Friday, May 27, 2011

RCI Cyberjournal

Edition 26 May 2011
Canadian International Financial Sports Weather
Canadian

DEAUVILLE: U.S., CANADA PROGRESSING ON PERIMETER

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and U.S. President Barack Obama discussed the plan to establish a border perimeter around North American at a meeting on the sidelines of the G8 summit in Deauville, France. Mr. Harper says the negotiations are proceeding on track and that a plan will be ready by summer. The prime minister says both sides are committed to accelerating the flow of goods, people and services on the continent. Negotiations for the plan began in February. It would allow officials to ease security at the U.S.-Canada border by controlling who enters and leaves the continent in a consistent manner. Mr. Harper and Mr. Obama also discussed regulatory differences that slow down trade. The eight leaders focussed their talks at their working dinner Thursday evening on unrest in the Middle East and North Africa. The final summit declaration is expected to offer an massive aid plan for the region similar to the Marshall Plan for European relief after World War Two.



HALIFAX: CUTS REPORTED AT DEFENCE

The Ottawa Citizen newspaper reports that the Canadian defence department will cut 2,100 civilian jobs over the next three years. The newspaper cites department documents saying the cuts will be carried out through attrition. Some civilians could be transferred to other jobs within the department. The documents also show a plan to reduce by five per cent the number of people working under contracts each year for the next three years. The defence minister, Peter MacKay, declined to comment on the newspaper report, but did say that Canadians are going through a period of belt-tightening and that all government departments are expected to do the same.



HALIFAX: COST OF FIGHTER JET WORRIES MINISTER

The Canadian Defence Minister, Mr. MacKay, says he's concerned by warnings that the cost of the new U.S.-made F-35 fighter jets is ballooning. Canada plans to spend $9 billion to buy 65 of the aircraft. The latest warning about the cost of the F-35 came on Friday from the top acquisition official at the U.S. defence department. He said that the original cost of the more than 2,400 F-35s that the department has ordered has more than doubled. The official said that cost makes the F-35 program unacceptable and unaffordable. Mr. MacKay says that although he's worried about the cost, most of the criticism coming from the Pentagon concerns the more expensive marine version of the F-35. That model is able to make vertical takeoffs and landings. The minister says Canada is buying a less expensive model.





International

SERBIA

A Taliban suicide bomber killed 27 people in an attack on a police station in the town of Hangu in northeastern Pakistan. A local official says 53 people were injured. It's the latest in a string of attacks which the Taliban say are meant as retaliation for the killing of al-Queda leader Osama bin Laden by U.S. commandos on May 2. A Taliban spokesman told the Agence France Presse news agency that even bigger attacks are being planned to avenge bin Laden.



PAKISTAN

A Taliban suicide bomber killed 27 people in an attack on a police station in the town of Hangu in northeastern Pakistan. A local official says 53 people were injured. It's the latest in a string of attacks which the Taliban say are meant as retaliation for the killing of al-Queda leader Osama bin Laden by U.S. commandos on May 2. A Taliban spokesman told the Agence France Presse news agency that even bigger attacks are being planned to avenge bin Laden.



LIBYA

Libya's Prime Minister Al-Baghdadi al-Mahmoudi will send international leaders a message proposing an immediate United Nations-monitored ceasefire in Libya. Britain's Independent newspaper says Muammer Gaddafi's regime is ready to enter into unconditional talks with rebels, declare an amnesty for both sides and draft a new constitution. The Libyan message calls for an end to the three months of violence in the country that must be replaced by a cycle of reconciliation. However, U.S. President Barack Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron have suggested Mr. Gaddafi must leave Libya before any ceasefire can be discussed. Libya has been the scene of a major armed conflict between Libyan forces and opposition rebels seeking to overthrow Mr. Gaddafi. In another development, Libya's ambassador to the EU,Hadebi Hai, has defected with all his staff, explaining they want to fight for the cause of democracy in Libya.



MEXICO

At least 28 people have been killed in a shootout between rival Mexican gangs at a highway intersection in the Pacific coast state of Nayarit. Police say it's one of the deadliest single events in four years of drug-related violence across the country. Local media quoted witnesses as saying the rival gangs had exchanged gunfire and threw grenades at each other for period of an hour. It was not immediately clear what caused the shooting or whether the gunmen belonged to Mexico's powerful drug cartels.



YEMEN

Dozens of people were killed in overnight fighting in the capital Sana'a. The defence ministry says at least 28 people were killed in an explosion in an arms storage area of Sana'a and that a Yemeni prosecutor had ordered the arrest of leaders of the tribal group led by the al-Ahmar family. There are also reports that residents are fleeing Sana'a by the hundreds to escape the violence that has killed more than 40 people since Monday and threatened to spread into other areas of the capital. The most recent fighting began a day after President Ali Abdullah Saleh withdrew from an agreement that would see him resign make way for a national unity government. Mr. Saleh has been in power for 33 years.



UNITED STATES

U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke says China holds about eight per cent of U.S. government debt. He says that's about one-third of that held by foreign entities. Mr. Locke says the eight per cent of debt held by China doesn't influence U.S. foreign policy. The secretary made that assessment before the U.S. Senate foreign relations committee at his nomination hearing to to confirmed ambassador to China. Mr. Locke also told the senators that China must do more to pressure North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons program. He added that China realizes it must also do more to defuse tensions between North and South Korea because of recent provocations by the North and the possibility of South Korean military retaliation.





Financial

TORONTO: FIGHT SHARPENS OVER TMX

The struggle for control of the parent firm of the Toronto Stock Exchange has sharpened. A Canadian consortium of banks and pension funds is making a hostile bid for TMX by appealing directly to its shareholders. Earlier in the week, TMX rejected the $3.6-billion bid by Maple Group Acquisition Corp., insisting it will go ahead with the plan to merge with the London Stock Exchange. Supporters of the merger claim it would enable Toronto to grow in importance as a financial centre by joining with an international partner. The Maple Leaf group says its bid would keep more control of Canada's biggest stock exchange in the country. But TMX objects, among other things, that the Maple Leaf bid would encounter problems with competition regulators because the big banks already own Alpha group, TMX's main competitor. TMX and LSE will hold shareholder votes on the merger on June 30.



MARKETS

TSX on Thursday: 13,764 + 12. Dollar: US$1.02. Euro: $1.38. Oil: $100.20 - $1.12.





Sports

SPORTS

HOCKEY

Martin St. Louis and Teddy Purcell each scored twice, and the Tampa Bay Lightning sent the Eastern Conference final to a seventh game with a 5-4 win over Boston. David Krejci had a hat trick for the Bruins, who will host the deciding game Friday.





Weather

WEATHER

British Columbia on Friday: rain, high C14 Vancouver. Yukon, Northwest Territories: sun. Nunavut: mix sun cloud snow. Whitehorse 22, Yellowknife 15, Iqaluit 2. Alberta: sun north, rain south. Saskatchewan, Manitoba: rain. Edmonton 19, Regina 10, Winnipeg 14. Ontario: rain south, sun north. Quebec: rain. Toronto, Montreal 17, Ottawa 18. Atlantic Canada: rain. Fredericton 24, Halifax 17, Charlottetown 22, St. John's 18.





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