TORONTO • The Toronto Stock Exchange was dragged down to a triple-digit decline on Monday as gold and oil prices fell.The S&P/TSX composite index closed down 217.29 points to 14,425.55.The Toronto market’s move mirrored a slide in the prices for both oil and gold.Kevin Headland, director of capital markets and strategy at Manulife Asset Management, said the market was still experiencing a “hangover” from last week, when the Bank of Canada cut its benchmark interest rate by a quarter of a percentage point.He said markets have been hurt by recent news that Canada may be in a technical recession, defined as two consecutive quarters without economic growth, and that the country’s exports have been outpaced by imports recently despite a falling Canadian dollar.“We’re in a net trade deficit and we’re a trade surplus country,” he said. “We rely on a trade surplus for our economic growth.”The August contract for gold ended the day down $25.10 to US$1,106.50, while the September contract for crude oil closed down 77 cents to US$50.44.“It’s still a commodities-based index,” Headland said. “You’re not seeing any reason to move higher and you’re just getting pushed back by oil prices.”Headland said that indicators show the worldwide supply of oil is at its highest point in a decade, even before factoring in the impact of the recent nuclear deal with Iran that includes returning some of that country’s oil supplies to the global market.“The expectation is that oil could go even weaker from here,” he said. “Companies have kept up production. I won’t say the world is awash with oil but there’s enough supply, enough inventory to go around.”In Halifax, Natural Resources Minister Greg Rickford said on Monday that Canada needs to find new buyers and new markets for its oil.The August crude contract, which expired at the end of Monday’s session, settled at US$50.15.The slide in gold reflects the commodity’s decreasing value as a safe haven for investors, Headland said.Headland added that despite recent events in Greece and China — the latter a country where a stock-market free-fall was only halted by government intervention — the world’s economy has less uncertainty.And with stock markets recovering in the United States, Headland said, gold loses its lustre as a place to park your money.“I wouldn’t be surprised to see it bounce back off this low, but I think we’re going to see lower gold in this range for quite some time,” he said.The August contract for natural gas closed down 4.7 cents to US$2.82.In the U.S., the Dow Jones industrial average climbed 13.96 points to end the day at 18,100.41, while the Nasdaq gained 8.72 points to a record 5,218.86. The S&P 500 added 1.64 points to total 2,128.28.The Canadian dollar closed down 0.06 of a cent to 76.94 cents US.The Canadian Press

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first_imgWINNIPEG — Manitoba’s advocate for children and youth says a girl who suffered repeated sexual abuse and died of a drug overdose was failed over and over again by the province’s child welfare system.The girl — identified only as Angel — was born to a mother with addiction issues and was apprehended by social workers 14 times by the time she was 12, says a 118-page report from Daphne Penrose released Thursday.But each time, the girl was returned to her mother without a proper assessment of the home and without supports for the family.“The (child and family services) agency conducted no meaningful assessments as to whether Angel’s mother was ready or able to provide safe care to Angel. So inevitably, Angel would be returned home, left in the risky situations, and when the risk became so sufficient, she was reapprehended again,” Penrose said.“When she was in care, CFS did not complete any long-term planning and did not demonstrate an understanding of their legal mandate to protect and provide for Angel.”Penrose, an independent officer of the legislature, makes six recommendations in her report, including a call for greater oversight to ensure agencies are meeting minimum standards.Penrose also says children need better protection from sexual abuse and sexual exploitation.Angel was sexually abused the first time when she was 21 months old, the report said. When she was seven, her family was waiting for housing on a reserve and living at the local healing centre. While her mother was out, another resident watching over Angel fell asleep and a third resident came into the room and sexually assaulted the girl.Angel dealt with her childhood trauma by acting out, Penrose said. She numbed herself with solvents and attempted suicide at age 11. She was later forced into the sex trade, became addicted to drugs and died of an accidental overdose in 2015 at the age of 17.She was in care at the time. The man who provided her drugs later pleaded guilty to criminal negligence causing death.“In Angel’s case, the public systems that should have protected her did not,” Penrose said.Penrose is also calling on government, police forces and others to expand outreach programs for exploited youth and to raise public awareness about the “relentless” sexual exploitation of children and youth.“As a community, we all have a role to play in making sure that people understand that … sexual exploitation is a violation of children’s human rights and we need to stop it from happening.”The report also calls for expanded mental-health services, specifically addressing childhood trauma and addictions. It can be hard to get a child into treatment, and even those going in voluntarily can find themselves turned away outside office hours, Penrose said.Steve Lambert, The Canadian Presslast_img

10 October 2008Since mid-September, the notorious Ugandan rebel group, the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), has killed over 200 people, including 159 children, according to a new United Nations report. A preliminary report issued by the UN Human Rights Office and the peacekeeping mission in the DRC, known as MONUC, said that in the past few weeks, LRA elements have carried out attacks on 16 areas in Dungu when 52 people were killed. An additional 159 children and 10 adults have been abducted and executed by the rebels. During joint fact-finding mission to Dungu from 29 September to 8 October, the investigation team met with three children who escaped their abductors and with survivors, host families, and school and church officials. “In all localities that suffered attacks, the LRA elements conducted a campaign of killing, systematic abduction of children, and burning of almost all houses,” the publication noted. Simultaneous attacks on 17 September resulted in the populations of the villages of Duru, Kpiaka, Kiliwa and Madola – all less than 90 kilometres from Dungu, the area’s main town – being either killed or abducted. Tens of thousands fled to Bangadi, more than 100 kilometres northwest of Dungu, the report said, while the population of the town of Gangadi has swelled from 10,000 to 25,000. The report said these attacks could be “reprisals and dissuasive attacks aimed at preventing splits and desertions possibly underway within the LRA.” It also suggested that they could be in response to the continued deployment in the region of Congolese armed forces (FARDC), supported by MONUC, “signalling the possibility of joint action against the LRA.” Earlier this week, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) reported that at least 5,000 refugees from the DRC have arrived in South Sudan recently after fleeing “ferocious” LRA. UNHCR spokesperson Ron Redmond said that an estimated 150 Congolese are crossing every day into the villages of Sakure and Gangura, in the Yambio area of South Sudan.

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