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Updated: 19 min 44 sec ago

Citigroup shuns digital webcast for its shareholder meeting

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 18:48

By David Henry NEW YORK (Reuters) - Citigroup Inc , which aspires "to become the world's digital bank", will not webcast its annual meeting next week in St. Louis. Of the top six U.S. banks, only Citigroup and Wells Fargo & Co do not allow investors to listen to live audio from their annual meetings. Analyst Mike Mayo told Reuters on Wednesday that Citigroup's practice is "ludicrous." He said the bank needs to explain what it has learned since March, when the Federal Reserve rejected Citigroup's plan to boost dividends and buy back more shares, and investors should not have to fly to St. Louis to hear it. On Citigroup's conference call with investors on Monday, Mayo asked CEO Mike Corbat if the annual meeting would be webcast.

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Ontario woman accused of poisoning 8 kids and 1 adult pleads guilty to 4 counts

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 18:45
KITCHENER, Ont. - An Ontario woman who had been accused of poisoning eight children and an adult with eyedrops has pleaded guilty in four of the cases. Brendan Crawley of the attorney general’s ministry says Christine Allen, 32, pleaded guilty Tuesday in Kitchener, Ont., to four counts of administering a noxious substance with intent to cause bodily harm. The victims were all residents of Kitchener or Guelph, Ont. Allen ran a home daycare in Kitchener from 2009 to 2011.
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Tree cutting now requires special Vancouver permit

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 18:40
Vancouver wants to protect the city's healthy, mature forest canopy by restricting tree cutting on private property.
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Political players of all party stripes gather for fond farewell to Jim Flaherty

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 18:39

TORONTO - Jim Flaherty was remembered Wednesday with equal measures of laughter and tears as Canada's political elite gathered to set aside their partisan differences and pay their final respects to the former finance minister. Mourners donned green scarves, a tribute to Flaherty's Irish heritage, inside the majestic St. James Anglican cathedral in downtown Toronto as they celebrated the diminutive, combative politician, who died of a heart attack last week at the age of 64. Flaherty converted to Anglicanism when he married his wife, Ontario MPP Christine Elliott, 28 years ago. "What a sad time this is in the life of our country," said Prime Minister Stephen Harper, who began the proceedings with an upbeat personal tribute to his longtime political confidante.

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Homegrown terrorist: Toronto 18 bomb plotter Saad Khalid recalls his radicalization

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 18:38

In a series of exclusive letters with CBC, one of the men convicted in the so-called Toronto 18 bombing plot in 2006 offers his own analysis of his transformation from a typical immigrant teenager to a radical convicted on a terrorism-related charge.

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Paramedic James Keats faces lawsuit in alleged sex assault

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 18:31

A paramedic facing multiple charges of sexual assault is now the subject of a law suit

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US readies sanctions on Russia, aid for Ukraine's military as it seeks to gain control in east

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 18:26

WASHINGTON - The Obama administration is preparing to ratchet up sanctions on Russia and boost assistance for the Ukrainian military in the coming days, U.S. officials said Wednesday, as Ukraine struggles to contain a pro-Russian uprising in its eastern cities. Officials said they had no plans to levy new sanctions ahead of Thursday's talks in Geneva between the U.S., Russia, Ukraine and the European Union. But with low expectations for a breakthrough in those meetings, officials already have prepared targets for sanctions that include wealthy individuals close to Russian President Vladimir Putin and the entities they run. The administration also was working on a package of non-lethal assistance for Ukraine's military.

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Town of Hantsport to dissolve

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 18:25

The Mayor and council in the town of Hantsport in Hants County decided Thursday they will dissolve.

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Jay Z to bring two-day Made in America music festival to downtown Los Angeles

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 18:24

LOS ANGELES, Calif. - The Budweiser Made in America music festival is coming to Los Angeles, but who is performing and how the city will manage the two-day concert are still mysteries. Jay Z and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti held a news conference Wednesday to announce the music festival, which is planned for Labor Day weekend and will be held simultaneously with one in Philadelphia. They did not announce the lineup of performers or address residents' concerns about the venue — a park in downtown Los Angeles that is crossed by several streets and partially surrounded by residential buildings. Jay Z, whose real name is Shawn Carter, wants to create a festival that brings together diverse musical genres, where "all walks of life and all people can come, and it's in the city and it's not some far-off place that you can't get to — no disrespect to any other festivals," he said.

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Marois has no regrets as she says goodbye after election defeat

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 17:47
QUEBEC - Pauline Marois bid a tearful goodbye to politics on Wednesday, saying she has no regrets and that Quebecers will always fight to get a country. In a political career that spanned more than 30 years, Marois held various cabinet positions before becoming premier in 2012 with a minority Parti Quebecois government. Her stewardship of the province as Quebec's first female premier would last just 18 months. On Wednesday, she met with incoming premier Philippe Couillard, whose Liberals romped to victory in last week's election with 70 of the province's 125 seats.
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GM to seek court protection against ignition lawsuits

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 17:42

GM has said it is protected from liability for claims related to incidents that occurred before it exited bankruptcy in 2009, and has taken steps to raise those issues with the court by filing motions to stay recall-related lawsuits while it asks that bankruptcy court to clarify the extent of that protection. In a filing with the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas on Tuesday, GM asked for a stay on litigation related to ignition claims until a judicial panel on multidistrict litigation decides on a motion to consolidate the case with other lawsuits and the bankruptcy court rules on whether the claims violate GM's 2009 bankruptcy sale order. The company earlier filed a similar motion with the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California seeking a stay on pending litigation. The defect has been linked to the deaths of at least 13 people and the recall of 2.6 million GM vehicles.

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Report of smoke at Vanscoy potash mine near Saskatoon

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 17:41
Agrium spokesperson said miners have been moved into underground shelters.
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Starbucks and other chains add nutritional info to menu

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 17:31

Starbucks, McDonald's and Tim Horton's are joining restaurant chains in providing nutritional information on their menu items.

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Canada mum on contribution as NATO beefs up presence in eastern Europe

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 17:28
OTTAWA - NATO has laid out plans to beef up its presence in eastern Europe, and Canada is noticeably absent from the list of countries that have acknowledged they'll send military forces. Anders Fogh Rasmussen, the alliance's secretary general, said Wednesday it will deploy additional air, sea and land forces to former East Bloc countries in response to the worsening crisis in Ukraine. The United States, Britain, Denmark, Poland, Portugal and Germany are all planning to contribute fighter jets to increase air patrols over the Baltic region. France and the Czech Republic have also offered aircraft, but they might be employed in missions over Poland.
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Canadians bid farewell to Jim Flaherty, former finance minister

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 17:24

By Cameron French TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada's political elite and hundreds of well-wishers paid final respects to former Finance Minister Jim Flaherty at a state funeral on Wednesday, with Prime Minister Stephen Harper depicting Flaherty as a man who put his own needs aside in the service of his country. Flaherty's death of a heart attack last week shocked Canadians, coming less than a month after the 64-year-old stepped down after eight years running the country's finances. Well-wishers packed St. James Cathedral in downtown Toronto, wearing green scarves in tribute to Flaherty's Irish heritage, which he often referenced. Flags at government buildings in Ottawa and at the Toronto headquarters of the country's banks flew at half-staff in tribute to a man credited with shepherding Canada's economy and banking system through the financial crisis of the last decade.

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Information watchdog's probe poses questions about access to ministerial records

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 17:22
That was gist of the response Canada's information commissioner received when, during the course of a recent investigation, she asked the Department of Public Works for a series of emails sent by political staff. The same thing happened when deputy Liberal leader Ralph Goodale asked for documents on the Senate expenses scandal from the Privy Council Office. The basic argument was the same: the department doesn't have any control over records in the minister's office, and political staff aren't covered by the Access to Information Act anyway. A 2011 Supreme Court decision on ministerial records and access to information said it is the content of the documents — not where they are located — which determines whether they fall under the Act.
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Government-commissioned studies suggest public unsure of energy industry benefit

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 17:20
OTTAWA - Public-opinion research contracted by Ottawa suggests the pro-resource-development Conservative government has not yet convinced Canadians of the national benefits of the energy industry. Two polling companies conducted cross-country focus groups last fall — in addition to one large national poll — and reported a common theme: most Canadians just don't see what's in it for them. "The perceived advantages of pipelines were economic — though few participants saw Canada as a whole benefiting from pipelines being built," said a report from Environics posted publicly this week. Natural Resources Canada, which commissioned the two studies at a combined cost of almost $255,000, has spent more than $30 million on resource industry advertising over the last three years, with millions more budgeted this year.
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Judge says man charged in 2012 election shooting should get state-funded lawyer

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 17:19
Justice Guy Cournoyer said the court believes having proper legal counsel with funding advanced by the province is as much in Richard Henry Bain's interest as it is in the public's. Cournoyer said that while Bain, 63, is currently unable to pay for a lawyer, he has offered to reimburse the province in the future for his legal fees. "In this very unusual and exceptional circumstance, the court is of the view that an order providing for state-funded counsel to Mr. Bain is both in his interest and in society's interest, in having the charges disposed of on the merits within a reasonable time," Cournoyer said. Bain is charged with first-degree murder and attempted murder after an attack at a Montreal club in September 2012 as Pauline Marois celebrated the election victory of her Parti Quebecois.
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NYC police dismantling some post-9-11 anti-terrorism efforts; 'A different tone' at the top

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 16:55

NEW YORK, N.Y. - The move by New York City's new police commissioner to disband a unit that spied on the everyday activities of Muslims could be just the first step in a dismantling of some of the huge post-9-11 intelligence-gathering machinery built by his predecessor. Among other anti-terror programs that are getting a hard look from Commissioner William Bratton is a unit that stations NYPD officers in foreign cities such as London, Paris, Tel Aviv and Amman, Jordan. Over the past few years, Bratton's predecessor Ray Kelly and then-Mayor Michael Bloomberg vehemently defended what has become the nation's largest intelligence-gathering, anti-terrorism operation outside the federal government, saying the lack of any major attack on the city since 9-11, and the lowest overall crime rate in a generation, are proof it is working. But Bratton and his allies say the unit-by-unit review of the NYPD's intelligence and counterterrorism operations is necessary to eliminate possible inefficiencies, better deploy resources and respond to criticism that the department has trampled on civil rights.

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Out-of-pocket health costs rising; low-income homes face biggest pinch

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 16:52
TORONTO - Out-of-pocket health expenses rose sharply from 1997 to 2009, with low-income households taking the hardest hit, a new study from Statistics Canada reveals. Low-income households saw their health-care-related costs rise by 63 per cent over that period, compared to an increase of between 36 and 48 per cent for higher earners, the report says. In 2009, households with the lowest incomes spent about $1,000 on health care, compared to almost $3,000 for top earners. While those numbers may not seem enormous, for a significant portion of families in the lowest income tier that outlay represented more than five per cent of the household's after-tax annual income.
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