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Teenager abandoned by airline; Canadian plastic bags littering India: CBC's Marketplace cheat sheet – CBC News

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Miss something this week? Don’t panic. CBC’s Marketplace rounds up the consumer and health news you need.

Want this in your inbox? Get the Marketplace newsletter every Friday.

Her daughter is only 14. But Air Canada still left her to fend for herself at the airport

Diomerys O’Leary wants Air Canada to change its policies after the airline cancelled Eva’s flight and left the unaccompanied girl in Toronto’s airport, without food or a place to sleep. (Ted Dillon/CBC)

Diomerys O’Leary was already nervous about letting her daughter fly alone, but she never imagined Air Canada would abandon the girl in Canada’s biggest airport after cancelling the last leg of her trip home.

An email on Jan. 18 notified O’Leary that her daughter Eva’s flight from Toronto’s Pearson International Airport to St. John’s was cancelled due to a labour disruption at the Newfoundland and Labrador airport, and rescheduled for two days later.

Then came the flood of texts from her panicked daughter, saying Air Canada told her she was on her own to find a place to sleep, food and transportation. 

“She was crying and desperate, asking me ‘What do I do?’ … I just couldn’t believe it,” O’Leary told Go Public.

Like other airlines — WestJet and Air Transat among them — Air Canada offers a for-fee service subject to certain conditions, where staff help kids flying on their own. But that service is not available for multi-leg trips such as Eva’s.

That meant O’Leary was forced to try to get Eva’s travel plans sorted remotely, as her daughter worried about where she would stay that night, how she would afford dinner, and when she would be able to get home.

But even though her daughter’s now back home in St. John’s, O’Leary said she still isn’t satisfied. 

After hearing from Go Public, Air Canada offered her a $500 travel coupon “as a goodwill gesture,” which O’Leary says she declined, saying, “it was never about the money.” Read more

Why are plastic bags from Canada ending up as litter in India? 

A wrapper from a package of soft drinks sold in Canada has made its way to India. (Gil Shochat/Radio-Canada)

A new investigation by Radio-Canada’s Enquête shows that while Canada has become one of the biggest exporters of recyclable paper to India, that’s not all we’re sending there. 

Journalists found that much of what is supposed to be paper being sent to the country actually contains tonnes of plastic bags, some of which litter the Indian landscape. They are often burned as a fuel source.

The city of Montreal is considered among the worst offenders when it comes to shipping off contaminated bales of paper. Read more

Back in 2019, Marketplace traveled overseas and found that some Canadian plastic recycling was being dumped and burned in Malaysia, polluting rivers and sometimes creating toxic byproducts that people say are making them sick.

Much ado about mittens as Team Canada fans call out high prices for Lululemon’s Olympic gear

Lululemon is facing some criticism for its Olympic gear pricing this year, which includes the pair on the left, which sell for $68 a pair. The mittens on the right were a viral hit for HBC in 2010, when they sold like hotcakes for $10 a pair. (Lululemon.com/Larry MacDougal/The Canadian Press)

A pair of red mittens emblazoned with the letters CAN over the fingers selling for $68 is drawing ire from some Canadians who are upset about the high cost of official Olympic merchandise at Lululemon.

The company purchased the exclusive rights to sell the official swag last fall, but many Canadians have taken their griping online, complaining the prices are well above what average Canadians can afford.

The mittens in particular are drawing unfavourable comparisons with the iconic red and white maple leaf mittens that were a runaway hit for previous Olympic sponsor HBC. They sold for $10 a pair during the 2010 Games in Vancouver. 

In a statement, Lululemon told CBC News the higher prices are due to their commitment to making the “highest-quality products.” Read more

What else is going on?

Convoy protest could change the way money is monitored, says watchdog agency
The use of American fundraising sites to support the anti-vaccine mandate convoy protest could lead to changes in the way financial transactions are monitored.

WestJet cuts 20 per cent of flights in March, calls for reopening timeline
February schedule cuts extended amid ongoing COVID-19 restrictions and uncertainty.

Finally ready to travel abroad? Returning home can get complicated
Travellers may face difficulty securing a PCR test, or proving that they recently recovered from COVID-19.

Marketplace needs your help

Have you ever had a car stolen? Do you have any documentation or video of the incident? We want to hear from you. Reach out to us at marketplace@cbc.ca

Do you get regular phone calls claiming there’s a package being detained for you by Canadian authorities? Or demanding you owe money in unpaid taxes? If so, we want to hear from you! Send us your name and phone number and we may get in touch with you. Email us at marketplace@cbc.ca

Catch up on past episodes of Marketplace anytime on CBC Gem.

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​TD holds off on dividend hike; Beats Q2 profit estimates – BNN

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The Toronto-Dominion Bank beat profit expectations in its latest quarter despite muted performances across its major divisions. It also became the only major bank thus far this earnings season to not raise its quarterly dividend.

TD said its net income in the fiscal second quarter, which ended April 30, rose three per cent year-over-year to $3.81 billion. On an adjusted basis, its profit fell to $2.02 per share from $2.04 a year earlier. Analysts, on average, expected $1.93 in adjusted earnings per share. Overall credit quality improved sequentially, as TD set aside $27 million for loans that could go bad, compared to $72 million in the prior quarter.

Revenue and expenses in TD’s Canadian retail banking unit both rose nine per cent year-over-year, while profit inched up two per cent to $2.24 billion. Lending activity ramped up in the quarter, with the total personal loan book hitting an average of $402.7 billion, compared to $373.3 billion a year earlier, while business loans jumped 16 per cent to almost $101 billion.

A number of one-time items affected profit in TD’s U.S. retail banking unit. On an adjusted basis, net income in that business fell 10 per cent year-over-year to $769 million. TD said the downturn was caused in part by a much more moderate release of funds from loan loss provisions (US$15 million, compared to US$173 million a year earlier).

TD is awaiting final regulatory approvals to proceed with its US$13.4-billion takeover of Memphis, Tenn.-based First Horizon Corp. That transaction was announced in February; at the time, TD said the deal would make it a top-six bank in the United States thanks to the addition of First Horizon’s 412 branches and more than 1 million customers. It also said it hoped to close the deal in the first quarter of fiscal 2023, which is a period that ends Jan. 31, 2023.

Meanwhile, similar to many of its peers that reported earlier this week, TD’s wholesale banking unit (which includes capital markets activity) suffered profit erosion as net income fell six per cent year-over-year to $359 million.

“As we continue to emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic we face new economic uncertainties and growing geopolitical tensions. TD has proven its ability to adapt to changing circumstances and deliver performance and progress,” said Bharat Masrani, TD’s president and chief executive officer, in a release.

TD most recently announced a dividend hike (to $0.89 per share) in December; before that, the last hike was announced in February 2020. Shortly thereafter, Canada’s banks were told by their regulator (the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions) to hold off on dividend hikes and share buybacks due to the pandemic. That guidance was lifted in November.  

Prior to OSFI’s intervention, TD regularly raised its dividend on an annual basis. However, Masrani has indicated dividend hikes aren’t on a pre-set schedule.

“It’s not a bad assumption that we like to look at this on an annual basis, and then hopefully we get into that cycle. But it doesn’t mean that we will not periodically look at it on a different cycle based on circumstance and the environment we might be in,” he said during a conference call with analysts on Dec. 2.

“Generally, our cycle has been annual and that has worked out reasonably well for us, but it will depend on the environment going forward.”

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Broadcom Agrees to Purchase VMware Shaking Up the Industry – ServeTheHome

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Broadcom Stingray PS225 H16 Front
Broadcom Stingray PS225 H16 Front

This is one of the more interesting acquisitions we have seen in years. Broadcom (formerly, and trading under the ticker symbol for Avago that purchased Broadcom) is traditionally a hardware player that is going to become a big software player overnight. This is part of the company’s shift to enterprise software after purchasing CA Technologies. It also follows a fairly predictable plan for the company’s leadership.

Broadcom Agrees to Purchase VMware

While the company is now Broadcom, it was previously Avago. Many longtime readers know that we have chronicled the business practices of Broadcom/ Avago for some time, even back to 2016 in the Business side of PLX acquisition: Impediment to NVMe everywhere. After Broadcom’s failed Qualcomm bid in 2018 due to anti-trust concerns, the company pivoted to add enterprise software. The company purchased CA Technologies and Symantec’s enterprise security business now building a software unit that VMware will fit into.

Many in the hardware industry that we cover know Broadcom-Avago’s game plan. They purchase companies like PLX that makes PCIe switches. These are usually the best components in markets with few if any competitors (Microchip is probably Broadcom’s biggest competitor in the PCIe switch space.) In these low competition markets, Broadcom raises prices and also puts heavy bundling burdens on hardware companies where supply or reasonable pricing are withheld.

This is not just done to small server makers. A great example where we saw this to the detriment of customers we saw in our An Important HPE ProLiant DL325 Gen10 Change Since Our Review piece. Here in the top center of the photo, you can see the pads and silkscreen for the “BCM5719” 1GbE NIC. On the right, you can see an Intel i350-t4 add-in NIC. This may seem confusing.

HPE ProLiant DL325 Gen10 Gen2 With De Pop Broadcom NIC And Intel I350 FlexLOM Slotted
HPE ProLiant DL325 Gen10 Gen2 With De Pop Broadcom NIC And Intel I350 FlexLOM Slotted

Here is the previous generation’s same area (but with the PCIe riser installed). Here you can see the NIC:

HPE ProLiant DL325 Gen10 Gen1 With Broadcom NIC And FlexLOM Open
HPE ProLiant DL325 Gen10 Gen1 With Broadcom NIC And FlexLOM Open

What happened to make HPE not place the designed-in Broadcom 1GbE controller is that Broadcom raised prices several fold on a fairly commoditized part for HPE servers. Quad-port 1GbE NICs are 4Gbps in an era where 200Gbps NICs were available making them the relatively low-value NICs in many servers. The value of these NICs is that Broadcom was designed into the ProLiant Gen10 line. HPE’s option at that point was to either capitulate and pay higher prices or do what we see in the above photo and move the NIC to an add-in card with an Intel controller. We strongly prefer the Intel i350 to Broadcom’s chips in this line, but that was not the point. Instead, the expansion slot had to be used for an additional add-in NIC and could not be used for higher-speed NICs. We had been deploying these servers with 40GbE dual-port NICs in this slot, and could not in this server because of the Broadcom move.

Not only was a massively increased pricing on a designed-in part an annoyance to HPE, and many of HPE’s customers, but it also meant another PCB had to be added to keep costs reasonable. Given the focus on environmental consciousness, adding another PCB is not what we would want to see. From rumors that we heard, keeping the Broadcom chip, given the pricing and HPE’s margins, would have likely meant a greater than $100 increase in price for the servers even the lower-end models that sell for $1000-$1300. This is on a relatively low-value chip. The Intel i350 at this time was in the mid-$20’s.

While this may seem like an isolated case, we have heard stories like PCIe switches getting 3x more expensive overnight post-PLX acquisition and to this day, server manufacturers often tell us about Broadcom’s heavy-handed business practices. These have happened beyond just PCIe switches and NICs and even with things like LSI controllers after that acquisition.

That is the company that is buying VMware. While we are discussing hardware lock-in due to being designed-in, VMware customers should be very cautious. Broadcom’s playbook is to push for higher pricing in its acquisitions and across its portfolio to customers that have little ability to switch, like with the NICs in the HPE server. Companies running VMware today have high switching costs, and so Broadcom likely knows that it can sell the same software and support for more without having many companies leave.

Final Words

For Michael Dell and many of those that will have a liquidity event with VMware’s purchase, this is a great day. For customers of VMware, it may be worth thinking about contingencies if prices rise. Increased pricing may be fine but from the server hardware industry perspective, VMware customers should expect this under new leadership. Get ready for a big change in the industry.

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Twitter investors sue Elon Musk over stock manipulation claims – Engadget

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Elon Musk is facing yet another lawsuit over his planned Twitter acquisition. Reuters reports investors have sued the Tesla CEO for allegedly manipulating stock prices ahead of his $44 billion takeover bid. As in an earlier suit, Musk supposedly saved $156 million by failing to disclose that he’d bought more than a 5 percent stake in Twitter by March 14th, violating SEC rules. The investors said Musk only disclosed his investments in early April, when he revealed that he owned a 9.2 percent slice of the social network.

Musk’s post-announcement statements also amounted to manipulation, the investors said. They were particularly concerned about his claim that the deal was “on hold” until Twitter could prove that bots weren’t a major problem and represented less than 5 percent of accounts.

The plaintiffs in the case are hoping for class action status, and ask for unspecified damages if they’re successful. Twitter has declined comment, and Musk hadn’t responded to Reuters‘ requests for comment.

Musk’s hoped-for purchase has already sparked a flurry of legal action. In addition to the previously mentioned lawsuit from April, a Florida pension fund sued Musk for purportedly violating a Delaware law that would bar the merger until 2025. The SEC, meanwhile, is investigating Musk’s disclosure timing. There’s no certainty any of these actions will succeed, but they still pose serious challenges to Musk’s ambitions.

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

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