Month: October 2019

New Brunswick industrialists James, Arthur and the late Jack Irving came in at No. 3 with a combined net worth of $8.07-billion, while the media barons in the Rogers family sat in fourth place at an estimated $6.41-billion.Vancouver’s Jimmy Pattison came in fifth with wealth of $6.14-billion, while Montreal eBay founder Jeff Skoll jumped up the list to No. 6 from No. 8 last year as his worth grew 21.3% to $4.55-billion.Paul Desmarais Sr., owner of Power Corp. of Canada sat at No. 7 with a net worth of $4.4-billion, while Montreal’s Saputo family, owners of the cheese empire, came in eighth with $4.23-billion.Carlo Fidani, owner of Toronto-area construction  and development company Orlando Corp., shot into the Top 10, ranking ninth at $3.6-billion, growing 13.5% from a year ago when he ranked twelfth.Rounding out the top 10 was Vancouver’s Chip Wilson, founder of trendy yoga wear maker Lululemon Athletica Inc., who jumped up in the rankings from No. 15 last year as his wealth shot up 23% to $3.51-billion. [np_storybar title=”Top 10 richest Canadians” link=””] 1. Thomson family – $20.1B 2. Galen Weston, 72 – $8.2B 3. J.K., Arthur and estate of John Irving, 84, 81 – $8.07B 4. Rogers family – $6.14B 5. Jimmy Pattison, 84 – $6.14B 6. Jeff Skoll, 47 – $4.55B 7. Paul Desmarais Sr., 85 – $4.4B 8. Saputo family – $4.23B 9. Carlo Fidani, 58 – $3.6B 10. Chip Wilson, 57 – $3.51BSource: Canadian Business [/np_storybar]TORONTO — The influential Thomson family is still atop the list of richest Canadians, though their wealth dropped from a year ago, while most other members of the Top 10 made gains.The family that owns media conglomerate Thomson Reuters as well as Woodbridge Co. Ltd., which has a majority stake in the Globe and Mail newspaper, is worth about $20.1-billion, according to Canadian Business magazine’s annual ranking of Canada’s wealthiest.However, the family’s worth fell about 5.7% as some of its media-focused properties struggled in trying economic times.Meanwhile, retail mogul Galen Weston, 72 — the highest ranking individual — saw his wealth improve by three per cent to an estimated $8.2-billion, remaining in the No. 2 position.Weston is the main power behind food processor George Weston Ltd., Canada’s largest grocery chain, Loblaw Cos. Ltd., and luxury retailer Holt Renfrew.Mark Blinch/Reuters files read more

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OTTAWA — The heads of Canada’s leading business lobby groups are urging the federal government to get on with negotiating a free trade deal with Europe.The groups issued a letter to assure Trade Minister Ed Fast that they will stand behind the deal, once it is negotiated, and help sell it to workers and communities across Canada.[np_storybar title=”Canada’s banking sector protections under attack in EU trade talks, document shows” link=”https://business.financialpost.com/2013/02/27/canadas-banking-sector-protections-under-attack-in-eu-trade-talks-leaked-document-show/”%5D A leaked draft of part of the Canada-Europe trade talks shows that Canada’s vaunted banking system is on the negotiating table.Continue reading. [/np_storybar]“You can count on our full support,” concludes the letter, signed by the heads of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, Canadian Council of Chief Executives, the Canadian Federation of Independent Business, the Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters, the Canada-Europe Roundtable for Business and the Canadian Association of Importers and Exporters.Opponents of a Canada-EU trade and investment agreement are also galvanizing forces.On Monday, Canadian civil society groups wrote French Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault, who is visiting Canada, to express their opposition with a special emphasis against the investor protection chapter, which allows firms to sue governments over restrictive policies.Jayson Myers, who heads the manufacturers and exporters group, said in an interview that the business community is anxious that a deal be signed quickly because it will take many months and even years to ratify.He notes that provinces will likely need to sign on, as will the 27 member countries of the European Community.But an insider in the business coalition says there is real concern that negotiators have taken the talks about as far as they can go, and that it’s now time for political leaders to make the needed decisions.“We want to give groundcover to the politicians so they can then make some brave decisions,” said one insider.Since negotiations began almost four years ago, the talks have missed several deadlines including the most recent pledge to complete an agreement by the end of 2012.The longer it takes, the longer we have to wait to get that economic benefitAlthough progress has been made, the two sides are still apart on the controversial issues where compromises will likely come with a political price back home.For Canada, opposition has formed around European demands that government procurement at the provincial and municipal level be opened up, that drug patents be extended, agricultural quotas be reduced and on the issue of investor protection.Complicating the matter is the announcement that the United States will seek a similar agreement, which some believe may lessen the appeal of a deal with Canada for the Europeans.A spokesman for Fast denied that talks are stalled, noting negotiators are continuing to meet in Brussels this week. But he said there is no new formal or informal target date for agreement.Myers says he is still optimistic a deal with be signed by the end of the spring, although he has some concerns.“Yes we are concerned,” Myers aid. “Part of this is to re-energize both the European economy and Canadian economy so the longer it takes, the longer we have to wait to get that economic benefit.”He added there are also political hurdles to overcome, including European parliamentary elections, national elections and provincial votes in Canada.The EU is currently Canada’s second largest trading market after the United States, representing about 10% of Canada’s exports. In turn, Canada is the EU’s 12th largest market, representing about 1.6% of its exports.The Canadian Press read more

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TORONTO — Falling oil stocks helped pull the Toronto stock market lower Wednesday as further signs of rising crude inventories in the U.S. sent oil prices tumbling.The S&P/TSX composite index dropped 67.23 points to 14,995.65, paced by a four per cent drop in the energy sector.The Canadian dollar — a big beneficiary of the recent rally in oil prices — tumbled 1.08 cents to 79.59 cents US after rising two cents over the previous two sessions.U.S. indexes were mixed amid positive news on the employment front two days before the release of the U.S. government’s jobs report for January. Payroll firm ADP reported that the American private sector created 213,000 jobs last month. Overall, economists are expecting the government data to show the economy created 233,000 jobs in January.Other data showed greater expansion of the U.S. service sector last month. The Institute for Supply Management’s non-manufacturing index rose to 56.7 from 56.5.The Dow Jones industrials gained 6.62 points to 17,673.02, the Nasdaq was down 11.04 points at 4,716.7 and the S&P 500 index shed 8.52 points to 2,041.51. Crude prices gave back a chunk of the 19 per cent surge registered over the previous four sessions, down $4.60 to US$48.45 a barrel. Prices started heading higher late last week following a string of cutbacks in capital spending by oil companies — and in some cases production cuts — raising hopes for relief from a huge imbalance in demand and supply.However, data released Wednesday by the Department of Energy showed U.S. inventories last week rose by 6.3 million barrels, much higher than the 2.8-million-barrel increase that analysts had expected.Crude prices have plunged about 50% since last summer amid a glut of supply on world markets.Analysts have warned that oil prices could retest lows of $44 or even move lower. In the meantime, investors are trying to look past the volatility in the markets.“You look through the valley, as we say. The thing that you have to remember is that equity markets look six months ahead,” said Chris King, portfolio manager and vice-president at Morgan, Meighen and Associates.He pointed out that the U.S. is dramatically cutting shale production while many Canadian companies have announced substantial cuts in spending plans.“The big (energy) names are pricing in high $70s, low $80s for oil because they are looking through (to) the other side.”The other big TSX decliner was the base metals sector, which advanced over the last few days on a run-up in copper prices. The sector gave back 2.65% even as March copper added a penny at US$2.59 a pound.The gold sector was the leading advancer, up 2.7% as April bullion climbed $4.20 to US$1,264.50 an ounce.The TSX was also supported by strong gains in the consumer staples and tech sectors.In earnings news, General Motors Co. posted quarterly profit of US$1.99 billion or 66 cents per share. Earnings adjusted for non-recurring costs were $1.19 per share. The average estimate of analysts was for earnings of 85 cents per share. GM also reported that revenue of $39.62 billion, missing expectations for $40.1 billion but its shares were ahead 5.45% to $35.83. read more

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WASHINGTON — Fresh off slapping a duty on Canadian lumber, President Donald Trump is now making threats about dairy as the northern neighbour has suddenly, unexpectedly, become his No. 1 target for criticism lately on trade.The president tweeted Tuesday: “Canada has made business for our dairy farmers in Wisconsin and other border states very difficult. We will not stand for this. Watch!”That’s what he wrote the morning after his government announced initial duties up to 24 per cent on Canadian lumber, with more expected later this year.Canada has made business for our dairy farmers in Wisconsin and other border states very difficult. We will not stand for this. Watch!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 25, 2017Lumber and dairy are longstanding irritants — and were also a problem file under previous presidents. In softwood lumber, the countries have a once-a-decade cycle of tariffs, trade litigation, and ultimately settlements.What’s new is how Trump is playing up the issue.While Barack Obama referred to lumber as a minor irritant, the self-styled America First president is playing up these irritants as examples of his desire to get tough on trade.His sudden flurry of complaints about Canada are a dramatic departure from the early days of his presidency — suddenly, he’s complaining less about China and Mexico, and more about the northern neighbour — and it’s being noticed.If you’re worried about global trade imbalances, focus on China.If you want to rough up a school kid for his lunch money, blame Canada.— ian bremmer (@ianbremmer) April 25, 2017 In an exchange late Monday with conservative media gathered at the White House, the president said, according to Breitbart News: “We love Canada, wonderful people, wonderful country, but they have been very good about taking advantage of us through NAFTA.”Then his commerce secretary went out of his way to link this dispute to broader complaints, about dairy and about NAFTA: “It has been a bad week for U.S.-Canada trade relations,” Wilbur Ross said.Canada vows to fight ‘unfair and punitive duty’ as Trump slaps tariff on softwood lumberU.S. trade sanctions on Canadian energy will have ‘huge consequences’ for American companies: Notley“This is not our idea of a properly functioning free trade agreement.”The softwood spat is unfolding amid a much bigger trade issue — the renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement.Despite remarks from the president and his cabinet secretary, neither lumber nor dairy are actually part of the current NAFTA. However, different actors would be pleased to add provisions on one or the other. read more

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OTTAWA — The Bank of Canada is encouraged by a broadening of economic strength, which includes gains across 70 per cent of industries, a top official said Monday, in what was widely seen as a “hawkish” speech from the country’s central bank.Senior deputy governor Carolyn Wilkins said the gains are something Canada hasn’t seen since before the oil-price collapse nearly three years ago. Analysts said these and other comments suggest the central bank is beginning to assess when, not if, the bank might introduce its first rate increase in nearly seven years.Wilkins: More than 70% of Canadian industries are expanding. Diversity helps support strong and sustained growth pic.twitter.com/LGlWunDKJd— Bank of Canada (@bankofcanada) June 12, 2017For nearly two years, the rate has been locked at the very low level of 0.5 per cent as a way to help lift the economy.“As growth continues and, ideally, broadens further, (the bank’s) governing council will be assessing whether all the considerable monetary policy stimulus presently in place is still required,” Wilkins said in a speech delivered at the Asper School of Business in Winnipeg.“Just think about it, if you saw a stop light ahead, you would start letting up on the gas so that you could slow down smoothly. You don’t want to have to slam on the brakes at the last second. Monetary policy must also anticipate the road ahead.” But despite the bank’s brightening outlook, Wilkins underscored several lingering uncertainties that suggest it won’t be ready to raise its benchmark as early as its next scheduled announcement July 12.Top takeaways from what Canada’s blockbuster job numbers tell usCanada becoming more vulnerable as rising debt and hot housing get worse, bank warnsTop takeaways from what the Bank of Canada said about risks to our financial securityShe pointed to unknowns surrounding U.S. economic policy and Canada’s recent below-target inflation readings, as well as employment weaknesses in wage growth and the number of hours worked.Experts noted Monday how the speech was filled with optimism about the economy’s trajectory.“The hawkish nature of the speech is the first acknowledgment from the bank that the next move is likely to be a hike,” CIBC’s Royce Mendes wrote in a research note to clients.TD senior economist Brian DePratto wrote: “Rather than signalling imminent action, today’s remarks are more likely to be aimed at preparing markets for eventual monetary tightening.”He added that TD is predicting the next rate hike in early 2018.Looking at the positives, Wilkins credited strength in consumer spending, the services sector and the housing markets for helping carry Canada over the last few years.She said Canada is now seeing an expansion of business investment, particularly in the energy sector, and “broadening” economic activity across the provinces as reasons for optimism.The economy’s sources of strength also come from a number of sources, she added. “What’s encouraging is that this growth is not being driven by just a few key industries,” Wilkins said.“More than 70 per cent of industries have been expanding – and that’s a rate we haven’t seen since the oil-price shock. It’s the kind of diversity that helps support strong and sustained overall growth.”Following months of improving economic indicators, a growing number of analysts have been saying it’s increasingly difficult for the bank to find reasons to hold back from raising its trend-setting rate. read more

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MONTREAL — Growth in the number of passengers Air Canada carries could prompt it to order more narrow-body aircraft from Boeing and Bombardier, the airline said.The country’s largest carrier has placed firm orders for 61 Boeing 737 Max and 45 Bombardier C Series jets, but the number of aircraft was based on its requirements in 2013.Air Canada also has options and rights to purchase 48 more Boeing planes and an additional 30 CS300 aircraft to give it more flexibility to meet increased demand.“So obviously there is some pretty great opportunities there to expand that and exercise more, but obviously it won’t affect 2018 in any fashion,” CEO Calin Rovinescu said Wednesday as the airline posted record quarterly revenue and profits.The first two Boeing 737 Max planes will arrive this year and 16 more by next June. The remaining aircraft are scheduled to be delivered through 2021.Delivery of the first C Series jets are slated to be added for late 2019, through 2022.The comments came as Air Canada (TSX:AC) reported a third-quarter profit of $1.79 billion or $6.44 per diluted share, boosted by a one-time $793-million tax recovery. That compared with a profit of $768 million or $2.74 per diluted share in the same quarter last year.On an adjusted basis, Air Canada earned $950 million or $3.43 per diluted share in the quarter, up from $821 million or $2.93 per diluted share in the third quarter of 2016.Meanwhile, revenue in the quarter ended Sept. 30 totalled $4.88 billion, up from $4.45 billion on a large growth in business cabin revenues and the carrying of a record 14 million passengers.Passenger traffic was up 8.8 per cent compared with the same quarter last year, while passenger revenue per available seat mile increased 0.4 per cent.Rovinescu said that expressions of interest from bank and non-bank financial institutions wanting to become a credit card partner for its new loyalty program will be submitted by year-end with a request for proposals coming in early 2018.“There has been a tremendous amount of interest from the financial community,” he said.The airline served notice in May that it does not plan to renew its partnership with Aeroplan parent Aimia (TSX:AIM) when the current contract ends. Aeroplan used to be a division of Air Canada before it was spun off as part of its restructuring.Air Canada has invited key financial institutions to participate in bids to join the launch of the program on July 1, 2020.Rovinescu added that Air Canada has also been approached by several technology companies interested in a separate request for proposal, or RFP, that will also be issued early next year. read more

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“Prime Minister Harper has clearly stated that unless there is significant progress on political reconciliation, accountability and respect for human rights in Sri Lanka, he will not attend the CHOGM hosted by Sri Lanka in 2013,” Roy said. (Colombo Gazette) Senator Segal said that the purpose of his visit to Sri Lanka will be to act as a fact finder for Canada’s foreign minister The special Canadian envoy will visit Jaffna and have discussions with political groups and civil society members in the north and in Colombo. Senator Segal said that he will also be meeting with government officials in Colombo during his visit.“As you may know, the level of our delegation to the Commonwealth heads of government meeting scheduled for November in Colombo has yet to be decided. I shall report back to the Foreign Minister after my trip is concluded,” he said. Canada says Prime Minister Stephen Harper will not attend the CHOGM in Sri Lanka unless there is an improvement in the human rights situation in Sri Lanka.Canadian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Chrystiane Roy had said last December that the Canadian government feels the Sri Lankan government continues to fail victims and survivors of the war.The spokesperson also said that Canada is ‘deeply troubled’ by reports of intimidation of judges in Sri Lanka, and reiterate the importance of judicial independence. Canada will dispatch a special envoy to see for himself the ground situation in Sri Lanka before the government decides on the level of its participation at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in November.Special Envoy to the Commonwealth, Canadian Senator Hugh Segal, will visit Sri Lanka as an envoy to the Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird. Report by Easwaran Rutnam read more

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A teen committed suicide in Ududumbara yesterday over a love affair, the police media unit said today.The police said that the 15 year old girl had set herself on fire inside her house over the affair. Her parents had advised her on her affair with a boy and she had then committed suicide, the police said.The body of the teen was taken to the Kandy hospital. Further investigations are underway.

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The Attorney General’s office has approved the proposed 500 mw thermal power plant at Sampur, Trincomalee, to be built by India in consultation with the Ceylon Electricity Board, an Indian media report said today.The approval has been granted around six years after the project was conceived and two years after a joint venture company was formed to take it forward. “With the AG’s office giving the go-ahead, the approval from the power ministry is expected soon, while a revised Power Purchase Agreement has been worked upon,” said an official at India’s National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC). The AG go-ahead was a major hurdle for the project, particularly considering the two neighbouring countries are not in the best of relations. The project is estimated to cost about $500 million (`3,000 crore), with NTPC and Ceylon Electricity Board having 50% stake each. It would be funded with a debt equity ratio of 70:30, the DNA news agency in India reported.The plant would use imported coal and consists of a transmission line, to be built from Trincomalee to Madurai, including 39 km of submarine cable. But hurdles remain, with some alleging undue benefits were granted to NTPC. Though the charges are unsubstantiated, the high cost of power remains a sore point.In fact, Coalition Against Corruption, an affiliate of Transparency International, had charged that the power plant would incur a loss of Sri Lankan Rupee 76 crore per year. “We urge the government to forthwith annul the proposed Sampur power project,” it had said.Officials of Ceylon Electricity Board have alleged that each unit of power produced at the joint venture project would cost Sri Lankan rupee 18, much higher than the cost of Sri Lankan rupee 13 from for a similar project at Norochcholai. There were also disagreements over the high heat rate — signifying higher consumption of fuel to produce a unit of power — and the maintenance cost. The heat rate has been brought down to an acceptable level by the parties, NTPC officials said.

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The amended list issued on Friday removes the ban on the Global Tamil Forum (GTF), the British Tamil Forum (BTF), Australian Tamil Congress (ATC) and the Canadian Tamil Congress (CTC), among others. However, the Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam (TGTE) and its leader, former LTTE negotiator V. Rudrakumaran, remain on the list as proscribed organizations and individuals.The new government, after taking office this year, said it will de-list some Tamil diaspora groups in order to seek their support to work with Sri Lanka. The government has lifted the ban on several former LTTE front groups through a gazette notification published by the Government Printer on Friday.Signed by the Secretary to the Ministry of Defence as the Competent Authority, the gazette notification repeals the gazette issued by the former government listing at least 15 organizations over alleged links with the LTTE. The then government raised concerns over the alleged activities of the Tamil diaspora saying they could fund another war in Sri Lanka.However, the new government said it was willing to negotiate with the diaspora and look at their concerns and work with them instead of sidelining them. (Colombo Gazette)Report by Easwaran Rutnam Gazette notice: The Mahinda Rajapaksa government banned several organizations operating on foreign soil as foreign terrorist organizations, utilising the UN Security Council Resolution 1373 which was brought about by the Unites States on September 28, 2001 after the attack on the New York twin towers on September 11, 2001. The new gazette notification has also lifted the ban on the head of the Global Tamil Forum, Father S.J. Emmanuel. Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera also had talks with the GTF in the presence of the Tamil National Alliance and former Norwegian peace envoy Erik Solheim in London this year.The GTF and other Tamil diaspora groups are to be invited to Sri Lanka to attend a diaspora festival set to be organized by the government.While most diaspora groups had welcomed the initiatives of the new government, the TGTE continues to be critical of Sri Lanka and is pushing for an Eelam State. read more

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The JVP leader said that he does not believe the concerns of the Tamils will be addressed by Constitutional changes. The Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP), which in 1983 was accused of attacking Tamils, today recognised the legitimate concerns of the Tamils in the North.Speaking in Parliament today, JVP leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake said that the Tamils in the North have suffered as a result of the war and continue to face social and economic issues. “The Tamils also face the psychological issue of being second citizens of this country,” he said. Anura Kumara Dissanayake said that while the Tamils elected the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) to power the TNA has rarely been seen standing with the Tamils in the North to address their legitimate concerns.Dissanayake said that simply pushing for Constitutional reforms will not see the basic needs of the Tamils in the North being met. (Colombo Gazette) read more

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United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon says the UN supports inclusive and genuine consultations with victims and affected groups in Sri Lanka.Observing International Day for the right to the truth, Ban Ki-moon urged States to adopt measures to promote truth, justice and reparations for victims, which is so crucial to ensuring that gross human rights violations are not repeated. To advance this effort, the UN supports fact-finding missions, commissions of inquiry, mapping exercises, and truth commissions, which document human rights violations and make recommendations to ensure accountability, reconciliation, and other reforms, he said, noting that from Colombia to Tunisia, from Mali to Sri Lanka, from Nepal to South Sudan, the UN has advocated for inclusive and genuine consultations with victims and affected groups, especially women, girls and those who are far too often excluded and marginalized.“Their meaningful participation must be ensured in all relevant stages of transitional justice processes, and their specific needs must be fully recognized in any reparation measures,” he said. “Across the world, every victim has the right to know the truth about violations that affected her or him,” Ban said in a message on the Day. “But the truth also has to be told for the benefit of all people and communities as a vital safeguard against the recurrence of violations. The right to the truth is closely linked to the right to justice.” The annual observance of International Day for the Right to the Truth Concerning Gross Human Rights Violations and for the Dignity of Victims pays tribute to the memory of Monsignor Óscar Arnulfo Romero, who was murdered on 24 March 1980. He was actively engaged in denouncing violations of the human rights of the most vulnerable individuals in El Salvador. He also stressed the need to secure the testimonies of victims and witnesses to ensure the rights to know the truth and to justice. Appropriate mechanisms for the protection of victims and witnesses, including their physical and psychological integrity, privacy, and dignity, must be put in place.Moreover, the preservation of archives and other documentation relating to human rights violations is crucial for ensuring undistorted historical record and preservation of memory, he added. (Colombo Gazette) read more

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The Malaysian police have arrested 10 Sri Lankans with forged passports, the Viet Times reported today.The Sri Lankans are among 19 people arrested by the Malaysian authorities during a raid. According to the Malaysian police the Sri Lankans were to travel to Geneva from Malaysia using the forged passports.Investigations have also revealed that two employees of the department of immigration at the Kuala Lumpur international Airport are involved in the racket. (Colombo Gazette)

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The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) led by opposition leader R Sampanthan today discussed the political prisoners and Northern land issue with visiting US Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs Nisha Desai Biswal.TNA Parliamentarian M.A. Sumanthiran said that the implementation of the resolution on Sri Lanka adopted by the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva last year was also discussed at the meeting. He said that the delay in implementing some clauses in the resolution was raised at the meeting and the delegation led by Biswal said that they had already raised this matter with the Government. Biswal has told the TNA the US will help the Government meet any challenges it faces in implementing the Geneva resolution. Meanwhile Sumanthiran said that while different views are being expressed by the Government on having foreign judges in the domestic accountability process, the TNA will wait for the various mechanisms to be implemented before commenting on it. (Colombo Gazette) read more

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The Commander has also instructed to convene a Court of Inquiry (CoI) to inquire into the incident at the earliest and advised the Sri Lanka Corps of Military Police and the Director Legal in the Army to extend their maximum cooperation to the ongoing police investigations. The Commander of the Army Lieutenant General Crishanthe De Silva has suspended the service of Lieutenant Colonel Pradeep Kumar with immediate effect, due to his alleged involvement in a shooting incident at Malabe.Lieutenant Colonel Pradeep Kumar is accused of being involved in the incident where his wife was shot and injured by a gang. Accordingly, Army personnel, arrested in connection with any such serious crimes would face strict disciplinary actions once they were found guilty, subsequent to internal investigations, the army media unit said. (Colombo Gazette) read more

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Mano Tittawella, the Secretary-General of the Secretariat for Coordinating Reconciliation Mechanisms told the BBC, Sri Lanka is confident it will get the two years it is seeking from the UNHRC. The new Resolution is expected to be cosponsored by Sri Lanka, the UK and the US. “We must give Sri Lanka time to fully implement the October 2015 resolution and post-conflict measures required to embed stability, reconciliation and justice,” he said.Sharma later had talks with Samaraweera on the sidelines of the 34th session of the UNHRC underway in Geneva. (Colombo Gazette) Sri Lanka has confirmed it will seek two more years from the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) to fully implement Resolution 30/1.A new Resolution is to be submitted to the UNHRC during the ongoing 34th session in Geneva. The British Government told the UNHRC yesterday to give Sri Lanka time to fully implement the October 2015 resolution.British Minister for Asia and the Pacific at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Alok Sharma, told the Council during the high-level segment he welcomes Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera’s constructive engagement at the UNHRC. read more

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Early Saturday morning drivers were frightened, placing 911 calls when they saw a person driving the wrong way on the 403 in Burlington. 52 year old Amal Swais from Mississauga had her license taken away for 90 days, her minivan has been impounded for a week and facing a list of criminal charges. Swais’ court date is August 24th in Milton.

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Wheat for Sept. fell 6.25 cents at 4.9725 a bushel; Sept. corn was off 5.75 cents at 4.1125 a bushel, Sept. oats was 1.25 cents lower at $2.5875 a bushel; while Aug. soybeans lost 7 cents at $8.7875 a bushel.Beef was mixed and pork was lower on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. Aug. live cattle was off .55 cent at $1.0810 a pound; Aug. feeder cattle rose .80 cent at $1.4310 a pound; while Aug. lean hogs fell 2.12 cents at $.8230 a pound.The Associated Press

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NEW YORK — Amazon founder Jeff Bezos and his ex-wife MacKenzie Bezos have completed their divorce and are divvying up their stake in Amazon, leaving both with a piece of the online shopping giant worth billions.In government filings late Wednesday, Amazon disclosed that Jeff Bezos’ stake in the company was cut to about 12%, from 16% after completing his divorce and selling nearly $2 billion worth of stock. His current stake is worth nearly $110 billion. He remains the company’s largest shareholder.MacKenzie Bezos now has a 4% stake in Amazon worth more than $37 billion. She announced in May that she planned to give away at least half her fortune to charity.Amazon.com Inc. did not immediately respond to a request for comment.Joseph Pisani, The Associated Press

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OTTAWA — The Supreme Court of Canada says internet service providers can recover some of the costs of helping movie companies and other copyright holders find illegal downloaders.In a decision today, the high court sides with Rogers Communications in ruling that the companies pursuing copyright violators should reimburse service providers a reasonable amount for the effort of looking up subscribers suspected of breaking the law.The decision could end up saving Rogers and other internet providers many thousands of dollars, but the Supreme Court says the appropriate fees should be decided at a future Federal Court hearing.The case began when movie production firm Voltage Pictures asked Rogers for information about an alleged violator under provisions of the Copyright Act.Rogers retrieved the information but agreed to disclose it only upon payment of a fee — $100 per hour of work plus HST.Voltage Pictures hopes to eventually obtain the information of tens of thousands of suspected copyright infringers, and it argued the federal legislative regime precluded Rogers from charging a fee. read more

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