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September 1, 2014

Markets drift as Wall Street has day off

Filed under: Uncategorized, legal — Tags: , , , — Snowman @ 2:04 pm

LONDON (AP) — Ahead of a raft of economic developments this week, financial markets started the week on a lackluster note Monday as Wall Street was closed for the Labor Day holiday.

KEEPING SCORE: In Europe, the FTSE 100 index of leading British shares closed up 0.1 percent at 6,825.31 while Germany’s DAX rose the same rate to 9,479.03. The CAC-40 in France ended a tad lower at 4,379.73. Earlier in Asia, China’s Shanghai Composite rose 0.8 percent to 2,235.51 points and Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 added 0.3 percent to 15,476.60. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng was marginally higher, adding 0.04 percent to 24,752.09.

UKRAINE: In Europe, the crisis in Ukraine remains a key source of interest for traders. On Monday, there were signs that a breakthrough may be in the offing as pro-Russian rebels appeared to soften their demand for full independence, saying they would respect Ukraine’s sovereignty in exchange for autonomy. The insurgents’ platform, released at the start of Monday’s negotiations in Minsk, the Belarusian capital, represented a significant change in their vision for the future of Ukraine’s eastern, mainly Russian-speaking region.

GLOBAL MANUFACTURING: There were some worrying signs however that the global manufacturing sector is waning. Two surveys showed China’s manufacturing growth slowed in August as export demand and investment weakened, raising expectations Beijing might launch more stimulus. HSBC Corp. said its purchasing manufacturers index fell to 50.2 from July’s 18-month high of 51.7 on a 100-point scale on which numbers above 50 show an expansion. An official industry group, the China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing, said its separate PMI declined to 51 no fax pay day loan.1 from 51.7. A similar picture emerged for the 18-country eurozone, with the August PMI from financial information company Markit down at a 13-month low of 50.7. On Tuesday, the Institute for Supply Management publishes its estimate for the U.S. economy.

EUROPE: Whether the weak economic indicators coming out of the eurozone will prompt the European Central Bank to enact further stimulus measures at its monthly policy meeting on Thursday remains open to question. Bank chief Mario Draghi called in a speech last month for fiscal policies to support growth, a departure from the ECB’s implicit support for austerity. No immediate steps are expected but the bank has begun work on a program to buy asset-backed securities.

EURO IN RETREAT: The crisis in Ukraine and weak eurozone economic data have combined to hurt the euro currency over the past few months. On Monday, it fell to a near year-low of $1.3119.

U.S. ECONOMY: After Thursday’s ECB meeting, traders will be fully focusing on the U.S. nonfarm payrolls report for August. The release often setts the market tone for a week or two after its release as traders try and work out when the Federal Reserve will start raising interest rates. Investor confidence over the U.S. economy has risen following several months of strong growth in hiring and corporate profits and a series of major corporate acquisitions.

ENERGY MARKETS: U.S. benchmark crude for October was down 25 cents at $95.71 in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

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August 26, 2014

US Treasury bill rates unchanged at weekly auction

Filed under: legal, money — Tags: , , , — Snowman @ 1:04 am

WASHINGTON (AP) — Interest rates on short-term Treasury bills were unchanged in Monday’s auction with both the three-month and six-month bills going for the same rates as the previous week.

The Treasury Department auctioned $29 billion in three-month bills at a discount rate of 0.030 percent, matching last week’s rate. Another $24 billion in six-month bills was auctioned at a discount rate of 0.050 percent, also unchanged from last week.

The discount rates reflect that the bills sell for less than face value. For a $10,000 bill, the three-month price was $9,999.23 while a six-month bill sold for $9,997.47. That would equal an annualized rate of 0.030 percent for the three-month bills and 0.051 percent for the six-month bills.

Separately, the Federal Reserve said Monday that the average yield for one-year Treasury bills, a popular index for making changes in adjustable rate mortgages, edged up to 0.11 percent last week from 0.10 percent the previous week.

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August 24, 2014

Goldman in deal worth $1.2B over US bond claims

Filed under: loans, news — Tags: , , , — Snowman @ 8:52 am

WASHINGTON (AP) — Goldman Sachs has agreed to a settlement worth $1.2 billion to resolve claims that it misled U.S. mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac about risky mortgage securities it sold them before the housing market collapsed in 2007.

The Federal Housing Finance Agency, which oversees Fannie and Freddie, announced the settlement Friday with the Wall Street powerhouse.

New York-based Goldman Sachs sold the securities to the companies between 2005 and 2007.

Under the settlement, Goldman is paying $3.15 billion to buy back the securities from Fannie and Freddie. The FHFA said the settlement was worth $1.2 billion because of the difference between what Goldman is paying and the current value of the securities. That means Goldman effectively is paying a $1.2 billion penalty.

Goldman will pay about $1 billion to Fannie and $2.15 billion to Freddie for the securities it sold.

“We are pleased to have resolved these matters,” said Goldman Sachs Group Inc. general counsel Gregory Palm in a statement.

The settlement is the latest federal government agreement over actions related to the financial crisis that struck in 2008. The crisis, triggered by vast sales of risky mortgage securities, plunged the economy into the deepest recession since the Great Depression.

The securities soured after the housing bubble burst in 2007, losing billions in value.

The government rescued Fannie and Freddie at the height of the crisis in September 2008 when both were on the verge of collapse. The companies received taxpayer aid totaling $187 billion. They have since become profitable and repaid the full bailouts.

The FHFA sued 18 financial institutions in 2011 over their sales of mortgage securities to Fannie and Freddie. The total price for the securities sold was $196 billion.

A number of big banks, including Goldman, JPMorgan, Bank of America and Citigroup, previously have been accused of abuses in sales of securities linked to mortgages in the years leading up to the crisis. Together, they have paid hundreds of millions in penalties to settle civil charges brought by the Securities and Exchange Commission, which accused them of deceiving investors about the quality of the bonds they sold.

Goldman agreed in 2010 to pay $550 million to settle the SEC’s charges, the largest penalty against a Wall Street firm in the agency’s history.

In recent months, Justice and state regulators have reached multibillion-dollar agreements over mortgage securities with JPMorgan, Citigroup and Bank of America. The most recent was announced Thursday with Bank of America, the second-largest U.S. bank, which is paying a record $16.65 billion — $7 billion of it earmarked for consumer relief.

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August 22, 2014

Obama offers new accommodations on birth control

Filed under: finance, management — Tags: , , , — Snowman @ 6:00 pm

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration will offer a new accommodation to religious nonprofits that object to covering birth control for their employees. The measure allows those groups to notify the government, rather than their insurance company, that birth control violates their religious beliefs.

The government is also extending an existing accommodation to some for-profit corporations like Hobby Lobby that’s currently available only to nonprofits. That accommodation requires groups to sign a form transferring responsibility for paying for birth control to their insurers or third-party administrators.

The dual decisions embrace suggestions included in recent Supreme Court rulings. But they’re unlikely to go far enough to satisfy religious groups. That’s because they would still make the groups complicit in a system that provides birth control through their organizations’ health plans.

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August 21, 2014

To us, Tina Fontaine just another missing native kid: Mallick

Filed under: legal, technology — Tags: , , , — Snowman @ 6:52 am

The call for a federal inquiry into missing and murdered indigenous girls and women isn’t the result of nearly 1,200 females crying out from wherever their graves may be. It isn’t history leaking blood, it is a continuing serial tragedy, and pretty little Tina Fontaine, her corpse hauled out of the Red River on the weekend in the bag her killer had stuffed her into, is just the latest instalment.

What makes Tina’s death worse is that at age 15, she was only 5’3” and weighed a feather-light 100 pounds. It was so easy for the killer to murder Tina, bag her up and dump her in the river. Even though her family and the police were looking for her, he calculated that she would be just another missing native kid, fun to torment, easy to slaughter and really easy to dispose of.

He was right. She was only found by chance while police divers searched for the corpse of a man, Faron Hall, also native, who had been seen struggling in the water. Hall’s body was also brought in. Behind the big blue tarps screening Tina’s corpse from view, Winnipeg’s Canadian Museum for Human Rights gleamed in the distance.

Tina’s story is harrowing, starting with the ID photos sent out as she went repeatedly missing after her life turned bad. There she is smiling with a cool ‘do, short on one side and long on the other, with big hoop earrings that must have made her very proud. On her slender neck just north of her throat, there is a worrying bruise or abrasion.

After Tina’s father got cancer when she was 4, her grandmother took her in, CTV reported. “She was a happy baby. She was a happy girl,” Thelma Fontaine said. But after her father was beaten to death in 2011, Tina fell apart. She was put into foster care in Powerview, Man., and then in Winnipeg, the latter a poor choice because she was both attracted to city life and unable to cope with it. Police say she may have been working the streets, and in the past year, she had run away three times. In one November 2013 notice of her disappearance, the RCMP in Powerview said she “is noted to have a history of attending Winnipeg.” That time she was found two days later but you can’t make a miserable, desperate teenager stay when she wants to flee.

“She had barely been in the city for a little over a month and she’s definitely been exploited, taken advantage of, murdered and put into the river in this condition,” Winnipeg homicide unit officer Sgt. John O’Donovan told reporters. And then he said what police are generally too brisk to say: “She’s a child. Society would be horrified if we found a litter of kittens or pups in the river in this condition. This is a child. Society should be horrified.”

O’Donovan has nailed us. We do treat aboriginal people like animals. Think of the children of Attawapiskat, a James Bay reserve which floods regularly and where children have basically been camping out in school shacks for years, begging the federal government for help. Those children are appallingly neglected.

“Yet the ones we see come down here and that we have as . . . patients, they are wonderful kids,” said a Toronto doctor who headed up north to help them. “They have got a great temperament, they’re very kind, they’re very intellectual, they are fun to be with high risk personal loans.” One Toronto rescuer was particularly upset by conditions in Moosonee. “It horrified me. There was neglect and abandonment and a very hard life.” Another said happily, “They are just lovely lovely children.”

Oh, I’m sorry, I mis-wrote myself. My mistake.

Replace “kids” and “children” with “dogs” and “doctor” with “vet” and I will be correctly quoting from a July story in the Toronto Star about white people going to Attawapiskat to treat stray dogs, “adopt” them and bring them back to Toronto. There is not a word about aboriginal children being neglected or abandoned or having a “hard life” after 150 years of colonialism, family patterns disrupted by residential school, sexual abuse, extreme poverty and hearty never-ending racism.

Dogs do as they’re told, for food. They attend obedience classes, don’t run away, don’t judge their pathetic unkempt owners, and fill a hole in the lives of inadequate people who don’t like children, much less aboriginal ones.

You may disagree. If ignoring Attawapiskat children in favour of dogs doesn’t seem harsh to you, read a 2010 Facebook post by Lorrie Steeves, a Winnipeg woman whose husband Gord is running for mayor of Winnipeg. “Lorrie Steeves is really tired of getting harrassed (sic) by the drunken native guys in the skywalks. we need to get these people educated so they can go make their own damn money instead of hanging out and harrassing (sic) the honest people who are grinding away working hard for their money. We all donate enough money to the government to keep thier (sic) sorry assess (sic) on welfare, so shut the f— up and don’t ask me for another handout!”

After the CBC reported the Steeves story on Aug. 8 — this was the last day Tina was seen alive in downtown Winnipeg — accompanied by a photo of Steeves at a gala with a big glass of white wine in front of her, Steeves apologized. I’m glad she did and I’m glad she enjoys a drink, but if this is how white Canadians think — that they are themselves exquisite while aboriginal Canadians are flawed beyond redemption and their sufferings of less interest than those of dogs — we have a long way to go. Well obviously we have a long way to go.

An inquiry into Canada’s missing and murdered women might lay this all open under a bright light, but Stephen Harper’s Conservatives call it unnecessary. In the meantime, think of Tina Fontaine of the Sagkeeng First Nation in Manitoba. When she went missing last year, a heartfelt flyer with her picture described her, with an addendum: “Scars on both arms.”

People cut themselves when they’re hurting. Tina was hurting badly. The flyer also warned passersby, “Tina went missing before. Do NOT approach her harshly please.” She was approached harshly, one final time.

Source

August 17, 2014

Second autopsy ordered on body of Missouri teen Michael Brown

Filed under: mortgage, online — Tags: , , , — Snowman @ 9:08 pm

FERGUSON, MO.—U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder on Sunday ordered a federal medical examiner to perform another autopsy on the body of a black Missouri teenager whose fatal shooting by a white police officer has spurred a week of rancorous and sometimes violent protests in suburban St. Louis.

Department of Justice spokesman Brian Fallon cited a request by family members and the “extraordinary circumstances” surrounding the case of 18-year-old Michael Brown in explaining decision.

“This independent examination will take place as soon as possible,” Fallon said in a statement. “Even after it is complete, Justice Department officials still plan to take the state-performed autopsy into account in the course of their investigation.”

The Justice Department already had deepened its civil rights investigation of the shooting. Officials said a day earlier that 40 FBI agents were going door-to-door gathering information in the Ferguson, Missouri, neighbourhood where an unarmed Brown was shot to death in the middle of the street on Aug. 9.

David Weinstein, a former federal prosecutor who supervised the criminal civil rights section of Miami’s U.S. Attorney’s office, said a federally conducted autopsy “more closely focused on entry point of projectiles, defensive wounds and bruises” might help that investigation, and that the move is “not that unusual.”

He also said federal authorities want to calm any public fears that no action will be taken on the case.

Holder’s latest announcement followed the first night of a state-imposed curfew in Ferguson, which ended with tear gas and seven arrests after police dressed in riot gear used armoured vehicles to disperse defiant protesters.

Missouri State Highway Patrol Capt. Ron Johnson said protesters weren’t the reason for the escalated police reaction early Sunday morning after the midnight curfew took effect, but a report of people who had broken into a barbecue restaurant and taken to the roof, and a man who flashed a handgun in the street as armoured vehicles approached the crowd of protesters.

Also overnight, a man was shot and critically wounded in the same area, but not by police; authorities were searching for the shooter. Someone also shot at a police car, officials said.

The protests have been going on since Brown’s death heightened racial tensions between the predominantly black community and mostly white Ferguson Police Department, leading to several run-ins between police and protesters and prompting Missouri’s governor to put the Highway Patrol in charge of security.

Ferguson Police waited six days to publicly reveal the name of the officer and documents alleging Brown robbed a convenience store before he was killed, though Chief Thomas Jackson said the officer did not know Brown was a suspect when he encountered him walking in the street with a friend.

Scott Olson / GETTY IMAGES

People wait for reaction from police after they refused to honour the midnight curfew on Aug. 17.

Gov. Jay Nixon, who imposed the curfew after declaring a state of emergency as protests turned violent to start the weekend, said Sunday morning on ABC’s “This Week” that he was not aware the police were going to release surveillance video from the store where Brown is alleged to have stolen a $49 box of cigars.

“It’s appeared to cast aspersions on a young man that was gunned down in the street. It made emotions raw,” Nixon said.

In announcing the curfew, Nixon said many protesters were making themselves heard peacefully but the state would not allow looters to endanger the community. Johnson, the Highway Patrol captain, had said police would not enforce the curfew with armoured trucks and tear gas and would communicate with protesters and give them ample opportunity to leave. Local officers faced strong criticism earlier in the week for their use of tear gas and rubber bullets against protesters.

As the curfew deadline arrived early Sunday, most protesters left the streets, but those who remained protesters refused to leave the area as officers spoke through a loudspeaker: “You are in violation of a state-imposed curfew. You must disperse immediately.”

As officers put on gas masks, a chant from the distant crowd emerged: “We have the right to assemble peacefully.”

A moment later, police began firing canisters into the crowd. Highway Patrol Spokesman Lt. John Hotz initially said police only used smoke, but later told The Associated Press they also used tear gas canisters.

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August 14, 2014

Sagging European economies crimp stock markets

Filed under: business, economics — Tags: , , , — Snowman @ 5:48 pm

HONG KONG (AP) — A contraction in Germany’s economy and stagnation in France dragged on European stocks Thursday while Asian markets ended mixed.

KEEPING SCORE: France’s CAC 40 lost 0.4 percent to 4,176.03 and Germany’s DAX shed 0.4 percent to 9,164.92. Britain’s FTSE 100 edged up 0.1 percent to 6,661.95. U.S. shares were set to drift lower, with Dow futures slipping 0.1 percent to 16,606. S&P 500 futures dipped 0.1 percent to 1,943.60.

ASIA’S DAY: Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 rose 0.7 percent to close at 15,314.57 and Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 ended 0.6 percent higher at 5,548.50. South Korea’s Kospi was practically unchanged at 2,063.22. But Hong Kong’s Hang Seng lost 0.4 percent to 24,801.36, after swinging between gains and losses for most of the day. The Shanghai Composite in mainland China followed the same pattern, down 0.7 percent to 2,206.47.

EUROPE SAGS: The latest growth figures from two major economies cast doubt over Europe’s recovery. The Germany economy lost momentum, shrinking by 0.2 percent in the April-June period, while the French economy stagnated for second straight quarter, official reports showed.

CHINA ECONOMY: Benchmarks in Hong Kong and Shanghai declined a day after disappointing data on the Chinese economy left investors fretting that authorities in Beijing were comfortable with slowing growth and would refrain from further stimulus. Fixed investment and industrial production for July slowed, though the big surprise was the sharp drop in loan growth, which Rabobank analyst Michael Every called “shockingly low bad credit payday advance.”

PC PROFITS: No. 1 personal computer maker Lenovo Group failed to hold on to gains after reporting quarterly profit rose 23 percent on stronger sales of smartphones and other mobile devices, with shares down 1.6 percent. China Mobile, the world’s biggest wireless carrier by subscribers, rose 0.7 percent even as the state-owned company reported first half profit fell 8.5 percent as it continued to roll out fourth-generation phone service.

US CUES: Investors are looking ahead to more hints on the health of the global economy with the release of U.S. unemployment benefit applications later Thursday. They come a day after U.S. retail sales edged up a tiny amount compared with the month before, fueling hopes that the Fed will maintain stimulus.

ENERGY: Benchmark crude oil for September delivery was down 27 cents to $97.31 in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, used to price international oils, fell 60 cents to $104.46 in London.

CURRENCIES: The euro rose to $1.3380 from $1.3365 in late trading Thursday. The dollar was little changed at 102.41 yen from 102.42 yen.

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July 16, 2014

U.S. homebuilder confidence surges in July

Filed under: canada, technology — Tags: , , , — Snowman @ 3:32 pm

U.S. homebuilders’ confidence in the housing market surged this month to the highest level since January, reflecting a pickup in sales of new homes and heightened expectations for sales the second half of the year.

The brighter sales outlook suggests home construction could pick up in coming months after a sluggish start this year.

The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo builder sentiment index released Wednesday rose this month to 53, up four points from a revised reading of 49 in June.

Readings above 50 indicate more builders view sales conditions as good, rather than poor. The latest reading is the first above 50 since January, when it was 56.

Builders’ view of current sales conditions for single-family homes, their outlook for sales over the next six months and traffic by prospective buyers each increased since June.

Higher mortgage rates and the bad weather weighed on home sales in late 2013 and early this year. Harsh winter weather also contributed to a sluggish start to this year’s spring home-selling season.

But sales of new homes have picked up in recent months.

New home sales jumped 18.6 percent in May to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 504,000, the highest level in six years. That followed a 3.7 percent increase in April. The gains came after declines in February and March.

Even with the big overall gain, sales of new homes are still running at just about half the pace of a healthy real estate market.

Still, the recent pickup in sales suggests that the housing recovery may be regaining its footing after slowing earlier this year.

Economists say there is significant pent-up demand for homes as many potential buyers put off purchases over the past few years because of concerns about the economy paydayloans.

Solid job gains this year also bode well for housing.

Employers added 288,000 jobs last month, the fifth straight month of gains above 200,000. The national unemployment rate has slid to 6.1 percent, a 5 1/2-year low.

“An improving job market goes hand-in-hand with a rise in builder confidence,” said David Crowe, the NAHB’s chief economist. “As employment increases and those with jobs feel more secure about their own economic situation, they are more likely to feel comfortable about buying a home.”

That optimism is reflected in the latest NAHB index, which is based on responses from 241 builders.

In the latest survey, builders’ view of current sales conditions for single-family homes rose four points to 57. A measure of traffic by prospective buyers increased three points to 39. And builders’ outlook for sales of single-family homes over the next six months jumped six points to 64, the highest level since September.

Housing, while still a long way from the boom of several years ago, has been recovering over the past two years.

Though new homes represent only a fraction of the housing market, they have an outsize impact on the economy. Each home built creates an average of three jobs for a year and generates about $90,000 in tax revenue, according to NAHB data.

The builder confidence survey sent shares in U.S. homebuilders higher in morning trading Wednesday. M/I Homes Inc., based in Columbus, Ohio, led the pack. The stock rose 72 cents, or 3.1 percent, to $23.63.

Source

July 14, 2014

Murder charges to be laid in case of missing Calgary boy, grandparents

Filed under: loans, marketing — Tags: , , , — Snowman @ 9:00 pm

CALGARY—Calgary police say two charges of first-degree murder and one charge of second-degree murder are pending in the disappearance of a five-year-old boy and his grandparents.

Chief Rick Hanson says a man was arrested early Monday but he can’t identify him because the charges were not going to be laid until later in the day.

Nathan O’Brien and his grandparents, Kathryn and Alvin Liknes, haven’t been seen since June 29 after what police say was a violent incident in the Liknes house.

Hanson says their bodies have not been found, but investigators have enough evidence to conclude that they are dead. An Amber Alert issued shortly after the family members were reported missing has been cancelled.

Shortly after the three disappeared, Nathan’s parents issued a tearful plea through the media asking for their return and urging their “superhero” son to be brave.

As the search for a missing boy and his grandparents continues, Calgary police say they’re looking into business dealings involving the family. Officers are also searching landfills and a property near Airdrie, Alberta.

Hanson says that hope is now gone.

“Even as the days went by there’s always a hope, there’s always a glimmer of hope. And unfortunately with the laying of the charges, we’ve taken that hope away from the family. So they are devastated.”

He says the case is not closed and investigators will continue to search for their bodies. He asked rural property owners to search their land for anything that appears out of the ordinary.

More than 200 officers and analysts worked on the complex and heart-breaking case, he says. There were about 900 tips from the public guaranteed cash advance.

The chief says the man arrested is from Airdrie, a community north of Calgary, and investigators are not looking for any other suspects.

He would not confirm that the suspect is Douglas Garland, who lives on an Airdrie acreage with his parents and has been identified as a person of interest in the case.

Garland was first questioned more than a week ago and was released from custody last Friday on unrelated identity theft charges.

Media reports citing police sources say it’s Garland who has been re-arrested.

Hundreds of people attended a vigil Thursday for a missing Calgary boy and his grandparents. The mother of five-year-old Nathan O’Brien told the crowd the community’s support is keeping her family strong.

Garland, who is 54, has ties to the Liknes family.

Police have said his sister is in a relationship with a family member and there have been reports he had business dealings with Alvin Liknes as well.

Investigators have been searching the Garland acreage northeast of Airdrie where since he was initially questioned.

Over the past two weeks RCMP and Calgary police have searched several fields, sloughs and stands of trees on the acreage and in an area nearby.

Source

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.”

Source

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