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Caleb McGillivary appeared Monday in a Union County jail courtroom. The 24-year-old is accused of killing 73-year-old lawyer Joseph Galfy, whose body was found May 13 in his Clark home.
Kai the Hitchhiker faces murder charges
Wearing an oatmeal-colored T-shirt, McGillivary stood behind thick glass. He questioned Judge Joan Robinson Gross numerous times about his plea and bail.
Authorities say McGillivary and Galfy met in New York City. McGillvary stayed at Galfy’s home. He was arrested in Philadelphia days later.
McGillivary gained notoriety in February after intervening in an attack on a California utility worker.
The St. Louis-based gas utility had sought a $48.4 million rate increase in December that would have raised the typical residential customer bill an average of $4.93 a month.
But Laclede said it can live without an increase for now. Instead, it is hoping PSC staff will focus attention on the company’s pending $975 million acquisition of Missouri Gas Energy, which requires regulatory approval.
“We believe we can continue to provide safe and reliable service for our customers without general rate increases at this time,” Laclede Gas president Steve Lindsey said in a statement.
The settlement was submitted to the PSC on Friday. The commission has scheduled public hearings on Laclede’s rate request beginning Monday in St. Louis.
While customers’ overall bills would be unaffected if the settlement is approved, Laclede would be allowed add $14.8 million already being collected through an infrastructure surcharge to its gas-delivery rates.
Laclede also said it will continue to seek small adjustments to rates throughout the year to reflect changes in natural gas costs and to pay for additional pipeline safety upgrades.
The utility sells natural gas to 630,000 customers in the city of St. Louis and surrounding Missouri counties.
Dow Jones industrial futures slid 79 points to 15,140. S&P futures gave up 8.3 points to 1,645.30. Nasdaq futures fell 13.25 points to 2,996.75.
The Commerce Department said Friday that consumer spending dropped a seasonally adjusted 0.2 percent in April, the most since last May.
The new numbers show that income was unchanged in April following solid gains in the previous two months. That may mean that the sting of higher taxes, rolled out at the start of the year, may have started to sink in.
Still, the pullback in spending comes after the most rapid increase in two years, between January and March quick cash.
The Commerce report Friday was issued against a backdrop in which housing prices are soaring and the employment landscape in the U.S. is improving slowly but steadily.
While futures dipped after the report, they were heading down already following more disquieting news out of Europe.
Unemployment across the 17 European Union countries hit a record 12.2 percent in April, according to Eurostat, the EU statistics office.
Harper struck a tougher tone Wednesday as he sought to regain control of the spending controversy even as Sen. Mike Duffy faced fresh questions about spending abuses.
“It is important that those expenses be recovered. It is also important that all the people who have been involved in this be subject to the appropriate investigations and held accountable,” Harper told the Commons Wednesday.
Harper also struck a harder line on Sen. Pamela Wallin, who left the Conservative caucus earlier this month as she awaits the outcome of examinations of her travel spending.
“She obviously will not be readmitted unless those matters are resolved. If she has in any way acted improperly, she will be subject to the appropriate authorities and the consequences for those actions,” Harper said.
The prime minister made the comment amidst reports that Wallin has already repaid $40,000 in two separate payments.
Liberal MP Dominic LeBlanc asked whether Wallin made the repayments herself “or did somebody in the Prime Minister’s Office, or perhaps Conservative party headquarters, reimburse her or give her a gift to cover this appalling reimbursement.”
Heritage Minister James Moore replied that, “it is expected that any individual repay taxpayers from his or her own funds.”
A spokesperson for Wallin said the senator is declining comment until the reports on her travel spending are complete.
Harper faced another courtroom-like grilling by NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair, who sought answers about who knew what in the Prime Minister’s Office about chief of staff Nigel Wright’s $90,172 payment to Duffy.
The personal cheque from Wright was meant to cover Duffy’s reimbursement of improperly claimed living expenses.
In a series of pointed questions, Mulcair asked about the paper trail around Wright’s payment, the involvement of the RCMP and when Harper’s aides became aware of the issue.
But Harper sought to deflect with sharp questions of his own, asking why the NDP leader sat on information about a potential bribe offered 17 years ago when Mulcair was in Quebec provincial politics.
“For all of those years he did not think it relevant to inform the authorities and the public that he had been offered considerations by the mayor of Laval,” Harper said.
Harper also revealed that Wright, who resigned in the wake of the cheque revelation, will collect severance, prompting Muclair to ask, “by chance, would it be about $90,000.”
But the prime minister said that Wright, a former Bay St. financier, is owed payments “under the law” such as vacation pay. “The government cannot work around them. Mr. Wright will be paid only those amounts of money.”
After repaying his living expenses — with Wright’s money — Duffy stopped co-operating with external auditors probing his expense claims. And because of the repayment, senators went easy on the former journalist in a final report on his spending.
But on Tuesday night, senators reopened their examination of Duffy’s spending and heard from Senate staff who said his expense claims showed a pattern that “raises concerns.”
In a rare public meeting, the Senate’s internal economy committee heard how there were 49 days between April 2011 and March 2012 when Duffy claimed to be on Senate business in Ottawa — and claiming a per diem — when in fact auditors said he was outside the city.
“There certainly appears to be evidence of a pattern of Sen. Duffy claiming expenses when he was not here in Ottawa,” said Liberal Sen. Jane Cordy.
“Canadians are justifiably furious.”
After hearing the additional information, the committee voted to ask the RCMP to review Duffy’s expenses claims along with Wright’s payment to the senator.
On Wednesday, ) paid back its $465 million low-interest U.S. Department of Energy loan almost 10 years ahead of schedule. And in announcing the news, the automaker took a shot at Chrysler and , Fortune 500), which both received federal bailouts in 2009 as part of their bankruptcy reorganizations.
“Following this payment, Tesla will be the only American car company to have fully repaid the government,” said Elon Musk, the chief executive of Tesla.
Chrysler, headed by legendary Fiat chief Sergio Marchionne, wasn’t too happy with that statement. It quickly issued one of its own, pointing out that Chrysler had in fact paid its loan — early.
“The information is unmistakably incorrect. It’s pretty well-known that … Chrysler Group LLC repaid (in full and with interest) U.S. and Canadian government loans more than six years ahead of schedule.”
Chrysler went on to take a veiled shot at the electric vehicles, ending the statement with — “Question: short memory or short-circuit?”
But Chrysler’s statement told only part of the story.
It’s true that Chrysler repaid a $5.9 billion government loan it got as part of a larger U.S. bailout of the company.
Chrysler had a good reason to pay it back: The company was paying 7% to 14% interest on the loan. Marchionne once complained of “shyster” interest rates, a comment he later apologized for.
But Chrysler did not repay all of the rest of the $12.4 billion bailout it received. Instead, Treasury received stock in Chrysler. And when Treasury finally sold those shares back to Chrysler in 2011, it did so at a loss of about $1.3 billion.
The government is also likely to lose money on its bailout of General Motors when it is done selling its shares, although like Chrysler it has repaid the loan portion of its bailout.
Asked for comment on Chrysler’s statement, Musk tweeted Thursday that he had specified it was the first U Business Card Holders.S. car company to repay the government, and that Chrysler is a unit of Italian automaker Fiat.
But Musk’s response is wrong. Fiat and Chrysler are still separate corporations and when it repaid the loan Fiat was not even the majority owner of Chrysler. And GM has always been a U.S. automaker.
He did not make the more effective argument that the loan repayment did not in fact repay taxpayers the whole cost of those bailouts.
Marchionne is rarely one to sit quietly. He often takes public shots other auto executives are reluctant to make, such as at the president of the United Auto Workers union or the terms of the bailout his company received. Marchionne has even directed barbs at his own products, once calling one Chrysler vehicle “an abomination.” He’s also had a long-running war of words with Volkswagen executives, calling them
For the record, the Energy Department loan to Tesla was unrelated to the bailouts of GM and Chrysler. It was a program created during the Bush administration before the financial crisis that pushed the auto industry to the brink of collapse. It is designed to encourage the development of green energy, such as alternative fuel cars and solar power. Tesla paid between 1% to 3% interest on the funds it received.
The Energy program has suffered more high-profile failures than successes, including the bankruptcy of solar panel maker Solyndra, which borrowed $527 million from the program. Another upstart electric automaker, Fisker, received $192 million. But Fisker has essentially halted all operations and missed its first scheduled payment and is likely to default on the loan.
That was the courageous message Barack Obama delivered Thursday, calmly and cleverly.
He confronted the hysteria that has defined America and affected much of the world, including Canada, for 12 years.
What he said is a rebuke to Stephen Harper and others who have profited from the politics of the “war on terror” and its by-products — militarism, narrow nationalism and cultural warfare.
While the media highlighted Obama’s edict to curtail but not kill the drone program, and his renewed determination to close Guantanamo Bay, what should command our greater attention is his clarion call to abandon perpetual war.
Al Qaeda has been defanged. Its affiliates are local and limited in reach — “not every collection of thugs that labels themselves Al Qaeda will pose a credible threat.” There are homegrown extremists, for sure, including “deranged and alienated individuals” who go on killing sprees.
“We must take these threats seriously, and do all that we can to confront them. But as we shape our response, we have to recognize that the scale of this threat closely resembles the types of attacks we faced before 9/11.”
So, let’s get back to where we all were before that horrible day.
“Our victory against terrorism . . . will be measured in parents taking their kids to school; immigrants coming to our shores; fans taking in a ball game; a veteran starting a business; a bustling city street. The quiet determination, that strength of character and bond of fellowship, that refutation of fear — that is both our sword and our shield.”
The president spoke several other truths:
The Iraq War, which Harper was gung-ho for, “carried grave consequences for our fight against Al Qaeda, our standing in the world, and — to this day — our interests in a vital region.” Some Muslim extremists say that “Islam is in conflict with the United States and the West. This ideology is based on a lie, for the United States is not at war with Islam. And this ideology is rejected by the vast majority of Muslims, who are the most frequent victims of terrorist acts.”
Obama could have added that equally misguided are the Islamophobes who say that the West is at war with Islam and Muslims.
Terrorists are not incubated in madrassas and mosques alone.
Given the Internet, “a person can consume hateful propaganda, commit themselves to a violent agenda, and learn how to kill without leaving their home.”
“The best way to prevent violent extremism is to work with the Muslim American community — which has consistently rejected terrorism — to identify signs of radicalization, and partner with law enforcement when an individual is drifting towards violence.
“These partnerships can only work when we recognize that Muslims are a fundamental part of the American family. Indeed, the success of American Muslims, and our determination to guard against any encroachments on their civil liberties, is the ultimate rebuke to those who say we are at war with Islam.”
Harper, on the other hand, has shunned the mainstream Canadian Muslim community.
Unlike Harper’s aversion to “committing sociology” to understand the “root causes” of terrorism, as Justin Trudeau suggested, Obama stressed the need to address “the underlying grievances and conflicts that feed extremism.”
It includes “patiently supporting transitions to democracy” in the Arab world, something that Harper has shown little inclination for.
It entails “working to promote peace between Israelis and Palestinians — because it is right and because such a peace could help reshape attitudes in the region.”
It involves foreign aid, which “cannot be viewed as charity. It is fundamental to our national security and . . . strategy to battle extremism.“What we spent in a month in Iraq at the height of the war, we could be training security forces in Libya, maintaining peace agreements between Israel and its neighbours, feeding the hungry in Yemen, building schools in Pakistan, and creating reservoirs of goodwill that marginalize extremists.”
By contrast, Harper is increasingly using foreign aid as a tool to advance Canadian corporate mining interests abroad.
Jameel Jaffer, a Canadian who directs the Center for Democracy at the American Civil Liberties Union, said Obama’s message is “powerful and compelling and long overdue.” But we need to see how the president would translate his rhetoric into action.
This will be most tested by his decision to continue the drone attacks, albeit in a controlled way. He bathed his rationale in a legal and moral framework — a necessary evil, a last resort, employed in “a just war waged proportionally, in self-defence.” But he was unconvincing.
Strikes will be aimed at militants “who pose a continuing and imminent threat to the American people.” But he didn’t define “imminent.”
Worse, in Afghanistan, he will use drones to safeguard troops. That means attacking not only suspected Al Qaeda targets — in Afghanistan as well as Pakistan—“but also forces that are massing to support attacks on coalition forces.” How would he know what they are planning?
He argued that drones are necessary in places where “foreign governments cannot or will not effectively stop terrorism in their territory,” or are not “capable of effectively addressing the threat.” In other words, governments that won’t do as America orders them to or won’t formally let America come and do whatever it wants.
Obama offered another strange rationale — drone attacks as a favour to the Muslim world by eliminating those who kill fellow-Muslims. “The terrorists we are after target civilians, and the death toll from their acts of terrorism against Muslims dwarfs any estimate of civilian casualties from drone strikes.”
It was as though Obama was speaking because he had to. Drones are unpopular, especially in Pakistan. They are undermining his stated goal: improve America’s image abroad. Drones are also under greater scrutiny in the U.S., among others, by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism and New America Foundation.
However, it’s his larger mission — to wind down the war on terror — that marks a most welcome milestone.
The Standard & Poor’s 500 index dropped 0.91 of a point to close at 1,649.60. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 8.60 points to 15,303, a gain of 0.1 percent. Procter & Gamble supported the Dow with an increase of 4 percent.
Both indexes had their first weekly losses since the week ending April 19. A disappointing manufacturing report out of China and a sharp fall in Japan’s stock market rattled investors’ nerves this week. But anxiety over the Federal Reserve’s bond-buying program was the main culprit. Some investors interpreted comments from Fed officials to mean that the bank may start pulling its support for the economy sooner than they expected.
The S&P 500, widely used by mutual funds as a proxy for the stock market, lost 1.1 percent for the week. It’s still up 15.7 percent for the year.
Marty Leclerc, the managing partner of Barrack Yard Advisors, an investment firm in Bryn Mawr, Pa., said the weekly drop wasn’t cause for concern. Even market rallies have to take the occasional break, he said.
“It’s up like a rocket blast this year,” Leclerc said of the stock market. “For there to be a little bit of a pullback is perfectly understandable.”
The market headed lower at the start of trading on Friday, then spent the rest of the day slowly recovering ground. By the closing bell, market indexes were roughly back to where they started.
Procter & Gamble announced late Thursday that it’s bringing back its former CEO, A.G. Lafley, to run the company. The world’s largest consumer-products maker, whose brands include Tide and Crest, is trying to increase sales in the face of tough competition. P&G rose $3.18 to $81.88.
Sears plunged 14 percent after the department-store chain reported a steep quarterly loss and slumping sales after the market closed Thursday. Sears lost $7.92 to $50.25.
The Nasdaq composite slipped 0.27 of a point to 3,459.14.
Eight of the 10 industry groups in the S&P 500 fell short term personal loans. Only financial stocks and consumer staples makers rose.
The stock market slipped Friday despite an encouraging report on U.S. manufacturing. The government said orders for long-lasting goods rebounded in April, helped by demand for aircraft and stronger business spending. The report suggests economic growth may hold steady this spring.
Until this week, signs of slow but steady economic growth and record profits for big companies had propelled stock-market indexes to all-time highs.
All but 11 companies in the S&P 500 have posted their first-quarter earnings, and the results have turned out much better than expected. Nearly seven of 10 have reported higher earnings than analysts had estimated. Overall profits in the first quarter are on track to climb 5 percent over the year before.
In the market for U.S. government bonds, the yield on the 10-year Treasury note dipped to 2.01 percent from 2.02 percent late Thursday.
The price of crude oil slipped 10 cents to settle at $94.15 a barrel, ending with a drop of $1.87 for the week. Gold lost $5.20 to $1,386.60 an ounce.
Trading was light ahead of the long weekend. U.S. financial markets will be closed Monday for Memorial Day.
Among other stocks in the news Friday:
_ Intuitive Surgical gained 5 percent after a jury decided in favor of the maker of robotic medical equipment in the first of many lawsuits filed against the company. The plaintiffs argued that Intuitive was negligent in training doctors to use its equipment. Intuitive’s stock rose $23.07 to $501.53.
_ Titan Machinery plunged 9 percent. The company, which deals in agricultural and construction equipment, said late Thursday that weaker revenue will lead it to a wider quarterly loss than it had expected. Titan’s stock lost $2.10 to $20.40.
At , Fortune 500), one of the city’s homegrown oil and gas firms, one crane and two front-end loaders — the kind of heavy machinery normally used to assemble drilling rigs — are being used to help clear rubble from the disaster. They’re being manned by Chesapeake employees, working on the company’s dime.
“Our equipment is designed to work in very austere conditions, and our people are trained for this,” said James Pratt, head of emergency response at Chesapeake. “We get called quite regularly to assist in these large events.”
Chesapeake has also provided about a dozen generator-powered flood lights for the rescue operations.
On Tuesday, the company sent trucks up to a distributor in Wichita, Kansas, that normally supplies its workers with gear such as leather gloves, hard hats and safety glasses. It bought every item the distributor had in stock, and plans to distribute them throughout the affected neighborhoods when people can finally return to sift through whatever is left of their homes.
Throughout Oklahoma City, dozens of businesses have stepped up, offering goods and services to help with the relief effort, according to the local Chamber of Commerce.
, Fortune 500) set up a mobile command center and is offering emergency phones and charging stations. A LaQuinta Inn just west of downtown is giving free rooms to those without a home. The , Fortune 500) in Moore, ground zero for the destruction, is now a shelter for homeless pets.
A local branch of T&W Tire has had up to a dozen service trucks in and around the disaster area, offering free fixes for relief vehicles with tires damaged from all the debris. As of Tuesday morning, the trucks had fixed more than 150 vehicles.
“These emergency responders are working their tails off over there,” said Steve Theissen, a managing partner at T&W. “We need to help keep them going.”
The efforts extend beyond the business community.
The University of Oklahoma housed more than a hundred people Monday night in its dorms, and is serving free food as well. Laptops are set up at the University’s headquarters, a nurse is available to treat light injuries, and activities are being run to keep children entertained.
“This is just part of being from Oklahoma,” said one local resident, noting that the community’s tradition of generosity in times of emergency extends at least as far back the Oklahoma City federal building bombing in 1995. “It’s become known as the Oklahoma Standard.”
After a morning of debate Tuesday, council voted 40-4 in opposition to any new gaming sites in the city. The four in favour of gaming expansion were Ford and Councillors Giorgio Mammoliti, Vincent Crisanti and Norm Kelly.
The vote came after city manager Joe Pennachetti released new figures showing the city would be paid a $40 million fee for hosting a downtown casino.
That’s far short of the minimum $100 million the city wanted under a revenue-sharing proposal with the province that Ford called a “pretty good deal.”
Ford attacked Premier Kathleen Wynne for what he called a change of attitude at Queen’s Park.
“It seems no deal is good enough for this premier,” the mayor said. “The fact is she simply doesn’t want a casino, at least not in Toronto.”
At Queen’s Park, Wynne brushed off Ford’s criticism.
“I don’t think this is a personal debate between me and any other politician in the province,” Wynne said. “I think this is about a principle, which is municipalities should be able to make this decision.”
Anti-casino forces that have fought a casino for the past year were delighted with the vote.
“We could only hope way back when that this would be the outcome, and the fact it is the outcome, we are ecstatic,” said Peggy Calvert, of No Casino Toronto. “We couldn’t be more ecstatic.”
Mammoliti called the vote “a shame” and said the province needs to act to help Woodbine racetrack fast payday loan.
City staff had suggested increasing the slots at Woodbine to 4,500 machines from 3,000 currently, and adding 150 table games. But council voted 24-20 against any gaming expansion in suburban Toronto.
“We’re disappointed,” said Woodbine president Nick Eaves, who was surrounded in council by 200 casino workers wearing lime green T-shirts with the slogan Woodbine Jobs.
Eaves expressed concern that a major casino could be located in Vaughan, hurting Woodbine.
“If that goes ahead, then Woodbine’s ability to compete will be severely compromised,” he warned.
Ford had tabled a motion that recognized there wasn’t majority support for a downtown casino and urged council to support expanding Woodbine. The motion was defeated 31-13.
Ford’s council speech constituted his first public remarks since reports appeared last week about a video allegedly showing him smoking crack. The mayor made no mention of the controversy. He avoided reporters and left city hall after the vote.
Meanwhile, anti-casino stalwarts on council were happy to comment.
Councillor Joe Mihevc said he was surprised to see the overwhelming 40-4 vote.
“I think what people on council were feeling was the energy and vitality of their residents, who’ve been calling and emailing and pushing the reluctant people in the right direction,” Mihevc said.