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Jason Biggs Loves SeaWorld So Much

first_imgIt’s got sex, nudity, and violence, and it’s available to stream this week — but it’s not season two of Orange Is the New Black. Instead, it’s series star Jason Biggs’ brand-new PETA video, which reveals what might happen if Biggs ever sat down to shoot a SeaWorld commercial.Video: Jason Biggs Loves SeaWorld So Much! He Just Loves It!The video starts off mildly enough as Biggs tries his hardest to film a commercial for the despised amusement park, but it becomes apparent that he simply can’t stomach the party line as he starts to ad-lib: “Maybe [visitors will] get lucky — see one of the trainers get their legs ripped off.” A few dozen takes later, Biggs storms off the “SeaWorld” set and heads to a PETA set, where a drastic wardrobe change and a kiddie pool give viewers an eyeful of what orcas experience in SeaWorld’s tiny tanks.The new dad has been speaking out against SeaWorld on Twitter ever since he saw the hit documentary Blackfish, which reveals how SeaWorld tears baby orcas away from their mothers and ships them from park to park in order to sell tickets to see “baby Shamu” — something that has Biggs especially livid. The American Pie star also takes issue with the way that orcas — including Tilikum, the subject of Blackfish who has killed three human beings — have their sperm collected and used to impregnate their own daughters and sisters.Biggs is part of a growing list of celebrities — including Tommy Lee, Bob Barker, Eli Roth, Cloris Leachman, No Doubt’s Tony Kanal, Joan Jett, Alec Baldwin, and Kathy Najimy — who have teamed up with PETA to speak out against SeaWorld’s cruelty to marine mammals.For more information, please visit PETA.org or SeaWorldOfHurt.com.Source:PETAlast_img read more

Step Up to Honor Zoe Saldana At 2014 Inspiration Awards

first_imgNational mentorship organization Step Up will honor actress and advocate Zoe Saldana; Variety Editor-in Chief Claudia Eller; corporate honoree KPMG and graduating Step Up senior Tamia Walker at its 11th annual Inspiration Awards on May 30, held at the Beverly Hilton.The star-studded red carpet charity luncheon celebrates professional and philanthropic accomplishment, honoring influencers, executives, corporate partners and Step Up teens alike.“The Inspiration Awards exemplifies the impact of role models and mentors, whose dedication and work benefits so many lives,” Step Up CEO Jenni Luke says. “It is for this reason that we’re excited to recognize Zoe, Claudia, Tamia and KPMG, as they continue to inspire other women that inspire the next generation of girls.”The event will begin with a runway show presented by HALSTON HERITAGE, followed by Emmy Award-winning actress Julie Bowen, who will present the Inspiration Award to Walker. Walker was selected as the teen honoree from among her Step Up Class of 2014 peers for her achievements in Step Up’s after-school programs. Actress Constance Zimmer will also assist on-stage, helping Step Up raise vital funds during a fundraising challenge.Melanie Barr-Levey and Tanya Hekimian pull double duty, serving as both the co-chairs of Step Up’s Los Angeles Board of Directors and as co-chairs of the Inspiration Awards, while Willow Bay is the program’s honorary producer.In addition to the fashion show and awards ceremony, style lounges by partnering brands including HALSTON HERITAGE, LUNA Bar and Color Secrets, will open before and after the program. The style lounges provide guests with the chance to engage with Step Up partner brands and enjoy product sampling and services. The HALSTON HERITAGE lounge will allow guests to shop with 15% of proceeds benefiting Step Up. Other sponsors include The Container Store, Dogeared, U.S. Bank, WineSimple and media partners InStyle, Angeleno and Variety.Find out more here.Source:PR Weblast_img read more

AID FOR AIDS To Host My Hero Gala

first_imgAID FOR AIDS, the international non-profit organization committed to empowering communities at risk of HIV and other vulnerable situations, has announced the honorees for this year’s annual “My Hero Gala.”Iconic scientist Dr. Anthony Fauci will receive the My Hero Award for decades of substantial contributions to HIV/AIDS research and other immunodeficiencies, both as a scientist and as the head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. Television star and activist Daniel (Danny) Pintauro will be presented the Courage Award by his “who’s the Boss” co-star Tony Danza for his efforts to reduce stigma and discrimination.Additionally, the organization has announced that ABC national news special correspondent Gio Benitez will be the emcee for the evening, and Latin pop star Guto Bittencourt will perform, debuting the song “Rolling” from his upcoming album. 100% of the royalties from his new single will be donated to AID FOR AIDS international (AFA).Now in its 19th year of its international life-saving work providing 1st world medicines to developing, world populations, founder and Executive Director Jesus Aguais said, “Now in its 19th year, AFA celebrates being recognized internationally as a successful model of empowerment. As we close in on our 20th anniversary our ambitious goal is to continue reducing stigma and discrimination associated with HIV, as well as to expand our high social impact programs that enable the development of leadership, adopting prevention and comprehensive health as a lifestyle for a better quality of life.”The “MY HERO Gala” will be held November 4th at the new Cipriani on Broadway in downtown New York City.In addition to those named above, supporters expected at the gala include: Kelly Rutherford; Nicole Miller; Miss Universe Paulina Vega; Tony Danza, Danny Pintauro, Madeline Brewer from Orange is the New Black, Clay Aiken, designer Angel Sanchez; Board member- scientist Dr. Bill Haseltine (known for his groundbreaking work on HIV/AIDS meds and the human genome); Venezuelan humanitarian and President of Aid for AIDS, Maria Eugenia Maury; Founder and Executive Director, Jesus Aguais; David Roth; Donald Dye; and Laura Pilson among others.last_img read more

The Elders Urge Zimbabwe To Cease The Violence

first_imgThe Elders today call on all parties in Zimbabwe to show restraint and calm as the country decides its future.Led by Kofi Annan, The Elders condemn the violence and tragic deaths that followed the 30 July vote.Following a pre-election visit to Harare in July to encourage a free, fair and transparent process*, The Elders urge all political parties to publicly recommit and adhere to the Peace Pledge signed on 26 June, refrain from violence and its incitement, and confine any challenge to the election result to the due process of law.Kofi Annan, Chair of The Elders, the Kofi Annan Foundation and Nobel Peace laureate, said:“The scenes of violence that have erupted in parts of the country after the election are completely unacceptable. We call on all those responsible to step back from the brink, and give the people of Zimbabwe the opportunity of a peaceful transition to democracy.“The election process must be completed fairly, freely, and with the utmost transparency. Nothing other than the democratic will of the people should be allowed to determine the future of Zimbabwe.”The Elders commend the Zimbabwean citizens who voted peacefully in huge numbers, making this one of the largest voter turnouts in Zimbabwe’s history.The Elders welcome President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s announcement of an independent investigation into the violence in Harare on 1 August and urge him to make every effort to curtail any further excessive use of force by the armed forces. The Elders also welcome the statement of the International Election Observation Mission condemning the violence and encouraging all sides to show restraint.Furthermore, The Elders call on the MDC Alliance and all opposition parties to promote peaceful engagement, await the announcement of official results, and to use the courts and legal channels to air any grievances regarding the electoral process.The Elders also appeal to the armed forces to remain neutral during these testing times, and allow the police authorities to manage issues of public order.Mary Robinson, Elder, former President of Ireland and UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, said:“We are deeply saddened by the scenes of violence that have followed the largely peaceful voting in Zimbabwe.“Whatever the facts of the election result, it is clear there has been a significant breakdown of trust in the process across Zimbabwe. The country’s political leaders and its military must lead by example by demonstrating restraint, respecting due process, and appealing in the firmest terms for calm.“The Elders urge all those who seek a peaceful and prosperous Zimbabwe to return to meaningful dialogue and put the long-term future of the country and its citizens centre stage.”last_img read more

Pancreatic Cancer Action Network Advocate Champion Charlotte Rae Dies

first_imgCharlotte Rae, an American TV actress, comedian, singer and Pancreatic Cancer Action Network (PanCAN) champion, has died. She was 92. No cause of death has been announced, but Rae publicly fought pancreatic cancer since 2009 and more recently, was diagnosed with bone cancer.Rae with fellow survivors at the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network PurpleStride Orange County 2016Rae was known most notably for her portrayal of Edna Garrett (Mrs. Garrett) in the sitcoms “Diff’rent Strokes” and its spin-off, “The Facts of Life.”“In the pancreatic cancer community, Charlotte was a cherished champion for the cause,” said Pamela Acosta Marquardt, PanCAN Founder. “She served as an Influencer of Hope, an elite group of notables who lend their voice and unite with everyday heroes in the fight against pancreatic cancer, and Charlotte was always willing to use her voice to raise awareness and visibility.”Pancreatic cancer was personal to Rae even before her own diagnosis. She lost three relatives to the disease, including her mother, uncle and older sister. Her extensive family history with pancreatic cancer led her to be more vigilant about the symptoms and risk factors associated with pancreatic cancer.“Keep searching for a solution, explore clinical trials,” Rae told PanCAN in 2016 when asked what advice she gives other patients fighting the disease. “I’m extremely grateful to be here today and I’m sending out powerful prayers to all of you.”Not only did Rae use her voice on behalf of the world’s toughest cancer, she attended local PurpleStride walks, championed for increased federal funding through PanCAN’s annual National Pancreatic Cancer Advocacy Day in Washington, D.C., and referenced the organization in numerous media interviews.“We must speak out loud and clear: Federal funds must be invested to develop more effective treatments and to find a simple, affordable detection test,” Rae told fellow PanCAN Advocacy Day participants in a letter she penned in 2013. “This disease is so frightening because it cannot be detected early enough. Effective treatments and early detection tools could save thousands and thousands of lives.”On behalf of Rae and all patients like her, PanCAN will continue to work diligently to double survival and improve patient outcomes.last_img read more

Orphan Black Just Killed Off Spoiler And We Are Definitely Not OK

first_imgAdvertisement [Warning: This article contains spoilers. Read at your own risk!]It was bound to happen ,but we weren’t ready for it.The second episode of Orphan Black’s fifth and final season marked the death of one of our favorite clones –M.K. (Tatiana Maslany). The expert hacker was killed by former Topside cleaner Ferdinand Chevalierin (James Frain) in a disturbing scene that was graphic enough to make even Quentin Tarantino blush. LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Advertisement Advertisement The surprising thing isn’t so much the fact that she died but the way in which it happened. Her demise was teased earlier in the episode when she revealed to Sarah (Tatiana Maslany) that she’s suffering from the same respiratory illness which already claimed the lives of Katja (Tatiana Maslany) and Jennifer Fitzsimmons (Tatiana Maslany), and has Cosima (Tatiana Maslany) desperately working to find a cure.READ MORE Facebook Login/Register With: Twitterlast_img read more

HGTV CANADAS REAL ESTATE EXPERT RISKS IT ALL FOR BIG REWARDS IN

first_img LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment New episodes of Buyers Bootcamp with Scott McGillivray will be available On Demand and at HGTV.ca each week after broadcast. Later this spring, catch Scott as he returns for Season 3 of HGTV Canada’s Home To Win, premiering Sunday, April 29 at 10 p.m. ET/PT. Buyers Bootcamp with Scott McGillivray is produced by McGillivray Entertainment in association with Corus Entertainment’s HGTV Canada and Scripps Networks Interactive..HGTV Canada is a Corus Entertainment Network.About Corus Entertainment Inc.Corus Entertainment Inc. (TSX: CJR.B) is a leading media and content company that creates and delivers high quality brands and content across platforms for audiences around the world. The company’s portfolio of multimedia offerings encompasses 45 specialty television services, 39 radio stations, 15 conventional television stations, a global content business, digital assets, live events, children’s book publishing, animation software, technology and media services. Corus’ roster of premium brands includes Global Television, W Network, OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network Canada, HGTV Canada, Food Network Canada, HISTORY®, Showcase, National Geographic, Q107, CKNW, Fresh Radio, Disney Channel Canada, YTV and Nickelodeon Canada. Visit Corus at www.corusent.com.SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS:Follow Corus PR on Twitter @CorusPR  Watch full episodes and see exclusive content at hgtv.caFollow HGTV Canada on Twitter @hgtvcanada and Facebook at Facebook.com/hgtv.ca#BuyersBootcamp Advertisement TORONTO, Canada – Investment property specialist, Scott McGillivray, is taking his passion to the next level by teaming up with renovation rookies for the opportunity of a lifetime in the new Canadian original series Buyers Bootcamp with Scott McGillivray (10×60). Premiering Sunday, April 1 at 9 p.m. ET/PT onHGTV Canada, the series follows Scott as he works with first-time house flippers and invests his own money and expertise to renovate rundown homes. Along with his new partners, Scott will work night and day to get each renovation completed on time and on budget. If they succeed, they split the profits, and if they fail, they fail together.After years of successfully transforming properties into income-generators, this time Scott is offering his knowledge to newbies in a high stakes, real-life training ground. In each episode, Scott tours two potential partners’ homes to identify what needs to be done to earn top dollar when it hits the market. Scott takes into account the total budget, the time required, as well as the skills and sweat-equity each homeowner can offer. Once the partner is selected, Scott puts his money where his mouth is and personally invests in the project. He then leads the charge in tackling the renovation, giving his new partners invaluable hands-on lessons to successfully overhaul a home in time for an open house.CIBC continues its five-year partnership with HGTV Canada and Scott McGillivray as the series’ exclusive sponsor. The financial institution will provide viewers with helpful tips on how they can make the most of their own home investments through digital content on the series’ website and weekly videos posted on HGTV Canada’s social media platforms, in addition to organic integrations throughout the show. Advertisement Login/Register With: Facebook Advertisement Twitterlast_img read more

Chief warns of Egyptlike crisis in US embassy letter

first_img(Roseau River Chief Terrance Nelson. APTN/Photo)By Jorge BarreraAPTN National NewsThe U.S. should pay closer attention to the deteriorating relationship between First Nations and Ottawa or risk being “blindsided” by an Egypt-like crisis in Canada, a Manitoba chief said in a letter sent to the U.S. ambassador to Canada.Roseau River Chief Terrence Nelson said in the letter sent Wednesday that a “potential crisis” was brewing in Canada over the federal government’s continued refusal to allow First Nations to benefit from the country’s oil riches and pipelines.“In Canada, Indigenous people’s rights are being ignored and it is only a matter of time before a crisis arising out of economic hardship will occur as it has in Egypt,” wrote Nelson in the letter to U.S. Ambassador David Jacobson. “Americans looking north should not ignore the human rights issues in Canada.”It’s unclear how seriously the U.S. embassy is taking Nelson’s warning. A spokeswoman for the U.S. embassy said she couldn’t immediately comment on the letter because a snowstorm in Ottawa had prompted most embassy staff to go home early. Stacy White, a press officer, said the embassy would, however, consider whether to respond.Nelson met with embassy officials in late December during the Assembly of First Nations special chiefs’ assembly in Gatineau, Que., where he raised some of his concerns.The AFN passed a resolution calling for the organization to find a way to get First Nations leaders before the U.S. Congress to testify about the situation in Canada.Nelson received 10 per cent of the vote when he ran for national chief of the AFN in 2009.In the letter, Nelson raises concerns about the Enbridge oil pipeline depot in Gretna, Man. The depot is part of the world’s largest petroleum pipeline system carrying Alberta oil into the U.S., according to Enbridge’s website.“Gretna is in our traditional lands and pipelines are still a major issue for us,” wrote Nelson. “If there is any lesson from Egypt, it is better to be well informed rather than blindsided by events as they unfold.”Gretna is about 124 kilometres south of Winnipeg, near the Manitoba-North Dakota border.Copies of the letter were also sent to Prime Minister Stephen Harper, AFN national Chief Shawn Atleo, Canada’s ambassador to the U.S. Gary Doer, Indian Affairs Minister John Duncan and Jefferson Keel, chairman of the National Congress of American Indians. It also went out to various media outlets.Nelson also asked the U.S. embassy for help in arranging for First Nations leaders to appear before the U.S. Congress.jbarrera@aptn.calast_img read more

Death of seven yearold girl needs deeper investigation ombudsman

first_imgAPTN National NewsOntario’s child ombudsman says it’s time the province got to the bottom of the Katelynn Sampson case.She’s the seven year-old girl who was beaten to death by her guardians.Despite several warnings and red flags, no agency stepped in to help her.APTN National News reporter Delaney Windigo has this story.last_img

A look back at Ipperwash and Dudley Georges death

first_imgAPTN National NewsThis week, APTN honours Aboriginal history month and takes a look back at a call for justice.For 40 years the Stoney Point band lobbied successive governments to return land that was expropriated from them during World War II.In 1995 a small group of protestors occupied the land at Ipperwash Provincial Park. In September of that year, the Ontario Provincial Police moved in, shooting and killing Dudley George.In May 2007, a public inquiry found the OPP, former Ontario premier Mike Harris and the federal government responsible for George’s death.APTN remembers George and presents a look back at the coverage of the inquiry and its fallout.last_img read more

Enbridges pipeline dreams may never become reality

first_imgAPTN National NewsThere are many who believe that Enbridge’s Northern Gateway pipeline is a pipe dream.The opposition to it is large and the political will to push it through appears to be diminishing.It is a shocking turn of events for a project considered key for the Harper government’s economic plan for the country.In the first of a two-part series, APTN’s Rob Smith takes a look back at what still threatens to be the most explosive issue in B.C.’s history.last_img

Aboriginal Affairs tosses treaty medals in trash

first_imgAPTN National NewsThey’re hailed as sacred pieces of Canadian history, recognizable and symbolic on many levels.That’s why some people are asking why and how did several treaty medals end up in the Aboriginal Affairs garbage cans in Saskatchewan?APTN’s Larissa Burnouf went looking for the answer.last_img

Tiny house big dilemma advocates must move social housing project for Whitehorses

first_imgShirley McLean APTN National NewsA tiny house in the Yukon needs a new home.The house is used as a safe place for homeless people living with HIV to get their lives back on track.But because of new development, the house will have to be moved, and advocates are scrambling to find a new location.last_img

Manitoba media APTN heading to court to allow cameras in Fontaine murder

first_imgAPTN National NewsA group of media outlets, including APTN, is applying to have cameras in the courtroom to record and broadcast during the trial of Raymond Cormier.Cormier is charged with second-degree murder in the death of Tina Fontaine.The 15-year-old girl’s body was pulled from the Red River in Winnipeg on Aug. 17, 2014.APTN, along with CTV News, Global Winnipeg and CBC Manitoba are seeking permission from the courts to live stream the Cormier’s trial with portions being broadcast on TV and radio.A hearing on whether cameras will be allowed begins June 12 in Winnipeg.Anyone wishing to intervene on the camera access can file a brief with the courts before May 23.news@aptn.calast_img read more

West Face accuses Israeli intelligence firm of covertly targeting employees

first_imgWest Face Capital Inc. has accused another Toronto private equity firm of hiring an Israeli intelligence firm linked with disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein to covertly get confidential information from employees and elicit disparaging comments from a retired Ontario Superior Court judge.West Face filed a motion in Ontario court Tuesday seeking information obtained from Black Cube’s investigation of its staff and former workers. The parties will appear in court on Friday.It alleges Catalyst Capital Group Inc. used Black Cube, which is comprised of former intelligence officials, to launch illegal covert investigations against the company and former Ontario Superior Court Justice Frank Newbould in order to bolster a legal appeal.Catalyst is appealing a ruling by Newbould in August 2016 that dismissed its claim in the loss of a bidding war for wireless carrier Wind Mobile Corp.West Face alleged the Black Cube’s activities were undertaken “on false pretences, using lies, deception, false identities, and false offers of employment or investment.”“The purpose of these investigations was to manufacture evidence that could be used by Catalyst during the course of this appeal,” said the lengthy court filing.It claims Black Cube operators used lies and deception to entrap employees and Newbould to get damaging statements and information to discredit Newbould’s ruling.One “sting” against the retired judge was intended to bait Newbould into making anti-Semitic comments. Another was allegedly targeted at former West Face general counsel Alexander Singh.West Face said the behaviour “mirrors” Black Cube’s actions on behalf of Weinstein, who has been accused of sexual harassment.Weinstein hired Black Cube to get information on those working to expose allegations against him.The firm subsequently apologized for its work and pledged to donate proceeds to women’s groups.West Face said it has been unable to verify the accuracy and completeness of transcripts and recordings of Black Cube’s activities, including the surreptitious recordings with employees.“We are saddened that innocent people have been misled, intimidated, and emotionally impacted by this disreputable and unseemly conduct,” it stated in a news release.Neither Catalyst nor Black Cube could be reached for comment. The allegations haven’t been proven in court.The two private equity firms have been in a legal war for years.Earlier this month, Catalyst Capital sued West Face Capital and Anson Group Canada for $450 million after accusing the hedge fund and asset manager of allegedly spreading misinformation and launching a short-selling campaign against its publicly-traded subsidiary.last_img read more

Mars to base US headquarters in New Jersey

first_imgNEWARK, N.J. – Mars Wrigley Confectionary is basing its U.S. headquarters in New Jersey.The maker of M&M’s, Snickers and Skittles on Tuesday announced it will operate from existing offices in Hackettstown and open a new space in Newark. The company’s world headquarters will remain in Chicago.New Jersey recently approved a 10-year, $31 million tax enticement for the company.Mars Wrigley says the move is expected to bring 1,500 jobs to New Jersey. It says it plans to move 113 jobs from Chicago and 370 jobs from Hackettstown to Newark, which should be operational by 2020.Mars operated in Newark when M&M’s were created as military rations in 1941. The Hackettstown location opened in 1958.last_img read more

Conductor involved in Banff crash fired again for social media posts

first_imgCALGARY – A Canadian Pacific Railway conductor who was fired following a 2014 derailment in Banff and later reinstated has been dismissed again — this time over social media posts that included several sexy modelling photos.Stephanie Katelnikoff says she received a letter from her employer last fall attached to a package of screen grabs from her social media accounts and was told to report to the railway’s Calgary office for a formal investigation.“This investigation is in connection with conduct and actions on Instagram and Facebook and other social media accounts, and the content of and compliance of those postings with company policies,” read the letter.Some of the photos in the package, which Katelnikoff provided to The Canadian Press, show her in cutoff jean shorts and a midriff-bearing top posing on railway tracks. Others are nudes of her shot from behind or the side, or of her in lingerie.The investigation package also had online comments that included a 2016 Facebook post under the name Steph Kat that calls the railway’s code of ethics a “short fictional comedy.”Another profile under the name Stevie Rae says: “Resume: Google Banff train crash,” followed by a laughing emoji.“I was shocked at the length they went to in investigating my personal social media accounts and my off-duty activity,” Katelnikoff told The Canadian Press.“I can’t imagine how long somebody spent combing through absolutely every little bit and piece of my social media.”Katelnikoff, 28, said most of her Facebook feed actually pertains to her charity work. She said modelling is a fun hobby that has allowed her to channel her creativity and boost her self-esteem.“I just can’t see how that affects my employability,” she said.On Boxing Day in 2014, a train Katelnikoff was conducting derailed, sending 15 cars off the tracks in Banff, Alta. A product used to make concrete called fly ash, as well as soybeans, spilled into a creek. The Transportation Safety Board determined that a broken piece of track caused the crash.Katelnikoff had some respiratory symptoms from breathing in the ash, but no one was otherwise injured. She was fired a month later and the company said it was because she violated rules around injury reporting and protecting an accident scene.She had been on the job less than six months and later criticized the training she received in the press.In February of 2016, arbitrator Maureen Flynn found in Katelnikoff’s favour, saying the company’s grounds for termination were “discriminatory” and in “bad faith.”Katelnikoff said the Teamsters Canada Rail Conference is grieving her most recent dismissal. The union did not immediately respond to a request for comment.Katelnikoff said her flippant online comments were a healthy way to process what she went through.“It was a traumatic event and I used humour as a coping mechanism. I don’t think you can fault a girl for doing that,” she said.The investigation package also mentioned a YouTube video critical of CP Rail, which the company said showed “gross insubordination and insolence.” Katelnikoff admits the delivery may not have been appropriate, but stands by her messages regarding the company’s approach to safety and human rights.CP spokesman Jeremy Berry said the company would not comment on an individual case.“All unionized train and engine employees are subject to the same rules and regulations and there is a standardized grievance process in place to deal with individual personnel decisions,” he wrote in an email.Katelnikoff, who is doing some health and safety consulting work on her own now, said she’s not sure she would return to the railway if given the chance.“The job itself and my brothers and sisters out on the rails are wonderful and I really truly enjoy that part of it.”(Companies in this story: TSX:CP)last_img read more

Feb wholesale prices up 02 pct inflation nips producers

first_imgWASHINGTON – U.S. wholesale prices rose 0.2 per cent in February, a sign that inflation is beginning to blip higher for producers even if consumers have yet to feel its pinch.A pickup in wholesale services prices offset a drop in the cost of food and energy.The Labor Department said Wednesday that the February increase in its producer price index was half January’s 0.4 per cent gain. Producer prices, which show inflation before it reaches consumers, have risen 2.8 per cent over the past year.Energy prices fell 0.5 per cent in February, and food prices fell 0.4 per cent as fresh and dry vegetable prices plunged 27.1 per cent, most since May 2007. The wholesale price of services rose 0.3 per cent in February, matching the January increase. Prices for wholesale services rose 2.8 per cent over the past year, the biggest annual gain in records that date back to 2010. Transportation and warehousing prices rose 0.9 per cent, most since September. Excluding volatile food and energy prices, so-called core wholesale inflation rose 0.2 per cent for the third straight month.“Inflation is beginning to creep higher, led by services, exactly what you might expect in an economy characterized by a drum-tight labour market,” Stephen Stanley, chief economist at Amherst Pierpont Securities, wrote in a research note. Unemployment has hovered at 4.1 per cent for five straight months.Prices have been rising faster for producers than for consumers. The Labor Department reported Tuesday that consumer prices rose just 2.2 per cent over the past year. Core consumer inflation posted a 12-month gain of just 1.8 per cent.The Federal Reserve wants to see inflation at roughly a 2 per cent annual pace. But the Fed’s preferred inflation measure has usually come in below that target for the past six years.last_img read more

Major North American indices mostly positive after Trump Kim summit

first_imgMajor North American indices mostly moved up as the U.S. President and North Korean leader ended their historic summit.The S&P/TSX composite index gained 25.69 points to 16,288.98.South of the border, markets were mixed but mostly flat.In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average declined 1.58 points to 25,320.73. The S&P 500 index rose 4.85 points to 2,786.85 and the Nasdaq composite index moved up 43.87 points to 7,703.79.That movement came as Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un wrapped their meeting. The duo committed to work “toward complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula” and to “build a lasting and stable peace regime” there. Many of the details were left vague.“I think the initial agreement is probably market positive, but the proof will ultimately be in the pudding,” said Patrick Bernes, a portfolio manager for CIBC Asset Management.The market is now focusing on a two-day meeting of the Federal Reserve that starts Wednesday. Investors expect the Fed to raise interest rates, but will also be watching for how many interest rates hikes are still expected in 2018, he said.The Canadian dollar averaged 76.90 cents US, down 0.06 of a US cent.The July crude contract gained 26 cents to US$66.36 per barrel and the July natural gas contract shed a penny to about US$2.94 per mmBTU.The August gold contract fell US$3.80 to US$1,299.40 an ounce and the July copper contract retreated about a penny to roughly US$3.25 a pound.— With files from the Associated PressFollow @AleksSagan on TwitterNote to readers: This is a corrected story. An earlier version stated the Canadian dollar averaged 76.82 cents US.last_img read more

Unexpectedly weak data on inflation retail sales cloud central banks next step

first_imgOTTAWA – A pair of unexpectedly soft economic reports are creating fresh doubts about the timing of the Bank of Canada’s next interest rate hike.For months, experts have been predicting Bank of Canada governor Stephen Poloz to raise his benchmark rate at next month’s meeting. But broadening economic unknowns — mostly linked to trade concerns around U.S. President Donald Trump’s protectionist agenda — have begun to lead some analysts to wonder if Poloz will stand pat on July 11.And on Friday two reports from Statistics Canada added more uncertainty to the interest rate outlook.One release by the agency found Canada’s annual inflation rose at a pace of 2.2 per cent in May for the second straight month. The number, however, was cooler than market expectations of 2.6 per cent.In the second report, Statistics Canada found that retail sales contracted in April by 1.2 per cent for the reading’s first month-to-month decline since December.“These reports kind of highlight an economy that has slowed pretty significantly from the last year or two,” Robert Kavcic, senior economist for BMO Capital Markets, said in an interview.“Given a lot of the uncertainty out there, and a little bit of a softer tone to this data, I think expectations for a July rate hike have probably come down a little bit.”Royce Mendes of CIBC Capital Markets wrote in a report that Friday’s “bad data” make it even more difficult for the Bank of Canada to hike rates in July. Mendes noted, however, that things could improve before Poloz’s July 11 meeting because more important numbers on gross domestic product and employment are still on the way.Nathan Janzen, RBC senior economist, said the combination of Friday’s figures, somewhat slower economic growth and a deteriorating tone in trade discussions with the U.S. “aren’t all that encouraging” and will make the Bank of Canada’s rate decision closer than previously thought.Ranko Berich, head analyst at Monex Canada and Monex Europe, said the central bank’s July rate decision is “now an unknown factor.”The hunt for clues into Poloz’s thinking will continue next Wednesday when he gives a speech to the chamber of commerce in Victoria, B.C.The May annual inflation number in Friday’s report followed the 2.2 per cent reading for April and 2.3 per cent for March.The main contributors to inflation last month were led by gasoline prices. Compared to a year earlier, they climbed 22.9 per cent in May and helped drive overall energy prices for the month 11.6 per cent higher.Inflation also received a lift because Canadians paid more last month for restaurants, airline tickets and mortgage interest costs.Consumers, however, paid less in May for telephone services, natural gas and digital devices and computers.The report also found the average of the Bank of Canada’s three measures of core inflation, which leave out more-volatile numbers like pump prices, slowed to 1.9 per cent last month.The core readings, which are closely monitored by the central bank, averaged 2.03 per cent in April, which was the strongest pace in six years.On retail trade, the April contraction of 1.2 per cent pulled total sales down to $49.5 billion.The April decrease was mostly due to a 4.3 per cent decline in sales by motor vehicle and parts dealers — with new car dealerships reporting a 5.1 per cent drop and used car lots seeing a contraction of 4.1 per cent.Statistics Canada said April’s unusually cool temperatures and bad weather in many parts of the country may have been to blame for the overall decline.The decrease was concentrated in the largest provinces. Sales fell 2.3 per cent in Ontario, while Quebec saw a 2.7 per cent drop.Statistics Canada, however, did release an upward revision to its retail sales data for March. The updated reading shows a 0.8 per cent increase, compared to its preliminary 0.6 per cent estimate.Friday’s reports will help feed the Bank of Canada’s deliberations as its governing council considers its next interest rate decision.For inflation, the bank can use interest rate hikes as a tool to help prevent it from climbing too high. The Bank of Canada tries to keep inflation from moving outside a range of between one and three per cent.Recent inflation readings — including Friday’s — have been hovering just above the two per cent mid-point of the bank’s target range.It’s unlikely, however, to have a significant impact on upcoming rate decisions because governor Poloz has predicted inflation to stay above two per cent for all of 2018. He’s predicted inflation to average 2.3 per cent this year before settling back down to 2.1 per cent in 2019 — in large part due to the temporary effects of higher gas prices and the introduction of minimum wage increases in some provinces.He’s raised the trend-setting interest rate three times since last July, but he hasn’t touched the rate since January. It’s been at 1.25 per cent ever since.Follow @AndyBlatchford on Twitterlast_img read more