India is the fifth biggest exporter of fake goods globally, while China is on the top with a huge 63% share in the estimated half-a-trillion dollar worldwide imports of counterfeit and pirated goods. Related Items
The venue was a give away. Akshay Kumar and Prabhu Deva were obviously making it clear that their upcoming biggie Rowdy Rathore aims to woo the masses when they chose to launch the film’s music and first look at a Mumbai chawl rather than a snazzy five-star hotel.Worli’s BDD Chawl was abuzz with fan frenzy on Monday as Akshay – sporting his distinct, mustachioed look in the film along with dark glasses – took to the brightly-hued makeshift stage along with Sonakshi, who made a traditional style statement in printed kurti and dazzling orange lowers.While the 500-strong crowd had turned out to catch a glimpse of Akshay who was at his jocular best and Sonakshi, who made for a pretty photo-op, but the show really came alive when director Prabhu Deva took to the stage to show off some of his trademark dance moves.Akshay Kumar, Prabhu Deva and Sonakshi Sinha at the music launch.Prabhu returns as director in this Sanjay Leela Bhansali-produced film for the first time since he made the Salman Khan blockbuster Wanted in 2009. If the dancing sensation-turned-filmmaker shared a quick jig with Salman in the ‘Jalwa’ number in Wanted, Monday’s gala saw him shake a leg with Akshay and Sonakshi.The crowd kept asking for an encore every time he stopped dancing, till Prabhu finally picked a hallmark dialogue from his film to make himself clear. “Don’t angry me!” he told the fans in mock fury, just as Akshay says in the film.The trailer of the film was leaked online a good 24 hours before its official launch on Monday and had already gone viral.The first look of the film, however, grossly reminded one of Wanted, revealing similar bonecrushing, gravity defying action sequences that have been spectacularly shot using CGI effects. Akshay, however, was in no mood for comparisons.”I do not want to compare myself with anyone, he (Salman) is my friend and both of us do our respective work,” the actor said. Rowdy Rathore is slated for release on June 1.advertisement
Red-hot Alab torches lowly Formosa for 8th straight win LATEST STORIES BeautyMNL open its first mall pop-up packed with freebies, discounts, and other exclusives Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games Judiciary Committee set to take over Trump impeachment probe Hotel says PH coach apologized for ‘kikiam for breakfast’ claim The Fil-American forward also believes that the same is the case for Ginebra, which now dropped to sixth place with a 5-5 card as he charged this defeat to growing pains — something which could help this young team develop in the long run.“I think we lost focus on execution and defense. When something like that happens, it just kinda boils down to execution and defense and that’s where we lost our focus,” he said before admitting that the Bolts, which have their backs against the wall, wanted the game more.“They came out, wanted it more than we did in that fourth quarter and that’s the ball game.”Devance isn’t losing hope, though, as the Gin Kings only need one win to formalize their entry to the playoffs, something which they could get against Rain or Shine on March 2.“It’s just the first step though. It’s a part of the process,” he said. “Hopefully we can regroup and get the next game. We shot ourselves in the foot and put ourselves in a bad position, but hopefully we can get this next game and see where we land on the playoffs.”ADVERTISEMENT Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ PH military to look into China’s possible security threat to power grid SEA Games: PH still winless in netball after loss to Thais ‘We cannot afford to fail’ as SEA Games host – Duterte View comments ‘A complete lie:’ Drilon refutes ‘blabbermouth’ Salo’s claims MOST READ Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. But the Bolts had other plans as they came away with an 84-82 win on Sunday night.“I’m just disappointed that we lost, especially since it’s my first game back,” Devance said.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSBoxers Pacquiao, Petecio torchbearers for SEA Games openingThe most important thing is that Devance is slowly but surely getting himself back to his old form.“I’m okay. I still have quite a bit to go,” he said after playing for 18 minutes and finishing with four points, three rebounds, and two assists. “I’m just trying to work hard every day. Hopefully when we make the playoffs, I’ll be 100 percent or close to it.” PBA IMAGESBOCAUE — Joe Devance would have liked to mark his return from a foot injury with a victory.After all, his first game this season was interestingly at Philippine Arena, the site of Ginebra’s 2017 Governors’ Cup triumph last October, and against their Finals foes in Meralco.ADVERTISEMENT Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next
New Delhi, Nov 26 (PTI) The long-dragging administrative mess in Indian boxing could finally head towards a solution with the International Boxing Association (AIBA) giving its go ahead for fresh elections to put together a new National Federation. Indian boxing has been without a parent body since May when Boxing India was provisionally suspended following a revolt by the state units, which passed a No Confidence Motion against the then BI President Sandeep Jajodia and Secretary General Jay Kowli. The sport is currently being administered by an ad-hoc committee, which was formed by the AIBA. “Based on an ad-hoc committee report, AIBA President Dr. Ching-Kuo Wu, in due consultation and agreement with AIBA Executive Committee Bureau, has now directed the ad-hoc Committee to organise Elections for a new National Federation with cooperation of all the national stakeholders. The first step to that would be holding a General Assembly as soon as possible in which the Constitution would be passed and sent for AIBAs approval,” ad-hoc panel Chairman Kishen Narsi told PTI. “The next step would be to invite nominations from those interested in being part of the new federation,” he said. However, BI has been barred from the entire process as the world body wants an altogether new set-up to take charge. “The BI has played its role. They tried to run things their way but it did not work out to everybodys satisfaction. Hopefully it wont be the case this time because a lot would depend on the extent of cooperation that member states would show towards each other,” Narsi said. Narsi said the General Assembly meeting would be called soon but side-stepped queries on whether the dispute would be resolved before next years Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, scheduled in July. “It all boils down to intent. If there is a will to resolve the matter and ensure that boxers dont suffer, I am sure a solution can be found in a day. So lets see how things go and what sort of attitude people adopt,” he explained. AIBA has also directed the ad-hoc committee to send all the details regarding election process, list of delegates, candidates and the agenda for a review before the polls are actually conducted. The committee has agreed to the newly-formed Coordination Boards suggestion to start with the domestic national meets and has also planned a tentative calendar activities for the 2015-16 season. BI took charge of the sport last year in September after the erstwhile Indian Amateur Boxing Federation was terminated owing to manipulation in elections. However, BI could not run the show for long and faced dissent soon after with state units complaining of lack of coordination and communication with the bodys top brass. As a result of the continuing tug of war, Indian boxers have been forced to compete in international events under the AIBA flag. PTI PM BS ATKadvertisement
If Ravichandran Ashwin is being hailed as the best spinner in contemporary cricket, the 29-year-old lanky Indian owes it as much to those long fingers as to an ever-ticking brain.Since his Test debut against West Indies four years ago, the tweaker from Chennai has emerged as a shrewd offspinner who relishes his battle against the best and the sight of batsmen misreading his carrom ball. His penchant for outsmarting key rival batsmen manifested in Sri Lanka earlier this year when he soured Kumar Sangakkara’s farewell by dismissing the retiring great in each of his last four innings.The same trait resurfaced in Nagpur on Friday, when he foxed AB de Villiers, having dismissed the talismanic South African in the first two Twenty20 Internationals at the start of the tour as well.”The dismissal was quite well-planned, honestly,” Ashwin said after his 12-wicket match haul helped India take a series-clinching 2-0 lead in the four-match series.”I had not given him a single carrom ball all through this tour. Today I thought on this wicket, to get it to straighten from wide of the crease, I think it was a very, very good ball.”Ashwin gave an insight into a smart cricketing brain when explaining how he changes his bowling approach in the second innings of a Test match.”Most of the cues come when I go out to bat there. When I was defending … there was a difference in the first innings and the second.”The ball was not spinning viciously. It slowed down a bit, so I knew we had to be a touch fuller to bring them on the front (foot) and also vary our paces and trajectories.”advertisementAshwin was the architect of India’s 2-1 series victory in Sri Lanka and his 24 scalps against South Africa means it would be difficult to deny him a second successive man-of-the-series award.”He is a world class spinner, probably the best in the world right now,” India captain VIrat Kohli said of Ashwin who has claimed 55 wickets this year, the most by any bowler.”He’s stepped up in a big way for us, even in Sri Lanka. He is one of the main reasons why we’ve been able to win back-to-back series,” added Kohli.The rank turners India rolled out for South Africa have taken some of the sheen off Ashwin’s feat but few doubt the skill of the bowler whose 169 wickets is the most claimed by a spinner in his first 31 Tests.”A batsman goes out there to get a hundred, I go out there to get a five-wicket haul. That’s how I view it,” said Ashwin.
This is a story of a boy who suffers from thalassemia, a blood disease, and with his life escaping with each passing day he did not stop at nothing.His parents are both patients of thalassemia and he has been getting his blood pumped every two weeks since he was a 3-month-old boy.The doctors told him he wouldn’t live more than 16 years and when he turned 17, he realised that with medication his life could be extended as far as 30 years.”It was like life was telling me, ‘you still have time, what are you doing with your life?’. Death eventually has to come to everyone so why was I scared?”, he told to Humans of Bombay .After all the bad news, it was time for him to reboot his life. He took up adventure sports and started working at a travel company.He then started an NGO, The Wishing Factory. “We make the wishes of thalassaemia major and leukaemia patients come true with the help of corporates or just regular people with big hearts.””So far, we have completed 101 wishes of these patients who have a few days left to live – be it simple things like a young 5 year old who had never sat in a car, getting her first car ride or bigger things like a helicopter ride.”He is now also working towards getting a degree in biotechnology and make some progress in finding a cure.Humans of Bombay shared the post on Facebook and it received 18,000 likes and nearly 2,000 shares.advertisement Indeed, making each day count is all we need to take care of. Some are blessed with a good life and some are trying to make their lives good. So each day, what matters is to live good.
Barcelona dearly missed Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez as the La Liga champions were held to a goalless draw at home to nine-man Malaga on Saturday, missing the chance to go top of the standings.Messi was taken ill before the game while Suarez, joint-top scorer in La Liga along with the Argentine, was suspended. Captain Andres Iniesta was also injured and Luis Enrique’s side were incapable of prising open a Malaga side happy to sit back and soak up pressure for the majority of the game.Barcelona stayed second on 26 points, one behind leaders Real Madrid, who visit local rivals Atletico Madrid later on Saturday.Despite dominating possession Barca struggled to carve out many opportunities and on the rare occasion they created a chance, Malaga goalkeeper Carlos Kameni was there to frustrate them, clawing away efforts from Gerard Pique in either half and producing a sensational save to deny Neymar in injury time.Malaga had defender Diego Llorente dismissed in the 69th minute for a straight red card following a lunge on Neymar, but Barca still could not find a way through, although Pique had what looked a clear penalty appeal turned down after his shirt was tugged in the area by Mikel Villanueva.Neymar was one of few Barca players who looked capable of finding a winner but found few willing partners, with stand-in striker Paco Alcacer produced an anonymous display and defender Pique looking far more threatening in attack.Malaga have proved difficult opponents for Barca recently at the Nou Camp, beating Luis Enrique’s side 1-0 in February 2015 and only losing 1-0 last season.advertisementThey frustrated the Catalans again by employing a conservative 5-4-1 formation and defending deep for most of the game, although they created one clear-cut chance, midfielder Juankar firing wide of the near post after rounding Marc-Andre ter Stegen.Malaga’s Juankar was shown a straight red card in stoppage time for dissent.Earlier on Saturday, Gabriel Mercado scored a controversial stoppage-time winner as Sevilla produced a sensational late turnaround to come from two goals down to win 3-2 at Deportivo La Coruna and provisionally go third.Deportivo were denied a penalty late in the second half while leading 2-1 when Argentina international Mercado pushed Florin Andone over in the area.Mercado escaped a possible red card and netted from close range in the 92nd minute after Vitolo had levelled in the 87th.
Wolves eyeing Stoke defender Moritz Bauerby Paul Vegas9 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveWolves boss Nuno wants to sign out of favour Stoke City defender Moritz Bauer.The 26-year-old Austrian international cost the Potters £5.5m a year ago.However, the fullback hasn’t played a game since September, according to the Express & Star.Matt Doherty is Wolves’ only senior right wing-back, so cover is a key target for the 11th placed side. TagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say
can turf fields cause cancerA new ESPN E:60 report by former women’s soccer star Julie Foudy examines the possible connection between field turf and cancer. In the below segment, Foudy, with the help of a number of former soccer players, looks into whether the “crumb rubber” pellets, which could expose athletes to carcinogens, are causing medical issues for young athletes.Here’s more, via AOL.com:In a preview segment released, ESPN speaks to University of Washington soccer coach Amy Griffin, who compiled a list of almost 200 athletes with cancer, who have played on artificial turf that contains tiny black rubber pellets called “crumb rubber.”Here’s the entire segment. It’s eye-opening.It’s important to note that there is not yet any long-term medical research that suggests a link. But it’s worth keeping an eye on.
zoomIllustration. Image Courtesy: Pixabay under CC0 Creative Commons license Connecticut-based owner of dry bulkers Eagle Bulk Shipping has acquired a 2014-built SDARI-64 Ultramax bulk carrier for USD 21.2 million. The vessel, constructed at Chengxi Shipyard, which will be renamed M/V Hamburg Eagle, is scheduled to be delivered to the company during the fourth quarter of 2018.Upon delivery of the M/V Hamburg Eagle, the company’s fleet will consist of 47 vessels.The purchase comes after Eagle Bulk returned to profit in the first quarter of 2018, reversing from a net loss of USD 11 million in the same quarter in 2017.The company said that its net profit for the period stood at USD 0.1 million.Generated net revenues for the period were USD 79.4 million, representing an increase of 73 pct year-on-year.
PICTOU COUNTY: Weirs Bridge Closed Weirs Bridge on Shore Road in the Waterside – Caribou Island area of Pictou County is closed to all traffic. Two paved detour routes are available, R. Grant Road and Shore Road, and a gravel road detour on Otter Road. Drivers should use extra caution and allow for extra time when travelling in this area. -30-
Proper hygiene such as hand washing and covering noses and mouths when coughing or sneezing is also important to prevent the spread of influenza and many other infections. People with flu symptoms should stay home and minimize close contact with others. Flu symptoms often include sudden high fever, headache, general aches and pains, fatigue and weakness, a runny, stuffy nose, sneezing and sore throat, but can lead to more severe illness such as pneumonia or even death. For more information visit http://novascotia.ca/flu . seniors children six months to five years of age Aboriginal people pregnant women people with chronic medical conditions such as heart disease, asthma, and diabetes people who live with, or care for, people in high-risk groups As people come together to celebrate the holiday season the flu spreads quickly so Nova Scotians are reminded to get their flu shots now and take other precautions to avoid getting sick and spreading the disease. “The flu shot is the safest, and most effective way to prevent the flu,” said Health and Wellness Minister Leo Glavine. “It helps Nova Scotians avoid getting the flu themselves, and avoid spreading it to family, friends, co-workers and people in their care, such as children in daycares and patients in health and long-term care facilities.” Seasonal flu vaccine is free and available to all Nova Scotians from most pharmacies, family doctors, family practice nurses, nurse practitioners, many workplaces and through clinics offered by some public health offices. “Protection from the vaccine generally begins 10 to 14 days after immunization and may last six months or longer,” said Deputy Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr Frank Atherton. “I encourage everyone to get their flu shot as soon as possible, especially those in high risk groups.” High-risk groups strongly encouraged to get a flu shot are:
Advertisement TV host Steve Paikin, who is being investigated for sexual harassment by his network, has called the claims against him “100 percent false.”In an extensive Facebook post, seemingly called “My Turn,” the TVO anchor refutes the claims that he once asked a mayoral candidate to sleep with him as payment for an appearance on his show. In doing so he says he’s beginning to “to reclaim [his] reputation and fight back against these scurrilous allegations” calling the claims “complete fiction.”“To be clear, I did not have sex, suggest, request, imply, or joke about having sex with you,” reads his post. Advertisement Login/Register With: Advertisement LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Facebook Paikin is referring to allegations that were made by Sarah Thomson, a politician who has run several losing but headline grabbing campaigns for the mayoralty of Toronto. Thomson, who did not name Paikin directly, originally laid out her claims on her website, Women’s Post on Friday. In her story entitled “Media personality uses his position to gain sex” she said the incident in question occurred in 2010 when Thomson, Paikin, and Thomson’s assistant met for lunch.“Not five minutes into the lunch the host asked me if I would sleep with him. My assistant almost spit his drink all over the table. I politely told the host that I loved my husband and would never do that. I then excused myself, went to the washroom and called my campaign manager,” reads her account.Thomson also alleged that Paikin, in the years since the initial incident, approached her “several times, usually at political functions, to suggest we ‘sleep together’ and he always laughs about it.”Paikin said that he first heard of the allegations against himself in an email from Thomson which he immediately forwarded to TVO. In response to the allegations, TVO hired a third-party investigator to look into the claims but allowed Paikin to remain in as the anchor of his popular show The Agenda. In response, TVO’s CEO Lisa de Wilde released a statement outlining the networks response, saying “based on the evidence to date, TVO sees no reason to remove Mr. Paikin from his role as Host for The Agenda pending the outcome of the investigation.” Twitter
APTN National NewsOne of the largest populations of First Nations in British Columbia reside in the riding of Cowichan-Malahat-Langford.As APTN’s Shirley McLean reports, there is a high potential for young people to have a big say in the email@example.com
LONDON – A British judge on Tuesday upheld a U.K. arrest warrant for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, leaving him still a wanted man in the country where he has spent more than five years inside the Ecuadorean Embassy.Judge Emma Arbuthnot rejected a call from Assange’s lawyers for the warrant to be revoked because he is no longer wanted for questioning in Sweden over alleged sex crimes. It was issued in 2012 for jumping bail.“I am not persuaded the warrant should be withdrawn,” Arbuthnot told lawyers, journalists and Assange supporters gathered at London’s Westminster Magistrates’ Court.However, she allowed Assange’s lawyer to make a new set of arguments challenging whether it is in the public interest to continue the case against Assange, and said she would rule on them next week. A decision in Assange’s favour would end Britain’s case against him.Assange, 46, has been holed up in Ecuador’s embassy in London since he took refuge there in June 2012 to avoid extradition to Sweden, where prosecutors were investigating allegations of sexual assault and rape made by two women in 2010.Swedish prosecutors dropped the case last year, saying there was no prospect of bringing Assange to Sweden in the foreseeable future. But Assange was still subject to the British warrant for breaching his bail conditions in 2012.The judge said that if Assange wanted the warrant lifted he should surrender to authorities and come to court. She said he would be able to argue his case and “put an argument for reasonable cause” for breaching his bail conditions.After the ruling keeping the warrant in place, the judge agreed to let Assange’s lawyer, Mark Summers, argue in his client’s absence that the warrant should be lifted because it was no longer in the public interest to arrest Assange.Summers said Assange had several serious health problems including depression, and argued that the five and a half years he has spent inside the embassy were more than adequate punishment for his actions.He also cited a U.N. report in support of Assange.Arbuthnot said she would rule on those arguments Feb. 13.Had the judge ruled in Assange’s favour on Tuesday, he would have been free to leave the embassy without being arrested on the British warrant.However, Assange suspects there is a secret U.S. grand jury indictment against him for WikiLeaks’ publication of leaked classified American documents, and that American authorities will seek his extradition. He fears he will immediately be taken into custody if he leaves the embassy, sparking what would likely be a long legal battle against extradition to the U.S.Assange lawyer Jennifer Robinson said after the court session that he is willing to face British justice if he receives a guarantee that he will not be sent to the U.S. to face prosecution.“The British authorities’ failure to provide assurance against that risk is the reason he sought asylum in the embassy in the first place,” she said. “This is and has always been our overriding concern.”U.S. officials haven’t confirmed whether a request for Assange’s extradition has been made.Tuesday’s ruling prolongs a stalemate that has kept Assange as Ecuador’s houseguest for 5 1/2 years. Last month, Ecuador said it had granted the Australian-born hacker citizenship in a bid to break the logjam.Ecuador also asked Britain to grant him diplomatic status. Britain refused, saying “the way to resolve this issue is for Julian Assange to leave the embassy to face justice.”If the British case against Assange is dropped, it might make it easier for Assange to obtain diplomatic status, which could ease his way for possible travel to Ecuador without risking arrest and extradition proceedings.British prosecutors had opposed the removal of the warrant, saying Assange shouldn’t be immune from the law simply because he has managed to evade justice for a long time.Extradition lawyer Rebecca Niblock, of the law firm Kingsley Napley, said before the ruling that Assange’s legal argument was a longshot.“Failing to surrender to bail is like insulting the court’s authority” and unlikely to go down well with the court, she said.___Danica Kirka contributed to this story.
Russia insisted on Tuesday that Iran must be invited to peace negotiations on Syria that world powers hope to hold in Geneva later this month.“All those who affect the situation must be invited to the conference,” Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told reporters.“This includes all of Syria’s neighbours, this includes almost all countries of the Persian Gulf including, of course, not only the Arab countries but also Iran, this includes the permanent members of the UN Security Council, and other countries such as Turkey.” Syrian opposition leader Ahmad Jarba had earlier rejected the rebels’ participation at the so-called Geneva II conference that Moscow and Washington jointly proposed in May should Iran be asked to attend.Iran enjoys close relations with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and is believed to be supplying arms to the Lebanese-based Hezbollah militia fighting alongside the regime’s troops.Lavrov stressed that Iran and the other regional powers should only take part in the “initial” stage of the negotiations.“The final agreement will be decided by the Syrian parties themselves,” said Lavrov.His comments came as Russian and US negotiators prepared to hold talks later Tuesday in Geneva with UN-Arab League envoy Lakhdar Brahimi.Tuesday’s talks aim to set a specific date for the Geneva II conference despite broad disagreements about who should attend the meeting and growing differences within the Syrian opposition’s ranks.
OTTAWA — The federal government has signed off on a deal that will see U.S. retailer Lowe’s Companies Inc. acquire Rona Inc. and become owner of Canada’s largest collection of home-improvement stores.Lowe’s says it has received approval under the Investment Canada Act for the acquisition.Together with approval by the Competition Bureau on Thursday, Lowe’s says the deal has cleared its last major milestones and is expected to close May 20.Why Lowe’s Canada’s president says Rona is a better fit now than in 2012: ‘We are both in a much better place’The deal was approved by Rona shareholders in March.Lowe’s came to Canada in 2007 and had 42 stores in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Ontario when the $3.2-billion deal was announced in February.Rona has 496 corporate and dealer-owned stores across Canada, including 238 in Quebec.
The average value for the Canadian dollar on Wednesday was 78.75 cents US, up 0.35 of a cent from Tuesday.The U.S. dollar was at C$1.2699, down 0.56 of a cent.Pound sterling was at C$1.6337, down 0.70 of a cent, and US$1.2865, up 0.02 of a cent.The Euro was at C$1.4884 down 0.73 of a cent.Quotations provided by the Bank of Canada.
“The United States is committed to aiding demining efforts across Sri Lanka, whether on land or at sea,” said U.S. Ambassador Atul Keshap. “By removing these remnants of war, we are helping ensure Sri Lankans can live and work more safely. This effort also increases the ability for the port of Trincomalee to expand its commercial operations.” The US Navy recently concluded a two-week training session in Trincomalee to equip and support Sri Lanka’s underwater demining efforts. Working with scan sonars and robots donated by the U.S. Navy, the Sri Lankan Navy enhanced its ability to search, locate, and provide information on any unknown items underwater, including unexploded ordnance from the conflict in Trincomalee Harbor. This recent exercise is part of continuing U.S. assistance for demining efforts across the country, totaling over $43 million since 1993. In his October 8 meeting with the Honorable D.M. Swaminathan, Minister of Rehabilitation, Resettlement and Hindu Religious Affairs, Ambassador Keshap announced an additional $1.745 million in support of demining activities in Sri Lanka. U.S. assistance to Sri Lanka’s demining efforts have also included the transfer of safety and field equipment, surveys on mine contamination for detection and land release, and mine-clearing operations. The United States is also leading efforts to boost Sri Lanka’s own demining capacity through training for mine disposal units in the Sri Lankan military, including the Mine Detection Dog and underwater demining programs.“It was an honor to work with such a dedicated group of guys [in the Sri Lankan Navy],” said Leading Petty Officer Juan Hernandez. “Sharing my knowledge of these systems and seeing how receptive the divers have been has truly been a rewarding experience.”
U.S. stocks marched broadly higher in early trading Wednesday as investors welcomed a batch of strong earnings reports from several big retailers.Target and Lowe’s surged, leading a rally in retail stocks, as the market bounced back from its first loss in four days. Technology companies accounted for a big share of the market’s gains. Microsoft gained 1.3% and Apple rose 1.2%.Health care stocks also climbed. Merck rose 1.1%.Financial stocks rose as bond prices fell, pushing yields higher. American Express picked up 1.1%. Real estate and utilities lagged the rest of the market.The rally came ahead of the afternoon release of the minutes from the Federal Reserve’s latest interest rate policy meeting. Investors will be seeking insight into the Fed’s willingness to make further interest rate cuts to help shore up the economy. The Fed lowered interest rates by a quarter-point at its last meeting, the first cut in a decade.The stock market has been volatile this month as investors try to parse conflicting signals on the U.S. economy and determine whether a recession is on the way. A key concern is that the U.S.-Chinese tariff war will weigh on global economic growth.KEEPING SCORE: The S&P 500 was up 0.8% as of 10:10 a.m. Eastern Time. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 236 points, or 0.9%, to 26,199. The Nasdaq added 1%.Major indexes in Europe also headed broadly higher.ON TARGET: After mixed results from retailers on Tuesday, Target soared 19% after easily beating profit forecasts for its second quarter as it pushes faster delivery and invests heavily in new private label brands.MUCH IMPROVED: Lowe’s jumped 11.6% after the home improvement retailer’s latest quarterly results blew past expectations, buoyed by strong demand for spring goods and sales to contractors. The company’s strong quarter came even as it wrestled with lower lumber prices and rough spring weather.Lowe’s solid earnings came a day after rival Home Depot reported strong results of its own. Home Depot added 1%.LOOKING SLICK: Urban Outfitters climbed 6.9% after the company reported improving trends throughout its latest quarter.Alex Veiga, The Associated Press