Yellen determined to avoid disaster in financial markets




“With deadly earthquakes, hurricanes, floods and fires, this seems like a season of disasters,” wrote Don Pittis for CBC News on September 21, 2017.

Pittis continued, “Yesterday the world’s most powerful central banker, Janet Yellen, demonstrated that she is determined not to create another disaster in financial markets in spite of a dramatic change in course.

Yellen threw the switch on a plan to reverse one of the two methods central banks have used to recharge an economy battered by the 2008 financial storm.

Yellen, the U.S. Federal Reserve chair, has now formally asserted that she will withdraw both those kinds of monetary boosts to the economy, the stimulus of low rates and the slightly more complex stimulus of buying up bonds.

Nerve-racking peak

And rather than creating a shock wave likely to tumble stock markets, now trembling near a nerve-racking peak, it appears  the cautious Yellen has once again proved her worth as a safe pair of hands.”

Read the full article here. 

Canadians impacted by Equifax cybersecurity breach

Photographer: Jeffrey Betts

Photographer: Jeffrey Betts


“Equifax Canada said a massive cybersecurity breach at the company may have exposed the personal information of about 100,000 Canadian consumers,” wrote CBC News on September 19, 2017.

CBC News continued, “Equifax is a consumer information company that provides, among other services, credit information and credit ratings on individuals.

The company disclosed on Sept. 7 that the cybersecurity breach exposed the personal data of about 143 million Americans but, at that time, did not reveal the number of Canadians involved. 

Equifax Canada said the information includes names, addresses, social insurance numbers (SIN) and, in limited cases, credit card numbers.

“We apologize to Canadian consumers who have been impacted by this incident,” said Lisa Nelson, president and general manager of Equifax Canada.”

Read the full article here. 


Officials say no life threatening injuries from London train bombing

Photographer: Osman Rana

Photographer: Osman Rana

“Hundreds of London police embarked on a massive search Friday, racing to find out who placed a homemade bomb on a packed London subway train during the morning rush hour. The explosion wounded 29 people and ignited a panicked stampede to safety,” wrote The Associated Press for CBC News on September 15, 2017.

The Associated Press continued, “Witnesses described seeing a “wall of fire” as the bomb — hidden in a plastic bucket inside a supermarket freezer bag — went off about 8:20 a.m. while the train was at the Parsons Green station in southwest London.

It was not a large explosion, and British police and health officials said none of the injured was thought to be seriously hurt. Yet police said it was a terrorist attack, the sixth in Britain this year.

Experts said London may have escaped far worse carnage because it appeared that the bomb only partially exploded.

“Clearly, this was a device that was intended to cause significant harm,” U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May said after chairing a meeting of the government’s COBRA emergency committee.  

Hours later, the Metropolitan Police force said there had been no arrests, but hundreds of detectives, aided by intelligence agents, were looking at surveillance camera footage in the subway, carrying out forensic work and speaking to witnesses.”

Read the full article here. 

Trudeau’s pricey Bahamas vacation

Photographer: Zukiman Mohamad

Photographer: Zukiman Mohamad


“Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s controversial Bahamas vacation cost Canadian taxpayers over $215,000 — far more than initially disclosed to Parliament, CBC News has learned,” wrote Elizabeth Thompson for CBC News on September 13, 2017.

Thompson continued, “A document obtained by CBC News under the Access to Information Act reveals the RCMP spent more than twice the amount it initially listed in its response to a question posed by a member of Parliament earlier this year.

The new figures from the RCMP bring the cost to the Canadian government of Trudeau’s stay as a guest of the Aga Khan on Bell Island to $215,398. That amount, which covers the RCMP, DND, Global Affairs Canada and the Privy Council’s costs, is 70 per cent higher than the $127,187 tab first tabled in Parliament.

The news that the trip cost more than initially believed comes as Trudeau is under investigation by Parliament’s ethics watchdog and already under opposition fire for the cost of the Christmas holiday trip in 2016 to an exclusive private island in the Bahamas.

In its response to Parliament in March, the RCMP said the trip had cost it $71,988 — $18,735 for overtime and shift differentials plus $53,253 in “travel, accommodation and per diem” costs.”

Read the full article here. 

Trudeau open to tweaks on tax changes

Photographer: Ryan Plomp

Photographer: Ryan Plomp

“Prime Minister Justin Trudeau signalled Wednesday he is open to compromise on his government’s plan to tighten the small business tax regime, but he pledged to largely stay the course as he looks to collect more revenue from some of the wealthiest Canadians,” wrote John Paul Tasker for CBC News on September 6, 2017.

Tasker continued, “In his opening address to Liberal MPs assembled in Kelowna, B.C., for a national caucus meeting, Trudeau said he believes in the plan to close tax “loopholes” some proprietors now enjoy but could be willing to alter its rollout to satisfy growing demand for tweaks to the proposals.

The current plan would curtail “income sprinkling” and end tax advantages for those who hold passive investments, such as stocks and real estate, in their small businesses.

“Speaking of tax changes, I want to be clear: people who make $50,000 a year should not pay higher taxes than people who make $250,000 a year. We are always open to better ways to fix that problem, but we are going to fix that problem,” Trudeau said.

A Liberal who was inside the caucus room said “a lot” of MPs stood up during the morning session to question Finance Minister Bill Morneau about the changes and to air their concerns. Morneau fielded questions on the proposals for more than an hour, the Liberal said.”

Read the full article here. 

Scotiabank’s record-setting $800 million deal

Photographer: Priscilla Westra

Photographer: Priscilla Westra


“Scotiabank’s record-setting $800 million deal for the naming rights to the building that houses Toronto’s Maple Leafs and Raptors is a major move that shifts the sports marketing landscape, but it isn’t without risks, experts say,” wrote Pete Evans for CBC News on September 4, 2017.

Evans continued, “Under terms of the deal announced last week, the bank will pay a reported $40 million a year for the next 20 years to rename the building known as the Air Canada Centre to the Scotiabank Arena.

The price tag is enormous — more than 10 times what Air Canada paid for the inaugural rights nearly two decades ago — and head and shoulders above similar deals elsewhere in the country.

But it’s a premium price for a premium product, branding and marketing expert Tony Chapman said in an interview with CBC News. “I’m a big fan of this deal,” he said. “Sports is one of the last remaining franchises for live eyeballs, and people pay a big premium to be attached to any kind of sport — especially something like hockey in Canada.”

Scotiabank has been tying its brand to hockey for several years, with sponsorships of kids’ hockey programs, a presence with Hockey Night in Canada, and other naming deals with NHL barns in Ottawa and Calgary.”

Read the full article here. 

Low-fat diets led to dangerously high carbohydrate consumption

Photographer: Christopher Flowers

Photographer: Christopher Flowers


“Global dietary guidelines should change to suggest people can eat more fat than previously thought, with a view to preventing overconsumption of carbohydrates, according to a new international study led by Canadian researchers,” wrote Nicole Ireland for CBC News on August 29, 2017.

Ireland continued, ” “Our findings do not support the current recommendation to limit total fat intake to less than 30 per cent of energy,” said the paper published in the Lancet on Tuesday. “Individuals with high carbohydrate intake might benefit from a reduction in carbohydrate intake and increase in the consumption of fats.”

Scientists from McMaster University in Hamilton and other researchers used questionnaires to document the fat, carbohydrate and protein intake of 135,335 people in 18 countries, then followed them over an average of about seven years.

The research team, led by Mahshid Dehghan, a nutrition epidemiologist at McMaster, was set to present the results of the study at the European Society of Cardiology Congress in Barcelona on Tuesday.

Read the full article here. 

Strangers help rescue stranded people following Hurricane Harvey

Photographer:  Nicolas Brown

Photographer: Nicolas Brown


“Ma’am, I’ll hold your purse.”

“Sir, hang on tight, we’ve got ya.”

“There was no way the gushing skies and culverts of Twin Oaks just outside Houston were going to wash away that famous southern politeness,” wrote Adrienne Arsenault for CBC News on August 29, 2017.

Arsenault continued, “These weren’t the voices of soldiers, police or firefighters. They were a concrete worker and a woman in a sopping Harley-Davidson shirt, and the young woman with somehow impeccable makeup and an even more impressive sense of decency.

The U.S. is well supplied with official first responders, and authorities generally don’t want citizens wandering into harm’s way, even with good intentions. 

Volunteer efforts can be disjointed, dangerous and go horribly wrong. It can be hard to tell what areas have and haven’t been cleared. There’s a litany of reasons to keep unofficial helpers away. But then there’s the reality of this beast named Harvey.

Read the full article here. 

Credit card fraudulent charges

Photographer: Michal Jarmoluk

Photographer: Michal Jarmoluk

“A Winnipeg couple who say they were pickpocketed in Mexico are out $6,600 after someone apparently used the PIN on their credit card to make fraudulent purchases, and their credit card company says that’s enough reason to not reverse the charges,” wrote Kristin Annable for CBC News on August 22, 2017.
Annable continued, “Rick and Andree Jolicoeur were in Cancun in February when a routine bus trip to get groceries ended with him realizing his wallet had been stolen sometime during their travels.
Since then, they’ve been in a months-long fight with Walmart Canada Bank, which issued their MasterCard. The company says it won’t reverse the charges because it appears the person who used the card knew the four-digit PIN, and the cardholder agreement states a consumer must protect the code.
“If someone has a MasterCard, they won’t realize that this can happen to them — this is atrocious,” Rick Jolicoeur told CBC News.
“We did everything that we are supposed to do.”
Credit card PINs can be stolen
Frances Lawrence, who’s with the Credit Counselling Society, said a PIN can be stolen with the use of a pinhole camera at an ATM or other bank machines. Credit card information can be accessed using a device such a “shimmer” — a new smaller, more powerful and practically impossible to detect kind of skimmer. Shimmers fit inside a card reader and can be installed quickly by a criminal who slides it into the machine while pretending to make a purchase or withdrawal. 

Read the full article here. 

People gathered together to take in solar eclipse

Photographer:  Linda Xu

Photographer: Linda Xu


“People from all over the world converged Monday on St. Joseph, Mo., a town nestled along the Missouri River just north of Kansas City, to watch an event that many said comes once in a lifetime: a total solar eclipse,” wrote Nicole Mortillaro for CBC News on August 22, 2017.

Mortillaro continued, “Instead of the expected — and usual — sunny August day in the city of about 77,000, the thousands who gathered at Rosecrans Memorial Airport on the edge of town got cloud cover and nearby thunderstorms. 

About 10 minutes before totality, the rain stopped. The crowd erupted in a cheer. The sun, a mere crescent, popped out from behind the clouds.

The jubilation was like a tide: cheers, followed by quiet as the clouds covered the dwindling sun. Then cheers again, as the ever-shrinking sun emerged.

But then it was as if night had descended: the area was thrust into darkness. To the eclipse watchers in the shadow of the moon, it was as if there was a sunset around them in every direction.

Twelve-year old Ava Byrd travelled 18 hours by car from Jacksonville, Fla. with her mother Alicia. She donned her glasses, head craned, hoping for just a glimpse of the sun’s corona. And then, through a break in the clouds, she got it. 

Read the full article here. 


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