zoom The Suez Canal Authority has decided to extend the arrangement for very large crude carriers (VLCCs) coming from the Arabian Gulf or Caribbean Zone on a round trip and transiting the canal after discharging part of their cargo in the SUMED line until December 31, 2017.The arrangement for VLCCs over 250,000 dwt was previously introduced in June 2016 for an experimental period of 6 months.Under the deal, any VLCC coming from south is set to pay a lumpsum of USD 155,000, including charges for tugs, arrival after limit time and booking in the convoy.Additionally, the Suez Canal Authority said that a VLCC is to pay a lumpsum of USD 230,000, including aforementioned charges, on its return ballast trip.The authority added that “any company wishing to benefit from this arrangement must submit a request before transit through its Maritime Agency.”
zoom 2016 has brought better financial fortunes for US-based shipbuilder Philly Shipyard, whose profit rose to USD 38.7 million from USD 17.4 million seen in 2015. In 2016, the company’s operating revenues stood at USD 233.6 million, against USD 307 million in 2015.Revenues and other income were primarily driven by the delivery of American Endurance, the first of four 50,000 dwt product tankers being built for American Petroleum Tankers (APT), a subsidiary of Kinder Morgan, and by the progress on the Philly-Crowley and Matson projects.Philly Shipyard’s EBITDA for 2016 was USD 70.4 million, compared to EBITDA of USD 42.7 million in 2015.As of 31 December 2016, Philly Shipyard had an order backlog of approximately USD 784 million, with three APT’s medium range 2 (MR2) tankers and two Matson’s Panamax containerships under construction.The shipbuilder revealed its plans to focus on securing new contracts for large containerships in 2017.“Although no firm orders are in place, Philly Shipyard has commenced preliminary design work to build Hulls 031 and 032 as container vessels,” the shipbuilder said.In addition, Philly Shipyard intends to explore potential new construction projects in other areas of the Jones Act market, with a liquefied natural gas (LNG) propulsion being a consideration for potential owners.
zoom Product tanker shipping company d’Amico International Shipping (DIS) is in talks to dispose of three more tankers, the company’s Chief Financial Officer (CFO), Carlos Balestra di Mottola, said in the shipowner’s financial report for the first quarter of the year.The announcement comes following the disposal of two medium range product tankers to Monaco-based ship management firm Sea World Management for USD 13.5 million each, earlier this year.“Three further vessels are currently under sale negotiations and their disposal is expected to generate net cash in excess of USD 15 million during the current year,” Balestra di Mottola said.“These deals together with the share capital increase we recently announced will considerably strengthen our balance sheet and provide the required resources for our company to complete its long-term investment plan.”For the first quarter of 2017, the company booked a net profit of USD 1.8 million, down from USD 7.2 million in Q1 of 2016. DIS said that the variance compared to the previous year is almost entirely due to the higher spot rates in the first three months of 2016.However, d’Amico’s EBITDA reached USD 16.5 million, which the company claims is USD 1.7 million higher than the EBITDA achieved in the previous six months.The positive result was ascribed to an improving product tanker market, which led DIS to increase its daily spot average by over 32% (or USD 3,200/day) at USD 13,363 relative to the average of the second half of last year.“At the same time, DIS’ good level of time-charter coverage (41% at USD 15,908/day), allowed us to achieve quite of a satisfactory total daily TCE average of USD 14,412 in the quarter,” Marco Fiori, the company’s Chief Executive Officer, noted.“We maintain our positive outlook on the product tanker market and on its very solid fundamentals,” he added, referring to the currently low MR orderbook and expected increase of the world’s oil product demand in the next few years, outpacing supply growth.” In this context, as I have been saying in the past I think our company is very well positioned to benefit from the expected market recovery.”DIS is scheduled to take delivery of six LR1s between Q4’17 and Q4’18, for which the remaining CAPEX amounts to USD 197.3 million.However, almost 70 percent of the total CAPEX will be financed with a bank debt DIS said it had already secured, totaling in USD 136.5 million.
The trend of larger ships calling at the Port of Oakland recorded during the first half of 2017 is expected to become the new normal at the port, especially in the light of the latest infrastructural investments allowing for the handling of bigger ships.“Ship size is increasing in Oakland. Average size vessel here was 8,000 TEU. Moving now toward 14,000 TEU. In a few years, it’ll be 18,000 TEU. Oakland is handling larger ships without difficulty. Carriers don’t hesitate to call with bigger ships. After the obvious infrastructure requirements: 50-foot depth, heightened ship-to-shore cranes; the key is cargo-handling performance. Transformation in our marine terminals allows Oakland to work big ships efficiently and deliver cargo promptly,” Michael Zampa, Port of Oakland’s Communications Director, said while speaking to World Maritime News.Just two years ago, the port was battling congestion issues arising from waterfront contract talks between the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA) and the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU).Today, Port of Oakland’s Maritime Director John Driscoll boasts of top port productivity among West Coast rivals with 35-to-40 container moves per hour during vessel operations, and ships spending 24 hours, or less, at berth.Furthermore, dockworker issues seem to be a thing of the past with influx of workers keeping pace with growing container business and a vote on a proposed contract extension expected late this summer.So what happened in the past two years that resulted in the port posting record results this June, and total cargo volume increase of 2.7 percent through the first half of 2017?The answer is capacity building.As explained by Driscoll while commenting on the port’s half-year results, there will be fewer ports in the next decade, and winners will be those with the ability to work megaships; and those providing maritime-related services that help shippers cut costs or improve efficiency.For the Port of Oakland, he added, 2017 would be remembered as the year the port took major steps forward on both fronts.Touching upon the port’s activities on strengthening its competitiveness when compared to West Coast neighbors, Zampa noted that Oakland has significantly improved terminal performance by transforming operations.“Recent changes include night gates, appointment systems, express lanes for cargo pick-up, a dedicated empty container yard, inland depot, additional equipment and more labor.”“Oakland’s position in the Transpacific Trade is a competitive advantage. Oakland is the last stop before vessels return to Asia. That makes it especially attractive to exporters. The shortest distance to Asian markets is Oakland-to-Asia. Geography also benefits Oakland. Proximity to Central Valley growers and Napa/Sonoma vintners helps make Oakland one of the major U.S. export gateways,” Zampa continued.“Oakland is one of the only U.S. ports with a trade balance: 51 percent exports, 49 percent imports.”In June, Driscoll said that the port envisions to see over USD 600 million in investment in infrastructural projects aimed at bolstering Oakland’s status of a major trade hub.These have included so far a terminal upgrade, a new operating system at Everport marine terminal, along with USD 100-million rail yard completed in 2016.In addition, USD 14 million crane-raising for six cranes began in the second quarter of 2016, with the first crane currently being outfitted with 26-foot extensions. Furthermore, TraPac marine terminal began construction aimed at increasing its Oakland footprint by 86 percent, and a new gate complex is expected to be completed by the year-end.The Port of Oakland set an all-time record in June import volume having handled the equivalent of 80,253 full 20-foot import containers. That broke the previous all-time record for the month of 78,326 containers set in June 2006.“Oakland import volume has increased in four consecutive months and five of the first six in 2016. It’s a reflection of Transpacific trade growth generally and continued strong U.S. consumer demand. Analysts forecast continued low-to-mid single-digit growth through the peak season,” Zampa told WMN while speaking on the reasons behind the cargo influx rise, and the business operation forecast for the rest of the year.Namely, following the bullish forecast from the US National Retail Federation on possible all-time highs for July and August containerized import volume, the port said it was ready for the record peak-season import volume, which should flow smoothly through the Port of Oakland.The cargo rise comes on the heels of the ongoing consolidation in the container shipping market, spearheaded by alliances of major liner companies, and their respective network reshuffling and cascading of ships.Following the realignment last spring, there are now 31 vessel services calling Oakland, according to the port. The big change in the wake of realignment was an increase in direct Oakland service to-and-from Southeast Asia, with vessel calls from that region up 50 percent since January.“Oakland has managed realignment and consolidation without any disruption. Cargo volume is up and containers are moving through terminals without disruption. With three international marine terminals, there was little room for cargo dislocation during alliance reshuffling,” Zampa added.When asked about the potential effect of the fact that the ports on the East Coast have started welcoming their biggest containerships yet now that the Bayonne Bridge has been raised, Zampa replied that it was too soon to say what the impact of East Coast port improvements will be on the West Coast.“Oakland expects to maintain/grow market share because it serves a discreet market – Northern California and Western Nevada – that can only be served efficiently and cost-effectively through the Port of Oakland. This is a vibrant, growing market. The port has improved operating performance and is expanding its high-value logistics capabilities to attract more business,” he went on to say.Interview conducted by Jasmina Ovcina Mandra, Editor, World Maritime News; Image Courtesy: Port of Oakland
zoom Over 100 ships loaded with coal were stationary off the southern and eastern coasts of China as at October 31, up sharply from around 36 in mid-September, Platts’ C-flow vessel tracking software showed.The stationary coal ships include ten that are lying idle in the Zhoushan anchorage, three in the Shanghai regional shipping queue, and two waiting in the Lianyungang offshore queue.The surge in idle vessel numbers comes on the back of the introduction of restrictions on coal imports at a number of China’s major ports, including Guangzhou, Xiamen and Zhoushan, in late August, Platts cited market sources. Several ports in China also reported extensive delays and longer queues for ships arriving to discharge seaborne-traded thermal coal.However, Platts said that port authorities rejected claims that restrictions have been imposed on the discharge of imported coal.Data from the C-flow vessel tracking software indicated that four bulk carriers, including the 177,800 dwt Boston, the 176,000 dwt Bulk Success, the 181,000 dwt Navios Joy, and the 171,000 Sunbeam, were waiting for clearance at the Zhoushan anchorage point.Additionally, the bulk carrier Agios Nikolas has been stationary in the Shanghai regional queue since October 22, while a number of ships carrying coal cargoes were parked at different locations off the coast of South China.
zoomImage Courtesy: Long Beach Container Terminal Hong Kong-listed Orient Overseas (International) Limited (OOIL) has reached an agreement to sell the Long Beach Container Terminal to a consortium led by Macquarie Infrastructure Partners.Under the sale and purchase agreement, the 100% of LBCT LLC, the operator of the terminal in California, United States, would be sold to MIP for USD 1.78 billion.The sale was launched following the National Security Agreement entered into by OOIL, Faulkner Global Holdings Limited, a subsidiary of COSCO SHIPPING Holdings, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the U.S. Department of Justice on July 6, 2018, under which OOIL committed to divest its ownership of the Long Beach Container Terminal business.As part of the deal, OOIL’s Orient Overseas Container Line would sign a 20-year container stevedoring and terminal services contract.“Over the past thirty years, we have developed Long Beach Container Terminal into the safest, most efficient and lowest-emission terminal in the United States. We are confident of the future prospects of the terminal under the ownership of MIP and its co-investors, and we look forward to being a long term strategic customer of Long Beach Container Terminal and the Port of Long Beach,” Andy Tung, Co-Chief Executive Officer of OOCL, said.Karl Kuchel, Chief Executive Officer of MIP, added that the company is committed to completing the current expansion of LBCT by 2022, expected to significantly increase the capacity of the terminal.The completion of the sale will be subject to approvals from the relevant regulatory authorities and other customary conditions.
SERVICE N.S./MUNICIPAL RELATIONS–Legislation to EliminateBusiness Occupancy Tax Introduced A bill to eliminate the business occupancy tax was introducedtoday, May 5, on behalf of Nova Scotia’s 55 municipalities. Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations Minister Barry Barnetsaid the tax is inefficient for municipalities and businesses andcreates the perception of double property taxation in NovaScotia. “As we market Nova Scotia as a good place to do business, this isa perception we can do without,” the minister said. “This day has been a long time coming,” said Mayor CharlesCrosby, president of the Union of Nova Scotia Municipalities. “Out of this legislation will come a commercial property taxsystem that is simpler for municipalities and businesses. The 55municipalities in Nova Scotia stand squarely behind this bill andwe look forward to it becoming law.” Business occupancy tax is paid on the assessed value of acommercial property. Depending on the type of business, the taxis the commercial tax rate multiplied by either 25, 50 or 75 percent of the individual business’s commercial assessment. In the 25 per cent category are businesses such as campgrounds,restaurants, automobile dealerships and hotels. About 11 per centof businesses fall into this category. The 75 per cent category includes businesses such as insurancecompanies, banks and other financial institutions. Thesebusinesses comprise about three per cent of Nova Scotiabusinesses. All other Nova Scotia businesses — about 85 per cent — are inthe 50 per cent category. Among the many issues raised in the consultations that took placebefore this legislation was the impact of going to rate-times-assessment on seasonal, tourism-related businesses. Currently,these businesses pay the business occupancy tax only during themonths they are open. To offset this impact, seasonal businesses will be taxed bymunicipalities at 75 per cent of the commercial tax rate. Thismeasure becomes effective April 1, 2006. The business occupancy tax will also be eliminated immediatelyfor other businesses in the 25 per cent category, such as year-round tourism accommodations, restaurants and automobile dealers. Businesses in the 50 per cent category, which includes most NovaScotia businesses, will see the business occupancy tax phased outover five years. Banks and other businesses in the 75 per cent category willcontinue to pay business occupancy tax for seven years until itis eliminated in year eight. The legislation introduced today also addresses a situationunique to owners of commercial rental space. Under the currentsystem, the owner of the building pays property tax, but thecommercial tenant pays the business occupancy tax. Under the new rate-times-assessment system, the owner of the property would seea significant increase in annual municipal taxes. While manycommercial leases have tax increase clauses, others do not. Forthose that do not, the legislation allows building owners torecover this additional tax from their tenant, who is no longerpaying the business occupancy tax. Incorporated villages and rural fire districts also are in aunique situation. They currently charge a single rate for bothresidential and commercial properties, and this rate is alsoapplied to the business occupancy assessment. In order for themto recover revenues that would be lost by eliminating thebusiness occupancy tax, and to ensure residential properties arenot impacted, villages and rural fire districts will be allowedto charge a commercial rate that is not to exceed 1.5 times theresidential rate. Charities and non-profits are currently exempt from paying thebusiness occupancy tax. To offset the increased commercial tax,the Municipal Government Act allows municipalities to provideeither tax relief or a grant to affected organizations. If passed, the legislation calls for the phase-out of thebusiness occupancy tax to begin April 1, 2006.
LUNENBURG COUNTY: Highway 103 Highway 103 will have alternating lane closures for highway sign replacement until Saturday, March 31. Traffic control consists of a flashing light unit, barrels and traffic cones. A detour route is available on Trunk 3 from Hubbards to Blockhouse. Work takes place from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Local Area Office: 902-827-5388 Fax: 902-827-5190 NEW WORK -30- HALIFAX REGIONAL MUNICIPALITY: Lawrencetown River Bridge Lawrencetown River Bridge on Highway 207 near Lawrencetown Beach will be closed for replacement until Thursday, May 31. A one-lane bridge will be installed with traffic lights until construction is complete. Local Area Office: 902-542-6344 Fax: 902-543-6342 KINGS COUNTY: Highway 101 There will be periodic highway lane closings near the West Brooklyn underpass for road repairs until Saturday, March 31. Traffic control consists of signs and traffic control persons. Traffic may be stopped for short periods. Work will take place from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. PICTOU COUNTY: West River East Side Road The West River East Side Road near Salt Springs is reduced to one lane for repairs until further notice. Traffic control consists of traffic signals. KINGS COUNTY: Hantsport Kates Bridge located on Tannery Road in the town of Hantsport will be reduced to one lane for repairs and replacement of the bridge abutments until further notice. A detour route will be available on Avon Street. Local Area Office: 902-742-0587 Fax: 902-742-6000 PICTOU COUNTY: Big Gut Bridge Big Gut Bridge, on Route 348 near Pictou Landing, is open to motorists. A temporary bridge will accommodate one-lane traffic and will be controlled by traffic signals. The bridge width restriction is 4.2 metres. Motorists should proceed with caution. Local Area Office: 902-625-4200 Fax: 902-625-1946 CONTINUING WORK Local Area Office: 902-527-5448 Fax: 902-527-5371 Local Area Office: 902-679-4308 Fax: 902-679-6124 KINGS COUNTY: West Brooklyn Road West Brooklyn Road over Highway 101 will be closed until Saturday, March 31, to replace the overpass. Work takes place from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. KINGS COUNTY: Old Baxters Mill Bridge The Old Baxters Mill Bridge near Baxters Harbour is open to one lane of traffic. Vehicles weighing more than 5,000 kilograms are restricted from using the bridge. Local Area Office: 902-755-7060 Fax: 902-755-7049 Local Area Office: 902-542-6344 Area: 902-542-6342 Local Area Office: 902-543-7376 Fax: 902-543-5596 RICHMOND COUNTY: Black River Bridge Black River Bridge in Dundee will be reduced to one lane until Tuesday, July 31, for repairs. Traffic control consists of traffic signals. Local Area Office: 902-755-7146 Fax: 902-755-7049 YARMOUTH COUNTY: Brooklyn Road Brooklyn Road, at the intersection of Highway 101 in Yarmouth County, is closed to all traffic for construction of a new underpass structure from Monday, March 19 until Friday, Aug. 31. The public is asked to take an alternate route.
An Emergency Idol competition in Kentville and a demonstration of public alerting on The Weather Network are two of several events being held in Nova Scotia next week to mark Emergency Preparedness Week in Canada, May 6-12. Primary to Grade 6 students will compete for prizes at the 4th annual Environment, Health and Safety Expo at the Kentville Fire Hall and Arena on Sunday, May 6. The show is presented by the Annapolis Valley Safe Communities Coalition. The Emergency Management Office of Nova Scotia has donated prizes, including battery-powered, hand-crank AM-FM radios with built-in flashlight and siren alarm. “I encourage all Nova Scotians to think about their own families’ needs in an emergency, and to plan ahead,” said Emergency Management Minister Carolyn Bolivar-Getson. “There are many easy-to-use planning tools available to help people look after themselves in the first 72 hours of an emergency, so first responders can assist those in more urgent need of help. Those resources are on our website at gov.ns.ca/emo, and the federal site at epweek.ca.” Ms. Bolivar-Getson adds that families should make sure they have up-to-date emergency kits for their homes and vehicles. The Emergency Management Office will also broadcast test messages to Nova Scotia viewers of The Weather Network, on Wednesday, May 9. “The public needs to be aware of emergency situations so they can take action to protect themselves and their families. The Weather Network is pleased to work with the province of Nova Scotia to demonstrate how our unique technology allows provincial authorities to warn the public in times of an emergency,” said Paul Temple, vice-president at the Weather Network. “The demonstration on May 9 will help raise awareness of the importance of public alerting in times on emergencies.” Other events and advertising include: — a full-page newspaper ad in the Halifax Chronicle Herald to promote the 72 Hours – Is your family prepared? message. The ad is co-sponsored by EMO Nova Scotia, Public Safety Canada, Aliant, Nova Scotia Power, RCMP emergency services section and the Canadian Red Cross; — feature interviews on The Weather Network with EMO CEO Craig MacLaughlan and Emergency Management Planning Officer Dominic Fewer, to be broadcast nationally during Emergency Preparedness Week; — distribution of brochures and posters to municipal emergency measures co-ordinators, provincial government offices, libraries, law enforcement agencies, first responders and media outlets; — an EMO presentation on the new technology behind the joint emergency operations centre in Dartmouth, to the Emergency Management Association of Atlantic Canada education conference, Friday, May 11; — the introduction of a new training workshop to help persons with disabilities prepare for emergencies. The workshop was developed in co-operation with the Persons with Disabilities Emergency Preparedness Committee, and will be delivered to organizations throughout the province following completion of a train-the-trainers program. — a mall display promoting Emergency Preparedness Week at the community kiosk in the Halifax Shopping Centre. Emergency Preparedness Week is a national event that promotes the need for individuals to care for themselves and their families in the first 72 hours of an emergency. It was first introduced in 1996. A comprehensive list of tools and resources is available on the Emergency Preparedness Week website at www.epweek.ca . The Emergency Management Office of Nova Scotia is responsible for ensuring prompt, co-ordinated responses to emergencies. Its head office is located in Dartmouth, with regional offices in Sydney, Truro, Kentville and Lunenburg.
The province is helping Nova Scotia drivers put the brakes on fuel consumption. Conserve Nova Scotia, the province’s energy-efficiency agency, is launching an information campaign today, Aug. 29, to promote the agency’s DriveWiser program and website. “Achieving energy efficiency on the road can save drivers up to 35 per cent on fuel,” said Bill Dooks, Minister responsible for Conserve Nova Scotia. “We’re encouraging drivers to make small changes that can lead to cash savings, reduced emissions, and cleaner air in our province.” The campaign will target Nova Scotia drivers through billboards, and French and English radio advertisements. Conserve Nova Scotia is also partnering with the Retail Gasoline Dealers’ Association to distribute signs to service stations across the province. “We’re pleased to be partnering with Conserve Nova Scotia to help deliver this important message about conservation to Nova Scotians,” said Graham Conrad, executive director of the Retail Gasoline Dealers’ Association. “When drivers stop by service stations in the province for a fill up or a tune up, they are also learning ways to reduce their fuel consumption.” The campaign will focus on proper vehicle maintenance, driving the speed limit to save fuel and anti-idling. In Nova Scotia, about 90 per cent of households own or lease at least one vehicle. Nova Scotians also drive more kilometres in their vehicles than any other province. The national average is 16,000 kilometres per year while Nova Scotians drive about 17,500 kilometres per year. For DriveWiser program co-ordinator Gina Patterson, these figures translate to a lot of air pollution and more fuel for Nova Scotians. “The DriveWiser website is a must-see for anyone who drives a car in Nova Scotia,” said Ms. Patterson. “This campaign and the new website will help drive home the message to Nova Scotians that there are ways to be a car owner and still be environmentally responsible.” The DriveWiser program is administered by Clean Nova Scotia, and funded by Conserve Nova Scotia. For more information on the campaign or the DriveWiser program, see the new website at www.drivewiser.ca .
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. DIGBY COUNTY: Route 217 Route 217, between the Middle Cross Road intersection, west to Haight Brook Bridge, is reduced to one lane for paving, shouldering and pipe installation until Friday, June 28. Work takes place from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. LUNENBURG COUNTY: Highway 103 Highway 103, from Century Drive westerly to Camperdown Road has alternating lane closures for repaving and upgrading until Saturday, Aug. 31. Work takes place from sunrise to sunset. CONTINUING WORK CAPE BRETON COUNTY: Trunk 4, Coxheath Road Coxheath Road, from Keltic Drive to Highway 125, is reduced to one lane for paving. The ramps on Highway 125, exits 5A and 6 and the Trunk 4 intersection are also reduced to one lane for repairs. Work takes place from 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and is expected to continue until Monday, July 15. PICTOU COUNTY: Highway 104 Highway 104, West Bounty Lanes from Exit 19 to Pictou/Colchester County line, about 11 kilometres, is reduced to one lane until Wednesday, July 31 for paving. Motorists are reminded to use caution when travelling through the construction zone. LUNENBURG COUNTY: Upper Branch Road Upper Branch Road, from Hemford Forest subdivision to Monk Road is reduced to one lane for ditching, brush cutting, bridge repairs and pipe installation until Tuesday, May 28. Work takes place from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. COLCHESTER COUNTY: Route 256 Route 256, from Route 311 to one kilometre west of Truro Road, will be reduced to one lane for culvert installation, gravelling and double chip seal work until Thursday, Aug. 1. Work takes place from dawn to dusk. NEW WORK INVERNESS COUNTY: Crowdis Bridge Crowdis Bridge is closed until further notice for repairs. A detour is available via Crowdis Cross Road, West Big Interval Road and Hatchery Road. VICTORIA COUNTY: Red Bridge, Big Baddeck The Red Bridge on the Old Margaree Road in Big Baddeck is closed to traffic. A detour is in place. The bridge is scheduled to be replaced by summer 2013. -30- GUYSBOROUGH COUNTY: Trunk 16 Trunk 16, at Halfway Cove for about half a kilometre north, will be reduced to one lane for paving until Monday, Sept. 30. Work takes place from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday to Friday, and some Saturdays. COLCHESTER COUNTY: Tatamagouche-Cooper Bridge Tatamagouche-Cooper Bridge on Cooper Road is closed for repairs until Friday, May 31. Motorists are advised to take an alternate route. HANTS COUNTY: Gardeners Bridge-Garden Road Gardeners Bridge on Garden Road will be closed until further notice. Detour via Route 214 and Trunk 14. HANTS COUNTY: Route 215 The northbound lane of Route 215, north of Beaver Pond Road at Centre Burlington, is reduced to one lane to replace the culvert until Sunday, June 30. Temporary lights are in place. HANTS COUNTY: Highway 102 Highway 102, about four kilometres north of Exit 10, at Shubenacadie Bridge, is reduced to one lane to build a temporary detour until June 2015. Work takes place from sunrise to sunset. HALIFAX REGIONAL MUNICIPALITY: Joseph Howe Drive Overpass Repairs are being made on the Joseph Howe overpass on Highway 102, Exit 0 until Saturday, Nov. 30. Expect alternate travel lanes. Please reduce speed to 50 km/h and drive with extra caution in the area or use an alternate route. COLCHESTER COUNTY: Highway 102 Highway 102, north and southbound lanes from Exit 13 to Exit 14A, is reduced to one lane for repairs from Monday, May 6 until Friday, May 24. Signs will be in place. Work takes place from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Nova Scotians interested in the fine craft of furniture making will be able to learn more from a master of the art form. Sutherland Steam Mill Museum in Denmark, Colchester Co., near Tatamagouche, will offer weekend workshops on Sept. 13 and 14, and Sept. 20 and 21 with renowned Nova Scotia furniture maker Jonathan Otter. Mr. Otter is well known as both a craftsperson and teacher whose reputation extends beyond Nova Scotia. “This is a fine example of museums highlighting, sharing and building on traditional wisdom and skills,” said Communities, Culture and Heritage Minister Leonard Preyra. “Visitors to Sutherland Steam Mill will get a hands-on learning opportunity to explore Nova Scotia’s craft and design heritage by meeting and working with an accomplished Nova Scotia artisan.” The unique workshops will teach the basic skills of chair-making with the construction of a shaving horse. The shaving horse is an ancient woodworking tool combining a workbench with a vise that allows the work while seated. The earliest illustration of a shaving horse dates back to the 15th century. This versatile tool is being rediscovered today. With a shaving horse and the right tools and techniques participants will have everything needed to make chairs, stools and other projects. “Sutherland Steam Mill is a perfect backdrop to share the experience of furniture making with Nova Scotians who want to explore their creative nature through such a beautiful and functional art form,” said Mr. Otter. The workshop is largely hands-on and all work is done with hand tools. There is a limit of five participants per workshop which will ensure an intimate experience with lots of opportunity for one on one time with Mr. Otter. For more information or to register, visit http://museum.gov.ns.ca/ssm/en/home/default.aspx or call 902-657-3016.
Access Centres complete more than 1.7 million transactions for 955,000 clients annually. The landing page that people will see when they first access the free Wifi highlights some of the services that Nova Scotians can do online. It can be viewed at http://novascotia.ca/sns/access/services/wifi.asp. Follow Service Nova Scotia on Twitter @ns_servicens . Government is offering free Wifi in Access Nova Scotia Centres across the province. The new service will be available at all 13 locations. “The addition of free Wifi in Access Centres is part of our strategy to provide digital services that Nova Scotians expect in today’s digital world,” said Service Nova Scotia Minister Mark Furey. “Our goal is to make the Government of Nova Scotia a digital service leader by transforming the way online services are delivered. This investment in Access Centres will help us achieve that goal.” There are many services that Nova Scotians can do online, including: renewing licence plates paying for learners and road tests ordering birth, marriage and death certificates renewing business permits paying fines
Washington: Democratic congressional leader Nancy Pelosi on Thursday said Donald Trump is angry that her party is not rushing to impeach him, as the relationship reached new lows with the rivals trading crude personal barbs. It was the second straight day of a very public war of words between Trump and the speaker of the House of Representatives, who earlier questioned the president’s mental fitness for office and expressed hope that those close to Trump would stage an intervention “for the good of the country.” Also Read – ‘Hong Kong won’t rule out Chinese help over protests’Trump responded by branding Pelosi “crazy Nancy,” in what appeared to be the first time he ascribed a pejorative nickname to the woman who is his congressional nemesis. The back-and-forth attacks are highlighting the bitter feud that has swelled since the release last month of the special counsel’s report on Russian interference in the 2016 US election. According to Pelosi, Trump’s strategy is to get his opponents to commit themselves to impeachment — a process that would almost certainly pass in the House, and then fail in the Republican-controlled Senate, ultimately energising Trump’s core voters during his re-election bid. Also Read – Pak Army chief accompanies Imran at key meetings in China”The White House is just crying out for impeachment,” she told journalists. Trump is “disappointed” that the Democrats are holding off for now, Pelosi said, even as they intensify congressional investigations into the president’s links to Russia and his alleged obstruction of justice — probes that Trump is trying to block. “It may take us to a place that is unavoidable in terms of impeachment or not, but we’re not at that place,” she said. Under pressure from the congressional probes, Trump on Thursday ordered the US intelligence community to “fully cooperate” with an investigation into what he has termed “spying” on his 2016 election campaign. According to Trump, court-approved surveillance of his campaign’s links to Russians amounted to “spying.” He has even called the probe treason and indicated he would like to see criminal charges brought against his investigators. Pelosi, who repeated her charge that Trump was engaged in a “cover-up,” goaded the president, declaring that she was praying for him and that she wished “his family or his staff or his administration would have an intervention for the good of the country.” Trump responded with demeaning accusations, branding her “crazy Nancy” and questioning her mental fitness. “She’s not the same person,” he told reporters at the White House during a prolonged rant. “She’s lost it.” Trump watched Pelosi during their meeting “and she was all crazy with the hands and everything,” he said, waving his arms around for emphasis. “She is a mess.” The remarks came in a week of legal setbacks for Trump, including a federal judge’s ruling that a House subpoena of Trump financial records was lawful. “I think what really got to him was these court cases and the fact that the House Democratic caucus is not on a path to impeachment, and that’s where he wants us to be,” Pelosi said Thursday. A day earlier Pelosi and other Democrats came to the White House to discuss infrastructure, only to have the president abruptly cancel the talks and proclaim there could be no progress on policy issues until Democrats end their “phony” investigations.
Bathinda (Pb): Air Chief Marshal B S Dhanoa Monday flew the ‘missing man’ formation in a MiG-21 aircraft to pay tributes to Squadran Leader Ajay Ahuja and other fallen heroes of the Kargil war. He was accompanied by Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief (AOC-in-C) Western Air Command Air Marshal R Nambiar in the flypast organised at Air Force Station in Bhisiana here. The ‘missing man’ formation is an aerial salute accorded to honour the fallen comrades-in-arms. It is an arrow formation, with a gap between two aircraft in the formation depicting the missing man, the IAF said in a statement. Also Read – Pak activated 20 terror camps & 20 launch pads along LoCThe Chief of the Air staff, led a four aircraft, MiG-21 ‘missing man’ formation flypast to honour the valour and supreme sacrifice of men killed in action during ‘Operation Safed Sagar’ at Kargil, an IAF spokesperson said. Later, in a sombre ceremony, he laid a wreath at the War Memorial to honour the IAF men who made the supreme sacrifice in the line of duty. Squadron Leader Ajay Ahuja had laid down his life during the Kargil conflict. He was at that time the Flight Commander of 17 Squadron and was awarded the Vir Chakra posthumously for his valour during the conflict which took place 20 years ago. On the occasion Alka Ahuja, widow of Ajay Ahuja, also paid tributes to the late IAF officer. On May 28, the air chief will visit Air Force Station in Sarsawa, Uttar Pradesh and fly in a Mi-17 V5 ‘missing man’ formation to commemorate the Kargil martyrs.
Lahore: As Pakistan Tuesday marked the 21st anniversary of its atomic tests, jailed former prime minister Nawaz Sharif said that his decision to make the country a nuclear power has made its defence “invincible.” On May 28, 1998 Pakistan carried out five nuclear tests at Chaghi in Balochistan province during Sharif’s tenure as prime minister. The day is since observed as Youm-e-Takbeer in Pakistan. Pakistan’s nuclear tests came days after India successfully carried out the atomic tests in Pokhran on May 11. Also Read – ‘Hong Kong won’t rule out Chinese help over protests'”May 28 is an unforgettable day in the history of Pakistan. On this day, the defence of the country was made invincible when Pakistan emerged on the world map as a nuclear power,” 69-year-old Sharif, supremo of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), said in a message which was shared on his party’s Twitter handle. “Youm-e-Takbeer is a day of nation’s honour. A sign of nation’s unprecedented bravery, it also gives a message to the country’s enemies that there would be dire consequences in case of any misadventure against Pakistan,” he said in the message from the Kot Lakhpat jail where he is currently undergoing a seven-year-sentence in a corruption case. Also Read – Pak Army chief accompanies Imran at key meetings in ChinaSharif said his government was threatened with economic sanctions in case of the atomic tests. He also said that Pakistan was offered billions of dollars for not conducting the tests. “But I accepted all the challenges and went ahead with the tests,” he said. The PML-N chief claimed that external forces hatched conspiracies against him for making the country an economic power for his approval of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor due to which he was being punished – first forced to go on exile and later sentenced to jail. “In the solitary confinement, I assure the nation that I will never compromise on the constitutional rights of the people, people’s right to vote and country’s security and sovereignty,” he said. Sharif has been serving a seven-year prison term at the jail since December 24, 2018 when an accountability court convicted him in one of the three corruption cases filed in the wake of the apex court’s July 28, 2017 order in Panama Papers case. Sharif and his family have denied any wrongdoing and allege that the corruption cases against them were politically motivated.
Moscow: The head of the Russian Boxing Federation on Wednesday called for “big reform” of the International Federation (AIBA) in a last-ditch bid to keep the organisation in the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. The call came a week after the International Olympic Committee recommended AIBA be barred from organising the Olympic Boxing tournament because of governance issues. “We must move from words to deeds…to re-elect the entire AIBA leadership,” said Russian boxing head and AIBA executive committee member Umar Kremlev. Also Read – We don’t ask for kind of tracks we get: Bowling coach Arun”It is necessary to carry out the most serious reforms in AIBA as soon as possible,” he said in a statement, adding that addressing the organisation’s debts should be a primary concern. “We must listen and accept all the comments made by the IOC, eliminate all the shortcomings that still exist. Our goal is to protect the interests of boxers and coaches.” The IOC’s recommendation needs to be approved at a full IOC session in June, but its adoption is likely to be a formality. Also Read – Bastian Schweinsteiger announces retirement, could join Germany set-upIf AIBA is kept away from the Games, it will be the first international federation blocked from organising its own sport at the Olympics. The IOC has been losing patience with boxing since a judging scandal at the 2016 Rio Games when all 36 officials and referees were suspended while allegations of bout-fixing were investigated. Last year the federation elected controversial Uzbek businessman Gafur Rakhimov as its head but he has since resigned. Rakhimov has been linked to organised crime by the US Treasury Department but he has vigorously denied the allegations, saying his presence on a sanctions list was a “mistake”.
New Delhi: None of the Congress’ seven Lok Sabha election candidates from the national capital attended the Saturday meeting of a party committee on examining the poll debacle in Delhi. The meeting of the Delhi Congress’ probe committee was attended by some leaders, including two district presidents of the New Delhi parliamentary constituency, but no MP candidate from the party was available as many of them are out of the city, committee member Yoganand Shastri said. Also Read – Cylinder blast kills mother and daughter in Karawal NagarThe panel, which was formed by the party’s Delhi president Sheila Dikshit last Monday to look into the reasons behind its poor performance in the general elections, had met last week. The five-member committee will submit its report to the Dikshit in 10 days. Besides Dikshit, who contested from North East Delhi, Rajesh Lilothia and Vijender Singh, Congress candidates from North West Delhi and South Delhi, respectively, have appeared before the committee so far. All the seven Congress candidates lost the Lok Sabha polls, to their BJP rivals. “The party leaders and workers have expressed the view that the Congress can spring up a surprise in the assembly pols in Delhi, provided everyone unites to face the challenge,” Shastri said.
New Delhi: The government has accorded its final sanction for the deployment of an additional 5,000 CISF personnel to better guard the increasing network and burgeoning passenger load on the Delhi Metro network, officials said Sunday. They said the Union home ministry has also enhanced the security-command structure of the force, deployed at the mass rapid rail network, with the sanction of one more supervisory post in the rank of deputy inspector general (DIG). Also Read – Bangla Sahib Gurudwara bans use of all types of plastic items With the new manpower, the Delhi Metro will become the largest single unit under the security cover of the Central Industrial Security Force in the country. The about 1.70-lakh-personnel force is a paramilitary that functions under the home ministry and is tasked to guard 61 civil airports of the country. The Delhi Metro network, at present, has about 9,000 personnel deployed to guard about 270 stations over a 370-km network spread in the national capital region, including adjoining cities of Noida, Ghaziabad, Gurgaon and Faridabad. Also Read – After eight years, businessman arrested for kidnap & murder Out of the 9,000 CISF personnel in Delhi Metro security unit, about 7,000 are deployed on a regular or sanctioned basis while the rest are deputed on an ‘internal security pattern’ or loan basis to meet the increasing demand of manpower owing to opening of new routes and stations, a senior home ministry official told PTI. The CISF and central intelligence agencies had sought regularising the loan component and sanction for more personnel to effectively guard the ever-increasing network which receives a heavy footfall each day and is sensitive from the point of a threat perception like a terrorist attack or sabotage, he said. Hence, the government has now accorded full sanction for deploying over 5,000 more personnel of the force in the Delhi Metro network and with this addition, the total strength of the force will now be over 12,000 troops, he said. An in-principle approval to the proposal was given by the government last year but the financial sanction was received recently, the official said. Given this strength-enhancement, the government has also sanctioned another DIG-rank post which will soon be made operational, he said. At present the CISF security unit in the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) is headed by a DIG-rank officer and with the posting of the second such officer, the operations of the multiple lines of the network is expected to be divided between the two, a senior CISF officer said. The enhanced strength of the force also makes the Delhi Metro as CISF’s largest deployment unit in the country as the other big ones like Delhi and Mumbai airports have only about 6,000-6,500 personnel each, he said. This metro security component will have about about 1,500 women personnel, he added. The force, that is deployed on a manpower requirement basis, has units ranging from 30 troops to 6,500 personnel at airports and strategic installations in the aerospace, nuclear, historical monuments and private sector domain. The Delhi Metro network is now spread across three phases with about 270 stations and it witnesses a footfall of about 27 lakh passengers daily. The force is in-charge of overall security of the Delhi Metro where it not only frisks commuters and scans their baggages, it also provides an armed anti-terror cover to the facility.
New Delhi: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia have hit out at the BJP for accusing them of corruption in the construction of classrooms. Saying the BJP was deliberately keeping schools in a poor condition in the states it rules, they dared the BJP to have them arrested. Three BJP MPs from Delhi had earlier on Monday accused Kejriwal and Sisodia of a Rs 2000 crore scam in the awarding of contracts for the construction of classrooms across Delhi. They claimed that the AAP was constructing classrooms at Rs 8,800 per square foot. Also Read – Balakot strikes show major shift in govt’s handling of terror attacks: IAF chief They also alleged the contracts had been awarded to associates and relatives of Kejriwal and Sisodia. They had said they would take the matter to the Lok Pal. The issues comes just months ahead of the Assembly election in Delhi. Sisodia and Kejriwal took to Twitter to air their grievances with the allegations against them. “For the first time, poor children are studying in such good schools. Before, only rich children could even go close to such schools. Now, the children of auto drivers, ayahs and labourers are becoming doctors, engineers and lawyers. BJP does not want this to happen. That is why BJP is intentionally keeping schools in a poor condition in the states it rules,” read a tweet from Kejriwal. Also Read – Pak activated 20 terror camps, 20 launch pads along LoC “BJP’s CBI has already investigated all our files. They found nothing. If there has been a scam, why don’t you arrest us immediately? You have all the agencies. Why do you want to stop the good education that the poor are getting?” he said in another tweet.”I challenge Manoj Tiwari, if I have taken part in some scam, let him arrest me. Either arrest me by this evening or apologise to the people of Delhi. Apologise to the parents and children of Delhi, for whom these schools are being built,” Sisodia’s tweet read. With the Delhi Assembly elections just months away, the BJP is taking a shot at the classroom project, which the AAP has been among the key focus areas for the Kejriwal government. The AAP has repeatedly touted its construction of classrooms as a key achievement, even as it acknowledged that there was a shortage of about 45,000 teachers. In the recent Lok Sabha elections as well, the AAP had appealed for votes on the basis of its work on constructing the classrooms and for its claimed improvement in the delivery of health services. However, the party had lost in all seven of Delhi’s Lok Sabha constituencies, and placed second in only one. (With inputs from DNA)