Clearwater Seafoods formally rebuffs Cooke Aquaculture takeover bid as too low

HALIFAX – The board of Clearwater Seafoods Income Fund (TSX:CLR.UN) board has formally rejected a takeover bid from rival Cooke Aquaculture takeover bid as too low.

The Halifax company said Tuesday it believes the $3.50 per unit offer – valuing Clearwater at about $97.1 million – “does not adequately reflect the value of the fund and its future prospects.” Cooke already owns Cooke holds 10.9 per cent of the voting stock in the fund.

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John Risley, president of Clearwater Fine Foods Inc., which holds 48.2 per cent of the fund’s voting units, stated last month that he believed the deal would not succeed.

Privately owned Cooke, led by CEO Glenn Cooke, primarily farms salmon. The company announced its hostile bid Aug 12. and Halifax-based Clearwater announced a unitholder rights plan three days later to fend off the takeover bid from the New Brunswick company.

The poison pill plan allows unitholders to acquire units at an 80 per cent discount if Risley’s company increases its stake or if someone else acquires ownership of at least 20 per cent of the fund’s voting units.

Cooke has said it welcomes the plan because it prevents insiders from buying more shares to block a potential bid.

Risley has said Cooke’s offer is too low, as Clearwater is in the midst of a recovery. It is also in the process of transforming itself from an income fund to a publicly traded corporation.

Clearwater has 1,600 employees, about 20 vessels, seven plants and offices in Toronto, Europe, China, Japan, Europe and the United States. The company is best know for its lobster products, but it also harvests scallops, clams, shrimp, crab and other ocean fish.

Cooke has about 2,500 employees at salmon operations in New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland, Maine, Chile and Spain, as well as sales people in the United States and Canada.

Cooke Aquaculture processes and sells more than 115 million pounds of Atlantic salmon and 35 million pounds of trout each year, generating more than $500 million in sales.

In a later development Tuesday, Clearwater said it had received the final order from the Nova Scotia Supreme Court approving its plan to covert the fund into a corporation.

The change is effective in early October, the seafood processor said.


Ottawa gives tobacco manufacturers deadline for tough new cigarette packaging

OTTAWA – Cigarette packs are about to get a whole lot more jarring in Canada.

Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq, accompanied by the widower and daughter of anti-smoking crusader Barb Tarbox, visited a school in Ottawa on Tuesday to announce that tobacco companies will have to start selling revamped cigarette packages by next June.

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Twelve new images will cover 75 per cent of the outside panel of cigarette packages and eight new health messages will appear on the inside in full colour in an attempt to turn off smokers.

Do you think the new packaging will deter Canadians from smoking? Share your thoughts on our Facebook page.

A picture of a dying Barb Tarbox will be among the new images on cigarette packs.

“Our government has followed through on its commitment to introduce new, stronger labelling requirements on key tobacco products,” the health minister said Tuesday.

“I applaud the courage and commitment of those who are sharing their experience with tobacco use through these messages. I’m especially proud to welcome the family of Ms. Tarbox. Her unforgettable image has become a symbol of the hazards of smoking.”

Pat and Mackenzie Tarbox were on hand to praise the announcement Tuesday.

Tarbox’s wife, Barb, died of cancer in 2003 at age 42. Before she died, the Edmontonian documented her battle as part of an anti-smoking campaign to convince young people not to smoke.

As part of the new rules, tobacco companies will also have to include four toxic-emission messages for the side panel, along with a national toll-free quit line.

Currently, health warnings cover 50 per cent of the outside panel, but Health Canada research has consistently showed that smokers have dulled to the old graphics, first introduced in 2001.

Initially, the plan was to have the old packs out of the marketplace by next March, but a delay in publishing the final regulations means industry has another three months to transition.

Aglukkaq committed to the new regulations last December after she signalled in the fall that the file was on hold so the federal government could focus on combating contraband cigarettes.

Health Canada then published draft regulations in February, launching consultations and laying out timelines.

Last fall, Tarbox’s widower lamented what he saw as foot-dragging on the part of the federal government after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced it was considering using Barb’s image on cigarette packages sold in the U.S.  


Jennifer Hudson opens weight loss centre in Chicago to promote healthier lifestyle

CHICAGO – Jennifer Hudson’s name has graced an Oscar and Grammy, but the Chicago native said she never imagined her name would be on a weight loss centre that she could use to inspire others.

The singer and actress stopped in her home town Tuesday for the opening of “The Weight Watchers Jennifer Hudson Center.” Hudson, who lost about 80 pounds, is a spokeswoman for the company.

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The new centre, where walls are covered with posters of the svelte star, is in a strip mall on Chicago’s South Side, not far from President Barack Obama’s home.

“I never thought I would make it to have my own centre,” said Hudson, who wore a fitted, ruffled black dress and high-heeled studded black boots. “I’m so honoured to be here and see this day.”

Weight Watchers had pledged to donate a portion of the centre’s revenue to a foundation that Hudson co-founded in honour of her late nephew, Julian King.

The body of the 7-year-old was found in a vehicle a few days after Hudson’s mother, Darnell Hudson Donerson, and brother, Jason Hudson, were found dead in the family’s Chicago home in October 2008. All three had been shot. The estranged husband of Hudson’s sister is charged in the killings and is awaiting trial.

Hudson, who started the foundation in Julian’s honour with her sister, Julia, said she was inspired as a child by seeing the success of others.

“I love to target children, because that’s the thing that makes a difference,” Hudson said. “We hope to do the same thing and start here at home in Chicago with health, with education, with dreams.”

Hudson, who first earned fame as an “American Idol” finalist, won a Grammy for her self-titled album and an Oscar for her role in “Dreamgirls.” Her album “I Remember Me,” came out this year.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who attended the ribbon-cutting, called Hudson “Chicago’s ambassador to the world at large.”

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Sophia Tareen can be reached at 杭州桑拿按摩论坛twitter杭州夜网/sophiatareen


Health, jobs and crime among top issues in Manitoba election poll

WINNIPEG – Health care is the biggest election issue for Manitobans who responded to a new opinion poll. 

 

 

When asked by Environics Research Group to name the most important issue in deciding which party to support, 27 per cent of respondents said health. 

 

 

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The economy and unemployment was next at 18 per cent, followed by crime at 14 per cent. Taxation ranked fourth at 11 per cent, followed by debt and deficit at seven per cent. 

 

 

The online poll was conducted by Environics Research Group between Sept. 20 and 26, and provided exclusively to The Canadian Press on Monday. Overall, 45 per cent of decided respondents backed the Opposition Tories, while 42 per cent supported the governing New 

Democrats. Only 10 per cent supported the Liberals. 

 

 

Crime does not normally rank so high in most provinces, said Derek Leebosh, Environics’ vice-president of public affairs. But in a province that routinely registers the highest rates of murder, assault and other crimes, its third-place ranking could be expected. 

 

 

“It’s unusual to see crime ranked that highly on this type of a question,” Leebosh said. 

 

 

The numbers could be seen as good news for incumbent premier Greg Selinger. When asked which party leader would do a better job of managing health care, 36 per cent of respondents said Selinger. 

 

 

Tory Leader Hugh McFadyen garnered 25 per cent while Liberal Leader Jon Gerrard scored 19 per cent. Twenty per cent were unsure. 

 

 

However, McFadyen came out on top when people were asked which leader would best manage the economy – 38 per cent to Selinger’s 30 per cent. 

 

 

McFadyen also beat out Selinger on taxes, crime and managing the deficit, while Selinger scored highest on the environment, social inequality and dealing with floods and other natural disasters. 

 

 

“It all leads back to a very close race,” Leebosh said.  

 

 

When asked which leader would be best at running an “honest, ethical and trustworthy government”, 29 per cent of respondents picked Selinger, while 24 per cent chose McFadyen. Gerrard received 14 per cent and 33 per cent of respondents said they were not sure. 

       

 

Unlike traditional telephone polling, in which respondents are randomly selected, the Environics survey was conducted online among 1,000 respondents, all of whom were chosen from a larger pool of people who were recruited and compensated for participating. 

 

 

Environics then adjusts the sample to reflect a broad spectrum of the population. 

 

 

The non-random nature of online polling makes it impossible to determine statistically how accurately the results reflect the opinions of the population at large. 


Subway trains crash in Shanghai, injuring more than 270 in latest mishap for expanded system

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SHANGHAI – A Shanghai subway train crashed into a stopped train during a signal failure Tuesday, injuring more than 270 people in the latest trouble for the newly expanded transportation system in China’s commercial centre.

The signal failure meant trains on Line 10 were being directed via phone by subway staff instead of electronic signals and thus were running at lower speeds, Shanghai Shentong Metro Group said in a statement. That line opened last year and is one of the city’s newest.

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At least 271 people were hurt, none seriously, said Xu Jiangguang, head of the city’s health bureau. Some of the injured were carried away on stretchers, however, and 30 were being kept overnight for observation.

“This is the darkest day ever for the Shanghai subway. Regardless of the cause or responsibility, we are stricken with remorse for having caused our passengers injury and losses,” the company said in an apology posted on its blog. “We want to deeply, deeply apologize.”

The signal system is a product of Casco Signal Ltd., a joint venture of China Railway Signal and Communication Corp. and Alstom, which reportedly supplies signal systems to a number of subways in Chinese cities including Beijing, Shanghai, Tianjin and Shenzhen.

Casco was blamed for a subway train crash in Shanghai in 2009, and it was the supplier of a centralized traffic control system for a railway in east China’s Zhejiang Province where two bullet trains crashed on July 23, killing 40 people and injuring 177.

That accident exposed festering resentments over the huge costs of the country’s massive buildup of its rail system, especially its high-speed lines.

Authorities have not yet disclosed the results of an investigation into the cause of that accident, though state media cited experts as saying signalling equipment was a key factor.

In Tuesday’s accident, the trains were relatively crowded when they crashed at midafternoon. Photos posted online by passengers showed some of the injured covered in blood and crouching or lying on the floor of the train.

Firefighters helped evacuate the approximately 500 passengers on the trains, taking them out through emergency exits and walking them through the subway tunnel.

The crash snarled downtown traffic as police blocked roads to clear the way for ambulances, and hundreds of gawkers gathered to watch as passengers were escorted from the subway.

Shanghai, a city of 23 million, has rapidly expanded its subways in recent years and some lines have had problems with windows shattering, doors not opening properly and trains stopping suddenly or in the wrong spots along platforms.

Tuesday’s was the third system failure in two months on Line 10. It is among several opened last year that were built hastily ahead of the 2010 World Expo, which brought more than 72 million visitors to the city.

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Associated Press writer Elaine Kurtenbach and researcher Fu Ting contributed to this report.


Doer top pick for premier

Gary Doer remains a powerful presence in Manitoba politics: much to the chagrin of current contenders for the province’s top job. 

 

The former NDP premier – who quit politics in 2009 to become Canadian ambassador the United States – remains the favourite among Manitoba voters to win the premier’s chair in the province’s October 4th election, according to Global’s Canada’s Pulse Poll released Monday. 

 

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The survey conducted by Ipsos Reid asked Manitobans, “who do you think would be the best premier of Manitoba” – but included a number of potential “candidates” who aren’t even on the list. Doer scored highest, with 38% support, compared to 22% for Progressive Conservate Leader Hugh McFadyen and 17% for New Democratic Party leader Greg Selinger, who won the leadership to replace the charismatic Doer. Liberal leader Jon Gerrard scored only 5 %, behind two other men are not even part of the provincial election campaign: Winnipeg mayor Sam Katz (10%) and Winnipeg Jets owner Mark Chipman (8%). 

 

“It’s not a surprise at all,” Selinger said Monday when asked about the continuing popularity of the man who’s electoral success he’s trying to replicate. Doer won three straight majority governments in 1999, 2003 and 2007. 

 

“He was premier at a time when Manitobans were going through a lot of infrastructure,” University of Winnipeg political scientist says of Doer, who spearheaded big building projects like the MTS Centre, Floodway expansion and others. “But again, likeability matters.” 

 

When the non-candidates are removed from the question, Selinger leads with 46%, McFadyen trails at 37% and Gerrard is at 17%. 


Opposition march dispersed in Guinea, 4 killed in 1st major demonstration since 2010 election

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CONAKRY, Guinea – Opposition supporters attempting to join a march were violently dispersed, and at least four people were killed when paramilitary police seized control of traffic circles and lobbed tear gas at people walking toward the meeting point, an official said.

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Opposition leader Cellou Dalein Diallo, who lost last year’s election to President Alpha Conde, told The Associated Press by telephone Tuesday that one of the four dead bodies was dumped in front of the headquarters of his party, the Union of the Democratic Forces of Guinea. Three others were at the local morgue, he said.

Prime Minister Mohamed Said Fofana addressed the nation Tuesday evening on state television and said 23 police officers were hospitalized with injuries after being hit by rocks thrown by protesters.

They were marching to express mounting unease over upcoming parliamentary elections which Diallo and others say are being rigged. He said just two people had died, but reporters who were present when he visited the local morgue said the premier arrived after one of the three bodies stored there already had been picked up by relatives.

“We deplore these acts, which do nothing to advance our democracy and we regret that blood of another Guinean has once more been spilled,” Fofana said.

The opposition had expected to rally supporters from the majority-Peul areas lining the Route du Prince, a major artery that runs across the neighbourhoods of Bambeto, Matato, Enco-5 and Cosa – all of which voted in large numbers for Diallo. On Monday, the government announced that the march was authorized to go ahead, a rare gesture in this nation that knew only strongman rule up until last November’s election.

That vote was considered the first democratic transfer of power in Guinea’s history, but the poll was marred by days of clashes pitting Diallo’s Peul supporters with the mostly-Malinke security force backing the successful candidate, Conde, who is himself a Malinke.

Instead on Tuesday, opposition leaders including Diallo were not able to even leave their homes for the first part of the morning after riot police took positions at the main intersections and fired tear gas grenades at anyone attempting to assemble. Pro-opposition youth began hurling rocks, intensifying the standoff and by early afternoon, witnesses said the police began using live rounds in at least one district – Matoto.

Despite that, several residents described the dispersal of the march as less violent than Guinea has been accustomed to in the past. In 2009, the red-beret wearing presidential guard opened fire with machine-guns on a pro-democracy demonstration inside the national soccer stadium, killing scores of people. Diallo was among those injured and was evacuated to France for treatment.

“What is remarkable is that the police units are using riot control tools to disperse the protesters – tear gas and night sticks, and not fire arms for the most part,” said shopkeeper Souleymane Sow, a Peul who was backing Diallo. “It’s my opinion that the repression I’m seeing is not too violent compared to what we are used to.”

The march marks the first major demonstration since the historic election 10 months ago which saw the military hand power to civilians for the first time since 1984. Many hope the civilian-led government will put an end to abuses by the army and were reassured Monday when Army Chief of Staff Souleymane Kelefa Diallo ordered soldiers via a broadcast on state television to stay inside their barracks on Tuesday. A soldier that ventured out Tuesday morning was immediately surrounded by police and arrested, according to witnesses.

Mouctar Diallo, a Peul politician who helped organize the Tuesday march said the police have a long way to go in this nascent democracy. He charged that they had deliberately blocked the movement of people in Peul neighbourhoods.

“Yesterday the government promised to ensure the security of our peaceful march, but in fact what we are now witnessing is an assault by the gendarmerie exclusively on neighbourhoods that are favourable to the opposition,” said Diallo.

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Associated Press Writer Rukmini Callimachi contributed to this report from Dakar, Senegal.


Libyan finance minister delivers $16M to southern city, one of Gadhafi’s last strongholds

SABHA, Libya – Libya’s transitional government has delivered 20 million dinars ($16 million) to this remote southern city beset by fighters loyal to Moammar Gadhafi, hoping to bolster support for revolutionary forces.

Journalists on Tuesday accompanied the oil and finance minister, Ali al-Tarhouni, and the cash on the first flight to touch down in the desert city of Sabha since a NATO enforced no-fly zone order in March. The 20 boxes of 20-dinar notes, each weighing 116 pounds (78 kilograms), were delivered to the Sabha central bank.

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Revolutionary forces have gained control of much of the area but still face heavy resistance.

“The forces inside these areas are not opposed to joining us but they do not want to disarm,” said Ahmed Bashir, spokesman for Libya’s National Transitional Council in Sabha. “They have the weapons and no manpower. We have the manpower and lighter weapons.”

More than a month after sweeping into Tripoli and ending Gadhafi’s nearly 42-year rule, the fugitive leader’s supporters are still putting up a fierce fight on three fronts: in Gadhafi’s hometown of Sirte, the town of Bani Walid southeast of the capital and in pockets in the country’s vast desert south, including Sabha. Most of the recent fighting has occurred in Bani Walid and the Mediterranean coastal city of Sirte.

Gadhafi’s whereabouts are unknown, although he has exhorted his supporters to fight on several times in audio messages.

Syrian-based Al-Rai TV, which has become the former regime’s mouthpiece, aired video of Gadhafi’s son, Seif al-Islam, and it said it was taken last week. The same video, however, appears to have been uploaded to YouTube on March 6. A second YouTube video appears to show the same event with an upload date of Feb. 27, early on in the uprising.

Seif al-Islam Gadhafi’s last known public appearance was on Aug. 23 in Tripoli. Many have speculated that he is hiding in Bani Walid. Like his father, he has been charged by the International Criminal Court with crimes against humanity for the regime’s bloody efforts to repress the uprising.

In Sabha, revolutionaries are based in the city’s largest neighbourhood, al-Gurtha. They have set up a national council office and checkpoints on roads leading to areas where Gadhafi loyalists refuse to hand over their weapons. Residents are able to cross checkpoints into Gadhafi loyalist-held areas, but only if they have family inside, and even then they risk being accused of being Gadhafi supporters.

Bashir said the area has no Gadhafi brigades, but there are worries that armed Gadhafi loyalists may ambush revolutionary forces from the desert.

In Sirte, commanders said Libyan revolutionary forces battled their way into the eastern outskirts in a bid to link up with anti-Gadhafi fighters besieging the city from the west. Anti-Gadhafi forces first attacked Sirte nearly two weeks ago, but have pulled back in the face of heavy rocket fire and loyalist snipers.

Abdel-Basit Haroun, a revolutionary field commander, said fighters reached a roundabout less than six miles (10 kilometres) east of the city centre. He said the plan was for the forces from the east and west to meet inside Sirte.

“We are almost there, but the hard phase of the takeover has just begun,” Haroun said in a telephone interview from the eastern city of Benghazi. “We stopped using heavy weapons because the residential areas are packed with families, children and women. We are also facing snipers all over the rooftops of tall buildings.”

A revolutionary brigade commander on the city’s western front, Al-Tohami Abu Zayan, said anti-Gadhafi forces can take Sirte “whenever we choose,” but are holding back to protect civilians. He said fighters are in touch with civilians inside and working to secure them a way out of the city.

For nearly two weeks, revolutionary forces have regularly fired mortars, Grad rockets and tank shells into the city. Civilians have been fleeing for days, driven out by the fighting as well as deteriorating living conditions, including shortages of food, water and medicine.

The fighters besieging Sirte have received a boost from NATO airstrikes, which have played a key role in decimating Gadhafi’s military forces since the alliance first intervened in the Libyan civil war in March. British Maj. Gen. Nick Pope said Royal Air Force aircraft struck targets in Sirte and Bani Walid on Monday.

“In Sirte, a formation of Tornado GR4s attacked ammunition stores, destroying their targets with Paveway guided bombs,” he said.

He said strikes also hit Bani Walid after NATO reconnaissance identified a psychological warfare centre and a firing position used by Gadhafi forces.

NATO said about 200,000 Libyan civilians are still threatened by forces loyal to the country’s former regime, primarily in Sirte and Bani Walid.

“Remaining Gadhafi forces refuse to recognize their defeat. As a last resort, they are hiding in civilian areas,” NATO spokesman Col. Roland Lavoie said at a news conference in Naples.

Forces loyal to the former regime are looking for Gadhafi opponents, taking them hostage and sometimes executing them, Lavoie said. But he said the loyalists cannot hold out long and NATO’s mission would end soon.

Meanwhile, a Tunisian judicial official said Libya’s former prime minister has been freed from jail after an appeals court overturned his conviction for illegally entering Tunisia.

Al-Baghdadi al-Mahmoudi was arrested Sept. 22 on charges of illegal entry after he was found without a visa as he tried to flee across the border to Algeria. He was convicted the same day and sentenced to six months in prison.

Libya’s transitional government said last week it would ask Tunisia to send al-Mahmoudi home to face justice. A justice ministry spokesman says no official extradition demand has been made.

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Hubbard reported from Sirte. Associated Press writers Maggie Michael in Cairo and Don Melvin in Brussels contributed to this report.


Young people say online bullying pervasive: poll

WASHINGTON – Catherine Devine had her first brush with an online bully in seventh grade, before she’d even ventured onto the Internet. Someone set up the screen name “devinegirl” and, posing as Catherine, sent her classmates instant messages full of trashy talk and lies. “They were making things up about me, and I was the most innocent 12-year-old ever,” Devine remembers. “I hadn’t even kissed anybody yet.”

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As she grew up, Devine, now 22, learned to thrive in the electronic village. But like other young people, she occasionally stumbled into one of its dark alleys.

A new Associated Press-MTV poll of youth in their teens and early 20s finds that most of them – 56 per cent – have been the target of some type of online taunting, harassment or bullying, a slight increase over just two years ago. A third say they’ve been involved in “sexting,” the sharing of naked photos or videos of sexual activity. Among those in a relationship, four out of 10 say their partners have used computers or cellphones to abuse or control them.

Three-fourths of the young people said they consider these darker aspects of the online world, sometimes broadly called “digital abuse,” a serious problem.

They’re not the only ones.

President Barack Obama brought students, parents and experts together at the White House in March to try to confront “cyberbullying.” The Education Department sponsors an annual conference to help schools deal with it. Teen suicides linked to vicious online bullying have caused increasing worry in communities across the country.

Conduct that rises to the point of bullying is hard to define, but the AP-MTV poll of youth ages 14 to 24 showed plenty of rotten behaviour online, and a perception that it’s increasing. The share of young people who frequently see people being mean to each other on social networking sites jumped to 55 per cent, from 45 per cent in 2009.

That may be partly because young people are spending more time than ever communicating electronically: 7 in 10 had logged into a social networking site in the previous week, and 8 in 10 had texted a friend.

“The Internet is an awesome resource,” says Devine, “but sometimes it can be really negative and make things so much worse.”

Devine, who lives on New York’s Long Island, experienced her share of online drama in high school and college: A friend passed around highly personal entries from Devine’s private electronic journal when she was 15. She left her Facebook account open on a University of Scranton library computer, and a prankster posted that she was pregnant (she wasn’t). Most upsetting, when she was 18 Devine succumbed to a boyfriend’s pressure to send a revealing photo of herself, and when they broke up he briefly raised the threat of embarrassing her with it.

“I didn’t realize the power he could have over me from that,” Devine said. “I thought he’d just see it once and then delete it, like I had deleted it.”

The Internet didn’t create the turmoil of the teen years and young adulthood – romantic breakups, bitter fights among best friends, jealous rivalries, teasing and bullying. But it does amplify it. Hurtful words that might have been shouted in the cafeteria, within earshot of a dozen people, now can be blasted to hundreds on Facebook.

“It’s worse online, because everybody sees it,” said Tiffany Lyons, 24. “And once anything gets online you can’t get rid of it.”

Plus, 75 per cent of youth think people do or say things online that they wouldn’t do or say face to face.

The most common complaints were people spreading false rumours on Internet pages or by text message, or being downright mean online; more than a fifth of young people said each of those things had happened to them. Twenty per cent saw someone take their electronic messages and share them without permission, and 16 per cent said someone posted embarrassing pictures or video of them without their permission.

Some of these are one-time incidents; others cross into repeated harassment or bullying.

Sameer Hinduja, a cyberbullying researcher, said numerous recent studies taken together suggest a cyberbullying victimization rate of 20 to 25 per cent for middle and high school students. Many of these same victims also suffer from in-person abuse. Likewise, many online aggressors are also real-world bullies.

“We are seeing offenders who are just jerks to people online and offline,” said Hinduja, an associate professor of criminal justice at Florida Atlantic University and co-director of the Cyberbullying Research Center.

And computers and cellphones increase the reach of old-fashioned bullying.

“When I was bullied in middle school I could go home and slam my door and forget about it for a while,” said Hinduja. “These kids can be accessed around the clock through technology. There’s really no escape.”

“Sexting,” or sending nude or sexual images, is more common among those over 18 than among minors. And it hasn’t shown much increase in the past two years. Perhaps young people are thinking twice before hitting “send” after publicity about adults – even members of Congress – losing their jobs over sexual images, and news stories of young teens risking child pornography charges if they’re caught.

Fifteen per cent of young people had shared a nude photo of themselves in some way or another; that stood at seven per cent among teens and 19 per cent among young adults. But almost a fourth of the younger group said they’d been exposed to sexting in some way, including seeing images someone else was showing around. And 37 per cent of the young adults had some experience with “sexting” images.

Many young people don’t take sexting seriously, despite the potential consequences.

Alec Wilhelmi, 20, says girlfriends and girls who like him have sent sexual messages or pictures – usually photos of bare body parts that avoid showing faces. Once a friend made a sexual video with his girlfriend, and showed Wilhelmi on his cellphone.

“I thought that was funny, because I don’t know what kind of girl would allow that,” said Wilhelmi, a freshman at Iowa State University.

Technology can facilitate dating abuse. Nearly three in 10 young people say their partner has checked up on them electronically multiple times per day or read their text messages without permission. Fourteen per cent say they’ve experienced more abusive behaviour from their partners, such as name-calling and mean messages via Internet or cellphone.

The AP-MTV poll was conducted Aug. 18-31 and involved online interviews with 1,355 people ages 14-24 nationwide. The margin of sampling error is plus or minus 3.8 percentage points.

The poll is part of an MTV campaign, “A Thin Line,” aiming to stop the spread of digital abuse.

The survey was conducted by Knowledge Networks, which used traditional telephone and mail sampling methods to randomly recruit respondents. People selected who had no Internet access were given it for free.


TSX closes higher for second day amid pledges to resolve European debt crisis

TORONTO – The Toronto stock market closed higher for a second day Tuesday as investors breathed a sigh of relief that a solution to the European debt crisis may finally be at hand, easing concerns that demand for Canadian commodities will take a hit.

However, the S&P/TSX composite index closed well off earlier highs but still closed up 113.91 points to 11,821.09 on top of a 244-point runup Monday while the junior TSX Venture Exchange was ahead 43.28 points to 1,570.43.

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The showing took some of the sting out of last week’s 925-point plunge, which took left the TSX about 20 per cent below its highs for the year.

The TSX gained as much as 351 points during the morning before losing momentum late in the session as some analysts cautioned investors that they shouldn’t read too much into the strong gains of the past two days.

“I wouldn’t count on the European authorities necessarily getting religion any time soon – they have been behind the eight ball, I think you can continue to expect them to remain behind the eight ball,” said John O’Connell, CEO of Davis Rea Ltd.

“The fact of the matter is, political problems persist and you have to get 17 countries to agree (on raising the bailout fund) and I don’t think you can accomplish that easily.”

Investors have been nervous that a debt default by the Greek government could push other countries over the edge and severely damage European banks.

But despite some relief over Europe, there is still nervousness that the global economy is slipping back into recession.

The Canadian dollar was up sharply as a greater appetite for risk weakened the U.S. dollar and pushed commodity prices higher. The currency rose 0.75 to 98 cents US.

New York markets also ran ahead on top of big gains on Monday, after European ministers told a meeting of global finance leaders in Washington over the weekend that they would take bolder and more decisive steps to pull Greece back from the brink of bankruptcy.

Reports said that officials were working on a plan to recapitalize banks in the eurozone, using leverage to bolster the European Financial Stability Facility, the eurozone’s bailout fund.

However, U.S. indexes also closed well below the session highs as the Dow Jones industrials closed up 146.83 points to 11,190.69. The Nasdaq composite index rose 30.14 points to 2,546.83 and the S&P 500 index gained 12.43 points to 1,175.38.

There was also relief after Greece’s finance minister said Tuesday that the country will receive the next batch of bailout loans amounting to euro8 billion in time to avoid a potentially disastrous default.

Hopes that European officials can get a grip on the government debt crisis improved demand prospects and pushed commodity prices up sharply.

The energy sector climbed 1.64 per cent as the November crude contract on the New York Mercantile Exchange advanced $4.21 to US$84.45 a barrel. Suncor Energy (TSX:SU) climbed 72 cents to $28.38 while Canadian Natural Resources (TSX:CNQ) rose 22 cents to $31.77.

The base metals sector continued to come back from a 23 per cent plunge last week. It was up 5.28 per cent Tuesday while the December copper contract on the Nymex closed up 16 cents to US$3.44. Teck Resources (TSX:TCK.B) jumped 85 cents to $32.06 while First Quantum Minerals (TSX:FM) advanced $1.45 to $16.40.

Global miner Rio Tinto PLC has bought another 3.7 million shares of Ivanhoe Mines Ltd. raising its stake in the Vancouver-based gold and copper miner (TSX:IVN) to 49 per cent, the maximum level allowed under a deal between the two companies.

On Monday, Ivanhoe shares closed at their lowest level in more than a year as the company fought back against an attempt by the Mongolian government to take a bigger stake in its massive Oyu Tolgoi copper-and-gold project. But on Tuesday, its shares jumped $2.42 or 16 per cent to $17.42.

Optimism over the European debt situation also powered financials higher, up 0.67 per cent as Scotiabank (TSX:BNS) was ahead 67 cents to $52.97 and National Bank (TSX:TD) gained $1.82 to $70.02.

The capital markets division of Royal Bank (TSX:RY) has agreed to pay US$30.4 million to settle charges by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission over allegations it sold unsuitable investments to five Wisconsin school districts. Its shares rose 10 cents to $48.08.

Research In Motion Ltd. (TSX:RIM) was also supportive, up 81 cents to $23.15 amid speculation that activist investor Carl Icahn had taken a stake in the BlackBerry maker.

The gold sector lost early gains and turned negative by the close even as the December bullion contract gained $57.70 to US$1,652.50 an ounce after four losing sessions sent prices tumbling almost 12 per cent. Barrick Gold Corp. (TSX:ABX) was off 38 cents to $48.56.

In other corporate news, Silver Standard Resources Inc. (TSX:SSO) said Tuesday its revising its estimates after the Pirquitas mill in Argentina was shut down due to a gearbox failure. The Vancouver-based miner said silver guidance is being reduced to 7.3 million ounces to 7.6 million ounces for 2011. In June, Silver Standard estimated silver production of 8.5 million ounces for the year. Its shares were down 51 cents to $21.43.

The board of Clearwater Seafoods Income Fund (TSX:CLR.UN) board has formally rejected a takeover bid from rival Cooke Aquaculture takeover bid as too low. The Halifax company said Tuesday it believes the $3.50 per unit offer – valuing Clearwater at about $97.1 million – “does not adequately reflect the value of the fund and its future prospects.” Clearwater units dipped one cent to $2.46.