OTTAWA – High-ranking Belgian officials played down a perceived snub of the Belgian king and queen by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau as the royal couple carried on day two of their week-long state visit to Canada.A meeting between Trudeau and the royal couple would have been preferred, Belgium’s deputy prime minister said in an interview Tuesday.“It’s all the time better to have contact with the prime minister,” Didier Reynders said.But Reynders, who is also Belgium’s foreign and European affairs minister, said he understood that Trudeau is dealing with more pressing political concerns: namely, showing support for his country’s steel and aluminum industries.Trudeau launched a cross-country tour of steel and aluminum mills this week in light of potential tariffs on the metals being imposed by the U.S. government, even though Canada and Mexico were granted a temporary exemption from the tariffs last week by President Donald Trump.“It’s a choice,” Reynders said of Trudeau’s decision to immerse himself in meetings with steel and aluminum producers.“We have full respect for such a choice.”A government source, who was not authorized to speak publicly and requested anonymity, said Belgian officials were told well in advance of the planned visit by King Philippe and Queen Mathilde that Trudeau would likely be unavailable to meet with them this week.But that message was relayed before the prime minister planned his outreach tour of cities that could be impacted by tariffs.What was more important for Belgium this week, said Reynders, was that Canada’s International Trade Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne was available to discuss trade issues with Belgian political and industrial leaders.“Of course we’d prefer also to discuss with the prime minister,” said Reynders.“As a politician, I fully understand that this may be a priority to be very close to the workers and very close to the different people in the steel industry and in aluminum than to organize a contact during a state visit.”Several other federal cabinet ministers have greeted the royals so far; among them Treasury Board President Scott Brison and Veterans Affairs Minister Seamus O’Regan, who was at Gov. Gen. Julie Payette’s side as she officially welcomed the couple Monday at Rideau Hall.King Philippe spoke Tuesday at the University of Ottawa where he also met with students and academics before attending a First World War commemoration, where a cannon from the war that was gifted to Belgium in 1919 was put on display at the Canadian War Museum.Trudeau, meanwhile, was in Hamilton, Ont., visiting the city’s two largest steel producers in a show of solidarity with workers as the Liberal government also worked back channels to ensure that Trump’s threat of tariffs doesn’t become a reality.Trump has tied Canada’s exemption from the tariffs to a successful and speedy conclusion to negotiations to modernize the North American Free Trade Agreement.On Monday, Trudeau visited aluminum facilities in Quebec, but also spoke with President Trump by telephone about the NAFTA talks and the potential threat to impose tariffs.The White House said Trump emphasized on that call “the importance of quickly concluding the ongoing NAFTA negotiation” while Trudeau said he warned that slapping tariffs on Canadian steel and aluminum would only serve to harm the NAFTA talks and would run counter to Trumps stated goals of saving American jobs and lifting the U.S. economy.Reynders said the unfolding tariff spat, which still threatens European industries, is a reminder of the importance of diversifying relations with countries, including Canada, where governments are more open to co-operative trade.He cited the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement, known as CETA, between Canada and the European Union, as a clear example of how countries and regions can mutually benefit from opening their doors to freer market access.Belgium is among the roughly 20 countries that have yet to ratify CETA, but that process could be completed by as early as the end of this year, Reynders predicted.It wasn’t too long ago that Canada was paying much attention to Belgium as it worked to overcome resistance to CETA by the European country’s Wallonia region, which held out the threat of vetoing the pact before it was eventually signed in October 2016.The Walloons were backed at the time by anti-trade activists in opposing CETA’s investor-state dispute settlement mechanism.But a change of government in Wallonia last year was expected to nullify any further resistance to ratification, Reynders suggested.“It’s (no longer) a problem to implement and ratify the entire document,” he said, save for a European court ruling expected soon on investor provisions of the agreement.
OTTAWA – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is reminding senators that his government was elected on a promise to legalize recreational marijuana — a subtle warning that they should not attempt to thwart the will of Canadians or the government they elected.The reminder comes amid some uncertainty over the fate of the pot legalization bill as it faces a second reading vote in the Senate this evening.Ordinarily, second reading — a vote on a bill in principle — would not be a big hurdle but, in this case, the 33 Conservative senators are vowing to vote en masse against Bill C-45.The Conservatives no longer dominate the 105-seat upper house but with more than a dozen independent and independent Liberal senators travelling on Senate committee business and a handful of others potentially voting against the bill, Senate insiders believe tonight’s vote could be very tight.While the unelected Senate exists to scrutinize and suggest improvements to bills passed by the House of Commons, Trudeau says Canadians voted to end the criminal prohibition on cannabis when they elected his Liberal government.He says the criminal regime has not protected Canadian kids, who are among the highest under-age users of marijuana in developed countries, and has put up to $7 billion every year in the pockets of organized crime.“The current system does not work,” Trudeau said following an event in New Brunswick.“This is not something that Canadians want to see continued.”
MONTREAL — A broken water pipe has flooded a tunnel on a major Montreal artery, submerging three cars.The west-end Atwater tunnel connecting downtown and neighbourhoods to the southwest flooded Tuesday morning after utility workers accidentally punctured the pipe.It filled with several feet of gushing water, which reached the roofs of vehicles belonging to subcontractors working nearby.Authorities say there were no injuries, and the water did not flood any nearby homes.Montreal Mayor Valerie Plante visited the site and warned the process of shutting the valve and pumping out the water would take several hours. She said workers from Energir, a natural gas company, broke the 60-centimetre water pipe.Benoit Dorais, the borough mayor in the southwestern Montreal district, said it wasn’t clear how long it would take before roads leading to the tunnel could reopen.The Canadian Press
OTTAWA — A timeline of Canada Post job action:Between 1965 and 2005:-19 strikes, lockouts and walkouts-Workers legislated back to work in 1987, 1991 and 19972007:-No labour disruptions as CUPW strikes four-year deal with Canada Post2011:-48,000 Canada Post workers begin job action June 2 with rotating strikes-Canada Post locks out workers June 14, saying it can’t operate under constant threat-Conservative government tables back-to-work bill June 20; stoppage ends June 272016:-CUPW wins challenge of previous back-to-work legislation in the Ontario Superior Court-Union and management sign two-year contract Aug. 30 without new disruption2018:-Canada Post workers begin rotating strikes in different cities Oct. 22-Labour Minister Patty Hajdu tables back to work legislation Nov. 22-Canadian Union of Postal Workers vows to fight in court if bill passesThe Canadian Press
The Canadian Press TORONTO — No winning ticket was sold for the $24.3 million jackpot in Saturday night’s Lotto 649 draw.However, the guaranteed $1 million prize was claimed by a ticket holder in Quebec.The jackpot for the next Lotto 649 draw on Jan. 30 will be approximately $30 million.
The Canadian Press Toronto’s Greektown community is expected to gather tonight to remember the victims of a mass shooting last summer.The vigil — set to begin at sunset — marks the first anniversary of the tragedy, which left two people dead and 13 others injured.It happened on a busy stretch of Danforth Avenue when a lone gunman went on a shooting rampage before killing himself.Eighteen-year-old Reese Fallon and 10-year-old Julianna Kozis were killed in the shooting.Their names will be read aloud at a parkette where Fallon was with a group of friends celebrating a birthday when the shots rang out.Church bells will ring and the community will hold a moment of silence.A commemorative ceremony was held Sunday at a nearby park where the community gathered for a moment of silence.Police have said the motive for the attack is not known, but the gunman, Faisal Hussain, had a long history of mental health issues.
VANCOUVER — British Columbia sold $18 million worth of cannabis in the first six months of legalization, equal to 2,084 kilograms of pot.The figures are contained in the liquor control branch’s annual report, which says supply shortages and slower provincial and municipal approvals resulted in the B.C. cannabis industry evolving at a slower rate.It says Statistics Canada estimates $2.2 billion worth of cannabis was sold in the fourth quarter of last year across the country, but 65 per cent of it was purchased illegally.The branch report says its strategy on pricing is focused on being competitive with the illegal market and there were 212,000 retail transactions through store and online sales, with an average transaction value of $74.38.The report says managing inventory levels when there are product shortages and unknown customer demand is challenging.When edibles are introduced, it says the industry will need to adapt again.Branch CEO Blain Lawson says it had a $2 million revenue shortfall this year, due mostly to the upfront costs of adding the distribution and retail sale of cannabis to its operations.The Canadian Press
Sport Relief is back and for the first time ever is asking the entire nation to take on a huge collective challenge – beating a billion steps a day, every day, from 17th-23rd March.A host of famous faces including Zoe Ball, Greg James and Alex Jones will lead the charge and take on their own epic challenges to raise money and inspire the public to make their steps count as part of Team Sport Relief.Running, dancing, dog walking or Zumba-ing all count towards the step total as the nation comes together to raise money and help vulnerable people, across the UK and the world, to live happier, healthier and safer lives.To help the nation keep track of their hard earned steps and ensure they count towards the national total, the brand new Sport Relief App will be available to download for free. Packed with innovative challenges, exclusive celebrity content and a national step tracker to keep count towards the billion, it will also include countless ways to get active and raise money for Sport Relief.Liz Warner, CEO of Comic Relief, said:“Sport Relief gets us all donning our trainers and taking on all types of sporty challenges or running a mile at school to help raise funds.“In 2018 we have more British celebrities than ever pushing themselves to the limit to help us raise money for Sport Relief, which gives fifty percent of funds to the UK and the other fifty percent to the most desperate communities in the world.“This is the first time we have asked the nation to take up a collective challenge and we can’t wait to see how many steps we can all do – let’s hit a billion steps and get more donations and sponsors coming in to help others.”Whether taking part for fun or fitness, the public can show their support for Sport Relief by getting kitted out in the limited edition merchandise, available from 15th February, from official partner Sainsbury’s and at sportrelief.com.Coming up this Sport Relief:Kicking things off with a bang, BBC Radio 1’s Greg James will take on another incredible challenge. Can Greg beat his last Sport Relief achievement of five triathlons in five days? Watch this space for more details of an unprecedented challenge that will push the DJ to his limits.He said: “My last challenge was unbelievably difficult but I think we’re about to top it. At the end of the fifth triathlon I said “never again” but after seeing the huge amount of good it did in raising over a million quid for truly deserving projects and people, I have been inspired to push myself harder. This challenge is even more ridiculous.”Next up, broadcast queen Zoe Ball will be taking on a very special BT sponsored Sport Relief challenge – a cycling feat with a difference, while raising awareness of mental health issues.Zoe said: “I feel honoured to be taking on such an epic challenge for Sport Relief and it means so much to me to raise awareness of mental health issues – a topic close to my heart. This will be an awesome adventure, with miles to cover, hills to climb and a lot of chafing!”Zoe will then hand the baton to The One Show’s Alex Jones who has teamed up with four inspiring mums for ‘The Mother of all Challenges’, with a focus on maternal health. Taking place across six days, it promises to push them to their limits with the support of Sport Relief legend Professor Greg Whyte.Alex said: “Over the years I’ve done a number of things for Sport Relief, some more dangerous than others, but I think this one’s got a really different feel to it. It’s a gang of us, a group of mothers and we’re doing it as a team. I’m really looking forward to meeting the mothers, and being part of another Sport Relief – it’s going to be a good one, it always is!”On Friday 23rd March, TV fans can also look forward to the night of TV action, live from Salford on BBC One. The night will include incredible boxing bouts, as celebrities take to the ring and go toe-to-toe after months of hard-hitting training. Spencer Matthews, Wayne Bridge, Vanessa White and Hannah Spearritt are getting ready to rumble, with plenty more names and exciting telly treats to be announced.Everyone has to start somewhere right? Airing in March, BBC Two’s ‘Famously Unfit… for Sport Relief’ will see Les Dennis, Susannah Constantine, Tameka Empson and Miles Jupp put through their paces in a series of gruelling tasks to regain their fitness and kick-start a new healthy lifestyle, before taking on a muddy and exhausting obstacle course in freezing temperatures.For more information on how to get involved with this year’s Sport Relief campaign, download the Sport Relief App or go to sportrelief.com.
Twitter Advertisement Facebook Ice is a 10-episode drama for DirecTV’s Audience Network set in Los Angeles that was originally picked up for a straight to series order in the fall of 2014. It was expected to go into production last spring, but is now set to begin in the Vancouver area today.Ice Season 1 revolves around the dark underground behind the city’s diamond-dealing industry; hence its appropriate title ‘Ice’. The series stars Cam Gigandet (The O.C., Twilight) and Jeremy Sisto (Suburgatory, Law & Order) who play half-brothers Jake and Freddy Green respectively. They’re joined by Raymond J. Barry (The Purge: Election Year, The 100) who plays their father, Isaac Green. Together, the trio have to navigate the family jewelry business through gang confrontations, deals gone bad and the feds. Advertisement LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Login/Register With:
Facebook Advertisement Login/Register With: Twitter You can experience Fibe TV on Apple TV first hand with live demonstrations at Bell stores across Québec and Ontario. Apple TV 4th generation 32 GB is now available at Bell stores in both provinces for $199, and you can also purchase through 310-BELL and online at Bell.ca/AppleTV.Since its introduction in 2010, Fibe TV has transformed television in Canada with the best picture quality available, the first 4K Wireless Whole Home PVR, the ability to Restart shows in progress or from the past 30 hours, access to the top 5 most-watched shows in Canada at any time with Trending, control your Fibe TV experience with your Apple Watch, and access to up to 450 channels on your mobile devices with the Fibe TV app.Discover the free Fibe TV app on the App Store for Apple TV or download on iPhone and iPad at AppStore.com/FibeTV. The app will download automatically on Apple TV for users with Automatic Downloads enabled.About BellBell is Canada’s largest communications company, providing consumers and business customers with wireless, TV, Internet, home phone, small business and enterprise communications services. Bell Media is Canada’s premier multimedia company with leading assets in television, radio, digital and out of home media. Bell is wholly owned by Montréal’s BCE Inc. (TSX, NYSE: BCE). For more information, please visit Bell.ca.The Bell Let’s Talk initiative promotes Canadian mental health with national awareness and anti-stigma campaigns like Bell Let’s Talk Day and significant Bell funding of community care and access, research, and workplace initiatives. To learn more, please visit Bell.ca/LetsTalk. LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Advertisement Fibe TV is now available on Apple TV, enabling consumers to experience Canada’s best television service alongside their music, photos, games and favourite apps on Apple TV 4th Generation.“Fibe TV continues to be the fastest growing TV service in Canada because of our constant focus on delivering new and exclusive features and building great partnerships to make television better,” said Rizwan Jamal, President of Bell Residential and Small Business. “Consumers can access Fibe TV through a receiver, on their computer or mobile device, and now, for the first time in Canada, on Apple TV.”With the Fibe TV app on Apple TV, you can watch up to 450 channels live or on demand – the most of any provider – and see the top trending shows at any time. By the end of the year, you’ll also be able to watch Fibe TV recordings as well as pause and rewind live TV on Apple TV. Advertisement
Advertisement Click Here to view a complete list of new projects that received fundingAbout the Canada Media FundThe Canada Media Fund (CMF) fosters, develops, finances and promotes the production of Canadian content and applications for all audiovisual media platforms. The CMF guides Canadian content towards a competitive global environment by fostering industry innovation, rewarding success, enabling a diversity of voice and promoting access to content through public and private sector partnerships. The CMF receives financial contributions from the Government of Canada and Canada’s cable, satellite and IPTV distributors. Please visit cmf-fmc.ca. Facebook Toronto, October 18, 2018 – The Canada Media Fund (CMF) announced today an investment of $9M to 43 projects that applied for funding through the 2018-2019 Convergent Digital Media Incentive. The Incentive is designed to encourage the production of digital media components that are related to CMF-funded television productions, so as to provide audiences with the opportunity to access content on different platforms.Of the 43 selected projects, 15 are in English and 28 in French; 12 are children’s and youth projects, 13 are documentaries, 17 are drama projects, and one is in the Variety and Performing Arts genre.Including this round of funding, since 2010, the CMF has invested more than $85.2M in 496 projects that received funding through the Convergent Digital Media Incentive. Advertisement Login/Register With: Advertisement LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Twitter
APTN National NewsRCMP has withdrawn from the disputed area and seismic testing trucks have been driven away.But overnight someone tried to burn down the RCMP detachment on the Elsipogtog First Nation.APTN’s Ossie Michelin was in Rexton for APTN.
APTN National NewsDozens of Cornwall Island residents have had enough.They feel left out by the current council and they want their old leadership structure brought back.APTN’s Danielle Rochette reports.
APTN InFocus with Cheryl McKenzie:Winnipeg’s civic election saw a record number of Aboriginal candidates.In this edition, two of those candidates share what inspired them to run, even though the odds were stacked against them.Could they be part of a new political generation motivated to ‘rock the boat’ by ‘rocking the vote?’Plus, we put a successful Metis entrepreneur who is creating a safe place for kids, InFocus.
APTN National News OTTAWA — The federal government’s strategy to deal with the high number of murdered and missing Indigenous women is not supported by nearly 60 studies that have examined the issue, according to a new report.The Harper government has rejected calls for a national inquiry into the causes behind the nearly 1,200 Indigenous women who have been murdered or gone missing since 1980, arguing the issue has been studied enough and now is the time for “action.” Justice Canada has even released a list of 40 reports to support that position.A report released Thursday shows that those 40 studies do not “support the government’s stance.” The report, by the Legal Strategy Coalition on Violence Against Indigenous Women (LSC), reviewed a total of 58 studies dating back to 1994.The LSC report said the federal government wrongly believes that violence against Indigenous women is not a sociological problem, but rather one as a “series of crimes.” Prime Minister Stephen Harper has said he personally doesn’t believe the issue to be a sociological one.“Despite diverse authors, the reports reviewed show strong consensus about the root causes of this violence; it is a sociological issue,” said the report. “The recommendations that are repeated time and again in so many of the reports highlight exactly why and inquiry is needed: to ascertain the extent to which these recommendations have been implemented and to identify and address obstacles to implementation.”The report said that many of the studies “stress that the economic and social marginalization of Indigenous women makes them more susceptible to violence and less able to escape violent circumstances.”The LSC report found that many of the studies found that a toxic mix of family breakdowns, overcrowded housing, food insecurity, lack of access to education and chronic underfunding for services targeting Indigenous women increased their exposure and vulnerability to violence.Added to this is the continuing racism and sexism in Canada, the legacies of colonialism, the shadow of residential schools and discriminatory legislation like the Indian Act.“And yet, police and health care professionals fail to adequately prioritize the health and safety of Indigenous women and a lack of culturally sensitive programs prevent the services that already exist from addressing challenges specific to Indigenous women’s experiences,” said the report.Executive Summary of LSC reportDownload (PDF, Unknown)The report was released a day before a planned roundtable on murdered and missing Indigenous women that will include federal and provincial premiers and cabinet ministers along with Indigenous leaders and the families of victims.The roundtable aims to hammer out a strategy to stem the disproportionate level of violence faced by Indigenous women.LSC includes a number of First Nation, universities and human rights organizations including Amnesty International, the Nova Scotia Native Women’s Association, Dalhousie University, University of Saskatchewan, Aboriginal Legal Services Toronto and the Canadian Association of Elizabeth Fry Societies, among email@example.com@APTNNews
Tom Fennario APTN National NewsMontreal is spending a lot money to tear down a subway entrance that offers the city’s homeless shelter from bad weather.The entrance is near Cabot Square, a downtown park popular with Inuit.Some say the money should be spent better.
SEOUL, South Korea – Hyundai Motor Co. said Thursday it will begin selling its first self-driving vehicles by 2021 in partnership with U.S. based self-driving technology startup Aurora Innovation Inc.Within in three years, Hyundai and Aurora will bring autonomous vehicles to markets that can operate without human input in most conditions, the company said in a statement.The auto industry designates that as “level 4 autonomous driving,” just one stage short of fully autonomous driving.The partnership has yet to say how its first batch of self-driving vehicles will be used, but analysts expect they likely be for commercial use, such as self-driving taxis or ride-hailing services, rather than for sales to individual consumers. General Motors said in November that its self-driving vehicles will carry passengers and deliver goods in big cities by 2019.Aurora was founded by a former chief technology officer at Google’s self-driving car unit, a former Tesla Autopilot director and a former self-driving engineer at Uber.Hyundai has been pursuing partnerships to keep pace with changes in an industry that is being transformed by artificial intelligence, autonomous driving and other cutting edge-technologies.It earlier joined with Cisco Systems Inc. and Baidu Inc. to collaborate on internet-connected cars. It has also set up a $45 million fund with South Korea’s SK Telecom and Hanwha Asset Management to invest in artificial intelligence startups worldwide.The South Korean automaker plans to share more details of its project with Aurora during the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas next week, where it will also unveil the brand name of a new fuel-cell SUV that will be tested for self-driving technology.The company plans to show off some of its autonomous driving cars during the Winter Olympics Game next month in Pyeongchang, South Korea.
WASHINGTON – The Supreme Court cleared the way Monday for states coast to coast to legalize betting on sports, breaking a longtime ban and creating a potential financial boon for states and the gambling industry. The first bets could be placed within weeks.Despite opposition from the major sports leagues and the Trump administration, the high court struck down a federal law that had barred betting on football, basketball, baseball and other sports in most states. States that want to take advantage of the ruling now will generally have to pass legislation to allow sports books to open. Some, including New Jersey, which brought the case to the Supreme Court, have a head start.Sports leagues had expressed concerns about any expansion of sports gambling. Their huge businesses could be badly harmed if people thought the outcome of games could be altered by someone who had wagered money on a certain result.However, the ruling also could be seen as merely bringing an activity out of the shadows that many people already see as a mainstream hobby. Americans wager about $150 billion on sports each year illegally, according to the American Gaming Association. The law the justices struck down forbade state-authorized sports gambling with some exceptions and made Nevada the only state where a person could wager on the results of a single game.Stock prices for casino operators and equipment makers surged after the ruling was announced.Gambling on sports could quickly become widely available, with one research firm estimating that 32 states would likely offer sports betting within five years.The ruling “opens up the floodgates” for sports gambling in any state that wants to have it, said Daniel Wallach, a sports law expert in Florida.The decision had been eagerly anticipated by gamblers and also states that hope their cut of legalized sports betting can help solve budget problems. States that have already laid the legal groundwork include New Jersey, where one racetrack said it would begin taking bets within two weeks. Mississippi and West Virginia have also been preparing for sports betting, and gamblers there could be placing bets as early as this summer and certainly before the NFL season starts in September.Delaware, too, could quickly expand beyond certain bets currently offered at its casinos. Pennsylvania and New York have also made moves to begin sports gambling. However, other states that want to allow sports betting could still see several Super Bowls come and go before people there can place a legal bet close to home.The Trump administration had urged the high court to uphold the law, surprising perhaps because the president is the former owner of a New Jersey casino, the Trump Taj Mahal, now being remade into a Hard Rock casino resort. All four major U.S. professional sports leagues and the NCAA also had urged the court to uphold the federal law, saying a gambling expansion would hurt the integrity of their games. They also said that with legal sports betting in the United States, they’d have to spend a lot more money monitoring betting patterns and investigating suspicious activity.Sports gambling proponents argued that the leagues already do that work and that legal sports betting will make enforcement easier than it is now, when most bets in the U.S. are made illegally. They say state regulators are capable of monitoring suspicious bets, as is done in Nevada.On Monday, NBA commissioner Adam Silver and Major League Baseball issued statements saying the “integrity” of their games would remain a priority. Representatives of the National Hockey League, National Football League and NCAA said they were reviewing the court’s decision.Some saw other concerns, including for some gamblers. The ruling “will likely increase gambling participation and gambling problems unless steps are taken to minimize harm,” said Marlene Warner, the president of the National Council on Problem Gambling’s board of directors. The council said any government body or sports league that receives a direct percentage or portion of sports betting revenue should dedicate some of it to treat gambling problems.The law the justices struck down was passed by Congress in 1992 and called the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act.Justice Samuel Alito wrote for the court, “The legalization of sports gambling requires an important policy choice, but the choice is not ours to make.” The court’s “job is to interpret the law Congress has enacted and decide whether it is consistent with the Constitution,” he wrote. “PASPA is not.”Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer and Sonia Sotomayor dissented. Ginsburg wrote for the three that when a portion of a law violates the Constitution, the court “ordinarily engages in a salvage rather than a demolition operation,” preserving what it can. She said that instead of using a “scalpel to trim the statute” her colleagues used “an axe.” Breyer agreed with the majority that part of the law must be struck down but said that should not have doomed the rest of the law.Congress could try to step in again. Sen. Orrin Hatch said he would soon introduce legislation to set national standards for sports betting, but It is unclear whether the rest of Congress will want to join him.The ruling was a particular victory for New Jersey, which has fought for years to legalize gambling on sports at casinos and racetracks. Former Republican Gov. Chris Christie tweeted that it was a “great day for the rights of states and their people to make their own decisions.” The state’s current governor, Democrat Phil Murphy, said he was “thrilled” to see the high court strike down the “arbitrary ban.” Several hours after the Supreme Court ruled, New Jersey lawmakers introduced new legislation that would regulate and tax sports gambling in the state.Casinos and racetracks in the state are also moving quickly. Monmouth Park, a racetrack at the Jersey Shore, has already set up a sports book operation and said Monday it plans to start taking bets within two weeks “unless someone stops us.” And Tony Rodio, president of Tropicana Entertainment, said his Atlantic City casino will offer sports betting once it can get it up and running.“It’s been a long time coming,” he said.___Parry reported from Atlantic City, New Jersey. Associated Press reporters Michael Catalini in Oceanport, New Jersey; Ben Nuckols in Washington and Steve Megargee in Knoxville, Tennessee, contributed reporting.___Follow Jessica Gresko on Twitter at http://twitter.com/jessicagresko
DETROIT — Even though unemployment is low, the economy is growing and U.S. auto sales are near historic highs, General Motors is cutting thousands of jobs in a major restructuring aimed at generating cash to spend on innovation.It’s the new reality for automakers that are faced with the present cost of designing gas-powered cars and trucks that appeal to buyers now while at the same time preparing for a future world of electric and autonomous vehicles.GM announced Monday that it will cut as many as 14,000 workers in North America and put five plants up for possible closure as it abandons many of its car models and restructures to focus more on autonomous and electric vehicles.CEO Mary Barra said as cars and trucks become more complex, GM will need more computer coders but fewer engineers who work on internal combustion engines.“The vehicle has become much more software-oriented” with millions of lines of code, she said. “We still need many technical resources in the company.”The reductions could amount to as much as 8 per cent of GM’s global workforce of 180,000 employees.The restructuring also reflects changing North American auto markets as manufacturers continue to shift away from cars toward SUVs and trucks. In October, almost 65 per cent of new vehicles sold in the U.S. were trucks or SUVs. That figure was about 50 per cent cars just five years ago.GM is shedding cars largely because it doesn’t make money on them, Citi analyst Itay Michaeli wrote in a note to investors.“We estimate sedans operate at a significant loss, hence the need for classic restructuring,” he wrote.The reduction includes about 8,000 white-collar employees, or 15 per cent of GM’s North American white-collar workforce. Some will take buyouts while others will be laid off.At the factories, around 3,300 blue-collar workers could lose jobs in the U.S. and another 2,600 in Canada, but some U.S. workers could transfer to truck or SUV factories that are increasing production. The cuts mark GM’s first major downsizing since shedding thousands of jobs in the Great Recession.The company also said it will stop operating two additional factories outside North America by the end of next year.The move to make GM get leaner before the next downturn likely will be followed by Ford Motor Co., which also has struggled to keep one foot in the present and another in an ambiguous future of new mobility. Ford has been slower to react, but says it will lay off an unspecified number of white-collar workers as it exits much of the car market in favour of trucks and SUVs, some of them powered by batteries.The GM layoffs come amid the backdrop of a trade wars between the U.S., China and Europe that likely will lead to higher prices for imported vehicles and those exported from the U.S. Barra said the company faces challenges from tariffs but she did not directly link the layoffs to them.GM doesn’t foresee an economic downturn and is making the cuts “to get in front of it while the company is strong and while the economy is strong,” Barra told reporters.Factories that could be closed include assembly plants in Detroit and Oshawa, Ontario, and Lordstown, Ohio, as well as transmission plants in Warren, Michigan, and near Baltimore.The announcement worried GM workers who could lose their jobs.“I don’t know how I’m going to feed my family,” Matt Smith, a worker at the Ontario factory, said Monday outside the plant’s south gate, where workers blocked trucks from entering or leaving. “It’s hard. It’s horrible.” Smith’s wife also works at the plant. The couple has an 11-month-old at home.Workers at the Ontario plant walked off the job Monday but were expected to return Tuesday.After the morning announcement, Barra headed for Washington to speak with White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow in what was described as a previously scheduled meeting.President Donald Trump, who has made bringing back auto jobs a big part of his appeal to Ohio and other Great Lakes states that are crucial to his re-election, said his administration and lawmakers are exerting “a lot of pressure” on GM.Trump said he was being tough on Barra, telling the company that the U.S. has done a lot for GM and that if its cars aren’t selling, the company needs to produce ones that will.At a rally near GM’s Lordstown, Ohio, plant last summer, Trump told people not to sell their homes because the jobs are “all coming back.”Most of the factories to be affected by GM’s restructuring build cars that will not be sold in the U.S. after next year. They could close or they could get different vehicles to build. Their futures will be part of contract talks with the United Auto Workers union next year.The Detroit-based union has already condemned GM’s actions and threatened to fight them “through every legal, contractual and collective bargaining avenue open to our membership.”Bobbi Marsh, who has worked assembling the Chevrolet Cruze compact car at the Ohio plant since 2008, said she can’t understand why the factory might close given the strong economy.“I can’t believe our president would allow this to happen,” she said Monday. Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown said the move will be disastrous for the region around Youngstown, Ohio, east of Cleveland, where GM is one of the area’s few remaining industrial anchors.“GM received record tax breaks as a result of the GOP’s tax bill last year, and has eliminated jobs instead of using that tax windfall to invest in American workers,” he said in a statement.GM, the nation’s largest automaker, will stop producing cars and transmissions at the plants through 2019. In all, six car models were scrapped, leaving the company with nine remaining car models for its four brands, Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet and GMC.Among the cars that won’t be made after next year is the Chevrolet Volt rechargeable gas-electric hybrid. When introduced a decade ago, the Volt was meant to be a bridge to fully electric cars, the company said. It has a small battery that can take it about 50 miles, then it switches to a small gasoline engine.But since it was introduced, battery technology has improved dramatically, GM said. Now the full-electric Chevrolet Bolt can go up to 238 miles on a single charge.The United Auto Workers promised to fight any plant closures and criticized GM for cutting U.S. jobs while building full-size pickups in Mexico. It also recently announced that a new Chevrolet Blazer SUV will be built there. Also, GM imports the Buick Envision midsize SUV from China.___Associated Press writers Rob Gillies in Toronto, John Seewer in Toledo, Ohio, and Zeke Miller in Washington contributed to this report.Tom Krisher, The Associated Press
BOISE, Idaho — Some CenturyLink customers across the country were without the internet as outages stretched from New York to California.The company said on Twitter Thursday that its network was “experiencing a disruption” and that it was working to quickly restore services. It provided no other details, including how many customers were affected. CenturyLink didn’t respond to a request for comment.Jessica Rosenworcel, a member of the Federal Communications Commission, said via Twitter that this was a “nationwide outage” and her agency needed to investigate.It appeared that most of the trouble was in the West.The Idaho Statesman reports that the internet problems led to the temporary shutdown of phone services at the Idaho Department of Correction and the state’s Department of Education.There were reports of ATM machines not working in Idaho and Montana.The Associated Press