Jane Philpott forbidden from paid work with Ontario First Nation due to ethics law

The federal ethics law has put a crimp in Jane Philpott’s plan to put her experience as a former minister of health and Indigenous services to work for the benefit of a northern Ontario First Nation.

Just two weeks ago, Philpott announced that she was taking on a new role as special health adviser to the Nishnawbe Aski Nation, which comprises 49 remote communities in northwestern Ontario.

‘heartbroken’after losing seat as Independent

But now she says her work for NAN will have to be strictly voluntary.

That’s because her new job ran afoul of the Conflict of Interest Act, which stipulates that former ministers must adhere to a two-year “cooling off period,” in which they must not work for, contract with or serve on the board of directors of any entity with which they had “direct and significant dealings” during their last year as a minister.

Philpott, who failed in her bid to win re-election as an Independent on Oct. 21, resigned from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s cabinet last March over the SNC-Lavalin affair. In the previous 12 months, she had served as Indigenous services minister and, briefly, as president of the Treasury Board.

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WATCH: Manitoba premier to deliver State of the Province address

Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister will deliver his State of the Province speech on Thursday.

The annual speech, made at the Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce, is Pallister’s first since winning his second term as premier in September.

Voters gave Manitoba’s Progressive Conservatives a second majority government in the Sept. 10 election.

In last year’s State of the Province address, Pallister announced the government would set up a new cabinet committee and provincial office to focus on economic development.

He also said the government was looking to retool a key tax break for property development.

Pallister’s speech, which is scheduled to start at 12:40 p.m., will be livestreamed on this page.

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Constellation pulls brands from E. & J. Gallo Winery deal

Wine industry is expanding in this rural Georgia town

Dahlonega-Lumpkin Chamber and Visitors Bureau director Sam Duffie discusses the industries thriving in his region of Georgia and the challenges it’s facing.

Dec 12 (Reuters) - Constellation Brands Inc said on Thursday it had withdrawn some brands, including Cook's California, from its deal with E. & J. Gallo Winery after regulatory concerns, reducing the deal value by about $600 million.

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The deal price has now been revised down to about $1.1 billion, of which $250 million is an earnout based on divested brands' performance over a two-year period, Constellation said.

In April, Constellation agreed to divest its wine brands retailing at less than $11 a bottle such as Clos du Bois, Ravenswood and Mark West, to better focus on its more profitable, high-end wines.

After the U.S. Federal Trade Commission raised concerns related to sparkling wine, brandy, dessert wine, and concentrate categories, Constellation said it had pulled Cook's California, J. Roget American Champagne brands and Paul Masson Grande Amber Brandy from the deal.

"We continue to focus our total portfolio to align with consumer-led premiumization trends and growing segments of the market," the brewer's Chief Executive Officer Bill Newlands said.

The brewer said on Thursday it would also divest its New Zealand-based Nobilo Wine brand for $130 million to E. & J. Gallo.

The deal is expected to close by the end of fiscal 2020, while the transaction for Nobilo Wines in the first half of fiscal 2021 and is subject to FTC and New Zealand regulatory approval.

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Reporting by Nivedita Balu in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel and Shinjini Ganguli)

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Fallen Marine's wife receives paid mortgage letter from Tunnel to Towers: 'It's the least we can do as a nation'

Family of fallen Marine receives paid mortgage letter from Tunnel to Towers

Tunnel to Towers continues their season of hope by paying off the mortgage of the Koppenhafer family.

In the spirit of the holiday season, Tunnel to Towers' Frank Siller appeared on “Fox & Friends” to present a paid mortgage letter to the widow of a fallen Marine.

Siller brought with him a large binder, showing the long waiting list of other Gold Star families whose mortgages he hopes can also be paid off.

TUNNEL TO TOWERS CEO: TAKING CARE OF GOLD STAR FAMILIES 'SHOULD BE OUR CONTRACT WITH AMERICA'

“I brought with me today something that I want people to see. This is a waiting list, you know, of so many great families that have died for you and me. We have to take care of these families. We have a lot of work ahead of us,” Siller said.

Siller handed the letter to Renae Koppenhafer, the widow of the fallen Marine Scott Koppenhafer who was killed on a mission in Iraq.

“This is your paid full mortgage. Congratulations. You paid a big price for that. And the least we can do as a nation,” Siller said as he handed Koppenhafer the letter.

“Scott was deployed in Iraq and they were on a mission in Iraq. And unfortunately, they were under enemy fire and that’s when he was injured along with a couple of other Marines and task forces that were with them,” Koppenhafer said.

GOLD STAR WOMEN SHARE THEIR INSPIRING JOURNEYS IN NEW BOOK 'THE KNOCK AT THE DOOR'

When Koppenhafer was given the letter showing that her mortgage was paid off, she expressed gratitude for the Tunnel to Towers support.

“It was a huge relief. The pressure didn’t have to change our life right away. It was really taken off. Now we can process and figure out what the next steps are,”  Koppenhafer said.

Siller said that Tunnel to Towers is dedicated to making sure that Gold Star families like the Koppenhafers will never have to worry about being homeless because of the sacrifices their relatives or significant others made for the country.

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Siller said that Tunnel to Towers is delivering 24 mortgage-free homes in 24 days from December 1st to the 24th.

“We’re so proud of what we’ve been able to do,” Siller said.

Tunnel to Towers is a non-profit organization that supports Gold Star families through $11 minimum donations from people around the country. It was started in honor of Siller's brother, Stephen, who ran through the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel toward the Twin Towers on Sept. 11, 2001, while wearing 60 pounds of gear. Siller was one of 343 members of the FDNY who were killed that day.

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Robinhood will let users invest with as little as $1—here's what that means for you

Robinhood, the stock trading app that pioneered free commissions, will allow users to buy and sell portions of shares of "thousands of stocks and ETFs" with as little as $1.

While a single share of a company can cost hundreds or thousands of dollars — Amazon trades at around $1,700 per share — so-called fractional investing lets investors without a lot of money buy part of a stock share, which they can build on over time. "We believe that fractional shares will open up investing for more people," Robinhood said in a press release.

The new feature is expected to start rolling out next week, and investors will be able to buy as little as one-millionth of a share for $1. As noted above, Robinhood does not charge for buying or selling stock.

The stock trading app also announced two other features that will be implemented in early 2020: Automatic dividend reinvestment and the ability to schedule recurring investments.

Don't get swept up in the hype

Now that many investment companies have started offering commission-free trades and fee-free ETFs, fractional trading for individual stocks and ETFs might be the next frontier in the low-cost investing arms race. Charles Schwab announced at the end of October that it would allow customers to buy fractional shares of stocks. Fin tech companies SoFi and Stash also feature fractional trades.

That's good for investors without a lot of money who would like to buy shares in expensive companies like Amazon or Alphabet. It's also a smart way for any investor to test out a company before committing a large amount of money.

But experts say to be careful. If you aren't already investing in a diverse range of companies — typically via an index fund — that should be your priority before you devote a significant amount of money to investing in a single company, Greg McBride, chief financial analyst at Bankrate, tells CNBC Make It.

"The individual investor is better suited by investing in mutual funds and exchange-traded funds," says McBride. "But the lure of individual stocks is always there. On some level, so is the belief that doing so enables the investor to beat the market, which has proven not to be true."

Investing in individual stocks only, in other words, is not a smart strategy. That said, Robinhood also allowing users to buy fractional shares of ETFs is especially good news, because ETFs typically have lower expense ratios than mutual funds, and provide the diversification that stock-picking typically does not. That's the best of both worlds.

"You can easily construct a well-diversified portfolio with a modest amount of money by buying exchange-traded funds," says McBride. "Every dollar is going to work for you."

Don't miss: Why you shouldn't follow your A-B-Cs when investing

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Here's what $10 million worth of rare whisky looks like

A 3,900-bottle whisky collection that contains some of the rarest whiskys in the world could sell for a total of over $10 million, with some individual bottles going for more than $1 million, according to Whisky Auctioneer, which will be auctioning what it has dubbed "The Perfect Collection" in early 2020.

The whisky collection belonged to Richard Gooding, the former owner and CEO of Pepsi Cola Bottling Company of Denver. Gooding, who died of melanoma in 2014, spent over two decades collecting whisky, and kept his bottles in a "pub" in his home in Colorado that was designed specifically to showcase his whisky, according to a release.

Gooding's hobby was researching single malt Scotch whisky distilleries, and he traveled to Ireland and Scotland dozens of times over the years to sample whisky and buy bottles. His goal was to buy a bottle from every single distillery in the world, Nancy Gooding, his wife, said in a release.

"Richard truly loved and was proud of his collection and enjoyed sharing it with friends and fellow Scotch lovers in his 'pub' at home," she said.

The most impressive bottles in the collection come from rare distilleries such as Macallan, Springbank and Gooding's favorite, Bowmore, according to the release.

Gooding's "Marquee Collection," a group of 11 of his finest whiskys, includes three bottles from Macallan, which is one of the most coveted distilleries for collectors.

The 60-Year-Old Macallan 1926 Fine and Rare, for example, has an estimated hammer price starting at $1.3 million. In October 2019, the same bottle broke records when it was sold at Sotheby's for $1.9 million.

"The amount of people who have even tasted this whisky are few and far between," scotch consultant Becky Paskin told Bloomberg.

This is the largest collection of whisky to ever go on public sale. It will be sold via two auctions: Feb. 7 to 17 and April 10 to 20.

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Don't miss:

  • This $46,000 snow crab is the most expensive in the world
  • This bottle of whiskey could be worth $1.2 million — here's why
  • Ball boy who kept Serena Williams' broken U.S. Open racket sold it for $500—now it could go at auction for $50,000

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Trump Keeps China Planners Guessing on Trade War’s Next Steps

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Chinese leaders who gathered in Beijing this week to chart a course for economic policy next year are used to doing so with precision, right down to the percentage point.

At the confab — a byproduct of Communist central planning — President Xi Jinping’s government is setting targets for everything from GDP to inflation. This year, the trade war with the U.S. has thrown a spanner in their well-oiled machine.

With a deadline for higher U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods just a few days away, the Communist Party apparatchiks are just as much in the dark about how the trade war will pan out as everyone else. But the wait for clarity might soon be over. There’s expected to be a closed-door meeting today at the White House to discuss how President Donald Trump, still apparently undecided, will proceed before more tariffs take effect Sunday.

Here are the main scenarios:

Charting the Trade War

 The U.S. government’s distrust of China, which flared during the Obama administration and erupted openly during Trump’s trade war, has mutated into distrust of Chinese Americans: Ties to China doom applicants’ security clearances more than to any other country.

Today’s Must Reads

  • Brain drain | China’s Thousand Talents Program, an elaborate system which recruit overseas researchers to send their skills home, has the U.S. worried.
  • Winners and losers | Companies, workers and lawmakers who have spent the past year awaiting final touches on the new Nafta agreement now know who won and lost.
  • Bulking up | European Union trade chief Phil Hogan, preparing for a more lawless world of trade, wants to upgrade EU enforcement of international commercial rules.
  • Recent history | The trade war disrupting the global economy since 2018 is being fought not trench by trench but product by product. Here’s a primer.
  • An economic giant | On this week’s Stephanomics podcast, Bloomberg Economics Senior Executive Editor Stephanie Flanders talks about the legacy of former Fed Chairman Paul Volcker.

Economic Analysis

  • Maximum pressure | Declines in China’s exports to U.S. may persist without a trade deal.
  • Labor disputes | The updated USMCA gives unions new advantages in corporate disputes.

Coming Up

  • Dec. 15: New U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods scheduled to take effect
  • Dec. 17: Japan, European Union trade balance

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How are we doing? We want to hear what you think about this newsletter. Let our trade tsar know.

— With assistance by Michael Arnold

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What to Watch When Broadcom Reports

Broadcom Inc. (NASDAQ: AVGO) is scheduled to release its fiscal first-quarter financial results after the markets close on Thursday. The consensus estimates are calling for $5.35 in earnings per share (EPS) and $5.73 billion in revenue. The same period of last year reportedly had $5.85 in EPS and $5.45 billion in revenue.

During the latest quarter, Broadcom completed its acquisition of the Enterprise Security business of Symantec. This new business will now operate as the Symantec Enterprise division of Broadcom. This division expands Broadcom’s footprint of mission critical infrastructure software for the Global 2000.

Recently, Morgan Stanley named Broadcom as a top pick and said that it had increased confidence in the company’s strategy. The brokerage house upgraded the shares to Overweight from Equal Weight. In the report, Morgan Stanley detailed:

We upgrade AVGO to Overweight on increased confidence in the company’s software strategy against low expectations. We estimate that AVGO’s current P/E multiple of 13.5X implies risk that Symantec’s revenue will decline from a reset level of $2bn and targeted cost cuts prove aggressive. In contrast, we model revenue stable at $2bn annually and have the company reaching its target of $1bn in synergies on a run-rate basis by Q4′20.

Excluding Thursday’s move, Broadcom had performed more or less in line with the broad markets, with its stock up about 26% year to date. In the past 52 weeks, the stock was up closer to 30%.

A few analysts weighed in on Broadcom ahead of the report:

  • Susquehanna has a Buy rating with a $345 price target.
  • Oppenheimer rates it as Outperform with a $350 price target.
  • Piper Jaffray has a Buy rating with a $345 price target.
  • Merrill Lynch has a Buy rating.
  • Morgan Stanley has an Overweight rating.
  • Cascend Securities has a Buy rating and a $350 target.

Shares of Broadcom traded about 3% to $329.52 on Thursday, in a 52-week range of $230.33 to $330.16. The consensus price target is $325.89.

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Tesco launch Boxing Day sale early with half price toys – from today

Tesco has launched its Boxing Day sale early – with half price toys for parents in the run up to Christmas.

The retailer said it's getting ahead of the festive rush by launching its sale two weeks ahead – allowing parents to take advantage of deals on LOL. Surprise Dolls, Playdoh and even Fortnite toys.

It comes as figures show families will blow more than £700 on presents alone in 2019, totalling more than £1billion.

Tesco head of toys, Anne Borrett said: "We know from previous years that quite a lot of shoppers leave it until the last few weeks to get toys in the hope of snapping up some bargains.

"Some of the biggest deals include half price savings on a Lego 3 in 1 Super Pack which has been cut to £22.50 and a Nerf Alpha Strike Mission Pack which is now £25."

Also included in the sale will be LOL, Playdoh, Transformers, My Little Pony, Thomas, Toy Story, Fortnite and PJ Masks – you can view all of the deals here.

The announcement follows a warning from the Local Government Association (LGA) over counterfeit Christmas toys .

The LGA said shoppers should watch out for fake and potentially dangerous goods that could contain toxic materials, and pose serious choking or hearing hazards for young children.

It said Brits should be wary of turning to suspect online sellers offering next day delivery to get hold of in-demand toys that are out of stock elsewhere, as they may not actually exist, leaving them out of pocket.

Recent toys seized by councils' trading standards teams include more than 54,000 teddy bears – after their eyes were found to be falling out, posing a choking hazard.

The bears were all destroyed in a high speed shredder. A similar shipment of more than 1,000 teddy bears, described as "cute but deadly", were also destroyed.

The bears had a long removable ribbon around their necks which posed a strangulation hazard, with stuffing directly accessible via a zip that presented a suffocation risk.

Fake and unsafe toys were also among nearly 9,000 items seized by Manchester City Council officers following a raid on a business premises.

The counterfeit branded goods included Marvel, Lego and Disney. Some of the items posed a significant choking risk to small children while audio items exceeded legal decibel limits for toys which, if used repeatedly, could damage a child’s hearing.

Counterfeit versions of popular toys – such as L.O.L Surprise! Dolls, which were described as last year’s 'must-have' Christmas toy – were also found to contain phthalates, a chemical which can damage the liver, kidneys, lungs and reproductive system.

Deals on offer

The Tesco toy sale runs from December 12 until Boxing Day. Here are some of the deals included:

  • Nerf Alpha Strike Mission Pack: Was £50, now £25

  • Lego 3-1 Super Pack: Was £45, now £22.50

  • VTech TTD Construction Set: Was £35, now £17.50

  • Monopoly Cheaters Edition: Was £18, now £9

  • Frozen 2 Classic Doll: Was £14, now £11

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Euro Climbs As ECB Lagarde Sees Stabilization In Growth Slowdown

The euro moved up against its major trading partners in the European session on Thursday, after European Central Bank Chief Christine Lagarde suggested that there were encouraging signs of stabilization in the euro area growth slowdown and a moderate increase in inflation pressures despite continued global growth worries.

In her first press conference as the ECB President, Lagarde said that there were some indications of a mild increase in inflation pressures and stabilization in the slowdown of economic growth.

The risks surrounding the euro area growth outlook remain tilted to the downside, but was slightly “less pronounced,” she told.

“Ongoing employment growth and rising wages continue to underpin the resilience of the euro area economy.”

Although incoming economic data and survey information pointed to weak growth dynamics, there were some stabilization in the growth slowdown, Lagarde said.

The comprehensive package of stimulus measures would help support the euro area expansion, the ongoing build-up of domestic price pressures and the convergence of inflation to the target.

The ECB retained the main refinancing rate at its record low 0 percent and the deposit rate at -0.50 percent after the latest Governing Council meeting.

The marginal lending facility rate was kept unchanged at 0.25 percent.

The bank also retained its forward guidance on both interest rates and asset purchases.

Data from Eurostat showed that Eurozone industrial production decreased for the second straight month, largely driven by weak capital goods output in October.

Industrial output dropped 0.5 percent in October from September, when production was down 0.1 percent. This was the second straight decline and the biggest fall since June.
The euro rose against its major counterparts in the previous session, except the pound.

The euro added 0.3 percent to over a 5-week high of 1.1154 against the greenback, recovering from a low of 1.1125 set at 4:45 am ET. At Wednesday’s close, the pair was worth 1.1129. The euro is seen facing resistance around the 1.13 region.

After falling to 120.76 at 7:00 pm ET, the euro appreciated 0.3 percent to over a 5-week high of 121.12 against the yen. The pair was quoted at 120.82 at Wednesday’s close. Next immediate resistance for the euro is seen around the 123.00 level.

Data from the Cabinet Office showed that Japan core machine orders fell a seasonally adjusted 6.0 percent on month in October – coming in at 798.8 billion yen.

That missed forecasts for an increase of 0.7 percent following the 2.9 percent decline in September.

The single currency was 0.8 percent higher at an 8-day high of 0.8491 versus the pound, following a decline to 0.8420 at 8:45 pm ET. The pair had finished Wednesday’s deals at 0.8434. The euro is likely to challenge resistance around the 0.86 level.

Survey data from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors showed that UK house prices declined at the fastest pace since April as uncertainties from Brexit and general election weighed on the property market.

The house price balance fell to -12 in November from -5 in October.

The euro reversed from an early low of 1.0924 against the franc, with the pair trading at 1.0941. The currency is thus few pips short of a 3-day peak of 1.0948 logged in the Asian session. Should the euro strengthens further, it is likely to test resistance around the 1.12 region.

Switzerland’s central bank maintained its negative interest rates and expressed willingness to intervene in the currency market as required.

The Swiss National Bank retained its policy rate and interest on sight deposits at the SNB at -0.75 percent. The decision came in line with expectations.

The EUR/CAD pair gained 0.3 percent, approaching an 8-day high of 1.4700. The euro was trading at 1.4661 per loonie at yesterday’s close. Further rise in the euro may face resistance around the 1.48 area.

In contrast, the euro held steady against the aussie, after having declined to a 9-day low of 1.6149 at 6:15 am ET. The euro-aussie pair was worth 1.6185 at Wednesday’s close.

The euro was trading lower at 1.6913 against the kiwi, after rising to 1.6932 at 11:30 pm ET. At yesterday’s trading close, the pair was quoted at 1.6901. The euro may face support around the 1.66 region, if it falls again.

In today’s events, Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz will give a speech about Canada’s economic outlook for 2020 at the Empire Club of Canada in Toronto at 12:30 pm ET.

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