Here’s what we’re reading today.
1. Average Canadian home value down 10 per cent since April
“Home sales in June posted their largest monthly drop in seven years, driven by a plunge in the Greater Toronto market, the Canadian Real Estate Association said Monday, the latest evidence that a cool-down in the housing sector is taking hold.
“Transactions last month were down 6.7 per cent compared with May on a national basis, the third consecutive monthly decline, with the Greater Toronto Area registering a 15.1 per cent drop.”
2. B.C. wildfires displace nearly 40,000
“The entire city of Williams Lake – which is located about six hours northeast of Vancouver and has a population of just over 10,000 – was ordered evacuated on Saturday evening. A little more than half those residents had left voluntarily during an evacuation alert, but the remaining thousands streamed south to Kamloops overnight, a drive that normally takes about three hours taking upward of eight or nine for some.”
3. An ailling John McCain might flub the Senate’s health care bill
“‘I believe as soon as we have a full contingent of senators, that we’ll have that vote,’ the No. 2 Senate Republican, John Cornyn of Texas, said on NBC’s Meet the Press.
“But questions emerged Sunday over when that might be. Mr. McCain, 80, had a craniotomy — a procedure in which doctors create an opening in the skull — on Friday to remove a blood clot above his left eye, and he is recovering at home in Arizona.”
The more voting on the bill is delayed, the more likely it is to fail, supporters and opponents say.
4. Mercenaries are sizing up private war in Afghanistan, and the White House is listening
“Here’s a crazy idea floating around Washington these days, outlandish even by today’s outlandish standards: The United States should hire a mercenary army to “fix” Afghanistan, a country where we’ve been at war since 2001, spending billions along the way. The big idea here is that they could extricate U.S. soldiers from this quagmire, and somehow solve it.
“Not surprisingly, the private-military industry is behind this proposal.”
5. How bosses are (literally) like dictators
“Consider some facts about how American employers control their workers. Amazon prohibits employees from exchanging casual remarks while on duty, calling this ‘time theft.’ Apple inspects the personal belongings of its retail workers, some of whom lose up to a half-hour of unpaid time every day as they wait in line to be searched. Tyson prevents its poultry workers from using the bathroom. Some have been forced to urinate on themselves while their supervisors mock them.”