Valeant shares retreat from 2017 high amid broad decline on North American

LAVAL, Que. — Valeant Pharmaceuticals hit a short-lived high for the year early Thursday after the company completed the sale of its Dendreon subsidiary for US$819.9 million cash.The Quebec-based drugmaker (TSX:VRX) traded as high as $23.75 after markets opened, about six per cent above where it closed Wednesday, but later gave up its gains amid a broad-based decline on the Toronto and New York stock markets.Its shares were briefly below Wednesday’s closing price of $22.41 at midday, while the S&P/TSX composite index was down more than 100 points.The stock has been climbing since April 21 when Valeant closed at $11.45, as investors have gained confidence in the company’s ability to reduce its debt.Proceeds from the sale of Dendreon Pharmaceuticals to China-based Sanpower Group will be used to repay a term loan.Valeant’s shares remain far below their value two year ago, when they traded for more than $300 per share for several weeks before they plunged amid questions about the sales it generated through online pharmacy Philidor Rx Services. read more

Markets update at midmorning

On the markets at midmorning (ET):The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index was up 17.48 points to 15,219.58, after 90 minutes of trading.In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 17.70 points to 21,981.62. The S&P 500 index was down 8.35 points to 2,468.00 and the Nasdaq composite index was down 38.95 points to 6,323.99.The Canadian dollar was trading at 79.54 cents US, up from Tuesday’s average price of 79.91 cents US.The September crude contract was down 30 cents to US$48.86 per barrel and the September natural gas contract was unchanged at US$2.82 per mmBTU.The December gold contract was down $2.80 to US$1,276.60 an ounce and the September copper contract was down one cent to US$2.87 a pound. read more

Canadas wholesale sales dip slightly in June first decline in several months

OTTAWA — Canada’s wholesale sales declined slightly in June, with the food and auto industries showing the biggest impact.Wholesale sales fell by 0.5 per cent to $61.4 billion, following a series of monthly increases.The food industry’s wholesale sales were down 1.1 per cent from May, falling to $10.78 billion.Motor vehicle wholesale sales were down 1.7 per cent at $9.13 billion in June.Statistics Canada says the value of wholesale sales fell in five of the seven subsectors it follows and in six provinces, with the biggest decline in Alberta and the biggest gain in Ontario.CIBC economist Andrew Grantham writes in a note to clients that June’s decline from May was modest and still up by 8.8 per cent compared with June of last year. read more

Canadian lumber producers get reprieve with end of 20 of preliminary duties

MONTREAL — Canadian softwood lumber producers are getting a temporary reprieve as a large portion of preliminary duties in place for four months have ended pending a final decision.Most lumber companies will pay 6.87 per cent in anti-dumping tariffs after a 19.88 rate for countervailing duties formally ended as of Saturday.Five producers singled out have paid duties between 9.89 and 30.88 per cent. All others paid 26.75 per cent.U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross announced late Monday that the Department of Commerce postponed the final determinations in the anti-dumping duty and countervailing duty investigations of imports of softwood lumber from Canada until no later than Nov. 14“I remain hopeful that we can reach a negotiated solution that satisfies the concerns of all parties,” Ross said in a statement. “This extension could provide the time needed to address the complex issues at hand and to reach an equitable and durable suspension agreement.”Although countervailing duties formally came off in recent days, Canadian producers have been able to ship products south of the border without CVDs since Aug. 14 by delaying paperwork by up to 10 days, says lumber analyst Hamir Patel of CIBC World Markets.Countervailing duties target what the U.S. considers unfair subsidies, while anti-dumping tariffs go after the alleged selling of softwood below market value.Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard said Monday that higher lumber prices have raised prices for American consumers buying new homes and hurt U.S., not Canadian, workers.“It will become more and more apparent that the most threatened jobs by these policies are not Canadian but American jobs in several states, notably in the construction sector,” he told reporters after a meeting in Charlottetown between eastern Canadian premiers and New England governors.Lumber prices, which ran up in anticipation of export duties, have begun to soften partly due to the lowering of duties.Western SPF prices were US$398 per thousand board feet on Friday, said Madison’s Lumber Reporter, which tracks prices. That’s down four per cent from US$414 a month ago but up from US$330 a year ago.Lumber prices are typically weaker in the fall after the main home building season.“This is sort of this limbo period of 10 days or two weeks,” said Madison’s editor and publisher Keta Kosman.“It will be interesting to see what the new floor is now.”Hurricane Harvey, which has battered Texas, and the impact from wildfires in Western Canada could be factors influencing lumber prices this year.Canada’s share of the U.S. softwood lumber market fell to 23 per cent in July, down from 32 per cent in September 2015 before the expiry of the 2006 softwood lumber agreement, according to monthly Canadian government reports.The Conference Board of Canada has said U.S. softwood lumber duties paid at current export levels will cost Canadian producers $1.7 billion a year and cut about 2,200 jobs until a settlement is reached.Efforts to reach a new softwood lumber agreement appear to have been overtaken by the United States’ efforts to negotiate an update to the North American Free Trade Agreement with Canada and Mexico. read more

Morneau expects economic positivity to continue despite weak trade numbers

TORONTO — Finance Minister Bill Morneau expects Canada’s “positive economic situation” to continue for the coming quarters even as the country’s latest export figures exhibit signs of weakness.The minister met with private sector economists in Toronto on Thursday morning ahead of his fall economic update, which Morneau said would be released in the coming weeks.He said the “consensus” among the 10 economists in the room was the “economic situation we find ourselves in is better than we might have expected just not that long ago.”“My sense is we will continue to have a positive economic situation in the coming quarters, and obviously the longer term,” Morneau said.His comments came as August statistics show the country’s trade deficit widened to $3.4 billion — almost a billion dollars more than expected — compared to a $3.0 billion deficit in July. Overall exports declined for the third consecutive month, down 1.0 per cent to hit $43.6 billion.The Canadian economy has been unexpectedly strong for the first half of this year — with second quarter growth at 4.5 per cent — prompting the Bank of Canada to raise its key interest rate twice this summer.But the latest round of trade data “adds to the evidence that the outsized outperformance of the economy over the last year is coming to an end,” said Nathan Janzen, a senior economist with the Royal Bank of Canada, in a note to clients on Thursday.“It also, however, does not alter our expectation that growth will still remain at an ‘above-potential’ pace and — with the economy probably already quite close to capacity limits — that further gradual Bank of Canada interest rate hikes will be warranted,” Janzen wrote.CIBC Economics, however, expects the central bank’s “monitoring” of the economy to translate into a pause in interest rate hikes.“Exports have looked very soft, and are a reason why we are forecasting a more muted growth picture in the second half of the year,” it said in a note Thursday. “That should keep Governor Poloz using a more gentle hand on interest rate hikes going forward.”Exporters should get some assistance from the pullback in the loonie since September.Morneau said Thursday the weaker dollar would be “helpful” for exporters.“There is positive opportunity for (exporters), and the broader economic trends would lead me to conclude that we have a positive future.”On Thursday, Scotiabank released its latest economic forecasts, pointing to 3.1 per cent GDP growth for 2017 and 2.0 per cent in 2018 — both unchanged from September but revised upwards since July. Scotiabank also put out its first GDP growth forecast for 2019, pegged at 1.5 per cent.Craig Alexander, an economist with the Conference Board of Canada who was among those who met with Minister Morneau, says the pace of growth the country has enjoyed is not sustainable. It will moderate going forward as the slack in the economy is used up, he said.Alexander also pointed to some downside risks such as the ongoing renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement, and geopolitical risks including Brexit.Still, the conference board’s economic growth forecasts have been revised upwards to 3.1 per cent for this year, 2 per cent in 2018 and 1.7 per cent by 2019, he said.“The base case forecast is for a healthy Canadian economy over the next couple of years,” Alexander said. “But recognizing that the pace of growth is going to slow… it is slowing to a healthy pace of growth.” read more

Lankans in Chennai given citizenship

“The time has come where our people are now wishing to return to Sri Lanka. We now welcome all our citizens back to the motherland,” Rajakaruna said.The mission has issued 4,033 birth certificates and citizenship certificates since 2009. (Times of India) The deputy high commissioner of Sri Lanka in India R K M A Rajakaruna on Saturday gave away 58 birth and citizenship certificates to children of Sri Lankan Tamils living in refugee camps in the state.The envoy thanked the state government for providing the Sri Lankan nationals relief measures. read more

GL holds talks in Vietnam

The two sides also agreed to study on signing the Vietnam-Sri Lanka Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA) in the future.In 2011, the Vietnam-Sri Lanka bilateral trade turnover reached 100 million U.S. dollars and is expected to hit one billion U.S. dollars by 2015. (Xinhua) Sri Lankan Foreign Minister G.L. Peiris, for his part, expressed his impression on achievements Vietnam has gained during the innovation and economic development process. Vietnamese Minister of Foreign Affairs Pham Binh Minh met with his Sri Lankan counterpart G.L. Peiris for talks over bilateral relations in capital Hanoi on Tuesday during his four-day visit to Vietnam.During the meeting, Vietnamese Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh spoke highly of Peiris’s visit to Vietnam, adding that his visit plays an important role in further expanding the Vietnam-Sri Lanka multifaceted traditional friendship relations. The two ministers expressed delight at the positive development of the bilateral relations during the past years and agreed to further cooperation in fields of politic, defense and security, economic, trade and investment, oil, gas, and education. read more

Train bus collision in Beruwala

He said that the bus was heading back to Kandy with a group of people after a function when the accident took place. The police said that four of those injured were in serious condition and were transferred to the ICU. SSP Jayakody said that the injured people were admitted to the Nagoda hospital for treatment. (Colombo Gazette) A train rammed into a bus at Rockland junction in Beruwala late this evening injuring at least 23 people.Acting police media spokesman SSP Priyashantha Jayakody said that the accident had taken place at an unprotected level crossing. The train was heading to Galle from Colombo when it crashed into the bus at the level crossing. read more

Over 140 complaints filed against local media outlets

The report stated that four English language and two Sinhala language newspapers however did not co-operate with the PCCSL, which is a voluntary self-regulatory body of the newspaper industry having the support of the Newspaper Society, Editors’ Guild, Free Media Movement, Working Journalists Association and four other media organizations including a trade union. They are the Federation of Media Employees Trade Union, Sri Lanka Muslim Media Forum, Sri Lanka Tamil Media Alliance and the South Asian Free Media Association – Sri Lanka Chapter. Siri Ranasinghe, Editor of the Lankadeepa, N. M. Ameen, Editor of the Nawamani newspaper and Mohanlal Piyadasa, Chief Sub Editor of the Deshaya were re-elected by the general membership of the PCCSL at the AGM to the Board of Directors of the PCCSL.The other members of the Board of Directors representing separate media organizations are Kumar Nadesan (Chairman, nominated by SLPI), Sinha Ratnatunga ((Deputy Chairman, nominated by TEGOSL), Manik de Silva (nominated by the SLPI), Nimal Welgama (nominated by the NSSL), B. M. Murshideen (nominated by FMM) and Duminda Sampath (nominated by SLWJA). (Colombo Gazette) The CEO’s report said that the PCCSL’s autonomous Dispute Resolution Council headed by former Secretary General of Parliament Mr. Nihal Senviatne met bi-monthly to inquire into complaints that required their attention.The report also stated that workshops were conducted for most newspapers in their Newsrooms while training for provincial journalists on ethical reporting and for government officials and the public on the Editors’ Code were conducted in Colombo, Jaffna and Galle. The Press Complaints Commission of Sri Lanka (PCCSL) received 142 complaints last year. Of the 142 complaints, 85 complaints were valid complaints falling within the purview of the PCCSL mechanism with the Editors publishing a ‘Right of Readers’ for 38 of them, Chief Executive Officer of the PCCSL said in his annual report for 2015.CEO Sukumar Rockwood said that the Sinhala press which comprises 43 per cent of the country’s newspapers attracted a majority of the complaints. He said that the Commission received the fullest co-operation from editors to resolve these complaints amicably and swiftly. He said that as many as 278 complaints were resolved directly by editors providing a ‘Right of Readers’ to the aggrieved parties. read more

Nigerian Navy commissions Sri Lankan made gunboats

Sheni said another 20 of the locally built gunboats would be delivered to the Nigerian Navy. The Nigerian Navy has commissioned 30 locally made and nine Sri Lankan gunboats into service, and unveiled an indigenous 38 metre long patrol vessel, the Defence Web in Africa reported.The vessels were commissioned in Lagos on 17 August in a ceremony attended by Ministry of Defence Permanent Secretary Danjuma Sheni and Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok Ete-Ibas, amongst others. The 30 gunboats, which are 8.2 metres long, were built by the Epenal Boat Yard in Port Harcourt. Officials said they would be used to patrol the Niger Delta. The vessels displayed last Wednesday appear to be armed with ST Kinetics 40AGL automatic grenade launchers. Nine of the boats were earlier acquired second hand from Sri Lanka for $4.2 million. They were handed over on 6 May in a ceremony in Sri Lanka. According to the Sri Lankan Navy, six Arrow class boats and three Wave Rider class boats were handed over in what the Navy said was its first international defence sale.The 14.5 metre long and 3.5 metre wide inshore patrol craft are powered by two 350 HP engines. They are equipped with a radar system, GPS and electronic compass. The contract included training for Nigerian personnel in Sri Lanka. In addition to the smaller gunboats, the Nigerian Navy will receive a locally built patrol boat, which was apparently also commissioned last week. NNS Karaduwa is the second Seaward Defence Boat to be built in Nigeria and is 38.9 metres long. (Colombo Gazette) Ete-Ibas was reported by local media as saying that said the Epenal-built boats were an improvement on 30 others unveiled in Port Harcourt in February and featured modifications that improved sea-keeping, amongst others. He said the vessels contribute to Nigeria’s national security and prosperity and come at half the cost of acquiring vessels from overseas, something that is important as “mounting operational challenges in the face of [the] progressively dwindling economy necessitated the navy to explore more cost saving options through local construction of these patrol boats.” read more

Government agencies review Port City progress

A detailed presentation was made by Gamini Hewage, Director Coast Resource Management from the Department of Coast Conservation and Coastal Resource Management on dredging activity, conditions of the permit, supply of quarry materials, stockpiling sites, solid, liquid and hazardous waste management, coastal engineering, beach profile monitoring, sea bed monitoring, social aspects of the project such as the income support and benefits program for fishermen and the reports that had been and are to be submitted according to the permit conditions. Government agencies connected to the Port City project met for the fourth review meeting and site visit, a press statement said today.The Department of Coast Conservation and Coastal Resource Management was the leading agency coordinating the review process. The Ministry of Megapolis and Western Development, Ministry of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Development, Ministry of Mahaweli Development and Environment, District Secretaries from Colombo, Gampaha, Divisional secretaries from Colombo, Thimbirigasyaya, Wattala, Ja-Ela, Negombo, Department of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, Department of Irrigation, Department of Archeology, Central Environmental Authority, Urban Development Authority, Road Development Authority, Sri Lanka Ports Authority, Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority, Marine Environment Protection Authority, National Aquatic Resources and Development Agency (NARA),Geological Survey and Mines Bureau, Sri Lanka Land Reclamation and Development Cooperation, Board of Investment, Sri Lanka Navy, Municipal Councilsof Colombo, Negombo and Pradeshiya Saba of Wattala took part in the review. read more

President Sirisena to visit South Korea for talks with Moon

On the invitation of President Moon Jae-in, the President of Sri Lanka Maithripala Sirisena will undertake a state visit to the Republic of Korea from 28 to 30 November 2017, in conjunction with the 40th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Sri Lanka and the Republic of Korea.On 29 November, President Moon is scheduled to meet President Sirisena for summit talks, and host the Sri Lankan President to a state dinner. The two Heads of State will discuss matters of mutual interest to deepen cooperation between Sri Lanka and the Republic of Korea. Agreements on Economic Cooperation, Economic Development Cooperation Fund (EDCF) and cultural cooperation, as well as MOUs on investment cooperation and the Employment Permit System (EPS) are to be signed between the two Governments during the visit. President Sirisena is also scheduled to attend a business luncheon co-hosted by the four major Korean Business Associations, and meet with the Sri Lankan community in the Republic of Korea. (Colombo Gazette) read more

New mechanism to face impact on economy from climate change

Describing the nature of the water-related risks from the impact of climatic change, the Premier said that domestic agriculture had to face unfavorable situations. According to the Ministry of Agriculture, vegetable production in the highland had decreased by the 36% while production of the lower country came down by 30 per cent, Wickremesinghe said. He said that as a result of the bad weather, domestic agricultural production deceased, particularly coconut, vegetables, and rice. The Government is taking steps to create a mechanism to overcome the impacts on the national economy from climate change, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe disclosed today.Making a special statement in the Parliament the Prime Minister said that the Government will discuss these matters with representatives of aid agencies including the International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Bank (WB), and Asian Development Bank (ADB). read more

Auditor General visits SLC to expedite forensic audit

During the discussions, Jayaratne informed the Auditor General that the SLC Executive Committee, at their meeting held on the 25th February 2019, directed the Senior Management of SLC to extend their fullest corporation and assistance in conducting of the forensic audit of the SLC accounts into the period of 2016-2018. The move was initiated by the Minister of Telecommunications, Foreign Employment and Sport Harin Fernando. (Colombo Gazette) Auditor General of Sri Lanka Gamini Wijesinghe visited the Sri Lanka Cricket board headquarters today to expedite a forensic audit.Wijesinghe had talks with the Chief Operating Officer of SLC Jerome Jayaratne as well as other officials at SLC. read more

Weekend murder of Hamilton teen

00:00:00 | 00:00:00::Projekktor V1.3.09 (Update)We now have the latest on the shocking weekend murder, of a young Hamilton teen.18-year old David Pereira was stabbed to death in front of dozens of witnesses early Sunday morning, as he and a group of friends joined the crowds pouring out of the bar scene in Hess Village.Scot Urquhart talked to a witness who was on the scene and who says things are getting worse in an area already known for drunken brawls, and serious violence.This is the only sign of what happened here, early Sunday morning. That’s when 18-year old David Pereira died here. Stabbed by a man that he didn’t even know.Rick Kellogg was standing right beside Pereira when the fatal blow was struck: “I didn’t hear anything that was out of the ordinary.”Police arrested a man at the scene. Later, they charged 49-year old Raleigh Stubbs, with murder. That was a shock to Bruce Clinton, the superintendent in the building where Stubbs lives: “Just kept to himself. Like whenever he went by the office it was; ‘Hi Bruce, Hi Linda. Nice guy. Can’t believe it.”Bruce, and assistant Superintendent Giles Fitzgerald say that Stubbs had been living with his father: His dad died. That affected him I guess.”But just a few days ago, Stubbs attended a gathering for residents at the building: “He seemed normal then.”But there was nothing normal about Sunday night.Rick says he and a group of friends have been gathering here late on Saturday nights for about a decade – to share a coffee, and watch the entertainment. But in the last few years he says, things have been getting far less entertaining, and far more frightening.Rick Kellogg was an eyewitness to the event: Over the years, it’s getting worse and worse. Fights are a weekly occurrence now, and it’s not just a one-on-one.”Rick saw a gang attack about a month ago just down the street — Half a dozen assailants beat a young man to unconsciousness … Sending him to hospital.And while there’s been plenty of talk about the number of half-way house residents, and street people in the area — Rick says it’s another demographic that’s driving the violence:Kellogg: They’re not derelicts or homeless people that are causing all the problems. It’s the kids fighting as they’re coming out of there.”Kellogg says he sees a heavy police presence in the area around 11pm as patrons are going into the bar, but almost no police in the area. As the crowds are coming out, around 2:30 am.But in his view, attitude plays a large part in the violence.He says many of those in the young crowd leaving hess village, seem to be spoiling for a fight, and aren’t content to merely throw a punch or two.It’s become so noticeable in fact that he, and his group of motorcycle riding friends are considering looking for a new place to hang out on Saturday nights. read more

The Latest US aware Turkey taking Russian missile system

ANKARA, Turkey — The Latest on Russian missile systems arriving in Turkey (all times local):6:55 p.m.The acting U.S. secretary of defence says Washington is aware that Turkey has begun taking delivery of a Russian-made S-400 air defence system.Mark Esper, who is expected to be officially nominated next week to be defence secretary, told reporters at the Pentagon that the U.S. remains unwilling to allow Turkey to acquire the U.S. F-35 stealth fighter, as long as it has the S-400.Esper said he planned to speak to his Turkish counterpart later in the day, and that the Pentagon would have more to say about the dispute afterward.The Trump administration has repeatedly told Turkey that it will be cut off from the F-35 fighter program if it buys Russian air defences, because the S-400 is incompatible with NATO defences and could jeopardize sensitive information about F-35 technologies.___10:50 a.m.Turkey’s Defence Ministry says the first shipment of a Russian missile defence system has arrived in Turkey, a development that could move the country closer to U.S. sanctions.The ministry said the first delivery of the S-400 air defence systems arrived on Friday at an air base near the capital, Ankara.The United States has warned Turkey it will face economic sanctions if it goes ahead with the purchase of a Russian missile defence system. It has also said Turkey won’t be allowed to participate in the program to produce the high-tech F-35 fighter jets.Turkey has refused to bow to U.S. pressure, insisting that choosing which equipment to purchase is a matter of national sovereignty.v?z??:?:The Associated Press read more

Afghanistan Taliban reject truce appeal by UN refugee official

Taliban “Foreign Minister” Wakil Ahmed Muttawakil conveyed the message to Ruud Lubbers, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), during a meeting in Kabul, according to a UN spokesman. Mr. Lubbers met with the Taliban official to press for the truce, but the Taliban “did not agree to halt the fighting,” spokesman Fred Eckhard said.The High Commissioner met yesterday in Faisabad with Afghanistan’s President, Burhanuddin Rabbani, who had agreed with the idea of the proposed truce on the condition the other side did the same.After trips to Iran and Afghanistan, Mr. Lubbers next heads for Pakistan, where he will visit newly arrived Afghans and meet Pakistan’s Chief Executive, Pervez Musharraf, and other government officials.Afghanistan has been devastated by the combined effects of fighting and massive population displacements, as well as major human rights abuses, drought, a looming famine and an economy in shambles. According to UNHCR, Pakistan and Iran are bearing a heavy part of the burden from the Afghan crisis, hosting some 4 million refugees — one third of the world’s refugee population. read more

Three Rwanda genocide suspects arrested in Europe UN prosecutor

Speaking at a news conference in Geneva, Prosecutor Carla Del Ponte said that the three suspects had been apprehended in three different European cities: Emmanuel Ndinabahizi in Brussels, Emmanuel Rukundo in Geneva and Simon Bikindi in Leiden, the Netherlands.”All three are charged with genocide, complicity in genocide, conspiracy to commit genocide and crimes against humanity,” she said. The Prosecutor noted that although all three fugitives were arrested on the same day, their respective cases were not directly linked.Concerning next steps, she said the accused would now be transferred “to the Tribunal’s Detention Unit in Arusha, Tanzania, thereby bringing the number of detainees to 50.” The Prosecutor also expressed gratitude to the Dutch, Belgian and Swiss authorities for the assistance they provided throughout this “sensitive operation.” A fourth arrest planned for today in Italy was postponed by the country’s Government “on the ground that there was no proper legal basis,” Ms. Del Ponte said. “In the light of the charges weighing against the accused, I fervently hope that Italy will prove itself able to meet its responsibilities and that it will agree to cooperate with the ICTR.” read more