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Updated: 16 min 53 sec ago

In the driving seat: China's yuppies are new market force for global automakers

12 hours 22 min ago

By Samuel Shen and Norihiko Shirouzu SHANGHAI/BEIJING (Reuters) - Global automakers are scrambling to meet the demands of China's young urban professionals, who want a car that makes them stand out, yet don't always have the money to splurge on a top-end model. After nearly two decades of frenzied growth driven mainly by the very wealthy, China's auto market is maturing, yet remains ferociously competitive with manufacturers having to react quickly to shifting consumer trends. People like Zhou Wenxi, a 32-year-old Shanghai cram-school owner, and Guo Yetao, 23, a software salesman from Hangzhou, are fuelling two trends: hot demand for smaller crossover sport utility vehicles like Ford Motor Co's EcoSport; There is a potential "seismic shift" in the influence these young urban professionals will have on China's auto market, says Yale Zhang, head of Automotive Foresight, a Shanghai-based consultant.


Categories: National News

Ottawa news quiz for week of April 13, 2014

13 hours 46 min ago
Were you watching the thermometer after this crazy week of weather? What did police learn when they investigated Barrhaven's rail crossings? And what is the House of Targ? Test your knowledge of the week's news.
Categories: National News

Premium car brands eye China's secondhand market

14 hours 4 min ago

By Edward Taylor and Jan Schwartz BEIJING (Reuters) - Strong demand for new automobiles in China has laid the foundations for the next leg of business for carmakers BMW , Audi and Mercedes-Benz: the second-hand premium car market. China's auto market is the world's biggest and is set to grow between 8 percent and 10 percent this year, fuelled by increasingly affluent buyers, who use them for the daily commute, with some opting for luxury brands as a status symbol. We have 290 dealers who offer certified pre-owned Audis," Rupert Stadler, chief executive of Volkswagen's premium brand, Audi, said during the Auto China show in Beijing. "In China, we have some dealers that sell between 1,500 and 3,000 cars." Audi, which expects China to contribute 40 percent of its sales by 2020, plans to train 40,000 to 50,000 new sales staff a year by 2017 to meet growing demand for brand-new and used cars, he said.


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South Africa's 'spaza' shops suffer as big retail rolls in

14 hours 42 min ago

By David Dolan SOWETO, South Africa (Reuters) - In this corner of South Africa's black township of Soweto, the biggest building used to be the Catholic church. Now it's been overshadowed by a shopping center and business has only gotten worse for Grace, a 68-year-old shopowner. Like many proprietors of "spaza" shops - the informal stores that dot township corners - Grace barely manages to keep afloat as more of her neighbors head to the mall. Grace has been running the shop with her husband since 1993, the year before South Africa's first all-race elections.


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25 years ago today: Last dollar bill made in Ottawa

14 hours 46 min ago
Twenty-five years ago today, the last Canadian dollar bill was printed, part of the transition full-time to the unloved loonie coin. As part of Our Ottawa's CBC Rewind, we take a look at the day they passed on the buck.
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Hallmark's 'Signed, Sealed, Delivered' brings 'Touched by an Angel' producer back to series TV

14 hours 55 min ago

LOS ANGELES, Calif. - In the decade that "Touched by an Angel" executive producer Martha Williamson has been away from series TV, much has changed. But Williamson says her Hallmark Channel series, "Signed, Sealed, Delivered," will be just as comfortable a fit for viewers as "Angel" was during its 1994-2003 run. "Signed, Sealed, Delivered," debuting 8 p.m. EDT Sunday, stars Eric Mabius ("Ugly Betty") as Oliver, the straight-laced, good-natured supervisor of an offbeat group of U.S. Postal Service employees who become sleuths to get mail to its proper place. Valerie Harper is a visiting manager in the first two episodes, with Carol Burnett, Valerie Bertinelli, Marilu Henner and former "Angel" star Della Reese also set to guest star.


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Traumatized refugees lose most of their federal mental health funding in B.C.

15 hours 46 min ago
VANCOUVER - Months after his mother was murdered by gang gunfire, Mauricio Osorto recognized he would be next if he didn't escape Honduras. He abandoned his life as a university teacher and lawyer who shared his mother’s law practice to go to Canada where he had to start again. A Vancouver refugee-assistance program helped him get through the grief and trauma of what he left behind and allowed him to build a new life in Canada. But many others after Osorto, 33, won't have the same opportunities in British Columbia after the federal government cut almost of all of its funding for agencies that had been offering mental health services to thousands of traumatized refugees.
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Scientists discover four new species of 'killer' sponges off Pacific coast

15 hours 51 min ago

Scientists have discovered four new species of carnivorous sponge off the Pacific Coast, including one deadly variety found hanging from the deep-sea ridges off southern Vancouver Island. "Sponges characteristically feed on small particles, like bacteria, little tiny guys," said Henry Reiswig, a retired professor of biology at McGill University, volunteer taxonomist at the University of Victoria and the Royal British Columbia Museum, and self-described "sponge guy." "It's a snaring process involving spicules, pieces of glass on their surfaces that they use to snare," said Reiswig, who is "77 or something like that." Two of the newly discovered species were collected by the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute off the California coast and another from a hydrothermal vent field in the Gulf of California off Mexico.


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Daimler to sell DENZA electric car in China with local subsidy

17 hours 13 min ago

Daimler said its DENZA electric car will be eligible for local subsidies in China when it goes on sale there in September priced at 369,000 renminbi ($60,000). DENZA, a local Chinese brand jointly developed with Chinese partner BYD , forms part of the German auto maker's push to expand its footprint in the world's largest car market, and to boost economies of scale for electric cars. Speaking at Auto China, the car show held in Beijing on Sunday, Thomas Weber, Daimler's head of research and development, said: "DENZA is the first complete vehicle that Daimler has developed together with BYD outside of Germany." The 5-seater car will be produced by Shenzen BYD Daimler New Technology Co. Ltd, and will have an operating range of 300 km (190 miles), Daimler said.


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Everest search teams recover body of 13th Sherpa killed in mountain's deadliest avalanche

18 hours 11 min ago

KATMANDU, Nepal - Nepal's authorities temporarily halted climbing on Mount Everest while search teams dug through snow and ice Sunday for three Sherpa guides missing in the deadliest avalanche on the world's highest peak that killed 13 others. A section of the route over the dreaded Khumbu Icefall, a climbing pass where the avalanche swept a group of guides early Friday, has totally collapsed and a new trail has to be dug, ropes fixed and aluminum ladders laid over the crevasses before climbing can resume, said Ang Tshering of the Nepal Mountaineering Association. Another group of Sherpas, who had already passed before the avalanche struck, were stranded on the other side and would only be able to get back to base camp once the new route is fixed, Tshering said.


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Toyota to launch China-made Corolla, Levin hybrids in 2015

19 hours 32 min ago

By Yoko Kubota BEIJING (Reuters) - Toyota Motor Corp plans to make and sell hybrid versions of its Corolla and Levin sedans in China next year, fitting them with locally-made components, in its first bid to entirely manufacture gas-electric hybrids outside Japan. The backdrop to Toyota's plans are efforts by foreign and domestic automakers to kick-start sales of hybrid cars in China, as the world's largest auto market warms to the vehicles in its efforts to cut pollution and reliance on fossil fuels. Toyota, an industry leader in hybrid vehicles, already makes the Prius and Camry hybrids in China, but has to import key parts, such as hybrid systems, making it tough to generate volume due to high import tariffs. In 2015, the Corolla and Levin hybrid sedans will carry made-in-China batteries, hybrid transaxles and inverters, Executive Vice President Yasumori Ihara, said at the Auto China car show in Beijing on Sunday.


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Sikh community gets gift-of-life plea at Vaisakhi Parade

Sat, 04/19/2014 - 22:46

The streets of Surrey, B.C., were lined with tens of thousands of people for the city's Vaisakhi Parade Saturday, and amid the the day's food booths and other festivities, one group was trying to reach the South Asian community with a serious message.


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Dog thief caught on camera at Vancouver tattoo parlour

Sat, 04/19/2014 - 22:26
A woman simply asked to pet the 10-month-old French bulldog, picked it up, and walked out when the owner was busy at the till of a downtown Vancouver tattoo parlour Thursday.
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What's on the menu? From ribs to cupcakes, mayor spends day eating at town's 24 restaurants

Sat, 04/19/2014 - 22:15

Jenkintown Mayor Ed Foley, in a gut-busting campaign to draw attention to the tiny borough's varied restaurant scene, set out to visit all 24 of them on Saturday, starting with a pre-dawn visit to IHOP. The second-term Democrat said he's had to battle "mom guilt" from restaurant staff as he has eaten his way across Jenkintown, a town so small that he only needed to build in 15 minutes to walk from place to place. He said several restaurants have opened in Jenkintown in recent years — and more are poised to join them in the coming months — but he was surprised to count them and see 24 restaurants now populate a town of less than a single square mile. About 20 years ago, he said, Jenkintown had only one place to eat.


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China set to replace U.S. as Volvo's biggest market this year

Sat, 04/19/2014 - 22:04

China is set to surpass the United States to become Volvo Car Group's biggest market in 2014 with sales of at least 80,000 cars in the world's largest auto market. Its car sales target for 2014 is around a third higher than the 61,146 cars sold in 2013, while sales in the United States in 2014 are expected to increase only in line with the broader market, it said in a statement on Sunday. In the first quarter of this year, it sold 17,286 cars in China, up 25.4 percent from a year earlier. Volvo, whose XC60 SUV is its best-selling model in China, expects the Chinese market to help boost its global sales in coming years, though it faces competition from foreign firms, such as General Motors Co , and domestic players such as SAIC Motor Corp .


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Mexican singer Juan Gabriel to resume tour concerts May 1 after release from US hospital

Sat, 04/19/2014 - 20:34
LAS VEGAS, Nev. - Mexican singer Juan Gabriel plans to resume his tour concerts May 1 after being released from a Las Vegas hospital. A tour publicist said in a statement Friday night that the 64-year-old singer's health has improved considerably since he was admitted Monday with pneumonia. The publicist says Gabriel will rest in Las Vegas and Los Angeles until his tour resumes May 1 in Los Angeles.
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Divers find 10 more bodies found inside sunken ferry; captain arrested

Sat, 04/19/2014 - 20:31

MOKPO, South Korea - Divers recovered 13 bodies from inside a ferry that sank off South Korea, pushing the confirmed death toll to 46, officials said Sunday.


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Calgary stabbings: victims' families come together to heal

Sat, 04/19/2014 - 20:03
The families of the five young people killed this week in a stabbing in Calgary say they have come together in their healing.
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