Possibility of including Huawei in trade deal with China Trump

first_imgWashington: There is a possibility of including Huawei in the ongoing trade deal with China, US President Donald Trump has said, days after signing an executive order that effectively barred the Chinese telecom giant from the American market. Shenzhen-headquartered Huawei, a rapidly expanding leader in 5G technology, buys about USD 67 billion worth of components each year, including about USD 11 billion from the US suppliers, according to estimates. Also Read – ‘Hong Kong won’t rule out Chinese help over protests’ The world’s two largest economies are locked in a trade war since Trump imposed heavy tariffs on imported steel and aluminium items from China in March last year. In response, China imposed tit-for-tat tariffs on billions of dollars worth of American imports. Escalating the trade tension, Trump signed an executive order on May 15 barring American companies from installing the foreign-made telecom equipment posing a national security threat, a move apparently aimed at banning Huawei from US networks. Also Read – Pak Army chief accompanies Imran at key meetings in China “There’s a possibility (of including Huawei in the trade deal). I think probably a good possibility,” Trump told reporters at the White House responding to a question on the status of negotiations with China and Huawei. The United States is “very concerned” about Huawei from a security standpoint, he said. “I don’t know how China can do this because I’ll be honest, we are getting hundreds of millions of dollars brought into our country. We’ve never gotten USD 0.10. We are getting hundreds of billions of dollars coming into our country,” he said. On Thursday, Trump announced that he has directed his Agriculture Secretary to provide USD 16 billion in assistance to America’s farmers and ranchers. “It all comes from China,” he said. “We will be taking in, over a period of time, hundreds of billions of dollars in tariffs and charges to China and our farmers will be greatly helped. We want to get them back to the point where they would have had if they had a good year. This support for farmers will be paid for by the billions of dollars our treasury takes in,” he said. Months of negotiations on a trade deal broke recently after China, the US alleged, went back on its commitment. “Not so long ago during the time of our negotiation and China broke the deal with us… that’s fine but during that time of negotiation if everyone remembers we had periods where China would target our farms, right? They would actually target. “They took an ad in a newspaper from Iowa, a big ad, said lots of bad things about the administration, about the fact that we are negotiating to tough, we are not going to make a deal. But they steal intellectual property by the billions. Somebody estimated it at USD 300 billion,” he alleged. Trump said he cannot let that happen. The US economy is booming, the country is prospering and now is the time to insist on fair and reciprocal trade for US workers and farmers, he said. At the same time, he remained hopeful that the trade deal with China could happen soon. “If it happens, great. If it doesn’t happen that’s fine. That’s absolutely fine. And I look forward — I will be seeing President Xi at the G20 very shortly,” he said. “In the meantime and may be for a long time I appreciate the incredible bipartisan support that my administration has had on trade and trade policy especially as it pertains to placing very massive tariffs on China,” he said adding that these tariffs are paid for largely by China. “China subsidises a lot of businesses and China came out and in subsidising the business they pay for a big portion of that tax. But right now a lot of companies are moving out of China because of the tax. They are moving to nontariff countries. So it’s a bad thing for China. We don’t want that but that’s just the way it works out,” Trump said. Trump has been demanding that China reduce the massive trade deficit which last year climbed to over USD 539 billion. He is also pressing for verifiable measures for protection of intellectual property rights (IPR), technology transfer and more access to American goods to Chinese markets.last_img read more

N Korea No more Ntalks unless US changes stance

first_imgSeoul: North Korea said on Friday its deadlocked nuclear talks with Washington “will never be resumed” unless the US adopts a new approach, again blaming it for the collapse of the Hanoi summit in February. US President Donald Trump’s second meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un broke up without an agreement or even a joint statement as the two failed to reach a deal on sanctions relief and what Pyongyang would be willing to give up of its banned nuclear weapons and ballistic programmes. Also Read – ‘Hong Kong won’t rule out Chinese help over protests’According to reports Trump gave Kim a written list of demands and Pyongyang has since accused Washington of acting in “bad faith”, giving it until the end of this year to change its approach. The North’s statement on Friday, released by its official news agency KCNA, reiterated its stance. The “underlying cause” of the “setback” in Hanoi was “the arbitrary and dishonest position taken by the United States”, it quoted a North Korean foreign ministry spokesperson as saying. Also Read – Pak Army chief accompanies Imran at key meetings in ChinaThe US had insisted on “a method which is totally impossible to get through”, it said. Unless Washington “comes forward with a new method of calculation”, it said, “the DPRK-US dialogue will never be resumed and by extension, the prospect for resolving the nuclear issue will be much gloomy”. KCNA refrained from criticising Trump, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo or National Security Adviser John Bolton by name. The report came about a week after Pyongyang had demanded the United Nations take “urgent measures” to help return a cargo ship seized by the US for alleged sanctions violations, calling the move a “heinous” act. Pyongyang’s foreign ministry also denounced it as an “outright denial” of the spirit of the Singapore summit Trump and Kim held last year. Earlier this month the North also sought to raise the pressure by launching several short-range missiles, its first such tests for more than a year. “And the further its mistrust and hostile acts towards the DPRK grow, the fiercer our reaction will be,” KCNA said.last_img read more

Over Rs 205 lakh cr bank frauds in 11 years ICICI Bank

first_imgNew Delhi: Of over 50,000 frauds that hit banks in India in the last 11 fiscal years, the ICICI Bank, State Bank of India (SBI) and HDFC Bank reported highest number of cases, according to an RBI data. Of the total 53,334 cases of frauds reported during 2008-09 and 2018-19 fiscal years, involving a whopping Rs 2.05 lakh crore, a highest of 6,811 were reported by the ICICI Bank involving Rs 5,033.81 crore. The state-run State Bank of India (SBI) reported 6,793 fraud cases involving Rs 23,734.74 crore followed by HDFC Banks which recorded 2,497 such cases involving Rs 1,200.79 crore, according to the data given by the central bank in response to an RTI query filed by this correspondent. Also Read – IAF receives its first Rafale fighter jet from France The Bank of Baroda reported 2,160 fraud cases (involving Rs 12,962.96 crore), Punjab National Bank 2,047 frauds (Rs 28,700.74 crore) and Axis Bank had 1,944 fraud cases involving RS 5,301.69 crore public money. As many as 1,872 frauds involving Rs 12,358.2 crore was reported by Bank of India, 1,783 by Syndicate Bank (Rs 5830.85 crore) and Central Bank of India’s 1, 613 cases involving Rs 9041.98 crore, the data shows. IDBI Bank Ltd reported 1,264 fraud cases involving Rs 5978.96 crore, Standard Chartered Bank 1,263 cases involving Rs 1221.41 crore, Canara Bank 1,254 cases of Rs 5553.38 crore, Union Bank of India 1,244 frauds of Rs 11,830.74 crore and Kotak Mahindra 1,213 cases involving Rs 430.46 crore. Also Read – Cosmology trio win Nobel Physics Prize In that period, Indian Overseas Bank reported 1,115 frauds involving Rs 12,644.7 crore, while Oriental Bank of Commerce 1040 cases of Rs 5,598.23 crore. The United Bank of India reported 944 cases of frauds involving Rs 3052.34 crore, State Bank of Mysore 395 cases of Rs 742.31 crore, State Bank of Patiala 386 cases (Rs 1178.77 crore), Punjab and Sind Bank 276 cases (Rs 1154.89 crore), UCO Bank 1081 frauds (Rs 7104.77 crore), Tamilnad Mercantile Bank Ltd 261 cases (Rs 493.92 crore) and Lakshmi Vilas Bank Ltd reported 259 frauds (Rs 862.64 crore). Some of the foreign banks operating in India also reported fraud cases worth crores during the last 11 fiscal years. American Express Banking Corporation reported 1,862 fraud cases of Rs 86.21 crore, Citi Bank 1,764 cases of Rs 578.09 crore, Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation (HSBC) Ltd 1,173 frauds of Rs 312.1 crore and The Royal Bank of Scotland Plc reported 216 frauds involving Rs 12.69 crore, the RBI data said. A total of 274 cases of frauds were reported by the State Bank of Travancore involving Rs 694.61 crore, Jammu and Kashmir Bank Ltd reported 142 such cases of Rs 1639.9 crore, The Industrial Finance Corp of India had nine cases of Rs 671.66 crore, The Dhanlakshmi Bank Ltd 89 cases of Rs 410.93 crore and Vijaya Bank reported 639 cases involving Rs 1,748.9 crore, it said. Yes Bank Ltd reported 102 fraud cases involving Rs 311.96 crore and Paytm Payments Bank Limited reported two cases of Rs 0.02 crore (or Rs 2 lakh), it said. PTI had on June 3 reported that as many as 6,801 cases of fraud were reported by scheduled commercial banks and select financial institutions involving an amount of Rs 71,542.93 crore in the last fiscal, quoting data from the RBI. After the story was published, the Congress party held a press conference the next day and demanded that the BJP government issue a “White Paper” on rising bank frauds in the country. During 2008-09, a total of 4,372 cases were reported involving an amount of Rs 1,860.09 crore. In 2009-10, Rs 1,998.94 crore worth fraud was reported in 4,669 cases. A total of 4,534 and 4,093 such cases were reported in 2010-11 and 2011-12 involving Rs 3,815.76 crore and Rs 4,501.15 crore, respectively. In the 2012-13 fiscal, 4,235 fraud cases involving Rs 8,590.86 crore were reported by banks as against 4,306 cases (involving Rs 10,170.81 crore) in 2013-14 and 4,639 cases (involving Rs 19,455.07 crore) in 2014-15. As many as 4,693 and 5,076 cases of fraud were reported in 2015-16 and 2016-17 involving Rs 18,698.82 crore and Rs 23,933.85 crore, respectively, it said. A total of 5,916 such cases were reported by banks in 2017-18 involving ?41,167.03 crore.last_img read more

Another minor raped in Aligarh

first_imgLucknow: Even before the dust could settle on the murder of a two-and-a-half year old girl in Aligarh, the news of the rape of a four-year-old girl has sent shock waves in the Uttar Pradesh city. According to reports, the incident took place on Friday night in Zakir Nagar locality. The accused lured he girl with a Rs 10 note and took her away to a secluded spot and raped her. The girl was later found in critical condition by her family members. She has been admitted to the Deen Dayal Hospital. Also Read – Cong may promise farm loan waiver in Haryana Police officials said that the accused, who has been identified, is presently absconding but would be arrested soon. A case has been registered in the matter and further investigations are on. On June 2, the body of the two-and-a-half year old girl was recovered in a mutilated condition from a garbage dump. There were injury marks around the neck and her eyes had been gouged out. It was later revealed that the accused had killed the girl because her father owed them Rs 10,000 and could not pay back the money. The accused were arrested but the incident led to national outrage.last_img read more

KMC to crack down on unsafe water vending machines

first_imgKolkata: The Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) has decided to crack down on the rampant installation of water vending machines in different parts of the city.The decision comes in the wake of reports of people suffering from water-borne diseases, particularly in the added areas of the city. The companies that set up such machines for their promotional advertisement provide cold drinking water but hardly take up maintenance of these facilities and as a Also Read – City bids adieu to Goddess Durgaresult the water quality deteriorates after a certain period of time. “The respective local councillors will keep an eye on such water machines. The companies which will install such machines will have to sign an MoU with the Water Supply department of KMC, stating that they will have to carry out periodical maintenance of these machines at least for a period of five years. We cannot compromise with the quality of drinking water,” said Mayor Firhad Hakim. Also Read – Centuries-old Durga Pujas continue to be hit among revellersIt may be mentioned that waterborne diseases like jaundice and diarrhea break out at a few pockets in the city every year. Baghajatin and its adjacent areas have witnessed some people getting affected by jaundice recently. The KMC had tested both their underground and overground water supply pipelines and did not find any contamination there. They believe that packaged water or water from other sources might have contributed to the disease. The deep tubewells in the city, particularly in the added areas, is another cause of worry with as many as 132 tubewells out of a total of 369 in the city being located in Borough X of the civic body. “We are increasing the capacity of our water treatment plants at Garden Reach and Dhapa. A capsule booster pumping station is coming up at ward 99 to ensure that potable drinking water reaches the tail end,” Hakim said. Last month, some cases of jaundice were reported from ward 99, 100 and 92. The KMC had collected water samples from various sources in these wards and coliform bacteria were found in a number of samples. However, the KMC has not been able to detect the actual problematic source of water that resulted in jaundice.last_img read more

Per capita water availability has declined conservation should be a mass movement

first_imgNew Delhi: The per capita water availability has declined to 1,544 cubic metre in 2011 from 1,816 cubic metre in 2001, Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat told the Rajya Sabha on Monday.He stressed on the conservation of monsoon rains to overcome water shortage in the country. “Water conservation is everyone’s responsibility,” he said while replying to supplementaries during Question Hour. The water conservation issue needs to be converted into mass movement by creating awareness, the minister added. Also Read – How a psychopath killer hid behind the mask of a devout laity!Shekhawat said in many countries sewage water is being recycled to make potable water, but there is no such need in India. “Water is a State subject and planning, funding, implementation and maintenance of water supply schemes are primarily the responsibility of the state governments, he said in written reply. The Central Government provides technical and financial assistance to States for improving coverage of safe drinking water in rural habitations under centrally sponsored National Rural Drinking Water Programme (NRDWP). Also Read – Encounter under way in Pulwama, militant killed”According to NITI Aayog’s documents ‘Strategy for New India @75’ due to growing population, the per capita water availability in the country has decreased from 1816 cubic metre in 2001 to 1544 cubic metre in 2011,” the minister said. Shekhawat highlighted steps taken by the central government to mitigate hardship of people to access potable water. He said an advisory was issued by the Department of Drinking Water and Sanitation in May to States on water conservation and to meet drinking water requirements of rural areas on priority, during scarcity. “Further, Cabinet Secretariat, vide its letter dated May 29, 2019 addressed to selective States, recommended action plans for dealing with drought-like situation,” he added. That apart, Shekhawat said the prime minister has written letters to all Sarpanches in the country motivating them to take up water conservation activities like de-silting and cleaning of water bodies, rain water harvesting etc. with people participation. “As announced in the Union Budget Speech 2019-20, it has been envisaged to ensure piped water supply to all rural households by 2024 under the Jal Jeevan Mission. “This programme will focus on integrated demand and supply side management of water at the local level, including creation of local infrastructure for source sustainability like rainwater harvesting, groundwater recharge and management of household wastewater for reuse in agriculture,” he added. The Jal Jeevan Mission would converge with other Central and State Government Schemes to achieve its objectives of sustainable water supply management across the country, the minister said.last_img read more

RBI admits growth slowdown places forecast lower at 69

first_imgMumbai: With the headwinds to growth rising from all around, Reserve Bank governor Shaktikanta Das Wednesday admitted the economy is in a slowdown mode, but termed it as cyclical and not structural one, and exuded confidence growth will pick up the momentum fast.The admission of the rising headwinds to growth led the monetary authority to slash the lending rates by an unprecedented 35 bps to 5.40 percent in the fourth successive rate reductions since he assumed power in December. Also Read – Thermal coal import may surpass 200 MT this fiscalNone of the macro-indicators have been promising since the past many months-plunging auto sales which hit a 20-year low in July, plummeting IIP growth which hit a 57-month low in June, falling exports and the continuing bloodbath in the markets, coupled with trade wars and increasing challenges to global economy all point to the gathering clouds. The statement also comes amid many key personalities, including engineering giant Larsen & Toubro chairman AM Naik expressing concerns on the growth front. “Our understanding is that at this point, it is perhaps a cyclical slowdown, not really a deep structural one. Also Read – Food grain output seen at 140.57 mt in current fiscal on monsoon boostNonetheless, we have to recognise that there is room for certain structural reforms to be undertaken,” Das told reporters at the customary post-policy presser. He, however, exuded confidence that growth numbers will move up faster going ahead driven by the measures being taken by the government and the central bank, and partly due to the base effect. Based on his interactions, Das said the government is planning more measures to revive growth, and also pointed out to finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s statements on sector-specific booster doses on the anvil. Attributing the slowdown to both demand as well as investment slowdown, Das said, “both demand and investment put together are having a dampening effect on growth.” The RBI itself has reduced its growth estimate downwards to 6.9 percent for FY20 from 7 percent it had projected in the June policy. At present, Das said both urban and rural demand has been hit which is evident in the slowdown in sales of two- wheelers and tractors in rural areas and passenger cars in cities. However, he said RBI is hopeful of a revival and pointed out to the estimate of the growth number hitting 7.5 percent in the last quarter of the fiscal.last_img read more

Man involved in several heinous crimes nabbed after encounter

first_imgGreater Noida: Following a late night encounter, Gautam Buddh Nagar police nabbed a dreaded criminal who was wanted in nearly a dozen cases of heinous crimes including murder, attempt to murder, loot and others.Cops said that the accused was arrested from Jarcha police station in Greater Noida and he is one of the suspect in lynching of Mohammad Ikhlaq in Bisahda village around four years ago. According to police, the arrested accused had been identified as Hariom, a native of Bisahda village in Jarcha area of Greater Noida. Also Read – After eight years, businessman arrested for kidnap & murderRanvijay Singh, Superintendent of Police (rural), Gautam Buddh Nagar said that the accused was arrested after a gun battle with police from Samna river bridge in Jarcha area. “Police received information about the movement of accused on the intervening night of Sunday and Monday and a team from Jarcha police station carried out checking. The accused who was travelling on a motorcycle opened fire on police when he was signalled to stop. However, police had to retaliate in which the accused sustained bullet injury in his leg,” said Singh. Also Read – Two brothers held for snatchingsThe officer further said that nearly a dozen cases of heinous crimes were registered against the accused in different police station of Gautam Buddh Nagar and Ghaziabad districts. “Preliminary investigations showed that the nearly seven cases of loot, murder, attempt to murder and other heinous crimes were registered against the accused in Gautam Buddh Nagar district while four cases of loot were registered against him in Masuri police station of Ghaziabad,” Singh added. A senior police officer said that Hariom is one of the prime suspect in lynching of Mohammad Ikhlaq on suspicion of cow slaughter in September 2015. A mob of villagers attacked Ikhlaq’s house killing him and injuring his younger brother. Hariom was one among the nineteen persons booked for the case and he got bail in July 2017.last_img read more

Wont be intimidated Cong on Shivakumars arrest

first_imgNew Delhi: The Congress hit out at the BJP-led Centre on Wednesday over D K Shivakumar’s arrest, asserting the opposition party will not be intimidated by the “politics of persecution” and continue to pose “hard questions” to the government.It also said the 96 days of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government’s second term are characterised by three words — “tyranny, chaos and anarchy”. Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari cited economic slowdown, “undeclared emergency” in Kashmir and the situation in Assam following the publication of the updated final NRC, to claim there has been a “complete breakdown of governance” in the Narendra Modi government’s second term. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM’At a press conference, he alleged in order to cover up this complete breakdown of governance, continued “persecution” of opposition leaders was being carried out and the arrest of Shivakumar is the latest in a series of “continued political vendetta”. “D K Shivakumar’s only crime was that he provided protection to those Congress MLAs of Gujarat who were being poached by the NDA-BJP during the Rajya Sabha elections,” Tewari said. The Enforcement Directorate arrested Shivakumar in the national capital on Tuesday in connection with a money-laundering case after grilling the Congress’ Karnataka troubleshooter repeatedly over the past few days. Also Read – Farooq demands unconditional release of all detainees in J&K”Has there been any conviction of any opposition leaders in the last five years? For the last five years, this politics of persecution has been carried on relentlessly against opposition leaders of every shade and hue,” he said. Tewari said the reason that there has not been a single conviction by any court of law is that there is a difference between persecution and prosecution. “Persecution only requires misuse and abuse of state instruments. When the lawyers of the government plead for custodial interrogation in the courts of law, it is a euphemism for physical, mental and emotional torture of their political opponents,” he said. “What you have been witnessing in the last five years is not unbiased, neutral prosecution but subjective, arbitrary and whimsical persecution being carried out by investigating agencies at the behest of their political masters,” Tewari told reporters. The Indian National Congress is not going to be cowed down and it is not going to be intimidated. As the premier political party of the country, it will continue to ask the “hard questions”, the party spokesperson said. “We will continue to demand answers, we will continue to agitate and we will continue to keep democracy alive in this country. We will not allow democracy to be stifled through intimidation being perpetrated by the NDA-BJP government,” Tewari said.last_img read more

JNUSU polls Highest voting percentage in 7 yrs HC orders stay on

first_imgNew Delhi: The keenly-contested Jawaharlal Nehru University Students’ Union (JNUSU) polls witnessed a 67.9 per cent voter turnout on Friday, believed to be the highest in seven years, even as the Delhi High Court ordered a stay on the announcement of results.Last year, the polling percentage was 67.8. The JNUSU poll committee accused the Dean of Students of “interfering” in the election process by entering the polling venue when the first phase of voting was underway. Also Read – After eight years, businessman arrested for kidnap & murderOf the 8,488 registered voters, 5,762 cast their votes. In 2017 and 2016, the voting percentage was 59. In 2015, the it was 55. In 2013 and 2014, the percentage hovered around 55 while in 2012, the voter turnout was 60 per cent. The Delhi High Court ordered a stay on Friday on the declaration of the poll results till September 17, when it will take up the matter again. “It is directed that the declaration of the final results shall be subject to further orders to be passed by this court. Further, the university is directed not to notify the results till the next date of hearing,” the court said in its order. Also Read – Two brothers held for snatchingsThe JNU election committee said it was yet to take a final decision on counting of votes following the high court order. The results were supposed to be declared on September 8. A total of 14 candidates are in the fray for the election, for which the first phase of polling was held from 9.30 am to 1 pm and the second phase from 2.30 pm to 5.30 pm. The counting of votes is supposed to commence from 9 pm. “The chairman of the university’s Grievance Redressal Cell (GRC), who is also the Dean of Students’ Affairs, interfered in the election process by coming inside the polling venue. This is a clear violation of the Lyngdoh Committee recommendations and also of a high court order,” JNU Election Committee chairperson Shashank Patel said. He, however, did not comment on the action taken by the poll panel on the violation. The Dean of Students, Umesh Kadam, did not respond to calls and messages for a comment on the issue. As polling was underway, supporters of various political outfits were seen flocking outside the voting centres and raising slogans.last_img read more

China beckons Canada and Mexico in face of US uncertainty Mexican minister

first_imgOTTAWA – The uncertainty caused by the Trump administration means Mexico and Canada need to look towards new non-American markets, including China, to grow their economies, says a visiting Mexican cabinet minister.Enrique de la Madrid Cordero, Mexico’s minister of tourism, echoed the view of Canada’s central bank governor Stephen Poloz, which he delivered in a speech in Mexico City.De la Madrid Cordero was in Ottawa for meetings with the federal Liberals this past week as the countries continue to grapple with the possibility of reopening the North American Free Trade Agreement later this year with U.S. protectionists who have lashed out publicly at both continental partners.Canada and Mexico are dealing with a rash of unknowns around the eventual U.S. negotiating position on NAFTA, something that won’t be known for months, as well as Donald Trump’s frequent outbursts disparaging the 23-year-old trilateral trade agreement.“We’re all learning from this experience. On one hand, we should try to have the best relationship between the U.S., Mexico and Canada,” de la Madrid Cordero told The Canadian Press in an interview.“At the same time, we should make our best efforts to diversify even more. It is not very safe to have such a strong dependency on an economy.”In his speech Thursday in Mexico City, Poloz noted that the vast majority of Canadian and Mexican imports last year went to the U.S. — Canada shipped 75 per cent south, while Mexico sent 81 per cent north.“Clearly, this uncertainty is a significant issue for both Canada and for Mexico. Both of our countries’ trade is dominated by the United States,” Poloz said.De la Madrid Cordero said Mexico is trying to diversify by looking to Canada, Latin America, Europe and China.The Trudeau government has loudly proclaimed its trade ambitions with China, especially after Trump recently hit Canadian softwood lumber with retroactive duties of about 20 per cent.International Trade Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne, one of the ministers de la Madrid Cordero met with in Ottawa, led a delegation of Canadian softwood lumber representatives to China in a very public attempt to find new markets for Canadian timber.“Our trade with China is impressive, and we do not have a free trade agreement,” de la Madrid Cordero said, noting the $60 billion in two-way trade between the two countries.De la Madrid Cordero also suggested the clock is working against the likelihood of a sweeping overhaul of NAFTA. But he said: “There are areas of opportunity for modernizing this trade agreement.”He cited upgrading the pre-Internet pact to reflect the realities of e-commerce, while strengthening rules of origin requirements.Once the Trump administration gives its official notice to Congress, it triggers 90 days of consultation with industry and lawmakers before it can officially start trade talks.The timing of Mexico’s July 2018 presidential election, combined with the mandatory consultation period in the U.S. means there’s short window, essentially three months at the end of this year, to make changes to NAFTA.In the new year, Mexico’s current government enters what is widely viewed as a lame-duck phase. Meanwhile, the front-runner in the election is the left-wing firebrand populist Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador.Laura Macdonald, a Canada-Mexico expert at Carleton University, said a Lopez Obrador presidency that pushes for the rights of workers might be the best thing to bring the most needed change to NAFTA: improving wages and working conditions in Mexico.That would ultimately reduce the flow of migrants out of Mexico and deliver what NAFTA was supposed to give it — economic prosperity, she said.“The real problem of NAFTA has been all along is that it did not lead to an increase in wages and working conditions in Mexico. That’s behind many of the forces that have led to a Trump presidency.”last_img read more

Fundraising site for Nunavut greenhouse draws dollars encouragement and advice

first_imgQIKIQTARJUAQ, Nunavut – A teacher in Nunavut who turned to crowdfunding for a modest greenhouse to grow vegetables with his students is revising his plans after Canadians responded with a bumper crop of donations.Adam Malcolm originally asked for $4,500 on GoFundMe for a greenhouse about the size of a garden shed to grow fresh produce in Qikiqtarjuaq, but following news reports about his project last month, more than four times that amount has been pledged.A welding equipment company, Weldcor, has even paid for two larger greenhouses, which Malcolm said have made it as far as Iqaluit and are awaiting a flight to the Inuksuit School in the remote Baffin Island community.“A lot of planes come but the weather is not good, so they get turned around and never do land, and more things get backed up in cargo in Iqaluit,” Malcolm explained in an interview with The Canadian Press about the realities of transport in the North.“I’ve talked to people who’ve ordered things, and had like a skid of this or that be held up in Iqaluit for up to three months. I really hope that’s not the case here.”Malcolm said Loblaw has donated seed kits. There have also been many letters with advice and encouragement, which Malcolm has posted at the doorway to his classroom.One letter that arrived Friday came from a retired teacher in Ontario, who Malcom said had suffered a stroke.“You could see that it really took a lot of effort for her to write this letter but it was such a sweet letter to receive. She didn’t know the process for helping out but she wanted to know how she might be able to help out financially,” Malcom said, adding he’d be showing the letter to his students Tuesday.“We’ll put some words down to send back to her.”Malcolm started crowdfunding for a greenhouse because of the high cost of healthy eating in the North. He said four tomatoes cost $14. A bag with six apples and three oranges is $20.His original plan called for a small heater for the greenhouse, because even though there’s plenty of daylight now, the nights can still get cold. With the extra money, he’s hoping to get a heating system that would work year-round.The students will also need more dirt for the additional greenhouse. Malcom said he looked into shipping a pallet of soil, but changed his mind when he found out it would cost just under $11,000 to fly it in. They’ve opted to mix compost from a worm digester with local, sandy peat.More soil, along with the heating equipment, will arrive later this summer when the ice is free and a cargo barge will arrive in the community.“Maybe other people out there in different communities in the North who are thinking about doing something similar can learn from our mistakes and what we’re doing right,” Malcolm said.—By Rob Drinkwater in Edmontonlast_img read more

Selfheating coats smart shirts offer glimpse of the future in Toronto showcase

first_imgTORONTO – Some thirty floors above Toronto’s streets, a select group of people caught a glimpse of the future.The future is smart, with technology no longer limited to phones in pockets or watches on wrists, but branching out to the fabric of clothing.At a news conference Wednesday promoting this summer’s Apparel Textile Sourcing Canada conference, a few insiders showed off the latest wares, a meeting of tech and textiles. Some of the items are on the market, but many aren’t yet.Justine Decaens, a project leader with CTT Group from Saint-Hyacinthe, Que., showed off a self-heating coat. Inside are six heating elements.Those elements are made of a conductive fabric and when the coat is connected to a power source — like a battery in a pocket — they heat up. That allows for less down in the coat, making for a slimmer look, Decaens said.Her company works with other companies who come armed with an idea and they develop a prototype.“Once the prototype is functional and it meets all the criteria the client has, we transfer how to produce it to them and they produce it,” she said.In the future, it appears losing items in a purse will also no longer be a problem. Decaens opened a purse, pushed a button and lights illuminated its contents.“It’s impossible find things in our purses,” Decaens said with a smile. “Not anymore.”Nearby, Marie Brouillet, the business development director at Vestechpro, a Montreal-based non-profit, showed off a shirt on a headless and limbless mannequin.There are sensors in the shirt, named Hexoskin, that capture heart rate, breathing rate, even acceleration. Those sensors are connected to a tiny computer about half the size of a business card, that beams out the information to an app on a smartphone or tablet.The Hexoskin is on the market and sells for a cool $399, Brouillet said. They’re hot sellers, she said.She then picked up a pair of insoles made by Greybox, another Montreal company. They have pressure sensors connected to a device that also transmits data to an app. But it’s not for athletes or weekend warriors, she said, rather they are made for seniors, especially those recovering from an injury or surgery.The information captured can be analyzed by doctors and physiotherapists to see if patients are performing their exercises properly, she said.Some of the insoles are out there now being used by medical professionals, and the information is also being sent to researchers at McGill University.Vestechpro also works with other companies to develop textiles and the big trend, she said, is technology.“The future looks really exciting,” she said. “There’s a lot of things I can’t talk about, I wish I could.”— Link to the Apparel Textile Sourcing Canada www.appareltextilesourcing.comlast_img read more

Newfoundland woman plans own funeral gets celebrated band to redo song for

first_imgPETLEY, N.L. – An 80-year-old woman who planned her own funeral has managed to convince a celebrated Newfoundland and Labrador band to re-record a song so it would be more appropriate for her eventual farewell.Eleanor Parrott said she wanted to pre-plan her funeral to remove the burden from her family and had ironed out all of the details except for one — the music that would play when she’s carried out of the church.Parrott said she loves the song “Carry Me” by Buddy Wasisname and the Other Fellers, but the ballad eventually turns into a jaunty tune and she didn’t feel that was appropriate for the occasion.“I had a DVD tape of it… and the minute I heard it I said, ‘Oh my lord, wouldn’t that be wonderful coming out of church during my funeral,’” Parrott said in a phone interview Wednesday from her home in the coastal village of Petley on Random Island.“I wondered if they’d do a disc for me just with that lone song on it and sing it soft and mellow right through.”So Parrott called up the music and comedy trio’s manager to ask if they would re-record the song, maintaining the slow tempo throughout.On Friday, band member Wayne Chaulk and his wife arrived on her doorstep and handed her a copy of “Carry Me” that he had personally re-recorded in his son’s home studio to fulfil her unusual request.“Well what a surprise. What a surprise. I didn’t know what to say or what to do,” said Parrott, who will be 81 years old next month and has nine children, 22 grandchildren and 21 great grandchildren, with one more on the way.“I opened the door and said, ‘Well God bless yas — come on in’. We had a hug and we talked just the same as if I always knew him. It was really special.”Parrott said it was the most “precious” thing that’s ever happened in her life.“I thought it was the most wonderful thing I had ever heard,” said Parrott of her personalized version of “Carry Me.”The song is featured on the band’s 2009 album The Big Two Five. It goes: “Oh carry me, would you carry me? Take my footprints from the sand. As time goes by we search for joy and the weight of our burden grows. As darkness falls and twilight calls it’s our faith that will carry us through.”Chaulk said when he heard Parrott’s request, he knew he had to fulfil it.“It was just one of those little things in your life that comes along and it just feels right from the beginning that it should be done,” said Chaulk in a phone interview from his home in Charlottetown N.L., adding that the other band members were unfortunately unavailable for the re-recording.“This 80-year-old lady who was so assertive in what she wanted, she just wanted to take care of things so there was no stress on her family. And the way that she came to us — with a particular piece that wasn’t recorded the way she wanted and to ask us to go do it — I thought it was just great.”Parrott said Chaulk’s visit took her by surprise, and she wanted to show her gratitude, so she offered to pay him.Chaulk said he refused, so Parrott turned to a cabinet full of figurines.“She surveyed them all and then stood up on her tip toes and picked out a little golden horse and carriage with a clock in it,” said Chaulk, whose band has been around since the early 1990s. “It’s now prominently displayed on a souvenir shelf in my kitchen.”As for whether the world will get to hear the Parrott-inspired version of “Carry Me,” Chaulk said: “Definitely not.”“That one’s for Eleanor,” he said. “If you really want to hear it, go to her funeral.”— By Aly Thomson in Halifax.last_img read more

AfricanNova Scotian activists push for discussion about slavery reparations

first_imgHALIFAX – African-Nova Scotian organizers say it’s time for a centuries-overdue discussion about Canada’s legacy of slavery, its lasting harms on black Canadians and potential forms of reparation.“Canada is lagging behind (many countries) on the reparations issue because we haven’t had enough support from the government,” says Lynn Jones, who chairs the Nova Scotia chapter of the Global Afrikan Congress. “We’re having these conversations around the province … and if the government were in tune, the government would be doing this.”In the absence of a clear national commitment to address Canada’s role in the transatlantic slave trade, Jones says she was encouraged by a recent UN report recommending that the federal government apologize for slavery and consider issuing reparations.Representatives for federal Heritage Minister Melanie Joly, who is responsible for the multiculturalism portfolio, did not immediately respond to requests for comment.Isaac Saney, a historian who teaches black studies at Dalhousie University, says any meaningful dialogue about reparations must begin with an acknowledgment of what he calls the “original sin” of anti-black racism in Canada — the enslavement of thousands of people of African descent between the 16th and 19th centuries.“Slavery is the dead hand that has shaped a society,” says Saney. “Slavery no longer exists, but the processes … (that) put it into motion have continued in one form or another into the present.”Slavery was abolished in the British colonies in the 1830s, but Saney says its legacy set the stage for later injustices against black Canadians — such as segregation, anti-black immigration policies and present-day social inequities — by establishing a precedent for treating people of African descent as “non-citizens.”This legacy has particular resonance for African-Nova Scotians, a “significant” portion of whom can trace their lineage back to slaves, Saney says.Jones, who has lent her voice to reparations efforts around the world, sees Nova Scotia’s history as all the more reason why the province should lead the Canadian charge for slavery reparations.She says her group has met with African-Nova Scotian Affairs Minister Tony Ince to make their case, but she feels the provincial government has yet to seriously engage on the issue.Ince could not be reached for comment, but told the CBC in an email that these are complex issues that need to be discussed at all levels of government.While government officials drag their feet, Jones says, she has been working with other organizers and community members to brainstorm ideas for what reparations could look like in a Canadian context.“At the centre, there needs to be an apology, because everything kind of leads from that,” she says.Jones says the residual effects of slavery on African-Canadians have been far-reaching, and the government’s approach to redressing these harms should be just as comprehensive.She says reparations should include government efforts to support African-Canadians such as education programs, economic development, funding community initiatives, housing subsidies and criminal justice reforms.Compensation for people of African descent should be another form of reparations, says Jones, but she believes the amount should be determined on an ongoing basis.“Money is one small aspect of the whole picture,” Jones says. “How do you put a dollar on every single part of somebody’s life?”Robert Wright of the African Nova Scotian Decade for People of African Descent Coalition says he thinks engaging in a candid discussion about Canada’s history of anti-black racism will be an essential part of the “reparations formula.”“The dialogue should not be limited to a particular objective, but should be an open dialogue that investigates the comprehensive needs of people of African descent,” says Wright, a Halifax social worker.Wright anticipates that the push for reparations will be met with some backlash from Canadians who may view it as a request for a “handout.”But white Canadians will play an important role in the reparations debate, Wright says, because in the struggle to reckon with what African-Canadians have lost as a result of slavery, the country must acknowledge what others have gained.“One could say that it was on the backs of people of African descent that the economy in North America was built,” says Wright. “Even recognizing that would go a long way.”Wright says a Canadian dialogue about the ongoing ramifications of slavery might be just as valuable as any government effort to make reparations.“Reparations might be what I would call an end point,” he says. “The process of engaging in the dialogue, people to people, is probably an even more important part.”last_img read more

Simple system fuelled Laval corruption Crown tells Quebec moguls trial

first_imgLAVAL, Que. – A well-known Quebec construction mogul was involved in a kickback system so simple it is unbelievable it wasn’t discovered sooner, the Crown told the opening of his fraud and corruption trial Thursday.Tony Accurso faces five charges: conspiracy to commit corruption in municipal affairs; conspiracy to commit fraud; fraud; corruption of municipal officials; and breach of trust.Prosecutor Richard Rougeau told Accurso’s Quebec Superior Court jury trial he intends to demonstrate the accused participated for years in a “well-honed” system of bribery and collusion in the awarding of municipal contracts in Laval, north of Montreal.Rougeau added it “was so simple” it was amazing it didn’t come to light more quickly.Accurso, 65, is on trial for charges stemming from a corruption scheme that included former Laval mayor Gilles Vaillancourt.In his opening statement, Rougeau described a practice in which high-ranking public servants in conjunction with Vaillancourt decided in advance which firms among a small group of entrepreneurs would obtain a contract.The contractor was notified and competitors agreed to submit higher bids when a call for tenders was issued.In exchange, the winning firm would give a kickback — in cash, in a brown envelope — to bagmen, sums that were “used to corrupt the municipal officials involved,” he said.The kickbacks “were the price to pay to get contracts in a fraudulent manner,” Rougeau said.The Crown said it intends to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Accurso and his companies, Simard-Beaudry Construction and Louisbourg Construction, were involved in this system.He added he would demonstrate that Accurso and Vaillancourt held meetings where criminal acts occurred.Quebec’s anti-corruption unit charged 37 people in 2013 for taking part in a collusion and corruption system surrounding the awarding of public contracts in Laval between 1996 and 2010.Of those arrested, three have died, six had charges stayed because of an unreasonable delay in the case and 27 pleaded guilty, including Vaillancourt, who was sentenced to six years behind bars and ordered to repay $8 million.The last remaining accused is Accurso, who pleaded not guilty and opted for a trial that is expected to last until the end of January.The first witness to take the stand Thursday was Gilles Theberge, a former construction contractor.last_img read more

Feds relent offer briefing on India trip by PMs national security adviser

first_imgOTTAWA – Justin Trudeau’s national security adviser is offering to give an unclassified briefing to MPs on a Commons committee about the prime minister’s trip to India, in addition to a more in-depth classified briefing to Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer.Scheer agreed Tuesday to the government’s offer of a classified briefing from Daniel Jean — but with strings attached. He said he wants journalists and Conservative MPs to be able to sit in on the non-secret portions of Jean’s briefing.After weeks of refusing to have Jean publicly talk about the trouble-plagued trip, the government announced late Tuesday that it has effectively agreed to Scheer’s conditions.Privy Council Office spokesman Paul Duchesne said a letter has been sent to Scheer “indicating that we will work with his office to co-ordinate the classified briefing for him on matters related to the national security of Canada as soon as possible.”Since Scheer has agreed to a secret briefing, Duchesne added that Jean has written to the chair of the public safety and national security committee “to offer an unclassified briefing at the earliest practical opportunity should that be the wish of the standing committee.”Conservatives last month tried twice to force Jean to appear before that committee to testify about his assertion that rogue factions within the Indian government helped to sabotage Trudeau’s trip. They were blocked both times by the Liberal majority.During the India trip, Jean told a background briefing with reporters travelling with the prime Minister that rogue forces within the Indian government were ultimately the ones responsible for the Jaspal Atwal affair. He gave similar briefings to reporters in Canada that same day.Jean gave the updates as an unnamed senior government official but was publicly identified by the Conservatives after the trip was over.Atwal was invited to a pair of receptions with Trudeau despite having been convicted three decades ago of trying to assassinate an Indian cabinet minister in the name of Sikh independence. After his appearance at the first of the receptions in Mumbai, Jean said the government was made aware of his identity and an invite to a second reception in Delhi was rescinded.The damage was done, however, as photos of Atwal posing at the first reception with Trudeau’s wife, Sophie Gregoire Trudeau, and Infrastructure Minister Amarjeet Sohi, were given to the media.Jean’s working theory was that Indian agents who fear the global rise of Sikh independence orchestrated the controversy in an attempt to embarrass Canada and undermine the entire trip.Jean suggested Atwal was closely connected to members of the Indian consulate in Vancouver, and said it was strange that the ban on Atwal travelling to India was lifted by Indian authorities after more than three decades.There was nothing in the way of actual evidence given to support the theory.The Conservatives, however, say they believe Jean disclosed classified details in those briefings to the media which is why the government refused to give the same briefing publicly to Conservative MPs.The government insists otherwise but, until Tuesday, had offered only a full briefing — complete with classified information — to Scheer, who is eligible to hear such details as a member of the Privy Council.Until now, Scheer has refused that offer, but he changed his mind Tuesday.last_img read more

Calgarians gather for vigil at City Hall for New Zealand mosques shooting

first_imgThe vigil drew members of the community including Greg Clark, MLA for Calgary-Elbow.“I think it’s important that all of us come together, show up and make sure that everyone understands that they are welcome,” Clark said. “Muslims and people of all faiths should feel safe, and I think it’s important to be here.”READ MORE: Mass shootings at New Zealand mosques kill 49; 1 man charged Ziad Akl tells us that he hopes a strong message can be sent out tonight #yyc #Christchurch pic.twitter.com/xMwQQnx9GX— Tom Ross (@Tommy_Slick) March 16, 2019For Saima Jamal, one of the vigil organizers, it’s about standing up to hatred. She also points out that the community needs to show unity to combat acts of hate that are not just online anymore, they are happening in real life.“Only light can drive out darkness,” she said. “We need everybody to come and stand up against these alt-right, white, supremacist terrorist types and put a stop to this.” A large crowd gathered at City Hall in downtown Calgary to stand up against hatred and to remember the victims of the New Zealand mosques shootings. Source: Devon McKendrick/660 NEWS People starting to fill into the plaza. Signs being handed out. #yyc #Christchurch pic.twitter.com/6v1HZZ1lW9— Tom Ross (@Tommy_Slick) March 16, 2019It will be difficult for her and other Muslims around the world to return to prayer, she said, as that is where the victims were slaughtered.“How do you walk into a mosque and relive everything that happened in Christchurch?” she said. “It’s a terrifying moment, it’s a distressing moment, it’s a moment where all kinds of emotions are going through.”She hopes people can share their grief and heartache in order to lessen the devastation within the community.READ MORE: ‘Hello brother,’ first New Zealand mosque victim said to shooter Hundreds of people gathered at City Hall to remember the victims of the New Zealand mosques shootings. Source: Tom Ross/660NEWS CALGARY (660 NEWS) — Calgarians of all faiths gathered at a vigil this evening to mourn the 49 people killed in a mass shooting at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand. They lit candles and brought signs to show their solidarity against hateful acts like this, and also to promote messages of love, hope and healing.One of the attendees, Ziad Akl, was hopeful that the violence would stop. “It was a very sad day today feeling that so many people were killed and injured in very safe New Zealand,” he said. “We feel very sorry for the losses and hopefully more cooperation will be done between different religions to prevent such crimes in the future.”last_img read more

Fete nationale uproar after Montreal borough opts for inclusive solstice festival

first_imgMONTREAL — One Montreal neighbourhood’s decision to rebrand Quebec’s Fete nationale celebrations as a summer solstice festival has ruffled feathers from the mayor’s office right up to the Quebec premier.Montreal Mayor Valerie Plante called on organizers of the first-ever Festival du Solstice — a three-day celebration on the Fete nationale weekend — to add mention of the province’s national holiday in their promotional material.And Quebec Premier Francois Legault weighed in today, saying that the omission of the Fete nationale from the name of the event showed a lack of judgment.The promotional material released on Monday for the June 22-24 event made no explicit mention of Quebec’s national holiday, despite the release saying it will be at the heart of the celebrations and noting the involvement of the Mouvement national des Quebecoises et Quebecois — the federation that co-ordinates festivities for the June 24 holiday.The mayor of the southwestern Montreal borough said while Fete nationale is already a popular celebration, the aim was to give celebrations a more inclusive and unifying feel.Plante said today she believes it was a mistake made in good faith, but she wants organizers to put the national holiday front-and-centre.“If there is a moment to display, assert and not allow it (the Fete nationale holiday) to fade away, this is it,” she tweeted.In Quebec City, Legault said Quebecers should be proud of the holiday.“What an error in judgment,” Legault told reporters. “This is our national holiday, we are proud to be Quebecers, we are proud of our nation. Let’s say it loud and clear: Happy Fete nationale.”The Canadian Presslast_img read more

Garbagehauling ship arrives in Canada after journey from Philippines

first_imgVANCOUVER — A ship carrying an infamous load of Canadian trash that had been rotting in the Philippines since as far back as 2013 has arrived at a port south of Vancouver.The Anna Maersk, carrying 69 containers of Canadian garbage and e-waste, docked at Deltaport near the Tsawwassen ferry terminal just after 7 a.m. on Saturday.Authorities say the containers will be unloaded and held there before being moved to an incineration facility in Burnaby, B.C.The Canadian garbage arrived in the Philippines in 2013 and 2014, falsely labelled as plastics for recycling.Inspections later revealed that much of what was inside the containers was regular trash, including dirty diapers, kitchen waste and electronic items.The garbage set off a political row between the two countries, culminating in a threat by Philippine President Rodriogo Duterte to send it back to Canada himself.“Prepare a grand reception,” he said then. “Eat it if you want to.”Canada missed the president’s May 15 deadline to remove the garbage and Duterte recalled the Philippines’ ambassador and consuls from Canada.The garbage left June 1 and was transferred onto the Anna Maersk on June 8 in Taiwan for the voyage across the Pacific Ocean.The cost to Canada is $1.14 million for shipping and another $375,000 for the garbage to be burned in the Metro Vancouver incinerator.The Canadian Presslast_img read more