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China busts underground bank used to funnel $3 billion out of the country

BEIJING—The money came from all over China — its wealthy southern and eastern coasts as well as the arid northwest — as thousands of people scrambled to circumvent the country’s strict controls on wealth. In the end, more than 10,000 people had used an underground bank to effectively funnel $3 billion (U.S.) out of the country before authorities put a …

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Amazon workers stage Black Friday strikes in Germany and Italy

BERLIN—Workers at a half dozen Amazon distribution centres in Germany and one in Italy walked off the job Friday, in a protest timed to coincide with “Black Friday” to demand better wages from the American online giant. In Germany, Ver.di union spokesperson Thomas Voss said some 2,500 workers were on strike at Amazon facilities in Bad Hersfeld, Leipzig, Rheinberg, Werne, …

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Metro to expand online shopping, delivery services as it faces Amazon competition

VANCOUVER—Metro Inc. is looking to expand its online grocery offerings to Ontario next year, making it the latest Canadian retailer to ramp up its e-commerce options in the face of potential competition from Amazon. Metro CEO Eric La Flèche said Wednesday the grocer already offers “click and collect” in seven stores in Quebec and home delivery service in Greater Montreal, …

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How hackers use unsuspecting companies’ websites to help ‘mine’ for online currency

VANCOUVER—Anyone casually surfing the internet at home can be deployed as an unwittingly productive member of a hacker’s workforce, a practice known as “cryptojacking” that is on the rise. Internet sleuths have discovered malicious code on the websites of several major companies — including Canada’s Loblaw Companies Ltd. — left by cryptojackers looking to break into computers and commandeer their …

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TransCanada Keystone pipeline leaks 795,000 litres of crude oil in South Dakota

About 5,000 barrels of oil, or about 795,000 litres, gushed out of the Keystone pipeline on Thursday in South Dakota, blackening a grassy field in the remote northeast part of the state and sending cleanup crews and emergency workers scrambling to the site. “This is not a little spill from any perspective,” said Kim McIntosh, an environmental scientist with the …

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U.S. softwood lumber prices near all-time high as Canadian producers pass on duties to U.S. consumers

Softwood lumber prices in the U.S. soared to near-record highs Wednesday, as Canadian producers passed on higher export duties charged by the U.S. government straight on to American consumers. Prices for KD Western S-P-F, a common benchmark for softwood lumber exported into the U.S., was trading above US$494, near its all-time high, that appear to neutralize any potential impact of …

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Murray Koffler, Shoppers Drug Mart founder, dies at 93

Murray Bernard Koffler, the founder of Shoppers Drug Mart and a noted philanthropist, has died at 93. Koffler, born in 1924, took over his father’s two Toronto pharmacies when he was just 17 years old, following his father’s death. He died on Sunday, Nov. 5, at his home in Toronto. He is survived by Marvelle, his wife of 67 years, …

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While politicians play politics with Sears pensioners, the Supreme Court appears to be on their side

On Monday in Ottawa, a private member’s bill is expected to be tabled by NDP Hamilton Mountain MP Scott Duvall that will attempt to give corporate employees rock-solid protection for their pension benefits in the event their employer goes bankrupt. The bill, developed in the context of Sears Canada’s collapse with a $270-million pension fund shortfall, is good policy that …

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Despite their celebrity, video-game voice actors have to fight for rights

LOS ANGELES—She woke up with a tickle in her throat. This was worrying for Ashly Burch, who, at 27, is a rising star in the small world of voice actors, best known for her work in video games. She knew actors who had blown out their voices in the studio. She’d come close herself. So leaving her house that morning …

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Michael Kors turns to personalized style tips and store revamps to win back customers

NEW YORK—Michael Kors Holdings Ltd.’s turnaround plan hinges on making its customers feel like they’re being personally dressed by its namesake designer — even if they aren’t. The company is revamping stores and training sales associates to deliver personalized style ideas that are handed down from Kors. Example: how to match a black-sequined-and-cheetah-print dress to a pair of calf leather …

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