Tuesday, March 15, 2011

RCI Cyberjournal

Edition 14 March 2011
Canadian International Financial Sports Weather

BC inaugurates a new premier

VICTORIA: The West Coast province of British Columbiaisinaugurated new premieron Monday. Christy Clark was sworn into replace Gordon Campbell even though she does not have a seat in the legislature. Ms. Clark won the Liberal Party leadership contest last month and says she wants to run in a byelection as soon as possible. Mr. Campbell decided to retire from politics and return to private life. He led his party to power in 2001 and followed that with two other victories in 2005 and 2009.

Canada helping in Japan aid efforts

OTTAWA: Canadians are helping the relief efforts in Japan following Friday's combined earthquake and tsunami that caused at least 10,000 deaths and left hundreds of thousands ofothers homeless. The Canadian Red Cross says it has raised over $1 million since Friday. Four other charities, CARE Canada, Oxfam Canada, Oxfam-Quebec and Save the Children Canada, have formed a group called the Humanitarian Coalition to accept donations for Japanese relief.

Government advertising economic plan

OTTAWA: The Canadian government is spending $26 million to advertise its two-year-old economic plan. Some analysts are saying it could be a sign of a federal election this spring. Three different federal departments have the money in the budget for advertising over a 12-week period ending March 31. Critics say the ads are aimed at promoting the government when they should be giving citizens specific program information. The last federal election in Canada was October 2008. The Conservative Party was re-elected with a minority.

RCMP called to investigate Tory aide's actions

OTTAWA: The federal government has called in the RCMP to investigate political interference by a Conservative staffer in an access-to-information request. Public Works Minister Rona Ambrose has asked the Mounties to probe the actions of Sebastien Togneri. Mr. Togneri is a Tory political aide who demanded that departmental officials "unrelease" a document that was about to be sent to The Canadian Press. Mr. Togneri later ordered that the document be heavily censored. Ms. Ambrose issued the order after a year-long investigation by Canada's information commissioner concluded that Mr. Togneri "interfered" with the request under the Access to Information Act when he had no legal authority to do so. Suzanne Legault's 15-page report into a complaint by The Canadian Press also found that all but one public servant handing the request failed in their duties to uphold the law.


Cameras may be coming to Ontario courtrooms

TORONTO: There's speculation that television cameras soon be coming to courtrooms in the province of Ontario. The province's attorney general, Chris Bentley, says he's prepared to look into how cameras could be introduced. He says he's willing to have a discussion about ending Ontario's ban on cameras in courts. This comes three years after a government-commissioned report recommended the attorney general consider amending the law.



Japanese officials said Monday the nuclear fuel rods appear to be melting inside all three of the country's most troubled nuclear reactors following Friday's earthquake and tsunami. Some experts would consider that a partial meltdown of the reactor. Others reserve that term for times when nuclear fuel melts through a reactor's innermost chamber but not through the outer containment shell. The Fukushima plant was hit by its second hydrogen explosion in three days on Monday, injuring 11 workers. More than 180,000 people have been evacuated from the area and up to 160 may have been exposed to radiation.


In a sign of the overwhelming number of dead--some have put the total at 10,000 with more expected--Japan has waived its law requiring official permission for cremations in order to speed up funerals. The announcement came a tide of bodies washed up along the northeastern coastline. Rescue workers have run out of body bags and are appealing for more from other regions of Japan and from foreign countries. Survivors left with little but the clothes on their backs are surviving on little food and water. Aftershocks continue to rattle the northeast, and one 6.2 magnitude quake Monday was followed by a new tsunami scare that turned out to be a false alarm.


Aid workers and search teams from across the world, including Canada, have joined 100,000 Japanese soldiers in relief efforts. The main humanitarian needs are food, drinking water, blankets, fuel and medical items. Millions of Japanese people are without food, water or power today and hundreds of thousands more are homeless as a result of Friday's earthquake and tsunami. The G8 foreign ministers, including Canada's Lawrence Cannon, met in Paris Monday. At the top of their agenda was co-ordinating aid efforts for Japan.


The Libyan military said Monday former Libyan soldiers who defected to the rebels will be pardoned if they surrender to government forces. The announcement came as forces loyal to Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi pursued their eastward drive towards the rebel capital of Benghazi, threatening the key town of Ajdabiya. A number of soldiers and military officers joined the ranks of the opposition in the days that followed the start on Feb. 15 of the popular uprising against Mr. Gadhafi. Libyan army spokesman Colonel Milad Hussein on Sunday called the insurgents "rats and terrorists", telling reporters in Tripoli the government forces were "marching to cleanse the country." In the west, pro-Gadhafi forces Monday launched an assault on a rebel-held town west of Tripoli near the Tunisian border. Residents say government troops shelled the town of Zwara with tanks and artillery and were blocking its entrances. One rebel supporter in the town said at least four opposition fighters were killed. The assault was the latest attempt by the regime to clear rebels out of the northwestern corner of Libya around Tripoli. Last week, government forces took Zawiya, the closest opposition-held city to Tripoli. Zwara lies 110 kilometres west of Tripoli.


The Group of Eight foreign ministers, including Canada's Lawrence Cannon, met in Paris Monday to discuss a no-fly zone for Libya. The plan received backing on Saturday from the 22-nation Arab League considered crucial for dealing with the region. But Britain and France failed last Friday to convince their European Union partners to back the move with Germany and Italy making it clear they were not convinced.


The European Union's foreign policy chief says a no-fly zone over Libya should be on the table at a proposedtripartite summit of the EU, Arab League and African Union todiscuss developments in the Middle East. Catherine Ashton said all options should be discussed, including a no-fly zone. The Arab League has asked the UN to impose the flight ban to try to stop Libyan ruler Col. Moammar Gadhafi's airstrikes. Ms. Ashton spoke at a news conference Monday with Arab League chief Amr Moussa. She Ashton did not set a date for the proposed meeting.

United Nations

The United Nations Security Council met Monday to hear a briefing from UN political chief B. Lynn Pascoe about the Arab League's request for council approval of a no-fly zone in Libya. Diplomats at the meeting, requested by Lebanon, were expected to discuss the request but not adopt a resolution. Britain and France have drafted a council resolution on creating a no-fly zone, but it has not been circulated yet.


LIBYA RUSSIA(folo Libya g8)

President Dmitry Medvedev said Monday Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi and his family are banned from Russia. He also said that Mr. Gadhafi and his family are banned from carrying out financial operations in Russia.


At least 33 people were killed Monday and as many as 40 others were wounded in a car bomb attack on an Iraqi army unit in Diyala province. The attack occurred near an army headquarters in Kanaan, 70 kilometres northeast Baghdad. Diyala is a province where al Qaeda and other Sunni insurgents still battle Iraqi security forces. Suspected Sunni insurgents and Shiite militia have increased their assaults in recent months on Iraqi policemen and soldiers. Analysts say they are trying undermine faith in the security forces before a full US military withdrawal by the end of this year.



A parliament group has asked Bahrain's king to impose martial law after a month of unrest that has left the small Gulf nation sharply divided between minority Sunni Muslims, backing the ruling system, and Shiites, demanding major changes. There was no immediate response from the King, but officials have expressed increasing frustration that opposition groups have not accepted offers to open dialogue aimed at easing the crisis. Shiites, who account for 70 per cent of the population, have long complained of systematic discrimination by the Sunni dynasty that has ruled for more than two centuries. The main opposition groups have called for the Sunni rulers to give up most of their powers to the elected parliament.


Security officials say two Americans and two Britons were detained by authorities on Sunday for illegally entering the country. The officials said the four--three journalists and one researcher -- were to be deported on Monday. The officials didn't identify the organizations the four work for or explain the circumstances of their arrest. The detentions come amid much unrest in the country. Protesters are demanding the ouster of long-time President Ali Abdullah Saleh. They have have staged daily demonstrations in the capital, Sanaa, and elsewhere in the country for several weeks. The government has used violence against the protesters.

Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia confirmed Monday it had responded to a security threat in neighbouring Bahrain, after an official said Saudi troops had entered the tiny kingdom which has been wracked by protests. The units come from a special force within the six-nation Gulf Co-operation Council. The intervention would sharply boosts the regional stakes on behalf of Bahrain's embattled Sunni rulers, who have faced growing pressures from the country's majority Shiites for sweeping political reforms.

Palestinian Territories

President Mahmoud Abbas has condemned the killing of five members of a Jewish settler family and told Israel he was determined to help catch those responsible. He says the Palestinian Authority did not have any advance knowledge that an attack was imminent, which could have helped to prevent it. Mr. Abbas's reaction came after a complaint by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu who said the Abbas administration's earlier condemnation of the weekend attack was not strong enough.


The prosecutor of the International Criminal Court has warned six Kenyans facing charges of crimes against humanity that they will be arrested if they do not follow conditions set by the court. Luis Moreno Ocampo said Monday that the suspects must not threaten prosecutorial witnesses. He was speaking from the Hague, Netherlands, to reporters in Kenya via video link. The prosecutor said the court set the conditions when it summoned the suspects to appear in April. The six Kenyan suspects, who include Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta, face charges of crimes against humanity for allegedly inciting the 2007-2008 post-election violence that claimed more than 1,000 lives.


A top opposition candidate has won the presidential election in the west African nation of Niger. The Electoral Commission says Mahamadou Issoufou won Saturday's run-off with nearly 58 per cent of the vote. He'd been defeated in two previous polls by former President Mamadou Tandja, who was ousted by the military a year ago. The election is intended to return Niger to civilian rule. The army, which has pledged to step down by April, said before the ballot that it was not backing either candidate.



An international research group says India is now the largest weapons buyer in the world. Sweden's Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, which monitors global arms sales, says India accounted for nine per cent of all global arms imports in the period from 2006 to 2010. That estimate moved China into second place. The report also says that the United States is the largest arms exporter followed by Russia and Germany.


Officials say that more than 100 orphans in Southern Sudan were trapped between fighting forces over the weekend during a battle between the army and rebels. A spokeswoman for SOS Children's Villages International said Monday that none of the children were harmed. But she said it appears that gunfire was exchanged while the children were inside an orphanage. The children were released and are now staying at a hotel in the town of Malakal. Since its January independence referendum, Southern Sudan has seen a wave of violence that has killed hundreds of people amid clear signs that the security situation is rapidly deteriorating.


The Dalai Lama pleaded with exiled Tibetan MPs Monday to accept his resignation as their political leader, warning that a delayed handover could pose "an overwhelming challenge."In a letter read out to Tibet's exiled parliament in India, the 75-year-old Nobel peace laureate argued that the Tibetan movement was now mature enough for a directly-elected political leader. The matter is scheduled to be debated on Tuesday, with the Dalai Lama requesting an amendment to the exiled government's constitution allowing him to step down. The Dalai Lama's political title is largely symbolic and he will retain the more significant role of Tibet's spiritual leader. The Dalai Lama announced his desire to step down last week. The Dalai Lama fled the region for India in 1959 after a failed uprising against Chinese rule.



China topped the United States as the world's largest manufacturer for the first time last year. According to a study released Monday by the Washington-based economic research firm IHS Global Insight. China accounted for 19.8 percent of global manufacturing in 2010, compared with 19.4 percent for the US -- $1.995 trillion worth, compared with $1.952 trillion, according to IHS. But by measures of productivity, China remained far behind the United States, with US manufacturing workers generating eight times the value moreper person than China's. Japan remained a distant third last year, generating $1.027 trillion by manufacturing, followed by Germany, with $618 billion.


Monday's markets

In Toronto, the S&P/TSX composite index closed down 55.06 points at 13,619.19. In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average was down 51 points, to 11,993 and the Nasdaq composite was down 15, to 2,700. The Canadian dollar slipped 0.16 of a cent to 102.82 cents US. The US dollar stood at 97.26 cents Cdn, up 0.15 of a cent. Pound sterling closed at C$1.5737, up 1.18 cents and US$1.6180, up 0.96 of a cent. The euro was worth C$1.3614, up 1.07 cents.

McGill University hit with two million dollar fine

QUEBEC CITY: The Quebec government has hit Montreal's McGill University with a fine of more than $2 million. The province is cutting the top-ranked university's government subsidy after finding it hiked tuition fees for its MBA program by nearly 900 per cent. McGill raised the fees to $29,500 last fall, well above the provincial tuition cap, arguing it needed the extra cash to make its program competitive.


National Hockey League

The NHL's general managers are holding meetings in Florida. They come less than a week after Montreal Canadiens forward Matt Pacioretty suffered major head and neck injuries in a game against the Boston Bruins. Players' safety is scheduled to top of the agenda at the meetings, which last through Wednesday. NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman announced a five-point plan to try to combat the concussion issue. Meanwhile, Pittsburgh Penguins centre Sidney Crosby returned to the ice Monday for the first time since missing 29 games with a concussion. There was no announcement about when Crosby would play again.

National Hockey League

Sunday's results: Buffalo defeated Ottawa 6-4 and Pittsburgh defeated Edmonton 5-1.


Jeff Stoughton's Manitoba rink defeated Ontario's Glenn Howard 8-6 in the final at the Tim Hortons Brier Sunday in London, Ont. Howard defeated a pair of Olympic champions--Alberta's Kevin Martin and Newfoundland and Labrador's Brad Gushue-- to advance to the gold-medal game. Manitoba will represent Canada at the worlds in Regina next month.

National Basketball Association

Sunday's result: Charlotte defeated Toronto 95-90

World Cup of Cricket

New Zealand (261 for nine) defeated Canada (358-6) by 97 runs Sunday at Bangalore, India.

Freestyle Skiing

Olympic Champion Alex Bilodeau won the FIS Dual Mogul World Cup Saturday in Are, Sweden, to lead Canadian teammates Justine Dufour-Lapointe and Jenn Heil to a three-medal day for Canada. Dufour-Lapointe and Heil placed second and third in the women's event.

Canadian University Basketball

The Carleton Ravens are the champions of Canadian men's university basketball for the seventh time in nine years. Elliot Thompson scored a game-high 21 points Sunday to lead Carleton to an 82-59 win over Trinity Western in the CIS final in Halifax.

Former Sabres star Richard Martin dead at 59.

Former Buffalo Sabres star Richard Martin's died Sunday at the age of 59. Martin's car went off the road and crashed after he suffered an apparent heart attack near Buffalo. Martin was the left wing of the Sabres' famed "French Connection" line with centre Gilbert Perreault and right wing Rene Robert in the 1970s.

Figure Skating

The International Skating Union has called off the world figure skating championships which were scheduled to start in Tokyo next week. The ISU said Monday it took into account "critical developments" in Japan. There was no word when they might be rescheduled.


Tuesday's forecasts

Vancouver has rain with a forecast high temperature of 10 degrees Celsius. Calgary has clearing skies, a high of 11. Regina is sunny, a high of one. Winnipeg is sunny, a high of seven. Toronto is mainly sunny, a high of eight. Ottawa is sunny, a high of nine. Montreal is sunny, a high of six. Fredericton is sunny, a high of four. Charlottetown is sunny, a high of one. Halifax is sunny, a high of two. St. John's has a mix of sun and cloud, a high of minus-five. Whitehorse is cloudy with sunny periods with a chance of flurries and a high of minus-seven. Yellowknife has clearing skies, a high of minus-18. Iqaluit is sunny with cloudy periods with a high of minus-27.

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