Monday, March 28, 2011

RCI Cyberjournal

Edition 27 March 2011
Canadian International Financial Sports Weather

Election: Party leaders campaign

Incumbent Prime Minister Stephen Harper began the first full day of campaigning for the May 2nd election in Brampton, Ontario, Sunday. He's promising a slew of budget goodies rejected last week by the opposition parties, to which he continues to refer as a single entity: the Liberal/ NDP/Bloc-Quebecois "coalition." Speaking to Conservative partisans in the Liberal-held riding Mr. Harper listed numerous budget measures he said were denied to voters by the opposition parties when they defeated his government inFriday's vote of non-confidence. Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff for his part is ruling-out a coalition government, insisting that the party that wins the most seats should get the chance to form government. Bloc Quebecois Leader Gilles Duceppe for his part, accuses Mr Harper of rewriting his own history on the "coalition" issue. Mr Duceppe says the Conservative leader did everything he is now accusing the opposition parties of doing, seven years ago when he tried to form a coalition to oust Liberal Prime Minister Paul Martin. Michael Ignatieff gave his first campaign speech in the Montreal riding of Ahuntsic Sunday, telling Quebec voters that the Liberals share their values and are the party with the best chance of unseating Stephen Harper's Conservatives. The NDP's Jack Layton meantimespent Sundayfocusing on B.C.'s lower mainland, promising to put forward concrete plans to create jobs in Canada, help caregivers to cope with aging parents, and give families better access to child care and education.

Canadian comedian Roger Abbot dies

TORONTO - Canadian actor and comedian Roger Abbott, best known for playing in the "Royal Canadian Air Farce," has died . Abbott died Saturday night at Toronto General Hospital after a 14-year battle with leukemia. He was 64.Co-star Don Ferguson says Abbott had kept his illness a secret from all but a few close friends and relatives until recently. Roger Abbot played a number of characters on "Air Farce," including former prime minister Jean Chretien, former U.S. president George W. Bush and the CBC's Peter Mansbridge.

Seven missing after apartment explosion

WOODSTOCK, Ontario -- Seven people remain unaccounted for after an explosion and fire Sunday, at an apartment building in Woodstock, Ontario. Police say seven other people, including a firefighter, suffered non-life-threatening injuries in the blaze which caused the middle portion of the three-storey building to collapse.

Ontario derailment

COBOURG, Ont. - A train derailment near Cobourg, Ontario has forced the evacuation of more than a dozen homes. Several tanker cars loaded with fuel jumped the tracks in Hamilton Township, which separates Cobourg and Port Hope. No one was hurt in the derailment and authorities say there is minimal risk to the public. The area is mostly farmland, with a few homes and some industrial buildings. The derailment caused a small grass fire which was quickly brought under control by firefighters.

Canadians join in Earth Hour

Atlantic Canadians were especially supportive of Earth Hour Saturday evening: Nova Scotia Power reports an estimated 18-megawatt reduction in power consumption between 8:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. That's the equivalent of more than 1.4 million 13-watt compact florescent light bulbs being turned off. NB Power says its customers' conservation effort resulted in a power drop equivalent to 24 megawatts. In Toronto, energy use fell by 115 megawatts between 8:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m., a drop of about 5 per cent. Utilities in other provinces said it could take them until Monday to calculate the results. Earth Hour is an international campaign organized by the World Wildlife Fund that encourages individuals and organizations to turn off their lights and reduce electricity use for one hour to raise awareness about climate change and the need for energy conservation.


NATO taking command in Libya

NATO is taking over command of aerial operations in Libya. A U-S-led force has been conducting air strikes against Moammar Gadhafi's forces for the past eight days; but alliance ambassadors have now approved a plan to expand the mission enforcing the U-N arms embargo and no-fly zone. The mission will now also involve protecting civilians from attack by Colonel Gadhafi's ground forces. The transfer of authority from the U-S-led force to NATO is expected to take a several days. Canadian general Carles Bouchard will be in charge of all NATO operations. General Bouchard released a statement after NATO took over enforcement of the no-fly zone, saying the alliance will do everything it can to deny any use of air power and will do so with care and precision to avoid harming the Libyan people. Meantime, Libyan state television is reporting that international air raids have targetted Colonel Gadhafi's hometown and stronghold of Sirte for first time. And, an Associated Press reporter in the capital Tripoli says international forces are also heavily bombarding the city which is the Libyan leader's main support base. There were at least nine loud explosions in Tripoli after nightfall Sunday and anti-aircraft fire was heard as well. Libya's rebel forces have been gaining momentum thanks to international airstrikes against forces loyal to Colonel Gadhafi. They've now captured the key oil complexes of Ras Lanouf and Brega, as they continue their push west toward Tripoli. The U.S. defence secretary says the Libyan air campaign could last months.


Japanese authorities issued a tsunami warning Monday after an magnitude 6.5 earthquake in the northern part of the country. Japan's NHK television reported the wave was expected to be about 50 centimetres high. The magnitude 9 earthquake that hit the northeastern coast of Honshu island on March 11th generated a catastrophic 13 metre tsunami. Meantime,Japanese authorities are backing away from earlier reports of a huge spike in radioactivity at the stricken Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear complex. Emergency workers, struggling to pump contaminated water from one of the reactors, fled the plant Sunday when a reading showed radiation levels in the Unit 2 reactor's cooling system was 10 million times higher than normal. Officials have now apologised, saying the reading was inaccurate and that new tests are being conducted.


The Syrian government is blaming unknown snipers, firing from rooftops, for the deaths of 12 people in two days of violence in the Mediterranean city of Latakia. The state news agency says the victims include civilians and security forces as well as two of the snipers. Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has deployed the army in the northwest portcityfor the first time in nearly two weeks of protests there. Syrian soldiers are patrolingLatakia in military vehicles. Dozens of other people have died in pro-democracy protests in the southern cities of Deraa and Sanamein, and the capital, Damascus over the last week. The group Human Rights Watch says 61 people have been killed in Deraa alone.


Tens of thousands of investors who bought minibonds linked to the now bankrupt Wall Street giant Lehman brothers, will recover up to 96.5 percent of their investment. Regulators say 16 Hong Kong banks, including the Bank of China (Hong Kong), the Bank of Communications Co. (Hong Kong) and the Bank of East Asia, have agreed to buy back a large chunk of the financial products which saw their values tank when the U.S. institution collapsed in 2008. 40,000 investors bought HK$15.7 billion ($2 billion) worth of minbonds and other complex financial products backed by Lehman Brothers. The buyback deal must still be approved by at least 75 percent of noteholders at meetings expected to be held in May.


RIM - PlayBook

TORONTO -- Research in Motion boss Jim Balsillie says the upcoming launch of RIM's tablet, the PlayBook, may be the company's "most significant development" since the 1999 release of the BlackBerry. The PlayBook, which was first announced last September, is due out on April 19th.



Canada had to settle for silver at the world women's curling championship in Esbjerg, Denmark, Sunday. Olympic champion Anette Norberg of Sweden stole two points in the final end to edge Amber Holland's Canadian team 7-5. The Regina skip had the hammer in the 10th end but her final shot didn't quite make it to the button.

Montreal wins Clarkson Cup


Montreal is back on top of women's club hockey after a 5-0 win over Toronto on Sunday. Goalie Kim St-Pierre stopped all 26 shots that came at her for the shutout victory in the Clarkson Cup final.


Canada's Tara Whitten is celebrating her second straight world omnium title after beating the field at the world track cycling championships in the Netherlands Sunday. The victory establishes the Edmonton athlete as the one to beat when the event makes its Olympic debut next year in London.



Canada's weather for Monday, March 28, 2011. In the Canadian north, snow in Iqaluit and minus 8 degrees Celsius. A mix of sun and cloud in Yukon and 6 degrees in Whitehorse. Showers in British Columbia with a high of 10 in Vancouver. In the Prairie provinces: Flurries across Alberta and Saskatchewan; sunny in Manitoba with highs of minus 2 in Edmonton, minus 4 in Regina and 3 in Winnipeg. Sunny in Ontario, flurries in Quebec and flurries in the Atlantic provinces of Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland. A mix of sun and cloud in New Brunswick. Some temperatures: 4 in Toronto, minus 2 in Ottawa, minus 1 in Montreal, 1 in Halifax and zero in St. John's.

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