QuickNews, Thursday, Oct. 1.
Quakes rock Indonesia, typhoons hit Philippines, Cambodia, Vietnam. With cleanup barely underway after tsunami struck Samoa and American Samoa, magnitude-8 earthquakes may have killed thousands of people in Sumatra and elsewhere in Indonesia, while typhoons claim at least 300 lives in Southeast Asia. Despite upgraded warning systems following epic 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, Samoans still caught off-guard, with just eight seconds' warning from Hawaii weather centre. Google map of past week's Asia earthquake activity here. You'll be surprised how widespread it's been, from U.S. West Coast to South Asia.
Quake damage in Padang, Indonesia. Typhoon Ketsana flooding in Montalban Rizal, west of Manila.
REVOLUTION TURNS 60 | China stages spectacular celebration marking anniversary of People's Republic. Elaborate preparations rivaling those for Beijing Olympics yield dazzling displays of choreographed patriotism and military might across nation in a decade when powerhouse economy is already in spotlight.
Parade in Tiananmen Square yesterday marking National Day. My photo gallery appears here.
CANADA TO LEAD G7 OUT OF RECESSION | IMF forecasts 2.1% Canadian GDP growth in 2010. But global recovery, Canada included, will be slower than most post-recession upturns. "The current rebound will be sluggish, credit constrained and, for quite some time, jobless,” the report said.
COYOTES UGLY | Balsillie quits Coyotes quest after U.S. judge rejects bid. "All I wanted was a fair chance to bring a seventh NHL team to Canada," Balsillie says, "to serve the best unserved hockey fans in the world." The odds of the RIM co-CEO getting that chance were very slim, as Star's Damien Cox explains.
SPARE A TEAR | Forbes 400 dropped $300 billion (U.S.) last year. Buffett alone down $10 billion (U.S.). Think that's bad? U.S. taxpayers are out $9 trillion (U.S.) on bank bailout funding.
WHERE WOMEN RULE | Three Canadians make FT's list of world's 50 most powerful women. They are Toronto native Andrea Jung, head of Avon; Christina Gold, CEO at Western Union; and Heather Reisman of Indigo Books & Music.
DEBT BOMB | Worst of U.S. corporate defaults is yet to come. At current torrid pace, and with whack of maturities next year, analysts expect a doubling in corporate deadbeats.
ON THE RAILS. How Bombardier landed this week's $4-billion Chinese commuter-rail contract. Meanwhile, crosstown transport giant Pratt & Whitney cuts 410 more jobs as private-plane sales dive.
Bank of America's Ken Lewis sets quit date in December. Was the world's least-admired big-bank CEO pushed? Who cares? Market added $1.5 billion (U.S.) to BofA market cap on the news. Successor? I'm hoping Bill Winter, J.P. Morgan Chase's investment banking architect, soon to depart in search of a bank of his own to run.
SATURN KAPUT? | Roger Penske abruptly cancels deal to buy auto brand. Says the unnamed firm he lined up to make Saturns suddenly backed out. A puzzler, since Penske, an auto-press fave, has been fawned over by business media who've reported nary a glitch. GM yet to actually close a deal on any of its auction-block brands - Saturn, Saab, Hummer and Opel-Vauxhall. Another reason to wonder if tentative Opel sale to Magna-led consortium will ever happen. Plus the right-ward shift in German politics after last Sunday's election.
WE'RE ALL MORE CAREFUL NOW | E.U. report says Georgia provoked 2008 Russian invasion. There's blame on both sides, it finds. Recall John McCain's first-day reaction: "We're all Georgians now." Wiser folks knew the hothead in charge in Tbilisi likely had pulled the bear's tail once too often. That number would include Candidate Obama, who judiciously called for a ceasefire rather than mistake the Georgian regime as freedom fighters.
MYSPACE A GONER? | So hip when Murdoch bought it, so yesterday now. Henry Blodget notes the sad fate of Excite, Lycos, Infoseek, and figures fading MySpace could be worthless. Blodget doesn't include AOL, which Time Warner is expected to unload at about 1% of its "value" in 2000.BANKS BALK | Canadian banks none too pleased with consumer-friendly regs Ottawa seeks to impose on their credit-card ops. Can't blame them. Nosebleed credit-card interest rates subsidize corner-office blunders on potentially crippling bad bets.
SCAREM | Climate change means 2016 Olympics could be the last, says Tokyo governor. Over-the-top sales pitch of Toyko as "greenest" ever venue bidder is meant to sway IOC vote tomorrow toward Japanese capital over rivals Chicago, Rio de Janeiro and Madrid.
SCRIBE STRIKE | Freelance journos threatening to boycott Transcontinental in contract dispute. Quebec magazine giant (Canadian Living, Homemakers, Elle Canada) wants close to unlimited rights to authors' work, or they can take a hike. Dontcha know, intellectual property rights are for billion-dollar corporations, not garret-dwellers.
QUOTE OF THE DAY | "If you get sick, America, the Republican health care plan is this: die quickly. That's right. The Republicans want you to die quickly if you get sick." -Rep. Alan Grayson (D-Fla.) in Congressional debate Tuesday, aptly describing the G.O.P.'s alternative to the Dems' proposed healthcare reforms a "blank piece of paper." Grayson was unmoved by G.O.P. demands he retract the comment.
Courtesy: Heng, Lianhe Zaobao (Singapore).