first_img Receive email alerts The Arab Spring has given new impetus to an increasingly active online diaspora’s hope for change. The regime, which has totally cordoned off the country and continues its indiscriminate repression of the population, is somewhat overwhelmed by the Net’s influence on Eritreans based abroad. It is now waging its propaganda war on social networks. Pro-opposition websites have been targeted for cyberattacks on an unprecedented scale. News Help by sharing this information RSF urges Swedish judicial authorities to reverse Dawit Isaak decision Swedish prosecutors again refuse to investigate Dawit Isaak case October 27, 2020 Find out more News EritreaAfrica Organisation Follow the news on Eritrea to go further Self-censorship, difficult Web access, and limitless terrorIn this totally freedom-deprived country whose privately owned media were shut down in September 2001, the Internet remains the only space left where Eritreans are free to voice their opinions. Its use, however, is still very limited. Dictator Isaias Afewerki has imposed a climate of terror that has led the few Eritreans brave enough to connect despite technical obstacles and surveillance in the cybercafés to rely on self-censorship (Read the Eritrea chapter of the 2011 “Enemies of the Internet” report).Leading diaspora websites such as, and are inaccessible mainly because of the slow bandwidth speed. No independent site is currently operated from Eritrea. Those living abroad who post writings on “banned” websites often have to do so anonymously as a security measure.Not just content to terrorize his country’s population, the President is trying to target exiled dissidents with the assistance of certain friendly foreign governments. Sudan-based Eritrean editorial writer and journalist Jamal Osman Hamad, editor of the Internet website, was released by the Sudanese security forces in Khartoum on December 16, 2011 after being detained more than eight weeks. Known for his criticisms of his country’s leader, he was arrested on October 24, 2011, less than a week after Eritrean President Isaias Afewerki paid an official visit to Sudan – a visit during which the latter and his Sudanese counterpart inaugurated the opening of a road linking their two countries. On October 17, 300 Eritreans had been expelled to their native country without their cases being referred to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.Are the new media generating an Eritrean Spring?The regime took a very dim view of the Arab uprising and the fall of presidents Hosni Mubarak and Mouammar Kadhafi, whom it supported. It forced the state-owned media to ignore these events and was prepared to cut off Internet access, just as the Egyptian regime had done during the height of the Revolution, in the event of domestic unrest. The regime also has been concerned about the social networks’ potential as a rallying tool for diaspora Eritreans. Unlike their fellow citizens who remained in the country, diaspora Eritreans are much more up-to-date on the latest Arab revolution developments, which is reviving hopes for a political change in Africa’s “North Korea.” The movements organized by the opposition in the last few months in streets around the globe, and in diplomatic channels, are a new phenomenon.From March to May 2011 in particular, exiled Eritrean communities held peace rallies to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the country’s independence and to protest against the dictatorial regime. In Australia, Great Britain, the United States, Egypt, and Ethiopia, the slogan was “ENOUGH!” These demonstrations were coordinated primarily by the Facebook group “Ashab Yourid Isqat Isaias Afewerki” (“The People Want Isaias Afewerki to Step Down”).Opposition Eritreans living abroad have also decided to involve Eritreans who had remained at home in a special way. Youth groups such as Eritrean Youth for Change (EYC) and Eritrean Youth Solidarity for Change (EYSC) called upon Eritreans in the homeland to “empty the streets” of Asmara as part of the “Arbi Harnet” (Freedom Friday) campaign launched in early February 2012.Daniel Gebremichael, one of the campaign organizers, stressed on “We also needed a channel of communication between diaspora activists and the people back home to begin to open up a bit. So you can say that (this movement) was inspired by the Arab Spring, but was heavily influenced by the political culture in Eritrea.” He added that hundreds of phone calls were made by volunteers to Asmara and other cities in the country, and text messages and emails were sent to inform Eritreans about this campaign and invite them to rally. The 10,000 plus subscribers of the EYSC and EYC Facebook pages were contacted. YouTube video clips were uploaded to convince people to take part in this call for democratic changes in the country. Daniel Gebremichael believes that the effort produced positive results. The initiative apparently received messages of support from people contacted on-site. Most of them who could be reached were so frightened that they just listened. But the important thing is that the message got through. The announced goal was to call 5% of Eritrea’s more than 230,000 telephone lines. Yemane Gebreab, the President’s top political advisor, and leader of the incumbent party, was cornered after being spotted in a Manhattan pub by young Eritreans who wanted to question him about people gone missing in the country, and who criticized his support of the dictator. The event was filmed, posted on YouTube, and – to the authorities’ consternation – relayed by thousands of members. According to, various forms of the video have been viewed tens of thousands of times: a hard blow for the regime’s propaganda machine. Start of a cyberwar?The government is still waging an online offensive against such criticisms. Eritrean Information Minister Ali Abdu, and Yemane Gebreab, are coordinating online propaganda, disinformation initiatives on the Internet, cyberattacks against opposition sites, and crackdowns and pressure on the regime’s opponents. They have decided to occupy the social networks’ terrain and to confront their opponents there by disseminating their own pro-regime messages. One of the Facebook pages concerned is Eritrea First, which, as of early March 2012, boasts 2,500 friends and whose motto is “The nation always comes first.” An unprecedented wave of cyberattacks struck several websites critical of the regime in early December 2011. Most of the opposition sites, including,,, were blocked for several days. Hackers allegedly attacked these sites’ databases in a vain attempt to delete their archives, but pro-government sites such as,, and were spared – a new censorship episode with which it would be difficult not to connect the Asmaran regime.These attacks were perfectly timed, when the targeted sites were speculating on the President’s end-of-year speech, and the UN Security Council was broadening the sanctions imposed on Eritrea for its presumed support of Somalia’s Islamist insurgents. Prisoner of Conscience Since 2001 – Why has Sweden not managed to bring Dawit Isaak home? March 12, 2012 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Eritrea EritreaAfrica January 13, 2021 Find out more April 14, 2021 Find out more Reports News RSF_en last_img read more


The link between financial performance & member loyalty

first_imgWhat is the ROI of my credit union’s Voice of the Member program? This is a question Member Loyalty Group (MLG) hears often from credit union chief executive officers. Especially as credit unions and banks alike make major investments in improving the member experience.Having collected over 2.1 million member surveys in the past 7 years for more than 75 credit unions, MLG has gained some insights about the link between Voice of the Member programs based on the Net Promoter score and financial performance.We recently compared the performance of our participating credit unions with the industry average performance data for all credit unions over $100M in assets in key financial areas.As the charts below show, those who are actively investing in their Voice of the Member programs continue to outperform the industry significantly in each of the key areas.Gap in ROA has widenedOver the past five years, the average Return on Assets (ROA) for credit unions participating in MLG’s Voice of the Member program has continued to increase.Loyalty leaders yield 25% higher ROAThe link between Net Promoter Scores (NPS) and higher ROA becomes clearer as you compare the top performing MLG participants (Loyalty Leaders who score in the top quartile of all participating credit unions) with mid-range and lower performers.Learn more about financial linkageLearn more about how higher Net Promoter Scores are linked to membership growth, checking account penetration, net income and expenses by requesting a complimentary copy of our new report.You can also learn more about Member Loyalty Group’s Voice of the Member programs by visiting or contacting us at [email protected] Promoter, Net Promoter Score, and NPS are trademarks of Satmetrix Systems, Inc., Bain & Company, Inc., and Fred Reichheld. 29SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Jake Foreman Before joining Member Loyalty Group, Jake served as Member Experience Analyst for Idaho Central Credit Union where he managed their Net Promoter program. Jake’s passion for the Net Promoter … Web: Detailslast_img read more


‘Test Iowa’ kits being processed twice at state lab

first_imgJOHNSTON — The State Hygienic Lab is still working to clear a backlog of COVID-19 tests. Governor Kim Reynolds says due to a high volume of tests and the double processing required for “Test Iowa” kits, it wasn’t possible to eliminate the backlog this weekend.“I want to again reassure Iowans that this is a short-term issue as we ramp up testing and processing,” Reynolds said this morning, “and complete the ‘Test Iowa’ validation process.”The governor said the backlog should be resolved today. The kits from Des Moines and Waterloo drive-through “Test Iowa” sites are being processed twice at the State Hygienic Lab — first through the system, the lab has been using since March and then through the machines Utah companies have supplied for “Test Iowa.” Last week, the state lab processed and reported more than 17,000 test results.“That’s a significant accomplishment and we’re working hard to improve the timeliness of processing and reporting results, so that Iowans know the results as soon as possible,” Reynolds said.A third “Test Iowa” site started operating this afternoon in Sioux City. The Centers for Disease Control must sign off on the State Hygienic Lab’s validation process before samples from the “Test Iowa” sites may be processed just once, through the “Test Iowa” machines.“Under normal circumstances, individuals should get their test results in approximately 72 hours,” Reynolds said during her daily news conference.State officials reported 534 Iowans have been notified that they have COVID-19 — for a total of more than 97-hundred positive cases since testing began in early March. Eighty-five percent of today’s new positive cases are in the 22 counties where all the governor’s limitations on businesses and public gatherings remain in place. State records indicate 389 Iowans were hospitalized on Sunday for treatment of COVID-19 and 93 of them were on ventilators.last_img read more



first_img                BOOZER: Owned by Al and Sandee Kirkwood, this 6-year-old gelding by Unusual Heat rallied to win Santa Anita’s Sensational Star Stakes at 6 ½ furlongs down the hillside turf course three starts back on Feb. 27 and he was a close second as the 3-2 favorite two starts back in a one mile turf allowance here on March 20. A winner of the one mile Bertrando Stakes at Los Alamitos on April 16, Boozer, who has run 20 of his 22 lifetime starts on grass, will hope he can replicate his one mile main track win at Los Alamitos here on Saturday. Fifth in his only Santa Anita dirt try five starts back on Jan. 9, Boozer is 22-7-5-4, with earnings of $538,792. SONGFORJOHNMICHAEL: Trained by Dan Hendricks, this lightly raced 5-year-old gelding by Songandaprayer takes a big drop in class off a third place finish behind Cat Burglar in the Santana Mile here on April 2. A winner of a seven furlong allowance off a year and a half layoff March 5, Songforjohnmichael earned a Tiznow-best 98 Beyer Speed figure in the Santana Mile and could be primed for a huge effort on Saturday. With a win from three starts at one mile, he has four wins from nine lifetime starts. Owned by R L Stables, LLC, Songforjohnmichael is out of the Quiet American mare, Silent Demand. SNOW CHIEF IS ONE OF FIVE CALIFORNIA GOLD RUSH DAY STAKES FOR CAL-BRED OR SIRED HORSES THE $150,000 TIZNOW STAKES IN POST POSITION ORDER WITH JOCKEYS AND WEIGHTSRace 8 (of 11)                                                                                                     Approximate post time 5:30 p.m. PDT Howdy–Mario Gutierrez–120Boozer–Edwin Maldonado–122Songforjohnmichael–Joe Talamo–120Avanti Bello–Rafael Bejarano–120Indygo Holiday–Fernando Perez–120Soi Phet–Kent Desormeaux–120Rocko’s Wheel–Martin Garcia–120First post time on Sunday is at 2 p.m. Admission gates open at 11:30 a.m. For scratches, late changes and complete morning line information, please visit ROCKO’S WHEEL: Lightly raced, this 4-year-old colt by Grazen makes his third start off a lengthy layoff and stretches out off a pair of allowance sprints. Trained by Phil D’Amato, Rocko’s Wheel, who was bred by Jimmy Ukegawa and the late Mike Mitchell, was a winner of a first condition allowance race at 1 1/16 miles in April, 2015 and he appears to be rounding into form for D’Amato. Owned by Little Red Feather Racing and Ukegawa, “Rocko” has three wins from 10 lifetime starts and earnings of $178,735. He’ll be ridden for the first time by Martin Garcia.                 HOWDY: A winner of two consecutive allowance races, Howdy will try stakes competition for the first time in the Tiznow. A 4-year-old colt by the A.P. Indy stallion Sundarban, he was bred by Crystal Valley Farms and is out of the Momentum mare Foxy Babe. Although it took him nine starts to break his maiden, Howdy has been first or second in his last four starts and was a good third five starts back–his first time with winners. Owned by his breeder and Ciaglia Racing, LLC, Howdy has two wins and two seconds from six tries at a flat mile. He’s 14-3-4-1 overall with earnings of $165,800.                 ARCADIA, Calif. (May 25, 2016)–A one mile stakes winner in his most recent start, trainer Mark Glatt’s Boozer heads a field of older California-bred or sired horses as he seeks his third stakes win from four starts in Saturday’s $150,000 Tiznow Stakes at Santa Anita. The Tiznow, for older horses, has attracted a solid field of seven older horses.Named for the two-time Breeders’ Cup Classic winner, the Tiznow was first run at Hollywood Park in 2003 and will be contested for the third consecutive year at Santa Anita on Saturday.                 SOI PHET: Although winless in his last 14 starts, this veteran 8-year-old gelding by Tizbud comes off a solid second to Boozer in the Bertrando at Los Alamitos, a race in which he was the 3-2 favorite. Trained by Leonard Powell and owned by Benowitz, Powell, Viskovich and partners, Soi Phet has five wins from 15 tries at one mile, but is a glaring 0-12 at Santa Anita. A non-threatening second two starts back in a mile and one eighth main track allowance here on March 6, Soi Phet will be ridden for the third consecutive time by Kent Desormeaux. With an overall mark of 43-8-5-4, he has earnings of $565,536.last_img read more


South Africa tackles water issues

first_imgSouth Africa is a water scarce country facing a water crisis. We need to start using existing resources more wisely.Sluices at the Grootdraai Dam in Mpumalanga. (Image: Jan Truter)South Africa is experiencing a water crisis, with scientists saying there is strong evidence of decreased water flow and water quality, although the problem currently is mostly quality rather than quantity.Researchers at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) also warned that continued population and economic growth, combined with climate change, could result in serious water shortages in some parts of the country by 2025.Speaking to the media on 29 July 2015, they said there was a range of actions – besides investments into large inter-basin transfer schemes – that could be taken to improve the prospects for water supply and quality.“Everyone says there is a litany of bad news, but working with government we can look for where might the good news be, where the opportunities for innovation are,” said Emma Archer van Garderen, the CSIR chief researcher of integrated water assessments.Meanwhile, Marie Brisley, the chief director in the Department of Water and Sanitation in charge of Water Policy, spoke about water shortages in the country at the Southern African Development Community National Water Week-South Africa Workshop.In some parts of the country there was already not enough water available to meet the needs of citizens, agriculture and industry, or to sustain the country’s ecological baseline. (Image: Werner Bayer)She said the search continued for alternative methods to get water since the conversion of seawater to drinking water – and then distributing it to areas affected by severe drought – was extremely expensive. The conversion of seawater to drinking water was only possible in coastal areas as it would be more costly to reticulate seawater inland.The water workshop comes amid severe drought in KwaZulu-Natal, Free State, Limpopo and North West. Brisley told delegates from the SADC about the National Water Resources Strategy-2, a guiding document to ensure the fair and equitable distribution of water in South Africa.Its key points include:Water conservation and water demand management;Surface water resource management (operation of water supply systems);Managing and use of groundwater resources;Re-use and desalination of water;Eradication of invasive alien plants (catchment care);Re-allocation of water;Eradication of illegal use;Development of surface water resources (e.g. dams);Transfer of water; andRainwater harvesting.The workshop ends today.CSIR scientistsOn Wednesday at the CSIR briefing, Dr Harrison Pienaar, the council’s water resource competence area manager, concurred with the Department of Water and Sanitation that there was no immediate problem with regards to theoretical water availability, with South Africa still having sufficient resources to meet demand.But in some parts of the country there was already not enough water available to meet the needs of citizens, agriculture and industry, or to sustain the country’s ecological baseline.Dr James Dabrowski, the council’s principal researcher specialising in water quality and aquatic ecology, said that, with over 98% of South Africa’s available water resources already allocated across various sectors, the country could face a water deficit of between 2% and 13% by 2025, depending on economic performance, reported Polity, the news and information resource.There is a water crisis and its the responsibility of all South Africans to do their share to save water. (Image: Werner Bayer)These projections did not take water quality into account, despite the fact that water use was “dependent on both water availability and water quality”.Innovative ideasWhile it is agreed there is a water crisis, scientists are working on innovative solutions to improve quality and quantity.In an apple orchard in Western Cape, researchers were measuring exactly how much water the trees needed to allow for more efficient water use, said CSIR hydrosciences researcher Mark Gush.Agriculture in South Africa has led the way in finding innovative ways to save water. (Image: IFPRI -IMAGES)It had shown it was possible to save water, particularly at the end of the growing season. Research was also being conducted to reduce food waste, which would help to save the water that would have been used to grow the wasted food, he explained.“People in agriculture have done some incredibly innovative things, and we need to draw on those stories,” added Van Garderen, referring to a rooibos tea co- operative.Rooibos was grown in a winter rainfall area and was having a very bad season. The co-operative, with the help of a non-governmental organisation, brought in scientists and reduced its water use. It was now exporting its tea under a water- wise label. “Farmers are incorporating concerns about water and soil conservation into marketing agricultural products.”Regarding water quality, the Olifants River catchment area in Mpumalanga was “one of the worst case scenarios”, said Dabrowski. The combination of agriculture, coal mining, and construction of Eskom’s Kusile Power Station with its increase in human activity, was causing large-scale pollution of rivers in the province.“It can’t get much worse than what it is,” he said of the catchment area. But one proposal was to follow the practices of places such as the UK and the US to reduce river pollution from sources such as fertilisers.Land use in a catchment area is mapped. This information is overlaid with topographical and weather information, and combined with the location of wastewater treatment plants. The result is a map indicating the sources and extent of agricultural pollution. Each wastewater treatment works can then determine the level of nutrients needed to filter out of the water.“We do have quite a number of challenges, but there are solutions to these challenges,” Dabrowski said.Wastewater treatmentA particular concern was the state of wastewater treatment facilities. According to Polity, the most recent Green Drop status report indicated that about half of the country’s 824 treatment works were in either a poor or critical condition.Pienaar said the crisis lay with how South Africa’s water was managed. “At local government level there are serious challenges. We are not addressing inefficiencies,” he said.His colleague, Dabrowski concurred, and said the department’s recent release of a tender to develop an Integrated Water Quality Management Strategy was a welcome development.Dr Marius Claassen, the principal researcher for resource-specific scientific measures, said the country needed to begin identifying its “preferred water roadmap and taking active steps in achieving it”. A patient, methodical approach would be required, with “quick wins” eschewed in favour of long-term sustainability.There were many elements to consider: the creation of large-scale infrastructure, such as dams and transfer projects; tackling municipal water leaks and dam silting; improving water efficiency in agriculture and industry; and drawing on groundwater and desalination solutions.Gush added that, as a water scarce country, South Africa would need to use existing resources more wisely. “This means minimising wastage of water, through solutions such as rainwater harvesting, and increasing efficiencies.”The irrigated agriculture sector, which had been allocated 62% of the surface water resources, should be a key target for improved efficiencies, of “more crop per drop”.But there was no single water entity, such as Eskom in the electricity sector, the scientists pointed out, which meant dealing with the crisis would necessarily be complex.Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? 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10 months agoCarragher: Van Dijk improving every player at Liverpool

first_imgAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Carragher: Van Dijk improving every player at Liverpoolby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveLiverpool legend Jamie Carragher hailed the performance of Virgil van Dijk for victory at Wolves last night.Van Dijk scored the decisive second goal at Molineux and his efforts to help his side keep a clean sheet earned him man of the match. Carragher told Sky Sports: “He makes other people play better around him. Tony Adams made the rest of that Arsenal back four better. He does the same.”He scored a great goal for Holland a few weeks ago. His goal record isn’t great considering his size but the type of goal he got there, how many centre backs would put that over the bar?”The win over Wolves sent the Merseyside club four points clear at the top of the table before Pep Guardiola’s side play Crystal Palace at the Etihad on Saturday. last_img read more


Kesha Writes On Why We Must Do More To Ban Poaching

first_imgKesha has written a meaningful column for on why we must do more to ban poaching.“It’s time to end this perverted excuse for entertainment,” she wrote. “I was heartbroken along with so many Americans who are mourning the terrible killing of the lion Cecil by a man from Minnesota. As an animal lover, I have traveled to Africa to walk amongst and view these stunning creatures in their natural habitat — taking care not to disturb them while also enjoying their presence.“It angers me that U.S. law currently does not protect African lions, and these “trophies” can flow across the U.S. border in unlimited quantities from anywhere.“Populations of African lions in the wild have dwindled by almost 50% in only the last three decades. Even as lion populations plummet, hunters continue to kill them, and lion trophy imports to the United States are on the rise. This has to stop. Please join HSUS and HSI in urging U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to add the African lion to the endangered species list. Trophy hunting should be banned.”Read Kesha’s full column here.last_img read more


NWAC to challenge Conservative government over core funding cuts

first_imgAPTN National NewsOTTAWA–The Native Women’s Association says it will be “denouncing” the Conservative government over its decision to slash 10 per cent from core funding to Aboriginal organizations across the country.NWAC president Michele Audette says her organization will show the country the government’s true colours.“I’ll make sure that Canadian society sees what this government does to an organization that is really important,” said Audette. “They know that family violence is an epidemic in our communities, they know that women are being murdered, we are the ones pushing on this every day. I will make sure people know.”The department of Aboriginal Affairs announced this week it would slash 10 per cent from the core funding to Aboriginal organizations.The department announced on Tuesday it would be changing the funding formulas for so-called “Aboriginal Representative Organizations” and tribal councils. On Wednesday, Michael Wernick, deputy minister for Aboriginal Affairs, sent letters to band councils, tribal councils the heads of the AROs, which includes NWAC and Assembly of First Nations, outlining the cuts.The department, however, couldn’t say how much the cuts would save or provide an official to explain the move.According to Wernick’s letter, on April 1, 2014, core funding for national Aboriginal organizations will be cut by 10 per cent and regional organizations will face the same cuts and be put under a $500,000 core funding cap.Wernick said the department would also be reducing money available for “proposal-based” projects, which was one of the sources for NWAC’s much-vaunted Sisters in Spirit initiative. Wernick said only proposals in line with the department’s priorities, like education, economic development and infrastructure, will be considered.“We are ensuring that government funding is directed primarily at the delivery of essential services and programs for Aboriginal peoples,” said Wernick.Tribal councils will also face funding changes for the first time in 30 years, said Wernick, in the letter. Tribal councils will no longer receive money for “advisory services” to member First Nations. The department will now focus funding for tribal councils that “support increased delivery of Aboriginal Affairs…programs and services to communities.”Audette said that the 10 per cent cut will take about $67,000 from NWAC’s core budget, which is a major hit for their small organization.“For them, it’s probably not that much, but for what we do every day … it is going to impact us a lot,” she said.last_img read more


Most actively traded companies on the TSX

first_imgSome of the most active companies traded Friday on the Toronto Stock Exchange:Toronto Stock Exchange (15,384.59, down 9.36 points)Bombardier Inc. (TSX:BBD.B). Aerospace, rail equipment. Down two cents, or 0.50 per cent, to $3.96 on 9.9 million shares.Aurora Cannabis Inc. (TSX:ACB). Health care. Down 15 cents, or 1.39 per cent, to $10.63 on 6.3 million shares.Barrick Gold Corp. (TSX:ABX). Miner. Up 28 cents, or 1.92 per cent, to $14.88 on 5.8 million shares.Klondex Mines Ltd. (TSX:KDX). Miner. Up 17 cents, or 9.71 per cent, to $1.92 on 5.2 million shares.Canopy Growth Corp. (TSX:WEED). Health care. Down 97 cents, or 3.24 per cent, to $28.99 on 5.1 million shares.Husky Energy Inc. (TSX:HSE). Oil and gas. Up nine cents, or 0.53 per cent, to $17.03 on 4.9 million shares.Companies reporting major news:Bank of Montreal (TSX:BMO). Bank. Up seven cents, or 0.07 per cent, to $96.51 on 1.1 million shares. The bank is taking over a four-storey space in the Toronto Eaton Centre in a bid to attract the high-tech talent it needs to bring ideas to the market quicker. BMO’s plans, unveiled on Thursday, include an “urban campus” that will take over a portion of Sears Canada’s former digs at the mall and house 3,500 employees when it opens in 2021.George Weston Ltd. (TSX:WN). Grocer. Up 37 cents, or 0.36 per cent, to $104.12 on 97,878 shares. The grocery chain launched a multi-year transformation plan in its most recent quarter as its profits fell by two-thirds in a difficult year for the company. The plan, which began in November, includes restructuring the organization and simplifying operations, said Luc Mongeau, president of the Weston Foods division. The company’s fourth-quarter profit fell as a result of special items including the cost of a $25 Loblaw gift card program offered as a goodwill gesture to customers for the company’s involvement in an alleged industry-wide price-fixing scheme. Net income attributable to common shareholders dropped to $28 million (22 cents per share), down from $82 million (64 cents per share) a year ago.last_img read more