Mumbai: In the midst of working on “’83”, actor Ranveer Singh has signed up another film. He will play a Gujarati in Yash Raj Films’ (YRF) “Jayeshbhai Jordaar”, to be helmed by debutant writer-director Divyang Thakkar. The actor calls it a “miracle script”. The project, a humorous entertainer set in Gujarat, is being produced by YRF’s homegrown producer Maneesh Sharma, who also discovered Divyang, and it will go on floors this October. Describing the film, Ranveer says: “‘Jayeshbhai…’ is a film with a big heart. In its concept as well as in its appeal, it encompasses the broadest spectrum of the cinema-loving audience – it’s a film for everyone. It is, in fact, a amiracle script’ that YRF found for me out of nowhere. Also Read – ‘Will be acting till I die’ “The sheer brilliance of the writing compelled me to immediately green-light this film. Both humorous and poignant, ‘Jayeshbhai…’ is right up there with the most solid on-paper material I’ve ever come across.” Ranveer has been on a roll in the industry, and has worked with top filmmakers like Sanjay Leela Bhansali, Rohit Shetty, Zoya Akhtar and Kabir Khan. After amassed nationwide love as an actor across all demographics, it was natural for him to back a newcomer. Also Read – ‘Always looking for that one great love’ He said: “I have been immensely fortunate to have collaborated with some of the finest filmmakers of our country. It is humbling and gratifying that they believed in my craft and chose me to lead their cinematic vision. “All that I have achieved as an actor today is due to these titanic cinematic forces having put their faith in me. I’m glad that today I find myself in a position where I can recognise exceptional talent and wholeheartedly back the vision of a brilliant new writer-director like Divyang.” “Jayeshbhai Jordaar” will be Ranveer’s next release after “’83”, in which the actor will be seen as former Indian cricket team captain Kapil Dev. Sharma said Thakkar’s script is an example of a balance of a relevant message delivered in an entertaining manner. “What makes this a truly thrilling venture is that I see this as Ranveer and I apaying it forward’. Almost a decade ago, we started our journey together when YRF placed their faith in us newcomers and today we collaborate with another new talent to offer the audiences a content driven mass entertainer,” added Sharma, who directed Ranveer in their maiden film “Band Baaja Baaraat”.
Cardiff: The top-order will ideally like an extended session in the middle but injured Kedar Jadhav and Vijay Shankar’s lack of game time will certainly be a bigger worry for India ahead of their final World Cup warm-up game against Bangladesh here on Tuesday. The top heavy Indian line-up flattered to deceive in bowling-friendly conditions at the Oval as Trent Boult troubled them with both swing and seam movement. The six-wicket defeat against New Zealand however won’t be a big worry for Virat Kohli as he has some bigger issues to take care of. Also Read – We don’t ask for kind of tracks we get: Bowling coach ArunKohli is bound to be a worried man if Jadhav and Shankar are unable to get a decent hit against Mashrafe Mortaza’s men before facing a tricky opposition like South Africa in its tournament opener at Southampton on June 5. India’s primary objective during the practice games is to fix their middle-order problems but the two protagonists, who are likely to fill in the important Nos 4 and 6 in the tournament proper, have not fully recovered from their respective injuries. Also Read – Bastian Schweinsteiger announces retirement, could join Germany set-upWhile Kedar injured his left shoulder during the IPL, Shankar was hit in the nets by a Khaleel Ahmed short ball. This, however, is a Godsend opportunity for K L Rahul to score some useful runs against an attack comprising Mortaza, Mustafizur Rahaman, Rubel Hossain and Shakib-al Hasan and cement the No. 4 slot. Unless Ravi Shastri and Kohli decide to promote Dinesh Karthik and check him out. Shakib is recovering from a niggle and Bangaldesh coach Steve Rhodes expects him to play a pivotal role in the Tigers’ campaign. Rohit and Shikhar, who have enjoyed a decent amount of success against Bangladesh, won’t mind some runs which is always a confidence booster ahead of the main event. If the conditions in Cardiff remain overcast, playing out a testing first spell of Mustafizur or Rubel will certainly keep the top-order batsmen in good stead. Apart from Rahul, the other player who will like to assert himself in the middle will be Ravindra Jadeja, who was the only saving grace in the first warm-up game. While Jadeja’s core strength remains batting, his accurate bowling and razor sharp fielding will keep Jadhav on toes once he gets hundred percent fit. An interesting move in the first game was to send Hardik Pandya at No. 5 ahead of Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who literally struggled in tough batting conditions scoring 17 off 42 balls. If Hardik is seen as an enforcer at No. 5 and Dhoni as a finisher at No. 6, the second down slot will become all the more pivotal in the larger context as Rahul, Karthik or Shankar, whoever fits in will have to play the role of a sheet anchor.
Kolkata: BJP leader Rakesh Singh, who is an accused in various criminal cases, including an attack on the police officers, was arrested by the Kolkata police after he landed at the city airport from Delhi on Monday night.The BJP leader was one of the accused in the vandalism incident at Vidyasagar College. The statue of polymath Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar was allegedly destroyed by BJP workers after a roadshow of BJP President Amit Shah in the city. Also Read – City bids adieu to Goddess DurgaThe city police had been keeping a tab on him. The investigating officers had a specific information that Singh might come down to Kolkata. A team of city police reached the Calcutta airport before to his arrival. The accused had boarded a flight from Delhi in the night possibly to avoid arrest. A scuffle broke out at the airport when police officers tried to get him into the police jeep. The accused tried to escape but the police officers overpowered him and made him sit in the vehicle. The police suspect that Singh was involved in the attack and vandalism incident at the Vidyasagar College. It may also be mentioned Singh used to be a Congress leader of the port area who shifted his political allegiance to the BJP before the recently concluded Lok Sabha elections. He has been accused of assaulting police officers and locking them up in a room.
New Delhi: The Election Commission has declined to share details on alleged poll code violations by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other politicians during the Lok Sabha election campaign and subsequent clean chits given to them, saying compilation of the information would disproportionately divert its resources.In a reply to an RTI query, the poll body also declined to provide a copy of file noting of dissent notes given by one of the two Election Commissioners while deciding on the cases of violations of the model code of conduct by the prime minister. Also Read – Pak activated 20 terror camps & 20 launch pads along LoC”It is informed that that complaints of violation of model code of conduct are dealt in the concerned territorial sec-tions. The information sought by you is not available in the compiled form and compilation of the same will dispro-portionately divert the resources. In this regard you may refer to Section 7 (9) of the RTI Act, 2005,” the Election Commission said in its reply to the RTI query filed by this journalist. The referred section says “an information shall ordinarily be provided in the form in which it is sought unless it would disproportionately divert the resources of the public authority or would be detrimental to the safety or preser-vation of the record in question”. The EC was asked to provide information on its conclusion of no violations of model code of conduct (or providing clean chit) by the prime minister during his various poll speeches. The Commission was also asked to give details of each complaints, copy of minutes of meetings in which final decisions on the complaints were taken and the details of dissent given by any of the Election Commissioners while finalising the matter. Also Read – Two squadrons which participated in Balakot airstrike awarded citationsOne of the two Election Commissioners had dissented in the decision of the ‘full Election Election Commission’ to give clean chit to the prime minister in the two speeches made by him in Maharashtra in April. The Commission gave its decision on as many complaints filed by the Congress against Modi, alleging violation of the model code. One of the election commissioners, according to the sources, has given his dissent on the EC’s decision to give clean chit to the prime minister on his speech at Wardha on April 1 where he attacked Congress chief Rahul Gan-dhi for contesting from minority-dominated Wayanad seat, and also Modi’s appeal to first-time voters in Latur on April 9 by invoking the Balakot airstrikes and the Pulwama martyrs. The ‘full Commission’ which takes such decisions comprises Chief Election Commissioner and fellow election commissioners. Sunil Arora is Chief Election Commissioner while Sushil Chandra and Ashok Lavasa are two ECs. The two decisions were then taken based on 2:1 majority as per prescribed law which governs the functioning of the poll panel, according to the sources. The Election Commission had last month rejected with a majority vote Lavasa’s demand that dissent notes be rec-orded in its orders on model code violations, days after the simmering tension within the poll body over the issue had come out in the open.
New Delhi: Jammu and Kashmir Police inspector Arshad Ahmed Khan, who suffered injures in Wednesday’s terrorist attack in Anantnag, died at the premier AIIMS here on Sunday, officials said.With his death, the toll in the terrorist attack rose to six, including five CRPF personnel. Khan, 37, was flown to Delhi this afternoon in an air ambulance for specialised treatment. Soon after he was admitted to the hospital, his condition started deteriorating further. The doctors at the the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) made every effort to revive him but failed, the officials said. Earlier, he was being treated at the 92 Base Hospital of the Army in Srinagar. Director General of Police Dilbagh Singh said the Jammu and Kashmir Police has lost one of its brilliant officers. “We made every effort to see that the officer survives, but unfortunately we lost him. It is a sad day for J-K Police family which lost yet another son to the wanton violence being perpetrated from across the border,” Singh said. Inspector General of Police (Kashmir range) Swayam Prakash Pani expressed his condolences and said “he was a true braveheart and a people-friendly Station House Officer. His expertise in counter insurgency operations were unmatchable”. “I was hopeful that he will win the battle for his life but unfortunately we lost him today,” Pani said. Khan is survived by wife and two sons, aged four and one. Five CRPF personnel were killed in the terror attack, in which a lone Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) terrorist targeted a patrol team of the paramilitary force. Khan, the SHO of Saddar Police station in Anantnag, reached the site soon after. The moment he stepped out of his official bulletproof vehicle, along with his service rifle, a barrage of bullets were fired by the terrorist. One ricocheted from the butt of his service rifle and hit his liver and duodenum, the officials said. Even in this condition, the officer kept firing bullets at the terrorist before he collapsed, they said.
New Delhi: Claims against Reliance Communications (RCom) have risen to Rs 57,382.5 crore with new entities, including some Reliance Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group companies, joining the creditors’ list, according to a regulatory filing. Interim Resolution Professional (IRP) Pardeep Kumar Sethi, however, admitted dues of Rs 30 crore out of fresh claims of Rs 8,189 crore, taking admitted claims so far to Rs 49,223.88 crore, RCom said in the filing. Also Read – Maruti cuts production for 8th straight month in SepReliance ADA Group firms account for Rs 7,000.63 crore of fresh claims against the group firm RCom. The filing said the fresh claims except for admitted dues have been put for verification. Reliance ADAG firm Reliance HR Services Private Limited has submitted claim of Rs 3,368.95 crore, Reliance Capital Rs 1,291.71 crore and Reliance Communications Enterprise Private Limited of Rs 2,336.22 crore and Bermuda-based Reliance Globalcom has made claim of Rs 3.75 crore. Also Read – Ensure strict implementation on ban of import of e-cigarettes: revenue to CustomsThe IRP admitted none of the claims and marked the entire amount for verification. Shubh Holdings Pte Ltd, CQS Asian Opportunities Master Fund Limited and CQS Directional Opportunities Master Fund Limited have joined the new list of creditors with claims of Rs 400.26 crore, Rs 135.04 crore and Rs 100.11 crore respectively. The list shows that China Development Bank (CDB) claimed dues of Rs 9,863.89 crore and the IRP has admitted the entire claim. The IRP also admitted full claims made by Life Insurance Corporation (Rs 4,758 crore), Exim Bank of China (Rs 3,356.44 crore), Standard Chartered Bank (Rs 2,130.23 crore), ICBC (Rs 1,832.89 crore), Syndicate Bank (Rs 1,225.19 crore), and Punjab National Bank (Rs 1,126.87 crore), among several others. State Bank of India submitted a claim of Rs 4,905.37 crore but IRP admitted Rs 4,714.52 crore and set aside Rs 190.85 crore for verification. Among lead lenders, Bank of Baroda placed a claim of Rs 2,707.67 crore but IRP admitted Rs 2,531.87. Last month, as many as 41 creditors submitted total claims of Rs 49,193.46 crore and IRP admitted more than 95 per cent of the amount as dues.
Bali: Hollywood actor Chris Hemsworth says he feels more comfortable about showing his real self to the world now, and that is what propelled him to open up about his anxiety woes. “I think the more comfortable I got just doing press in general over the years and interviews…You feel more comfortable about showing a bit more of yourself,” Hemsworth said when asked about his decision to open up about his anxiety issues. “But for me, it was a part of the journey and being able to talk about what I have learnt. I remember when I started acting, hearing Anthony Hopkins in an interview saying that he thinks that each job will be his last… I found great comfort in that. I was like, maybe there is something which brings anxiety and (is) just part of the process,” he added. Also Read – Rihanna to release 500-page ‘visual’ autobiographyEarlier this year, in an interview to an international magazine, the “Thor” star admitted that he has had his struggles with anxiety, saying “this is the truth to how I’m feeling and who I am, and I’m as vulnerable as anyone else”. In an interview while promoting his project Men in Black: International here, the actor opened up about his decision, and said he wants to use anxiety as a motivator instead of looking at it as a threat.
Amsterdam: Dutch winger Arjen Robben has announced he is ending his playing career at the age of 35 after a 10-year spell with German giants Bayern Munich. “It is without a doubt the most difficult decision I have had to make in my career, my heart says yes, my body says no,” Robben told the Telegraaf. His contract at Bayern had expired on June 30. Robben played 96 international matches for the Netherlands, scoring 37 goals, starring in the team which reached the 2010 World Cup final and finished third four years later. Also Read – Dhoni, Paes spotted playing football togetherHe won two Premier League titles under Jose Mourinho at Chelsea in 2005 and 2006, before claiming a La Liga winner’s medal with Real Madrid. But Robben, a Groningen youth product, will be best remembered for his time at Bayern. He helped the Bavarians to eight Bundesliga crowns, five German Cups and the 2013 Champions League title, scoring 144 goals in 309 appearances for the club. There had been speculation Robben would continue playing, with a possible return to England mooted, but instead he has decided to hang up his boots. Robben had already retired from international football after the Netherlands failed to qualify for the 2018 World Cup.
New Delhi: Police arrested three persons, including a father and son, with 1,250 illegal cartridges from south Delhi, a police officer said on Monday. The Special Cell arrested father Praveen Verma and son Prateek Verma who were based in Uttar Pradesh and supplied illegal weapons, the officer said. They were arrested on Sunday night from Ashram Chowk following a tip off when they came to hand over the cartridges to a Sonu, who too was arrested. A resident of Delhi, Sonu bought arms and cartridges from the Vermas and supplied them to criminals in Delhi, the officer said.
New Delhi: Senior BJP leader Vijay Goel on Thursday attacked the Congress and the ruling AAP in Delhi, saying that they had “fooled” the people on the issue of regularising unauthorised colonies. The Unauthorised Colony Mahasangh led by the BJP leader in a protest at the Jantar Mantar also accused Chief Minister and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) supremo Arvind Kejriwal of “misleading” the people on regularisation of unauthorised colonies. Besides Goel, Lok Sabha MPs Hans Raj Hans and Parvesh Sahib Singh Verma were part of the demonstration. Also Read – After eight years, businessman arrested for kidnap & murder “There are 1,797 unauthorised colonies in Delhi and 7 lakh people are living in them. The Congress was in power for 15 years while the AAP has been in power for five years.They have not done anything for regularisation of unauthorised colonies,” Goel said. When the Centre formed a panel headed by the lieutenant governor to recommend parameters for regularisation of unauthorised colonies and it came out with a report, Kejriwal felt that he could “fool” the people and take credit for the work done by the central government, he said. Also Read – Two brothers held for snatchings “The people of Delhi cannot be fooled. The regularisation of such colonies can only happen when there is a BJP government in the national capital. It will work in tandem with the BJP-led NDA government at the Centre. Kejriwal does not cooperate with the Centre,” Goel claimed. The former Delhi BJP chief said it was due to Kejriwal’s “lies” that the AAP has only won an election once and has never won after that. At the protest, slogans like ‘Hamara CM kaisa ho, Vijay Goel jaisa ho’ were also raised. Hans accused Kejriwal of “betraying” Delhiites and not taking any concrete steps for regularisation of such colonies. Earlier this week, Union Housing and Urban Affairs Minister Hardeep Singh Puri had accused the Delhi government of trying to take credit of regularising these colonies. However, Kejriwal had said that the Centre can take credit, but the AAP dispensation just wants regularisation done so that people living there can get their rights.
New Delhi: A 28-year-old school dropout who duped more than 500 persons in the name of installing mobile phone towers was arrested by the cyber cell (CyPAD) of Delhi Police.The investigating agency said that the accused modus operandi included targeting people from several areas and posting advertisements in newspapers. Police identified the accused as Ritesh Sharma who was arrested from Delhi. Deputy Commissioner of Police (CyPAD) Anyesh Roy said a case was registered in CyPAD. Also Read – After eight years, businessman arrested for kidnap & murderIn this case, the complainant company had alleged that they came to know that some persons were fraudulently using their logos, identical websites, identical emails, letterheads etc. to deceive the public at large into believing that they were company representatives, offering them a lucrative return for using their property for installation of mobile towers and thus, making money by cheating gullible people. A team under ACP Aditya Gautam started the probe and nabbed the accused. ” Sharma, to reach out to people, the accused decided to target people in Kerala, Assam, Maharashtra. As a next step, he found out about newspapers being read most widely in these states and started publishing advertisements in those newspapers,” said DCP Cyber Cell. He would offer people Rs. 30 lakh upfront for letting him use their land for installation of mobile tower and Rs. 60 thousand per month as rent. He would then ask them for money as processing fees. He managed to dupe people doing this. Police said Ritesh has duped more than 500 persons so far, several of whom have already been identified. He has cheated people of an amount ranging from Rs. 10,000 to over Rs. 1 lakh. It is roughly estimated that he has managed to con people of around Rs. one crore since he started doing this in 2015.
New Delhi: Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu on Monday rejected the allegation by 15 MPs that voice of the opposition was being “smothered” in the House, saying empirical evidence goes to prove that the complaint does not stand scrutiny.During the Zero Hour, Naidu said 15 members of Rajya Sabha belonging to 14 parties addressed him a letter dated July 25, 2019 conveying what they called their anguish and concern over passing of Bills without scrutiny by either Parliamentary Standing or Select Committees. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM’Noting that the contents of the letter have been widely reported in the media, he said, “This has cast a cloud over the functioning of our apex legislature which is not good for our parliamentary democracy”. He said the 15 members have quoted some statistics about the number of bills referred and not referred to scrutiny either by parliamentary committees during the 14th, 15th, 16th and the present Lok Sabha. “If their complaint is that Bills first introduced in these Lok Sabha sessions were not referred to parliamentary committees for scrutiny, that is not certainly in my domain as the Chairman of Rajya Sabha. So, I am not in a position to respond to this complaint and I feel that this complaint, if any, has been addressed to the wrong person,” Naidu said. Also Read – Farooq demands unconditional release of all detainees in J&KNaidu further said “since a broad message” has gone about hurried legislation by Parliament, of which Rajya Sabha is a constituent, as its Chairman, he would like to clarify the factual position regarding scrutiny of Bills introduced in the Upper House. During the last five sessions that he has presided (244th to 248th sessions), Naidu said 10 Bills have been first introduced by the Government in Rajya Sabha. “I am happy to inform you that as Chairman of this august House, I have referred 8 of those 10 Bills to respective Department Related Standing Committees, though it is not mandatory to do so,” he said. The other two Bills that were not so referred related to inclusion of some more groups in the category of Scheduled tribes as they did not warrant a detailed scrutiny by standing committee. Further, one more Bill — The Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill — as received from Lok Sabha after detailed scrutiny by the Standing Committee concerned and passage by the other House was again referred to the Select Committee of Rajya Sabha. “I hope that all of you would agree that such a record would not justify the allegation if it is so intended that Rajya Sabha is a party to hurried legislation,” Naidu said. During the current session (249th), four bills have so far been introduced first in the Rajya Sabha. Of these, three Bills have been taken up for consideration and passed. These Bills could not be referred to Standing Committees because they are still to be constituted, Naidu said. “…it is for the House to decide if a Bill is to be referred to the Select Committee and not me as the Chairman of the House,” he added. The fourth Bill — the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (Amendment) Bill — first introduced in Rajya Sabha is still to be taken for consideration and passing. The Chairman also said seven more Bills to be taken up in Rajya Sabha for consideration as received from the Lok Sabha also have been already scrutinised by standing committees. “The fourth and important complaint is about the alleged smothering of the voice of the opposition in the Rajya Sabha. In support of this allegation, the Honble Members have raised in their letter the inadequacy of Short Duration Discussions in the House,” he said. In support of this complaint, Naidu added the Members have referred to what they called the long standing convention of having one such Short Duration Discussion each week. To this, Naidu said since there are a minimum of three sessions of Rajya Sabha every year, going by the data, Short Duration Discussions taken up in House during 30 years (1952- 2013) was less than 3 per session.This does not support the contention that by convention, one such discussion is taken up every week during the sessions of Rajya Sabha, he said. “During this session, two such discussions have already been taken up. One more such discussion could have been taken up by now but the House was not allowed to transact any business for two and a half days,” he said.
Lahore: A Pakistani court on Friday remanded Maryam Nawaz, former prime minister Nawaz Sharif’s daughter, and her cousin in the custody of the country’s anti-corruption authority till August 21 in a money laundering case. Maryam and her cousin Yousaf Abbas Sharif were arrested from the Kot Lakhpat jail here on Thursday in connection to the Chaudhry Sugar Mills (CSM) case while the 45-year-old PML-N vice president was on her way back from visiting her father, who is lodged in the same prison. Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince ‘snubbed’ Pak PM, recalled jet from USShe was supposed to appear before the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) on Thursday for questioning in the sugar mills inquiry but she sought more time for submitting her response and went to meet her father in jail instead. She was arrested for not appearing before the anti-graft watchdog. Sharif’s daughter and nephew were presented in the accountability court here. The NAB had requested a 15-day physical remand but the court approved a 12-day physical remand of the two accused, the Express Tribune reported. Also Read – Record number of 35 candidates in fray for SL Presidential pollsAt the start of the hearing, accountability court judge Naeem Arshad asked the NAB prosecutor to detail the reasons why the bureau had initiated an inquiry against Maryam. The NAB prosecutor told the court that Maryam was a shareholder of Chaudhry Sugar Mills and she failed to give satisfactory answers to their queries. The NAB officials presented a list of questions in the court which they claimed were not answered by the PML-N leader. According to the bureau, Yousaf’s bank account was used to launder money. The government has accused the Sharif family of using the sugar mills for money laundering and availing millions of rupees in subsidy without actually exporting sugar. The daycare centre at the NAB headquarters was declared a sub-jail and female police officials were deployed for Maryam’s security.
Kolkata: Some major parks in the city are set to geta makeover shortly. The Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) is working for the overhaul of these parks. Work includes beautification, seating arrangements for the elderly, separate space for morning and evening walk, tree plantation, and pathways with paver block. “The greening project has been being undertaken using funds from Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT) project. We have identified 17 parks in the city to be beautified and eight parks have already seen a facelift,” a senior official of Parks and Gardens department of KMC said. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari PujaAccording to the official, the work also includes setting up facilities for a children corner in some of the parks that have more space. Joyrides such as cradles, seesaw and slides will be installed for children. Most of the parks will also have pathways made of paver block to facilitate walking. Playgrounds are also being developed depending on the availability of space. Deshbandhu Park in Shyambazar, Tala Park, Marcus Square near College Street, and Lunar Math at Ward no. 129 in Behala is witnessing rejuvenation while a new park facility is being created at Diamond Park in Thakurpukur. Also Read – Bengal civic volunteer dies in road mishap on national highwayUnder the AMRUT project, state and Centre share 45 percent of funds while KMC has to bear 10 percent of the project cost. A total of Rs 18 crore has been sanctioned under the project for a period of three years. Work has already been completed in eight parks, including Hazra Park, Bhagini Nivedita Udyan at Bagbazar, and Nawab Ali Park in Ekbalpore. “We have been adopting a scientific approach in tree plantation at the parks. Big-sized trees are not grown in the parks. Only small to medium sized plants such as Tagar, Rangan, Jhau, Croton, Goldiana and Palm are grown to add to the beauty and greenery of the parks. The chance of these trees getting uprooted in a squall is minimum,” the official said.
New Delhi: More than a month after the Centre revoked Jammu and Kashmir’s special status under Article 370, the Ministry of Home Affairs Wednesday indicated that situation in the state is returning to normalcy with the easing of restrictions. The MHA said all landline connections have been restored, while schools and health institutions are fully functioning. All banks and ATMs are also functional and over 1.08 crore have been withdrawn from the J&K bank.
TORONTO – As the new academic year gets underway, students, teachers and parents are gearing up to deal with one of the education system’s more controversial elements: split-level classes.Some parents worry that integrating students from several grades, typically to offset shrinking enrolment or mitigate a surge in a particular year, leaves younger pupils behind or fails to adequately challenge more advanced ones.But educators and experts say split classes can be beneficial — and the outcome often depends on the teacher.“When (my daughters) were first put in split classes, I wasn’t too happy about it,” says Christine Armstong, a mother from Innisfil, Ont.One of her twin girls, Jessica, was in Grade 1 when she was placed in a split class with children from senior kindergarten, prompting Armstrong to fear the class would repeat the play-based learning her daughter had already experienced, she said.Armstrong said she worried Jessica wouldn’t progress at the same rate as Grade 1 students in single-grade classes, but now realizes she was wrong.“The teacher was so good,” Armstrong said. “She was very organized, and she was able to separate the two different grades and the different needs for each grade. It was amazing.”This year, her other twin daughter Vanessa is enrolled in a Grade 5/6 split class and Armstrong said she wonders whether the experience will be different for a student on the younger side of the class.“If (the teacher) is used to Grade 6 and she’s focused on the Grade 6s, will she be too hard on the Grade 5s?” Armstrong says. “I’m not concerned, but I’m curious.”Students can thrive in split classes if teachers are adequately prepared, said Clare Brett, a professor at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto.“Like most things in schools, a lot depends on the teacher,” said Brett, adding split classes require considerably more work from a profession already under strain in Ontario.Brett’s own children were in a split Grade 1/2/3 class about 15 years ago, which allowed her to observe how lessons unfolded, she said.The work was usually divided up so the teacher would work with the Grade 3 students on math while Grade 2 students read independently and Grade 1 kids went to gym, she said. They would sometimes have class discussions all together, which she said fostered a sense of responsibility in the older students.“It’s not like the one-room schoolhouse, which is what I think people think of it as,” Brett said. “Done well, it’s learning experience for everybody.”Richard Messina, principal of Dr. Eric Jackman Institute of Child Study Laboratory School at OISE, said he understands why parents are wary of split classes and acknowledges they aren’t a good fit for every child.But he said many of the issues parents are concerned about — a gap in knowledge or in stimulation — exist in single-cohort classes as well. The difference typically isn’t that much more pronounced in split classes, he said.“In every classroom, there is a developmental range in knowledge, in skill development, social-emotional development,” he said. “In some areas of the curriculum, the change from one grade to the other is small.”It’s in classes where subject matter changes considerably from one year to the next, such as science and social studies, that “the creativity of the teacher needs to come in,” he said.In the end, there’s no catch-all solution for what makes an effective classroom, he said.“It’s not like working at The Gap, where every sweater is folded to look exactly the same,” he says. “We’re working with human beings.”
KAMLOOPS, B.C. – A British Columbia man who recently lost his mother is fighting for his own life after a bureaucratic mix-up declared him dead.Bryan Kupiak, who is 65 and from Kamloops, is healthy but says somehow his social insurance number was substituted for his mother’s after she died in September.A death certificate with Kupiak’s name on it was issued to his estate.He says the mix-up has cost him access to his own pension and he has also had to ensure his bank accounts, driver’s licence and other important documents and services have not been compromised.Kupiak has been working with Service Canada and his member of Parliament but says the stress is intense.He has been told it could take another month or more to resolve the problem.A telephone call to an official at the old age security office, which handles pension issues, confirmed Kupiak’s predicament.“He comes back on (the line) and I said, ‘Tell me, Mohammed, am I dead or alive?’ and he says, ‘You’re deceased.’”Kupiak says the hardship is especially difficult to endure because he is still grieving the loss of his 87-year-old mother. (CFJC)
HALIFAX – They came to the orphanage because their families could not care for them. Then, disaster struck.The wards of the Halifax Protestant Orphanage were as young as three and as old as 13 when a massive explosion tore through Halifax in 1917.A century later, dozens of mourners gathered at their gravesite in a cemetery in Halifax’s north end on Sunday to ensure that even though their lives were cut tragically short, the children would not be forgotten.“The other victims that are here would have descendents, they would have families and things like that who could pay homage to them and remember them,” Rev. Randy Townsend of the St. John’s Anglican Church said in an interview.“The children of the orphanage wouldn’t have anyone. They died as young children with no families, and so we thought we would just take time out of the busyness of our lives on this day to come together and remember them.”About two dozen children and three caretakers at the orphanage were among the 2,000 people killed in the 1917 Halifax Explosion.They were laid to rest in St. John’s Cemetery in a plot marked with two aging obelisks, two gravestones, and on Sunday, a mini Canadian flag as a crowd sang hymns and held a moment of silence in their honour.Under an overcast sky, a bell rang as each of the victims’ names were called out.Townsend reflected on the trials the children must have faced growing up in an institution in the early 20th century, raised by staff members rather than a loving family.“The lives of the children perhaps were not filled with hope,” Townsend told the crowd. “Their hope may have been that one day they would be adopted out to a loving family, or that their work assignment when they became teenagers would be easy on their life. But that was not to be so.”He imagined what the children may have felt like on Dec. 6, 1917 as they scrambled to the dining hall to eat breakfast and get an early start on their chores, but their morning routine was interrupted by the sound of a clamour coming from Halifax harbour.Fearing the city was under attack during wartime, a caretaker ushered 30 children into the basement, Townsend said, hoping it would be safe. Only six of them survived, he said.The blast — the largest human-caused explosion before the first atomic bomb — followed a collision in Halifax harbour between the French munitions ship Mont Blanc and the Norwegian-flagged Belgian relief vessel Imo.As catastrophe consumed swaths of the city, there would be many more orphans in need of a home, said Gail Gardiner of Veith House, a community centre that helped host Sunday’s service.Gardiner said the children’s organization traces its origins back to the founding of the Halifax Protestant Orphanage in 1857, and has inherited its history and mission.“We feel it’s very important to remember the stories of these children … and to always make sure that’s talked about,” she said in an interview. “I think it makes us more resilient as community.”The orphanage was rebuilt shortly after the explosion and operated for more than four decades before it was shut down around the late 1960s, Gardiner said.She said Veith House was set up to support the children who were streamed into Nova Scotia’s foster care program and still maintains the original property where the Halifax Protestant Orphanage first stood.
VANCOUVER – A government communications director who pleaded guilty to breach of trust in connection with a plan to win votes from ethnic groups was “an instrument of others” including ministers in former premier Christy Clark’s cabinet, a defence lawyer told a sentencing hearing Wednesday.Ian Donaldson said Brian Bonney has admitted to some missteps as part of a so-called quick wins scandal that embroiled the B.C. Liberal party before the 2013 election but he mostly did what he was told, so his behaviour wasn’t subversive to the democratic process as the Crown maintains.Donaldson told provincial court that while Bonney lost his job after Clark appointed her deputy minister to conduct a review into allegations of the partisan use of taxpayers’ money to target minority groups, others involved in creating the strategy remained employed and received “fat severance cheques.”Bonney pleaded guilty last October before the start of a trial, though Donaldson said his client is “barely guilty” for blurring the lines between his public service employment and his partisan political activities.“This case isn’t about corruption or personal gain,” he said, adding Bonney had been on the job for seven weeks before attending a meeting in December 2011 to discuss a strategy he wasn’t involved in drafting.Donaldson has asked for a suspended sentence for what he described as a breach of employment terms. The Crown wants a conditional sentence of 12 to 23 months that would include house arrest.Court has heard Bonney supervised seven people who were tasked with building a list of ethnic organizations and individuals who would support the Liberal party.Donaldson said it’s not unusual for governments to have an agenda to engage ethnic minorities.However, Judge David St. Pierre said the evidence from the Crown has suggested only voters who supported the Liberal party were targeted.“There are people there who have partisan objectives, not good-for-the-people objectives,” he said of those involved in the outreach plan.Donaldson said no rules around the conduct of appointed and government employees existed, adding that changed in 2014 when the Liberals put procedures in place following a scathing review of the allegations.Special prosecutor David Butcher read Bonney’s private emails to the court directing community liaison workers to dial into radio shows to push the Liberals’ position on various topics, saying it was a clear example of the partisanship he tried to keep hidden.“This is a case that goes to the heart of the democratic process, which I say is an assault on all of our values,” Butcher said, adding Bonney did not display a one time lapse in judgment after decades of work as a political operative who lost a riding nomination bid to Clark in 1995.Butcher noted that in 2011, an Ontario judge handed a nine month jail sentence to a man for his part in the so-called robocalls scandal before the federal election in 2011, when up to 200 voters were sent to the wrong polling stations in a bid to favour the Conservative party.“Mr. Bonney’s conduct sought to manipulate the election results across the whole province,” he said.Butcher was appointed special prosecutor in 2013 after then NDP leader Adrian Dix filed a complaint to the RCMP about the Liberals’ conduct involving a multicultural outreach plan during a byelection campaign in 2012.A report in 2013 by Clark’s deputy minister, John Dyble, said public officials misused government resources and Bonney was among those who spent a considerable amount of time doing party work and using private emails.Clark apologized and the Liberals returned $70,000 of taxpayer money, though Butcher said there was never a full accounting of how the party arrived at that figure. He said it appears to have been half of Bonney’s salary.— Follow @CamilleBains1 on Twitter.
HANGZHOU, China – The Parti Quebecois will “have its hands full” if media magnate Pierre Karl Peladeau decides to run in the upcoming provincial election, Premier Philippe Couillard said Wednesday.The head of Quebecor Inc. resigned as PQ leader in May 2016 for family reasons, but told Radio-Canada this week he is not ruling out returning to the political arena.Couillard picked up an old attack line when asked about the rumours today while in China on a trade mission.The premier said heading a media empire and becoming involved in politics would raise conflict of interest issues and supply fodder for political commentators.“It’s not trivial that the head of a media company with the biggest reach in Quebec is also an active political adversary,” the premier said.“There aren’t a lot of examples of this and it brings up certain issues and it’s up to society to discuss this, and for him to talk about it too.”Peladeau’s Quebecor owns Le Journal de Montreal and Le Journal de Quebec, as well as a popular television network. The company has a large telecom division that provides internet, cable and cellphone services across the province.Quebecor is also involved in the magazine industry and the sports broadcast industry.Couillard said he’ll revisit the issue if and when Peladeau announces his return.News of Peladeau’s possible comeback has surfaced amid polls suggesting the PQ is languishing in third place behind the Coalition Avenir Quebec and Couillard’s governing Liberals. The Quebec election will be held Oct. 1.PQ Leader Jean-Francois Lisee told reporters this week he’d welcome Peladeau back into the fold.A trio of party stalwarts — Alexandre Cloutier, Agnes Maltais and Nicole Leger — announced last week they won’t seek re-election.Other PQ veterans have said they’re reflecting on whether to run, as are several Liberal members.Companies in this story: (TSX:QBR.B)