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November 20, 2014

Minivans do poorly in new crash tests

Filed under: business, marketing — Tags: , , , — Snowman @ 3:04 am

DETROIT (AP) — The Honda Odyssey was the only minivan to earn the highest safety rating in new crash tests by the insurance industry.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety says the Nissan Quest, Chrysler Town and Country, and Dodge Caravan all garnered the lowest rating on the small overlap front crash test. In each of those tests, the crash caused the minivan’s structure to collapse.

The small overlap test is a severe test that replicates what happens when a vehicle’s front corner collides with another object at 40 miles per hour.

The Toyota Sienna earned an “acceptable” rating. The group said its structure was weak but the dummy was protected by its side air bags.

IIHS plans to test one other minivan — the Kia Sedona — in the coming weeks.


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November 18, 2014

TransCanada pressuring opponents of Energy East pipeline, documents show

Filed under: business, economics — Tags: , , , — Snowman @ 8:20 am

TransCanada Corp. plans to browbeat detractors of its ambitious Energy East pipeline with intense pressure so that they are distracted and forced to redirect their resources, according to documents obtained and released by Greenpeace on Tuesday.

These documents — dozens of pages — also describe the company’s public relations strategy, which includes detailed background research into environmental agencies that are opposing the pipeline and hiring “third parties” who will be able to do things when TransCanada cannot.

The documents also mention a meticulous “grassroots advocacy” campaign — TransCanada has already launched one.

Environmental agencies such as the David Suzuki Foundation, Equiterre, Avaaz, Ecology Ottawa and the Council for Canadians are specifically named in these documents.

TransCanada filed its Energy East application with the National Energy Board two weeks ago. These documents were prepared by Edelman, the world’s largest public relations firm, between May and August.

But Shawn Howard, a spokesperson for TransCanada, said the documents provided by Greenpeace contain recommendations and not all have been implemented.

The company has focused on ensuring that communities, landowners, First Nations and all Canadians “have the facts to make an informed decision about Energy East. Part of that includes ensuring that we understand what organized opponents are saying about our project.”

On its advocacy program, Howard said over 2,500 people joined it in two weeks and “nearly 100 have shared their personal stories … We’ve been open and transparent about all of these programs since they launched and will continue to do so.”

TransCanada is clearly worried about the growing opposition to the Energy East pipeline, said Stewart, the climate and energy campaigner with Greenpeace Canada. “These documents show that TransCanada is planning a secret dirty tricks campaign, using third parties to attack and smear their critics.”

TransCanada’s plan to hire “third parties” smacks of smear campaigns, he said. “That is what we are reading it as. That is what the experience has been in the U.S. … people who run smear campaigns are co-ordinated (by a company) but can disavow them if caught.”

Energy East, longer and larger than Keystone XL, has already seen opposition in parts of Quebec, including in Cacouna, a port town pegged as one of two export terminal sites for the pipeline project personal loan for poor credit.

In Ontario, the city of North Bay has been most vocal in its opposition.

TransCanada wants to convert its 40-year-old natural gas pipeline from Saskatchewan to Ontario to carry crude oil and to connect it with a new pipeline it plans to construct through Quebec and on to export terminals and refineries in New Brunswick. The 4,600-kilometre pipeline would run through six provinces and four time zones, carrying up to 1.1 million barrels of crude oil every day. Tankers would carry the oil to Europe, India, China and the U.S.

The project will include construction of oil terminals in Saskatchewan, Quebec and New Brunswick.

TransCanada is still waiting for a final decision on Keystone XL, its better-known pipeline project, but Energy East is just as important to the company.

The company “is bringing in tea party tactics, the advertising has been crazy and yet opposition is growing,” said Andrea Harden-Donahue of Council of Canadians.

On being specifically named in the internal documents, she said everything about the Council of Canadians is on the website. “We could save them millions of dollars … we have nothing to hide.”

Quebec, expected to pose the most serious challenge to the pipeline, figures prominently in the leaked documents. A 46-page document titled “Strategic Plan: Quebec” highlights specific communities, organizations and community leaders that TransCanada says pose challenges for the pipeline project.

It also includes a “tactics to pressure” component.

One paragraph says: “In order to add layers of difficulty for opponents, we will work with third parties and arm them with information they need to pressure opponents and distract them from their mission.”


November 3, 2014

Python missing in southern Ontario town

Filed under: Uncategorized, business — Tags: , , , — Snowman @ 7:16 pm

LAKESHORE, ONT.—A one-metre-long python is missing in the southwestern Ontario town of Lakeshore but police say the snake is not dangerous.

Provincial police say the python’s owner was in the process of moving it Sunday afternoon in the town southeast of Windsor when it slithered away.

Despite an extensive search, the owner was unable to find the missing snake payday loan.

Police say people should known that the python is non-venomous and is not known to be aggressive towards humans.


October 13, 2014

$20 Billion Property Trusts in India Delayed by Tax Rules - Bloomberg

Filed under: business, mortgage — Tags: , , , — Snowman @ 8:52 pm

The Indian government has announced rules for setting up real estate investment trusts, vehicles that may spur $20 billion of property development. None of the money will be spent unless the country

October 7, 2014

Japan Lawmakers Flag Need for Exit Strategy as Yen Falls - Bloomberg

Filed under: business, online ads — Tags: , , , — Snowman @ 5:20 am

Japanese lawmakers are flagging the need for discussion of an exit strategy to a monetary policy program that

October 5, 2014

Man rushed to hospital being shot twice near Weston Rd. and St. Clair Ave. W.

Filed under: business, loans — Tags: , , , — Snowman @ 4:56 pm

A shooting near Weston Rd. and Rogers Rd., has left one man with life-threatening injuries.

Toronto Paramedics said they received a call at 5:48 a.m. about a possible shooting.

A man in his 40s was rushed to hospital with several gunshot wounds, including one to his torso that paramedics called “very serious.”

Toronto Police are investigating.


October 2, 2014

Draghi Opens Door to Buying $18 Billion of Portuguese, Greek ABS - Bloomberg

Filed under: business, legal — Tags: , , , — Snowman @ 11:04 am

Mario Draghi

September 29, 2014

New Zealand dollar sinks after central bank sells

Filed under: Uncategorized, business — Tags: , , , — Snowman @ 5:16 am

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — The New Zealand dollar sank Monday after the central bank disclosed it conducted its biggest sell-off of the currency in seven years to lower an exchange rate that is squeezing exporters.

Data released by the Reserve Bank showed it sold 521 million New Zealand dollars ($410 million) during August. That came after the central bank governor, Graeme Wheeler, said the currency was too strong.

The disclosure pushed the currency known as the Kiwi down nearly 2 percent against the U.S. dollar to its lowest level in over a year before it recovered slightly to trade at $0.78. The currency has dropped 12 percent since July, when the central bank announced it was suspending its program of interest rate hikes.

The bank had earlier been the first among developed nations this year to begin hiking interest rates. It raised the benchmark rate four times to 3.5 percent as it tried to cool the economy, which had been growing at a relatively fast clip of 4 percent.

Even as rates were rising, farmers who play a key role in the economy were facing tougher times personal loans for people with bad credit. Wholesale dairy prices have fallen by more than 40 percent since February, prompting dairy giant Fonterra to last week announce a big cut in projected payouts to farmers over coming months.

Those farmers will be hoping for a boost from the central bank’s actions as a weaker dollar makes New Zealand exports more attractive abroad.

Wheeler has repeatedly said he believes the Kiwi is too high. He went further last week by releasing a statement saying conditions would justify intervention.

“The exchange rate has yet to adjust materially to the lower commodity prices,” he said. “Its current level remains unjustified and unsustainable. We expect a further significant depreciation, which should be reinforced as monetary policy in the U.S. begins to normalize.”


September 22, 2014

Dudley Plays Down Significance of Fed

Filed under: business, canada — Tags: , , , — Snowman @ 4:12 pm

A top Federal Reserve official counseled investors against putting too much emphasis on the central bank

September 16, 2014

Stocks open lower ahead of Fed meeting

Filed under: business, money — Tags: , , , — Snowman @ 5:44 am

NEW YORK • U.S. stocks dropped in early trading Monday ahead of this week’s potential pivotal Federal Reserve meeting. The Fed is nearing the end of its bond-buying stimulus program, and investors will be looking for indications of when policy makers will start raising interest rates.

In Europe, investors looked ahead to Scotland’s independence referendum.

KEEPING SCORE: The Standard & Poor’s 500 index fell five points, or 0.3 percent, to 1,980 as of 9:53 a.m. Eastern. The Dow Jones industrial average dropped 16 points, or 0.1 percent, to 16,969. The Nasdaq composite fell 16 points, or 0.7 percent, to 4,534.

FED MEETING: The main market event this week is likely to be the Fed’s two-day policy meeting, which concludes on Wednesday. Investors will be watching for any change in their guidance about the future direction for interest rates. Analysts have warned over the past week that the Fed might raise interest rates sooner than expected as the economy improves.

M&A ON TAP: Molson Coors rose $4.75, or 6.6 percent, to $73.87. The brewer’s stock jumped amid merger news in the beer brewing industry. Family-controlled brewer Heineken said late Sunday that it has rejected a takeover bid by rival SABMiller, the world’s second-largest brewer. Reports said that SABMiller had sought to buy Heineken as a defense against an acquisition bid from Anheuser-Busch InBev, the industry leader absolutely free credit score.

SCOTLAND’S CHOICE: Another big event this week is Thursday’s independence referendum in Scotland. With opinion polls showing the vote too close to call, there’s potential for some sizeable move in U.K. markets. The pound has been extremely volatile in the last couple of weeks as the opinion polls have narrowed. On Monday the pound was 0.2 percent lower at $1.6248.

EUROPEAN STOCKS: In Europe, Germany’s DAX was up 0.1 percent at 9,663, while France’s CAC-40 declined 0.3 percent to 4,430. Britain’s FTSE 100 shed 0.1 percent to 6,801.

CURRENCIES: The dollar gained against the euro, but fell back against the Japanese yen. Against Europe’s common currency, the dollar gained 0.2 percent to $1.29 per euro. It fell 0.2 percent to 107.2 against the yen.

BONDS: In government bond trading, prices rose. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note, which falls when prices rise, dropped to 2.58 percent from 2.61 percent on Friday.

ENERGY: A report that showed Chinese industrial production slowed dramatically in August weighed on oil markets. Benchmark U.S. oil fell 28 cents, or 0.3 percent, a barrel at $92 per barrel. Brent crude, used to price international oils, declined 54 cents to $96.59 a barrel.


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