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Hollywood star Holly Robinson Peete 'livid' after sons not allowed to board Air Canada flight at YVR –



Actor Holly Robinson Peete says she feels disrespected by Air Canada after her two sons were barred from boarding a flight at Vancouver airport, with a ticket agent telling them they could not board without presenting the credit card used to pay for their tickets.

The incident happened on Monday, Oct. 4, while Peete was in Mission, B.C., shooting the movie Our Christmas Journey. Peete is familiar with the province, having shot 21 Jump Street in Vancouver, and says she considers B.C. her “second home.”

Her two sons, 19-year-old Robinson and 16-year-old Roman, were visiting her for the weekend and were planning to board an evening flight back to Los Angeles. They both had one-way business-class seats, something Peete says she had booked numerous times before.

But when the two boys got to the Air Canada ticket counter at Vancouver International Airport, they were told they needed to present the credit card used to purchase the tickets in order to board. The boys called their parents, who attempted to speak to the ticket agent and convince them of their identity.

“They said it was ‘policy’ and the card was flagged. You must verify the card. You’re not flying today,” Peete told CBC News.

“And then at one point [the ticket agent] turned his back on them and walked away. Left them at the ticket counter with no other ticketing agents there.”

Peete says the Air Canada agent refused to speak with her to verify her identity, and the boys missed their flight.

Her sons ended up spending the night at a nearby hotel. The next morning, after Peete rebooked their flights, her sons were able to board with no problem. They were not asked to present the credit card.

“The elephant in the room is, you know, yeah, these are two Black boys travelling alone,” Peete said. 

“I don’t want to think that there’s any kind of profiling going on, but I cannot understand why they refused to speak to the parents.”

Airline says situation due to security checks

According to Air Canada, the situation was “unfortunate” and arose from regular credit card security practices.

“Air Canada has in place security checks to validate purchases made online outside Canada for last minute travel,” a spokesperson told CBC News. 

“We are in direct contact with the customer to discuss the matter … In this case, the customers were delayed and travelled on the next flight.”

Peete disputes the wording of their statement, saying no one from Air Canada reached out to her directly. She only received concessions once she took the initiative and called them.

Air Canada subsequently offered to compensate her for the hotel stay which she and her husband, former NFL quarterback Rodney Peete, paid for.

“My assistant told me that the customer service person said, ‘Well, of course, they’re going to be flagged – it’s two boys sitting in business class on a one-way ticket,” Peete said.

“That really bothered me because that indicated that, you know, well, they didn’t look like they belonged there. … As a mom of Black boys, I am looking at this situation and I don’t like it. It doesn’t pass the smell test for me.”

Peete says she wants someone “higher up” at Air Canada to speak to her, and also a public statement from the airline explaining the situation.

CBC News reached out to Air Canada to find out how often travellers are flagged for fraud, but did not receive an answer in time for publication.

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Bitcoin hovers near 6-month high on ETF hopes, inflation worries



Bitcoin hovered near a six-month high early on Monday on hopes that U.S. regulators would soon allow cryptocurrency exchange-traded funds (ETF) to trade, while global inflation worries also provided some support.

Bitcoin last stood at $62,359, near Friday’s six-month high of $62,944 and not far from its all-time high of $64,895 hit in April.

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is set to allow the first American bitcoin futures ETF to begin trading this week, Bloomberg News reported on Thursday, a move likely to lead to wider investment in digital assets.

Cryptocurrency players expect the approval of the first U.S. bitcoin ETF to trigger an influx of money from institutional players who cannot invest in digital coins at the moment.

Rising inflation worries also increased appetite for bitcoin, which is in limited supply, in contrast to the ample amount of currencies issued by central banks in recent years as monetary authorities printed money to stimulate their economies.

But some analysts noted that, after the recent rally, investors may sell bitcoin on the ETF news.

“The news of a suite of futures-tracking ETFs is not new to those following the space closely, and to many this is a step forward but not the game-changer that some are sensing,” said Chris Weston, head of research at Pepperstone in Melbourne, Australia.

“We’ve been excited by a spot ETF before, and this may need more work on the regulation front.”


(Reporting by Hideyuki Sano in Tokyo and Tom Westbrook in Singapore; Editing by Ana Nicolaci da Costa)

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China’s plunging construction starts reminiscent of 2015 downturn



China’s September new  construction starts slumped for a sixth straight month, the longest spate of monthly declines since 2015, as cash-strapped developers put a pause on projects in the wake of tighter regulations on borrowing.

New construction starts in September fell 13.54% from a year earlier, the third month of double-digit declines, according to Reuters calculations based on January-September data released by the National Bureau of Statistics on Monday.

That marks the longest downtrend since declines in March-August 2015, the last property malaise.

When the sector recovered in 2016 after authorities loosened their grip on purchases and development, tens of thousands of real estate firms borrowed heavily to build homes.

But as regulations tightened again this year, many of them have started to face a liquidity crunch, which was then worsened by sharply weaker demand due to tighter restrictions on speculative purchases.

Property sales by floor area dropped 15.8% in September, down for a third month, according to Reuters calculations based on the statistics bureau’s data.

The slowdown in the sector was also underscored by a 3.5% drop in property investments by developers in September, the first monthly decline since January-February last year at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic in China.

“All the data are poor,” said Zhang Dawei, chief analyst with property agency Centaline.

“Financing is hard, sales are tough, so of course, there has been no enthusiasm to build. For the first time in history, developers are encountering two blockages – blockages in sales and blockages in financing.”

The potential collapse of highly indebted real estate firms such as China Evergrande Group have raised concerns about systemic risks to the broader economy. The real estate sector accounts for a quarter of China’s gross domestic product.

Authorities will try to prevent problems at Evergrande from spreading to other real estate companies to avoid broader systemic risk, Yi Gang, governor of China’s central bank, said on Sunday.

On Friday, a central bank official said the spillover effect of Evergrande’s debt problems on the banking system was “controllable.”

“There is a likelihood that housing policies may loosen in the fourth quarter, and that would ease the pessimism in the property transaction data,” said Yan Yuejin, director of Shanghai-based E-house China Research and Development Institution.

On Friday, representatives from 10 Chinese Property Companies met government regulators to ask for an “appropriate loosening” on policy restrictions, financial news outlet Yicai reported.

China’s real estate shares have fallen 22% so far this year. On Monday, they were down 2.6% as of 0300 GMT.

In the first nine months, property investment rose 8.8% from a year earlier, slowing from 10.9% growth seen in January-August.

Funds raised by China’s property developers grew 11.1%, slower than the 14.8% rise seen in the first eight months.

(Editing by Jacqueline Wong)

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Saks Fifth Avenue ecommerce unit aims for IPO at $6 billion valuation – WSJ



The ecommerce business of luxury department store  Saks OFF 5TH is preparing for an initial public offering and targeting a $6 billion valuation, the Wall Street Journal reported Sunday, citing sources.

The company is interviewing potential underwriters this week for an  IPO that could take place in the first half of next year, according to the report.


(Reporting by Sheila Dang; Editing by Daniel Wallis)

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