Thursday, May 19, 2011

RCI Cyberjournal

Edition 18 May 2011
Canadian International Financial Sports Weather
Canadian

OTTAWA: PM SHUFFLES THE CARDS

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper has named five new ministers. Tony Clement, the outgoing industry minister, has been named to the post of Treasury Board President. He'll conduct a review of all government spending to cut at least $4 billion in spending, as planned in the March budget. The government says the cuts will help bring the budget into balance in the 2014-2015 fiscal year. Mr. Clement's successor at the industry department is Christian Paradis. His priority will be to review the proposed merger between the Toronto Stock Exchange the London Stock Exchange. The foreign minister is John Baird. He replaces Lawrence Cannon, who lost his seat in the May 2 election. Among the newcomers is Peter Penashue, one of only five conservatives in Newfoundland and Labrador. He becomes intergovernmental affairs minister. Maxime Bernier, one of only five Tories elected in Quebec, returns to cabinet as minister of state for small business and tourism. Backbencher Ed Fast from B.C. is international trade minister. He enters his job as negotiations for a free-trade deal with Europe are at a crucial stage. Cabinet veterans Jim Flaherty at finance and Peter MacKay at defence keep their posts. One of Mr. Flaherty's first jobs will be to reintroduce a budget that he first presented in March. The government was brought down before Parliament could debate the document.



OTTAWA: DEFEATED CANDIDATES NAMED TO SENATE

Mr. Harper has named three of his candidates defeated on May 2 to the Senate. Two of them, Larry Smith and Fabian Manning, had quit the upper house of Parliament to run. The third, Josée Verner, was first elected to the Commons in 2006 and re-elected in 2008 and is a former cabinet minister.



OTTAWA: LAYTON PANS SENATE NOMINATIONS

The leader of the official opposition New Democratic Party has ridiculed Mr. Harper's Senate nominations, saying Canadian should be outraged by them. Jack Layton says the prime minister talks about Senate reform but is "still doing things in the same old way..." Mr. Layton says people should earn a place in the Senate and shouldn't be appointed to the upper house two weeks after being defeated in an election.



OTTAWA: LIBYA ENVOYS EXPELLED

Canada is expelling five Libyan diplomats, saying they engaged in inappropriate activity. Canada's foreign affairs department says the Libyan embassy in the federal capital Ottawa is still open but the five diplomats and their families have been told to arrange for immediate departure. The expulsions come days after a demonstration near the embassy forced police to intervene between protesters for and against Moammar Gaddafi's régime.



TEHRAN: CANADIAN JOURNALIST SAFE

Canadian journalist Dorothy Parvaz has been released from custody in Iran. Her fiancé, Todd Barker, says that Miss Parvaz called him Wednesday from Qatar with the news of her release. Miss Parvaz works for Al-Jazeera's English-language news network and was arrested more than two weeks ago upon her arrival in Syria, where she was going to cover anti-government protests. The 39-year-old Miss Parvaz, who has Canadian, American and Iranian citizenship, was then deported to Iran May 1. Iran alleged she committed a passport violation when she tried to use an expired Iranian passport to enter Syria.



EDMONTON: EVACUEES WANT TO RETURN TO BURNED TOWN

Residents evacuated from a town in the western Canadian province of Alberta earlier this week because of a wildfire want to return to see the extent of damage to their homes. About 7,000 people were forced to leave Slave Lake on Sunday. Much of the town was destroyed by the fire. The mayor says it may be a couple of weeks before residents can return. For now, officials hope to at least inform people about which properties have been damaged or destroyed.





International

UNITED STATES

Top U.S. defence officials say there's no proof that the Pakistani authorities knew that Osama bin Laden was living in Pakistan before his was killed by American commandos earlier in the month and cautioned against any punitive action against Pakistan. Defence Secretary Robert Gates says he has seen "no evidence at all" that top Pakistani leaders knew of bin Laden's whereabouts. The secretary says that he has in fact seen eviddnce to the contrary. Mr. Gates says Pakistan has already paid a severe price in embarrassment and damage to its reputation. For his part, chief of staff Adm. Mike Mullen cautioned against taking action against Pakistan that could worsen relations and interrupt the flow of U.S.aid to that country.



LIBYA

Libya's rebel National Transitional Council wants to represent the country at June's OPEC meeting. The demand comes amid reports that Libyan Oil Minister Shukri Ghanem has defected. He left Libya this past weekend and entered into neighbouring Tunisia. He had been scheduled to travel to Vienna for the next meeting of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries on June 8. Libya, a major crude-exporting nation, has seen its output reduced since the protests against Moammar Gaddafi's 41-year rule began on Feb. 15 and quickly escalated into a popular uprising.



SYRIA

Syrian forces used tanks in an attack on a Syrian border town of Tel Kelakh as part of a military campaign to put down protests against President Bashar al-Assad. Troops went into the town on Saturday, a day after demonstrators there demanded the overthrow of the régime. Activists report that security forces have killed at least 27 civilians since the army moved into the town. Syrian and international rights groups say Syrian forces have killed at least 700 civilians across the country since protests against the repressive first broke out in Deraa on March 18.



AFGHANISTAN

At least 11 people were killed and more than 50 others injured in Afghanistan Wednesday during violent protests over the deaths of four people in a NATO raid. Police opened fire at protests in Taloqan, capital of the province of Takhar. The protests started after NATO-led forces said they killed four insurgents including two armed women in an overnight raid in the town. NATO says the raid targeted the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, a militant group that operates from bases including in Afghanistan. But the protesters claimed those killed during the NATO raid were civilians. The issue of civilian deaths during international military operations is highly sensitive in Afghanistan and has drawn repeated criticism from Afghan President Hamid Karzai.



RUSSIA

Russian President Dmitri Medvedev has warned that his country will be forced to beef up its nuclear arsenal in the absence of an accord with the West on a nuclear missile shield for Europe. Mr. Medvedev says that unless the issue is resolved, Russia will have to take steps to counter the missile shield project, a development which would bring the two sides back to the Cold War era. Last November, the two sides agreed to seek co-operation on the matter but nothing has emerged. Mr. Medvedev says he'll ask U.S. President Barack Obama why this is the case. The two are expected to discuss the issue when they meet next week at a G8 summit.



THE VATICAN

Pope Benedict has urged bishops in China to remain loyal to Rome. His comment is the latest in the Vatican's struggle to obtain a church free of official interference in China. However, Beijing insists that it has a right to assign bishops, defying the pope's authority to make such appointments. China forced its Roman Catholics to cut ties with the Vatican in 1951. Only state-backed churches are recognized although millions of Chinese belong to unofficial Catholic and Protestant congregations. Pope Benedict has made improving relations with China a priority of his foreign policy.



MEXICO

Mexican police have detained 513 migrants from Latin America and Asia who were without documents. The migrants were travelling to the United States aboard two trucks when they were stopped. Police say the migrants were travelling in inhumane conditions in southeastern Chiapas state, which borders Guatemala. Most of the migrants were Guatemalans, while the others were from El Salvador, Honduras, Ecuador, the Dominican Republic, Nepal, India, China and Japan. They said they had each paid $7,000 to be taken to the border with the United States.





Financial

VANCOUVER: RIVALS JOIN FORCES BECAUSE OF CHINA HOUSING BOOM

Four lumber firms in Canada's west coast province of British Columbia that are normally rivals have joined together to promote their booming exports to China. They've together leased a newly built cargo vessel to alleviate the scarcity of containers in the ports of Vancouver. The firms involved are Canfor. Corp., Tolko Industries Ltd., Western Forest Products Inc., and West Fraser Timber Co. Ltd., North America's top producer. The chartered ship will take 175 million board feet to China, more than all the Canadian lumber exported to China in 2005. Last year, sales of B.C. lumber to China soared by 112 per cent to $668 million. China is now the second-biggest destination for Canadian timber after the U.S.



RIMOUSKI: TELUS BUILDS BUSINESS DATA CENTRE IN QUEBEC

Telecom firm Telus Corp. has announced it will build a $65-million data centre in Rimouski, QC, that will store corporate data on its servers. The centre will enable businesses to access their data through the Internet. Construction will begin in a few weeks and the centre will go into operation next year. Telus is Rimouski's biggest employer, with more than 1,400 employees.



CALGARY: FIRES LOWER OIL PRODUCTION

Wilfires blazing in northern Alberta continue to take a toll on oil production in the region. Cenovus Energy Inc. slowed production again on Wednesday at its Pelican Lake plant 90 kilometres from the fire-ravaged town of Slave Lake. The company normally produces 22,000 barrels of oil a day but now has reduced that to 8,000. The fires dont threaten the plant itself, but Cenovus has nowhere to send the oil because of a ruptured pipeline. The company says it will stop production altogether on Thursday morning when its storage tanks are full. Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. and Shell Canada Ltd. have also been forced to curb production because of the pipeline. The line spilled 28,000 barrels of crude last month, and the fires arde impeding the cleanup.



MARKETS

TSM: 13,107 + 166. Canadian dollar: US$1.03.Euro: $1.38. Oil: $99.67 + $2.76.





Sports

SPORTS

HOCKEY

Vancouver was out to solidify its home-ice advantage when the National Hockey League's Western Conference finals resume Wednesday nigh at Rogers Arena. The Canucks won Game 1 in the best-of-seven matchup with visiting San José winning 3-2 on Sunday. It's the first time this post-season that San José has trailed in a series. The women's world hockey championship is returning to Canada for the first time in six years. The tournament will be held in Ottawa in 2013. Canada has won nine world titles and the U.S. four, including the last three. The women's championship will be held in Burlington, VT, next year.

BASKETBALL

They're not in the playoffs, but it's still a post-season loss for the Toronto Raptors. Toronto wound up with the fifth pick in next month's National Basketball Association draft, dropping two spots in the draft lottery. The Raptors had the third-best chance of winning the lottery after finishing with the third worst record in the league. The Cleveland Cavaliers won the top pick and the fourth.





Weather

WEATHER

British Columbia on Thursday: sun, high C17 Vancouver. Yukon, Northwest Territories: sun. Nunavut: mix sun cloud snow. Whitehorse 20, Yellowknife 16, Iqaluit -3. Alberta rain south, mix sun cloud north. Saskatchewan: sun south, rain north. Manitoba: sun. Edmonton 22, Regina 24, Winnipeg 27. Ontario : sun north, rain south. Quebec: rain. Toronto 17, Ottawa 22, Montreal 20. New Brunswick: sun. Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland and Labrador: rain. Fredericton 21, Halifax 16, Charlottetown 19, St. John's 14.





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