Creditor protection given to cigarette maker suspends order to pay billions to

first_imgMONTREAL — The Quebec Council on Tobacco and Health said Monday that smokers who won a recent court victory are being denied justice after an Ontario judge granted cigarette maker JTI-Macdonald Corp. protection from its creditors last week.JTI-Macdonald was among three companies that lost in the Quebec Court of Appeal March 1. The court upheld a landmark judgment ordering them to pay billions of dollars in damages to Quebec smokers. Now that JTI-Macdonald is under creditor protection, however, the company will not have to disperse any funds to tobacco victims for now.The Ontario Superior Court decision suspends legal proceedings against all three companies until April 5, even though only JTI-Macdonald sought protection from creditors. Benson & Hedges and Imperial Tobacco made no such request.The Quebec Council on Tobacco and Health led two class actions against the companies and won in 2015, when Quebec Superior Court Justice Brian Riordan ordered the companies to make payments of more than $15-billion to smokers who either fell ill or were addicted. At the time, the ruling was believed to be the biggest class action award in Canadian history.Philippe Trudel, one of the lawyers representing tobacco victims in the class action, called the Ontario court’s decision to suspend proceedings against all three companies “unusual.” Mario Bujold, spokesman for the Quebec Council on Tobacco and Health, said the Ontario court’s ruling can be extended beyond April 5 and he worries victims will never see any money.“Companies are very good at finding strategies to avoid paying damages they were ordered to pay,” Bujold said, adding the court’s decision will be contested.“The Superior Court in Ontario is suspending the rights recognized by six judges in Quebec,” he said. “It’s unacceptable.”In a statement released Friday, JTI-Macdonald said it needed to seek protection under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act in order to “protect 500 Canadian jobs and carry on its business operations with minimal disruption.“We fundamentally disagree with the court decision and are taking all necessary and appropriate measures to defend our lawful business,” it said.The three companies are also considering appealing the $15-billion judgment rendered against them to the Supreme Court of Canada.Stephanie Marin, The Canadian Presslast_img read more

San Diego Swift Water Rescue teams will not be deployed to Houston

first_img Categories: Local San Diego News FacebookTwitter 123 Show Caption Hide Caption Show Caption Hide Caption SAN DIEGO (KUSI) — 8:30 p.m. — San Diego’s swift water rescues teams will not be deployed to Houston to assist in the aftermath of the storm.San Diego Fire-Rescue Chief Brian Fennessy released a statement Wednesday night saying representatives from the California Office of Emergency Services (CalOES) held a conference call with fire agency chief officers representing all of the CalOES designated and available swift water rescue teams.”CalOES informed those on the conference call that they had not received, nor do they anticipate receiving an EMAC request from the State of Texas for more than two of the CalOES sponsored swift water rescue teams. The CalOES sponsored San Diego Fire-Rescue Department (SDFD) Swiftwater Rescue Team is not one of the two teams that have been identified to deploy if, in fact, CalOES receives a formal request from another state for assistance,” Chief Fennessy said.”For decades, SDFD has actively participated in local, statewide and federal mutual aid. It’s important to note that the fire chief of any department retains the authority to approve or disapprove mutual aid requests. I am prepared to honor and approve federal or state emergency mutual aid resource requests for assistance to any of the areas impacted by Hurricane/Tropical Storm Harvey.  However, it is my sworn duty to NOT honor or approve any outside agency mutual aid request for resources if doing so would cause the department to unreasonably deplete its resources, facilities, and/or services which would then represent an unacceptable risk to the residents and visitors of the City of San Diego,” Chief Fennessy added.11:00 a.m. — A San Diego Lifeguard Swift Water Rescue team — at the center of a dispute over San Diego’s emergency response to Hurricane Harvey — will likely be sent Wednesday to aid the search and rescue efforts in the wake of the storm’s devastation, officials said.Lifeguard Sgt. Ed Harris, the head of the lifeguards union in San Diego and a former interim city councilman, had accused the fire chief of blocking the team’s deployment, but the chief said Tuesday that assistance from the lifeguards had not been requested.That changed later Tuesday.President Trump visited Texas (Tuesday) afternoon, and shortly thereafter there was a call for the deployment of 100 swift water rescue teams from around the country to help with recovery efforts,” San Diego Fire-Rescue Department spokeswoman Monica Munoz said Tuesday night. “(The California Office of Emergency Services) is still waiting for the formal request but expects to order its 13 swift water rescue teams, including one based in San Diego, to head to Texas.”That team will be led by a SDFRD battalion chief and consist of two addition Fire-Rescue personnel and 11 lifeguards.In an open letter to Texas Governor Gregg Abbott and in a news conference early Tuesday, Harris accused SDFRD chief Brian Fennessy of blocking the lifeguard team’s deployment after the lifeguards packed and readied several boats as Harvey approached the Gulf Coast.”We are sickened that Chief Brian Fennessy has blocked our response,” Harris wrote in the letter also addressed to Houston’s mayor and residents. Fennessy responded with a news conference of his own at which he explained that San Diego already sent rescuers — Urban Search and Rescue California Task Force 8, which specializes in large-scale urban disasters — and deployment decisions were being made by FEMA and state emergency services offices.”There is a system that provides the resources during these types of disasters,” he said. “I can’t just send them down there because they want to go.”Harvey, now a tropical storm, first made landfall Friday over Texas. Flooding from the rain has displaced thousands, caused at least 30 confirmed or suspected deaths and dropped more rain than any previous storm in U.S. history, with more than 50 inches in some areas. It moved back over the Gulf of Mexico before making landfall again this morning in Louisiana. Show Caption Hide Caption Posted: August 29, 2017 August 29, 2017center_img Show Caption Hide Caption San Diego Swift Water Rescue teams will not be deployed to Houston to assist in storm aftermath Show Caption Hide Caption KUSI Newsroom KUSI Newsroom, San Diego Urban Search & Rescue Task Force 8 in transit just outside of San Antonio. Eager to join the rescue effort. So proud of you all! pic.twitter.com/xfZHXo4eT4— Chief Brian Fennessy (@SDFDChief) August 29, 2017Harris said in his letter that even when asked to stand down Saturday, his team remained prepared.”Our team stayed packed and readied more boats and asked to go,” Harris wrote in the letter he released Monday night. “We have plenty of staff to send, but we are blocked.”Fennessy said he was “profoundly, profoundly disappointed in lifeguard Sgt. Harris,” who he accused of lying about the response and “politicizing his own agenda.”The dispute was not the first time Harris has squared off publicly with the fire chief and the fire department. Earlier this year the lifeguard union, which is part of Teamsters Local 911, filed a grievance in opposition to the change in dispatching procedure for inland water rescues. And last month Harris filed a lawsuit against the city of San Diego accusing Fennessy of “purposefully and recklessly manipulating public-safety data and procedures in order to rationalize an expansion of the fire department’s personnel.”City officials countered that reassigning calls to the SDFRD dispatch instead of lifeguard dispatch was a necessary move because the lifeguards’ system, which only allows for two calls to be answered at a time, tended to be quickly overwhelmed, forcing some 911 calls to go unanswered during high-volume periods, such as in severe storm conditions. last_img read more

American firm Herman Miller to make designer chairs in Karnataka plant

first_imgUS-based global office furniture major Herman Miller on Wednesday opened its hi-tech plant at Bidadi on the city’s outskirts to make designer chairs in India for the country’s growing domestic market.”As India is one of our fastest growing markets in Asia, we have set up a production facility at Bidadi to make designer products like chairs to our customers faster,” Herman Miller Asia Pacific vice-president Jeremy Hocking told reporters here.Bidadi is about 40km from Bengaluru on the state highway towards Mysuru.The Michigan-headquartered $2.2-billion global firm operates in over 100 countries worldwide, with production facilities in the US, Britain, China and Italy and sells its products and services through a global dealer network.”We have chosen Bidadi for the plant as it’s strategically located to reach target markets in Bengaluru, Chennai, Hyderabad, Mumbai and Pune, besides Sri Lanka for exports, as proximity reduces product lead-time,” Hocking said on the occasion, but declined to mention how much the company had invested in the facility.The company’s India facility is the third in the region (Asia Pacific) with other two being at Ningbo and Dong-guan in China.”We have started production in August and adopted a lean manufacturing system to reduce lead time and improve reliability to ensure same quality as elsewhere,” the company’s international operations vice-president Richard Scott pointed out.The company plans to ramp up its production capacity and manpower to 200 people by March.Interestingly, the nearly century-old company’s famous designers Charles and Ray Eames came calling to India in 1958 at the invitation of then prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru.”The interaction with Nehru led to the government setting up the National Institute of Design at Ahmedabad in Gujarat in 1961,” Hocking recalled.last_img read more

PaturiaDaulatdia ShimuliaKanthalbari ferry services resumed

first_imgFerry services on Paturia-Daulatdia and Shimulia-Kanthalbari routes in the Padma River resumed after a five hours of disruption caused by dense fog on Thursday morning.Salauddin, an assistant general manager of Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Corporation (BIWTC) at Aricha, said the ferry services on Paturia-Daulatdia were disrupted since 6:00am due to poor visibility caused by thick fog.During the time, four ferries remained stranded in the mid-river, he said.Over five hundred vehicles were waiting at the both ghats for crossing, he added.Ferry services resumed around 10:50am as the fog removed.Also, ferry services on Shimulia-Kanthalbari route in the Padma River resumed after a five-hour disruption caused by dense fog in the morning.The ferry services were disrupted between  5:00am and10:00am due to poor visibility caused by thick fog, said Shah Newaz Khalid, assistant general manager of BIWTC.last_img read more

Klaus Kleinfeld appointed adviser to Saudi crown prince

first_imgKlaus Kleinfeld, Chief Executive Officer of Arconic, takes part in the Yahoo Finance All Markets Summit in New York, on 8 February 2017. Photo: ReutersKlaus Kleinfeld, a former chief executive of Siemens and Alcoa, has been appointed an adviser to Saudi Arabia’s crown prince Mohammed bin Salman effective from 1 August, according to a report on the Maaal financial news website on Tuesday.Kleinfeld will leave his current position as chief executive of NEOM, a planned mega-city and business zone in the kingdom, but will retain a position on its board, the report said.Kleinfeld “will take over wider responsibilities to enhance the economic, technological and financial development of Saudi Arabia,” the report said.Nadhmi al-Nasr, who was tasked with developing the strategy for the mega-city and has more than 30 years of experience at oil giant Aramco, will take over as chief executive of NEOM, the report said.Prince Mohammed previously announced plans for the 26,500 square km zone, known as NEOM, at an international investment conference in Riyadh. Officials said public and private investment in the area was eventually expected to total $500 billion.The mega-city, with its own judicial system and legislation designed to attract international investors, is to focus on industries such as energy and water, biotechnology, food, advanced manufacturing and tourism, according to officials.It is part of bold moves by the 32-year-old heir apparent to wean the world’s top crude exporter off oil revenues that include plans to float a portion of state oil giant Saudi Aramco.last_img read more