Two pilots soaring over the Pacific Ocean made history Thursday, first matching and then surpassing the 5,209-mile (8,383-kilometre) official world distance record for human flight in a gas balloon. "There it is! There it is!" shouted team members at the flight's mission control in Albuquerque as a giant screen showed the helium-filled Two Eagles balloon passing the record set by the Double Eagle V in 1981. The distance still has to be confirmed by the Federation Aeronautique Internationale, a process that can take weeks. "We're not taking any time to celebrate," said Steve Shope, head of mission control.
Phillip Boudreau's death at sea has torn a fishing village in Cape Breton and could reverberate in the community for decades, a Nova Scotia judge said Thursday as he sentenced a man to 14 years in prison for manslaughter. Joseph James Landry, who shot, ran over and hooked Boudreau with a fishing gaff, was granted about 2 1/2 years credit for time served in custody awaiting trial, meaning he would serve about 11 1/2 years. Boudreau's slaying has affected many people in the Acadian village of Petit-de-Grat, said Judge Joseph Kennedy of the Nova Scotia Supreme Court. A jury convicted Landry, 67, of manslaughter in November after hearing that Boudreau was the victim of a sustained attack at the mouth of a local harbour on June 1, 2013.
A gunman who stormed into the headquarters of Dutch national broadcaster NOS demanding airtime Thursday night claimed to be from a "hackers' collective," according to a reporter who spoke to the man. Four or five police officers then ordered him to lie down, which he did and he was arrested without a struggle. When the broadcaster was off-air, a screen on the NOS1 channel read "Please be patient" in Dutch.
RCMP in Prince Edward Island have looked at the numbers for 2014 and say arrests for impaired driving were down again last year, thanks to vigilant members of the public. Charlottetown city police and provincial highway officials say they have noticed a similar trend. The Department of Transportation says convictions for impaired driving have been declining for decades. Minister Robert Vessey says it's a change in society.
Premier Jim Prentice says he and his cabinet ministers will cut their pay by five per cent to set a tone of self-sacrifice as Alberta deals with billions of dollars in lost oil revenue. "This is the kind of leadership that Albertans expect from their elected officials in these challenging times," Prentice told a news conference at the legislature Thursday. With the change, cabinet ministers will now make $190,950 a year, down from $201,000.
Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce is trimming its workforce as part of a realignment of its resources to help boost efficiency, the country's fifth-biggest lender said on Thursday. "After careful review, we have made the difficult decision to selectively reduce a number of positions across CIBC," the bank said in the statement. The move makes it the latest Canadian bank to trim back after Bank of Nova Scotia and Royal Bank of Canada cut positions late last year.Â The job losses were initially reported by the Wall Street Journal on Thursday. CIBC, which has approximately 44,500 full- and part-time staff, said it would be a net recruiter in 2015 with plans to add 5,000 employees in the next year, it said.
Rod McKuen, the husky-voiced "King of Kitsch" whose music, verse and spoken-word recordings in the 1960s and '70s won him Oscar nominations and made him one of the bestselling poets in history, has died. McKuen died Thursday morning at a rehabilitation centre in Beverly Hills, California, where he had been treated for pneumonia and had been ill for several weeks and was unable to digest food, said his half brother, Edward McKuen Habib.
MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was nearly flat in early trade. On Thursday, major U.S. indexes surged almost 1 percent or more as Apple Inc and Boeing Co extended their gains after strong earnings reports this week. U.S. jobless claims figures also helped, with the number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits last week marking its biggest weekly decline since November 2012, falling to its lowest since April 2000. Japan's Nikkei stock average rebounded about 1 percent in early trade, a day after shedding 1.1 percent to mark its biggest one-day drop in two weeks.
With his ex-teammates about to play in the Super Bowl, former New England Patriots star Aaron Hernandez went on trial on murder charges Thursday, watching from the defence table as prosecutors said DNA on a shell casing and security-camera video from his own home connect him to the crime. Hernandez's lawyer countered that the NFL player had "the world at his feet" and had no reason to kill. Hernandez, 25, is charged in the 2013 shooting death of Odin Lloyd, a 27-year-old semipro football player who was dating the sister of Hernandez's fiancee. Lloyd's bullet-riddled body was found in an industrial park near Hernandez's North Attleborough home, not far from Gillette Stadium.
The borough mayor of Hochelaga-MaisonneuveÂ will decideÂ Monday what to do about a proposed Islamic community centre drawing criticism because of its ties to controversial Imam Hamza Chaoui. Though the community centre hasn't yet been issued a permit to open, the Moroccan-bornÂ ChaouiÂ is promoting itÂ on his Facebook page. Chaoui has connections to radical Islamists. Chaoui was also the leader of a Muslim association at Laval University.
Gap Inc said on Thursday it has eliminated the role of creative director Rebekka Bay, the latest in a slew of changes in strategy as the apparel retailer attempts to revive sagging sales. Piperlime generated less than $100 million in annual sales. The company, whose namesake brand saw a 4 percent drop in store sales in November and a 5 percent drop in December, said Bay will leave the company immediately. Instead of a new creative director, Scott Key will become senior vice-president, customer experience, overseeing a newly combined e-commerce and marketing business.
Cardigan MP Lawrence MacAulay says the federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans leaving $950 million unspent is 'appalling' and the money should have been used to benefit P.E.I. programs. The money hasn't been used since the Progressive Conservatives came to power in 2006, says MacAulay, who is also Liberal fisheries critic. The information was contained in government's response to a question he recently tabled in the House of Commons, he says. "Really, to have near a billion dollars not spent over the last number of years in DFO is appalling when we look at the situation and the need for funding across Prince Edward Island.
Visa Inc , the world's largest credit and debit card company, reported a better-than-expected quarterly profit on Thursday as a strengthening U.S. job market and cheaper gasoline prices encouraged people to spend. The company said e-commerce, which mainly uses cards, was "extraordinarily strong during the holiday season." But Chief Executive Charlie Scharf said consumer spending on the whole, while at "reasonable" levels, was not accelerating. Visa, which earns money from both the volume and value of transactions using its cards, said total volume increased to $1.90 trillion from $1.84 trillion. Visa lost its right to process domestic payments in Russia in the middle of last year when Moscow hit back after the imposition of Western sanctions over its role in Ukraine.
By Ernest Scheyder WILLISTON, N.D. (Reuters) - Occidental Petroleum Corp Chief Executive Stephen Chazen quipped on Thursday that his larger rival Chevron Corp was too poor to buy the No. 4 U.S oil producer, but the offhand remark sent Oxy's stock up anyway. "Have you considered selling Oxy?" Wolfe Research's Paul Sankey said. Chazen, an Oxy employee since 1994 and CEO since 2011, responded, "Right now, people are cash flow challenged so I suspect selling Oxy is probably not likely." Then, without Sankey or any other analyst mentioning Chevron, Chazen casually mentioned he had reviewed the second-largest U.S. oil producer's books. "I looked at Chevron and they don't have any free cash," Chazen said on the call.