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Cash is no longer king: The new rules of spending money overseas

The Sydney Morning Herald

23-05-28 21:27

Cash is no longer king for travellers domestically or internationally with the rise of contactless payments and digital wallets. Cashless payments have become routine in favourite overseas destinations, particularly in Europe and North America. Credit and debit cards, and even digital wallets like Google Pay, Apple Pay and Suica, have largely replaced physical cash. The trend is catching on even in nations such as Japan, where cash was once king, with the Pasmo and Suica contactless payment cards now widely used in purchasing. Transaction fees remain a downside, but some Australian banks issue cards with no fees.
Economy, health care, trust: Alberta election campaign hits final day before vote

The Toronto Star

23-05-28 21:26

Polls opened on 29 May for the Alberta provincial elections. The vote is expected to be a close race between Rachel Notley’s New Democratic Party (NDP) and Danielle Smith’s United Conservative Party (UCP). Both Smith and Notley have campaigned on an economy and health-focused platform. Smith has promised to keep Alberta the lowest tax regime in Canada, whilst the NDP promises to increase the corporate income tax to 11% to help pay for investments. Both parties have pledged to preserve publicly-funded healthcare, with the NDP condemning Smith’s past comments urging payment for medically necessary services out of pocket “fundamental to keeping the system sustainable”. Polls suggest Smith’s UCP is likely to dominate in rural areas.
The fastest 96-year-old woman in the world: Ottawa woman breaks 5K race record

The Globe and Mail

23-05-28 21:20

At 96-years-old, Rejeanne Fairhead has become the world record holder for the fastest woman to complete a 5 km race aged 95 to 99. She completed the Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend in 51 minutes and nine seconds, five minutes faster than the previous record holder, Betty Lindberg of America. Fairhead, who walked the course instead of running, said “they call me [an athlete], but I don’t know if I do.” She plans to walk next year's race but says it will be just for fun.
’Precious’ musical instruments removed from Montreal heritage building after fire

The Globe and Mail

23-05-28 21:13

Montreal’s Chapelle du Bon-Pasteur, a heritage building, was damaged by fire last week. However, two valuable instruments, a Fazioli concert grand piano and a 1772 Kirckman harpsichord, which were in the building for a concert, have been saved. The piano and harpsichord will need to dry out before they are fully assessed, and their prospective repair is being assessed. Though moisture damage has occurred, the most serious damage to the historic instruments is aesthetic, and they both remain “completely fixable” according to experts. The harpsichord is particularly rare and unique.
Work etiquette: How to make small talk at a diplomatic function

Financial Times Opinion

23-05-29 03:19

When conversing with diplomats at work events it is important to remember that they are in their position because of their previous experience, so avoid asking too many dull questions. Career diplomats, spies and political appointees all have great insight into the countries they are residing in, so there's scope for conversation there, but never question their authenticity like one CEO did- “Are you a real diplomat, or did you just give a lot of money to Joe Biden?” Instead, ask how they are enjoying their posting and use their answer as a pivot back to yourself.
Kamloops Blazers rout Peterborough Petes 10-2 in Memorial Cup

The Toronto Star

23-05-29 02:15

The Kamloops Blazers beat the Ontario Hockey League champions Peterborough Petes 10-2 in the Memorial Cup over the weekend. The win was marred by a serious injury to Kamloops defenseman Kyle Masters, who was taken off the ice on a stretcher after he was hit and fell backward into the corner boards with less than seven minutes remaining. There was no immediate word on Masters’ condition.
Blazers take care of business by crushing Petes 10-2 at Memorial Cup

The Toronto Star

23-05-29 01:05

The Kamloops Blazers, who were dejected following an opening 8-3 loss to the Quebec Remparts at the Memorial Cup in Canada, regrouped and beat the Peterborough Petes 10-2. Led by Logan Stankoven, who scored one goal and four assists, and Connor Levis, one goal and two assists, the hosts bagged four power-play goals to win their second game and improve their record. Meanwhile, the Peterborough Petes slipped to 0-2, who must now beat the Remparts on Tuesday if they want to progress.
Tony Blair Institute proposes ‘radical’ UK pension superfunds

Financial Times

23-05-29 00:19

Large £500bn ($671bn) "GB Superfunds" with tens of billions of capital for UK business growth would be created with the assets of tens of thousands of public and private sector pension funds, according to “extremely radical” proposals from a report by the Tony Blair Institute. The £39bn Pension Protection Fund would also play a consolidating role, offering regional public not-for-profit funds with an eventual capacity between £300bn and £500bn, to be rolled out as pension funds opt in with tax incentives. However, the Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association has described the proposals as "extremely impractical".
Scotland is wilfully abandoning its moral heritage


23-05-29 07:00

The Church of Scotland’s General Assembly has agreed to review its opposition to assisted dying ahead of the Scottish Parliament’s debate on the issue. Supporters of assisted dying argue that it is a means of having a “good death” that is autonomous, however, others warn of the harms that can come from the practice including the temptation for pressure to expand assisted dying from the terminally ill to those with disabilities. The Netherlands legalised assisted dying in 2002, with a survey showing that some doctors failed to report assisted deaths due to the administrative burden. The Canadian parliament overhauled their assisted dying law in 2021 to include those who are not terminally ill.
Move to dissolve Peel Region reflects shift away from regionalism in Ontario, experts say

The Globe and Mail

23-05-29 11:00

Ontario's government has pledged to address the problem of multiple fares being charged across the 30 municipalities of the Greater Toronto area (GTA). However, its simultaneous move to dismantle the regional governments of Peel, Durham, Halton and York, all of which encircle Toronto, has drawn criticism from experts. Peel, which incorporates Mississauga, has already been promised the axe. The dismantling process, if extended to all regional governments, would constitute a "stark reversal" from almost a century's worth of attempts to institute major "boundary-straddling umbrella institutions" to govern the sprawling area. Anne Golden, co-founder of Toronto Metropolitan University’s City Building Institute, says the dismantling of regionalism is "a decision to sprawl" that risks overturning lessons learned during the region's expansion. Critics also say the move is part of a drive towards the car-dependent sprawl of the 1980s.
Kishida removes son as political secretary over party photo controversy

Japan Times

23-05-29 10:52

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida has removed his son Shotaro from his role as political secretary after his behaviour at a year-end party at the official residence was publicised. Shots of Kishida and his relatives at symbolically important locations in the residence, posing as members of the political body, provoked outrage. The revelations come just four months after Shotaro Kishida was found to be using official vehicles on an overseas shopping trip during his father’s diplomatic tour. Concerns have been raised that the senior Kishida has been using his son’s appointment to enhance his political career.
Morning Update: Prominent Putin opponent Ilya Yashin says his voice is louder behind bars

The Globe and Mail

23-05-29 10:28

Ilya Yashin, a key opponent of Vladimir Putin, who was warned he would be jailed if he remained in Russia, is being held in solitary confinement in a Moscow prison with three other inmates. However, Yashin has said he prefers to remain in Russia despite the potential threat to his liberty, as he believes his anti-war message is “louder and more convincing” from the country. In other international news, residents in Kyiv celebrated the anniversary of their city’s founding despite the largest Russian drone attack this year. Sixty explosive drones were launched with 40 aimed at the Ukrainian capital, causing alarm throughout the city. In the Turkish elections, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan secured a victory — his sixth. Erdogan won against strong opposition amid a period of high inflation and after an earthquake devastated the country.
Hitler, hockey, slavery and a street preacher: Here’s what heated up Alberta’s election

The Toronto Star

23-05-29 10:00

Monday 16 August marks the end of the provincial election campaign in Alberta where the two major parties, the United Conservative Party (UCP) and the New Democratic Party (NDP), offer voters a clear contrast. The UCP have concentrated more on right-wing ideals and tax cuts, labelling the NDP as a party that will tax and spend on the backs of Albertans. The NDP have distinguished the personalities of their leader Rachel Notley and that of UCP leader Danielle Smith. Following the rise of inflation, health care and trust are key themes across both parties’ campaigns.
Japanese destroyer flies controversial flag as it arrives in South Korea

South China Morning Post

23-05-29 09:01

A Japanese navy vessel has sailed into Korea with a flag, the Rising Sun, that many in South Korea associate with Japan’s past militarism. The country ordered that the flag not be flown when the Japanese navy requested to take part in a naval festival on Jeju Island in 2018, and the South Korean navy withdrew from the event after Japan did not agree to the restriction. The Rising Sun flag will be flown during a multilateral naval drill, Eastern Endeavour 23, to test systems for detecting the movement of weapons of mass destruction.
More than half of GTA condo investors losing money on properties: report

The Toronto Star

23-05-29 15:14

According to a report by the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce and real estate research firm Urbanation, more than 50% of newly-completed condo investors in Toronto lost money on their properties in 2022, with the vast majority seeing their rent fail to cover mortgage costs, condo fees, and property taxes. CIBC and Urbanation predict that the trend toward negative cash flow will continue to worsen in the near future, as the expensive new condos sold to investors over the past few years reach completion.
Is Toronto hurtling toward a ‘city-cession’? New data paints a gloomy picture as consumer spending slows

The Toronto Star

23-05-29 15:12

Toronto could be heading for a ‘city-cession’, along with other Canadian cities, as people pull-in spending to cope with the high cost of living, according to data from the Canadian Chamber of Commerce. The figures, which analysed customer payments using the Moneris system, show that spending has been steadily dwindling. In January, spending in the city was at 5.4%, but by April it had dropped to 0.4%, leading experts to conclude that if this continues, Toronto could be heading for negative growth in real spending. Higher interest rates and inflation are listed as reasons for the slump.
Heat vs. Celtics same-game parlay, Game 7: Fade Jimmy Butler in +410 SGP

The Toronto Star

23-05-29 14:43

Bettors backing the Miami Heat in the US' NBA finals have opportunities to boost earnings by placing same-game parlay bets. A Combination of the over for 197.5 points, Jimmy Butler under 29.5 points and Derrick White over 2.5 threes could be especially attractive for fans attending Heat vs. Celtics Game 7. A Heat win will see them through to the final, while the Celtics will be heading home.
Boy’s body recovered after he fell into water at provincial park: Manitoba RCMP

The Toronto Star

23-05-29 14:31

The body of a 12-year-old boy who slipped into water at a provincial park in eastern Manitoba, Canada, has been recovered. The Winnipeg boy was last seen climbing down some rocks at Sturgeon Falls in Whiteshell Provincial Park on Saturday morning. He slipped into the water and almost immediately went under the rapids. RCMP, together with conservation officers and park staff, were brought in to help with the search, while police are still investigating.
Toronto weather to reach nearly 30 C this week to close out month of May

The Toronto Star

23-05-29 14:23

Canada's Toronto will experience summer weather in June, with temperatures above 25°C throughout the week. Environment Canada predicts that the heatwave will last for more than a week and that the city's weather will reach a maximum of about 34°C before it cools down late next week. Toronto's public beaches will become busy as people look to escape the heat further inland.
Family of Quebec woman slain in 2017 suing police, says negligence led to killing

The Toronto Star

23-05-29 19:10

The family of Daphne Huard-Boudreault, who was murdered by her ex-boyfriend in Quebec in 2017, has filed a lawsuit against the local police department alleging that the actions of police officers were negligent and led directly to her death. Huard-Boudreault had been calling police several times on the day of her death and was killed when she went to her ex-boyfriend's apartment. Her family's lawsuit claims that police officers failed to apply the department's domestic violence policy and should have taken the danger posed by her ex-boyfriend more seriously. The police department has said it cannot comment on the lawsuit while it is before the courts.