Obama backs Canada’s Trudeau in unprecedented endorsement

Canadian analysts say such an endorsement is rare, but probably won’t move the polls. Barack Obama on Wednesday urged Canadians to re-elect Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, an apparently unprecedented endorsement of a candidate in a Canadian election by a former US president. Obama tweeted on Wednesday that he was proud to work with Trudeau and described him as a hard-working, effective leader who takes on big issues such as climate change. “The world needs his progressive leadership now, and I hope our neighbours to the north support him for another…

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Gender study: To shatter the glass ceiling, fix the ‘broken rung’

More women are in the C-suite than five years ago, but the management ladder remains a huge obstacle to true parity. There are more women in the C-suites of major companies than there were five years ago, a new study shows. But the “broken rung” on the ladder to top management jobs has helped stall gender parity in the workplace and led women – especially those of colour – to continue to be “underrepresented at every level”. The 2019 Women in the Workplace study, conducted by McKinsey & Company and…

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California to end private prisons and immigrant detention camps

Supporters of a new bill, expected to be signed this week, say private prisons contribute to a culture of incarceration. The United States‘s largest state prison system is moving to quit the practice of farming out inmates to jails run under contract by private companies, following a nationwide decline in the for-profit incarceration business. California Governor Gavin Newsom is expected to sign legislation this week designed to effectively ban private, for-profit corporations from running prisons or immigration detention facilities. Sponsors of the measure, which was introduced in December, say it…

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Halloween can be scary expensive. Try these saving tips.

Halloween is Deborah Wakefield’s favorite holiday. In fact, though Wakefield travels most of the year as vice president of media relations for CityPASS, a company that sells discount ticket packages to top U.S. attractions, she refuses to schedule business trips around Halloween. Instead, the Portland, Oregon, resident and her husband make an annual pilgrimage to her parents’ Aberdeen, Washington, home in a neighborhood that attracts hundreds of trick-or-treaters. They and other family members arrive a few days early to help her parents prepare for the big night. “Halloween is the…

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‘Mission Possible’: Can green growth solve the climate crisis?

Powerful players are lining up to propel talk into action, hoping to decarbonise the economy faster and further. United Nations, New York City – With the United Nations Climate Action Summit a fait accompli, environmental advocates are busy outlining what comes next on the path to abate an evermore existential crisis. At the international gathering in New York City on Monday, country delegates and titans of industry traded insights and strategies for how to push the needle forward. But with so many interdependent tracks – nine, to be exact –…

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Silent Book Club: A time to get away from it all

It’s a guilt-free way to block out time in your schedule to do nothing but read. Shhhh! Silent book clubs are in session all across the United States. According to an Aug. 12 National Public Radio report on the subject, Guinevere de la Mare co-founded the Silent Book Club organization with Laura Gluhanich in 2012 because the two were annoyed by the demanding imperatives of traditional book clubs. In chroniclebooks.com’s “How to Start a Silent Book Club,” de la Mare offered: “It’s a guilt-free way to block out time in…

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‘Birds in crisis’: N America loses 3 billion birds in 50 years

Disappearance of meadows and prairies, expansion of farmlands, use of pesticide blamed for 29 percent drop since 1970. The number of birds in the United States and Canada has dropped by an astonishing 29 percent, or almost three billion, since 1970, scientists said on Thursday, saying their findings signalled a widespread ecological crisis. Grassland birds were the most affected, because of the disappearance of meadows and prairies and the extension of farmlands, as well as the growing use of pesticides that kill insects that affects the entire food chain. “Birds…

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Strategies for handling back-to-school stress

With the start of a new academic year come increased appointments, chaotic schedules and new environments. Millions of high schoolers and college students are already back in classrooms. With the start of a new academic year come increased appointments, chaotic schedules and new environments. Helpful strategies minimize stress and frustration build-up. Real Simple’s tips include: ‒ Get enough sleep. High schoolers need a solid eight to 10 hours, according to the National Sleep Foundation. ‒ Plan ahead. A whiteboard in a prominent place, featuring a week’s worth of appointments, practices,…

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Walmart likely discriminated against female employees: WSJ

Memos from the EEOC, a federal regulator, show 178 women were likely paid less than men and were also denied promotions. United States retail giant Walmart likely discriminated against scores of female employees because of their gender, the Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday, citing memos by the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) seen by the newspaper. The report quoted the EEOC memos as saying there was reasonable cause to believe Walmart denied 178 women promotions, paid them less than their male counterparts, or both. The charges involve workers…

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New York finds $1bn in hidden Sackler family wire transfers

NY state Attorney General Letitia James says owners of Oxycontin-producer Purdue Pharma made off with opioid ‘proceeds’. The billionaire family that owns Oxycontin-maker Purdue Pharma LP made about $1 billion in transfers among themselves and their shell companies while they were “draining Purdue of its opioids proceeds,” New York Attorney General Letitia James told a judge in a letter. The transfers, some through Swiss bank accounts, were revealed in documents provided by an unspecified financial institution in response to a subpoena – one of at least 10 banks facing demands…

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No fear: 13 random facts to get you through Friday the 13th

Friday the 13th can be spooky — if you’ve got paraskevidekatriaphobia. Both Fridays and the number 13 have a centuries-old tradition of being unlucky, according to Snopes, but the hubbub about Friday the 13th didn’t really get going until the 20th century. Here are 13 completely random facts about Friday the 13th to help you get through the day. 1. In 1908, a U.S. Senator from Oklahoma tempted fate by submitting 13 bills on Friday, March 13th. 2. You’re going to see a Friday the 13th at least every 14…

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Women made economic strides in 2018, but pay gap persists

Average household income largely remained flat as the number of uninsured went up, though the poverty rate declined. Women in the United States are landing more full-time jobs, bringing in bigger paycheques and rising out of poverty, according to US Census Bureau data released on Tuesday. But the gender pay gap persists. Economic gains for female workers were a notable bright spot in a report that showed US household incomes barely budged in 2018 – after growing for three straight years. The US Census Bureau said that median household income…

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Electrify this: Climate advocates target gas stoves

Fossil fuel firms fret that environmentalists present a major threat to their emissions-heavy business model. Dozens of cities in liberal-leaning states such as California, Washington, and Massachusetts are studying proposals to ban or limit the use of natural gas in commercial and residential buildings in the United States. The movement has opened a new front in the fight against climate change that could affect everything from heating systems in skyscrapers to stoves in suburban homes. Berkeley, California in July became the first US city to pass an ordinance banning gas systems…

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US gun laws: New firearms control legislation

Trump says he will only support gun laws that support public safety but also uphold the constitutional right to gun ownership. In the United States, a congressional committee wants to restart efforts to limit gun ownership. The issue has hampered Congress for more than 20 years following a series of mass shootings. As Al Jazeera’s Kimberly Halkett tells us, one of the biggest obstacles could be President Donald Trump.

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Walgreens, CVS, Wegmans ask customers not to openly carry guns

Several more US corporations tell shoppers that bringing their firearms into stores is bad for safety and security. Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc, CVS Health Corp and supermarket chain Wegmans Food Markets Inc have said they will start asking customers not to openly carry firearms in their stores. The companies on Thursday joined Walmart Inc and Kroger Co in a change of gun policy following several deadly mass shootings in the United States. The retailers are among a growing number of US companies, such as Delta Air Lines and Bank of…

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