This morning, the three most-read stories on Straight.com are all about CTV Vancouver’s decision to axe its popular 6 p.m. news anchors, Mike Killeen and Tamara Taggart.Since the story broke, the Straight website has heard from many commenters expressing their admiration for the two broadcasters.Many have also slammed Bell Media for dumping the pair, who’ve been the faces of its flagship program since early 2011. Twitter Facebook Login/Register With: Advertisement Late last night, Taggart tweeted that she “spent the day reading messages, texts, tweets and emails”.“I’m in a puddle of tears, overwhelmed by your kindness,” she wrote. “It’s been my privilege to have grown up with you the past 21 years. The love you have shown me is with me forever. xx” LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Advertisement Advertisement
Advertisement Bichir did not specify the cause of death. He asked for respect during his time of mourning.The couple started their relationship in 2010 and did not have children together. Bichir has a daughter, Gala, born in 2011.Sherk was born in Niagara-On-The-Lake, Ont. She appeared in Bichir’s directorial debut “Un Cuento de Circo & A Love Song,” as well as the films “Star Power,” ”Valentine’s Day” and ”Loco Love.” She also starred in ”#Hashtag: The Series.”Bichir, 55, was nominated for an Oscar for best actor in 2012 for his role in Chris Weitz’s “A Better Life.” He has also appeared in films like “The Hateful Eight,” ”Che: Guerrilla” and ”Sex, Shame & Tears.”UPDATE: The L.A. County Medical Examiner-Coroner has ruled her death a suicide as confirmed to PEOPLE Magazine.Are you in a crisis? If you need help, contact Crisis Services Canada at their website or by calling 1-833-456-4566. If you know someone who may be having thoughts of suicide, visit CAMH’s resource to learn how to talk about suicide with the persoGeneraln you’re worried about.RELATEDSTEFANIE SHERK’S CAUSE OF DEATH REVEALED AS SUICIDE BY DROWNING – PEOPLEACTRESS STEFANIE SHERK DIED BY SUICIDE, MULTIPLE CAUSES OF DEATH: REPORTS – THE EPOCH TIMESREMEMBERING STEFANIE SHERK: A LOOK BACK AT HER LIFE AND LOVE WITH DEMIÁN BICHIR – PEOPLESTEFANIE SHERK, CANADIAN MODEL AND ACTRESS, DIES AT 37 – CNN Login/Register With: LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Facebook Advertisement Advertisement Demian Bichir announced the death of his wife Wednesday in a heartfelt message on Instagram, saying that Sherk died “peacefully” on April 20. She was 37.“It has been the saddest and toughest time of our lives and we don’t know how much time it will take for us to overcome this pain,” he said in his post with a picture of Sherk. “It is our sincerest hope that our beautiful Stefanie, my angel and love of my life, will rest in eternal peace.” Twitter
APTN National NewsThe family of a slain Indigenous woman from Prince Albert, Sask. is embarking on a long journey to raise awareness for other women like her.APTN’s Larissa Burnouf caught up with the family of Monica Lee Burns as they begin a 140 km trek.
FREDERICTON – Members of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce say proposed tax changes by the federal government are casting business people in a negative light and the finance minister shouldapologize.Chamber members got to put their concerns directly to federal Finance Minister Bill Morneau Saturday at their annual meeting in Fredericton.There was a round of applause when Morneau was asked if he’d consider an independent royal commission to take a broader look at tax reform, but Morneau said the government has been talking about tax reform since the summer of 2015, and expects the current input will lead to changes in what’s being proposed.The tax proposals include restrictions on the ability of business owners to reduce their tax rate by sprinkling their income to family members in lower tax brackets, even if those family members don’t contribute to the company.Morneau also proposed limits on the use of private corporations to make passive investments that are unrelated to the company.Another change would limit business owners’ ability to convert regular income of a corporation into capital gains, which are typically taxed at a lower rate.
OTTAWA – Health Canada has nearly doubled the number of licensed cannabis producers in the country over the past six months and new numbers show hundreds more applicants are in the final stages of approval as the government rushes toward national marijuana legalization by next July.The dramatic surge in approved and aspiring producers comes in the wake of the agency’s concerted efforts to loosen its bureaucratic approval process and head off what many experts fear will be a looming supply crunch for the burgeoning legal cannabis market.In late May, Health Canada announced it would “streamline” the approval process, which many would-be producers described as onerous and contended took years to complete. The agency stepped up the resources to process applications and said it would start conducting some phases of the approval process at the same time and also made it easier for existing licence holders to expand.When the announcement was made, Health Canada had granted just 44 production licenses since it starting doling out approvals four years prior. Since then, however, the number has almost doubled to 80.Provincial governments, police forces and marijuana companies have also been scrambling to prepare for legalized recreational sales, which the Prime Minister’s Office confirmed Wednesday are expected by July — but not necessarily the Canada Day deadline that many had assumed.A wave of pending applications has the potential to nearly triple the number of producers operating in a legal recreational market.Health Canada spokeswoman Tammy Jarbeau said that as of Dec. 1, 208 applicants were in the final stages of the approval process.“These applicants have completed the security clearance process and their application is being reviewed to determine whether it meets all the requirements of the regulations,” she said in a statement.“A licence is only issued once security clearances have been granted, the application meets the regulatory requirements and a facility has been built.”Industry watchers who had been expecting a spike in the number of licenses were nonetheless surprised by the latest figures, saying the number of pending approvals exceeded their expectations.But Vahan Ajamian, a research analyst with Beacon Securities Ltd., cautioned against interpreting the high number of applications as a sign that Canada will avoid a supply crunch.He predicted that the influx of new producers would have only a limited impact when cannabis becomes legal next summer.Even if a cultivation license is issued in January, producers will likely need more time to line up financing, build up capacity, grow crops and make other arrangements to supply the market, said Ajamian.“It might lessen the shortages in the first couple of months. But I still predict we will see shortages, sellouts — especially in provinces and areas that haven’t locked down their supply.”Many of the provinces have indeed sounded alarm bells on the issue, urging Ottawa to ensure the supply of legal cannabis is equal to the anticipated demand for the product.Nova Scotia first voiced concerns about supply earlier this month after unveiling its framework for the sale of legal marijuana.The government said it would prefer to see provincial supplies come from local production facilities, although so far only two such operations have secured Health Canada approval. Their licences, moreover, cover only permission to grow pot, not sell it.Newfoundland and Labrador Premier Dwight Ball said although his province has inked its first production agreement, that alone won’t make product available until 2019.Analyst and government figures do little to dispel fears of a supply shortage.A report by Canaccord Genuity estimates that demand for both medical and recreational marijuana will total nearly 570,000 kilograms by 2021. By contrast, numbers from a Health Canada showed that total inventories of dried and oil-based cannabis in producers’ inventories totalled less than 40,000 kilograms as of June, the last month for which data was available.One lawyer suggested Health Canada’s previous approval process contributed to the current low supply levels.Eileen McMahon, chair of intellectual property and food and drug regulatory practices at Torys law firm, said companies have faced an extremely high regulatory burden in order to get a license approved.She estimated roughly 70 to 75 per cent of those who apply for a Health Canada marijuana license don’t make the cut — a much higher rate than seen in other industries, such as medical devices and prescription drugs.And while the recent increase in approvals means there will be more players ready to serve the market, the stringent regulatory and ongoing compliance requirements that producers will have to meet once licensed will likely whittle down the field again, McMahon said.“This is not for the faint of heart,” she said.“The question is who can hang in there. Who is going to survive?”
TORONTO – Spin Master Corp. says its net income fell nearly 14 per cent in the first quarter due in part to the impact of a multi-million dollar Toys “R” Us bad debt expense.The company, which keeps its books in U.S. dollars, says its net income was $8.7 million or nine cents per share for the first quarter of its 2018 financial year, compared to $10.1 million or 10 cents per share for the same quarter the previous year.The toy company says it incurred a $15.2 million bad debt expense, including administration costs, after Toys “R” Us Inc. sought approval to wind down its American business and liquidate inventory, and Toys “R” Us International closed and liquidated most of its U.K. business in the quarter.Adjusted net income was $22 million or 22 cents a share for the quarter, compared to $13.6 million or 13 cents a share for the same quarter the previous year.Co-CEO Ronnen Harary says in a statement the company’s results are a testament to the team’s effort in effectively managing the company through the industry-wide disruption caused by the Toys “R” Us U.S. liquidation.Spin Master says revenue for the quarter ended March 31, 2018 increased 25.5 per cent to $285.7 million from $227.7 million.The company also updated its outlook for the 2018 financial year, saying it now expects organic gross product sales to grow in the mid-single digit range from the previous year rather than the mid- to high-single digit range.Companies in this story (TSX: TOY)
OTTAWA (NEWS 1130) – The Trudeau Government is scoffing at the idea of scrapping NAFTA negotiations in favour of separate bilateral trade deals.This comes after the White House again floated the possibility of separate talks with Canada and Mexico.Simply put, this option is not on the table for Canada. On his way into question period Andrew Leslie, the Parliamentary Secretary for Canada-U.S. Relations, was quick to dismiss the idea.“Canada has maintained right from the beginning we believe in a trilateral NAFTA. We believe that together it’s been a win-win-win for our three economies and all three nations prosper,” says Leslie.But the U.S. is getting more serious about the possibility. President Donald Trump revived the idea last week, and now his leading economic adviser Larry Kudlow told Fox he spoke with Trump about it. He then pushed the plan to a senior member of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s office, although he didn’t name who it was.International Trade Minister Francois Philippes Champagne is dismissing the proposal being put forward by the Trump administration. He says our economies and industries are so tied together, it would be difficult to split the talks.“Over the last 24 years, we’ve built a very integrated supply chain, which has been good for economy, good for consumers, good for workers on all sides.”The issue will likely create more economic uncertainty, following the tariffs on steel and aluminum and just in time for the G7 summit in Quebec later this week where tariffs and trade are expected to cause tensions at the talks.
TOKYO — The Latest on the arrest and investigation into alleged financial misconduct by Nissan’s chairman Carlos Ghosn (all times local):6:15 p.m.France’s finance minister wants carmaker Renault to replace its once-superstar CEO Carlos Ghosn, who is facing accusations he under-reported income at partner company Nissan.Renault will hold a board meeting Tuesday to discuss next steps after Ghosn’s arrest in Japan and planned dismissal from Nissan.Ghosn runs Renault, Nissan and the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance that he helped turn into the world’s biggest car-seller last year.French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire told broadcaster France-Info on Tuesday that Ghosn is not in a position to lead the Renault Group because of the accusations. He urged the board to name temporary leadership instead.Le Maire said French authorities have examined Ghosn’s tax situation in France but have found no wrongdoing.Renault officials refused further comment. Shares in Renault continued to fall Tuesday.___1:30 p.m.The arrest of Nissan Motor Co.’s chairman Carlos Ghosn on charges he underreported his income and misused company funds caused the company’s shares to tumble and shocked many in Japan who view him as something of a hero.Prosecutors said they were holding Ghosn and another Nissan executive for allegedly collaborating to falsify securities statements and underreport Ghosn’s income for five years.Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said Tuesday that the government was watching for economic fallout from the scandal at one of the world’s biggest automakers.Ghosn was arrested Monday and Nissan’s CEO said the company’s board will meet on Thursday to approve his dismissal. Prosecutors refused to say where he was being held in Tokyo.The Brazilian-born executive was credited with engineering Nissan’s revival over two decades.The Associated Press
NEW YORK — MGM Resorts has made its third deal in four months with a major U.S. sports league, becoming Major League Baseball’s official gaming partner in the U.S. and Japan.Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred said Tuesday that MGM will become an MLB-authorized gaming operator and will promote itself with teams and on the MLB Network, MLB.com and the MLB At Bat app.MGM in August became the exclusive official gaming partner of the NBA and WNBA, and the first official sports betting partner of the NHL last month.___More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_SportsThe Associated Press
WASHINGTON — Three days before a U.S.-China summit, the top U.S. trade official is blasting Beijing for imposing “egregious” taxes on American-made cars.In a statement Wednesday, U.S. Trade Rep. Robert Lighthizer complained that China slaps 40 per cent tariffs on U.S. auto imports — more than the 15 per cent tariffs it imposes on other countries and the 27.5 per cent U.S. tax on Chinese auto imports.Lighthizer said the president had directed him to “examine all available tools to equalize the tariffs applied to automobiles.”The statement comes before a dinner meeting Saturday in Buenos Aires, Argentina, between President Donald Trump and his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping. The two leaders are expected to seek a resolution to a trade dispute between their countries that has shaken financial markets and threatened the global economy.Paul Wiseman, The Associated Press
Companies in this story: (TSX:HSE, TSX:MEG)The Canadian Press CALGARY — MEG Energy Corp. says it will waive its shareholder rights plan in its fight against a hostile takeover offer by Husky Energy Inc.However, the company says it continues to unanimously recommend shareholders reject Husky’s cash-and-share offer .MEG noted that since Husky announced its intention to make its offer on Sept. 30, Husky’s share price has fallen more than 30 per cent, eroding the value of the offer.The takeover was worth about $3.3 billion when proposed in September but has fallen to less than $2.5 billion because of deterioration in Husky’s share price.Earlier this week, a CIBC oil and gas analyst said the recent deterioration in crude oil prices makes it unlikely that a better offer will emerge to force Husky to sweeten its hostile bid.Husky has said that it has received all necessary regulatory approvals for the takeover of MEG and is now waiting for shareholders’ response to its offer which expires in mid-January.
Canbriam says that its Altares asset continues to deliver consistent performance with production during the second quarter averaging approximately 40,400 barrels of oil equivalent per day, 16 percent of which was liquids.The company reaffirmed 2018 production expectations of between 37,000 and 39,000 boe/d, which includes routine downtime related to summer drilling and completion activities. CALGARY, A.B. – Canbriam Energy announced on Tuesday that it has sold some non-core Montney lands in Northeast B.C. for $50 million.The company said that the assets had no associated production, and the disposition closed on July 30, 2018.“The disposition of non-core acreage supports the core development at our Altares Montney assets and the ongoing deleveraging of our balance sheet,” said Paul Myers, Canbriam’s President & Chief Executive Officer.
He added that at this point it’s not known when the trail will be reopening, but that the City will be notifying residents via its Facebook page. FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – City officials say that one of the walking trails located near the Fort St. John Hospital will be closed until further notice.Communications Coordinator Ryan Harvey said that work crews were attempting to resolve drainage issues near the walking trail along the south side of the hospital property when some of the equipment caused damage to the trail itself.Harvey said that the City is currently working with engineers to try to get the drainage issues in the area resolved while also determining what repairs need to be performed on the trail itself.
This new space in Centennial Park aligns with the City’s strategic plan to use downtown as a social, vibrant hub. The City would like to start project tendering in March 2019 and begin construction in April with completion in September 2019. FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – At the recent Regular City Council Meeting, Council approved the application to the Northern Development Initiative Trust for a grant to put towards the Festival Plaza.The grant worth up to $50,000 from the Northeast Regional Development Account would help add value to the work that is done shares the City Manager.The Festival Plaza will be located on the northwest corner of Centennial Park on the grounds next to 100th street and 96 Avenue. The Plaza will act as a visual entrance to the City of Fort St. John when travelling in from the south.
FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – At the Public Hearing held in the Council’s Chambers, the motion was approved to amend the zoning for the old fire hall.The zoning was being changed from Institutional to General Commercial to allow the site to be developed as mixed-use commercial office space on the bottom and residential above.The city property at 9407 Avenue sold for $625,000 to 1117731 BC Ltd company.
Pune: NCP chief Sharad Pawar Monday said he will not contest next month’s Lok Sabha election. The 78-year-old veteran politician said as two members of his family are going to contest the polls, “somebody had to step back.””Since I have already won elections 14 times, I decided not to contest the poll (this time),” the Rajya Sabha member told reporters after holding a meeting with party leaders. “Somebody from our family had to step back and I decided to give an opportunity to the young leadership. I thought this was the right time to take this decision,” he said. Pawar announced that his nephew and former deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar’s son Parth Pawar will be NCP’s candidate from Maval Lok Sabha constituency. “Jayant Patil (of Peasant and Workers Party of India), whose party has good presence in three of the six Assembly segments in Maval Lok Sabha constituency, urged me to give ticket to Parth as his party is ready to work for him. “We also have strong presence in the other three constituencies and we thought of giving an opportunity to the young leadership by giving ticket to Parth from Maval,” he said.
Kolkata: Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) held a meeting with the state Irrigation & Waterways department on Monday, to take stock of desiltation work in the canals to ensure that water drains out through these canals properly during the monsoon and there is no accumulation of water. There are around 16 canals under the KMC area that come under the aegis of the state Irrigation department.”I had sought a report from the Irrigation department on March 13, on the progress in desiltation work of the clogged canals within a month. They have submitted a list of the canals and the projected time in which they will complete the work. They have also mentioned the time when they will take up such work again,” said Member, Mayor-in-Council (Drainage) Tarak Singh. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari PujaSingh has directed his departmental DG Amit Roy to fix a date so that he can take stock of the desiltation work himself. “We have to ensure that during heavy rainfall, the water is able to pass through the gully pits into the underground drainage system, so that we can use our drainage pumping station to pump the water into the river through these canals,” said a senior official of the Drainage department who attended the meeting. The Kolkata Environment Improvement Investment Programme (KEIIP), with the help of the Asian Development Bank (ADB), has integrated a few pumping stations while several pipelines have been cleansed during the dry weather. Pump capacities have also been increased. The meeting in KMC headquarters on Monday was chaired by Singh. State Irrigation minister Saumen Kumar Mahapatra could not attend the meeting because of his preoccupation but senior officials of his department attended the meeting along with officials of KMC’s Drainage department.
I am not in the business of predicting who will win and who will lose before the elections are even held. The psephologists pore over detailed past data of wins and losses, constituency by constituency, then make sample surveys and probability calculations. Then, in the end, the actual results mysteriously beat all the predictions. How come? The answer comes from the myriad complexity of the Indian socio-economic scene. But let me tell you the story of meeting people in the course of their everyday life and what they are thinking about the elections in Uttar Pradesh in Bagpet-Muzaffarnagar belt. Also Read – A special kind of bondThe small sweetmeats shop alongside the dusty road to Bagpet town in western Uttar Pradesh was doing brisk business right in the morning. Inside, boxes of sweets were being dispatched, while teas and milk were being served to those who are dropping by. One of these was Dr. Sandeep, a young man who asked for his glass of milk and sweets before he goes to town for his dental clinic. Despite prodding, he refused to reveal his family name. He is a dentist and has his own chamber. Joining a conversation on the forthcoming elections, he was rather guarded how the “chamars” would vote. He insisted that they would go by their own conscience, while proclaiming that he was a “chamar” himself, to authenticate his views about his community’s voting. Also Read – Insider threat managementThe owner of the shop, at the other end, insisted that his “samaj” i.e., the Jats would all go for BJP. For him, BJP has become equated with “Modi” and Jats, despite having two rival candidates from their community, would still go for the latter. The Jat shipowner maintained that all the OBCs and other backward classes would also vote for “Modi”. Three shops away in the village iron smithy, where farm equipment to shovels and scythes were prominently displayed, a couple of people were whiling away their time, awaiting their morning business. They greeted us strangers with a blend of suspicion and curiosity, giving rather bland replies to our questions on possible voting patterns in the area. People would vote according to their own calculations about who would be winning, said Mohammad Ghafoor. The shop-owner was obviously a cautious man. But as a motley crowd gathered fast, some ventured out with their stronger views. What really is the state of the ordinary people, questioned Alam, a man with strong hands and contorted fingers from years of hard physical labour. There are hardly any good doctors, and if you go to Delhi they would ask for Aadhaar number and they shoo you out suggesting you go to district hospitals, said Mohammad Iqbal. Quota rice and wheat given out at a concessional price are hardly worth human consumption. The litany of woes was getting longer, by when others joined in including Sharmaji, who was a brahmin and another Singh, being a Jat, to voice their views on inadequacies. The conviviality of the village iron smithy was no distant thing. It was for us to feel sitting on the rough benches and “charpoys” laid out in front of the inadequate shop. Sharmaji or Sigh felt they would all go for their Jat candidate of the gathbandhan. There was a consensus that the Muslims would do the same and go for the rainbow coalition candidate. As we hit the road again, we were waylaid by a few strapping young men waving us to stop. Obviously, our — some outsiders – movements were closely monitored. They led us through an iron gate into a courtyard where a group of men were sitting around a hookah with a long upright stem and a longer smoking pipe, taking a drag in turn. There were sturdy young men as well as older senior members whose general behaviour and conversing stance was conveying a sense of overbearing confidence. They were the Jats. They welcomed us into their charmed circle and offered “cold machine water,” that is, from the water purifying units. Obviously not the down and out variety, the assembled Jats were occupying the top echelon of the local society and economy. For them, the turning point of politics was the Muzzafarnagar riots some five years back when the then Akhilesh Yadav rulers had arrested many prominent Jats and created other difficulties in their way. But then, there were other issues. They are now getting good prices for their cane harvests and the money is coming directly into their bank accounts. They are also getting electricity most of the time and farmers do not have to keep awake to turn on their pumps at 2 O’clock in the night when power would suddenly come for a little while. Now they are getting electricity most of the day and night. And then, law and order have improved. You do not have to worry about the safety of your family members when they go out. Women could also venture out and go round for their work. Some money had flown into their bank accounts from the government as well. Here was a complex scenario where castes and creed would influence their thinking on who to vote, superimposed on that the economic benefits that were coming and the expectations of what should come in the immediate future. Given the layers of segregation into their little social boxes, their variety of vested interests, the social and religious fault lines and within that caste-based sense of identity, one has to be really audacious to anticipate the results of the forthcoming elections. But yet in the dusty haze, it is possible to delineate some broad trends. This election is showing a split between those who are gaining from the rising prosperity in the countryside and those who are not. But at least in the eight constituencies of western UP, the number of those who are gaining from the system are not inconsequential. There is a huge block of people who are rising and have developed a stake in systemic stability. The omnipresent cane growers of the region are a case in point: the annual inflow from cane is not something to be scoffed at. In Bagpet alone, cane purchases run up to Rs 350 crore a year. In addition, there are other avenues for work. Secondly, Modi has emerged as a leader with his image head, neck and shoulder above the rest of the pack of political leaders. A sequence of this is the diminution of BJP as a political party. If the election is won it is the credit of Modi if it is lost it goes personally to his discredit. One is almost goaded to recall India’s past political history not many years back. Over forty years ago, a Congress president of the day, Deb Kanta Barooah, had coined a slogan “India is Indira” and “Indira is India”. Indira Gandhi did not have a particularly endearing political record after those heady days of fulsome flattery. No one has gone to that extent just now. However, Modi appears to be inching towards this larger-than-life image and not surprisingly evoking extreme feelings. There are those who are intensely antipathetic, just as those who are swearing by him. Thirdly, “economism” is a major underlying current in determining the results of this election. The cooking gas connections in the kitchens of those who could not have imagined of this facility or the toilets have done their bit of public relations, however much denigrated. In the end, the Indian elections have become a story of aspirations of the people and the aspirational demands are trickling down the social ladder. To the extent these are fulfilled, it will bring dividends. If these aspirations are unmet it will come back with a bang. If UP is a microcosm of northern India —rather north of the Vindhyas— then the short visit reveals the complex fabric of society which is exercising its franchise rights: Here you witness diversity, unity, antipathy and sectarian loyalty all of which are running parallel in the polity. The election results will be the sum total of these contradictory forces and that is our India. (The views expressed are strictly personal)
New Delhi: Appearance of separatist leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq before the NIA has paved the way for a thorough probe into charges of terror funding and conspiracy against the Hurriyat leader, officials said Tuesday.Mirwaiz appeared before the National Investigation Agency for the second consecutive day on Tuesday for questioning in connection with a case related to funding of terror groups and separatist organisations in Jammu and Kashmir. “Appearance of Mirwaiz before the NIA proves the government’s determination to establish that Kashmiri separatist leaders will have to be held accountable to the law of the land. It has paved the way for thorough investigation into charges of terror funding and conspiracy against the Hurriyat leader,” a home ministry official said. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM’The questioning of Mirwaiz by the NIA has been considered a significant development as he had been trying to evade the questioning by the probe agency by resorting to various stratagems. These include by not responding initially to the NIA summons at all, and later saying he was ready to be examined by NIA in Srinagar. “However, eventually he had to follow the summons and travel to New Delhi to answer questions from the NIA. This is in line with the government’s firm stance that separatist leaders cannot claim immunity and that they will be held accountable for laws of the land,” the official said. The NIA had conducted raids in February 2019 on allegations of terror funding and money laundering on the premises of Mirwaiz and other Hurriyat leaders like Yasin Malik and son of SAS Geelani, Naseem Geelani. Also Read – Farooq demands unconditional release of all detainees in J&KThey are part of Joint Resistance Leadership who frequently organise protests, stone pelting and shutdowns in the valley, disrupting normal life, impacting students and daily wage earners, businesses and tourism. The investigation against Naseem Geelani and others is proceeding as per law. Recently, legal hurdles had been cleared for resumption of trial in Jammu against Yasin Malik in the case of terrorist attack by JKLF militants in 1990 on IAF personnel which led to the death of four persons. “Yasin Malik had exploited the provisions in law to inordinately delay the trial. But relentless efforts by the home ministry have finally resulted in Malik’s arrest and transfer to Jammu jail. His plea for transfer of trial from Jammu to Srinagar has also been quashed,” another official said.