ENERGY–Electricity Committee Report Recommends GradualCompetition, More Renewable Energy A committee studying electricity issues is recommending that NovaScotia generate more power using renewable energy resources andgradually introduce competition in the province’s electricitymarketplace. The Electricity Marketplace Governance Committee’s final reportfocuses on moving toward those objectives in a way that does notjeopardize Nova Scotian’s access to secure reliable electricity. The report, released by Energy Minister Cecil Clarke today, Oct.23, addresses a number of complex issues with respect toelectricity markets, transmission, renewable energy and co-generation. Committee chair Robert Fournier said the committee has fulfilledits mandate to prepare recommendations for the government inorder to encourage greater competition in the electricitymarketplace, while preserving the strengths of the presentsystem. The final report covers more than a dozen substantiveissues and makes 89 recommendations. “This report represents a tremendous effort, and a significanttime commitment on the part of the committee’s participants overthe past 14 months,” said Dr. Fournier. “I am confident that thecommittee has designed and recommended a market framework thatwill achieve the objectives set out in the province’s EnergyStrategy, as well as providing an appropriate foundation forfuture flexibility and evolutionary change.” “We appreciate the significant effort members of the committeehave made, many of them contributing hundreds of hours toexploring these complex issues,” said Mr. Clarke. “This is animportant first step in a process that will ultimately assist theprovince in building a sustainable, long-term approach toelectricity competition and generation for Nova Scotians.” The committee was created in May 2002 to make recommendations tothe Minister of Energy on strategic implementation, development,structure, and rules for the electricity sector. The committeehas seven members and two observers. The province also retained the services of Navigant ConsultingLtd. to provide independent technical assistance and advice on avariety of issues. For more information on the committee process see the Web site atwww.gov.ns.ca/petro/EnergyStrategy/emgc .
Help is on the way to assist Nova Scotia families with the cost of their children’s wheelchairs. Applications are now available for the children’s wheelchair recycling demonstration project. The province is providing $500,000 and the program is being administered by the Abilities Foundation of Nova Scotia. “This program provides important support to help families cover the cost of wheelchairs, to meet the needs of their growing child,” said David Morse, Minister of Community Services. “The Abilities Foundation is an experienced partner, and we appreciate their support in delivering this service.” The program provides wheelchairs to children 18 years of age and under who need a chair for the first time or who have outgrown their current chair. A steering committee of representatives from community organizations and the Department of Community Services will monitor the program and participate in its evaluation. “We’re pleased to help make this vital program available to families in Nova Scotia. From experience we know that covering the costs of a wheelchair can be very challenging,” said Tom Merriam, president and CEO of the Abilities Foundation of Nova Scotia. “We are heartened that the government of Nova Scotia has provided this funding and recognized this is an investment in the development and independence of young Nova Scotians.” Eligibility for the program and the amount of any possible family contribution are based on family income. Eligible children will be offered a wheelchair to meet their specific needs based on the assessment of an occupational therapist or other medical professional. In addition to new chairs purchased for the program, recycled wheelchairs will be offered to provide assistance to as many applicants as possible. Applications and more information on the program are available from the Abilities Foundation of Nova Scotia on the website at www.wheelchairrecyclingprogram.ca or by phone at 902-453-6000.
Nova Scotia has a higher profile in the nation’s capital today, Feb. 6, after Premier John Hamm officially opened the province’s new office in Ottawa. “The province of Nova Scotia has made terrific strides over the past several years. And, while I am proud of our accomplishments, there is more work to be done, including at the federal-provincial level,” said Mr. Hamm. Premier Hamm said creation of an Ottawa office has been high on his priority list for the last couple of years and he is pleased to see it become a reality as he prepares to retire from office later this month. The premier said the office will help ensure Nova Scotia’s priorities are understood by decision makers in Ottawa. These priorities include securing sustained federal funding for the province’s highway system, a step that would help Nova Scotia take further advantage of its geographic location as a gateway to North America. The office, which is part of the Department of Intergovernmental Affairs, will also provide central space for Nova Scotia’s leaders to conduct the province’s business while in the nation’s capital. “The province of Nova Scotia has enjoyed a good relationship with the federal government and we have good reason to believe that relationship will continue with the new federal political leadership that took office today,” Mr. Hamm said. Mr. Hamm also welcomed Ian Thompson, senior representative in Ottawa for the Department of Intergovernmental Affairs. Mr. Thompson, a business and community leader in Halifax, began his assignment Jan. 30. The opening ceremony was chaired by Chris d’Entremont, the Minister of Acadian Affairs and Agriculture and Fisheries. He told dignitaries and guests gathered for the ceremony that the office will help encourage the kind of co-operation that resulted in the recent federal-provincial agreement on French-language services. That agreement is designed to enhance use of Canada’s official languages. It establishes a framework for the planning and implementation of various measures to increase Nova Scotia’s capacity for French-language services. An online tour of the Ottawa office is available on the website at www.gov.ns.ca/iga/ottawa.htm .
More than 2,000 job seekers have made contacts with employers over the last three months through a new provincial initiative. Opportunities Nova Scotia, launched in March, consisted of a series of hiring fairs in Wolfville, Halifax, Sydney, Port Hawkesbury and Yarmouth, with pilots in Truro and Bridgewater. There was also online recruitment and education for employers to help them meet workforce needs. “The participation in this initiative and the feedback we have received have been tremendous,” said Education Minister Karen Casey. “We have identified thousands of good jobs across the province and, to date, more than 200 people have found employment. We are working to keep our talent in Nova Scotia and to help employers meet their recruitment needs. The success of Opportunities Nova Scotia has gotten us closer to achieving those goals.” Success as of May 30: 95 employers and 2,582 job seekers participated across the province; 523 job postings were showcased, representing more than 2,300 jobs in a variety of sectors including education, healthcare, information technology, manufacturing and transportation; 63 per cent of all job postings were above the $30,000 salary range with 34 per cent in the $30,000 to $50,000 range and 27 per cent in the $50,000 to $70,000 range; to date, more than 200 people were hired ranging from entry-level positions in call centres to highly skilled positions such as engineers and human-resource managers. This number is expected to grow as candidates continue to go through the interview and hiring process; 16 per cent of all resumes received were from out-of-province, primarily from Ontario, Quebec and Newfoundland. Wayne Ellis and Lisa Nicholson were among the many employers and job seekers, who connected as a result of the hiring fairs. Mr. Ellis, a superintendent with Acadian Mining Corporation, formerly Acadian Gold Corporation, was on-hand at the Halifax fair and had the opportunity to talk to Ms. Nicholson, then a job seeker and now a colleague. “This was a great success for our organization,” said Mr. Ellis. “Not only did we receive a great number of applications from qualified candidates, but it was an opportunity for us to raise the profile of our young company. The province really stepped up to the plate to connect employers and prospective employees. We look forward to involvement in future provincial initiatives.” Ms. Nicholson said she wasn’t expecting to find the managerial opportunities she was looking for, but she hoped to talk to some of the companies she was targeting in her job search. Two weeks after the hiring fair, she had completed the interview process and secured a permanent, managerial role in human resources with Acadian Mining Corporation. “I was surprised, and pleased, at the variety of positions at the fair,” Ms. Nicholson said. “I would recommend events like this to anyone looking for a job. The opportunity for face-to-face communication with a wide range of employers is key.” Following up on its success in the province, Opportunities Nova Scotia will expand to other jurisdictions within Canada, targeting expatriots living and working in places such as Ottawa, Toronto, Calgary and Edmonton. Details and timing for phase two will be announced when they are finalized. Opportunities Nova Scotia is a partnership of the Department of Education, The People Bank, jobboom.com, regional development authorities, local municipalities, the Nova Scotia Come to life initiative and employers.
Les conducteurs en Nouvelle-Écosse ont maintenant un accès rapide et simple aux renseignements sur les conditions routières grâce au nouveau système d’information 511. Toute personne qui compose le 511 à partir d’un téléphone en Nouvelle-Écosse pourra accéder à la ligne d’information bilingue sur les conditions routières du ministère des Transports et du Renouvellement de l’infrastructure. Il suffit d’entrer un numéro d’autoroute pour connaître les renseignements à jour sur les conditions de cette route. « La Nouvelle-Écosse continue d’être un chef de file dans l’utilisation de la technologie pour améliorer la sécurité sur les autoroutes, » a dit Murray Scott, ministre des Transports et du Renouvellement de l’infrastructure. « Nous somme la première province au Canada à mettre en oeuvre le système 511. » M. Scott dit que tous les fournisseurs de service téléphonique ont collaboré avec le programme, offrant le numéro 511 sans frais. « Puisque la province a déjà un système informatisé de rapport sur les conditions routières, nous avons pu mettre en place ce système très rapidement, » dit-il. « Nos caméras routières en ligne sont consultées par un demi-million de visiteurs par semaine, et je suis certain que le numéro 511 constituera une innovation aussi populaire. » De nouvelles affiches 511 sont installées aux points d’entrée de la province et le long des autoroutes de la série 100.
Les automobilistes de la Nouvelle-Écosse auront la chance de suggérer des façons d’améliorer le système d’information sur les conditions routières 511 par l’entremise d’un questionnaire en ligne. Le système 511 offre des renseignements bilingues sur les conditions routières en Nouvelle-Écosse par téléphone, Internet ou dispositifs mobiles tels qu’un BlackBerry. En entrant le numéro d’une autoroute, les voyageurs peuvent obtenir des renseignements à jour sur les conditions de cette route. « La Nouvelle-Écosse a été la première province à mettre en œuvre un système 511, a dit Bill Estabrooks, ministre des Transports et du Renouvellement de l’infrastructure. Nous demandons maintenant aux automobilistes de nous dire si le système fonctionne bien et si nous avons besoin d’y apporter des améliorations. Un lien au questionnaire se trouve à l’adresse http://511.gov.ns.ca/fr_map. Le numéro 511 fait partie du système d’information sur les conditions routières de la province, qui permet aux automobilistes de connaître les conditions météorologiques et routières avant d’emprunter une route. Ce service inclut 47 caméras routières installées à l’échelle de la province. Pendant l’hiver, le service 511 est mis à jour trois fois par jour à 6 h, 13 h et 16 h ou lorsque les conditions routières changent. Le service s’est avéré très populaire. En janvier 2009, il a été utilisé par 135 365 personnes. Pour obtenir plus d’information sur la conduite sécuritaire et l’entretien des routes en hiver (en anglais seulement), consultez le site Web du ministère à l’adresse www.gov.ns.ca/tran/winter.
Les installations de loisirs de la région de la Côte-Sud recevront 357 600 $ grâce à neuf subventions annoncées aujourd’hui 18 juin dans le cadre du programme de développement des installations de loisirs. « Nous offrons 2,94 millions de dollars en subventions à l’échelle de la province, a dit le député Gary Ramey, au nom de la ministre de la Promotion et de la Protection de la santé, Maureen MacDonald. Les investissements que nous effectuons dans nos organismes et nos installations de loisirs aujourd’hui aideront les gens à adopter un style de vie plus sain et plus actif dans le futur. Il s’agit de la bonne décision pour les familles néo-écossaises. » Dans le cadre du programme de développement des installations de loisirs, les subventions serviront à rénover les installations, à construire et entretenir des sentiers pédestres et à construire et mettre à niveau plusieurs terrains et édifices utilisés pour les sports et les loisirs. Le programme aide les groupes communautaires, les municipalités et autres organismes à but non lucratif à développer des installations visant à augmenter la participation du public aux sports et activités physiques. M. Ramey a fait l’annonce au YMCA de Yarmouth, qui a reçu 150 000 $ pour une mise à niveau de l’installation. « Le YMCA de Yarmouth a entamé ce projet à la fin de 2005 et a toujours travaillé étroitement avec le gouvernement provincial, a dit Barrie MacGregor, directeur général du YMCA de Yarmouth. Grâce à l’appui continu du gouvernement provincial, le YMCA de Yarmouth pourra assurer une présence continue dans la communauté et assurer la viabilité d’une grande installation dynamique dans une petite ville. »
Nova Scotia’s property law is being simplified to better protect families. Justice Minister Ross Landry introduced today, Nov. 21, a new Perpetuities Act which abolishes the Rule Against Perpetuities and amends the Variation of Trusts Act and the Real Property Act. “Property rights have changed over time and the law should reflect modern practices,” said Mr. Landry. The rule, which dates back to 1672, was originally intended to protect property from control after death. The rule places strict and complicated limits on the duration of certain restrictions on the use and transfer of property. Over time, the law has grown so complex that it risks people being deprived of their property interests through inadvertent errors in drafting legal documents. The changes were recommended by the Law Reform Commission of Nova Scotia. The Rule Against Perpetuities has been abolished or reformed in seven of 10 Canadian provinces and many other countries that use a common law legal system. “The commission consulted extensively with estate planning specialists and the public. We heard that the rule was cumbersome and complex, and was simply inappropriate for the modern Nova Scotia context,” said Angus Gibbon, executive director of the Law Reform Commission of Nova Scotia. “There was very little support for a reformed version of the rule to make it simpler. The overwhelming preference was for abolition, and a more flexible role for the court where needed.” In place of the strict rule, courts will be given enhanced power to vary trusts and other property disposition so that long-term conditions on the use and exchange of property can be modified or terminated where appropriate. Judges will be given criteria to consider when making these decisions and will be required to consider the intention of the person who made the trust or property disposition. The final report of the Law Reform Commission is available at http://www.lawreform.ns.ca/Downloads/Final%20Report%20-%20Rule%20Against%20Perpetuities.pdf
Imagine learning to fly a new aircraft without leaving the ground. Or practicing state-of-the-art shipbuilding techniques years before construction begins. Nova Scotia’s aerospace and defence sector will soon have access to these cutting-edge and cost-effective training techniques. Bluedrop Performance Learning Inc. is building a $2.3-million defence training and simulation centre that will be the first of its kind in Canada. The province will invest $1.7 million in the project, which will create more than 30 jobs. “Some of the best innovation is taking place in businesses across Nova Scotia, and often all these companies need to get to the next level is access to capital,” said Economic and Rural Development Minister Percy Paris. “Making smart, strategic investments that help our companies become more internationally competitive is an important part of jobsHere, the plan to grow our economy.” The facility will have a simulations lab, a classroom/theatre and an area to develop advanced course software. The project will enhance Nova Scotia’s position as a leader in the aerospace and defence sector. “The increasing cluster of defence businesses in Nova Scotia gives us the opportunity to collaborate globally, making this expansion a strategic part of our growth plans,” said Bluedrop vice-president Allen Dillon. “This facility will leverage the best technologies, researchers and higher learning institutions, and marry these assets with aviation and defence expertise to provide the very best training solutions in the industry.” “Provincial support for the cluster of defence and aerospace companies continues to attract exciting new businesses to Nova Scotia and the region,” said Steve Elder, president of the Aerospace and Defence Industries Association of Nova Scotia. “The province’s commitment to the sector and, in this instance, Bluedrop’s strategic growth initiative in Halifax, is another example of success that will provide for recognition of our industry around the globe.” Bluedrop plans to work with university and college students to fill highly skilled defence and aerospace jobs. The province’s investment is a 10-year, interest-bearing repayable loan from the Nova Scotia Jobs Fund.
Students from across the province will have more support for their social and emotional development, as well as access to valuable mental health services thanks to new provincial investments. Premier Darrell Dexter met with representatives from the Nova Scotia School Counsellors Association today, Aug. 14, to announce funding to increase the number of guidance counsellors, mental health clinicians and youth health centres in Nova Scotia schools. “Young people face many difficult issues, from mental health concerns to sexual violence and bullying behaviour. We’re making it a priority to ensure more resources are in place to support students and families,” said Premier Dexter. “This investment will ensure that students from every region of the province will have more access to people they can turn to when they need help, or if they need someone to talk to.” The funding increase will take effect starting next year. An additional $4.6 million will be targeted to school boards over three years to enable them to increase the number of guidance counsellors, beginning in the 2014-15 school year. Another $9.4 million will be allocated to hire mental health clinicians and youth health centre co-ordinators. “Any increase in guidance counsellor positions will give students better access to experienced professionals who can support their social and emotional needs,” said Teri Cochrane, president, Nova Scotia School Counsellors Association. “Having more guidance and counselling services will also increase the capacity to provide more proactive programs that support positive social interactions and emotional wellbeing.” Increasing the number of guidance counsellors is a key recommendation of the Nova Scotia Task Force on Bullying and Cyberbullying. The report, Respectful and Responsible Relationships: There’s No App for That, recommends that the province provide targeted funding to reach a ratio of one guidance counsellor for every 500 students from grades Primary to 12. “We know that students often go to guidance counsellors first when they need help, or when they are faced with bullying and cyberbullying,” said Education and Early Childhood Development Minister Ramona Jennex. “We’ve heard from principals, teachers, parents and students that they want better access to resources, and I’m looking forward to working with school boards to provide that support.” Youth health centres are very popular among students, especially at the high school level. “It is important for young people to talk to someone about their issues, especially around harmful situations like bullying and sexual violence,” said Marilyn More, Minister for the Action Team on Sexual Violence and Bullying. “This funding will help high school students in the province have better access to youth health centres, which are also excellent resources for guidance counsellors, teachers and parents.” Guidance counsellors provide counselling to students in the areas of personal, social, educational and career needs. Mental health clinicians, such as a psychologist, nurse, or social worker, identify students with mental health issues early, and work with teachers and staff to help address mild to moderate cases, while referring students with more significant challenges to the local mental health program.
Les restrictions sur les activités et les déplacements dans les régions boisées annoncées la semaine dernière ont été levées à l’échelle de la Nouvelle-Écosse. Ces mêmes restrictions ont été levées au Cap-Breton le 15 août dernier. « Après tout le travail des pompiers et grâce à la pluie, nous sommes maintenant en mesure de permettre aux gens de se déplacer dans les régions boisées en toute sécurité, affirme Lloyd Hines, ministre des Ressources naturelles. Je remercie encore une fois les Néo-Écossais pour leur coopération et leur compréhension pendant la période de restriction. » « Je sais que cette semaine a été difficile, et nous apprécions grandement la patience et l’attention des gens à l’échelle de la province. » Grâce aux précipitations reçues, les interdictions de brûlage ont également été levées à l’échelle de la province. Il est maintenant possible de faire un feu de camp ou de broussailles en toute sécurité. Toutefois, tous les feux doivent être complètement éteints avant 8 h. Les gens sont maintenant en mesure de profiter des régions boisées et des sentiers, mais on les encourage tout de même à prendre les précautions nécessaires et à consulter la carte des interdictions de brûlage au http://www.novascotia.ca/burnsafe/fr. La section de la route 8 près de Maitland Bridge, dans le comté d’Annapolis, qui est fermée depuis la semaine dernière est maintenant ouverte, mais on demande aux automobilistes de faire preuve de prudence en raison des véhicules d’urgence qui sont toujours sur place. Le gouvernement provincial continuera d’offrir des mises à jour jusqu’à ce que les feux de forêt qui font l’objet de patrouilles soient éteints. Pour les mises à jour : http://www.novascotia.ca/nsfire/fr.
Les résidents et les visiteurs du secteur de Forest Glen, dans le comté de Yarmouth, sont priés de noter que des petites fleurs d’eau d’algues bleu-vert ont été repérées dans le lac Parr. Il est également possible que les algues bleu-vert prolifèrent dans les cours d’eau qui se déversent dans le lac. La prolifération d’algues bleu-vert a lieu naturellement, et ces algues peuvent produire des toxines. Les toxines ne sont pas éliminées en faisant bouillir l’eau. Il est recommandé d’éviter le contact avec l’eau pour prévenir les risques possibles pour la santé. Il faut éviter de boire l’eau ou d’utiliser l’eau pour préparer ou cuire des aliments, ou pour se brosser les dents. Il n’est pas recommandé d’utiliser l’eau pour les loisirs, ou pour se laver. Le contact direct avec les toxines produites par les algues bleu-vert peut causer l’irritation de la peau et des yeux. Les symptômes liés à la consommation d’eau contenant des algues bleu-vert sont notamment des douleurs abdominales, la diarrhée, des vomissements et la nausée. Si les symptômes persistent plus de quelques jours, consultez un fournisseur de soins de santé. Ne laissez pas les animaux de compagnie ou d’autres animaux consommer l’eau ou nager dans l’eau où il y a des algues bleu-vert. Des renseignements supplémentaires sont disponibles aux liens www.novascotia.ca/nse/water/docs/BlueGreenAlgae.pdf et http://novascotia.ca/dhw/environmental/blue-green-algae.asp (en anglais seulement).
Nova Scotians who love natural homemade soap products can learn how to make it the old-fashioned way at Sutherland Steam Mill Museum in Denmark, Colchester Co., near Tatamagouche. A two-day artisan soap making workshop on Aug. 19 and 20 will feature well-known Nova Scotia soap maker Guy Rochon who has more than 30 years of experience in the business. “One of the wonderful things about soap making is you have total control over what you put in it,” said Mr. Rochon. “Participants will be taught everything they need to know to safely make their own incredible cold process soaps from scratch.” Attendees will learn about scenting, the art of superfatting, which adds extra oils to a soap recipe, using natural additives and how to source their own raw ingredients from suppliers. The workshop includes all raw materials. Students will take home about two pounds of their own cured, scented soap. Total cost for the two days is $105. For more information, or to register for the workshop, visit https://sutherlandsteammill.novascotia.ca/events.
Washington: The US considers Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) as one of the greatest threats to it and allied forces in war-torn Afghanistan, where at least 300 fighters from the terror group are active, a Pentagon report has said. The LeT, designated a global terror organisation by the US and the UN, was responsible for the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks that killed 166 people. Among the 20 prominent terrorist organisations active in Afghanistan, LeT ranks fifth in terms of fighters along with al Qaeda and Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, stated the Pentagon report, ‘Lead Inspector General for Operation Freedom’s Sentinel’, for the quarter ending March 31. Also Read – ‘Hong Kong won’t rule out Chinese help over protests’ The report said the Department of Defence “identified the Haqqani Network, the Eastern Turkistan Islamic Movement (ETIM) and Lashkar-e-Taiba as groups that present the greatest threat to US and allied forces in Afghanistan”. The report also stated that an estimated 300 LeT and 1,000 Islamic Emirate High Council operatives are active in the war-torn country. The ISIS-K, Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan and Haqqani network with an estimated 3,000-5,000 fighters each top the list of terrorist groups active in Afghanistan, it said. Also Read – Pak Army chief accompanies Imran at key meetings in China The LeT, formed in the 1980s, is one of the largest terror groups currently operating from Pakistani soil. In December 2001, the Department of State designated LeT as a Foreign Terrorist Organisation. In May 2005, the United Nations (UN) 1267 Sanctions Committee added LeT to the Consolidated UN Security Council Sanctions List. Pakistan banned LeT in 2002, but the group continued to operate through its front organisations – Jamaat-ud-Dawah (JuD) and Falah-e-Insaniyat Foundation (FIF). Pakistan was forced to ban these groups this year amid intense global pressure to rein in the terror groups following the Pulwama terror attack. Paris-based Financial Action Task Force (FATF) also put pressure on Pakistan to curb money laundering and terrorism financing. Pakistan was put on the grey list by the FATF in June 2018, and was warned that it may further be downgraded if it does not act against terror groups operating from its soil. US President Donald Trump has repeatedly accused Pakistan of providing “safe haven” to terrorists and asked Islamabad to rein in the terror groups operating from its soil. Iran and Afghanistan also accuse Pakistan of providing support to terror groups to carry out attacks in the neighbouring countries.
Washington DC: A Sikh airman has been allowed by the United States Air Force to serve with a beard, turban and unshorn hair, making him the first active-duty airman to be granted such a religious accommodation. Airman Harpreetinder Singh Bajwa, who joined the Air Force in 2017, was unable to follow the practice due to the military branch’s grooming and dress codes. The Air Force granted him an accommodation after Bajwa gained representation from the Sikh American Veterans Alliance, and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), NBC news reported. Also Read – ‘Hong Kong won’t rule out Chinese help over protests’Bajwa, a crew chief at McChord Air Force Base, Washington, is now the first active airman who has been authorised to adhere to Sikh religious grooming and dress principles while serving in the Air Force. “I’m overjoyed that the Air Force has granted my religious accommodation, said Bajwa. “Today, I feel that my country has embraced my Sikh heritage, and I will be forever grateful for this opportunity,” he said. Bajwa says be initially asked if he could request a waiver during tech training a year ago in Charleston, South Carolina, and said he was never told “no” by leadership. Also Read – Pak Army chief accompanies Imran at key meetings in China”I’m extremely happy I can practice my faith and serve my country,” said Bajwa. A first-generation American, Bajwa was born to an immigrant family. In 2016, Captain Simratpal Singh, a decorated Sikh-American officer and combat veteran, received a long-term religious accommodation from the US Army to serve with long hair, a beard, and turban. The Army updated its regulations the following year directing commanders to allow accommodations for observant Sikhs. Heather L Weaver, a senior staff attorney for the ACLU, praised the Air Force’s decision. “No one should have to choose between following their faith or serving their country,” Weaver said. “We’re pleased that the Air Force granted our client’s request, and we hope that all branches of the military come to recognize the importance of religious inclusion and diversity.”
Patna: Muslim cleric Maulana Wali Rahmani on Wednesday said mob lynching incidents in the country are like terror acts, and demanded strict punishment to accused. “Mob lynching incidents are like terror acts. It should be treated with seriousness and accused should be given strict punishment. Terror should not be permitted and accepted in any society,” said Rahmani, head of the Imarat-e-Sharia, a Muslim body in Bihar, Jharkhand and Odisha. Referring to the recent lynching of a man in Jharkhand on June 24, Rahmani said that mere criticising and condemning the incident is not enough. He urged the central government as well as the state government to act against mob lynching without delay. Rahmani said Imarat-e-Sharia has decided to contest cases of victims of mob lynching in the court. He has appealed family members of victims of mob lynching to approach Imarat-e-Sharia to fight their cases.
New Delhi: A Delhi court on Saturday granted bail to a man accused in the first case of triple talaq registered in the Capital city.Atir Shamim, a resident of the Azad Market neighbourhood near Tis Hazari, was granted bail by Duty Magistrate Dinesh Kumar on a personal bail bond of Rs 30,000 and two sureties of the like amount. Making this the first arrest in a triple talaq case, after both houses of parliament passed a bill criminalising the act, Shamim’s lawyers Bharat Bagga and Rishabh Kumar told the court that their client was being falsely implicated. “There is matrimonial dispute between the parties due to which the complainant made a false complaint and misused the process of law,” they argued. However, countering this argument, the counsel for Shamim’s wife, Ramiya Yaha (29) and the public prosecutor said that the allegations against the accused in the case are serious.
San Francisco: Google is rolling out new AI features to its Lens platform that would let users search their Google Photos library for text that appears within photos. The Artificial Intelligence (AI) feature would start rolling out from this month itself, Google said in a tweet. With this, users would be able to copy text from the images and paste them in a word document or notes. This works on both the Android and iOS apps, as well as the web client, 9to5Google reported. Also Read – Swiggy now in 500 Indian cities, targets 100 more this year As per reports, the feature is currently available on some Android devices, although it does not appear to be active on iOS yet. “Starting this month, we are rolling out the ability to search your photos by the text in them. Once you find the photo you are looking for, click the Lens button to easily copy and paste text,” Google wrote in response to venture capitalist Hunter Walk, who noticed earlier this week that the Lens feature had been turned on for his account.
Kolkata: The state Power department’s efforts to reduce dependence on coal-based thermal power and harness more and more solar power has received a big boost, with a private player submitting a proposal to the department for setting up a 800 megawatt solar power plant.”We have already held meetings with our engineers and are working on preparing a detailed proposal. It will be forwarded to Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee for her approval. We are trying hard to ensure that the project takes off as this will be the biggest solar project in the country,” state Power minister Sobhandeb Chattopadhyay said on the sidelines of the 10th Energy Conclave 2019 organised by CII on Saturday. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari PujaAccording to sources in the Power department, the company that has proposed setting up of the solar project has already acquired 500 acres of land at a strategic location in the state. “They are ready to acquire more land if needed for the unit, but our department will have to make Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with them for purchasing power generated from the unit,” Chattopadhyay added. Land is a major issue in the state for big solar projects and so the Power department is coming up with small units for harnessing solar power. In the last three years, solar power generation in the state has gone up from 2 megawatt to 132 megawatt. Also Read – Bengal civic volunteer dies in road mishap on national highwayChief Minister Mamata Banerjee has laid emphasis on solar energy through a project called ‘Aloshree’, under which solar panels are being set up on the roof of various government offices across the state. Solar panels have been set up in more than 1,500 schools and colleges. “Our department is also working on having a competitive rate for power tariff. The Damodar Valley Corporation’s power rate is lower than us. If we succeed in our aim then more and more industries will come up with their projects in the state,” the minister said. Chattopadhyay reiterated that Bengal is a power surplus state and ensures round-the-clock power supply for consumers, the number of whom stands at 1 crore 93 lakh. The department has also been able to tackle the problem of low voltage for both domestic and industrial consumers through technological intervention.