Sunday, December 21, 2014

National

‘Santa’ hands out cash

BARNSTABLE, Mass.—A generous mystery man has made the holiday season a little brighter for employees of two Massachusetts coffee shops.
A man wearing a cowboy hat walked into Marylou’s in Hyannis last weekend and handed the worker behind the counter 15 envelopes—each containing a crisp $100 bill.

Ugly Christmas tree gets Charlie Brown fix

READING, Pa.—Reading’s official Christmas tree has brought the city plenty of grief.
Good grief.
When the 50-foot Norway spruce went up last month, it drew immediate comparisons to the scraggly sapling in “A Charlie Brown Christmas.”

Wynne still pushing for Harper meeting

TORONTO—Ontario’s premier hopes Prime Minister Stephen Harper doesn’t have a “vendetta” against the people of the province, saying the well-being of Canadians should dictate their working relationship, not his “feelings.”

Average gas price below $1/litre

OTTAWA—The average cost of a litre of gasoline in Canada has dropped below $1 for the first time in nearly four-and-a-half years, according to price monitoring website GasBuddy.com.
While many locations across the country have seen prices below that mark for a couple of weeks, yesterday was the first time since Aug. 30, 2010 that the average dipped to 99.9 cents.

Most still holiday shopping

TORONTO—A new poll suggests most Canadians are procrastinators when it comes to holiday shopping.
According to CIBC, 64 percent of those recently surveyed said they had yet to finish shopping for holiday gifts this year.
The poll found people aged 18-34 were the most likely to have put off hitting the mall, with 71 percent admitting they still have people to cross off their lists.

Inflation rate slows

OTTAWA—A big drop in pump prices helped slow Canada’s annual inflation rate last month to 2.0 percent as it offset rising costs of other goods, Statistics Canada said.
The statistical agency found prices rose in every major category of the consumer price index compared to a year earlier except for transportation—in large part due to the sharp fall in gasoline prices.

Black teen’s execution ‘great injustice’: judge

COLUMBIA, S.C.—More than 70 years after the state of South Carolina sent a 14-year-old black boy to the electric chair after the killings of two white girls in a segregated mill town, a judge threw out his conviction, saying the state committed a great injustice.

U.S.-Cuba to normalize ties

WASHINGTON—U.S. President Barack Obama yesterday announced the re-establishment of diplomatic relations with Cuba and declared an end to America’s “outdated approach” to the communist island in a historic shift aimed at ending a half-century of Cold War enmity.
“These 50 years have shown that isolation has not worked,” Obama said in remarks from the White House.

Hockey, weather coverage sets our media apart

OTTAWA—Two of Canada’s national passions were exceptionally well-represented in the country’s news coverage this year, newly-released media monitoring figures suggest.
Those passions, you ask? Why, hockey and talking about the weather, of course.

Bell replica on exhibit

TORONTO—A 3D printed replica of the brass bell from the recently-found Franklin expedition ship HMS Erebus is the centrepiece of an exhibit that opened today at the Royal Ontario Museum.
It is being showcased as part of the “Franklin Outreach Project,” a joint initiative between Parks Canada and the Toronto museum, that aims to share the story of the expedition with Canadians.

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