Monthly Archives: January 2013

Financial Post | Business

Facing pressure from online electronics retailers such as Amazon and Apple, Best Buy Canada will close 15 of its big box stores before opening smaller outlets.

The move, which represents about 10% of the retailer’s square footage in this country, will mean layoffs for an estimated 900 employees.

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FP0201-CLOSING-BEST-BUY“The retail landscape continues to change and our success is dependent upon our ability to evolve along with it,” Mike Pratt, president of Best Buy Canada said in a statement sent exclusively  to the Financial Post.

“By taking a proactive approach in transforming our operations now, I have no doubt we will be in the best position to continue innovating our store experience for consumers and grow into the next decade.”

The company, which is closing stores in the British Columbia, Quebec, Manitoba, Alberta and Ontario markets, will open a substantial, but unspecified number of its smaller Future Shop…

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National Post | News

fo0131_israelistrike

BEIRUT — Syria and Iran have threatened to retaliate for an Israeli air raid near the capital Damascus.

Syrian Ambassador to Lebanon Ali Abdul-Karim Ali says Damascus has “the option and the surprise to retaliate.” He said he cannot predict when the retaliation will be, saying it is up to relevant authorities to prepare for it.

In Iran, the semi-official Fars news agency quoted Deputy Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian on Thursday as saying the raid on Syria will have significant implications for the Israeli city of Tel Aviv.

U.S. officials said Israel launched a rare airstrike inside Syria on Wednesday, targeting a convoy believed to contain anti-aircraft weapons bound for Hezbollah. The Syrian military denied the existence of any such shipment and said a scientific research facility outside Damascus was hit.

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Earlier, Iran and Russia joined the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah in condemning the rare Israeli airstrike…

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Financial Post | Business

[np_storybar title=”BlackBerry reinvention should stretch all the way to the boardroom” link=”http://business.financialpost.com/2013/01/30/blackberry-10-smartphone-launch/”]Theresa Tedesco: Research In Motion Ltd. began its march to redemption Wednesday by unveiling two BlackBerry 10 smartphones — but why stop there? Read more
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Research In Motion Ltd’s glitzy unveiling of the long-delayed line of BlackBerry smartphones on Wednesday and a new corporate name failed to impress Wall Street analysts, with at least three downgrading the company’s stock.

RIM, which renamed itself BlackBerry, showcased two devices, Z10 and Q10, running on its new BB10 operating system as the smartphone pioneer looks for a fresh start.

“Despite recent enthusiasm for RIM’s new BB10 devices, we see limited scope for traction in the hypercompetitive smartphone market,” Credit Suisse analysts wrote in a note.

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RIM faces an uphill struggle in terms of gaining smartphone market share, the Credit Suisse analysts said, downgrading the stock to “underperform” from “neutral”.

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National Post | News

Cash-strapped Zimbabwe only had $217 in its bank account after paying its civil servants last week, Finance Minister Tendai Biti said.

“Last week when we paid civil servants there was $217 (left) in government coffers,” Biti told journalists Tuesday, mentioning that some government workers had more savings than the state.

“The government finances are in paralysis state at the present moment. We are failing to meet our targets.”

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However, Biti said that the country received some $30 million in revenue the next day.

Biti has complained that diamond mining companies have not been paying revenues to the government.

Zimbabwe’s economy has been in a state of turmoil since President Robert Mugabe began seizing white-owned farms near the turn of the century.

Since then the county has suffered hyper inflation of 231,000,000%, according to Al Jazeera.

The country’s economy is expected to grow 5% this year.

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National Post | News

FO0131_IsraeliStrike

The Syrian government said Israeli warplanes carried out an air strike inside its territory on Wednesday, raising the risks that the two-year-old civil conflict in Syria could spread beyond the country’s borders.

A statement by the Syrian military said that a scientific research facility in the Damascus suburbs was hit, but the precise target was unclear. Earlier news reports, confirmed by a U.S. official in Washington, said the Israelis were targeting a truck convoy inside Syria that was bound for Lebanon.

It was the first time in more than five years that Israel’s air force attacked a target in Syria, which has remained in a technical state of war with Israel although both sides have maintained an uneasy peace along their disputed border.

The early reports said Israel conducted an air strike inside Syria overnight near the border with Lebanon, hitting a convoy of trucks believed to be carrying a…

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Financial Post | Business

Everything about the revamped BlackBerry was new, and shiny and bristling with a crossed-fingers kind of optimism.

One of the greatest turnarounds in Canadian corporate history rests on a new product, a new name and a new direction as a niche player.

[np_storybar title=”Loyalists insist BlackBerry 10 kicks ‘crap’ out of the iPhone 5″ link=”http://business.financialpost.com/2013/01/30/blackberry-10-smartphones/”]Hundreds of so-called BlackBerry loyalists and journalists filled a downtown Toronto event space Wednesday for their first glimpses of the new devices and their unique features.

“Once I went BlackBerry, I haven’t gone back,” said Rajesh Kutty, a 32-year-old health-care entrepreneur based in Brampton.

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Research In Motion Ltd. began its march to redemption by unveiling two state-of-the-art, next-generation smartphones Wednesday, one excruciatingly long — and costly — year behind schedule.

The touchscreen Z10 and the Q10, with a physical keyboard for BlackBerry purists, are the long-awaited progeny of the company’s new BB10…

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Financial Post | Business

NEW YORK — Research In Motion Ltd. is no more.

In front of a packed auditorium in New York City on Wednesday to introduce the next generation of its BlackBerry smartphones, RIM chief executive Thorsten Heins announced that the Waterloo, Ont.-based company is rebranding itself as simply “BlackBerry.”

The company announced it will begin trading on the Nasdaq Stock Market in New York under the ticker symbol “BBRY” and on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the ticker “BB.”

[np_storybar title=”10 Things We Learned About BlackBerry 10″ link=”http://business.financialpost.com/2013/01/30/blackberry-10-announcement-live-blog/”]

1. Research In Motion Ltd. will now be known as “BlackBerry” as the company rebrands.

2. BlackBerry will trade on the Nasdaq under BBRY ticker, as BB in Toronto.

3. Two devices announced, the Z10 (touchscreen) and Q10 (physical keyboard).

4. Z10 launches in Canada on Feb. 5, for $149.99 on 3 year contract.

5. Q10 expected to launch “in April”

6. Z10…

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Financial Post | Business

Research In Motion Ltd. finally unveiled BlackBerry 10 and its first two next-generation smartphones Wednesday as the embattled phone maker looks to turn around its fortunes.

While the operating system and devices have been much anticipated, one of the biggest surprises the Waterloo, Ont.-based company offered at the announcement was the death of its name. “From this point forward, RIM becomes Blackberry,” CEO Thorsten Heins said early in the event.

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The company will now trade under BBRY on the Nasdaq and BB on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

Although RIM shares had gained as much as 4% ahead of the launch in Wednesday morning trading, the stock later fell 7% from Tuesday’s closing price shortly after noon ET, to about $14.50 on the TSX following the presentation.

Among the features touted at Wednesday’s event:

— As you type, the operating system predicts what word you want and you can…

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National Post | Life

Take garlic, drink ginger, eat some chicken soup — if you polled 10 people at random about how to help ward off infections in wintertime, you’d get 10 different responses. And most of them wouldn’t work. We have a lot to learn about our immune systems before anyone or anything is able to render the body impenetrable to disease. But that doesn’t prevent academics from studying the subject — and some of their research is fascinating. Here, then, are some of the more interesting tips out there to help you stay healthy during cold and flu season.

[np_storybar title=”Flu risk cut in half for Canadians who received vaccine: disease expert” link=”http://life.nationalpost.com/2013/01/16/flu-risk-cut-in-half-for-canadians-who-received-vaccine-disease-expert/”]
Canadians who got a flu shot this year may have cut in half their risk of getting sick enough from flu to require medical care, new data suggests.

“It seems that this vaccine is cutting your risk of influenza in…

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National Post | News

One day after Rob Ford eviscerated the TTC’s “appalling” decision to award a 10-year lease extension without competitive bids, Karen Stintz continued to defend the deal, saying the mayor does not “understand” it.

Controversy around the $50-million sole-sourced contract has gathered momentum after the mayor and his brother Councillor Doug Ford dedicated a large chunk of their Sunday radio show to attacking it.

The agreement grants Tobmar Investments International the continued operation and management of its 65 Gateway newsstands, eight lottery booths, two cafes and two bakeries across the subway network. Tobmar, which held leases that were set to expire at various points over the next 10 years, came to the TTC last year with an unsolicited proposal that sought to “harmonize” and extend some of them.

The bulk of the leases — about 95% of the 65 newsstands — were set to expire next year. The new contract expires…

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