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July 29, 2014

Waste Management selling subsidiary for $1.94B

Filed under: finance, online — Tags: , , , — Snowman @ 3:04 pm

HOUSTON (AP) — Waste Management is selling a subsidiary to Energy Capital Partners for $1.94 billion as part of its effort to focus on its core business.

It is selling Wheelabrator Technologies Inc., which owns or runs 17 waste-to-energy facilities and four independent power-producing plants in the U.S. The business also has four ash monofill landfills, three transfer stations and an ongoing development and construction project in the U.K. Wheelabrator’s 2013 revenue totaled about $845 million.

Houston-based Waste Management Inc. said Tuesday it plans to use proceeds from the sale to buy assets related to its core business and for stock repurchases.

The deal is targeted to close later this year. It still needs approval from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

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July 28, 2014

Even Yakuza Can

Filed under: marketing, money — Tags: , , , — Snowman @ 12:04 am

Orient (8585) Corp., the Japanese lender at the center of a scandal over loans to gangsters that engulfed Mizuho Financial Group Inc., sold debt at about a fifth of the premium global companies pay, as investors search for yield.

The consumer lender, an affiliate of Mizuho, offered 10 billion yen ($98 million) of five-year notes at 18 basis points over yen swaps earlier this month, in its first public straight bond. That compared with the average spread of 11 basis points for Japanese company debt and 98 for global corporates, according to Bank of America Merill Lynch data.

Unprecedented Bank of Japan stimulus has cut local corporate bond spreads to a seven-year low, prompting investors to seek riskier debt to boost returns. Two top executives at Mizuho resigned posts this year after Japan

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July 26, 2014

Nevada gambling revenue jumps 14 percent in June

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

LAS VEGAS • Nevada officials say casino revenues shot up more than 14 percent in June thanks to a banner month on the Las Vegas Strip.

The state Gaming Control Board reported Friday that Nevada casinos brought in about $907 million in June.

Las Vegas Strip casinos pulled in $532 million in June, up more than 22 percent from the same month a year ago. Downtown Las Vegas casino revenues of $41million were up 12 percent.

Reno casino revenues of $48 million were down 3 percent compared with June 2013, while South Lake Tahoe casinos brought in $12 million and were down 2 percent payday loans.

The state collected $44 million in taxes based on the June winnings, which is up less that 1 percent compared with a year earlier.

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July 24, 2014

Wal-Mart names new CEO of US discount division

Filed under: online ads, technology — Tags: , , , — Snowman @ 1:08 pm

NEW YORK (AP) — Wal-Mart Stores Inc. says U.S. discount-store chief Bill Simon is stepping down.

The world’s largest retailer has named the head of its Asian business as his replacement.

The Bentonville, Arkansas-based retailer says that Greg Foran, 53, president and CEO of Wal-Mart Asia, will succeed Simon.

Simon helmed the Wal-Mart U.S. division since June 2010. The changes will take effect Aug. 9. The company says Simon will be available on a consulting basis for the next six months to ensure a seamless transition Internet Payday loans.

Foran will report directly to Doug McMillon, who took over as president and CEO of Wal-Mart Stores Inc. in February.

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July 23, 2014

Consumer Prices in U.S. Increase as Gasoline Costs Jump - Bloomberg

Filed under: legal, management — Tags: , , , — Snowman @ 2:00 am

The cost of living in the U.S. rose in June, paced by a jump in gasoline that is now reversing, bolstering Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen

July 21, 2014

Former Sino Forest CFO barred from serving as director of public company

Filed under: business, mortgage — Tags: , , , — Snowman @ 11:08 am

The Ontario Securities Commission has permanently banned the former chief financial officer of Sino Forest Corp. from serving as a director or officer of a public company.

David Horsley, who served as CFO from 2005 until 2012, has also agreed to pay a $700,000 fine and testify in the ongoing Sino Forest case.

Sino Forest once had a high-flying stock that traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange with a market capitalization of more than $6 billion, until in 2011 short seller Muddy Waters suggested the forestry company’s sales were a fraud.

The company, which was listed in Canada, had all its operations in China, selling standing timber.

“This is a significant settlement and a significant admission by Mr. Horsley,” said OSC lawyer Hugh Craig at a hearing on Monday.

“This should serve as a message to CFOs operating in unfamiliar business environments” of the need to be vigilant, Craig added.

“He simply didn’t do his job,” he said. “Operations may be over there, but they are regulated under the Ontario Securities Act.”

Panel vice-chair James Turner said chief financial officers play a critical role in the financial reporting of companies.

Horsley failed in his role as CFO, and failed investors and capital markets, Turner said.

In approving the deal, Turner said it was contingent on the settlement of a separate class action lawsuit involving both securities and bond holders.

Judges in Ontario and New York state are scheduled to hear that settlement proposal that Horsley has offered to pay $5.6 million.

Horsley’s lawyer Peter Wardle noted that OSC investigators concluded that his client is not accused of perpetrating any alleged frauds involving Sino Forest.

“These sins, if I can put it that way, are sins of omission as opposed to sins of commission,” Wardle added.

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July 18, 2014

Greece Seen in Third Bailout as Bond Return Not Enough - Bloomberg

Filed under: legal, online — Tags: , , , — Snowman @ 5:12 am

Greece

July 13, 2014

Israel widens air assault, UN calls for ceasefire as Gaza death toll tops 125

Filed under: business, online — Tags: , , , — Snowman @ 5:52 am

GAZA, PALESTINE—Israel widened its air assault against the Gaza Strip’s Hamas rulers on Saturday, hitting a mosque it said was hiding rockets, as Palestinians said their death toll from the five-day offensive rose to over 125.

The military said it has struck more than 1,100 targets, including Hamas rocket launchers, command centres and weapon manufacturing and storage facilities, in a bid to stop relentless rocket fire coming Gaza. Officials in the territory said that besides the mosque, the strikes also hit Hamas-affiliated charities and banks, as well as a home for the disabled, killing two women.

The central Gaza mosque was being used to conceal rockets like those militants have fired nearly 700 times toward Israel over the past five days, the military said. However, the strikes in the densely populated Gaza Strip show the challenge Israel faces as it considers a ground operation that could potentially pose further dangers to civilians.

While there have been no fatalities in Israel from the continued rocket fire, Gaza Health Ministry spokesman Ashraf al-Kidra said overnight Israeli strikes raised the death toll there to over 125, with more than 920 wounded.

Hamas militants have been hit hard. Though the exact breakdown of casualties remains unclear, dozens of the dead also have been civilians.

The UN Security Council called for a ceasefire on Saturday, and a resumption of direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians aimed at achieving a comprehensive peace agreement based on a two-state solution.

The press statement, which is not legally binding, expresses “serious concern regarding the crisis related to Gaza and the protection and welfare of civilians on both sides.” It is the first response by the UN’s most powerful body, which has been deeply divided on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

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In Ottawa, Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird says the UN High Commissioner’s criticism of Israel’s response to rocket attacks from Gaza are uncalled for.

Navi Pillay said this week that there should be an immediate ceasefire, citing reports of many civilian casualties.

In a statement issued Saturday, Baird accused Pillay of focusing her comments on Israel and said that is neither “helpful nor reflective of the reality of this crisis.”

Baird says there can’t be any “moral equivalence” between a democratic state like Israel and Hamas, which he calls a listed terrorist organization with a blatant disregard for human life.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper has been a fervent supporter of Israel and a long-time critic of the United Nations and its officials.

Meanwhile in Gaza, the offensive showed no signs of slowing down Saturday as Israeli Defence Minister Moshe Yaalon said his country should ready itself for several more days of fighting.

“We have accumulated achievements as far as the price Hamas is paying and we are continuing to destroy significant targets of it and other terror organizations,” Yaalon said after a meeting with top security officials. “We will continue to punish it until quiet and security returns to southern Israel and the rest of the country.”

Hamas said it hoped the mosque attack would galvanize support for it in the Muslim world.

“(It) shows how barbaric this enemy is and how much it is hostile to Islam,” said Husam Badran, a Hamas spokesman in Doha, Qatar. “This terrorism gives us the right to broaden our response to deter this occupier.”

The Israeli military released an aerial photo of the mosque it hit, saying Hamas hid rockets in it right next to another religious site and civilian homes. It said Hamas, Islamic Jihad and other Gaza militant groups use this tactic of abusing religious sites to conceal weapons and establish underground tunnel networks, deliberately endangering civilians.

“Hamas terrorists systematically exploit and choose to put Palestinians in Gaza in harm’s way and continue to locate their positions among civilian areas and mosques, proving once more their disregard for human life and holy sites,” said Lt. Col. Peter Lerner, an Israeli military spokesman payday loans for bad credit.

Critics though say such allegations are too sweeping, and that Israel’s heavy bombardment of one of the densely populated territories is itself the main factor putting civilians at risk.

Sarit Michaeli of the Israeli human rights group B’Tselem said that while using human shields violates international humanitarian law, “this does not give Israel the excuse to violate international humanitarian law as well.”

Israel issues early warnings before attacking Gaza targets and the military says it uses other means to do its utmost to avoid harming bystanders. But Michaeli said civilians have been killed when Israel bombed family homes of Hamas militants or when residents were unable to leave their homes quickly enough following the Israeli warnings.

“Justifying all Israeli attacks that lead to civilian casualties by saying Hamas is using human shields is factually incorrect,” she said.

The rocket fire from Gaza militants appeared to tail off somewhat Saturday, with a new round resuming later in the day. The “Iron Dome,” a U.S.-funded, Israel-developed rocket defence system, has intercepted more than 130 incoming rockets, preventing any Israeli fatalities so far. A handful of Israelis have been wounded by rockets that slipped through.

The most seriously wounded Israeli resulted from a rocket that struck a gas station Friday in the southern city of Ashdod, setting off a huge explosion. A house in Beersheba suffered a direct hit though the family living there was not home.

As a precaution, the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv relocated its personnel assigned to Beersheba. However, militant rockets have reached further into Israel than ever before, with air raid sirens sounding even in the northern city of Haifa, 100 miles (160 kilometres) away.

The frequent rocket fire has disrupted daily life in Israel, particularly in southern communities that have absorbed the brunt of it. Israelis mostly have stayed close to home. Television channels air non-stop coverage of the violence and radio broadcasts are interrupted live with every air raid siren warning of incoming rockets.

The frequent airstrikes have turned the normally frenetic Gaza City into a virtual ghost town, emptying streets, closing shops and keeping hundreds of thousands of people close to home where they feel safest from the bombs.

The offensive is the heaviest fighting since a similar eight-day campaign in November 2012 to stop Gaza rocket fire. The outbreak of violence follows the kidnappings and killings of three Israeli teenagers in the West Bank, and the kidnapping and killing of a Palestinian teenager in an apparent revenge attack.

Israel has pummeled Gaza at twice the rate of the 2012 operation and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has vowed to press on with the campaign until there is a complete halt to rocket attacks from the seaside Palestinian territory. Israel has massed thousands of troops along the border in preparation for a possible ground invasion, with soldiers atop vehicles mobilized and ready to move into Gaza if the order arrives.

A senior military official said Saturday that Israel estimated Hamas still had thousands of rockets in its arsenal and it would take Israel more time to eliminate the threat to its civilians.

“There is no knockout. It is more complicated,” he said, speaking on condition of anonymity because of military guidelines.

Israel has begun coming under international pressure as Palestinian casualties have grown. The United States and European leaders have stressed Israel’s right to defend itself, but the United Nations says it is concerned over civilian deaths in Gaza, and anti-Israel protests have taken place in Europe. In the West Bank, Hamas supporters clashed with Israeli troops over the Gaza offensive.

The Arab League said foreign ministers from member states will hold an emergency meeting in Cairo on Monday evening to discuss the continued Israeli offensive and measures to urge the international community to pressure Israel.

Egypt, which historically has served as a mediator between Israel and Hamas, appears less eager to help out this time. Hamas was particularly close to the Muslim Brotherhood, who the current leadership banned after driving it from power last year.

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July 11, 2014

Person of interest gets bail in case of missing Calgary boy

Filed under: finance, technology — Tags: , , , — Snowman @ 6:44 pm

CALGARY—A Calgary judge has granted bail to a man police call a person of interest in the disappearance of a 5-year-old boy and his grandparents.

Douglas Garland, appearing in court via video, was to be released Friday on $750 bail.

He was ordered to live in transitional housing such as a hotel, motel or a homeless shelter and must report to authorities three times a week.

He is not allowed to return to his home northeast of Airdrie, which is still being searched by police.

He was being held on identity theft charges unrelated to the disappearance of Nathan O’Brien and his grandparents Alvin and Kathy Liknes.

The three family members were last seen on June 29, after what police say was a violent incident in the Liknes home.

The couple had an estate sale at their home before they disappeared and Nathan was there for a sleepover. When his mother went to pick him up the next day, no one was home.

About 500 people turned out Thursday night for an emotional candlelight vigil at a nearby community centre.

Nathan’s mother, Jennifer O’Brien, said there’s no doubt in her mind that the three are out there somewhere.

“We’ve just got to find them and the police are doing everything they can do,” she said. “I’m hopeful in every way and we all are. I hope this turns out to be a happy story and I think it’s going to.”

Garland was taken in for questioning in the case last weekend and kept in custody on the unrelated charges. Officers have said they have other leads in their investigation, but he’s the only person of interest police have spoken about publicly.

Police have said Garland’s sister is in a relationship with a Liknes relative.

Court documents show he has a criminal history involving drugs and identity theft.

In 2000, he was sentenced to 39 months for making amphetamines at his parents’ farm. Before he went to prison, he jumped bail and lived for several years in Vancouver using the identity of a dead person.

Records show he also has a history of mental problems and breakdowns.

Police have also said they are looking into business dealings involving the Liknes family.

Alvin Liknes was involved in several oil and gas companies, including Winter Petroleum Ltd., which media reports say was forced to close a few weeks ago.

The CBC has quoted a police source as saying Garland and Alvin Liknes had a dispute over a patent for a gas device. Online records with the Canadian Intellectual Property Office show Liknes filed a patent in 2000 for a “method and apparatus for de-watering producing gas wells.”

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July 5, 2014

Nigerian capital airport closing for runway repair

Filed under: canada, online ads — Tags: , , , — Snowman @ 5:45 am

ABUJA, Nigeria (AP) — Nigeria’s aviation authority says it is closing the capital’s international airport for runway repairs from Saturday night to Monday morning.

The airport is served by a host of domestic flights in addition to daily international flights to Europe, the United States and the Middle East provided by Nigeria’s Arik Air, in addition to Air France, British Airways, Delta, Lufthansa and Emirates overnight pay day loans.

The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria said in a statement Saturday that Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport (ABV) will be closed from midnight Saturday (2300 GMT) to 6 a.m. (0500 GMT) Monday.

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