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SOUTH ASIAN PULSE HEADLINES -26 AUGUST 2016 

1. Former prime minister Stephan Harper resigns as MP from Calgary Heritage after two decades. Sharing the news through social media, Harper commended the efforts of his government saying during his tenure taxes were cut and a balanced budget was presented. He also thanked his constituents for their support. He intends to open up a private consulting firm and provide consultations on foreign affairs.
2. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is in Quebec today where he is attending the National Caucus Summer meeting.
3. Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan has announced that Canada is committing $450 million and 600 soldiers for UN peacekeeping mission. The announcement was made in Quebec along with International Development Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau, Foreign Affairs Minister Stéphane Dion and Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale.
4. Talks between Canada Post, union and management are still on. Last evening the union had given a 72-hour strike notice to the government.
5. A report shows that Ontario schools are in bad condition and require nearly $15.4 billion for renovations. Out of the 4,658 Ontario schools, over a third is in poor condition. About 278 have critical condition out of which nearly 200 come under Toronto District School Board.
6. In the Scarborough crossbow attack in which three people died, police has named the suspect as Brett Ryan, 35 who is expected to appear before court today. Police also found a suspicious packet from a Downtown condo building that is allegedly related to this triple murder case.
7. An Indian couple has been arrested in a $20 million dollar visa fraud in USA.
8. A French court has suspended ban on burkini swimsuits saying it is against civil liberties. Earlier this week former French President Nicolas Sarkozy had said burkini worn by some Muslim women is provocative. He said if his party wins, he will ban burkini in France.
9. In Pakistan more MQM offices have been sealed and bulldozed while party leaders have been detained in Karachi.
10. Bombay High Court has permitted the entry of women right up to the restricted grave area of the famous Haji Ali Dargah here. The court said it is discriminatory policy and therefore, will not be allowed at all.
11. AAP has axed its Punjab convener Sucha Singh Chhotepur who was accused of taking bribe from a candidate. Reacting to this Chhotepur has said he will leave AAP and is ready for a CBI probe. He said all these are false allegations against him and is a conspiracy against him that is initiated by some AAP colleagues. He said currently all Punjab AAP’s affairs are run by Durgesh Pathak. He said he wanted to appear in front of Manish Sisodia and Arvind Kejriwal to clarify but none were available. Chhotepur alleged that Kejriwal is anti-Punjabi. He said he is in politics for the last 40 years and no one has placed any allegations ever on him. Chhotepur urged making the video public so that the people decide. It is worth noting that Chhotepur objected to the first AAP candidates list and alleged party tickets were given for IRs2 crores. The list did not carry his name and even the second list of 32 candidates did not have Chhotepur’s name that annoyed him.
12. After Chhotepur’s episode, Congress leader Capt Amarinder Singh has alleged this is Kejriwal’s history that he first uses people and then leave them. He gave the examples of Ana Hazare, Kiran Bedi, and Prashant Bhushan saying if those towering leaders were ditched by him, how could Chhotepur be spared?
13. MP Partab Singh Bajwa is hosting a lunch for Capt Amarinder Singh in a bid to unite all Congress leadership. Prior to attending the event Capt Amarinder Singh has said their party is united and will win the next elections.
14. Punjab’s Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal has said AAP is only power hungry and siding with Khalistanis. He also questioned where is funding for the party coming from? He also alleged that MLA Jarnail Singh, Punjab co-convener has relations with those who organized Sarbat Khalsa and anti-state elements. He also alleged that interference of anti-Punjab parties is increasing in the state. He said the Akali government is committed for providing power surplus, betterment of roads, air connectivity, and extending relief to the industry. He said the Minister for Road Transport and Highways and Shipping Nitin Gadkari has sanctioned IRs2,500 crore for expressways. Work is in progress on Firozpur and Chandigarh link also. He informed in coming years Punjab will have the best highways.
15. Punjab Agriculture University is conducting a socio-economic survey that also contains a question related to 2017 elections.
16. India and West Indies will play their first T20 in Florida tomorrow, Saturday at 10am and the second on Sunday at 10am.
17. In the Forbes’ list of world’s top 20 highest-paid actors, Shah Rukh Khan stands at number 8 with $33 million in earnings, Akshay Kumar is on number 10 with $31.5 million, Salman Khan on number 14 with $28.5 million and Amitabh Bachchan has secured number 18 with $20 million. The list is topped by Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson who earned an estimated $64.5m. Among females, Jennifer Lawrence topped the list with $46 million.

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