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CN shares surge after it promotes veteran employee as chief operating officer

AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email CN shares surge after it promotes veteran employee as chief operating officer by Ross Marowits, The Canadian Press Posted Feb 19, 2013 2:35 pm MDT MONTREAL – Shares in CN hit a new all-time high Tuesday as the Montreal-based railway announced the appointment of veteran employee Jim Vena to chief operating officer, a position left vacant with the departure of Keith Creel to rival Canadian Pacific.Canadian National Railway’s shares briefly reached $102 in intra-day trading and were up 93 cents at $101.52 later in the afternoon.Italian-born Vena, 54, joined the railway in 1977 as a brakeman in Alberta and rose through the ranks to oversee all three of CN’s operating regions. He will move to Montreal from Illinois, where he was senior vice-president of the southern region.CN chief executive Claude Mongeau said Vena has “a wealth of railway experience and strong leadership skills” that will help drive the railway’s agenda of operational and service excellence.Replacing Vena as head of the southern region is Jeff Liepelt, 53, currently senior vice-president of the eastern region. Liepelt also started his career as a brakeman at the former Illinois Central Railroad in 1978, which was acquired by CN in 1999.Analysts had expected that CN would move quickly to replace Creel from within by either Vena or Mike Cory, senior vice-president of the western region.Benoit Poirier of Desjardins Capital Markets said it was “largely anticipated by the street since he has an established reputation as a strong railroader.”“We note that with Mr. Vena, Mr. Liepelt and Mike Cory, CN is equipped with a very strong bench,” he wrote in a research note.Poirier added that he prefers CN over CP for 2013 because its shares have more potential to increase due to more apparent growth opportunities, its cheaper price and stronger balance sheet.The railway (TSX:CNR) also announced Tuesday the retirement next month of Sameh Fahmy, 61, its senior vice-president of engineering, mechanical and supply management.Canadian Pacific (TSX:CP) hired Creel, 45, earlier this month to be its second-in-command and a likely successor to CEO Hunter Harrison, who came out of retirement last year to improve the performance of the Calgary-based railway.The two railways resolved a legal dispute that arose after Harrison, a retired former head of CN, joined CP. As part of the settlement, CP has agreed not to hire “certain CN employees” until Dec. 31, 2016. Other terms of the deal are confidential.On the Toronto Stock Exchange, CP’s shares gained 81 cents at $120.44 in afternoon trading. read more

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Better future for Somalia must remain collective priority Ban says at highlevel

Addressing a high-level meeting on Somalia, held on the margins of the United Nations General Assembly’s annual debate, Mr. Ban said the country has made “steady progress” in building a federal, democratic State. In particular, he highlighted the formation of a new interim regional administration, the launch of the constitutional review process, and the creation of a National Independent Electoral Commission. In addition, a National Consultative Forum was launched on 19 September to agree on the 2016 electoral process.“These are important steps, but the momentum must be sustained. Somalia cannot afford to get side-tracked by partisan politics or self-interest,” the Secretary-General cautioned.“I urge all parties to work together on the goals they have set, including to complete state formation, advance the constitutional review and ensure an inclusive electoral process in 2016. There can be no extensions of the constitutionally mandated terms of the executive and legislature.”Noting that the threat of Al-Shabaab continues to destabilize the country, Mr. Ban paid tribute to the African Union and bilateral partners, whose operations with Somali forces have expelled the militant group from key strongholds. At the same time, he stressed that the threat of Al-Shabaab cannot be defeated by military means alone. “I call on all Somalis, as well as Somalia’s friends, neighbours and partners, to reflect on the need for a more comprehensive approach to counter violent extremism in the country,” he said.“We need to understand the factors that drive people to join Al-Shabaab. We must help Somali authorities forge a viable alternative: notably by building a State that offers political inclusion, security, justice and economic opportunity to all – and that respects the human rights of all and empowers the country’s women.“We must help counter propaganda, and offer a path out of violence for those ready to leave Al-Shabaab. A strong regional approach and collaboration will be important in furthering this objective.” Mr. Ban also stated that the time has come to invest more support in the Somali police, to help provide security in areas recovered from Al-Shabaab. He asked all partners to deepen their efforts as part of the broader development of the criminal justice system. Greater attention also needs to be devoted to the country’s economic recovery, as well as to the dire humanitarian situation in which some 855,000 Somalis face acute food insecurity and over a million are internally displaced.President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud told the meeting that Somalis are about to begin consultations for an electoral process that will enable them to elect their own leaders for the first time in 47 years, since the last election in 1969.He highlighted key areas of focus, including ensuring security and economic recovery, which is critical to a better life for the Somali people, and the need to support the recently established regional governments, which will be the foundation of a full-fledged federal republic of Somalia.Also vital will be ensuring that the “fragile” humanitarian situation in Somalia does not also contribute to the country’s insecurity, he stated.“Three million Somalis are dependent on humanitarian assistance to meet their most basic daily needs. This is not acceptable anymore compared to the development and the progress in security and politics in Somalia,” said the President.He added that the Government is committed to a broad and inclusive process that makes certain that decisions are taken in a representative manner and that promotes the participation of women and minority groups. “There will be room for discussion but not disengagement. There will be room for perspectives but not for politicking. There will be room for negotiations but not for negativity. The Somali people deserve success not spoilers.“The seed for peace has taken root in Somalia and I have no doubt it will bloom into a tree whose branches shelter us all.” read more