WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
World Bank accuses Bombardier of corruption to win contract in Azerbaijan
Bombardier Inc. allegedly used corruption and collusion to win a contract in Azerbaijan, then obstructed an investigation of the deal, according to a World Bank audit that could lead to the Montreal-based transportation giant being blacklisted from projects funded by the international financial institution.
The findings of the audit, which were obtained by The Globe and Mail, accuse the company of colluding with senior officials at Azerbaijan Railways to win a 2013 contract worth US$339-million to install rail-signalling equipment in the country. The deal was 85-per-cent financed by the World Bank.
The audit also found that Bombardier used an intermediary firm to “funnel bribes” worth millions of dollars to Azerbaijani officials and routed tens of millions more through a network of Russian-controlled shell companies.
The company disputes the World Bank’s findings, which have not been proved.
The Azerbaijan revelations follows allegations this week that the company deliberately inflated its cost estimates to gain an unjustified payment of about US$60-million from South Africa’s state-owned freight company. Bombardier denied any inflated costs or any other wrongdoing and said it plans to appear at the inquiry to dispute the allegations.
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Trump in ‘no hurry’ to sign China trade deal as increased tariffs take effect
U.S. President Donald Trump on Friday said he was in no hurry to sign a trade deal with China as Washington imposed a new set of tariffs on Chinese goods and negotiators ended two days of talks to try to salvage an agreement.
The United States early on Friday increased its tariffs on US$200-billion in Chinese goods to 25 per cent from 10 per cent, rattling financial markets already worried that the 10-month trade war between the world’s two largest economies could escalate. China is expected to retaliate with additional sanctions of its own.
Economy adds a shocking 106,500 jobs in April, biggest one-month gain since 1976
Canada’s labour market added 106,500 net jobs in April, the biggest one-month gain since the government started collecting comparable data in 1976.
The rush of new jobs far surpassed market forecasts and helped push down the unemployment rate to 5.7 per cent, from 5.8 per cent in March.
The dollar strengthened to a nine-day high against its U.S. counterpart and investors slashed bets for an interest rate cut this year from the Bank of Canada following the release of the record numbers.
WHAT ELSE IS ON OUR RADAR
Uber’s market debut sours most anticipated IPO since Facebook
Uber made a disappointing market debut on Friday, fueling debate on Wall Street over whether the outcome of the most anticipated listing since Facebook Inc would weigh on other Silicon Valley unicorns. Uber’s shares ended the day down 7.6 per cent at $41.57, even as the S&P 500 reversed losses to end in positive territory.
U.S. senator says two Canadians detained in China face ‘harsh’ treatment
U.S. lawmakers won’t rest until Canadian ex-diplomat Michael Kovrig and entrepreneur Michael Spavor are freed, says a powerful Republican senator. The support for Canada came as the China-U.S. trade war escalated Friday.
Toddler dies after being left in hot car in Burnaby, B.C.: RCMP
A 16-month-old toddler has died after being left in a vehicle for several hours during a spring heat wave. The child’s father was found at the scene and both parents are co-operating in the investigation.
Five hurt, driver charged after fuel truck hits plane at Toronto’s Pearson airport
Five people were taken to hospital with minor injuries and a fuel truck driver was charged after a truck hit a plane three times on the tarmac at Toronto Pearson airport early Friday morning.
Canada’s main stock index slipped on Friday, as investors were worried about the U.S.-China trade dispute, with Washington raising tariffs on Chinese goods even as the two sides tried to strike a last-minute deal.
The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index was unofficially down 24.20 points, or 0.15 per cent, at 16,297.55.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 116.45 points, or 0.45 per cent, to 25,944.81, the S&P 500 gained 10.86 points, or 0.38 per cent, to 2,881.58 and the Nasdaq Composite added 6.35 points, or 0.08 per cent, to 7,916.94.
The Mark Norman trial is over. Justin Trudeau’s trials may have just begun
“The Norman affair is not over – not by a long shot. Indeed, the most striking thing about the Vice-Admiral’s case is how little we yet know about the government’s motivations in pursuing it with such vigour, and the dances that have been done as more and more Liberals became embroiled through documents requested by the defence.” - Andrew MacDougall
Can Uber, Lyft treat drivers better, and make money?
“Here’s the existential challenge for Uber and Lyft: They’re losing a lot of money now in a largely unregulated world. If the laws change, and drivers become employees, it’s hard to imagine either company will ever make big profits.” - Barrie McKenna (subscribers)
Raptors teeter on edge of disaster with Game 6 loss to 76ers
“What should have been a done deal has become a coin toss. As is their habit, the Raptors will teeter on the edge of disaster in a Game 7 to be played Sunday. ... Remember all those good vibes after Game 5? That was fun. Now it’s crushing angst and that familiar, strangely comforting feeling that a Toronto sports team is about to find new, highly creative ways to lose.” - Cathal Kelly
Globe Book Club: Ask Barbara Gowdy and Margaret Atwood your questions on The White Bone and the craft of writing
Barbara Gowdy and Margaret Atwood both feature strong female characters in their books. If you have a question for them on how they portray women in society, or on other themes in Gowdy’s novel The White Bone – Margaret Atwood’s pick for the first Globe Book Club for subscribers – please post them in the comments on this article or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ll gather a selection of your questions and publish the authors’ responses soon.
LONG READ FOR A LONG COMMUTE
The 1919 General Strike was a battle for Winnipeg’s soul
One hundred years ago, for six turbulent weeks, the focus of the Western world was on Winnipeg. On May 15, 1919, an estimated 30,000 workers, approximately 20 per cent of the city’s total population at the time, walked off their jobs in sympathy with metal- and building-trades workers who were already on strike. The workers were fighting for union recognition, collective bargaining and “a more equitable share of the wealth of the world,” in the words of James Winning, the head of the Winnipeg Trades and Labor Council (TLC) and a member of the 15-man Central Strike Committee.
The General Strike was “one of the greatest ruptures between the workers and the upper classes in the history of commercial society (second only to the Paris Commune of 1871),” write Brandon University professors Reinhold Kramer and Tom Mitchell in their 2010 study of the strike, When the State Trembled. Winnipeg was literally shut down. Streetcars stopped running. There was, at least temporarily, no milk and bread delivery. And the “hello girls” who worked as operators for the Manitoba Government Telephones stopped routing calls.