first_imgAPTN National NewsNiagara Falls may be the honeymoon capital of Canada, but for this week, the Assembly of First Nations is turning it into an arena to discuss natural resources.More than 800 Indigenous leaders and business people sat down to talk business.APTN National News reporter Donna Smith was there.last_img

first_imgAPTN National NewsVideo of Brian Sinclair’s last hours of life was released this week at the inquiry probing the circumstances of his death in Winnipeg.But the video is incomplete. Five minutes of footage is missing.Sinclair died in 2008 in a hospital waiting room after no one checked on him for 34 hours.APTN’s Matt Thordarson has the story.last_img

first_imgAPTN National NewsThe three candidates vying to be the next national chief of the Assembly of First Nations outlined their platforms at an all candidates forum in Winnipeg Thursday night.Perry Bellegard of Saskatchewan, Ghislain Picard of Quebec and Leon Jourdain of Ontario all attended the event.APTN’s Tim Fontaine reports.last_img

first_imgThe Canadian Press VICTORIA _ A rich marine harvest ground for a First Nation near British Columbia’s Great Bear Rainforest remains closed to shellfishing one year after a tug ran aground, resulting in a 100,000-litre fuel spill into Seaforth Channel.Chief Marilyn Slett of the Heiltsuk First Nation in the small community of Bella Bella said Thursday that the sinking on Oct. 13 last year of the 30-metre tug Nathan E. Stewart has had devastating social, cultural and economic impacts on her people.She said her First Nation wants answers about the long-term effects of the fuel spill but are getting little assistance from the B.C. and federal governments and the tug boat company, Texas-based Kirby Corp.Slett said when the tug was pulled from the water about a month after it sank and the fuel spill was contained, government environment officials and company salvage crews left.“Largely, since everything has sort of packed up … dealing with the post spill and long-term effects, (it) has been largely radio silence,” she said. “We are on our own.”Slett said both levels of government don’t appear interested in conducting reviews of long-term health, social and economic impacts of the spill. The Heiltsuk are preparing to do their own study, which she said could cost up to $500,000.“We rely on healthy resources and we rely on being able to harvest from the sea for our way of life, for our economy,” Slett said.B.C. Environment Minister George Heyman was not available for an interview, but in a statement he said improvements in spill responses and recovery are needed and First Nations must be included in the process.The government is seeking Heiltsuk input into plans to recover from the spill, he added.“While funding for ship-source spills is a federal responsibility we are open to working with the (Heiltsuk) and the federal government on additional federal and provincial regulatory provisions to address all aspects of response and recovery,” Heyman said.The federal government and Kirby Corp. were not available for comment on Thursday.A final situation report signed last November by the Heiltsuk, the federal and B.C. governments found the Nathan E. Stewart was loaded with 237,262 litres of diesel and towing an empty fuel barge when it ran aground.More than 107,000 litres of diesel and 2,240 litres of lubricants, including gear, hydraulic and lube oils, were released into the ocean, creating an oily purple and yellow sheen on the water and beaches around the spill site.Slett said the tug ran aground about 12 kilometres west of Bella Bella near the mouth of Gale Creek, a prime seafood harvesting and fishing area for the Heiltsuk. The area has been closed since Oct. 14, 2016.A separate report released by the Heiltsuk last April criticized Canada’s emergency response measures in the hours after the grounding of the tug. The federal government did not respond to the criticism at the time but said it would meet with the Heiltsuk to review what they’ve collectively learned from the incident.The report says Gale Creek is a rich ecosystem where the Heiltsuk take up to 25 food species, including a lucrative manila clam harvest and red sea urchin, sea cucumber and salmon.“We hold dear our whole territory, but this area is known as our bread basket and people go there and harvest multitudes of different species throughout the year, so the impact has been felt greatly throughout the community,” said Slett.She said up to 50 people depend on the Manila clam harvest for much of their livelihoods and those people face a second season of unemployment due to the closure.Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced a $1.5 billion ocean protection plan last November that included plans to improve spill response capabilities along Canada’s coasts before Ottawa approved the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, which is expected to increase tanker traffic off B.C.last_img read more

first_imgWASHINGTON – The pro-NAFTA forces in Washington are escalating efforts to protect the agreement from President Donald Trump, including entertaining the idea of shielding it via some legislative mechanism.The U.S. Chamber of Commerce announced it will hold weekly events to rally support for the deal, as the country’s largest business lobby held an initial such gathering Tuesday at its headquarters across the street from the White House.Speakers at the event were senators from the president’s Republican party. They urged trade supporters to raise their voices to help sway an internal debate within the White House, as Trump considers whether to start the NAFTA cancellation process as a hardball negotiating ploy.One senator from Kansas dismissed that as a “Humpty Dumpty” strategy — break NAFTA first, attempt to fix it later. Pat Roberts called it an unnecessarily risky move and said he has personally confronted the president three times over his approach to trade, including at a closed-door caucus meeting last week.He said the president told Republican lawmakers not to get excited over his negotiating ploy, to which Roberts replied: “I am excited.”Roberts said it’s imperative that people who believe in trade speak out now to counter the anti-trade impulses in Trump’s Washington, echoing a message also delivered at Tuesday’s event by his colleague Sen. Ted Cruz.“Saddle up. Everybody saddle up. We have to ride. Ride with me,” Roberts said in a speech.“We are fighting a pervasive view that our economy has not benefited from NAFTA. That is simply not right. We are coming to a crossroads… These issues affect real jobs, real lives and real people.”Both senators described how their states have benefited from NAFTA. A new document produced by the Congressional Research Service on state-level trade data says Kansas exports about US$750 million in grain products to Mexico, and another $10 million to Canada.Farming groups have spoken out too, warning that the mere threat to cancel NAFTA could send foreign customers scrambling to find new non-U.S. suppliers.Roberts briefly addressed the emerging debate about what power Congress might have to block a presidential NAFTA pullout. Trade lawyers say it’s unclear whether the president can act unilaterally, and some suggest such a move could wind up at the Supreme Court.That’s because the U.S. Constitution offers contradictory instructions: Its Article One gives Congress power over international trade, and Article Two gives the president power over foreign affairs.Some analysts like former U.S. trade czar Robert Zoellick have urged Congress to flex its muscles by taking legislative steps to wrest some control away from the White House. Ideas being floated around Washington, for example, include attaching pro-NAFTA clauses to a bill, or passing a bill that would insist on a thorough study of the consequences before any U.S. pullout.Asked whether his colleagues are discussing such steps, Roberts said it’s a possibility: “That might be an option. Right now I think it would be a little early to be doing that… I think we can make our case before the administration,” so it doesn’t get there.Cruz said his GOP colleagues are almost universally pro-trade.“The Republican conference and Senate is virtually united,” he told the business crowd. “I want to encourage everyone in this room: Let your voice be heard. Because the administration is being pulled in two different directions.”The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has sounded the alarm over what it sees as potentially fatal moves to undermine the agreement by the Trump administration amid negotiations to upgrade the deal.Those moves include demands by the Trump administration for a five-year termination clause allowing easy cancellation of the agreement; tougher Buy American rules; auto-parts requirements the industry calls impossible to meet; and a gutting of the dispute mechanisms that enforce NAFTA.“For many in the business and agriculture community, the outlook has shifted over the past month. There’s growing concern about the direction of the negotiations,” said John Murphy, the chamber’s vice-president.“A number of the proposals that the United States has put on the table have little or no support from the U.S. business and agriculture community. It isn’t clear who they’re intended to benefit…. (They) will only add costs for business, add to uncertainty, depress investment…“But I think many in Congress are catching up to those concerns. They’re increasingly hearing from their constituents. Threats to withdraw from the agreement are catching attention.”More than 80 agriculture groups wrote to the administration last week urging Trump not to use NAFTA’s pullout clause as a negotiating tool. That clause, Article 2205, allows a country to provide six months’ notice of its intention to withdraw.“Withdrawal is looked upon as a potential catastrophe,” Murphy said. ”So I do think members of Congress are rapidly coming to grips with those concerns, as they’re hearing them from their constituents.”last_img read more

first_imgHAMILTON – Stelco Holdings Inc. is trading 11 per cent higher than its opening asking price on its first day of trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange.Stelco priced its initial public offering at $17 a share to pull in an expected $200 million. Its stock was up $1.90 at $18.90 in morning trading on the TSX.The Hamilton-based steel company says it plans to use the money for capital investments, pension payments, and to increase its offerings in specialized steel products.It wants to grow its offerings in galvanized steel, in part to regain a foothold in the nearby auto industry where it used to have a significant presence.The company says it could also invest in co-generation to reduce its reliance on Ontario’s high electricity costs, and thereby reduce operating costs in the power-intensive industry.Stelco’s history goes back to 1910 but in recent years has been beset by financial problems. It went into creditor protection in 2004 and was sold as a subsidiary to U.S. Steel Co. in 2007, then went back into creditor protection in 2014 before being sold to Bedrock Industries L.P. in late 2016.At the end of June, Stelco emerged from creditor protection under its original name, having eliminated $3 billion of debt and about $1.4 billion of pension and other retirement obligations.last_img read more

first_imgWASHINGTON – A Canada-U.S. women-in-business group created by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and U.S. President Donald Trump released its first set of recommendations Wednesday, proposing more affordable child care and a new binational procurement initiative.It’s the first of five anticipated reports from the Canada-U.S. Council for Advancement of Women Entrepreneurs and Business Leaders, created during Trudeau’s first meeting with Trump last February.It is delivering its findings to the two leaders. This first report is on supporting women-owned businesses, and subsequent ones due through July will look at science education, attracting entrepreneurs, and improving access to capital.This first report makes four recommendations: affordable child care, getting startup-funding groups to measure and encourage women’s access to investment, diversity programs in private-sector supply chains and a new public-sector procurement initiative.The procurement idea calls on Canada to create a program like one in the U.S. where five per cent of public contracts are set aside for women-owned businesses in sectors where women are under-represented.It says the countries’ programs should be linked, with women able to qualify for the contracts in either country.The report notes the differences between existing child-care policies in Canada and the U.S.: Canada has a national system allowing paid parental leave, unlike the U.S. But the report says access to day care remains a challenge in both countries.”We recognize that Canada and the United States have taken different approaches to family policy and unpaid care work and do not suggest there is a ‘one-size-fits-all’ solution,” said the report.”In the United States, we heard women say that the high cost of childcare or in-home support prevented them from scaling their companies to their full potential. In Canada, we heard the need for more affordable quality child care programs… (Solutions) could include things such as maternity leave policies and tax incentives. It could also include measures to level the playing field between caregivers — for example, paternity leave policies.”The 20-page report lays out numerous gender disparities in the business world.It points to the minuscule percentage of major companies owned by women. The percentage is even smaller in Canada than the U.S. Citing federal data from both countries, it notes that a mere 14 per cent of companies in the U.S. with 100-500 employees are female-owned, and just seven per cent in Canada. The numbers for smaller businesses are only slightly higher.There’s a similar disparity in startup funding: 19 per cent of startups that get seed funding have a female founder, according to figures it cites from CrunchBase. The ratio drops for companies getting subsequent funding — for later-stage funding, 13 per cent or less of it goes to companies with a female founder.The paper urges funding groups to keep these statistics, and track them, quoting one CEO: ”You cannot improve what you don’t measure.” It also encourages companies to establish more networking opportunities.The challenge of networking is laid out in another part of the paper that cites survey stats showing there’s no clear consensus among men and women when asked whether it’s appropriate to have dinner, have lunch, drive in a car, or have a drink with a women who’s not their spouse.”It is worth noting that business relations between men and women are receiving greater scrutiny in the wake of recent sexual harassment scandals,” says the paper.”It is critical that women be encouraged and supported as they come forward about these instances. At the same time, some men have described heightened caution when interacting with women, especially in professional settings. A big takeaway is the need to challenge harmful social attitudes and biases, but also to be mindful of overcompensating behaviours that can further isolate women in business.”The paper released Wednesday was part of the project led by GE Canada President Elyse Allan, and NRStor Inc. CEO Annette Verschuren.The U.S. president’s daughter Ivanka, who participated in the launch of the project, saluted the arrival of the first report: ”Thanks … for your recommendations on growing women-owned businesses,” she tweeted.”We value private sector input in advancing the success of women entrepreneurs in US & Canada.”Note to readers: This is a corrected story. An earlier version said the council was created by Trudeau and Ivanka Trump and that it was expected to produce just four reports.last_img read more

first_imgThe Toronto Stock Exchange shut down early Friday because of a technical problem. Here are some of the most active companies traded on the exchange as of 1:37 p.m. ET:Toronto Stock Exchange (15,668.93, up 31.34 points)Detour Gold Corp. (TSX:DGC). Miner. Down $4.35, or 30.21 per cent, to $10.05 on 7.6 million shares.Baytex Energy Corp. (TSX:BTE). Oil and gas. Down 15 cents, or 2.63 per cent, to $5.55 on 5.9 million shares.Bombardier Inc. (TSX:BBD.B). Aerospace, rail equipment. Down three cents, or 0.75 per cent, to $3.99 on 4.8 million shares.Aurora Cannabis Inc. (TSX:ACB). Healthcare. Down seven cents, or 0.91 per cent, to $7.65 on 4.3 million shares.Potash Ridge Corp. (TSX:PRK). Miner. Up two cents, or 23.53 per cent, to 10.5 cents on 3.6 million shares.Precision Drilling Corp. (TSX:PD). Oil and gas. Up seven cents, or 1.59 per cent, to $4.46 on 3.5 million shares.Companies reporting major news:Cameco Corp. (TSX:CCO). Miner. Up 27 cents, or 2.08 per cent, to $13.22 on 1.4 million shares. The uranium miner reported a first quarter profit compared with a loss a year ago as it was helped by a restructuring of its Kazakh joint venture and higher uranium prices and sales. The Saskatoon-based company says it earned $55 million (14 cents per share) compared with a loss of $14 million (five cents per share) a year ago.last_img read more

first_imgNEW YORK, N.Y. – Ruby Rose has played some dangerous characters, like an inmate in “Orange Is the New Black” and a scientist battling a prehistoric shark in “The Meg.” But the actress herself is now officially dangerous.Cybersecurity firm McAfee on Tuesday crowned Rose the most dangerous celebrity on the internet. No other celebrity was more likely to land users on websites that carry viruses or malware.Reality TV star, Kristin Cavallari finished behind Rose at No. 2, followed by actress Marion Cotillard (No. 3), the original “Wonder Woman” Lynda Carter (No. 4), actress Rose Byrne (No. 5), Debra Messing (No. 6), reality TV star Kourtney Kardashian (No. 7), actress Amber Heard (No. 8), morning TV show host Kelly Ripa (No. 9), and actor Brad William Henke as No 10.Rose is a model and MTV VJ who may have gotten a burst of online interest when she was named to play Batwoman on an upcoming CW series.The survey is meant to highlight the danger of clicking on suspicious links. McAfee urges internet users to consider risks associated with searching for downloadable content and always apply updated security fixes. The company used its own site ratings to compile the celebrity list and used searches on Google, Bing and Yahoo.“In our hyper-connected world, it’s important for consumers to think before they click to be sure that they are landing on safe digital content and protecting themselves from cybersecurity threats that may be used to infect their devices or steal their identity,” writes Gary Davis, chief consumer security evangelist at McAfee. “So whether you’re looking up what Ruby did on the latest ‘Orange is the New Black’ episode, or what Kristin Cavallari wore the latest awards show, make sure you’re searching the internet safely.”Rose deposes last year’s most dangerous celeb, Avril Lavigne. That top 10 also included Bruno Mars, Carly Rae Jepsen, Zayn Malik, Celine Dion, Calvin Harris, Justin Bieber, Sean “Diddy” Combs, Katy Perry and Beyonce.Musicians on the latest list took a hit. Adele was the highest ranked musician at No. 21 followed by Shakira at No. 27. Diddy, who finished at No. 9 in 2017, fell to No. 76.___Mark Kennedy is at http://twitter.com/KennedyTwitslast_img read more

first_imgLONDON — The Bank of England warned Thursday that uncertainties related to Brexit have “intensified considerably” since early November and are increasingly weighing on the U.K. economy.While unanimously deciding to keep the bank’s main interest rate unchanged at 0.75 per cent, as expected, the nine-member rate-setting panel noted a series of negative economic developments amid the Brexit impasse.Britain is due to leave the EU on March 29 but Prime Minister Theresa May has been unable to get lawmakers to agree her Brexit deal and is delaying a vote on it until mid-January.At the moment, it looks like her deal, which foresees close ties between Britain and the EU on the trade in goods, will struggle to get through parliament. What would happen then is extremely unclear and the great economic concern is that Britain could crash out of the EU without a deal and without a transition period that will smooth the process to new trading arrangements.As well a sharp fall in those U.K. stocks that primarily operate in the country and a further decline in the value of the pound, Bank of England policymakers said business investment was likely to remain weak and the housing market subdued.“The further intensification of Brexit uncertainties, coupled with the slowing global economy, has also weighed on the near-term outlook for U.K. growth,” the rate-setters said, according to minutes of their meeting on Wednesday.Bank staff said the U.K. economy may only grow by 0.2 per cent in the fourth quarter of the year from the previous three-month period, 0.1 percentage point lower than thought last month.“The broader economic outlook will continue to depend significantly on the nature of EU withdrawal, in particular: the form of new trading arrangements between the European Union and the United Kingdom; whether the transition to them is abrupt or smooth; and how households, businesses and financial markets respond.”The British economy has slowed down since the country voted in June 2016 to leave the European Union and many forecasters are warning of a potential recession if no Brexit deal is agreed by the time Britain is due to leave the bloc.Last month, the Bank of England itself said that in a worst-case scenario, the British economy could shrink by a massive 8 per cent within a few months and unemployment and inflation would spike.In that “disorderly and disruptive” scenario, four decades of economic alignment would be reversed, with tariffs placed on exports and border checks reinstalled, and restrictions could hit travellers and workers. Shortages of medicines and food could also materialize.For many British businesses, the current stalemate in Parliament is worrying, especially those dependent on trading in the EU and that helps explain why business investment has been so weak of late.Both Britain and the EU have this week ramped up their preparations for a potential no-deal outcome.Pan Pylas, The Associated Presslast_img read more

first_imgCALGARY, A.B. – Finance Minister Bill Morneau is headed west next week with plans to give a speech to a Calgary business audience a day ahead of a deadline set by Kinder Morgan for its controversial Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project.The Calgary Chamber of Commerce, which announced the event set for May 30, says the speech will focus on securing Canada’s economic future.Kinder Morgan suspended all non-essential construction on the Trans Mountain project in April, citing obstruction by B.C. that put the viability of the pipeline in question. The company has set a May 31 deadline for getting assurances it can proceed without delays on the controversial project.Morneau said last week the federal government is willing to cover cost overruns caused by political uncertainty on the pipeline project.However, the minister also said if Kinder Morgan were to walk away from the pipeline, there are other investors willing to step in.last_img read more

first_imgGas Emergency 24-Hour Service:  1-800-663-1173 If you are contacting Pacific Northern Gas Ltd. (PNG) about a concern with your natural gas services, such as gas odor or an emergency involving natural gas, please do not e-mail us, please use the phone number listed above.If you smell that rotten egg, sulphur smell of natural gas, or hear the flow of escaping gas, here is what you should do:Leave the building immediately; leaving the door open and any windows that may already be open.Don’t smoke, light matches or operate electrical switches including your cell or telephone, or create any source of ignition.Turn your gas off at the meter, if you know how.Use a nearby phone to call the PNG 24-hour emergency line at 1-800-663-1173, or 911, or the fire department emergency number.Other Contacts Residents of the Old Fort have expressed anger over gas just being turned off.  Many are asking why gas was only turned off today and not when the evacuation happened.A spokesperson with Pacific Northern Gas says the gas was turned off on Wednesday due to safety concerns of the Regional District.  The spokesperson said the Regional District had expressed concerns that some residents were entering the evacuation area and trying to re-light their gas equipment.The gas should only be off for the day and PNG will help residents get their homes back online.Here is the full statement from the PRRD website:PNG has isolated the gas service in the Old Fort evacuation order area as a result of the gas-related safety concerns for the residents and public in the affected zone.In the event that the evacuation order is lifted PNG will immediately provide technical resources to assist the community to relight appliances and inspect for any natural gas service related issues. FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – Pacific Northern Gas has turned off natural gas service in the Old Fort.The Peace River Regional District posted a message Wednesday morning on their website saying Pacific Northern Gas has isolated gas service in the area of the evacuation order.The notice goes onto say that if the evacuation order is lifted PNG will help residents relight any appliances and inspect natural gas service.center_img Pacific Northern Gas Ltd. Customer Care Center:8:00 AM to 4:00 PM Pacific Time, Monday through Friday, excluding Statutory Holidays  – 1-800-667-2297General Customer Service InquiriesEmail: CustomerService@png.caCall before you dig – BC ONE CALL: 1-800-474-6886You can also contact the following departments:Ebill Customer Service InquiriesEmail: CustomerService@png.calast_img read more

first_imgFORT NELSON, B.C. – The Government of Canada has announced that it will be investing in safety at the Northern Rockies Regional Airport.According to the Government, the $356,680 in funding will go towards the purchasing of a new grader which will be used to maintain the runways, taxiways, and aprons.Minister of Transport, Marc Garneau, says it is important to invest in airports in order to support economic growth and to maintain the safety for all users. “Our Government recognizes that local airports are major contributors to the economic growth and social well-being of smaller communities. In addition to supporting travel and tourism, local airports are key connectors for business, health care, social services, and emerging resource development sectors. These investments will improve access to safe, efficient and accessible air transportation options, and will help us deliver on our promise to build safer, healthier and stronger communities across Canada.”Funding for the Airport comes from Transport Canada’s Airports Capital Assistance Program.To date, the Federal Government has invested more than $11.7 million in ACAP funding for 15 safety projects at the Northern Rockies Regional Airport.To learn more about ACAP funding, you can visit the Government of Canada’s website.last_img read more

first_imgLondon: Britain has asked EU leaders to delay Brexit until June 30, Prime Minister Theresa May told parliament on Wednesday, on eve of an EU summit in Brussels. May said she had written to EU President Donald Tusk “informing him that the UK seeks an extension to the Article 50 period to June 30”. “I don’t want a long extension,” she said, warning that a longer delay would mean Britain having to hold European Parliament elections at the end of May. Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince ‘snubbed’ Pak PM, recalled jet from US”The idea that three years after voting to leave the EU, the people of this country should be asked to elect a new set of MEPs is, I believe, unacceptable,” she said. “As prime minister, I am not prepared to delay Brexit any further than June 30,” she said. In the letter to Tusk released by Downing Street, May said she intended to bring the Brexit deal she has negotiated with the EU back to parliament even though MPs have rejected it twice by overwhelming margins. Also Read – Record number of 35 candidates in fray for SL Presidential polls”If the motion is passed, I am confident that parliament will proceed to ratify the deal constructively. But this will clearly not be completed before 29 March 2019,” she wrote, adding that the timetable for passing the necessary legislation to allow Brexit was “inevitably uncertain”. “I am therefore writing to inform the European Council that the UK is seeking an extension to the Article 50 period… until 30 June 2019.” Meanwhile, British Prime Minister Theresa May faced a cabinet revolt if she asked the EU for a long delay to Brexit, media reports said Wednesday, even after she had warned MPs of such a possibility. Downing Street confirmed that May would be asking EU leaders meeting in Brussels on Thursday to delay Britain’s March 29 exit day by only a short period, saying voters wanted to get on with Brexit. The decision followed a cabinet meeting on Tuesday, where several Brexit-supporting ministers reportedly indicated they might quit if the delay was long. Any delay can only be decided by EU leaders. One source was reported as saying that the divisions at the top of British government made it feel “like the last days of Rome”. May herself has repeatedly said she does not want to delay Brexit, but has conceded this is highly likely given the parliamentary deadlock over the process. MPs have twice rejected the divorce deal she struck with Brussels, and also ruled out leaving the EU with no deal.last_img read more

first_imgBeijing: Ahead of the crucial talks next month to finalise the texts of trade deal with the US to end the trade war, a top Chinese official said on Sunday that China will import more goods from the US to balance bilateral trade, a key demand of President Donald Trump. Trump is demanding China to reduce the USD 375 billion trade deficit and protection of intellectual property rights (IPR), technology transfer and more access to American goods to Chinese markets. Also Read – Thermal coal import may surpass 200 MT this fiscal He has already increased the tariffs on over USD 250 billion Chinese exports to the US and threatened to extend tariffs on USD 200 billion Chinese imports to 25 per cent. Trump held back his threat to impose additional tariffs on the rest of Chinese imports as both sides stepped up talks to finalise the text of the deal. The White House said recently that talks between Chinese Vice-Premier Liu He, China’s main trade negotiator and the US Trade Representative Robert Lighthize and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin will be held on April in Washington. Also Read – Food grain output seen at 140.57 mt in current fiscal on monsoon boost Ahead of the talks, Vice-Premier and Politburo Standing Committee member Han Zheng told the China Development Forum in Beijing on Sunday that China will work to boost imports and achieve a more even balance of trade with the US. Han told a gathering of foreign business representatives and former government officials from the US and other countries that his government was committed to levelling the playing field. We do not aim to (increase the) trade surplus and sincerely want to increase imports to achieve trade balance, Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post reported. He said that China would improve market access, including shortening the negative list of industries in which foreign investment is limited or prohibited, and ban the practice of forcing foreign firms to transfer proprietary technology to joint venture partners. As the next step, we will continue to shorten the negative list for foreign investors and allow sole proprietorship of foreign businesses in more sectors, he said. China would also speed up the opening up of more sectors, including telecommunications, education and health care, he said. We will continue to strengthen intellectual property protection, prohibit forced technology transfers, and build a penalty and compensation system (for infringement cases),” he said. Beijing is reported to have promised to buy larger quantities of US agricultural and energy products to help achieve that goal. The trade gap for goods bought and sold by the US and China in 2018 rose 11.6 per cent from the previous year to a record USD 419 billion, the Post report said. China recently passed a new foreign investment law which for the first time provide an opportunity to foreign firms from June 1 to invest in China without joint ventures with protection to technology. Chinese officials say the new law with a negative list provides level playing field treating foreign firms on par with that of the domestic companies.last_img read more

first_imgBajipura (Guj): Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Friday said his party’s `Nyay’ scheme will help in revival of the economy and create jobs in the country which has been badly affected by demonetisation and GST decisions of the Narendra Modi government.Addressing a poll rally here, Gandhi repeated his “chowkidar chor hai” (the watchman if thief) jibe to target Prime Minister Narendra Modi and alleged he has given Rs 30,000 crore to businessman Anil Ambaniin the Rafale fighter jet deal. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM'”We have promised to give Rs 72,000 crore (a year) to poor people under the Nyay scheme which will change the economic condition of the poor in the country,” he said. Gandhi said the scheme, Nyuntam Aay Yojana (Nyay) – a key feature of the Congress manifesto for the Lok Sabha polls – was devised after consultations within the party. “I had called all the economists of the Congress party and asked them what is the amount that we can give to the poor people of the country. Also Read – Farooq demands unconditional release of all detainees in J&K”They came up with the figure of Rs 72,000,” he said, adding Modi had in 2014 made a false promise of giving Rs 15 lakh to people, but the Congress will definitely give Rs 3.60 lakh (estimated cost of `Nyay’). The Congress chief attacked the Modi government over its 2016 note-ban exercise. “One fine day, Narendra Modi announced that notes of Rs 1,000 and Rs 500 have been scrapped as they do not help me create more black money. So I will introduce a new note of Rs 2,000 as through it we can make more black money,” Gandhi said, mocking the demonetisation move. “They introduced Gabbar Singh Tax. Both the steps were big blows to our economy,” he said, criticising the BJP- led government over its implementation of the Good and Services Tax (GST). “Common people had stopped purchasing goods after demonetisation due to cash crunch, so Indian companies producing goods were closed down. Hence, unemployment rate is highest at 45 per cent in the country now,” Gandhi said. “However, our Nyay scheme will revive economy and create more jobs. Money that will go to people under the Nyay scheme will help people purchase things, our companies will be revived and people will get job,” he said. Gandhi said the Modi government is working for a few rich industrialists. “This government works for rich industrialists only. Do common people require chowkidar? Chowkidar is not required in front of house of farmers. This is Anil Ambanis chowkidar,” Gandhi, said targeting Modi. “The chowkidar gave Rs 30,000 crore to Ambani. Chowkidar chor hai,” the Congress said, alleging corruption in the Rafale deal with France. Anil Ambani has rejected Gandhi’s allegations and emphasised that the government had no role in the Rafale- manufacturer French company Dassault picking up his company as a local partner. “Under the new crop insurance scheme, the government has given districts and states to a few rich industrialists. Modi has given the entire Kashmir to Anil Ambani,” he said. Gandhi said if his party comes to power, it will bring a law to ensure farmers do not go to jail if they default on payment of loans.last_img

first_imgNadi (Fiji): Asserting that Asia continues to be the growth engine of the world, Economic Affairs Secretary Subhash Chandra Garg Saturday said the ADB must expand its private sector operations to boost economic development.Addressing the Board of Governors of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) here, he said there is a rising need for the agency to focus on strengthening human capital and develop social safety nets. “Therefore, we urge the ADB management to expand it social sector engagements in countries like India, while at the same time, continuing with the focus on making cities smart, providing 24×7 water and power supply, enhancing connectivity, and mitigating the risk of climate change. Our regional cooperation initiatives must aim to integrate the countries of the region with the global value chains,” he said. Also Read – Commercial vehicle sales to remain subdued in current fiscal: Icra”While ADB should continue helping the member countries harness their growth potential by providing larger financial resources, it must expand its private sector operations across the region. By investing more through equity and infrastructure trusts, ADB can play a meaningful role in development of private sector initiatives,” Garg, India’s Alternate Governor on ADB’s Board of Governors, said. ADB’s private sector operations reached USD 3.14 billion in 2018, a 37 per cent increase from the previous fiscal, and stood at 14.5 per cent of its overall commitment. Also Read – Ashok Leyland stock tanks over 5 pc as co plans to suspend production for up to 15 daysEmphasising that ADB has helped the developing countries in building infrastructure and reducing extreme poverty for the past 52 years, Garg said innovation in financing will be the key to success of long-term growth strategy. “This will require careful fine-tuning of both public and private sector financing. Private financing has to be carefully shepherded to the right sectors like manufacturing, services and new digital economy industries with active support of equity financing from ADB and other multilateral agencies,” he said. Private investment in more difficult sectors like infrastructure and human capital improvement, however, will not flow unless these projects are sufficiently de-risked for the private sector with both direct investment as well as provision of guarantees and other structured support, he said.last_img read more

first_imgNew Delhi: The Election Commission has directed disciplinary action against the presiding officer of a polling station in the Chandni Chowk parliamentary constituency who forgot to delete test votes, necessitating the need for a repoll, officials said Sunday. The polling station 32 in the constituency saw a repoll on Sunday and recorded a voter turnout of 42.14 per cent. According to an official, the EC directed disciplinary action against the presiding officer after a report was sent about the error to it by the Chief Electoral Officer, Delhi. Tanvi Garg, district election officer of the Chandni Chowk parliamentary constituency, said a show cause notice has been to the polling party seeking a reply in the matter.last_img read more

first_imgTRIPOLI- Leaders from the Libyan port of Misrata have urged militias from the city to leave Tripoli within 72 hours, after they were involved in deadly weekend clashes in the capital.A militia of former rebels from Misrata who fought the regime of dictator Moamer Kadhafi in 2011 opened fire on protesters in Tripoli, sparking unrest that killed at least 43 people.Community leaders, officials and ex-rebel commanders from the coastal city urged the “withdrawal of all ex-rebels from the city of Misrata who are in Tripoli, whatever their group is… in under 72 hours,” in a statement issued late on Sunday. The statement suggested the clashes resulted from a plan to “undermine (Misrata’s) image and show it as if it were the only obstacle to the construction of the state”.Demonstrators protesting against militias on Friday in Tripoli’s Gharghour neighbourhood were fired upon from villas occupied by fighters from Misrata, who killed several protesters before rival militias swept in.At least 43 people were killed and another 450 were wounded in the deadliest unrest to hit the capital since the fall of Kadhafi in October 2011.The defence ministry had ordered the demolition of the villas, previously home to supporters of the Kadhafi regime before they were seized by rebels in2011, before cancelling the decision later.Rebels who fought in the 2011 uprising were initially hailed as heroes for their role in toppling the Kadhafi regime.But many of these groups have since carved out their own fiefdoms in the vast country, refusing to hand over their arms to Libya’s weak central government and paying little heed to its authority.last_img read more