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Updated: 27 min 58 sec ago

Minks hijinks: 3000 released from Quebec farm in a deliberate act, police say

Wed, 08/20/2014 - 18:30
An intruder has deliberately set loose 3,000 minks from a rural Quebec fur farm and some of the creatures may have found their way off the property, provincial police and wildlife officials said Wednesday. The farm is at the heart of allegations of animal mistreatment and various groups tried last week to force the government to remove as many as 80 foxes and several thousand minks from the facility.
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Exclusive: Funds could face market curbs after lobbying backfires

Wed, 08/20/2014 - 18:26
By Huw Jones LONDON (Reuters) - Fund managers may face tougher scrutiny by global regulators than planned after their intense lobbying against a first proposal backfired, industry sources and G20 officials said. "The industry fears it may have shot itself in the foot as FSB (the regulatory task force) is coming back with an even more radical proposal," a European asset management industry source said. "Since we argued that size is the wrong metric to use, the FSB is now looking at investment-driven supervisory tools." The group of 20 economies (G20) in 2009 asked its regulatory task force, the Financial Stability Board (FSB), to scrutinize big asset managers more closely as part of its remit to maintain financial stability. The FSB proposed in January that individual funds with over $100 billion in assets should face tougher, yet-to-be-detailed scrutiny.
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Commercial vehicle safety blitz in Toronto targeted minorities: lawyer

Wed, 08/20/2014 - 18:26
A commercial vehicle safety blitz that led to the arrest of 21 people for immigration offences targeted minorities and amounts to racial profiling, a lawyer involved in the case alleged Wednesday. Macdonald Scott, who represents two of the people arrested, said Canada Border Services Agency officials aggressively demanded identification from members of visible minorities during the four-hour operation last Thursday. CBSA defended its participation in the traffic blitz, which also involved the Ontario Ministry of Transport and provincial police, but did not comment on the racial profiling allegations. "In the past, the CBSA has been invited to participate in this type of blitz when partner agencies have noticed that many drivers stopped during blitzes had immigration warrants," the agency said in an email to The Canadian Press.
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Spy agency improperly handled some information about Canadians: watchdog

Wed, 08/20/2014 - 17:50

Canada's electronic spy agency intercepted — and kept — several private communications of Canadians last year in violation of internal policies on personal information. In his annual report, the watchdog that keeps an eye on Communications Security Establishment Canada says while many of the 66 intercepts involving Canadians were handled properly, some were not. Ottawa-based CSEC monitors foreign communications of intelligence interest to Canada, and exchanges a large amount of information with similar agencies in the United States, Britain, Australia and New Zealand.


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Policy delay has Japanese carmakers reviewing Philippines expansion plans

Wed, 08/20/2014 - 17:49

By Rosemarie Francisco MANILA (Reuters) - Top Japanese automakers in the Philippines are threatening to shift production to cheaper Southeast Asian countries as the government drags its feet on a plan to rebuild its shrinking car manufacturing industry. The potential pullout of production lines by Toyota Motor Corp and Mitsubishi Motors, which have a combined 50,000 vehicle annual capacity in the country, would mean the Philippines could lose more than 1,000 jobs and millions of dollars worth of planned and existing investments. Time is running out, industry officials say, because there's less than two years left in the term of President Benigno Aquino, who has been backing the plan. The original government plan includes tax incentives to help rebuild the country's tiny auto industry and turn it into a major manufacturing hub.


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Imprisoned Egyptian-Canadian journalist Mohamed Fahmy files appeal

Wed, 08/20/2014 - 17:42
Mohamed Fahmy was working for Qatar-based satellite news broadcaster Al-Jazeera English when he was arrested on Dec. 29 along with two colleagues — Australian correspondent Peter Greste and Baher Mohamed, an Egyptian producer. The trio were accused of supporting the banned Islamist Muslim Brotherhood group of ousted president Mohammed Morsi. Fahmy and Greste were later found guilty and sentenced to seven years in prison, while Mohamed was sentenced to 10 years. Adel Fahmy said his brother initially was "very stubborn" and refused to appeal his conviction because he was still "infuriated and frustrated from the verdict."
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Lucien Bouchard says there's no way to repair friendship with Mulroney

Wed, 08/20/2014 - 17:38

Although they were once close friends, Lucien Bouchard says there's no way to repair his ruptured relationship with Brian Mulroney. "We run into each other occasionally in Montreal or elsewhere and I think we have an agreement to not embarrass each other," Bouchard said Wednesday. Bouchard made the comments after the screening of a new documentary on his political career which will be broadcast Monday evening on the public Tele-Quebec network. Mulroney, who became prime minister in 1984, named Bouchard as Canada's ambassador to Paris in 1985 and then brought him into his cabinet as environment minister in 1988.


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Shakeup at PCO as Wouters leaves office that oversees PMO's daily operations

Wed, 08/20/2014 - 17:33
Canada has a new top civil servant — and she's only the second woman to hold the position of clerk of the Privy Council. Janice Charette was named to the post Wednesday by Prime Minister Stephen Harper, who issued a statement on her appointment just moments after current clerk Wayne Wouters announced his retirement. Charette has moved steadily up the bureaucratic ladder in Ottawa since becoming a public servant in the 1980s, most recently holding the deputy clerk's job. Wouters announced his departure Wednesday in a short statement on Twitter and his office's website.
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Head of Guatemala's armed forces, 4 others die when helicopter crashes in mountainous area

Wed, 08/20/2014 - 17:32

The head of the Guatemalan military's joint chiefs of staff died in a helicopter crash Wednesday near the border with Mexico. Interior Secretary Mauricio Lopez said Gen. Rudy Ortiz was killed along with four other military officers when the helicopter went down in a mountainous area of the western province of Huehuetenango. Lopez identified one of the other victims as Gen. Braulio Mayen, commander of the army's 5th Brigade. Ortiz, 51, and the others were flying in a Bell 206 helicopter to the village of Ixquisis, where the two generals were going to check on troops, Lopez said.


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Watchdog urges Canada spy agency to do more to respect privacy

Wed, 08/20/2014 - 17:32
Canada's electronic spy agency should tighten up its procedures for handling the private calls and emails it intercepts, and clarify how it expects the United States and other allies to use such material, a government watchdog said on Wednesday. The report by Commissioner Jean-Pierre Plouffe, a retired judge, examined the work of Communications Security Establishment Canada (CSEC), a secretive body that like the U.S.
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Trudeau hopes to vault Liberals from third party to stable, majority government

Wed, 08/20/2014 - 17:29
Justin Trudeau confirms the Liberals have set their sights on winning a majority in next year's federal election. The Liberal leader suggests a minority wouldn't do because Canadians want a strong, stable government with representation from every part of the country. The Liberal party, which currently has just 37 MPs, would have to win at least 170 seats to hold a bare majority in the House of Commons, which will have 338 seats after the 2015 vote. Trudeau acknowledges that Liberals have a lot of work to do to achieve that goal.
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TSX hits record high after Fed comment

Wed, 08/20/2014 - 16:48

By John Tilak TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index touched a record high on Wednesday after commentary from the Federal Reserve suggested that the U.S. Minutes from a recent policy meeting indicated that the Fed will not raise interest rates until it has more confidence in the strength of the economic recovery. Investors will be looking for further clues about the central bank’s outlook for interest rates when Fed Chair Janet Yellen addresses policymakers in Jackson Hole, Wyoming later this week. All the cards are playing out in its favor,” said Elvis Picardo, strategist and vice president of research at Global Securities in Vancouver.


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Driveway sinkhole nearly swallows BMW

Wed, 08/20/2014 - 16:40
A crane retrieved a BMW from a sinkhole that formed in a Toronto driveway after a water main break. The sinkhole started forming in a driveway outside a condominium townhouse near Warden Avenue and Sheppard Avenue East. The BMW began to sink into the ground, starting with its back wheels.
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Fed debates merits of earlier rate hike given U.S. jobs gains

Wed, 08/20/2014 - 16:26

Federal Reserve hinted on Wednesday that a surprisingly strong jobs market recovery could lead it to raise interest rates earlier than it had been anticipating. At the same time, most Fed officials wanted further evidence before changing their view on when rates should rise, according to the minutes from the central bank's July 29-30 meeting. "Labor market conditions had moved noticeably closer to those viewed as normal in the longer run," the minutes said, adding that policymakers "generally agreed" the job market was healing faster than they had expected. The Fed had said in its policy statement following the July meeting that there was "significant" labor market slack, but the minutes showed many members of its policy-setting panel thought this characterization "might have to change before long." "The committee as a whole has started to shift its stance," said Paul Dales, an economist at Capital Economics in London.


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68 STO buses recalled due to risk of fire

Wed, 08/20/2014 - 16:26

A Canada-wide manufacturer recall notice has prompted STO to pull dozens of buses off the roads because of a fire risk. Nova Bus said they’re issuing the recall because a faulty alternator cable in the engine of some buses may increase the risk of a fire. The recall affects 68 of 300 buses in Gatineau, but the STO said it will not affect passenger service.


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Teen who killed family granted unescorted temporary absence from prison

Wed, 08/20/2014 - 16:25
James Ruscitti is serving a life sentence for the 1996 slayings of Rocco and Marilyn Ruscitti, his brother's 17-year-old girlfriend and a boarder who lived in their home near 100 Mile House, 500 kilometres northeast of Vancouver. In a written decision released Wednesday, the National Parole Board granted Ruscitti's request for a 60-day absence to attend a residential substance abuse treatment facility on Vancouver Island. Now 33, the parole board members noted that Ruscitti is considered a moderate to high risk for violent reoffending but found he has made progress in his rehabilitation. The unescorted absence is the first step in what parole board members called a "very gradual" reintegration into society.
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Liberia seals off slums as West Africa's Ebola caseload tops all previous outbreaks combined

Wed, 08/20/2014 - 15:58

Riot police and soldiers acting on their president's orders used scrap wood and barbed wire to seal off 50,000 people inside their Liberian slum Wednesday, trying to contain the Ebola outbreak that has killed 1,350 people and counting across West Africa. Hundreds of the slum's residents clashed with the gunmen, furious at being blamed and isolated by a government that has failed to quickly collect dead bodies from the streets of Liberia's capital. The World Health Organization said the death toll is rising most quickly in Liberia, which now accounts for at least 576 of the fatalities. At least 2,473 people have been sickened across West Africa, which is now more than in all the previous two-dozen Ebola outbreaks combined.


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Airstrike kills Hamas leader's wife and child; Israel demands the rocket fire stop

Wed, 08/20/2014 - 15:54

Hamas' shadowy military chief escaped an apparent Israeli assassination attempt that killed his wife and infant son, the militant group said Wednesday as Israel's prime minister warned that the bombardment of Gaza will continue until rocket fire out of the Palestinian territory stops. The airstrike on a home where Mohammed Deif's family members were staying — and the tough talk from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu — came after the collapse of cease-fire talks in Cairo on Tuesday. In a nationally televised address, Netanyahu showed little willingness to return to the negotiating table after six weeks of war with Hamas.


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US official: More airstrikes in Iraq since video of journalist's death was released

Wed, 08/20/2014 - 15:45

American fighter jets and drones continued to pound Islamic State militants in Iraq on Wednesday, and military planners weighed the possibility of sending a small number of additional U.S. The airstrikes came in the hours after militants released a gruesome video Tuesday showing U.S. Officials said that the forces were requested by the State Department and, if approved, would mainly provide extra security around Baghdad.


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BofA in $16.5 billion deal with U.S. over mortgage bonds: source

Wed, 08/20/2014 - 15:45

Bank of America Corp is expected to pay more than $16.5 billion to end investigations into mortgage securities that the bank and its units sold in the run-up to the financial crisis, in a deal that could be announced as early as Thursday, a person familiar with the matter said. An agreement in principle was reached earlier this month after a phone call between the bank's chief executive, Brian Moynihan, and Attorney General Eric Holder. Representatives of the Justice Department and Bank of America declined comment.


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