Corus stock drops 11 after slashing dividend reporting 9359 million loss

TORONTO — Corus Entertainment Inc. shares were down 11 per cent early Wednesday after the company announced a $935.9 million loss tied mostly to a devaluation of its broadcast licences and slashed its dividend to accelerate debt reduction.The company’s B shares were at $5.56 in the first minutes of trading, down 69 cents or 11 per cent from Tuesday’s close and equal to their previous 52-week low on the Toronto Stock Exchange.The Toronto-based television, radio and production company said the loss included a $1.01-billion non-cash impairment charge related to broadcast licences and goodwill.Impairment charges generally reflect the future earning power of a business’s assets. Excluding those and other expense items, Corus would have had a profit in the three months ended May 31.The reduced dividend will divert about $150 million per year to reducing Corus debt — a move that management said would give it more financial flexibility in the long-term.Corus chief executive Doug Murphy told analysts that the company has a long-term strategy for rebuilding its business in turbulent times, amid intense competition, changing technologies and an uncertain regulatory landscape.“While our immediate focus will be on debt reduction payments, we will continue to make prudent investments that support our strategic priorities to ensure our company remains vital for the long term,” Murphy said. Corus said Wednesday it will start paying a quarterly dividend of six cents per class B share starting in September compared with its current dividend which is a monthly payment to shareholders of 9.5 cents per class B share.The reduction in the dividend came as Corus says the loss amounted to $4.49 per share for the quarter ended May 31 compared with a profit of $66.7 million or 33 cents per share a year ago.Revenue in what was the company’s third quarter totalled $441.4 million, down from $461.6 million in the same quarter last year.Television revenue fell to $403 million compared with $422.3 million a year ago, while radio revenue fell to $38.4 million compared with $39.3 million in the same quarter last year.On an adjusted basis, which excludes the impairment charge and other one-time items, Corus says it earned $78.1 million or 37 cents per share for the quarter compared with an adjusted profit of $70.1 million or 35 cents per share a year ago. Analysts on average had expected a profit of 36 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters Eikon.Corus owns radio stations as well as conventional and specialty television services across the country including Global Television. read more

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Its a zoo out there

Norfolk County is looking for accountability when it comes to wild animals and their potential impact on local residents.Delhi Coun. Mike Columbus raised the issue this week after he was asked to deal with an animal complaint recently near the dividing line between Delhi-area Ward 3 and Waterford-area Ward 7.“I wish I could’ve pushed it across the borderline,” Columbus told council Tuesday. “It involved a skunk.”Columbus noted that a void has been created now that the Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals has stopped investigating animal abuse and neglect complaints.With the OSPCA on the sidelines, Columbus feels it is only a matter of time before the public starts asking the municipality to intervene.“These things are falling through the cracks,” Columbus said. “It’s the same with raccoons.”Residents often call police or canine control when they see a wild animal behaving erratically in their neighbourhood.The Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit tracks instances of rabies and other serious diseases that can be transmitted to humans but does not offer front-line assistance where wildlife is concerned.Columbus contacted the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry about the skunk. He received instructions to secure the animal and send its brain away for testing if possible.The Norfolk OPP will intervene when wild animals pose an immediate threat to public safety. Otherwise, police defer to other agencies.Waterford Coun. Kim Huffman, a council representative to Norfolk’s Police Services Board, said the Norfolk OPP responded to nearly 300 complaints in this area last year.However, Huffman added that “The OPP are really not equipped to deal with raccoons wandering through neighbourhoods. It’s not part of their mandate.”Port Dover Coun. Amy Martin would like a reliable mechanism in place to deal with animal complaints. Coyote incursions into Port Dover have become increasingly frequent in recent years.“This is a concern for a lot of residents who feel they’re getting the run-around,” Martin said.Wildlife rescues in the Norfolk area and beyond have received numerous calls in recent months about raccoons in distress or behaving strangely.In a recent interview, Denise Boniface, manager of BryDen’s Den Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre in Port Ryerse, said she is not equipped or trained to deal with diseased animals.Boniface says the large number of sick raccoons is due to an epidemic of distemper sweeping through the population. When wildlife populations reach the peak of their reproductive cycle, disease thins their numbers because they are in such frequent contact with each other.Council referred the matter to Marlene Miranda, acting CAO and Norfolk and Haldimand’s general manager of health and social services, as an “action item.” Miranda will look into potential responses and report back.“It would be wonderful to have this conversation before our summer break,” said Simcoe Coun. Ian Rabbitts.MSonnenberg@postmedia.com read more

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Lauding progress in Côte dIvoire Security Council voices concern at instability

“The Security Council is convinced that a lasting solution to the problems of the sub-region also requires genuine cooperation among all States concerned, together with confidence-building measures and the personal commitment of Heads of State in the sub-region,” the Council President for July, Ambassador Inocencio F. Arias of Spain, said in a statement after an open meeting.The statement stressed that much remained to be done to fully implement the Linas-Marcoussis Agreement, a French-brokered peace accord reached in January that calls on the Government, rebels and political opposition in the West African country to share power in a transitional administration until elections in 2005.“The Security Council reiterates the need for Ivorian political forces to implement fully and without delay all the provisions of the Linas-Marcoussis Agreement, as well as those of the agreement signed in Accra on 8 May 2003 (“Accra II”), with a view to open, free and transparent elections being held in 2005,” the presidential statement declared.It noted with satisfaction the formation of a government of national reconciliation and the progress made, particularly the identification of cantonment areas and the delegation of powers to the Prime Minister, and looked forward to new progress.The statement also called on Ivorian political forces to redouble their efforts in the following areas: voting for the amnesty bill submitted to the National Assembly by the Government, the complete implementation of a “disarmament, demobilization and reintegration” programme, extension of public services and the authority of the State to areas still under control of the Forces Nouvelles, the appointment of ministers for defence and interior security, the guarantee of equal security for all ministers, the dismantling of militias throughout the country and the termination of the activities of mercenaries and of the purchase of weapons.The Council reiterated its full support for the efforts of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and France in contributing to a peaceful solution of the crisis, welcoming in particular the satisfactory deployment of their peacekeeping forces in the western part of the country to support implementation of the ceasefire.It also called on Member States to continue to respond to the appeal made at the donors’ conference in Paris on 18 July to provide logistic and financial support to the ECOWAS Mission in Côte d’Ivoire so that it can continue to fulfil its important mandate, and it invited donor countries to contribute to the reconstruction of the country.At the outset of the meeting, Prime Minister Seydou Elimane Diarra briefed the Council on the latest developments in Côte d’Ivoire since the signing of the Linas-Marcoussis Agreement and the formation of the National Reconciliation Government, reiterating his gratitude to Secretary-General Kofi Annan for his tireless support to the process of restoring peace to the country.Mr. Diarra noted that he had undertaken contacts with the country’s President and political forces on the appointment of the ministers of defence and security. Once he returned from New York, he would take up the initiative to address that issue, in order to have a full government. The Government was working normally and the functions of the ministers of defence and security were being carried out, he added.As to the next steps, the Prime Minister mentioned the extension of phase 3 of security throughout the country, and financing for the ECOWAS mission, the disarmament, demobilization and reintegration programme, the redeployment of administration through the territory, and the provision of education and health services. The holding of fair, transparent and open elections would require assistance, as would humanitarian activities and the creation of employment. At the sub-regional level, the resolution of the Liberian conflict was crucial. A robust campaign against poverty reduction was also vital to providing stability, not only in Côte d’Ivoire, but also in the entire sub-region, he added. read more

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UN green meeting agrees to defer decision on pesticide exemption

According to the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), the delegates agreed they needed more time to work out exactly what exemptions farmers in the developed world should have for using methyl bromide, a chemical used to kill pests such as nematode worms.At a meeting of the Parties to the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer, held at UNEP’s Nairobi headquarters, delegates discussed the scheduled phasing out by January 2005 of methyl bromide, which depletes the world’s ozone layer.North American and European farmers, especially in the strawberry, melon, pepper and tomato growing industries, have argued for an exemption allowing about 15,000 tons of methyl bromide to be consumed in 2005, according to UNEP. They say the available alternatives are not yet technically or economically feasible for use.The delegates decided to press again for consensus at an extraordinary meeting on the issue in March next year in Montreal.UNEP Executive Director Klaus Toepfer said the delegates “felt they needed more time to find an agreement which balances the interests of farmers and other users of methyl bromide with international agreements to repair the Earth’s protective shield.” read more

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Sudan UNappointed probe into possible genocide in Darfur gets underway

The five-member commission, established by Secretary-General Kofi Annan last month in accordance with Security Council resolution 1564, plans to be in the country until 21 November and will meet with representatives of the Government, international agencies and civil society groups as well as travel to Darfur, a vast and impoverished region in western Sudan. About 1.45 million people are internally displaced within Darfur, where Janjaweed militias are accused of killing and raping thousands of villagers after local rebel groups took up arms against the Sudanese Government. Another 200,000 are living as refugees in neighbouring Chad. The Commission’s mandate is to “investigate reports of violations of international humanitarian law and human rights law in Darfur by all parties, to determine also whether or not acts of genocide have occurred and to identify the perpetrators of such violations with a view to ensuring that those responsible are held accountable.” An independent body, it is supported by the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, which is providing the secretariat, legal research team and investigative team. It has three months to complete its work and report back to Mr. Annan. Its members include Antonio Cassese, an Italian judge and professor who is the chairman; Mohammed Fayek of Egypt; Hina Jilani of Pakistan; Dumisa Ntsebeza of South Africa and Therese Striggner-Scott of Ghana. Meanwhile, the UN mission in Sudan reported that all major roads in South Darfur remain closed to UN movement. Following destruction of the Al Geer camp from 3 to 5 November and the forced relocation of its residents, humanitarian agencies remain concerned about the protection of those who returned to Al Geer and those who dispersed to Nyala town. The UN World Food Programme (WFP) says it has carried out food distribution to camps in Nyala town and they have requested permission to distribute food to those dispersed from the now-destroyed Al Geer camp. read more

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Debt repayments are crippling poor countries efforts to fight HIVAIDS – UN

Launching a publication at UN Headquarters in New York about how women in the least developed countries (LDCs) cope with HIV/AIDS, Anwarul K. Chowdhury, Under-Secretary-General and High Representative for the LDCs, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States, said “an unsustainable debt burden” meant some nations – such as Senegal, Malawi, and Sao Tome and Principe – must give about 30 per cent of their public income to repayments each year.”It is a critical challenge for those countries as they are forced to choose between servicing their debts and investing in health and education and tackling poverty and HIV/AIDS, which are essential for building and developing their human and institutional capacity,” Mr. Chowdhury told a panel discussion at the launch.The world’s 50 LDCs spent an estimated $5.1 billion in 2002 just on servicing their debts, he added.Mr. Chowdhury said many women in poor States also face a personal dilemma in how they divide their time between nursing the sick and themselves on one hand, and earning a livelihood for their families and households on the other.The Under-Secretary-General called for an aggressive international commitment to ensure that LDCs have the greatest possible chance of fighting HIV/AIDS and other problems that limit their development.The panel discussion also heard from HIV/AIDS activists about their personal experiences of the disease and the importance of breaking taboos in some cultures and societies that prevent people from talking about it.The report, published by Mr. Chowdhury’s office and the UN Development Programme (UNDP), is entitled Hope: Building Capacity: Least Developed Countries Meet the HIV/AIDS Challenge. read more

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Tanzania to close camp as Burundian refugees return home UN says

Some 5,500 Burundian refugees in Tanzania will be relocated to another camp towards the end of this month as part of plans to consolidate camps amid the ongoing Burundi repatriation operation, the United Nations refugee agency said today.The Tanzanian Government is set to close Karago camp, one of nine camps for Burundian refugees in northwestern Tanzania, in the next few weeks, said UNHCR’s Jennifer Pagonis today in Geneva. The 5,500 refugees will be moved to the neighbouring Mtendeli camp, where they will receive the same assistance.“Under a tripartite agreement with UNHCR and Burundi, the Tanzanian authorities agreed that all camps with a refugee population under 10,000 refugees would be closed,” she said, adding that the programme is an attempt to consolidate camps that empty out with the departure of Burundian refugees for home.“We hope to facilitate the voluntary repatriation of about 85,000 Burundian refugees from Tanzania in 2005,” she said. In the first three months of this year, UNHCR helped 7,800 refugees return home. Concerns among the refugees over the availability of basic services in their home country and the peace process partially explain the drop in repatriation numbers.Funding is also a key constraint for the operation. Of the $62.3 million needed for the repatriation programme this year, donors have so far provided only some $8.5 million, or just 14 per cent.More than 158,000 Burundian refugees have returned home with UNHCR’s assistance since the voluntary repatriation programme from Tanzania began in March 2002. More than half those returns – 83,000 – took place in 2004, with numbers decreasing towards the end of the year. The year-end decline was mainly due to uncertainty among the refugees about the security situation in Burundi ahead of the February referendum. read more

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Fighting forces UN to evacuate seven staff from South Darfur Sudan

The fighting has continued and clashes have also taken place in areas of Jabal Marra in central Darfur, according to UNMIS.In another development, the mission reported that a person reported missing following yesterday’s helicopter crash in Jabal Marra had been later confirmed dead. None of the injured passengers, who were on a humanitarian mission when the accident occurred, had to be taken to Sudan’s capital, Khartoum, for medical treatment.Meanwhile, the UN Development Programme (UNDP) in Sudan has helped the Government of National Unity launch a project under its Transfer of Knowledge through Expatriate Nationals programme encouraging them to volunteer their expertise for short periods.The programme will encourage various Sudanese institutions to bring interested expatriate Sudanese professionals to Sudan to share their skills and expertise for up to eight-week periods. UNDP will cover the expatriates’ travel expenses and provide a living allowance in Sudan.First implemented in Turkey in 1977, the programme has since been expanded to include more than 25 countries, including India, Pakistan, China, the Philippines, Poland, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Vietnam, Lebanon, Syria, Senegal, and Nigeria. read more

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With UN support construction of new housing units begins in Serbia

Top government and civil society leaders have formally laid the first foundations of new homes under a housing and social integration programme for tens of thousands of war refugees and other vulnerable people in Serbia being supported by the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-HABITAT). The programme aims to provide some 670 new homes for 3,000 refugees and vulnerable people, to build institutional capacities for social housing development, assist the social and economic integration of refugees and displaced people, and help boost the development capacity of local governments in their development planning and municipal information systems, the agency said in a press release. Special ceremonies were held in the municipality of Niš on 9 August, following others in different areas, where senior government and local officials were at hand to witness the start of the initiative. The Settlement and Integration of Refugees Programme in Serbia is a three-year effort being funded by the Government of Italy. read more

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Most actively traded companies on the TSX TSX Venture Exchange markets

by News Staff Posted Jun 29, 2012 4:56 pm MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email Most actively traded companies on the TSX, TSX Venture Exchange markets TORONTO – Some of the most active companies traded Friday on the Toronto Stock Exchange and the TSX Venture Exchange:Toronto Stock Exchange (11,596.56, up 171.86 points):Progress Energy Resources Corp. (TSX:PRQ). Oil and gas. Up two cents, or 0.1 per cent, at $20.07 on 15,878,469 shares.Research In Motion Ltd. (TSX:RIM). Technology. Down $1.92, or 20.3 per cent, at $7.54 on 8,418,038 shares. RIM reported disappointing earnings, cut 5,000 jobs and delayed the release of its new smartphones.Martinrea International Inc. (TSX:MRE). Manufacturing. Up seven cents, or 0.88 per cent, at $8 on 7,177,728 shares.Manulife Financial Corp. (TSX:MFC). Insurance. Up 32 cents, or 2.97 per cent, at $11.09 on 6,433,775 shares.Ivanhoe Mines Ltd. (TSX:IVN.RT). Miner. Up 10 cents, or 12.20 per cent, at 92 cents on 5,259,024 shares.BlackPearl Resources Inc. (TSX:PXX). Oil and gas. Up one cent, or 0.33 per cent, at $3.01 on 5,174,516 shares.TSX Venture Exchange (1,190.99, up 26.53 points):Barkerville Gold Mines Ltd. (TSXV:BGM). Miner. Up 40 cents, or 49.38 per cent, at $1.21 on 7,195,569 shares.Lions Gate Energy Inc. (TSXV:LG). Oil and gas. Up 0.5 cents, or 6.25 per cent, at 8.5 cents on 3,819,050 shares.Companies reporting major news:Canadian Pacific Railway (TSX:CP). Railway. Up $1.20, or 1.63 per cent, at $74.72 on 596,349 shares. CP named Hunter Harrison as its new president and chief executive officer. read more

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With economy weak low rates needed until at least late 2013 IMF

AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email by The Canadian Press Posted Dec 19, 2012 9:59 am MDT OTTAWA – The International Monetary Fund is telling the Bank of Canada to hold off on monetary tightening until the economy performs better.The IMF says in a new report on Canada that the economy slowed in 2012 and will underperform again in 2013 with sub-two-per-cent growth.The Washington-based international financial institution says the best case scenario suggests growth should perk up in late 2013, at which time higher interest rates might be warranted.But it cautions that as modest as its appraisal is of Canadian economic prospects, all the risks are still tilted toward a worse — not better — result.It says if the worst does happen, there is still some space for monetary easing to occur — that is for the Bank of Canada to lower interest rates even further.Similarly, while the IMF says Canadian governments are taking the correct actions in seeking to rein in deficits, they should also be prepared to reverse course to new spending stimulus if an adverse shock were to occur.Barring any unforeseen circumstances, the IMF says Canada’s economy should advance by just under two per cent in 2013 and at about 2.25 per cent in 2014. With economy weak, low rates needed until at least late 2013, IMF tells Canada read more

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Majority of Canadians want to invest more but say they cant afford

TORONTO – A majority of respondents to a new poll about retirement savings feel they haven’t invested enough but say they just don’t have the extra money to put away.The annual survey by Scotiabank found that 64 per cent of those polled cited affordability as an obstacle for them to invest in their RRSPs by the March 1 contribution deadline.That figure is up this year from 59 per cent in 2011 and 53 per cent in 2010.The poll also found that 81 per cent say they haven’t invested enough, compared with 76 per cent in 2011 and 71 per cent a year earlier.Only 17 per cent of those polled say they don’t have any investments at all, compared to 21 per cent last year.Mike Henry, Scotiabank’s senior vice-president and head of retail payments, deposits and lending, urges people who are serious about investing to come up with a financial plan.“Within the framework of a good financial plan, even small contributions can have a big impact over time and get people to the place they want to be financially,” he said in a release.The survey also found that 39 per cent say they wish they had invested at an earlier age, with 23 per cent agreeing that in retrospect, they would’ve spent less and contributed more to their investments.Of those who do have retirement investments, 51 per cent started setting aside money before they turned 30 years old.The poll also found that savings accounts or mutual funds (64 per cent) were still the most popular vehicle for putting away money, followed by RRSPs (56 per cent) and tax-free savings accounts (44 per cent).The poll was conducted online using a Harris/Decima propriety panel that surveyed 1,003 people from a random sample of adults aged 18 and over from across Canada.The survey was conducted from Nov. 28 to Dec. 13, 2012. by The Canadian Press Posted Jan 15, 2013 10:36 am MDT Majority of Canadians want to invest more, but say they can’t afford it: poll AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email read more

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ExxonMobils 31B bid for Celtic Exploration approved by industry minister

AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email by Lauren Krugel, The Canadian Press Posted Feb 20, 2013 7:59 pm MDT ExxonMobil’s $3.1B bid for Celtic Exploration approved by industry minister CALGARY – Celtic Exploration Ltd. (TSX:CLT) said Wednesday it has Ottawa’s approval to be taken over by Houston-based energy heavyweight ExxonMobil Corp. for $3.1 billion.The approval under the Investment Canada Act means that no further regulatory approvals are required. The deal is expected to be completed Feb. 26.The Investment Canada Act is the same legislation under which the Conservative government approved Chinese state-owned CNOOC Ltd.’s $15.1-billion takeover of Nexen Inc. in December.When Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced that decision, along with an approval of a $6-billion takeover of Progress Energy Resources by Malaysia’s Petronas, he signalled a change in Ottawa’s foreign investment rules.From now on, control of oilsands companies by foreign state-owned enterprises will only be allowed under “exceptional circumstances.”Critics charge that the rules are still too vague.Imperial Oil Ltd. (TSX:IMO), a Calgary-based company about 70 per cent owned by ExxonMobil, has said it will exercise its option to invest $1.55 billion for a 50 per cent stake in Celtic.Imperial’s involvement takes effect right after the transaction closes.The deal, announced last October, will see Exxon add lucrative natural gas liquids to its portfolio through the control of about 221,000 hectares in the Montney formation in B.C. and Alberta and 42,000 hectares in the emerging Duvernay shale in Alberta.Current production on that land is 72 million cubic feet per day of natural gas and 4,000 barrels per day of condensate and natural gas liquids.The assets were estimated by Celtic as of Dec. 31, 2011, to include 128 million oil equivalent barrels of proved plus probable reserves, of which 24 per cent are condensate and natural gas liquids and 76 per cent natural gas.Separately, Imperial and ExxonMobil have discussed building a liquefied natural gas export facility on Canada’s West Coast to enable the fuel to reach more lucrative Asian markets.ExxonMobil made a big move into natural gas in late 2009 when it announced an eye-popping US$41-billion acquisition of U.S. natural gas giant XTO. read more

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Rocker Neil Young continues criticism of Keystone XL at FarmAid

Rocker Neil Young continues criticism of Keystone XL at Farm-Aid by News Staff Posted Sep 21, 2013 3:42 pm MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email Neil Young is continuing his verbal assault on the Alberta oilsands.Young called the oil the dirtiest in the world this weekend at the annual Farm-Aid Concert in Saratoga Springs, New York.He touched on Fort McMurray while telling a story about a cross-country drive he took in his electric car, bringing up the subject in support of farmers on the front line of climate change.“The farmer wakes up in the morning and figures out ‘what the hell can I do with this mess now?’” he said. “This fuel is going to be shipped to China and Asia, don’t think this fuel is for America, it’s not.”“The reason I am talking about that ugly situation is because the farmers again are the solution to the problem.”Earlier this month, Young compared Fort McMurray to post-apocalyptic Hiroshima.“They have the dirtiest oil in the world, where the Keystone pipeline is going to originate and cut through our country through our back lawns and through our farms all the way to a free trade zone in Port Arthur, Texas,” Young said.Premier Alison Redford recently dismissed Young’s criticism, along with those of actor Robert Redford this month, saying it shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone and that we need to have a conversation on facts.“I’ve really got to question how people who are using energy flying on planes can make these sorts of comments and assume that they are going to have any credibility,” Redford said Tuesday.Young called the oil the dirtiest in the world this weekend at the annual Farm-Aid Concert in Saratoga Springs, New York.He touched on Fort McMurray while telling a story about a cross-country drive he took in his electric car, bringing up the subject in support of farmers on the front line of climate change.“The farmer wakes up in the morning and figures out ‘what the hell can I do with this mess now?’” he said. “This fuel is going to be shipped to China and Asia, don’t think this fuel is for America, it’s not.”“The reason I am talking about that ugly situation is because the farmers again are the solution to the problem.”Earlier this month, Young compared Fort McMurray to post-apocalyptic Hiroshima.“They have the dirtiest oil in the world, where the Keystone pipeline is going to originate and cut through our country through our back lawns and through our farms all the way to a free trade zone in Port Arthur, Texas,” Young said.Premier Alison Redford recently dismissed Young’s criticism, along with those of actor Robert Redford this month, saying it shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone and that we need to have a conversation on facts.“I’ve really got to question how people who are using energy flying on planes can make these sorts of comments and assume that they are going to have any credibility,” Redford said Tuesday. read more

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Oil rises on pipeline expansion news market ignores supply data govt shutdown

by The Associated Press Posted Oct 2, 2013 8:43 am MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email Oil rises on pipeline expansion news; market ignores supply data, govt shutdown NEW YORK, N.Y. – The price of oil rose the most in two weeks Wednesday on the prospect of more oil being shipped between a key Midwest hub and the U.S. Gulf Coast.Benchmark West Texas Intermediate crude for November delivery rose $2.06, or two per cent, to close at US$104.10 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.Reports said that TransCanada Corp. (TSX:TRP) is close to completing work on the southern portion of its Keystone pipeline expansion. That could mean as much as 700,000 barrels a day moving out of Cushing, Okla., the pricing point for U.S. benchmark oil. The additional demand is seen as positive for oil prices.The market shrugged off a report from the U.S. Energy Department showing bigger than expected increases in U.S. oil and gasoline supplies. It also ignored, at least for a day, the partial shutdown of the U.S. government.Demand for oil in the U.S. could weaken if the shutdown curbs economic growth and continues to stop 800,000 federal workers from commuting. The workers were furloughed after U.S. lawmakers failed to agree on a budget measure to fund government operations after the fiscal year ended Monday.Brent crude, a benchmark used to price imported crude used by many U.S. refineries, gained $1.25 to US$109.19 in London.In other energy futures trading on Nymex, wholesale gasoline rose two cents to US$2.63 a U.S. gallon (3.79 litres), heating oil rose four cents to US$2.99 a gallon and natural gas dropped seven cents to US$3.54 per 1,000 cubic feet.(TSX:ECA), (TSX:IMO), (TSX:SU), (TSX:HSE), (NYSE:BP), (NYSE:COP), (NYSE:XOM), (NYSE:CVX), (TSX:CNQ), (TSX:TLM), (TSX:COS.UN), (TSX:CVE) read more

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Telecom equipment maker AlcatelLucent to cut 10000 jobs worldwide in costcutting effort

AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email by The Associated Press Posted Oct 8, 2013 4:56 am MDT PARIS – Telecommunications equipment maker Alcatel-Lucent SA said Tuesday that it plans to cut 10,000 jobs worldwide over the next two years, the latest cost-cutting drive from the loss-making company.The job cuts are part of a restructuring plan to make the French-American company more competitive. The plan is to reduce fixed costs by cutting 1 billion euros ($1.36 billion), or about 15 per cent, by the end of 2015. Under the plan, the company will reallocate research investment to next-generation technology and cut investment in older technology.The company has struggled since its inception in 2006, when France’s Alcatel and the U.S.’s Lucent merged. The savings anticipated by combining research and development costs and reducing staff were quickly offset by pressure to lower prices amid increasing competition from the likes of China’s Huawei Technologies Co. and Ericsson AB of Sweden. Last year, the company lost 1.37 billion euros ($1.86 billion), and a new chief executive took over earlier this year.Alcatel said the job cuts would be presented to its European works council on Tuesday. The cuts will come from all of the regions in which the company operates: 4,100 positions will be cut in its Europe, Middle East and Africa region, 3,800 in the Asia-Pacific zone and 2,100 in the Americas.In a sign that the layoffs will likely face stiff resistance, especially in Europe, elected officials from western France, the site of an Alcatel-Lucent plant, urged the company to abandon the restructuring plan. The officials said in a statement that they feared the local plant would be closed and accused the company of reneging on promises to keep it open.Investors appeared at first glance to be backing the plan. The company’s share price was trading 1.5 per cent higher in morning trading in Paris. Telecom equipment maker Alcatel-Lucent to cut 10,000 jobs worldwide in cost-cutting effort read more

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Lawsuits VW employees tried to cover up emissions cheating

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman discusses a lawsuit against Volkswagen, Tuesday, July 19, 2016, in New York. He is joined by Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey, right. The states are suing Volkswagen and its affiliates Audi and Porsche over diesel emissions cheating, alleging that the German automakers defrauded customers by selling diesel vehicles equipped with software allowing them to cheat emissions testing. In response, the company said, “The allegations in complaints filed by certain states today are essentially not new and we have been addressing them in our discussions with U.S. federal and state authorities.” (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan) ALBANY, N.Y. – New York, Massachusetts and Maryland are suing Volkswagen and its affiliates Audi and Porsche over diesel emissions cheating, accusing the German automakers of defrauding customers, misleading regulators and then seeking to cover up the deception.The lawsuits, announced Tuesday, allege that numerous employees and executives at Volkswagen knew that diesel vehicles had been equipped with software allowing them to cheat emissions testing, and that after regulators began investigating several employees tried to cover it up by eliminating data about the software.“The allegations against Volkswagen, Audi and Porsche reveal a culture of deeply-rooted corporate arrogance, combined with a conscious disregard for the rule of law or the protection of public health and the environment,” said New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. “These suits should serve as a siren in every corporate board room, that if any company engages in this type of calculated and systematic illegality, we will bring the full force of the law — and seek the stiffest possible sanctions — to protect our citizens.”In a statement, Volkswagen said it is already in talks with authorities regarding “a comprehensive national resolution of all remaining environmental issues arising from the diesel matter.” The company also noted that it has agreed to buy back or modify affected vehicles, create a $2.7 billion environmental trust and invest $2 billion on infrastructure for zero-emission vehicles.“The allegations in complaints filed by certain states today are essentially not new and we have been addressing them in our discussions with U.S. federal and state authorities,” the company said. “It is regrettable that some states have decided to sue for environmental claims now, notwithstanding their prior support of this ongoing federal-state collaborative process.”The legal action seeks “substantial penalties” that would be based on a calculation of the duration of the alleged violations.While news of the rigged emissions tests first erupted a year ago, the new legal action makes several new allegations — most notably about the involvement of Volkswagen engineers and executives. The suit alleges that Volkswagen submitted false emissions data to regulators and sought to eliminate evidence when an investigation began.“This ‘clean diesel’ was nothing more than a dirty cover up,” said Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey. “… Volkswagen acted as if it was above the law.”Volkswagen also issued “sham” recall notices to some car owners and dealers in an effort to “turn down” the software, according to the New York lawsuit. Instead, some owners were told the recalls were needed for upgrades and “optimize” emissions.At one point, when California regulators announced plans for emissions tests that threatened to expose the devices, the company’s top engineer emailed colleagues seeking help, according to the lawsuit, writing. “Come up with the story please!”Additionally, just before the scandal broke, in August 2015, eight employees in the engineering department “promptly deleted or removed incriminating data about the devices from the company’s record” after being advised of the likelihood of legal action by a senior company attorney, according to the lawsuit.The suit also claims that former Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn and a top executive at Audi knew of the devices by spring 2014. The two leaders, the suit alleges, “had ample notice of the existence of unlawful illegal devices and did nothing to prevent both Audi and Volkswagen from repeatedly deceiving regulators, and the American public, for another 17 months.”Schneiderman and Healey detailed the case at a Tuesday news conference in New York City. The two Democrats are the top law enforcement officials in their respective states, and each state will file its own lawsuit.Last month, the German automaker agreed to spend up to $15.3 billion to settle consumer and government lawsuits over the emissions cheating, first disclosed in 2015.Schneiderman and Healey say that settlement did not resolve claims regarding violating state environmental laws and did not cover all the affected vehicles.Maryland officials announced their lawsuit separately.“Their disregard for the health of our citizens and their disregard for our environment must be punished,” Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh said in a statement.Some 25,000 affected vehicles were sold in New York state and 15,000 in Massachusetts, according to the lawsuits. As of October, about 13,000 such vehicles were registered in Maryland, officials said. An estimated 600,000 were sold across the country.The prosecutors say consumers who purchased one of the vehicles believed they were buying a “green diesel” car, even though the vehicles illegally emitted pollutants linked to respiratory disease, elevated ozone levels and smog. by David Klepper, The Associated Press Posted Jul 19, 2016 8:31 am MDT Last Updated Jul 19, 2016 at 8:40 pm MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email Lawsuits: VW employees tried to cover up emissions cheating read more

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Researchers Canadian firm helping Bahrain censor the web

by Raphael Satter, The Associated Press Posted Sep 21, 2016 2:27 am MDT Last Updated Sep 21, 2016 at 8:40 am MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email LONDON – Researchers have identified a Canadian company at the centre of a small Arab nation’s online censorship system — a finding that sits awkwardly with Ottawa officials’ public support for digital freedoms.Specialists from Internet watchdog Citizen Lab said in a report published Wednesday that web filtering firm Netsweeper Inc. is helping block news and opposition websites in Bahrain, a Gulf Arab monarchy which has been wracked by unrest since pro-democracy protests were stifled there in 2011.Citizen Lab Director Ron Deibert said the discovery undermines Canadian leaders’ forceful condemnations of online censorship.“Canadian policymakers have been quite vocal about saying that this is wrong,” Deibert said in a phone call ahead of the report’s release. “Yet here we have a Canadian company that’s doing precisely that.”Netsweeper, based in Guelph, Ont., did not return a call and other messages. In 2011, a company spokesman was quoted as saying there was “no good conversation for us to have” about allegations of censorship.Citizen Lab said the banned Bahraini sites include ones run by opposition and human rights groups as well as sites critical of Islam. Gambling and pornography sites also were blocked.Netsweeper’s suspected role as Bahrain’s censorship provider first came to light after the firm appeared to win a contract for a “national website filtering solution” earlier this year. Researchers at Citizen Lab said they confirmed the company’s role there by scouring Bahrain’s Internet space for Netsweeper installations and trying to access blocked sites from a server in the country.The researchers drew on clues such as lines including the words “Netsweeper” or “netsw” returned during Internet scans and a tell-tale line of code in the web addresses thrown up by blocked sites.Canadian government officials — who are promoting an upcoming Dubai trade show which Netsweeper is supposed to attend — said in a statement that while they could not comment on specific companies, “we expect Canadian businesses to operate lawfully and according to Canadian values.”Based at the University of Toronto’s Munk School of Global Affairs, Citizen Lab has made a specialty of exposing the companies behind surveillance and censorship in the Middle East and beyond. Last month, its discovery of Israeli-made spy software targeting an Arab dissident’s iPhone prompted Apple to issue a worldwide security update. Citizen Lab has been tracking Netsweeper’s work for years.Bahrain’s Information Ministry did not reply to emails seeking comment.___Online:Citizen Lab’s report: https://citizenlab.org/2016/09/tender-confirmed-rights-risk-verifying-netsweeper-bahrain Researchers: Canadian firm helping Bahrain censor the web read more

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Global stocks edge up as investors look to Trump remarks

TOKYO – Global stocks rose modestly on Wednesday as investors looked ahead to a press conference by President-elect Donald Trump for details on trade and clarifications about Russia’s role in the election.KEEPING SCORE: Germany’s DAX was up 0.3 per cent at 11,618 while France’s CAC 40 gained 0.1 per cent to 4,894. Britain’s FTSE 100 added 0.1 per cent to 7,283. U.S. shares were also set to drift higher, with Dow and S&P futures both up 0.1 per cent.TRUMP FACTOR: Investors are awaiting Trump’s first news conference in nearly six months, as questions fly over Russia’s role in the election year hacking of Democratic groups. Investors are awaiting news on Trump’s plan to disengage from his businesses and on his policy positions on international trade.THE QUOTE: “Trading is likely to remain cautious ahead of press conferences with Fed members on Thursday, and Trump tonight. There is little in the way of data to drive sentiment prior to these events,” Alex Furber, a sales trader at CMC Markets, said in a commentary.SAMSUNG: Samsung’s strong earnings forecast helped drive gains on the South Korean stock market, where the Kospi added 1.5 per cent to 2,075.17, its highest close in over a year. Samsung Electronics, the country’s biggest company, finished at a fresh record high of 1,914,000 won, up 2.8 per cent, lifted by expectations of strong earnings by its computer chip business.VW SCANDAL: Shares in Volkswagen were up almost 4 per cent after the company said it is in advanced talks to settle a criminal case over its emissions scandal by pleading guilty to unspecified charges and paying $4.3 billion in criminal and civil fines. While the sum is far larger than any recent case involving the auto industry, a settlement would help end uncertainty and the company is strong enough financially to be able to handle it.ASIA’S DAY: Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 rose 0.3 per cent to close at 19,364.67. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 added 0.2 per cent to 5,771.50. South Korea’s Kospi was up 1.5 per cent at 2,075.17. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng gained 0.8 per cent to 22,935.35, but the Shanghai Composite slipped 0.8 per cent to 3,136.75. Shares in Southeast Asia were mostly higher.ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude rose 25 cents to $51.07 a barrel in electronic trading, having lost $1.14 the day before. Brent crude, which is used to price oil sold internationally, added 24 cents to $53.88.CURRENCIES: The dollar rose to 116.24 yen from 115.65 yen the day before. The euro fell to $1.0507 from $1.0607. The pound continued to weaken amid concern that Britain might break off completely from the European Union’s single market. The currency was at $1.2119, from $1.2177 the day before.___Follow Yuri Kageyama on Twitter at https://twitter.com/yurikageyamaHer work can be found at http://bigstory.ap.org/content/yuri-kageyama A woman walks past an electronic stock board showing Nikkei stock index at a securities firm in Tokyo, Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2017. Asian shares were mostly higher Wednesday morning on the back of a strengthening dollar and quiet trading ahead of remarks by president-elect Donald Trump. (AP Photo/Shuji Kajiyama) by Yuri Kageyama, The Associated Press Posted Jan 10, 2017 8:26 am MDT Last Updated Jan 11, 2017 at 6:00 am MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email Global stocks edge up as investors look to Trump remarks read more

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Oil industry will continue to lose money this year Conference Board of

by The Canadian Press Posted Mar 13, 2017 7:38 am MDT Last Updated Mar 13, 2017 at 8:40 am MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email Oil industry will continue to lose money this year: Conference Board of Canada CALGARY – The Conference Board of Canada says the oil industry will continue to lose money for much of this year despite stronger financial conditions and the promise of new pipeline capacity.Economist Carlos Murillo says the sector has narrowed losses since hitting rock bottom with an $11-billion overall loss in the first quarter of 2016, but it won’t post positive numbers until the fourth quarter of this year.He says he expects the industry to recover to match its 2010 profit of around $13 billion by 2021.The board says in a report released Monday that capital investment this year is expected to fall to $22 billion from $27 billion last year as big construction projects in the Alberta oilsands and offshore Newfoundland are completed.The peak investment level was $62 billion in 2014.The board says benchmark light crude will average US$55 per barrel this year and rise to US$71 by 2021.Murillo predicts Canadian industry costs will jump by an average of 13 per cent per year between 2017 and 2021, in part because of pipeline transportation constraints that could force more producers to switch to crude-by-rail options.“The way we kind of look at it is, because the losses have been so large over the last couple of years, it takes a bit of time to get up there to the point that you actually are starting to make money again,” said Murillo.“Of course, improving revenues will help, but there are already cost pressures.” read more

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