Highlights from the news file for Tuesday, Dec. 19———TILLERSON TALKS NORTH KOREA ON CANADIAN VISIT: The North Korean nuclear crisis is expected to dominate discussions when U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson visits Ottawa on Tuesday for meetings with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland. Tillerson’s supper-hour visit with Trudeau is an unusual add-on to a visiting foreign minister’s itinerary, but it’s not unheard of, and underscores the importance Canada attaches to its relations with its top trading partner and key ally. Economic issues will be on the agenda, but Canadian and American officials say discussion about North Korea will take precedence. Trudeau has taken a personal interest in the North Korea crisis and expressed concern about the rogue regime’s ability to launch intercontinental missiles that could cross through Canadian airspace. He has raised the possibility of leveraging Canada’s traditionally good relations with Cuba as a way to make progress on North Korea’s pursuit of a nuclear arsenal.———FOREIGN HOME OWNERS SLIVER OF MARKET, STATSCAN SAYS: The country is getting a clearer picture of the level of foreign cash in some of the hottest housing markets, adding more statistical fuel to the debate about how much influence foreign buyers have in driving prices to unimaginable heights and what should be done about it. The new housing statistics by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. and Statistics Canada shows that foreign buyers owned 3.4 per cent of all residential properties in Toronto and 4.8 per cent of residential properties in Vancouver. For condos, CMHC says foreign buyers owned less than one per cent of the condo stock in 17 metropolitan areas across the country. The data also show foreign-owned homes are more expensive than those owned by Canadian residents. Graham Haines, research and policy manager at the Ryerson City Building Institute, said the foreign buyer data hints at larger issues about speculation in the real estate sector, making it the canary in the coal mine of a growing affordability problem.———WOMEN, SKILLS AND SCIENCE THE FOCUS OF FEDS’ SPRING BUDGET: Bill Morneau says the federal government’s spring budget will focus on improving the economic success of women, finding ways for science to help the economy over the long haul and preparing workers for the rapidly changing job market. The finance minister shared some of the core themes of his next budget plan in an interview with The Canadian Press. These subjects will sound familiar as the government prepares a budget designed to build upon commitments in its two previous fiscal blueprints. The document is expected to emphasize gender equality and lay out government efforts to boost the labour-force participation of women. Morneau said making it easier for women play a bigger role in the job market will not only help families, it will also boost economic growth. He said he pushed his provincial counterparts at a recent finance ministers’ meeting to follow this kind of gender-based budgeting approach — and he believes the idea is gaining some traction in the provinces.———NEWFOUNDLAND PREMIER TIPPED POLICE TO KILLER, DOCUMENTS SHOW: Less than two months before the election that would make him premier of Newfoundland and Labrador, Dwight Ball tipped police that the prime suspect wanted for murder in a botched robbery could be his daughter’s ex-boyfriend. Ball was then leader of the Official Opposition and preparing for the biggest political moment of his life. According to court documents released Tuesday, he told police on Oct. 8, 2015 — five days after the killing — that his tires had recently been slashed and his credit cards fraudulently charged for tens of thousands of dollars. He went to police three days after his daughter, Jade, had reported she was being harassed by a drug dealer for about $40,000 allegedly owed by her ex-boyfriend Brandon Phillips. Dwight Ball tipped investigators that Phillips could be the masked man shown on TV during a week-long manhunt. A jarring detail had caught his eye: the suspect on security images at the Captain’s Quarters bar in St. John’s was wearing a black windbreaker matching one stolen from Ball. A jury found Phillips, 29, guilty of second-degree murder earlier this month. He is due back in court Feb. 22 for a sentencing hearing.———ROGERS, CBC SIGN NEW DEAL FOR HOCKEY NIGHT IN CANADA: Rogers Media and CBC have signed a new seven-year sub-licensing agreement for English-language broadcasts of “Hockey Night in Canada” and the Stanley Cup playoffs. The agreement announced Tuesday begins in 2019-20 after the end of a current deal between the media giant and the public broadcaster. Rogers is in its fourth year of a 12-year, $5.2-billion agreement with the NHL for exclusive media rights. The deal included a four-year sub-licensing deal to allow the CBC to air “Hockey Night in Canada.” That agreement was later extended by a year. The seven-year extension, which also includes digital streaming rights, means CBC will carry “Hockey Night in Canada” until the end of the Rogers deal. While CBC can still show the popular NHL program, Rogers receives all revenue from “Hockey Night in Canada” broadcasts and has complete control over the show under the existing deal. Rogers said it will continue to produce the games and exercise editorial control through its Sportsnet broadcasting arm through the announced extension. CBC will continue to show nationally televised regular-season games on Saturday night as well as all four rounds of the Stanley Cup playoffs.———CANNABIS HABIT FORMING, HEALTH CANADA SURVEY SAYS: A recent government survey suggests that the vast majority of people who responded to it believe pot use could be habit forming. The survey, conducted by Health Canada from March to May, says 77 per cent of respondents shared the belief marijuana can be habit forming. The department says it asked 9,215 people about their knowledge, behaviours and attitudes towards pot use, including driving behaviours after consumption. It found 46 per cent of those surveyed, who indicated they had driven within two hours of pot use, reported they did so one to 10 times in the last year. Health Canada says only two per cent of respondents who used cannabis in the last 12 months reported having an interaction with law enforcement related to driving under the influence. It also found three quarters of those surveyed believe pot use affects driving, noting this number drops to 50 per cent when looking at responses from those who reported using cannabis in the past year.———GEORGE WESTON SAYS IT’S BEHIND COMPETITION WATCHDOG BREAD PROBE: Bakery owner George Weston Ltd. says it and grocer Loblaw Companies Ltd. alerted the Competition Bureau immediately after discovering a more than decade-long bread price-fixing arrangement in March 2015. The companies say in a joint statement that they became aware of an arrangement involving the co-ordination of retail and wholesale prices of some packaged breads from late 2001 to March 2015. They say the participants regularly increased prices on a co-ordinated basis, and participants included both companies, as well as other major grocery retailers and another bread wholesaler. The statement says the employees responsible for Weston Bakeries and Loblaw’s role in the arrangement are no longer employed by the companies and that they have beefed up compliance programs. Loblaw is offering eligible customers who register online at LoblawCard.ca before May a $25 gift card that can be used at its grocery stores across Canada. The added disclosure came after sealed court filings into the matter were made available to the companies and other affected parties for review.———AECON SHAREHOLDERS APPROVE TAKEOVER OFFER: Aecon Group Inc. shareholders voted overwhelmingly Tuesday to approve a $1.5-billion takeover of the landmark Canadian construction company by a Chinese state-owned firm, leaving a review under the Investment Canada Act as the last remaining hurdle. Shareholders voted more than 99 per cent in favour of the $20.37 per share cash offer by CCCC International Holding Ltd., a subsidiary of China Communications Construction Company Ltd., surpassing the two-thirds majority approval required. “It’s a bitter sweet moment for me personally,” Aecon’s long-time chief executive John Beck told the meeting at a Toronto hotel, with roughly 50 people present. “But it’s definitely the right thing for everyone involved with the company.” The vote followed Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s trip to China earlier this month to deepen trade relations with the Asian country. His government faced criticism earlier this year when it allowed the takeover of Norsat by China-based Hytera Communications Co. Ltd. without a full national security review. Vancouver-based Norsat makes radio systems and transceivers used by the U.S. military and other NATO partners.———SYNAGOGUES RECEIVE ANTI-SEMITIC HATE MAIL: At least eight synagogues in four cities across Canada have received anti-Semitic letters calling for the death of Jews, B’nai Brith Canada said. Four synagogues in Toronto, two in Montreal, one in Hamilton and one in Edmonton have reported being sent the hate mail, the Jewish advocacy group said Tuesday. A photo on B’nai Brith Canada’s website shows the letter containing the words “Jewry must perish,” and a swastika scrawled onto a blood-soaked Star of David. “It’s really unfortunate that, at this time of year, with the Jewish community celebrating Hanukkah … you have a message of targeted hate that’s going out to religious institutions across the country,” B’nai Brith Canada CEO Michael Mostyn said. “It’s sad to see and it’s actually quite terrifying for the individuals opening these letters with hateful genocidal messages.” Police in all four cities confirmed they were investigating the letters. Officers are “absolutely” treating the incidents as hate crimes, said Staff Sgt. Frank Partridge of 32 Division in north Toronto, where one of the targeted synagogues is located.———ARCTIC FOSSIL REVEALS ANCESTOR OF TODAY’S BEARS: The discovery of some rare fossilized remains in Canada’s Arctic has allowed experts to piece together an evolutionary tree for the descendant of North American bears. A report published in the journal Scientific Reports says the 3.5-million-year-old skeletons reveal a bear that hibernates for a long period of time with a diet so full of berries that it had cavities. Xiaoming Wang, a specialist in fossilized carnivores at the Natural History Museum in Los Angeles, says the discovery shows the animal is likely fattening up for winter and it’s the first such evidence that bears hibernated. The bear, named Protarcos abstrusus, was smaller than the average black bear and had a flattened forehead. Before the discovery on Ellesmere Island only pieces of the same bear species had been found in Idaho and China, so experts believed it was related to the black bear, but Wang says it’s now believed to be the grandfather of most bear species.———
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If you’re 50 or over, we believe these stocks could be a great fit for any well-diversified portfolio, and that you can consider building a position in all five right away. See all posts by Jabran Khan Jabran Khan | Friday, 30th October, 2020 | More on: VVO Image source: Getty Images Is this FTSE 250 stock a bargain or one to avoid? Here’s what I think Jabran Khan has no position in any of the shares mentioned. Views expressed on the companies mentioned in this article are those of the writer and therefore may differ from the official recommendations we make in our subscription services such as Share Advisor, Hidden Winners and Pro. Here at The Motley Fool we believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. Our 6 ‘Best Buys Now’ Shares Enter Your Email Address 5 Stocks For Trying To Build Wealth After 50 One FTSE 250 stock I like and that is very cheap right now is Vivo Energy (LSE:VVO). VVO is a British company that distributes and markets Shell and Engen branded fuels and lubricants to retail and commercial customers in Africa. It maintains subsidiaries and operations in 23 countries across the continent. Cheap FTSE 250 stockAt the beginning of the year, shares in VVO could be purchased for 125p. When the market crashed, its share price tumbled to a low of 64.5p. As I write this, it has recovered slowly and shares are currently trading at only 75p per share. At its current price point I consider VVO to be quite cheap.5G is here – and shares of this ‘sleeping giant’ could be a great way for you to potentially profit!According to one leading industry firm, the 5G boom could create a global industry worth US$12.3 TRILLION out of thin air…And if you click here we’ll show you something that could be key to unlocking 5G’s full potential…VVO joined the FTSE 250 in April 2018 and was trading at a high of 172.5p per share. An argument could be made that its reduction in price is not a positive sign. My response to that would be that the recent economic downturn has affected nearly all companies and industries in a negative way. I would not base any investment opinion on share price alone, especially not right now due to the pandemic and crash.PerformanceReviewing Vivo’s longer-term performance across the past three years makes for positive reading. It has seen a year-on-year increase in revenue and gross profit, which is definitely a positive indicator for any investor.VVO today released its Q3 trading update and I feel there are some positive takeaways from it. As expected, Q2 was difficult for many firms in the FTSE 250.VVO recorded a gross cash profit of $187m which is impressive despite the recent restrictions it has faced due to the pandemic. This is only a 1% decrease compared to the same period last year when there were no restrictions or pandemic. Q3 volumes of 2,492m litres was a significant improvement from Q2 although it remained 7% lower year-on-year. VVO’s retail segment saw lower volumes but an improvement compared to the previous quarter. In addition to this, a number of countries it serves returned to year-on-year growth during Q3. Its commercial segment volumes were lower and impacted by a lack of international travel and movement.VVO initially suspended its 2019 dividend of 2.7 cents per share when the economic downturn first occurred. In its update today it has confirmed that it will now pay that dividend in December to shareholders who are on the register by 20 November 2020. This is a positive move as it shows the firm is confident in its financial flexibility and can reinstate its dividend.My verdictOverall, I really like Vivo Energy but there is an element of risk. There are positives, in that longer-term performance has been impressive. Its Q3 trading update shows that despite the market uncertainty, it is getting closer to pre-crash levels of performance and volumes. Due to the ongoing economic uncertainty and potential further restrictions, we could see another repeat of Q2 performance. This is where I believe the risk lies for VVO. At this moment, I would be willing to buy some shares in VVO. I wouldn’t be investing lots of cash but feel it could be worth buying some shares and keeping an eye on developments across the FTSE 250. Simply click below to discover how you can take advantage of this. I would like to receive emails from you about product information and offers from The Fool and its business partners. Each of these emails will provide a link to unsubscribe from future emails. More information about how The Fool collects, stores, and handles personal data is available in its Privacy Statement. 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