04/03/2014 (6:48 am)

Rubicon Project climbs after IPO prices at $101.5M

Filed under: loans, news |

NEW YORK (AP) — Shares of The Rubicon Project jumped Wednesday morning after the ad exchange’s initial public offering priced at $101.5 million.

The offering of 6.8 million shares priced at $15 a share, at the low end of its expectations. Rubicon is selling 5.4 million shares and will get $81.3 million in gross proceeds, while the rest of the shares are being sold by Rubicon shareholders.

Shares of The Rubicon Project Inc. gained $3.30, or 22 percent, to $18 cash advance payday loan.30 in morning trading.

Rubicon operates a digital ad exchange that automates the buying and selling of online advertising. It is based in Los Angeles.

The shares are trading on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol “RUBI.”


04/01/2014 (12:16 pm)

Syrup makers go high tech with wireless monitoring

Filed under: loans, online |

MILTON, Vt. (AP) — For years, vacuum tubing technology has allowed maple syrup producers to draw more sap from trees, but such systems are prone to leaks caused by falling branches or hungry critters chewing on lines.

Finding and repairing those leaks can take hours of trudging through often snow-packed woods. This season, however, some Vermont syrup producers are trying new wireless monitoring systems that allow them to keep track of their sap lines from the sugar house. They’re using computers and smartphones to pinpoint the location of leaks, allowing them to make quick fixes and get better yields during the four-to six-week sugaring season payday loans.

The inventor of one tracking system says it can net a 5 percent increase in production, the kind of jump that could only otherwise be expected by increasing manpower.


03/27/2014 (2:16 pm)

Will Central African Republic become a battleground for religious radicals?

Filed under: finance, loans |

BANGUI, CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC—The threat of the Central African Republic becoming the latest battleground for religious radicals is increasing as the country remains divided and the security situation precarious.

In a wide-ranging interview with the Toronto Star, the country’s top United Nations representative warned that the conflict will spill beyond its borders if the country’s Muslim and Christian populations do not reconcile and civilians remain fearful of returning home.

Al Qaeda-linked groups in nearby Mali and Nigeria are citing the plight of CAR’s Muslim population with increasing frequency and are encouraging attacks against France, which sent troops here in December after fighting left 1,000 dead in just two days.

Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) accuses the French of launching a “crusade against Islam,” and a leader with the Nigerian-based Boko Haram has reportedly vowed to avenge the deaths of the country’s Muslims.

The Central African Republic is even cited by fighters purportedly in Syria — including one bizarre, but slickly produced 18-minute video by German ex-rapper “Deso Dogg,” who calls for jihad.

Such hostile statements are being followed “very, very carefully,” said Lt. Gen. (retired) Babacar Gaye, the UN’s highest-ranking official in Bangui and special adviser to Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.

“I hope that we will be in a position to expedite whatever should be done in terms of reconciliation in terms of the communities. I think this is the best way to delay . . . any actions of these terrorist groups,” he said. “Not only will they not have reasons to come, there will be no grievances that may serve the justification.”

But CAR remains dangerously split — with Muslim residents occupying only two neighbourhoods in the capital Bangui, and the rest seeking refuge in the north or neighbouring countries.

The country was once mercilessly ruled by a mainly Muslim militia known as the Seleka, which included fighters from Chad and Sudan. Vigilante squads known as anti-balaka, which drew members from the majority Christian population, clashed with the Seleka, prompting the French and African Union forces to intervene. Seleka-backed President Michel Djotodia was pushed from power in January and Catherine Samba-Panza, Bangui’s former mayor, was appointed interim president.

The roots of this conflict, which has killed thousands and threatens to permanently divide this small landlocked country, are complicated and not about religion. The Seleka did not call for a state governed by Islamic law, nor did they espouse the ideology favoured by groups such as AQIM. Just a year ago there was religious harmony in CAR — mosques and churches are only blocks apart in the capital, communities mixed and intermarriage between faiths is common.

But in retribution for months of Seleka killings, sexual violence and looting, the anti-balaka blindly targeted all Muslims. Women and children are among the dead.

At a recent demonstration in PK12, a makeshift camp of Muslim women and children, criticism was directed at the French for not ensuring the security of Muslim residents. Ibrahim Alawad, the 52-year-old self-appointed leader of the camp and a former member of the Sudan People’s Liberation Army who organized the small march, will list a litany of alleged crimes of the French troops stationed nearby to visiting reporters easy payday loans.

The question is whether the cycle of killings will continue as the Seleka regroups in the north and seeks outside help. Of particular concern to intelligence and security services is the largely remote northern Vakaga province, which shares a border with Sudan’s Darfur region. The whereabouts of Seleka leader Noureddine Adam and reports that he has travelled to Nigeria fuel speculation of future Boko Haram involvement.

For now, the extremist calls for jihad are just rhetoric. And Islamic militant groups operating in Africa would face significant logistical hurdles, including CAR’s unfamiliar terrain. “Their familiarity with often harsh and inhospitable desert conditions have given them the edge over regional and/or international forces tasked with uprooting them from such areas,” wrote security analyst Ryan Cummings recently in Think African Press. “However, these desert plains of North and West Africa differ considerably with the jungle and savannah bushes which comprise much of the CAR.”

But Gaye said the extremist threats are not being taken lightly and without additional peacekeepers and increased international funding, the interim government under Samba-Panza is destined to fail. “Today the reality is very simple,” he said. “Without international community support, it won’t be possible for this new government — upon which we put a lot of expectations — it will not be possible for them to deliver.”

Ban’s call for a UN peacekeeping mission of 12,000 troops and police to join the 2,000-strong French force and 6,000 African Union peacekeepers here is being debated by the Security Council. Gaye welcomed news that Canadian senator and retired Gen. Romeo Dallaire is urging Canada to join the mission if approved.

Also a veteran peacekeeper, Gaye said he served alongside Canadian forces during his first mission in Sinai, in 1974. “We had excellent relations, probably because of the French-speaking proximity but also because they are very professional and experienced in peacekeeping,” he said. “We are expecting the return of Canada to peacekeeping.”

Beyond the gates of the UN compound where we sat during the recent interview, there was a deceptive calm in Bangui. Life is slowly returning to the downtown streets, where just a couple months ago fires burned and discarded bodies lay unclaimed.

Stores owned by Christian merchants have reopened and students have returned to school, although the numbers are small as most parents are still too frightened to leave their children alone. Later that evening, before the nightly curfew, the setting sun casts a warm glow over roadside patios where men and women unwind over large bottles of the local Mocaf beer.

But that calm is easily shattered by evening gunfire and attacks in the two remaining Muslim neighbourhoods of PK5 and PK12, and the French and AU tanks that patrol the streets are a reminder of what is needed to ensure security in a city that lacks a functioning police force, army or court system.


03/19/2014 (3:12 pm)

Horizon Pharma to acquire Vidara for about $660M

Filed under: loans, mortgage |

DEERFIELD, Ill. • Horizon Pharma Inc. plans to buy the privately held Vidara Therapeutics International Ltd. in a cash-and-stock deal that will add the immune system disorder drug Actimmune to the specialty drugmaker’s product portfolio.

Shares of Horizon soared in premarket trading Wednesday after the Deerfield, Ill., company said it will pay about $660 million in a deal that creates an Ireland-based company named Horizon Pharma PLC.

Vidara shareholders will receive $200 million in cash and retain about a 26 percent stake in Horizon Pharma PLC.

Horizon Chairman and CEO Timothy P. Walbert will keep those titles with the combined company.

Vidara has operations in both Dublin and the United States. It bought Actimmune from InterMune Inc. in 2012 for $55 million. The drug tallied nearly $59 million in sales for Vidara last year.

Walbert said in a statement that the addition of Actimmune complements his company’s business model, which focuses on promotions to primary care doctors and specialists. Horizon’s portfolio already includes Vimovo, which is approved as a treatment for symptoms of osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.

The company also said the deal gives it a “tax efficient corporate structure” to support growth and acquisitions.

Horizon said the boards of both companies have unanimously approved the acquisition, which is expected to close in the middle of the year.

Shares of Horizon were up nearly 20 percent, or $2.92, to $17.60 in premarket trading more than an hour before markets opened Wednesday. That would easily top the company’s all-time high price during regular trading of $14.75, which the stock reached Tuesday.

The shares have nearly doubled in value since closing 2013 at $7.62.


02/15/2014 (3:12 am)

Doctors fear kids

Filed under: Uncategorized, loans |

Two prominent medical researchers are calling for global restrictions on industrial chemicals so as to protect children from “a global, silent pandemic” of brain disorders, among them ADHD and autism.

“Our very great concern is that children worldwide are being exposed to unrecognized toxic chemicals that are silently eroding intelligence, disrupting behaviours, truncating future achievements and damaging societies,” the scientists warn in a review published Friday in The Lancet Neurology.

Developing brains in the womb and throughout childhood are much more susceptible to harmful toxins than are those of adults, said co-author Dr. Philippe Grandjean in an interview from Copenhagen. (He is a professor at the University of Southern Denmark.)

Current regulations are “woefully inadequate” to protect children from daily exposure to contaminants in clothes, toys and furniture and in the air they breathe, said Grandjean, who also teaches at the Harvard School of Public Health.

He and co-author Dr. Philip Landrigan call for the creation of an international clearing house that would co-ordinate testing of all existing and new compounds.

It’s time, they say, to put the onus on manufacturers to prove chemicals are low-risk before they are used rather than rely on the “dangerous presumption” that new chemicals are safe until proven otherwise.

Their paper coincides with steady increases in worldwide rates of neurodevelopmental conditions such as autism and ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder). One in 88 children is currently diagnosed with autism, up 600 per cent in the past 20 years. In the U.S., the diagnosis rate for ADHD has skyrocketed by more than 50 per cent in the past decade.

While new diagnostic criteria and greater awareness play a role in the alarming increases, scientists are also exploring other explanations.

Autism researchers, who once focused on the disorder’s genetic roots, are now exploring how the complex interaction of genes and environment may trigger the disorder in some children.

There is currently little scientific evidence linking industrial chemicals to specific disorders like autism, says Evdokia Anagnostou, clinician scientist at Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Centre in Toronto.

However, to safeguard developing brains, more stringent rules and testing are long overdue, she said.

“This is not about avoiding a specific disorder. This is about promoting brain health,” said Anagnostou, who is also a principal investigator with the Province of Ontario Neurodevelopmental Disorders Network.

Both Grandjean and Landrigan have spent more than 30 years studying the impact of chemicals on children’s health. Landrigan is a professor at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York and director of the hospital’s Children’s Environmental Health Center.

In a 2006 review, Grandjean and Landrigan documented five chemicals harmful to brain development, including lead and methyl mercury. Since then, the number of known “neurotoxicants” has doubled and the two scientists believe many more — still unrecognized — are doing damage.

If action is not taken now, “we are endangering the brains of the future,” said Grandjean.

Environmentalist Rick Smith, executive director of the Broadbent Institute and co-author of two books on the subject, called this latest paper important, saying it reflects the “indisputable” science and the mounting worry about the impact of chemicals we absorb daily.

The study will likely draw attention from patients as well as those in the field, said Dr. Rosanna Weksberg, a specialist in epigenetics at the Hospital for Sick Children’s research institute in Toronto.

Despite the lack of research on the role of chemical exposure in developmental disorders like autism, Weksberg said that “there is enough scientific evidence that there may be a link and that it deserves appropriate in-depth investigation.”

More at thestar.com:

Kids with autism benefit from outdoor classroom

Side effects of ADHD drugs shock parents


01/23/2014 (12:32 pm)

Lira Extra Tightening Policy Discarded by Market: Turkey Credit - Bloomberg

Filed under: loans, money |

The market is telling Turkey

01/18/2014 (12:08 pm)

Builders Begin Work on More U.S. Homes Than Forecast - Bloomberg

Filed under: USA, loans |

The pace of U.S. home construction dropped less than forecast in December, capping the best year for the industry since 2007.

Housing starts fell 9.8 percent to a 999,000 annualized rate following November

01/02/2014 (10:24 am)

Japan Population Falls by Record in Challenge for Abe

Filed under: legal, loans |


12/26/2013 (8:16 pm)

Obamacare deadline extended by one day

Filed under: loans, online |

The deadline had been Monday, Dec. 23 for people who want coverage by Jan. 1. People can now sign up through Tuesday, Dec. 24.

The administration said the change was made for people who attempted to sign-up on Monday but encountered Web site delays. The administration reported record-high traffic to healthcare.gov on Monday.

“Anticipating high demand and the fact that consumers may be enrolling from multiple time zones, we have taken steps to make sure that those who select a plan through tomorrow will get coverage for Jan 1,” said Julie Bataille, spokeswoman with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, which is running the federal site, healthcare.gov.

At least one insurer was surprised by the last-minute extension. An Aetna spokeswoman said she had no knowledge of it and no additional comment.

Another insurer, Kaiser Permanente, said it did not think the one-day change would pose any “significant challenges” to getting people covered by Jan. 1.

As it currently stands, if you miss the new deadline, the earliest you’d be able to get coverage is Feb. 1.

There’s been a lot of confusion surrounding the deadlines for applying for Obamacare — and with good reason. Federal and state governments, as well as insurers, keep changing the dates, mainly to accommodate those blocked from completing enrollment due to technical problems.

More than a million people have signed up for private insurance in the federal and state exchanges, President Obama said Friday. And exchanges are reporting heavy interest in recent days.

Each consumer faces two deadlines: One by which to choose a plan and another for making a payment.

Federal exchange: As of now, if you live in one of the 36 states serviced by the federal enrollment website, healthcare.gov, your best bet for getting hassle-free coverage in 2014 is to select a policy by end of the day on Tuesday and pay your first month’s premium by Dec. 31.

Healthcare.gov fails the uninsured

However, the insurance industry trade group said last week that folks who pay by Jan. 10 can have coverage retroactive to the start of the year. But the group stressed that coverage doesn’t begin until the first payment is made. So people who wait until the 10th to pay might have to shell out for their initial medical care up front and file for reimbursement from their provider.

State exchanges: If you are applying in one of the 14 states running its own exchange, you may have a different set of deadlines.

New York followed the federal government’s lead, pushing the deadline back to 11:55 p.m. on Tuesday.

In Maryland and Oregon, residents have until Dec. 27 to pick a policy, with at least two Maryland insurers giving applicants until Dec. 31. Consumers in those states have until Jan. 15 to pay.

Minnesota residents have until Dec. 31 to pick a plan and have coverage start the next day, exchange officials said Friday. They have until Jan. 10 to pay.

Rhode Islanders also have until Dec. 31 to pick a plan and have coverage start the next day. But they have to pay their first premium by Jan. 6 and won’t receive an ID card until they do.

The change was made “to make sure more Rhode Islanders are able to have health care on January 1,” said Dara Chadwick, spokeswoman for the Rhode Island exchange. “There’s been a lot of confusion in the messaging.”

In Washington, residents who try to apply by Monday but run into problems have until Jan. 15 to pick and pay for a plan. Coverage will be retroactive to Jan. 1.

Other states have extended the deadline to pay the premium.

California is giving residents until Jan. 6, Vermont until Jan. 7 and Connecticut until Jan. 10.

Regardless of where you live, you should call your insurer of choice to check its deadlines and, after you pay, check your enrollment status.

For those who miss the deadline altogether, don’t worry. You can still get coverage starting Feb. 1 if you pick a plan by January 15 and pay by the end of January.

Open enrollment ends March 31. The uninsured must pick a plan by then to avoid a penalty. These procrastinators would see coverage start May 1.


12/20/2013 (7:24 am)

Hazel McCallion’s son faces dozens of charges for not filing taxes

Filed under: loans, marketing |

Mississauga Mayor Hazel McCallion’s son will appear in court in the New Year to possibly resolve 53 charges against him for allegedly violating tax laws.

The Canada Revenue Agency said Thursday a judge will continue hearing a case against realtor Peter McCallion in January or February, involving allegations under the Income Tax Act and Excise Tax Act. An agency official said the case could lead to sentencing at that time on charges of failing to file corporate and personal tax returns since 2004.

McCallion, 60, also faces allegations he did not file goods and services tax and harmonized sales tax returns during the same period, according to the charges.

McCallion has already appeared at least twice in court. If found guilty, he could face a maximum fine of $25,000 and 12 months in jail on each count.

McCallion, whose mother’s support for his failed business dealings formed the core of a $7-million judicial inquiry over conflict of interest in 2010, didn’t respond to requests for comment from the Mississauga News during the past two days.

Toronto tax lawyer Philippe DioGuardi, who is representing McCallion, said through a spokesperson that he couldn’t discuss the case.

Among the numerous allegations in a sworn information document filed in Brampton court, the agency says McCallion failed to file “income tax and benefit return forms … including a statement of income and expenses for each business activity” over the past four years.

They also charge that McCallion, as the director of 100 Emby Drive Inc. in Streetsville, “did unlawfully direct, authorize, assent to, acquiesce in, or participate in the failure of (the company) to file a completed and signed Corporation Income Tax Return . . . including schedules and the General Index of Financial Information,” since 2004.

Mayor McCallion told the Mississauga News Thursday she didn’t know about the charges or details and therefore couldn’t comment payday loans with no fax.

She said she didn’t know much about her son’s finances or personal life. “You think I follow my family around?” she said. “They don’t even know where I am most times.”

It’s not known how much Peter McCallion owes in unpaid taxes.

A hint of his financial situation surfaced during the Mississauga Judicial Inquiry, which looked into Mayor McCallion’s conduct regarding a failed purchase agreement for a $14.4-million parcel of land owned at the time by the Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System. The deal involved Peter McCallion and a company in which he was a principal called World Class Developments.

Court documents described the mayor’s participation in at least two private meetings on the deal while the issue of rezoning the downtown property was before council. Her son was a third party at the inquiry.

One document revealed he earned $50,000 to $60,000 a year selling houses for De Zen Homes.

However, he owned no property and turned over the title of his own house to partially pay off a debt. The document also stated that McCallion was responsible for the balance of the debt — $5,000 a month to cover mortgage and home expenses.

At the time, McCallion had not filed a tax return for several years and was “not aware of how much he owes Revenue Canada,” according to the document. It indicated he owed $12,500 in taxes as of 2005.

When OMERS backed away from a conditional sale of the land, $4 million was paid to World Class Developments, but the inquiry found Peter McCallion received none of that.


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