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July 28, 2014

My Captivity in Ukraine Shows Amateurs Succumb to Hatred - Bloomberg

Filed under: Mortgage, online — Tags: , , , — Gogo @ 1:56 am

In eastern Ukraine, one text message can turn you into an enemy. In my case, it was sent to my father.

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July 26, 2014

Asian stocks bolstered by US economic data

Filed under: Finance, Loans — Tags: , , , — Gogo @ 3:44 am

MUMBAI, India (AP) — Most major Asian stock markets rose Friday after U.S. unemployment claims fell to an eight-year low and tensions over the downing of a Malaysia Airlines jet eased.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 gained 0.6 percent to 15,387.28 and South Korea’s Kospi was up 0.3 percent to 2,036.20. China’s Shanghai Composite added 0.5 percent to 2,115.53.

Other Asian markets were lackluster. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng was nearly flat at 24,247.20 and India’s Sensex was little changed at 26,265.01 after weeks of hitting new highs. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 shed 0.2 percent to 5,575.50.

The generally positive sentiment was fueled by favorable U.S. jobs data indicating that the world’s largest economy is continuing to recover. On Thursday, U.S. unemployment claims fell to an eight-year low, declining by 19,000 to 284,000.

Jitters over geopolitical tensions also appeared to ease. Investors have been on edge since Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 was downed last week over a part of eastern Ukraine controlled by pro-Russian separatists, killing all 298 people onboard. But fears of aggressive sanctions against Russia, a major energy producer with close economic ties to Europe, have dimmed somewhat, boosting appetite for riskier assets such as stocks.

“There was a general move away from safe haven assets, as headlines over the Ukraine-Russia crisis dropped out of the spotlight and were offset by a stream of strong US corporate earnings,” said Ryan Huang, a market strategist at IG in Singapore. “We’re also seeing a return of risk appetite reflected by gold prices drifting lower over the past week.”

In Europe, the FTSE 100 index of leading British shares closed up 0.3 percent at 6,821.46 while Germany’s DAX rose 0.6 percent to 9,794.06. The CAC-40 in France ended 0.8 percent higher at 4,410.65.

The stronger U.S. jobs report was offset on Wall Street by a Commerce Department reported that new home sales plunged 8.1 percent in June to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 406,000.

The Dow Jones industrial average edged down 0.02 percent to close at 17,083.80 while the broader S&P 500 index rose 0.05 percent to 1,987.98, which was a record, though barely.

In energy markets, benchmark U.S. crude oil for September delivery was down 14 cents to $101.93 in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract dropped $1.05 to $102.07 on Thursday.

The euro inched up to $1.3468 from $1.3465 late Thursday. The dollar was unchanged at 101.77 yen.

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July 24, 2014

After much movement, stocks end where they began

Filed under: Uncategorized, legal — Tags: , , , — Gogo @ 8:00 pm

NEW YORK (AP) — Only Wall Street could make the buying and selling of more than 3 billion shares look like nothing happened.

Major U.S. stock indexes ended roughly where they began Thursday, despite investors having to work through a busy day of corporate earnings and two economic reports.

Underneath the flat surface, there was a lot of movement in individual companies. “It’s a stock-specific market right now,” said Ryan Larson, head of equity trading at RBC Global Asset Management.

Facebook’s stock rose 5 percent while Caterpillar’s fell 3 percent after the companies each reported quarterly results.

The Dow Jones industrial average edged down 2.83 points, or 0.02 percent, to close at 17,083.80. It was the fourth-smallest point move in the blue chips this year. The Nasdaq fell 1.59 points, or 0.4 percent, to 4,472.11.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 index managed to rise 0.97 of a point, or 0.05 percent, to 1,987.98 — a record, though barely. The day before, the S&P 500 closed at 1,987.01.

Three billion shares changed hands on the New York Stock Exchange Thursday, a quieter-than-average day.

Facebook rose $3.69 to $74.98 after announcing a profit that trounced investors’ expectations. The company reported an adjusted profit of 42 cents per share versus the 33 cents analysts were looking for, according to a poll by Zacks Investment Research. Mobile advertising, a crucial business for the world’s largest social media company, saw major growth.

“It was a very impressive quarter on top of what we believe were very high Street expectations,” said Paul Vogel, an analyst with Barclays Capital, in a note to investors.

Dow member Caterpillar fell $3 no fax payday advance.34 to $105.04, making it the biggest decliner among the 30 companies that make up the average. The equipment maker’s quarterly revenue fell short of forecasts.

Homebuilder stocks slid after the government reported that new home sales sagged 8.1 percent last month. The report also revised down the May sales rate. Shares of Pulte Homes and KB Home fell 3 percent while Toll Brothers fell 4 percent. D.R. Horton quarterly results also dragged down homebuilders. Its profit dropped, and the stock price fell $2.86, or 12 percent, to $21.94.

Another industry that got a lot of attention was autos. Ford rose 6 cents, or 0.3 percent, to $17.84 after reporting a 6 percent increase in second-quarter profit. The automaker was helped by increased sales in Europe. General Motors fell $1.67, or 4.5 percent, to $35.74 after announcing an 85-percent drop in quarterly earnings. The company is in the midst of the worst recall crisis in its history.

Investors got some good news about jobs. The Labor Department reported weekly applications for unemployment aid dropped 19,000 to a seasonally adjusted 284,000 claims. That’s the lowest reading since February 2006, nearly two years before the Great Recession began.

In other markets, the yield on the 10-year Treasury note nudged up to 2.51 percent from 2.47 percent late Wednesday. Bond yields rise when prices fall. U.S. crude oil fell $1.05, or 1 percent, to $102.07 a barrel in New York.

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July 23, 2014

Bad tenant gets house arrest for fraud, forgery and bad cheques

Filed under: economics, term — Tags: , , , — Gogo @ 7:28 am

A Toronto tenant who pleaded guilty to forging documents and writing bad cheques to landlords was methodical and deliberate in his long efforts to deceive and victimize his landlords and stay in properties without paying rent.

Those were the words assistant crown attorney Timothy DiMuzio used to describe the actions of Adam Buttigieg during his sentencing hearing at Ontario Superior Court.

“Buttigieg was methodical in what he did. There were clear elements of planning and deliberation and there were actual victims, not just banks — they are victims as well — but individuals,” said DiMuzio, standing before a judge at Old City Hall.

On Monday, Buttigieg pleaded guilty to 10 of a total of 66 charges against him and was handed a 12-month conditional sentence and 12 months probation. The other charges were withdrawn.

His crimes included writing 15 cheques to two landlords from accounts he knew were frozen, cancelled or didn’t have enough funds, altering several Equifax credit reports, writing cheques he knew would bounce to a bank to obtain money orders and forging cheques using the equipment and logo of his former employer.

At the hearing, Buttigieg stood and told Justice Shaun Nakatsuru he never really wanted to run from his mistakes and is working to understand why what he has identified as struggles with self esteem have led to his criminal behaviour.

“It has all caught up with me now. I see that,” he said.

Buttigieg’s long history of fraud convictions and dodging rent payments is part of a Star series on how some tenants exploit protections offered through the landlord and tenant board to stay in properties rent free. Privacy rules also mean the records of tenants and landlords are sealed.

In June, Buttigieg spoke with the Star and during a long interview admitted he had appeared before the board five times since 2008, each time for writing bad cheques, and explained how he repeatedly used loopholes he identified in the board process to delay eviction. His file, he admitted, should come with a “big red flag.”

He also left a string of former girlfriends in financial ruin, including Crystal Murphy, who after renting with Buttigieg and being tied to him by a lease wants the records of tenants like him to be made public pay day loans.

His sentence was worked out between DiMuzio and Buttigieg’s defence lawyer Steven Safieh, who spoke about his client’s desire and potential to rehabilitate.

“There is no quick answer. It is complicated, more complicated than any of us in this courtroom can gather,” said Safieh.

Both Safieh and prosecutor DiMuzio mentioned Buttigieg’s co-operation with the police following his 2011 arrest and his early pledge to DiMuzio that he intended to plead guilty.

When he was renting, DiMuzio said, Buttigieg would come “armed with an altered credit report in his favour and cheques which he knew were associated with accounts that were either frozen, or cancelled or had insufficient funds to cover them.”

DiMuzio also noted that Buttigieg used the name Galea and Buttigieg-Galea to deceive creditors. He also wrote cheques to the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, despite knowing he didn’t have enough cash in his account, to obtain money orders, said DiMuzio.

The fake cheques, explained DiMuzio, were created using a camera kit, laptop and cheque template taken from Cosmoda Corporation, where Buttigieg worked as a manager in the design department.

The remaining 56 charges were withdrawn, including allegations Buttigieg defrauded two other major banks and the landlord and tenant board.

He will be under house arrest for the first six months of his sentence, then have a curfew for the remaining six months. He must also pay back $5,503 to one landlord, perform 100 hours of community service, have no contact with his former landlords, receive counseling and not be found with any financial documents not in his name.

Buttigieg told the Star he’s been seeing a psychologist for a year.

He can leave his home to take his young daughter to school, work at a job his lawyer said he was recently offered and to go to court.

Buttigieg is facing 81 new charges, for a string of alleged crimes against his former fianc

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July 21, 2014

Comic-Con offers toy designers a chance to go wild

Filed under: Business, term — Tags: , , , — Gogo @ 9:32 am

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Hot Wheels and the dark side of The Force are carpooling to Comic-Con this week.

Mattel is unveiling a full-size working replica of a Darth Vader character car at the toy maker’s booth during the four-day pop-culture celebration in San Diego.

The ride marks the first collaboration from the “Star Wars” sci-fi franchise and the popular toy car brand. The custom-built vehicle is capable of going up to 80 miles per hour. The dashboard inside will resemble the interior of the Sith lord’s helmet and emit his signature breathing sounds guaranteed approval cash advance loans.

Mattel is among several toy makers releasing limited edition collectible toys at Comic-Con. A special edition of the die-cast Darth Vader car encased in a replica of a lightsaber will be on sale at the convention for $40.

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July 19, 2014

Olympic TV channel, changes to bidding process approved by IOC leaders

Filed under: Homes, Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — Gogo @ 6:24 pm

Moving forward on International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach’s reform process, Olympic leaders backed his proposals Saturday for setting up an Olympic television channel, reshaping the bid city procedure, and adding more flexibility to the sports program.

Bach convened a summit of 16 key IOC and sports officials in Lausanne, Switzerland, to press ahead with Olympic Agenda 2020, his strategic blueprint for the future.

The leaders supported the platform of changes that Bach will put to a vote at a special IOC session in Monaco in December. Bach, who was elected as Jacques Rogge’s successor in September, has moved swiftly to enact his own policies in his first year in office.

Creation of an Olympic TV channel that would promote Olympic sports in the years between the games and help connect with younger people is one of Bach’s main projects.

The officials at Saturday’s meeting backed the idea, “recognizing the potential to greatly increase the presence of sports and the promotion of the Olympic values year round and worldwide,” the IOC said in a statement.

“The IOC will contact all the relevant stakeholders in the coming months to further develop the concept,” it said.

Details of the project have yet to be announced, although the IOC has said it would act as a “curator or moderator” to develop digital content, using the National Geographic Channel as a model. Sports federations, national Olympic committees, broadcasters, and sponsors would be asked to take part.

The summit also produced agreement on a new procedure for cities bidding to host the Olympics. This has become a main priority in light of the reluctance of potential host cities to come forward, scared off by the $51 billion price tag associated with the Winter Olympics in Sochi.

The IOC said the new process would give “more flexibility” to bid cities, allowing them to focus from the start on the long-term benefits the Games can bring to the area and how the Olympics could fit into their development plans bad credit payday advance. The IOC and sports federations should also be “flexible and open to reasonable adaptation” to the bid concept.

Any changes would go into effect for the bidding for the 2024 Summer Games. Potential bids could come from cities in the United States, France, Italy, Turkey, Qatar, and South Africa.

The IOC is determined to make changes in the wake of the troubled race for the 2022 Winter Games. Cities in Switzerland and Germany abandoned plans to bid after voters said no in referendums, and three cities have pulled out. Three contenders remain — Almaty, Kazakhstan; Beijing; and Oslo. The future of the Norwegian bid is uncertain amid political and public opposition.

The officials also backed a more flexible approach on the Olympic sports program, focusing on “an event-based rather than a sport-based approach.” That would allow for more changes in disciplines and events within the sports, keeping to the current limit of 10,500 athletes.

The leaders also reviewed the $20-million fund set up by the IOC to combat doping and match fixing — $10 million for each. The World Anti-Doping Agency is seeking to convince governments to match the $10 million figure for drug-testing research.

The summit agreed on creation of an online database to co-ordinate the busy global sports calendar and discussed setting up an “intelligence system” to monitor good governance in the Olympic movement.

There was no mention of reinstating member visits to bid cities or raising the current age limit of 70 for IOC members — two ideas which appear to have been ruled out.

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July 18, 2014

Unemployment rates fell in 22 US states in June

Filed under: Finance, Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — Gogo @ 10:40 am

WASHINGTON (AP) — Unemployment rates dropped in 22 U.S. states last month and stayed the same in 14, as the nation at large posted a fifth straight month of solid hiring.

The Labor Department said Friday that unemployment rates rose in 14 states. Meanwhile, employers added jobs in 33 states and cut back in 17.

The biggest drop in the unemployment rate occurred in Illinois, where it fell to 7.1 percent from 7.5 percent. The state’s rate has fallen by 0.8 percentage points in the past two months, partly because more people have given up searching for work.

Stronger hiring has helped lower unemployment in many parts of the country. Nationwide, employers added 288,000 positions last month, capping the healthiest stretch of job gains in 15 years. The robust increases have helped cut the unemployment rate to 6.1 percent, the lowest in nearly six years.

The largest job gains, as a percentage of the workforce, occurred in Indiana, North Dakota and Oklahoma. Hiring rose 0.6 percent last month in each state. The biggest job losses were in Alaska, where employment fell 1.7 percent, and West Virginia, where it dropped 1.2 percent.

Mississippi and Rhode Island have the nation’s highest unemployment rates, both at 7.9 percent. North Dakota, which has benefited from an oil and gas drilling boom, has the lowest rate, at 2.7 percent.

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July 16, 2014

Israeli army agrees to a 5-hour

Filed under: Mortgage, economics — Tags: , , , — Gogo @ 2:56 pm

GAZA, PALESTINE—The Israeli military says it has agreed to a U.N.-brokered five-hour pause in its strikes on the Gaza Strip to allow Palestinians to restock supplies.

The military said in a statement Wednesday that it would hold its fire for five hours starting at 10:00 a.m. (0900 GMT, 5 a.m. EDT.)

It warns however that it will retaliate “firmly and decisively” if Hamas or other militant groups launch attacks on Israel during that time.

Israeli war planes and naval vessels had intensified attacks across the Gaza Strip on Wednesday, targeting senior Hamas leaders and bombarding a coastal area, where four Palestinian boys were killed.

The renewed violence came after Hamas formally rejected a ceasefire proposal that had been accepted by Israel to end the nine-day-old conflict that has left at least 213 Palestinians and one Israeli dead.

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Later Wednesday, the Israeli military said it had agreed to a UN-brokered five-hour pause in its strikes on the Gaza Strip to allow Palestinians to restock supplies.

The military said in a statement that it would hold its fire for five hours starting at 10 a.m. local time.

It warned however that it would retaliate “firmly and decisively” if Hamas or other militant groups launched attacks on Israel during that time.

Hamas fired dozens of rockets into Israel on Wednesday. In a text message to The Associated Press on Wednesday senior Hamas figure Sami Abu Zuhri said, “we informed Cairo today officially that we don’t accept the proposal they made.”

The Gaza Interior Ministry’s website said Israel warplanes carried out dozens of airstrikes Wednesday, targeting 30 houses, including those of senior Hamas leaders Mahmoud Zahar, Jamila Shanti, Fathi Hamas and Ismail Ashkar.

The Israeli military did not immediately comment on the strikes.

Zahar was a key figure in Hamas’ violent takeover of Gaza in 2007, while the other three were members of the Palestinian parliament elected in 2006. Many Hamas leaders have gone into hiding since the beginning of the Israeli offensive.

View 2 photos

Lefteris Pitarakis / AP

Palestinians flee their homes in the Shajaiyeh neighborhood of Gaza City, after Israel dropped leaflets warning people to leave the area.

The four boys, who were cousins and ages 9 to 11, were killed while playing on a beach off a coastal road west of Gaza City, said Ashraf Al Kedra, a Palestinian doctor. Seven others — adults and children — were wounded in the strike, which Palestinian human rights activist Khaki Au Shamalla came from an Israeli naval vessel operating offshore.

The boys’ uncle, Abdel Kareem Baker, 41, raged at Israel after the attack.

“It’s a cold blooded massacre,” he said. “It’s a shame who come they didn’t identify them as kids with all of the advanced technology they claim they’re using.”

The Israeli military said it was looking into the incident.

The Egyptian proposal had called for a halt in hostilities by Tuesday night to be followed by talks on the terms of a longer-term ceasefire, including easing Gaza’s 7-year-old border blockade by Israel and Egypt.

The militant group views a significant easing of the Israeli blockade as key to its survival, but does not believe Egypt’s current rulers — who deposed a Hamas-friendly government in Cairo last year — can be fair brokers.

As Cairo’s effort collapsed, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned that Hamas will pay a high price for rejecting the truce offer.

Alongside the airstrikes, Israel also told tens of thousands of residents of the northern town of Beit Lahiya and the Zeitoun and Shijaiyah neighbourhoods of Gaza City, all near the border with Israel, to evacuate their homes by 8 a.m. Wednesday. The warnings were delivered in automated phone calls, text messages and leaflets dropped from planes.

The Israeli military said in its message that large numbers of rockets were launched from these areas and that Israel plans to bomb these locations.

“Whoever disregards these instructions and fails to evacuate immediately, endangers their own lives, as well as those of their families,” the message said.

On Wednesday morning, hundreds of residents of Zeitoun and Shijaiyah were seen walking in the streets, carrying small bags with belongings.

The Wafa Rehabilitation Center in Shijaiyah, which cares for 15 disabled and elderly patients, received several calls demanding the patients evacuate, said its director, Basman Ashi.

He said an Israel shell hit near the building, causing damage to the second floor, but no injuries. Ashi said he won’t evacuate because his elderly patients have nowhere to go.

Four foreign volunteers — from England, the U.S., France and Sweden — have set up camp at the rehabilitation centre to deter the military from targeting it.

English volunteer Rina Andolini, 32, said the patients range in age from 12 to over 70 and none can walk or move without assistance. She said there are also 17 Palestinian staff members.

Andolini said the patients are living in a constant state of fear, intensified by the Israeli tank shelling from across the border.

When asked about the situation at the rehabilitation centre, the office of the Israeli military spokesman said its residents “have been asked repeatedly to leave.”

“There is a rocket launching site in the area,” the military said, adding that Gaza militants use the centre to hide “behind civilians.”

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July 14, 2014

Stocks snap higher in midday trading; Citigroup up

Filed under: Homes, news — Tags: , , , — Gogo @ 9:36 pm

Updated at 11:01 a.m.

Stocks are moving sharply higher in midday trading as the market shakes off its worst weekly performance in three months.

Citigroup rose 4 percent after the bank turned in better results than Wall Street expected. The bank also said it had reached a settlement in an investigation into its mortgage securities business.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 132 points, or 0.8 percent, to 17,076 in midday trading Monday.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose 11 points, or 0.6 percent, to 1,979. The Nasdaq composite rose 33 points, or 0.8 percent, to 4,448.

Mylan rose 3 percent after the company said it will buy Abbott Laboratories’ generic-drug business.

Bond prices fell. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 2.54 percent.

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July 13, 2014

City Nights: Celebrate One Year to the Pan Am Games

Filed under: Finance, Mortgage — Tags: , , , — Gogo @ 4:16 am

The countdown is on at Nathan Phillips Square as Toronto celebrates one year to the Pan Am Games, with dances, fireworks, top-level athletes and more! If you

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