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Crude-by-rail exports fall 43% to 111,900 bpd in February, says regulator

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Crude-by-rail exports fall 43% to 111,900 bpd in February, says regulator

The Canada Energy Regulator says Canadian crude-by-rail exports fell by 43 per cent in February compared with the previous month.

It says lower oil production and strong prices in Canada compared with U.S. benchmarks, along with the impact of the polar vortex cold weather event on southern U.S. refineries, meant fewer shippers elected to send their barrels by rail.

A total of 111,900 barrels per day were exported by rail in February, down from 195,500 in January.

Crude-by-rail numbers have been volatile in the past few years, with shipments rising to a record 412,000 bpd in February 2020, then falling to an eight-year low of 39,000 bpd last July.

Rail transportation of crude oil is considered to be more expensive than shipping by pipeline so shippers tend to use it only when pipelines are full or if the destination market offers much higher prices than can be achieved in Canada.

The CER says total oil exports from Canada in February were 3.72 million barrels per day, down from 3.88 million bpd in January and 4.1 million bpd in February 2020.

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Explained: How the second wave of coronavirus engulfed India | India News

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Explained: How the second wave of coronavirus engulfed India | India News

NEW DELHI: India on Thursday crossed the grim milestone of 3 lakh coronavirus cases per day becoming only the second country after the US to do so.
On Thursday, India reported 314,835 Covid-19 cases. This was the highest number of single-day cases reported by any country till now. The US, during its third wave of the pandemic, had reported 300,310 new cases on January 2, 2021.
The US and India are the only two countries to have reported more than 100,000 cases per day consistently. Brazil had reported its highest 100,158 cases on March 25.
The abrupt and sudden manner in which the second wave arrived in India can be seen in the below charts.

On February 1, India reported 11,427 cases. In less than 60 days, the number reached over 70,000 and breached the three-lakh mark in the next 20 days.
If the number of confirmed cases is broken down in months, the catastrophic surge in cases in April becomes evident.

The second wave of coronavirus in India was led by a rise in the number of cases in Maharashtra. Four states from southern India — Kerala, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh — completed the list of five worst-hit states in the last three months.
Maharashtra contributed 63% of the country’s total share of cases. Since January, the state has contributed 19%, 37%, 63% and 32% of the total monthly cases reported in the country.

The surge in cases appears to be stabilising in the month of April in Maharashtra. The fall in the number of cases comes close on the heels of imposition of lockdown by the state.

In February, the number of people dying from coronavirus almost halved in comparison to the previous month. However, the death toll started rising as the cases surged in March. In the 20 days of April, there have been over 22,000 Covid-related fatalities.
In March, Maharashtra was contributing as many as 46% of the total Covid-related deaths in the country. In April, the percentage share of deaths dropped to 33%.

The direness of the coronavirus crisis in Maharashtra can be seen in the following chart. While the rest of the states reported less than 15,000 deaths, Maharashtra’s cumulative death toll crossed the 50,000 mark.

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COVID second wave’s impact on economy may not be very large: CEA

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COVID second wave’s impact on economy may not be very large: CEA

Chief Economic Adviser K V Subramanian on Thursday said the impact of the second wave of COVID-19 on the Indian economy may not be “very large”.

He also said predicting the second wave was a real problem for researchers across the globe.

“I do think given the predictions that are being made by many epidemiological researchers that the pandemic (peak) should not extend beyond May, based on that we have done some internal assessments. I think that the impact actually may not be very large (on the economy),” he said.

Speaking at a webinar organised by the Financial Times and The Indian Express, he said “all of us economists actually have to say all these things with enormous dose of humility, because not only in India but in every other country, predicting the pandemic has been extremely difficult.”

As far as second wave is concerned, he said there is a lot more knowledge about how to handle it and it is unlikely that India will go into a national lockdown as there have been a lot of learnings from the past.

On the long-term prospects for the Indian economy, he said, growth should go back to 7 per cent-plus in a couple of years.

This year actually will be an exceptional year because of the low base, he added.

He also said public sector banks are in a much better shape compared to the past couple of years.

“There will be stress that is coming because when the real sector will get impacted because of the first wave and the second wave, but our banks are in a much better shape to handle it and the government remains actually committed behind them as well,” he said.

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Lyricist Sameer Anjaan on Shravan Rathod’s demise: He was not a music director but like a brother to me | Hindi Movie News

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Lyricist Sameer Anjaan on Shravan Rathod’s demise: He was not a music director but like a brother to me | Hindi Movie News

Shravan Rathod of the music composer Nadeem-Shravan has passed away today. He took his last breath at Raheja hospital in Mahim, Mumbai.

Lyricist Sameer Anjaan and composer duo Nadeem-Shravan were a hit team of the 90s and have several hits to their credit. Sameer was like a family to the Rathods and was always by the family’s side.

On Shravan’s demise, Sameer said, “I have lost a brother, he was not a music director but like a brother to me. We are the hit musical team of the 90s Mera naam ab adhura ho gaya. He was a fantastic human being I have known in my life; he has helped a lot of people any friend or acquaintance who needed any support, Shravan was there for him. Kabhi Dost uska uske ghar se khaali haath nahi gaya. He was a giver always ready to bail you out.”

Sameer went to add, “He never raised his voice at anyone was always softspoken a complete opposite of Nadeem who was very aggressive; I just spoke to Nadeem he was crying like a child for him Shravan was also a brother.”

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Australian golf star Adam Scott opts out of Tokyo Olympics

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Australian golf star Adam Scott opts out of Tokyo Olympics

Former men’s world number one golfer Adam Scott has decided to skip the rescheduled Tokyo Olympics this year to spend time with his family, the Australian’s manager told Golf Channel on Thursday.

Scott, who won the Masters in 2013 and gained the number one ranking a year later, also withdrew from the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Games because he was worried about the possible transmission of the mosquito-borne Zika virus.

“With the world being the way it is, Adam is gone 4-5 weeks at a time this year during his playing blocks,” his manager said in a statement.

“With three young children at home, this time in the schedule will be devoted to family. It is pretty much the only time up until October when he has a chance to see them for a stretch of time and not only a few days a week.”

WATCH | Answers to key questions around the Tokyo Olympics:

There’s less than 100 days to go until the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games, which are full steam ahead despite the pandemic. Here are the answers to the biggest questions surrounding the competition. 3:41

Scott, ranked no. 35 in the world, is the second top golfer to say he would skip the Tokyo Games after world number one Dustin Johnson did not put his name forward for a spot on the U.S. team last month.

Johnson had said he wanted to focus on the British Open and the PGA Tour.

The Olympic golf tournament starts on July 29 — 11 days after the final round of the British Open at Royal St. George.

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China underreporting severity of air pollution levels, new study suggests

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China underreporting severity of air pollution levels, new study suggests

Air pollution data in China may have been manipulated by local officials, according to a new study conducted by Harvard and Boston University researchers.

The analysis, published Wednesday, found statistically significant differences between data from monitoring stations run by local Chinese officials in five cities – Beijing, Shenyang, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Chengdu – and readings collected by U.S. embassies.

US, CHINA AGREE TO COOPERATE ON CLIMATE CHANGE

Harvard University’s Jesse Turiel and Boston University’s Robert Kaufmann examined the measurement of PM2.5, a particle matter that’s linked to lung cancer, asthma and heart disease, recorded by Chinese and U.S. stations between January 2015 and June 2017. They discovered temporary divergences between the two data sets that were more likely to occur during periods of high air pollution, suggesting that “government-controlled stations systematically underreport pollution levels when local air quality is poor.”

The report comes amid an announcement Wednesday – Earth Day – that Chinese President Xi Jinping will take part in President Biden’s climate summit this week. Xi will participate in the online event and “deliver an important speech” from Beijing, the government-run Xinhua News Agency said.

China is the world’s largest carbon producer, closely followed by the U.S.

BIDEN SAYS US, JAPAN ‘COMMITTED TO WORKING TOGETHER’ ON CHALLENGES FROM CHINA, NORTH KOREA

Beijing faced a public outcry in 2012 over official government readings that critics said drastically underestimated the severity of the pollution problem. The nation’s capital committed to publishing hourly air quality reports based on PM2.5, which are 2.5 microns in diameter and are considered to be among the most harmful health risks posed by pollution. Previously, China’s Ministry of Environmental Protection only published air quality data that measured particles up to 10 microns in diameter, allowing it to obscure the real picture of the country’s air problems.

But despite the pledged changes – including requiring cities to report hourly pollution concentrations rather than daily averages – the latest report suggests that officials are still misreporting the data “just in different, more difficult-to-detect forms,” Turiel and Kaufmann wrote. Rather than manipulating the data around a certain threshold, officials are more likely to understate pollution during periods when concentrations are high.

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That’s in part because local officials are incentivized to underreport in order to avoid professional repercussions, the authors argued. For instance, the Chinese Community Party has increased the penalties for local officials in failing cities, without also providing more government resources or financial support, leading to difficult attainment targets and a persistent lack of resources.

“Local bureaucrats face immense pressure to report the ‘correct’ numbers to their higher-ups, and some resort to colluding with other local officials or misreporting data,” they wrote. “Given these institutional incentives to cheat, official air pollution data in China often is treated with a high degree of skepticism, by both outside observers and the general public.”

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Snoop Dogg’s latest song lyric implies he smoked pot with Barack Obama

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Snoop Dogg’s latest song lyric implies he smoked pot with Barack Obama

A line in one of Snoop Dogg’s new songs implies that he smoked marijuana with former President Barack Obama.

The hip-hop artist recently released a new album, “From Tha Streets 2 The Suites,” and a line from the track “Gang Signs” has many people wondering if the rapper publicly revealed he got high with Obama. 

The lyric in question goes: “Still sippin’ gin and juice while I’m smoking marijuana / I bet you never blew with Obama,” the New York Post first reported.

The outlet notes that Snoop, 49, could be talking about either Barack or his wife, Michelle, and the song does not go on to divulge more information. So fans are left wondering if it’s an elaborate joke, a simple tall tale, or if the rapper actually did smoke in the presence of the former U.S. president. 

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A rep for the Obamas did not immediately return Fox News’ request for comment.

Snoop Dogg implies he smoked pot with Barack Obama in new song.

Snoop Dogg implies he smoked pot with Barack Obama in new song.
(John Parra/Getty Images for Bud Light)

Page Six previously reported that Dogg admitted during an episode of his online show, “GNN: The Double G News Network,” that he smoked pot in a bathroom at the White House during a visit.

“Have you ever smoked at the White House?” guest Jimmy Kimmel asked.

“Not in the White House — but in the bathroom. Because I said, ‘May I use the bathroom for a second?’ and they said, ‘What are you going to do? No. 1 or No. 2?’

ICE CUBE ACCUSED OF SHARING ANTI-SEMITIC IMAGES ON TWITTER

“I said, ‘No. 2,'” Snoop added.

He noted that he often lights up when he’s relieving himself in restrooms.

“So I said, ‘Look, when I do the No. 2, I usually, you know, have a cigarette or I light something to get the aroma right,'” Snoop said.

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That wasn’t the only time he lit up on the White House grounds. When Donald Trump was in office, the rapper shared a video of himself puffing away while walking in the public areas near the White House.

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However, in stark contrast to claims that he got high with the former president, Snoop was often very critical of Trump during his time in office.

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Rescue teams race against time for Indonesian submarine with 53 aboard

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Rescue teams race against time for Indonesian submarine with 53 aboard

Indonesian navy ships searched Thursday for a submarine that likely sank too deep to retrieve, making survival chances for the 53 people on board slim. Authorities said oxygen in the submarine would run out by early Saturday.

The diesel-powered KRI Nanggala-402 was participating in a training exercise Wednesday when it missed a scheduled reporting call. Officials reported an oil slick and the smell of diesel fuel near the starting position of its last dive, about 96 kilometres north of the resort island of Bali, though there was no conclusive evidence that they were linked to the submarine.

“Hopefully we can rescue them before the oxygen has run out” on Saturday, Indonesia’s navy chief of staff, Adm. Yudo Margono, told reporters.

He said rescuers found an unidentified object with high magnetism at a depth of 50 to 100 metres and that officials hope it’s the submarine.

The military said more than 20 navy ships, two submarines and five aircraft were searching the area where the submarine was last detected. A hydro-oceanographic survey ship equipped with underwater detection capabilities also was employed.

Neighbouring countries are rushing to join the complex operation.

Rescue ships from Singapore and Malaysia are expected to arrive between Saturday and Monday. The Indonesian military said Australia, the United States, Germany, France, Russia, India and Turkey have also offered assistance. South Korea said it has also offered help.

Electrical failure suggested as a possible factor

Indonesia’s navy said an electrical failure may have occurred during the dive, causing the submarine to lose control and become unable to undertake emergency procedures that would have allowed it to resurface. It was rehearsing for a missile-firing exercise on Thursday, which was eventually cancelled.

The navy believes the submarine sank to a depth of 600-700 metres, much deeper than its estimated collapse depth.

Ahn Guk-hyeon, an official from South Korea’s Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering, which refitted the vessel in 2009-2012, said the submarine would collapse if it goes deeper than around 200 metres because of pressure. He said his company upgraded much of the submarine’s internal structures and systems but lacks recent information about the vessel.

A ship carrying members of the Royal Malaysian Navy departs to join the search mission of Indonesia’s missing submarine KRI Nanggala-402, near Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia on Thursday. Several nations have offered Indonesia help in the search. (Royal Malaysian Navy/Reuters)

Frank Owen, secretary of the Submarine Institute of Australia, also said the submarine could be at too great a depth for a rescue team to operate.

“Most rescue systems are really only rated to about 600 metres,” he said. “They can go deeper than that because they will have a safety margin built into the design, but the pumps and other systems that are associated with that may not have the capacity to operate. So they can survive at that depth, but not necessarily operate.”

Owen, a former submariner who developed an Australian submarine rescue system, said the Indonesian vessel was not fitted with a rescue seat around an escape hatch designed for underwater rescues. He said a rescue submarine would make a waterproof connection to a disabled submarine with a so-called skirt fitted over the rescue seat so that the hatch can be opened without the disabled submarine filling with water.

Owen said the submarine could be recovered from 500 metres without any damage but couldn’t say if it would have imploded at 700 metres.

President Widodo gives televised address

Australian Defence Minister Peter Dutton called the incident “a terrible tragedy.” Dutton told Sydney Radio 2GB that the fact that the submarine is “in a very deep part of waters” makes it “very difficult for the recovery or for location.”

Indonesian President Joko Widodo pledged an all-out effort and asked all of the country’s people to pray that the submarine and crew could be found.

“Our main priority is the safety of the 53 crew members,” Widodo said in a televised address. “To the families of the crew members, I can understand your feelings and we are doing our best to save all of the crew members on board.”

The German-built submarine, which has been in service in Indonesia since 1981, was carrying 49 crew members, its commander and three gunners, the Indonesian Defence Ministry said. It had been maintained and overhauled in Germany, Indonesia and South Korea.

Indonesia, the world’s largest archipelago nation with more than 17,000 islands, has faced growing challenges to its maritime claims in recent years, including numerous incidents involving Chinese vessels near the Natuna islands.

Last year, President Widodo reaffirmed the country’s sovereignty during a visit to the islands at the edge of the South China Sea, one of the busiest sea lanes where China is embroiled in territorial disputes with its smaller neighbours.

In November 2017, an Argentine submarine went missing with 44 crew members in the South Atlantic, almost a year before its wreckage was found at a depth of 800 metres. In 2019, a fire broke out on one of the Russian navy’s deep-sea research submersibles, killing 14 sailors.

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Tesla’s bad week in China was months in the making

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Tesla’s bad week in China was months in the making

Tesla Inc has had a terrible week in China, but sentiment against the U.S. electric car company in its second-biggest market had been building as it struggled to keep pace with rapid growth.

The pile-on by media and scolding by regulators show how precarious China can be for big foreign brands, and how a company’s handling of an incident can turn into a crisis if the country’s tightly-controlled news outlets turn against it.

Tesla’s defiance of industry convention, embodied by founder Elon Musk and a corporate culture that rarely admits mistakes, has won fans in the United States, but has backfired in China. Musk had such cachet that China’s government allowed Tesla to be the first foreign carmaker not forced to team up with a partner to make cars locally. Now, Tesla is learning lessons its longer-established rivals got years ago.

Tesla’s troubles in China also underscore a problem Musk and senior Tesla executives have acknowledged, though mainly in relation to the company’s North American business. Tesla’s rapid sales growth has outrun its capacity to repair vehicles when hardware goes bad.

“Service expansion is really important to the future strategy of the company,” Tesla Chief Financial Officer Zach Kirkhorn told investors in January.

When a Tesla customer, angry over the handling of her complaint about malfunctioning brakes, climbed on top of a Tesla in protest on Monday at the Shanghai auto show, videos of the incident went viral.

The incident escalated after Grace Tao, Tesla’s vice president for external relations – a former anchor at state broadcaster CCTV – questioned whether the angry customer, surnamed Zhang, was acting on her own.

In an interview with a local news outlet, Tao said, “maybe she … I don’t know, I think she is quite professional, there should be (someone) behind her.”

“We have no means to compromise, it’s just a process in the development of a new product,” she added.

Tesla scrambled into damage-control mode, asking the online news outlet to withdraw the report, the outlet said on Tuesday on WeChat.

‘INSINCERE’ APOLOGY

Tesla issued a series of increasingly contrite late-night statements, from Monday’s “no compromise” to Tuesday’s “apology and self-inspection.” By Wednesday night, Tesla said it was “working with regulators for investigation.”

The official Xinhua news agency said Tesla’s apology was “insincere” and called for removal of a “problematic senior executive,” while the Global Times cited Tao’s comments in calling Tesla’s “blunder” a lesson for foreign firms in China.

Tao, who joined Tesla in 2014, could not be reached for comment. Tesla did not reply to a request for further comment.

“There have been consistent complaints on social media with Tesla in China regarding its quality and service issues, which seem to have been largely ignored by the local team until Tuesday,” said Tu Le, analyst at research firm Sino Auto Insights.

“It’s a delicate dance, though, since Tesla helps highlight the entire EV sector helping ALL companies grow their sales and raise their profiles,” he said.

Tesla cars, made at its own Shanghai factory, are highly popular in China, which is by far the world’s biggest EV market and accounts for 30% of Tesla’s sales.

Investors have not shown worry. Tesla shares rose this week.

PRECARIOUS POSITION

Pressure on Tesla had been building.

Last month, it came under scrutiny when the military banned Teslas from entering its complexes, citing security concerns over vehicle cameras, sources told Reuters. Days later, Musk appeared by video at a high-level forum, saying that if Tesla used cars to spy in China or anywhere, it would be shut down.

Tesla appeared to have scrapped much of its public relations team in the United States last year, although it has been hiring public relations staff in China.

For communications, it relies heavily on Musk’s Twitter feed, which has over 50 million followers. As of Thursday, he had been silent on the China situation, which remained a hot topic, as Tesla owners took to Weibo to complain about quality issues such as sudden acceleration or steering failure.

On Thursday, Global Times Editor-in-Chief Hu Xijin said the intent is not to force Tesla from China.

“Our ultimate goal is to make foreign companies adapt to the Chinese market, seriously abide by Chinese laws and regulations, respect Chinese culture and consumers, and become a positive element in the Chinese economy. Whether it is a lesson or help, it all points to the same goal.”

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