FREDERICTON — New Brunswick’s new minority Tory government says it will table a balanced budget by March 2020 or sooner.The promise is contained in a throne speech delivered Tuesday in Fredericton.The Tory government was sworn-in two weeks ago, after defeating a Liberal minority government on the confidence vote on its throne speech with the support of the three-member People’s Alliance.Premier Blaine Higgs is proposing to phase-out the small business tax and the double property tax on secondary properties, as well as taking a leadership role in eliminating trade barriers between provinces.Just a day after announcing changes to the provincial ambulance service, the government is detailing other measures to improve the health care system, including a review of the contract with Medavie Health Services for home care services.The throne speech, read by Lt. Gov. Jocelyne Roy Vienneau, also includes plans to improve early literacy scores and restart a poverty reduction process.The Canadian Press
Loon’s parent company, Alphabet, is planning a commercial launch of the service for later this year. Alphabet Google’s parent company, Alphabet, has recruited some well-known and experienced industry veterans to help get its wireless broadband project Loon to market.On Tuesday Alphabet announced a new advisory board and said one of the founding members will be Craig McCaw, who started McCaw Cellular. McCaw Cellular was one of the first cellular companies in the US and was sold to AT&T in 1994. Also serving on the new board: Marni Walden, a former marketing executive with Verizon, and Ian Small, who worked as chief data officer for Telefonica and is now CEO of Evernote. Project Loon, started in 2016, uses solar-powered balloons as Wi-Fi carriers to deliver signals from high above. In July, Alphabet spun out Loon from X, the division of Alphabet responsible for its most experimental projects, including self-driving cars, internet-connected contact lenses and delivery drones.The company said previously it was planning a commercial launch of Loon later this year. Thus far, the balloons have been used in testing, and deployed for emergency relief, as in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico. In preparation for the commercial launch, Loon CEO Alistair Westgarth said in a blog post, the company intends to partner with mobile network operators throughout the world. The idea is that Loon can help these wireless carriers expand internet coverage and attract new customers. To do that, he said, Loon needs to add “some serious expertise to our ranks with a new advisory board that brings together top wireless innovators with decades of experience in the industry.”Loon has already struck at least one partnership deal, with Telekom Kenya, to help the African carrier extend its coverage to hard to reach parts of the country where reliable communications connections are absent. CNET Magazine: Check out a sample of the stories in CNET’s newsstand edition.The Smartest Stuff: Innovators are thinking up new ways to make you, and the things around you, smarter. Share your voice 0 Google Alphabet Inc. Tags Post a comment Mobile
Asteroid formation through planetary collisionDon Davis via University of FloridaAn asteroid named 2019 JB1 is heading towards earth at a mind-blowing speed of 93,000 kilometers per hour, NASA has confirmed. Asteroid trackers of the United States space agency revealed that this space body measuring 1,280 feet will make a close flyby in the early hours of May 20, 2019.As per NASA, 2019 JB1 is a near-earth object (NEO). The space agency considers all asteroids and comets in orbit of the Sun at a distance of 1.3 astronomical units as near-earth objects. It should be noted that one astronomical unit is equal to about 92.95 million miles, and it is actually the distance between the earth and the sun.On May 20, 2019, JB1 may come as close as 6.4 million km from the earth. A distance of 6.4 million kilometers may seem too huge in human terms, but considering the depth and vastness of the universe, this distance is quite small in astronomical terms.Even though the chances of 2019 JB1 hitting the earth is very less, NASA believes that any impact from such gigantic space bodies could bring about cataclysmic effects in the affected area.”If a rocky meteoroid larger than 25 meters but smaller than one kilometer ( a little more than 1/2 mile) were to hit Earth, it would likely cause local damage to the impact area. We believe anything larger than one to two kilometers (one kilometer is a little more than one-half mile) could have worldwide effects,” wrote NASA on its website.In the meantime, NASA is busy developing its planetary defense weapon to protect the earth from dreaded asteroid hits which may happen in the future. NASA scientists believe that this weapon, which is basically a spacecraft can deviate rogue space bodies from its trajectory.A few weeks back, NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine also revealed that the possibilities of an apocalyptic asteroid hit are not something reserved for Hollywood disaster movies. In a recent speech at the Planetary Defense Conference, Bridenstine predicted that life-threatening asteroid hits could happen in the future.
Both Bhuvi and Virat starred in India’s victoryTwitter/Virat Kohli2019 World Cup was a strange tournament for Virat Kohli. The fact that he didn’t get a single hundred in the 9 matches that he played in the tournament suggests that he wasn’t at his best. However, throughout the event, he was getting half-centuries where he seemed as much in control as he ever does. It was only a quirk of fate that none of his innings turned into a three-figure score.But this semi-failure was starting to trouble Kohli and he was very keen to get his 42nd ODI hundred, if one goes by the comments of his teammate Bhuvneshwar Kumar. Speaking after the match to the reporters in the official press conference, the Indian seamer saw the reaction of his skipper after reacing his ton as an indication of huge relief.”From Virat’s expression, you can make out that how badly he wanted a hundred. It’s not like he was out of form. It was just that he was getting dismissed in the 70s or 80s in the World Cup. The wicket was not easy. When he came back after getting dismissed, he said the wicket is not that easy,” Bhuvi stated. Kohli scored his 42nd ODI hundredTwitter/BCCIIn the World Cup, the Indian captain was uncharacteristically pushed to the background by his teammate Rohit Sharma who walked away with five centuries. Kohli was almost always among the runs and played a key role, along with Rohit, in ensuring that the Indian team posted good scores which their bowlers can defend. The over-reliance on the top-order, however, was a source of worry for the Indian team and this weakness got exposed fully in the semi-finals when the top-order gave way.But in bilateral series like these, especially against teams which do not have any bowlers with the ‘x-factor,’ Virat becomes nearly impossible to stop. He had plundered runs against West Indies last year in a home series and on Sunday, picked up from where he left off in that contest.The 30-year old now has 42 ODI hundreds. This takes him to just seven short of Sachin Tendulkar’s all-time record of 49 centuries. But here is a mind boggling fact: while Sachin Tendulkar needed more than 460 ODIs to get his full set of centuries, Kohli has played just 238 matches so far for his 42. Even if he goes through couple of absolutely horrendous runs of bad form, he should still get to the unconquered landmark of 50 ODI tons without much difficulty well before getting close to Sachin’s number of ODI appearances.What makes cricket special is the combination of individual brilliance and collective team effort needed for success. While Kohli always puts the interest of his team first, it is not surprising that he also doesn’t mind getting three-figure scores under his belt.
Filippo GrandiUnited Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi on Monday called upon the international community to continue their support to Bangladesh over Rohingya refugees.He also urged the leadership of Bangladesh and Myanmar — prime minister Sheikh Hasina and state counsellor of Myanmar Aung San Suu Kyi — to give young Rakhine Muslims a future, reports UNB.”I spoke to people, especially young people (in Kutupalang camp). They didn’t tell me I want more food, more blankets and more medicines. They told me — give us a future. That’s the message to both leaders (Hasina and Suu Kyi),” Grandi told a press conference at a city hotel in the evening.The UNHCR chief emphasised on implementation of citizenship verification process ‘efficiently and rapidly’ which will help unblock all the remaining barriers to the solution.He said they have technical expertise in verifying citizenship, and they will further discuss with Myanmar government how they can support in this process.Earlier in the day, he visited refugee camp Kutupalang in Cox’s Bazar district.Responding to a question on relocation plan to an island, the UNHCR chief said this is just a plan and the focus needs to be given on voluntary relocation instead of imposing force.”We always advise governments to verify two things — wherever refugees are relocated there are opportunities,” he said adding that relocating from a bad place to another bad one does not fulfil the purpose.Secondly, the UNHCR chief said, this relocation needs to be voluntary as the refugees cannot be forced at all.On repatriation process, he laid emphasis on creating a conducive and peaceful environment in Rakhine State to make the return sustainable.He said the process will not be sustainable if the refugees do not feel to go back to their homeland.Talking about his meeting with prime minister Sheikh Hasina, he said he thanked the government and the people of Bangladesh for hosting Myanmar refugees here for decades.Grandi said Bangladesh has many challenges — from development, climate change and economic fronts and they along with other organisations will continue to support Bangladesh and the community who are hosting refugees living in very fragile area.He said he is very “impressed” for being able to meet both Hasina and Suu Kyi, and described them “strong and clear minded visionary women”.Recalling that both of their fathers were killed, the UNCHR chief said the two leaders are very committed to a very good future for their respective countries.”My message to them — give a future to these young people. One more responsibility we all have to give a future to the people I saw in Cox’s Bazar today and in Myanmar last week,” Grandi added.The UNHCR chief will leave Dhaka on Tuesday. He visited Myanmar and Thailand before coming to Bangladesh.Bangladesh on Saturday urged the UNHCR to ask the government of Myanmar to take ‘meaningful measures’ and ensure the return of all Myanmar nationals staying in Bangladesh to their homeland in Rakhine State.Bangladesh also expressed concern over ‘unilateral halt’ of the repatriation process by the government of Myanmar since 2005 even though 10,820 refugees had been cleared by both countries through a verification process.Foreign minister AH Mahmood Ali conveyed Bangladesh’s position to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi during his meeting.During the meeting, the foreign minister apprised the UN Refugee Agency Chief of the measures taken by the government of Bangladesh to provide humanitarian assistances to Myanmar refugees and the undocumented Myanmar nationals.He also informed the High Commissioner that as many as 236,599 Rakhine Muslims had been repatriated till 2005.The foreign minister thanked the UNHCR for providing valuable support throughout the process of repatriation of this huge number of Myanmar nationals.He stressed that the constant presence of a huge number of Myanmar nationals in Cox’s Bazar has created a number of adverse effects on the overall socio-economic, political, demographic, environmental, and humanitarian and security situation of Cox’s Bazar and adjacent districts.The UN High Commissioner for Refugees commended the government of Bangladesh for being benevolent to host a large number of Myanmar nationals for a long time as well as for providing the humanitarian assistances to them.He underscored that the root cause of the instability in Rakhine State lies in the expropriation of citizenship of the Rakhine Muslims.The foreign minister thanked the high commissioner for undertaking the visit to Bangladesh and assured him of all sorts of cooperation during his mission to Cox’s Bazar.At least 74,000 Rohingya Muslims, out of 92,000, who fled indiscriminate killings, rape, arson and violence by Myanmar security forces in Rakhine State, entered Bangladesh since 9 October, 2016.The number of refugees from Myanmar rose to 490,300 by the end of last year, up from 451,800 in the previous year, with Bangladesh hosting the largest number of 276,200, according to the report published by UNHCR ahead of the World Refugee Day.Out of the 276,200 refugees, 243,000 are in a refugee-like situation. The Bangladesh government, however, estimates the population to be between 300,000 and 500,000.Grandi, after concluding his visit to Myanmar, called for inclusive and sustainable solutions to protracted displacement and statelessness.