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KIDS

Kids and teens are expected to spend $4.9 billion via the Internet in 2005, but they are expected to spend an estimated $21.4 billion off-line based on information that they have found on the Internet, according to new research from Jupiter Communications. Although teens often experiment with new and innovative online products, winning their time and attention is becoming increasingly difficult. Businesses must broaden their online marketing efforts and focus on driving off-line purchases, not online transactions. 49 percent of teens said they use the Internet to research goods and products and purchase them off-line.

SMUGGLING

The Canada Customs and Revenue Agency (CCRA) still ranks marine containers as the highest risk for smuggling contraband into Canada. Over the past decade, $6.2 billion in drug seizures were made by Customs. Of these, 45 per cent ($2.8 billion) were made in marine containers. Consequently, the CCRA continues to place significant emphasis on the targeting and examination of high risk containers arriving in Canada to protect Canadians from smuggled drugs and other types of dangerous goods.

MOVING

Between 1991 and 1996, rural communities experienced a net loss of teenagers, according to a new study on migration patterns in rural Canada. However, the rural communities' population of individuals aged 25 to 64 increased in most provinces, particularly in Ontario and B.C. Between 1991 and 1996, rural communities had net losses of 12% of their population of teenagers aged 15 to 19. During the same period, rural communities saw their population of individuals 25 to 64 increase 4%. Rural areas have been, in demographic terms, booming in B.C. showing net gains of individuals aged 15 to 29 of about 15% from 1991 to 1996

SHOES

The Chicago Mercantile Exchange is to prohibit traders from wearing shoes that have soles thicker than two inches. To see and be seen from the trading pits and to stand out in a sea of green jackets and high pitched voices, many traders have been turning to platform shoes with heels of up to six inches thick.

KINDNESS

McDonald's will no longer do business with farmers who withdraw food and water from their hens, a controversial practice used to increase egg production. The chain also said it will not buy eggs from suppliers who trim the birds' beaks to keep them from hurting each other. The new guidelines, established in conjunction with the Animal Welfare Council, also require egg suppliers to double the living space for each caged hen to a minimum of 72 square inches per bird from a current industry average of about 40 square inches. McDonald's buys about 2 billion eggs annually in the U.S.

METALS

Eight of the world's biggest specialty metals concerns are combining forces to develop an on-line business-to-business marketplace to buy, sell and distribute aluminum, stainless steel and other metals. Specialty metals represent a $200-billion (U.S.) global market and the companies expect to realize savings from lower materials costs and reducing inventory.

PEACHES

The peach industry in California plans to bulldoze more than 100,000 trees loaded with ripening fruit that would have been destined for the canneries. The program will take about one million cases, or 5 per cent of canned peaches, out of the marketplace.

STATISTICS

Canadian and U.S. export statistics are derived from the counterpart import data so there are no unexplained differences in their trade statistics. However, differences in the trade statistics between Mexico and Canada and the U.S. are sizeable. Mexico's import trade statistics exceeded Canada's export statistics by $1.1 billion in 1996 and by $1.4 billion in 1997. The difference in northbound trade between Mexican export figures and Canadian import figures was $3.1 billion in 1996 and $4.0 billion in 1997. A reconciliation study to identify the causes of the differences in trade between the countries has been undertaken.

CUSTOMS HISTORY

The advent of a nationally organized customs service may be traced to King John. In 1203, a duty of one-fifteenth was placed on all imports and exports and it was decreed that all customary dues at the port should be accounted direct to the Treasury and not through the local lords and sheriffs. The duties in the port were paid to a collector who submitted his accounts to the Exchequer.

WOMEN

Canadian women have made tremendous strides in their educational attainment in the past several decades. In 1996,12% of all women aged 15 and over had a university degree - double the figure in 1981 (6%) and four times that in 1971 (3%). In 1999, women made up 49% of business and financial professionals, up from 41% in 1987. Women also made up 47% of all doctors and dentists in 1999, up from 44% in 1987. Women have also increased their share of total employment in managerial positions from 29% in 1987 to 35% in 1999

DATA

Postal area profiles, a databank profiling more than 5,000 communities across Canada, is now available from Statistics Canada. Based on tax records filed in the spring of 1999, these data are ideal for supporting policy analysis as they provide a comprehensive picture of communities. The profiles consist of five tables, which include information on taxfilers and dependants, selected sources of income of individuals, labour force participation and family characteristics. Data on each community can be compared with provincial and national figures to show how communities fit into the broader picture. They can also be used to assess trends over the past four years.

ENERGY

Asia's energy market is on the brink of being transformed as the world's two most populous nations, China and India, shift from traditional coal and oil to cleaner-burning natural gas. For more than three decades, Asia's main consumers of liquified natural gas (LNG), have been Japan, South Korea and Taiwan. But in coming years, they will have to compete for supplies with Chinese and Indian buyers.

BEER

The beer market in Romania is worth annually over 550 million US dollars and is estimated to become the second distribution market in Central Europe, after Poland, in less than five years. The annual Romanian beer consumption has reached 49 litres of beer per capita and increases by 4 per cent each year.

COMPETITIVENESS

In its latest report, The Geneva-based World Economic Forum states that the U.S. has knocked off Singapore to become the world's most competitive nation. Countries scored well if they were judged to be innovative and effective users of technology, had high rates of saving and investment and were well integrated in the world economy. Second was Singapore followed by Luxembourg, Netherlands, Ireland Finland, Canada, Hong Kong, Britain and Switzerland. Bottom was Ecuador just ahead of Bulgaria, Ukraine, Zimbabwe and Russia.

RESEARCH

The Clinton administration proposed to allow federal funds to be used for embryo research. This followed a British government decision also to use public money. Both plans will be controversial with legislators. Scientists are keen to use stem-cell research on cloned embryos as a way of curing several previously untreatable diseases.

SHOWERS

A Seattle company has developed an airplane shower that runs on five gallons of water. The same five gallons is continuously recycled, and is good enough to drink

STEEL

The car industry uses nearly half the steel shipped in Canada, more than twice the percentage in the U.S. A recent study concludes that the automotive industry accounts for 47.7 per cent of steel shipped in Canada. Other sectors that use a lot of domestic and imported steel are construction, accounting for 26 per cent, and the stamping industry--which produces parts for barbecues, lawn mowers and other products--at 10.4 per cent.

FISH

Canadian fish farmers generated record revenues in 1999 as sales climbed to an estimated $548 million, up 7% over 1998. The driving force behind the 1999 revenue increase was the higher value of exports, which reached $386 million, an advance of 5% over 1998 and more than double the annual levels exported in the early 1990s. These exports went largely to the U.S., where demand for Canadian finfish, principally salmon, remained strong. Domestic sales, meanwhile, remained relatively flat. Farmers in B.C.and New Brunswick continued to be the industry leaders accounting for 85% of total sales of aquaculture products.

SOAP

It is recorded that the Babylonians were making soap around 2800 B.C. and that it was known to Phoenicians around 600 B.C. Soap was used in the cleaning of wool and cotton in preparation for weaving into cloth.

INFLUENCE

It is estimated that American children directly influenced $146 billion (U.S.) of food and beverage purchases in 1999. Babies first go to supermarkets at two months and are able to point to and name brands at 19 months.

CARDS

A major credit card company is to issue disposable credit card numbers for safer on-line shopping. The program allows consumers to buy on-line without transmitting actual card numbers over the Internet. For each on-line purchase, the customer gets a random number which expires after the transaction.

DOT.COMS

Niue is an atoll the size of downtown Singapore with a population of 1,750, little electricity and 100 telephones, all of them old hand-crank ones. But the South Pacific island, 2400 kilometres from New Zealand, also has a top-of-the-line computer server, a satellite Web connection and a thriving New Economy business. Since 1997, Niue has made a tidy profit selling its domain name--.nu-- to companies and individuals around the world who can't afford the hard-to-come-by--.com, which comes at the end of most corporate Web addresses. So far, 70,000 Niue addresses have been registered at $45 each. The island is spending the money earned so far to build roads and lay electrical cables to remote areas.

CORKS

For centuries, cork has been a way of life in Portugal supporting entire families and towns. The industry provides work for 16,000 Portuguese who produce 190,000 tonnes of cork, about 55 per cent of world production--last year, earning more than $1 billion. But there is now a threat from plastic stoppers. Synthetic stoppers only account for 1 per cent of the annual world market of 13 billion stoppers. Some, like British supermarkets, have adopted plastic stoppers with enthusiasm.

TRIVIA

Angkor is in Cambodia. NASA researchers, using ground-mapping radar, have collected images suggesting that Angkor was the world's largest city in 1100 AD. It had one million people.

CULTURE

Sweden has opened the world's first museum dedicated to fermented herrings. The museum will explain the ancient technique developed by fishers in the Gulf of Bothnia.

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