QuickNews, Thursday, Oct. 8.
LUXE LIFE | Chinese luxury-goods spending defies global economic malaise. Western luxe peddlers like Gucci flocking to Shanghai, aleady are doing surprisingly well. They will reap even greater returns as China's nascent consumer economy - now a fraction of America's - begins to develop in China's huge interior cities far from coastal Shanghai and Hong Kong.
Opening day at Gucci's flagship Shanghai store in June.
WELL-TIMED FOR 'RUN FOR THE CURE' | Canadian researchers report breast cancer breakthrough. Treatment soon will be more easily be "customized" to patients, improving odds of successful outcomes. "This is a watershed event in our ability to understand the causes of breast cancer and to develop personalized medicines for our patients," Dr. Samuel Aparicio, head of the breast cancer research program at the British Columbia Cancer Agency, who worked on the study, said in a statement. The research was largely funded by the B.C. Cancer Foundation's annual Weekend to End Breast Cancer walk and similar events across the country.
DESERVED GOOD HUMOUR: Researchers Sam Aparicio, right, and Marco Marra yesterday at a Vancouver presentation of their breakthrough breast cancer findings.
KUDOS FOR CANUCK ACADEME | McGill, U of T and University of Alberta gain in world rankings. McGill retains its hold on "top public campus in N.A." in Britain's Times Higher Education-QS World University Rankings. If it's a "knowledge economy" that's to define prosperity in the 21st century, more proof Canada has the right stuff to thrive, with sufficient public- and private-sector support.
NO KINDLE FOR CANADA | Great White North excluded as Kindle rolled out in about 100 nations. Globe can't unravel mystery, but notes irritating phenomenon: "For Canadian consumers, it's yet another in a long line of annoying delays and prohibitions – from smartphones that take years to go on sale to online gift cards that are bound by mysterious legal restrictions to Internet video that won't play once it recognizes the user isn't in a particular country."
YET ANOTHER IGGY FLIP FLOP | Grit leader appoints Marc Garneau as new Quebec lieutenant. Replacement for Coderre is admirably swift, but comes only after Iggy told us there would be no new Quebec chief, ending a Grit tradition that has served the "natural governing party" well since Confederation. Worse, in transparent bid to obscure volte face, Iggy insists Garneau is not "lieutenant" but "Quebec representative." Last we looked, Grits had several Quebec representatives. They're called MPs and riding presidents. Globe's eer fair-minded Lawrence Martin reminds us Chretien and other rookie Opposition Leaders were similarly gaffe-prone yet prevailed. A sound argument, until the words Stephane Dion enter the conversation.
GLOBE-TROTTING HOGTOWNERS | Toronto-based Brookfield invests $1.1 billion in Aussie land deal. Already landlord of Lower Manattan's skyline-defining World Financial Center, Brookfield now major player in commercial property Down Under.
GREEN SHOOTS | Industrial products bellwether Alcoa reports surprising profit upturn. Its tourism and business-travel counterpart, Marriott, beats profit estimates. Alcatel-Lucent, victim of same telco-equipment downturn that killed Nortel, has been profitless since its creation by merger three years ago. But its shares are up 80% this year, on speculation of overdue recovery in global telco spending.
CANWEST PAPERS SPIN-OFF? | Papers might be spun off in IPO as early as next year. Troubled CanWest's market-dominant papers are healthy enough given the worst advertising drought since the Depression. If they can be liberated from insolvent CanWest's corporate debt of $4 billion, they stand a good chance of thriving. My hope remains that eventually the chain will be broken up, with separate ownership for individual papers or regional groups (say, new owners for each of Lower Mainland's Vancouver Sun and Province; Calgary Herald and Edmonton Journal; Regina Leader-Post and Saskatoon StarPhoenix), to expand number of newspaper owners and to return ownership to local or regional roots. More owners means more and differing ideas on confronting Web challenge, and an end to chains' stultifying absentee ownership.
ARTS HONOURS | Herta Mueller, wins 2009 Nobel prize for literature. Romanian-born German author who documented horrors of totalitarianism in Cold War Romania is recogonized for her ability to depict "the landscape of the dispossed." Barbra Streisand, top-selling female vocalist of all time, sees her recent, Diana Krall-produced CD, "Love is the Answer," become her ninth pop-chart-topping album. Gratifying for first-time producer Krall. And for Steisand, in breaking from her heavily orchestrated style, opting instead for spare arrangements that are a return to the Brooklyn native's intimate nightclub years. (So marks Gus's first audio pick.)
IRVING PENN (1917-2009) | Pioneering fashion photographer dies at 92. As longtime cover photographer for Vogue, Penn's elegant portraiture had enormous influence on contemporaries and subsequent generations of high-fashion interpreters.
MEN ARE FROM PLUTO | New book offers guidance to women on talking with men, especially at office. Code Switching: How to Talk So Men Will Listen (Alpha Books) is co-authored by Claire Damken Brown, a veteran of the corporate world (AT&T and Lucent Technologies) and Audrey Nelson, a communications consultant. Gender differences abound, Reuters reports in review of book: "Women apologize more than men, play the role of 'office mom' to whom everyone confides, and offer more subjective opinions. Men tell more jokes, but women laugh at them more. Men want solutions to problems while women look for understanding of problems, and men like to play devil's advocate while women want to help everyone to agree, the authors say. Even in e-mails, men banter and write short to-the-point messages, while women share personal information and express appreciation and support in longer messages, they say." Not too much here to advance Deborah Tannen's work, but updated observations are sound and need repeating .
QUOTE OF THE DAY | "I often think that a slightly exposed shoulder emerging from a long satin nightgown packs more sex than two naked bodies in bed." -Bette Davis (Dark Victory; Now, Voyager; All About Eve.)
Courtesy Tony Auth, Philadelphia Inquirer.