Daily Digit: Do Americans spend too much on their pets?

Sam Matthews
Producer

Daily Digit is the story behind the numbers that make our world work. Today we’re looking at the lives of nonhuman Americans — aka pets. Sixty-eight percent of Americans have pets, and while dogs and cats are by far the most common companion animals, there are plenty of options. In some states it’s even legal to own primates (though animal rights advocates largely oppose the practice). From necessities like food, medical care, and collars to luxuries like  kitten couture and diamond-encrusted dog tags, Americans spend $68.5 billion on their pets annually. Does that seem excessive?

  • Andrew Scheer on revamped NAFTA deal: 'I would have signed a better one'
    News
    The Canadian Press

    Andrew Scheer on revamped NAFTA deal: 'I would have signed a better one'

    Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer is opening a new front in his party's fight against the revamped NAFTA deal, saying he would have done better than Justin Trudeau. The United States is measuring its success in the newly revised North American Free Trade Agreement by what it gained, Scheer tweeted Sunday. Scheer argues his party would not have had to sign the new U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement because it would have negotiated a more attractive one for Canadians.

  • A prince or princess?: Facts about Harry and Meghan's baby
    News
    The Canadian Press

    A prince or princess?: Facts about Harry and Meghan's baby

    Kensington Palace said Monday that Prince Harry and his wife Meghan, duchess of Sussex, are expecting their first child to be born in the spring of 2019. Harry and Meghan's first child will be seventh in the line of succession for the throne when it is born next spring.

  • Vancouver Island family issues warning after toddler overdoses on morphine
    News
    CBC

    Vancouver Island family issues warning after toddler overdoses on morphine

    London Drugs is apologizing for a human error that resulted in a three-year-old on Vancouver Island taking five times the amount of morphine he was prescribed.

  • Hundreds line up to get a piece of Montreal’s transit system
    Global News

    Hundreds line up to get a piece of Montreal’s transit system

    Hundreds of Montrealers waited in line for up to two hours to buy vintage transit-related items including station signs, subway seats and bus fare boxes. Phil Carpenter has the story.

  • Couple in power struggle with condo board over electric vehicle charge
    News
    CBC

    Couple in power struggle with condo board over electric vehicle charge

    A Calgary couple says they are in a power struggle with their condo board over the ability to charge their electric vehicle. Kevin Kruse and Sydney Cooper bought a Chevy Volt — a hybrid that runs on gas or electricity —  about two years ago, and said at first they had no problem charging the car by plugging it into the 110-volt outlet at their assigned spot. Kruse says he woke up one morning to find the power had been switched off.

  • Court to hear appeal for Goforth couple convicted of killing child
    News
    CBC

    Court to hear appeal for Goforth couple convicted of killing child

    Tammy Goforth and Kevin Goforth, the Regina couple who let a four-year-old girl starve until she had a heart attack and eventually died in hospital, will have their appeals heard in court. Kevin argues he was deprived of two possible defences during the trial due to an error by the judge when giving instructions to the jury.

  • Pianist and trumpeter is an inspiration to fellow musicians
    News
    CBC

    Pianist and trumpeter is an inspiration to fellow musicians

    I lost my ability to speak, to play the piano, to play the trumpet, lost my fine motor skills and lost the majority of my language — both French, German and English. "I lost my ability to speak, to play the piano, to play the trumpet, lost my fine motor skills and lost the majority of my language — both French, German and English," said Few, who performed with his friend Mark Fewer Sunday afternoon in Regina as part of the Cecilian Chamber Series.

  • Ecuador partly restores internet access for WikiLeaks founder Assange
    News
    Reuters

    Ecuador partly restores internet access for WikiLeaks founder Assange

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  • St. F.X. students protest school's handling of alleged sexual assault
    News
    The Canadian Press

    St. F.X. students protest school's handling of alleged sexual assault

    A group of students is set to launch a petition that demands St. Francis Xavier University strengthen its sexual violence policy, saying an apology from the school's president for its handling of an allegation of sexual assault doesn't go far enough. On Saturday, nearly 40 demonstrators from the school and community confronted Kent MacDonald as he addressed potential students at the university's open house, and they plan to launch the petition on Monday. The school recently came under fire after The Canadian Press reported that the university reversed its decision to suspend a student it found responsible for an alleged sexual assault — without notifying the man's accuser — when he appealed.

  • 4 men killed in shooting at child's birthday party in Texas
    News
    The Canadian Press

    4 men killed in shooting at child's birthday party in Texas

    An argument escalated into a backyard shooting at a toddler's birthday party in South Texas, leaving four men dead and a fifth man wounded, authorities said Sunday. The shooting happened at a child's first birthday party Saturday afternoon in Taft, 12 miles (19 kilometres ) north of Corpus Christi, the Texas Department of Public Safety said. Sgt. Nathan Brandley said those involved were distant relatives.

  • JP Morgan and Ford cancel plans for Saudi investor event
    News
    Reuters

    JP Morgan and Ford cancel plans for Saudi investor event

    The cancellations could add pressure on other U.S. firms like Goldman Sachs Group Inc , Mastercard Inc and Bank of America Corp to reconsider their plans to attend the investor event. Neither JP Morgan nor Ford would elaborate on the reasons for the decision not to attend the Future Investment Initiative conference in Riyadh later this month, and did not comment on whether concerns about the disappearance of Khashoggi were a factor. Saudi Arabia has denied that.

  • Nova Scotia widower "overwhelmed with joy" by thousands of birthday cards
    News
    The Canadian Press

    Nova Scotia widower "overwhelmed with joy" by thousands of birthday cards

    Gerard Dunn has found an unexpected best friend in his local postman who makes daily house calls — sometimes with the help of a supervisor — to deliver an "overwhelming" torrent of fresh cards for him to look through. Since that tweet, Gerard has received thousands of cards from people all over the world, including Europe, Australia, Africa, and the Americas. The tweet even elicited a response from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau who sent Gerard a card wishing him a happy birthday.

  • PHOTOS: Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer visits India to 'repair' relations
    Yahoo Canada News

    PHOTOS: Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer visits India to 'repair' relations

    Andrew Scheer is in India this week and so far, there have been no controversies to speak of. The federal Conservative leader brought his wife, Jill Scheer, along for the journey. The official Opposition leader made it a point to visit the country after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made international headlines during his India visit in February. Trudeau was criticized for wearing traditional Indian clothing with his wife and three children when it wasn’t always necessary, much to the amusement of some Indians. Also, Sophie Grégoire Trudeau, the prime minister’s wife, was photographed at an event in India with Jaspal Atwal, a convicted attempted murderer.  In comparison, Scheer’s tour of the country has been described by some as being more low key than Trudeau’s trip. “This week, I’m on a mission to Canada’s largest trading partner in south Asia and the world’s largest democracy,” Scheer said in a video posted to YouTube on Oct. 9. “I’m going to be sitting down with Indian officials and business leaders to promote Canada’s interests and promote the best opportunities our country has to offer.” Most notably, the Tory leader met with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi where he reportedly discussed how Canadian oil could help meet India’s energy needs. CBC News reported that Scheer described his interaction with Modi, a man with more than 44 million Twitter followers, as “warm” and he was interested in Scheer’s take on Canada’s new trade agreement with the U.S. and Mexico. The former House speaker also met with Punjab Chief Minister Capt. Amarinder Singh, Bangalore’s Kempegowda International Airport CEO Hari Marar, Indian Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and other leaders in business and politics. In August, Scheer spoke of the need to “repair and strengthen” Canada’s relationship with India following Trudeau’s highly-publicized visit. “A Conservative government will dramatically expand the strategic relationship between our countries and our peoples and advance our shared security, prosperity and values,” Scheer said. “Unfortunately, Justin Trudeau’s disastrous trip to India damaged this key relationship and we must now work to repair it.” With files from The Canadian Press

  • News
    CBC

    And the fab fall photos continue! Relax with our latest audience gallery

    We are just loving the vibrant colours this fall. Foliage, sunrises and sunsets — we've received many images again this week of folks enjoying autumn across Newfoundland and Labrador.

  • Man injured in 2008 central Alberta school bus crash calls for mandatory seat belts
    News
    CBC

    Man injured in 2008 central Alberta school bus crash calls for mandatory seat belts

    A young man who suffered severe injuries in a 2008 school-bus crash in Rimbey, Alta. says the federal government should make seat belts mandatory in all school buses. Keenen Clark called for the major safety change following a CBC News: The Fifth Estate investigation that revealed major flaws with a landmark 1984 Transport Canada study. The study concluded seat belts in school buses were not necessary and may cause injuries.

  • Former head of HR at CPS says dictatorship-style leadership led to her resignation
    News
    CBC

    Former head of HR at CPS says dictatorship-style leadership led to her resignation

    Sheila Ball was planning to retire from her 25-year human resources career, spent mostly in oil and gas, when she got a call last December from a headhunter urging her to apply for the role of chief human resources officer with the Calgary Police Service. Ball has a master's degree in human resources and labour relations. "I quickly realized when I went in there that they were about 20 to 30 years behind in terms of what industry HR was doing in terms of talent management, modern leadership and those types of things," Ball said from the quiet of her kitchen, at her home in southeast Calgary.

  • Bahrain minister backs boycott of Uber over Khashoggi case
    News
    Reuters

    Bahrain minister backs boycott of Uber over Khashoggi case

    Bahrain's foreign minister called for a boycott of the ride-hailing company Uber Technologies [UBER.UL] after its chief executive officer said he will not attend a business conference in the kingdom's ally Saudi Arabia. Uber's CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said in a statement last week he is pulling out of the Future Investment Initiative conference in Saudi Arabia because of growing outrage over the disappearance of a prominent Saudi journalist in Turkey. Saudi Arabia's sovereign wealth fund, the Public Investment Fund, which hosts the conference, invested $3.5 billion in Uber in 2016, making it one of the company's largest investors.

  • Alibaba's Jack Ma says in talks with Indonesia on tech training institute
    News
    Reuters

    Alibaba's Jack Ma says in talks with Indonesia on tech training institute

    (This Oct. 13 story corrects to clarify training plan is under discussion, removes references to the number people to be trained and timeframe in paragraphs 1-2) By Gayatri Suroyo NUSA DUA, Indonesia (Reuters) - Jack Ma, executive chairman of China's Alibaba Group Holding, said on Saturday he is discussing with Indonesia's government the possibility of opening an institute to train tech entrepreneurs in the Southeast Asian country. Ma, who already advises the government on e-commerce, said he had talks with the government about opening a Jack Ma Institute of Entrepreneurs, but no specific details had been agreed. "We're giving a lot of opportunities for young Indonesian people to learn," Ma told reporters after meeting Indonesian ministers on the sidelines of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank meetings being hosted by Indonesia.

  • Illegal Ottawa pot shops plan to shut down in bid to go legit
    News
    CBC

    Illegal Ottawa pot shops plan to shut down in bid to go legit

    The operators of at least nine illegal pot stores in Ottawa are planning to shut down this week in a bid to go legit. Last month, the Ontario government offered illegal dispensaries a chance to apply for one of as many as 1,000 licenses it plans to hand out to businesses interested in operating a legal private cannabis store. "We're closing down because we're just trying to comply with all the cannabis act laws and regulations," said a store manager named Austin who works for Weeds, which operates three dispensaries in Ottawa.

  • News
    Reuters

    Amnesty rights worker tells of violent abduction in Russia

    Speaking after his release, Oleg Kozlovsky, 34, said he was abducted on Oct. 6 in Ingushetia, a majority-Muslim region around 1,500 km south of Moscow, currently in the grip of public protests over a land swap deal with neighboring Chechnya. Kozlovsky said his abductors wore dark baseball caps and medical masks and did not identify themselves. "One of these people put my head down, took out a gun and put it to the back of my head and said he would shoot me," Kozlovsky told Reuters, saying the men had tried to blackmail him into working as an informer for police tasked with tackling cases of extremism, an offer he refused.

  • Tale of two brothers reflects Syrian rebel unity and divisions
    News
    Reuters

    Tale of two brothers reflects Syrian rebel unity and divisions

    One is a member of a rebel group that was once backed by the CIA. "The important thing is we fight the same enemy," said Abu Eliyas, 40, a member of the Turkey-backed Failaq al-Sham group. "At home, we exchange military skills and information, and discuss the Syrian scene." Abu Yousef, 27, belongs to the jihadist Tahrir al-Sham, formerly known as the Nusra Front.

  • Wait times for ICBC road tests soar as new drivers show up unprepared
    News
    CBC

    Wait times for ICBC road tests soar as new drivers show up unprepared

    Susanna Miller, 25, arrived about an hour before doors open at 8:30 a.m. She thinks she's about fifth in line. ICBC made its road tests more challenging in 2016. Now, wait times to take one to get a Class 5 or 7 driver's licence in the Lower Mainland have risen to 58 days, compared to 48 last year.

  • Science, education 'in danger now more than ever,' Hawking says posthumously
    News
    CBC

    Science, education 'in danger now more than ever,' Hawking says posthumously

    Stephen Hawking spoke from beyond the grave Monday to warn the world that science and education are under threat around the world.

  • Mercury, PCBs still threaten Arctic with new chemicals emerging: report
    News
    The Canadian Press

    Mercury, PCBs still threaten Arctic with new chemicals emerging: report

    A new summary of toxins in the Arctic says old-fashioned contaminants like mercury continue to threaten polar bears and whales despite international attempts to control them. The report for the eight countries that ring the Arctic circle found mercury poses a high level of risk to several Canadian polar bear populations. Killer whales in the North Pacific are also at high risk from PCB contamination.

  • 'Panicked' six-year-old girl dead after being hit by transit train in Calgary
    News
    The Canadian Press

    'Panicked' six-year-old girl dead after being hit by transit train in Calgary

    CALGARY — Police say a six-year-old girl on her way to school died Monday after being hit by a light-rail transit train in Calgary.