Saturday, May 28, 2011

RCI Cyberjournal

DEAUVILLE: PM TO REQUEST EXTENSION OF LIBYAN MISSION


Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper says he will ask Parliament next month to extend Canada's participation in the current NATO mission against Libya. Mr. Harper says his government has enjoyed all-party support for the mission and he hopes it will continue, adding that Parliament should feel encouraged by its progress so far. The House of Commons approved a three-month campaign in mid-March. Canadian CF-18 fighter-bombers have flown several hundred missions against Libya, dropping laser-guided bombs. Mr. Harper made his comments in Deauville, France, where he attended the two-day G8 summit. Russia criticized NATO for an alleged excessive use of force, but all eight leaders agreed that Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi "must go." The leaders also agreed that $20 billion should be raised through multilateral lending institutions to help other countries in the Middle East and North Africa make the transition to democracy. Canada is not increasing its contribution, having already given $12 billion in funding to three development banks since 2009.

OTTAWA: RUSSIA REJECTS ALLEGATIONS OVER ARCTIC


A senior Russian diplomat is upset with the Canadian government's claims about Russian bombers flying near Canadian Arctic airspace. Moscow's ambassador-at-large for Arctic issues, Anton Vasiliev, says the claims are false. In addition to complaints about military flights, last year Canada's former Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannon was highly critical of a planned Russian parachute jump in the Arctic. He called it a stunt and an exercise in propaganda. Mr. Vasiliev calls that Cold War rhetoric. A spokesman for Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird says Canada makes no apologies for defending its sovereignty.

OTTAWA: NDP TAKES STAND ON QUEBEC REFERENDUM


The leader of Canada's official oppostion party, Jack Layton, says a 50 per cent plus one vote in a referendum regarding the possibility of Quebec sovereignty would be sufficient for his party to recognize the will of Quebecers to separate from the Canadian federation. Earlier this week, the leader of the New Democratic Party appeared to agree with a 1998 Supreme Court decision on sovereignty. The high court said the federal government would have to negotiate terms of a separation with Quebec only if a clear majority of Quebecers supported a clear question on secession. There have been two failed referendums on sovereignty in Quebec. There were held in 1980 and in 1995 by the provincial government in power at the time, the separatist Parti Quebecois. The current government in Quebec is the federal-oriented Liberal Party.

OTTAWA: DEFICIT LOWER THAN PROJECTED


The federal finance department says its preliminary estimate of last year's budget deficit is $34.4 billion. That's about $6 billion less than the projection in the March budget that Parliament never passed. The department says final accounting adjustments will likely produce a higher final figure but not enough to go beyond the $40-billion estimate of last March.

MONTREAL: BELEAGUERED TOWN GETS MORE RAIN


Residents of the Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu area in the Canadian province of Quebec are preparing for a rise in flood waters. Officials say 50 millimetres of rain are expected in the next 24 hours. Then the showers will then continue, so that 75 millimetres could fall by Sunday. Canadian Forces soldiers have helped provincial and local emergency services cope with flooding that has affected residents in the region southeast of Montreal all month.

SLAVE LAKE: RESIDENTS RETURNING AFTER FIRE


Some of the 7,000 residents of the fire-ravaged western Canadian town of Slave Lake, AB, are being allowed to return home starting Friday. Town Mayor Karina Pillay-Kinnee calls it a great step towards recovery. The residents fled 12 days ago when a raging wildfire destroyed almost 400 homes in the town 250 kilometres northwest of the city of Edmonton. Residents whose homes were destroyed are being asked to stay in their temporary accommodations for the time being.

OTTAWA: HIGH COURT RULES ON UNCONSCIOUS SEX


The Supreme Court of Canada has ruled that an unconscious person cannot consent to have sex. The ruling restored the conviction of a man for sexual assault handed down by a lower court. The case involved a woman who was choked unconscious and woke to find herself being penetrated. She admitted she had agreed to be asphyxiated. The majority decision found that a person must be conscious throughout sexual activity to be consenting. Three of the nine judges dissented. The dissenters argued that the woman consented to the activity that led to the unconsciousness and that her complaint was therefore invalid.

OTTAWA; 43 RECEIVE TOP HONOUR


Canadian Gov.-Gen. David Johnston awarded the Order of Canada to 43 Canadians on Friday. The Order of Canada is the country's highest civilian honour. One of the recipients is Actor Michael J. Fox. He received the Order for his television and film work, as well as his efforts on behalf of sufferers from Parkinson's disease. Mr. Fox was diagnosed with the illness 20 years ago. Other recipients are rock star Robbie Robertson, hockey commentator Howie Meeker, Acadian filmmaker Phil Comeau and former cabinet minister Anne McLellan.


EGYPT


Thousands of protesters returned to Tahrir Square in Cairo on Friday to protest against the slow pace of transition to democracy by Egypt's military rulers. They also demanded a speedy trial for ousted President Hosni Mubarak and high-ranking members of his régime. On Wednesday, the country's prosecutor general ordered Mr. Mubarak and his sons to be tried over charges of having ordered the killing of protesters during the uprising. The step was widely interpreted as a gesture to persuade protesters not to return to Tahrir Square. Rights groups say about 850 people were killed during the turmoil.

SERBIA


A judge in Belgrade has ruled that Ratko Mladic is physically fit to be transferred to The Hague to be tried as a war criminal by the international war crimes tribunal. The judge ruled that doctors have certified him as fit enough to travel despite suffering from several chronic illnesses. Mr. Mladic's lawyer says he'll appeal the decision within the required three days. The court accuses the defendant of having the planned the Srebrenica massacre of 7,000 Bosnian Muslim men and boys and the 44-month siege of Sarajevo.

PAKISTAN


U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says Pakistan needs to take decisive steps against Islamist militancy. There have been doubts about Pakistan's ability or desire to contain militancy and to protect its nuclear arsenal. Mrs. Clinton made the comment in Islamabad after meeting Friday with top government officials. Mrs. Clinton arrived in Pakistan several weeks after U.S. special forces shot to death al-Qaeda terror leader Osama bin Laden. He had been living in a town near the capital Islamabad. Since the killing, relations between the two countries have been tense. There have been allegations that Pakistani officials knew the whereabouts of bin Laden But Mrs. Clinton says there was no evidence that was the case.

TURKEY


Turkey's Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu says he hopes Israel will avoid confrontation as a new convoy of ships carrying aid prepares to depart for the Gaza Strip. The minister believes Israel learned a lesson after last year's Israeli raid on a convoy that killed eight Turks and one Turkish-American and caused international outrage. Each side accused the other of starting the violence. A coalition of pro-Palestinian groups says a convoy will depart in mid-June. Israel has vowed to stop any attempt to breach its sea blockade of Gaza.

BELARUS


Belarussian President Alexander Lukashenko has ordered the expulsion of some foreign journalists. He accuses Russian journalists of spreading panic during his country's currency crisis. The president referred to them as "the most hysterical."

UNITED STATES


The president of the Inter-American Development Bank, Luis Moreno, says the next head of the International Monetary Fund should be someone from Latin America. He says that Mexico's central bank chief, Agustin Carstens, has all the credentials to run the IMF. Mexico and other nations have said the selection process should be based on merit and not nationality. The post of IMF managing director is open since Dominique Strauss-Kahn resigned after being arrested on May 14 in New York City on sexual assault charges. The IMF executive board is expected to name a new director by the end of June.

MEXICO


Almost 2,000 people have fled their homes in Mexico's western state of Michoacan due to fighting between local drug gangs and security forces. Residents of of five villages near the town of Buenavista have left their homes since the fighting started five days ago. The army has sent in helicopters to the isolated areas of the western state to stop the fighting.


TORONTO: RIM SHARES DIP AFTER LAWSUIT REPORT


Shares of Research in Motion were trading down 50 cents at about $42 on Friday morning after the maker of the Blackberry device revealed on Thursday that a class-action lawsuit had been launched against it in the U.S. The company said the suit claims RIM deceived investors about its financial condition and business prospects for a four-month period starting on Dec. 16. RIM says the suit is unjustified and that it will defend itself vigorously.

OTTAWA: TELECOM PROFITS DOWN


A new report says that heightened competition in the telecommunications sector this year will lead to lower profits. The report by the Conference Board of Canada says profits will sink by 9.5 per cent. The report says that consumer demand for new technologies is strong and that telecoms are investing large sums to satisfy their customers. But the Board says that the entry of new players in the wireless market is limiting the price increases companies can charge to recoup the high investments. Last year, telecom firms recorded a 10.3-per cent increase in profits.

TORONTO: OTTAWA WINS STEEL CASE


Federal Court of Appeal has struck down the attempt by U.S. Steel to overturn Canada's foreign investment law. The court ruled that the government was right to accuse the company of breaking its promise to maintain job levels when it bought Steel Company of Canada in 2007 for $1.1 billion. U.S. Steel temporarily shut down two plants only two years later, citing weak demand. Before the conclusion of the purchase, the government conducted a review under the Canada Investment Act. The review requires such a transaction be of "net benefit" to Canada. In approving it, the government cited the Pittsburgh-based firm's commitment to job protection. The court decision gives the government the authority to return before the courts to ask permission to start fining U.S. Steel $10,000 a day until that commitment is respected.

PUNO: PROTESTERS MASS AGAINST CANADIAN MINE PROJECT


Thousands of protesters have blocked transportation around the southeastern Peurvian city of Puno to show their opposition to a Canadian project to start up a silver mine nearby. The protesters, most of them Aymara Indians, are angry that the Peruvian government granted Bear Creek Mining Corporation a concession for the mine at Santa Ana, fearing its will pollute the water and offer local residents few benefits. Some 15,000 protesters are blocking the main roads, the airport and the rail line. Hundreds of tourists are trapped at Puno, which is located on the shores of Lake Titicaca. On Thursday, 400 protesters stormed two government offices after negotiations between local leaders and the government of outgoing President Alan Garcia broke down. The government is thought unlikely to take any action until after the June 5 presidential runoff vote. Bear Creek operates mostly in Peru.

MARKETS


TSX on Friday: 13,800 + 24. Dollar: US$1.02. Euro: $1.39. Oil: $100.63 + .40.


SPORTS


HOCKEY

The Vancouver Canucks will finally be able to put a face to their Stanley Cup final opponent. The Boston Bruins hosted the Tampa Bay Lightning in the deciding Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Friday night. The winner earns a chance to play the Canucks for the Stanley Cup starting next week.

TENNIS

A former French Open champion was too much for Canada's Rebecca Marino to handle. The Vancouver native had her run at Roland Garros come to an end with a 6-0, 6-4 loss to Svetlana Kuznetsova in the third round. Marino had never been so far at a Grand Slam and was unfortunate to draw the champion from 2009.


WEATHER


British Columbia on Saturday: rain, high C9 Vancouver. Yukon, Northwest Territories, Nunavut: sun. Whitehorse 8, Yellowknife 10, Iqaluit 1. Alberta, Saskatchewan: rain south, cloud north. Manitoba: rain. Edmonton 13, Regina 8, Winnipeg 12. Ontario: cloud south, sun north. Quebec: rain. Toronto 12, Ottawa 10, Montreal 11. New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador: cloud. Prince Edward Island: rain. Fredericton, Halifax 15, Charlottetown 19, St. John's 21.