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Colin Jeffery

Colin Jeffery

BlackBerry agrees to sell itself

Monday, 23 September 2013 12:59 Published in National News

TORONTO (AP) - BlackBerry has agreed to sell itself for $4.7 billion to a group led by largest shareholder, Fairfax.

BlackBerry said Monday that a letter of intent has been signed and its shareholders will receive $9 in cash for each share.

Fairfax head Prem Watsa is a former board member who owns 10 percent of BlackBerry. Watsa stepped down when BlackBerry announced it was considering a sale last month. The billionaire is one of Canada's best-known value investors. .

Trading of the company's stock was halted ahead of the news. BlackBerry shares plunged after the company announced Friday a loss of nearly $1 billion and layoffs of 4,500 workers.

The BlackBerry, pioneered in 1999, was once the dominant smartphone for on-the-go business people and other consumers before Apple's iPhone debuted in 2007.

 

Companies partner to build largest solar farm in Missouri

Monday, 23 September 2013 11:40 Published in Local News

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (AP) - A Springfield utility is planning to partner with two companies to build what would be the largest solar farm in Missouri.

City Utilities says it will work with Solexus Development in St. Louis and Strata Solar of North Carolina to build the 4.95 megawatt system, with construction to begin next spring.

The Springfield News-Leader reports the companies expect to finalize a contract Monday. The system will be built on 57 acres next to an existing City Utilities generation station near Springfield.

Under the 25-year agreement, Solexus will develop the project and Strata Solar will build, finance and operate it. City Utilities' will connect the system to existing infrastructure, then buy the solar power the system produces.

The system is expected to produce about 9.6 million kilowatt hours per year.

 

Kenya deputy president seeks trial adjournment

Sunday, 22 September 2013 08:32 Published in National News

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — Lawyers for Kenya's deputy president sought an urgent adjournment Sunday in his trial at the International Criminal Court so he can return home to help deal with the fallout from the deadly shopping mall attack in Nairobi.

The motion underscores the difficulties for Deputy President William Ruto in attending the trial in The Hague while trying to help run his country.

Ruto's lead attorney, Karim Khan, said the court is expected to debate his request early Monday morning.

"Mr. Ruto, as the serving deputy president of Kenya, is required to return to Kenya to discharge his ordinary constitutional duties which include participating in security briefings and consultations and involvement in other ongoing and very sensitive national security investigations," Khan's motion said.

Ruto, whose trial started earlier this month in The Hague, has pleaded not guilty to charges of orchestrating violence in the aftermath of Kenya's 2007 elections. He is the first such high-ranking elected government leader to go on trial at the International Criminal Court.

Saturday's mall attack by Islamic extremists left dozens of people dead and Kenyan troops in in standoff with the assailants. Somalia's al-Qaida-linked rebel group, al-Shabab, claimed responsibility for the attack and said it was retribution for Kenyan forces' 2011 push into Somalia and threatened more attacks.

Before Ruto's trial started, judges had agreed to a defense request to allow the deputy president to remain in Kenya for parts of his case. However prosecutors appealed the decision, and Ruto is currently obliged to attend all sittings in The Hague until there is a ruling on that appeal.

Khan said the situation unfolding in Nairobi "shows the wisdom of the trial chamber's original decision and how regrettable it was the prosecution took such a rigid view" of the necessity for Ruto to attend all hearings.

"There are 40 million people in Kenya, and they have a constitutional right to have the people they want govern over them," Khan said.

The situation could become further exacerbated later this year when Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta is due to go on trial for his alleged role in 2007-2008 postelection violence that left more than 1,000 people dead.

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