PAPER BOY REDUX | Paul Godfrey wins backers to buy CanWest's newspapers. Proven success in newspaper buyouts in assembling backers of Sun Media chain, Godfrey said to have lined up investors for some or all of ailing CanWest's 12 market-dominant dailies. They include Ottawa Citizen, Montreal Gazette, biggest dailies in Alberta and Vancouver, and National Post. Torstar, owner of Toronto Star, also a rumoured bidder when the papers are auctioned in next two months.
CENTENARIAN BOOM | More than half of babies born in rich nations today will live to 100, study claims. Danish researchers cite current life-expectancy trends in forecast. Good news for the living: "Very long lives are not the distant privilege of remote future generations -- very long lives are the probable destiny of most people alive now in developed countries," Kaare Christensen of the Danish Aging Research Center wrote on Friday in a study in the Lancet medical journal.
BABY BOOST | Tories promise to extend parental benefits to self-employed. Bill would help the 2.7 million self-employed Canadians working as real-estate agents, truck drivers, hairdressers, cabbies. Move co-opts NDP, which has long called for EI assistance to self-employed to take time off to be with their kids.
FIRST CLOWN IN SPACE | Cirque de Soleil founder Guy Laliberte arrives at International Space Station. Fifty-year-old entrepreneur is paying $35 million for 10-day stay in space to publicize his One Drop Foundation, promoting better access to fresh water on Earth.
WHERE'S THE PASTA? | Chrysler has little to show for alliance with "saviour" Fiat. Seems in a hurry to reduce already meagre market share, with as few as 13 models next year compared with 32 in 2007. U.S. market share has slipped to almost negligible 7%. Says Globe auto reporter Jeremy Cato: [Fiat has] yet to explain what the plan is for Chrysler, what its goals are, how it will be implemented."
CHINA TIDE | Forecasters see Chinese economy eclipsing Japan by next year. Japanese loss of second-largest-economy crown was expected in five years, but Japanese slump and continued China GDP boom advances China's emergence as dominant regional power. “It’s beyond my imagination how far Japan will fall in the world economy in 10, 20 years,” Hideo Kumano, economist at the Dai-Ichi Life Research Institute in Tokyo, tells NYT.
YANKEES GO HOME | Vast majority of Pakistanis don't want U.S. help in fighting local militants. In survey, 80% of Pakistanis object to their leaders cooperating with U.S. in fight against terrorism. Follows series of U.S. missile strikes directed at Islamist militants that have also killed civilians.
AFGHAN RETHINK | Obama considering a narrower military mission in Afghanistan. Many WH advisors at odds with each other and with generals over how best to proceed.
POX ON TEXTING | Obama forbids federal employees to text while driving. U.S. also to ban text messaging by truckers and bus drivers who cross state lines, and may prohibit cellphone use while driving, as well.
IRISH DECIDE EU FUTURE IN VOTE TODAY | Slim majority favour yes to milestone Lisbon Treaty. Irish only last year rejected treaty, a new constitution for the 27-nation, 500-million population EU that would mark beginnings of pan-European military and enable EU to pass laws without unanimous consent, but requires unanimous consent for passage.
YOU CAN HAVE A PEEK | Iran offers international inspectors a look at declared uranium stockpiles. But apparent climbdown less than meets the eye, as Tehran thought to have additional, hidden supplies of enriched uranium. Still, at least Iranians are talking with U.S. and other nations after year-long silence.
SLOW-PACED RECOVERY | Bellwether Wal-Mart forecasts only gradual U.S. upturn. Among few Fortune 500 companies to flourish in recession, Wal-Mart inks joint venture to launch operations in India, resuming international expansion after disappointments in Germany and Japan.
BIG BEER MERGER IN OFFING? | Mexico's Femsa may sell beer ops to SAB Miller. Latter eager to reclaim bragging rights as world's biggest brewer after overtaken by AB InBev with its purchase of Anheuser-Busch. Likely keg-size price would be estimated $9 billion (U.S.).
TWILIGHT TIME | Ailing finance giant CIT warns of bankruptcy. Restructuring outpaced by erosion of business, firm may opt for "pre-packaged" bankruptcy.
VICTIM OR LECH? | David Letterman acknowledges affairs with employees. Disclosure forced by blackmail attempt. Sympathy is currently with Letterman as blackmail victim. But even if sexual-harassment suits don't surface, obvious question is whether "Late Night" gagster cheated on Regina Lasko, whom Letterman began dating 23 years ago and married in March. If you care, a YouTube of Letterman's oddly light-hearted "confession" is here.
QUOTE OF THE DAY | “John got trapped doing something really stupid and then made a lot of other mistakes afterward. Judgment gets impaired by arrogance, and that’s what’s going on here.” -U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), on his friend U.S. Sen. John Ensign (R-Nev.), revealed yesterday to have arranged to obtain a job for the husband of a campaign aide with whom he was having an affair.
Courtesy Tony Auth, Philadelphia Inquirer.