24. 09. 2018
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Islamic State group kills more than 150 Syrian soldiers – National

Islamic State group kills more than 150 Syrian soldiers – National

GRAPHIC CONTENT WARNING: Chilling video of the Islamic State fighters parading and humiliating a group of captive men prior to a mass execution. Paul Johnson has the story.

BEIRUT – The Islamic State group killed more than 150 troops captured in recent fighting for a string of military bases in northeastern Syria, shooting some and slashing others with knives in the past 24 hours in the latest mass killing attributed to the extremists, activists said Thursday.

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In southern Syria meanwhile, gunmen detained 43 U.N. peacekeepers during fighting on the Syrian side of the Golan Heights, the United Nations said. It added that another 81 peacekeepers were trapped in the area by the heavy clashes between rebels and Syrian troops.

The killing of government troops, combined with photos of dusty, terrified conscripts under militant guard in the desert, underscored how the extremist group uses violence – and images of violence – to instil fear in its opponents as it seeks to expand the proto-state it has carved out in Syria and neighbouring Iraq.

READ MORE: Why is Aafia Siddiqui a terrorist bargaining chip?

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said that many of the soldiers killed were rounded up Wednesday in the arid countryside near the Tabqa airfield, three days after Islamic State fighters seized the base. The government troops were among a large group of soldiers from the base who were stuck behind the front lines after the airfield fell to the jihadi fighters.

The Observatory said around 120 captive government troops from Tabqa were killed near the base. Islamic State fighters killed at least another 40 soldiers, most of whom were taken prisoner in recent fighting for other bases in the area, in the Hamrat region near Raqqa city, the group’s stronghold.

A statement posted online and circulated on 桑拿会所 by supporters of the Islamic State group claimed the extremists killed “about 200” government prisoners captured near Tabqa. It also showed photographs of what it said were the prisoners: young men stripped down to their underwear marching in the desert. The photos could not immediately be verified, but correspond to other AP reporting.

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A video that emerged online purportedly showed Islamic State fighters escorting nearly 200 men, stripped down to their underwear and barefoot, through the desert. Another video posted online later showed more than 150 men, also in their underwear, lying motionless – apparently dead – in a row in the sand.

While the videos could not be independently confirmed by the AP, they appeared to illustrate the claims made online by Islamic State group supporters and Syrian activists about the mass killing.

There was no immediate comment from the Syrian government.

In its rise to prominence over the past year, the extremist group has frequently published graphic photos and videos of everything from beheadings to mass killings.

In Iraq, for example, the group killed nearly 200 men – most of them Iraqi soldiers – in late June near the northern city of Tikrit, human rights groups and Iraqi officials say. It published photos online showing dozens of men dressed in civilian clothes lined up or lying face down as militants aimed rifles at their backs. A final set of photos showed their bloodied bodies.

Such killings have not been limited to Iraq. Earlier this month, Islamic State fighters shot and beheaded hundreds of tribesmen in eastern Syria who had risen up against the group.

READ MORE: UN panel finds Crimes against humanity spreading in Syria

A U.N. commission accused the Islamic State group Wednesday of committing crimes against humanity in Syria – echoing U.N. accusations against the group in Iraq.

The Islamic State group’s surge is one aspect of Syria’s multi-layered civil war, a bloody conflict that has killed more than 190,000 people and destabilized the region.

The 43 U.N. peacekeepers were detained by an armed group early Thursday in the Golan, where fighting has raged this week between Syrian rebels and government forces.

The office of U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon did not identify the armed group that is holding the peacekeepers. Several rebel groups operate in the Golan, while the Islamic State group has no known presence there.

The U.N. said another 81 peacekeepers are “currently being restricted to their positions” in the vicinity of Ruwaihaniyeh and Burayqa.

The Syrian government denounced the “kidnapping” of the U.N. peacekeepers. In a statement issued by the Syrian Foreign Ministry, the government said it holds “the terrorist groups and those who support them fully responsible for the safety of the U.N. peacekeepers, and calls for their immediate release.”

The statement from Ban’s office said the U.N. “is making every effort to secure the release of the detained peacekeepers,” who are part of UNDOF, the mission that has been monitoring a 1974 disengagement accord between Syria and Israel after their 1973 war.

As of July, UNDOF had 1,223 troops from six countries: Fiji, India, Ireland, Nepal, Netherlands and the Philippines.

Syrian rebels briefly abducted U.N. peacekeepers twice in 2013 before eventually releasing them unharmed.

Heavy fighting has engulfed the Syrian side of the Golan since Wednesday, when rebels captured a crossing on the disputed frontier with Israel. A rebel spokesman said the opposition is focused on fighting President Bashar Assad, and poses no threat to Israel.

On Thursday, government warplanes targeted several rebel positions in the area, including in the village of Jaba, the Observatory said. The Local Coordination Committees, another activist group, also reported the air raids.

The Observatory said heavy clashes were raging between the rebels and the Syrian military in Jaba and the surrounding countryside.

White plumes of smoke set off by exploding mortar rounds could be seen on Thursday from the Israeli side of the Golan. The sound of small arms fire could be heard echoing in the background.

©2014The Associated Press

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24. 09. 2018
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Riding the Rails: A glimpse into Shawn’s boxcar world

Riding the Rails: A glimpse into Shawn’s boxcar world

WATCH ABOVE: 16×9’s “Riding the Rails”

For most people, a train is a means of transportation – taking them from point A to B. To Shawn, trains are more than just a ride – it’s a lifestyle – a way of being – seeing the world from a boxcar window seat.

Shawn is a train hopper. He spends much of his free time jumping on and off freight trains in the most remote places on earth.

“I think there’s like a wanderlust that comes with the railroad,” he explains.

Story continues below HangZhou Night Net

“There’s kind of a mystery with the train tracks – where they go – always wanting to go further and explore.”

Shawn’s fascination with locomotives came at a young age. When he was around five years old, Shawn’s father would take him camping at the local train yard in Ottawa, Ontario.

“He had told me one day that we were actually going to go train hopping.” But they never ended up going.

Shawn would have to wait a decade to take his first leap. At 19, while in New Brunswick, Shawn seized the chance to steal a ride.

“It was nine in the morning and I just went down to the train yard to see if I could catch a train,” he recalls. “I didn’t know anything about it, and took a chance and it just kind of happened.”

WATCH BELOW: A preview of 16×9’s “Riding the Rails”

Since then, Shawn has secretly hopped on dozens – if not hundreds – of freight trains. Don’t ask him how many – he says he doesn’t keep count.

“I ride whenever I can, and I’m happy with that. For me it’s not a game of numbers.”

When Shawn isn’t train hopping, he is working as a grip in the film industry, to save up money to go jumping overseas.

In 2011, Shawn saved up enough cash to visit India. With a population of over a billion people, it was hard for him to sneak on a freight train discretely.

“In India people don’t just hang out and watch trains really. So a foreigner being by the train tracks everybody would constantly come up to us and ask us what we’re doing and wanna talk to us, drove me absolutely insane,” Shawn said.

Shawn watches the sun rise over the desert in India during one of his adventures

16x9

Shawn spends much of his free time jumping on and off freight trains in the most remote places on earth.

16x9

To Shawn, train-hopping is a lifestyle – a way of being – seeing the world from a boxcar window seat.

16x9

Shawn did manage to get aboard and watch the sun rise over the desert during his travels.

“It was breathtaking. The desert was kinda pink and just seeing the desert, seeing nomadic tribes kinda walking there, it was actually one of my best moments training.”

Shawn has had many great train hopping moments over the years, but he says, nothing is as special as surviving the ride.

“It’s a very intimate thing,” Shawn explains. “You’re with this beast and you’re putting up with all the elements and after six or seven hours of going through something like that, even as you watch the train going away you feel like you’re attached to it.”

Don’t miss 16X9 this Saturday at 7pm.

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24. 09. 2018
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Retailer Holt Renfrew to close two stores – National

Retailer Holt Renfrew to close two stores – National

TORONTO – Holt Renfrew is closing its stores in Ottawa and Quebec City while expanding elsewhere in Canada as the venerable chain strives to remain competitive in an increasingly crowded luxury retail market.

The company, founded in 1837, says the stores will close at the end of January 2015. The Ottawa store has 72 employees and the one in Quebec City has 85.

The company said it had explored a number of options in the Ottawa and Quebec City markets and that the stores had performed well.

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“It was ultimately concluded that Holt Renfrew’s enhanced speciality luxury business model requires a significantly larger store footprint in any target market and a deep assortment across a wide array of its core brand partners,” the company said in a statement.

Company president Mark Derbyshire described employees at the two stores as having been “devoted through many successful years,” adding “we are dedicated to supporting them through this transition.”

Meanwhile, the company also announced it is planning $300-million in expansion projects in key markets in Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Toronto and Montreal.

Craig Patterson, an analyst who runs the online news magazine Retail Insider, said the company is consolidating stores in anticipation of losing market share to U.S. luxury retailers.

The first Nordstrom in Canada is set to open next month in Calgary, while Saks Fifth Avenue, which was acquired by Hudson’s Bay Co. (TSX:HBC) last July, will open a new location in Toronto’s Eaton Centre.

Patterson says Holt Renfrew’s planned expansion is likely a direct response to the impending arrival of Saks Fifth Avenue, which carries similar merchandise.

“Saks really plans to up its game in Canada. When it builds its Canadian . . . (stores) it says its going to be more luxurious than their current American locations,” Patterson noted.

Among the scheduled projects, Holt Renfrew said it would add a new 120,000-square-foot store at Square One in Mississauga, west of Toronto, to open in 2016. It will expand and renovate its Bloor Street store in Toronto, including the addition of a new facade. The flagship stores in Vancouver and Calgary will also be updated.

A new 220,000 square-foot concept store in Montreal will be complete by 2017.

Despite the increased competition, Patterson says the company has a good chance of survival. The chain has been successful in attracting high-end vendors — recent examples include Dior and Miu Miu — and its lucrative personal shopping service has been a boon to the chain.

“I think that Holt Renfrew has two things going for it. It’s got a strong brand awareness among many wealthy Canadians and brand loyalty. And it does have some vendors that (others don’t) have and probably wouldn’t be able to keep,” he said.

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24. 09. 2018
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Is binge watching ruining TV? – National

Is binge watching ruining TV? – National

LAKE CITY, Pa. – It’s no secret technology is changing our television-viewing habits.

Americans are increasingly engaging in a practice known as television binge-watching – going through several episodes of a TV show in a single stretch. In the old days, of course, people watched one episode a week. That changed with digital video recorders and Internet streaming services such as Netflix and Hulu. DVDs and online services also make it possible to start shows from the beginning, even years after the finale has aired.

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READ MORE: Canadians guilty of ‘binge watching’ their favourite shows

I used some recent trips to finish Showtime’s “Dexter” and start CBS’ “The Good Wife.” In between, I breezed through Netflix’s “Orange Is The New Black” and the second season of “House of Cards.” I have about 50 series on various watch lists – and people are continually recommending more. I know what I’ll be doing this Labor Day weekend.

So why am I unhappy about this new way to watch TV?

Avoiding spoilers

The biggest challenge with binge-watching is avoiding mentions of plot twists and other spoilers in the news media, on social networks and in casual conversations. Although friends on Facebook restrain from giving specifics, they often say enough to signal that something surprising just happened. Please! When I got to one of those episodes in question on “Game of Thrones” last year, I thought to myself, that’s it? It became a letdown rather than a shock as fans watching at the time experienced it.

Worse, I knew how the serial-killer drama “Dexter” ended long before I got to watch the final season during a trip to California this summer. Yes, it’s my fault for not keeping up; the finale was shown last September. But this column is about what I miss about watching television the old-fashioned way.

I also know what’s coming on “The Good Wife” three seasons from the one I’m currently watching. Then again, hearing about that plot twist this spring got me interested in the legal drama. Amazon Instant Video made it possible to start watching from Season 1.

Avoiding spoiling it for others

Aware of how it feels to hear about spoilers, I’m careful not to “spoil” others. But it’s hard to keep track of what I can say to whom.

“How I Met Your Mother” ended its nine-year run in March. To minimize the risk of spoilers, I watched it the day after the finale aired on CBS. But my friends were still months behind and weren’t available to discuss the meeting of the mother with me.

Same goes for “Breaking Bad,” which ended last fall after five seasons to critical acclaim. It’s a show many people want to watch, but relatively few have finished. Will you hurry up so I can talk about it?

The passage of time

I lose the sense of time by binge-watching. I don’t mean hours lost to television when I could be doing something useful to society, like laundry. Many television shows follow the seasons. Characters mark Christmas in December and Valentine’s Day in February. Leaves are colorful in the fall. When I binge-watch, I don’t always get a good sense of whether something I watched just four hours ago really took place four weeks or four months ago.

I also miss having a week or even a summer to reflect. Instead of challenging my mind to play out potential outcomes following a cliffhanger, I can simply press “play” to find out in the next episode.

READ MORE: Canadians spending more time watching video online

The last series I truly watched live was “Lost.” I don’t mean watching on a DVR that night or the next day. I mean watching it as it aired – usually at a bar in New York filled with fans who were quick to shush anyone who tried to talk. I spent the week between episodes discussing theories with friends, reading blogs and listening to podcasts devoted to the show. For the finale in May 2010, a friend in Belgium at the time even dropped by our gathering in New York for a surprise visit. Alas, a friend who just went through the entire series online this spring didn’t have those opportunities.

Of course, “Lost” isn’t like most series. And it’s true that some shows are easier to follow by bingeing. Twist-heavy shows such as “Revenge” and “Scandal” come to mind. But overall, you’re losing something when you’re not watching shows as they air.

Too much of a good thing

Netflix has been one of the biggest promoters – and enablers – of bingeing. As it does with all other original series, Netflix released the entire fourth season of “Arrested Development” at once last year.

I watched all 15 half-hour episodes in a single day, even after I started getting tired toward the end. I felt I had to race through the season or risk hearing about plots and jokes from other sources. Those final episodes were less enjoyable and less memorable as a result.

I’ve also let too much of my life slide trying to catch up on shows. In the past, when you heard about a good show, you started with the next episode that aired, and you managed to figure out what was going on. Nowadays, there’s a temptation to start from the beginning, even as new episodes air, such that it becomes overwhelming to catch up and keep up.

That happened to me with “The Good Wife.” I borrowed a friend’s Wi-Fi connection in Boulder, Colorado, to download the entire first season. I got through a good part of it as I travelled by train from Denver to New York. All the while, I felt guilty that I wasn’t doing more productive things, such as finishing this column that I’d been procrastinating on for months because the “play” button was so easy to tap.

©2014The Canadian Press

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24. 09. 2018
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Friday August 29th on The Morning News – Halifax

Friday August 29th on The Morning News – Halifax

Reporter Brett Ruskin will be live at 6/7/8am from in front of the Halifax Memorial Library. The historic and beloved building is closing its doors on Saturday after more than sixty years. Brett will have a look back at the old library and find out how things are coming together for the big move into the new building across the street.

At 6:45 we’ll get some advice on how to eat healthier in the second half of 2014. Health Canada offers tips for healthy lunches.

At 7:15 we take off the big glasses, get rid of the rip-off pants and put down the Rum & Coke as the Trailer Park Boys go out of character to come on our show. Mike Smith (ie Bubbles), JP Tremblay (ie Julian) and Robb Wells (ie. Ricky) have left the set of sunnyvale behind to star in a new movie, SWEARNET, as themselves. The movie is about the guys going out on their own to start a new all-swearing news network and website. The movie opens in Theatres Friday!

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Calling all beach bums! You don’t want to miss our interview at 7:45! We’ll talk with the organizer of the upcoming SandJam Halifax event happening on the waterfront this weekend. It’s going to be a jam-packed weekend with the Canadian National Team Beach Volleyball Championships and the SandJam concert Saturday night. We’ll have all the details plus we’ll talk with a couple of athletes!

What happens when creative minds from across the country collaborate on the subject of failure?  You get a successful theatre show!  At 8:15 we learn about The Failure Show making its Halifax debut at the Atlantic Fringe Festival.

And at 8:45 we wrap up the show with another one of the fine performers in town for the 5th Halifax Urban Folk Festival. Bryan Potvin of The Northern Pikes is in town to play at The Carleton on Friday. We’ll talk to the Canadian music veteran about his career and get a performance to close out the week.

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24. 09. 2018
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Abercrombie name to shrink from clothing – National

Abercrombie name to shrink from clothing – National

NEW YORK – The Abercrombie & Fitch logo has lost the power it once wielded.

Shares of Abercrombie & Fitch Co. fell Thursday after the retailer reported weak sales as more teens shop elsewhere.

The company is trying to stock trendier clothing — and it turns out that means stripping off the once-prized Abercrombie logo.

It is a major change for the retailer, whose sweatshirts and T-shirts emblazoned with its name long held major cachet with teenagers. Now, individuality is the name of the game.

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“Personal style, specifically with teens, is becoming less about fitting in and more about standing out,” said Lauren Wolfenden, a senior advisory analyst at WGSN, a fashion trend consultancy. “A&F has wised up to this by phasing out the cookie-cutter logo-ed product look and bringing in trendy pieces that can be worn in a multitude of different ways.”

A&F and other traditional teen stores have to adapt in an uphill battle to turn their businesses around as mall traffic drops and shoppers’ tastes change.

A slowly recovering economy is making parents and teens to think twice about splurging on clothes. Expensive standbys like Abercrombie also have lost business to “fast fashion” chains like H&M, known for quickly churning out trendy $9 tops.

Teens are also spending less time at the mall and more time researching and buying on mobile devices. And when they do buy, they’re more likely buying the latest gadget than filling their closets.

Last week, Aeropostale last week reported its seventh consecutive quarterly loss on slumping sales. It also forecast another loss in the current quarter.

At the same time, Aeropostale, based in New York, reinstated Julian Geiger, its former CEO.

Earnings at another competitor, American Eagle, have also declined on weak sales.

Mike Jeffries, A&F’s CEO, said in a statement that the retailer has made progress in stocking trendier clothing and said the improvement is “clearly evident” in its back-to-school business.

“In a continuing challenging environment, our sales for the second quarter were somewhat below plan, but we have seen modest improvement since the back-to-school floor set,” he added.

A&F has been shortening the time from developing a design to shipping the clothing to the stores. It’s also changing its colour palette.

WGSN’s Wolfenden said Abercrombie announced earlier this year that it would start using black in their collections, something it had never done before. She praised some of the current fashions in the stores, which include Aztec printed silky pants, sleek maxi-dresses and slouchy T-shirts with scenic images and French sayings.

But the big change, of course, shoppers are seeing is clothes that don’t shout the Abercrombie name.

For the fall shopping season, A&F has reduced its logoed merchandise by half, and plans to go further.

“In the spring season, we are looking to take the North American logo business to practically nothing,” Jeffries told investors on a conference call

In a note to investors Thursday, Richard Jaffe, an analyst at Stifel Nicolaus, noted that “it’s taking time to win back customers.” But he believes that the merchandise changes are “gaining traction.”

A&F said it earned $12.9 million, or 17 cents in its fiscal second quarter. That compares with $11.3 million, or 14 cents per share, a year earlier.

Earnings, adjusted for non-recurring costs, came to 19 cents per share. Analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research expected 10 cents per share.

The New Albany, Ohio-based retailer reported that revenue fell 5.8 per cent to $890.6 million, short of analyst estimates.

Revenue at stores open at least a year dropped a steep 11 per cent, including 8 per cent at U.S. stores.

A&F’s shares fell nearly 5 per cent, or $2.13, to close at $41.87 on Thursday. American Eagle’s shares fell a little more than 1 per cent, or 16 cents, to $14.03. And Aeropostale’s shares slipped 2 cents, to close at $4.14.

____________

Follow Anne D’Innocenzio at 杭州桑拿按摩论坛杭州夜生活桑拿会所杭州夜网/adinnocenzio

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24. 09. 2018
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Police seize $2.3M in stolen high-end cars in international bust – Toronto

Police seize $2.3M in stolen high-end cars in international bust – Toronto

ABOVE: Toronto police release details of the 2.3 million dollars in luxury cars retrieved in a series of early morning raids

TORONTO – Eight people were arrested and $2.3 million in luxury cars retrieved after early morning raids dealt a blow, police say, to an international car theft ring.

The Toronto Police Service, along with Canadian Border Services Agends and police officers from York, Halton, Peel, Niagara executed more than 30 raids Thursday morning in homes, businesses and a storage container.

Police named the investigation Project YellowBird after a yellow Porsche Carrera stolen from a home in north Toronto during December’s ice storm.

Superintendent Scott Gilbert said the suspects were forced to break in to the homes when searching for the cars because of “immobilizer” technology in the car that prevents anyone from driving it without the programmable key.

The estimated 23 break-ins were motivated by searches for those keys, he said; stolen jewellery and other property were just added benefit.

A photo of a stolen Mercedes seized by police in the Project Yellowbird raids.

Handout / Toronto Police Service

Story continues below HangZhou Night Net

Gilbert said the suspects would drive nice cars so as to not look out of place in fancy neighbourhoods – and it worked. Residents said they noticed people roaming around their neighbours’ homes but didn’t call police because the strangers didn’t seem “out of place.”

“This isn’t a bunch of kids going out and breaking into houses during lunch hour,” said Police Chief Bill Blair. “[This is a] very sophisticated and up until this morning a highly successful criminal enterprise.”

Police retrieved 23 vehicles, including a Bentley, various model BMWs, Mercedes SUVs, an Aston Martin and the yellow Porsche. They say the estimated value of the cars nears $2.3 million.

Four of the cars – including the yellow Porsche – were found in Europe.

Blair suggested the criminal organization was operating well before the ice storm, when Toronto police investigators began looking into car thefts.

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24. 09. 2018
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Should Tim Hortons brace for job cuts? – National

Should Tim Hortons brace for job cuts? – National

The mood among thousands of employees at Tim Hortons Inc this week has more than likely undergone a stark transformation, company watchers say, from optimism to uneasiness.

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News that Burger King is merging with Canada’s biggest and most iconic coffee chain is being hailed by big business and politicians as a win for the company and country. But for many Tim Hortons employees at regional offices, distribution centres and manufacturing facilities, the blockbuster deal could see them out of a job.

3G Capital, the big investment fund that owns Burger King and will become the majority owner of a joint Tim Hortons/Burger King company (see chart), has made a “commitment to Canada” as part of the bid. It includes a pledge of “no changes to restaurant-level employment” among other promises.

“There may not be cuts at the store level, but are there going to be cuts at virtually every other level? Yes,” said an investment expert close to Tim Hortons who is well aware of the new corporate overlords taking the helm at Tims.

Earlier this week, 3G execs who will become the new bosses of Tims were purposely vague about their plans, experts say, deflecting questions about “synergies” that could be realized by combining Tims with Burger King then cutting away pieces deemed a drag on profits.

“Synergies are difficult to talk about because they mean nasty things like job losses,” CIBC World Markets analyst Perry Caicco said in a note to clients. “But the new company’s own presentation mentions an opportunity for significant synergies.”

Click here to view data »

Reputation precedes it

3G comes with a reputation for slashing budgets and head count at companies it gains control of. About 450 middle managers and higher-ups were fired from Burger King when it was acquired by 3G in 2010.

More recently, Heinz has dumped 3,400 positions across the food processing company since being acquired by the New York and Rio-based investment fund in February 2013.

A cold rationality at 3G driven by a thirst for bigger profits fed into a decision to close Heinz’s longstanding Leamington, Ont. ketchup factory in June.

The anchor of Canada’s anointed tomato capital in southwestern Ontario, the 105-year-old facility provided stable, well-paying jobs to generations of Canadians.

MORE: In Canada’s tomato capital, there’s life after ketchup

Cut where?

Tim Hortons doesn’t directly employ the tens of thousands of full- and part-time staffs at the 3,600 or so franchisee-owned locations in Canada. But it does directly employ 2,150 people spread across its headquarters in Oakville, Ont., five distribution centres throughout Canada and 12 regional offices.

Tims distribution centres are located in Guelph, Ont., Kingston, Ont., Langley, B.C., Calgary and Debert, Nova Scotia. Another facility is owned in Vaudreuil Dorion, Que., according to regulatory filings.

There are three manufacturing facilities as well, based in Hamilton, Oakville and Rochester, New York, while 500 workers staff 14 company-owned Tims locations.

Experts say 3G will be looking closely at those behind-the-scenes operations to see where it can gain efficiencies between Tims and Burger King’s own delivery systems.

CIBC’s Caicco and others warn that if 3G slices too deeply into Tim Hortons, it risks damaging the company’s culture and reputation, which could see employees – and customers – turn their back on it.

“They will need to be careful about the culture and the workforce,” Caicco said.

“They’re going to look for synergies, but any changes they make will be completely invisible to the customer,” Ken Wong, a business professor at Queen’s University said. “Things that won’t affect the quality or products of either [chain].”

Still, experts suggest Tims already runs a cost-effective business, and 3G won’t have much if any trimming to do.

“There’s little chance Burger King can bring better management to Tim Hortons’ cost structure or productivity in the first couple years,” Caicco said. “If there are costs to cut at Tims, management either would have, or will, cut them shortly.”

Analysts expect Burger King to take Tims over formally before the end of the year.

“If you had a business that wasn’t performing as well as Tim Hortons is, you’d see the worst of 3G come out,” Prof. Wong added. “But it isn’t broke, don’t try and fix it.”

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24. 09. 2018
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Drunk driver sentenced to 8 years in triple fatal

Drunk driver sentenced to 8 years in triple fatal

Watch above: “You ruined my life,” Sheri Arsenault told Pratt in court before he was sentenced to eight years in prison for a fatal crash that killed three men, including Arsenault’s son. Laurel Gregory reports.

EDMONTON – Johnathan Pratt, the man responsible for the deaths of three young men from Beaumont, has been sentenced to eight years behind bars.

Justice Paul Belzil handed out the sentence Thursday afternoon, after a morning filled with emotions in a Wetaskiwin court room.

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The eight-year sentence comes after Pratt was found guilty earlier this year of manslaughter and impaired driving causing death in a collision that killed Bradley Arsenault, Kole Novak, and Thaddeus Lake.

“I was hoping it would maybe be 10 [years],” said Zane Novak, Kole’s father, “set a little bit more of a precedent. I think that if there has ever been a case in recent history before the courts that really could have set some distinct precedent, this could have been it.

“Though there is some closure with this today, it’s minimal.”

“The outcome, I don’t want to use the word happy because there’s no such thing as that word regarding something like this,” said Sheri Arsenault, Bradley’s mother. “But I am pleased with the outcome.”

READ MORE: ‘I feel for them every day,’ Alberta man found guilty of deadly crash

The Crown said a manslaughter charge in this type of case is rare in Canada but the severity of the crash made it appropriate.

A collision reconstructionist said Pratt’s pick-up truck was travelling nearly 200 km/h before it slammed into the back of the three young men’s car in November 2011.

“There was an extreme driving pattern, extreme speed, no braking, no steering to avoid the other vehicle, driving right through that other vehicle, and of course the extreme level of intoxication which at its lowest was at 200 milligrams per cent,” said Ryan Pollard, Crown Prosecutor.

Pratt has said no amount of jail time can change what happened.

Court heard about two dozen victim impact statements Thursday, from family members of the young men. Zane said his son Kole never hung up the phone without saying ‘I love you.’

“I can’t begin to count the number of kids he taught to skateboard, snowboard,” Zane read. “It took all my determination to do this victim impact statement…I do it only to honour Kole.”

Many in the courtroom wiped tears from their eyes as Bradley’s father, Rob Arsenault, read his statement.

“My son Brad is always on my mind,” he said.

Sheri Arsenault said she could write 1007 victim impact statements – one for every day her heart has ached since “Bradley’s traumatizing death.”

“You ruined my life,” Sheri said, looking directly at Pratt.

The Crown was seeking a 10-year sentence and a lifetime driving ban.

The Defence said a 10-year sentence would “crush Mr. Pratt” and argued that society is not served by someone who “rots in prison” with no opportunity to contribute.

The Defence was asking for between four and seven years in prison along with a two or three-year probation. In addition, the Defence asked for a five-year driving prohibition upon Pratt’s date of release.

Prior to Justice Belzil’s decision Thursday, Pratt briefly addressed court.

“I do feel pain for what has happened…There isn’t one day that goes by that I don’t think about the families.”

The eight-year sentence includes a five-year concurrent sentence for the three counts of manslaughter and three years served concurrently for impaired driving causing death.

“I think the things that I will always be resentful of is the fact that the sentences are served concurrently instead of consecutively,” said Zane. “There were three individuals that lost their lives and I really will always think that there should be three separate periods of  time that the perpetrator of that crime should have to serve.”

READ MORE: Alberta mom lends her support while dealing with impaired driving tragedy

Justice Belzil also imposed a lifetime driving prohibition for the impaired driving causing death charge.

The sentencing hearing began at 9 a.m. at the Wetaskiwin Provincial Court house.

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24. 09. 2018
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NASA confirms development of next space exploration vehicle – National

NASA confirms development of next space exploration vehicle – National

TORONTO – It’s the next giant leap in space exploration.

On Wednesday, NASA officials announced that they have completed a “rigorous review” of the Space Launch System, or SLS. This heavy-lift exploration rocket is aimed at getting humanity beyond low-Earth orbit and to Mars.

Since the end of the Apollo era, the human space program has been limited to low-Earth orbit and this is the first rocket of its kind in the new era of human space exploration.

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This step – approval to take the rocket from formulation to development – is the first project to have reached this stage of development since the space shuttle.

READ MORE: NASA launches Mars ‘flying saucer’ vehicle

“We are on a journey of scientific and human exploration that leads to Mars,” said NASA Administrator Charles Bolden. “And we’re firmly committed to building the launch vehicle and other supporting systems that will take us on that journey.”

The SLS will have a 70-metric-ton lift capacity and carry the Orion spacecraft, which has been undergoing extensive testing in recent months.

Though officials said that they hope to have the vehicle ready earlier, they said that it will be ready no later than November 2018.

NASA’s goal is to send humans to Mars by the 2030s.

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