TORONTO — The Toronto stock market erased early losses to close higher Friday as investors bought into beaten-down mining stocks.The S&P/TSX composite index closed 67.56 points higher at 15,625.73.The Canadian dollar was down 0.22 of a cent at 91.97 cents US amid data that also showed stronger than expected Canadian economic growth.Statistics Canada reported gross domestic product ran up at an annual rate of 3.1% in the second quarter, higher than the 2.7% read that economists had expected. First-quarter growth, which was affected by a severe winter, was revised downward to a gain of 0.9% compared with an earlier reading of 1.2%.On a monthly basis, GDP climbed 0.3% in June versus the 0.2% rise that had been forecast.U.S. indexes were modestly higher while traders played it cautious going into the long Labour Day weekend amid fears of a wider Russian incursion into Ukraine and a big letdown in U.S. consumer spending data.The Dow Jones industrials climbed 18.88 points to 17,098.45 as other data showed consumer spending dropped 0.1% last month, against the gain of 0.3% that generally had been expected, with weakness most pronounced in the auto sector.The Nasdaq ran ahead 22.57 points to 4,580.27 and the S&P 500 index was up 6.63 points to 2,003.37.Other data showed a sharp uptick in manufacturing activity in the American Midwest. The Chicago Purchasing Managers Index surged to 64.3 in August from 56.5 in July.Investors watched the Ukraine conflict for signs of further escalation after the country’s president said that Russian forces had entered the southeastern part of the country, which had largely escaped earlier fighting between Ukraine forces and pro-Russian militias.European Union foreign ministers met Friday to weigh adopting a tougher stance on the Ukraine crisis amid increasing calls to beef up economic sanctions against Russia.The tepid market performance Friday also comes at a time when indexes are close to record highs, raising questions about what is needed to push markets even higher.“It’s a common thing, eventually, the markets fully price in everything,” observed Colin Cieszynski, senior markets analyst at CMC Markets Canada.Toronto and New York markets both gained ground this past week. The Dow industrials posted a 97- points or 0.57% advance, while the TSX gained 90 points or 0.6%, led by consumer staples, industrials and telecoms. But the TSX was held back by the financial sector, down 1.15% this week despite a steady parade of earnings news from the big Canadian banks that largely beat expectations.Stock prices for the big banks are or near record or 52-week highs as the results started to come out a week ago and the financial sector is still up 11% year to date.“There was nothing wrong with the earnings reports, they were fine,” Cieszynski said.“But because expectations were running so high, people just used it as an excuse to take profits again. But they’ll be back.” The financial sector erased early losses to move ahead 0.26%.Resource sectors provided lift with the gold sector ahead about 1.56% while December gold backed off $3 to US$1,287.40 an ounce.The energy sector rose 1.07% as October crude in New York gained $1.15 to US$95.70 a barrel.December copper gained one cent to US$3.16 a pound and the battered base metals component, down six% this month, gained 0.3%.
“Fifteen million children in Yemen are asking you to save their lives,” the head of the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) told the 15 members of the Security Council on Wednesday, in an impassioned plea for action to end four years of fighting which has left at least 7,300 children killed or seriously injured.“These are verified numbers. The actual numbers are no doubt higher”, said Henrietta Fore, who began her address with a quiet intensity, telling the horrifying but tragically now mundane story of how one classroom was shattered by shrapnel last month in the capital Sana’a: “Imagine the pain endured by the families of the 14 children who never made it home…In any conflict, children suffer first. And worst.”Read our full story here.WHO launches online tool to tackle ‘urgent need’ to combat threats to global healthIn a bid to improve the treatment of neglected diseases and threats to global health, the UN health agency, WHO, launched an online resource on Wednesday, designed to guide research into new health products.The free-to-use Health Product Profile Directory, which the WHO describes as “an essential tool for realizing universal health coverage,” so far contains research information on 196 products, with a strong focus on infectious diseases.The Ebola outbreak that began in 2014 in West Africa, highlighted the importance of centralizing information in order to fight neglected diseases, antimicrobial resistance and diseases with the potential to spread pandemics, so that research and development is more effective, and better coordinated.Nearly a fifth of Somalis at risk from ‘disastrous’ drought Yemen war ‘a test of our humanity’, and we’re ‘badly failing’ warns UN Children’s Fund chief A drought in Somalia described by the UN food and agriculture agency (FAO) as ‘disastrous’ could hit around 2.2 million people in the country: almost a fifth of the population. On Wednesday, FAO put out a special alert, warning that the number of hungry people in Somalia is likely to be 40 per cent higher than it was at the beginning of the year, and that there has been a sharp increase of acutely malnourished children being admitted to feeding centres.People in the country are more vulnerable this year because, on top of the drought itself, they are dealing with increasing conflict, and a reduction in humanitarian aid.In an effort to stave off the crisis, FAO is calling for urgent funds for critical livelihood support such as cash assistance, seeds and farming tools.UN chief following rising tensions in Gulf ‘with growing concern’Rising tensions in the Gulf this week – including drone attacks on Saudi oil facilities and damage sustained by oil tankers off the coast of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) – are being followed “with growing concern” by the UN Secretary-General. Briefing reporters at UN headquarters in New York, Spokesperson Stéphane Dujarric said that “hardening rhetoric” in the region threatened to “further destabilize an already volatile situation”.In particular, he said Mr. Guterres condemned the attacks off the coast of UAE on Sunday, which the Government has referred to as acts of sabotage, and further investigation is needed “to determine the facts and hold accountable the perpetrators.”“He also condemns the drone attacks on oil facilities in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, for which the Houthis have claimed responsibility”, said Mr. Dujarric. A Houthi spokesperson reportedly said on Tuesday that the multiple drone strikes on Saudi oil facilities were in response to the Kingdom’s leading role in the pro-Yemeni Government military coalition.“The Secretary-General calls upon all actors to exercise maximum restraint and prevent any escalation amid heightened tensions”, he concluded.Speaking in the Security Council on Wednesday, UN Special Envoy for Yemen, Martin Griffiths, said he was also very concerned about the drone attacks. “Events like this are a reminder that hard-won achievements can be wiped away very easily”, referring to the step forward made by Houthi rebels in withdrawing from the key Yemeni port of Hudaydah.Countries dependent on exporting commodities hit 20-year high Listen to or download our audio News in Brief for 15 May 2019 on SoundCloud: Visiting Fiji for the first time as Secretary-General, António Guterres outlined two “fundamental challenges” facing leaders attending the Pacific Islands Forum on Tuesday, namely climate change and the world’s rising ocean, which threatens to submerge low-lying nations.“The Pacific region is on the frontline of climate change”, he said. “That means you are also our important allies in the fight against it”. The UN chief said that he was there “to see the region’s climate pressures firsthand, and to learn about the work being undertaken by communities here in Fiji and elsewhere to bolster resilience”.\Noting that the last four years were the hottest on record, Mr. Guterres highlighted recent ice losses in Greenland and Antarctica, saying that “sea levels will rise a full meter by 2100”.Find more on this here. More than half the world’s countries now depend on exporting their raw materials to keep their economies ticking over, and it’s a potentially massive brake on their development, UN analysts from UNCTAD said on Wednesday. Using trade data from 189 countries, UNCTAD’s State of Commodity Dependence Report 2019 finds that, in 102 States, more than 60 per cent of what they make from exports comes from selling raw products linked to industries such as farming and mining. That’s 10 countries more than at the turn of the century.With recent average commodity prices “substantially below” peaks seen in 2008-2012, the UN economists say that this has contributed to an economic slowdown in 64 countries – and several have gone into recession.“Given that commodity dependence often negatively impacts a country’s economic development, it is important and urgent to reduce it to make faster progress towards meeting the Sustainable Development Goals,” said UNCTAD Secretary-General, Mukhisa Kituyi.The phenomenon almost exclusively affects poorer nations; in particular, 85 per cent of the most vulnerable “Least Developed Countries”, 81 per cent of landlocked developing countries and 57 per cent of small island states. In regional terms, sub-Saharan Africa countries are most dependent on commodity exports (89 per cent), followed by the Middle East and North Africa (65 per cent). In Latin America, the Caribbean, East Asia and the Pacific, meanwhile, half of the countries there are commodity-dependent. UN chief outlines ‘intertwined challenges’ of climate change, ocean health facing Pacific nations on the ‘frontline’
Ammunition found in the suspect’s carA security guard who was on the police’s radar for quite some time was arrested earlier this afternoon in Queenstown, Georgetown.Based on reports received, at 14:00h, ranks of the Police Narcotics Branch intercepted a vehicle which was driven by the suspect and a search was conducted.During the search, a .45 pistol fitted with extended barrel and butt along with forty .45 live ammunition and a magazine and nineteen 7.62 x 39 ammunition was found concealed therein.The .45 Pistol and MagazineThe man was arrested and is being processed for court in the new week. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedEssequibo duo in custody after Police search unearths illegal ammoOctober 26, 2017In “Crime”Miner gets 3 years for gun, ammo possessionNovember 20, 2018In “Court”Two Albouystown men arrested for illegal guns, ammoOctober 14, 2014In “Crime”