Tuesday, May 10, 2011

RCI Cyberjournal

Edition 9 May 2011
Canadian International Financial Weather
Canadian

OTTAWA: ARMY AGAIN INTERVENES AGAINST FLOODING

Canadian soldiers are about to help a second province with spring flooding. Premier Greg Selinger of the province of Manitoba sought the army's help Sunday in dealing with the high waters of the Assiniboine River. The federal government has deployed several hundred soldiers to fill and stack sandbags to shore up dikes along the river east of Portage la Prairie. Meanwhile residents 900 homes in the town of Brandon in southwestern Manitoba have been told to evacuate. The Assiniboine River has risen dangerously close to the top of the town's dikes. Police warned residents two weeks ago that they might be forced to leave. The Assiniboine has passed the record level in Brandon set during a flood in 1923. In the province of Quebec the military has been doing similar work to control flooding of the Richelieu River southeast of Montreal. The river has flooded about 3,000 homes. With no rain forecast until Thursday, officials predict levels could dip about four centimetres a day.



EDMONTON: PIPELINE OWNER HAS POOR SAFETY RECORD

The leader of Canada's Green Party says the owner of a pipeline in northern Alberta that leaked a huge amount of oil last week has a poor environmental record in the U.S. Elizabeth May says Plains All American, the parent company of Plains Midstream Canada, was fined $3.25 million last year for 10 separate crude oil spills in the U.S. Miss May says the Houston-based corporation also was required to spend $41 million to upgrade pipelines in a settlement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The Rainbow pipeline ruptured on April 29, spilling 4.5 million litres of crude oil. The leak forced a nearby native community to close its school. Plains Midstream Canada says it has fixed the leak and cleaned up some of the crude. Alberta regulators haven't said when they'll allow the pipeline back into operation.



BOISE: SURVIVOR OF ORDEAL IN FAIR CONDITION

A Canadian woman who survived a seven-week starvation ordeal in the remote mountains of the western U.S. state of Nevada was reported in fair condition in hospital in Boise, Idaho. Fifty-six-year-old Rita Chretien of Penticton, BC, was found on Friday by hunters who spotted her van mired in mud on a forest road. Mrs. Chretien survived on water and snacks that she and her husband Albert carried for a road trip. Searchers are still looking for the husband. He went for help on foot a few days after their vehicle became stuck.



TORONTO: CANADA BECOME CYBERCRIME HARBOUR

There's a report that Canada is becoming a harbour for cybercrime, as hackers turn away from China and eastern Europe. The report by the U.S.-based security firm Websense says there was surge of 319 per cent in the number of Canadian servers that host "pfishing" sites in the last year. Such sites trick users into handing over personal information, passwords or banking data. Canada is second on Websense's list of countries that host such sites. According to the security firm, the number of infected computers that can be controlled by hackers remotely and used for malicious rose by 53 per cent in Canada in the past eight months. The company says that this doesn't mean the hackers are in Canada or that the affected users are in Canada, but that the country's computer infrastracture is being used to stage attacks. Websense says that in most cases administrators have no idea that there is illegal content hiding in their servers.



OTTAWA: DEPARTMENT STUDYING VIDEO OF CANADIAN TAKEN IN AFGHANISTAN

Canada's foreign affairs department is still examining a video of a Canadian citizen captured by the Taliban during a trip to Afghanistan in February. In an email, the Taliban threaten to put 26-year-old Colin Rutherford on trial for espionage if Canada does not meet its demands. The Taliban is not listing the demands but say that the Canadian government knows them. The department will only say that Mr. Rutherford went to Afghanistan as a tourist.



HALIFAX: NOBEL WINNER DIES

Canadian Nobel prize winner Willard Boyle has died. The native of Amherst, NS, died Saturday at the age of 86. Mr. Boyle, along with scientists George Smith and Charles Kao, were awarded the 2009 Nobel Prize in physics for their work in digital imaging. Their work involved a light-sensitive chip that has evolved to be used in medical imaging devices, bar-code readers, digital cameras and copy machines.





International

LIBYA

The UN says a ship carrying as many as 600 refugees trying to flee Libya has sunk off the coast of that country. The UN High Commission for Refugees says witnesses saw the vessel break apart at sea on Friday. The Commission says at least three other refugee ships that left Libya in last March e route to Europe have disappeared, bringing the number of drowned migrants to about 800. The Commission also reports that smugglers are using bigger boats that they are not capable of sailing to accommodate greater numbers of migrants seeking to flee repressive régimes and political unrest in North Africa. The International Organization for Migration, meanwhile, says it's impossible to know how many migrants have drowned trying to reach Europe.



SYRIA

Syrian troops are continuing to arrest of opponents of President Bashar al-Assad. The latest arrests have occurred in the coastal town of Banias. More than 300 people were arrested there during house-to-house searches. The head of the London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, Rami Abdul Rahman, says water, electricity and telephone lines have been cut off in Banias in the northwestern part of the country. Meanwhile, President al-Assad was quoted in the Al-Watan newspaper saying he will introduce reforms and he also predicted that the political crisis in Syria was nearing an end. The president is facing the most serious challenge to his 11-year authoritarian rule as he attempts to put down a six-week-old pro-democracy uprising.



POLAND

The Polish government says it hopes that arrangements for the establishment of a U.S. airbase on Polish soil will be completed by the time U.S. President Barack Obama visits on May 27-28. Defence Minister Bogdan Klich says the two sides are negotiating for a base to service periodic visits by F-16s warplanes and Hercules transport plantes. Poland's Gazeta Wyborcza reports that the U.S. will announce the transfer of a base in Italy to Poland Lask airfield in central Poland during the president's visit. The Russia government warned against creation of the base, saying it will act to prevent it.



CHINA

China and the U.S. have begun two days of high-level talks in Washington in their annual Strategic and Economic Dialogue. U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said some Americans view China's progress as a threat to the U.S., while some Chinese feel the U.S. is trying to block that progress. Mrs. Clinton says both views are incorrect. The Americans also told their guests that improvement in human rights and economic reform are in China's best interest. The advice comes as the Chinese authorities conduct their biggest political crackdown in years. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner raised the sensitive issue of the value of the yuan, saying it continues to be a major issue for the U.S. Mr. Geithner urged his guests to transform China from an export-driven economy to one based on domestic consumption. Deputy Prime Minister Wang Qishan said his country is committed to opening up to the world but that the U.S. shouldn't politicize trade. He added that addressing economic imbalances is a long process that cannot be achieved overnight.



UNITED STATES

China and the U.S. have begun two days of high-level talks in Washington in their annual Strategic and Economic Dialogue. U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said some Americans view China's progress as a threat to the U.S., while some Chinese feel the U.S. is trying to block that progress. Mrs. Clinton says both views are incorrect. The Americans also told their guests that improvement in human rights and economic reform are in China's best interest. The advice comes as the Chinese authorities conduct their biggest political crackdown in years. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner raised the sensitive issue of the value of the yuan, saying it continues to be a major issue for the U.S. Mr. Geithner urged his guests to transform China from an export-driven economy to one based on domestic consumption. Deputy Prime Minister Wang Qishan said his country is committed to opening up to the world but that the U.S. shouldn't politicize trade. He added that addressing economic imbalances is a long process that cannot be achieved overnight.





Financial

TORONTO: CANADIAN TIRE EXPANDS SPORTS DIVISION

Canadian Tire has announced it will expand its sports division through the acquisition of Forzani Group Ltd. and its 500 stores for $771 million. The transaction will give the automotive and outdoor goods retailer a presence in markets where it lacks a stronghold, particularly the 18-to-35 age group. Forzani is Canada's largest sporting goods retailer. Canadian Tire's friendly offer is valued at $26.50 a share, a 50-per cent premium on Forzani stock's closing price on Friday.



MARKETS

TSX on Monday: 13,677 + 111. Dollar: US$1.03. euro: $1.38. Oil: $102.65, + $5.47.





Weather

WEATHER

British Columbia on tuesday: rain, high C16 Vancouver. Yukon: ran. Northwest Territories: sun. Nunavut: snow. Whitehorse 7, Yellowknife 15, Iqaluit -3. Alberta: sun. Saskatchewan: rain south, mix sun cloud north. Manitoba: rain. Edmonton 21, Regina 10, Winnipeg 20. Ontario: sun south, mix sun cloud north. Quebec: sun. Toronto 17, Ottawa 18, Montreal 16. Fredericton 6, Halifax, St. John's 8, Charlottetown 6.





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