Friday, September 21, 2018
News Roundup

Walmart Canada stops taking Visa in fee fight

Walmart Canada has taken its battle with Visa over what it calls high credit card fees directly to its customers.

The U.S.-based retail giant said that due to "unacceptably high fees" it will stop accepting Visa cards beginning July 18 in Thunder Bay, Ontario, and expand the ban to its more than 400 Canadian stores.

Walmart said it is trying to trim the more than $100 million in fees it pays annually for accepting credit cards.

Visa stepped up the feud with newspaper ads accusing Walmart of using consumers as pawns.

"Walmart is unfairly dragging millions of Canadian consumers into the middle of a business disagreement that can and should be resolved between our companies," it said.

Visa said it offered Walmart one of the lowest rates of any merchant in Canada but that hasn't been enough.

Fees charged to businesses — generally between 1.5 percent and 4 percent — have long been an issue and the Retail Council of Canada is calling on the federal government to legislate lower rates.

Walmart has its own branded MasterCard but has not said whether this might be part of the issue.

Playful ad invites: Test-drive Canada

"Come on up and test drive Canada. Make it a long weekend and look around. Try your hand at the metric system," Air Canada says of "Donald Trump concern" in the United States.

Without mentioning the name of the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, the airline ads are having fun with the surge in American inquiries about moving to Canada.

The situation has also led to numerous celebrities threatening that they'd move north, if necessary.

The playful message includes an invitation to visit, noting that Air Canada operates 240 U.S. flights to Canada daily.

News in brief

• A study says Canadian seniors are doing all right and automatically raising workplace pension contributions along with the cost of living is unnecessary. That's because Canadian retirees increasingly cut back on spending once they become 70, said the report by the C.D. Howe Institute. Reduced company pension contributions would help young families more, it said.

• Canada is seeking candidates for an out-of-this-world job as astronauts. Innovation and Science Minister Navdeep Bains said there are two spots to be filled. Canada's participation in the International Space Station program has been extended until 2024, and the country has sent eight astronauts to space.

• Bobby Curtola, a 1960s Canadian rock 'n' roll singer and teen idol, has died at age 73 in Edmonton. With a string of hits, he became internationally known for songs Fortune Teller and Aladdin and played for five years in Las Vegas. He also wrote and performed "Things go better with Coca-Cola" for ads in 1964. His partner, Karyn Rochford, died in a car accident in Nova Scotia last December.

Facts and figures

The Canadian dollar is lower at 77.63 cents U.S. while the U.S. dollar returns $1.288 in Canadian funds, before exchange fees.

Canada's inflation rate dipped to 1.5 percent in May from 1.7 percent due to lower food and gas prices.

The Bank of Canada's key interest rate remains at 0.5 percent while the prime lending rate is 2.7 percent.

Markets are lower, with the Toronto Stock Exchange index at 13,905 points and the TSX Venture index 713 points.

The average national price for gas has dropped to $1.08 a liter or $4.10 (Canadian) for a U.S. gallon.

Lotto 6/49: (June 15) 7, 16, 22, 27, 35 and 49; bonus 11. (June 11) 9, 28, 36, 37, 40 and 46; bonus 47. Lotto Max: (June 10) 5, 11, 15, 26, 27, 33 and 39; bonus 46.

Regional briefs

• Nova Scotia has had a population boom largely the result of the arrival of Syrian refugees. Statistics Canada said the Atlantic province's population reached 947,284 on April 1, an increase of 4,918 from a year ago. It welcomed 1,849 immigrants from January through March.

• British Columbia is receiving $460 million from the federal government for transit system upgrades as part of a national multibillion-dollar infrastructure program. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said this will help pay to modernize transit infrastructure with station renovations and new rapid-transit cars.

Contact Jim Fox at [email protected]

Football: Clearwater 34, Mitchell 7

Football: Clearwater 34, Mitchell 7

TRINITY — What at first looked like a defensive stalemate between Clearwater and Mitchell quickly turned into a rout.Clearwater had revenge on its mind Friday night after a 45-28 loss to Mitchell last year during the the regular seaso...
Updated: 1 hour ago

Football: Tampa Bay Tech 28, Hillsborough 27

TAMPA — The decision was made as soon as Hillsborough got the ball back. Trailing by a touchdown with just over four minutes remaining against Tampa Bay Tech, the Terriers had the ball on their own 6-yard line.They hadn't been able to move the ...
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Football: Largo 35, Countryside 0

Football: Largo 35, Countryside 0

LARGO — The offense was relentless and merciless Friday night, but that has been the case a lot recently. Largo is scoring points in bunches and getting contributions from everyone. Add in a defense that has been smothering, as well as a special team...
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Football: Sickles 7, Freedom 3

TAMPA — Sickles needed a goal-line stand late in the fourth quarter to escape Freedom 7-3 on Homecoming and remain in the hunt for a Class 7A, District 8 title.Gryphons coach Patrick Murphy knew that facing the Patriots would be a battle. Freedom (1-...
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Football: Armwood 24, Jefferson 14

SEFFNER — Armwood is becoming accustomed to winning close games.The Hawks fended off visiting Jefferson 24-14 in a defensive battle that featured a plethora of holding penalties in the second half.Armwood (3-1) earned two rushing touchdowns from juni...
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Football: Plant 44, Gaither 34

TAMPA — Seventy-eight points. Eight hundred and 40 yards in total offense. Five players surpassing the century mark in yardage.When the game was over Friday, Plant had the edge in every category — including the scoreboard as the Panthers (3-1) opened...
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Football: Robinson 28, Blake 25

TAMPA — Nevermind that Blake scored a go-ahead touchdown with 87 seconds left in the game.Forgive him, but part of Robinson junior Lateef Al-Shaa’ir was hoping it would happen just so it would set up a comeback.And it did.With 24 seconds left in the ...
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Football: St. Petersburg 23, Gibbs 6

ST. PETERSBURG — St. Petersburg’s Aumhryaun Brown’s two touchdowns helped overcome the ejection of quarterback Tonio Shavers as the Green Devils cruised to a 23-6 win against Gibbs on Friday.As time expired during the first half, with the Green Devil...
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Football: Plant City 24, East Bay 7

GIBSONTON — Plant City’s high-powered passing game gets most of the attention. But the Raiders’ defense is just as responsible for the team’s unbeaten start.In Plant City’s 24-7 road victory against East Bay in Class 7A, District 9 on Friday, the def...
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Football: Clearwater Central Catholic 38, Northeast 17

ST. PETERSBURG — Championship caliber teams don’t cut themselves any slack.Just ask senior quarterback Rory Hicks, a tough grader moments after visiting Clearwater Central Catholic rolled out its textbook offensive precision to subdue Northeast, 38-1...
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