By Jan Strupczewski BRUSSELS (Reuters) - New European Union sanctions against Russia could include further capital markets restrictions, making it harder for Russian companies to refinance themselves and possibly affecting Russian sovereign bonds, EU officials said on Wednesday. The EU could also move to further restrict Russia's access to advanced technology for its oil and gas industries. EU foreign ministers are expected to ask the executive European Commission on Thursday to prepare a new round of sanctions to punish Moscow for its role in eastern Ukraine, however officials said the measures may not be adopted by EU leaders until March. The ministers are expected to extend until the end of 2015 asset freezes and travel bans imposed on dozens of Ukrainian and Russian people and organizations following Moscow's annexation of Crimea last March, according to a draft statement seen by Reuters.
The City of Ottawa will work toward a permanent bus-train crash memorial and give former Ottawa Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson a key to the city in 2015, Mayor Jim Watson said Wednesday. In his annual state of the cityÂ address before the first city council meeting of the year,Â Watson addedÂ details to familiar themes and introduced new initiatives for the year ahead.
The New Democrats are seizing on Wednesday's revision of Statistics Canada's labour force numbers for 2014 as further evidence of the damage done by federal cuts to the national numbers agency. It said the unemployment rate for December 2014 was 6.7 per cent, compared with its initial estimate of 6.6 per cent, and the estimated number of jobs gained last year was 121,300, down from 185,700 estimated earlier this month. The agency has been starved of resources, said New Democrat MP Nathan Cullen, who cited the 2010 decision to cancel the detailed, mandatory long-form census as the source of the problem. The decision has deprived Statistics Canada "of the basic resources it needs to do its job to provide incredibly valuable information to Canadians and Canadian business," Cullen said.
By Barani Krishnan NEW YORK (Reuters) - Oil prices fell on Wednesday after the U.S. government reported record-high crude inventories, adding to anxieties about the global glut that has pressured the market since last summer. The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) said domestic crude oil stocks rose by almost 9 million barrels last week to reach nearly 407 million, their highest since the government began keeping records in 1982. The American Petroleum Institute, an industry group, had estimated a far bigger growth of nearly 13 million barrels. Benchmark Brent crude oil was down 84 cents at $48.76 a barrel by 1:07 p.m. ET (1807 GMT), after making a session low at $48.65.
Criticized for its own handling of head injuries, the NFL launched an extensive lobbying campaign to pass laws protecting kids who get concussions while playing sports. An Associated Press analysis of the 51 youth concussion laws â one in each state and the District of Columbia â found that fewer than half contain all of the key principles in the initial bill passed in Washington state in 2009.
Canada Finance Minister Joe Oliver dismissed on Wednesday the idea that interest rates are so low they are spurring Canadians to buy homes they cannot afford. "I've said again and again we don't think there's a bubble - the Bank of Canada agrees with that, CMHC (Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corp), OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development)." Canada escaped the housing crash of 2007 in the United States that triggered the global financial crisis, and experienced a post-recession property boom as borrowing costs hit record lows. Oliver's predecessor, the late Jim Flaherty, repeatedly tightened rules around government-backed mortgages in a bid to cool the market. The Bank of Canada last week surprised markets by cutting rates to 0.75 percent, citing a threat to economic growth and its inflation targets from the steep plunge in the price of oil.
Islamic extremists are rampaging through villages in northeastern Nigeria, killing, burning and looting with no troops protecting civilians, fleeing villagers said Wednesday. More than 40 people have been killed in seven villages in Adamawa state this week, according to resident Emmanuel Kwache. State legislator Adamu Kamale said he has appealed in vain for troops since the attacks began on Friday. On Monday the militants moved into Michika town, he said.
Buying art at Sotheby's will soon become more expensive as the top international auction house announced it is increasing its buyer's premium, the rates it charges a successful bidder. Beginning on Sunday, anyone who purchases a work of art will pay 25 percent to the auction house on the first $200,000 of the hammer price, compared with the earlier threshold of $100,000. Bill Ruprecht, the chairman and president of Sotheby's, said the changes were needed to boost the New York-based auction house financially. A spokeswoman said it had no plans to follow the example of Sotheby's, a publicly traded company.
Nissan Motor Co is recalling about 768,000 vehicles, including its popular Rogue crossover and Pathfinder SUV, for separate problems, the company and U.S. regulators said on Wednesday. Some 552,135 Rogues from model years 2008 and 2013 will be recalled because moisture could seep through the driver side floor and cause an electrical short to wiring that could lead to a fire, Nissan and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) said. No crashes or injuries have been reported due to the wiring issue, a Nissan spokesman said on Wednesday morning. Also, 215,789 Pathfinder SUVs from the 2013 and 2014 model years and 2013 Infiniti JX35 vehicles will be recalled for problems related to a secondary hood latch, Nissan and NHTSA said.