The counting of votes for by-elections to two Lok Sabha seats and one Assembly constituency in Rajasthan and one Lok Sabha seat and one Assembly constituency in West Bengal that went to the polls on January 29 began at 8 a.m. on Thursday.In West Bengal, The Trinamool Congress (TMC) has won the Noapara Assembly constituency and the Uluberia Lok Sabha seat.In Rajasthan, Congress candidate Vivek Dhakar has won the Mandalgarh Assembly seat and the party is leading in the Alwar and Ajmer Lok Sabha seats.An average 63.76% polling was recorded in Alwar and Ajmer, while at Mandalgarh, 76.57% of the electorate exercised their franchise.A total of 42 candidates were in the fray for the bypolls.Here are the updates:6.40 p.m.Rajasthan: Karan Singh Yadav of the Congress leads by 1,96,496in Alwar. His party colleague Raghu Sharma is leading by a margin of 84,162 in Ajmer.According to Rajasthan’s Chief Electoral Officer, 100% votes have been counted in Alwar and 99.07% in Ajmer. The Congress is currently having an unassailable lead in both seats.5.20 p.m.West Bengal: According to sources in the Election Commission of India, Sajda Ahmed of the Trinamool Congress has won the Uluberia Lok Sabha bypoll, beating her nearest rival Anupam Mallick (BJP) by over 4.74 lakh votes, reports PTI.5.00 p.m.Karan Singh Yadav of the Congress leads by 1,94,285 in Alwar. His party colleague Raghu Sharma is leading by a margin of 80,455 in Ajmer.3.10 p.m.Trinamool Congress maintains the lead ahead of its nearest contender, the BJP, in the Uluberia Lok Sabha bypoll by a massive margin of 3.6 lakh votes, an Election Commission official says. After 14 rounds of counting, Trinamool candidate Sajda Ahmed bags 5,88,211 votes. Her nearest rival, Anupam Mallik of the BJP, secures 2,18,807 votes.CPI(M) nominee S.K. Sabiruddin Molla and Congress candidate S.K. Madassar Hossain Warsi receive 1,03,015 and 16,784 votes respectively.2.00 p.m.Rajasthan Pradesh Congress president Sachin Pilot says his party will get strengthened by today’s results. Besides being the people’s verdict on the State government’s failures, it is also a mandate against the Centre’s demonetisation, GST implementation and economic slowdown, he says at a press conference in Jaipur.Congress wins MandalgarhThe Congress wins the Mandalgarh Assembly seat by a margin of 12,974 votes. Vivek Dhakar of the Congress polled 70,143 votes and defeated the BJP’s Shakti Singh Hada, who polled 57,169 votes.Congress rebel Gopal Malviya, who contested as an independent, received 40,470 votes.1.00 p.m.TMC wins Noapara, leads in UluberiaThe TMC wins the Noapara bypoll by defeating its nearest rival, the BJP, by 63,018 votes, the Election Commission said.“The TMC has won the Noapara by-election. The BJP has secured the second position and the CPI(M) the third,” said West Bengal Chief Electoral Officer Aariz Aftab.While TMC candidate Sunil Singh secured 1,01,729 votes, the BJP’s Sandip Banerjee got 38,711 votes. CPI (M)’s Gargi Chatterjee got 35,497 votes.Counting of votes for the by-election in the Uluberia Lok Sabha seat is also underway with the TMC ahead by more than 4,700 votes, reports PTI11.30 a.m.Alwar: Congress candidate Karan Singh Yadav leads by 39,826 votes over his nearest rival, BJP’s Jaswant Yadav, after 15 rounds of counting. Mr. Yadav has garnered 1,63,489 votes.Ajmer: Congress’ Raghu Sharma maintains a lead of 23,882 votes over BJP candidate Ram Swaroop Lamba, reports PTI.Mandalgarh: The trend in Mandalgarh is in favour of the Congress. Vivek Dhakar of the party leads by 1,864 votes at the end of 12th round of counting. BJP’s Shakti Singh Hada is trailing behind, reports Mohammad Iqbal.11.00 a.m.In Ajmer, the margin with which the Congress candidate is leading increases to 21,000.In West Bengal, the TMC surged ahead of its rivals in both Noapara and Uluberia after the initial rounds of counting of votes, reports PTI.At Noapara, the ruling party stormed ahead by a massive margin of 30,000 after the sixth round of counting.TMC candidate Sunil Singh secured 46,281 votes, while his nearest rival of the CPI(M), Gargi Chatterjee, bagged 16,444 votes. Sandip Banerjee of the BJP secured 15,570 votes, while Goutam Bose of the Congress managed to get just 4,742 votes.The TMC also took an early lead in Uluberia by a margin of 4,767 votes.After the first round of counting in Uluberia, TMC candidate Sajda Ahmed secured 6,462 votes, while CPI(M) candidate Sabiruddin Molla bagged 1695 votes. Anupam Mallik of the BJP and S.K. Madassar Hossain Warsi of the Congress managed 1,471 and 256 votes respectively.10.30 a.m.The margin with which the Congress is leading in Lok Sabha byelections in Rajasthan is 31,531 in Alwar and 8,555 in Ajmer.The margin constantly reducing in Mandalgarh. The BJP is ahead by only 350 votes at the end of 10th round, reports Mohammad Iqbal.Former Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot says the mandate is going against the BJP due to the failure of both the State and Union governments. People had high expectations, but Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje made false promises and didn’t fulfil them. “The Congress will form the next government in Rajasthan,” he says.9.30 a.m.The Congress lis eading in Ajmer and Alwar on completion of two rounds of counting, says Rajasthan Chief Electoral Officer. The Congress candidate leads by 10,800 votes in Ajmer. The BJP’s Ramswarup Lamba may find it difficult to fill this gap, reports Mohammad Iqbal.At Mandalgarh, the BJP leads. Congress rebel Gopal Malviya gives a major shock to official candidate Vivek Dhakar, who is trailing at third position, reports Mohammad Iqbal.In West Bengal, the TMC has taken an early lead. It is leading in Uluberia by about 10,000 votes after the completion of first round of counting in one Assembly segment out of seven, reports Suvojit Bagchi. Counting starts little late and result of only Udaynarayanpur segment [first round] is announced.In the Noapara Assembly constituency, the TMC is leading by over 30,000 votes.The CPI(M) and the BJP are neck and neck for the second position.tHE TMC won both THE seats in the last election.9.00 a.m.The BJP leads by 699 votes in first round of counting at Mandalgarh. The nearest rival is Congress rebel Gopal Malviya, who contested as an independent candidate.In Ajmer, Mr. Sharma leads, says the State Election Commission.In Alwar, Congress candidate Karan Singh Yadav leads, having secured 18,652 votes on completion of first round, says the State Election Commission.In West Bengal, the TMC candidates are leading in Noapara and Uluberia, reports Shiv Sahay Singh.The Uluberia seat in Howrah district fell vacant after the death of TMC MP Sultan Ahmed in September last. The Noapara seat in North 24 Paraganas fell vacant after the death of Congress MLA Madhusudhan Ghosh in April last.The BJP faces an uphill battle in Rajasthan because a miffed Rajput community has announced its support to the Congress in all the three seats, writes Mohammad Ali. Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje and Pradesh Congress president Sachin Pilot have campaigned extensively in Ajmer in view of the constituency’s role in strengthening their own position within their respective parties.The Uluberia bypoll result is expected to be a litmus test for the BJP as it not only has to face the organisational clout of the ruling TMC but also deal with substantial minority votes in the constituency.Read more 8.00 a.m.Counting for by-elections to the constituencies in Rajasthan begins. Postal votes are being counted first, reports Mohammad Iqbal.
Repair work has started on sections of the Rome Gully, which is adjacent to communities along the Lyndhurst Road/Rousseau Road corridor, in Kingston, in an effort to ensure the safety of residents and motorists in the area. The work, which commenced on October 31, include: cleaning of the gully; repacking, and extensive repair of existing damage. The gully suffered significant erosion prior to, and consequent on the passage of Hurricane Sandy on October 24, which unleashed torrential rains which caused heavy flooding in the channel. Speaking to journalists on November 1, following a tour of the area, Minister of State in the Ministry of Transport, Works and Housing, Richard Azan, informed that the work forms part of emergency repairs in order to maintain the structure. “There is a house that is in danger right now and we are trying to make sure that we save that house (along with several others). Additionally, the invert under the bridge is also damaged,” he said. The State Minister added that the repairs are expected to yield significant benefits for both communities and adjoining areas. Regarding the cost of the work, Mr. Azan said he was unable to give a specific figure, as the initial estimate had to be revised in light of additional damage that was sustained during the Hurricane’s passage. In the meantime, the State Minister noted that ongoing maintenance of the gullies across the island is critical in ensuring that the structures are safe. “It is something that we have to put (forward), as part of overall plan to maintain the gullies, not only the big ones but the small drains as well,” he added. For his part, Corporate Communications Manager, National Works Agency (NWA), Stephen Shaw, said the work is critical “as the bridge which spans the gully along Rousseau Road is in danger of collapsing, as the inverts under the bridge have been significantly eroded.”
APTN National News OTTAWA–Public Safety Minister Vic Toews has taken on a “John Wayne attitude towards First Nation people” through his government’s plan to create a 50 RCMP officer task force and introduce tougher penalties to fight the underground tobacco trade, according to the Mohawk Council of Akwesasne.Toews announced Tuesday that in addition to a new anti-contraband tobacco unit, the government would introduce a bill to set mandatory minimum jail terms for people involved in the black market tobacco trade.“Sending additional troops from the RCMP isn’t going to resolve the contraband issue,” said a statement from Akwesasne Grand Chief Mike Mitchell. “There are already an insurmountable number of external policing agencies surrounding Akwesasne with the same goal.”Toews’ office did not respond to a request for comment.The RCMP said in an email to APTN National News that the new task force would get no new money and the cost would be absorbed under the existing budget. The RCMP also acknowledged that the rate of tobacco smuggling is decreasing.“The RCMP contraband tobacco seizures have declined over the past few years, which indicates that our efforts have an impact,” said an emailed statement from the RCMP. “However, it remains robust and a lucrative activity for organized crime.”The RCMP said the new task force would deployed “in areas known to have the highest level of contraband tobacco activity” including southern Ontario and the “central St. Lawrence seaway,” which is in and around Akwesasne Mohawk territory.The majority of black market tobacco flows from the U.S., through Akwesasne and into markets across Canada. There are also informal cigarette factories in Kahnawake, which sits next to Montreal, and Six Nations, which is also home to an established tobacco firm called Grand River Enterprises.Akwesasne has also seen a high level of marijuana, cocaine and human trafficking flow through its territory and the presence of organized crime elements has created tensions with local residents.The Akwesasne council, however, said no amount of policing could ever stem the flow of smuggling because it thrives from the jurisdictional tangle that covers the Mohawk territory. Akwesasne district Chief Steve Thomas said Toews should have first visited and met with the people of Akwesasne before launching another wrong-headed plan against the tobacco trade.“(Toews) would see that the problem isn’t the people of Akwesasne, but the multitude of borders that dissect Akwesasne into two countries, two provinces and one state,” said Thomas, in the statement. “The international boundary line zigzags around islands in the St. Lawrence River, making it extremely difficult for contraband to be seized and this weakness has been exploited by external criminal organizations.”The territory of Akwesasne, which sits about 120 kilometres west of Montreal, crosses the Quebec, Ontario and New York State borders.“The long-term solution…is removing the international boundary to one side or the other of Akwesasne…This would make our community whole again and the jurisdictional issues we face would cease to exist,” said Mitchell.Akwesasne is currently negotiating with the Ontario and Quebec governments to legalize the tobacco trade through internal self regulation.In the statement, the Akwesasne council said it is trying to replace the tobacco economy, which has kept the community from falling into abject poverty, with other types of economic development. The Mohawks own “nearly a hundred miles of islands” in the St. Lawrence River and are looking to develop cottage and tourism industries.“Harsher sentences and more police are not the solution to a larger economic issue,” said the statement from the Akwesasne Mohawk Council. “Minister Toews seems to be bent on becoming a poster child of Idle No More with his John Wayne attitude towards First Nations people.”First Nations people introduced Europeans to tobacco and the plant is used in sacred ceremonies. Many Mohawks see the tobacco trade as a right and do not recognize international boundaries imposed by nations they view as foreign.
Local couple celebrating 50th anniversary wants to see their marriage on public recordState Rep. Triston Cole (left) testified with Bonnie and Doug Dean in support of his bill to allow private marriages between minors to be made public after both parties are at least 18.The House Families, Children, and Seniors Committee today approved legislation authored by state Rep. Triston Cole to allow private marriages between minors to be made public after both parties are at least 18.Under current law, only persons at least 18 years of age may be married without parental consent. However, a probate judge may marry, without publicity, minors between the ages of 16 and 18 years old if these individuals have their parents’ permission.There is nothing in the statute allowing these individuals’ marriage records to be made public once they both reach 18 years of age. The bill would allow the court to unseal the record of their marriage.Bonnie and Doug Dean testified with Cole about having a “secret marriage.” Last summer they celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary. The only gift they were asking for is the ability to see their marriage on public record.“These marriages should not be hidden away based solely on the age of the individuals,” said Cole, of Mancelona. “The bill would allow for these secret marriages to be made public after both parties involved are no longer minors.”The legislation will allow marriage licenses to be unsealed upon the following conditions:· All petitioners were married without publicity under section 1 of the act.· The petitioners are both at least 18 years of age at the time of the filing.· Both of the petitioners wish to unseal the record of the marriage.Once the petition has been received and the court determines the above qualifications are met, the court shall forward a copy of the license and certificate of marriage to the clerk in the county the license was issued. The court shall also forward a copy of the marriage record to the state registrar.House Bill 4802 moves to the full House for consideration.### 05Oct Rep. Cole bill allows private marriages between minors to be made public Categories: Cole News
Swedish cable operator Com Hem reported flat year-on-year revenues for SEK1.145 billion (€135 million) for the fourth quarter, while EBITDA grew by 14% to SEK577 million.The number of connected households grew slightly to 1.749 million, while the number of unique subscribers fell by 3,000 to 828,000.CEO Tomas Franzén said the company had seen the decline in subscribers level off in the fourth quarter. He said Com Hem had managed to deliver stable results in a competitive market.
Jim Shaw, vice-chairman and former CEO of Canada’s Shaw Communications, has died after a short illness, aged 60.Shaw, the son of the company’s founder JR Shaw, served as the second CEO of Shaw Communications from 1998 to 2010.Under Shaw’s leadership, the company reinforced its leadership position in Western Canada by concluding an asset swap with Rogers Communications for territory in Vancouver and British Columbia, and began building the platform for its Internet services, including an extensive build out and upgrade of infrastructure.He was also behind the acquisition of broadcast group Western International Communications, later spun off to create Corus Entertainment, and the later acquisition of CanWest Global Communications’ TV assets.Shaw joined Shaw Communications in 1982, initially serving as a construction worker and cable installer. He was appointed VP, operations in 1987, president in 1995, CEO in 1998, a director in 2002 and elected vice-chair of the board in 2008.“As a family, our hearts are heavy with sadness. I have not only lost a brother, but a great friend and mentor. Our lives will not be as complete without hearing Jim’s laughter or getting the benefit of his counsel or his insight,” said Brad Shaw, CEO, Shaw Communications. ““Jim’s countless contributions to our company are integral to Shaw’s long-term strength and growth as a Canadian industry leader,” Brad Shaw said. “As an operator, a deal maker and a strategist, Jim continued building the foundation started by our father, JR, to create a Canadian business leader and household brand across Western Canada.”