Fights break out as more migrants arrive on Greek island

Written by admin on 26/07/2019 Categories: 广州桑拿网

WATCH ABOVE: Turmoil in the Middle East and Africa is prompting thousands of people to leave to Europe. Many of the migrants are arriving in Greece. It’s putting pressure on the bankrupt country’s ability to address the crisis. On Wednesday the EU once again said it stands ready to help – but will it? Emily Elias reports.

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    9 killed, 4 injured in crash in Greece; police suspect car transporting illegal migrants

    KOS, Greece – Fights broke out among migrants on the Greek island of Kos Tuesday, where overwhelmed authorities are struggling to contain increasing numbers of people arriving clandestinely on rubber dinghies from the nearby Turkish shore.

    Hundreds of protesting migrants demanding quick registration began blocking the main coastal road in the island’s main town, staging a sit-in.

    “We want papers, we want to eat!” they chanted.

    Hundreds of people arrive on Greece’s eastern Aegean islands daily, many after fleeing conflict in Syria and Afghanistan. Authorities, locals and charity groups are struggling to provide registration, food and shelter to the new arrivals, many of whom are children.

    Many of those on Kos, a popular tourist destination, had been camping in the main town’s parks and squares.

    WATCH: Fights break out as Syrian woman’s epic tirade sheds light on reality migrants face

    An attempt to have them relocated to a stadium for registration degenerated, with fights breaking out among some of the roughly 1,500 people gathered in a long, crowded queue in the stadium.

    Police, who had a force of just a handful of officers to maintain control and carry out the registration, tried to impose order on the crowd by spraying the jostling migrants with fire extinguishers and using batons. Hundreds fled in panic.

    Similar protests and tension have occurred on several of the islands bearing the brunt of the migrant influx in recent weeks, including Lesbos, where the majority of new arrivals land.

    Greece’s coast guard said they had rescued 329 migrants in seven separate search and rescue incidents in the 24 hours from Monday morning off the coast of Lesbos and Kos.

    Those figures do not include the hundreds more who reach shore themselves in their inflatable dinghies from Turkey, making their own way to the islands’ main towns for registration.

    Greece has been overwhelmed by the number of migrants arriving, with at least 124,000 people reaching the eastern islands in the first seven months of this year alone. The figure represents a staggering 750 per cent increase on the same period last year, according to figures from the United Nations’ refugee agency, the UNHCR.

    In all, Greek police said Monday that 156,726 migrants had been arrested for entering or remaining in the country illegally from January through July 2015, compared to 32,070 for the same months in 2014.

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Mayor John Tory says controversial pick-up artist Roosh V has ‘no place’ in Toronto

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WATCH ABOVE: Toronto Mayor John Tory is joining a chorus of voices demanding the cancellation of a planned weekend show by a controversial American pick-up artist who goes by the name Roosh V. Caryn Lieberman has the story.

TORONTO —; Toronto Mayor John Tory is speaking out against anti-feminist blogger and controversial pick-up artist Daryush Valizadeh, a.k.a. Roosh V., saying that his “hate speech” has “no place in our city.”

[email protected] doesn’t reflect the values of Toronto and his statements about women are demeaning and unacceptable,” Tory tweeted late Monday. “His hate speech [has] no place in our city and should have no platform here either.”

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Vancouver gamer shares $6.6 million prize after winning international Esports championship

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WATCH: Humans are capable of amazing achievement – sometimes in the most likely of pursuits. A Vancouver man is giving parents across the country a headache because of what he’s just done. He plays video games, sometimes for 10 hours a day. And it’s paid off big time. Robin Gill reports.

Twenty-two-year-old Kurtis Ling from Vancouver and his team Evil Genius earned a multi-million dollar prize after winning a video game championship in Seattle.

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Beating out dozens of gamers during the week-long International Dota 2 Championships, Ling and his team took home a $6.6 million prize.

Ling, also known as Aui_2000, is ranked as Canada’s highest paid professional gamer, and the 13th highest paid gamer in the world.  He earns a living playing video games, winning competitions around the world, and earning tens, even hundreds of thousands of dollars at tournaments.

“Its my passion, my hobby – it’s still something I really enjoy doing, ” says Ling. “That it’s apparently turned into my job now too, is great for me.”

The former UBC student decided to leave school in his third year to be a professional gamer.

“I just decided to take a year off to try to pursue gaming full time. Monetarily … it made a lot more sense to try to go professional in gaming than it did to complete my degree,” he told The Ubyssey back in March.

Gaming goals

Ling is part of the Esports scene that has exploded in the past couple of years. Multi-player video game tournaments, also known as Esports, have become a global sensation that attracts thousands of spectators to live events held at arenas and other venues around the world.

WATCH: It might seem like vindication for the millions of young people who spend countless hours playing video games. A Vancouver twenty-something recently turned his skills into a million dollar payday. But as Julia Foy reports, his advice to aspiring gamers might surprise you

Ling first started playing Dota 2′s predecessor, DotA,  in grade 9. His was introduced to competitive gaming by joining UBC’s Starcraft Club when he started university in 2010.

READ MORE: UBC Esports team wins $180,000 scholarship in ‘March Madness’ of video game competitions

Talking about his early days as a competitive gamer, Ling recalls that the highest prize pool tournament he competed in with DotA back in 2010 was $500 for first place.

Sponsors for Esports tournaments include corporate titans such as Coca-Cola and McDonald’s. Prize money for these competitions are set in the millions of dollars, as eSports increasingly resembles traditional sporting events with live events attracting tens of thousands of spectators, professional commentators providing play-by-play and analysis. The tournaments are even livestreamed to millions of viewers.

The total prize pool for the International Dota 2 Championships was a staggering $18.4 million. Evil Geniuses beat team CDEC from China, who still walked away with $2.8 million.

Each of the four members of the Evil Geniuses, including Ling, are now millionaires, having won the international championship.

When asked what it felt like to win, an ecstatic Ling said, “It’s still really surreal for me. We aim for this tournament all year round, and winning it is the goal for every single one of us as gamers. To have achieved that goal is just amazing.”

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Seeing a bobcat is rare, getting glamour shots is an even bigger treat

Written by admin on 25/08/2019 Categories: 广州桑拿网

HALIFAX – Catching a glimpse of a bobcat in Nova Scotia is quite unique, so imagine being able to be get video of one walking along the side of the road from just 20 feet away.

That’s just what videographer Cory McGraw caught on camera this week in Nine Mile River.

Bobcats are not uncommon in the province, but the mammals are rarely spotted and there is hardly ever video taken of them.

“Seeing a cat up that close is a bit on the unusual side,” said Andrew Hebda, zoologist with the Nova Scotia Museum.

Unlike the lynx, bobcats aren’t endangered, but Hebda says the mammals are sly and very rarely spotted. Making an encounter like the one we had even more memorable.

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“You can see it was concentrated on feed but it knew you were there, it was staring right at you and poking out at you from beyond the grass so that shows you that animal has not been habituated to people,” Hebda told Global News.

The Department of Natural Resources records all bobcat sightings in the province.

“Some years, it’s as low as 10. The last two, it was around 20,” said Michael Boudreau, Human-Wildlife Conflict Biologist with DNR.

Boudreau says seeing a bobcat out in broad daylight is a little unusual.

“They don’t typically like to be around people, so when there’s a lot of activity they’ll kind of stay in the shadows or use low activity to go and use that same area.”

There are only about 20 recorded sightings of bobcats in Nova Scotia annually, most of which occur during February and March.

WATCH: Rare, up-close footage of a bobcat prowling in tall grass near Nine Mile River in Nova Scotia.

It’s believed the bobcat in this video is young and may have been searching for food.

Last year’s harsh winter was devastating for bobcats and other predators. Hope for Wildlife took in eight starving bobcats suffering in the harsh conditions, something they have never seen before.

They say it’s too soon to see how this winter will be for the cats.

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5 challenges faced by Syrian refugees arriving in Canada

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OTTAWA – The first government flight dispatched to bring Syrian refugees directly to Canada left on Thursday carrying about 160 people to Toronto. They are the vanguard of 25,000 expected by the end of February.

READ MORE: Trudeau greets 1st wave of Syrian refugees in Toronto

Here’s a look at five challenges the newcomers will face:

Getting to know Canada

Normally, refugees are given detailed orientation sessions abroad before they board flights to Canada. The programs are run by the International Organization for Migration and cover everything from how to dress for winter to making a household budget. But the nature of this programs means very little of that is happening before the refugees arrive in Canada and they’ll have to learn as they go. In the case of the first flights, all the Syrians have private sponsors who will be responsible for much of the teaching.

Canada getting to know them

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In the case of refugees who have private sponsors, they’ve likely been in touch in recent weeks. Many exchange photos and videos and the sponsors also have a case file on their new charges that gives details such as ages, education and sometimes religion.

READ MORE: Ontario sponsors cheer arrival of Syrian refugee families at Toronto airport

But in the case of government-sponsored refugees, the government has statistics and basic information, but not much else. The language barrier – many will only speak Arabic – will be one of the first hurdles to overcome.

Finding a place to live

Again, private sponsors are responsible for finding suitable accommodation for the refugees they bring in. Many rent apartments or houses and cover that cost at least for the first year. But in the case of government-assisted refugees, the hunt is now on for thousands of shelter spaces. Some landlords and real estate companies have offered space at reduced rates. In the very short term, some refugees may find themselves living in military barracks until more permanent homes are available.

Finding a job

Members of groups who are sponsoring two Syrian refugee families hold up signs welcoming their charges as they wait for the families to arrive at Toronto\’s Pearson Airport, on Wednesday, Dec. 9, 2015.

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young

As with most new immigrants, employment is likely to be top of mind for many Syrians. And like other newcomers, they’ll be up against barriers including getting credentials recognized by regulatory bodies in Canada. The Canadian Labour Congress and the Canadian Chamber of Commerce are working on a campaign to encourage employers to hire a Syrian refugee. There are concerns that this may be difficult in places with already high unemployment.

READ MORE: As Canada welcomes Syrians, other refugees still lack health care

Finding a doctor

Health clinics are bracing for the arrival of many new patients, some with complex health requirements that are part of the reason they’ve been selected for resettlement to Canada. As permanent residents, the Syrians will be entitled to a range of health-care coverage from medication to mental-health services. Mental health in particular is a matter of concern – many people have escaped traumatic situations that they are still grappling with.

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John Sopko’s war: The watchdog of waste

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History will note that Afghanistan was the longest, and one of the most expensive, wars in modern history. Also, arguably, one of the most futile, since the Taliban seems fully intact and the Islamic State group are making important inroads, now that the West has handed the fight over to the Afghan military.

Fourteen years of fighting, thousands of military casualties, civilian deaths higher than ever this year, and possibly as much as $1 trillion spent. The numbers are staggeringly depressing.

READ MORE: Losing Afghanistan: A close-up look at the plight of women caught in a cycle of violence

And then you meet John Sopko, and the news gets even more surreal. Sopko is the watchdog of Afghanistan “rebuilding.” His full title is U.S. Special Inspector General of Afghanistan Reconstruction, and his job is to make sense of the numbers, and report on waste, incompetence and corruption.

Here are some of the things that keep Sopko awake nights:

The United States sent 16 military transport planes worth $390 million to Kabul where they sat on the tarmac for more than a year, before they were torn apart for scrap metal, and sold for six cents a pound, or $32,000. The reason: The Afghans had no use for them.A $43-million natural gas filling station was built in the country’s far north. It was never used because there was no demand for the fuel.The Marine Corps built a $36-million warehouse that never warehoused anything.The U.S. spent $8.4 billion on counter-narcotics programs in Afghanistan over the years, yet there are today a half million acres of opium fields under production.

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The stories of epic waste multiply. So who’s being held to account?

“I dare you to find anybody who’s been fired in Afghanistan for losing the taxpayers millions of dollars,” Sopko told correspondent Mellissa Fung, as she was researching a story for 16×9.

READ MORE: Losing Afghanistan: The worst place in the world to be a widow

Canada spent more than $18 billion on its combat mission in Afghanistan, and another $2 billion or so in development projects—much of that on schools, health centres and women’s programs. But we have no independent auditor, such as Sopko, for those projects so it’s not known how we stand in the waste index.

However, there have been some questions raised about the claims made for new schools and school attendance in Afghanistan. As Sopko tells it, Afghanistan’s president , its CEO, the minister of education, parliamentarians and others have all talked about so-called “ghost students, ghost schools, ghost clinics even.” With all this Western money sloshing about, there’s a good chance somebody has been cooking the books.

“The Afghans know about the ghost workers or ghost students or whatever,” Sopko said. “The Afghans see the bridges that fall down. They see the clinics in which there are no doctors. The Afghans know what’s going on.”

READ MORE: Losing Afghanistan: Kabul Diary

Sopko, who reports to the U.S. Congress, is carefully vague on the question of where incompetence ends and corruption begins. He allows his listeners to draw their own conclusions. But what he does say is that the Western coalition has built in Afghanistan an economy that Afghans simply cannot afford.

“We never really thought about sustainability,” he says. “This is the cruelest joke played on the Afghans. You give them a building or a clinic or a road or a highway or a program that they don’t have the money or technical capabilities or political will to actually finish or sustain.”

Or the ability to protect. When the Taliban swept into the provincial capital of Kunduz in late September, they routed Afghan army units and destroyed schools, clinics and other infrastructure built with Western money. With a resurgent Taliban sweeping through the country, what does this mean for the future of schools and other reconstruction projects in Afghanistan, Sopko asks? The prospects are not good.

It’s something that countries like Canada and the U.S. need to consider carefully when thinking about foreign policy objectives, he says, because Afghanistan is “a little petri dish of reconstruction for the future.”

Sopko has one more story that illustrates the folly of reconstruction during an active shooting war: the Kajaki Dam in southern Afghanistan. He calls it “the longest public works project in the history of the world”— begun in 1950 and meant to provide power to the important city of Kandahar.

“Now here’s the dirty little secret about Kajaki,” he says, “Even after we finish it, we still gotta get the power from the dam to the city. That goes through the terrorist [Taliban] controlled territory. Up until now, the only reason they’re not blowing up pylons is because the insurgency gets part of their electricity from it.”

It’s a story only Kafka could have imagined: A hydroelectric project, financed by Western money, that is only sustained because the enemy draws power from it. That, in a nutshell, is the absurdity of Afghanistan.

16×9’s “Losing Afghanistan” airs Saturday, Dec. 12, 2015 at 7pm.

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Ford, Volkswagen to unveil new electric models in 2016

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DEARBORN, Mich. – Ford Motor Co. says it will introduce 13 new electrified vehicles worldwide by 2020, including an updated Focus sedan that will go on sale late next year.

The new Focus will have fast-charging capability and an estimated 100-mile range, up from 76 miles in the current electric Focus.

Ford also plans to introduce the Mondeo hybrid sedan and the C-Max Energi plug-in hybrid in China next year.

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Ford currently sells electric, hybrid and plug-in hybrid versions of its Focus, Fusion, C-Max and Lincoln MKZ sedans. Ford CEO Mark Fields says the company wants 40 per cent of its global offerings to come in electric versions by 2020, up from 13 per cent now.

Ford says it will spend an additional $4.5 billion to meet its electrification goals by 2020.

Meanwhile, Volkswagen is also set to unveil an all-electric concept car at the Consumer Electronic Show in January.

According to a press release from the Consumer Technology Association (CTA), the electric vehicle will be unveiled January 5 when Volkswagen passenger cars CEO Herbert Diess delivers a keynote speech focused on how electric vehicles are driving the automotive business.

The concept car is said to “illustrate the synergy between the Internet of Things and the automotive industry.”

Focusing on electric might be a good PR move for VW – the company is still reeling from the fallout of cheating on U.S. emissions tests. 

In September, the company admitted it had installed software designed to defeat tests for nitrogen oxide emissions for four-cylinder diesel engines on 11 million cars worldwide, including almost 500,000 in the U.S. It has already set aside 6.7 billion euros ($7.4 billion) to cover the costs of recalling those vehicles – and analysts expect the emissions scandal to cost the company much more than that.

Here’s how much an electric car will cost you in Canada:

The BMW i3, which has a range of 130-160 km per charge, starts at CAD$45,300.

Sean Gallup/Getty Images

The Ford Focus Electric, which has a range of 122 km per charge, starts at CAD$31,249.

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

The Nissan LEAF, which has a range of 135 km per charge, starts at CAD$31,998.

TOSHIFUMI KITAMURA/AFP/Getty Images

The Smart fortwo electric drive, which has a range of 426 km per charge, starts at CAD$102,620.

Shane Kalicharan / Global News

The Chevrolet Spark, which has a range of 131 km per charge, will be available in 2016.

Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

The Mitsubishi i-MiEV, which has a range of 155 km per charge, starts at CAD$27,998.

Sean Gallup/Getty Images

The Smart fortwo electric drive, which has a range of 110 km per charge, starts at CAD$27,280.

KAZUHIRO NOGI/AFP/Getty Images

The Kia Soul, which has a range of 150 km per charge, starts at CAD$34,995.

Scott Olson/Getty Images

With files from Global News

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Willow Smith releases surprise album, ‘Ardipithecus’

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Fresh on the heels of her brother Jaden Smith announcing that he’s coming out with a book of philosophical essays, Willow Smith has released a surprise music album entitled “Ardipithecus.”

The first single, “F Q-C #8,” (pronounced “frequency”) is a moody, sparse song, difficult to define in any specific genre.

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Willow is credited as the sole songwriter on 14 of the 15 tracks, and sole producer on 10 of them. Willow’s older brother Trey Smith (Will Smith’s first-born son) also had a hand in the creation of three tracks on the album.

MORE: Pics of Willow Smith in bed with 20-year-old actor spark furor

In an email to The Fader, Willow explained the title of her album, as well as her intentions with her new music:

“Ardipithecus Ramidus is the scientific name of the first hominid bones found on earth. I wanted to name my musical compilation after it because, while I was making these songs I was in such a transitional state. Digging deep in the soil of my heart and finding bits and pieces of my ancient self that tell stories, which end up being the lyrics to the songs. ‘Ardipithecus’ is my first album in my entire career and it makes me feel so blessed to be able to share my evolution with the LightEaters as I continue excavating my inner worlds…”

“I have an ongoing list of ‘F Q-C’ songs,” she continued. “These songs were created through characters I have developed within my mind.”

MORE: Jaden Smith writing a collection of philosophical essays

It sounds like there’s more to come from the 15-year-old. She’s come a long way since “Whip My Hair.”

Take a listen to the first single (and watch the video), “F Q-C #8,” above.

Willow Smith | PrettyFamous

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Ottawa tightens mortgage rules to cool off red-hot Vancouver, Toronto

Written by admin on 27/07/2019 Categories: 广州桑拿网

The federal government is attempting to take some momentum out of the country’s most expensive —; and frothiest —; housing markets in Vancouver and Toronto, announcing Friday changes to mortgage lending rules that lift minimum down payment requirements on homes listed between $500,000 and one million dollars.

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    Want a big city where real estate prices are within reach? Try Montreal

    At a press conference in Ottawa, Finance Minister Bill Morneau said that as of Feb. 15, buyers purchasing homes in that price range will have to make a minimum down payment of 5 per cent on the first $500,000, and 10 per cent of the dollar value above that amount.

    Morneau used the example of a $700,000 home, which will now require a minimum down payment of $45,000, or an increase of $10,000 above what the existing minimum of 5 per cent would require.

    “By targeting higher priced homes, we’ll minimize the impact on first time buyers,” the minister said. “This protects all homeowners, including middle class Canadians whose biggest investment is in their homes.”

    Benchmark home prices in Vancouver and Toronto have rocketed higher this year amid ultra-low borrowing rates and sustained interest from foreign buyers, experts say. Each city’s boom has led to market dynamics in those centres that are “not as stable as they should be,” Morneau suggested.

    Clear targets

    “The motivation of the [new] policy is clear,” Benjamin Tal, economist at CIBC World Markets said. “The attempt is to slow down the only two markets that are really moving (Toronto and Vancouver). Those markets happen also to be the most expensive.”

    How effective the new minimums will be in cooling off those markets isn’t clear —; the finance minister said the change would affect “one percent or less” of borrowers.

    About a quarter of homebuyers put less than 10 per cent down on the purchase of home, according to BMO Capital Markets.

    “While we don’t precisely know how that share is distributed through the price ranges, it would imply that, at most, only about three to four percent of the national market gets impacted,” BMO economist Robert Kavcic said. “In reality, the impact should be even smaller given that low down payments are skewed more toward the lower end of the market.”

    Benchmark home prices in Vancouver and Toronto sit well above the $500,000 mark, with 43 per cent of sales in Toronto this year falling into the affected range. “Toronto and Vancouver are the clear targets,” Kavcic said.

    Click here to view data »

    Bubble fears

    Fears over a possible real estate bubble in the Vancouver and Toronto areas have risen significantly as prices have surged.

    In November, benchmark prices in Vancouver surged 17.8 per cent as sales soared 40.1 per cent, the region’s real estate association said.

    In slightly tamer Toronto, benchmark prices increased 10.3 per cent as sales climbed 14 per cent compared to November a year ago, making 2015 the most active year on record for the country’s biggest housing market (eclipsing 2007).

    MORE: Already lofty home prices in Vancouver and Toronto continue to surge

    Decoupled

    The Vancouver and Toronto markets have firmly decoupled from the rest of the country, where home prices are moving at a far slower rate of about 2.5 per cent, according to CREA, the national real estate board.

    What’s fueling the torrid price gains remains a matter of fierce debate, but many suspect a wave of foreign cash is playing a key inflationary role. Rock bottom interest rates are also continuing to fuel domestic demand.

    “An influx of foreign wealth is one driving force, but lower interest rates — and the witches’ spell of forever-low rates—are also stirring the pot,” Sal Guatieri, economist at BMO, said in a recent note.

    WATCH: New mortgage rules will help ‘protect Canadians’:  finance minister

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‘China’s Warren Buffett’ reported missing as anti-corruption probe widens

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BEIJING – One of China’s top entrepreneurs, the chairman of the conglomerate that owns Club Med and other businesses in Europe and the United States, is missing, a news report said Friday, a possible sign that an anti-corruption campaign is widening beyond state companies.

Fosun International employees were unable to contact Guo Guangchang after midday Thursday, the magazine Caixin said on its website. It cited messages on social media that Guo was last seen with police at an airport in Shanghai.

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China is in the midst of a 3-year-old anti-graft crackdown led by President Xi Jinping that has snared dozens of executives at state-owned companies in oil and other industries. A court cited Guo in August as being linked to a supermarket chain chairman who was jailed for corruption.

READ MORE: Unhealthy levels of smog hover over Beijing on Day 2 of city’s red alert

A series of figures in China’s securities industry have disappeared or been detained since August after authorities launched an investigation following a plunge in Chinese share prices in June.

Fosun, China’s biggest privately owned conglomerate, and its pharmaceutical unit suspended trading of their shares Friday in Hong Kong. They cited the pending release of an announcement with “inside information.”

Phone calls to Fosun’s media and investor relations departments weren’t answered.

If Guo is under investigation, that suggests authorities are extending scrutiny beyond state-owned enterprises, increasing uncertainty for investors, said Ronald Wan, CEO of investment banking at Partners Capital International in Hong Kong.

“A lot of companies will be on the investigation list and it will alert all the investors,” he said.

Wan said the government should clarify Guo’s status.

“If he is really getting caught in some sort of serious trouble, at least the group can have some sort of contingency plan and work out a solution to how the company can be run,” said Wan.

Guo, 48, is one of China’s biggest investors abroad. Fosun, which he co-founded in the 1990s, has businesses in real estate, steel, mining and retailing.

The Financial Times dubbed him “China’s Warren Buffett” for following the legendary American investor’s approach of using the cash flow from insurance operations to buy other businesses.

READ MORE: Chinese corruption fugitives may have fled to Canada or U.S.

Fosun won a bidding war this year to take over Club Mediterranee, the French resort operator. Last year, it paid 1 billion euros ($1.1 billion) for Portugal’s biggest insurance company, Caixa Seguros. In the United States, it owns Meadowbrook Insurance Group Inc., 20 per cent of insurer Ironshore Inc. and the 60-story office tower at 1 Chase Manhattan Plaza in New York City.

Guo has a net worth of $7.8 billion, according to the Hurun Report, which follows China’s wealthy.

He denied earlier he was the target of a graft investigation.

A court in Shanghai said in August he had “inappropriate connections” with the chairman of a state-owned supermarket chain, Wang Zongnan, who was sentenced to 18 years, according to Caixin. The court ruled he misused 195 million yuan ($31 million) of Shanghai Lianhua Supermarket Holdings Co.’s money to help two other companies invest in real estate.

The court said Wang misused his position “to seek benefits for Fosun Group,” according to Caixin. In exchange, the court said, Guo sold two villas to Wang’s parents at low prices.

Fosun denied any impropriety and said the villas were sold at market prices.

In China’s state-dominated economy, many entrepreneurs make deals with officials or state industry managers to gain government licenses, contracts or financing, said Zhang Tianyu, a specialist in corporate governance at the Chinese University of Hong Kong.

“This is how some entrepreneurs get into trouble once they have an anti-corruption campaign,” said Zhang.

Zhang said that in a series of deals in Shanghai, Fosun has bought stakes of less than 50 per cent in state-owned companies but gained management control. He said that unusually favourable arrangement reduced the amount of capital Fosun had to tie up in the company while making it a partner of state managers.

“What we guess is that someone should be helping him to make these transactions,” said Zhang. “Without more evidence, we don’t know who this is. A politician, or maybe a group of people.”

On Monday, China’s biggest brokerage, state-owned Citic Securities Co., said it could not contact the two managers in charge of its China and international investment banking business.

In September, the police ministry announced Citic’s general manager, Cheng Boming, and other executives were suspected of insider trading and leaking sensitive information.

Last month, Citic and two other brokerages, Guosen Securities Ltd. and Haitong Securities Ltd., said separately they were under investigation.

A star Chinese fund manager, Xu Xiang, was detained Nov. 2 on suspicion of insider trading, according to the official Xinhua News Agency.

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Women in Saudi Arabia are voting and running for office for the first time

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RIYADH, Saudi Arabia – Outside of the Saudi capital, in one of the country’s most conservative provinces, Jowhara al-Wably is making history. She’s running in this weekend’s elections.

Saturday’s vote for local council seats marks two milestones for Saudi women: Not only can they run in a government election for the first time, it is the first time they are permitted to vote at all.

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The municipal councils are the only government body in which Saudi citizens can elect representatives, so the vote is widely seen as a small but significant opening for women to play a more equal role in Saudi society.

READ MORE: Saudi women arrested for driving referred to terrorism court

Still, women face challenges on the campaign trail: Because of Saudi Arabia’s strict policy of segregation of the sexes, they cannot address male voters directly and have to speak from behind a partition – or have male relatives speak for them.

In an effort to create a more level playing field, the General Election Committee banned both male and female candidates from showing their faces in promotional flyers, billboards or in social media. They’re also not allowed to appear on television.

This suits al-Wably, a 52-year-old community activist and Ministry of Education employee. Like all women in Saudi Arabia, she wears a loose-flowing black robe called an “abaya.” She also covers her face and hair under a veil called a “niqab” when in public.

When she meets with female voters, she talks to them at the hotel conference hall she’s rented in Buraydah, 220 miles (350 kilometres) northwest of Riyadh. But when she makes her pitch to male voters this week, she won’t be doing the talking. Her two sons, both in their mid-20s, her husband and her brothers will address the male crowd and she won’t be present.

With around 5,000 men registered to vote in her district compared to 620 registered female voters, al-Wably says she can’t afford to rely solely on Internet campaigning through 广州蒲友 and 广州桑拿网 to reach men.

“I want to be part of the development of my city,” she told The Associated Press. “I want to be a positive force on the ground in my community.”

While the councils do not have legislative powers, they do oversee a range of community issues, such as budgets for maintaining and improving public facilities like parks, roads and utilities. All major decision-making powers rest solely in the hands of King Salman and the all-male Cabinet of ministers.

The first local council election was held in 2005 and the second in 2011, with only men taking part. This time around, state-affiliated media report there are 979 female candidates and 5,938 male candidates vying for seats. About 130,000 women have registered to vote versus 1.35 million male voters.

READ MORE: Sentence of 1000 lashings suspended for human rights blogger

Up for grabs are around 2,100 council seats. An additional 1,050 seats are appointed with approval from the king. While there is no quota for women, the king may use his powers to ensure at least some women get onto the councils.

While calling the vote a “step forward for women,” Rothna Begum of Human Rights Watch noted that because male candidates cannot directly address women, they could easily disregard the female vote because it is proportionally so much smaller. And the high cost of running a visible campaign has proven prohibitive for some female candidates, she said; at least 31 dropped out because it was too expensive.

At his campaign headquarters in Saudi Arabia’s second-largest city of Jiddah, Bassam Akhdar said he allocated a night specifically to reach out to the female electorate, with female staff lined up to explain his platform.

But no women showed up and none have passed by his office to inquire about his campaign. So he ended up allocating the entire space to his male constituency, who come every night to hear and meet him.

“I would be happy to have a woman’s vote. This is a gain for me,” said the 47-year-old businessman, who won a seat in the past two elections – and spent $106,000 (400,000 riyals) on his latest campaign.

Despite vast differences between Saudi Arabia’s cultural sensitivities and the bombast often associated with campaigns in the West, criticism of women’s participation has largely been muted, though one prominent cleric warned against this being a Western-style election.

Sheikh Abdelrahman al-Barrack admonished his more than 161,000 followers on 广州蒲友 that the vote is not religiously permissible if it Westernizes the “land of the two holy mosques,” a reference to the holy sites in Mecca and Medina, and when it allows for the mixing of men and women.

The decision to allow women to take part is seen as part of the late King Abdullah’s legacy. Before he died in January, the king appointed 30 women to the country’s top advisory Shura Council. Women were also given licenses to practice law, and labour rules were changed to allow women to work as sales clerks in lingerie and women’s clothing stores. The government also began issuing identification cards for women.

In the Saudi capital, Riyadh, 40-year-old candidate Randa Baraja said her No. 1 supporter has been her father.

“He is very keen about education and the idea that women ought to rely on themselves. … My brothers are supportive too,” said Baraja, a health care professional.

Still, when she presented her campaign platform to a group of men this week, she did not stand in front of them. In line with election rules she was out of view behind a partition; she used a projector and a microphone to discuss her ideas, while a camera feed allowed her to see those in attendance.

For Saudi women and men, this kind of interaction is not unusual. The kingdom distinguishes itself as an Islamic state that upholds one of the strictest policies of segregation of the sexes in the world, enforced by the kingdom’s morality police.

Though men and women work alongside each other in places such as banks and hospitals, unmarried men and women are prohibited from socially mixing – in both public and private. At female college campuses, male lecturers often communicate via a one-way camera feed that allows students to see the professor. At restaurants, women have “family only” entrances to separate them from single men.

Women are barred from driving and are governed by guardianship laws that require them to have the permission of male relatives in order to marry, obtain a passport, travel abroad or access higher education. Many private hospitals require such permission for women to undergo medical procedures.

Marina Ottoway, a senior scholar at the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington, said this weekend’s elections will not represent a turning point for the status of women.

“They are simply a very small step in a very long process of change for women and for citizens in general,” she said, adding that it’s too soon to tell whether this is the first in a series of steps or whether change stops here.

Still, Baraja says the election is a chance for women to leave a mark on their communities. In her district, 23 men and 23 women are vying for two seats on the council. She says there are around 9,600 registered male voters and a little more than 300 registered female voters.

“The competition is big and the campaigning took a lot of effort and time. … But in general what is making me enjoy each step I take is that I feel I have the skills and the ideas to contribute to my community,” she said.

“When I am in the street and see the roads are not paved well and there are potholes, and the (lack of) cleanliness in some areas, we can make it better and more beautiful … with simple ideas that do not cost a lot,” she said.

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Trump Tower protest planned for Toronto today in light of anti-Muslim comments

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TORONTO —; Protesters are expected to gather in front of the Trump Tower in Toronto later today to decry Donald Trump’s recent anti-Muslim comments.

The Republican presidential candidate has called for a temporary ban on Muslims entering the U.S. in the aftermath of attacks in the country and abroad.

His remarks this week have drawn international criticism. The White House said the comments disqualify him from being president and some politicians have joked about banning Trump himself.

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READ MORE: Councillor urges Trump Tower to drop ‘fascist’ namesake after anti-Muslim speech

In Toronto, protesters who say they plan to rally against Trump’s statements and celebrate the city’s diversity are expected to gather outside the building which bears his name in the city’s financial district.

The Trump International Hotel and Tower in Toronto is owned by a private real estate development company called Talon International Development, as well as other investors and condo owners.

The Trump Organization operates a hotel which makes up part of the building.

WATCH: Councillor Josh Matlow is being praised online by residents and fellow councillors for his proposal. Peter Kim reports.

At least one Toronto city councillor has asked the owners of the building to remove Trump’s name from the property in light of his recent inflammatory comments.

Trump’s image and name have been stripped from a Dubai golf course in light of his statements, while Trump Towers Istanbul also says its “assessing” its partnership with Trump.

The Trump Hotel and Tower in Toronto says the Trump Organization operates the building but is not the owner.

“Donald Trump’s opinions as a private citizen in no way reflect the position of the company’s views or those of its other investors and owners,” the hotel said in statement earlier this week.

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Dow, DuPont eye merger to form colossal chemical producer

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DOVER, Del. – Dow Chemical and the DuPont Co. announced Friday that they are merging in a $130 billion chemical industry megadeal.

The merger would combine two companies that sell agricultural products to millions of farmers around the world, and make a variety of chemicals for consumer and industrial products ranging from electronics, automobiles, and household goods to building materials and safety equipment.

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    The all-stock merger calls for the two companies to combine as DowDuPont, then separate into three independent publicly traded companies focused on agriculture, material science and specialty products.

    “Over the last decade our entire industry has experienced tectonic shifts as an evolving world presented complex challenges and opportunities,” said Dow Chairman and CEO Andrew Liveris.

    Liveris will be named executive chairman of the combined company while DuPont Chairman and CEO Edward Breen will be CEO. The company will have dual headquarters in Michigan and Delaware where the two companies are currently based.

    In conjunction with the proposed merger, which is subject to regulatory approval, both companies are taking separate restructuring steps.

    DuPont announced a companywide restructuring plan to reduce $700 million in costs that includes employee and contractor layoffs affecting about 10 per cent of the company’s workforce. It expects to record a pretax charge of about $780 million, with approximately $650 million of employee separation costs and about $130 million of asset-related charges and contract terminations.

    Dow, meanwhile, said it is taking full ownership of Dow Corning, currently a 50-50 joint venture between Dow and Corning. Dow said the move, expected to close in the first half of 2016, is expected to generate more than $1 billion in additional adjusted annual earnings and will increase its product offerings in the building and construction, consumer care, and automotive markets.

    The companies said the proposed merger of equals, approved unanimously by their respective directors, will result in cost synergies of about $3 billion that are projected to create approximately $30 billion of market value.

    Under the terms of the deal, Dow shareholders will receive a fixed exchange ratio of one share of DowDuPont for each Dow share, and DuPont shareholders will receive a fixed exchange ratio of 1.282 shares in DowDuPont for each DuPont share. Dow and DuPont shareholders will own about 50 per cent, respectively, of the combined company.

    The proposed agriculture business would unite DuPont’s and Dow’s seed and crop protection businesses. The material science company would combine DuPont’s performance materials segment with Dow’s performance plastics, performance materials and chemicals, infrastructure solutions, and consumer solutions units, excluding its electronic materials business. Combined pro forma 2014 revenue for material science was about $51 billion.

    The specialty products company would combine DuPont’s nutrition and health, industrial biosciences, safety and protection, and electronics and communications segments with Dow’s electronic materials business. Combined pro forma 2014 revenue for specialty products was approximately $13 billion.

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