160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! TUESDAY Health Fair, 9 a.m.-noon, ONEgeneration Center, 18255 Victory Blvd., Reseda. Call (818) 419-2513. Palmdale Airport Open House, 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m., 41000 N. 20th St. E. Call (909) 975-5360. Stunt Road to Saddle Peak hike, 9 a.m.-1 p.m., Cold Creek Preserve. Bring water and food. Meet at Lower Stunt High Trail. Enter park on Stunt Road past Mulholland Highway. Call (310) 822-8648. Las Virgenes Unified School District board meeting, 6 p.m., school district headquarters, 4111 N. Las Virgenes Road, Calabasas. Call (818) 800-4000. Mail Datebook entries – including time, date, location and phone number – to Daily News City Desk, P.O. Box 4200, Woodland Hills, CA 91365; fax (818) 713-0058; e-mail email@example.com.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi marked Diwali 2017 by visiting the Gurez sector near the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir.In what has become a tradition of sorts, PM Modi spent the Diwali greet troops of the Indian Army and the Border Security Force, distributing sweets and gifts to the jawans and officers whom he called “his family”.Clad in an Army jacket and sporting sunglasses, PM Modi addressed the troops in Gurez, saying, “When I greet you and shake hands with you, you may think it is just a formality. But for me, it isn’t just a formality. I get energised when I meet you and see the penance and sacrifice you make amid harsh conditions.”#WATCH: PM Narendra Modi celebrate #Diwali with jawans in Gurez Valley, near LoC, in J&K pic.twitter.com/gu2HxLRtq0- ANI (@ANI) October 19, 2017Speaking about Diwali, PM Modi said that, like everybody else, he too wishes to spend the festival with his family. And so, the prime minster said, he had come to meet the jawans of the armed forces in order to spend Diwali with “his family.”PM Modi, whose comments were put up on his blog on NarendraModi.in, brought up yoga during his trip to Gurez, saying he had been told how the soldiers posted there regularly practised yoga.Practising yoga will enhance your abilities, and give you a sense of calm, PM Modi told the gathered soldiers. PM Modi went on to say that the jawans, after leaving the armed forces, could become excellent yoga trainers.advertisementPM @narendramodi celebrating #Diwali with the jawans of #IndianArmy and #BSF, in the Gurez Valley, near the Line of Control, in J&K pic.twitter.com/eSfjqPmv57- PIB India (@PIB_India) October 19, 2017On his Diwali day address to the jawans, PM Modi also brought up his pet theme of ‘New India by 2022.’ PM Modi spoke of the personal resolve that all Indians must make for 2022, the 75th anniversary of the country’s independence.This was the third time Prime Minister Modi spent Diwali with the armed forces. He spent the last two Diwali days with troops in Himachal Pradesh and Punjab.On his visit to Gurez, the prime minister was accompanied by the Indian Army chief General Bipin Rawat, and other senior Army officers.Have come to meet you on Diwali in order to spend the festival withClick here to EnlargePM Modi left a message in a the visitors’ book, writing, “Protecting the Motherland, far from your loved ones, displaying the highest traditions of sacrifice, all soldiers at the nation’s borders, are symbols of bravery and dedication.I have an opportunity to spend the festival of Diwali with you. The presence of brave soldiers at the border, on this festive occasion, lights the lamp of hope, and generates new energy among crores of Indians.To accomplish the dream of “New India,” this is a golden opportunity for all of us to work together. The Army too is a part of it.Greetings to all of you on Diwali.”Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah lauded PM Modi for spending Diwali “with the people & troops in Gurez”.Physical & mobile connectivity would be your biggest gifts to the area this Diwali jenab. #HappyDiwali @narendramodi Sahib.- Omar Abdullah (@OmarAbdullah) October 19, 2017Abdullah, in a series of tweets, asked the prime minister to help get a tunnel constructed in the area and to help ensure mobile and data connectivity in the region.”You will have noticed that you can’t tweet from there sir. That’s because there is no data and almost no mobile service,” Abdullah tweeted.DEF MIN IN ANDAMANDefence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman too celebrated Diwali with the armed forces. Sitharaman was in Andaman and Nicobar, where India’s only tri-services command is located.Smt. @nsitharaman celebrating Diwali with the families of Tri Services personnel at Port Blair @SpokespersonMoD pic.twitter.com/6JBRNYyHdf- Raksha Mantri (@DefenceMinIndia) October 18, 2017The defence minister reached the strategically important command yesterday on a two-day visit.During her trip there, Sitharaman visited the colonial-era Celluar Jail, which was used by the British to exile political prisoners, where she laid a wreath.
HALIFAX – Nova Scotians will go to the polls May 30 as Premier Stephen McNeil’s Liberal government seeks its second mandate following a term in office largely marked by frugal spending and public sector labour strife.McNeil kicked off the campaign Sunday with a rally at a Lebanese cultural centre in the heart of a key Halifax riding, shortly after meeting with Lt.-Gov. J.J. Grant at Government House.In a speech before a packed room of enthusiastic supporters and party workers, McNeil acknowledged his government had made some unpopular decisions since being elected in 2013.“We had to make tough choices, choices that weren’t always popular,” said McNeil. “I believe you either shape change or change shapes you. We had to shape our own change.”At dissolution the Liberals held 34 seats in the 51-seat legislature, the Progressive Conservatives had 10 and the NDP 5. There was one Independent and one seat was vacant.The election follows nearly two months of election-style spending announcements by the Liberals, and a budget tabled Thursday offering a broad, though modest tax cut to about 500,000 low and middle income Nova Scotians.It was the second consecutive balanced budget for the Liberals. The government has exercised strict wage restraint for public sector unions, including nurses and teachers, while making a series of cuts to programs affecting areas such as seniors’ long-term care and initiatives run by public service organizations.“Thanks to our choices the province is in better shape than it was three and a half years ago,” McNeil told the crowd.He also took shots at his campaign opponents, accusing the Tories of being “negative about the province’s future” and saying the NDP were ready to “write a blank cheque to big labour.”The government’s budget died with the election call, leaving McNeil to explain to reporters why it wasn’t voted on in the legislature before the writ was dropped. He said it’s a matter of letting the public decide.“I’m not presumptuous enough to believe that all of them (the public) agree with my vision,” McNeil said. “So let me present my vision to them, we will let the other two parties present their vision, and then Nova Scotians will decide.”McNeil also made no apologies for his government or its policies.“There will be some who obviously in the last three-and-a-half years have not been happy with us, he said. “I am not running from the record.”Tory Leader Jamie Baillie pitched himself Sunday as a sunny alternative to four years of Liberal austerity, which he said has hurt Nova Scotia’s rural communities, allowed infrastructure to crumble and sent doctors and young people away from the province in “droves.”“(Nova Scotians) will have to decide if they want to invest and jobs and in their communities, or if they want more McNeil cuts,” said Baillie, surrounded by Tory candidates. “Only the Progressive Conservative party has the plan to allow Nova Scotians to stand proudly on their own two feet once again.”Baillie said the premier’s heavy hand in dealing with public sector unions has resonated through the province, and said if elected, he would push for a “middle way” that would keep wages at roughly current levels but increase investment in public services.Baillie’s speech was replete with promises of prosperity, but when pressed for specifics, the Tory leader often pivoted back to attacking McNeil.Baillie has been sounding confident that his party, which hasn’t won an election since 2006, is poised for an electoral breakthrough. That’s critical for Baillie, who is leading the party through his second campaign — and may not get a third opportunity if expectations aren’t realized.Baillie has painted the provincial race as a referendum on McNeil. He said the Tories will release a party platform “very soon.”NDP Leader Gary Burrill told dozens of supporters at a west-end cafe Sunday that an NDP government would prioritize “investments in our people” over a balanced budget to tackle issues like hunger, access to education and hospital overcrowding.“All the evidence is that the McNeil Liberals are not the objects of anyone’s affection in Nova Scotia at the moment,” Burrill told reporters. “I think that the door has opened to any possibility now with the announcement of the election and we’ll see what happens in the next month.”Burrill said he’s putting “every ounce of energy” into his own race in the Halifax-Chebucto riding, having won his party’s leadership race last year without a seat in the provincial legislature.He aims to revive the fortunes of a party that had a dramatic fall from grace in 2013, when it was swept from government by the Liberals.The election call comes after spring polling that indicated the Liberals had fallen in popularity, although they were still in majority territory as of March, according to Cape Breton University professor David Johnson.Decided voter support for the Liberal party dropped from 56 per cent to 44 per cent, according to a survey of 1,210 adults conducted by Halifax-based Corporate Research Associates Inc. The Progressive Conservatives stood at 28 per cent, up eight points, and the New Democrats were at 23 per cent, up from 19 per cent, while five per cent supported the Green Party.“They are pretty much back to where they were in 2013,” Johnson said in an interview last month. “Forty-four per cent will win them a strong, healthy majority government if that number hold up during the election campaign.”Johnson said the key would be holding onto ridings in metro Halifax.“The Liberals dominate metro (currently) and whomever dominates metro, that’s the pathway into a majority government,” he said.— With files from Adina Bresge and Kieran Leavitt