zoom Due to a recent increase in the incidence of deck cargoes shifting in heavy weather, the London P&I Club said it supports a recommendation to appoint a warranty surveyor to supervise high-risk marine construction and transportation project operations where appropriate.“In the past year, LOC has seen many deck cargoes shifting in heavy weather,” Paul Walton, a director with international marine consultant LOC (Hong Kong), said.After further investigation, it has been discovered that the stowage and securing of these cargoes “did not comply” with the ship’s Cargo Securing Manual (CSM) or the practices laid down within the Code of Safe Practice for Cargo Stowage and Securing (CSS Code) or other applicable codes of safe practice, Walton added.“Such losses have prompted the view that a suitably qualified Marine Warranty Surveyor (MWS) should be recommended to attend such load-outs. This would ensure that the port captain or supercargo carries out the operation correctly, and that the master is satisfied with the stowage, securing and tensioning requirements, as is his responsibility under SOLAS,” according to Walton.An MWS provides independent third-party technical review and approval of high-value and/or high-risk marine construction and transportation project operations, beginning at the planning stage. The objective of employing such a surveyor is to make reasonable endeavours to ensure that the risks associated with the specified operations are reduced to an acceptable level in accordance with best industry practice. The role of the MWS is independent of, and complementary to, that of the port captain / supercargo.“By appointing an independent third-party MWS to review the whole operation from start to finish, carriers and charterers will reduce the high-risk factor associated with deck cargoes. The attendance of an MWS will ensure that the regular areas of failure within a deck stow such as poor lashing equipment, insufficient use of lashing equipment, and non-compliance with all relevant safety codes will be avoided,” Walton said.
zoomThe recently delivered Symphony of the Seas; Image Courtesy: STX France Miami-based cruise liner conglomerate Royal Caribbean Cruises ended the first quarter of 2018 with a further rise in its earnings.RCL delivered a profit of USD 218.7 million in Q1 2018, an increase of 1.9 percent when compared to a profit of USD 214.7 million seen in the same period a year earlier.In addition, total revenues stood at USD 2.03 billion in the quarter ended March 31, 2018, against USD 2.01 billion posted in Q1 2017.As explained, the improvement was mainly driven by better than expected revenue from RCL’s global brands and joint ventures.“We are delighted to report another record breaking quarter and to be driving towards record earnings for the year, above our initial guidance,” Jason T. Liberty, Royal Caribbean Cruises’ executive vice president and CFO, commented. “Revenues continue to excel and expenses, even including some new demand generating initiatives, continue to be carefully controlled,” Liberty added.During the quarter, the company also completed the USD 500 million share repurchase program authorized a year ago.What is more, RCL has increased its forecast of full year adjusted EPS to a range of USD 8.70 to USD 8.90 per share, USD 0.15 above the previous guidance.The company’s 2018 booked position is better than last year’s record high and ahead in both volume and rate.“This year is proving to be another strong year with all our brands firing on all cylinders,” Richard D. Fain, RCL’s chairman and CEO, said.“The market continues to support our growth as our people keep focused on delivering our targets and goals. The strength of this market plus our new ships in 2018 (Symphony of the Seas, Azamara Pursuit, Mein Schiff 1 and Celebrity Edge), position us nicely for 2019 as well,” Fain concluded.
The Labour Relations Board announced today, Nov. 1, that is hastaken action to end an illegal work stoppage which commencedtoday. The illegal work stoppage occurred at TrentonWorks Limited inTrenton, Pictou Co. These employees are represented by UnitedSteel Workers of America, Local 1231. The complaint filed today requests that the board issue a ceaseand desist order against United Steel Workers of America, Local1231 and striking members of Local 1231 who are participating inthe illegal work stoppage. The board has issued an interim order directing the membersparticipating in an illegal work stoppage to cease and desist andto return to work at their next regularly scheduled shift. -30-
Premier John Hamm is offering the province’s condolences to the family of the late Terry Donahoe, who died Tuesday night, Nov. 29, in Halifax. Mr. Donahoe had been battling cancer. He was 61. “Terry Donahoe will be remembered as a statesman and a distinguished advocate for his constituents and for all Nova Scotians,” said Premier Hamm. “I had the good fortune to serve alongside Terry and benefited immeasurably from his experience, his wise counsel, and his wit.” Mr. Donahoe served as an MLA from 1978 to 1997, and as a former cabinet minister he held a number of portfolios, including attorney general, minister of education, chair of the policy board, and chair of the management board. He was also interim leader of the official opposition. “Throughout his time as a member of the legislature, he brought compassion, intelligence, and dignity to politics in Nova Scotia,” said Premier Hamm. “Terry elevated the level and quality of public debate. On behalf of all Nova Scotians, I send deep condolences to his family, particularly his wife Lynne and daughter Moira.” Mr. Donahoe was part of a family of Nova Scotia politicians. His father, Richard, was attorney general and minister of health between 1956 and 1970. His brother, Art, served in the House of Assembly from 1978 to 1991, including a decade as Speaker. The flags at Province House in Halifax and on provincial buildings in Mr. Donahoe’s former constituency have been lowered to half-mast in his memory.
YARMOUTH COUNTY: Indian Sluice Bridge The Indian Sluice Bridge in Yarmouth County will be closed until Tuesday, May 2, between 9 a.m. and noon and between 1 p.m. and 3 p.m., while bridge inspections are carried out. The bridge will be open to traffic on the weekend. The bridge is the only access to the communities of Surrettes Island and Morris Island. It was originally scheduled to be closed until Wednesday, May 3. Local Area Office: 902-527-5448 Fax: 902-527-5371 -30-
Thelma Minard is one of 36 Nova Scotians in the South Shore area who is closer to a better career, thanks to her hard work and support from the Nova Scotia School for Adult Learning. This year, 450 adult learners in Nova Scotia will graduate with their high school diploma. Ms. Minard is one of those graduates. The Liverpool, Queens Co., resident dropped out of school at 15 and, after being out of school for 30 years, decided to go back. She plans to take office information technology at Nova Scotia Community College (NSCC) in the fall. “I went back to better educate myself and secure a job,” said Ms. Minard. “This program has given me a second chance.” The Nova Scotia School for Adult Learning is an initiative of the Department of Education. Since its inception in 2001, about 2,400 Nova Scotians of all ages and backgrounds have graduated with a high school graduation diploma. Fourteen people on the South Shore have already graduated through the Nova Scotia Community College and 22 will graduate from programs offered through the Queens and Lunenburg adult high schools of the South Shore Regional School Board. “The Nova Scotia School for Adult Learning is meeting an important need in our province,” said Karen Casey, Minister of Education. “We know that 38 per cent of Nova Scotia adults have low levels of literacy and we are working to change that. “Literacy skills are not only the key to a better life, they are essential to development of a skilled workforce for our province. I congratulate all the graduates for taking steps to improve their education and career opportunities.” The Nova Scotia School for Adult Learning co-ordinates a range of education programs for adults who want to improve their literacy skills, or complete their high school diploma. Programs are tuition free and offered at more than 150 sites across the province in partnership with NSCC, regional school boards, Université Sainte-Anne, and community-based learning organizations. “The number of students receiving their high school diplomas shows their determination and resolve to finish their education and continue to work toward their education and career goals,” said Gary Mason, principal, South Shore Adult High School. Ms. Minard will receive her diploma at the graduation ceremony for the South Shore Regional School Board on Wednesday, June 27, 6 p.m., at Dr. J.C. Wickwire Academy, 311 Old Port Mouton Rd., Liverpool.
Nova Scotians have another tool for harvesting deer, thanks to recent changes to regulations under the Nova Scotia Wildlife Act.Changes to the Firearm and Bow Regulations will allow the use of crossbows by qualified individuals for hunting deer in the province. “We are also making efforts to reduce the deer population in some areas where it has risen significantly,” said Natural Resources Minister David Morse. “In Lunenburg County, there have been hundreds of motor vehicle accidents involving deer. We are exploring many options to help municipalities with this problem.” Hunters meeting certain requirements that harvest and register a doe deer in the South Shore Zone 2A will qualify for a bonus stamp for a second deer of either sex. “Once the success of these options is measured, we are prepared to implement additional methods to reduce deer population if necessary,” said Mr. Morse. The changes are among a number of amendments made to regulations under the Wildlife Act. Others changes include: remove snapping turtle from the list of wildlife available for harvest; lower the minimum age for companion moose hunters to 16 to allow more youth and family participation in the moose hunt; extend bear snaring season so it is consistent with the closing of the bear and open deer hunting seasons; allow a licenced fur harvester to appoint another licenced fur harvester as a partner, allowing both to legally set and tend to each others traps; increase bag limits for beaver to better reflect sustainable harvest levels for regional populations.
The province is taking additional steps to protect the safety and security of staff and users of the Dartmouth Provincial Court, Justice Minister Ross Landry announced today, Aug. 25. A permanent walkthrough metal detector will be installed and at least two additional deputy sheriffs will be hired and trained to operate the device. “The increased volume of work at this courthouse means having a metal detector on a permanent basis is now appropriate,” said Mr. Landry. “Operating the permanent metal detector will control access and increase the level of security at one of our busiest provincial courts.” Provincial Courts in Halifax and Dartmouth are the two busiest in the province. In fact, the volume of hearings has doubled in Halifax and Dartmouth since 2005. Deputy sheriffs at all provincial courts perform a daily threat risk assessments and provide security tailored for that day. Recently, the threat risk assessments at the Dartmouth court have shown portable metal detectors need to be used more frequently. In addition to hiring two deputy sheriffs, other staff will also be hired, and scheduled as required, to accommodate the fluctuating demand of court operations. The department is offering deputy sheriffs who recently had their guaranteed hours reduced, first opportunity to fill the positions. “We continue to support our sheriffs and deputy sheriffs with the additional training and equipment they need to do their job,” said Mr. Landry. “Government has demonstrated it will make all necessary changes to policies and procedures to ensure that we promote safe environments throughout Nova Scotia’s justice system.”
A new long-term care facility in Hammonds Plains means seniors throughout Halifax Regional Municipality will have access to better health care in their own community. Staff and residents of White Hills Long Term Care Centre celebrated the opening of the new facility today, Sept. 22, which fulfills a government commitment to provide options for seniors to stay in their homes and communities longer. Owned and operated by GEM Health Care Group, the 58-bed nursing home is one of two long-term care facilities built to replace the Glades Lodge nursing home in Halifax. The second replacement facility, a 66-bed nursing home in Dartmouth, is expected to open in December. The facility is designed to meet new provincial standards that emphasize home-like surroundings. White Hills has two 14-unit households and two 15-unit households, a layout that reduces traffic and increases privacy for residents. This approach reflects the province’s Better Care Sooner plan, which includes making health care more patient-centred. “We’re delighted to have this brand new long-term care facility here in our community,” said MLA Mat Whynott, on behalf of Health and Wellness Minister Maureen MacDonald. “Through facilities like this, long-term care residents are getting better care in their own communities. Not only that, but it also employs people from the Hammonds Plains area.” The home has large cathedral ceilings in the living and dining room areas, a landscaped outdoor courtyard, a spiritual room and a multi-purpose room. GEM Health Care Group has hired 97 staff to provide care to the residents and manage the facility. Many of the employees live in the White Hills area. The facility has admitted eight new residents from the Hammonds Plains area since June. “Our residents were looking forward to making the move to this gorgeous new building. Everyone is really happy they’re here,” said James Balcom, director of operations, GEM Health Care Group. “New employees are in place and everything is running smoothly. Residents are especially enjoying the quieter spaces and more privacy.” White Hills residents have access to 24-hour nursing care, as well as medical, nutritional and pharmacy services, occupational therapy and physiotherapy. “I love it here, the rooms are big and spacious. There is more privacy than we had before,” said Marjorie Brown, a resident who moved from Glades Lodge. The province has opened nearly 1,100 new beds in 13 new, stand-alone facilities and 10 facility expansions as part of the 10-year, $262-million Continuing Care Strategy. Access to White Hills Long Term Care Centre, as well as other provincial long-term care facilities, is through the Department of Health and Wellness’ Single Entry Access system at 1-800-225-7225.
Bullying, in all its forms, is a heartbreaking and complex problem with no easy answers. That’s why Nova Scotians owe a debt of gratitude to the members of the Nova Scotia Task Force on Bullying and Cyberbullying. Their hard work has set us on a path toward addressing many of the underlying issues that contribute to bullying. It was an exhaustive endeavour delivered under a very tight time-line. I want to publicly thank Wayne MacKay, members of the task force and working group for their dedication. I also want to thank the thousands of Nova Scotians who shared their stories and offered their input into the report. Acting on the recommendations is an important part of Kids and Learning First, our plan for education. Department staff are analyzing each of the recommendations and working on an action plan. Our approach will be collaborative. Everyone needs to understand that bullying and cyberbullying are societal problems and it will require a community response. We will meet with partners, in and outside of government, and identify first priorities. We can get to work right away on rolling out school-based services to youth through the expansion of SchoolsPlus. We can engage students directly to create their own exciting public awareness campaigns, and we can move forward with the task force recommendations that expand mental health services to students through government’s mental health strategy and Kids and Learning First. We can begin delivering on the recommendation to collect and act on the vital data the task force said we need, using our new student information system, INSchool. At the same time, Nova Scotians need to understand that we may not be possible to act on all 85 recommendations, exactly as written. Our goal is to capture the spirit of them. The task force recommended establishing an office of anti-bullying co-ordinator. I firmly believe we can use existing resources and expertise to fulfill the mandate of that recommendation without creating an extra layer of administration in the civil service. Nova Scotians want action on the issue — not more administrators. I agree that someone should be appointed full-time to co-ordinate provincial and community-based anti-bullying initiatives. The other issue that has captured some attention is the task force recommendation to ban cellphones in classrooms. Educating students about using technology responsibly is the best course, I believe. Technology is such a huge part of our lives and mobile devices are rapidly becoming valuable learning tools in the classroom. Cellphones have more technology in them now than the computers used to send a mission to the moon. We are in the 21st century and learning has changed. Cellphones are tools. Cellphones don’t cyberbully, people do. We must focus our attention on those using the technology responsibly. Schools have rules and policies around appropriate use of cellphones, and they manage them very well. Education needs to harness rather than ban such computing power for the benefit of students. I look forward in the weeks and months ahead to work with parents, students, school boards, educators and other departments to deliver on our mandate of keeping children safe. -30-
Les écoles reçoivent une nouvelle ressource qui les aidera à appuyer les élèves atteints d’un trouble du spectre de l’autisme. Le guide « Élaboration et mise en œuvre de programmes pour les élèves ayant un trouble du spectre de l’autisme » est un outil pratique pour les enseignants, le personnel de l’école et les équipes de soutien afin de les aider à répondre aux besoins des élèves atteints d’un trouble du spectre de l’autisme (TSA). « En tant que province, nous nous sommes engagés à aider les personnes atteintes d’autisme et leurs familles pendant toute leur vie, a dit Ramona Jennex, ministre de l’Éducation. Ce guide est une autre façon d’aider nos écoles à travailler avec les forces et les défis de chaque élève et de leur donner l’appui dont ils ont besoin pour réussir. » Le guide inclut des renseignements sur la façon dont les élèves atteints d’autisme apprennent, ainsi que des stratégies pratiques d’enseignement. Il aborde les comportements difficiles et les problèmes de transition tels que passer d’une activité à une autre, ce que les enfants atteints d’autisme trouvent souvent difficile. Il offre également des conseils pour aider les écoles et les parents à bien communiquer et à offrir du soutien coordonné. « Cette ressource est un mélange unique de renseignements fiables et de stratégies pratiques, et elle sera utilisée souvent, a dit Anne Sangster, enseignante au centre d’apprentissage de l’école secondaire Auburn Drive. Elle m’aidera à mieux comprendre les troubles du spectre de l’autisme ainsi que la façon dont les élèves atteints d’un TSA apprennent. » Des enseignants, les spécialistes de l’autisme des conseils scolaires, le personnel du ministère de l’Éducation et des professionnels de la santé ont contribué à l’élaboration de ce guide, qui mise également sur la recherche et les pratiques exemplaires des autres provinces. « Le fait d’avoir cette ressource dans les écoles de la Nouvelle-Écosse contribuera à l’évaluation des élèves atteints d’un TSA et de l’élaboration de programmes à leur intention, a dit Dr Susan Bryson, professeure et titulaire de la chaire Craig en recherche sur l’autisme au IWK Health Centre et à l’Université Dalhousie. Il s’agira d’une ressource précieuse pour le personnel des écoles et les familles qui travaillent ensemble pour faire en sorte que les jeunes atteints d’un TSA obtiennent la meilleure éducation possible. » Chaque école en Nouvelle-Écosse recevra le nouveau guide. Le gouvernement provincial offre également un financement ciblé aux conseils scolaires pour des ressources et du perfectionnement professionnel liés à l’autisme, ainsi que la planification de la transition pour les élèves atteints d’un trouble du spectre de l’autisme qui commencent à fréquenter l’école. Le nouveau guide peut être consulté au studentservices.ednet.ns.ca .
Improving a local park in Bible Hill is one of six projects in the Fundy region receiving grants totalling nearly $238,000 to help Nova Scotians stay fit and have fun. The region’s grants were announced today, June 20, through the Recreation Facility Development Program. “Community organizations and recreation facilities like parks offer Nova Scotians a wide variety of ways to get active and lead healthier lives,” said Truro-Bible Hill MLA Lenore Zann, on behalf of Health and Wellness Minister David Wilson. “The province is providing nearly $2 million toward 59 projects provincewide so children, youth, and families can stay fit and have fun.” The Village of Bible Hill is getting $70,000 to upgrade the Bible Hill Recreation Park. “The village is very pleased that the Province of Nova Scotia has provided funding for the upgrades at the Bible Hill Recreation Park,” said Tom Burke, chair of village commission. “This grant will help fund the completion of washrooms, a splash pad, and a gazebo this summer for the enjoyment of our community.” The grants help community groups, municipalities and other not-for-profit organizations develop facilities to increase public participation in sport and physical recreation. Examples include renovations to buildings, developing and maintaining walking trails, and building and upgrading fields used for sport and recreation. The grants support Thrive!, the province’s plan for a healthier Nova Scotia. The plan has 34 actions to create supportive environments for healthy eating and physical activity. Learn more at thrive.novascotia.ca .
After a slow start to the year, Nova Scotia is beginning to see some positive results during the peak tourism season. Visits for the month of July are up one per cent over last year. “While we are seeing some positive signs, results so far this year are mixed as we work to address a significant decline in tourism over the last 10 years,” said Patrick Sullivan, CEO of the Nova Scotia Tourism Agency. “Through the Nova Scotia Tourism Agency, we are working with our industry partners on a new strategic approach to reverse this trend and increase our competitiveness on the world stage. “We are focused on bringing more first-time visitors and creating a solid foundation for real growth over the long term.” The province welcomed 968,800 visitors in the first seven months of 2013, a decrease of two per cent compared with the same period in 2012. “Our 2013 marketing campaign was heavily focused in Ontario and, for the first time in many years, Quebec, which offer great potential for first-time visitors, and make up more than a quarter of our annual visits,” said Mr. Sullivan. “Though visitors from both markets were up in June, for instance, we know it will take time and perseverance to see the lasting increases we are all looking for. We will be watching results from the rest of the peak season with great interest.” Results from January to May typically account for almost one third of annual visits to Nova Scotia. More than 50 per cent of annual visitors arrive between June and September, when most vacationers are travelling. The remaining 20 per cent of visitors arrive between October and December. From January to July, more than 1.3 million room nights were sold in Nova Scotia, down three per cent from the same period last year. July numbers were down in Halifax, which saw major events such as the Tall Ships festival and the Telus World Skins Game in 2012. Overall visits from Canada are down two per cent year-to-date, but rebounded one per cent in the month of July. Early indications show visitors travelling by road from Ontario and Quebec increasing significantly so far in August. Road travel makes up 68 per cent of annual visits to Nova Scotia. About 70,000 Americans visited the province in the first seven months of the year, similar to the same period in 2012. Visits from the United Kingdom were up 18 per cent, while visits from Germany decreased 17 per cent. Air visits have declined five per cent to date this year, because of a reduction in domestic and American flight capacity. Road visits are down by one per cent. Cruise ship passenger arrivals increased significantly in the first half of the year. Visits to the Port of Halifax were up 24 per cent to the end of June, and visits to Sydney were up 149 per cent to the end of July. Detailed results can be found at www.novascotiatourismagency.ca/current-performance. Nova Scotia’s comprehensive system for reporting monthly tourism statistics includes counting non-resident overnight visitors at entry points to the province and gathering the number of room nights sold from licensed accommodation operators. Cruise passenger statistics are provided by the Port of Halifax and Sydney Ports Corporation and are not included in overall visitor statistics. Tourism is an important contributor to Nova Scotia’s economy. In 2010, the industry directly employed more than 24,000 people and generated revenues of more than $2 billion.
Government is reminding parents, students, teachers, administrators and employers to complete an online questionnaire by Friday, July 8 to help develop a student attendance policy to increase student success and achievement in the classroom. The Department of Education and Early Childhood Development is looking for input on key issues and ideas to help improve overall attendance. Based on the information gathered from the online survey, focus groups, consultations and research, the department will develop a new policy to provide a consistent approach in schools in the fall. “I want to thank those who have already expressed their views, and I encourage more Nova Scotians to share ideas on how we can better support student learning through improved attendance,” said Education and Early Childhood Development Minister Karen Casey. “We know this is a complex issue with many reasons why students are missing class. That is why we need to have this conversation with students, parents and teachers to help develop a policy that is flexible to recognize students’ individual needs and respects the professional judgment and knowledge of our teachers.” The Action Plan for Education is designed to help students do better and that includes supporting regular attendance at school through a provincewide student attendance policy. The questionnaire is available at http://www.ednet.ns.ca/attendance .
New Delhi: Prime Minister-elect Narendra Modi on Thursday congratulated newly-elected Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy and assured him of full cooperation from the Centre. “Congratulations to @ysjagan on taking oath as Andhra Pradesh’s Chief Minister. I assure full cooperation from the Centre. We will work together to take Andhra Pradesh to new heights,” Modi said in a tweet. Governor E.S.L. Narasimhan administered Jagan Reddy the oath of office and secrecy at a public ceremony held at Indira Gandhi Municipal Stadium in Vijayawada. Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao and DMK leader M.K. Stalin were also present. The 46-year-old Jagan Reddy is the second Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh after the state’s bifurcation in 2014. He succeeds N. Chandrababu Naidu, whose Telugu Desam Party (TDP) suffered the worst-ever defeat in the elections held last month.
Kolkata: State-run Allahabad Bank is looking at a modest business growth of 9 per cent during fiscal year 2019-20 through a focus on consolidating current account and savings accounts (CASA) base and increasing dependency under the retail sector, according to its latest annual report. The bank’s total deposits stood at Rs 2,14,335 crore at the end of the last financial year registering a year-on-year (y-o-y) growth of 0.34 per cent. The share of CASA deposits in aggregate deposits increased to 49.49 per cent at the end of March as compared to 46.50 per cent a year ago. The bank reduced its bulk deposits by 43.87 per cent y-o-y from Rs 3,247 crore to Rs 1,823 crore during March, the report said. Also Read – SC declines Oil Min request to stay sharing of documentsCASA deposits with a special focus on savings bank deposits were the focus areas at the ground level, it said. Consequently, CASA deposits increased by 7.77 per cent y-o-y during financial year 2018-19 and savings bank deposits increased by 6.89 per cent. “Bank is looking at a modest business growth of 9 per cent during FY20 through focus on consolidating CASA base and increasing dependency under retail sector,” the lender’s Managing Director and CEO S.S. Mallikarjuna Rao said. During the FY19, there was “severe pressure on quality of assets and the rise of NPA” in the bank, which was not an isolated phenomenon but part of the overall industry trend, the report pointed out. The gross NPA ratio increased to 17.55 per cent in FY19 from 15.96 per cent in FY18.
Washington DC: The United States and Iran said Tuesday they were not seeking war with each other as tensions simmered between the two in the Persian Gulf and President Donald Trump vowed the US would respond to any attack. “We have a lot of things going with Iran,” Trump told reporters as he left the White House for a campaign event in Florida. “We’ll see what happens. Let me just say this: We are very prepared.” Trump’s comments came just hours after he announced the sudden departure of acting Pentagon chief Patrick Shanahan, jolting the Defense Department only a day after he signed off on sending an additional 1,000 troops to the Middle East to counter Iran. Also Read – Merkel warns UK Brexit deal ‘unlikely’ without compromise: LondonOn a visit Tuesday to US Central Command in Florida, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said he was confident the US is taking the necessary steps to confront any challenge from Iran. He said the military is ready to respond to any attack by Iran on U.S. interests or Iranian disruption of international shipping lanes through which much of the world’s oil supplies flow. Pompeo said Trump only wants to reestablish a deterrent to Iranian threats. “President Trump does not want war, and we will continue to communicate that message, while doing the things that are necessary to protect American interests in the region,” he told reporters. Also Read – India, China should jointly uphold peace and stability, resolve disputes through dialogues: Chinese ambassadorPompeo said he made the trip to meet with commanders who would be responsible for any operations in the Gulf to ensure that America’s diplomatic and military efforts are coordinated “to make sure that we’re in the position to do the right thing.” The “right thing,” he said, “is to continue to work to convince the Islamic Republic of Iran that we are serious and to deter them from further aggression in the region.” Similarly measured sentiments of resolve came from Iran, where President Hassan Rouhani said, “We do not wage war with any nation,” but Iranians will withstand mounting US pressure and prevail in the brinksmanship. Iran announced on Monday that it could soon start enriching uranium to just a step away from weapons-grade levels, a challenge to Trump’s assurances to allies that the US withdrawal from the deal last year made the world safer. The Pentagon responded by ordering the additional troops to the region, including security forces for added surveillance and intelligence-gathering. The US accuses Iran of attacking two tankers near the Persian Gulf; the Iranians deny responsibility. With details murky and no one owning up to the attacks, the Pentagon released new photos intended to bolster its case. In Congress, some lawmakers expressed worry that the gradual buildup of US troops in the Middle East could become a slippery slope. “We expect the administration to seek authorization (from Congress) prior to any deployment of forces into hostilities or areas where hostilities with Iran are imminent,” said a statement from a bipartisan group of senators led by Democrat Tim Kaine of Virginia and Republican Mike Lee of Utah. Yet some Republicans argued that rising tensions necessitate a more forceful response from the White House. “You can’t have provocative acts by a rogue regime go unanswered,” Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina said, adding that he doesn’t believe the president would need to come to Congress before striking Iran. Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas said he favored a “retaliatory military strike.” In announcing the new deployment before he resigned, Shanahan said the forces are “for defensive purposes to address air, naval, and ground-based threats” in the Mideast.
Guwahati: The flood situation in Assam continued to be grave on Friday with more than half of the districts submerged by waters of the Brahmaputra river and its tributaries, leading to the death of three persons and affecting 4.23 lakh people.The swirling flood waters have forced the railway authority to control train services due to “settlement of tracks” in the Lumding-Badarpur hill section, Northeast Frontier Railway sources said. According to Assam State Disaster Management Authority (ASDMA), the affected districts are Dhemaji, Lakhimpur, Biswanath, Nalbari, Chirang, Golaghat, Majuli, Jorhat, Dibrugarh, Nagaon, Morigaon, Kokrajhar, Bongaigaon, Baksa, Sonitpur, Darrang and Barpeta. Also Read – How a psychopath killer hid behind the mask of a devout laity!Barpeta is the worst hit with over 85,000 people reeling under the impact of the floods, it said. The ASDMA said nearly 800 villages in 41 revenue circles are under water and about 2,000 marooned people have been put up in 53 relief camps and relief distribution centres set up by the district administrations. Kaziranga National Park, the famed habitat of the Great Indian Rhino and a World Heritage site, has been affected too forcing the authorities to set up road barricades on the national highway passing near it to limit the speed of vehicles, said Kaziranga divisional forest officer Ruhini Saikia. Also Read – Encounter under way in Pulwama, militant killedThe Golaghat administration has also imposed prohibitory orders under Section 144 CrPC in the areas near the park as the animals are coming out from it to go to the Karbi Anglong hills across the national highway in search of safety in its high grounds. To ensure the safety of ferry passengers in view of the rising water level and fast current in Brahmaputra, the Inland Water Transport Division has temporarily suspended operation of all departmental boats/ vessels in the Guwahati-based ferry services under it from July 12 till further order.
London: India head coach Ravi Shastri has claimed that sending M.S. Dhoni to bat at No. 7 in their 18-run World Cup semi-final loss to New Zealand was a team decision. In the first semi-final, which was played over two days due to rain in Manchester, India restricted the Black Caps to 239/8 in 50 overs. But chasing a modest 240 for a place in the final, India were blown away by the Kiwi bowlers led by Matt Henry (3/37) on the reserve day. India lost four top order batsmen for just 24 runs inside 10 overs before Ravindra Jadeja (77) and Dhoni (50) shared a 116-run seventh wicket stand to raise hopes of an unlikely victory. However, it wasn’t enough in the end as India fell short by 18 runs. But Dhoni was sent in to bat after Dinesh Karthik who came in at No. 5 followed by Hardik Pandya, raising quite a few eyebrows. Also Read – Squadrons which participated in Balakot air strike awarded citations on IAF Day”It was a team decision. Everyone was in with it — and it was a simple decision, too. Last thing you wanted was Dhoni coming out to bat early and getting out — that would have killed the chase,” Shastri was quoted as saying. “We needed his experience later. He is the greatest finisher of all time — and it would have been criminal to not make use of him in that way. The whole team was clear on it,” Shastri reasoned. Asked about India’s long standing problem of finding a stable No. 4 batsman, Shastri admitted that has been a area of concern and in the long run, the team needs a solid batter there. Also Read – SC declines Oil Min request to stay sharing of documents on Reliance penalty”In hindsight, yes, we did need a solid batsman out there in the middle order. But now, that’s something for the future. That’s a position that was always giving us problems, but we just couldn’t nail it. (K.L.) Rahul was there but then Shikhar Dhawan got injured. Then Vijay Shankar was there, and he got injured. We just couldn’t control it.” Shastri added that this Indian team is on the right path and with a couple of youngsters in the batting order, it would be more stronger.”This is a tough team. A magnificent team. Look at how we bowled. The way the batsmen batted. A couple of youngsters might come in the middle and make this even more stronger. It’s a team on the right path a” they know it. It was in the semi-final that they stumbled and Shastri, like skipper Virat Kohli and vice-captain Rohit Sharma, said that 30 minutes of bad cricket cannot undermine the fact that India were good throughout the campaign.
Patna: A month after 153 children died of Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES) in Bihar’s Muzaffarpur, six fresh cases were reported in the district on Saturday, leading to panic among health officials. According to District Health officials, two of the six children admitted at the Shri Krishna Memorial College Hospital (SKMCH) are critical. “Four children are undergoing treatment in the general ward, while two are in the Intensive Care Unit,” officials said. Cases of AES declined in Bihar since the arrival of monsoon last month. Till date, 132 children have died of AES at SKMCH and 21 at Kejriwal Hospital in Muzaffarpur. More than 650 cases of AES have been reported this year.