Friday, May 20, 2011

RCI Cyberjournal

Edition 19 May 2011
Canadian International Financial Sports Weather
Canadian

OTTAWA: MORE BOMBS NEEDED FOR LIBYA CAMPAIGN

The Ottawa Citizen newspaper reports that Canada's defence department has ordered more than 1,300 laser-guided smart bombs for the Libyan campaign. The department hasn't commented on the purchase of the 500-pound bombs but sources have confirmed that they have been ordered. No details were provided on how much the purchase would cost. But John Pike, the Director of the Washington-based defence research group Global Security, says the smart bomb costs about US$100,000 each. Canada's military is part of the NATO-led mission in Libya and is using CF-18 jetfighters in the bomb attacks against Libyan targets. NATO is operating in Libya with the support of the United Nations Security Resolution that sanctions force to protect Libyan civilians.



DOHA: JOURNALIST OVERHEARD TORTURE IN SYRIA

A detained Canadian journalist says her treatment in Iran was fair and lawful. But Dorothy Parvaz says she heard the cries of young men being beaten while under guard in Syria. She says this happened on the first night after the she was arrested by Syrian officials while travelling on assignment for Al Jazeera's English-language news network. Syrian authorities say they deported the 39-year old Parvaz to Iran, where she also has citizenship. Iranian authorities released her on Wednesday.



HALIFAX: SENATE NOMINATIONS CATCH MORE FLAK

The premier of Nova Scotia has joined his counterpart in Saskatchewan in denouncing the decision by Prime Minister Stephen Harper to name three Conservative Party candidates defeated in the May 2 election to the Senate. Darrell Dexter of the New Democratic Party says the nominations have inflicted "considerable damage" on the prime minister's political agenda. That agenda includes a promise to create an elected Senate. Mr. Dexter says the move flies in the face of Mr. Harper's previous commitment to voters in Western Canada who have long campaigned for an equal, elected and effective Senate. On Wednesday, Saskatchewan's Premier Brad Wall said the appointments take the momentum out of Senate reform. He also recalled that his province passed legislation in 2009 to elect senators.



OTTAWA: DEFEATED LIBERALS NOT IN A HURRY FOR NEW CHIEF

It appears that Canada's opposition Liberal party is delaying a leadership convention following its poor showing in the May 2 federal election. It finished in third place for the first time in the party's history. Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff was defeated in the election and resigned the following day. Party President Alf Apps says the fall of 2012 is emerging as the favoured time for choosing a new leader.



WINNIPEG: FLOOD DANGER RECEDES

The premier of the western Canadian province of Manitoba, Greg Selinger, says it appears the worst of the spring flooding may be over in his province. He says officials are now looking at closing the hole that was deliberately made in a dike on the Assiniboine River near Portage la Prairie to ease the flood danger further downstream. Land around that area was flooded to protect homes further away. So far no homes in the flooded area have been damaged.





International

UNITED STATES

U.S. President Barack Obama is offering his country's support to Arab countries that seek a non-violent transition to democratic values. But in a major U.S. policy speech on the Middle East, Mr. Obama said that the move to self-determination must come from the people, not as a result of foreign pressure. He said that democratic reform movements need to stress universal rights of freedom of speech and religion, as well as the equality of women. Mr. Obama emphasized that the security of the Mideast and Northern African countries is essential to the security of the U.S. To help promote economic stability in Egypt, the United States will forgive $1 billion in Egyptian debts and offer another $1 billion to finance Egyptian infrastructure and job creation. American aid will also be offered to Tunisia. Mr. Obama also made an impassioned plea to restart peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians. He said that Mideast peace could be achieved only through the creation of an independent Palestinian state alongside a secure Israel. Mr. Obama will try to persuade the European Union to increase its trade with northern African countries and the mideast when he travels to Europe next week for a Group of Eight summit.



UNITED STATES

A judge in New York has agreed to grant bail to the former head of the International Monetary Fund, Dominique Strauss-Kahn. Mr. Strauss-Kahn is accused of raping a hotel maid. On Wednesday, he resigned his IMF post. He will be allowed out of jail on $1 million bail. Mr. Strauss-Kahn's trial could take place only in several months. If found guilty, he could be sentenced to as long as 25 years in prison. Among the candidates being considered to replace Mr. Strauss-Kahn is the governor of the Bank of Canada, Mark Carney. But European nations insist that a European should hold the post.



LIBYA

United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon says attempts to secure a ceasefire in Libya have failed and the humanitarian crisis is worsening in that country. The UN chief says that his special envoy to Libya has no progress to report from efforts to persuade leader Moammar Gaddafi to declare an immediate ceasefire. Meanwhile, Libya's deputy foreign minister, Khaled Kaim, is denying reports that top oil official Shokri Ghanem had defected and that Gaddafi's wife and daughter have gone to neighbouring Tunisia. In Tripoli Thursday, hundreds of Gaddafi loyalists staged a show of support, claiming the rebel insurgency was nearing an end.



AFGHANISTAN

A three-day offensive by Afghan and foreign forces has killed at least 60 insurgents in the Qiasar district of remote Faryab province. The province, which borders Turkmenistan, has seen sporadic violence during the 10-year war between NATO-led troops and the Taliban. Despite the presence of about 150,000 foreign troops, violence across Afghanistan last year reached its worst levels since the Taliban were overthrown in late 2001.



CHINA


BRAZIL

Brazil has announced the creation of an emergency task force to fight against the deforestation of the Amazon. The decision came after reports indicated a sharp increase in forest destruction in March and April. The office will be made up of government experts and representatives of states hit hard by recent deforestation. Brazil has 5.3 million square kilometers of jungle and forests, mostly in the Amazon river basin, of which only 1.7 million are under state protection. The rest is in private hands, or its ownership is undefined. Massive deforestation has made Brazil one of the world's top carbon gas emitters.



RUSSIA

Russian Deputy Prime Minister Igor Sechin says state-owned oil firm Rosnef will take a month to consider how to develop the country's Arctic oil fields. Earlier in the week, the proposed deal to do so in a joint venture with oil giant BP collapsed. Mr. Sechin served as Rosneft's board chairman during negotiation of the failed deal. He says Rosnef has received offered of co-operation from ExxonMobil, Chevron and Royal Dutch Shell. Four Russian billionaires who held stakes in BP's own joint venture, TNK-BP, successfully blocked the move in court. The billionaires argued that BP was obliged to pursue all its Russian business through the existing partnership.



UNITED STATES

Brazil has announced the creation of an emergency task force to fight against the deforestation of the Amazon. The decision came after reports indicated a sharp increase in forest destruction in March and April. The office will be made up of government experts and representatives of states hit hard by recent deforestation. Brazil has 5.3 million square kilometers of jungle and forests, mostly in the Amazon river basin, of which only 1.7 million are under state protection. The rest is in private hands, or its ownership is undefined. Massive deforestation has made Brazil one of the world's top carbon gas emitters.



VENEZUELA

Venezuelan police say a journalist who was also an opposition political activist has been murdered. Wilfred Ivan Ojeda's body was found Tuesday in a vacant lot in the town of La Victoria and that he was shot in the head. The 56-year-old Mr. Ojeda was a local political activist for the opposition Democratic Action party and also a columnist for the small daily El Clarin in a rural town southwest of Caracas. El Clarin reported that Mr. Ojeda's body was discovered gagged and hooded and that his hands were bound. The Attorney General's Office did not know the motive in the killing.





Financial

CALGARY: WILDFIRES TO HURT OIL DRILLING

A major investor in the oil and natural gas drilling industry in northern Alberta predicts that the wildfires now burning there will harm the oil and natural gas drilling industry, an important source of jobs. FirstEnergy Capital says only 19 drilling rigs were in operation in the Slave Lake region, compared with 42 over the past year. The investment dealer says drilling may be scaled back in the second half of the year, as companies assess damage to pipelines and other facilities. FirstEnergy also says, however, that companies that inspect and repair that equipment are likely to be busy. Meanwhile, Cenevous Energy Inc. has slowed production to 4,000 barrels a day, as an important regional pipeline remains closed. Other companies affected by the fires include Canadian Natural Resources Ltd., Pengrowth Energy Corp. and Penn West Exploration.



MARKETS

TSX on Friday: 13,625466 + 18. Dollar: US$1.03. Euro: $1.38. Oil: $98.50 - $1.60.





Sports

SPORTS

HOCKEY

The Canucks protected home-ice advantage with a 7-3 whipping of the Sharks in Game 2 of the National Hockey League's Western Conference finals Wednesday night. Daniel Sedin had a pair of power-play goals. The two teams head to San José with Vancouver holding a 2-nothing lead in the best-of-seven matchup.





Weather

WEATHER

British Columbia on Thursday: rain north, sun south, high C21 Vancouver. Yukon: mix sun cloud. Northwest Territories, Nunavut: sun. Whitehorse 15.Yellowknife 13, Iqaluit -2. Alberta: mix sun cloud. Saskatchewan: rain south, sun north. Manitoba: sun. Edmonton 24, Regina 25, Winnipeg 26. Ontario, Quebec: rain. Toronto, Montreal 21, Ottawa 20. Atlantic Canada: rain. Fredericton 22, Halifax 15, Charlottetown 20, St.John's 12.





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