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Everything posted by Airband

  1. I think it is in the fine print in the reporting. Two decisions, 6-3 to overturn Mississippi abortion case; 5-4 to overturn Roe vs Wade
  2. No answers, no explanations for B.C. couple escorted off Montreal plane The couple and 23 others were banned from Air Canada flights for next 24 hours Josh Slatkoff and his wife Tara Sharpe had just been visiting family in Ottawa before they headed to Montreal to catch a connecting flight to London, U.K. Wed Jun 22, 2022 - CBC News A couple from Victoria, B.C. say they've yet to receive an explanation about why they were escorted off a plane from Montreal Trudeau Airport overnight Tuesday. Josh Slatkoff and his wife, Tara Sharpe, were left stranded in Montreal, banned from boarding another Air Canada flight for the next 24 hours after the captain of the plane made the order, he said. They had been on their way to the U.K. for a memorial service, Slatkoff said. "Her grandmother just passed away so we were going there to be with family. Our flight had a connection in Montreal," he said. He says they had been seated and were waiting for the flight to London to get off the ground when a group of police officers boarded around 12:30 a.m. and began escorting two people off the plane. The plane was set to depart Monday night and though there had been delays, people on the flight were being patient, Slatkoff said. Some looked like they were returning from Grand Prix weekend. "The next row in front of us was also removed, and that included a couple that was in their 70s. At that point I was completely shocked. We had no idea what to make of what was happening," Slatkoff said. "Then the Air Canada attendant pointed at our row, and he told us we needed to leave as well." It wasn't until the two reached the airport that an Air Canada agent told them the captain of the plane had asked for some people to be removed because they were drinking and not wearing masks. But Slatkoff says he doesn't recall seeing any rowdy people on the plane, and that includes him and his wife. "We showed our masks, N95s, and I said to her, 'Does this look like the kind of mask someone would wear if they were refusing to wear a mask?'" 'At Air Canada's mercy' Air Canada says it's now investigating the incident. They confirmed a total of 25 people were "deplaned" from the flight. "We understand that there are allegations that, in the course of removing these passengers, certain unrelated individuals were deplaned as well," the airline said in an email statement. "Some of these deplaned customers were rebooked this morning and are on their way to their final destination." But, as of Tuesday morning, Slatkoff said he was still waiting to hear from someone. He stayed at a downtown hotel after getting stranded at the airport at 2:00 a.m. but now might need to plan for another night in the city. His luggage is in London. "We're at Air Canada's mercy at this point," he said. He and his wife were planning on staying in London with family until the end of the month before returning to Victoria. They're still planning on flying over. "You have made a terrible mistake and I really want to see what you're going to do to make this right," Slatkoff said. Airport Patrol at Trudeau airport said it responded to a situation on board an aircraft that evening and escorted passengers off the plane, at the request of the flight captain and crew. The Montreal police service, the SPVM, was also called due to the number of passengers involved but did not have to intervene.
  3. What the crypto crash says about Pierre Poilievre’s judgment
  4. Two Air Canada planes came at risk of colliding while taking off on same runway in Toronto Tue Jun 14, 2022 - CTV News by Sean Davidson Two Air Canada planes missed colliding at Toronto Pearson after the flight crew of a Boeing 777 and air traffic control missed a radio call saying another plane was still on the runway, a report says. The Transportation Safety Board of Canada released a report on Tuesday into the March 2020 incident which the Board described as a "runway incursion and risk of collision" at Toronto Pearson. According to the TSB report, an Air Canada Embraer 190 was taking off from Runway 06L just before 9:50 a.m. The plane, headed for Denver, was carrying 83 passengers and four crew members. As the plane was taking off, an Air Canada Boeing 777 was instructed to line up on the same runway. On board the plane, which was going to Halifax, were 345 passengers and 14 crew members. "As the Embraer 190 was accelerating on its take-off roll, it struck a bird," the TSB said. "The flight crew initiated a rejected takeoff and made a radio call to report that they were rejecting the takeoff." The TSB said that the flight crew of the Boeing 777 and air traffic control missed the rejected take-off call from the Embraer 190 because at the same time the pilot of Boeing 777 was reading back its own take-off clearance on the same frequency. "The controller issued a take-off clearance to the Boeing 777, unaware of the bird strike and the Embraer 190’s rejected takeoff," the report said. "Over the next 25 seconds, the controller turned his attention to the north end of the airport, where two aircraft were on approach for Runway 05 … from his displays, he could see the Boeing 777 and the Embraer 190, but he saw no conflict at that time," the report said. According to the report, the Boeing 777 flight crew reached a maximum speed of 231 km/h before noticing the other plane in front of it and rejected the take-off. At that point, the separation between the two aircraft was 5,000 feet, the TSB said. "The controller confirmed the rejected takeoff with the flight crew, still unaware of the Embraer 190’s presence on the runway, and waited to provide further assistance to the Boeing 777,” the report said. “After searching the expected position of the Embraer 190 (in the air, at the departure end of the runway), the controller saw the Embraer 190 on the runway, and realized that it had also conducted a rejected takeoff." There were no injures or damage to either aircraft during the incident, the TSB said. "The investigation found that the Embraer 190's transponder transmitted that the aircraft was in air after the aircraft accelerated past 50 knots,” the report said. "As a result, although compliant with current standards, an inaccurate in-air status was transmitted while the aircraft remained on the ground during its take-off roll and rejected takeoff." "The use of this data by NAV CANADA’s runway incursion monitoring and conflict alert sub-system (RIMCAS) led to the inaccurate identification of the Embraer 190 and the Boeing 777 as in air while these two aircraft were still on the ground. This resulted in late and inaccurate RIMCAS alerts and delayed the air traffic controller's response to the risk of collision." The TSB said the risk was mitigated when the Boeing 777 flight crew rejected their takeoff.
  5. Ottawa set to announce an end to vaccine mandates for domestic travel, outbound flights Mandates have been in effect since Oct. 30, 2021 Mon Jun 13, 2022 - CBC News The federal government is set to announce an end to vaccine mandates for domestic travel on planes and trains, as well as outbound international travel, CBC News has learned. CBC News is not naming the sources, because they were not authorized to speak publicly on the issue. The government has been under pressure from the opposition parties as well as industry organizations to relax some public health measures in response to delays and long lineups at airports.
  6. Transgender advocates call out WestJet for forcing passengers to identify as male or female Some travellers want to use 'X' as a gender when booking, as allowed on Canadian passports Thu Jun 09, 2022 - CBC News "It is a legal gender marker in our laws, it's a violation of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms"
  7. Brussels agrees new law on single standard charger in blow to Apple Move to adopt USB-C follows more than a decade of discussions between regulators and tech groups Tue Jun 07, 2022 - Financial TImes by Javier Espinoza in Brussels Regulators in Brussels have agreed a long-awaited deal that will force companies such as Apple to use a common charger for smartphones and laptop computers. The agreement on Tuesday follows more than a decade of discussions as regulators argued such a device was needed to counter electronic waste and curb the number of chargers consumers have to carry. The new law will come into effect in 2024 and will see USB Type-C become the common charging port for devices such as cameras and mobile phones. The move will have a particular impact on Apple’s iPhones, which use a Lightning cable while Android-based devices already use the new standard. Fifteen categories of products will fall under the scope of the new law, including earbuds, video game consoles and ereaders, which is likely to affect other companies such as Huawei and Samsung. Laptops have been given more time — 40 months — to make the transition to the single charger because of technical issues. Thierry Breton, the EU’s commissioner for the single market, said the deal would bring about €250mn of savings to consumers. “European consumers will be able to use a single charger for all their portable electronics — an important step to increase convenience and reduce waste,” he said. He said: “Our deal today shows that once again — and despite lobbying efforts — the EU general interest has prevailed. We are not doing this regulation ‘against’ anyone or any company in particular — but ‘for’ our EU citizens.” Breton added that the law would also allow new technologies such as wireless charging to “emerge and to mature without letting innovation become a source of market fragmentation and consumer inconvenience”. Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Tuesday. The tech giant has previously hit back at the move, arguing it will deprive consumers of the choice to buy lower-priced older models that are compatible with their existing accessories and chargers. Alex Saliba, the MEP leading the discussions at the European parliament, said that when the law was assessed in four years’ time, legislators would also discuss whether to legally force companies to sell a charger separately from a device, which would give consumers more choice. He said the pushback from tech companies over a common single charger had been particularly strong as illustrated by the length of the discussions, which took more than 10 years under at least two different commissions. “This will revolutionise charging technology. One charger for all,” added Saliba.
  8. and the probability CBSA would receive a quiet word from above to slow-walk required paperwork for replenishment.....?
  9. Kamloops ranch that refused vaccinated guest but kept their deposit now says they'll issue $3.2K refund B.C. Solicitor General Mike Farnworth called the episode involving Equinisity Ranch in Kamloops 'outrageous' Sat May 28 , 2022 - CBC News A ranch owner in Kamloops, B.C., has been criticized by the province's solicitor general for refusing to accept a vaccinated international traveller. The Equinisity Ranch in Kamloops, in the province's central Interior, is run by owner Liz Mitten Ryan. She told CBC News she catered almost exclusively to international travellers, including from England, Switzerland and Australia. In a report in The Guardian, published Thursday, a prospective traveller called J.W. York said they had booked a $3,200 retreat with Ryan in May 2020, but the trip was put off due to lockdowns and other pandemic restrictions. According to York, they were told recently they were not welcome at Equinisity anymore because they were fully vaccinated against COVID — and they would not be receiving a refund due to ranch policy. 'vaccines were a "bio-weapon depopulation tool"
  10. True, but a couple of speed bumps might slow it down.
  11. I expect there will be a very different narrative come the fall when the true value of a 'peace dividend' becomes apparent. We need a real debate about the Ukraine war Tue May 24, 2022 - The Washington Post By Katrina vanden Heuvel It’s time to challenge the orthodox view on the war in Ukraine. As Russia’s illegal and brutal assault enters its fourth month, the impact on Europe, the Global South and the world is already profound. We are witnessing the emergence of a new political/military world order. Climate action is being sidelined as reliance on fossil fuels increases; food scarcity and other resource demands are pushing prices upward and causing widespread global hunger; and the worldwide refugee crisis — with more international refugees and internally displaced people than at any time since the end of World War II — poses a massive challenge. Furthermore, the more protracted the war in Ukraine, the greater the risk of a nuclear accident or incident. And with the Biden administration’s strategy to “weaken” Russia with the scale of weapons shipments, including anti-ship missiles, and revelations of U.S. intelligence assistance to Ukraine, it is clear that the United States and NATO are in a proxy war with Russia. Shouldn’t the ramifications, perils and multifaceted costs of this proxy war be a central topic of media coverage — as well as informed analysis, discussion and debate? Yet what we have in the media and political establishment is, for the most part, a one-sided, even nonexistent, public discussion and debate. It’s as if we live with what journalist Matt Taibbi has dubbed an “intellectual no-fly zone.” Those who have departed from the orthodox line on Ukraine are regularly excluded from or marginalized — certainly rarely seen — on big corporate media. The result is that alternative and countervailing views and voices seem nonexistent. Wouldn’t it be healthy to have more diversity of views, history and context rather than “confirmation bias”? Those who speak of history and offer context about the West’s precipitating role in the Ukraine tragedy are not excusing Russia’s criminal attack. It is a measure of such thinking, and the rhetorical or intellectual no-fly zone, that prominent figures such as Noam Chomsky, University of Chicago professor John Mearsheimer and former U.S. ambassador Chas Freeman, among others, have been demonized or slurred for raising cogent arguments and providing much-needed context and history to explain the background of this war. In our fragile democracy, the cost of dissent is comparatively low. Why, then, aren’t more individuals at think tanks or in academia, media or politics challenging the orthodox U.S. political-media narrative? Is it not worth asking whether sending ever-more weapons to the Ukrainians is the wisest course? Is it too much to ask for more questioning and discussion about how best to diminish the danger of nuclear conflict? Why are nonconformists smeared for noting, even bolstered with reputable facts and history, the role of nationalist, far-right and, yes, neo-Nazi forces in Ukraine? Fascist or neo-Nazi revivalism is a toxic factor in many countries today, from European nations to the United States. Why is Ukraine’s history too often ignored, even denied? Meanwhile, as a former Marine Corps general noted, “War is a racket.” U.S. weapons conglomerates are lining up to feed at the trough. Before the war ends, many Ukrainians and Russians will die while Raytheon, Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman make fortunes. At the same time, network and cable news is replete with pundits and “experts” — or more accurately, military officials turned consultants — whose current jobs and clients are not disclosed to viewers. What is barely reflected on our TVs or Internet screens, or in Congress, are alternate views — voices of restraint, who disagree with the tendency to see compromise in negotiations as appeasement, who seek persistent and tough diplomacy to attain an effective cease-fire and a negotiated resolution, one designed to ensure that Ukraine emerges as a sovereign, independent, reconstructed and prosperous country. “Tell me how this ends,” Gen. David Petraeus asked Post writer Rick Atkinson a few months into the nearly decade-long Iraq War. Bringing this current war to an end will demand new thinking and challenges to the orthodoxies of this time. As the venerable American journalist Walter Lippmann once observed, “When all think alike, no one thinks very much.”
  12. Your Pilot May Have Had Suicidal Thoughts. And That’s OK Intentional crashes highlight the need for better mental-health protections in a high-stress job Fri May 20, 2022- Bloomberg News By David Fickling and Tim Culpan How would you feel about getting on a flight knowing that the pilot had been having suicidal thoughts? If you’re a regular passenger, you’ve probably already done it. Few things in aviation evoke greater horror than the prospect of a pilot who deliberately drives a plane into the ground. That’s what happened, notoriously, with Germanwings Flight 9525 in 2015, when 150 were killed after the first officer locked the captain out of the cockpit and steered the plane into an Alpine mountain. It’s such an alarming prospect that some suspected pilot suicides remain hotly disputed, as with the crash of EgyptAir Flight 990 soon after departure from New York in 1999. Intentional crashing is among the theories posited for the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 in 2014, though no conclusion has been made. Now that possibility hangs over the fate of China Eastern Airlines Corp. Flight 5735, which may have had its controls pushed into a deliberate nosedive ahead of its crash on March 21, the Wall Street Journal reported this week. For all the understandable alarm that such incidents attract, the solution is almost certainly to be more open about mental health, not more restrictive. Of roughly a billion commercial aircraft trips carried out since the 1970s, pilot suicide has only been suggested in eight crashes. The far greater risk is that the culture of aviation is preventing pilots from being honest about their state of mind and thus allowing depression and other disorders to fester without sufferers seeking the treatment they need. Commercial pilots are among the few professionals who must pass medical tests, typically taken annually, to certify their ongoing fitness for work. They’ll include physical checks of eyesight and hearing, as well as asking if pilots have experienced mental health issues or seen a psychologist. “Pilots have this reluctance toward reporting” their mental health, says Corrie Ackland, a psychologist at the University of New South Wales who’s studying the issue. “It’s not easy to become a pilot. They do a lot to achieve success, and to carry out an action that may very well jeopardize their medical is a risk they’re not prepared to take.” It’s not hard to see the problem with this setup. Ideally, pilots having mental health issues should be seeking out help and declaring it to their employer — but they’re far less likely to do so if it might end their careers. Even more intrusive ways of checking someone’s mental state are easy to hack. Those wanting to conceal depression will know that when asked: “In the past two weeks, how often have you felt little pleasure in doing things?” the answer to give is: “Not at all.” Compare anonymous surveys of aviators to ones where their identities are disclosed, and it’s clear that a taboo is fully in place. One self-reported questionnaire conducted by New Zealand pilots while renewing their medical certificates found that just 1.9% suffered from depression, levels far lower than those reported among the general population. An anonymous survey of 1,848 pilots conducted in the wake of the Germanwings crash, however, found 12.6% suffered from depression and 4.1% had experienced suicidal thoughts within the past two weeks. While that might sound worryingly high, it’s pretty much in line with levels in the general population and, in particular, high-stress occupations. It’s hardly surprising that pilots suffer from mental health problems. Separation from family and non-work social networks, disrupted sleep, and irregular work hours all come with the territory. Add to the mix a reluctance to seek help, and it’s remarkable rates of depression aren’t even higher. Exacerbating the problem is the sheer stress of the job itself. Most flights occur without incident, but that’s because pilots need to be meticulous in following procedures while having the mental flexibility to troubleshoot in real time. Even then, increasingly sophisticated systems make the job harder because the machines they fly are more complex and difficult to understand. In his book “No Man’s Land,” Captain Kevin Sullivan details the numerous computer failures he had to wrestle with when Qantas Flight 72 plunged towards the earth over Western Australia in 2008. The second part of the book outlines the aftermath — the severe mental trauma he faced after landing his stricken aircraft. The former U.S. naval pilot ended up retiring from commercial aviation as a result. Few pilots face events as dramatic as QF72, but strict deadlines, tight budgets and job insecurity amplify the impact of even minor incidents. Most don’t write a book about their experience or get the level of peer or corporate support Sullivan received. Airlines are understandably paranoid about all aspects of safety, including mental health. The problem is, the current stigma around addressing the topic clearly isn’t serving those ends. The pilot who crashed Germanwings Flight 9525 had a history of depression that was known to the airline, but didn’t proactively disclose a serious deterioration in his mental condition four months before the crash — something the accident report attributed in part to his fear of losing his license. A simple solution may be to do more to promote indefinite leave, and even retirement or temporary redeployment to ground duties for pilots facing mental health issues. Solid guarantees by airlines that a self-report won't end an aviator’s career in the skies would encourage sufferers to find the help they need. The medical profession itself may have useful lessons, having pushed back against laws requiring mandatory reporting of mental health issues to regulators so that such action is only taken in the rare cases where patients might be at risk. That suggests a far more honest approach to the problem, and one that will minimize the risk that pilots see the best solution as trying to conceal and repress their true state of mind.
  13. Musk says 'utterly untrue' that he sexually harassed flight attendant on private jet Musk's SpaceX rocket company made an out-of-court settlement with the woman, the report said. Fri May 20, 2022 - Reuters Tesla Inc. CEO Elon Musk took to Twitter late on Thursday to denounce as "utterly untrue" claims in a news report that he had sexually harassed a flight attendant on a private jet in 2016. Business Insider reported earlier on Thursday that Musk's SpaceX paid $250,000 in 2018 to settle a sexual harassment claim from an unnamed private jet flight attendant who accused Musk of exposing himself to her. The article quoted an anonymous person who said she was a friend of the flight attendant. The friend had provided a statement as part of the private settlement process, according to the article. "I have a challenge to this liar who claims their friend saw me 'exposed' – describe just one thing, anything at all (scars, tattoos, …) that isn’t known by the public. She won’t be able to do so, because it never happened," Musk tweeted. Reuters was not able to verify the Business Insider account. Musk and SpaceX did not respond to Reuters requests for comment on the Business Insider story or on Musk's tweets. In addition to allegedly exposing himself, Musk rubbed the flight attendant's thigh and offered to buy her a horse if she would "do more" during an in-flight massage, Business Insider quoted the friend of the flight attendant as saying. The flight attendant came to believe that her refusal to accept Musk's proposal had hurt her opportunities to work at SpaceX and prompted her to hire a lawyer in 2018, according to Business Insider. The rocket company made the settlement out of court and included a nondisclosure agreement which prevented the flight attendant from speaking about it, Business Insider said. The news site did not name the friend or the flight attendant. Musk, who is in the midst of a contentious effort to buy Twitter Inc., said on Wednesday that he would vote Republican instead of Democrat, predicting a "dirty tricks campaign against me" would follow. In the Business Insider article, Musk was quoted as saying the flight attendant's story was a "politically motivated hit piece" and that there was "a lot more to this story." On Thursday evening, Musk first tweeted: "The attacks against me should be viewed through a political lens – this is their standard (despicable) playbook – but nothing will deter me from fighting for a good future and your right to free speech." In the initial tweet, he did not specifically mention the allegations in the Business Insider article. "And, for the record, those wild accusations are utterly untrue," Musk added in another tweet. He also tweeted that the article was meant to interfere with the Twitter acquisition. Reuters could not immediately reach Business Insider for comment.
  14. Not sure whether you were referencing the lobbying in general or the proposed bill specifically with respect to a guarantee. I may have well missed it in the language labyrinth of the bill's construction but I don't see any reference to the government's obligation or authority to top up or bridge any shortfall resulting from a fund's insolvency. The bill appears more to represent an increased level of protection through (an overdue) rejigging of creditor priorities and insurance obligations rather than a taxpayer backed guarantee. In any event if it comes to backstopping retirement funding it should not restricted to the (relatively) fortunate few.
  15. 2022 Toronto Caribbean Carnival Begins Thursday, July 28 and ends on Monday, August 1
  16. Flight crews forced to work without pay as a result of delays at Canadian airports, unions say Thu May 12, 2022 - The Globe and Mail by Eric Atkins - Transportation Reporter Delays at some Canadian airports have forced flight crews to work without pay while planes are held at gates, unions representing flight attendants and pilots say. A rebound in air travel and shortages of staff at customs and security checkpoints mean passengers face long waits to board, take off and disembark – especially at Toronto Pearson. Most flight crews are paid only when the plane is in motion, a quirk in their contracts that means they are performing their jobs without compensation while at the terminal gate. Additionally, airlines count the unpaid time that begins when the plane arrives at the gate as part of the rest time toward crews’ next flight, creating possible safety and fatigue problems, said Wesley Lesosky, a president with the Canadian Union of Public Employees, who represents 15,000 flight attendants at nine airlines. “What we’re seeing every day – and it’s only getting worse – is the planes land and then you’re not permitted to allow people off the plane until [Canada Customs] is free to receive you,” Mr. Lesosky said from Port Moody, B.C. “So then the flight attendants are left on the plane with the passengers waiting to be told, ‘Okay, you can let people off.’” Barret Armann, a pilot and Unifor union president who represents 410 pilots at Sunwing Airlines, said employers have warned pilots they could be fired if they don’t stay on the plane until the last passenger leaves. This can take about two hours at Pearson, he said. “The flight checks, all of the flight plans that we put in, all of the weather checks, the weight and balance, everything really for the safety of the flight, we do for free. And then when the airplane pushes back [leaves the gate], we start getting paid,” Mr. Armann said in an interview. “And when the airplane arrives at the gate, we stopped getting paid.” Mr. Lesosky said flight attendants have been subjected to verbal abuse from impatient passengers. “When you land at 6:03, you’re planning, ‘Okay, at 6:30 I’ll be in the cab, at seven o’clock, I’ll be home,” he said. “When you’re still on the plane at 10 and nobody is giving you any answer as to what’s going on, you’re fit to be tied. We all are. It can definitely get tense. We’ve definitely heard of cases of people being screamed at.” Both union leaders said they have taken steps with their airlines to ensure people are paid for their work. Sunwing did not respond to an e-mail. Airlines and airport operators say the government agencies that screen passengers are understaffed and were unprepared for the surge in travellers in recent months. The Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA), The Canada Border Services Agency, the Public Health Agency of Canada and U.S. Customs laid off workers at the start of the pandemic, and have been slow to rehire, leading to delays in passenger checks. These measures currently include health checks, filling out the ArriveCan app, random COVID-19 tests and proof of vaccination. All these layers add to the time it takes to get through a queue. The tourism industry warns the lineups will get worse in the summer. The Greater Toronto Airports Authority, which operates Toronto Pearson, has called for the government to drop some health checks to streamline arrivals and departures. Transport Canada Minister Omar Alghabra met with the head of CATSA, Michael Saunders, to ensure the agency is implementing a plan to hire staff and end the delays, government spokeswoman Laurel Lennox said. “We understand Canadians may be frustrated by this situation, and ask that they remain patient as we work hard with our partners to resolve this issue,” Ms. Lennox said. Christopher Bloore, head of the Tourism Industry Association of Ontario, said the delays at Toronto Pearson are holding back the recovery in tourism across Canada. “Toronto Pearson is the gateway for international travellers visiting Toronto and continuing to other Canadian destinations. The current travel experience will have detrimental and lasting impacts on how Toronto and Canada are viewed on the international stage,” Mr. Bloore said. Mr. Alghabra on Wednesday said understaffed government agencies are not the only reason for the delays. Travellers who are unaccustomed to preparing their luggage for security checks and variable flight schedules are also contributing, he told reporters. Mr. Armann scoffed at this. “I can assure you they’re not rusty travellers,” Mr. Armann said. “There is a significant issue at the airport. It’s got nothing to do with rust.”
  17. Elon Musk puts $44bn Twitter deal ‘on hold’ Shares drop almost 20% after entrepreneur questions fake accounts on social media site Fri May 13, 2020 - Financial Times by Arash Massoudi, Cristina Criddle and Robert Wright Elon Musk has put his takeover of Twitter “temporarily on hold” over concerns about the number of spam and fake accounts on the social media platform, raising fresh doubt over whether the Tesla chief executive will complete the $44bn deal. The entrepreneur announced the move in a Twitter message on Friday, sharing a link to a Reuters news story this month that suggested the number of fake accounts on the site represented less than 5 per cent of its 229mn users. The statement immediately hit Twitter’s share price, with the stock tumbling 19.7 per cent to $36.23 in pre-market US trading. Twitter deal temporarily on hold pending details supporting calculation that spam/fake accounts do indeed represent less than 5% of usershttps://t.co/Y2t0QMuuyn Twitter now trades at a huge 44 per cent spread to the $54.20 per share price Musk agreed to pay in mid-April, signalling that investors do not believe a deal will happen anywhere near that price and possibly not at all. The doubt introduced by Musk’s tweet is the latest example of the whirlwind manner in which the transaction came together, which even led to Musk waiving his right to carry out due diligence while negotiating terms. Twitter and Musk did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Tesla shares, which have fallen 33 per cent since Musk tweeted that he was giving serious thought to purchasing Twitter in late March, rallied nearly 6 per cent in pre-market New York trading. It is unclear what the legal effect of his notice was. Musk has previously said one of his priorities for the platform is to “defeat the spam bots or die trying” and to authenticate human accounts. In Twitter’s first-quarter results, the company said less than 5 per cent of its monetisable daily active users were fake or spam accounts. “In making this determination, we applied significant judgment, so our estimation of false or spam accounts may not accurately represent the actual number of such accounts, and the actual number of false or spam accounts could be higher than we have estimated,” Twitter said in the results. Musk’s move comes just a day after Twitter announced an immediate hiring freeze, cost-cutting measures and the departure of two senior leaders. The company has faced long-term pressure from investors over slow growth compared with rivals such as Meta and TikTok. The billionaire’s bid to buy Twitter sent shockwaves throughout the technology and financial world, though many speculated that Musk was not serious about the deal or that he would eventually walk away. The Tesla chief agreed to pay a $1bn break fee if he abandoned the agreement.
  18. Actually it could be sold in Nfld but not elsewhere in Canada and was a condition of sale placed on the refinery by it's one time owner Petro-Canada so as not to undercut it's other Canadian operations. Not currently a factor as refinery has been mothballed since Mar 2020. Can't speak to the other two, but Esso (Imperial Oil) was simply too small (89k b/d) to compete against the likes of Irving (300+k b/d) and other refiners in the Atlantic Basin e.g. mega operations in New Jersey area. True enough - but a massive refinery would produce a massive amount of refined product, far beyond what the local Alta market could absorb. How do you get high volumes of various types of distillate products (gasoline, diesel, jet fuel, fuel oil, propane, etc) to end user markets a thousand+ kilometers away? Convert existing crude pipelines that might not longer be needed? Yes, except some of these distillates are corrosive and require specialized alloyed pipe, others have different pressure requirements and some don't travel well over shared facilities due to contamination issues. Build new pipelines - in today's environment? As some might say - good luck with that.
  19. Ontario ice cream maker tarred by 'lies' from anti-vaxxers, this time after doctor's 'nice' tweet "it just seems sad to be honest with you."
  20. Just a guess... Old; 'dirty', small (size matters), many were not set up to handle Canadian grades (refits expensive). Difficult, time consuming and expensive to site new ones due to environmental opposition. Government demonization of the industry does little to whet the appetite of investors and spectre of a 'made in Canada' price restriction would just have them run further and faster (see NEP 1980).
  21. Ukrainian commanders lash out at Kyiv over Mariupol resistance Criticism from Azov regiment comes as Russia continues assault on steel plant before May 9 Moscow celebrations Sun May 08, 2022 - Financial Times by Ben Hall in Kyiv The commanders of the Ukrainian forces holding out against Russian troops in the Azovstal plant in Mariupol lashed out at the government in Kyiv for not doing enough to help them defend the city. “Our government failed in the defence of Mariupol, failed in the preparation of the defence of Mariupol,” said Ilya Somoilenko, a lieutenant in the Azov regiment, the military unit that has been leading the Ukrainian resistance from a last redoubt at the vast steel works on the edge of the city. The “authorities have been sabotaging the defence of Ukraine for eight years,” he said. Sviatoslav Palamar, deputy commander of the Azov regiment, accused the government of “cynicism” for celebrating the evacuation of small groups of civilians when so many people had been killed in Russia’s assault on the south-eastern port city. The two officers were speaking to reporters via Zoom from one of the bunkers at the besieged Azovstal facility. Their comments are the first public display of dissent within the Ukrainian military which has otherwise celebrated its battlefield achievements in fending off Russia’s full-scale invasion over 10 weeks. It is also a sign of the desperation of the Ukrainian forces who are under constant artillery bombardment and repeated attempts by Russian forces to storm their redoubt underneath the steel plant. All remaining women, children and seniors were evacuated from the steelworks in the south-eastern port city on Saturday, according to the deputy prime minister Iryna Vereshchuk. In total 300 civilians have been freed from the plant. President Volodymyr Zelensky said Ukrainian authorities, in conjunction with the UN and International Committee of the Red Cross, were planning to evacuate all medical staff and wounded soldiers. Zelensky has also called for Ukrainian military personnel — thought to number between several hundred and 2,000 — to be allowed to leave the vast facility. He said on Friday international diplomatic efforts were under way to secure their safe passage. The next phase of the evacuation would be “extremely difficult” but “we do not lose hope,” Zelensky said. Somoilenko said “surrender was not an option because Russia is not interested in our lives, is not interested in letting us live”. He appeared to criticise what he said was an attempt to negotiate with Russia over their release and said they need a “third party to intervene to extract the garrison”. “The evacuation could be done if some people did their jobs better,” Somoilenko added. He claimed that the defenders of Mariupol had killed 2,500 Russian soldiers and had “blocked” 25,000 troops and therefore accounted for a disproportionate share of Ukraine’s success against the invaders. The Azov battalion has far-right origins but was incorporated into the Ukrainian armed forces in 2014 and is considered one of the best trained parts of the military. Ukrainian officials say Moscow has been trying to crush the resistance at Azovstal so that president Vladimir Putin could present a battlefield success when Russia celebrates the Soviet victory over Nazi Germany on May 9. Russian forces continued to attack Ukrainian positions along the 1,000km frontline and struck targets over the weekend, including Odesa. Up to 60 civilians are feared dead after a Russian air strike on a school in eastern Ukraine.
  22. Boeing ditches Chicago headquarters for Washington, DC area Relocation to Arlington, Virginia would bring US aerospace group closer to key federal lawmakers Thu May 05, 2022 - Financial Times by Steff Chávez Boeing will move its headquarters to the Washington, DC area from Chicago, bringing the company closer to federal lawmakers and rival defence contractors. The US aerospace group on Thursday said it will shift its base to Arlington, Virginia, joining fellow military contractors Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman and General Dynamics in the Washington suburbs. “The region makes strategic sense for our global headquarters given its proximity to our customers and stakeholders,” chief executive Dave Calhoun said in a statement. The company also “plans to develop a research and technology hub in the area to harness and attract engineering and technical capabilities”, according to the announcement. Though Boeing claimed that it will “maintain a significant presence” in Chicago and Illinois, the withdrawal will be a symbolic blow for the city, and the move was immediately condemned by the state’s US senators. “Boeing’s decision to leave Illinois is incredibly disappointing,” senators Dick Durbin and Tammy Duckworth said in a joint statement. “We are working together to ensure Boeing leadership both understands how harmful this move will be and does everything possible to protect Illinois’s workers and jobs.” Lori Lightfoot, Chicago’s mayor, was less fazed, saying in a statement that the city has “a robust pipeline of major corporate relocations and expansions”. The move comes during a tumultuous period for Boeing. The company has been subject to greater regulatory scrutiny following two fatal crashes of its 737 Max jet in 2018 and 2019 and the discovery of flaws in its 787 Dreamliner. Dreamliner production remains halted and has cost the company about $5.5bn so far. Boeing also reported $1.2bn in losses in the first quarter stemming from its replacement programme for Air Force One, the US presidential aircraft, and the war in Ukraine. Relocating to Washington is “a step in the wrong direction”, said representative Peter DeFazio, chair of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, which issued a report in 2020 criticising Boeing and the Federal Aviation Administration, the US regulator, for safety lapses. “Boeing’s problem isn’t a lack of access to government, but rather its ongoing production problems and the failures of management and the board that led to the fatal crashes of the 737. Boeing should focus on making safe aeroplanes — not lobbying federal regulators and congress,” he continued. Boeing shares fell 4 per cent at $150.47 on Thursday amid a wider sell-off in US stocks. News of the headquarters being moved was first reported by The Wall Street Journal. Amazon announced the establishment of secondary headquarters in Arlington in 2018, receiving $573mn in related incentives. It was not immediately clear what, if any, incentives Boeing was being offered. Boeing moved its corporate headquarters to Chicago in 2001, lured by more than $50mn in local tax incentives, following its merger with then Midwest-based McDonnell Douglas in 1997. Boeing was headquartered in Seattle from its founding in 1916 until its Chicago relocation. Boeing currently operates out of a skyscraper in Chicago’s West Loop neighbourhood, though only about 500 of its 140,000 global employees work there.
  23. Ontario College of Physicians suspends rural family doctor for 'inappropriate' COVID-19 treatments, advice New slate of allegations against Phillips, including 'interference with the testing of an infant for COVID-19' Tue May 03, 2022 - CBC News by Casey Stranges Ontario's College of Physicians and Surgeons (CPSO) has temporarily suspended the licence of Dr. Patrick Phillips, a physician whose social media comments promoting misinformation during the pandemic landed him before a disciplinary committee. Phillips, who worked as an emergency room physician in Englehart, Ont., had previously been called before the college's disciplinary committee to answer to allegations of misconduct. The allegations are, at least in part, connected to Phillips's statements on social media, where he once had a sizeable presence. Nearly 40,000 users followed him on Twitter before his account was suspended. In one instance, in a series of tweets on Sept. 25, 2021, Phillips drew a comparison between pandemic-related public health measures and the treatment of people with disabilities in Nazi Germany. He has also called Ontario's vaccine certificate system "illegal" and claimed it would be used to "deny medical care, food, banking and shelter" to unvaccinated people. In a video posted to the Reddit group LockdownSkepticism, Phillips appears in a video questioning the risk of asymptomatic spread of COVID-19 as "negligible to non-existent." "It is alleged that Dr. Phillips engaged in disgraceful, dishonourable or unprofessional conduct and failed to maintain the standard of practice of the profession in relation to his communications, including communications on social media and other digital platforms, regarding the COVID-19 pandemic and related issues," the CPSO's website said. In a statement to CBC News, a spokesperson for the college said that its Investigations, Complaints and Reports Committee (ICRC) ordered Phillips be handed an interim suspension order. The committee said Phillips was allegedly "incompetent in relation to his patient care and reporting adverse events following immunization." Allegations against Phillips, listed on the notice of hearing issued by the CPSO's discipline tribunal, include: Interference with the testing of an infant, who was not his patient, for COVID-19; Inappropriate reporting of adverse events following immunization; Inappropriate management of patients/other individuals in relation to COVID-19 vaccines and in relation to COVID-19 treatment and prophylaxis, including inappropriate prescribing; Inappropriate provision of medical exemptions in relation to COVID-19; Inappropriate communication with patients/other individuals in relation to COVID-19 vaccines, treatment and prophylaxis; Unprofessional conduct and communications at his hospital workplace, including failure to follow hospital protocols. CBC Sudbury reached out to Phillips for comment via social media but did not receive a response. A date for the tribunal is expected to be set in the coming weeks.
  24. ‘Sorry, Grandma, we’re cutting your benefits.’ No politician will ever say that. But maybe they should Mon May 02, 2022 - The Globe and Mail A new round of data from the 2021 census details what has long been known: Canada, you’re getting old. While Canada is younger than Group of Seven countries such as Germany and France (but older than the United States and Britain), the number of Canadians aged 65 and over is steadily surging. In 2021, there were seven million – 19 per cent of the population, up from 16.9 per cent five years earlier. And the 65 and older cohort is poised to get much larger: There are 5.2 million people aged 55 to 64 and this soon-to-retire group outnumbers those entering the work force by a million. The gap is the biggest ever, and a reversal of generations past. The sheer size of the wave of aging baby boomers has an outsized effect – including on federal spending for Old Age Security and the Guaranteed Income Supplement. Ottawa’s outlook for its future program expenses is helpfully buried away on page 252 of the most recent federal budget. Elderly benefits, at $68.2-billion, is the largest line item among transfers to people and governments. In four years, the figure is expected to be $87.2-billion. Then and now, elderly benefits cost more than the Canada Health Transfer and equalization, combined. The rapid increase accounts for the bulk of Ottawa’s additional spending in coming years, ahead of health care, child care, housing or climate. This is in part because OAS and GIS are entirely paid by taxpayers. That makes the falling ratio of workers to benefit-receiving retirees a pressing concern. (The Canada Pension Plan, in contrast, is funded by the contributions of workers and employers.) In 2016, the Trudeau Liberals enriched the GIS. And that was a good idea. GIS goes only to poor seniors, making it a great way to reduce poverty among the elderly – something that used to be widespread. In the 1970s, seniors were more than twice as likely to live in poverty as the average Canadian. By 2020, just 3.1 per cent of seniors were low income, according to Statistics Canada – half the Canadian average. But as the Liberals improved the targeted GIS, they reversed a Harper government plan to raise the age of the almost-universal OAS pension to 67 from 65. The payment is worth about $7,800 a year, and is given to virtually all Canadian seniors. A percentage of the money is clawed back if your income is more than $79,000, but seniors with incomes as high as $133,000 a year still get some OAS. The Harper government’s plan to gradually up the OAS age to 67 was to have started next year. The Liberals scrapped that, and last year raised OAS benefits by 10 per cent for those 75 and older, starting this summer. In a world of finite taxpayer dollars, that should raise questions. Given that people are living and working longer, is 65 still the right age for OAS? Should the income level at which the clawback starts be lower? And should a senior couple with a combined income of $150,000 get full OAS payments? Their cheques are, after all, being paid by taxpayers – nearly all of whom are younger, and have lower incomes. The good news is that rising OAS and GIS payments aren’t going to destroy the country’s finances. The actuarial outlook sees the cost at a peak of 3.27 per cent of gross domestic product in a decade or so, compared with 2.8 per cent now. But that half percentage point of the economy is $13-billion a year – about 60 per cent more than Ottawa plans for its share of national child care. Seniors vote, and their numbers are growing, which is why no political party wants to be accused of cutting grandma’s benefits. In 1985, when Brian Mulroney tried to partially de-index OAS from inflation, he was confronted by 63-year-old Solange Denis, who famously told the PM: “You lied to us. I was made to vote for you and then it’s ‘Goodbye Charlie Brown.’ ” Mr. Mulroney caved. Or consider France. President Emmanuel Macron has long wanted to raise the normal pension age to 65 from 62 – but the move is opposed by almost three-quarters of the country. In the U.S., full Social Security benefits for people born after 1959 begin at age 67 – but only because of a slow-motion change made in the Reagan era. Any other tinkering is a third rail of U.S. politics. Refusing to raise the age of OAS eligibility, and then offering bonus payments to those 75 and over, was great politics. But is it good for Canada?
  25. Canadian airline crew detained in Dominican Republic urges Ottawa for safe return after drug seizure Tue May03, 2022 - The Globe and Mail by Alanna Smith An airline whose crew was detained in the Dominican Republic along with its passengers after alerting authorities to 200 kilograms of cocaine hidden in an internal compartment is urging the federal government to intervene ahead of a court hearing that could force them back to jail. Eric Edmondson, chief executive officer of Pivot Airlines, sent a letter to Foreign Affairs Minister Mélanie Joly asking her to call on the Caribbean country to ensure the crew’s safe return to Canada. “For more than 24 days, our crew has been subject to threats against their lives, inhumane treatment and arbitrary detention for dutifully reporting a crime and averting a potential aviation disaster,” Mr. Edmondson wrote. “Time is of the essence.” Five Pivot Airlines crew members and six passengers were scheduled to return to Canada from Punta Cana on a chartered aircraft on April 5. Before takeoff, a mechanic discovered suspected contraband on board and police in Canada and the Dominican Republic were alerted. If the plane had taken off, Mr. Edmondson said, the location of the contraband could have sparked an uncontrollable fire. Dominican authorities jailed all 11 people on the plane, sending men and women to separate facilities, according to the airline. On April 6, the Dominican Republic’s National Directorate for Drug Control released a statement that said the group was “being questioned to determine their possible involvement” in the attempted shipment of illicit drugs. Two-hundred kilograms of cocaine, stashed in eight gym bags, was seized from the aircraft. Mr. Edmondson said the men were sent to a prison meant for narcotics criminals and were subject to harassment and beatings. The airline hired someone to ensure Pivot staff were fed and protected to some extent in prison, he said. The group was granted bail, but is not allowed to leave the Dominican Republic. Local prosecutors are attempting to appeal the court’s bail decision. It is not clear when the hearing will take place. Mr. Edmondson said prosecutors don’t have evidence connecting the crew to the cocaine. Death threats have continued since their release, and the airline has hired private security and relocated the crew regularly to avoid detection. The passengers have separate legal counsel and are not staying with the airline staff. Mr. Edmondson said the crew members are afraid being returned to prison would be a death sentence. “It’s a one-way ticket,” he said. “They don’t think they’ll be coming out of that jail if they get put back.” Global Affairs Canada said in a statement that it is aware of the incident involving Pivot Airlines and that Canadian officials are monitoring the situation, engaging with local authorities and providing consular assistance. Adrian Blanchard, press secretary to Ms. Joly, also said that Parliamentary Secretary Maninder Sidhu recently travelled to the Dominican Republic and met with government officials. Mr. Edmondson said the government must do more. “The government, we think, has to step up and intervene. It’s unacceptable a Canadian airline crew can be incarcerated wrongfully,” he said. The federal government is urging Canadians to exercise a high degree of caution if they travel to the Dominican Republic, citing violent and opportunistic crime. The Foreign Affairs Ministry in the Dominican Republic did not respond to a request for comment. Family members have confirmed the identity of one of the passengers as Calgary-based photographer Brittney Wojcik-Harrison. A cousin, Bella Harrison, said the family learned about her imprisonment last Thursday from a lawyer in the Dominican. “It just feels like a movie and, when it was happening, I almost didn’t believe it,” said Ms. Harrison, adding that her cousin had been vacationing in Punta Cana. “She’s really not okay. ... She’s just trying to keep her head above water.” Ms. Harrison said Global Affairs Canada has provided little information to the family owing to provisions of the Privacy Act. She said Ms. Wojcik-Harrison is in a safe location. “I’m just really shocked because I’ve been proud to be Canadian my whole life and just to see how little they care about this person that literally would never be involved in this, I just don’t understand that,” Ms. Harrison said. “How can they just forget about 11 people?”
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