QuickNews, Thursday, Oct. 22.
TAKEOFF | Windows 7 launches today, hoping to erase memories of glitch-prone Vista. Windows 7 reviews by NYT and Globe and Mail. Warning: Windows 7 is winning raves, but so did Vista when it launched.
Steve Ballmer, Microsoft CEO, in Toronto yesterday talking up Windows 7. Photo: Mark Blinch, Reuters.
POPULIST PAYBACK | Obama to slash pay 50% to 90% at bailout recipients. Pay-cuts plans, leaked yesterday, rumoured to affect top 25 executives at each of Citigroup, Bank of America, General Motors, Chrysler, American International Group (AIG) and financing arms of GM and Chrysler.
BANK PAY FURORE IN U.K. | Government enraged over persistent lavish bank pay. Alistair Darling, finance minister, angry with Goldman Sachs payouts: "I've spoken to all our banks and none of them would be standing here today if the taxpayer hadn't put their hand into their pocket."
REVELATION | Alice Munro reveals at Toronto authors festival last night that she has battled cancer. Author did not say when. Earlier this year, Munro, 78, received Man Booker International Prize honouring her life's work.
NEW CHAPTER FOR JOHN RALSTON SAUL | Voted president of International PEN yesterday. Novelist is first Canadian in PEN's 88-year history to head organization fighting for freedom of repressed and imprisoned writers worldwide.
CBC MAKEOVER | Management claims program shakeup biggest in CBC history. CBC Newsworld becomes CBC News Network, "The National" goes to 7 days a week, head honcho Stursberg claims all shows and hosts will change. Rumours have CBC trimming world coverage to tell more stories from Canadian regions. I can hear you yawning.
MODIFY CROPS OR STARVE | U.K. science academy says GM foods needed to cope with hunger. Warns global food shortages loom if genetically modified crops aren't more widely accepted.
MORAL ARGUMENT AGAINST TAKEOVER | Cadbury says hostile bidder Kraft would upend its values. Company whose "values" are selling candy and soft drinks (Schweppes) that figure prominently in obesity crisis says it was founded with a humanitarian ethic that cheesemaker launched by Canadian J.L. Kraft would somehow disturb. A novel way of demanding a higher takeover price, if a little galling.
WHAT RECESSION? | Chinese GDP accelerates to stunning 8.9%. Could have something to do with Beijing's monster stimulus jolts since last year - first off the mark among major economies. Chinese consumer spending is strong, while Bernanke and Harper warn North American recovery will be gradual at best.
U.S. and EU have long called on China to nurture an internal consumer economy. Emergence of Chinese shopaholics is beginning to augment export-driven prosperity.
OH, JUST FOLD ALREADY | Playboy plans "Women of Wall Street" pictorial. “When the news gets bad, then maybe that's a chance to make people smile by coming up with something that puts a different twist on it,” says Gary Cole, Playboy's photo editor. No, when the news gets bad - meaning mass layoffs - jobless women become available to be exploited in their hope of catching the attention of a reality-show talent scout. Thus "The Women of Enron," etc. etc. C'mon Hef, your 15 years were up 41 years ago.