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Oklahoma residents shaken by earthquakes linked to fracking seek answers – National

WATCH: Oklahoma residents want to know if the shaking is a result of oil and gas exploration.

EDMOND, Okla. – Earthquakes that have shaken Oklahoma communities in recent months have damaged homes, alarmed residents and prompted lawmakers and regulators to investigate what’s behind the temblors – and what can be done to stop them.

Hundreds of people are expected to turn out in Edmond, Oklahoma, on Thursday night for a town hall meeting on the issue.

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    New CAPP guidelines will monitor, respond to earthquakes caused by fracking

READ MORE: Why fracking may be responsible for increased earthquakes in Oklahoma

Earthquakes used to be almost unheard of on the vast stretches of prairie that unfold across Texas, Kansas and Oklahoma, but they’ve become common in recent years.

Oklahoma recorded nearly 150 between January and the start of May. Most recently, the U.S. Geological Survey recorded a magnitude 3.6 earthquake southwest of Guthrie early Thursday morning.

Though most have been too weak to cause serious damage or endanger lives, they’ve raised suspicions that the shaking might be connected to the oil and gas drilling method known as hydraulic fracturing, especially the wells in which the industry disposes of its wastewater.

Now after years of being harangued by anxious residents, governments in all three states are confronting the issue, reviewing scientific data, holding public discussions and considering new regulations. The states are trying to reconcile the scientific data with the interests of their citizens and the oil and gas industry.

Oklahoma state Rep. Jason Murphey, a Guthrie Republican, said though the damage from quakes hasn’t been serious, it’s still a big problem for his constituents. He said residents have reported cracks in interior and exterior walls, doors that no longer close properly, trim that is separating and even foundation problems.

“Those types of reports are becoming commonplace,” Murphey said.

WATCH: Timelapse map of earthquakes across Oklahoma

Murphey said many of his constituents believe there’s a relationship between the earthquakes and injection wells that are used to dispose of wastewater from oil and natural gas drilling operations.

Austin Holland, a research seismologist with the Oklahoma Geological Survey, said the agency is closely monitoring the area’s seismic activity to determine whether the earthquakes are a natural phenomenon or are man-made.

“It’s one thing to have suspicions. It’s another thing to demonstrate that scientifically,” Holland said. “We have a lot of faults in Oklahoma.”

Seismologists already know that hydraulic fracturing – which involves blasting water, sand and chemicals deep into underground rock formations to free oil and gas – can cause microquakes that are rarely strong enough to register on monitoring equipment.

However, fracking also generates vast amounts of wastewater, far more than traditional drilling methods. The water is pumped into so-called injection wells, which send the waste thousands of feet underground. No one knows for certain exactly what happens to the liquids after that. Scientists wonder whether they could trigger quakes by increasing underground pressures and lubricating faults.

READ MORE: Gros Morne National Park and the war over fracking

Another concern is whether injection well operators could be pumping either too much water into the ground or pumping it at exceedingly high pressures.

Matt Skinner, a spokesman for the Oklahoma Corporation Commission, which regulates the oil and gas industry in the state, said the agency is monitoring the activity of every injection well in a seismically active area.

“We’re looking for anomalies,” Skinner said. “This is not an abstract exercise in policymaking. The reason that we’re all here is that it’s frightening.”

In Texas, residents from Azle, a town northwest of Fort Worth, who have endured hundreds of small quakes, went to the state capitol earlier this year to demand action by the state’s chief oil and gas regulator, known as the Railroad Commission. The commission hired the first state seismologist, and lawmakers formed the House Subcommittee on Seismic Activity.

After Kansas recorded 56 earthquakes between last October and April, the governor appointed a three-member task force to address the issue.

–Associated Press writers Emily Schmall in Azle, Texas, and Kristi Eaton in Oklahoma City contributed to this report.

©2014The Canadian Press

Saskatoon medical simulation centre aims to help patient safety – Saskatoon

Watch above: medical simulation centre first of its kind in Saskatchewan

SASKATOON – For almost any scenario you can think of, healthcare professionals in Saskatchewan can now simulate it.

Jan Hiebert and Shelly Luhning worked for years together in the emergency department at Royal University Hospital but it wasn’t until reconnecting at SIAST that they came up with the idea for the Saskatoon Institute for Medical Simulation (SIMS).

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“We develop things that we’ve been through as healthcare practitioners, so we customize it as well, if the trainees want something that maybe they’ve dealt with in the past we can recreate that,” said Shelly Luhning, SIMS co-founder and COO.

According to a Canadian Adverse Events study, preventable medical errors claim about 28,000 Canadians yearly. SIMS is hoping to decrease that number.

“Any time your going to start a new business or a new journey, it’s about finding where the gaps are, finding out where the needs are and seeing how we can fill them and we certainly do think we’re going to fill that patient safety gap,” said Jan Hiebert, SIMS co-founder and CEO.

SIMS has been in operation since January and already has a number of health regions in the province on board including Saskatoon.

SIMS doesn’t just hold training in house; it provides the education across Saskatchewan.

“It’s hands on, it meets their level of practice and clinical relevance and they walk out learning more then just the content, they learn how to apply it how to transfer it and they get refreshers how to do that well,” said Dr. Paul Olszynski, an emergency physician with Saskatoon Health Region .

“We can take all kinds of courses whether it’s online or in the classroom and this is just another avenue to make us that much better for the community,” said assistant fire Morgan Hackl with Saskatoon Fire Department.

SIMS offers a full list of course offerings.

Monday June 30th on The Morning News

The Morning News team will be up and working hard on the Monday before Canada Day – delivering your news headlines and weather details. Our reporter Julia Wong will also be here with a round-up of some Canada Day events happening in our wonderful city on Tuesday. We’ll also have the following entertaining and informative segments:

At 6:45 we’ll have an encore presentation of Crystal Garrett’s story looking at the life and career ofMary Mohammed, founder of Mary’s Bread Basket, reflects back on her life in Halifax.

There’s a core team of health professionals ready to help Nova Scotia get healthier by getting active.  Dr. Nicholas Giacomantonio and Brett Barro will visit at 7:15 to promote Heartland Tour 2014.   It’s a chance for Nova Scotians of all ages to ride, walk and learn – and even get tested for some common heart health risks.

It’s the day Golf fans in this province have been waiting for! GOLFest NS tees off at New Ashburn Golf Course with the RBC Canada Cup. Nova Scotian Crystal is behind the creation of the trophy for the event and at 7:45 we’ll get a sneak peek at the bling before it makes its way into the hands of a PGA golfer!

As summer starts to warm up, you may find yourself looking for a good book or two to help beat the heat. At 8:15 we’ll get some tips on some good reads for the summer from the Atlantic Publisher’s Carolyn Guy and Freelance publisher Kathy Chapman.

Just as the weather heats so might the housing market in Halifax? We’ll find out when Realtor and TV personality Vanessa Roman drops by at 8:45 with the latest and greatest on Real Estate in our city.

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Longtime N.B. Tory to seek NDP nomination for fall provincial election – New Brunswick

FREDERICTON – A member of the Progressive Conservative caucus in New Brunswick is going to seek an NDP nomination in September’s provincial election.

Bev Harrison represents Hampton-Kings as a Conservative MLA in the legislature but will seek the NDP nomination in the new riding of Hampton.

“I see a new NDP that has matured. It’s not the old party. It’s a party that has modernized, become more realistic and is offering real solutions,” he told reporters Friday.

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In early May, the 72-year-old announced he was retiring, but his statement only said he would not seek re-election in his riding of Hampton-Kings.

Harrison was first elected as a Progressive Conservative member of the legislature in 1978 and has been reelected six times since.

He’s been sitting as a Conservative consecutively since 1999 and was the legislature’s Speaker for two terms.

He was defeated in 1987 when the Liberals won every seat in the house under then premier Frank McKenna, but was re-elected in 1999 and in every election since.

In 2009, Harrison was active in trying to revitalize the Conservative Party’s youth membership. Now he says the party is a ‘top-down management’ sort of government.

“David Alward is a very decent guy. He’s concerned of others, pleasant to talk to, he’s always concerned when people have a difficulty they weren’t expecting. And for that, he deserves all the respect anyone can give,” Harrison said of the current premier.

Leader of the NDP Dominic Cardy said he’s “honoured to welcome Harrison to the NDP.”

“Clearly, someone with Bev’s experience comes in with an advantage in any nomination,” he said.

PC Party president Jason Stephen said they never want to see someone leave the party. But he said the party wants fair nominations in every riding, and therefore could not ‘simply hand Harrison the nomination.’

B.C. group blasts aboriginal affairs minister over Métis audits – Winnipeg

OTTAWA – Aboriginal Affairs Minister Bernard Valcourt is being accused of dragging his feet over allegations of poor financial management at the Metis National Council.

The Canadian Press reported Wednesday on a draft of an audit that said the council is paying a numbered company owned by its Manitoba affiliate “more than it should” to rent office space.

The council vehemently disputes that finding.

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In a letter to Valcourt released Thursday, the head of the B.C. Metis Federation says it appears no one at Aboriginal Affairs seems concerned about the findings of an Ottawa consulting firm enlisted to audit the council and its provincial affiliates.

“To stand by and allow mismanagement, misspending and ignoring your own audits and Senate recommendations is truly disappointing,” writes federation president Keith Henry.

“Many of your staff addressing Metis issues do not support public transparency and accountability, and I can assure you that this is no longer acceptable, nor should it have been for the years it was allowed and enabled to carry on with the full support and approval of your department.”

Officials in the minister’s office say the matter has already been dealt with through the signing in April 2013 of a renewed Metis protocol and a new governance and financial accountability accord.

But that was before details of the audits of the council and its provincial affiliates became public.

The Canadian Press first reported that the council and its provincial affiliates had come under scrutiny for their management practices and financial controls.

It also emerged that the council enlisted a convicted sex offender to work with survivors of residential schools, the church-run institutions where children endured physical, emotional and sexual abuse.

Valcourt’s office once again repeated its earlier statement about the council — just as it did on Wednesday — urging it to continue “taking the necessary steps to strengthen its financial accountability to its members and all Canadians.”

The B.C. Metis Federation met earlier with month with Aboriginal Affairs officials and staff from Valcourt’s office. The organization wants to be recognized as a credible alternative to the Metis Nation British Columbia, which is a governing member of the Metis National Council.

The two rival groups are locked in a public battle that has gone all the way to the Canadian Human Rights Commission.

The commission is now looking into an allegation that the federal government discriminated against some Metis people by only funding the MNBC and not the federation.

The federation accuses the MNBC of restricting membership and limiting access to federally funded programs and services. The federation alleges that by funding only the MNBC, the federal government is excluding those Metis not among its ranks.

All of these issues arise at a pivotal moment for the Metis, who stand to become a powerful force in aboriginal politics, depending on the eventual outcome of a long-standing court battle.

The Congress of Aboriginal Peoples and several Metis and non-status Indians took the federal government to court in 1999, alleging discrimination because they were not considered “Indians” under a section of the Constitution Act.

Last year, the Federal Court recognized them as “Indians” under the Constitution, a ruling largely upheld earlier this year by the Federal Court of Appeal.

Depending on if and when the federal government appeals that finding, a final decision would begin a long legal process that might eventually open the door to financial benefits and more programs and services for Metis people.

Follow @steve_rennie on 桑拿会所

©2014The Canadian Press

7 defining moments that shaped Canada in the last 150 years – National

“The great themes of Canadian history are as follows: Keeping the Americans out, keeping the French in, and trying to get the Natives to somehow disappear” – Will Ferguson, Canadian author and satirist.

Ferguson’s caustic quote from his novel, Why I Hate Canadians, captures Canada’s internal struggle for unique identity, with its inability to reconcile the horrific actions taken against indigenous populations.

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READ MORE: Canada 150 celebrations will cost taxpayers half a billion

In just 150 years, Canada has made its mark in the the history books as a country that has struggled to emerge from its British-colonial roots, yet has made huge strides to become a beacon of human rights.

“[Canada] has seen the kind of changes from very much a dependence on Britain to a country that stands alone on the world,” said author and historian Christopher Moore.

And although Canada has existed for nearly 500 years, here are 7 defining moments from the last 150 years as put together from interviews with Canadian authors and historians.

Constitution Act of 1867

Charlottetown Prince Edward Island Sept. 1864 Historical Events – Several of the Fathers of Confederation photographed at the Charlottetown Conference in Sept. 1864 where they had gathered to consider the union of the British North American Colonies. Sir John A. Macdonald and Georges Etienne Cartier are in the foreground (National Archives of Canada)

On March 29, 1867, the British North America Act (BNA Act) was passed by British Parliament, creating the Dominion of Canada.

“The basic structure of how this country operates from one side of the country to the other, and the provinces and how we govern ourselves is still based on that document that was put together in the 1860s,” Moore said. “That is a remarkable thing.”

READ MORE: How Canada freed the Netherlands, forging a lifelong friendship

The idea for a union was first created three years earlier by some of Canada’s founding fathers, including John A. Macdonald, George-Étienne Cartier and George Brown, among others.

“We’ve grown from three million to 35 million, and yet somehow we’ve remained basically with that federal structure and that government structure that we’ve had since 1867,” said Moore.

The BNA Act created a federal state between three colonies — the Province of Canada (Ontario and Québec), Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. The act also gave a blueprint for the distribution of powers between the central Parliament and the provincial legislatures.

Manitoba was added in 1870, followed by British Columbia (1871), Prince Edward Island (1873), Alberta and Saskatchewan (1905). Squabbling between the provinces meant Newfoundland wouldn’t join until 1949. The Northwest Territories joined in 1870, then Yukon (1898), and Nunavut in 1999.

Persons Case of 1929

The Famous Five – the group that fought to have women declared persons. (CP PHOTO/Files-Calgary Herald/CP)

For Canadian author and historian Charlotte Gray, whose latest book is The Promise of Canada, the work of five women activists stands out as a “crucial” moment for the country and its constitution.

The Supreme Court of Canada ruled in 1928 that women were not “persons” under the British North America Act and could not be appointed to the Senate.

READ MORE: Young women fill House of Commons on International Women’s Day

The group of women, which included Emily Murphy and Nellie McClung, appealed to the Privy Council of England. The appeal led to a stunning reversal of the court’s decision in 1929.

Gray said it wasn’t only a hugely liberating moment for women, but also helped to define Canada’s constitution as a “living” document.

“That our constitution should take into account changes in society, this is a huge difference between Canada and particularly the Supreme Court in the United States, which has this doctrine of [originalism],” said Gray.

The Indian Act and Residential Schools

One of the five residential schools named in a class action lawsuit: an orphanage and boarding school in St. Anthony, Newfoundland, c. 1910.

Courtesy, Ches Crosbie Barristers

First introduced in 1867, The Indian Act has had a far-reaching and devastating effect on First Nations communities across Canada, said James Daschuk, an assistant professor in health studies at the University of Regina and author of Clearing the Plains: Disease, Politics of Starvation and the Loss of Aboriginal Life.

READ MORE: The changing face of Canada, from 150 years ago to today

The Act outlined Ottawa’s responsibilities for deciding Indian status, local First Nations governments and the management of reserve land. Today it still rules around reserves, guardianship of youth and children, and management of band resources and elections.

“It affects First Nations people from cradle to grave,” said Daschuk. “For 140 years, it’s been the legislation that has served to marginalize and impoverish indigenous people.”

READ MORE: What happened to Jim? Experiments on Canada’s indigenous populations

The Indian Act also provided funding for residential schools, a network of schools that removed children from their families and the influence of their culture. Survivors of residential schools have offered disturbing accounts of horrific sexual, physical and psychological abuse.

“Residential schools were the most tragic and cruel establishments,” Gray said. “Very, very quickly these institutions became just agents of the state to try and eliminate and eradicate native culture.”

READ MORE: What was the ‘60s Scoop’? Aboriginal children taken from homes a dark chapter in Canada’s history

Second World War

Members of the Royal Canadian Medical Corps evacuating Allied soldiers from the beach after the Dieppe, France raid during the Second World War.

The Associated Press

Canada fought valiantly at battles in the First World War — including Vimy Ridge and Hill 70 — but its decision to enter the Second World War of its own accord helped define itself as an independent country.

At 11 a.m. on Sept. 3, 1939, Britain declared war on Germany two days after more than 250,000 Nazis marched into Poland. But rather than Canada rushing to join Britain, like Australia and New Zealand, Ottawa waited a full seven days before it officially entered the fray.

READ MORE: More than half of First World War records now online

Between 1939 and 1945, more than one million Canadian men and women served full-time in the armed services, according to Historica Canada, with more than 43,000 people killed. Canada’s sacrifice during the war was embodied in heroic campaigns from Dieppe to Ortona and Juno Beach.

READ MORE: Mapping 6,160 Torontonians killed in three wars

Discovery of oil

Alberta’s first oilsands operation (called Bitumont) on the shore of Athabasca River, is seen from the air near Fort McMurray, Alta., Monday, Sept. 19, 2011. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

In 1875, Canada’s Geological Survey discovered the presence of a black, gooey substance in Alberta. The oilsands would have a dramatic impact on the country’s economy and political landscape.

“The discovery of oil in Alberta confirmed that this country had resources for the 20th century,” Gray said. “We were set to have a fairly healthy economy throughout the 20th century.”

WATCH: Alberta takes steps to cap oilsands emissions

Canada’s oilsands, which attracted $34 billion in investment in 2014 alone, have been at once an economic driver of the 20th century and source of major political tension between the federal government and provinces.

The industry has created enormous wealth for Canada and Alberta, but has also been targeted by environmental groups as contributing to climate change.

Universal health care

Former NDP leader Tommy Douglas poses in Ottawa in this Oct. 19, 1983 file photo.

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Schwarz

Canadian medicare was borne out of fiery debate in the 1960s, when Saskatchewan Premier Tommy Douglas held up a belief that all residents should have a basic level of health care.

“[Douglas] just overrode the established interests of the insurance companies, the status quo of financial companies and the doctor’s union,” Gray said, adding that doctors in the province went on strike for 23 days as the province was thrown into chaos.

READ MORE: Is Canada’s health-care system ready for our rapidly greying population?

Douglas would go on to lead the newly formed NDP, and 10 years later all provinces would adopt similar health care systems.

Charter of Rights and Freedoms, 1982

The Queen signs Canada’s constitutional proclamation in Ottawa on April 17, 1982 as Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau looks on. With the stroke of a pen by the Queen in Ottawa, Canada had its own Constitution, one of the many notable dates in the history of the country. Canada marks its 147th birthday July 1.

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ron Poling

On April 17, 1982, Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau looked on as the Queen signed Canada’s Constitution and its Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

“The [Constitution and Charter of Rights] is hugely important,” Dashcuk said, noting that it granted greater equality and civil rights for all Canadians.

READ MORE: Canada’s Charter remains a flawed document that no politician dares try to fix

The Charter protects freedom of expression, the right to a democratic government, the right to live and seek work anywhere in Canada, the legal rights of people accused of crimes, indigenous peoples’ rights, the right to equality (including gender equality), among many other rights.

And while some Canadians hold this document up above all others, Global News’ chief political correspondent David Akin points out that for many Quebecers, Conservatives, New Democrats and indigenous Canadians, the Constitution and the Charter can be problematic documents that need to be challenged.

*With files from the Canadian Press

©2017Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

On wings of e-cigarettes, company to sell product that heats tobacco – National

RICHMOND, Va. – Philip Morris International Inc. is hoping to capitalize on the growing appetite for alternatives to traditional smokes like e-cigarettes with a new Marlboro-branded product that heats tobacco rather than burning it.

The world’s second-biggest tobacco company on Thursday detailed its plans to release the Marlboro HeatSticks in cities in Japan and Italy later this year, with further expansion plans in 2015.

The products represent another run at improving heating technologies that failed when originally introduced in the 1990s.

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The short, cigarette-like sticks are heated to maximum of 660 degrees Fahrenheit (350 degrees Celsius) in a hollow pen-like device called iQOS (pronounced EYE-cohs) to create a tobacco-flavoured nicotine vapour. Unlike popular e-cigarettes that use liquid nicotine, HeatSticks contain real tobacco, a point the company believes will make them more attractive to cigarette smokers.

READ MORE: Should officials ban cigarette sales to new smokers? Take our poll

It’s one of several so-called “reduced-risk” products Philip Morris International plans to test as the industry diversifies beyond traditional cigarettes amid declining demand.

Products like the HeatSticks “represent a potential paradigm shift for the industry, public health and adult smokers,” CEO Andre Calantzopoulos said during an investor day presentation Thursday.

The company, based in New York and Switzerland, has spent about $2 billion over more than a decade on development of the products and expects that iQOS would boost its profit by $700 million when sales reach 30 billion units.

The overseas Marlboro maker announced plans in January to invest up to 500 million euros (about $680 million) for two plants in Italy to make the products.

On Tuesday, the company said in addition to its own cigarette alternatives, it purchased U.K.-based e-cigarette maker Nicocigs Ltd. Financial terms were not disclosed.

READ MORE: Are e-cigarette poisonings on the rise in Canada?

In the 1990s, the contraptions that heat tobacco rather than burning it didn’t pass muster with smokers. Even though the products left no lingering odour and didn’t produce ashes, they tasted different than cigarettes and were more difficult to use.

Now, a surging e-cigarette industry has tobacco companies hoping for a resurgence of the technologies that some argue are less harmful than lighting up.

With the health risks associated with traditional cigarettes and changes in societal expectations, it’s no wonder many of the world’s 1 billion smokers want to quit or try other tobacco alternatives. In the U.S., nearly half of the nation’s 42 million adult smokers try to quit each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

In more recent years, much of the attention to quitting has steered away from nicotine gum and patches to electronic cigarettes, which many smokers credit with helping them kick the habit.

HeatSticks build on Accord – a product with a clunky pager-like heater in which smaller cigarettes were inserted – that was test-marketed in the late 1990s by Philip Morris USA, which spun off its international business in 2008 and is owned by Richmond, Virginia-based Altria Group Inc.

READ MORE: U.S. officials want to regulate e-cigarettes – is Canada following?

One of its other products in development resembles Eclipse, a cigarette introduced by competitor R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. in the mid-1990s that used a carbon tip that heated tobacco after being lit by a lighter.

“Smokers then considered Eclipse to be a very foreign, very different, very novel concept in smoking, where today, compared to electronic cigarettes, tobacco heating cigarettes are much more familiar,” said J. Brice O’Brien, head of consumer marketing for Reynolds.

Reynolds hasn’t announced plans to reinvigorate Eclipse, but it is still in limited distribution and one of the top-selling brands in the cafeteria at the company’s Winston-Salem, North Carolina, headquarters.

Philip Morris International and former parent company Altria have agreed to share their technology for electronic cigarettes and other new alternatives to traditional cigarettes, so HeatSticks could potentially be marketed in the U.S. eventually.

Both companies have noted the potential for the products to be less risky than traditional cigarettes and could apply to the Food and Drug Administration in the U.S. to market them as such.

Michael Felberbaum can be reached at 杭州桑拿按摩论坛杭州夜生活twitter杭州夜网/MLFelberbaum.

Latest census finds India’s tiger population on the rise – National

NEW DELHI – India’s latest tiger census shows a sharp increase in the number of the endangered cats in the wild, raising hopes that conservation efforts are working, officials said Tuesday.

The census conducted in 2014 found at least 2,226 tigers in forests across the country, up from 1,706 counted in 2010.

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READ MORE: Tiger killed in fight with another tiger at Assiniboine Park Zoo

Environment minister Prakash Javadekar described the figure as a huge success story and said it was the result of sustained conservation efforts.

“While the tiger population is falling in the world, it is rising in India. This is great news,” Javadekar told journalists in New Delhi.

Tigers in India have been threatened by rampant poaching and shrinking habitats from deforestation caused by power projects, roads and human settlements as the country pushes ahead with rapid industrialization and economic development.

The disappearance of forests has affected the availability of prey and led tigers to stray into human habitats.

Javadekar said more than 9,700 cameras were used in the massive count and the results are the most accurate in the past few decades.

Tigers have been threatened in India due to poaching and deforestation.

(AP Photo/ Joydip Kundu

“Never before has such an exercise been taken. We have unique photographs of 80 per cent of the tigers” in the wild, he said.

Officials said nearly 380,000 square kilometres of forest area in 18 states were surveyed.

A century ago an estimated 100,000 tigers roamed India’s forests. Their numbers declined steadily till the 1970s, when India banned tiger hunting and embarked on a program to create special reserves and protected areas in national parks and wildlife sanctuaries. Conservation efforts began to pay off around 2010 when tiger numbers began to rise.

READ MORE: Man killed by tiger after climbing into enclosure at New Delhi zoo

India faces intense international scrutiny over its tiger conservation efforts as it has nearly three-fourths of the world’s estimated 3,200 tigers.

Shrinking habitats have brought the wild cats into conflict with farmers who live near tiger reserves. Also, the illegal trade in tiger skin and body parts remains a stubborn and serious threat. Tiger organs and bones fetch high prices on the black market because of demand driven by traditional Chinese medicine practitioners.

©2015The Canadian Press

Winnipeg Jets’ Cheveldayoff listening to trade offers at NHL draft

PHILADELPHIA – Winnipeg Jets general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff will continue fielding plenty of trade calls on NHL draft weekend.

“We’re going to listen to everybody,” Cheveldayoff said. “If there’s a guy that a team has an interest in, then my phone is open for a phone call.”

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Cheveldayoff’s colleagues shouldn’t bother asking about defencemen Jacob Trouba and Josh Morrissey and centre Mark Scheifele, but other than that the Jets seem open for business. Rumours have swirled around left-winger Evander Kane and defenceman/forward Dustin Byfuglien, who could be prime targets as other teams seek to take advantage of the Jets’ desire to make changes.

Kane could be on his way out of Winnipeg this weekend or before the season starts. But if he is, Cheveldayoff isn’t showing his hand.

“I’m really not going to get into those kinds of discussions,” Cheveldayoff said Thursday in his pre-draft news conference. “I think it’s unfair to the individual players. There’s enough out there at different points in time that some of it is probably true and some is probably false. At the end of the day, it is a business where you do discuss making moves that will help each other’s franchises but these are people that are involved, as well.”

The Jets haven’t made the playoffs in three seasons since moving to Winnipeg from Atlanta. The Thrashers missed the playoffs in the four previous years.

So understandably there’s some impatience among fans, even in a difficult Western Conference. Cheveldayoff, on the other hand, is a paragon of patience, and that extends to this time of year.

“You can’t will yourself to make the playoffs,” he said. “You have to continue to build and get the pieces that will try to push you forward. That’s why so much attention is paid to the draft and the process and certainly in our organization.”

The Jets pick ninth in Friday night’s first round, the same spot they got Trouba in 2012. Scouts disagree about how many difference-makers are available in this draft, ranging from eight to 12.

There is a consensus about the top five players available: defenceman Aaron Ekblad, centres Sam Reinhart, Sam Bennett, forward Leon Draisaitl and winger Michael Dal Colle. To get one, the Jets would have to move up.

“You make the calls, you try and see if there is opportunities,” Cheveldayoff said. “I guess there has to be an appetite in the different people to want to move because there are some good players there. Teams aren’t just going to say, ‘Yeah, you know what, let’s make a move.’ It has to make sense for both sides.”

In three drafts at the helm, Cheveldayoff has yet to move up or down in the first round. He has also not made a player-for-player trade at any point as Winnipeg’s GM.

So history is stacked against the Jets trading Kane or Byfuglien, even if the current reality makes it possible. Late in the regular season after being a healthy scratch, Kane refused to answer a question about whether he had or would ask for a trade.

Cheveldayoff danced around the subject Thursday when asked if Kane had requested to be dealt.

“These kinds of questions are really unfair,” he said. “There are lots of conversations that go on. I’m sure there were levels of frustration at different points in time for individual players. From our standpoint, Evander is a Winnipeg Jet and I know that there’s obviously been lots of different rumours out there. At this point in time, that’s how we’re going to proceed. As far as any demands, we’re working as normal here.”

Normal to the Jets means continuing to stockpile talent at the draft. Only problem is, after No. 9, they don’t have a pick until the third round, 69th overall, after sending a second away for winger Devin Setoguchi last summer.

It’s unlikely Winnipeg will be able to get immediate help with even its first-round pick. But Cheveldayoff could stay true to his long-term plan by making picks and moves this weekend.

“You’re trying to gain depth in an organization, so that if you have other assets that other people covet, then you can maybe make those kind of moves,” he said. “But until you have the assets that allow you to be competitive in the short term and maybe make long-term moves, you have to keep building.”

Follow @SWhyno on 桑拿会所

©2014The Canadian Press

10 heartwarming images from mass LGBTQ wedding in Toronto

Kisses, hugs and tears abounded after dozens of couples exchanged vows at a mass same-sex wedding ceremony in Toronto Thursday.

Officiants from 12 denominations gave their blessing to the crowd before more than 100 couples at The Grand Prix wedding said “I do” in unison.

READ MORE: LGBTQ couples tie the knot in Toronto mass wedding

The Grand Pride Wedding for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and two-spirited couples was thought to be the first of its kind in Canada and involved individuals from around the world.

Organizers said the wedding was the largest of its kind in North America.

It was held at Casa Loma, a palatial Toronto home built between 1911 and 1914, which has since become a popular tourist attraction and event venue.

Dana Murphy (L) and Shannon St Germain dance during the Grand Pride Wedding, a mass gay wedding at Casa Loma in Toronto, Canada, on June 26, 2014.

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Michelle, left, and May Brand laugh before joining over 100 gay couples in a mass wedding during World Pride 2014 at Casa Loma in Toronto, on Thursday, June 26, 2014.

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darren Calabrese

A married couple hold hands after joining over 100 gay couples in a mass wedding during World Pride 2014 at Casa Loma in Toronto, on Thursday, June 26, 2014.

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darren Calabrese

Canada’s first legal same-sex marriage took place on June 10, 2003, just hours after Ontario’s Court of Appeal pronounced the Canadian law on traditional marriage unconstitutional.

READ MORE: Lesbian ‘married throuple’ expecting 1st child

Other provinces followed suit and the federal government legalized same-sex marriage countrywide two years later with the gender-neutral Civil Marriage Act.

Dayna Murphy, left, and her partner Shannon St. Germain have their photo taken by tourists before joining over 100 gay couples in a mass wedding during World Pride 2014 at Casa Loma in Toronto, on Thursday, June 26, 2014.

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darren Calabrese

Steven B. Andrews rests on his husband Michael Dow’s shoulder while joining over 100 other gay couples in a mass wedding during World Pride 2014 at Casa Loma in Toronto, on Thursday, June 26, 2014.

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darren Calabrese

Couples walk hand-in-hand before joining over 100 other gay couples in a mass wedding during World Pride 2014 at Casa Loma in Toronto, on Thursday, June 26, 2014.

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darren Calabrese

Over 100 gay couples participate in a mass wedding during World Pride 2014 at Casa Loma in Toronto, Ont. on Thursday, June 26, 2014.

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darren Calabrese

A man smiles at his fiance during the Grand Pride Wedding on June 26, 2014.

Getty Images/Geoff Robins

Newly weds celebrate after over 100 gay couples participated in a mass wedding during World Pride 2014 at Casa Loma in Toronto, on Thursday, June 26, 2014.

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darren Calabrese

– with files from The Canadian Press

HangZhou Night Net

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