The Canadian Press – Jul 29, 2021 / 8:05 am | Story: 341401
Photo: The Canadian Press
Molson Canadian, left, and Coors Light beer products are displayed together in Walpole, Mass.
Molson Coors Beverage Co. beat expectations as its net income nearly doubled in its latest quarter on its best revenue growth in more than a decade.
The Colorado and Montreal-based company says it earned US$388.6 million or $1.79 per diluted share in the second quarter, up from US$195 million or 90 cents per share a year earlier.
Underlying earnings for the three months ended June 30 were US$348.8 million or $1.58 per share, compared with US$337.3 million or $1.55 per share in the second quarter of 2020.
Molson Coors, which reports in U.S. dollars, says revenues increased 17 per cent to US$2.94 billion from US$2.5 billion in the prior year’s quarter on higher volumes.
The company was expected to post US$1.34 per share in underlying earnings on US$2.8 billion of revenues, according to financial data firm Refinitiv.
The company says it is quadrupling its production in Canada of hard seltzer, a popular alcoholic beverage category.
“Above premium brand volumes reached a record-high portion of our U.S. portfolio compared to any prior quarter since the creation of the MillerCoors joint venture in 2008 and a record-high portion of our European portfolio,” stated CEO Gavin Hattersley.
“This quarter represents the best results we have had since implementing our revitalization plan nearly two years ago, and it delivered the most top-line growth of any quarter in over a decade,” adds chief financial officer Tracey Joubert.
“We’ve reached the point where the investments, partnerships and product launches that were byproducts of the revitalization plan are now bearing results, and we plan to put our foot even more firmly on the gas pedal as we drive towards sustainable top- and bottom-line growth for this business.”
The Canadian Press – Jul 29, 2021 / 8:05 am | Story: 341400
Photo: The Canadian Press
The Nauka module is seen prior to docking with the International Space Station on Thursday, July 29, 2021.
Russia’s long-delayed lab module successfully docked with the International Space Station on Thursday, eight days after it was launched from the Russian space launch facility in Baikonur, Kazakhstan.
The 20-metric-ton (22-ton) Nauka module, also called the Multipurpose Laboratory Module, docked with the orbiting outpost in an automatic mode after a long journey and a series of maneuvers. Russia’s space agency, Roscosmos, confirmed the module’s contact with the International Space Station at 13:29 GMT.
The launch of Nauka, which is intended to provide more room for scientific experiments and space for the crew, had been repeatedly delayed because of technical problems. It was initially scheduled to go up in 2007.
In 2013, experts found contamination in its fuel system, resulting in a long and costly replacement. Other Nauka systems also underwent modernization or repairs.
Nauka became the first new module in the Russian segment of the station since 2010. On Monday, one of the older Russian modules, the Pirs spacewalking compartment, undocked from the Space Station to free up room for the new module.
Russian crewmembers on the station have done two spacewalks to connect cables in preparation for Nauka’s arrival. After docking, Nauka will require many maneuvers, including up to 11 spacewalks beginning in early September, to prepare it for operation.
The International Space Station is currently operated by NASA astronauts Mark Vande Hei, Shane Kimbrough and Megan McArthur; Oleg Novitsky and Pyotr Dubrov of Russia’s Roscosmos space corporation; Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency astronaut Akihiko Hoshide and European Space Agency astronaut Thomas Pesquet.
In 1998, Russia launched the station’s first module, Zarya, which was followed in 2000 by another big module, Zvezda, and three smaller modules in the following years. The last of them, Rassvet, arrived at the station in 2010.
The Canadian Press – Jul 29, 2021 / 7:55 am | Story: 341398
Photo: The Canadian Press
Cindy Chau, sells vintage goods through her @finderskeepers.to
Canadians who rooted around dusty basements or tackled overflowing closets during the pandemic are keeping vintage stores, auction houses and resale websites busy as they try to get rid of their finds.
“We’ve had a lot more inquiries from people because they’re at home, they’re looking around at what they can get rid of,” said Liz Edwards, a client experience manager for appraisals and consignments at Waddington’s.
“Everybody was doing a lot of spring cleaning.”
Getting top dollar for items people want to part with can take time and effort, but Edwards and others say it’s worth the trouble.
A 2019 report from online classifieds company Kijiji says Canadians selling second-hand goods made an average $961 per year over the five years before the study and those buying used items saved an average $723 annually.
The survey of 5,625 Canadians conducted between Sept. 18, 2018 and Oct.12, 2018 found 40 per cent used the money to purchase every day goods, 29 per cent put the money in the bank and 11 per cent paid off debt.
A 2021 report from Kijiji also found 18 per cent of Canadians sold more items through the second-hand economy since the pandemic’s start than they would have before the crisis.
Cindy Chau, who sells vintage goods through her @finderskeepers.to Instagram account, said people are often surprised by the value items can have.
“My mother-in-law started to go thrifting with me and she found all these different things that she had in her cupboard and didn’t know were worth a lot,” said Chau.
Chau recommends researching because “you never know how much your product is worth or the history that could be behind it.”
Even Pyrex dishes, she said, have value if they were made with rare or discontinued hues or detailing, which can be determined by checking the serial number.
Once you’ve determined it’s worth it to resell an item, consider the best place to advertise it.
Kijiji, Facebook Marketplace, garage sales and Value Village are good options, Chau said.
If you don’t want to put in the effort that online platforms require, consider an auction house, said Jodi Lai, who sells housewares through her @moonshinevintageto Instagram account.
“It does come at a cost, but I think in the end, you’ll still make a lot more than what you put into it,” she said.
While most auction houses won’t handle low-value items because they focus primarily on art, fine jewelry and wines, Edwards said they can be a big help because they do all the research, appraising, photographing and marketing for clients.
“We also have that network of connections and personal relationships that we’ve worked with for many years to bring things to collectors’ attention,” she said.
If you have a lower value item or handle the sale yourself, Lai recommends cleaning the item as best as you can and being as up front as possible about damage or defects.
Chau suggests not breaking up sets because it could make selling a lone glass or lamp tougher.
To get the most money online, eBay Canada general manager Robert Bigler recommends making posts as clear and descriptive as possible and including the condition, size and quality of items.
Crisp photos taken from several angles and with good lighting make “all the difference” as do images with neutral backgrounds and little clutter, he said in an email.
Lai photographs her wares alongside another object, such as a soda can, so people have an idea of how big or small the product is.
When pricing items, Bigler suggests searching other listings to see what people got or are asking for the same or similar items.
He also recommends packing items for shipping and weighing and measuring them to build the cost of sending it to the buyer into the price.
Timing is also key.
“Sunday evenings are the most optimal time to post, as you will get the maximum engagement with your item,” he said.
If you’re going to ship the product, Lai and Chau recommend adding that to the price in advance or noting the extra fee in your post.
They both accept e-transfers from their buyers because they say most people don’t carry cash or are leery of handling it during the pandemic.
However, Canadian police forces have reported several cases where buyers never sent e-transfers for items already picked up or shipped, and other situations where someone accepted an e-transfer payment and handed over an item only for the payment to be reversed days later.
Many police forces also advise people to make their exchange in a public place and some even welcome the public into their lobbies or parking lots to safely make trades.
The Canadian Press – Jul 29, 2021 / 6:27 am | Story: 341396
Photo: The Canadian Press
A person passes the office of the California Employment Development Department in Sacramento, Calif.
Fueled by vaccinations and government aid, the U.S. economy grew at a solid 6.5% annual rate last quarter in another sign that the nation has achieved a sustained recovery from the pandemic recession. The total size of the economy has now surpassed its pre-pandemic level.
Thursday’s report from the Commerce Department estimated that the nation’s gross domestic product — its total output of goods and services — accelerated in the April-June quarter from an already robust 6.3% annual growth rate in the first quarter of the year. The quarterly figure was less than analysts had expected, but the economy was likely held back mainly by supply shortages in goods, components and labor.
For all of 2021, the economy is expected to expand perhaps as much as 7%. If so, that would be the strongest calendar-year growth since 1984. And it would mark a sharp reversal from last year’s 3.5% economic contraction — the worst in 74 years — as a result of the pandemic.
Yet overhanging the rosy economic forecasts is the possibility of a resurgent coronavirus in the form of the highly contagious delta variant. The U.S. is now averaging more than 60,000 confirmed new cases a day, up from only about 12,000 a month ago. Should a surge in viral infections cause many consumers to hunker down again and pull back on spending, it would weaken the recovery.
For now, the economy is showing sustained strength. Last month, America’s employers added 850,000 jobs, well above the average of the previous three months. And average hourly pay rose a solid 3.6% compared with a year earlier, faster than the pre-pandemic annual pace.
“The fundamentals for consumers and businesses are still very good,” said Gus Faucher, chief economist at PNC Financial, who said he had so far seen no effects from a rise in confirmed viral cases.
Consumer confidence has reached its highest level since the pandemic struck in March 2020, a key reason why retail sales remain solid as Americans shift their spending back to services — from restaurant meals and airline trips to entertainment events and shopping sprees. Businesses are also showing renewed faith in the economy, with orders for manufactured goods pointing to solid corporate investment.
Underpinning the recovery have been trillions in federal rescue money, ranging from stimulus checks to expanded unemployment benefits to small business aid to just-distributed child tax credit payments. And millions of affluent households have benefited from a vast increase in their wealth resulting from surging home equity and stock market gains.
The economy is also receiving substantial support from the Federal Reserve. On Wednesday, the Fed reaffirmed that it will maintain its key short-term interest rate at a record low near zero to keep short-term borrowing costs low. It will also continue to buy government-backed bonds to put downward pressure on long-term loan rates to encourage borrowing and spending.
The recovery, in fact, has been so rapid, with pent-up demand from consumers driving growth after a year of lockdowns, that one looming risk is a potential spike in inflation that could get out of control. Consumer prices jumped 5.4% in June from a year ago, the sharpest spike in 13 years and the fourth straight month of sizable price jumps.
Some economists have warned that by choosing not to begin withdrawing its extraordinary support for the economy, the Fed may end up responding too late and too aggressively to high inflation by quickly jacking up rates and perhaps causing another recession.
But at a news conference Wednesday, Fed Chair Jerome Powell underscored his belief that recent inflation readings reflect price spikes in a narrow range of categories — from used cars and airline tickets to hotel rooms and auto rentals — that have been distorted by temporary supply shortages related to the economy’s swift reopening. Those shortages involve items like furniture, appliances, clothing and computer chips, among others.
Magnifying the supply bottlenecks is a rise in viral cases at transportation ports in Asia that have caused some manufacturing plants to shut down. Those bottlenecks could, in turn, continue to obstruct the flow of goods to retailers in the United States.
A shortage of workers, too, has made it harder for restaurants, retailers and many other service-industry employers to fill jobs as consumer demand surges — even employers that have been raising wages. Despite the job market’s steady gains, unemployment, at 5.9%, is still well above the 3.5% rate that prevailed before the pandemic struck. And the economy remains 6.8 million jobs short of its pre-pandemic total.
Should the economy’s shortages persist well into the future, the economy would likely struggle to maintain its current robust pace of growth.
The Canadian Press – Jul 29, 2021 / 6:27 am | Story: 341395
Photo: The Canadian Press
Ron Popeil, the man behind those late-night, rapid-fire television commercials that sell everything from the Mr. Microphone to the Pocket Fisherman to the classic Veg-a-Matic, sits surrounded by his wares in his office in Beverly Hills, Calif.
Come, young ones: Gather around the glow of the smartphone’s screen for a tale of a distant time when we watched TV on big boxy machines, and switched channels when we were bored.
There were commercials — several of them — between the segments of TV shows. What’s more, in the distant era before streaming, you had to watch them all — or, if you had time, run to the kitchen or the bathroom. You couldn’t pause, or fast forward, or take the screen with you.
And in the darkest, wee-est hours, when all the real programming ran out, the night creatures emerged — beasts called infomercials that were entire TV programs about people selling products that might be useful to you but that you probably didn’t know you wanted.
These immediate forebears of home-shopping channels and, beyond them, the content marketing techniques of the 21st century were where Ron Popeil, an American original who gave the world the word “Ronco” and died Wednesday at 86, thrived.
America has always been smitten by both high-spirited inventors and yarn-spinning salesmen. Popeil was both, amplified by the airwaves into millions of homes. He was a gadget innovator like his father, yes, but a popularizer as well, a man who intuited consumers’ common-sense needs, then found accessible ways to entice them into making purchases.
He titled his 1996 memoir “Salesman of the Century,” and he was a 20th-century man to the core, a cultural descendant of both Thomas Edison and P.T. Barnum. He was a guy whose “As Seen On TV” commercials in the 1970s, from the astonishingly wireless Mr. Microphone to the Popeil Pocket Fisherman to the Rhinestone & Stud Setter, became pop-culture touchstones — because he managed to both come up with them and become their public face for the television-soaked generation we now call X.
He was CEO, sales rep and user-in-chief rolled into one. Be it the Showtime Rotisserie (“Set it and forget it”), the Food Dehydrator or aerosol cans of GLH-9 (“GLH” being short for “great-looking hair”), he was right there, barking out its virtues to us in the 1980s and 1990s as we laid in our beds and contemplated turning off the TV. He edited his own infomercials, scrawled out his own cue cards, wrote the copy for his “operators standing by.”
He would call his babies by affectionate names (The Popeil Electric Pasta-Sausage Maker became, simply, “Pasta-Sausage”), and he was known to say things like, “I created the jerky category.” Now and then he would drift into Shatner-style staccato to make his points: “A child! Can make! Homemade sausages!” he was found shouting on QVC one night in 1997.
But wait — there’s more. As 20th century as he was — a Chicago open-market barker who used TV to propel himself toward success — he also saw the possibilities that were just ahead and are now playing out in the fragmented 21st century, an era when all media blends into one big glop and advertising becomes content, then becomes advertising again.
One chief reason for Popeil’s ubiquity became evident when people decided to poke fun at him — because he chose, craftily and strategically, to always be in on the joke.
When Dan Aykroyd sent him up on “Saturday Night Live” in 1976 with the “Bass-O-Matic” commercial parody, Popeil realized it was free publicity, just as he did when “Weird Al” Yankovic recorded a parody song. Years later, Popeil guest-starred as himself on various TV shows from “The X Files” to the animated “The Simpsons” and “King of the Hill.”
Most prominently, though, he cheerfully gave away his infomercial content to moviemakers looking for something to be playing on TV in the background of their films. In this way did he extend his reputation for ubiquity — and his growing wink-nudge pop-culture brand — for free, with no effort at all. Others did the work, and he got the eyeballs.
Even after success, bankruptcy and a second chapter of success, Popeil insisted that his drive to invent was more than mercantile; it was, he said, a bit obsessive. “I have enough money today,” he told this reporter for a 1997 Associated Press profile. “But I can’t stop. If there’s a need for these things, I can’t help myself.”
In that profile, Popeil demonstrated how “GLH-9” was doing on the bald spot on the back of his scalp after several hours, some of them under a shopping channel’s blistering lights. What didn’t make it into the story was that Popeil exhorted the visiting journalist: “Touch it! It even feels real.” The journalist did, and it did — sort of.
Interludes like that — in-person interactions that felt like moments in an infomercial — help explain the reverse: moments in his infomercials that felt like in-person interactions. Those were Popeil’s stock in trade. The best performers — and that cohort includes the best salespeople — can make you feel as if they’re not performing at all.
So in the 1970s, you believed that a Mr. Microphone could open the door to all sorts of ways to impress the opposite sex. In the 1990s, you completely bought the notion that if Ron Popeil could stand there, on the set of his infomercial, and make a delectable sausage of fresh salmon, dill, soy and crushed red pepper in two minutes, that somehow you could too.
You believed. Which has always been the underpinning of good sales. And you believed, too, that this guy — this garrulous man who was both nationally recognizable and RIGHT THERE in your room at 2 a.m., talking obviously to only you — would, tomorrow and next month and next year, keep visiting you late at night with things you never, ever knew you needed.
Or, as Popeil himself loved to say, wait — there’s more. For Ron Popeil, his feet planted squarely at the intersection of Barnum and Edison, there always was.
The Canadian Press – Jul 29, 2021 / 6:23 am | Story: 341394
Photo: The Canadian Press
Shakira performing in concert at Madison Square Garden in New York.
A Spanish judge investigating alleged tax fraud by Colombian musician Shakira recommended on Thursday that the case go to trial after concluding there is evidence that the pop star could have avoided her fiscal obligations to the state.
Judge Marco Juberías wrote that his three-year probe found there existed “sufficient evidence of criminality” for the case to go to a trial judge.
The decision can be appealed.
Prosecutors charged the singer in December 2019 with not paying 14.5 million euros ($16.4 million) in taxes in Spain between 2012 and 2014, when she lived mostly in the country despite having an official residence in Panama.
Shakira, 44, denied any wrongdoing when she testified in June 2019. Her public relations firm said that she had immediately paid what she owed once she was informed of the debt by the Tax Office.
Shakira faces a possible fine and even possible jail time if found guilty of tax evasion. However, a judge can waive prison time for first-time offenders if they are sentenced to less than two years behind bars.
The Canadian Press – Jul 28, 2021 / 6:15 pm | Story: 341372
Photo: The Canadian Press
Federal Reserve Board Chair Jerome Powell testifies before Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs hearing to examine the Semiannual Monetary Policy Report to Congress, Thursday, July 15, 2021, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)
The spread of the COVID-19 delta variant is raising infections, leading some companies and governments to require vaccinations and raising concerns about the U.S. economic recovery.
But on Wednesday, Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell injected a note of reassurance, suggesting that the delta variant poses little threat to the economy, at least so far.
“What we’ve seen is with successive waves of COVID over the past year and some months now,” Powell said at a news conference, “there has tended to be less in the way of economic implications from each wave. We will see whether that is the case with the delta variety, but it’s certainly not an unreasonable expectation.”
Powell spoke after the Fed ended its latest policy meeting in which it signaled, for the first time since the pandemic began to ease, that the economy is moving closer to the “substantial further progress” it wants to see before reducing the $120 billion in bonds it is buying each month. Those purchases are intended to lower rates on longer-term consumer and business loans to spur more borrowing and spending.
A reduction in the bond buying, which likely won’t start until the end of this year or early next year, would represent the start of a gradual pullback in the Fed’s support for the economy. Only when the bond purchases are completed is the Fed expected to begin considering raising its benchmark interest rate from zero, where it’s been since the pandemic erupted in March last year.
At his news conference, Powell acknowledged that the quickening spread of the highly contagious delta variant was threatening some areas of the nation where vaccinations are low, and he noted that “some forecasts are for them to rise quite significantly.” And he said that as the virus spreads, some consumers might pull back from the spending that has propelled the rapid rebound from the pandemic recession.
“Dining out, traveling, some schools might not reopen,” he said. “We may see economic effects from some of that or it might weigh on the return to the labor market. We don’t have a strong sense of how that will work out, so we’ll be monitoring it carefully.”
But Powell noted that last summer’s wave of infections had inflicted less damage to the economy that many analysts had forecast.
“We’ve kind of learned to live with it, a lot of industries have kind of improvised their way around it,” Powell added. “It seems like we’ve learned to handle this.”
The statement the Fed issued after its latest policy meeting said that ongoing vaccinations were helping to support the economy. But it dropped a sentence it had included after its previous meeting that said those vaccinations have reduced the spread of COVID-19.
The Fed’s latest policy statement comes as the economy is sustaining a strong recovery from the pandemic recession, with solid hiring and spending. That improvement, and a pickup in inflation, are key reasons why Powell and other Fed policymakers are believed to be moving closer toward pulling back their economic support. Consumer prices jumped 5.4% in June from a year ago, the biggest increase in 13 years. And a separate inflation gauge the Fed prefers has risen 3.9% in the past year.
Last month’s inflation surge marked a fourth straight month of unexpectedly large price increases, heightening fears that higher costs will erode the value of recent pay raises and undermine the economic recovery.
But Powell underscored his belief that recent inflation readings reflect price spikes in a narrow range of categories — such as used cars, airline tickets, hotel rooms, and car rentals — that have been distorted by temporary supply shortages resulting from the economy’s swift reopening.
The Fed’s most important inflation measure, Powell stressed, is what it calls “inflation expectations” — what businesses and consumers expect prices to do in the coming months and years. Expectations are important because they can be self-fulfilling: If companies expect their costs to rise, say, 3%, they are likely to raise their own prices by the same amount.
So far, current price increases haven’t raised inflation expectations much, Powell said.
“All the evidence is that it’s not happening,” he said.
While Powell fielded many questions about inflation, he also said that hiring needed to progress further before the Fed would be ready to dial down its support for the economy.
“Chairman Powell did a very good job of refocusing the discussion on the idea that the Fed is not looking to materially alter its policy until we get at least close to full employment,” said Russell Price, chief economist at Ameriprise Financial. “So that what he’s telling people there is that, that’s still their primary focus.”
Among Fed watchers and investors, there is some concern that the central bank will end up responding too late and too aggressively to high inflation by quickly jacking up interest rates and potentially causing another recession. Earlier this month, Republicans in Congress peppered Powell with questions about inflation.
But at his news conference, Powell said that if “we were to see inflation moving up to levels persistently that were above significantly, materially above our goal … we would use our tools to guide inflation back down” to the Fed’s target average inflation of 2% annually.
After a period of broad agreement during the pandemic crisis, the Fed’s policymakers appear divided over how soon to bein tapering its bond purchases. Several regional Fed bank presidents support tapering soon, including James Bullard of the St. Louis Fed, Patrick Harker of the Philadelphia Fed and Robert Kaplan of the Dallas Fed.
But Powell has said that the central bank wants to see “substantial further progress” toward its goals of maximum employment and price stability before it would consider reducing the bond purchases. To make up for years of inflation remaining below 2%, the Fed wants inflation to moderately exceed its 2% average inflation target and to show signs of remaining above that level for an unspecified time.
Powell has said the Fed will communicate its intention to taper “well in advance” of doing so. Many economists think that signal will occur in late August or September.
At their two-day meeting that ended Wednesday, Fed officials also discussed the mechanics of paring its bond purchases, including how fast the purchases would be wound down.
The Fed is buying $80 billion of Treasurys and $40 billion of mortgage-backed securities each month in an effort to force down loan rates. Some on the Fed’s policymaking committee favor tapering the mortgage bond purchases soon, because home prices are soaring and ultra-low loan rates might be overheating demand for homes.
But Powell said he didn’t agree, suggesting that both Treasury and mortgage bond purchases tend to have similar effects on mortgage rates and other borrowing costs.
The Canadian Press – Jul 28, 2021 / 1:40 pm | Story: 341332
Photo: The Canadian Press
Tennessee Titans wide receiver Julio Jones runs a drill during an NFL football minicamp Wednesday, June 16, 2021, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey, Pool)
Tennessee Titans wide receiver Julio Jones is facing allegations of illegally harvesting and selling millions of dollars of cannabis in California, according to court records.
California-based cannabis company Genetixs filed the suit earlier this month against a handful of defendants including Jones, former Atlanta Falcons player Roddy White and White’s company, SLW Holdings — one of the five entities that comprise Genetixs.
The complaint claims that the defendants failed to report cannabis sales since March, estimating that the defendants have harvested and sold $3 million worth of cannabis per month.
“The scope of said defendants’ theft, black-market sales, money laundering, and diversion of assets and expenses without documentation or approval, is staggering and has caused, and is causing, Genetixs substantial and irreparable harm and damage,” the 26-page lawsuit states.
An attorney representing Jones, White and SLW Holdings, described the allegations in the lawsuit as “conspiracy theories.”
“The vague allegations against SLW Holdings LLC and its members Roddy White and Julio Jones are meritless,” attorney Rafe Emanuel told The Tennessean. “In May, SLW obtained a temporary restraining order in a related civil case to prevent unlawful conduct involving Genetixs LLC. In reply, the defendants argued conspiracy theories that were not proven by evidence in court, nor were they substantiated before any agency.”
A spokesperson for the Titans said the team was aware of the lawsuit but would not have any comment.
The lawsuit said that Jones and White worked with two other defendants to run a “black-market sales of cannabis” out of the Genetixs facility in Desert Hot Springs, California.
The complaint alleges Genetixs fired a manager in March after a state inspection of the Genetixs facility reported several violations. The complaint also says that the manager failed to report cannabis sales and refused to provide budgets and other business paperwork to Genetixs.
After the firing, Genetixs’ complaint states, Jones, White and the others operated an “illegal black-market operation from the Genetixs Cannabis Facility to sell cannabis and misappropriate the illegal sales proceeds without reporting them.”
California broadly legalized recreational marijuana sales in January 2018. The lawsuit says the state requires businesses to use a “track-and-trace” system to record the movement of cannabis and cannabis products through the commercial supply chain.
Genetixs is licensed in California to sell cannabis, but the company says it now faces threat of losing that license because of the actions of Jones, White and other defendants.
Jones, 32, was traded to Tennessee in June. He left as the Falcons’ all-time leader in catches and receiving yards.
The Canadian Press – Jul 28, 2021 / 9:00 am | Story: 341297
Photo: The Canadian Press
An A&W restaurant is pictured along Hastings Ave in Vancouver, B.C.
A&W Revenue Royalties Income Fund says its same-store sales surged nearly 34 per cent in its latest quarter from the prior year when it faced the most pronounced impact from COVID-19.
The fast-food chain said the increase compared with same-store sales, a key retail metric, plunging 31.6 per cent in the second quarter of 2020 when restaurant closures peaked.
At the time, 230 of 971 restaurants were closed and open stores were restricted to drive-thru operations, delivery and takeout.
The Vancouver-based company’s gross sales in the royalty pool increased 38.5 per cent to $350.6 million from $253.2 million a year earlier as eight restaurants remained temporarily closed.
Net income for the three months ended June 30 was $8.1 million, up from $4.2 million in the second quarter of 2020, resulting from increased same-store sales, the addition of 23 new restaurants and five additional days of operations.
The company increased its monthly distribution to 15 cents per unit from 13.5 cents, beginning with the July distribution payable Aug. 31.
“Although we continue to feel the impacts of COVID-19 on our business, with the declining case numbers and easing of restrictions across Canada we are confident that through the efforts of our franchisees A&W is on the road to recovery”, stated CEO Susan Senecal.
The Canadian Press – Jul 28, 2021 / 7:13 am | Story: 341290
Photo: The Canadian Press
Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei checks the time in farewell meeting with outgoing President Hassan Rouhani’s administration in Tehran, Iran, Wednesday, July 28, 2021.
Iran’s supreme leader on Wednesday called the U.S. “stubborn” in stalled nuclear talks in Vienna for discussing Tehran’s missiles and regional influence, likely signaling more trouble ahead for the negotiations.
Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s remarks come as his hard-line protege, President-elect Ebrahim Raisi, is poised to be sworn in next week as the head of the country’s civilian government.
While Raisi has said he wants to return to the tattered nuclear deal, which saw Iran limit its enrichment of uranium in exchange for the lifting of economic sanctions, Khamenei seemingly called for a more adversarial approach in his remarks. The supreme leader also appeared to describe outgoing President Hassan Rouhani’s eight-year government as naive for its approach in reaching the 2015 agreement — even as Rouhani and his Cabinet sat before him in a farewell meeting.
“Others should use your experiences. This experience is a distrust of the West,” Khamenei said in remarks broadcast by state television. “In this government, it was shown up that trust in the West does not work.”
He added: “Westerners do not help us, they hit wherever they can.”
The U.S. State Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The Biden administration days earlier criticized Iran for saying America had delayed a possible prisoner-swap deal, calling it “an outrageous effort to deflect blame for the current impasse.”
French Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Agnes Von Der Muhll also told journalists Monday that it was “urgent for Iran to return to the negotiating table.”
“Through its actions, Iran continues to exacerbate the nuclear situation,” she said. “If it continues down this path, not only will it delay the moment when an agreement might be reached providing for the lifting of sanctions, but it could compromise the very possibility of concluding the Vienna talks and restoring the” deal.
In his remarks Wednesday, Khamenei described American negotiators as verbally promising to lift sanctions, but said any return to the nuclear deal must “include a sentence” on negotiating on other issues.
“By putting this sentence, they want to provide an excuse for their further interventions on the principle of (the deal) and missile program and regional issues,” the leader said. “If Iran refuses to discuss them, they will say that you have violated the agreement and the agreement is over.”
Rouhani sat off to the side at Khamenei’s office during the meeting along with his senior vice president, while officials in his government sat before the supreme leader in socially distanced chairs amid the country’s raging coronavirus outbreak. All wore masks, making it difficult to see their expressions as Khamenei criticized any outreach to the West while only praising “some” of the country’s diplomats in front of Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif.
“Westerners do not help us, they hit wherever they can,” Khamenei said. He also said at another point: ”They don’t help, they are enemies.”
Under the deal, Iran agreed to limit its enrichment of uranium gas to just 3.67% purity, which can be used in nuclear power plants but is far below weapons-grade levels of 90%. It also put a hard cap on Iran’s uranium stockpile to just 300 kilograms (661 pounds). Tehran also committed to using only 5,060 of its first-generation centrifuges, the devices that spin the uranium gas to enrich it.
Then-President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew America from the accord in 2018. Today, Iran has broken all the limits it agreed to under the deal. It now enriches small amounts of uranium up to 63% purity, its highest level ever. It also spins far-more advanced centrifuges and more of them than allowed under the accord, worrying nuclear nonproliferation experts, though Tehran insists its program is peaceful.
Trump said he withdrew from the deal over Iran’s ballistic missile program, as well as its support for regional militias like the Lebanese Hezbollah and Yemen’s Houthi rebels. Biden’s administration has said it seeks a “longer and stronger” deal, possibly involving those issues given Khamenei’s comments.
Tensions over the nuclear deal’s collapse have spilled across the wider Middle East in the form of attacks and sabotage. Meanwhile, Iran’s already ailing economy has further suffered, leading to the drastic devaluation of its rial currency and fueling protests.
Those protests have renewed attention by the government on social media in the country, as foreign-based apps like Facebook’s Instagram and WhatsApp have helped spread videos of the demonstrations.
On Wednesday, Iran’s parliament agreed to discuss a bill requiring social media companies to have an office in Iran and be registered with the government. Failing to do so would see them banned by authorities. The bill also takes control of the internet away from the civilian government and places it under the armed forces.
Hard-liners in the government have long viewed social messaging and media services as part of a “soft war” by the West against the Islamic Republic. Iran long has blocked access to many social media websites, like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.
The Canadian Press – Jul 28, 2021 / 6:33 am | Story: 341287
Photo: The Canadian Press
Tilray products are displayed in Nanaimo, B.C.
Tilray Inc. reported a US$33.6 million profit in the same quarter the cannabis company merged with rival Aphria Inc.
The fiscal fourth-quarter profit was a shift from the same time last year, when the company, which reports earnings in U.S. dollars, recorded a net loss of US$84.3 million.
Tilray says its basic and diluted earnings per share for the period ended May 31 amounted to 18 cents, up from a loss of 39 cents per share in the year prior.
Analysts had expected Tilray to report a loss of 10 cents per share, according to financial data firm Refinitiv.
Tilray says its net revenue for the quarter was US$142.2 million, up from US$113.5 million in the fourth quarter of 2020.
Tilray’s merger with Aphria closed in early May, generating US$35 million in synergies and bringing it closer to its US$80 million target.
The Canadian Press – Jul 28, 2021 / 6:31 am | Story: 341286
Statistics Canada says the annual rate of inflation hit 3.1 per cent in June.
The reading for the consumer price index is down from the 3.6 per cent recorded in May, which was the largest yearly increase in a decade.
Statistics Canada says part of the reading for June has to do with comparing prices to the lows recorded in the same month last year.
Gasoline prices, for instance, saw a year-over-year rise of 32 per cent in June compared with 43.4 per cent in May because gasoline prices had partially recovered in June 2020 after plummeting at the start of the pandemic.
The agency says that excluding gasoline prices, the annual rate of inflation would have been 2.2 per cent.
The agency says the headline inflation figure also grew at a slower pace in June compared with May due to a slowdown in price growth for goods, including for women’s clothing.
The statistics agency last week updated the basket of goods used to calculate the consumer price index to better reflect pandemic-related spending patterns.
Statistics Canada says the change didn’t have a significant effect on the headline inflation reading for June.
The annual inflation rate was expected to remain above three per cent in June, in line with the Bank of Canada’s warnings of higher readings through the summer as the economy reopens and prices are compared to the lows recorded one year earlier.
Statistics Canada said the average of the three measures for core inflation, which are considered better gauges of underlying price pressures and closely tracked by the Bank of Canada, was 2.23 per cent in June, in line with the reading for May.
Bank of Canada governor Tiff Macklem has said the central bank plans to keep a close eye on how prices play out over the coming months and would use the tools available to the central bank to bring inflation under control if temporary issues look to become a permanent problem.
Prices for beef fell year-over-year by 11.1 per cent compared to June of last year, when prices rose sharply as COVID-19 outbreaks forced plant closures and choked supply.
The year-over-year drop was the largest since January of 1982.
On the other hand, chicken prices are up 10.6 per cent year-over-year, the largest jump since September 2004 because of comparisons to lower prices seen one year earlier.
The agency also released rates for major cities, but cautioned that figures may have fluctuated widely because they are based on small statistical samples (previous month in brackets):
— St. John’s, N.L.: 3.3 per cent (4.2)
— Charlottetown-Summerside: 5.3 per cent (6.0)
— Halifax: 3.7 per cent (4.6)
— Saint John, N.B.: 3.3 per cent (3.7)
— Quebec City: 3.4 per cent (3.8)
— Montreal: 3.8 per cent (4.1)
— Ottawa: 4.1 per cent (4.7)
— Toronto: 2.5 per cent (2.9)
— Thunder Bay, Ont.: 3.0 per cent (4.7)
— Winnipeg: 2.8 per cent (3.4)
— Regina: 1.4 per cent (2.5)
— Saskatoon: 1.9 per cent (2.4)
— Edmonton: 2.5 per cent (2.9)
— Calgary: 2.6 per cent (2.9)
— Vancouver: 2.2 per cent (2.4)
— Victoria: 2.0 per cent (2.9)
— Whitehorse: 3.1 per cent (3.7)
— Yellowknife: 1.3 per cent (2.5)
— Iqaluit: 1.5 per cent (1.4)
Here’s what happened in the provinces (previous month in brackets):
— Newfoundland and Labrador: 3.5 per cent (4.4)
— Prince Edward Island: 5.3 per cent (6.0)
— Nova Scotia: 4.1 per cent (4.8)
— New Brunswick: 3.6 per cent (4.3)
— Quebec: 3.7 per cent (4.1)
— Ontario: 3.2 per cent (3.7)
— Manitoba: 2.9 per cent (3.4)
— Saskatchewan: 1.8 per cent (2.7)
— Alberta: 2.7 per cent (3.1)
— British Columbia: 2.4 per cent (2.7)
This Article firstly Publish on www.castanet.net