Strike Pen Review

Self-defense is important. It is always better to be prepared than sorry and self-defense can come in handy anytime especially with the world today. People don’t exactly feel safe with news of wars, terrorism, crime and violence almost anywhere. And even if there are police forces, you cannot expect them to be present each time…

Continue Reading →

Hong Kong police say man set alight after arguing with democracy protesters

Hong Kong police on Monday said a man was set alight following a heated argument with pro-democracy protesters during a day of widespread clashes across the city, as videos of the brutal attack went viral online.

Three videos were posted on messaging channels used by protesters showing a man in a green T-shirt arguing with people on a footbridge.

A masked man dressed in black then throws a liquid over the man and sets him ablaze as crowds scatter and the victim frantically tries to remove his T-shirt.

“In the most shocking incident, some rioters poured flammable liquid onto a person and set him on fire,” police spokesman John Tse told reporters at a press conference as the social media videos of the attack were played on a screen.

“The man has been admitted to hospital in critical condition.”

The incident took place in the northern area of Ma On Shan, around 20 kilometres (12 miles) from the central business district, he said.

It came during a tense day in Hong Kong, which has been engulfed for more than five months by increasingly violent pro-democracy protests.

Tse said shortly before the attack, masked protesters had trashed the nearby Ma On Shan train station and investigators believe the man “chased the rioters”.

“Afterwards he was beaten up and set on fire,” Tse said.

A hospital authority spokeswoman said a man with burns had been admitted to Prince of Wales Hospital, the closest facility to Ma On Shan.

The videos have not been verified by AFP, but the footage was quickly picked up by Chinese state media.

The Global Times tabloid uploaded one of the clips to Twitter — a platform banned on the mainland — with the caption: “Black-clad rioters in #HongKong set a resident on fire in Ma On Shan on Monday, Hong Kong police confirmed with the Global Times.”

“Black-clad rioters” is a phrase commonly used by Chinese media to describe democracy protesters.

What sparked the argument is unclear, but the expletive-laden conversation shows the man in green criticising people sympathetic to Hong Kong’s democracy movement, and his opponents berating him back.

At one point the man in green can be heard saying “none of you are Chinese”.

One of his opponents shouts “Go back to the Greater Bay Area”, the name for a nearby region of the Chinese mainland across the border from Hong Kong.

– AFP

The post Hong Kong police say man set alight after arguing with democracy protesters appeared first on The Online Citizen.

Continue Reading →

North America’s Best Construction Stock

Gold medal

Bird Construction (TSX:BDT) is a construction company in Canada. The company mainly focuses on projects in the industrial, commercial, and institutional sectors of the general contracting industry.

Bird Construction is engaged in the business of constructing industrial buildings and performing civil construction operations, including site preparation, concrete foundations, metal and modular fabrication, mechanical process work, underground piping, and earthwork for clients predominantly operating in the commodity sector.

Bird Construction appears extremely cheap and the stock has dropped over 50% over the last year. The company is a construction company in Canada, serving customers in the industrial, mining, institutional, retail, commercial, multi-tenant residential, light industrial, and renovation & restoration sectors using fixed priced, design-build, unit price, cost reimbursable, guaranteed upset price and construction management contract delivery methods.

The general contracting industry is highly competitive and consists of numerous buyers, ranging from governments to individual customers. Dealers include users of construction material as well as sub-contractors. The industry has easy barriers to entry including low buyer switching costs, weak brands and suppliers’ accessibility result in intense competition.

Since all business areas tend to be affected by global conditions, Bird Construction is a cyclical stock impacted by recessions and economic downturns. The company faces the same competitive pressure as other peers regardless of size. In 2019, the commodity downturn affected the company badly and caused a substantial decline in the company’s business activity.

Bird Construction holds $73 million in cash and $26 million in debt. The company maintains fairly small amounts of leverage and has a return on invested capital of 12.63%. The company has superb management focused on investment metrics and has been able to maintain a decent level of profitability, despite low barriers to entry. The company has maintained a generous dividend payout and looks set to do so for the foreseeable future.

The company has also taken several initiatives to invest in key business development relationships and enhance employee exposure. To achieve the latter, it identified key human resource measures to ensure appropriate education training is in place to drive positive engagement and create a more efficient workforce.

Furthermore, the company benefits from a succession planning program to promote top-class working professionals. With an ongoing work program in place and diverse workforce, a stable backlog, and an excellent management team, Bird Construction appears likely to provide superior risk adjusted returns over the long term.

In 2018, the company secured $1.5 billion of new contract work and executed $1.3 billion of construction revenues — a 9.6% increase from last year. In addition, the company’s strategy to diversify operations added value for shareholders.

The company also completed three partnerships in 2019: Stanton Territorial Hospital Renewal, Moncton Downtown Event Center, and East Rail Maintenance Facility. However, the company reported a net loss of $1 million on construction revenues of $1.3 billion compared to earnings of $9 million on $1.4 billion of revenues in 2017.

Bird Construction appears well positioned to build long-term shareholder value, and patient investors should profit handsomely from investing in the company’s stock.

5 TSX Stocks for Building Wealth After 50

BRAND NEW! For a limited time, The Motley Fool Canada is giving away an urgent new investment report outlining our 5 favourite stocks for investors over 50.

So if you’re looking to get your finances on track and you’re in or near retirement – we’ve got you covered!

You’re invited. Simply click the link below to discover all 5 shares we’re expressly recommending for INVESTORS 50 and OVER. To scoop up your FREE copy, simply click the link below right now. But you will want to hurry – this free report is available for a brief time only.

Click Here For Your Free Report!

More reading

Fool contributor Nikhil Kumar has no position in any of the stocks mentioned.

Continue Reading →

RRSP Investors: 2 Top Canadian Stocks to Tap Global Population Growth

Businessmen teamwork brainstorming meeting.

Advisors often recommend adding exposure to global growth as a way to diversify a retirement portfolio.

This is particularly true for Canadian investors. The bulk of the TSX Index is centred around domestic banks and energy companies, making it difficult to get balanced exposure across sectors, let alone geographic markets.

Buying stocks outside Canada is possible, but the costs can be higher and there are political and currency risks to consider.

Fortunately, some top Canadian companies have extensive international operations, providing investors with safer ways to get global exposure.

Let’s take a look at two stocks that might be interesting picks right now for a self-directed RRSP.

Sun Life

Sun Life Financial (TSX:SLF) (NYSE:SLF) just reported solid results for Q3 2019, supported by strong revenue and earnings in its operations in Asia.

Sun Life has invested heavily over the past two decades to build partnerships and subsidiaries in a number of international markets, including a well-established presence in India, Vietnam, Indonesia, China, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, and Japan.

A growing middle class offers significant long-term opportunities for insurance and wealth management products and service in these areas.

Canada and the United States remain the largest contributors to revenue and profits, but the engine of growth for the future lies in its global operations.

Total assets under management topped $1 trillion at the end of the third quarter. The company generated underlying net income of $809 million compared to $730 million in the same period last year. Underlying return on equity rose to 15.5% from 14% and earnings per share jumped to $1.37 from $1.20.

The board raised the quarterly dividend by 5% to $0.055 per share at writing.

Sun Life’s stock is up from $45 at the start of 2019 to $61 per share. At the current price, investors can pick up a yield of 3.6%.

Nutrien

Nutrien (TSX:NTR)(NYSE:NTR) produces potash, nitrogen, and phosphate for sale to wholesale buyers around the globe. The company’s potash marketing company, Canpotex, negotiates deals with countries such as China and India. These contracts normally set the bar for wholesale pricing for the year.

Potash prices saw an extended downturn but have recovered in recent years. Total global shipments have increased to new records, and while sales and prices in the second half of 2019 have weakened due to extreme weather conditions and trade battles, the long-term prospects remain robust.

Farmers use crop nutrients to improve production yield. The demand for the fertilizers is expected to increase as food requirements expand in line with population growth. At the same time, less arable land is available as a result of urban development.

Nutrien raised the dividend twice in the past year. The existing distribution provides an annualized yield of 3.7%.

The stock trades at $64.50 per share compared to $73 a year ago, so there’s decent upside potential on a rebound in the market. Management anticipates a strong recovery in 2020 as customers work through existing stockpiles.

The bottom line

Sun Life and Nutrien are top-quality Canadian companies that give investors exposure to global economic and population growth without taking on some of the risks associated with buying stocks in specific countries.

If you only buy one, Nutrien appears cheap today and should see a decent rebound in the next couple of years.

5 TSX Stocks for Building Wealth After 50

BRAND NEW! For a limited time, The Motley Fool Canada is giving away an urgent new investment report outlining our 5 favourite stocks for investors over 50.

So if you’re looking to get your finances on track and you’re in or near retirement – we’ve got you covered!

You’re invited. Simply click the link below to discover all 5 shares we’re expressly recommending for INVESTORS 50 and OVER. To scoop up your FREE copy, simply click the link below right now. But you will want to hurry – this free report is available for a brief time only.


Click Here For Your Free Report!

More reading

The Motley Fool recommends Nutrien Ltd. Fool conbtributor Andrew Walker owns shares of Nutrien Ltd. Nutrien is a recommendation of Stock Advisor Canada.

Continue Reading →

Hong Kong police watchdog unequipped to probe protest response: experts

Hong Kong’s police watchdog is currently unequipped to investigate the force’s handling of months of pro-democracy protests, a panel of international experts appointed by the city’s own government has found.

The international finance hub has been upended by five months of huge and increasingly violent rallies, but Beijing has refused to give in to most of the movement’s demands.

One of the core demands, alongside fully free elections, is an independent inquiry into the police, who have been left to battle protesters for 24 consecutive weeks and are now loathed by large chunks of the deeply polarised population.

City leader Carrie Lam has repeatedly dismissed an independent probe, saying the current watchdog — the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) — is up to the job.

Protesters argue the IPCC lacks adequate investigatory powers, is stacked with pro-establishment figures and has previously been toothless when it comes to holding the police to account.

In September, Lam appointed a panel of independent experts to advise the watchdog.

Chaired by Sir Dennis O’Connor — who was tasked by the UK government to look at police tactics following the 2011 London riots — it includes policing specialists from Britain, New Zealand and Canada.

It has now issued a damning assessment of the IPCC’s ability to do the job it has been tasked with and suggested a fully independent inquiry would be better suited for the task.

The report, dated November 8, found “a shortfall in IPCC powers, capacity and independent investigative capability necessary to match the scale of events and the standards required of an international police watchdog operating in a city that values freedoms and rights”.

The panel said if resources were enhanced, the IPCC might be able to issue an interim report “with limited, but sufficient facts” on the cause of the protests and the handling by authorities.

But it said there was “a compelling case” for a “deeper more comprehensive inquiry… by an independent body with requisite powers”.

The report was not available on the IPCC’s website.

But it was posted on Twitter late Saturday by one of the panel members, UK-based academic Clifford Stott.

The Hong Kong government and police did not respond to a request for comment.

‘Damning’ statement

The panel’s conclusion is an embarrassment for Lam as she battles record-low approval ratings and tries to face down calls for an independent inquiry.

“This panel of international experts was hand-picked by the government and presumably had been expected to endorse the IPCC’s work,” Antony Dapiran, a Hong Kong-based lawyer who wrote a book about the city’s pro-democracy movement, told AFP.

“For them to come out with a statement effectively saying that IPCC is not up to the task is quite damning and only reinforces the urgency of an independent inquiry.”

Beijing and Lam appear determined to wait out the protests.

While crowd numbers are smaller than earlier this summer when millions marched, rallies and increasingly violent clashes are still happening weekly.

Tensions soared this week when a 22-year-old student died from a fall during clashes with police in unclear and disputed circumstances.

Tens of thousands of people attended a peaceful vigil Saturday evening, one of the few large gatherings in recent months to be granted police permission.

On Sunday afternoon, small groups of masked protesters held flashmob protests in multiple malls, trashing businesses deemed as being pro-China as well as subway station entrances, sparking brief cat-and-mouse clashes with police.

– AFP

The post Hong Kong police watchdog unequipped to probe protest response: experts appeared first on The Online Citizen.

Continue Reading →

Page 4 of 128