Loonie moves higher on strong US retail data

TORONTO — The Canadian dollar was higher Tuesday morning, supported by higher commodities after Germany posted better-than-expected economic growth for the second quarter while U.S. retail sales data also beat forecasts.The loonie was ahead 0.18 of a cent to 100.94 cents US.U.S. retail sales rose 0.8 per cent during July, the largest increase since February. Economists had expected a gain of 0.3 per cent.Overseas, Germany, which is Europe’s biggest economy, posted 0.3 per cent growth in the second quarter, beating expectations of a 0.2 per cent increase though slowing from the first quarter’s 0.5 per cent growth.At the same time, Eurostat, the European Union’s statistics agency, said that the economies of both the eurozone and the wider 27-country EU shrank by a quarterly rate of 0.2 per cent in the second quarter of the year. In the first quarter, output for both regions was flat. A recession is officially defined as two straight quarters of falling output.Spain, Portugal, Cyprus and Greece are already mired in recession.The worsening debt crisis has worsened the prospects for an economic recovery in the rest of the world.The positive data pushed the September crude contract on the New York Mercantile Exchange up 67 cents to US$93.40 a barrel.Metal prices were also higher after two days of declines in the wake of surprising drops in Chinese exports and Japanese economic growth. The September copper contract on the Nymex edged up two cents to US$3.37 a pound.Gold prices lost early traction, declining $1.40 to US$1,611.20.December gold climbed $1.70 to US$1,614.30 an ounce. read more

Army Major two soldiers arrested over assault on Keith Noyahr

The police media unit said that the Army Major and two soldiers were arrested by a special investigations team of the Criminal Investigations Department (CID). His abduction followed a series of threats issued against him, and, according to Keith’s close associates, seemingly because of his regular contributions to The Nation’s weekly defence column published under the nom-de-plume Senpathi.Noyahr had failed to return home after leaving his office the day he was abducted. His wife alerted police and media when she found the journalist’s car abandoned at their front gate with the engine running. He was found hours later near his home, barely able to walk.The abduction in 2008 came shortly after Sri Lanka’s bid to be elected to the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva failed. (Colombo Gazette) The police said that following questioning the Army Major and two soldiers were produced before the Mount Lavinia Magistrate and remanded till February 23.The soldiers were arrested following investigations conducted based on a statement given by Noyahr, who is overseas. An Army Major and two soldiers were arrested today over the abduction and assault on former journalist Keith Noyahr.Noyahr was abducted in May 2008 and was severely assaulted before being set free. The former Associate Editor of The Nation newspaper fled the country with his family following the incident fearing for his life. read more