Aurora Cannabis to spin off US holdings to publicly traded Australis Capital

first_imgEDMONTON – Aurora Cannabis Inc. is planning to spin off its Australis Capital subsidiary as a separate entity that would focus primarily on investing in the U.S. cannabis and real estate sectors.The spin-off will be achieved by distributing shares and warrants of the new company — to be listed on the Canadian Security Exchange.“The fragmented U.S. cannabis market has many innovative and successful operators that struggle to access growth capital,” said Aurora CEO Terry Booth in a statement. “This creates exciting and attractively priced opportunities for the well-connected and knowledgeable team at Australis to capitalize on… While regulatory requirements vary greatly from state to state, Australis are well prepared to navigate this landscape.”Recreational and medicinal pot is legal in several U.S. states but remains an illegal Schedule 1 drug under federal law, resulting in a hazy legal environment that has complicated things for Canadian companies looking to expand their footprint south of the border.Last fall, Canada’s biggest exchange operator TMX Group said that federal law takes precedence over state laws, and Canadian marijuana companies with exposure to the U.S. market could face delisting. Prior to this clarification, many pot companies had largely focused on markets outside of the U.S. or listed on the Canadian Securities Exchange, which is less risk-averse.Since then, some Canadian pot companies have shifted to exchanges other than the Toronto Stock Exchange or reduced their U.S. exposure.Licensed producer Aphria Inc. had aggressively pursued a U.S. expansion strategy, but earlier this year it was looking to reduce its direct investments in the U.S. The Leamington, Ont.-based company’s recent moves include a deal announced in February to sell part of its stake in U.S.-focused marijuana company Liberty Health Sciences, which is listed on the CSE.Meanwhile, in January, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions rescinded an Obama-era memo that suggested that the federal government would not intervene in states where marijuana is legal, though U.S. President Donald Trump later gave Colorado senator assurances that the recission would not impact its legal pot industry. Still, other American politicians are warming up to cannabis, with New York governor Andrew Cuomo creating a task force to consider whether or not to propose legalizing marijuana for recreational use.Australis is applying to list its shares and warrants on the CSE, Aurora said Wednesday.“Recent changes in U.S. federal positioning with respect to cannabis have positively impacted the perception of risk to invest in U.S. cannabis assets,” the Edmonton-based company said in a statement. “This has further incentivized capital market participants to seek opportunities to fund U.S. based operations.”Aurora shareholders who reside in Canada will receive the shares at no cost to them while non-resident shareholders of Aurora will receive cash, net of withholding taxes, instead of equity in Australis.Australis intends to issue 75 million shares at 20 cents each through a private placement for gross proceeds of $15 million.Australis also receives $500,000 from Aurora, as advance payment for warrants to buy Australis stock for up to 10 years.Companies in this story: (TSX:ACB, TSX:APH)last_img read more



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Peter Mukerjea ‘silent killer’ of Sheena Bora: CBI tells court

first_imgMumbai: Former media executive Peter Mukerjea is the “silent killer” of Sheena Bora, the daughter of his wife Indrani Mukerjea from a previous relationship, the CBI told a special court on Friday while opposing his bail plea in the 2012 murder case.Peter Mukerjea, arrested in the sensational Sheena Bora murder case in 2015, had moved the bail application in November last year before special CBI Judge J C Jagdale. This is the third time he has approached the court for bail. Also Read – How a psychopath killer hid behind the mask of a devout laity!Opposing his bail plea, special public prosecutor Bharat Badami argued that the CBI has sufficient evidence to prove Peter Mukerjea’s role in the murder conspiracy. Badami told the court Peter Mukerjea didn’t take any step to find Sheena Bora, who had gone missing, despite the fact that she was his son Rahul Mukerjea’s fiancee. “Peter was knowing everything…he was not a statue of the family. He took no step when Rahul was desperately asking about Sheena….. Peter is silent killer of Sheena,” the CBI lawyer said. Rahul Mukerjea is yet to depose before the court and if Peter Mukerjea is released on bail, he may try to win over the witness (Rahul), the lawyer added. Also Read – Encounter under way in Pulwama, militant killedBadami argued there was sufficient material against Peter Mukerjea that led to framing of charges against him. Therefore, the accused cannot seek bail by merely stating the charges against him were “defective”, he said. One of the reasons forwarded by Peter Mukerjea for not being involved in the Sheena’s murder was that he was in London when the murder took place. However, the CBI contested this argument. Hafiz Saeed (LeT chief) was in Pakistan when the 26/11 Mumbai attacks took place, but that doesn’t mean he wasn’t involved in the attacks. So, even if Peter Mukerjea was in London (at the time of the murder) it doesn’t mean he was not part of the criminal conspiracy, the CBI counsel argued. The April 2012 murder of Sheena Bora (24), Indrani Mukerjea’s daughter from an earlier relationship, came to light in August 2015 when her driver Shyamvar Rai spilled the beans after being arrested in another case. Indrani Mukerjea, a former media executive, her former husband Sanjeev Khanna, Rai and Peter Mukerjea were arrested in the case. Rai later became an approver and was pardoned.last_img read more



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Militiamen fire on protesters in Libyan capital: AFP

first_imgTRIPOLI – Libyan militiamen opened fire on Friday on a crowd wanting them to move out of their headquarters in southern Tripoli, wounding at least two people, an AFP journalist witnessed.Hundreds of people in the Gharghour district converged on the Misrata militia’s headquarters to press their demands when gunmen inside fired into the air to scare them off.But when the crowd continued to approach the building, the gunmen started firing at them. Libya has been troubled by instability and increasing levels of violence, usually involving former rebels who helped overthrow dictator Moamer Kadhafi two years ago but have never disbanded their militias.The Misrata militia sparked headlines earlier this week when one of its leaders, Nuri Friwan, was fatally wounded in fighting at a checkpoint manned by other ex-rebels.Two people were killed in subsequent fighting, and one Western diplomat said the situation was becoming “increasingly critical”.last_img read more



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Can The US Women Keep Up Their European Conquest

After the U.S. women’s national team ousted Spain, four days before perhaps the most anticipated match in the history of the Women’s World Cup, Megan Rapinoe told reporters that she hoped the upcoming quarterfinal against host France would be a “total s—show circus” of a spectacle. It would become one because Rapinoe made it one.Even before a 2-1 U.S. win Friday against France, the outspoken, expressive sparkplug of a midfielder had taken over this World Cup with her dominant play and her candid comments. She ensured that the U.S. outlasted its biggest threat in a game that lived up to the billing, complete with early fireworks, officiating controversy and late drama. Entering this tournament, the storyline was that the rest of the world — especially European powers — had made up ground against the U.S. since the Americans won in 2015. So far, that has played out, entering the U.S. semifinal Tuesday against England.The past two World Cup finals featured the U.S. and Japan, both of which knocked out European teams in the semifinals in 2011 and 2015. But this year, Italy, Sweden and Norway pulled upsets of China, Canada and Australia, respectively. The Netherlands beat Japan, France took down Brazil, and suddenly Europe produced a record seven of the eight quarterfinalists in this tournament. Not since 1995 had the continent managed even five of the final eight.England won’t make it easy on the U.S. The Three Lionesses are undefeated in this World Cup, with group-stage victories against Scotland, Japan and Argentina and 3-0 shutouts of Cameroon in the round of 16 and Norway in the quarterfinals. They, like many of the European squads, are fielding their strongest team of any Women’s World Cup at this tournament, according to ESPN’s Soccer Power Index. They failed to qualify for three of the first four World Cups but have reached at least the quarterfinals four straight times, the semifinals twice.A goals-per-game average of 2.2 puts England at second in this World Cup behind the U.S., and Phil Neville’s squad has conceded the fewest goals in the tournament (one). England ranks second in expected goals per 90 minutes with 2.46, in large part because it completes passes at a tournament-best clip of 80.9 percent.Still, FiveThirtyEight’s model gives the Americans a 67 percent chance of beating England and a 48 percent chance of repeating as champions. Their advantage comes from skilled talents like Rapinoe, whose finishing ability gave the U.S. an edge in an otherwise evenly matched game Friday.Europe’s improvements were never clearer than in Friday’s showdown. In fact, FiveThirtyEight contributor Michael Caley’s expected goal map after the game indicated that France had an advantage, with 1.3 expected goals to 1.0 for the Americans. The French peppered the U.S. with 20 shot attempts, but in the end, just five ended up on target. The Americans, meanwhile, placed eight of their 10 attempts on goal (and could have pulled ahead 3-0 if not for a close offside call against Crystal Dunn). They even lost the possession battle1France had 60 percent possession to 40 percent for the U.S. for the first time since a friendly against Spain in January, a span of 14 matches. But they are the defending champions for a reason, and they are moving on.The Americans have long embraced an attack-minded style of play built by the firepower on their front line. Youth development programs and college squads have stocked the national team with goal scorers, and the U.S. leads the World Cup in not just goals but chances (15.2) and expected goals (3.31) per 90 minutes. Rapinoe and Morgan are two of the four co-leaders for the Golden Boot award. After the U.S. lost in penalty kicks against Sweden in the 2016 Olympic quarterfinals, coach Jill Ellis doubled down on aggressiveness, switching to a 4-3-3 to move the team’s best finishers into scoring position. That leaves Rapinoe, Morgan and Tobin Heath up top, with 2015 star Carli Lloyd still available off the bench.The interest in offensive pressure trickles down the roster. On Ellis’s top lineup, both outside backs — Dunn and Kelley O’Hara — are former forwards and winners of college soccer’s player of the year award. Dunn plays mostly midfield outside of the national team, and O’Hara was as a forward at Stanford. Ellis called Dunn “the most versatile player I’ve ever coached,” which indicates the coach’s strategy: Find the best, most versatile players, and then put them in the right positions.Dunn, for instance, said she did not have much preparation at a new position before the World Cup. “I really got a phone call just saying, ‘Hey, you know, tomorrow’s game, I’d want you to step in and be an outside back. I’m trusting that you can do that and I know that you can,’” she told Forbes in May. “And you know, that’s all really that I needed.”Since then, she has become one of the team’s breakout players, proving critical Friday as she quelled the French attack and possessed the ball in the final minutes. “I try not to overthink,” Dunn told reporters after the group-stage finale against Sweden. “I just think of myself as a footballer. I’m just playing and trying to impact the game from a different angle of the field.” Ellis receives plenty of questions about deploying players out of position, but the result, so far, has been a terrifying arsenal of two center backs and eight players who are threats to score or create at any moment.Europe will keep coming for the U.S., as Spain showed in the round of 16. The Spaniards are young, improving and skilled with the ball. They played in just their second World Cup this year, and yet they advanced to the knockout stage and tested the U.S. before losing, 2-1. The Americans’ next test was even trickier, though the sharper team prevailed. “That is the most intense match I have ever been a part of,” Ellis told reporters afterward, and it certainly won’t be the last. read more



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Cal HC stays WB panchayat polls till further orders

first_imgKolkata: The Calcutta High Court today stayed till further orders the ongoing panchayat election process in West Bengal. While staying the election process, Justice Subrata Talukdar also sought from the State Election Commission by Monday a comprehensive status report on the poll process, detailing the number of nominations filed and the percentage of nominations rejected, amongst other information.The court said it would hear on April 16 the pleas challenging the SEC’s decision to withdraw its April 9 notification, which had extended the date for filing nominations by a day. Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flightsJustice Talukdar had on April 10 stayed the withdrawal of SEC’s April 9 notification, directing the Commission to treat its order of cancellation as kept in abeyance.Justice Talukdar also imposed a cost of Rs five lakh on the BJP for misrepresentation.He held that the BJP had moved both the high court and the Supreme Court on similar pleas and likened its conduct to “forum hopping”.The apex court had yesterday directed the BJP to approach the Calcutta High Court with its grievances over the deadline for filing of nominations for the panchayat polls in West Bengal.Apart from the BJP, the CPIM and the Congress too has moved the high court challenging the SEC’s decision.last_img read more



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Blood test may predict preterm birth

first_imgA simple blood test may soon be able to predict whether a pregnant woman is at risk of delivering her baby preterm, say scientists, an advance that may help better manage related birth complications. Pregnancy can be a time of uncertainty for expecting mothers and their clinical care teams. Nearly 10 per cent of births are preterm, taking place before 37 weeks gestation. Preterm birth can result from several conditions, including preterm labor, preterm rupture of the placental membrane, or preeclampsia. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfMothers who have previously had preterm deliveries are considered at increased risk, but predicting spontaneous preterm birth is challenging, particularly in the cases of first-time mothers, which account for about one-third of the nearly four million births nationally each year. Researchers from Brigham and Women’s Hospital in the US have been developing a blood test to help predict who may be at increased risk and who may be at lower-than-average risk for spontaneous preterm delivery. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveIn a study, published in the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology, showed that five circulating microparticle proteins found in first-trimester blood samples may provide important clues about risk of spontaneous preterm birth. “A lot of the issues in pregnancy that result in spontaneous preterm birth begin at the end of the first trimester when the placenta becomes vascularised,” said Thomas McElrath, from Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Researchers have found that proteins contained in circulating microparticles in the blood may hold important clues about spontaneous preterm birth.last_img read more



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