Wednesday, May 11, 2011

RCI Cyberjournal

Edition 10 May 2011
Canadian International Financial Sports Weather


The new rules handed down by the federal Liberal Party appear designed to prevent two well-known party politicians from aspiring to the post of interim leader. The statement by the party's national board stipulates that the interim leader must promise not to seek the permanent leadership or to pursue discussions about a merger with the New Democratic Party. This seems directed at veteran Member of Parliament Bob Rae. He has said he's interested in the leadership and has speculated about a merger with the NDP. The statement also says the interim leader must be bilingual. This could be directed at another veteran MP, Ralph Goodale, who speaks little French. The national board also says the vote for a permanent leader could be delayed for as long as two years.


A federal agency says that exports are rebounding from the huge losses suffered during the recession. Export Development Canada says exports grew by more than 10 per cent last year and will increase by 12 per cent in 2011. Ten years ago, exports represented almost one-half of the Canadian economy. The figure now is 29 per cent. But EDC says companies have been taking advantage of emerging markets such as China to sell their goods abroad. Last week, the Canfor Corp. and West Fraser Timber firms said shipments to China are soaring because of a housebuilding boom as millions of rural people migrate to big cities. EDC says that Canadian firms have been forced to make efforts to crack emerging markets because the recession wrecked exports to traditional markets like the U.S.


The premier of the Canadian province of Quebec, Jean Charest, has announced an ambitious 25-year plan to develop northern Quebec. It calls for the development of vast mineral and hydroelectric resources, while protecting the environment. Mr. Charest says about 20,000 jobs would be created. The plan will involve some $80 billion in public and private investment. The plan foresees 11 new mining projects during the next few years but also sets aside a vast territory that would be exempt from industrial development. The conservation efforts will include the planting of 100 million trees to ensure the reforestation of the area. However, the chief of the Assembly of the First Nations of Quebec and Labrador criticized the announcement because he says the plan does not adequately meet the needs of First Nations people.


A judge in the U.S. city of Chicago has ordered former Canadian media tycoon Conrad Black to be back in court in six-and-a-half weeks to be resentenced. Last year, an appeals court cancelled two fraud convictions handed down in 2007 against Black. But on June 24, Black will be resentenced on his two remaining convictions for fraud and obstruction of justice. Last summer, Black was freed on bail after serving more than one-third of a six-and-a-half-year term in a Florida prison.


The government in Canada's Pacific Coast province of British Columbia is launching an anti-smoking campaign. Starting in the fall, the province will pay for a 12-week supply of nicotine gum or patches, or provide prescription drugs to help people stop smoking. It could cost the government between $15 million and $25 million, depending on how many people enrol. Health Minister Mike De Jong says it will save money in health costs.


A hospital in Idaho reports that the condition of a Canadian woman who was stranded for seven weeks in a remote area of Nevada has been upgraded to good. Fifty-six-year-old Rita Chretien survived in the wilderness for seven weeks on water and snacks which she and her husband Alberta carried in their vehicle for a day trip. The vehicle bogged down on a mountain road while they were driving to Las Vegas. The husband left on foot to find help on March 22 and hasn't been seen since. Rescuers continue to try to find him.



The UN says that almost all 600 migrants on board a ship that sank last Friday within sight of the Libyan capital Tripoli drowned, only a few having been able to swim to shore. The world body says many migrants, including many Somalis, died trapped below deck. The UN and the International Organization for Migration accuse the government of Libyan Moammar Ghadafi of forcing recent migrants onto ships at gunpoint. A spokesman for the Libyan government said that influx of migrants to Europe is the price that Europeans will have to pay for taking sides with the rebels in the current civil war. The UN says almost 15,000 migrants have arrived in Europe since NATO intervened in the fighting on March 25. Eight-hundred others are thought to have drowned.


The Russian-built nuclear reactor at Bushehr, Iran, has begun operating. Its constructor, Atomstroyexport, says it's operating at a low level in an important step toward making it fully functional. The Iranian news agency FARS says Bushehr will start providing power to te national grid within two months. Iran is obliged to repatriate spent nuclear fuel to Russia to ease international concern it might try to use the Bushehr facility to make nuclear weapons.


Egypt has increased security around churches in Cairo after two days of clashes between minority Christians and Muslims that killed 12 people. The violence was initiated by rumours that Christians had abducted a woman who converted to Islam. The army has said that 205 people arrested after the clashes would be tried in military courts.


China and the U.S. were wrapping up two days of high-level talks Tuesday in Washington. The human rights issue received ample debate, coming as the Chinese authorities conduct one of the biggest political crackdowns in years. In a magazine interview, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Chinese leaders err if they think they can hold off change in the wake of the revolts in Arab countries. However, she defended the policy of seeking co-operation with China on a range of issues. Deputy Foreign Minister Zhang Zhijun says China has made "remarkable progress" on human rights and that no country, including the U.S., has a perfect human rights record. Trade and the value of the Chinese yuan also arose. U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner says the U.S. continues to see the currency as undervalued but recognizes that it has risen against the dollar.



A Russian nuclear-power icebreaker that developed a radiation leak while on an Arctic mission is due back in port in Murmansk on Tuesday. The 21,000-tonne ship is using its diesel engines to make its way back into port. The 23-year-old vessel developed the leak on May 5 after completing a mission on the frozen Yenisei River in Siberia. The Rosatom company hasn't released any new information about the accident since May 5.



TSX on Tuesday: 13,649 - 28. Dollar: US$1.04. euro: $1.37. Oil: $103.75 + $1.20.


A new report says that surging gasoline prices are impelling drivers to buy smaller, more fuel-efficient cars. The study by the Bank of Nova Scotia reports that sales of compact cars and crossover utility vehicles jumped 23 per cent in Canada in April compared with a year earlier. In the U.S., such sales rose 40 per cent in March and April, now accounting for 25 per cent of total volume. The figure for 2007 was only 18 per cent.


Barrick Gold Corp., the world's biggest gold company, says the Australian government has given its approval for the friendly $7.3-billion takeover of Canadian-Australian copper miner Equinox Minerals Ltd. Barrick says the government has raised no regulatory objections to the transaction. The Canadian company announced the takeover last month in a bid to profit from the current high global prices for copper. At present, Barrick makes 90 per cent of its earnings from gold and the rest from copper. With the acquisition of Equinox, the percentage derived from copper would rise to 18 per cent. Equinox's top asset is a copper mine in Zambia, one of the world's newest large copper mines.




The Vancouver Canucks can take a breather after defeating the Nashville Predators 2-1 Monday night to win their National Hockey League playoff series 4-2. Vancouver will face either Detroit or San José in its first Western Conference finals appearance since 1994. Canada will have its captain in the lineup when it faces Russia later this week in the quarter-finals at the world hockey championship. Rick Nash won't receive any further punishment for a hit on Mikael Backlund in Canada's 3-2 victory over Sweden Monday night. Canada plays Russia on Thursday.



British Columbia on Wednesday: rain, high C11 Vancouver. Yukon: rain, snow. Northwest Territories: mix sun cloud. Nunavut: snow. Whitehorse 7, Yellowknife 15, Iqaluit -5. Alberta: sun. Saskatchewan: rain south, sun north. Manitoba: rain. Edmonton 22, Regina 14, Winnipeg 18. Ontario: rain north, sun south. Quebec: sun. Toronto 17, Ottawa, Montreal 20. Atlantic Canada: rain. Fredericton 9, Halifax, Charlottetown 8, St. John's 5.

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