Producing Underwater Film Success

first_imgWhen most Nova Scotians think of great documentary producers, thename of John Davis might not spring to mind. It should. TheShelburne native may not be familiar to many viewers, but anyonewho has an even passing interest in the sea has probably seen oneof the internationally acclaimed productions created by his teamof experts. Indeed, John Davis and his widening circle of colleagues at Eco-Nova Productions are the brains behind films that have aired ontelevision stations and at museums around the world. Thecompany’s Sea Hunters series, for example, has been sold in 180countries and is the most widely distributed documentary seriesproduced in Canada. The story of Eco-Nova Productions began in quiet fashion in thelate 1990s when Mr. Davis, a former fisherman, was operating aneco-tourism business that specialized in taking European visitorson archeological searches of shipwrecks. Divers from Germany,Great Britain and Switzerland were keen to have film footage oftheir treks, which were made in conjunction with Parks Canada andNova Scotia’s Maritime Museum. The film footage sparked Mr. Davis’ entrepreneurial spirit. “Ifthere was this much interest from people who were here,” he says,”I thought the films might also be of interest to a widerEuropean television audience.” In 1996, with the support of an equity investment by the NovaScotia Film Development Corporation, Mr. Davis created a pilot TVprogram with some of the diving footage. “We are proud to partner with producers like John Davis, peoplewho are continually thinking outside the box, creating thingsthat are new and innovative,” says Ann MacKenzie, CEO of NovaScotia Film Development Corporation. The executives at Discovery Canada network were also impressed;they commissioned a 22-hour series. Executives at DiscoveryInternational quickly followed suit, ordering 26 half-hourepisodes of the show, Oceans of Mystery. Today, the seriescontinues to air in more than 152 countries. It also marked thebeginning of an evolution. “While we were making Oceans of Mystery our team decided we werepretty good storytellers, too,” says Mr. Davis. “We decided totry preparing something that moved away from the scientificbackground and leaned more toward telling some of the greatstories that can be found in the sea.” History Television was eager to buy the results, The Sea Hunters,which is now in its fourth season of production and already hasan order on the books for a fifth. “Although we work with shipwrecks in almost everything we do forthe series, we are not treasure hunters,” says Mr. Davis. “Ourprograms concentrate on the historic value of the sites we visit.Preservation is a recurring theme.” That respect for the sea world, coupled with the quality of work,are just two of the reasons that museums around the world havecome to Eco-Nova when they need video surveys of underwatersites. Indeed, the company has created partnerships with museumsand governments in Canada, the United States, Great Britain,Poland, Finland, Japan and numerous other countries. But the partnerships go beyond relationships between clients andproducer. In 2001, Mr. Davis and his business partner, PhilSceviour, brought animator Frank Forrestal and GhostshipAnimation Studios, into the Eco-Nova collective. In 2002, SonicDesign and Open Road Productions joined the group, bringing withthem the skills of accomplished sound technician John Rosboroughand the long-term camera and commercial production skills of MarcPike. “I think it’s important to find people in complementary fieldswho can bring their own area of expertise to the group. It worksbecause people are part owners, not just employees. We are allcommitted to the success and the growth of Eco-Nova.” That ever-increasing expertise also means the Eco-Nova group canperform up to 90 per cent of an average job in-house while eachgroup under the umbrella produces its own shows. It’s a system that is bringing in more than contracts. In 2002Eco-Nova won an export achievement award for growth ininternational sales and in 2003 John Davis won the Ernst & YoungEntrepreneur of the Year Award for media and entertainment. “We’ve come a long way,” says Mr. Davis. “In the space of twoyears our service companies have transformed their corebusinesses into proprietary television production. It worksbecause everyone owns a piece of the pie and we’re all doingsomething we love.” -30-last_img read more

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Traffic Advisory Annapolis County

first_imgANNAPOLIS COUNTY: Phinney Mills Bridge Phinney Mills Bridge on Todd Branch Road in Wilmont, Annapolis Co., will be closed on Wednesday, May 7, from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. A detour route is available on Trunk 1 to Bayard Route 201. Local Area Office: 902-532-1545 Fax: 902-532-7092 -30-last_img

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Traffic Advisory Colchester County

first_img -30- Local Area Office: 902-447-3160 Fax: 902-447-2891 COLCHESTER COUNTY: Highway 102 Lane Closure Northbound sections of Highway 102, between Exit 12 and Exit 13, will be reduced to one lane from Thursday, June 19 until Friday, July 18 for repaving. Work will take place during daylight hours, Monday through Friday. Traffic delays are expected. Drivers should allow extra time and drive with extra care in construction zones.last_img

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Lifeguard Services Ending for the Season

first_imgSunday, Aug. 24, will be the last day of supervision for 19 of the 21 beaches supervised by the Nova Scotia Lifeguard Service. Lawrencetown and Aylesford Lake beaches will remain supervised daily until Labour Day, Monday, Sept. 1. Lawrencetown will also be supervised on the weekends of Sept. 6-7 and Sept. 13-14. Nova Scotia Lifeguard Service director Paul D’Eon, said there has not been a drowning on a supervised beach during supervised hours in the past 33 years, and this summer has been no exception. “I’m proud to report that we have kept our record intact, to date, for another year,” Mr. D’Eon said. “Our lifeguards have performed many pro-active interventions, and we had a very low rate of major incidents.” Lifeguards have been guarding the beaches from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily since the end of June. The Nova Scotia Lifeguard Service is a joint project of the Department of Health Promotion and Protection and the Nova Scotia branch of the Lifesaving Society. For more information visit the Nova Scotia Lifeguard Service at www.nsls.ns.ca .last_img read more

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Coop Students begin Work Placements in Construction Jobs

first_imgMore than 100 high school students equipped with safety training and an interest in the skilled trades have started their summer co-op work placements in the construction sector. The students are part of the Building Futures for Youth program, which gives Grade 11 students an opportunity to safely explore a career in Nova Scotia’s construction industry. The program was developed by the Construction Association of Nova Scotia in partnership with the departments of Education, Labour and Workforce Development and the Nova Scotia Community College. “The students participating in the Building Futures for Youth program are gaining the skills and experience needed to fill good jobs, while making connections with some of the provinces best employers,” said Education Minister Marilyn More. “This program is a perfect example of government, industry and the education community working together to grow this provinces workforce and economy.” Building Futures for Youth was launched as a pilot program in 2008 with seven students from the Halifax Regional School Board participating. The following year it was expanded into Chignecto Central and Cape Breton-Victoria Regional school boards with 36 students participating. The program is now offered in all school boards with 103 students enrolled. Adam Smith, a student working with JW Lindsay Enterprises for the summer, became interested in Building Futures for Youth after seeing the success his brother had in the program. “I’m only 17 years old and I have already had the opportunity to learn new skills and gain valuable experience in several different trades,” said Mr. Smith. “In the future I could see myself with a successful career in the trades, and just like my brother, I feel like on am on a pathway to success.” Before beginning their placements, students receive two weeks of construction-specific safety training from Nova Scotia Community College. They also receive a full day of training from the Construction Association of Nova Scotia on workplace expectations. Carol MacCulloch, president of the Construction Association of Nova Scotia, said the industry trade association of more than 700 employers has been transformed through our Building Futures for Youth experiences. “We are engaged in a meaningful relationship with the education system, enriched by our school board partnerships, and energized by the enthusiasm of the students and their families while actively working to ensure a future skilled construction workforce that will benefit all Nova Scotians. You really can’t ask for more from a program.” Students who participate in Building Futures for Youth are compensated for their work by their employer and receive high school co-operative education credits for every 100 hours. Students are also issued a pre-apprenticeship identification card and may be eligible to register as a youth apprentice. Students can also gain apprenticeship hours for work performed under the supervision of a certified journeyperson. Upon successful completion, a student will receive up to 300 hours apprenticeship credit when they register in an apprenticeship program. “Through this program, the construction industry is gaining the talent and ambition of some of the most professional youth I have ever encountered,” said Royce Williston, president of Higgins Construction. “By providing these students with experience, advice and direction I am helping them make decisions about their futures, and hopefully some will choose to build a career in Nova Scotia’s construction sector.” For more information about the Building Futures for Youth program visit www.buildingfutures.ca .last_img read more

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Province Increases Competitive Advantage with Tax Credit Changes

first_imgChanges to the Film Industry Tax Credit and Digital Media Tax Credit announced today, Dec. 6, by Premier Darrell Dexter, will ensure the province’s film, television and new media industry continues to be one of the most competitive in Canada. “Innovative and competitive sectors such as this, play a significant role in the economic future of our province,” said Premier Dexter. “These changes will help increase the local industry’s competitive advantage, by providing more incentives to produce in Nova Scotia. More production means more high-value job opportunities for Nova Scotians.” Residency requirements for both credits were changed so that someone only has to so be a resident in the province during the production period. The total production cap for the Film Industry Tax Credit was also removed. These changes will be effective for productions starting on or after Dec. 1, 2010. “Eliminating the cap on labour for the Film Industry Tax Credit will, I believe, be beneficial for animation because of the disproportionately labour intensive nature of this part of the industry,” said Michael Donovan, executive producer and CEO of DHX Media Ltd. “Our animation studio in Halifax has 65 employees. Because of this change, we expect that to more than double, over the next 18 months, to 150.” DHX is a Halifax-based creator and distributor of television and film with a primary focus on children’s programming and animation. Previously, the Film Industry Tax Credit was based on what was less, either 50 per cent of the costs of eligible labour or 25 per cent of total production costs. Due to the labour intensity of digital animation, the cap limited the ability of animators to take full advantage of the credit. “We are thrilled with the updates to these important industry incentives,” said Ann MacKenzie, president and CEO of Film Nova Scotia. “This shows government’s commitment to this industry and their understanding of the major economic benefits it brings to the province.” Last month the province introduced its economic growth strategy, jobsHere, which focuses on learning, competitiveness and innovation. Nova Scotia’s film, television and new media industry is the fourth largest in Canada, generating over $100 million in economic activity and creating about 3,000 full- time jobs annually.last_img read more

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Nominations Sought for 2012 Order of Nova Scotia

first_imgNova Scotians make significant contributions to their communities every day, and the province wants help to recognize outstanding citizens with the Order of Nova Scotia. The province is seeking nominations, and renominations, for the order until Friday, March 16. “The Order of Nova Scotia is the highest honour that this province can give,” said Premier Darrell Dexter. “Nova Scotians need to help find those deserving people who work tirelessly to give back to their communities and thank them for making Nova Scotia a better place for the families who live here. “I strongly encourage people to nominate someone for the Order of Nova Scotia, or to re-nominate someone, as re-nominations have been very successful.” Nova Scotians can be nominated for a variety of reasons. In 2011, the first African Nova Scotian MLA Wayne Adams, business leader Sir Graham Day, political cartoonist Bruce MacKinnon, Mi’kmaq rights advocate Joseph Marshall and author Budge Wilson were all invested into the Order of Nova Scotia. “Receiving the Order of Nova Scotia was such an honour. The ceremony was wonderful, and I felt humbled in the company of the other outstanding recipients. It was a very special experience for me,” said Budge Wilson, author and 2011 Order of Nova Scotia recipient. “I am grateful to know that someone was touched enough by my work to take the time and effort to nominate me.” Nomination forms are available at all Access Nova Scotia centres, Province House, offices of members of the legislative assembly, Nova Scotia members of Parliament and the Senate, and municipal offices. People who wish to re-nominate need only fill out a new nomination form and submit a photocopy of the previous nomination package. For more information, contact the Protocol Office at 902-424-2467, e-mail orderofns@gov.ns.ca or visit the website at www.gov.ns.ca/iga/order.asp.last_img read more

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Province Capital Health to Conduct Joint Review

first_imgThe province and Capital District Health Authority will conduct a joint review of circumstances surrounding the release of a patient at East Coast Forensic Hospital on April 16. The patient was subsequently charged in a homicide. The joint review will be led by the deputy ministers of Health and Wellness and Justice and the CEO of CDHA. The review will determine whether all relevant policies and procedures were followed and whether they were adequate. A progress update will be provided in 30 days. -30-last_img read more

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Sexual Violence Strategy CoChairs Announced

first_imgThe province today, Jan. 31, announced the co-chairs who will lead the development of Nova Scotia’s first sexual violence strategy. “I am pleased to announce that Jean Flynn and Rene Ross will co-chair the development of this essential and significant strategy,” said Community Services Minister Joanne Bernard. “There is no place in our society for sexual violence. Together we must do more to prevent sexual violence and take better care of its victims.” The three-year strategy, which will get $2-million per year, will focus on prevention and services for victims. “There has been great work done to date by both community and government,” said Ms. Bernard. “This strategy is the next step to ensure we do everything we can to decrease these crimes and ensure victims and their families get better supports.” Ms. Flynn and Ms. Ross will be on assignment to Community Services from the Nova Scotia Advisory Council on the Status of Women. Ms. Flynn was a member of the Action Team on Sexual Violence and Bullying, and contributed to the Domestic Violence Action Plan and the Hyde Inquiry. Ms. Ross is a strong advocate within the social justice community, bringing attention to many difficult and sensitive issues, including poverty, criminalization and human rights. She has developed internationally recognized public awareness campaigns and critical research adopted by other experts in the field. She just completed a project on women’s economic security in Nova Scotia.last_img read more

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Provincial Government Offices Delay Opening

first_imgProvincial government offices in Antigonish and Guysborough counties, and all of Cape Breton will delay opening until noon today, Feb. 6, due to the winter storm. Conditions will be reassessed at 11 a.m., followed by an announcement regarding re-opening in these areas. Provincial government offices in Halifax County, Halifax metro, Hants, Colchester, Cumberland and Pictou counties will delay opening until 10 a.m. All other provincial government offices are open. -30-last_img

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New Judge Appointed for Provincial and Family Court

first_imgTim Daley is Nova Scotia’s newest provincial and family court judge. “I am pleased to appoint Mr. Daley to the bench,” said Service Nova Scotia Minister Mark Furey, on behalf of Attorney General and Justice Minister Lena Diab. Mr. Daley, of New Glasgow, was called to the bar in 1992 and received his Queen’s Counsel appointment in 2011. He has been the sole practitioner with Goodman MacDonald Law, which recently merged with Patterson Law and focused primarily in family law. He also practiced in the areas of criminal defence and civil litigation. Mr. Daley is the past president of the Nova Scotia Barrister’s Society and served as the society’s special advisor on mental health awareness. He also serves on the board of trustees for the Nova Scotia Mental Health Foundation. “Mr. Daley has greatly contributed to the practice of law in Nova Scotia,” said Mr. Furey. “His experience as an active member of our community will also bring a different perspective to the bench. I know he will make a strong judge.” Judges are appointed to both the provincial and family courts to allow flexibility in dealing with court workloads. They are selected from a list of candidates put forth by the Committee on Provincial Judicial Appointments. The committee includes two members of the Nova Scotia Barristers’ Society, judges of the provincial and family courts, and four members appointed by the Minister of Justice. The committee recommendations are based on criteria in the Guidelines for Provincial Judicial Appointments. The provincial court presides over almost all indictable offence charges under the Criminal Code, a charge of murder by an adult accused being the main exception, and has exclusive jurisdiction over all summary offence charges under provincial and federal statutes and regulations. The family court provides a forum to hear family issues, including maintenance, custody and access, and child protection matters. For more information on Nova Scotia courts, visit www.courts.ns.ca .last_img read more

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Maximum Reward to be Paid Under the Major Unsolved Crime Program

first_imgA serious crime has been solved and a man is behind bars with the help of information received through Nova Scotia’s Reward for Major Unsolved Crime Program. This week, the program paid its second maximum reward of $150,000. In July 2013, a tip received through the program helped police arrest and charge Kale Gabriel with the murder of Ryan White. Mr. White was shot on July 22, 2010, in Halifax and later died in hospital. The case was added to Rewards for Major Unsolved Crimes Program in July 2012. A year later, the program received a call from an individual with information that helped police convict Mr. Gabriel of second degree murder. On Feb. 18, 2016, Mr. Gabriel was given a life sentence. “My heart goes out to Mr. White’s family and loved ones, and I hope this conviction has given them some closure,” said Justice Minister Diana Whalen. “The information we received through the rewards program was critical in solving this case, and I thank the individual who came forward for their bravery. “I urge members of the public who may have information on any of our unsolved cases to take advantage of the incentives and please come forward.” The Major Unsolved Crime Program has been in place since 2006. Information provided through the program must lead to an arrest and a conviction before a reward can be issued. A reward of up to $150,000 will be paid from the Department of Justice to the person who provided the information. The amount of the award is determined by the importance of the information received. “Solving the most serious crimes in our community remains a priority for investigators. The Rewards program encourages those with information to come forward and assist in solving a crime,” said Halifax Regional Police Superintendent Jim Perrin, officer-in-charge of the Integrated Criminal Investigation Division. “The valuable information received has helped to solve a number of investigations, eased community concerns and, most importantly, provided victims’ families with some measure of comfort. “In the majority of unsolved homicides, we know there are people in our community who have information that could assist in putting those responsible before the courts. We hope that the success of the Rewards program to date will encourage more people with information in unsolved homicides to do the right thing and come forward.” In 2014, the program paid the maximum reward of $150,000 to an informant who came forward with information that was critical in solving the 2011 murder of Melissa Peacock. Information received through the program led to the arrests of brothers Dustin and Joshua Preeper, who are currently serving life sentences. The program has also helped solve other cases in the past including the homicide of Kevin Bowser and the homicide of Narico Danfue Downey. Those who come forward must provide their name and contact information. They may be called to testify in court. All calls will be recorded. Anyone with information should call the Rewards for Major Unsolved Crimes Program at 1-888-710-9090.last_img read more

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Exercise boosts quality of sleep in teens

first_imgExercising for more than usual may lead to improved quality and duration of sleep at night, according to a study on teenagers published Wednesday. The study in Scientific Reports journal found that getting more exercise than normal – or being more sedentary than usual – for one day may be enough to affect sleep later that night. It found that for every extra hour of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity, the teens fell asleep 18 minutes earlier, slept 10 minutes longer and had about one per cent greater sleep maintenance efficiency that night. Also Read – Pollution makes you more aggressive”Adolescence is a critical period to obtain adequate sleep, as sleep can affect cognitive and classroom performance, stress, and eating behaviours,” said Lindsay Master, data scientist at Pennsylvania State University in the US. “Our research suggests that encouraging adolescents to spend more time exercising during the day may help their sleep health later that night,” Master said. In contrast, the researchers also found that being sedentary more during the day was associated with worse sleep health. Also Read – Physical therapy better for low back painWhen participants were sedentary for more minutes during the day, they fell asleep and woke up later but slept for a shorter amount of time overall. “You can think of these relationships between physical activity and sleep almost like a teeter totter,” said Orfeu Buxton, professor of biobehavioral health at Penn State. “When you’re getting more steps, essentially, your sleep begins earlier, expands in duration, and is more efficient. Whereas if you’re spending more time sedentary, it’s like sitting on your sleep health: sleep length and quality goes down,” Buxton said. While previous research suggests that adolescents need eight to ten hours of sleep a night, recent estimates suggest that as many as 73 percent of adolescents are getting less than eight. Previous research has also found that people who are generally more physically active tend to sleep longer and have better sleep quality. However, the researchers said less has been known about whether day-to-day changes in physical activity and sedentary behaviour affected sleep length and quality. They used data from 417 participants in the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing study, a national cohort from 20 US cities. When the participants were 15 years old, they wore accelerometers on their wrists and hips to measure sleep and physical activity for one week. “One of the strengths of this study was using the devices to get precise measurements about sleep and activity instead of asking participants about their own behaviour, which can sometimes be skewed,” Master said. “The hip device measured activity during the day, and the wrist device measured what time the participants fell asleep and woke up, and also how efficiently they slept, which means how often they were sleeping versus tossing and turning,” she said. In addition to finding links between how physical activity affects sleep later that night, the researchers also found connections between sleep and activity the following day. They found that when participants slept longer and woke up later, they engaged in less moderate-to-vigorous physical activity and sedentary behaviour the next day.last_img read more

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Hyundai set to launch electric SUV Kona in India in July

first_imgGuwahati: South Korean auto major Hyundai will drive in its first electric vehicle ‘Kona’ SUV into India in July, followed by a brand new ‘Grand i10’ before the festive season as it looks to increase its share in the auto market here, a top company official said Wednesday. Besides, the automaker, which is present in India through its wholly-owned subsidiary Hyundai Motor India Ltd (HMIL), is planning to start exporting its latest compact SUV ‘Venue’ from its Chennai factory in the next 3-4 months. Also Read – SC declines Oil Min request to stay sharing of documents”We are constantly adding new products in our poprtfolio for the Indian market. We will launch our electric SUV ‘Kona’ in India in July,” HMIL Senior General Manager and Group Head (Marketing) Puneet Anand said here. He, however, declined to share specification details of the proposed sports utility vehicle planned for India. Earlier, Hyundai had announced plans to launch its first electric vehicle in a completely knock-down (CKD) form, which would be assembled at HMIL’s manufacturing plant in Chennai.last_img read more

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Tough deterrence

first_imgThe most recent brutal murder of a very small child in village Tappal of Aligarh has sent shock waves across the country, raising several questions about this grotesque and perverted act that exposed the overall decay our society is drifting towards. This is said especially because of the horrendous manner in which the little girl child was done away with. The local police, under the directions of the police leadership based in state capital Lucknow, acted rather swiftly and, in lightning action, arresting two accused, Zahid and Aslam, without any delay. Again, on June 8, acting in extraordinary speed, they apprehended Zahid’s wife Zabusta and younger brother Mehdi Hasan from neighbouring Khurja, thus rounding up all important suspects. Also Read – A staunch allyActing swiftly again, those cops responsible for dereliction of duty were summarily suspended amid allegations levelled by the victim’s mother that once her child was missing, she complained to the local police who failed to react on time and, in fact, overlooked the pleas. Meanwhile, UP police formed a Special Investigation Squad (SIS) comprising senior officers for a deeper probe to ascertain the circumstances leading to this unfortunate murder. Also, plans are afoot to book the accused under National Security Act (NSA) and Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO) 2012. These are effective acts and should act as a deterrent to prevent recurrences of a similar kind. Yet, the main focus should be on a thorough investigation so that the accused don’t end up in acquittals. Also Read – Cuban pathosThe above is imperative as one is not really sure about the investigative skills of those exercising an oversight into this heinous case. We have unpleasant memories of the Aarushi murder case where a common man is still not convinced about the verdict of whether Aarushi’s parents, the Talwars, were actually guilty or not. The scene remains hazy and far from a decisive judgment. Few years before the Aarushi case, there were the Nithari killings and initially, the investigation, like in the Aarushi case, appeared vague. The approach sadly was bereft of any professionalism. Without meaning to cast any aspersions on the professional efficacy or investigative forte of UP Police, the fresh case of the child’s murder in Aligarh merits a very dedicated approach. Here, it is pertinent to state that the main accused in the child’s abduction and murder already has four criminal cases against him dating back to 2014. He was charged under sections 376 (rape), 354 (attempt to outrage modesty) and section 363 (kidnapping) of the Indian Penal Code. Most horrible among these cases is the accused’s attempt to rape his own daughter – nothing can be more horrendous. The motive of the murder is also baffling. It is said to be related to the transaction of money between the complainant and the accused’s families. The alleged amount of money due to the accused was a paltry Rs 10,000. This exposes the mental degeneration of the accused and his sense of desperation to avenge. Definitely, he has a violent streak which only a psychiatrist can determine. Sadly, he was out on bail. How he was left off the hook so easily now deserves serious thought. It raises multiple questions – How serious was the prosecution to oppose his bail plea? Were the court proceedings in order? Was a psychiatrist consulted for a clinical examination of the accused who had the perverted inclination to violate his own daughter? Wasn’t there any accountability on the segment of judiciary granting him bail or showing such legal leniency? The police is always under criticism for doing sloppy investigations but what about the lapses or slackness in the judiciary? Here, perhaps, stands a fit case for a fresh appraisal of the judicial acts that have led to a large number of approved bails and acquittals. The prosecutors too need to be held to account for any loose pursuit of a case of murder that too of a very small child in a most inhuman manner. Had these loopholes been attended, this murder wouldn’t have happened. The offender was most likely emboldened by the prevailing fragile legal system and dared to repeat yet another ghastly act within five years of his first offence of such a grievous nature. In any case, such perverted elements who act as rabid lunatics should ideally have no place in civilised society. They need to be dealt with very harshly lest they are encumbrances on us. As per the indications available now, UP state administration is trying to ensure that there is no complacency and the culprits receive maximum punitive action. Civil societies, sociologists and people of social eminence are also expected to come in and prescribe ways to deal with this growing malaise which is not only confined to Aligarh. It is a pan-India problem. Many, in the meantime, are expressing their surprise over the perceived silence of many celebrities, especially those belonging to Bollywood as also from academia who are otherwise vocal on such sensitive issues. It is our collective social responsibility and these elements must work in close collaboration with the police so that there is a holistic approach to tackling the existing problem and there are no cases of fatally targetting such small and innocent children. (The author is a retired IPS officer of the UP cadre, a security analyst and columnist. The views expressed are strictly personal)last_img read more

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Tejashwi will not resign like Rahul Gandhi RJD

first_imgPatna: The Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) on Thursday made it clear that party leader Tejashwi Yadav will not give in to demands for his resignation and will continue as the Leader of Opposition in the Bihar Assembly. The RJD’s assertion came as Yadav finally made an appearance in the state Assembly after failing to attend the ongoing Monsoon Session for four consecutive days till Wednesday. On Saturday, the cricketer-turned-politician had clarified on Twitter that he had been undergoing treatment. Also Read – How a psychopath killer hid behind the mask of a devout laity! Following the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) Lok Sabha elections debacle and Yadav’s long absence from the state thereafter demands have been growing for his resignation. Leaders of other parties as well as ally Congress in the Assembly want Yadav to follow in the footsteps of their party chief Rahul Gandhi who stepped down from his post taking responsibility for his party’s defeat in the Lok Sabha polls. RJD spokesperson Bhai Virendra said: “Tejashwi is not a leader who will leave the responsibility of leading the opposition midway.” Also Read – Encounter under way in Pulwama, militant killed He was replying to Congress legislator Rajesh Kumar who said Yadav should learn from Gandhi and make way for a change in the leadership in order to strengthen the Grand Alliance in Bihar. “If Tejashwi resigns, all party legislators will resign along with him,” Virendra said. On Wednesday, Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) MP Chirag Paswan had demanded Yadav’s resignation as the Leader of Opposition alleging the younger son of RJD chief Lalu Prasad was not performing his duties. Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Sanjay Maunkh also demanded Yadav’s resignation on moral grounds taking responsibility for the defeat of RJD-led Grand Alliance in the Lok Sabha polls.last_img read more

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Prasar Bharati chief slams Indian mag editor for blatant antiIndia presentation at

first_imgLondon: Prasar Bharati Chairman Dr A Surya Prakash has slammed the editor of an Indian magazine for his “blatant” anti-India presentation during a session on ‘Religion and the Media’ at the Global Conference for Media Freedom in London, saying many of his statements were “false” and “inaccurate”. The panellist Vinod K Jose, Executive Editor of ‘The Caravan’ magazine, used the platform on Thursday to claim that religious minorities were being persecuted in India. Also Read – How a psychopath killer hid behind the mask of a devout laity! To buttress his argument, he showed clips of media coverage of attacks on minorities. During his presentation, Jose claimed that “a hundred Christians were murdered in India” and “the RSS engineered the pogrom against the Sikhs in 1984”. After his presentation, when the discussion was thrown open to the floor, Prakash stood up and debunked the presentation made by Jose. He said many of the statements made by ‘The Caravan’ editor were “false” and cautioned the audience about the “inaccuracies” in the presentation. Also Read – Encounter under way in Pulwama, militant killed Prakash said India was not only the world’s largest democracy, but also the most vibrant. It was also the most diverse society in the world. India had 900 million electors, of whom 600 million had voted in the recent parliamentary election. He warned that if the audience left the hall believing Jose, democracy across the world would be in jeopardy. The Prasar Bharati Chairman said there were a few activists in the world who were uncomfortable with the electoral decision made by the voters of India in the recent parliamentary election and used such fora to peddle their theories. The conference was organised jointly by the governments of the UK and Canada. “I am pained by the decision of the organisers to have given a platform for such a blatantly anti-India presentation. I don’t think anyone is furthering the cause of democracy by running down the most vibrant democracy in the world,” he said. Prakash said some time ago there were race riots in some parts of the US, but that cannot be taken as an example to brand America as a non-democratic nation or a racist nation. Further, India’s diversity was not just confined to the social space, he said, adding, “over 20 political parties govern India at the federal level and in the states, so it is wholly incorrect to state that one party runs the country”. He also pointed out that it was a free and responsible media in India which reported on social tensions and attacks on minorities and, ironically, all this reportage was used by the presenter to debunk India’s free and alert media! The Chairman of the session and the Minister of State for the Commonwealth and the UN, Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon, immediately took note of Prakash’s observations and said he had the highest respect for India’s democracy and while ethnic and other conflicts could be debated, India’s standing in the democratic world should not be in question.last_img read more

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Kankinara 55yrold man dies in blast while making bombs

first_imgKankinara: A 55-year-old man on Friday succumbed to injuries he suffered in a low-intensity bomb blast at a Kankinara club in North 24 Parganas on Friday.The incident took place on the rooftop of the club, Ramnagar Yuva Sangha, in Ramnagar Colony under Bhatpara police station area. The deceased has been identified as Bishu Sarkar. “The bomb went off during manufacturing. So far, no one has been arrested,” DCP Barrackpore Ajay Thakur told The Indian Express. Also Read – Centuries-old Durga Pujas continue to be hit among revellers Bhatpara has been tense since the Lok Sabha polls. The Bharatiya Janata Party, which won 18 Lok Sabha seats, and the Trinamool Congress have accused each other for a string of incidents of violence. At least two people were killed and 11 others injured in various incidents of violence in Bhatpara-Kankinara, long considered a TMC stronghold, since the Lok Sabha polls. Despite repeated attempts by police to maintain law and order, the situation remains volatile. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari Puja As per sources, local residents were panic-stricken as the sound of a blast could be heard from distance late on Thursday night. Local residents found Sarkar in a pool of blood. He was taken to Bhatpara State General hospital and referred to Kalyani General Hospital. He received multiple splinter injuries. On Friday morning, he succumbed to his injuries. According to police, the club gate was locked from outside when the incident took place. Police teams are conducting regular marches in sensitive areas such as lane number 3 and 5 in Kankinara. Sources said a few were detained. Police continued to appeal to people through loudspeakers to maintain peace in the area and not to pay heed to rumours. Extra forces have been deployed in the area for patrolling. On Thursday, police recovered a few crude bombs in separate raids in Kankinara. Nine people were arrested. (With inputs from Indian Express)last_img read more

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Israel demolishes Palestinian homes in Jerusalem area AFP

first_imgSur Baher: Israel began demolishing a number of Palestinian homes it considers illegal south of Jerusalem early Monday, in a move which has drawn international concern. Dozens of Israeli police and military sealed off at least four buildings in the Sur Baher area close to the Israeli security barrier cutting off the occupied West Bank early Monday, the journalist said. An earthmover later started demolishing a partially-built two storey building. Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince ‘snubbed’ Pak PM, recalled jet from US Reporters were prevented from reaching the area while residents and activists were dragged out of the homes. One man yelled “I want to die here”, after being forced out. The buildings are close to Israel’s separation barrier which cuts off the occupied West Bank and the Jewish state says they were built too close to the wall. Palestinians accuse Israel of using security as a pretext to force them out of the area as part of long-term efforts to expand settlements and roads linking them. Also Read – Record number of 35 candidates in fray for SL Presidential polls They also point out that most of the buildings are located in areas meant to be under Palestinian Authority civilian control under the agreements between the Palestinian and Israeli governments. Ismail Abadiyeh, who lives in one of the buildings under threat with his family, said they would be left homeless. “We will be on the street,” he told AFP. The Israeli army and police did not immediately comment. On June 18, residents received a 30-day notice from Israeli authorities informing them of their intent to demolish the homes, many of which are still under construction. According to UN humanitarian affairs agency OCHA, the ruling affects 10 buildings already built or under construction, including around 70 apartments. The demolitions would see 17 people displaced and another 350 affected, according to the United Nations. European Union diplomats recently toured the area and the United Nations has called on Israel to abandon the demolition plan. Residents fear another 100 buildings in the area in a similar situation could be at risk in the near future. It is extremely difficult for Palestinians to receive construction permits from Israeli authorities in areas under their control, and Palestinians and rights activists say a housing shortage has resulted. Israel occupied the West Bank and east Jerusalem in the 1967 Six-Day War. It later annexed east Jerusalem in a move never recognised by the international community. Israel began construction of the barrier during the bloody second Palestinian intifada, or uprising, in the early 2000s and says it is necessary to protect against attacks. Palestinians see it as an “apartheid wall”.last_img read more

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Decomposed body of retired WBCS officer found

first_imgKolkata: A decomposed body of a retired WBCS officer was found from his rented house on Monday night in Jadavpur.The landlord found a foul smell emitting out from the part of the house where his tenant lived and he informed police about it. According to sources, on Monday night, a man called Jadavpur police station and informed that his tenant who is a retired WBCS officer identified as Sukriti Bhusan Dutta (80) is not responding to his calls and knocks on the door. He said a foul smell was emitting from the room. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari PujaPolice rushed to the house located at 37/3, Ibrahimpur Road. After reaching the spot the landlord told the police that Dutta resided on the first floor of his two -storied house. Following that the police went upstairs and knocked on the door. After a few minutes, the police broke the door and found Dutta’s decomposed body was lying on the floor of his room. It is learnt that Dutta used to reside alone at the rented house for long time. He was known as a good human being in the area. Police recovered the body and sent it for autopsy. After a search of his room, police found no suicide note or any clues which could indicate towards foul play. It is suspected that he had fallen sick due to his age and died before he could sought help from his landlord and neighbours.last_img read more

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