Pakistan pacer Wahab Riaz is hoping to cement his spot in the World Cup team through his performance in the upcoming Pakistan Super League (PSL).The 33-year-old, who has been one of the most impressive bowlers of the PSL, said that the tournament is a good opportunity for him to be a part of the national squad.”PSL is a good opportunity before the World Cup. I have been bowling well in the leagues and I hope through my performance in the tournament I can become a part of the national squad,” Geo tv quoted Wahab, as saying.”Sure we play a lot of leagues and tournaments but there is nothing that comes close to playing for your country,” he added.Wahab’s team Peshawar Zalmi will play their opening match against Quetta Gladiators but the left-arm bowler said that he is looking forward to bowl against Lahore Qalandar batsman and South Africa star player AB de Villiers.”AB is one of the most destructive batsmen of the modern era and he is one of my favourite batsmen. I am looking forward to bowling to him. You can expect to see a healthy competition on match-day,” he said.PSL is slated to be held from February 14 to March 17. While the first leg of the tournament will be held in Dubai, the second leg will shift to Pakistan.Also Read | Franchise owners reject PCB proposal for women cheerleaders in PSLAlso Read | Australia refuse to play in Pakistan, PCB announces ODIs in UAEadvertisement
Airports Authority of Jamaica (AAJ) President, Audley Deidrick, says public-private partnerships (PPPs) will be pivotal in generating an estimated US$78 billion in additional investments needed for airport infrastructure developments globally over the next four years.Mr. Deidrick said data from a recent Airports Council International (ACI) research conducted in 50 countries indicate that planned airport investments from 2018 to 2022 total US$355 billion, as against the required US$433 billion, based on forecasts for increased passenger traffic.He was speaking at the opening ceremony for the second annual two-day aviation seminar, jointly hosted by the AAJ, Jamaica Civil Aviation Authority (JCAA) and Aeronautical Telecommunications Limited (AEROTEL), at the Courtleigh Auditorium, New Kingston, on Thursday (December 6).Mr. Deidrick said the ACI, which represents airports globally, expects passenger traffic through these hubs to peak at 8.7 billion by the end of 2018.Additionally, he said that at the current average annual growth rate of 4.5 per cent, “traffic is expected to double every 15 years, hence is expected to reach a staggering 17 billion passengers by 2033”.The AAJ President noted that airports, by nature, require expansive and extensive infrastructure developments at intervals rather than incrementally, to meet passenger growth forecasts.“Capital intensive infrastructure, such as airports, seaports and highways, can only be adequately funded with the help of private capital [as obtains with] public-private partnerships,” he pointed out.Jamaica’s two major international airports, Norman Manley in Kingston and Sangster in Montego Bay, currently operate under the PPP framework, through arrangements forged between the Government and Mexican entity, Grupo Aeroportuario del Pacifico S.A.B. De C.V. (GAP).“This is not just a Jamaican scenario. It is a worldwide phenomenon that has taken on increasing importance and practice over the last 30 years. Jamaica has simply joined the game early, to our benefit,” Mr. Deidrick added.Public-Private Partnerships was among the topics for discussion during the two-day seminar, held under the theme ‘Air Transport as an Engine of Economic Development in Jamaica and the Caribbean’.The event formed part of Jamaica’s observance of International Civil Aviation Day on December 7, in commemoration of the International Civil Aviation Organization’s establishment in 1944.
KELOWNA, B.C. – The founder of Canada Jetlines is taking over as chief executive of Canadian discount carrier Flair Airlines Ltd.Jim Scott replaces Flair founder and former president Jim Rogers, who will remain an adviser until 2019 after selling his shares in the Kelowna-based company.Scott is a former airline pilot who led Canada Jetlines between 2012 and last year.He will be joined by Jerry Presley, who represents the majority owners, as executive chairman. He was previously an adviser to Canada Jetlines.The changes come more than six months after Flair’s purchase of NewLeaf Travel Company’s assets.Flair Airlines currently flies from seven Canadian cities: Toronto, Hamilton, Winnipeg, Edmonton, Abbotsford, Kelowna and Vancouver. It has plans to soon announce an expansion of its fleet and route network.The airline faces the prospect of competition with the launch next summer of WestJet’s discount Swoop airline and Canada Jetlines.Flair operates seven aircraft and plans to add two Boeing 737-800 aircraft later in 2018. Four more planes are slated to be added to the fleet in 2019 to accommodate nearly 1.5 million passengers.
VICTORIA, B.C. – Local governments and the Province will use new housing needs reports to better understand and respond to long-term housing needs specific to their communities.To support this work the Province is providing $5 million over the next three years through a program administered by the Union of B.C. Municipalities, along with data and guidance to support communities’ efforts. This new legislation is requiring local governments to collect data, analyze trends and present a report every five years that describes current and anticipated housing needs.“The District of Chetwynd is pleased to have support from the Province to work on a housing needs study,” said Allen Courtoreille, mayor of Chetwynd. “As a resource community, Chetwynd faces unique housing challenges due to shifting demographics, and this is an important first step to help make sure that our young people, families and seniors have the homes they need.” According to the Province, the reports will assess key housing needs, including the need for affordable housing, rental housing and homes for seniors, people with special needs, families and people at risk of homelessness. Most of the data required by local governments, such as demographics and household income levels, will be available on a single provincial website at no cost.“Empowering communities to develop housing solutions that work for them is a key part of our government’s affordable housing strategy,” said Selina Robinson, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing. “Housing needs reports will provide the information that local governments, along with the Province, need to make sure that we are all creating the right kind of homes for people living in communities throughout B.C.”The new requirements were developed in consultation with an advisory group, including representatives from the Union of B.C. Municipalities, the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing, BC Stats, BC Housing, the Planning Institute of BC, the BC Non-Profit Housing Association and local governments.“Effective housing policy needs a high level of collaboration and co-operation between the various levels of governments,” said Arjun Singh, president of the Union of B.C. Municipalities (UBCM). “Local governments around the province have been undertaking their own housing need studies. The new provincial requirement will increase the data available and improve its consistency among communities. UBCM is pleased to administer funding for this initiative.”Once complete, all reports will be presented to a local government council or board. The reports will also be publicly available online to anyone seeking to better understand local housing needs.The intake for the first round of funding is now open and successful local governments will be notified in summer 2019.
FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – A public information session on solar energy and electric vehicles will be coming to Fort St. John on September 19.Presented by Peace Energy Cooperative, organizers say the ‘Save with Solar’ public session will give residents the opportunity to learn about what the Cooperative does within the community when it comes to renewable energy.A 30-minute presentation will also be given to inform residents about the mechanics and economics of solar energy, along with a review on electric vehicles. The ‘Save with Solar’ public session is taking place on September 19 from 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the Fort St. John Passive House, located at 9904 94 Street.For more information and to register for this event, you can call the Peace Energy Cooperative at 250-782-3882.
Chennai: A total of 172 students has been commissioned as gentlemen and lady cadets, including those hailing from Bhutan and Afghanistan, during a passing out parade at the Officers Training Academy here.Lieutenant General Ranbir Singh, General Officer, Commander-in-Chief, reviewed the parade Saturday and encouraged the cadets to adhere to core values of the Indian army. Also, he presented the Sword of Honour and a silver medal to the academy under officer Siddharth Bhawnani. Singh complimented the cadets and staff of the OTA on the excellent standard displayed by all. He presented a gold medal to cadet Sandhya and a bronze medal to battalion under officer Noyonika Binda, an official press release said.
Washington: India’s second moon mission Chandrayaan 2, scheduled for launch in April, would be carrying a NASA science probe, the media reported. Chandrayaan 2 will carry NASA-owned laser retroreflector arrays that allow scientists to make precise measurements of the distance to the Moon, the US space agency officials said, during the Lunar and Planetary Science Conference held in Texas, the space.com reported. Besides Chandrayaan 2, the science instruments will also be flying to the Moon aboard the Israeli lander Beresheet, due to touch down April 11. Also Read – Swiggy now in 500 Indian cities, targets 100 more this year “We’re trying to populate the entire surface with as many laser reflector arrays as we can possibly get there,” Lori Glaze, Acting Director of the Planetary Science Division of NASA’s Science Mission Directorate was quoted as saying. Glaze did not provide a timeline for the partnership’s creation. “We were asked rather quickly if there was anything we wanted to contribute to that lander, and we were successful in roughly a two-week time period to come up with an agreement on it,” said Steve Clarke, the deputy associate administrator for exploration within the Science Mission Directorate. Also Read – New HP Pavilion x360 notebook with in-built Alexa in India Retroreflectors are essentially sophisticated mirrors. Scientists on Earth can shoot them with lasers and study the light that is reflected back. That signal can help pinpoint precisely where the lander is, which scientists can use to calculate its — and the Moon’s — distance from Earth. The 3,890-kg Chandrayaan-2 spacecraft, to be launched onboard the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) Mk-3, will orbit around the Moon to study its conditions and collect data of its topography, mineralogy and exosphere. The Rs 800-crore Chandrayaan-2 mission comes a decade after the maiden mission Chandrayaan-1 was launched on October 22, 2008 from India’s only spaceport at Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh. The lander has been named “Vikram” as a tribute to the pioneer of India’s space programme and former ISRO chairman (1963-71) Vikram Sarabhai. When Chandrayaan-2’s rover lands on the Moon, India will become the fifth country in the world to achieve the feat after Soviet Union in 1959, the US in 1969, China in December 2013, and Israel in 2019.
Kolkata: Major jewellers in the country have appealed to the government for standardisation in hallmarking of gold, contending that multiple measures of purity involved in the process was creating confusion in the industry. The All India Gem and Jewellery Domestic Council (GJC) has urged the consumer affairs ministry for standardisation in hallmarking purity across the country. Vice-chairman of GJC, Shaankar Sen, said that various forms of purity like 14, 18 and 22 carats are being used for the hallmarking process. Citing an example, Sen said that for gold bars and coins, the purity required for hallmarking is 20 and 24 carats, respectively. This, he said, was creating confusion in the jewellery industry, necessitating standardisation. Also Read – Thermal coal import may surpass 200 MT this fiscalChairman of GJC, Anantha Padmanabhan, said when the the model code of conduct is in force, there is a need for a standard operating procedure (SOP) regarding the seizure of gold in transit, based on valid documents. “We will meet the chief election commissioner and discuss the matter,” he told reporters here on Saturday. He also said the annual turnover of the gem and jewellery industry is around Rs 4 lakh crore, which is expected to double in the next couple of years. The GJC also launched a sensitisation programme – ‘Labham’ – for jewellers, providing information on regulatory compliance and best business practices.
New Delhi: Describing the UN designating JeM chief Masood Azhar a global terrorist as a great diplomatic victory for India, the BJP on Thursday said opposition parties are reluctant to celebrate the achievement because they feel they may have to pay political price for it. The UN Sanctions Committee on Wednesday designated the Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Azhar a global terrorist after China lifted its hold on a proposal to ban him. Senior BJP leader and Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley told reporters that the current dispensation succeeded in an attempt the country has been making for the last 10 years, “but then they (opposition) says ‘this is trivial, what is big in it’.” Addressing a press conference at the party office, he said there was a tradition in the country to speak in one voice on issues such as external affairs and national security but there has been a departure from it in the last few years. Emphasising that the labelling of Azhar as a global terrorist is a “great diplomatic achievement for India”, the finance minister said, “If India wins, Indians win, but there are friends in opposition who are not celebrating it as they may have to pay a political price for it.” Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, who was accompanying Jaitley at the press conference, attributed the success of sanctioning of JeM chief to the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. “Terrorism shall not be tolerated and this declaration from the UN is noteworthy. It is the result of persistent measures taken by the external affairs ministry, under leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi,” she said.
Hollywood- The slavery drama “12 Years a Slave” won the best picture Oscar on Sunday, becoming the first film from a black director to win the film industry’s top honor in the 86 years of the Academy Awards. The film from British director Steve McQueen is based on the memoirs of a free black man, Solomon Northup, who is tricked and sold into bondage in Louisiana in an unflinching account of pre-Civil War slavery in America.Space adventure “Gravity” and AIDS drama “Dallas Buyers Club” won early Oscars, but suspense remained as the show moved towards its climax and the best picture award. At the halfway point, “Gravity” had won five awards, all in technical categories, “Dallas Buyers Club” took two and “12 Years a Slave” earned a key acting prize at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood.The other main frontrunner, 1970s crime caper “American Hustle,” was so far empty-handed, but the lead acting prizes, best director, screenplay awards and the coveted best picture prize were yet to be announced.As widely expected, Jared Leto won the best supporting actor Oscar for his portrayal of a transgender woman suffering from AIDS in “Dallas Buyers Club” on Hollywood’s biggest night.The actor and rock musician used his acceptance speech to send a topical message to people in troubled Ukraine and anti-government protesters in Venezuela.“To all the dreamers out there… in places like Ukraine and Venezuela, I want to say, we are here. And as you struggle to make your dreams happen, to live the impossible, we’re thinking of you tonight,” Leto said.“Dallas Buyers Club” also won the make-up and hairstyling award.Lupita Nyong’o won the best supporting actress Oscar for “12 Years a Slave,” earning a standing ovation as she took the stage.A tearful Nyong’o paid tribute to her slave character Patsey, saying: “It doesn’t escape me for one moment that so much joy in my life is thanks to so much pain in someone else’s.”“Gravity,” from Mexican director Alfonso Cuaron, won awards for visual effects, sound editing, sound mixing, cinematography and film editing.Going into the evening, “12 Years a Slave,” “Gravity” and “American Hustle” were frontrunners for the top prize, best picture.The ceremony got underway after storm clouds lifted, allowing stars to hit the pre-show red carpet.Briton Chiwetel Ejiofor, up for best actor for “12 Years a Slave,” was among the A-listers who strutted their stuff, as did his co-star Nyong’o, stunning in pale blue Prada.“It’s quite a surreal moment,” Ejiofor told CNN, adding that “it would be amazing” to win. But he stressed: “One of the proudest things… is that people have received the film in the spirit in which it was made.”On the acting front, Cate Blanchett is favorite for her turn in Woody Allen’s “Blue Jasmine,” while Matthew McConaughey is widely fancied to strike Oscars gold for his portrayal of homophobic HIV-positive AIDS activist Ron Woodroof in “Dallas Buyers Club.”On the eve of Hollywood’s biggest night, “12 Years a Slave” scored a last-minute boost by winning best feature and best director for Briton Steve McQueen on Saturday at the Independent Spirit Awards.But experts agree that all bets are off for the big prize of the night, the best picture Oscar, which will be handed out at the end of the show.Host Ellen DeGeneres opened with a monologue making fun of the storms that hit California on the eve of the Oscars.“It’s been a tough couple of days for us here. It has been raining,” she said, addressing the global audience. “We’re fine. Thank you for your prayers,” she dead-panned.The 6,000 or so voting members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences cast their ballots over 12 days starting on Valentine’s Day and ending on Tuesday.The best picture race is so close that the winner could come down to only a few votes, under the Academy’s preferential voting system. Under the rules, voters rank all nine nominated films.They are: “American Hustle,” “Captain Phillips,” “Dallas Buyers Club,” “Gravity,” “Her,” “Nebraska,” “Philomena,” “12 Years a Slave” and Martin Scorsese’s “The Wolf of Wall Street.”Those with the least first-place votes are dropped, and their votes given to the next highest-ranked nominees. This continues until one movie has 50 percent plus one vote.Cuaron is the frontrunner for the best director prize, and his star Sandra Bullock earned high praise for her work in the spectacular space drama, prompting some to suggest she could cause an upset in the best actress race.The star-studded Oscars broadcast featured a performance by Irish rockers U2, playing their nominated song from “Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom,” and Pink, who sang “Over the Rainbow” as part of a 75th anniversary tribute to “The Wizard of Oz.”