Burundi UN advocate for children welcomes rebels release of child soldiers

The separation of 112 children, including two girls, by the Forces Nationales pour la Liberation (FNL) shows that the demobilization process of children associated with the rebel group has “finally begun,” Radhika Coomaraswamy said in a press release.The children have been transferred to the Gitega Demobilization Centre, “where they will receive support to embrace a new life,” she said.The process was facilitated thanks to joint efforts by the UN Integrated Office in Burundi (BINUB), the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), and other partners.The FNL has also committed to released 200 more children from its ranks in the near future.The Security Council has repeatedly voiced its concerns over delays in implementing the 2006 Comprehensive Ceasefire Agreement signed between the Government and the FNL, the last major rebel hold-out group in Burundi, which is rebuilding after a brutal civil war between the Hutu majority and the Tutsi minority.“For the sake of the peace process in Burundi, we must ensure that demobilization of former child combatants remains a priority and that they are properly reintegrated into their communities,” Ms. Coomaraswamy emphasized. 9 April 2009The Secretary-General’s Special Representative on children and armed conflict today welcomed the release of over 100 child soldiers by a key rebel group in Burundi, a move which will allow them the chance to rebuild their lives. read more

Closing Bell TSX reaches record high with boost from CN Rail

TORONTO — A strong earnings report from Canadian National Railway helped push the Toronto stock market to a fresh record high close Tuesday as traders put geopolitical concerns aside for the moment and concentrated on the health of corporate North America.Here are the closing numbersTSX — 15,315.13+65.14 0.43%S&P 500 —  1,983.53+9.90 0.50%Dow — 17,113.54+61.81 0.36%Nasdaq — 4,456.02 +31.31 0.71%The S&P/TSX composite index gained 65.14 points to 15,315.13.Canadian National Railway (TSX:CNR) beat expectations as its second-quarter profit increased 18% to $847 million, while revenues rose 17% to a record $3.12 billion. Adjusted profit amounted to $1.03 per diluted share, three cents above analyst forecasts, when it reported results on Monday after markets closed. CN also delivered a strong outlook and its shares ran up $1.44 to $74.39 after earlier hitting a new 52-week high of $74.83.“(CN and Canadian Pacific) are at high multiples now, they’re expensive but with the quality and overall growth profile, we still think they’re a great place to be. We own both of them,” said Ben Jang, portfolio manager at Nicola Wealth Management in Vancouver.Other big Canadian corporations reporting earnings this week include mining giant Teck Resources (TSX:TCK.B), telecom Rogers Communications (TSX:RCI.B) and grocer Loblaw Cos. Ltd. (TSX:L), all on Thursday.The Canadian dollar was down 0.06 of a cent to 93.14 cents US.New York markets also advanced amid data showing tame inflation.The Dow Jones industrial was up 61.81 points to 17,113.54 as the U.S. Labor Department’s consumer price index rose 0.3% in June, which matched expectations. That was good news for investors as a higher reading would have raised a fresh round of concerns about when the Federal Reserve might decide to start hiking rates.The Nasdaq rose 31.32 points to 4,456.02 and the S&P 500 index gained 9.9 points to 1,983.53.Traders continued to consider the impact of potentially tighter economic sanctions against Russia for its support of Ukrainian rebel militias accused of shooting down a Malaysian airliner last week.The European Union agreed Tuesday to expand a list of Russian organizations and individuals subject to asset freezes and travel bans. It also threatened to target vast sectors of the Russian economy if Moscow did not act swiftly to rein in the rebels.But the EU stopped well short of moving to jump quickly to so-called Phase 3 sanctions that could cripple the Russian economy, but also impact the fragile recovery in Europe.“Those are the type of sanctions that would definitely hurt their economy and what it would mean is a curtailment of energy exports from Russia into Europe as well, which would definitely stall the European recovery,” Jang said.Elsewhere on the earnings front, Microsoft reported after the close that quarterly revenue came in at US$23.38 billion, beating expectations of $23 billion. Earnings per share excluding one time items were 58 cents versus expectations of 60 cents and its shares were off 0.5% in after-hours trading.Meanwhile, Apple’s earnings also topped expectations as the company sold 35.2 million iPhones in the quarter, a 13% increase from the same time last year even though many people are believed to be holding off on new device purchases until the next version comes out this fall.Apple (Nasdaq:AAPL) reported earnings of US$7.7 billion or $1.28 per share, exceeding estimates of $1.23 per share and a 12% increase from income of US$6.9 billion or $1.07 per share in the same period last year. Revenue rose 6% from last year to $37.4 billion, but that was about $600 million below forecasts and Apple shares were down 36 cents at US$94.36 in early after-hours trading after having risen 78 cents to US$94.72 at the close.The metals and mining sector led TSX advancers, up 1.2%, while September copper rose one cent to US$3.21 a pound. The energy sector climbed 0.91% even as September crude on the New York Mercantile Exchange slipped 47 cents to US$102.39.The gold sector was the major decliner, down about 1.15% as August bullion fell $7.60 to US$1,306.30 an ounce.TOP STORIESHerbalife shares spike as Ackman’s ‘incredible fraud’ claims fail to convince investorsApache faces pressure from activist hedge fund Jana Partners to exit the Kitimat LNG project: reportsCanada missing out on billions as millionaire hunters lure Chinese investors to AustraliaNetflix shares fall as European expansion seen being ‘costlier than anticipated’WHAT’S ON DECK WEDNESDAYECONOMIC NEWSCANADA8:30 a.m.Retail sales (May): Economists expect 0.6% rise CORPORATE NEWSUNITED STATESThe Boeing Company Q2 earnings: Analysts expect US$2.01 a share Delta Air Lines  Q2 earnings: US$1.04 The Dow Chemical Company Q2 earnings: 72¢ Facebook Q2 earnings: 32¢ PepsiCo Q2 earnings: US$1.23 Qualcomm Inc Q3 earnings: US$1.22 AT&T Inc. Q2 earnings:  65¢ read more