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Bitcoin find announced

MT. GOX, the online Bitcoin exchange that has filed for bankruptcy, said Thursday it has found 200,000 missing bitcoins during a search of its systems.

The Tokyo-based company said the missing coins were found March 7 during a search of its old format "wallets" and the coins have since been moved offline for security reasons. The Japanese court that is overseeing its bankruptcy proceedings has been notified, the company said in a statement on its website.

The recovered bitcoins are valued at about $115 million at current prices.

When it filed for bankruptcy late last month, Mt. Gox reported 850,000 bitcoins had gone missing and said it was likely they were stolen. There are still 650,000 bitcoins unaccounted for, but the number could change, as the company is still investigating.

Bitcoin is a currency that exists only online. Its value is based on an algorithm. Investors buy bitcoins with dollars, euros and other traditional currency. A purchase with bitcoins typically involves transferring an amount from the buyer's Bitcoin "digital wallet" to the seller's wallet on the Internet.

 

Chicken brand suspect

OTTAWA -- The Canadian Food Inspection Agency is advising people not to consume Kirkland Signature-brand grilled chicken breast strips due to possible listeria contamination.

The product, which is being recalled by Freshouse Foods Ltd., was sold at Costco stores in Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador, but may also have been sold in other provinces.

The recalled product was sold in 500-gram packages with a UPC code of 0-96619-70787-4 and best-before dates of April 13 to April 26.

The CFIA says there have been no reported illnesses associated with consumption of the chicken, but anyone who has the product at home should throw it out or return it to the store where it was purchased.

 

Loblaw-Shoppers deal OK

TORONTO -- Loblaw Companies Ltd. has received approval from the Competition Bureau for its $12.4-billion purchase of Shoppers Drug Mart, with a few stipulations.

The federal agency is requiring Loblaw to sell a total of 18 stores and nine Loblaw-run pharmacies to an independent operator.

Most of the stores listed for sale are in smaller communities and include 14 Shoppers locations and four under Loblaw banners.

Other "behavioural restrictions" will be placed on Loblaw over agreements with suppliers for up to five years, the Competition Bureau said.

The decision follows a review that began after the deal was announced last July.

The regulator examined hundreds of regions across the country where both Loblaw (TSX:L) and Shoppers operated stores, and concentrated on a number of local markets where competition was the greatest.

One area of focus was on overlapping products and services offered by both companies, which included prescription fees.

 

Vancouver truckers rally

VANCOUVER -- Hundreds of striking container-truck drivers at Canada's largest port rallied in downtown Vancouver Friday, determined they would not be intimidated, even as the B.C. government prepares back-to-work legislation.

The provincial government is set to bring in legislation, which includes a 90-day cooling-off period, as early as Monday. Port Metro Vancouver has announced both unionized and non-unionized truckers whose licences and permits are about to expire won't have them extended if they don't return to their jobs.

Only unions can be legislated back to work, but Unifor members say they will not cave under pressure.

"These workers will not be cowed, we will not be bullied, we will not be swayed," Unifor spokesman Gavin McGarrigle told the crowd Friday.

"We need to get around the negotiating table, sit down and get this thing done in a way that there's a standard rate for everyone across the board."

McGarrigle said it is too early to predict what unionized truckers will do once the back-to-work law is in place, but he expects the cooling-off period will further anger workers.

More than 1,000 non-union truckers have been on strike since late last month, and several hundred Unifor members joined the job action March 10, demanding shorter wait times at the port and standardized rates of pay across the sector to prevent undercutting.

 

BlackBerry sells property

WATERLOO, Ont. -- BlackBerry has reached an agreement to sell a majority of its Canadian real estate holdings as part of an effort to improve its business.

The company said Friday it will sell more than three million square feet of space and vacant lands and lease back a portion of the properties.

BlackBerry did not disclose the buyer or the purchase price, as it said the sale was still subject to unspecified conditions.

"The successful sale of property in Canada will help us move toward our goal of continued operational efficiency," CEO and executive chairman John Chen said in a statement.

The company announced in January it planned to sell the majority of its Canadian real estate holdings.

BlackBerry pioneered the smartphone in 1999 and dominated the field for years, but since the late 2000s, the company has been hammered by competition from the iPhone and Android-based rivals.

Under Chen, who took on the CEO post permanently late last year, BlackBerry has been working to turn around its business.

Chen said BlackBerry is still committed to having a strong presence in Canada. It is keeping its headquarters in Waterloo, Ont.

The company said more terms of the transaction will be announced once principal conditions are satisfied or waived.

 

-- from the news services

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition March 22, 2014 B7

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