SecretaryGeneral calls on Iraqi leaders to reach agreement on new constitution

“He believes such an agreement will constitute a major milestone in Iraq’s political transition,” his spokesman said in a statement delivered at the noon briefing at United Nations Headquarters in New York.”The Secretary-General emphasizes that compromise and mutual understanding are critical if the parties are to quickly resolve the remaining issues under consideration,” the spokesman added.With the 15 August deadline to complete the draft constitution fast approaching, Mr. Annan’s Special Representative for Iraq, Ashraf Qazi, met this past Tuesday with Iraqi Prime Minister Ibrahim Ja’fari to review progress and obstacles. On the same day, the Security Council held discussions on ways the world body could support the country’s ongoing political transition.Speaking to the press after the Council meeting, Ambassador Kenzo Oshima of Japan, which holds the 15-nation body’s rotating presidency for the month of August, acknowledged that the exercise was occurring under difficult conditions and that there were some remaining differences among the broad spectrum of negotiators.Nevertheless, the Council had received reports of a “good spirit of compromise,” and was hopeful that in this final week, all efforts would be deployed to overcome those differences. read more

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Lowes hires former Loblaws exec as new president for Canadian division

MOORESVILLE, N.C. – Lowe’s Companies Inc. (NYSE:LOW) has hired a former Loblaws executive to be the new president of its Canadian division.Sylvain Prud’homme will take the leadership role on March 25.He replaces current president Alan Huggins, who is returning to the U.S. to serve as Lowe’s vice-president of international operations and development.The home improvement retailer said it chose Prud’homme because of his experience in national and international retail merchandising.Before serving as the executive vice-president of operations and merchandising for Loblaw, Prud’homme worked for retail giant Wal-Mart and grocers Sobey’s and Super C.“He is a strategic thinker and a humble leader, and will be an outstanding addition to the Canada leadership team,” said William Robinson, Lowe’s head of international operations and development, in a statement.Lowe’s, which is based in Mooresville, N.C., operates 1,745 stores in North America — with the majority in the United States. There are 34 locations and a distribution centre in Canada.Last September, the company retreated from an attempt to acquire Quebec-based rival Rona (TSX:RON) through a $1.8-billion deal that was shunned by Rona’s board.Since expanding to Canada in 2007, Lowe’s has tried to grow its presence in a competitive market that already includes retail giants Home Depot and Rona.In November, it hinted that it was still considering an acquisition in Canada but would not name a target company.Lowe’s is the second-largest home improvement retailer in the world and reported sales of US$50.2 billion in fiscal 2011. by The Canadian Press Posted Feb 8, 2013 4:55 pm MDT Lowe’s hires former Loblaws exec as new president for Canadian division AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email read more

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