arrives here on a two-day visit to Kashmir Valley on Wednesday, will co-chair the unified headquarters meeting with J&K Governor Satya Pal Malik. On his maiden visit to J&K after he took over as the Union Home Minister, Amit Shah will focus on internal security in the state, informed sources said. However, he would not visit Jammu and Ladakh divisions of the state. “The Home Minister will co-chair a meeting of the unified headquarters with Governor Satya Pal Malik tomorrow,” sources said. Also Read – Cong may promise farm loan waiver in Haryana Unified headquarters is the state’s apex anti-militancy security grid, which comprises top officials of the security forces, including the army and the state police engaged in counter-insurgency operations. Senior officials of state and central intelligence agencies are also part of these meetings. Shah will also visit the Shri Amarnathji Cave shrine tomorrow to pay obeisance. This year’s annual Amarnath Yatra begins on July 1 and will end on August 15. Also Read – Modi formed OBC commission which earlier govts didn’t do: Shah BJP sources said Shah will meet state party leaders as well as delegations of the civil society, mainstream parties, people connected with tourism and Panchayat members on Thursday. Asked if the state leaders have any specific demands to be put forth before the Home Minister, a senior BJP leader told IANS: “We always raise state level issues and other problems during our meetings with the senior leadership of our party.” On whether the state BJP leaders would raise the issue of fresh delimitation of Assembly seats with Shah, the BJP leader said: “This has been our demand and there is nothing new if it is raised again before Amit Shahji.” Shah was earlier scheduled to visit the Valley for a day on June 30. “The visit has been advanced due to the Home Minister’s busy schedule connected with the Union Budget. He will chair a high-level security meeting in Srinagar and will also address BJP workers and Panchayat members separately during this visit.
Srinagar: Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Thursday visited the residence of Jammu and Kashmir Police officer Arshad Ahmed Khan, who died after being injured in a terror attack on June 12 in Anantnag district, and assured his family that the government will look after them.Shah, accompanied by officials, went to the Bal Garden residence of Khan near the city’s Civil Lines area and met his parents Mushtaq Ahmed Khan and Mehbooba Begum, wife, brother and children Uhbaan (5 years) and Daamin (18 months). Also Read – Modi formed OBC commission which earlier govts didn’t do: ShahThe home minister came and offered his condolence, and assured that the government will look after the family of the brave son of the country, a kin of Arshad Khan, who was present at the meeting, said. Shah also handed a letter of commendation, highlighting the sacrifice of the police officer, to members of the family and it was eventually in the hands of 18-month-old Daamin. On his official Twitter handle, Shah said Khan’s “sacrifice for the security of our nation has saved many lives. The entire nation is proud of Arshad Khan s valour and courage”. Also Read – Prohibitory orders lifted from Mumbai’s stir-hit Aarey ColonyKhan, 37, was injured in the terror attack on June 12 and later flown to Delhi in an air ambulance for specialised treatment. However, he succumbed to injuries at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) on June 16. Five CRPF personnel were killed in the terror attack, in which a lone Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) terrorist targeted a patrol team of the paramilitary force. Khan, the Saddar SHO in Anantnag, reached the site soon after. The moment he stepped out of his official bulletproof vehicle, along with his service rifle, a barrage of bullets were fired by the terrorist. One bullet ricocheted from the butt of his service rifle and hit his liver and duodenum, officials had said. Even in that condition, the officer kept firing bullets at the terrorist before he collapsed, they had said. Khan was appointed sub-inspector in the Jammu and Kashmir Police in 2002 and served in various important capacities. During the 2016 agitation following the death of Burhan Wani, the poster boy of the Hizbul Mujahideen, Khan, who was then posted as Station House Officer of Bijbehara, single-handedly cleared the highway and ensured that there was no traffic restriction. Khan, whose ancestors are from Peshawar in Pakistan, never succumbed to political pressure and was shifted from Bijbehara prematurely after he had rounded up many so-called activists of a political party.
Karnal (Haryana): A 56-year-old doctor was shot dead by three motorcycle-borne persons in Karnal town of Haryana on Saturday, police said. The suspects, including a former employee who was terminated from services at a hospital owned by the doctor, have been arrested, the police said. Rajiv Gupta was attacked when he and his driver left the hospital in Chaura Bazar in a vehicle. Three masked men stopped their motorcycle in front of the SUV and fired at Gupta. The doctor, who suffered two bullet wounds, succumbed to injures at a hospital Also Read – IAF Day: Tributes paid to soldiers killed in line of duty in Jammu The main accused, Pawan, and his two accomplices, Raman and Shiv Kumar, were nabbed from the Haryana-Uttar Pradesh border, police said. Pawan, who worked as a dialysis technician, revealed that he was terminated from services last December. He was apparently upset as he could not get a job anywhere till now because of the alleged influence of the doctor, an officer said. Police also recovered a .32 bore locally-made gun from the accused. The director general of police also inspected the crime spot. Also Read – Pak activated 20 terror camps, 20 launch pads along LoC Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar, who represents the Karnal assembly segment, met the doctor’s family on Sunday. He claimed that law and order in Haryana was better, and strict directions had been issued to the police to ensure such incidents do not happen in future. The Congress slammed the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party, alleging that it had failed to ensure the safety of its citizens. “Criminals are ruling the roost in Karnal and law and order situation has collapsed,” Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala tweeted. Senior Indian National Lok Dal leader Abhay Chautala also condemned the incident.
Mumbai: In a setback to the NCP ahead of the Maharashtra Assembly polls, its Mumbai unit chief and former minister Sachin Ahir joined the Shiv Sena on Thursday.Ahir, who was a minister in the previous Congress-NCP coalition government in the state, joined the Shiv Sena here in the presence of its party president Uddhav Thackeray and Yuva Sena chief Aaditya Thackeray. Welcoming Ahir into the party-fold, Uddhav Thackeray, in an apparent jibe at senior ally BJP, said splitting other political parties was not the Sena’s tendency. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM'”I want Sena to grow but not at the cost of morals and ethics,” he told reporters here, without naming any party. The Shiv Sena wants to do politics by”winning the hearts of people”, he said. “SachinAhir has joined us willingly and happily. I assure him that he will not regret his decision,” he said. He said the yatra recently undertaken by his son Aaditya Thackeray and the mass outreach programme to be soon taken up by Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis were for ensuring the Sena-BJP alliance’s win in the Assembly polls, due in September-October. Also Read – Farooq demands unconditional release of all detainees in J&KAhir, who was associated with the NCP since its formation in 1999, represented Shivdi Assembly seat in Mumbai from 1999 to 2009 and was later elected from Worli, after delimitation of constituencies. In 2014, he lost the Assembly election to Shiv Sena’s Sunil Shinde. Ahir said he will work for the expansion of Shiv Sena’s base, but will not try to break the NCP. “Sharad Pawar will be in my heart. But I will have Aaditya and Uddhavji’s strength in my body to work for the Shiv Sena,” he said. Ahir said he has no grudge against the NCP. “But some unavoidable political decisions had to be taken considering the prevailing situation,” he said. Ahir said a couple of days back, he met Aaditya Thackeray at a social event where the latter told him that the Shiv Sena needed leaders like him, who were “well-versed in urban politics”. “The Shiv Sena is in power in most of the municipal corporations in the state. I can use my expertise gained as a minister for the development of cities. Hence, I took the decision to work for the development of cities by being in power,” he said. Ahir said the Sena will now take decision on whether he will contest the state Assembly polls. On the occasion, Aaditya Thackeray said Ahir and he knew each other since long. “Despite being in different parties we realised that our goal and aim is development of urban areas,” he added. Meanwhile, reacting to Ahir’s decision to join the Sena, NCP’s chief spokesperson Nawab Malik said those deserting the party lacked courage and strength to fight the Assembly elections on their own.
New Delhi: Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) Chairperson Swati Maliwal on Tuesday urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah and BJP President J.P. Nadda to sack the Unnao rape accused BJP MLA from the BJP and the Uttar Pradesh Assembly. The MLA, Kuldeep Singh Sengar, along with his aides is accused of gangraping the girl who is now battling for life in a Lucknow hospital after a truck hit a car in which she was travelling along with two aunts and her lawyer. Also Read – After eight years, businessman arrested for kidnap & murder Both the women were killed in the accident while the lawyer is also in critical condition. “The minor girl had been gang-raped by Senger along with his aides. The Uttar Pradesh Police refused to register an FIR for over one year. Instead her father was arrested and assaulted by the brother and supporters of Sengar in police custody,” she said. In her letter, the DCW Chairperson said how the rape victim attempted to immolate herself in front of the residence of the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh and a day later, her father died in a hospital of injuries inflicted in police custody. Also Read – Two brothers held for snatchings Maliwal said the road accident “was a clear conspiracy to eliminate the witnesses and her family”. “The lawyer who stood by her and tried to support her is presently even in a worse condition than the girl,” Maliwal said. She expressed shock at the “brute display of apathy by the Bharatiya Janata Party by not only ensuring that the MLA stays a prominent member of BJP but constantly safeguarding his membership of the UP Assembly, thereby allowing him to subvert the justice process at every juncture. “Despite mounting evidence against the MLA, he continued to be in power and therefore enjoys unadulterated clout over the police, jail, hospital authorities and the entire Uttar Pradesh administration. It is this patronage of the BJP that has enabled him to unabashedly ravage the lives of the rape victim and her family.”
Mawlamyine: The death toll from a landslide triggered by monsoon rains in eastern Myanmar rose to 34, an official said Saturday, as emergency workers continued to search through mud for scores more feared missing. “We found 34 dead, and the search for dead bodies is still ongoing,” said local administrator Myo Min Tun. Officials believe that more than 80 people could still be missing.
New Delhi: Pakistan has been trying to make a big issue out of India’s decision of scrapping Article 370 and bifurcating Jammu and Kashmir into two union territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh.Amid the ongoing tensions with Pakistan over the abrogation of the Article 370, Pakistani forces have started moving equipment to their forward bases close to Ladakh. “Three C-130 transport aircraft of the Pakistan Air Force were used on Saturday to ferry equipment to their Skardu air base opposite the Union Territory of Ladakh. The Indian agencies concerned are keeping a close eye on the movement of Pakistanis along the border areas,” government sources told ANI. Also Read – India gets first tranche of Swiss bank a/c details Sources said the equipment moved to the forward operating base could be support equipment for fighter aircraft operations. Pakistanis are most likely to move in their JF-17 fighter planes to the Skardu air field, they said. The Indian intelligence agencies along with the Air Force and Army are keeping a close watch on the movement of the Pakistani Air Force as they can see almost the entire length and breadth of Pakistan.The Pakistanis use an older version of the C-130 transport aircraft supplied by the Americans a long time ago and one of their military rulers Gen Zia Ul Haq was also killed in power when the C-130 in which he was travelling crashed in August 1988 due to a bomb explosion. Also Read – Tourists to be allowed in J&K from Thursday Sources said the Pakistan Air Force was planning to conduct an exercise of its Air Force and Army elements and the move of shifting planes to the forward base could also be a part of it.Skardu is a forward operating base of the Pakistan Air Force and it uses it to support its Army operations on the border with India. Pakistan has been trying to make a big issue out of India’s decision of scrapping Article 370 and bifurcating Jammu and Kashmir into two union territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh.(Inputs from Dnaindia.com)
Guwahati: The All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) said it is not happy with the exclusion figure in the final National Register of Citizens (NRC) which was released on Saturday, and will appeal against it in the Supreme Court. The AASU is a signatory to the Assam Accord, a 1985 document that provided for “detection, deletion and deportation” of illegal foreigners from Assam. The NRC in the state has been updated under the monitoring of the Supreme Court to include only genuine Indian nationals. Also Read – India gets first tranche of Swiss bank a/c details “We are not happy at all. It seems there were some deficiencies in the updatation process. We believe that it is an incomplete NRC. We will appeal to the Supreme Court to remove all the faults and descrepancies in this NRC,” AASU General Secretary Lurinjyoti Gogoi said. The final NRC was released on Saturday leaving out over 19 lakh applicants. Addressing a press conference, Gogoi said the final figure of exclusion did not reach near the figures officially announced by the authorities on various occasions.
Noida: Noida Authority on Sunday continued the third Phase of ‘Safaigiri’ programme and carried out intensified cleaning of roads and sectors in the city. Officials said that the drive was carried out in sector 52, 82, 19, 11, Jhundpura village and others.During the drive, residents of these sectors turned up in good numbers to register their active participation in the cleanliness drive. Staff from all departments – water, horticulture, electricity and public health – visited the sectors and took stock of sanitation and other civic issues. Also Read – After eight years, businessman arrested for kidnap & murder”The Safaigiri drive was launched on August 25 which is aimed to clean the city and know the civic issues of various residential sectors. Under the drive, we also make people aware of how to segregate waste at their end and an oath is also delivered to maintain cleanliness in their surroundings,” said a senior officer of Noida authority. The drive was launched to improve Noida’s rating in Swachh Bharat Survey 2020. During the Safaigiri, which ran for three hours from 7 am till 10 am, residents along with officials went at every corner of these sectors and picked up wrappers and other waste from roads and parks. Earlier, the second phase of Safaigiri was carried out on September 1, in sector 14, 18, 46 and 105 of Noida. Noida Authority Chief Executive Officer Ritu Maheshwari also participated in the drive at sector 14 of Noida. The CEO listened to the civic issues from the residents and distributed home composting kits and dust bin to the residents.
New Delhi: The government on Friday imposed a minimum onion export price of USD 850 per tonne to curb its shipments and help bring down spiralling domestic prices. Onion prices have risen to about Rs 40-50 per kg in the national capital from Rs 20-30 per kg a few days back. “Export of all varieties of onions…will be allowed only on letter of credit subject to a minimum export price of USD 850 FOB (freight on board) per metric ton till further orders,” the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) said in a notification. The country exports on an average of 15 lakh tonnes of onions a year. India produces around 17-18 million tonnes of onion per year.
VANCOUVER – The British Columbia grocery store operator who once said he was doing “nothing but good” for the American chain store Trader Joe’s, has given up his fight to bring the U.S. retailer’s products to Canada.Michael Hallatt has permanently closed his Vancouver outlet of Pirate Joe’s, rather than face another trademark lawsuit from California-based Trader Joe’s later this year.Hallatt has been battling Trader Joe’s since 2013, when he was sued in a U.S. court but won the copyright infringement case.In the years following the lawsuit, Hallatt dropped the “P” from his store’s banner, becoming Irate Joe’s, as Trader Joe’s continued its legal efforts to shut him down.More than a year ago, a district court in Washington state ruled it could not hear a second suit against Hallatt because the alleged trademark violations happened in Canada and because Trader Joe’s failed to explain how its business was being harmed.But Hallatt confirmed in a Facebook post Wednesday that his store would likely close immediately, because he can’t afford further court battles after the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals overturned the district court decision.The circuit court ruled Pirate Joe’s and Hallatt’s conduct could harm Trader Joe’s reputation.The U.S grocer does not have stores in Canada, but Hallatt would drive to Washington state and bring popular items back to Vancouver, where he says customers could expect to pay a 30 per cent mark up, after the currency exchange.When the second court case was allowed to proceed last summer, Hallatt said he was confident the law was on his side under old legislation called the first-sale doctrine.He also said Pirate Joe’s wasn’t trying to mimic Trader Joe’s.The name Pirate Joe’s is “shorthand for unauthorized and unaffiliated. It doesn’t get much clearer than that,” he said in an August 2016 interview.A sandwich board outside the Pirate Joe’s location on Thursday said simply, “Goliath wins.” (CKNW, The Associated Press)
ST. JOHN’S, N.L. – A boatload of 75 early risers headed out on the North Atlantic off Newfoundland to be among the first to welcome Canada Day as dawn broke over the country’s eastern edge.Rain and low clouds blocked the sunrise over the flashing lighthouse at Cape Spear but that didn’t bother the flag-waving crowd.They cheered and danced to music onboard the Iceberg Quest vessel Capo de Espera as they celebrated Canada’s 150th birthday.“There’s no sun but there is plenty of mist and rain and cold, which kind of makes it a pretty extraordinary experience,” said Craig Simons. He and his wife, Jennifer, moved to St. John’s a year ago from Houston.“It has been a wonderful experience for us and the kids. It’s nice to see how much Canadians love their country.”The early-morning tour was especially moving for Gerry Cantwell who’s descended from five generations of lighthouse keepers at Cape Spear.He said it’s a day of reflection and gratitude for the men and women who have helped protect Canadian rights and freedoms.Canada Day starts in the province each year on a sombre note with services to remember how the Newfoundland Regiment was decimated July 1, 1916.Of 801 troops who went over the top at Beaumont-Hamel as the Somme campaign began during the First World War, just 68 answered roll call the next day. Families across Newfoundland were stricken with grief and shock.“We’re very fortunate to live in a country with the freedoms that we have and, on July 1, to remember the people who gave us our freedom,” Cantwell said.Kellie Loder of St. John’s sang “O Canada” as the vessel pulled in front of Cape Spear. There was a moment of silence after to remember those who have fought and died in battle over the last 150 years.Loder said as the boat passed through the Narrows from the St. John’s harbour, she thought of those who once sailed the same route not knowing if they’d ever make it home.“I think it’s definitely more than a party,” she said of Canada Day. “It’s more than the festivities and the excitement.“It’s about appreciating what was done before and is still being done around the world.”Capt. Barry Rogers of Iceberg Quest stood in the wheel house after the vessel docked and smiled like a man who knows his own good fortune.“To all you Canadians out there, stand proud. We’ve got a great country and a great province,” he said. “Newfoundland and Labrador is probably — not probably — it is the best place to live in the world. No question.”Follow @suebailey on Twitter.
TORONTO – Toronto police say a rash of suspected drug-related deaths in a three day period is highly unusual for the city and prompted investigators to issue a public safety alert on Saturday.Four people have been found dead since Thursday, police said.“It’s quite unusual,” said Const. Craig Brister, a police spokesman.Overdose calls are something officers deal with all the time in Toronto, said Brister, but the number of cases since Thursday is out of the ordinary.“What’s unique about this situation is the fact that we’re seeing such a number of them in such a close time together and within a relatively close proximity in the city, most of it has been focused in the downtown area,” he said.Police say there have been a total of 20 overdoses in the city’s downtown core in a three day period and police are worried about the possibility of fentanyl-laced heroin.Investigators say the most recent death occurred Saturday when a woman was found dead in a stairwell.Police say it appears her death was drug-related, but weren’t sure if fentanyl-laced heroin is to blame.Police can only speculate as to the source of the drugs responsible for the overdoses at this point but want to make sure the public is warned.“We have had a significant number of overdose incidents in the last couple of days which is alarming to us and that’s why we’re trying to put out as much information as we can to the public so there is an awareness,” Brister said in an interview Saturday night.Police say anyone coming into contact with a substance suspected to be heroin should exercise extreme caution and should contact police immediately if something is spotted in parks or public areas.Many Canadian cities have grappled with drug overdose deaths in recent months, perhaps the most notable being Vancouver, which recorded 25 deaths and nearly 600 overdose calls last month alone.More than 1,000 people died of overdoses in British Columbia last year and the coroner says fentanyl was involved in many of those deaths.
Endangered caribou on an island in Lake Superior will be rounded up, blindfolded and placed inside a helicopter to travel to a new home early next year as the Ontario government tries to save them from a pack of wolves.The complex relocation of the caribou from Michipicoten Island was announced by Ontario’s minister of natural resources and forestry on Thursday, with the government noting that the animals are destined to join a small herd on another island where they’ll roam free from predators.Troubles for the caribou began in the winter of 2013 when an ice bridge formed that allowed a small number of wolves to travel the 16 kilometres from the mainland to the island in northwestern Ontario, said ministry spokeswoman Jolanta Kowalski.The ice bridge formed the following winter as well, and was considered a rare occurrence, Kowalski said.Since then the wolves have systematically slaughtered the caribou to the point that the ministry is worried about the population’s complete decimation.“We’re worried,” Kowalski said. “The caribou numbers are down considerably.”A survey of the herd in 2011 showed 680 caribou on the island. Last year, there were only 120 caribou and about a dozen wolves.Some of the caribou will be taken from Michipicoten Island to the Slate Islands, further north in Lake Superior, next year.“We will be transporting a suitable portion of the caribou population to the Slate Islands to ensure the continued viability of this important species on an island free from predators,” Natural Resources and Forestry Minister Kathryn McGarry said in a statement.The ministry is working out the details, but said there are only about two to four bull caribou on Slate Islands. Kowalski said they’re still figuring out how many caribou to bring over, but noted that they won’t be moving the entire herd.“We’ll move enough that we can hopefully ensure the viability of the species on the Slate Islands,” she said.In a way the Michipicoten caribou will be returning home. In 1982, the ministry moved eight caribou from Slate Islands to Michipicoten Island and their population growth had long been considered a huge success, Kowalski said.Historic records indicate there were caribou on the island in the early 1800s, Kowalski said, but they disappeared by the mid-1800s due to hunting.The caribou getting a new home may be sedated for the move and are expected to have blindfolds and ear plugs to make them as comfortable as possible before they’re placed on a large transport helicopter for the journey, Kowalski said.The ministry is working with the Michipicoten First Nation to save the endangered animals, she added.“Our hope is that the move goes well and the population survives,” Kowalski said. “This is their best chance.”
VICTORIA – A tropical seabird rescued by a Vancouver Island animal rehabilitation centre last week has died.The British Columbia SPCA’s wild animal rehabilitation centre says the brown booby was in critical condition when it was discovered on the Victoria waterfront last Monday.Spokeswoman Marguerite Sans says despite intensive care by specialized staff, the bird’s health declined dramatically over the weekend.Sans says tube feeding, antibiotics and pain relief were not enough to reverse the bird’s desperate condition, and staff are finding solace in the fact it is no longer suffering.The bird is usually spotted in Mexico, California and Hawaii, where it’s renowned for dramatic 20-metre plunges into the sea to catch food such as squid and anchovies.Sans has it wasn’t clear why the bird ended up so far north, although recent storms could have affected its migration.
CHARLOTTETOWN – Prince Edward Island could be the first province in Canada to ban retailers from giving out plastic bags after a private member’s bill passed third reading Friday morning.The Plastic Bag Reduction Act, introduced by Liberal member of the legislature Allen Roach, would eventually prohibit retailers from providing customers with single-use plastic bags, encouraging them instead to sell paper or reusable cloth bags.“The purpose of this Act is to reduce the use by businesses of single-use checkout bags, to reduce waste and environmental damage and to promote responsible and sustainable business practices in Prince Edward Island,” the bill reads.The change would come in phases, with retailers beginning to charge customers 15 cents per plastic bag on July 1. The fee would increase to 25 cents in July 2019, before becoming an outright ban in January 2020, after which businesses could face fines for giving away plastic bags.Jackie Bourgeois of the Southeast Environmental Association supports the bill, saying single-use plastics wreak havoc on Canada’s waterways and marine life.“All you have to do is go on the internet and you can see the disastrous videos of bags that are being removed from these big huge animals out in the ocean, and it’s really just a tragedy that it’s happening,” she said.According to Greenpeace Canada, Canadians generate about 3.25 million tonnes of plastic garbage each year, which the environmental group says could fill 140,000 garbage trucks.As well, the federal government says more than 150 million tonnes of plastic waste is clogging the oceans worldwide, and it’s estimated that plastic could outweigh fish by 2050.Bourgeois hopes other provinces will follow the Island’s lead in discouraging the use of plastic bags.“We’re small, but we can lead the way in a lot of things,” she said. “If this move encourages others to follow, then that’s great.”The Retail Council of Canada, however, has some trepidations over the bill. Atlantic Canada director Jim Cormier says the council was not consulted before the motion was put forward.“It was really concerning that they would go so far as to try to jam something through without even talking to the sector that it’s going to impact the most,” Cormier said during a phone interview Saturday.The paper and reusable bags wouldn’t be free: customers will be charged no less than 15 cents for a paper bag, while reusable bags would cost a dollar each.Cormier said that it should be up to the retailers to decide the cost, and that the businesses should also be able to individually develop their own plans for plastic bag reduction.He added that many customers like getting plastic shopping bags, and some reuse them for garbage bins and cleaning up after their pets.“We just want to have a way for people to serve the customer,” said Cormier.MLA Allen Roach could not immediately be reached for comment.P.E.I.’s move comes amid a national conversation about single-use plastics and their environmental impact.Ikea and A&W are the latest big chains to join the war against single-use plastics, with each promising to limit waste production amid a growing public outcry over pollution.Ikea said Friday it would eliminate single-use plastic products from its shelves by 2020, including straws, plates, cups, freezer bags, garbage bags and plastic-coated paper plates and cups.And A&W Canada said it wanted to be the first fast food chain in North America to eliminate plastic straws, with a plan to stop using them by the end of the year.
MONTREAL – The historic cemetery atop Montreal’s Mount Royal offers a tranquil space for the dead to rest — but management says the living aren’t being granted the same courtesy thanks to speeding cyclists who are soon to lose their privileges.The 166-year-old non-profit that manages the cemetery recently announced it would ban bicycles from the picturesque spot as of Aug. 1., citing “flagrant disregard of the safety of pedestrians and of the character of the cemetery” by certain cyclists who use the sacred ground for “high speed training and other aggressive sports.”In a statement on its website, cemetery management said it had sought to avoid a ban by repeatedly bringing up its concerns with cycling groups.“We regret that these efforts have been unsuccessful and that we now must in the interest of safety proceed to a prohibition on cyclists, as we have previously indicated would be the consequence of failure to respect the rules,” the statement read.But the news isn’t sitting well with some of the city’s cyclists, who said they’re being punished for the bad actions of a small group.As the cemetery buzzed with cars, electric scooters, dog walkers and picnickers enjoying the perfect Saturday weather, some cyclists who paused from their training wondered why they were being singled out.“I find the cars much more dangerous than the cyclists,” said Therese Ryan, a local cyclist who has been coming to the cemetery for 25 years.She pinned the problem on a small number of elite cycling clubs, who train in large groups and at high speeds.But she said it’s unfair to ban regular riders from a “famous and lovely spot” that is beloved by all Montrealers, especially since the cemetery’s winding hills and leafy pathways are one of the few spaces where average riders can train without many cars whizzing by.Patrick Prevost, a nearby resident who rides over the mountain on a near-daily basis, agreed.“It’s pretty much the only green spot we have (to cycle) within the city limits,” he said as he paused on his ride. “It’s quiet, it’s peaceful, it’s fun to be here and there’s not many cars.”Prevost said he would be in favour of adding speed bumps and signs to slow down the truly fast riders, but argued the vast majority of cyclists are respectful.“The cemetery should be available to everybody: runners, bikers, walkers whatever, as long as everybody respects everybody, and I think everybody does respect the grounds.”But two other cyclists who rode through the cemetery on Saturday said they believed the ban was the right call, even though they were sad to lose one of their favourite spots.Lyne Raymond and Chantal Bergeron, who rode up the mountain together, said even they sometimes feel intimidated by the groups of competitive cyclists who blow by them at high speed.“They don’t stop, they’re cycling very fast, they’re not respectful of those (who are) in the cemetery to be there to take time with their family,” Bergeron said.Raymond agreed, noting that a high-speed cyclist had almost forced her off the path that very morning.“It’s very sad, but I understand the decision,” she said.