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The Rev. Theodore Hesburgh was always a man of conscience. He did what he thought was right during his 35 years as president of the University of Notre Dame, even if it meant challenging popes, presidents or legendary football coaches. Hesburgh died late Thursday night on the university campus in South Bend, Indiana. "We mourn today a great man and faithful priest who transformed the University of Notre Dame and touched the lives of many," said the Rev. John Jenkins, Notre Dame's current president.
Five stories in the news today, Feb. 27, from The Canadian Press:
NOVOAMVROSIIVSKE, Ukraine - Separatist fighters in east Ukraine have moved rocket launchers to a location 70 kilometres (43 miles) back from the front line with government troops in the first confirmed compliance with a cease-fire agreed earlier this month.
A prominent Bangladeshi-American blogger known for speaking out against religious extremism was hacked to death as he walked through Bangladesh's capital with his wife, police said Friday. The attack Thursday night on Avijit Roy, a Bangladesh-born U.S. citizen, occurred on a crowded sidewalk as he and his wife, Rafida Ahmed, were returning from a book fair at Dhaka University. Roy was a prominent voice against religious intolerance, and his family and friends say he had been threatened for his writings. Similar attacks in the past in Bangladesh, a Muslim-majority nation of 160 million people, have been blamed on Islamic extremists.
Cambodia's most popular tourist attraction â€” the complex of ancient temples that includes Angkor Wat â€” is suffering from a form of overexposure: At least five foreign visitors have been arrested and deported this year for taking nude photos at the sacred sites. Authorities have no tolerance for people stripping down at Angkor Archeological Park, a sprawling, centuries-old UNESCO World Heritage Site that drew 2 million visitors last year. The incidents are also upsetting to ordinary Cambodians, for whom the Khmer-era complex holds enormous spiritual and historical significance. "Angkor Wat is the most famous sacred ... temple in Cambodia, where everyone â€” not only tourists but also Cambodians themselves â€” has to pay respect," said Rattanak Te, an administrative assistant who lives in Phnom Penh, the capital.
Genie Vollmer remembers vividly the last time she saw one of the architects of what authorities say is the largest Ponzi scheme in Canadian history. Vollmer and her husband, Helmut, invested $400,000 with Milowe Brost, 61 and his partner Gary Sorenson, 71, who were convicted earlier this month of fraud and theft. Brost was also convicted of money laundering.
A Toronto-area woman who used silicone for illegal buttock enhancement injections on nine women â€” in some cases using syringes attached to a caulking gun â€” will be sentenced today. Marilyn Ely Reid pleaded guilty last month to eight counts of aggravated assault endangering life. The 48-year-old woman was arrested in November 2012 after a 28-year-old woman fell ill after receiving alleged Botox injections and, police said, underwent surgery to have the substance removed. Investigators at the time alleged Reid advertised buttock, lip and muscle augmentations and Botox injections on a website called pmmainjection.com.
Pressure is mounting on the federal government to take action on missing and murdered aboriginal women, with several premiers and aboriginal leaders meeting in Ottawa today to try to determine what can be done. Prime Minister Stephen Harper has rejected calls for a national inquiry into the nearly 1,200 aboriginal women who have been murdered or gone missing in the last 30 years. Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne wishes Harper would attend today's meeting, but is pleased he's sending two representatives: Aboriginal Affairs Minister Bernard Valcourt and Status of Women Minister Kellie Leitch. Wynne hopes the federal government will at least provide funding if the provinces, territories and aboriginal leaders agree to take steps such as finding ways for police to better share information and creating a public relations campaign.
By Luciana Lopez and Jonathan Stempel NEW YORK (Reuters) - Warren Buffett, in his annual letter to Berkshire Hathaway Inc shareholders last year, called America "the mother lode of opportunity." This year, his 50th at Berkshire's helm, the world's third-richest person could write something quite different. When Buffett releases this year's letter on Saturday, he may point to opportunities outside of the United States, after he recently decided to buy a German motorcycle accessories retailer and said he may shop more in that country. In his letter, eagerly awaited on Wall Street for Buffett's candid thoughts on investing, business and life, the 84-year-old Buffett may detail his vision for Berkshire in the decades to come, including after he is gone. "Warren Buffett recognizes that global investing is going to be an important part of the future," said Michael Yoshikami, chief executive of Destination Wealth Management in Walnut Creek, California and a longtime Berkshire shareholder.
By Leika Kihara and Tetsushi Kajimoto TOKYO (Reuters) - Japanese households cut spending more than expected and retail sales fell for the first time in seven months in January, data showed on Friday, a sign the central bank's radical stimulus has yet to convince consumers that inflation will take hold. Factory output jumped at the fastest pace in nearly four years in January as companies ramped up spending at home and won more orders in emerging markets, suggesting that exports will keep the economy on track for a moderate recovery. Separate data underscored the dilemma the central bank faces with inflation almost grinding to a halt on slumping oil prices, moving further away from the BOJ's ambitious target of reaching 2 percent around the next fiscal year beginning in April. BOJ Governor Haruhiko Kuroda defended his two-year timeframe for achieving the target on Friday, warning that adopting a relaxed approach to the deadline would undermine efforts to defeat deflation.
Crude oil futures rebounded on Friday, with Brent heading for its biggest monthly gain since May 2009, as supply outages in the North Sea and healthy growth in China's implied oil demand this year supported prices. A reduction in rig counts and expectation of better oil demand have helped Brent prices rise by around 15 percent so far this month from January's close of $52.99. China's implied oil demand is set to grow 3 percent this year, the country's top energy group China National Petroleum Corp said on Friday, surpassing the International Energy Agency's forecast of 2.5 percent. Brent crude rose $1.04 to $61.09 a barrel by 0739 GMT.
Swedish mobile telecom gear maker Ericsson is suing Apple Inc for patent infringement, Ericsson said on Friday. Ericsson said it filed a complaint with the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) requesting an exclusion order against Apple's products for infringing Ericsson patents that are essential to the 2G and 4G/LTE standards. It also filed a second ITC complaint seeking an exclusion order and multiple complaints in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas requesting damages and injunctions for infringement of patents "critical to many other aspects of Apple's devices".
Britain's Prince William, on his second day of a four-day trip to Japan, had tea Friday with Crown Prince Naruhito. Members of the Japanese imperial family lead a highly cloistered life, guarded by the moat-surrounded stone walls of the palace. Comments from the family are few and far between â€” in a poem issued here, a speech while waving behind bullet-proof glass on a balcony there. "Compared to Japanese royalty, he is so friendly," said Naoyuki Tajima, who is overseeing an exhibit about British technology and culture in Tokyo, where William is scheduled to visit.
Two children were believed missing on Thursday evening after a house fire in the western Quebec community of Gracefield. Quebec provincial police said two adults and one child managed to escape the blaze and were taken to hospital for shock and smoke intoxication. This fire, about 90 kilometres north of Ottawa, comes less than a week after another house fire in Gatineau, Que., claimed the lives of 12-year-old twins.
By Rod Nickel WINNIPEG, Manitoba (Reuters) - Canadian farmers are plowing profits from bumper crops into fertilizer storage facilities to mitigate the pricing power held by major retailers and producers. Â Â Having their own storage lets farmers buy nutrients more cheaply during the off-season and creates fewer transport bottlenecks in the spring planting season. Â Â Over time, the practice might erode the steep premiums farmers pay in the spring to retail businesses owned by Agrium Inc, Richardson International and Cargill Ltd [CARGIL.UL], while shifting distribution patterns of producers Potash Corp of Saskatchewan, Mosaic Co and CF Industries. Â Â Â The trend is part of a wider shift by North American farmers to gain more control over both costs and the prices they collect. In the U.S., farmers are building silos and bins to store grains and oilseeds until crop handlers entice them to sell. Â Â Â Â Canadian farmers produced record-large harvests of wheat and canola in 2013, boosting their net income to C$6.4 billion, the fourth straight year of gains, according to the most recent Statistics Canada data. Â Â Â After diammonium phosphate prices spiked in 2008 to $1,200 per tonne, compared with less than $500 a tonne today, Saskatchewan farmer Kevin Hruska spent about C$400,000 in 2010 to build storage for about 6,000 tonnes of blended fertilizer. Â Â Â Â "We want to store it all - we don't want to be held hostage by the logistics of springtime and the games the fertilizer companies play," said Hruska, who grows wheat and canola and uses about 6,500 tonnes of fertilizer a year on his sprawling 45,000 acre farm.
A Hong Kong court has sentenced a woman to 6 years in prison for abusing her Indonesian maid in a case that triggered outrage over its brutality. Law Wan-tung was found guilty earlier this month of 18 charges, including assault, grievous bodily harm, criminal intimidation and failure to pay wages or give time off work to Erwiana Sulistyaningsih. In addition to prison, a judge also fined Law 15,000 Hong Kong dollars ($1,930). Sulistyaningsih's case came to light when graphic pictures of her injuries started circulating among Indonesians in Hong Kong.
The government â€” and the press â€” failed to do enough to save the life of the freelance journalist who was the first American killed by Islamic State militants, James Foley's parents said at a university forum Thursday. John and Diane Foley echoed the sentiments of the family of Kayla Mueller, a young international aid worker who recently was killed while held captive by militants. A White House spokesman said the government acted in the best interest of the nation. At a forum at the University of Arizona, the Foleys said the government shut them out and failed to help them while their son was being held captive.
A body recovered on sea ice along Labrador's remote northern coast is that of James Poker, a teenaged boy reported missing 10 days ago, an Innu leader confirmed Thursday. Family members identified the 17-year-old as his body was recovered Wednesday about 30 kilometres from Natuashish, the community formerly known as Davis Inlet, Chief Gregory Rich said in an interview. Poker was reported missing from Natuashish on Feb. 16. Rich said Poker was on foot and it's not known why he wound up so far from the community.
More viewers have tuned in to watch Fox News Channel host Bill O'Reilly as he faces criticism for some of his past reporting. His show, "The O'Reilly Factor," drew just over 3 million viewers Wednesday night. The Nielsen ratings company says O'Reilly had his largest audience since November among the 25-54 age demographic, the basis of most ad sales for news programming. The audience among that younger demo was up 64 per cent over last year for O'Reilly, who usually has a decidedly older audience.
Jurors deciding whether convicted murderer Jodi Arias will get the death penalty or life in prison for killing her boyfriend in Arizona will resume deliberations Monday. The Maricopa County Superior Court jury didn't reach a decision Thursday after getting the case a day earlier. Arias was convicted of first-degree murder in May 2013, but jurors deadlocked on her punishment. If this new jury deadlocks, the death penalty would be removed as an option, and the judge will choose if Arias serves life in prison without parole, or with the possibility of release after 25 years.