Barclays Bank credit rating cut by Moody’s


Monday, February 2, 2009

An international credit ratings agency has downgraded the creditworthiness of British bank Barclays LSEBARC

The bank’s shares fell on the news that Moody’s had cut long-term debt ratings from “Aa1” to “Aa3” on the back of fears of nationalization, significant losses and write downs of more bad loans as the recession bites. The bank’s financial strength was also downgraded from “C” to “B”. Last week, another agency, Fitch, downgraded the bank one step to “AA-minus”.

Barclays is one of the few major “High Street” banks in the UK not to have taken any government capital support. The support is given in return for shares, giving the government significant – sometimes even controlling – stakes in other banks, such as Lloyds Banking Group and the Royal Bank of Scotland Group.

Moody’s said that the downgrades “reflect [our] expectation of potentially significant further losses at Barclays as a result of write-downs on credit market exposures as well as an increase in impairments in the UK, which could weaken profitability and capital ratios… [we consider] the systemic importance of the bank and the likelihood of receiving government support in case of need to be high.”

The bank has forecast a pre-tax profit of £5.3 billion for 2008. It has £36 billion in committed capital equity and expects gross write downs of £8 billion. The bank has recently been referred to the UK’s Serious Fraud Office over allegations of breaching South Africa’s foreign exchange controls, something the bank denies.

Ontario Votes 2007: Interview with Liberal candidate Brian Jackson, Oxford


Monday, October 1, 2007

Brian Jackson is running for the Ontario Liberal Party in the Ontario provincial election, in the Oxford riding. Wikinews’ Nick Moreau interviewed him regarding his values, his experience, and his campaign.

Stay tuned for further interviews; every candidate from every party is eligible, and will be contacted. Expect interviews from Liberals, Progressive Conservatives, New Democratic Party members, Ontario Greens, as well as members from the Family Coalition, Freedom, Communist, Libertarian, and Confederation of Regions parties, as well as independents.

TD Financial to acquire Hudson United Bancorp


Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Canadian TD Financial Group has come to a deal with the regional U.S. bank, Hudson United Bancorp, to buy Hudson for US$1.9 billion. The new addition will be folding into itsMaine-based TD Banknorth, which is 51% owned by TD Financial. The acquisition will bring in 204 new branches and increase TD’s footprint to New Jersey, New York, Connecticut and Pennsylvania. In total this will give TD 590 branches, 751 banking machines and more than US$26-billion in deposits across eight northeastern states.

Hudson specialises in commercial real estate, consumer and credit card loans to individuals and businesses. The bank also had $8.85 billion US in assets at the end of it’s first quarter, on March 31. The company’s shares had been dropping in the course of the past year because of allegations of money-laundering violations and after an earnings warning, making it a good steal for TD. The acquisition will greatly increased TD’s influence in America.

This continues the recent trend for Canadian banks expanding into the U.S. where regulation on bank mergers is less strict than in their home country.

“This transaction delivers on our shared vision for growth and marks a significant milestone in TD Banknorth’s expansion strategy,” TD Bank CEO and president Ed Clark said in a statement.

Confidential EU report about Israels annexation of East Jerusalem


Monday, November 28, 2005

A confidential report, prepared by top diplomats representing the 25 EU governments, has been leaked to The Independent. European Foreign Ministers put in a veto when publication of the report was planned. They will not risk its relationship with Israel. For the first time, Israel has given its blessing to the EU to play a key security role in the region.

According to The Independent, the report provides the most detailed and remorselessly critical account yet produced by a Western international body of Israel’s policy in East Jerusalem. The 11-page page document concludes that European governments should consider direct intervention in an attempt to curb the systematic measures being undertaken by Israel to increase its control and population in the historically – and legally – Arab eastern sector of Jerusalem.

During discussions at last Monday’s meeting, EU foreign ministers decided to express “deep concern” over Israel’s activities in East Jerusalem and its surroundings, including establishing settlements, constructing the West Bank barrier and demolishing homes.

Israel’s policies in Arab East Jerusalem are hurting the prospects of a final agreement on the city with the Palestinians. A major expansion of Ma’ale Adumim, the largest Israeli West Bank settlement, will be joined to Jerusalem and this threatens to complete the encircling of the city by Jewish settlements, dividing the West Bank into two separate geographical areas.

In the 1967 Six-Day War Israel seized East Jerusalem, along with the rest of the West Bank and Gaza, and claims the city as its “united and eternal capital”. Palestinians want East Jerusalem as the capital of a future state of their own.

Canada’s Don Valley West (Ward 25) city council candidates speak


Friday, November 3, 2006

On November 13, Torontonians will be heading to the polls to vote for their ward’s councillor and for mayor. Among Toronto’s ridings is Don Valley West (Ward 25). Three candidates responded to Wikinews’ requests for an interview. This ward’s candidates include John Blair, Robertson Boyle, Tony Dickins, Cliff Jenkins (incumbent), and Peter Kapsalis.

For more information on the election, read Toronto municipal election, 2006.

Man charged with attempted murder in £40 million London jewel heist


Sunday, September 6, 2009

24-year-old Aman Kassaye, of no fixed abode, is to face a charge of attempted murder for his alleged role in an armed robbery that netted £40 million ($65 million) worth of jewelry from a London store.

Kassaye is the seventh man to be charged, and is also facing prosecution for conspiracy to rob the Graff store in New Bond Street, false imprisonment, and using a handgun to resist arrest. He will appear at Wimbledon magistrates court on Monday.

The other six men have already been remanded in custody until October 23, when they will appear at Kingston Crown Court. All are facing charges of conspiracy to rob, and two of them are also charged with a firearms offense.

43 diamond rings, watches, and bracelets were taken from the store. The theft occurred when two armed and suited men walked in and took an employee hostage. It has been reported they used prosthetic masks made from liquid latex but police have not confirmed this. Amateur footage also shows a shot was fired. No-one was injured.

The robbery is one of the biggest the United Kingdom has seen. After the crime a string of getaway vehicles was used, with police believing several more offenders assisted with this stage of the plan. Although The Telegraph claims no stolen property has yet been recovered, this is also unconfirmed by police.

Community members host fundraiser to help family of slain Texas woman


Monday, March 24, 2014

Community members held a public bake sale fundraiser on Sunday to help the family of a Texas woman slain earlier this month. Alicia Benefield, 19, of DeBerry was killed allegedly by her boyfriend, Rodris Webster. Sharon Jernigan of Panola was the key organizer of the fundraiser.

On Friday, Mrs. Jernigan told Wikinews, “This murder has devastated the entire community.” The fundraiser was held at a small grocery store in the neighboring town of Bethany, which borders the Louisiana–Texas state line. Sunday evening, Jernigan reported, “The bake sale was a big success.”

Webster, 25, was arrested early last week and charged with one count of murder and one count of felon in possession of a firearm. Benefield’s body was found in Marshall, Texas. Upon hearing of the discovery, a family member of the victim posted to his Facebook page, “Struggling to know how someone could do such a horrific thing.” Webster is presently being held on US$1 million bond in the Harrison County jail. Earlier, he was questioned by police on March 16, just two days after Benefield’s car was found at a church near her home, but was released after five hours of questioning.

Weekend Vacation Deals : Crucial Instructions To Book Lowest Service Specialy Made For Travelers And Husbands And Wifes


Weekend Vacation deals : Crucial Instructions to book lowest service specialy made for Travelers and husbands and wifes

by

Earl Stoughton

Canoeing Weekend Vacation

Weekend vacations in Houston are spent by participating in different outdoor activities that are best for the action-packed environment of the city. Whether it’s canoeing, boating, kayaking or strolling along the lush green banks, the bodies of water in Houston are environmental treasures that guarantee exciting activities for its thousands of vacationers. The city s most popular waterway is Buffalo Bayou, which is a semi-natural stream that is a regular venue for canoeing activities. If ever you don t have your own canoe, there are different canoes and kayaks offered for rental along with supplementary paddles provided by Houston s local companies. Besides these things, the place is home to a lot of hotel companies that offer economical accommodation for its travelers during weekend vacations. These companies also give big discounts for weekend guests wanting to have a memorable experience without having too much cash to pay out.

Weekend Vacation in Rocket City

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Rocket City is an amazing place that offers a short but meaningful weekend vacation that is perfect for an economical family escapade. Rocket City is the nickname of Huntsville, Alabama which is the fourth largest city in State of Alabama with 172 000 residents and a rich historical background. The U. S. Space and Rockets Center is a popular attraction that assures a memorably exciting experience for families with young children. This unique attraction spot is something that cannot be found in any other city because it includes different museums, space movies, aviation, and space programs. This vacation with your kids in the Rocket Center will give lifetime memories and may provide inspiration for them especially if they plan to be astronauts. Some programs are designed just for kids starting from nine years old, so you can leave them there even for three days while you enjoy yourself with some other attractions offered by the city.

Spending an Exciting Weekend Vacation at Europe

A cheap European weekend vacation could be just the thing you are searching for if you like the idea of traveling but do not have unlimited money to spend. You need to look at ways to book short inexpensive weekend breaks to refresh your mind and body that are so stressed already. You must start by deciding where you would like to go and make a list of a few countries that you are interested visiting. If you come up with the decision of going to Europe, narrow your alternatives down to the different tourist spots offered by the place so you can accurately schedule your time. You can browse through the internet to search for any inexpensive flights available to your preferred destination, as well as be able to find low priced lodging that is situated near attraction spots. Keep in mind that if you travel during off peak season, you can take advantage of huge discounts and special promos provided by various companies.

Weekend Vacation: Indian Style

Outings and small trips have become very popular among numerous Indian professionals and businessmen because of the fact that their economy is booming. To increase the quality of their work and keep them fresh and energetic, they avail these trips during their weekends as vacations are very good stress busters for the corporate world. One way to start your Indian vacation is by participating in weekend tours that start from its famous cities like Delhi, Mumbai and usually end up in Bangalore, which is home to many hotels and various attraction spots. These weekend tours regularly start from Friday or Saturday and lasts for two nights and three days. Central India is also extremely famous for its wildlife sanctuaries and national parks, which can be covered during weekends. Weekend day tours visit the following major destinations: Kanha National Park, Bandhavgarh National Park, Pench National Park and Panna National Park.

When you use the internet, you can easily book air flight and accommodation for your

Weekend Vacations

. Make sure to compare rates and services of several companies so you can properly decide where to celebrate your next

cheap hotels

.

Article Source:

ArticleRich.com

As increase in digital music sales slows, record labels look to new ways to make money


Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Every September, the Apple iPod is redesigned. Last year saw the release of the iPod Nano 5th generation, bringing a video camera and a large range of colours to the Nano for the first time. But as Apple again prepares to unveil a redesigned product, the company has released their quarterly sales figures—and revealed that they have sold only 9m iPods for the quarter to June—the lowest number of sales since 2006, leading industry anylists to ponder whether the world’s most successful music device is in decline.

Such a drop in sales is not a problem for Apple, since the iPhone 4 and the iPad are selling in high numbers. But the number of people buying digital music players are concerning the music industry. Charles Arthur, technology editor of The Guardian, wrote that the decline in sales of MP3 players was a “problem” for record companies, saying that “digital music sales are only growing as fast as those of Apple’s devices – and as the stand-alone digital music player starts to die off, people may lose interest in buying songs from digital stores. The music industry had looked to the iPod to drive people to buy music in download form, whether from Apple’s iTunes music store, eMusic, Napster or from newer competitors such as Amazon.”

Mark Mulligan, a music and digital media analyst at Forrester Research, said in an interview that “at a time where we’re asking if digital is a replacement for the CD, as the CD was for vinyl, we should be starting to see a hockey-stick growth in download sales. Instead, we’re seeing a curve resembling that of a niche technology.” Alex Jacob, a spokesperson for the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry, which represents the worldwide music industry, agreed that there had been a fall in digital sales of music. “The digital download market is still growing,” they said. “But the percentage is less than a few years ago, though it’s now coming from a higher base.” Figures released earlier this year, Arthur wrote, “show that while CD sales fell by 12.7%, losing $1.6bn (£1bn)in value, digital downloads only grew by 9.2%, gaining less than $400m in value.”

Expectations that CDs would, in time, become extinct, replaced by digital downloads, have not come to light, Jacob confirmed. “Across the board, in terms of growth, digital isn’t making up for the fall in CD sales, though it is in certain countries, including the UK,” he said. Anylising the situation, Arthur suggested that “as iPod sales slow, digital music sales, which have been yoked to the device, are likely to slow too. The iPod has been the key driver: the IFPI’s figures show no appreciable digital download sales until 2004, the year Apple launched its iTunes music store internationally (it launched it in the US in April 2003). Since then, international digital music sales have climbed steadily, exactly in line with the total sales of iPods and iPhones.”

Nick Farrell, a TechEYE journalist, stated that the reason for the decline in music sales could be attributed to record companies’ continued reliance on Steve Jobs, CEO of Apple, saying that they had considered him the “industry’s saviour”, and by having this mindset had forgotten “that the iPod is only for those who want their music on the run. What they should have been doing is working out how to get high quality music onto other formats, perhaps even HiFi before the iPlod fad died out.”

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When Jobs negotiated a deal with record labels to ensure every track was sold for 99 cents, they considered this unimportant—the iPod was not a major source of revenue for the company. However, near the end of 2004, there was a boom in sales of the iPod, and the iTunes store suddenly began raking in more and more money. The record companies were irritated, now wanting to charge different amounts for old and new songs, and popular and less popular songs. “But there was no alternative outlet with which to threaten Apple, which gained an effective monopoly over the digital music player market, achieving a share of more than 70%” wrote Arthur. Some did attempt to challenge the iTunes store, but still none have succeeded. “Apple is now the largest single retailer of music in the US by volume, with a 25% share.”

The iTunes store now sells television shows and films, and the company has recently launced iBooks, a new e-book store. The App Store is hugely successful, with Apple earning $410m in two years soley from Apps, sales of which they get 30%. In two years, 5bn apps have been downloaded—while in seven years, 10bn songs have been purchased. Mulligan thinks that there is a reason for this—the quality of apps simply does not match up to a piece of music. “You can download a song from iTunes to your iPhone or iPad, but at the moment music in that form doesn’t play to the strengths of the device. Just playing a track isn’t enough.”

Adam Liversage, a spokesperson of the British Phonographic Industry, which represents the major UK record labels, notes that the rise of streaming services such as Spotify may be a culprit in the fall in music sales. Revenues from such companies added up to $800m in 2009. Arthur feels that “again, it doesn’t make up for the fall in CD sales, but increasingly it looks like nothing ever will; that the record business’s richest years are behind it. Yet there are still rays of hope. If Apple – and every other mobile phone maker – are moving to an app-based economy, where you pay to download games or timetables, why shouldn’t recording artists do the same?”

Well, apparently they are. British singer Peter Gabriel has released a ‘Full Moon Club’ app, which is updated every month with a new song. Arthur also notes that “the Canadian rock band Rush has an app, and the industrial rock band Nine Inch Nails, led by Trent Reznor – who has been critical of the music industry for bureaucracy and inertia – released the band’s first app in April 2009.” It is thought that such a system will be an effective method to reduce online piracy—”apps tend to be tied to a particular handset or buyer, making them more difficult to pirate than a CD”, he says—and in the music industry, piracy is a very big problem. In 2008, the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry estimated that 95% of downloads were illegitimate. If musicians can increase sales and decrease piracy, Robert says, it can only be a good thing.

“It’s early days for apps in the music business, but we are seeing labels and artists experimenting with it,” Jacob said. “You could see that apps could have a premium offering, or behind-the-scenes footage, or special offers on tickets. But I think it’s a bit premature to predict the death of the album.” Robert concluded by saying that it could be “premature to predict the death of the iPod just yet too – but it’s unlikely that even Steve Jobs will be able to produce anything that will revive it. And that means that little more than five years after the music industry thought it had found a saviour in the little device, it is having to look around again for a new stepping stone to growth – if, that is, one exists.”

New Zealand mosque murder suspect appears in court at Christchurch


Sunday, March 17, 2019

An Australian, Brenton Tarrant, aged 28, appeared in Christchurch District Court, New Zealand yesterday, charged with one count of murder pertaining to a mass shooting in Christchurch on Friday, which caused the death of at least 50 people. Judge Paul Kellar ordered the accused remain in custody until his next court appearance on April 5.

Police alleged the accused performed two attacks. The first attack reportedly was in Al Noor Mosque at about 13:40 local time (0040 UTC), which left at least 42 people dead. The second attack reportedly was in Linwood Mosque, killing at least eight people, on the same day. Brenton Tarrant did not apply for bail. Further charges may be laid in the future, police said.

Police arrested the accused in the neighborhood of Strickland Street, 36 minutes after the mass shooting in Al Noor Mosque according to police. After his arrest on Friday, Brenton stayed in the Christchurch central police station overnight before appearing in court on the next day.

Brenton Tarrant had a valid gun licence allowing him to buy weapons, ABC reported. According to New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, Brenton had a licence for the five firearms he allegedly used for the attack — two semi-automatic, two shotguns, and one lever-action. Professor Greg Barton, Chair In Global Islamic Politics in the Faculty of Arts and Education at the Deakin University, said “The attacker was using a couple of guns, one was a shotgun, one was an AR-15 — that’s the so-called civilian equivalent of the M-16. It’s an assault rifle”. The authorities seized these firearms.

Prime Minister Ardern said at a press conference yesterday morning the gun laws should be changed. She said, “I have instructed ODESC [Officials Committee for Domestic and External Security Coordination] to report to Cabinet on Monday on these events with a view to strengthening our systems on a range of fronts including, but not limited to, firearms, border controls, enhanced information-sharing with Australia, and any practice reinforcement of our watchlist processes.”

Brenton also allegedly released an anti-Muslim document online, outlining political motivation, prior to the murders. Social media have been struggling to censor the alleged gunman’s videos of the murder, according to reports.