Ontario to pay 180M to relocate cancelled Mississauga gas plant

TORONTO — Ontario will have to pay $180-million to relocate a Mississauga gas plant that was cancelled just days before last year’s election, but the governing Liberals couldn’t say whether taxpayers or ratepayers will end up footing the bill.Energy Minister Chris Bentley said it’s not yet clear whether the cost of locating the 300-megawatt plant more than 260 kilometres away near Sarnia will show up on hydro bills.“The agreement was concluded yesterday between the Ontario Power Authority and Greenfield South Power,” Bentley said Tuesday. “I expect there will be discussion in the future about the allocation of those costs.”The Liberals cancelled the plant last year, after scrapping another one proposed for nearby Oakville the year before in the face of fierce opposition from local residents.The opposition parties accused the government of killing the plants to save Liberal seats, including Citizenship Minister Charles Sousa’s and Oakville MPP Kevin Flynn’s.It’s clear that the people of Ontario will take the hit for saving those seats west of Toronto, they said.“It’s either going to be on your tax bill or your hydro bill,” said NDP energy critic Peter Tabuns.“In either event, it’s a scandal. It’s completely outrageous. The minister should have been ashamed of himself, the premier should be ashamed, and the people of Ontario should be incredibly angry.”Liberal campaign staffers are now writing Ontario’s energy policy, said Vic Fedeli, the Progressive Conservative’s energy critic.“That’s exactly what happened,” he said. “A week before the election, in order to save a seat, they offered up the Mississauga power plant. And today we find out that it’s $180-million that that staffer cost us.”But Bentley insisted that the government only had a change of heart after listening to the “very strong objections” of local residents.“As soon as we made the announcement about our intention to relocate the gas plant, it was followed very shortly thereafter by statements and commitments by both of the other parties that they would not have a gas plant on that site,” he said.The $180-million figure includes an $88-million settlement with EIG, the financiers of the plant who were suing the province for $300-million. It also includes $85-million in goods and services that can’t be reused at the new location at OPG’s Lambton generating station, such as engineering work, construction materials and labour.Work on the Mississauga plant continued for weeks after the Oct. 6 election, even though the government made it clear the project would have to be located elsewhere.The government said the price tag could have been much higher if they hadn’t managed to recover $75.5 million in equipment and $10 million in engineering and design work for use at the new facility.The move is a good fit because the plant will go to an energy hub and take advantage of existing transmission lines and gas lines, Bentley said. It will also help the station move from coal-fired generation to natural gas.Construction of the plant is also expected to create up to 200 jobs over the next two years, he added. It should be up and running by 2017.The province will be able to meet the energy needs of growing communities like Mississauga and Oakville, even though they won’t have plants nearby, Bentley said.“We will have enough electricity … the grid is interconnected,” he said.The Mississauga site still belongs to Greenfield, but the agreement prohibits them from building another gas plant, Bentley said. read more

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Enbridge plans 18billion pipeline expansion between Alberta hubs

CALGARY — Enbridge Inc. is planning a $1.8-billion expansion to a pipeline that runs between two major Alberta oil hubs in order to bring growing oilsands production to market.The project includes a new 91-centimetre pipeline between Edmonton and Hardisty, Alta., as well as additional tankage and terminal facilities.The new line will initially be able to carry 570,000 barrels per day, but has the potential to be expanded to 800,000 barrels.“The agreement with shippers on terms for the expansion continues our collaborative relationship, ensuring that we provide the facilities and services they need to maximize the value of their crude oil,” said Stephen Wuori, president of liquids pipelines at Enbridge.Construction could begin as early as the first quarter of 2014, with start-up targeted for mid-2015.The proposed 179-kilometre pipeline will follow the route of Enbridge’s existing line along that corridor, which the company says will minimize the environmental impact.Enbridge intends to file a regulatory application by the end of the year.Enbridge is the dominant crude shipper in the oilsands region, although rival TransCanada Corp. has been growing its presence in that market. Many of regional Alberta pipelines end up in Edmonton.Hardisty, southeast of Edmonton, is where major Enbridge and TransCanada U.S.-bound pipelines start. read more

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Canopy Growth to develop up to 3M sq ft of growing capacity

VANCOUVER — Canopy Growth Corp. (TSX:WEED) says it will develop up to three million square feet of greenhouse growing capacity in British Columbia, more than doubling Canada’s biggest licensed marijuana producer’s production footprint.The company said in a statement that it has entered into a definitive joint venture agreement with a large-scale greenhouse operator where it will be a majority shareholder of BC Tweed Joint Venture Inc., a new company.Canopy Growth CEO Bruce Linton says the greenhouses currently grow peppers and the company will spend tens of millions of dollars to transform them to grow cannabis, the majority of which will be sold domestically.The company will spend $20 million to develop 1.3 million square feet and hopes to have product available as soon as July 1 next year when recreational marijuana sales are set to be legalized.The company will lease the facility from the partner’s affiliate and will have the option to acquire it. The undisclosed partner will receive Canopy shares as consideration.The deal expands Canopy Growth’s greenhouse production footprint to about 2.3 million square feet.BC Tweed will also have the exclusive option to develop another 1.7 million square feet of existing greenhouse infrastructure.Canopy started off growing indoors at a converted chocolate factory in Smiths Falls, Ont. but it has joined many others in adding greenhouse spaces, which facilitate lower cost production. It also has about 900,000 square feet of indoor production capacity.The expansion comes as reports suggest a looming medical and recreational marijuana shortage following legalization. Licensed producers are scrambling to add production space as the country ramps up to supply a legal recreational market.Linton said the growth comes amidst substantial demand and the company’s promises that it will fulfil any orders from any medical marijuana patients with Tweed or other Canopy Growth brands before recreational use orders.The supply agreement covers two years, including four million grams of cannabis and derivative products in the first year, according to a company statement. read more

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More Lankans take oaths in Fiji

Justice Bandara and Justice Kumar have been in the country for some time while Justice Bandara was appointed a resident magistrate in 2011 and Justice Kumar was admitted to the High Court as a barrister and solicitor. Justice De Silva graduated with a Masters of Law degree from the University of Colombo in Sri Lanka in 1996. Ms Girihagama previously worked as a state counsel in the Attorney General’s department in Sri Lanka. She also holds a Masters of Law after graduating from the University of Colombo in Sri Lanka.Mr Rupasinghe is a qualified attorney at law of the Supreme Court in Sri Lanka and holds a Bachelor of Law degree from the Open University of Sri Lanka. Justice Kumar studied at the Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane and holds a bachelor of law degree. Justice Bandara also studied in Australia at the University of Wollongong. He currently holds a master of transnational crime prevention. The newly-appointed magistrates have also colourful working and educational backgrounds with Ms Weeratunga working as legal officer at the Legal Aid Commission in Sri Lanka.Ms Weeratunga studied at the Sri Lanka law College and graduated in 2001 after passing the Attorney at Law final examination. More Sri Lankans have taken oaths yesterday as Judges and Magistrates in Fiji, the Fiji Times reported today.In all, three Judges and three Magistrtaes took oaths yesterday, including Justice Madduma Patabendige Sanjeeva Sudharshana De Silva, Justice Kamal Kumar and Justice Janaka Prasanna Bandara, Magistrate Puimini Weeratunga, Rajakaruna Girihagama and Nadimale Rupasinghe.. read more

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Police arrest 127 following violent protests

The protestors were demanding the suspects be handed over to them. Police spokesman ASP Ruwan Gunesekare said that six police officers were injured in the clash. “The Inspector General of Police (IGP) has ordered the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) to carry out the investigations into this incident. The protestors are demanding grave punishment on the suspects but this will be decided when they are produced before the court,” the spokesman said. The body of the 17-year-old school girl was discovered in Pungudutivu last week after the police launched a manhunt following a complaint lodged by the victim’s parents.The girl’s parents informed the Kayts Police station, situated in the north, that their daughter did not returned home from school. The police searched the residence of a youth in the area and found bloodstained clothing. (Colombo Gazette) The police arrested 127 people following violent protests in Jaffna today and also seized 60 motorbikes, 43 bicycles and 5 three-wheelers.Those arrested had taken part in the protest outside the Jaffna court over the rape and murder of a school girl in Jaffna. read more

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Lankan refugee found guilty of stabbing

A man who fatally stabbed a fellow Sri Lankan refugee has been found guilty of murder by an Adelaide jury, which earlier heard the crime was committed after the victim called his killer a “lady boy”.Ketheshwaran Sivaperuman, 35, bled to death at his Elizabeth South home in January last year, .abc.net.au reported. “He was angry that the deceased had parked his car in the driveway, angry because the deceased had called him a ‘lady boy’.“All the evidence suggests the accused remained at the scene being hostile and aggressive towards the deceased, even after the fatal stabbing.”The court heard both men had previously lived together but the victim moved into a house on the opposite side of Griffiths Street after the pair had a falling out. Both men came to Australia as refugees from Sri Lanka. It took the jury just two hours to unanimously convict Mr Sivaperuman’s neighbour Satheeswaran Suppiah, 31, of murder. “The accused’s account that he only had it with him for cutting apples or being playful is a nonsense,” he said.Suppiah showed little emotion after the verdict and kept his head down as he was shown from the dock.His lawyer, Greg Mead, had earlier urged the jury not to convict him of murder.“This man is no murderer,” he said.“What sort of murderer is it who deliberately and intentionally inflicts a fatal stab wound and then immediately rings the police and ambulance and asks them to in fact save the victim, then hangs around in his own house across the road from the scene of the crime?“Is that the behaviour of a deliberate, calculating killer or a man under the influence of alcohol who has done something that was not meant to happen, was unintentional and accidental?”Submissions on Suppiah’s sentence will be heard in July. Mr Norman said Suppiah repeatedly tried to blame another man for the death, telling police he only had the knife to cut apples.Suppiah claimed another man grabbed his hand and forced the knife into the victim’s stomach.But Mr Norman said all of the evidence suggested the other man was not even there and that Suppiah deliberately took the knife with him. The Supreme Court previously heard he was stabbed with a large kitchen knife with such force the blade damaged his spine and exposed his intestine. Prosecutor Mark Norman said Suppiah hid the knife in his shorts, got into an argument with the victim and stabbed him.“On a hot day, after drinking hot liquor, his hot temper lead him to murder a man,” he said. read more

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CBK meets Arjuna assures backing to UNFGG

Ranatunga is contesting the election under the elephant symbol of the United National Party, which is a coalition partner in the UNFGG. Former President Chandrika Kumaratunga met Ports and Shipping Minister Arjuna Ranatunga today and assured her support to the United National Front for Good Governance (UNFGG).Ranatunga said that Kumaratunga had said that she will ensure the country continues on the path to good governance. A former member of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP), Ranatunga lost his SLFP membership after deciding to back the UNFGG at the election. (Colombo Gazette) He said that at the meeting he had with her today, they had discussed measures which need to be taken to ensure the UNFGG wins the August 17 election.

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Sri Lanka and the Czech Republic renew bilateral cooperation

During the meeting, the existing bilateral relations between the two counties were reviewed and the two sides discussed ways of meaningfully advancing engagements in the areas of trade, investment, tourism, cultural and education. The two delegations also agreed to strengthen existing bilateral relations through mutual cooperation. Sri Lanka and the Czech Republic have renewed bilateral cooperation, the Foreign Ministry said in a statement today.The Junior Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic Ivan Jancarekmet with Additional Secretary of Foreign Affairs (Economic Affairs and Trade, Middle East and Africa, and Political Affairs/ West) Grace Asirwatham, on 5th May 2017, at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Colombo. Ivan Jancarek was accompanied by Milan Hovorka, Ambassador of the Czech Republic in New Delhi, representatives of the Czech Chamber of Commerce and Honorary Consul for Czech Republic in Sri Lanka. (Colombo Gazette) During the visit to Sri Lanka, the Czech delegation also participated at the Czech-Sri Lanka Business Forumwhich was held on 04thMay 2017 at Hilton Hotel in Colombo. The Business Forum was organised by the Embassy of the Czech Republic in New Delhi and the Consulate of the Czech Republic in Colombo in partnership withthe Czech Chamber of Commerce. read more

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CID to question Editor over assault on Poddala Jayantha

The former secretary of the Sri Lanka Working Journalists’ Association (SLWJA) had told reporters then that he was not satisfied with the investigations into the assault in 2009. A newspaper Editor has been summoned by the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) to record a statement related to the assault on journalist Poddala Jayantha.The Editor of the Sinhalese language newspaper has been asked to appear before the CID tomorrow to record the statement. Report by Indika Sri Aravinda Poddala Jayantha fled the country in 2010 but returned last year to file a complaint with the CID as he wanted justice.He had said there was suspicion the suspects arrested earlier over the assault on journalist Keith Noyhar may have been involved in the assault on him. (Colombo Gazette) Former media activist Poddala Jayantha appeared before the CID in June last year to file a complaint over the ongoing investigations into an assault on him. read more

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CoI urged to probe Airbus A350 deal by SriLankan Airlines

In June this year, TISL co-signed a letter along with Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) from France, Indonesia, Tunisia, the UK and the US, addressed to the Head of the UK’s Serious Fraud Office and copied to France’s Parque National Financier, the US Department of Justice and the Organisation for Economic Cooperation & Development (OECD) calling on their investigating agencies to ensure that any allegations connected to the procurement of Airbus aircraft are properly investigated and where necessary, legal action is initiated. Key among the recommendations made by the CSO’s is that in instances where it is proven that Airbus or its agents have paid bribes, the aggrieved countries are compensated for harm caused.The CSO’s joint statement and a report compiled by Corruption Watch UK on the allegations of bribery and corruption at Airbus were also referred to the Commission of Inquiry. In a letter to the CoI in August this year, TISL highlighted that the aircraft manufacturer Airbus and its subsidiaries are under investigation in several jurisdictions for allegedly paying bribes in order to win billions of dollars of contracts. Transparency International Sri Lanka (TISL) has alerted the Commission of Inquiry (CoI) into Allegations of Large Scale Fraud and Malpractice in SriLankan Airlines to alleged corruption surrounding the controversial procurement of Airbus A350 aircraft by the national carrier.The German publication Der Spiegel has on repeated occasions flagged the allegations of bribery and corruption in the procurement of Airbus aircraft. TISL Executive Director Asoka Obeyesekere said, “We respectfully call on the Commissioners to ensure a comprehensive and transparent investigation of the A350 deal, especially considering the burden placed on the country as a result of the cancellation costs. As Airbus’ parent company EADS is listed in France, the OECD guidelines for multinational enterprises apply. This provides a framework for the recovery of any monies that may have been earned through bribery or corruption”. (Colombo Gazette) TISL believes these investigations are of particular interest to the Sri Lankan people given the fallout following the cancellation of SriLankan Airlines’ planned purchase of Airbus A350 aircraft which led to the state having to pay in excess of Rs. 15 Billion as cancellation costs. read more

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MacKenzie Bezos pledges to donate half her fortune to charity

MacKenzie Bezos, the ex-wife of Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, has pledged to give away roughly half of her fortune to charity.Bezos signed the Giving Pledge, an initiative launched by Warren Buffet and Bill and Melinda Gates to encourage the world’s richest people to give away most of their wealth.Bezos and her ex-husband divorced last year and she reportedly got a stake in the online shopping giant worth over $35 billion.She wrote in a letter she will be thoughtful in her philanthropy and will “keep at it until the safe is empty.”

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Grocer Loblaw reports sluggish food sales touts ecommerce progress

Canada’s largest grocer reported sluggish same-store sales in its food business during its latest quarter, but touted growth in its online offerings after the company spent the past year prioritizing its digital business.Loblaw Companies Ltd. reported same-store sales, a key retail metric, during its fourth quarter grew 1.9 per cent at Shoppers Drug Mart and 0.8 per cent at its grocery stores.The food metric was “sluggish” and lagged the forecast, Irene Nattel, an analyst at RBC Dominion Securities Inc. wrote in a note. She pointed out that rival Metro Inc., reported an increase of 3.2 per cent in food same-store sales for its most recent quarter.Loblaw president Sarah Davis said when general merchandise was excluded and only food was taken into account, same-store sales grew 1.8 per cent the grocery stores.“So, we’re happy with our core food. We’re not happy with our (general merchandise) performance,” she said, adding the drop happened as the company changed its promotional strategy to every-day low prices.That strategy improved margins, she said, but the company would have liked to have seen more sales. It may look at tweaking that strategy this year, she added.Executives said the company has grown its digital sales to more than $500,000,000 during 2018.“We feel like we’re gaining share on, in digital sales in Canada,” said Davis, adding the company is seeing higher than expected volumes at its Western Superstores, and traction in urban centres, like Toronto and Vancouver.When customers shop online, they order more on average than when shopping in store, she said, but the digital sales do cannibalize from the bricks-and-mortar locations to some degree.The company has learned that customers seem to like a fast turnaround time for online orders and will work to improve fulfillment speed this year, she said.Loblaw said its profit for the quarter ended Dec. 29 improved compared with a year ago when it was hit by restructuring and other one-time charges.The grocer earned a profit of $221 million attributable to common shareholders or 59 cents per share. That compared with a profit of $31 million or eight cents per share in the same quarter a year earlier.Revenue totalled $11.22 billion, up from $10.99 billion.On an adjusted basis, Loblaw earned $1.03 per diluted share from continuing operations, up from $1.02 per diluted share in the final quarter of 2017.Follow @AleksSagan on Twitter.Companies in this story: (TSX:L) (TSX:MRU) read more

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New York firefighters police set to deliver relief aid for UN effort

“WFP welcomes this act of friendship and solidarity with the firefighters and policemen of New York City and is happy to be facilitating the delivery,” spokesman Jordan Dey told a press briefing in Islamabad.The six-man team, which left New York on Tuesday, was on its way to Belgium, where it will load cooking oil, rice, powdered milk and wool blankets onto a cargo plane. The shipment is scheduled to arrive at Bagram airbase, 32 miles north of Kabul, on Friday morning.The supplies will be received by WFP and delivered to an orphanage in Kabul by the officers, many of whom were involved in the rescue efforts at the World Trade Center site.

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UN World Bank officials alarmed by deconstruction of Palestinian economy

UN, World Bank officials alarmed by ‘deconstruction’ of Palestinian economy Voicing grave concern over the escalating conflict in the Middle East, two senior United Nations and World Bank officials in the region today called for the protection of civilians on both sides and urged Israel to lift the closure of the Palestinian territory, which they said had endangered the people’s livelihoods and engendered a sense of hopelessness and desperation. “We are very disturbed by the life-threatening conditions under which the Palestinian civilian population is currently living, as well as the continuous deconstruction of the Palestinian economy over the past 18 months,” said Terje Roed-Larsen, the UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, and Nigel Roberts, the World Bank’s Director for the West Bank and Gaza, in a joint statement issued in Jerusalem. “The damage to livelihoods, infrastructure and organizational capacity runs counter to any serious pursuit of peace and security.”The two officials pointed out that half of all people in the West Bank and Gaza were surviving on less than $2 per day, and stressed that the most important cause of economic decline was the policy of closure. “The Government of Israel is urged to lift the closure as soon as possible,” the statement said, noting that it should be done within the context of the recent Security Council resolution 1402. “We urge the Government of Israel to ensure that full respect is given to humanitarian principles, and that relief workers, who are risking their lives to assist the injured, the sick and the needy, are given unimpeded freedom of mobility,” the statement added, calling on the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) to halt the destruction of water pumps, electricity generators and sub-stations, roads, schools, hospitals and businesses.”The situation will be even more severe, if the actions we are witnessing in Ramallah, Bethlehem, Jenin, Qalqilya and Nablus are sustained, or if closure is tightened further,” the statement said, adding that if this occurred it would trigger “a steep slide into more widespread poverty and hopelessness.”The officials stressed that the Palestinian Authority had been providing basic, essential services under very adverse conditions for a year and a half, and warned that if it were de-legitimized the donor community would lose its main channel of assistance to the area’s people. “This would carry enormous costs – in Palestinian suffering and in the further contraction of any hopes for peace and security,” they said.Outlining priority areas, the statement stressed the urgent need to protect civilians on both sides, to guarantee full mobility for relief workers, and to end to the destruction of Palestinian infrastructure. At the same time, donors were called on to fund humanitarian agencies working to alleviate conditions in the region and to provide the Palestinian Authority with budgetary support. read more

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GuineaBissau Security Council backs Annans call for constructive dialogue

In a statement to the press, the current President of the Council, Ambassador Jeremy Greenstock of the United Kingdom, said that the 15-member body supported the Secretary-General’s appeal to both the executive and the legislative branches to reach a compromise on the constitutional issue, including the separation of powers.Council members also called on President Kumba Yalà to commit himself “to fully respect for national reconciliation, good governance and the implementation of the programme for demobilization, reintegration and reinsertion of former combatants,” Ambassador Greenstock said. [In Durban, South Africa, today, the Secretary-General met with President Yalà on the sidelines of the summit meeting of the Organization of African Unity (OAU).]They also urged the President to commit to close monitoring of the management of public finances and to improve relations with the Gambia while continuing full co-operation with Senegal on the issues at stake, according to the statement.Meanwhile, members of the Council supported the Secretary-General’s call for assistance from the international community for Guinea-Bissau in priority areas and encouraged the Bretton Woods institutions to continue their constructive engagement with the country, Ambassador Greenstock said.The statement followed a private meeting of the Council in which it heard a briefing from David Stephen, Mr. Annan’s Representative for Guinea-Bissau and the head of the UN Peace Building Support Office there (UNOGBIS). read more

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Cambodia Annan set to dispatch UN delegation to resume talks on Khmer

Last Friday, the Secretary-General wrote back to Prime Minister Hun Sen accepting his recent invitation to send a UN team to Phnom Penh, and offering to dispatch the delegation later this week or in the beginning of March, according to a UN spokesperson in New York.”The Secretary-General is now waiting for a reply from Prime Minister Hun Sen, informing him which of those dates would be most convenient for the Government of Cambodia,” spokesperson Hua Jiang told a press briefing.The General Assembly had asked the Secretary-General to report to it by 18 March on the progress of negotiations.Last month, a Cambodian delegation led by Senior Minister Sok An met with UN Legal Counsel Hans Corell in New York for a series of exploratory talks on the matter.

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UN task force seeks to boost use of information technology for development

Uniting government representatives, business leaders and academics, the meeting, the Task Force’s first in Europe, will focus mainly on its vital role in achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), a set of targets adopted by world leaders at the UN Millennium Summit in 2000 for development and poverty eradication by 2015.The broader aim of discussions will be to help develop approaches to providing content to the upcoming World Summit on the Information Society in Geneva in December 2003, as well as to build alliances for action. The Task Force will follow up its previous meeting with a review of efforts to jump-start ICT-for-development in Africa.Tomorrow morning’s plenary will also examine the ICT’s advisory role to UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan and discuss how the Task Force can best assist in developing an ICT strategy for the UN system and help promote public-private partnerships for its implementation.The Secretary-General launched the ICT Task Force to bring together a variety of actors – from community leaders to captains of industry – united by the goal of using ICT to reduce the gap between the information-haves and have-nots. read more

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UN health agency reports first day with no SARS death in nearly

As of today the toll stood at 8,402 probable SARS cases with 772 deaths, the World Health Organization (WHO) said.The peak numbers of deaths occurred during the second week of March, when as many as 20 new deaths were being reported on some days.With outbreaks at all the initial “hot zones” either contained or coming under control, SARS is clearly in decline, indicating that recommended control measures are effective when combined with political commitment and determination, WHO said.The fact that the chain of transmission has been broken in Viet Nam and Singapore underscores the WHO position that SARS can be contained, despite the absence of a vaccine, robust diagnostic test and specific treatment. Control currently depends on prompt detection and isolation of cases, good infection control in hospitals, and the tracing and quarantine of contacts.Viet Nam has remained free of new SARS cases since 8 April. In Singapore, the last locally acquired probable case was isolated on 11 May. No new cases have since been detected in either country despite a high level of alert and aggressive investigation of all rumoured cases.The experience in Toronto, where more than 70 new cases have been reported since 26 May, underscores the risk of a resurgence of cases and the constant need for vigilance. A single imported case can re-ignite an outbreak or bring cases to a new area, if preparedness measures are weak, WHO added. read more

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UN official visits South Asia in bid to drum up more peacekeeping

Jean-Marie Guéhenno’s trip comes as demand for soldiers to serve in the world body’s operations outstrips supply. “He’s trying to drum up troop contributions for anticipated peacekeeping missions this year,” explained UN spokesman Fred Eckhard in New York.Mr. Guéhenno flew to Bangladesh today after spending a few days in Islamabad, the Pakistani capital, where he met with President Pervez Musharraf, Prime Minister Mir Zafarullah Jamali and Foreign Minister Sheikh Mahmoud Kasuri.The two South Asian countries are the UN’s top contributors to peacekeeping. Pakistan had 5,343 military observers, civilian police and troops on UN duty and Bangladesh 4,274 as of the end of last November.

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