Brandon Sun (Newspaper) - June 27, 2002, Brandon, Manitoba
Despite revival, analysts say investor confidence deeply rattled
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The Canada Pension Plan generally has a balanced investment portfolio, so a market slide doesn’t necessarily mean it will have to hike premiums further, Juliak says.
“Eventually, things will recover. It’s not bad news everywhere you look.”
The S&P/TSX index closed down
99.82 points to 7,020.98 — its 17th decline in 18 sessions this month, dunng which time the market benchmark has
given up 578 1/2 points or 7.6 per cent.
The information technology sector sank 4.2 per cent as Nortel Networks hit a new low of $2 before closing at $2.20, down 30 cents, on trading of more than 70 million shares.
The TSX Venture Exchange was off
15.82 points to 1,168.45.
The Canadian dollar declined 0.14 cent to 65.83 cents US.
New York’s Dow Jones industrial average came back from a 200-point decline to close down 6.71 points at
The Nasdaq initially dived to levels not seen since the intraday trough of 1,387 it hit Sept. 21 but finished the session with a gain of 5.34 points at 1,429.33.
The S&P 500, the benchmark for U.S. large-company stocks, fell 2.61 points to 973.52 — five points above its Sept. 21 close.
Despite the revival in indexes during the session, analysts say the damage to investor confidence is deep. U.S.
President George Bush called the WorldCom scandal outrageous and said the government “will fully investigate and hold people accountable.”
The income restatement may be the final blow for WorldCom, already reeling from a low stock price, a feeble telecommunications market and a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission investigation.
And the news from America’s second-largest long-distance operator was another slam at the sentiment of
investors, already disgusted with a parade of scandals encompassing some of the biggest names in corporate America, notably Enron and Tyco.
“It raises the issue again of how little faith investors can put in reported profit numbers now, or even balance sheet numbers,” said Doug Porter, senior economist at BMO Nesbitt Burns.
“I think it’s just another torpedo to investor confidence.”
- With files from Rod Nickel and CP
Chretien splits with Bush over Arafat’s election
Group of Eight leaders pose for a group photo at the G-8 summit in Kananaskis, Alberta yesterday. From left are: Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, US President George Bush, French President Jacques Chirac, Prime Minister Jean Chretien, Russian President Vladimir Putin, British Prime Minister Tony Blair, Japanese Prime Minister Junich > Koizumi, Spanish Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar, head of the rotating EU presidency, and European Commission President Romano Prodi.
Protesters trap McDonalds lunch crowd
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Chretien, chairman of this year’s gathering, is determined to keep the Group of Eight focus on a proposed aid plan for Africa, to be discussed today.
But he helped keep the Middle East at the front of the agenda by remaining somewhat fuzzy on U.S. President George Bush’s peace plan, which demands that Palestinians elect a leader other than Arafat before America recognizes a Palestinian state.
Chretien refused to state outright if he agrees with Bush on Arafat, suggesting rather that Canada would accept the re-election of the Palestinian leader.
Chretien noted the Bush plan calls for elections, a constitution and a just legal system.
“I agree with that,” Chretien said. “Pm very much in favour of elections.”
But, he added: “I said that it’s going to be the people of Palestine who decide who will be the leader.”
The U.S. administration, desperate for international support for its peace plan, insisted earlier yesterday that Chretien supports the initiative, citing Chretien’s comment Tuesday night that getting rid of Arafat “might be a good thing.”
That made him the only G-8 leader to appear to endorse Bush’s proposal and contradicted an earlier statement by Foreign Affairs Minister Bill Graham.
When asked dunng a briefing yesterday if any G-8 leader backed Bush’s bluepnnt, a senior aide to Bush immediately responded, “Chretien last night.”
Chretien said the leaders of the G-8 countries — France, Italy, Britain, Germany, Russia, the United States, Japan and Canada:
— Discussed the situation in Afghanistan, but did not consider expanding the war against terrorism.
— Agreed that the global economy is on the upswing.
— Expressed concern that the WorldCom fraud scandal has hurt financial markets: “It’s a preoccupation and everybody agrees that we have to work on it collectively.”
— Agreed to keep working toward freer trade.
— Agreed on a series of measures to make transportation more secure in the wake of Sept. ll, including reinforced cockpit doors, a global standard for the
sharing airline passenger information and the need for a better system to identify high-risk shipping containers.
Chretien said the leaders would have a working dinner last night to discuss the Middle East and the unrest between India and Pakistan.
As the G-8 met, several African leaders began arriving to pitch an aid plan for the troubled continent.
Doubts about the success of the Africa initiative, championed by Chretien, have grown in recent days, especially after reports that Blair suggested it was “a washout.”
That was news to Chretien.
“He didn’t say that,” Chretien insisted yesterday. “We will achieve our goals.”
However, Blair’s spokesman warned: “We are not going to achieve everything we want at this summit.”
Access to Kananaskis was sealed off to all but authorized traffic. The air space above was closed — protected by guided missiles — and even some local grizzly bears were fitted with radio transmitters to avoid any nasty surprises for the troops dotting the Kananaskis ridge surrounding the resort.
About IOO kilometres away, protesters marched peacefully through the streets of Calgary to protest the G-8, capitalism and globalism.
“Who owns the streets? We own the streets!” they chanted as they marched amongst the skyscrapers in morning rush hour under clear skies and heat that promised another scorching day.
The protesters say G-8 policies are unfair to the world’s poor and harmful to human rights and the environment.
Things were more rowdy in Ottawa, where hundreds of rain-soaked protesters marched through downtown, some hurling golf balls and paint-filled balloons.
Some smashed a few windows, damaged a police car windshield and a battered a television network van. Others slapped Capitalism Kills stickers on buildings.
Later, about 1,000 protesters gathered on the front lawn of the Parliament Buildings to air their grievances against world’s richest countries.
Half a dozen nude protesters danced on the steps below the Peace Tower, their bodies emblazoned with the slogan Not For Sale.
An RCMP officers watch as a car full of demonstrators waits to get through a check point near Kananaskis. About IOO vehicles full of demonstrators tried to get close to the site.
Rocky Mountain retreat where the world leaders are holding their economic meeting.
The protesters want to present a petition to summit staff and were to meet with a police negotiator to state their case at the first security checkpoint into Kananaskis Village, I IO kilometres west of Calgary. There are at least 12 checkpoints along the 25-kilometre road.
Earlier in the day, a postal union official was arrested for obstructing a peace officer at the Kananaskis site. Police say the altercation happened after 15 postal workers negotiated a way to deliver letters to the G-8 meeting.
Despite the tight security, a couple from nearby Canmore, Alta., were left alone for much of the day at their protest on the same secondary highway leading mto the summit site. At one point, RCMP even brought the pair water.
“We’re just two individuals who decided to get off our butts and say something,” said retired teacher Mike Alsterlund, 60. He and wife Jake, set up their banner calling for “Peaceful Solutions, Environmental Solutions” at a cattle gate within easy sight of the TransCanada Highway around ll a.m.
“We’re not part of a group or an organization,” Alsterlund said. “We’re just common people and we hope we can excite more common people to express their feelings.”
At an afternoon picnic in downtown Calgary, several hundred activists left then gas masks and goggles behind to throw Frisbees and fly kites in a festive atmosphere under scorching 30 C temperatures. Unionists, university students and parents pushing babies in strollers danced and sang anti-summit songs.
Singer Bruce Cockbum told the mellow crowd he was impressed with the absence of violence. He talked about revolution, the “dirty” International Monetary Fund and sang protest songs he wrote more than a decade ago, including Call It Democracy.
“Unfortunately, they still seem pretty current,” he said.
Cockbum and several other Canadian musicians recently released a CD to help raise legal defence money for protesters.
Earlier, 1,000 protesters snaked through Calgary’s downtown during morning rush hour, snarling traffic and intent on sending a message to world leaders on the first day of the G-8 meetings.
Fires force evacuations
Raging forest fires forced hundreds of residents of several Alberta communities to flee their homes and work sites yesterday.
About 600 residents of the unincorporated hamlets of Peerless Lake and Trout
GUILD INSURANCE IS NO LONGER LOCATED AT ZELLERS.
Lake have been evacuated as fires, about 450 kilometres north of Edmonton, threaten the only road into the area.
Alberta wildfire spokesman Rick Moyse said the fire is not threatening the communities, but officials are concerned that residents might be trapped with no escape route if they don’t evacuate now. -CP
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By Carol Harrington
CALGARY — Anti-globalization protesters barricaded the lunch crowd in a downtown McDonalds yesterday as an economic summit of the world’s richest countries began in nearby Kananaskis, Alta.
“We want Ronald’s head,” shouted one man as about 200 demonstrators stopped in front of the multi-national hamburger cham, whose golden arches have been a major target of anti-capital-1st activists for years.
About 30 young people, many wearing dark safety glasses and bandannas to mask their identities, linked arms to blockade the fast-food outlet on trendy Stephen Avenue, a pedestrian mall tucked amidst Calgary’s skyscrapers.
Customers locked inside looked scared as they peered at the protesters through a wall of police officers on bicycles. The 30-minute standoff ended when police entered the restaurant and let people out another door.
The confrontation was the closest thing to violence experienced since protests against the Group of Eight summit began in Calgary on Sunday. Other demonstrations have been vocal, at times playful and even R-rated — but not violent.
In Ottawa, an American flag wrapped around an effigy of U.S. President George W. Bush was set on fire as about 1,000 people squared off against police. One arrest was reported by early yesterday evening.
Demonstrators want the world’s most powerful leaders to focus their attention on the plight of the poor.
Yesterday evening, a convoy of more than IOO protest vehicles was allowed along the highway into the secluded
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