Nova Scotians will see early improvements to highways this year because of three road-paving contracts awarded by the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal. The projects, with a total value of $5,030,246, are spread over three counties with 24.9 kilometres of paving. All three projects are scheduled to be completed this summer. The projects are: — Halifax Regional Municipality: A $2,393,460 contract awarded to Dexter Construction Co. Ltd. for repaving 8.8 kilometres on Route 333 from east of the intersection of Macdonalds Drive; — Pictou County: A $1,887,486 contract awarded to S.W. Weeks Contracting Ltd. for repaving 9.8 kilometres on Highway 104 from the end of the twinned section to exit 27A near Sutherlands River. Also included are repairs to the Thorburn and Pine Tree Road overpasses; — Yarmouth County: A $749,300 contract awarded to Aberdeen Paving Ltd. for repaving 6.3 kilometres on Route 335 east from the intersection of Green Grove Road. “Already this year, we’ve awarded more than $33 million in paving contracts throughout Nova Scotia with more to come when the budget is finalized,” said Murray Scott, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal. “These contracts represent an important investment in our road network across the province.” The projects are part of government’s commitment to better roads and infrastructure as outlined in the speech from the throne. The Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal’s highways division manages more than 23,000 kilometres of roads in Nova Scotia. It maintains 4,100 bridges and operates seven provincial ferries. Staff provide services from district offices in Bridgewater, Bedford, Truro and Sydney.
Rabat – Several YouTube channels and news sites released a short video on Monday that shows the deteriorating health of Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika.The video – which the sources say was recently leaked from excess footage of the Algerian leader’s press conference with United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon in March – depicts Bouteflika struggling to produce words and pressing his hands against his stomach as Ki-moon tries speaking to him in French.Both men are sitting on chairs while being photographed and filmed by the press present. Bouteflika has suffered two strokes in recent years and, in 2011, Wikileaks revealed a communication from then U.S. Ambassador to Algiers, Robert Ford, who said a physician had told him that the president had fought stomach cancer into remission.Government sources had earlier said the top leader visited France in 2005 and 2006 to seek medical treatment for a severe stomach ulcer.After the leaks, which included over 250,000 documents from the U.S. Department of State, an Algerian diplomatic source quoted by Reuters denied Boutefika’s cancer affliction.Some of the president’s closest political allies and associates have said they have not met with him in over a year, according to an article by The New York Times last December.The president, who previously served as Algeria’s foreign minister, is currently serving his fourth term in the top public office, after new constitutional amendments – backed by Bouteflika, of the ruling National Liberation Front – allowed him to do so.The Times reported mounting suspicions that a clique, led by the president’s brother, Said Bouteflika, had carried out a “soft coup” by running the country under the president’s name.