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Srinagar: Eid al-Adha prayers on Monday morning at various mosques in the Kashmir Valley concluded without any violence, police said. The authorities had on Sunday said people will be allowed to visit neighbourhood mosques to offer prayers. Large gatherings, however, were not allowed in any part of the Valley, an official said on Monday. “#Eid #prayers concluded #peacefully in various parts of the #valley. No untoward incident reported so far,” the Jammu and Kashmir Police said in a tweet. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM’ Reports suggested authorities distributed sweets at various mosques. On the eve of Eid al-Adha, restrictions were eased in the Valley to allow people to shop for the festival. However, the usual hustle and bustle of the Eid al-Adha festival was missing in the Valley where normal life has been paralysed following heavy security deployment, restrictions on movement and curtailing of communication links after the abrogation of special status to Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370 on August 5. Also Read – Farooq demands unconditional release of all detainees in J&K The district administrations are constantly reviewing the situation in Jammu and Kashmir and doing their best to minimise the inconvenience caused to people during the restrictions imposed on movement, the official said. The government has also made arrangements for availability of adequate food and other essential items across the Kashmir Valley and steps are being taken to even deliver certain goods at people’s doorsteps, another official said. The government’s top priority is to maintain peace and prevent any casualty and mischief in Jammu and Kashmir, he said. President Ram Nath Kovind on Wednesday declared the abrogation of special status given to Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370 following a Parliamentary approval in the Modi government’s proposal. On Saturday, he gave assent to a bill passed by the Parliament for bifurcation of Jammu and Kashmir into two Union Territories — Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh — which will come into existence on October 31.
Laurie HamelinAPTN NewsIt’s been seven days since British Columbia declared a state of emergency.Hundreds of fires continue to burn and thousands of people are still under evacuation.With dry conditions expected to continue, there is still no clear end in sight – and this has people connecting the dots to climate change.Laurie Hamelin has this story.
TORONTO – Chinese online payment platform Alipay has partnered with tech firm SnapPay Inc. to enable Canadian retailers to accept Chinese currency from Chinese shoppers through a mobile wallet.Alipay North America president Souheil Badran says the company wants to offer Canadian merchants the opportunity to access the Chinese market.He says 700 Canadian merchants already accept Alipay.But the partnership gives the payment platform an opportunity to aggressively explore opportunities for expansion in the education, winery, restaurant and retail sectors.The company touts the increasingly lucrative role Chinese consumers could play for Canadian businesses, given the country’s growing middle class.Alipay, originally created by Chinese online shopping giant Alibaba.com, was launched in 2004 and has more than 520 million active users. It is now owned by Ant Financial Services Group, a “related company” to Alibaba.“We want to continue offering Chinese consumers visiting Canada the ability to pay as they would in China. But we also want to offer Canadian merchants the opportunity to access the Chinese market,” Badran said.The launch comes as Alibaba gears up to host heavy hitters including the Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne and Toronto Mayor John Tory at its Gateway ’17 Canada conference Monday in Toronto.Trudeau will take the stage with Alibaba executive chairman and founder Jack Ma at the conference aimed at promoting e-commerce opportunities for Canadian businesses in China.Ma hosted Trudeau, Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland and Canadian business representatives at the company’s campus in Hangzhou, China last September.Note to readers: This is a corrected story. A previous version based on information in a press release, said Alibaba owned Alipay.
WASHINGTON – The combined effect of President Donald Trump’s tax cuts and last month’s budget-busting spending bill is sending the federal deficit toward the $1 trillion mark next year, according to a new analysis by the Congressional Budget Office.The CBO report says the nation’s $21 trillion debt would spike to more than $33 trillion in 10 years, with debt held by investors spiking to levels that would come close to equaling the size of the economy, reaching levels that many economists fear could spark a debt crisis.Republicans once laced into President Barack Obama for trillion-dollar-plus deficits but mostly fell quiet on Monday’s news.CBO says economic growth from the tax cuts will add 0.7 per cent on average to the nation’s economic output over the coming decade. Those effects will only partially offset the deficit cost of the tax cuts. The administration had promised the cuts would pay for themselves.Instead, Monday’s report estimates that the GOP tax bill, which is Republican-controlled Washington’s signature accomplishment under Trump, will add $1.8 trillion to the deficit over the coming decade, even after its positive effects on the economy are factored in.The economic growth promises to drop the nationwide unemployment rate below 4 per cent starting this year, CBO predicts, though interest rates would rise more rapidly than the agency had earlier predicted, countering some of the positive economic impact of the tax cuts.The report paints an unrelentingly bleak picture of the federal deficit, predicting it will hit $804 billion this year, rise to just under $1 trillion for the upcoming budget year and permanently breach the $1 trillion mark in 2020 unless Congress stems the burst of red ink.The government would borrow about 19 cents of every dollar it spends this year. Deficits would grow to $1.5 trillion by 2028 — and could exceed $2 trillion if the tax cuts are fully extended and if Washington doesn’t cut spending.“Such high and rising debt would have serious negative consequences for the budget and the nation,” said CBO Director Keith Hall. “In particular, the likelihood of a fiscal crisis in the United States would increase.”Republicans controlling Washington have largely lost interest in taking on the deficit, an issue that has fallen in prominence in recent years. Trump has ruled out cuts to Social Security and Medicare, and Capitol Hill Republicans have failed to take steps against the deficit since Trump took office.But if warnings of a future fiscal crisis turn out to be true, lawmakers might be forced to take painful steps, Hall warned, that would be more draconian than if they tackled the deficit now.With conservatives complaining about the $1.3 trillion catchall spending bill — which blew through previous budget limits by $300 billion over this year and next — House GOP leaders have scheduled a vote this week on a proposed amendment to the Constitution to require a balanced federal budget. The vote is sure to fall well short of the two-thirds required to pass and is being rushed to a vote without hearings or committee debate.“The CBO’s latest report exposes the scam behind the rosy rhetoric from Republicans that their tax bill would pay for itself,” said top Senate Democrat Chuck Schumer of New York. “The American people deserve a Congress that is focused squarely on helping the middle class, not patronizing Kabuki theatre — like sham ‘balanced budget’ votes — from Republicans who blew up the deficit to benefit wealthy special interests.”The White House is also likely to propose rolling back some of the spending increases in the government-wide funding bill, targeting domestic programs backed by Democrats, but the idea isn’t gaining much traction on Capitol Hill.“It’s going nowhere,” said Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C. “We made a deal.”Republicans are unlikely to pass even a nonbinding budget blueprint, instead opting to take a pause in the heat of election season.“Without question, we have challenging work ahead,” said House Budget Committee Chairman Steve Womack, R-Ark., who promised he will be “working with my colleagues in the days ahead to craft a responsible budget plan.”Many economists believe that if deficits continue to rise and the national debt grows, government borrowing will “crowd out” private lending and force up interest rates. And if interest rates go up, the government will have to pay much more to finance the more than $14 trillion in Treasury debt held by investors.Last year’s deficit registered $665 billion, which was well below the record $1.4 trillion posted during Obama’s first year in office, when the Great Recession led to plunging revenues and a spike in spending. The deficit settled below $500 million for part of Obama’s second term but has steadily risen since then.The new report predicts the economy will grow by 3.3 per cent this year but that gross domestic product growth will drop to 1.8 per cent by 2020. It warns that interest rates on government borrowing will spike, with the benchmark 10-year Treasury note, currently yielding 2.8 per cent, will average a 3.0 per cent interest rate this year and 3.7 per cent next year.“We expect interest rates to accelerate faster,” said CBO’s Hall.
This year we will experience a weak El Nino, combined with the Blob ( an area of warmer water temps found in the North Pacific). This means El Nino delivers Pacific air to Western Canada instead of Arctic air (warmer) and the presence of the Blob causes the jet stream to track further north. These two working together give the signal of milder weather.This season, mild Pacific air will be more dominant then cold Arctic air and precipitation should be closer to normal amounts of 190 cm of snow and not the 340 cm received last year.“For the next 7-10 days will be quiet with temperatures going up and down, these are considerably milder days with no severe cold spells as there is a lack of persistent Arctic air,” said Gillham. FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – This winter season will be milder than normal temperatures, forecasted as a whole for the region.“Compared to the severity of previous winters this winter will be a bit gentler than normal,” said Doug Gillham, Meteorologist for the Weather Network.To forecast weather, Meteorologists use computer models that are designed to simulate dominant jet stream patterns globally for that upcoming season. By looking back to the past for similar patterns and then applying what happened during that winter, comparing the influence of El Nino and La Nina produces weather forecasts.
Washington: NASA has discovered a pulsar hurtling through space at nearly four million kilometres an hour — so fast that it could travel the distance between Earth and the Moon in just six minutes. Pulsars are superdense, rapidly spinning neutron stars left behind when a massive star explodes. This one, dubbed PSR J0002+6216 (J0002 for short), sports a radio-emitting tail pointing directly toward the expanding debris of a recent supernova explosion, NASA said in a statement. Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince ‘snubbed’ Pak PM, recalled jet from US “Thanks to its narrow dart-like tail and a fortuitous viewing angle, we can trace this pulsar straight back to its birthplace,” said Frank Schinzel, a scientist at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) in the US. “Further study of this object will help us better understand how these explosions are able to ‘kick’ neutron stars to such high speed,” said Schinzel. Pulsar J0002 was discovered in 2017 by a citizen-science project called Einstein@Home, which uses time on the computers of volunteers to process Fermi gamma-ray data. Also Read – Record number of 35 candidates in fray for SL Presidential polls Thanks to computer processing time collectively exceeding 10,000 years, the project has identified 23 gamma-ray pulsars to date, NASA said. Located about 6,500 light-years away in the constellation Cassiopeia, J0002 spins 8.7 times a second, producing a pulse of gamma rays with each rotation. The pulsar lies about 53 light-years from the centre of a supernova remnant called CTB 1. Its rapid motion through interstellar gas results in shock waves that produce the tail of magnetic energy and accelerated particles detected at radio wavelengths using the VLA. The tail extends 13 light-years and clearly points back to the centre of CTB 1. The team was able to measure how quickly and in what direction the pulsar is moving across our line of sight. The result supports the idea that the pulsar was kicked into high speed by the supernova responsible for CTB 1, which occurred about 10,000 years ago. J0002 is speeding through space five times faster than the average pulsar, and faster than 99 per cent of those with measured speeds. It will eventually escape our galaxy, researchers said. At first, the supernova’s expanding debris would have moved outward faster than J0002, but over thousands of years the shell’s interaction with interstellar gas produced a drag that gradually slowed this motion. Meanwhile, the pulsar, behaving more like a cannonball, steadily raced through the remnant, escaping it about 5,000 years after the explosion. Exactly how the pulsar was accelerated to such high speed during the supernova explosion remains unclear, and further study of J0002 will help shed light on the process. One possible mechanism involves instabilities in the collapsing star forming a region of dense, slow-moving matter that survives long enough to serve as a “gravitational tugboat,” accelerating the nascent neutron star toward it.
New Delhi: Delhi Police is probing all relevant angles in the daylight robbery case where a Chandni Chowk-based businessman and his son were robbed at gunpoint near a crowded fruit market in Pitampura, according to police officials.When asked whether the robbery could have been pre-planned, police said they are not ruling out any possibility. The robbery, which seemed to be planned in advance took place around 7 pm, when the victims, Vinod Garg and his son Varun were on their way back home from their shop in Naya Bazar with Rs 1.4 crore in cash. Also Read – After eight years, businessman arrested for kidnap & murderAccording to a complaint registered by Varun, a bike overtook them around 7pm and stopped in front of their car, following which the pillion rider got off and asked for the bag of money from Varun, who was driving with the window rolled down. When he claimed to not know what he was talking about, the accused pointed a gun at Varun through the window and demanded the cash. Varun added that in the meantime, two men on another bike arrived at the scene and asked both him and his father to get out of the car. Also Read – Two brothers held for snatchingsAfraid for their lives, both victims followed what they were told and got out of the vehicle. By the time Varun called the police and crime teams reached the spot, one of the accused had driven off in his car and the rest had fled the scene on their motorcycles. The incident took place on a busy street near a local fruit market. Police later recovered the victim’s car, which was abandoned by the accused at a nearby spot. While registering the complaint at the Rani Bagh police station, Varun said he will be able to identify his alleged assailants if shown photographs. Police are also reviewing CCTV footage from the area. In addition to the team from Rani Bagh police station, special staff in the district and some crime branch officials are also involved in the investigations. A case against the accused assailants has been registered at the Rani Bagh police station under sections 392/397/34 of the Indian Penal Code.
New Delhi: Funds received by startups from accredited investors may be exempted from angel tax subject to complying with certain net worth criteria, an official said. This provision is considered by the government as part of an exercise to define ‘accredited investors’ with a view to increase investment flow in startups. The Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) is working on the definition, which would be submitted to the finance ministry for approval. Also Read – Commercial vehicle sales to remain subdued in current fiscal: Icra”Accredited or genuine investors can invest any amount but we will make some criteria for that. It should be liberal enough so that all such people can come under its purview. But it should not be over liberal and extra-stringent,” the official said. “How much a genuine investor is investing per year would depend on his/her net worth. For example, if you invest Rs 2 crore, then the net worth should be 10 times of that. There should be a linkage between investments and investors’ net worth and certain income should be there,” the official added. Also Read – Ashok Leyland stock tanks over 5 pc as co plans to suspend production for up to 15 daysThese accredited investors, which can include trusts, individuals, family member of a startup and unlisted companies, may get exemption from angel tax under Section 56(2)(viib) of Income Tax Act, 1961, beyond the Rs 25 crore limit. Currently, the government allows startups to avail full angel tax concession on investments up to Rs 25 crore. Section 56(2) of the I-T Act provides that the amount raised by a startup in excess of its fair market value would be deemed as income from other sources and would be taxed at 30 per cent. Touted as an anti-abuse measure, this section was introduced in 2012. It is dubbed as angel tax due to its impact on investments made by angel investors in startup ventures. An angel investor is the one who puts funds in a startup when it is taking steps to establish itself in the competitive market. Normally, about 300-400 startups get angel funding in a year. Their investment in a unit ranges between Rs 15 lakh to Rs 4 crore. The department is also suggesting to exempt funds of alternate investment funds (AIFs) category 1 and 2 in startups to be completely exempted from this section. Currently, only certain areas of AIF category 1 are exempted. DPIIT has proposed various measures such as tax incentives to promote budding entrepreneurs as part of the ‘Startup India Vision 2024’. The vision document aims at facilitating setting up of 50,000 new startups in the country by 2024 and creating 20 lakh direct and indirect employment opportunities. In the document, it has suggested setting up of 500 new incubators and accelerators by 2024; 100 innovation zones in urban local bodies; deployment of entire corpus of Rs 10,000 crore Fund of Funds; and expanding CSR funding to incubators. Startup India is a flagship initiative of the government launched in January 2016. The programme intends to build a strong ecosystem for the growth of startup businesses, to drive sustainable economic growth and generate employment opportunities. So far, as many as 17,984 startups have been recognised by the department.
201513391911103310 31997206519522007Ann ArborMich., 20-14 It’s been 32 years since Jim Harbaugh last led the Michigan Wolverines to a win over the Ohio State Buckeyes. Ever since the consummate Michigan Man made good on his guarantee in 1986, the maize and blue have largely been muzzled by the scarlet and gray. To some degree, Harbaugh must have returned to his alma mater for games like Saturday’s. But he has fumbled each of his three chances at the Buckeyes.This week represents his best opening. Las Vegas sportsbooks installed the Wolverines as 4-point favorites, despite the fact that Michigan has won just two of its past 17 games against its rivals to the south.1The Buckeyes’ 2010 victory was vacated because of tattoo-gate. Expectations loom large for Harbaugh and his team, which may be the more talented squad for the first time in more than a decade. Some have already designated the upcoming game a referendum on his tenure, even though no program this season has rewritten its post-Week 1 narrative more than Michigan has. In fact, according to our Elo ratings, no team has improved more since the preseason than the Wolverines.Saturday’s matchup is the 115th installment of one of college football’s richest rivalries. This one features a cornucopia of College Football Playoff implications: The winner’s playoff chances will spike to between 59 and 67 percent, according to our model, while the loser will be virtually eliminated from contention. Additionally, of course, the winner of the game will play for a conference championship.Like nearly every entry in this rivalry, the stakes Saturday are high — and there will be no shortage of talent on the field. So to check this game’s true matchup power, we looked back at the Elo ratings for Michigan and Ohio State at the time of each meeting since 1897, and we averaged those Elo ratings using the harmonic mean.2We used the harmonic mean instead of a straight average to eliminate situations in which one team was performing substantially better than the other. 201875.112 201811583521117653 22006198520372011ColumbusOSU, 42-39 Of course, perhaps the most tantalizing storyline is the one most difficult to measure. Ohio State hasn’t lost to Michigan in the Horseshoe since 2000, and, at least lately, the Wolverines seem to mutate into a far worse version of themselves in the annual rivalry. The Buckeyes’ real advantage in this game may be found on the psychological side, as the team has grown accustomed to upstaging that school up north. Harbaugh and the Wolverines have a chance to rewrite the script, with everything on the line Saturday in Columbus.Neil Paine contributed research.Check out our latest college football predictions. Few Michigan-Ohio State games have been biggerThe best Michigan-Ohio State games based on the harmonic mean of each team’s pregame Elo rating 52003194519741960Ann ArborMich., 35-21 20173617 201673.717 201415412216127421 ELO Michigan’s offensive efficiency and national rank in the category under Jim Harbaugh The Buckeye defense is getting gutted by the big playThe number of plays given up at various lengths by Ohio State this season compared with previous years under Urban Meyer 201510011 71970195619341945ColumbusOSU, 20-9 61977193519571946Ann ArborMich., 14-6 SeasonPassing offense rankRushing offense rank Meyer has never coached a team that relied on the passing game to the degree it does this season. Despite having yet to complete its regular-season slate, his team already has set a school record with 452 passing attempts and 3,954 passing yards. Only five teams throw more on average, and most of those employ Air Raid systems.But it’s difficult to argue that the lopsided offensive approach isn’t working. Ohio State has compiled 13 games since 2012 with more than 19 expected points added on passes, and six of those have come this season. Dwayne Haskins is completing a Big Ten-best 69.3 percent of his passes and will likely be a Heisman finalist, having set 12 school records this season. The Buckeyes lead the Big Ten in both total offense and scoring offense, with 11 more touchdowns than any other team in the conference. As Harbaugh succinctly put it when asked about the Buckeye passing attack, “It’s really good.”But Saturday will be Haskins’s toughest assignment. In early October, the sophomore tied a school record with six touchdown passes in a win over Indiana. Michigan has allowed seven passing touchdowns all season.Under the tutelage of defensive coordinator Don Brown, the Wolverines’ defense is smashing its competition. Harbaugh and Brown have trotted out some elite defenses over the past three seasons, but this year’s is likely the best one yet. Opposing quarterbacks average a passer efficiency rating of 88.7 against the Wolverines, a mark that if maintained would rank sixth lowest by any team since at least 2004. Michigan is also holding opposing quarterbacks to 4.91 yards per passing attempt, which would also be the sixth lowest mark over that same stretch.Teams not only fail to generate big plays against Michigan, they also fail to get past the line of scrimmage. Less than 30 percent of opponent plays gain 5 or more yards against the Wolverines, the lowest rate in the country, while a whopping 41.4 percent of opponent plays are stopped at or behind the line of scrimmage, a mark that ranks third highest. Brown brings the heat, too: Only six teams generate a higher pressure rate on opposing quarterbacks than Michigan (39.1 percent).Haskins may be completing 26.7 passes per game on a clip hovering around 70 percent, but no starting quarterback has completed more than 19 throws in any game against Michigan or connected on more than 56 percent of passes. Over the past five conference games, Brown’s seek-and-destroy defense is holding quarterbacks to 9.4 completions per game on a clip south of 40 percent.Can Ohio State stop the big play?If last week is any indication, no.The Maryland Terrapins produced three touchdowns exceeding 25 yards, two of which that went for at least 75, in a 52-51 overtime loss. “Alarming is the right word,” Meyer said of his team’s inability to prevent gashing offensive plays. Then, on Monday: “Obviously, it wasn’t good.”Ohio State has either set or is on pace to set single-season worst marks under Meyer in big plays allowed from virtually every distance. 81948207118271941ColumbusMich., 13-3 20168111 92016188519961939ColumbusOSU, 30-27 2014529 201745.676 2018354 2017145920531100 42018197419541964Columbus? Ohio State has gone to the air this seasonHow the Buckeyes’ offense has ranked each year under Urban Meyer in rushing and passing, 2012-2018 SeasonGames20+30+40+50+60+70+80+90+ SeasonOffensive EfficiencyRank 2016134822443000 201210510 This offense is also Harbaugh’s best at generating big plays. Starting running back Karan Higdon was on the brink of leaving for the NFL draft after last season, but good thing for Michigan that he stayed. The senior has already eclipsed the 1,000-yard mark and has five carries of 40-plus yards, tied for the second most of any player in the Big Ten. Junior transfer Shea Patterson, the best quarterback Harbaugh has had in Ann Arbor, leads the Big Ten in Total Quarterback Rating (84.0) and ranks second in yards per attempt (8.54).3Behind only Haskins. Patterson’s running ability is another wrinkle for an offense with little difficulty finding the end zone.The team scores on a conference-best 47.7 percent of drives, which is on pace to be the eighth-best mark by a Big Ten team in the past 15 years. Michigan also seldom gets stopped at or behind the line of scrimmage, besting last season’s rate by 8.2 percentage points. Wisconsin (23.9 percent) is the only Big Ten team stopped in its tracks less than Michigan (25.7 percent). In turn, 43 percent of offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton’s plays have gone for 5-plus yards, the program’s highest rate since 2010. Overall, the Wolverines are picking up 6.29 yards per play, by far the most of any team since Harbaugh arrived. 20131449231277320 Plays given up at … (in yards) 201570.620 Two of Ohio State’s four worst games since Meyer arrived, as defined by expected points added on defense, have come this season. And while the Wolverines’ offense isn’t exactly Alabama’s, it’s easily the best unit Harbaugh has had at Michigan. 2013905 201212452414107620 Source: SportSource Analytics Source: SportSource Analytics RKseasonMichiganOhio StateHarmonic MeanLocationResult 11975201620332025Ann ArborOSU, 21-14 Source: ESPN Stats & Information Group This year’s chapter, which pits twin 10-1 programs against each other, checks in with the fourth-highest harmonic mean, trailing only the 1975, 2006 and 1997 showdowns. It’s the best matchup between the schools during the College Football Playoff era. Among the nine other epic showdowns in the top 10, the results have been mostly spilt: Ohio State winning five, Michigan winning four.Here are two keys that could decide the outcome this year:Will Michigan’s pass defense lock down Ohio State’s throw-heavy scheme?Ohio State’s pass-at-all-costs offense squaring off against Michigan’s solve-your-problems-with-aggression pass defense is about as ideal a strength-against-strength, identity-against-identity matchup as we can get.In his previous six seasons with the Buckeyes, Urban Meyer typically favored an offensive blueprint shaded toward the run game. He had never had a rushing attack rank outside the top 20 in yardage. Despite returning J.K. Dobbins and Mike Weber, his two leading tailbacks from 2017, this season’s squad has fallen out of the top 50.However, that yardage can be found through the air, with the Buckeyes passing the ball on 51.5 percent of team plays, well above their average of 40.6 percent from 2012 to 2017. For a program largely recognized by its rich tradition in the backfield — Ezekiel Elliott, Eddie George, Archie Griffin and Maurice Clarett, to name a few RB standouts — this year has been an anomaly. 101961186720161939Ann ArborOSU, 50-20