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October 1, 2014

Sydney Pads Costing More Than New York Spurs RBA Rethink - Bloomberg

Filed under: mortgage, online — Tags: , , , — ManInBlack @ 9:04 am

To see why Australia

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September 29, 2014

Luka Magnotta pleads not guilty as murder trial begins

Filed under: investors, management — Tags: , , , — ManInBlack @ 6:32 pm

Luka Rocco Magnotta has pleaded not guilty again to five charges in connection with the slaying and dismemberment of Chinese engineering student Jun Lin in May 2012.

Magnotta entered the pleas in a Montreal courtroom this morning as his first-degree murder trial began.

A bilingual eight-woman, six-man jury is hearing the case and a dozen of them will be chosen to deliberate on a final verdict.

The charges against Magnotta are first-degree murder; committing an indignity to a body; publishing obscene material; criminally harassing Prime Minister Stephen Harper and other members of Parliament; and mailing obscene and indecent material.

Quebec Superior Court Justice Guy Cournoyer is addressing the jury.

Lin’s father, Diran Lin, is in the courtroom this morning along with a lawyer and translator.


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September 28, 2014

Sweating it out in war against Ebola

Filed under: Canada, Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — ManInBlack @ 3:04 am

BRUSSELS—Inside the eight-piece protective suits worn by doctors on the front lines of the Ebola outbreak, the temperature reaches at least 46 C. But one of the most dangerous moments on the job is going through the 12 steps to take the suit off, which can take 30 minutes.

On a fallow field behind a logistics warehouse in Brussels, Doctors Without Borders, also known as M

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September 26, 2014

Banks Face Pass-the-Parcel Debt Limit in Writedown Rule - Bloomberg

Filed under: loans, technology — Tags: , , , — ManInBlack @ 12:40 pm

The world

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September 24, 2014

Big new iPhone brings Apple more profit

Filed under: news, uk — Tags: , , , — ManInBlack @ 9:20 pm

SAN FRANCISCO — Apple’s largest iPhone is selling for $100 more than its other new model, but an outside research firm estimated Tuesday that it costs Apple only $15.50 more to make the more expensive version.

Apple said it sold more than 10 million of the new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus models in their first three days on sale. Both have larger screens than earlier iPhone models, and analysts say consumers like the new, bigger sizes. The Plus has a 5.5-inch screen, as measured diagonally, while the regular iPhone 6 is at 4.7 inches.

The new iPhones went on sale Friday and address a key advantage rival Android phones have long had: size. The iPhone has been Apple’s main source of profits and is expected to remain so for at least the next year.

Apple will make more profit on the Plus version, according to a report from research firm IHS Technology. The full, no-contract price for the 16-gigabyte iPhone 6 is $650. IHS estimates it costs Apple $200.10 for materials and manufacturing. The iPhone 6 Plus retails for $750 without a contract, but IHS says it costs Apple $215.60.

With a two-year service contract with a wireless carrier, a 16-gigabyte iPhone 6 costs consumers $200. An iPhone 6 Plus costs $300 with a contract.

The Plus model also has a bigger battery and a slightly more expensive camera than the regular iPhone 6, according to IHS.

Apple didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment on the report. The Cupertino, California, company usually doesn’t disclose details of its manufacturing costs.


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September 23, 2014

Polaris Music Prize: Tanya Tagaq wins $30K prize

Filed under: investors, management — Tags: , , , — ManInBlack @ 6:48 am

TORONTO - Nunavut-raised Inuk throat singer Tanya Tagaq has won the $30,000 Polaris Music Prize.

The two-time Juno Award nominee won for her album “Animism.”

The Polaris is given to the best Canadian album of the previous year, as determined by a jury of journalists and broadcasters.

Montreal-based “This is the End” star Jay Baruchel hosted the gala at the Carlu in Toronto personal loans for people with bad credit.

Most of the nominees performed, including Vancouver-based rapper Shad, past winner Owen Pallett and Toronto multi-instrumentalist Basia Bulat.


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September 21, 2014

Three males check themselves into hospital with stab wounds

Filed under: Uncategorized, business — Tags: , , , — ManInBlack @ 3:16 pm

Three males took themselves to St. Joseph’s Health Centre with stab wounds following an incident on Mill Rd. near Burnhamthorpe Rd. E. in Etobicoke early Sunday morning.

Police were called to 340 Mill Rd. at around 1:30 a.m. by witnesses to people fighting in front of the apartment building payday loans. Police believe that the incident is related to a party in the building.


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September 20, 2014

Scotland votes to remain part of United Kingdom

Filed under: management, technology — Tags: , , , — ManInBlack @ 12:32 am

EDINBURGH, Scotland (AP) — Scottish voters have resoundingly rejected independence, deciding to remain part of the United Kingdom after a historic referendum that shook the country to its core.

The decision prevented a rupture of a 307-year union with England, bringing a huge sigh of relief to Britain’s economic and political establishment, including Prime Minister David Cameron, who faced calls for his resignation if Scotland had broken away.

The vote on Thursday — 55 percent against independence to 45 percent in favor — saw an unprecedented turnout of just under 85 percent.

“We have chosen unity over division,” Alistair Darling, head of the No campaign, said early Friday in Glasgow. “Today is a momentous day for Scotland and the United Kingdom as a whole.”

Independence leader Alex Salmond’s impassioned plea to launch a new nation fell short, with Scots choosing instead the security of remaining in union with England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Still, the result establishes a whole new political dynamic in the United Kingdom, with Cameron appearing outside No. 10 Downing Street to pledge more powers for regional governments.

Even in conceding, Salmond struck an upbeat tone.

“This has been a triumph for the democratic process and for participation in politics,” he said to cheering supporters.

The pound hit a two-year high against the euro and a two-week high against the U.S. dollar as markets shrugged off recent anxiety about a possible vote for independence. In early Asian trading, the pound jumped nearly 0.8 percent to $1.6525 against the U.S. dollar before falling back slightly. Britain’s main stock index opened higher.

A much-relieved Cameron promised to live up to earlier promises to give Scotland new powers on taxes, spending and welfare. He said the new plans will be agreed upon by November, with draft legislation by January.

But he also said change was coming to other parts of the country amid the watershed vote.

“Just as the people of Scotland will have more power over their affairs, so it follows that the people of England, Wales and Northern Ireland must have a bigger say over theirs,” Cameron said. “The rights of these voters need to be respected, preserved and enhanced as well.”

The No campaign won the capital city, Edinburgh, by a margin of 61 percent to 38 percent and triumphed by 59 percent to 41 percent in Aberdeen, the country’s oil center. The Yes campaign won Glasgow, Scotland’s biggest city, but it was not enough.

The voted riveted the nation. Those glued to returns included “Harry Potter” author J.K. Rowling, who tweeted that she had “Been up all night watching Scotland make history. A huge turnout, a peaceful democratic process: we should be proud.”

Rowling gave 1 million pounds ($1.6 million) to the No campaign.

As dawn broke to lead-gray skies over Glasgow, the dream of independence that had seemed so tantalizingly close evaporated in the soft drizzle.

George Square, the rallying point for thousands of Yes supporters in the final days of the campaign, was littered with placards and debris of a campaign in which many had invested more than two years of their lives.

“I had never voted before or got involved with politics in any way but this time I thought my vote would count for something,” said truck driver Calum Noble, 25, as his voice cracked with emotion free business cards. “I wanted a better country but it’s all been for nothing. I don’t believe we will get any of the things the London politicians promised.”

But popular opinion on a leafy residential street in Edinburgh’s west end told a different tale. Young and old sat by their televisions waiting for news in a half dozen homes. Nearly all said they had voted No.

“Just because I’m not out in the street in a kilt screaming how Scottish I am, that doesn’t mean I’m not a proud Scot. I am. And a proud Brit. That’s the point the Yes side doesn’t respect,” said Ger Robertson, 47, who chose instead to celebrate Scotland’s verdict in his living room with a dram of his favorite single-malt whisky.

Salmond had argued that Scots could go it alone because of its extensive oil reserves and high levels of ingenuity and education. He said Scotland would flourish alone, free of interference from any London-based government.

Many saw it as a “heads versus hearts” campaign, with cautious older Scots concluding that independence would be too risky financially, while younger ones were enamored with the idea of building their own country.

The result saved Cameron from a historic defeat and also helped opposition chief Ed Miliband by keeping his many Labour Party lawmakers in Scotland in place. Labour would have found it much harder to win a national election in 2015 without that support from Scotland.

Former Prime Minister Gordon Brown, a Scot, returned to prominence with a dramatic barnstorming campaign in support of the union in the final days before the referendum vote. Brown argued passionately that Scots could be devoted to Scotland but still proud of their place in the U.K., rejecting the argument that independence was the patriotic choice.

“There is not a cemetery in Europe that does not have Scots, English, Welsh and Irish lined side by side,” Brown said before the vote. “We not only won these wars together, we built the peace together. What we have built together by sacrificing and sharing, let no narrow nationalism split asunder.”

For his part, Cameron — aware that his Conservative Party is widely loathed in Scotland — begged voters not to use a vote for independence as a way to bash the Tories.

The vote against independence keeps the United Kingdom from losing a substantial part of its territory and oil reserves and prevents it from having to find a new base for its nuclear arsenal, now housed in Scotland. It had also faced a possible loss of influence within international institutions including the 28-nation European Union, NATO and the United Nations.

The decision also means Britain can avoid a prolonged period of financial insecurity that had been predicted by some if Scotland broke away.

“This has been a long, hard fight and both sides have campaigned fiercely,” said Norma Austin Hart, a Labour Party member of Edinburgh City Council. “This has not been like a normal election campaign. There have been debates in town halls and school halls and church halls.

“It’s been so intense,” she said. “But the people of Scotland have decided.”


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September 18, 2014

Mayor Rob Ford faces weeks of chemotherapy treatment

Filed under: investors, uk — Tags: , , , — ManInBlack @ 10:12 am

Rob Ford faces more than a month of chemotherapy treatment for a rare form of cancer with an election less than six weeks away.

The mayor has a malignant liposarcoma, a “very rare and a very difficult tumour,” said Dr. Zane Cohen, the renowned colorectal surgeon in charge of the mayor’s medical team at Mt. Sinai Hospital.

A week after news that a tumour was discovered in Ford’s abdomen, Cohen said Wednesday the cancer has spread. A second, smaller tumour was discovered in the mayor’s buttocks, behind his left hip.

“It’s fairly aggressive, but we are treating this very aggressively in order to eradicate the tumour,” the doctor told reporters in a packed meeting room across from the hospital’s main campus. “It comprises about 1 per cent only of all cancers.”

Cohen said a second biopsy done on Monday, after the first biopsy proved inconclusive, revealed the cancer. Ford and his family learned the news in the last 72 hours.

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford had been diagnosed with malignant liposarcoma, which makes up about one per cent of cancers. Doctors at Toronto’s Mount Sinai Hospital say they are optimistic about Ford’s chemotherapy treatment.

“My brother has been diagnosed with cancer and I can’t begin to share how devastating this has been for Rob and our family. He is an incredible person, husband, father, brother and son and he remains upbeat and determined to fight this,” said Doug Ford in an emailed statement.

“Rob has always been so strong for all of us and now I ask us all to be strong for him. Your kind words and well wishes mean everything to him right now. Rob will beat this,” Ford said.

Cohen said they are “optimistic” about treating this particular type of cancer — pleomorphic liposarcoma — and that it is the most “sensitive” to chemotherapy.

In the next 48 hours, Ford will begin two rounds of chemotherapy, each to last three days followed by 18 days of a “washout” period. After doctors examine the tumour again, they will decide whether more chemotherapy is needed or if surgery is required, Cohen said.

The mayor may be able to continue working — and campaigning, now that he has put his name into the councillor race for his old seat in Ward 2 (Etobicoke North).

“I think he’s a pretty strong person,” Cohen said of Ford. “He may be able to work through it. I think that he will be able to be functional, but he’s going to have some rough days.”

Cohen also said Mt. Sinai is one of the largest of Ontario’s three sarcoma centres and houses sarcoma treatment and research experts.

Doug Ford replaced his younger brother on the mayoral ballot last week, just days after the tumour was first discovered.

Ford, 45, has two children under the age of 10.

His cancer diagnosis now leaves some uncertainty in the Ward 2 race. Though early polls indicated Ford could easily win his old seat from a hospital bed, he faces several competent competitors — including businessman Andray Domise, a realtor and a Toronto Community Housing board member.

Ford took the place of his 20-something nephew Michael Ford on the Ward 2 ballot after stepping back from the mayor’s race.

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford has been diagnosed with malignant liposarcoma, a rare type of cancer. Dr. Zane Cohen provided the health update and said the mayor will undergo chemotherapy.

“I could be facing a battle of my lifetime, and I want the people of Toronto to know that I intend to face this challenge head on, and win,” he said in his statement last week.

A political source told the Star that Rob Ford’s switch from the mayoral race to one for a councillor seat was meant to give Ford something to fight for as he faces this health crisis.

Ford earlier told the Sun his lungs were biopsied this week, which Cohen said is incorrect.

In 2009, Ford also told several news outlets he had a tumour removed from his appendix. Cohen said that is not true. Ford had appendicitis.

The Fords’ father, former MPP Doug Ford Sr., died of colon cancer in 2006, three months after he was diagnosed.

“The most important thing, most important thing, is your health,” Ford said in a speech at the wedding of assistant Jerry Agyemang in August. “Friends, you can have everything in the world. If you haven’t got your health you don’t have very much.”

Behind-the-scenes this week, political insiders and those close to Ford quietly struggled with the cancer news.

“It’s the worst possible scenario,” a source close to the mayor told the Star on Tuesday.

A somber procession of Ford’s mother, brothers, wife and nephew have been streaming in and out of the hospital daily since he was admitted to Mt. Sinai last week.

“We have a lot of faith in the doctors and we have a lot of faith in God,” Ford’s wife Renata said a few hours before the press conference on Wednesday.

The news of Ford’s condition has also created a dilemma for mayoral candidates, who once faced off against Ford and have yet to meet brother Doug Ford on the campaign trail.

A debate planned by the real estate industry Wednesday evening was postponed in a joint decision by candidates John Tory, Olivia Chow and organizers.

Both Chow and Tory spoke just outside city hall following the announcement on Ford’s condition.

“I think in the end here today we’re thinking about the Ford family,” Tory said. “It’s not the day to analyze all these things, it’s rather a day to express our concern and express a thought and . . . solidarity.”

“I know Rob Ford is strong. He’s a fighter,” she said. “Keep a hopeful attitude. Be stubborn. Be determined. Be courageous and say I can beat this and it will happen.”

On Wednesday, there were messages of support for Ford from all political arenas.

“I was deeply saddened today to learn that Toronto Mayor Rob Ford has been diagnosed with a rare type of cancer and that he will have to undergo chemotherapy,” said Prime Minister Stephen Harper in a statement. “We wish him a speedy and complete recovery and are certain that he will take on this fight with all of his characteristic tenacity and energy.”

At Queen’s Park, Premier Kathleen Wynne joined the chorus of well wishes for the ailing mayor.

“My sincere hope is that Mayor Ford can beat this and my thoughts are with him and his family. I know he’s been receiving a great number of good wishes,” Wynne said in a statement. “Those thoughtful words — along with the care of the team at Mount Sinai — are sure to help set him on the road to restored health.”

Deputy Mayor Norm Kelly, who has assumed most of the mayor’s powers since Ford was stripped of them last year, also sent words of encouragement.

“Those who know Rob, know that he never backs down from a tough fight. Like every challenges he takes on, I know he will fight until he wins,” Kelly said. “I encourage all Torontonians to wish Rob well as he faces this challenge in the days and weeks ahead.”

Though Doug Ford promised to start campaigning this week, he has yet to participate in any events or debates. A Twitter account and temporary campaign website appeared online on Wednesday.

A second Ford Fest BBQ originally planned for Friday was also postponed ahead of Wednesday’s announcement.

Ford remains the mayor until Dec. 1, when a mayor-elect takes over the office.

With files from Daniel Dale, Betsy Powell, Paul Moloney, Robert Benzie and Katrina Clarke


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September 16, 2014

Social Security resumes mailing benefit statements

Filed under: Uncategorized, management — Tags: , , , — ManInBlack @ 6:52 pm

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Social Security Administration has resumed mailing statements to workers letting them know the estimated benefits they will get when they retire.

The agency stopped mailing the statements to most workers two years ago to save money. Instead, Social Security directed workers to track their future benefits online using a secure website.

Congress, however, passed a bill last year requiring Social Security to resume mailing the statements.

The agency said Tuesday that many workers will now start receiving the paper statements every five years. Once workers reach 60 they will get them every year.

The statements include a history of taxable earnings for each year so people can check for mistakes. They also provide estimates of monthly benefits, based on current earnings and when a worker plans to retire.


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