US stocks trade lower amid trade worries various data

first_imgNew York: US stocks traded lower on Friday, as investors digested various data that came below market expectations and remained worried over US-China trade tensions. At midday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 230.77 points, or 0.87 per cent, to 26,352.65. The S&P 500 slid 28.61 points, or 0.97 per cent, to 2,924.95. The Nasdaq Composite Index decreased 125.93 points, or 1.55 per cent, to 7,985.19, the Xinhua news agency reported. Nine of the 11 primary S&P 500 sectors traded lower around midday, with the information technology sector down nearly 2.3 per cent, leading the losers. Also Read – Thermal coal import may surpass 200 MT this fiscal The majority of the 30 blue-chip stocks in the Dow also suffered losses, with shares of Cisco Systems down nearly 4.1 per cent, among the worst performers. More specifically, shares of Caterpillar and 3M, both sensitive to global trade, fell 2.12 per cent and 1.74 per cent respectively. Shares of Intel lost 1.36 per cent. Yet shares of Pinterest rose nearly 20.5 per cent, as the mobile application firm reported higher-than-expected revenues for the second quarter, despite a quarterly loss of profit. Also Read – Food grain output seen at 140.57 mt in current fiscal on monsoon boost On the economic front, US consumer sentiment index registered 98.4 in July, higher than the 98.2 in June, the University of Michigan said on Friday. However, the reading came below market estimate of 98.5, according to economists polled by financial data provider Refinitiv. Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 1,64,000 in July, and the unemployment rate was unchanged at 3.7 per cent, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics reported on Friday. The job growth came shy of the forecast of 1,65,000 by economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal. July’s reading was in line with the average employment growth in the first six months of the year. Yet it was lower than the average monthly pace of 2,23,000 in 2018.last_img read more

Intermittent rainfall 4 dead 13 hurt as 2 houses collapse in Greater

first_imgGreater Noida: Four persons, including two minor girls, have died while 13 persons have been injured in two separate incidents of houses collapsing in Greater Noida due to intermittent rainfall.In first incident reported on Monday night around 10 pm from Rabupura area of Greater Noida, a portion of a house in Dubli village collapsed killing two girls on the spot and injuring 10 members of a family including five children. The villagers turned rescuers as they pulled out the injured persons from the debris after the ambulance helpline number failed. Also Read – After eight years, businessman arrested for kidnap & murderAccording to police, the deceased have been identified as Prachi (7) and Sonia (9). Vineet Kumar, Station House Officer of Rabupura police station said that the double storey house collapsed due to continuous rainfall on Monday night. “The ceiling of the house collapsed due to rainfall in which two minor girls were killed while 12 persons were injured. The victims were trapped under the iron beams from the ceiling. They were rushed to a nearby hospital by other villagers. The injured persons have suffered multiple fractures,” said Kumar. Also Read – Two brothers held for snatchingsIn another incident, two more persons including a seven-year-old child died after a portion of a vacant house collapsed in Sirsa village in Greater Noida. The victims were standing near the wall to protect themselves from rain. Among the victims were Vishwakarma (7) and Vinod (22) who died in the incident while Harvati (50) was critically injured and has been admitted to the ICU. Intermittent rainfall throug-hout Monday night and Tuesday morning paralysed life in various parts of the city. Incidents of water logging were reported from various high-rises with their basements getting flooded. A service road near Ekmurti roundabout in Greater Noida West caved in while the boundary wall of Mayfair market in tech zone-4 also collapsed. However no casualty was reported in these two incident. Apart from this, a cow died and 12 animals were injured after the ceiling of a verandah collapsed in Noida’s Chijjarsi area.last_img read more

Celebrate patriotism at The Imperial

first_imgCelebrate 73rd Independence Day with patriotic fervour at 1911 Restaurant over a Freedom special lunch buffet, offering tricolor themed treats. The menu includes an array of signature dishes featuring the likes of Hariyali Bunno – chicken marinated with mint and coriander, Basanti Jheenga – jumbo prawn marinated with hung curd and cheese, Ajadi ke Gole – cottage cheese dumpling served with saffron gravy, Tiranga Pulao – trio colors of rice and much more, complemented with a dessert like Kesaria Phirni – saffron rice pudding flavoured with cardamom. Also Read – An income drop can harm brainWhen: August 15 Where: 1911 Restaurant Timings: 12:30 pm – 2:45 pm Buffet Price: INR 6000 + taxes for two peopleSavour hand-crafted thalis like Maharani Thali featuring vegetarian specials and Maharaja Thali offering non- vegetarian favourites. Enjoy these curated Thalis inclusive of a four- course menu with family and friends at our Pan Indian restaurant Daniell’s Tavern, to commemorate the occasion. Where: Daniell’s Tavern Timings: 6:30pm – 11:45pm (Dinner) Also Read – Shallu Jindal honoured with Mahatma AwardPrice : INR 3500 + taxes per Maharani Thali and INR 4500 + taxes per Maharaja Thali The experience gets more indulgent when you take on a culinary journey inspired by the flavours of India with regional Thalis specially put together by the chefs of 1911 Restaurant along with a mocktail, for an irresistible dinner. Feast on the traditions of our country with Rajasthani Thali on August 15, Punjabi Thali on August 16, Kerala Thali on August 17, Kashmiri Thali on August 18, Delhi-6 Thali on August 19, South Indian Thali on August 20 and Lucknowi Thali on August 21, 2019. Celebrate the spirit of freedom and satiate your dining experience at in the midst of unique Indian history and heritage, only at The Imperial. Where: 1911 Restaurant Timings: 7:00 pm – 11:45 pm Price : INR 3000 + taxes per Thali with mocktaillast_img read more

Amid slowdown Tata Steel to cut capex to Rs 8k cr in

first_imgKolkata: Facing headwinds amid a slowdown in the economy, Tata Steel Ltd on Saturday said it is likely to revise the planned capital expenditure for the 2019-20 fiscal to Rs 8,000 crore from Rs 12,000 crore. The steel sector is expected to see a pick up in the second half of the year, a top company official said. “We have given a guidance that the capex will be 20-25 per cent lower than the original plan between Europe and India (operations)… our original estimate was Rs 12,000 crore for the Tata Steel Group… it will now be around Rs 8,000 crore,” Tata Steel CEO and MD T V Narendran said. Of the Rs 12,000 crore, the steel major had initially planned to spend around Rs 8,000 crore on India operations. “Both sides (India and Europe) will take a cut,” Narendran told reporters here after the launch of the company’s steel retail store –’steeljunction’.last_img read more

Kolkata 40yearold man jumps in front of Metro dies

first_imgKolkata: A man allegedly committed suicide by jumping in front of a Dum Dum-bound Metro at Rabindra Sarobar station in Kolkata on Saturday. The deceased has been identified as Prakash Shaw (40). He was declared brought dead at MR Bangur hospital.The incident took place at 12.09 pm, following which Metro services were suspended till 12.57 pm. A case has been lodged at Charu Market police station. “A man committed suicide in the UP line at Rabindra Sarobar station at 12.09 pm today. Truncated services were operated from Maidan to Noapara both UP and DN and also from Mahanayak Uttam Kumar to Kavi Subhash both UP and DN,” said Metro CPRO Indrani Banerjee. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari Puja Recently, Kolkata Metro had been in the news for all the wrong reasons. Just about two to three days ago, a girl had slammed Kolkata Metro claiming that the train had started moving despite her shoulder being stuck outside the door. However, the incident has been denied by the Metro authorities. On July 13, Sajal Kanjilal, a resident of Kasba area of Kolkata was killed while trying to board a Kavi Subhash-bound Metro from the Park Street station. His hand had got stuck between the doors and the Metro started moving. Kolkata Metro, which is operated by Ministry of Railways, faced massive criticism from the ruling TMC government, which claimed such incidents were a fallout of poor maintenance. (With inputs from Indian Express)last_img read more

PM Modis 5 trillion GDP goal hits a hurdle Debt at road

first_imgNew Delhi: India’s path to economic recovery faces another obstacle, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi asking the state road builder to stop constructing highways after its debt ballooned almost seven-fold over the past five years. “National Highways Authority of India totally logjammed with unplanned and excessive expansion of roads,” the prime minister’s office wrote to NHAI in a letter dated August 17. “NHAI mandated to pay several times the land cost; its construction costs also shooting up. Road infrastructure has become financially unviable.” Also Read – Thermal coal import may surpass 200 MT this fiscalModi’s office proposed that NHAI be transformed into a road-asset management company, according to the letter obtained by Bloomberg, and the prime minister’s office asked NHAI to reply within a week. The decision is a reversal from Modi’s first term, when his administration was praised for its breakneck speed of highway construction that helped make India one of the fastest-growing economies in the world. However this came with the burden of escalating costs, leaving NHAI increasingly dependent on the government for financial support at a time when Modi is looking to contain his budget deficit. Also Read – Food grain output seen at 140.57 mt in current fiscal on monsoon boostRestricting road-building risks imperiling Modi’s target to make India a $5 trillion economy as roads are necessary for socio-economic development, said Vikash Kumar Sharda, a partner at Infranomics Consulting LLP, who previously consulted for PWC India. “Road is critical infrastructure, and putting breaks on it will not only result in a slowdown of highway construction but also of other sectors that are dependent on it.” Highway Jam There’s a strong co-relation between economic growth and investments in infrastructure, with roads accounting for about 3.1 per cent of gross value added, Modi’s economic advisers said in a report this year. Data due Friday will probably show India’s gross domestic product expanded 5.7 per cent in the quarter through June, the slowest pace in five years. Modi’s office now wants NHAI to revert to a model used by his predecessor, where NHAI would auction projects to developers. They’d construct the roads, collect toll from users and then would transfer ownership back to NHAI after an agreed period. Weak private sector participation pushed Modi to scrap this practice and he permitted NHAI to bear as much as 100 per cent of the costs in certain road projects that led to ballooning debt. NHAI’s outstanding debt of 1.8 trillion rupees would entail annual interest servicing of about 140 billion rupees, higher than the 100 billion rupees NHAI collects as toll, according to analysts at SBICap Securities Ltd. This is in addition to the annual interest costs, Rohit Natarajan, an analyst with Antique Stock Broking Ltd., wrote in a note on Monday. Land acquisition costs have also risen to more than 25 million rupees per hectare from 9 million rupees after fair-price laws were introduced in 2013, and this alone accounts for more than 30 per cent of NHAI’s expenses, according to ICRA Ratings Ltd. Ballooning Debt The prime minister’s office didn’t reply to an email seeking comment and NHAI declined to comment. The letter contains only suggestions and top-rated NHAI is fully capable of raising enough debt to keep building roads, Nitin Gadkari, Modi’s minister for roads, was cited by the Mint newspaper as saying on Tuesday. Ratings company ICRA on Wednesday said the build up of debt means NHAI must either go slow on new projects — a choice Modi can’t afford as he needs to spur economic growth — or shift to a build-operate-transfer model involving equity-purchases by private players. Many developers can’t support huge equity investments that are part of BOT projects, the rating company said. Among the beneficiaries of this shift could be IRB Infrastructure Developers Ltd., which has traditionally focused on BOT projects where the operator collects a toll from road users. “The decision to switch back to BOT-toll is much needed given the fiscal constraints,” IRB Infrastructure Chairman Virendra Mhaiskar said. “In the present dispensation, given the land acquisition cost, restricting to BOT only for a year or two may be a wise idea.”last_img read more

PM launches programme to vaccinate 500 million livestock

first_imgMathura (UP): Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday launched the National Animal Disease Control Programme (NADCP) for eradicating Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) and Brucellosis in livestock. With 100 per cent funding from the central government till 2024, the Rs 12,652 crore programme aims at vaccinating over 500 million livestock including cattle, buffalo, sheep, goats and pigs against the FMD. The programme also aims at vaccinating 36 million female bovine calves annually in its fight against Brucellosis disease. The programme, launched by the prime minister here, has two components to control the diseases by 2025 and eradication by 2030. Modi also launched the National Artificial Insemination Programme before interacting with farmers. During his visit, he joined women in segregating plastic from waste at the ‘Swachhta Hi Seva’ programme.last_img read more

Trump says will meet PM Modi Imran Khan soon

first_imgWashington DC: US President Donald Trump has said he will soon meet the prime ministers of India and Pakistan, even as he insisted that a lot of progress has been made in reducing tension between the two neighbours. While Trump along with Prime Minister Narendra Modi will address more than 50,000 Indian-Americans at the “Howdy Modi!” mega event in Houston on September 22, the American president did not say when or where will he be meeting Pakistan premier Imran Khan. Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince ‘snubbed’ Pak PM, recalled jet from US”I’ll see Prime Minister Modi and I will — we’ll — be meeting with (prime ministers of) India and Pakistan,” Trump told reporters in response to a question at the White House on Monday. According to Trump’s schedule, he could meet the Pakistani prime minister on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly Session in New York later this month. After addressing Indian-Americans at the “Howdy Modi!” event , Trump will travel to Ohio and then is expected to fly to New York to attend the annual UN General Assembly session. Also Read – Record number of 35 candidates in fray for SL Presidential pollsWithout mentioning Kashmir, Trump said a “lot of progress has been made in reducing tension” between India and Pakistan. Tension between India and Pakistan escalated after New Delhi revoked Jammu and Kashmir’s special status on August 5. Reacting to India’s move on Kashmir, Pakistan downgraded diplomatic ties with New Delhi and expelled the Indian High Commissioner. Asserting that abrogation of Article 370 was its internal matter, India has strongly criticised Pakistan for making “irresponsible statements” and provocative anti-India rhetoric over issues internal to it.last_img read more

More than 100 people defrauded of 6 million in securities scam RCMP

first_imgLONDON, Ont. – The Royal Canadian Mounted Police say a Toronto man is charged with defrauding more than 100 people across the country of more than $6 million.The Mounties say the investigation began in April 2017 when a London, Ont., resident alerted police to an elaborate $1-million fraud scheme based on fraudulent securities and options trades.Police allege the suspect used aliases and forged sales receipts to lure the victim to invest money into non-existent trades.Investigators say they have identified more than 100 alleged victims, who each lost thousands of dollars to fake futures trades.They say some of the victims’ names were then handed over to another group of individuals, posing as asset-recovery specialists, who would entice them to send even more money in a futile attempt to recover their losses.A 72-year-old Toronto man is charged with fraud over $5,000 and possession of the proceeds of crime, and is to appear in court in London on June 18.The RCMP say the investigation is continuing.last_img read more

Seven stories in the news today May 1

first_imgSeven stories in the news for Monday, May 1———TRUDEAU LIBERALS BACK DOWN ON COMMONS REFORMThe Trudeau government says it’s dropping some of its most controversial proposals for reforming the way the House of Commons operates. Those include having the prime minister answer all queries in one question period each week, as Justin Trudeau has already begun doing. The opposition parties had denounced some of the proposed changes as a bid by the Liberals to control the parliamentary agenda and hamstring their efforts to hold the government to account.———B.C. ELECTION RACE ENTERS HOME STRETCHThe final push for votes is on in the campaign for British Columbia’s May 9 election. The leaders of the main political parties hit the hustings yesterday, trying to get out their message and shore up votes. Liberal Leader Christy Clark vowed to protect jobs in resource industries like forestry and mining, while New Democrat Leader John Horgan was pledging to make life more affordable for British Columbians.———WRIT DROPPED IN NOVA SCOTIAIt’s the first full day of the Nova Scotia election campaign. Premier Stephen McNeil called an election on Sunday, defending his government’s tough choices as the opposition parties attempted to frame the May 30 vote as a referendum on the Liberals’ penny-pinching. At dissolution the Liberals held 34 seats in the 51-seat legislature, the Progressive Conservatives had 10 and the NDP 5. There was one Independent and one seat was vacant.———2 DEAD AFTER BOAT SINKS OFF VANCOUVER ISLANDTwo people were killed and three others survived when a fishing boat sank off the west coast of Vancouver Island. The 8.5-metre-long catamaran was fishing for halibut near Tofino Sunday afternoon when it issued a distress call and said all aboard were abandoning ship. The vessel went down in the same area where six people died after the whale watching vessel Leviathan II capsized in October 2015.———BODY OF MISSING HUNTER RECOVERED IN ALBERTAThe body of one of four men who went missing in northeastern Alberta a week ago has been found. The RCMP say the body of Walter Ladouceur of Fort Chipewyan was recovered Sunday from the Rocher River. A search continues for the three other men, who along with Ladouceur, were reported missing on Apr. 24 after leaving on a hunting trip the previous night.———OILPATCH FEARS COSTS WILL RISE WHEN POT IS LEGALOilpatch CEOs fear their costs will rise when Ottawa passes recently introduced legislation to legalize recreational marijuana. The issue of drug use is closely watched in the industry, where workers tend to be young and hazards include long commutes to and from remote drilling sites, wells that produce poisonous or explosive gas and exposure to heavy machinery. Many oil and gas companies have strict bans on alcohol and drugs at work.———SMOKING LOUNGES STOKE CONTROVERSY IN DENVERDespite hundreds of pot dispensaries and licensed grow-ops in Denver, there are very few places residents can actually smoke marijuana outside their own homes. And as Canada prepares to unveil its recreational pot market on July 1st, 2018, advocates south of the border are urging local governments to start thinking now about providing spaces for people to consume a perfectly legal substance.———last_img read more

200 kilograms of hash found hidden in shipment of chocolate bars in

first_imgHALIFAX – Officials say an attempt to smuggle 200 kilograms of hash by hiding it in chocolate bars was foiled by border officers and an X-ray machine in Halifax.A Mississauga, Ont., man is facing multiple charges after the discovery in a shipping container at the city’s port.The Canada Border Services Agency said 51-year-old Owen Jagasar was charged with drug possession and importation on June 23.The agency says the drugs were concealed in 100 chocolate bars, each containing two kilograms of hidden hashish, and were seized at the port on May 25.The CBSA said its officers, acting on a tip, “noted anomalies in X-ray images while examining a marine container.”The shipment originated in the Netherlands. The CBSA says the goods were destined for Ontario, where the arrest occurred.”This is a significant seizure, and a great example of how our border services officers use a combination of instinct, training and tools to intercept illegal drugs,” Calvin Christiansen, the agency’s Atlantic director-general, said in a statement.Jagasar has been charged with importation of a controlled substance, possession for the purpose of trafficking, and two counts of conspiring to commit an indictable offence.last_img read more

Canadians should worry about US border searches of cell phones privacy czar

first_imgOTTAWA – Canadians should be “very concerned” about their cell phones, computers and other electronic devices being searched by U.S. border agents, the federal privacy czar says.Privacy commissioner Daniel Therrien told a House of Commons committee Monday that U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers can look at mobile devices and even demand passwords under American law.Therrien cited statistics indicating U.S. border searches of mobile phones had increased between 2015 and 2016.“These devices contain a lot of sensitive information,” Therrien said. “We should be very concerned.”New Democrat MP Nathan Cullen asked if that means no Canadian should cross the border with a phone, laptop or tablet unless they have “great comfort” with a U.S. border official inspecting the contents.“Yes, as a matter of law,” Therrien said, though he acknowledged officers would not have time to inspect everyone’s devices, given the huge numbers of people that cross the border daily.Therrien agreed with Cullen’s suggestion that nothing in law could prevent U.S. border officials from peeking at a senior Canadian official’s “playbook” on a trade negotiation.Cullen said one of his constituents was denied entry to the U.S. on health-related grounds because information on the person’s phone indicated a prescription for heart medication.“And I thought, well, this is a strange invasion of one’s privacy.”Therrien said Canadians should assess the “risk tolerance” they have to their information being examined by U.S. officers.“My point is, think about what you’re exposing your information to, and limit the amount of information that you bring to the U.S., because it may be required by customs officers.”Canadian law also allows border officers to inspect cell phones, since they are treated as goods, Therrien told the Commons committee on access to information, privacy and ethics.But he noted Canada’s border agency has a policy of limiting searches to cases where an officer has grounds to do so — for instance, because a phone might contain information about contraband items.Therrien said his office had received a “small number of complaints” about Canadian border officers searching cell phones.Last spring, Therrien expressed concern about U.S. plans to demand cellphone and social media passwords from foreign visitors.In a letter to the House of Commons public safety committee, he warned that recent pronouncements from the Trump administration could mean intrusive searches — even at preclearance facilities in Canada.In February, John Kelly, then U.S. homeland security secretary, suggested at a hearing that American officials could ask people entering the U.S. about the Internet sites they visit as well as passwords to help assess their online activities.Kelly’s proposal prompted an American coalition of human rights and civil liberties organizations and experts in security, technology and the law to express “deep concern.”— Follow @JimBronskill on Twitterlast_img read more

Sex ed to be compulsory in Quebec as of September Couillard

first_imgQUEBEC – All students in Quebec primary and secondary schools will be taught sexual education as of September, Premier Philippe Couillard told The Canadian Press on Wednesday.Education Minister Sebastien Proulx has been trying for two years to gradually introduce voluntary sex-ed courses in schools but without much success.Most schools have balked at his proposal, while teachers’ unions have been critical of the government’s approach and what they perceive as a lack of training.The September courses will be for about one million students from Grade 1 through Grade 11.The information they receive will be based on their age and will deal with sexuality, anatomy, body image, sexual assault, love, sexual relations, stereotypes and sexually transmitted infections.“I’m convinced the great majority of Quebecers want this (and) that we’re clearly there,” Couillard said in an interview, adding he is aware it is still a delicate topic that “sparks certain social tensions.”The information will be inserted into regular subjects such as French or mathematics.Proulx is expected to make an official announcement Thursday.last_img read more

Daughter of murdered woman tells inquiry she fears becoming a statistic

first_imgHAPPY VALLEY-GOOSE BAY, N.L. – An Indigenous Newfoundland woman whose mother was murdered in 2002 says she worries she will also become a statistic.Amena Evans Harlick told her story to the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls during a hearing Thursday in Happy Valley-Goose Bay.Her mother, Mary Evans Harlick, was just 24 years old when she was strangled to death in 2002. Her body was put in a sleeping bag and left in a crawl space.Harlick said she worries about the day when the man convicted of her mother’s second-degree murder is released.“I don’t like feeling scared. I shouldn’t have to feel scared,” she said.“When I get these feelings of being scared I feel like I’m going to be just another statistic. That’s something that worries me all the time because I don’t want to be another statistic,” Harlick said.Another witness, Sylvia Murphy, told the inquiry how she and seven siblings were abandoned by their mother and sent to an orphanage that later closed.Murphy said they then found themselves in a series of foster homes where she and her sister were abused as young girls.She said her sister was sexually assaulted on a regular basis and was told not to tell anyone.Murphy said they eventually went to police and gave statements, but investigators said charges could not be laid.“There has been no justice for us all this time. When that investigator came back and said, we cannot charge them, I felt my whole world fell,” she said.Murphy also told the inquiry that the federal government is revoking her Indigenous status as a Mi’kmaq, claiming she doesn’t meet the requirements even though she has provided ancestry information.The issue of women losing status has been a common story across the country as a result of changing circumstances including marrying a non-Indigenous man.Rutie Lampe spoke about the death of her daughter, Kimberley Jararuse, who was just 20 when she was killed in an abusive relationship.“She didn’t get a chance to live her life,” Lampe said.She said there needs to be more safe houses where abused women can seek refuge, and more healing sessions for families, even years after suffering the loss of someone to violence.The Labrador hearings concluded with emotional testimony from Benigna Anderson of Nain who got into an abusive relationship at the age of 15 with a man who was seven years older.She spoke of being severely beaten many times, often in front of others who did nothing to intervene.Anderson was with the man for quite a few years, having six of his children, while he continued to drink and beat her.She said police intervened many times, and he was put in custody — each time returning to start the cycle again.“Each time his sentence was reduced because he was aboriginal. I believe this is the number one reason violence is so prevalent in aboriginal communities. People literally get away with murder,” she said.Anderson called on the inquiry to recommend better resources for abused women, and said there needs to be a change in attitude by police.“There is a systematic disrespect for aboriginal people,” she said.At the start of Thursday’s hearing, Johannes Lampe, president of Nunatsiavut Assembly, read a list of missing and murdered women from Labrador.“It is my hope that the concerns of Labrador Inuit will be heard loud and clear by the inquiry commissioners and that those concerns will be given full consideration in the inquiry’s final report,” he said.“In the end we all want justice. We all want the healing to begin. And we all want to move on with our lives.”The federal government set up the inquiry in December 2015 to address the high number of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls.The inquiry began its work in September 2016 and have requested a two-year extension which would nearly double its original $54-million budget and push back the due date for its final report to December 2020.So far, close to 800 witnesses have testified at nearly 250 hearings across the country.— By Kevin Bissett in Fredericton.last_img read more

Nothing sweet about sales of greymarket candy Appeal Court rules

first_imgTORONTO – An attempt at sugar coating the sale of grey market Mars bars and M&M’s in Canada has fallen flat with Ontario’s top court, which sided with the Canadian maker of the candy in a decision slamming an upstart confectioner’s conduct.The ruling in favour of Mars Canada this week also upheld a lower court judge’s hefty costs award against Aizic Ebert and his two Toronto companies for “brazenly” breaching earlier settlements of the dispute.“Their efforts to undermine the agreements were dishonourable and deserving of censure,” the Appeal Court said in its ruling, noting, however, that the state of Canadian law around grey marketing remains unsettled.The case arose more than a decade ago when Mars Canada, which also makes and sells Snickers and Milky Way candy bars among other treats, discovered Ebert was buying genuine Mars products in the United States through his company Bemco Cash and Carry, and selling them at a discount in this country.Mars Canada, based in Bolton, Ont., took its complaint to Federal Court, but the two sides settled when Bemco agreed it would not import or sell the U.S.-made products in Canada. As part of the deal, Bemco also identified its supplier as GPAE Trading Corporation, also owned and controlled by Ebert, which agreed to a Mars Canada demand to cease its activities.However, Mars Canada discovered in 2010 that foreign products bearing its trademarks were again being sold in Canada, this time through another company, but in concert with Bemco and GPAE, court documents show. Mars Canada sued.Ebert argued the earlier agreements were invalid because they amounted to restraint of trade but Superior Court Justice Frederick Myers granted summary judgment in favour of Mars Canada in November 2016. Myers found Bemco and GPAE had breached the earlier deals by continuing to import and sell grey market Mars products.The judge also rejected Ebert’s restraint-of-trade argument, finding the agreements were reasonable for both the parties and public, and that Mars Canada was entitled to enforce its registered trademarks. Myers also found the imported products breached Canadian labelling and packaging laws by, for example, not having any French.While the judge referred the question of damages to another hearing, he did grant Mars Canada $225,000 in legal costs for what he deemed the brazen breach of the earlier settlements and for Ebert’s attempts to “avoid accountability” for the misconduct.Ebert and his companies appealed. Among other things, they argued the earlier settlement agreements were unreasonable, and that Myers did not hear direct evidence that Mars Canada had suffered damages and should not have ordered a further hearing on those losses.The Court of Appeal rejected the arguments, saying Mars Canada had an obvious interest in defending its trademark rights, and it did sustain actual damages given that its sales were cannibalized by the grey market products.Myers did reject Mars Canada’s claim for punitive damages.“There is enough grey in grey marketing law and the lack of federal government enforcement of labelling and packaging laws to prevent the characterization of the defendants’ conduct as sufficiently egregious to attract further condemnation from the court,” Myers wrote.The higher court also awarded Mars Canada another $20,000 to cover its appeal costs.last_img read more

Air in a bottle How companies sell Canadian nature

first_imgWhen two Edmonton men started bottling and selling air from Banff and Lake Louise, Alta., some people thought it was a farce, but about four years later the duo’s expanded their line to also include products with the country’s glacier and spring waters as main ingredients.Troy Paquette and Moses Lam co-founded Vitality Air after reading articles online about air pollution and chatting about how anyone who visits Banff raves about the air quality.“We just kind of spun it from there and thought: ‘Wouldn’t it be cool if we could find a way to share that with the rest of the world?’” said Paquette.“And that’s kind of where it all started from.”Vitality Air’s founders and other creative Canadian entrepreneurs are packaging Canada’s natural resources to fill a demand for wellness products with a fresh twist.Some resourceful Canadians have tapped into the trees, bringing maple and birch water to store shelves, while a raw water fad in the U.S. could soon ripple over to the border. All these entrepreneurs tout their product’s natural qualities and possible health-promoting components.These companies follow a broader wellness trend, said Amy Chung, Canadian beauty industry analyst for market-research firm NPD Group.Nowadays, people want more openness and details on products and to know, for example, what they’re putting on their face, she said.Much of the demand for Vitality Air comes from China where air pollution is a major problem.The company’s website plays up health angles, claiming “fresh air plays a vital role in the physical and emotional wellness of people of all ages,” and that breathing in its products “is like giving your mind and body a shot of nature.”More recently, the company added a line of facial mists to its website, which it calls “a natural progression” from the air canisters. The so-called glacier myst includes “the untouched waters of the Rocky Mountain glaciers,” according to the site, while the “sulphur myst” is enhanced with sulphur from springs in Banff. One bottle costs $20.The mist offers the body and mind tranquility, and keeps people looking healthy and energized, according to the site.Other entrepreneurs have taken a similar approach, selling a well-known Canadian ingredient as a wellness product to the masses.Lower Valley Beverage Company in Flesherton, Ont., produces Sapsucker, a maple tree water harvested from mature maple trees that it calls “a naturally pure alternative to bottled water.” The beverage has 46 naturally occurring minerals, antioxidants and vitamins, according to the website.Nine restaurants in Ontario serve the drink, and it can also be purchased at several independent grocers, as well as some larger chains like Whole Foods Market and Farm Boy.Burnaby, B.C.-based 52 North produces something similar: birch water.The beverage has been consumed for centuries in Northern Europe, according to the company’s website, “as a health drink with detoxifying and revitalizing properties.”The trend is a continuation of a food industry craze that started several years ago when lifestyle changes like the Paleo diet, said to mimic our ancestors’ ways of eating, came into vogue.It’s “going back to the basics where things were still just as effective and we didn’t have all of these extra ingredients and chemicals,” Chung said.While it may seem strange to pay a price for a seemingly simple product, wellness is considered a luxury now, she said.Some of it also has to do with convenience, Chung noted, as not everyone has time to become an extreme do-it-yourself type of person, who concocts things like natural laundry detergent at home. Busy people may be more willing to pay for these kinds of products, she said.While the canned air may be seeing more demand in areas where air pollution is a concern, Chung thinks Canadians may one day embrace these products too. She points to how sunscreen makers are now touting anti-pollution sunscreen, which protects from the sun and other environmental factors, in Canada too, she said.“A lot of trends kind of make it over here too.”last_img read more

Its just really strange Who is beheading the parking meters of St

first_imgST. JOHN’S, N.L. – In Washington, D.C., it was the fabled meter massacre back in the mid-1990s. In 2012, a man from the Bronx was accused of using super glue to thwart paid parking. In Chicago, irate drivers clogged coin slots with expanding foam when fees were hiked in 2009.But now someone — or some people — is vandalizing coin and card-reading meters in St. John’s, N.L., at a truly staggering rate, according to the company that supplies them.“They’ve never seen anything like the vandalism and theft of parking meter heads that we’ve experienced here,” St. John’s Mayor Danny Breen said of J.J. MacKay Canada Ltd. — the New Glasgow, N.S.-based company that serves 1,000 municipalities.It appears the weapons of choice were baseball bats and sledge hammers to beat the heads off most of the city’s 1,167 parking machines since they were installed four years ago for about $474 apiece.More than 1,000 meters have been damaged at one time or another since March 2015 in over 90 attacks. At least four people have been charged.This, despite the fact each head typically holds no more than about $15 a day.Chef Todd Perrin, co-owner of Mallard Cottage restaurant, has watched the parking debacle unfold with amazement.“I’ve been fortunate enough to travel around a fair bit and I’ve never seen anything like it,” he said in an interview. “It’s not like a random one here or there. It’s almost as though someone is systematically going around trying to destroy every single parking meter in St. John’s.“It’s just really, really strange. In a city that always could use more revenue, it’s a bit of a mind boggler.”The growing price tag for cash-strapped St. John’s city council is almost $1.5 million since 2015 in lost revenue, repairs and replacements.“I’d describe it as extremely frustrating,” Breen said. “To see this amount of destruction happen at a significant cost to taxpayers is very disheartening.”Long stretches of meters in various parts of the city’s downtown sit eerily headless, including one used to deposit empty Tim Hortons cups. All 136 parking spots on Harbour Drive, along the waterfront, are now free after the city decided not to replace those machines, Breen said.Instead, a new cashless system will be tried for that area starting in June. Drivers will pay to park using a smart phone app or a 1-800 number.Other areas will see a mix of new pay stations, meters and permits over the next five years as part of a system overhaul, said St. John’s City Coun. Debbie Hanlon.She blames mental health issues, poverty and drug addiction.“Why else would someone take a baseball bat and beat off the top of a meter for $15? The average person wouldn’t do that.”Hanlon hopes people gloating about free all-day parking downtown will keep this in mind: The $1.5 million lost so far could have gone a long way.“That’s money that could go back in the roads, it could keep our taxes lower, it could improve the downtown. It’s losing money — and that’s unfortunate for all of us.”Follow @suebailey on Twitter.last_img read more

Ottawa will implement Senate proposals to strengthen accessibility law minister

first_imgThe Canadian Press Canada’s accessibility minister says the government will be acting on the Senate’s proposed recommendations to strengthen the country’s first piece of accessibility legislation for people with disabilities.Carla Qualtrough sent a letter to disabled advocates saying the government planned to accept all the amendments senators had proposed for Bill C-81, also known as the Accessible Canada Act.Earlier this month, the Senate committee on social affairs, science and technology adopted several amendments that nearly a hundred disability organizations said were necessary to make the law effective.Chief among them was a call to set a timeline requiring the act to be fully implemented in all areas under federal jurisdiction by 2040, as well as recognition of sign language as an official language among deaf Canadians.The federal government had resisted some of those measures as the bill worked its way through the House of Commons, but Qualtrough says all proposed Senate amendments will now be included.The amended bill is expected to come back before Parliament for final consideration next week.last_img read more

Kirk And Anne Douglas Donate 5 Million To LA Mission

first_imgKirk and Anne Douglas have continued their support by pledging $ 5 million to the Anne Douglas Center located at the Los Angeles Mission.The women’s program of the Mission is referred to as the “jewel of my heart” by Anne Douglas. The Center provides a rehabilitation program together with emergency services for homeless women on Skid Row who choose to turn their life around. The Anne Douglas Center program has seen over 250 graduates and has served thousands of women and children in the last twenty years.The Douglas family originally funded the development of the Anne Douglas Center, named after the wife of Kirk Douglas, in 1992 and the Douglas family continues to offer their time and resources to the Mission. Besides volunteering at various events such as the annual Thanksgiving event, Anne Douglas regularly celebrates her birthday lunch with women at the Anne Douglas Center.“If I had but one wish, I think becoming a recognized patron of homeless men and women would be it. I hope together we will be able to alleviate their plight entirely,” said Anne Douglas during the planning stages of the Anne Douglas Center.The Anne Douglas Center provides a safe environment for women to escape the streets of Skid Row. Women in the program participate in education and spiritual courses, participate in a work program, and develop friendships that continue past graduation. After the completion of the program and regular visits by Anne Douglas, students at the Anne Douglas Center receive a special “gift from grandma.”“Through the initial vision and passion for women in need, the Anne Douglas Center was created by Kirk and Anne Douglas along with their friends. Now, that vision has transitioned to a legacy of core support to carry on the gift of changed lives and new beginnings,” said Herb Smith, President of the Los Angeles Mission. “We are eternally grateful to the Douglas Foundation for this outstanding pledge to the future of the Anne Douglas Center and the lives of women and families that will be restored to health, unity and community.”Women may continue their education, start their own businesses, continue in their profession or reunite with their families following the completion of the12-month program. The love, support, and direction that the program offers is an example of Anne Douglas’ heart for the women and after twenty years, continues to help women move forward with their life.Anne Douglas AwardThe Los Angeles Mission hosts an annual gala where community service is recognized by the Anne Douglas Award. This year, the gala will be on September 12 at the Four Seasons Beverly Hills. Sponsorships and tables are still available. For information contact Jennifer Yarbrough at read more

Arsenal Donates To Save The Children Project In Indonesia

first_imgArsenal has committed to fund a £300,000 new project in Indonesia for Save the Children.Arsenal, through The Arsenal Foundation, has committed to donate the money over three years to fund a project that will directly support 4,000 vulnerable young people by providing them with enhanced vocational education and employment skills.To formally announce the new programme yesterday, eight youngsters, who will benefit from the project in Bandung, West Java, were invited to the capital, Jakarta, to join a special activity session with Arsenal manager, Arsène Wenger and young players Chuks Aneke and Chuba Akpom.Speaking about the visit, Arsène Wenger said: “It’s always humbling to see the difference that Arsenal can make to young people’s lives and today has been no different.“This project will have a massive impact and it’s been great to come to this incredible venue and meet some of the youngsters that are being supported by Save the Children’s work in Indonesia. Hopefully this will inspire them to go on and achieve even greater things!”Save the Children’s Indonesia director, Ricardo Caivano said: “Arsenal’s support of our project in Bandung will make an incredible difference to the lives of thousands of young people, providing them with the skills and links to employers that they need to fulfil their potential.”Many vulnerable young people in Indonesia face unemployment as they grow up and youth unemployment is estimated at 25%.Save the Children’s project, funded by Arsenal, is developing the skills of young people and creating better links to private sector employers. It aims to improve job prospects and ensure a brighter future for young people in the West Java region of Indonesia.As well as providing training on employability skills, the project will also help young people to improve their team work, confidence and leadership through various activities, including a football tournament.In addition, the project will provide training to 150 teachers at colleges in Bandung so that they can use new skills and improved resources to support thousands more young people in the future.Bandung is Indonesia’s third largest city with a population of 2.4 million, and almost 7.5 million in its wider metropolitan region.Save the Children has been Arsenal’s global charity partner since July 2011.Source:Save the Children UKlast_img read more