QuickNews, Wednesday, Sept. 30.
MASSIVE TOYOTA RECALL | World #1 automaker recalls 3.8 million Lexus and Toyota models. This time it's badly designed floor mats that hold down the accelerator, implicated in the Aug. 28 deaths of an off-duty California highway patrolman and his three passengers. This biggest-ever Toyota recall is latest of many since Toyota's manic over-expansion, marked by slipping quality standards.
IT BREACHES SKYROCKET | Survey finds near quadrupling of security breaches in 2009. There were an average of 11.3 breaches per Canadian organization this year, versus just 3 last year, at an average cost per organization of $834,149.
Damaged shoreline on Samoa, where tidal waves reached as far as 1.5 km inland.
Tidal waves from 8.3 magnitude quake strike Samoa and American Samoa. Death toll estimated at more than 100 people, hundreds more injured. Warnings called off for Hawaii, New Zealand and U.S. West Coast.
BUY CANADIAN | Attempt to exempt Canada from "Buy America." Promising negotiations underway to exempt Canadian goods and services from "Buy America" provisions of Obama's unprecedented $787-billion (U.S.) stimulus bill.
WET COAST BUDGET GAP | Vancouver building-boom stall-out cuts civic revenues. City scrambling to make economies and raise user fees to cover sudden $60-million shortfall in nearly $1-billion budget.
Canadian vineyards hard hit by recession. Consumers trading down to cheaper labels. Some grapes, selling at prices 40% below last year, will go unharvested. Global industry over-planted, creating worldwide glut. B.C. industry rep David Bond cites "ocean of wine out there."
CHINA SYNDROME | State oil companies' latest grab for reserves is Nigeria. Why doesn't China lend its moral authority in Darfur? It needs Sudan's oil. China's oil colonization, especially in Africa, will be a repeated diplomatic flashpoint over next few years.
CAUTIOUS MILESTONE | China marking 60th year of Communist regime with dissident crackdowns. State control of business down to 30%-40% from 70%, but growing embrace of capitalism not matched by regard for free speech.
GREEN SHOOTS | U.S. home prices rise for third straight month, after three years of decline. Gannett (USA Today) is rare bright light in gloomy media biz, 3Q profit forecast beats Street estimates.
GREEN CITIES | Stockholm vying for title of "greenest city." But then, so is Copenhagen, which hosts historic climate-change summit in December. Also Pittsburgh, in advance of hosting last week's G20. Somewhere Rachel Carson, founder of modern environmental movement, is smiling.
GREEN INVESTMENTS | Global bets on clean-tech business are soaring. Despite recession, investment in everything from solar power to electric cars, green building materials to an upgraded electric grid, have jumped to $1.9 billion (U.S.) in 3Q from $836 million in Q1.
GOOD LUCK CURBING CLIMATE CHANGE | The status quo has all the money, Paul Krugman notes. ""The industries of the past have armies of lobbyists in place right now; the industries of the future don't."
Gordon Brown, facing election and badly trailing in polls, attempts makeover. Emerging finally from Blair's shadow, longtime finance minister with reputation for saying "no" is lately a fierce progressive on climate change and other issues, but jaded Brits aren't buying.
QUOTE OF THE DAY | "Two and two is four and five'll get you ten - if you know how to work it." -Mae West.
Courtesy Paul Noth, The New Yorker.