An women quenches her thirst at a polling station in Howrah district, West Bengal on Wednesday. (PTI photo) West Bengal was ahead of other states in polling percentage as voting continued at a brisk pace in seven states and two union territories in seventh phase of the Lok Sabha elections on Wednesday.Till 6 pm, 81 per cent voting was recorded in polling for nine seats in West Bengal while the numbers were 70 per cent in Telangana and 62 per cent in Gujarat. WEST BENGAL A voter turnout of 81 per cent was recorded in nine Lok Sabha seats in the third leg of the five-phase elections in West Bengal till 6 pm.”On an average 81.35 per cent of the voters cast their votes till 6.00 pm in the nine constituencies of Howrah, Uluberia, Serampore, Hooghly, Arambagh, Burdwan (East), Burdwan-Durgapur, Bolpur and Birbhum,” Chief Electoral Officer Sunil Gupta said.”However, there are long queues in many polling stations and the polling will continue till they are cleared. The final turnout can go up a little,” Gupta said.Barring some stray incident the election was free, fair and peaceful, the CEO said.EC’s Special Observer for the state Sudhir Kumar Rakesh, however, said: “The election was free and fair, but I can’t say peaceful. Better you say if it was peaceful or not.”A presiding officer and a polling officer were removed following complaints of partiality and show-cause notice and departmental proceedings were slapped against them, Gupta said.The action was taken against the presiding officer at Moigram Primary School booth under Arambagh Parliamentary constituency. advertisementGUJARAT The polling percentage was very good in the first four hours in WB.62 per cent was recorded in Gujarat,where voting is underway for 26 Lok Sabha constituencies even as Modi’shome turf Vadodara witnessed a high turnout of 50.46 per cent .In Gujarat, BJP prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi and party veteran L K Advani were among the early voters in Gandhinagar.Long queues were witnessed all over the state outside polling booths since early morning hours. People were found queueing up in front of the polling booths even before the polling started at 7 am.According to election officials, the state notched up a healthy 31 percent polling by 11 a.m.Vadodara, from where Bharatiya Janata Party’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi is contesting, recorded a whopping 32 percent in the first four hours of balloting.Ahmedabad, the smallest constituency in terms of electorate with a large minority population, touched barely 15 percent, followed by Kachchh, the sparse and largest constituency in terms of area, at 17 percent.Gujarat Chief Minister and BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi’s mother Heeraben casted her ballot in Gandhinagar on Wednesday, April 30, 2014. Mehsana recorded 30 percent, Chhota Udepur 30, Valsad 26, Navsari 24, Bhavnagar 23, Porbandar 16, Dahod 22, Anand 27, Ahmedabad East 17, Patan 17, Amreli 21, Khed 21, Sabarkantha 32, Bardoli 25, Jambusar 21, Surendranagar 21, Junagadh 28, Rajkot 24, Surat 26, Panchmahal 22.A total of 334 candidates, among them many bigwigs, are in the fray, including 67 Muslims – one from the Congress, seven from the Samajwadi Party and the rest nominated by regional parties or contesting as Independents.An electorate of around 4.05 crore is eligible to exercise its franchise at 45,380 polling stations across the state. Lok Sabha polls in all 26 seats of Gujarat and by-polls for seven state assembly seats began on Wednesday, officials said.A total of 334 candidates are in the fray for the Lok Sabha. Balloting is taking place at 45,380 polling stations where over 234,000 polling personnel have been deployed. More than 40 million people are eligible to vote in all 26 constituencies where voting is being held in a single phase.PUNJABCongress leader Dinsha Patel casted his vote in Kheda, Gujarat. A record 73 per cent of total 1.95 crore electors today voted to elect 13 Lok Sabha MPs from Punjab where the polling was largely peaceful, barring few incidents of violence.The voter turnout was 73 per cent, Additional Chief Electoral Officer Raminder Singh said, adding that the polling was by and large peaceful throughout the state.”No major incident was reported across the state as the polling was more or less peaceful. The poll percentage is likely to touch 73 to 74 per cent after as voters are still in queues to cast their votes,” he said.Earlier in 1967 general polls, Punjab had registered 71.13 per cent polling, the highest ever in the state.Voters turned out in large numbers to exercise their franchise amid sun beating down since morning as Punjab recorded a sizzling above 40 degrees Celsius temperature at most places.Ten persons were injured in a clash between Akali Dal and Congress workers at Sangatpura village in Moga district, officials said, adding that three workers from Aam Aadmi Party sustained injuries after a brawl between them and Akalis at Devigarh village in Patiala Lok Sabha constituency.advertisementSAD sitting MP from Bathinda Lok Sabha seat Harsimrat Kaur Badal interacts with media after casting her vote.AAP candidate from Patiala Dharamvir Gandhi was injured after he was allegedly attacked by some 25 unidentified youths owing allegiance to SAD-BJP at Rassolpura Saidan village in Patiala constituency, sources said.Three persons were injured when supporters of SAD nominee Manpreet Singh and Independent candidate and sitting MLA Simarjeet Singh Bains clashed at Kot Mangal Singh locality in Ludhiana, police said, adding that two vehicles were also vandalised during the conflict.Some Akali Dal workers allegedly vandalized the control unit of EVM at the Bajwa Colony in Patiala, officials said.Minor clashes also took place between Akali and Congress supporters at Amritsar and Khadoor Sahib, but no one was injured in it.The Akali workers earlier vandalized the booth of Congress party and tried to take control, officials said.Polling came to a halt at Booth No 166 in SD Model School in Phagwara for half an hour after the EVMs developed a technical snag, officials said, adding that polling resumed after the balloting units were replaced.Besides, 3 other malfunctioning EVMs were replaced at booth numbers 104, 137 and 151 in Phagwara. UTTAR PRADESHVoters in Patiala queued up at polling stations to caste their votes. Nearly 57 per cent voters exercised their franchise in Uttar Pradesh, where polling is underway in 14 seats to decide the fate of 233 candidates.UP Governor B L Joshi, BSP supremo Mayawati, Congress candidate from Lucknow Rita Bahuguna Joshi, BJP National President Rajnath Singh and party leader Kalraj Mishra were among those who exercised their franchise.Dhaurahra witnessed 62.8 per cent polling till 1700 hours while Sitapur and Mishrikh recorded 59.4 and 53.96 per cent polling respectively.Unnao recorded 50.94 per cent polling, Mohanlalganj 56 per cent, Lucknow 50.5 per cent, Rae Bareli 48.1 per cent, Kanpur 50.2 per cent, Jalaun 52 per cent, Jhansi 63 per cent, Hamirpur 49.1 per cent, Banda 47.52 per cent, Fatehpur 54.58 per cent and Barabanki recorded 58.19 per cent polling.In Sitapur an FIR has been lodged against SP MLA Rampal Yadav after he entered into an altercation with CRPF jawan Dharampal Singh at Nauabehad polling booth in Biswan area.The fate of 233 candidates will be decided by 2.46 crore voters that include 1.34 crore men and 1.12 crore women.A total of 25,485 polling centres have been set up in which 3554 have been identified as critical. The focus would be on Rae Bareli and Lucknow seats from where Congress President Sonia Gandhi and BJP President Rajnath Singh are in the fray.Gandhi, who is contesting from her traditional Rae Bareli seat, has no major contestant against her with SP deciding not to field its candidate against her.The prestigious Lucknow seat, which is in the limelight with the entry of the BJP’s national president, is set to witness a tricky contest.Rajnath, who is facing a four-cornered contest has two tasks at hand – first to maintain legacy of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and second to ensure a victory margin matching with his political stature.advertisementMeanwhile, British High Commissioner James David Bevan today reached Lucknow and visited a number of polling centres to see the polling exercise.According to official sources he also visited the election commission office and met Governor Joshi, Rajnath, Mayawati and Rita Joshi.He is also to visited polling centre in Rae Bareli parliamentary constituency of Congress President Sonia Gandhi.ANDHRA PRADESH Congress leader Rita Bahuguna Joshi.Barring a few sporadic incidents, polling in 15 assembly seats and two parliamentary constituencies in Hyderabad city that were held as part of first phase of general elections in Andhra Pradesh went off peacefully.Police booked cases against contesting candidates of different parties on various allegations including for violating model code of conduct.Voting was held in 3,446 polling stations from 7 AM to 6 PM and about 55 per cent of polling was reported in the city. The polling went off peacefully, except sporadic incidents reported in Goshamahal, Amberpet and Yakuthpura assembly constituencies, Hyderabad Police Commissioner Anurag Sharma said.City police had made elaborate arrangements by deploying 18,000 personnel covering all sensitive and hyper sensitive polling stations and areas to ensure free and fair polling and also to prevent occurrence of any untoward incidents.Contesting candidates Mumtaz Ahmed Khan of MIM and Majeedullah Khan alias Farhat Khan of MBT were taken into preventive custody, as they were moving in the Yakuthpura Assembly Constituency along with their followers (numbering 150-200) violating the Model Code of Conduct, the Hyderabad Police chief said.Apart from this, two cases have been registered against Vikram Goud, son of contesting candidate Mukesh Goud of Congress from Goshamahal assembly seat, besides against V Hanumanth Rao, Contesting candidate of Congress from Amberpet assembly segment respectively on charge of assaulting the rival party workers.Other four cases were reported: one against Venkat Rao, contesting candidate of YSRCP from Cantonment assembly seat for distributing pamphlets, another against Mohammed Amer, a resident of Gowlipura for casting bogus vote at polling booth No.116 at Deewan Devdi.A case was also booked against Mujeedullah Khan, an MBT candidate contesting from Yakuthpura assembly seat for obstructing the voters at Chacha Auto Garage, at Bhavaninagar besides one registered against Gajjela Kantham, contesting candidate of Congress from Cantonment assembly segment for obstructing police from discharging their duties, police said.”Overall the polling went off peacefully, due to constant vigil and good work done by security forces. We thank the people of Hyderabad city for maintain peace and calm during process,” Anurag Sharma said.BIHARAccompanied by his security guards, Chiranjeevi, his wife, their actor son Ramcharan Teja and other family members were standing in the queue at the polling centre in the posh Jubliee Hills neighbourhood. Despite scorching sun, about 58 per cent voter turnout was recorded at the end of polling in seven Lok Sabha seats in Bihar in the fourth phase of Lok Sabha election.It was 12 per cent more than recorded in the 2009 elections.Sixty per cent polling was recorded at Madhepura constituency where JD(U) president Sharad Yadav is contesting.Madhubani witnessed 56 per cent, Jhanjharpur 56 per cent, Darbhanga 57 per cent, Samastipur 55 per cent, Begusarai 64 per cent and Khagaria 55 per cent at the end of polling at 6 pm, Chief Election Officer Ajay Nayak told reporters.A bypoll is also being held in Sahebpur Kamal Assembly seat following resignation of former minister Parveen Amanullah from the Nitish Kumar Cabinet.Sixty-one per cent voting was recorded in the bypoll there.Sharad Yadav, crickter-turned BJP leader Kiriti Azad, former Union ministers M A A Fatmi and Hukumdeo Narayan Yadav are among 94 candidates whose fates have been sealed today.With completion of polling today, 27 seats of a total of 40 in Bihar have witnessed voting. The remaining 13 will go to poll on May 7 and May 12.Nearly 72 per cent, peaceful voting in Telangana’s first poll Nearly 72 per cent peaceful polling was recorded for 17 Lok Sabha seats and 119 state assembly seats in the first election in Telangana, which is set to born as India’s 29th state on June 2.Officials said the polling was 68 percent at 5 p.m. Those standing in queues at 6 p.m. will be allowed to vote, said chief electoral officer Bhanwarlal.Barring minor incidents, balloting was on peacefully amid tight security at 30,574 polling booths across 10 districts of Telangana including Hyderabad.While nine districts recorded heavy polling, the turnout was low in Hyderabad. Bhanwarlal said 53 percent votes were polled in the city. Highest turnout of 75 percent was recorded in Khammam district.No incident was reported from any of the 10 Maoist affected assembly constituencies, he said. Polling in three of these constituencies ended at 4 p.m. and in the rest at 5 p.m.Clashes between workers of rival parties were reported from Mahabubnagar and Ranga Reddy districts.Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM) candidate Mumtaz Ahmed Khan was arrested after a clash between MIM and Majlis Bachao Tehreek (MBT) activists in Yakutpura assembly constituency in the old city of Hyderabad.In Gajwel assembly segment of Medak Lok Sabha constituency, police kept Telugu Desam Party (TDP) candidate Pratap Reddy under house arrest after a clash between TDP and Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) activists. TRS chief K. Chandrasekara Rao is contesting for both Medak Lok Sabha and Gajwel assembly seats.In Maharajgunj assembly constituency in Hyderabad, Congress candidate and former minister Mukesh Goud’s son Vikram Goud allegedly attacked workers of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and its ally TDP.Two people were injured in a clash between Congress and TRS supporters in Kollapur constituency in Mahabubnagar district.A vehicle allegedly belonging to a Congress leader mysteriously caught fire in Suryapet in Nalgonda district. Bundles of currency notes of Rs.1,000 and 500 denominations, hidden in the engine, were found burnt. The driver escaped after the Innova vehicle caught fire.The vehicle carried legislator sticker reportedly belonging to Telangana Congress committee’s working president Uttam Kumar Reddy, who is seeking re-election from Huzurnagar assembly constituency.The CEO said the vehicle was carrying Rs.2.5 crore cash. He, however, said the identity of the owner and other details would be known only after the driver is caught.More than 28.17 million electors are eligible to exercise their franchise in the first election in Telangana since parliament passed a bill in February for separate statehood to the region.As many as 265 candidates are in the fray for the Lok Sabha and 1,669 for the assembly constituencies.Technical snag in electronic voting machines (EVMs) led to delay in start of the polling at some polling centres.Bhanwarlal told reporters that some EVMs received from Electronic Corporation of India Limited (ECIL), Hyderabad were in factory mode and the polling staff was unable to use them.He, however, said such EVMs were replaced in 20 minutes to half-an-hour as every district has 2,000 EVMs in reserve.”There was a small technical snag in new EVMs. They are in factory mode and they have to be sent back to the factory but we have sufficient number of machines for immediate replacement,” he said.The election authorities are using 100,000 EVMs. The CEO said these were new machines which arrived two days ago from ECIL and Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL).Director General of Police B. Prasada Rao said the polling was on in a peaceful manner. He said no untoward incident was reported from any part of Telangana.The CEO said 150,000 security personnel including paramilitary forces were deployed as part of the massive security arrangements. Four helicopters were also kept ready for contingency.Prominent among the contestants for Lok Sabha elections include union cabinet Minister S. Jaipal Reddy (Mahabubnagar), TRS chief K. Chandrasekhara Rao (Medak), his daughter K. Kavitha (Nizamabad), Lok Satta chief Jayaprakash Narayan (Malkajgiri) and Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM) president Asaduddin Owaisi (Hyderabad).As the state will be formally bifurcated in June, the Election Commission is conducting the polls in the undivided state.The elected legislators will be allotted to the respective states after June 2.J&KAn electorate of 1.12 crore voters will exercise their franchise in 10,521 polling stations. Jammu and Kashmir witnessed 25.62 per cent voter turn out.Balloting for the Srinagar Lok Sabha seat in Jammu and Kashmir began on Wednesday, officials said.As many as 14 candidates are in the fray, including Farooq Abdullah of the National Conference.Over 1.23 million voters are eligible to exercise their franchise at 1,546 polling booths.Around 50 companies of central armed forces and over 10,000 police personnel have been deployed.DAMAN AND DIUOver two-thirds of the electors in Daman and Diu voted on Wednesday for the lone parliamentary seat in the union territory, officials said.Poll officials said 76 percent voting was recorded.”Balloting has been largely peaceful and is moving on smoothly. No untoward incident has been reported yet,” an official said.Incumbent MP Lalubhai Patel of the Bharatiya Janata Party faces Ketan Dahyabhai Patel of the Congress, Bhavesh Patel of the Bahujan Samaj Party and Kessur Goan of the Aam Aadmi Party.Voting was moderate in the first couple of hours, with 14.35 percent turnout after polling began at 7 a.m. However, it picked up during the day. By 1 p.m., the turnout was 52.65 percent.District Election Officer Ramesh Verma said the turnout was expected to be higher than the 71.32 percent recorded in the 2009 polls.Polling is taking place Wednesday at 119 polling stations, with over 111,000 people eligible to exercise their franchise.Daman and Diu comprise two broadly detached districts in the country’s western coast. Daman is an enclave on Gujarat’s southern coast, situated 160 km north of Mumbai, while Diu covers an island off the southern coast of Gujarat’s Kathiawar Peninsula, 64 km southeast of Veraval, as well as a small area on the mainland.The union territory is a former Portuguese colony. DADRA AND NAGAR HAVELIDadra and Nagar Haveli also recorded their highest-ever voter turnout of 85 per cent.Balloting for the lone Lok Sabha seat of Dadra and Nagar Haveli began on Wednesday, officials said.As many as 11 candidates are in the fray.A total of 188,783 people are eligible to vote at 163 polling booths across the union territory.
HTC is busy launching one handset after another nowadays, particularly in the mid-range segment serviced by its Desire phones. Most of these handsets are just minor upgrades to one another. And that is a problem. A lot many of these handsets don’t actually bring what you call visible changes to an earlier variant.In fact, the changes are so subtle that we fail to understand the whole point of launching a brand new handset in the first place. The Desire 820, Desire 820Q and Desire 820S are the kind of devices that bring hardly anything new to the table.Clearly, three isn’t so much as a crowd for the Taiwanese company. If it was, a fourth handset, the Desire 826, wouldn’t have seen the light of day. Now that it has, let’s just say we are glad HTC came out with this one.Of all the upgrades that we have seen in the recent past from HTC, the Desire 826 is the one that really makes sense.But, at Rs.25,600 does it do any good to the brand HTC? We find out… Design and build qualityDesire 826 on the left, Desire Eye on the right HTC makes some good looking handsets. However, most of its handsets also tend to look more or less similar, which is not always good. The Desire 820, Desire 820q and Desire 820s are classic examples: place them side by side and you can’t tell which one is what.Thankfully, the Desire 826 is different, even if not entirely. It doesn’t end up being a clone of the Desire 820. But, at the same time, it looks lot similar to HTC’s Desire Eye.advertisementThis is not all that bad since the Eye is priced a good odd Rs.10,000 more than the Desire 826. Getting a similar design at a lower cost therefore adds to the device’s ‘premium’ quotient to some extent.You get HTC’s double-shot design, which is a candy bar form factor built entirely of plastic in two distinct colour tones. The Desire 826 certainly looks and feels better than either of the Desire 820 handsets especially since it gives way to glossy plastic in favour of the Eye’s more premium and matte finish.This may be a step forward for HTC, but it’s still not doing enough to impact the market per se. We have better looking handsets in this price range that are giving users a good mix of metal and plastic. HTC, on the other hand, is still stuck with plastic. While, it may look and feel good, there’s another problem lurking underneath: the Desire 826 is huge. Of course, it’s a 5.5-inch device, but that’s no excuse for those chunky bezels. It would have been nice if HTC had trimmed that fat.At 158×77.5×8 mm and 183 grams, the Desire 826 is one of the most bulky of handsets in its price range. Simply put, it is ‘fat’ in comparison to the OnePlus One, the Honor 6 Plus, the Asus ZenFone 2 (all 5.5-inchers) and lot many other devices. In fact, it’s way heavier than either of the Desire 820 smartphones, even the Eye for that matter.HTC hasn’t made this one to be used with just one hand. You’ll have to use both hands at all times.But, once you get used to the size; you will find that the Desire 826 is a well-built device. With this one you won’t be complaining about squeaky parts, flimsy flaps and loose buttons.The right edge houses the volume rocker and the power button. These are built way into the edge, so some people may find them hard to press. The left-edge has two nano-SIM card slots and a microSD card slot, both of which are covered by a single protective flap.You get HTC’s trademark BoomSound speakers. Here they occupy a thin strip above and below the display, just like in the case of the Eye. Display The Desire 826 has a 5.5-inch full-HD Super LCD3 capacitive touchscreen display with a 1080×1920 pixels resolution which roughly translates to 401ppi.That’s the exact resolution you get on the OnePlus One and the Honor 6 Plus while the Asus ZenFone 2 has only a slightly better pixel density. The Xiaomi Mi 4 is still the winner here, but then it has a smaller 5-inch display.Keeping numbers aside, the Desire 826 with its full-HD display somehow brings HTC back into the game. The Desire 826 is one of the better display options you have in the market right now, at its price point.Although colours were a tad on the warmer side on the Desire 826, the overall display output is certainly one of the better ones we have seen in recent times.advertisementThe brightness was just adequate, in fact pleasing to the eye. The overall colour scheme (although warm) was rich with detail. We were impressed with the viewing angles on the Desire 826, and we did not witness any evident discoloration/pixilation on viewing from different angles.That said outdoor visibility could have been better. It’s good but is not in the same league as the OnePlus One or the Honor 6 Plus.On the plus side, the display is not prone to smudge/fingerprint unless you have very greasy fingers. Software The Desire 826 is the first HTC Desire range handset to ship with Android 5.0 Lollipop out-of-the-box. Yes, finally as some may say.Also, you get the company’s proprietary Sense 6 UI on top. It would be getting the new Sense 7 in the later part of this year.HTC doesn’t bring what you call a dramatic change to its user interface in subsequent iterations. In fact, if you look closely, there is very little difference between the Sense 6 and Sense 5 UIs (the most important change being the power saver feature that comes in version 6.0).You do get Google’s Material Design elements here and there, you also get a revamped pull down notification panel and the characteristic stack of Lollipop’s notification cards. But, the core colour schemes and icons remain the same (similar to what you got in a KitKat with Sense 6 on top), which feels kind of dated.HTC has introduced a new themes manager — apparently that’s the in-thing lately, everyone seems to be doing it — which lets you download themes and stuff like wallpapers, icon packs, ringtones etc. Still, it seems like a work in progress and the customization options are in no way close to what you get in the OnePlus One or the Xiaomi Mi 4. Also, it’s not something unique to the Desire 826. It can be downloaded to any HTC handset running Sense 6 and above. Another downside is most of the customisation options require Sense 7 so you won’t be enjoying its full potential anytime soon (at least on the Desire 826). Performance The Desire 826 is powered by a 1.7GHz octa-core Qualcomm MSM8939 Snapdragon 615 CPU with Adreno 405 GPU and 2GB RAM (1,846MB available). This is basically the same deal we got in the Desire 820, the only difference being the latter was clocked at 1.5GHz.Now the Snapdragon 615 is a decent 64-bit mid-range processor, but there’s a problem. You’re getting it in a device like the Yu Yureka and the recently launched Xiaomi Mi 4i (a second generation 615) which cost way less than the Desire 826.Also, in terms of performance output, let’s just say, the Desire 826 comes nowhere close to either of the two handsets.Popular smartphones in the Rs.20,000 price bracket (the OnePlus One, the Mi 4, the Honor 6 Plus etc) have far better processors in comparison to the Desire 826.In short, the Desire 826 doesn’t justify its price bracket looking at what’s under the hood.advertisementStill, the Snapdragon 615 will see you sail through your everyday tasks with ease and the 2GB RAM ensures multi-tasking is not much of a problem. At a time we had as many as 20 apps (including graphics-intensive games) opened simultaneously and we did not witness much lag.The Adreno 405 GPU can handle graphic-intensive games (like Asphalt 8: Airborne, Modern Combat 5, Real Racing 3 etc) at medium/low graphics settings. But this GPU has its limitations; lag is evident when the games are running at their maximum graphics fidelity, especially when playing for longer periods.Basic games like Candy Crush Saga and Subway Surfers are handled well by the device. The Desire 826 comes with 16GB of internal storage of which about 10GB is available for use. The device supports expandable storage of up to 128GB via micro-SD card.The two BoomSound speakers on-board the Desire 826 do not disappoint. They put out good quality sound, which is loud and punchy. The sound output is way better compared to the other Desire 820 range handsets. Also, it’s better than counterparts in this price range.Phone calls made with the Desire 826 are of acceptable quality, although we did find inserting a SIM card in this one quite a tiring affair.The Desire 826 supports 4G LTE on both SIMs. Camera The Desire 826 sports a 13-megapixel rear camera with autofocus and LED flash. It also comes with a 13-megapixel front-facing snapper!Looking at the numbers, the Desire 826 seems to be a well-endowed device, at least on paper. Sadly, that’s not the case in terms of actual usage.While photos clicked in outdoor ambient lighting conditions came out well and had good amount of detail, they also showed metering issues. Most of these images were underexposed so that end result was images that looked pale. Some of these images also had a small amount of noise, which was surprising considering the good light in scenes.Indoor photos clicked in well-lit environment came out nice in most instances, but the metering issues continued, and noise was more frequent. The amount of noise grew as the intensity of light came down.Low-light photos clicked with the Desire 826 were disappointing. Even when we used flash, the result was washed out pictures.All in all, the Desire 826 is not a ‘good’ camera phone at its price. The Mi 4 is definitely a much better option, and the Honor 6 Plus is quite a steal in this department.The front-facing camera puts in a better performance. If you’re looking for a better selfie phone at this price, the Desire 826 does tick that box. Sadly, the selfie camera has an average performance in low-light environments. Check the following image samples to get an idea of HTC Desire 826 Camera performance: Sample 1 , Sample 2 , Sample 3 , Sample 4 , Sample 5 , Sample 6 , Sample 7 , Sample 8 , Sample 9 , Sample 10 , Sample 11 , Sample 12 , Sample 13 , Sample 14 , Sample 15 , Sample 16 . BatteryThe Desire 826 comes with a 2600mAh non-removable battery. It is rated to deliver up to 19 hours of 3G talk-time and up to 687 hours of stand-by. While using the device we found the battery life decent but not particularly impressive.In our battery benchmark we subjected the device to two hours of 1080p video playback, one hour of music playback, half an hour of graphics-intensive gaming, phone calls every now and then (to the tune of one hour) over 3G some web browsing. We also clicked some photos with the device. Over all, a mixture of extreme to moderate usage gave us close to 8 hours on the device which is decent.With most of the users, with more typical workload, we feel that the Desire 826 will provide a battery life of around 13 to 14 hours.The Sense 6 UI’s power saving and extreme power saving mode do help in churning out an extra hour or two, but then you’ll be restricted to using just the core functionalities of the device, like calling and messaging etc. Should you buy it? The Desire 826 is finally an upgrade that makes some sense in the current scheme of things. It comes with handy improvements over its predecessors which is nice, meaning HTC is finally learning from its mistakes of giving us almost the same devices again and again.Of course, it is still dated in its design aesthetics, but we can live with that. However, the processor could be a deal-breaker for many, considering the fact that you’re getting better performers in the OnePlus One, the Mi 4, even the Asus ZenFone 2 with it massive 4GBRAM.The camera is the weakest link of the Desire 826.Now, most of you would be scratching your heads thinking, if it’s got a mainstream CPU, an average camera and battery, then why buy this at all? That’s a question only you can answer. If you’re an HTC fan — for example if you love their Sense users interface — the Desire 826 would make a lot of sense to you, and we would recommend it for the Full-HD vivid display and the Lollipop OS. But if you are not sold on the brand HTC, there are better options for you in the market.
Valcke has also been linked to a $10 million payment made Valcke has also been linked to a $10 million payment made by South Africa to corruption-tainted former Caribbean football chief Jack Warner. US investigators reportedly believe this was a bribe to secure votes for the 2010 World Cup. But Valcke had been a controversial figure even before he was tipped as general secretary. While serving as FIFAs marketing director in 2006, the Frenchman was sacked over a battle with credit card sponsors Mastercard. Valcke negotiated a deal with Visa that excluded long-time sponsors Mastercard, who had a first-option deal that was not respected, and FIFA later had to pay $90 million in compensation. A New York judge said Valcke had lied to both companies. He was sacked as marketing director, but after the compensation deal, Blatter reappointed him as his deputy. Blatter was banned by FIFA judges last month over a two million Swiss francs ($2 million, 1.8 million euros) payment to FIFA vice president Michel Platini, also the president of UEFA. Platini, once Blatters heir apparent, has likewise been banished for eight years. Swiss prosecutors have opened a criminal case targeting Blatter over the payment, and Valckes emails have been turned over to investigators in Bern as evidence in the case. Switzerland is also investigating the attribution of the 2018 and 2022 World Cups to Russia and Qatar respectively. The US justice department has charged 39 people and two companies with tens of millions of dollars worth of graft and bribery going back decades. With the organisation currently being led by acting president Issa Hayatou — a 69-year-old Cameroonian who has also been linked to corruption — momentum is building towards a February 26 election where a new president will be chosen. After Platinis downfall, the race between five candidates is thought to be wide open. They are Asian football head Sheikh Salman bin Ebrahim al-Khalifa of Bahrain, South African politician and tycoon Tokyo Sexwale, former FIFA vice president Prince Ali bin al-Hussein of Jordan, UEFA general secretary Gianni Infantino and Jerome Champagne, a former FIFA assistant general secretary from France. AFP KHS KHSadvertisement
Advertisement Image Courtesy: Hindustan TimesAdvertisementSprinters Hima Das and Muhammed Anas once again made the nation proud as they went on to clinch the gold medal in the Athleticky Mitink Reiter tourney in Czech Republic.Image Courtesy: Hindustan TimesThis victory marks Hima’s sixth gold in since July 2. Both Hima and Anas secured gold in 300m category. Before this victory, Hima Das secured her previous gold at Nove Mesto in Czech Republic after she won the 400m event.She then took to twitter to celebrate her victory. “Finished on the top in 300m in the Athleticky Mitink Reiter 2019 today in Czech Republic,” read her tweet.Finished on the top in 300 m in the Athleticky Mitink Reiter 2019 today in Czech Republic pic.twitter.com/yY0yO5xTfb— Hima MON JAI (@HimaDas8) August 17, 2019Anas on the other hand secured his gold after completing the 300m event in 32.41 seconds. He also took to twitter to express his happiness. “Glad to have won the gold in men’s 300m at the Athleticky Mitink Reiter 2019 in Czech Republic in a timing of 32.41 secs,” he tweeted.Glad to have won the Gold in men’s 300m at the Athleticky Mitink Reiter 2019 in Czech Republic in a timing of 32.41 secs.🏃@Media_SAI@KirenRijiju @afiindia pic.twitter.com/7xVe0GJD4j— Muhammed Anas Yahiya (@muhammedanasyah) August 18, 2019Anas, who holds the national record has already secured his qualification for the World Championships to be held at Doha in September-October. Hima is yet to achieve it.Also Read:H.S. Prannoy questions selection committee after Arjuna Award snub
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Do the revised reporting guidelines for the oil and gas industry go far enough?Last month IPIECA, the global oil and gas industry association for environmental and social issues, along with the American Petroleum Institute (API) and the International Association for Oil and Gas Producers (OGP) released their revised guidance on corporate sustainability reporting. This was the first update to the guidance since 2005.As part of this process, an IPIECA Reporting Task Force convened an Independent Stakeholder Panel, made up of representatives from business, environmental and community-based NGOs, investors, and multilateral institutions. WRI Vice President Janet Ranganathan participated in this panel, and reports back on the results.Why does corporate sustainability reporting matter?Sustainability reporting is a key transparency and accountability mechanism that can drive more sustainable decisions both inside and outside companies. Businesses can use the reporting process to identify gaps and prioritize areas for improvement. At the same time, standardized sector-specific reports can inform the decisions of a range of stakeholders, including investors, NGOs, and customers that have a stake in seeing companies become more sustainable.The Independent Stakeholder Panel said that these new guidelines are a “major improvement.” How so?The new guidance does represent a major improvement over the 2005 edition. The IPIECA taskforce made a significant effort to engage a wide variety of people in this revision process, including our Independent Stakeholder Panel comprised of representatives from Living Earth, F&C Asset Management, International Finance Corporation, World Resources Institute and a former industry executive. We were able to be frank and honest in our consultations, and the IPIECA taskforce took the risk of inviting us to write an unedited statement at the beginning of the guidelines, an indicator of the level of transparency and trust in this process. Overall, I think the guidelines are much stronger as a result of the engagement with the panel and others consulted in the process.Panel members contributed especially to the front section that now contains guidance on setting the strategic context. This asks companies to show how their core business vision and strategy addresses key sustainabilty challenges, such as climate change. This big picture section ensures that cross-cutting issues like climate change are addressed up-front rather than getting lost in the details of specific technical indicators.Participation by Independent Stakeholder Panel members also helped stimulate the inclusion of new indicators on ecosystem services , process safety and five social and economic indicators focusing on local content, suppliers and business partners. We also provided the IPIECA taskforce with examples of emerging best practices for issues such as community engagement . In addition, there is new guidance on determining the materiality of issues for reporting, with a list of the main sustainability issues confronting the sector.Yet the Panel also noted some shortcomings. What were those?We had three major concerns. First, there is no minimum reporting standard. The IPIECA taskforce’s rationale for not setting a minimum bar was that they wanted to avoid discouraging first-time reporters. However, this might have been addressed by defining levels of minimum, good, and best reporting practices, and letting companies gradually increase their participation over time.Second, the guidelines do not require companies to report on targets – the basic building block of any corporate sustainability effort. Any company that is serious about driving continuous improvement needs targets. Targets spur progress inside companies, but they allow for benchmarking against what other companies are doing and improve corporate reputation as a leader on sustainability issue. I see reporting as a means to an end–the end being to improve corporate sustainability performance. Targets are a key mechanism to ensure this happens.Third, while the revised guidance emphasizes reporting on greenhouse gas reductions, it does not provide a vision on how the industry should respond to growing concerns about climate change and energy security. Obviously there is a big elephant in the room here. To address this, I encourage IPIECA, OPG and API to initiative a multi-stakeholder process to develop a long-term sustainable vision for the sector.The National Commission on BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling also issued its report last month. Does the new sustainability reporting guidance address the problems in safety and response management that the Commission identified?Not directly. The revised guidance was largely completed before the spill. However, parts of the new guidance are relevant. The front section of the guidance asks companies to state how they are addressing key sustainability challenges as part of their business strategy by describing new investments, initiatives and goals. The guidance also stresses the importance of robust management systems and discussing the status of these in the report. Specific reporting indicators, such as oil spills, address emergency preparedness and response systems. Given the trend of using increasingly complex technology in increasingly complex geological formations and deeper water, the next round of revisions should reflect emerging best practices on spill prevention and management.Knowing what you do about the oil and gas sector and its current limitations, why do you still work with them on sustainability? Well of course, many people see sustainability in oil and gas sector as an oxymoron. But, like it or not this sector is likely to play a significant role for decades. Thus any effort like sustainability reporting that can help them reduce their environmental and social impacts, while the world transitions to clean energy, is worthwhile.There is another reason. I still harbor hope that this sector can evolve. Is it an oil and gas sector or an energy services sector? An energy services business model provides a more expansive set of business opportunities to provide clean, affordable (to society and ultimately customers) and socially acceptable product portfolio. BP, under John Brown’s leadership, started to reinvent itself, coining the term “Beyond Petroleum”. That vision now seems less clear and there is a concern that it is sliding “Back to Petroleum”. In my view the long term survival of this sector depends on it tackling the triple challenge of climate change, growing demand for finite fossil resources, and new operating challenges that go well beyond engineering, including fragile ecosystems, impoverished communities, and weak governance.So do you believe that these revised reporting guidelines will make a difference?That depends on whether and how they’re actually used, and that depends on what IPIECA, OPG and API actually do to motivate and help their members. Ideally, they should make it a condition of membership that in a certain number of years all members will have to complete a report. They might be afraid of losing members if they require this. But if they don’t, their reputation could erode. There is a lot of scope for more training efforts — to have companies with more experience reporting work with companies that are just starting, for example.The effectiveness of the guidance also depends on whether they drive greater transparency and accountability in the sector. In my view, what gets measured is more likely to get managed, especially if it is publicly reported and scrutinized in ways that rewards leaders and penalizes laggards. The long term survival of this sector depends on it tackling the triple challenge of climate change, growing demand for finite fossil resources, and new operating challenges that go well beyond engineering, including fragile ecosystems, impoverished communities, and weak governance.
Premier League Sol Campbell: The Invincibles hero loved at Arsenal, loathed by Spurs fans Ryan Kelly Last updated 1 year ago 23:57 3/1/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Getty Images Premier League Arsenal Tottenham Hotspur England The former Tottenham and Arsenal star, who was one of England’s best defenders, is hoping to crack the world of coaching One of the most schismatic players in English football in recent memory when he played, Sol Campbell continues to divide opinion now that he has retired.Loved by Arsenal fans but loathed by Tottenham supporters, Campbell was a mainstay for England for the guts of a decade and undoubtedly one of the finest defenders of his generation.Since retiring he has made no secret of his desire to remain in the game and appears to be close to landing a first managerial role. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Megan Rapinoe: Born & brilliant in the U.S.A. A Liverpool legend in the making: Behind Virgil van Dijk’s remarkable rise to world’s best player While he waits to discover his fate, Goal takes a look back at the defender’s career, the trophies he won and some of his best achievements.Sol Campbell’s Spurs yearsCampbell’s career kicked off in earnest in the early 1990s at Tottenham and he spent a total of nine seasons at the club as a senior player.He made a goal-scoring debut for Spurs in 1992 at the age of 18, hitting the back of the net in a 2-1 defeat to Chelsea after coming on as a substitute for Nick Barmby. However, he did not become a regular in the team for a few seasons.A versatile defender capable of playing anywhere across the back line, Campbell eventually cemented his place in the heart of the defence in 1995 and his displays subsquently led to his appointment as captain of the team.In 1999 he led Spurs to League Cup glory as they defeated Liverpool and Manchester United on their way to Wembley, where they overcame Martin O’Neill’s Leicester City to lift the trophy.That season turned out to be Campbell’s best at the club as he scored a total of eight goals, including six in the Premier League, but Spurs could only manage an 11th-place finish in the league. Nevertheless, Campbell was named in the PFA Team of the Year.Despite remaining at the club for another two seasons, the centre-back would not taste further success at White Hart Lane and, in 2001, he committed what is considered to be a cardinal sin by many Spurs fans – he joined Arsenal. And to make matters worse, he left for their bitter rivals on a free transfer. Crossing the divide & becoming an Arsenal ‘Invincible’Campbell’s decision to join Arsenal for nothing has ensured that he will forever be a villain in the eyes of Spurs fans and a hero for Gunners supporters. At the time it seemed, to Tottenham fans at least, that it was treachery of biblical proportions and he was dubbed ‘Judas’ thereafter.Despite the vitriol aimed at him, Campbell was unapologetic about the move and defended it on the grounds of ambition. For, while he was widely considered to be one of the best defenders in England, his trophy cabinet housed just one trophy.Indeed, the move immediately paid off as Campbell helped the Gunners to a Premier League and FA Cup double in his first season at the club. He went on to win a further two FA Cups with Arsenal (in 2003 and 2005), but the crowning achievement during his time at the club came in the 2003-04 season.That year Arsene Wenger’s side won the league title and made history in the process by becoming the first team to proceed through a Premier League season unbeaten. Campbell and his defensive partner Kolo Toure, as well as goalkeeper Jens Lehmann, played a key role in that as the team conceded just 26 goals.They became known as The Invincibles following their unbeaten campaign and, for the third time in his career, Campbell was named in the PFA Team of the Year – one of six Arsenal players to be included in the peer-chosen panel.He remained with the Gunners for a total of five seasons, leaving in 2006 to join Portsmouth. He won two league titles and three FA Cups during his time with Wenger’s side and scored a goal in their Champions League final defeat to Barcelona in 2006.Campbell briefly rekindled his Arsenal affair in January 2010 at the age of 35, but departed at the end of the season to join Newcastle United.Portsmouth, Notts County and NewcastleFollowing his departure from Arsenal at the end of the 2005-06 season, Campbell’s services were in high demand and he was reportedly a target for Juventus and Turkish giants Fenerbahce.However, he opted to remain in the Premier League and signed for Harry Redknapp’s dynamic Portsmouth team, where he was reunited with fellow ex-Arsenal players Lauren and Nwankwo Kanu. Campbell was a regular for Pompey in the three seasons he spent at Fratton Park and was instrumental as they won the FA Cup in 2008.He left Portsmouth in 2009 and his next move, somewhat bizarrely, saw him drop down three divisions to sign for Notts County. However, his time in Nottingham was brief and he left the club shortly after making his only appearance, believing that he had been “a mug” for believing in the venture.The sudden exit from Notts County saw Campbell without a club but he found a safe port at Arsenal, who allowed the defender to train with them in order to maintain his fitness. He would eventually sign a short-term deal with the Gunners in January 2010, playing 11 Premier League games and a handful of Champions League matches.That summer Campbell joined Newcastle and St James’ Park became his final destination as a footballer as he officially retired in 2012, aged 37.England careerThe physically imposing Campbell is widely considered to be one of England’s best defenders of all time and he enjoyed a long international career with the Three Lions.He had formed a crucial part of England’s UEFA Under-19 Championship-winning team in 1993, but had to wait three more years for his senior debut, which came against Hungary in 1996.Despite his lack of senior international experience, Campbell was included in Terry Venables’ squad for that year’s European Championship, which was held in England.In all, Campbell was involved in six major tournaments with England; three European Championships (1996, 2000 and 2004) and three World Cups (1998, 2002 and 2006).During that time, he played alongside the likes of Gareth Southgate, Tony Adams and Rio Ferdinand. However, he did not taste any success on the international stage.Campbell’s last outing for England came in 2007 and he finished his career with 73 caps and one goal.Coaching careerSince hanging up his boots, Campbell has taken steps to remain in football as a coach and has earned a UEFA Pro Licence.However, the only experience to speak of on his coaching CV is a short stint as Dennis Lawrence’s assistant manager with the Trinidad & Tobago national team in 2017.As of March 2018, he is still listed as Lawrence’s assistant on the official Trinidad & Tobago website, but that could change.Putting the final pieces together for our World Cup qualifier against the USA in Denver. Can’t wait international football! pic.twitter.com/5ez8BMhsXM— Sol Campbell (@SolManOfficial) June 7, 2017Like many high-profile footballers who have moved into coaching after retiring, Campbell’s name has been linked with a number of manager jobs over the years, but he has yet to put his talents to work.In February 2018, in an interview in which he bemoaned his lack of opportunities, the former Arsenal man caused a bit of a stir when he declared that his is “one of the greatest minds in football”. The former centre-back added that his ability to coach and manage a football team is being “wasted because of a lack of experience”.However, he could be about to get his big break, with the Daily Express reporting that he is in talks with League Two club Grimsby Town for their vacant manager’s job.Political views, social media & other pursuitsAs well as attempting to delve into the world of coaching since his retirement from playing, Campbell has also dipped his toe into politics and he has not been shy about airing his views.He gained a degree of notoriety in 2014 when he delivered a series of posts on Twitter criticising the Labour Party for a proposed tax on properties worth over £2 million. In the tweets, he declared the Labour Party to be “the grim reaper of business entrepeneurs or anyone that has done well!”#MansionTax? Why should we except this? @UKLabour are the grim reaper of business entrepreneurs or anyone that has done well!— Sol Campbell (@SolManOfficial) September 30, 2014Around that time Campbell began to lend his support to the Conservative Party and after becoming more closely involved with the party, he even expressed his intention to run for their nomination for Mayor of London in 2016. However, he was not chosen.During the debates leading up to the infamous Brexit referendum in the UK, Campbell was in favour of British withdrawal from the European Union and suggested that it would reap positive rewards for British football.Like many current and ex footballers, Campbell has a Twitter account (@SolManOfficial) and he uses it to comment on current affairs, including political developments and social issues. He has regularly spoken about racism in sport and wider society.Politics is not Campbell’s only interest, naturally enough, and he has also worked as a pundit on a variety of channels.What is Sol Campbell’s net worth?Campbell was one of the highest earners at both Tottenham and Arsenal, where he spent the majority of his career.He has invested some of those earnings into property, which may explain his disagreement with Labour’s ‘Mansion Tax’ in 2014.It is difficult to be sure, but the website Muzul.com estimates Campbell’s net worth at around $55m, which translates roughly to £40m. Check out Goal’s Premier League 2019-20 fantasy football podcast for game tips, debate and rivalries.
Icons of America: Taking a Corvette Road Trip Along Route 66 You remember Lotus, don’t you? Of course, you do — how could you forget the name synonymous with lightweight, agile performance cars? Still, we haven’t heard a peep out of the U.K. automaker for some time as financial concerns and product road-mapping issues have left the brand in ambiguity.Autocar has dug up some information about the future of Lotus and its most famous car, the Elise. In a conversation with Lotus CEO Jean-Marc Gales, the executive confirmed that the next-generation roadster is in development with a production date of 2020. Additionally, the automaker is on track to make a profit for the first time in 20 years (I don’t envy the fellow who’s had to explain the last 20 years to investors).In addition to the Elise’s slated launch date, Gales described how the car will perform and look. Most importantly, the next-generation Elise will remain a light, fun-to-drive roadster with an aluminum chassis like the one used for the Elise S1 that went on sale in 1996 and has served as the platform for every Lotus made since.If you feared that the future of Lotus would look like the larger, more powerful, heavier Elise concept from 2010, fret not — Gales said we won’t see anything like that.“The Elise chassis has often been copied but never equaled,” said Gales, in reference to the current car. “Combine that with the steering feel, and you have something truly special. The DNA of that car is its light weight, its steering feel, and the balance of power and drivability. At every price point it is sold in, it is the fastest car for the money — and always the most special to drive.”Weight reduction is the name of the game at Lotus, and that commitment will only continue with the new Lotus Elise. Gales focused on the Elise Cup 250 that debuted this year with its 2,026-pound body – something “others try to get close to but never equal,” noted Gales. As for the next Elise, Gales said the automaker is targeting just under 2,000 pounds. Even the dainty Mazda MX-5 Miata can’t hit that benchmark, and the Lotus will need to include the same safety equipment as mandated by U.S. regulations.Compared to the current Elise, the successor will be longer and wider, but the cabin will still be tight and simple. Power will likely still come from a Toyota motor, with output ranging from below 150 horsepower to just about 250hp in S/supercharged trim.Gales also made it clear that the U.S. market is the brand’s most important. 6 Fastest Cars in the World Right Now The All-New 2020 Corvette Stingray Is a Mid-Engine Supercar for the Everyman Editors’ Recommendations Vanderhall’s 2020 Carmel GT Is a Race-Ready, 3-Wheel Go-Kart The New Land Rover Defender Is Just as Glorious as We Expected
VICTORIA COUNTY: MacLeod Angus Bridge Traffic on the MacLeod Angus Bridge in South Harbour is reduced to one lane until further notice. Traffic signals are in place at the bridge. Local Area Office: 902-383-2232 NEW WORK GUYSBOROUGH COUNTY: Melford Brook Bridge The Melford Brook Bridge on Route 344 at Middle Melford is closed. A two-lane detour bridge is in place until a permanent bridge is built. The speed limit is reduced to 60 km/h and warning signs are in place. Local Area Office: 902-533-2771 COLCHESTER COUNTY: Wilson Lynds Bridge Wilson Lynds Bridge on Route 311, over North River Road and west of Upper Brookside Road, will be reduced to one lane for bridge repairs from Monday, Feb. 6, until Monday, Feb. 27. Traffic signals in place. Work take place from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Local Area Office: 902-893-6194 PICTOU COUNTY: Weirs Bridge Closed Weirs Bridge on Shore Road in the Waterside – Caribou Island area of Pictou County is closed to all traffic. Two paved detour routes are available, R. Grant Road and Shore Road, and a gravel road detour on Otter Road. Drivers should use extra caution and allow for extra time when travelling in this area. CAPE BRETON REGIONAL MUNICIPALITY: Highway 125 Exit 7, on Highway 125, will have occasional lane closures until Aug. 31 during construction of a new bridge. Work takes place from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Local Area Office: 902-563-2518 YARMOUTH COUNTY: Indian Sluice Bridge Indian Sluice Bridge will remain open until further notice. Local Area Office: 902-527-5448 INVERNESS COUNTY: Point Cross Bridge The Point Cross Bridge on the Cabot Trail, south of Cheticamp, is closed to traffic during the replacement of the bridge. A four kilometre detour using Le Forte Road, Cheticamp Back Road, and Redman Road is available. Drivers should use extra caution in the construction area. Work is scheduled for completion by the end of June. Local Area Office: 902-295-2700 CONTINUING WORK KINGS COUNTY: Bridge Closure Traffic on the Busby McMahon Bridge on Brooklyn Street, near Aylesford, is reduced to one lane until further notice. Traffic lights are in place. Local Area Office: 902-679-4979 CUMBERLAND COUNTY: Allan Hill and South Branch Roads Allan Hill and South Branch roads in the Advocate area have a weight restriction of five tonnes until further notice. Local Area Office: 902-667-2972 CUMBERLAND COUNTY: Burn’s Bridge Burn’s Bridge, 4.4 kilometres north of Trunk 6 on the Shinimicas Road, will be closed for bridge repairs from Monday, Feb. 6 until Friday, Feb. 24. A signed detour is in place. Local Area Office: 902-893-6194 ANTIGONISH COUNTY: Lower South River Bridge Lower South River Bridge will be reduced to one lane to build a bailey bridge. A detour will replace the bridge until Aug. 31. Traffic control is on site. Work takes place from sunrise to sunset. Local Area Office: 902-863-7378 -30-
Ghaziabad: A 14-year-old girl was allegedly raped by her 35-year-old neighbor in Sahibabad area of Ghaziabad on Wednesday.Cops have registered a case into the matter and the victim has been sent for medical examination. Police are yet to make any arrest into the case so far. According to police, the accused identified as Arvind Singh, runs a daily need’s shop in the area. “The accused raped girl when she was alone at her house as her family had gone to see an ailing relative to a hospital in Delhi,” said police. Also Read – Gurdwara Bangla Sahib bans single use plasticAs per reports, the incident occurred on Tuesday morning when the accused, who lived in victim’s neighbourhood, entered her house and raped her taking advantage of her being alone at home. Cops said that the accused was known to victim’s family as her mother used to purchase groceries from his shop from past many years. He used to live near the victim’s house along with his wife and two children. “On Tuesday afternoon around 1.30 pm, we got a phone call from one of my neighbors who made me talk to my daughter. She was sounding very nervous and asked me to immediately come back home as she is not feeling comfortable. We immediately left the hospital and rushed to our home. Upon asking her she narrated her ordeal,” said victim’s mother. Also Read – After eight years, businessman arrested for kidnap & murder”After being told by my daughter about the incident, my husband and his younger brother went to the accused’s house but they were thrashed by him and his friends. My husband’s brother also received injuries and he has been getting treatment at the hospital,” mother added. “Arvind’s family was known to us from past many years and I have always treated his wife as my younger sister. We have never thought that he would do such a crime with my daughter,” victim’s mother said. Meanwhile police have registered a case into thematter.”Following the incident, an FIR under IPC Section 376 (rape), relevant sections of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act and relevant sections of SC/ST act.” “The accused is absconding and police are trying to trace him,” said JK Singh, Station House Officer at Sahibabad police station. Police said that the parents had adopted the victim from one of their relatives when she was two years old but had a son a few years later.
HALIFAX – Nova Scotia Power Inc. is installing a dozen fast-charging stations for electric vehicles, with investors bankrolling the new province-wide network rather than ratepayers as originally proposed.The utility said Tuesday it will finance the 12 stations through an investment by Emera shareholders after the energy regulator rejected its proposal to pay for the network through customers’ power bills.“We’ll be financing it outside of rates. The opportunity with the federal cost-sharing is one that we simply couldn’t pass up,” NS Power spokeswoman Tiffany Chase said in an interview.The million-dollar project will be paid for by the utility and Natural Resources Canada — each investing roughly $420,000 — while the province will contribute $120,000 towards secondary chargers at each station, she said.The charging stations will be located every 65 kilometres or so along Nova Scotia’s highways and feature both Level 3 fast chargers for fully electric vehicles and Level 2 chargers for plug-in hybrid vehicles.“Our main objective is to increase access to charging stations across the province,” Chase said. “We’ve heard from customers that the lack of charging stations, and the lack of fast charging stations in particular, is a key barrier to owning an electric vehicle in Nova Scotia.”Lukas Swan, associate professor of mechanical engineering at Dalhousie University, said the fast-charging network will put Nova Scotia on the electric vehicle map.“The entirety of North America and the broader world is moving towards electric vehicles because they’re efficient and they can charge with renewable energy,” he said. “We’ve seen massive roll outs in many states and provinces across North America with the exception of the Atlantic provinces until recently.”The Level 3 charging stations, also called direct current fast-chargers, use a 480-volt system similar to Tesla’s “supercharger” stations.Swan said the stations will accelerate the adoption of electric vehicles because they “permit people to travel the distances that they expect from their cars and to move about the province.”Charging an electric vehicle at a Level 3 fast charger takes 15 to 30 minutes, while a full charge at a Level 2 charger can take up to eight hours.NS Power plans on charging $15 an hour at a fast charger, and $1.50 an hour at a secondary charger.NB Power rates are the same as NS Power, while Hydro-Quebec — which has among the lowest electricity rates in North America — charges $1 an hour for Level 2 charging and $10 an hour for Level 3 charging.Meanwhile, NS Power hopes to glean data from its network, to be built this spring, to help it understand the growing impact of electric vehicles on the power grid.The exact location of each of the 12 stations, chosen through a request for proposal process last year, will be announced in the coming weeks, she said.The utility is also working with the province to develop wayfinding signage on highways to help motorists find the stations.“We’ve been working with the Department of Transportation to add a symbol to indicate there is an electric vehicle charger available at that exit,” Chase said. “We’ll add that symbol to the standard blue signs you would see on the highway that list the amenities at each exit.”Only about 28 per cent of the province’s electricity hailed from renewable sources in 2016, but Chase said the utility is on track to generate 40 per cent of its power from renewables by 2020.Meanwhile, Tesla has announced plans to build seven new “supercharger” stations for its high-end vehicles in the Maritimes — five in New Brunswick and two in Nova Scotia — by the end of 2018.
APTN InFocus On Friday, November 24th, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will be apologising to former residential school students in Newfoundland and Labrador.They were excluded from the 2008 apology.What did it take? A class action lawsuit and a recommendation by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.Residential school survivor Danny Pottle will join others to hear Canada finally acknowledge the harm that was done to them.Pottle joined host Juanita Towtongie on APTN’s In-Focus to share this thoughts.And so did former residential school student, Theodore Fontaine.Mr. Fontaine was included in the 2008 apology and he shared what hearing the federal government say sorry has done for him.Legal counsel Steven Cooper also joined in on the show to talk about the litigation which awarded $50 million in compensation to the Labrador survivors.As well, APTN Investigates reporter Cullen Crozier talks about his award-winning story, “Forgotten Survivors”.An episode that tells the stories of four former Labrador students.You can tune into APTN this Friday at 9:30am eastern, when we go live to the apology, to hear Canada finally acknowledge the hurt it caused to the people of Newfoundland and Labrador.Subscribe to the APTN InFocus podcast below:
Rabat- King Mohammed VI and President Xi Jinping exchanged congratulatory messages Thursday on the 60th anniversary of the establishment of Chinese-Moroccan diplomatic ties.“While welcoming the progress made in developing Chinese-Moroccan relations, I would like to assure Your Excellency of my firm determination to work, together with you, to strengthen the strategic partnership between our two countries and extend it to new promising sectors,” the King said in his message.The King asserted that Xi’s visit “will thus be an opportunity to renew contact and open up new and promising prospects for Chinese-Moroccan cooperation, which will serve the well understood interest of our two friendly peoples and their greatness,” Maghreb Arab Press reported. King Mohammed VI affirmed the need to take advantage of Chinese investment initiatives, particularly the Silk Road Economic Belt, the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, and the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation. “These initiatives are likely to give concrete and realistic content to our cooperation relations at both bilateral and continental levels,” the monarch said.Xi vowed to partner with Morocco’s King to implement the agreements signed at the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation’s 2018 Beijing Summit, Chinese CGTN reported.Mutual satisfactionThe King expressed his “deep” satisfaction with the excellent ties between Morocco and China and the great ambition of the countries to open up wider horizons.In his message, Xi said that Morocco was “one of the first African countries to build diplomatic relations with China.”The monarch also hailed “the richness of the historical and cultural heritage on which Chinese-Moroccan relations are based, the privileged relations that are constantly strengthening from year to year, at all levels.”Both sides agreed that ties between the two countries have developed rapidly since they formed a strategic partnership in May 2016 when King Mohammed VI visited China.Promising political and economic relationsPolitical relations between Morocco and China, according to the King, have experienced “a strong growth, marked by esteem, trust, solidarity and mutual support on issues of national priority and common interest.”Xi has called on the King to consolidate the political trust between China and Morocco and deepen bilateral cooperation, according to CGTN.In recent years, King Mohammed VI said, trade between China and Morocco “has grown rapidly and continuously such that China, a friendly country, now occupies a prominent position among the kingdom’s main economic partners at all levels.”Many Chinese companies have invested in Morocco, particularly in the automotive industry, aeronautics, and lately in fisheries. Tourism and journalism have also recently been fields of interest between the two countries.China is the third largest buyer of Morocco’s exports with a total trade of MAD 39.5 billion in 2016, up by 18.2 percent since 2001. China’s direct foreign investment in Morocco increased from MAD 362.5 million in 2016 to MAD 582.4 million for the first six months of 2017, according to the Moroccan industry ministry.
CALGARY (660 NEWS) – Calgary’s City Council decided not to make a decision Monday night about shifting the tax burden from businesses closer towards a 50/50 split with residential properties.Instead, the issue will come up again next Monday.Ward 8 Councillor Evan Woolley wanted the rest of City Council to take a stance. He proposed an idea to cut spending by $100 million and to shift the tax burden. Currently, businesses account for around 55 per cent of the City’s revenue. He noted tax bills have to be printed and sent soon, so this delay could cause problems.Another motion was brought forward that would include funding from the province, which Woolley calls an assumption at this point, as we are in the midst of a provincial election.“So out of that $250 million in identified in tax revenue that we have lost, the business community will continue to bear the significant burden of that downtown shift and I don’t think that’s fair.”Woolley argues instead of long-term solutions, City Council has decided to punt the problem down the road once again.“Despite our CFO’s (Chief Financial Officer) biggest ask that we make a decision today, we’ve punted this for another week and we are making a one-year decision.”Mayor Naheed Nenshi was the one to bring forward another option that would see provincial funding and a one-year plan brought forward.“The difference between the two options really happens in the future years. They both end up in the same place by 2021. The question is how quickly do you want to move?”Another idea that was agreed to in principle involved grants to smaller businesses.Nenshi believes that could be a way to ease the burden for some of these companies.“If we are sustaining a business during a downturn so they can be successful again, I don’t know if that is a bad thing.”
WASHINGTON — The Latest on Tiger Woods receiving the Presidential Medal of Freedom (all times local):5:35 p.m.President Donald Trump has awarded golfer Tiger Woods the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honour.Trump described Woods on Monday as a “true legend, an extraordinary athlete who has transformed golf and achieved new levels of dominance.”Trump described the litany of victories that Woods has obtained during his remarkable career and the injuries that almost derailed it.Woods, 43, won his fifth Masters title last month, overcoming personal and professional adversity to once more claim the green jacket.Woods became emotional as he spoke of his parents and thanked those who have supported him over the years, saying, “You’ve seen the good and bad, the highs and lows, and I would not be in this position without all of your help.”__5:10 p.m.President Donald Trump’s decision to award the nation’s highest civilian honour to professional golfer Tiger Woods has raised questions about whether the president should be boosting the profile of a business associate of the Trump Organization.Trump planned to present the Presidential Medal of Freedom to Woods during a White House ceremony Monday evening. The president announced his intention to do so after Woods won the Masters Tournament last month, capping a remarkable recovery from injury and years of personal troubles.Trump tweeted that he was awarding Woods the medal because of his “incredible Success & Comeback in Sports (Golf) and, more importantly, LIFE.”Trump has been using Woods’ cachet to attract fans to his properties for decades. Trump has also struck business deals with Woods.The Associated Press
Nepal has contributed 60,000 peacekeepers to 40 different missions in the past five decades, Mr. Ban said in a message released to mark the 50th anniversary, noting that the country is one of the five biggest providers of troops or police officers to UN missions.“Today, Nepal and four other nations of the South together contribute nearly half of the UN’s peacekeepers around the world,” he said, adding that more than 60 Nepalese peacekeepers have died in service.Currently more than 110,000 men and women are deployed in conflict zones for the UN, monitoring agreements, maintaining the peace and providing stability, whether in uniform or as civilian staff.“They train police, disarm ex-combatants, support elections and help build State institutions. They build bridges, repair schools, assist flood victims and protect women from sexual violence,” Mr. Ban said.“They uphold human rights and promote gender equality. Thanks to their efforts, life-saving humanitarian assistance can be delivered and economic development can begin.” 12 June 2008Fifty years after Nepal first sent peacekeepers to serve in United Nations operations, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today thanked the small Asian country for its continuous contribution since then to UN missions around the world.
TORONTO — General Motors Canada broke an agreement with some of its retired workers when it slashed health care and life insurance benefits in 2009 in a bid to cut costs as part of its restructuring after the financial crisis, an Ontario court ruled Wednesday.In a 27-page decision, Ontario Superior Justice Edward Belobaba said GM Canada was “not contractually entitled” to make changes to the benefits of salaried retirees.The ruling comes after a class-action lawsuit was launched against the auto manufacturing giant in May 2010 on behalf of 3,297 retirees and their families.GM Canada spokeswoman Faye Roberts said the company plans to appeal the ruling.“We are disappointed with the decision,” she wrote in an email.In some cases, former workers saw their basic life insurance benefit cut from more than $100,000 to $20,000.Other changes included the elimination of semi-private hospital coverage, a reduction in the annual maximum coverage for dental and orthodontic benefits and an increase in the amount members would have to pay for prescription drugs.GM had argued that a clause allowing it to make the changes was included in a benefits package booklet that was handed out to employees.The provision stated the company was allowed to “amend, modify, suspend or terminate” any of the benefit programs “at any time,” according to the decision.But Belobaba ruled that GM was vague about its right to reduce or eliminate these benefits, particularly after the employees had stopped working.“The salaried retirees, some of whom had worked for decades at GM and were told repeatedly in the benefit documents that they could rely on the promised health care and life insurance benefits, were stunned,” said the decision.“Surely, they said, GM’s right to make changes to the benefit programs didn’t mean that GM could cut retirement benefits after retirement. If that’s what the company intended, they argued, GM should have told them while they were still working, in language that was clear and unambiguous.”In the same decision, Belobaba also ruled that GM was within its rights to reduce or eliminate any additional benefits enjoyed by its executive retirees.The judge said that in this instance, the automaker had been clear in warning that it maintained the right to do so. The 67 executive retirees in the case are still eligible for their core benefit packages, as the other workers in the lawsuit.Steven Barrett, a lawyer for the plantiffs, said the court decision is potentially precedent-setting.“It’s a very positive outcome for them and for any Canadian workers who’ve been promised retirement benefits and after they retire, the employer tries to reduce them or eliminate them,” he said.Co-counsel Louis Sokolov said the cuts left retirees at a loss because many were unable to purchase life insurance or health benefits elsewhere due to their age once their company benefits were slashed.“If you’re going to change the rules of the game for someone after they retire, you better be entirely explicit about it upfront,” he said, referring to the ruling.Sokolov said the plantiffs are seeking a reinstatement of their benefits, and any money they should’ve been paid since 2009.The lawsuit named plaintiffs who had retired from the automotive giant between 1995 to October 2011.Notice of appeal must be filed within 30 days.The Canadian Auto Workers union agreed in 2011 to allow a trust — funded with $2.5 billion from GM —to take over responsibility for paying supplementary health benefits for 32,000 retired former unionized employees of the automaker.The Auto Sector Retiree Health Care Trust pays for costs had previously been borne by the company including supplementary health benefits such as prescription drugs, dental care and vision care.The Canadian Press
The court today refused to free former Minister Vinayagamurthi Muralitharan alias Karuna Amman who is in remand over the alleged misuse of a Government vehicle.Karuna Amman had filed a bail application but it was rejected today by the Colombo Chief Magistrate.
“After the cycles of violence and paralysis of recent years, there is now real hope that the country, despite its serious difficulties, can move forward,” Mr. Annan writes in his latest report to the Security Council on Guinea-Bissau and the activities of the UN Peace-building Support Office (UNOGBIS).Noting some of the recent positive steps, the Secretary-General says that since December, there has been definite progress in Guinea-Bissau towards the consolidation of the democratization process, including the resumption of the work of the National Assembly at the end of February.Mr. Annan also notes that some human rights activists have been released in recent months, two independent press organs have been authorized to resume publishing, and the country’s demobilization programme has restarted.”I call on the Government of Guinea-Bissau and the international donors to do all in their power to move ahead decisively to implement current demobilization plans and restructure the armed forces,” the Secretary-General says. “The creation of professional, modern armed forces under democratic civilian control, adequately remunerated and equipped to meet Guinea-Bissau’s genuine needs, is essential if lasting stability is to be secured.”Despite such progress, the country’s new Constitution has not been promulgated, the Secretary-General says. He also notes that the depressed state of the economy means that it is impossible for the Government to balance the budget, and calls for direct budgetary support of $3 million to help offset Guinea-Bissau’s chronic deficit.”Further massive help is needed to rehabilitate the economic, social and cultural infrastructures; such rehabilitation, in turn, is essential for the effective relaunching of economic activities, ” Mr. Annan observes. “A very high level of technical assistance to support key State institutions will also be necessary.”The Secretary-General says he looks forward to the convening later this year of the UN Development Programme (UNDP) Round Table Conference on Guinea-Bissau and in the meantime, encourages all interested countries and organizations to increase their bilateral aid in those areas.
by Christopher S. Rugaber, The Associated Press Posted Jul 3, 2013 10:22 am MDT WASHINGTON – U.S. services firms grew at a slower pace in June from May but added more jobs. The report offered a mixed sign for companies that employ 90 per cent of the workforce.The Institute for Supply Management says its index of service-sector growth fell in June to 52.2. That’s down from 53.7 in May and the lowest reading in more than three years. Any reading above 50 indicates expansion.Still, a measure of employment jumped to 54.7 from 50.1 in May. That suggests service firms hired more briskly.The survey measures growth at businesses that cover most of the job market. They range from construction companies and health care firms to retail businesses and restaurants. AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email Survey: US service firms expand at a slower pace in June from May but add more jobs