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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.
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.
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.
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.
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 â€” 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 â€” no disrespect to any other festivals," he said.
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.
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.
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.