Kolkata: The Calcutta Medical College and Hospital (CMCH) authorities have taken up a beautification drive with an aim to provide better environment to the patients admitted to the hospital for treatment.A children’s park is being set up outside the hematology department of the hospital where all the basis amenities will be available for kids. One of the main objectives of the initiative is to ensure that the children coming to the hematology department with various blood related ailments can spend some quality time with their family members. Also Read – City bids adieu to Goddess DurgaThe park will come up near gate number 1 of the Calcutta Medical College and Hospital. Once the project is completed, the children admitted to the various departments of the hospital can indulge in recreation at the park. This will reduce the stress of the patients and help them overcome the monotony during their stay at the hospital. It was learnt that there would be various amusement rides and games for children in the park. According to sources in the hospital, a swing will also be put up inside the park. The park will come up close to the hematology ward of the hospital. Patients suffering from Thalassemia and other blood-related problems often visit the hospital for blood transfusion. They have to wait on the hospital campus. Children and their family members can spend some time in the park. Patients, who wait in the queue for a long time, can also step into the park and enjoy the breeze in the hot summer days. Various colourful lights will be installed to illuminate the park. This apart, a fountain will be erected within the park. There will a big water reservoir under the fountain to ensure regular supply of water. Also Read – Centuries-old Durga Pujas continue to be hit among revellersApart from setting up park, a host of other beautification drives have been taken up. It may be mentioned here that the hospital compound has been given a different look following the construction of new gates. Roads that connect one department with another on the hospital campus have been reconstructed. In a significant move, the CMCH authorities have installed an underground fire fighting system to check fire hazards at the hospital.
London: Veteran all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan scored a half century but New Zealand pacer Matt Henry starred with the ball to bowl Bangladesh out for 244 in 49.2 overs in their World Cup tie at the Kennington Oval on Wednesday. Shakib scored 64 off 68 balls, his innings laced with seven fours, but lacked support from the other end as Bangladesh kept losing wickets. For the Kiwis, Henry (4/47) was the pick of the bowlers with his figures the best in the World Cup so far. For India, leg-spinner Yuvendra Chahal also returned figures of 4/51 against South Africa. Also Read – We don’t ask for kind of tracks we get: Bowling coach ArunAfter being put in to bat, Bangladesh openers Tamim Iqbal and Soumya Sarkar were off to a good start, sharing a 45-run stand for the opening wicket before Henry clean-bowled Sarkar (25) just when he was looking good. Iqbal (24) followed suit, skying a super fast Lockie Ferguson bouncer to Trent Boult at midwicket. The experienced pair of Mushfiqur Rahim (19) and Shakib then joined hands for a 50-run partnership for the third wicket before the former ran himself out. Shakib and Mohammed Mithun also looked good with a 41-run stand but Colin de Grandhomme ensured the Kiwis kept taking wickets at regular intervals, sending Shakib back in the hut with a caught behind. Mithun (26) holed out to Grandhomme at fine leg off Henry soon after while Mahmudullah (20) was not in his elements, flapping a Mitchell Santner (1/41) delivery to Williamson at cover. Mohammad Saifuddin then played an important 23-ball 29 run cameo before Henry, bowling the final over, snared two wickets in two balls to bowl them out.
Mumbai: Actor-filmmaker Dhanush, who is gearing up for the global release of his maiden international film “The Extraordinary Journey of the Fakir”, says it deals with the issue of global immigration and shows it a positive light. The story of the film starts from India and travels to different places like Paris, London and Libya as the central character Ajatashatru Lavash Patel sets out on his journey. It touches upon the problems that many immigrants are facing worldwide. Also Read – ‘Will be acting till I die’ Talking about it, Dhanush told IANS here: “We have dealt with the issue of immigration in a very positive way in the film. It may or may not make a difference but that was not the only intention to make the film. Primarily, it is a film, a journey of Ajatashatru and how that is intertwined with global immigration.” Directed by Ken Scott, “The Extraordinary Journey of the Fakir” is based on a novel written by Romain Puertolas. The film features international actors like Bérénice Bejo, Erin Moriarty, Barkhad Abdi and Gérard Jugnot. Also Read – ‘Always looking for that one great love’ A young actor who has worked extensively in the south Indian film industry, Dhanush is a National Award winning artiste who has made his mark with movies like “Aadukalam”, “Kaaka Muttai” and “Visaranai”. Asked about how collaborating with international actors has widened his vista, he said: “It was a great experience of working with actors coming from different countries and (knowing) a different school of thought. I have observed a lot during the filming and learnt about their perspective on acting. “Ken is an international director and his style is different from ours… those things were a learning experience for me. I am really fortunate to work with some of the global talents,” Dhanush said. The film has travelled to some international film festivals already. Dhanush said it is pretty overwhelming to see he has fans outside India and they liked the film. “I think the film worked for them. We have gone to some of the key markets where the audience appreciated the film. Having said that, I think I am too young and new to comment on the business and market of the film at the international market. Of course, there is potential, but I cannot analyse it.” Dhanush has also acted in Bollywood films like “Raanjhanaa” and “Shamitabh”. While fans would love to see more of him in Hindi films, he says: “I just want to be part of good scripts, good content… and not really thinking of any region barrier or language for that matter. I am willing to explore stories from all the regions — whether it is Tamil, Hindi or English. What matters the most is if the story is compelling. “When I read a script, it is the relatability that matters to me… The impact creates the magic.” “The Extraordinary Journey of the Fakir” is releasing on June 21.
Ingredients Soy Sauce (low-sodium) 5 tsp Dry Sherry 2 tsp Sesame Oil (toasted) 2 tsp Chicken Breasts (boneless) 450 g Water 3 tbsp Rice Vinegar 2 tbsp Sugar 1 tbsp Cornstarch 1 tsp Canola Oil 4 tsp Red Chile Peppers (dried) 4 Also Read – PUMPKIN MASH, TAMATAR RASSAGreen Onions 4 Bok Choy Cabbage (coarsely chopped) 2 cups Gingerroot (grated) 2 tsp Unsalted Dry-Roasted Peanuts (chopped) ¼ cup Brown Rice (hot cooked) 11/3 cup Preparation Stir together 2 teaspoons of soy sauce, the sherry and sesame oil in a bowl. Add chicken and toss to coat. Cover and let marinate at room temperature for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, stir together water, rice vinegar, sugar, cornstarch, and remaining 3 teaspoons soy sauce; set aside. Also Read – DATES AND MILK CRUMBLEHeat 2 teaspoons of canola oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Stir-fry chicken until nearly cooked through for about 5 minutes. Remove chicken. Add chilli peppers, green onions, and remaining 2 teaspoons canola oil to skillet; stir-fry for 1 minute. Add bok choy and ginger; stir-fry for 1 minute more. Add chicken and soy sauce mixture; cook until bubbling. Sprinkle with peanuts and serve with rice. (Courtesy: www.allrecipes.com)
Actor Brijendra Kala, who features in the new season of web series ‘Aam Admi Family’, says he may have acted in several films, but feels he is yet to get his due in Bollywood. Starting from 2003, Brijendra has appeared in films like Jab We Met, Mithya, Agneepath, Paan Singh Tomar, Ankhon Dekhi, PK, Tubelight and Batti Gul Meter Chalu, to name a few. Talking about his career in the entertainment industry, Brijendra said: “Honestly speaking, I do not want to crib about the fact that I have no work because by the grace of God, I am working every single day and that is a big deal for actors like me who is only offered a few scenes in so-called ‘big films’. But that cannot be a factor to satisfy me and go easy.” Also Read – An income drop can harm brain”My desire to do the best role, deliver the best performance is yet to come because the film industry is yet to give my due as a performer,” he further added. After dabbling in theatre for more than 17 years, Brijendra decided to make a move to cinema and he never felt disheartened by doing small character roles in films. He reflected: “By the time I entered the industry, I was married and I had the responsibility to run my kitchen. I did not want to join TV shows because that looks like a job. In TV series, I will live with one character for years and that is not creatively challenging for me.” Also Read – Shallu Jindal honoured with Mahatma Award”So instead of refusing small roles, I decided to take them up and make them my own, so that the audience can notice me as an actor,” he added. The 50-year-old actor currently features on TVF’s Original show ‘Aam Admi Family Season 3’, which began streaming on MX Players from June 14. The story of the five-episode show revolves around a middle-class family, and Brijendra plays Mr. Sharma, a father. Asked if there is any sense of insecurity he faces while playing character roles, the veteran actor narrated an incident. “I was playing an important negative character in the Ranbir Kapoor starrer ‘Besharam’ and I wrote my character in the film alongside director Abhinav Kashyap. After finishing the shoot of 10 days, when I went on set, I was told that I am not in the film any more. I was supposed to shoot for 20 days, but I was thrown away from the film. They gave me a remuneration of 10 days and asked me to leave.” “I really had a high hope with that character and the film, but yes the character was removed from the story. Such things happen with us… Of course, I was disheartened but it did not break my spirit,” added the actor.
Pune: At least 15 people, including four children, were killed and two others injured here Saturday when a portion of a 22-ft high compound wall of a housing society collapsed on adjoining shanties following incessant rains, trapping the sleeping families under the debris, officials said. The incident took place between 1:30 am and 1:45 am at Kondhwa and the victims were labourers and their family members, a majority of them from Bihar, who were living in makeshift shelters at the under-construction residential project where deep excavation work was underway. Also Read – Balakot strikes show major shift in govt’s handling of terror attacks: IAF chiefThe residents of Alcon Stylus alleged on Saturday that they had warned the developer of the housing society about the dangerous condition of the retaining wall of one of the buildings five months ago, but no action was taken. “We had a meeting on February 16 with Vivek Agarwal (a partner at Alcon Landmarks) over the pending works. We highlighted the condition of the wall, told him that it was tilting outward and its construction quality was not satisfactory,” a resident of the housing society said. Also Read – Pak activated 20 terror camps, 20 launch pads along LoCThe Minutes of Meeting (MoM) were sent to the developer firm by an e-mail later, he added. Pune Municipal Corporation commissioner Saurabh Rao said prima facie, it appears the soil may have loosened due to heavy rain coupled with the excavation work that was carried out “irresponsibly” close to the retaining wall of the housing society. The intensity of the impact increased as many cars parked along the wall inside the society too fell on the shanties, officials said. Pune received 73.1 mm rain on Friday, the second highest in June since 2010.
New Delhi: Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Monday condoled the death of 29 passengers in a bus accident in Uttar Pradesh. Twenty-nine people were killed and 18 injured after a Lucknow-Delhi state-run bus skidded off the Yamuna Expressway and fell into a large drain in UP in the early hours of Monday. Gandhi said he is pained by the news of the accident on Yamuna Expressway. “I express my deepest condolences to the families of those who died in the accident. I wish for the speedy recovery of the injured,” he said in a Facebook post.
Los Angeles: “Doctor Strange” sequel is officially in the works with Scott Derrickson directing the film, featuring Benedict Cumberbatch as the Sorcerer Supreme.During a presentation at the San Diego Comic-Con, Marvel Studios announced that the second standalone of the character is titled “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse” and will hit the theatres on May 7, 2021 The first “Doctor Strange” released in 2016 and since then the character has appeared in “Thor: Ragnarok”, “Avengers: Infinity War” and “Avengers: Endgame”. Also Read – I have personal ambitions now: PriyankaDerrickson told Variety, that the sequel will mine the original comics and play up “the gothic, the horror”. The movie will also feature Elizabeth Olsen, who will reprise her role as Scarlet Witch.Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige revealed that Scarlet Witch will join Doctor Strange following the events in Disney Plus series “Wandavision”, which was also announced at the same Comic-Con presentation.
NEW DELHI: Unidentified persons broke into the house of an elderly woman here, and robbed her of valuables before killing her.The incident, which took place in the upscale DLF phase 1 area, came to light on Friday when the sister of the woman visited her house after she did not attend the phone calls, an official said. The deceased, Indira, 60, was unmarried and living alone in E-Block of the locality, he said. Indira was found dead in the bedroom of her house and valuables, including gold bangles and a gold chain, were missing from her body, the official said. Also Read – After eight years, businessman arrested for kidnap & murderSubhash Bokan, PRO, Gurgaon Police, confirmed the incident and said it appears that the attackers strangulated the woman after robbing her. Indira’s sister, who lives in the Sushant Lok phase 1 area, said she repeatedly called the victim on Friday morning but she did not answer the calls. Later she visited her house and found her lying unconscious in her bed, she said, adding she informed the police about it. Bokan said they have launched an investigation in the case. “An FSL team has collected samples in the house. CCTV footage of the area is being checked to find clues about the accused persons,” he said.
New York: An Indian-origin man in the US has been charged with killing four family members, including his wife and in-laws, in their apartment in Ohio’s Hamilton City, according to a media report. Gurpreet Singh, 37, could face the death penalty if convicted, FOX19 NOW reported. He was booked into Butler County Jail Friday after his return from Connecticut and is scheduled to appear in court on Monday. A Butler County grand jury indicted Singh on four counts of aggravated murder in the fatal shootings of his wife, her parents and her aunt on April 28. With specifications of using a firearm and killing two or more persons, Singh could face the death penalty if convicted, the report said. Each family member had at least two gunshot wounds in the head.
Srinagar: National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval, who has been camping here since Tuesday, talked to locals and security personnel during a quick tour of the sensitive downtown area here on Friday, officials said. The NSA, accompanied by his aides and senior police officers, visited the Eidgah locality and stopped at various places to interact with locals. He later talked to police and Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel and thanked them for their wonderful work in maintaining law and order. The NSA has instructed the security forces deployed in Jammu and Kashmir to ensure that the common people are not harassed in any manner during the tight restrictions imposed in the wake of abrogation of the constitutional provisions that accorded special status to the state, the officials said. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM’Doval went to Shopian in south Kashmir on Wednesday and talked to the locals. He also interacted with the police and paramilitary personnel on the ground to keep their morale high. Ajit Doval also met Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik at the Raj Bhavan here on Friday, an official spokesperson said. They emphasised on the importance of reaching out to people and helping them meet their daily needs, besides ensuring their safety and security, the official said. Governor Malik also discussed the arrangements made by the administration to facilitate people for observance of Eid-ul-Azha with religious fervour and gaiety, he added.
Chandigarh: Normal life was affected at many places in Punjab on Tuesday as demonstrations and dharnas were held by Dalits to protest the demolition of a temple dedicated to Guru Ravidas in New Delhi’s Tughlakabad on directions of the apex court. There were reports that protesters had blocked roads at a few places including the Jalandhar-Delhi national highway causing huge traffic jams, officials said. Protestors under the banner of ‘Guru Ravidas Jayanti Samaroh Samiti’ had given a bandh call on August 13 and announced observing Independence Day as a ‘Black Day’. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM’ The protests are being held at different places in the state over the past few days. In response to the bandh call, protest marches were taken out by Dalits at several places on Tuesday including Jalandhar, where educational institutions were shut. Besides, protest marches were also taken out at Ludhiana, Phagwara, Nawanshahr, Barnala, Ferozepur, Bathinda, Amritsar, Moga and Fazilka. The shops remained shut at a few places including Nawanshahr, Jalandhar and Barnala. Also Read – Farooq demands unconditional release of all detainees in J&K The protesters were demanding that the temple be re-built. “We will intensify our protest if our demand is not met. We will be compelled to block rail routes too,”a protester in Jalandhar said. Tight security arrangements have been put in place across the state in view of the protests. Leaders from the Congress, BJP and Shiromani Akali Dal have said they would help resolve the issue amicably. Commenting on the demolition of the temple believed to be on the site visited by Guru Ravidas around 1509 during the reign of Sikander Lodhi, Punjab Congress chief Sunil Jakhar had on monday extended his party’s support to the Ravidas community. He, however, appealed to the protesters to ensure that the common people were not adversely impacted as a result of their protests. Union Minister of State for Commerce and Industry and Hoshiarpur MP Som Parkash too had described the demolition of the temple unfortunate. He had said he would meet the Lt Governor of Delhi and, if required, prime minister, for resolving the matter and getting the land re-allotted for the temple. Shiromani Akali Dal president and Lok Sabha MP Sukhbir Singh Badal too condemned the demolition of the temple, saying their party was ready to help re-build the temple at their expenses. Delhi Social Welfare Minister Rajendra Pal Gautan sought Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s intervention in ensuring that the “land be given back” to the community to rebuild the place of worship. The AAP minister in a press conference in New Delhi earlier had said the Delhi Development Authority (DDA), in the presence of a police force, demolished the structure on Saturday morning. The DDA in a statement issued on Monday, however, did not use the word temple, and said the “structure was removed as per the orders of the Supreme Court”. “The standing semi-permanent structure was dismantled peacefully without any resistance or use of force in the presence of Guru Ravi Das Jayanti Samaroh Samiti members,” the DDA said in the statement. The DDA said the apex court in a case titled ‘Guru Ravi Das Jayanti Samaroh Samiti vs Union of India’, had on August 9 observed that “serious breach” has been committed by the Samiti by not vacating the forest area as earlier ordered by the court. “Therefore, the Hon’ble Supreme Court ordered that the premises be vacated tomorrow and the structure be removed by Delhi Development Authority (DDA) with the help of police,” it said. Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh had on Sunday sought Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s intervention to pacify the situation.
Tokyo: Striker Mandeep Singh struck a fine hat-trick to help the Indian men’s hockey team beat hosts Japan 6-3 and book a summit clash berth in the Olympic Test Event here on Tuesday. The Indian team bounced back from their 1-2 loss against New Zealand with an impressive display in their third match at the Oi Hockey Stadium here. India again face New Zealand in the summit clash on Wednesday. Mandeep found the target in the 9th, 29th and 30th minutes while Nilakanta Sharma (3rd), Nilam Sanjeep Xess (7th) and Gurjant Singh (41st) were the other scorers for India. Also Read – Puducherry on top after 8-wkt win over Chandigarh Kentaro Fukuda (25th), Kenta Tanaka (36th) and Kazuma Murata (52nd) scored the goals for Japan. Nilakanta gave India an excellent start through a field goal in the third minute. Buoyed by the early lead, the Indian team put tremendous pressure on the Japan defence as Gurjant Singh took a shot on goal, but saw his effort going wide of the post. However, a penalty corner was awarded to India in the seventh minute which was converted brilliantly by Nilam Sanjeep to help the team take a 2-0 lead. Also Read – Vijender’s next fight on Nov 22, opponent to be announced later India continued to take the aggressive approach and Mandeep found the back of the net with an excellent field goal in the ninth minute. Japan tried to make inroads in the last few minutes of the first quarter as they won a penalty corner. Gurinder Singh positioned himself brilliantly and defended the shot on the goal line. India led 3-0 at the end of the first quarter. India continued their attacking game in the second quarter with Jarmanpreet Singh taking a shot on goal, but putting it wide of the post. Captain Harmanpreet Singh had a shot on target, but the Japanese goalkeeper Takashi Yoshikawa pulled off a brilliant save. Japan managed to open their account through a field goal through Kentaro Fukuda in the 25th minute, but Mandeep scored two field goals in quick succession to help India take a big 5-1 lead. The Indian vice-captain scored just before the half-time whistle in the 29th and 30th minutes. Japan started the third quarter on an aggressive note. They took a shot on goal, which was blocked out brilliantly by goalkeeper Krishan Pathak. However, the Japanese team kept putting pressure on the Indian defence and found a field goal through Kenta Tanaka in the 36th minute. India did not let the momentum shift towards the Japanese side as forward Gurjant found the back of the net in the 41st minute to make it 6-2 which put the world number 5 side in a dominant position at the end of the third quarter. Japan attacked the Indian defence in the the fourth quarter and scored their third goal through Kazuma Murata in the 52nd minute. India were awarded a penalty corner with five minutes left on the clock, but the shot went wide off the post. India also saved a penalty corner in the dying minutes of the match. The win put India in the second spot in the points table and they face toppers New Zealand in the summit clash on Wednesday.
New Delhi: The Congress on Monday accused the government of extending the leases for mining iron ore from 358 mines instead of going for auctions to benefit “friends”, weeks after the Supreme Court asked the Centre to respond to a plea seeking quashing of the lease extensions.Congress spokesperson Pawan Khera demanded there be an inquiry into the matter, the loss caused to the exchequer be fixed and auctions for the mines be held. There was no immediate response from the government to the allegations. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM’In January 2015, the Modi government introduced a new amendment by way of Ordinance — Section 8A — to the Mines and Minerals (Regulation and Development) Act, 1948, he said. “This amendment, Section 8A, allowed the Modi government to extend the leases of existing mines (captive and non-captive for both iron ore and other minerals) without going through the auction route and without having to pay any premium on the renewed leases some of which have been extended till 2030,” Khera alleged. Asserting that there should have been auction for the mines as it would have resulted in revenue for the states, Khera said: “You snatched that right…You want to benefit friends.” Also Read – Farooq demands unconditional release of all detainees in J&KHe claimed that according to estimates the extension of leases had caused a loss of over Rs 4 lakh crore to the exchequer. The Supreme Court in April asked the Centre to respond to a plea seeking quashing of allotment, extension or continuation of leases to firms for mining iron ore from over 358 mines across the country without any fresh evaluation. On August 2, the Supreme Court granted three weeks’ time to the Centre to respond to the plea. Five months have passed since April but the government has failed to give an answer to the Supreme Court on the allegations raised in the petition, Khera alleged.
New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Friday dismissed a PIL seeking direction to the AAP government to fix the dates and timings for kite flying, observing that there cannot be any hard and fast rule for enjoyment of a festival.A bench of Chief Justice D N Patel and Justice C Hari Shankar said there was no reason to entertain the petition. The bench warned that this was a case fit for imposing cost, but it refrained from doing so. “How to enjoy a festival is on the wisdom of an individual. There cannot be any hard and fast rule for enjoyment of a festival,” it said. Also Read – After eight years, businessman arrested for kidnap & murderThe court was hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by Delhi resident Mohit Ghalyan, an engineer, who suffered an injury to his neck due to Chinese ‘manja’ (glass coated string used in kite flying) on August 15, 2012. Terming “absurd” the submission of the petitioner’s counsel, Rishi Pal Singh, that kite flying should only be allowed on occasions of Independence Day and Raksha Bandhan, the court said it could not give such a direction. It added that the court was concerned with violation of law and if anyone sustains injuries due to ‘manja’ or a kite, the victim can come to the court to seek appropriate relief.
Kolkata: Kolkata Metro Rail Corporation Limited (KMRCL) on Friday held a meeting with state Chief Secretary Malay De to overcome the discrepancies that have cropped up in 112 declaration forms submitted by the residents, for claiming compensation for the damages caused to their houses due to construction work of East-West Metro in Bowbazar area.”Today (September 13, 2019), we conducted a meeting with Chief Secretary Malay De at Nabanna in connection with the discrepancies in 112 declaration forms,” said A K Nandy, general manager (Administration), KMRCL. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari PujaThe meeting was also attended by Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) officials and Kolkata Police officials. While the process of handing over the Rs five lakh cheques to beneficiaries started on September 7, the verification of the residents eligible for getting the compensation was being carried out by KMC officials. In a bid to get the compensation, the head of the family has to submit the declaration form mentioning the address and the name of the hotel they have been shifted to, at the control room formed at Goenka College of Commerce and Business Administration. The KMC then verifies the details and approves the names of the beneficiaries. Also Read – Bengal civic volunteer dies in road mishap on national highwayThe KMRCL officials pointed out that they had received 112 declaration forms with discrepancies. This apart, different heads of the same family have claimed compensation. According to sources, Subhashish Sen, resident of 9 D, Durga Pithuri Lane, had received a cheque of Rs five lakh but the drawee had stopped the amount. He visited the control room urging the KMRCL officials to issue the compensation on Friday. According to sources in the control room, the amount was apparently stopped because of litigation. Sen is one of four siblings, all of whom claimed that they were beneficiaries of the compensation. The number of beneficiaries in the list is increasing as the residents are still registering their names to avail the compensation at the control room. However, the KMRCL had formed a Human Interface group to prepare a building-wise head count of the people. “We are now disbursing the compensation amount directly to the accounts of beneficiaries. Today, we have transferred Rs five lakh to the accounts of 14 residents through RTGS,” added Nandy. A Building Assessment Committee (BAC) had been formed to categorise the buildings as per their extent of damage in Durga Pithuri Lane, Syakra Para Lane and Gour De Lane. The five-member BAC has already started health study of the buildings that can be restored, as well as the ones that need to be demolished.
ST. JOHN’S, N.L. – When Kayla Hearn heard a small Newfoundland community had voted down a motion to paint the rainbow symbol on a crosswalk, she swiftly joined in the diverse outpouring of support for the high school students who proposed it.In Hearn’s instance, it’s a plan to work with her business partner, Mark Adams, to design a new T-shirt print in support of the LGBTQ community in Springdale.The St. John’s resident imagines a design with a text reading “Springdale is for lovers,” with the “O” drawn as a rainbow heart.“I grew up queer in a small town, I know what it feels like to be different,” said Hearn, who recently started an online T-shirt company, Hard Case Tees, with designs that reflect the LGBTQ experience in Newfoundland and Labrador.Her move is just one of a barrage of tweets, municipal motions of support and public statements coming in the wake of the controversial vote in the town on the province’s north shore.The town council in the community of close to 3,000 people voted earlier this month against a motion of the Indian River High School’s Gender-Sexuality Alliance to paint a rainbow crosswalk.The crosswalks have become commonplace symbols of municipal support for diversity in towns and cities across the country.Elsewhere in the province, municipalities are seizing the moment to send out visual statements of inclusivity and support.On Tuesday, Logy Bay-Middle Cove-Outer Cove’s town council voted unanimously to install two rainbow crosswalks, one in front of town hall and one at the entrance of Kelly Park.Mayor Bert Hickey said the decision in Springdale kickstarted a discussion that town leadership should send a message of its own.“To put it simply, we just felt it was the right thing to do,” said Hickey.Hickey said he’s received heartwarming comments from residents and youth leaders in response to the decision. Council is discussing painting a third rainbow in the parking lot of the school.“We want to certainly send a message to that community, to parents of those children, that this is our stand here and this is how we feel and I suppose we want to distance ourselves from any other town or community that feels differently,” Hickey said.The presence of rainbow crosswalks is hardly a new phenomenon in the province.In St. John’s, city council voted to paint a rainbow crosswalk in front of city hall in advance of the pride parade in 2016, and plans to do so every year.“The City of St. John’s is committed to celebrating diversity in our community and we strive to be a welcoming place. All are celebrated in the City of St. John’s,” mayor Danny Breen wrote in an e-mailed statement.The town of Gander has had a rainbow crosswalk installed since 2016.Meanwhile, there has also been an outpouring of comments on social media.Becky McDonald, a teacher in Chapel Arm, posted a photo of children standing at a rainbow chalk coloured crosswalk, writing “Holy Family Elementary in Chapel Arm stands with @IRH_wildcats.”Other high profile Newfoundlanders like comedian Mark Critch and musician Alan Doyle have tweeted their support.Peg Norman opened her business Travel Bug in downtown St. John’s 13 years ago and has flown a rainbow flag for much of that time.The 54-year-old grew up in rural Newfoundland and says she’s seen positive changes across the province since she was a high school student in the 1980s.The activism of the Springdale youth and response from other communities disproves the common perception that rural Newfoundland is homophobic, she said.“Unfortunately, the leadership within the community and the council are not in the same place that the kids and students and teachers are in that school,” she said.Still, Hearn said she was “disappointed” to see hear of the decision out of Springdale.“It highlights the stigma around queer people that still exists,” she said. “I’d like to see a discussion of the impact it’s having on those kids.”In Springdale, Mayor Dave Edison, who cast the deciding vote, has said he isn’t discriminating against people of different gender identities or orientations, but is concerned over the conflicts the crosswalk might cause.“I am just worried that, while they are asking for this to show inclusion, I think it is actually going to create a division,” said Edison.The students presented their case again at Monday night’s council meeting, and are still awaiting a response.Follow @hollerdoller on Twitter.
Police in Belize were questioning “a few people” Wednesday in connection with the strangulation deaths of a Canadian woman and her American boyfriend but no arrests have been made yet.The bodies of Francesca Matus, 52, of Toronto, and Drew DeVoursney, 36, from Georgia, were found Monday afternoon in a sugar cane field in the country’s Corozal district.Police said on Tuesday that both had died of strangulation and that DeVoursney’s body was found on top of Matus’s body and that both were in an “advanced state of decomposition.”David DeVoursney, who is in Belize to bring his body back to the United States, told The Canadian Press that police have had “a few persons of interest in for questioning” in connection with the murders, but added there have been “no arrests so far.”Matus and DeVoursney had been missing since last Tuesday when they were last seen leaving a local bar around 11 p.m. Dozens of Canadian and American expats were involved in the search, scouring the beaches, waterways and the bush.On Sunday afternoon, Matus’s car was found in a sugar cane field about 15 kilometres from the bar.Belize police Det. Zamir Noh said the bodies were discovered late Monday afternoon in another field “nowhere close to the truck.” Police said autopsies conducted on Tuesday revealed how the pair died.Matus was scheduled to return to Canada last Wednesday, but when her friend, Joe Milholen, arrived at her house to take her to the airport, her car was gone and the house locked up. Milholen said he later found her packed suitcases, passport and travelling money inside the house.Matus grew up in Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., and moved to Toronto after college and became a mortgage broker, which she still did for half of the year. She loved the water and boating in Belize, she said.“She was 52 in a 35-year-old body,” Pucci said. “She really was such a beautiful person – both inside and out – and she did not deserve this. Nobody does.”Pucci didn’t know much about Matus’s relationship with DeVoursney, but said she appeared to be happy.In Georgia, DeVoursney’s mother, Char, said she learned about her son’s death from the U.S. embassy in Belize. They told her the pair had been murdered and found with duct tape around their wrists, she said.“I’m not able to really do anything, kind of just sit and think and cry and that’s all I’m capable of at the moment,” she said.Her other son, David, was at the Atlanta airport Tuesday morning with DeVoursney’s best friend, Brandon Barfield, waiting to board a flight to Belize.“He’s going to go bring my boy home,” Char DeVoursney said through tears.Drew DeVoursney was a big man with a big heart and a big smile, his mother said. The six-foot-six former marine had overcome post-traumatic stress disorder while serving two tours in Iraq, she said.About four years ago, he bought a piece of property with Barfield in Belize – with nothing on it – and went down in December with the idea of starting his own dive company, his mother said.“He’s a real adventure boy, that’s what I call him, my adventure boy because he’s done so many different things,” Char DeVoursney said.Drew DeVoursney went to college in North Carolina on a soccer and academic scholarship, but never finished.“Then 9/11 happened and he went straight into the marines,” she said.He ended up going to Afghanistan for two years after he left the marines as a contractor to help soldiers learn how to use technology on the battlefield.“I’ve dreaded news of his death, but that was when he was in Iraq and Afghanistan,” Char DeVoursney said as she sniffled.She said her son was having trouble getting work in Belize, so he decided to return home.“He was supposed to come home next week and was signed to start school with his brother where he was going to learn to operate heavy machinery,” she said. “Now he’s coming home in a way I’ve always dreaded.”
WATERTON, Alta. – Firefighters are planning to ignite small fires to coax a large wildfire away from the boundary of Waterton Lakes National Park in Alberta.Parks Canada said Sunday that crews will conduct an aerial ignition in the Akamina Valley near the park in order to steer the Kenow fire, and embers from it, from heading toward Waterton if weather conditions allow.John Stoesser, a fire information officer with Parks Canada, explains the smaller fires are meant to counter the effects of the prevailing wind by drawing air away from where the fire is headed.“In conditions like this, though, when it’s quite windy, the effectiveness isn’t as high as if it was a little bit calmer and the smoke from that fire was going straight up in the air,” Stoesser explained.“It’s something that we would only do under safe conditions. We wouldn’t put our crew at risk to do that and we wouldn’t put any other facilities under risk.”The Kenow blaze has burned for over a week in British Columbia near the boundary with Alberta and was estimated Sunday to be approximately 9,400 hectares in size.The park and the Waterton townsite were evacuated Friday.Strong winds continued to make efforts to battle the blaze difficult on Sunday, and three spot fires broke out in the Tamarack Basin, south of Festubert Mountain in Waterton. Helicopters dumped water on those fires, Park Canada said, but noted the intense fire and smoke is hampering visibility and fire suppression.Meanwhile, firefighters from throughout southern Alberta continued their preparations to defend the Waterton townsite, where a pump and sprinkler system has been established on the town’s perimeter.Stoesser said weather conditions are expected to continue to hamper firefighting efforts in the couple days.
Dozens of people from a rural New Brunswick community were set to return home Sunday night as authorities in many parts of Atlantic Canada worked to clean up the aftermath of a deluge that flooded basements, snapped power lines, wreaked what one official estimates to be millions of dollars of damage and stranded a man and his dog on a washed-out road.Much of the East Coast was doused in heavy rains on Saturday amid unseasonably warm temperatures that melted a significant amount of snow in many parts of the region.More than 100 people in the small southern New Brunswick community of Musquash were evacuated from their homes Saturday night due to concerns about the water level at the nearby East Branch dam, according to a spokesperson for the province’s Emergency Measures Organization.Robert Duguay said provincial officials have inspected the dam and did not find signs of damage, and decided to lift the evacuation order at 8 p.m. on Sunday.Some areas of New Brunswick were deluged by more than 100 millimetres of rain since Saturday, causing localized flooding and water levels at the dam to rise to near capacity.Philip Melanson, deputy chief of the Musquash Fire and Rescue Department, said firefighters and RCMP officers began knocking on doors in the community at around 9 p.m. on Saturday, telling people to pack enough belongings for two days.Allie Murchison, disaster management co-ordinator with the Canadian Red Cross, said 87 residents were put up in a hotel in Saint John and the rest stayed with family and friends for the night.Town officials in Sussex advised residents on a few streets to evacuate their homes on Saturday, but Murchison said none of them showed up at a reception centre the Red Cross set up, so volunteers shut it down.The New Brunswick government issued a press release Sunday afternoon asking residents who live near water to keep an eye out for ice movement, and warned drivers that while the downpour may have passed, the roads are still not safe in many areas.Provincial transportation officials rescued a man and his dog Sunday morning after they were washed off the road while travelling in a minivan near Hoyt, according to the release.New Brunswick Power reported that fewer than 1,000 people were affected by outages in the province early Sunday evening, down from nearly 10,000 the day before.Duguay said the utility hoped to restore power for the remaining customers later in the day.Meanwhile, in western Newfoundland, crews were working to repair infrastructure damage caused by heavy winds and severe flooding.Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro said a helicopter spotted a large tree that had knocked out a power line on the Northern Peninsula near Woody Point.The utility said restoration efforts were delayed because washed-out roads made it difficult to reach the trouble spot, so crews had to remove the tree by hand. But by Sunday afternoon power had been restored to the surrounding communities.Four Newfoundland towns declared states of emergency on Saturday, one of which has since lifted the order.Officials in Corner Brook said that although water levels no longer constituted an emergency, residents should continue to stay away from bodies of water.Mayor Jim Parsons said the city has suffered millions of dollars of damages, including a flood at the local public works depot, which has hampered repair efforts.There have been several reports of homes with flooded basements, said Parsons, and the back wall of a local business was destroyed by a landslide.“We did evacuate a couple people just in case their water levels rose in a couple of areas, but everyone is pretty resilient here, and they roll with the punches,” Parsons said.Humber Arm South, Lark Harbour and York Harbour on Newfoundland’s Bay of Islands were still under states of emergency on Sunday evening as crews worked on repairs.Newfoundland and Labrador’s Municipal Affairs department said on Sunday boil water advisories for communities affected by flooding on the province’s west coast will remain in place until the situation returns to normal.