Friday, June 3, 2011

RCI Cyberjournal

Edition 2 June 2011
Canadian International Financial Sports Weather


The government in the Canadian province of Quebec is appealing a judge's decision to release 31 suspected members of the Hells Angels motorcycle gang. The province's justice minister calls the court ruling a total surprise. Quebec Superior Court Justice James Brunton said he released the prisoners because the overloaded justice system lacks the resources needed to try them in a reasonable time. The leader of the opposition Parti Québécois, Pauline Marois, accuses Premier Jean Charest and his Liberal Party government of failure in what she calls the biggest trial in Quebec history.


The leader of Canada's opposition Liberal Party, Bob Rae, says Prime Minister Stephen Harper may not have the power to reform the Senate unilaterally. Mr. Rae wants the prime minister to consult the Supreme Court of Canada before he brings in promised changes to limit terms and to allow provinces to elect nominees to the upper chamber of Parliament. He also points out that any changes to federal institutions, including the Senate, require constitutional amendments and the approval of seven provinces representing half the population.


The labour union representing 50,000 Canadian postal workers says it will begin a series of local one-day strikes in the western city of Winnipeg at midnight Thursday. The announcement came as the Canadian Union of Postal Workers continued contract negotiations with Canada Post. The union gave the required 72-hour notice on Monday.


Air Canada says a flight bound for London, England, was diverted early Thursday. The flight with 138 passengers on board left Halifax, NS, about midnight. Air Canada says says the plane's left engine developed a malfunction about half-a-hour into the flight, after which the pilot shut it down and made plans to land at the nearest airport. When the plane couldn't land in Halifax because of a thunder and lightning storm, it was rerouted to Montreal. One passenger said the engine was on fire but Air Canada hasn't confirmed that.



The number of bodies recovered from mass graves in the northern Mexican city of Durango now stands at 226, up from 218. Since the first grave was found on April 11, the military has found six such sites. Last week, they came upon a house in an upper middle class neighborhood filled with six more bodies and on Tuesday, they discovered two more bodies. Authorities have yet to attribute the killings to a specific drug cartel.


Brazil has welcomed the candidacy of the head of Mexico's central bank for the top post at the International Monetary Fund. However, Brazilian officials did not offer an endorsement, saying they needed more time to decide which candidate to back. Agustin Carstens is in Brazil, as part of a global tour to get support for his candidacy. He's competing against French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde. Brazil is said to be favoring Miss Lagarde because she is seen as having more influence within the global lender to push through reforms.


U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says she takes the allegations by Internet firm Google of hacking from China very seriously. Mrs. Clinton says the accusation will be investigated by the FBI. Google said on Wednesday that the personal Gmail accounts of several hundred people had been breached. These included senior U.S. government officials, military personnel and political activists. Google traced the attacks to the home city of a military vocational school in China. Its computers were linked to a cyber assault on the company 17 months ago.


Russia's Investigative Committee has charged a Chechen man arrested earlier in the week with the murder almost five years ago of journalist Anna Politkovskaya. Thirty-seven-year-old Rustam Makkhmudov has been charged with murder and illegal use of weapons. He was arrested overnight Monday at his parents' home in a Chechen village. Investigators say Mr. Makhmudov carried out a series of crimes in the Moscow area in the 1990s, including kidnapping and murder. The investigators' failure to apprehend Mrs. Politkovskaya's murder for so many years has been widely ridiculed both in Russia and abroad. Mrs. Politkovskaya worked for Novaya Gazeta. Its chief editor, Dmitri Muratov, says the implications of the fact that a suspect subject to both Russian and international arrest warrants was arrested in his home village at his parents home are obvious.


At least 27 Pakistani police and paramilitary soldiers and some 40 insurgents were killed in clashes Thursday after militants crossed over from Afghanistan and attacked a checkpoint in a remote village in Dir region. There was no way to verify the death toll because most journalists are not allowed to enter the border region in the northwest, the major area of fighting between militants and security forces. Pakistan's Taliban movement, which has close ties to the al-Qaeda terror group, has vowed to avenge the killing of al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden by U.S. special forces on May 2 in a Pakistani town. It has stepped up suicide bombings, attacking paramilitary cadets, a naval base, a U.S. consulate convoy and other targets.


Israel has deployed a rocket interceptor outside a Gaza border town to stop attacks from Gaza insurgents against Israeli targets. Officials say the U.S. system is working according to plan and has intercepted eight out of nine Katyusha rockets fired at two southern Israeli cities from Gaza in one day. Israel wants between 10 and 15 units, known as Iron Domes, to defend its Palestinian and Lebanese fronts.


Syria's exiled opposition called on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to resign immediately and to hand over power to his vice-president until a council is formed to pave the way for democracy. Some 300 representatives of opposition groups, activists and independent figures have concluded several days of deliberations in Antalya, Turkey. Their final statement voices their support for the demands of the Syrian people to end al-Assad's régime and to stage a revolution for freedom and dignity. The communiqué says the opposition opposes foreign intervention to bring down his government and that the national movement isn't directed against any sect, an apparent reference to the president's Alawite minority. Most of the his top politicians and security officials are Alawites. A consultative council formed during the proceedings will seek to generate international pressure against al-Assad.


Libya's rebel leadership has welcomed the defection of former oil minister Shukri Ghanem, a key official in the regime of Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi. Mr. Ghanem announced in Rome on Wednesday that he had left Libya to join the rebellion and fight for a democratic state. Mr. Ghanem, the head of the state-run National Oil Corporation, has been Libya's representative at the OPEC oil cartel for years. The former minister joins dozens of other political and military figures who have abandoned Mr. Gaddafi. Now in its fourth month, the Libyan conflict is deadlocked, with rebels unable to break out of their strongholds and advance towards Tripoli. On Wednesday, NATO said it had extended its Libyan mission for a further 90 days after Mr. Gadhafi made it clear he would not resign, ending hopes of a negotiated agreement to the fighting.


Thousands of people in the Yemeni capital Sana'a are fleeing the city to escape the fighting between troops loyal to President Ali Abdullah Saleh and rebel tribesmen. More than 60 people are confirmed dead since a truce between the two sides collapsed on Tuesday after only four days. Ambulance workers say at least 15 people were killed overnight. The fighting is centred in a neighbourhood in northern Sana'a where Sheik Sadiq al-Ahmar has his headquarters. The sheik heads one of two main tribal confederations. Ahmar has backed protesters who took to the streets in mid-March to demand the departure of Mr. Saleh. Tribal sources say thousands of tribesmen are converging on the capital to support the sheik.



A new report says that the pace of mergers and acquisitions in the Canadian mining sector has reached a level not seen since the recession. The report by the PwC consulting firm records 39 deals in the first quarter. The biggest was by acquisition by Cliffs Natural Resources of the Canadian firm Consolidated Thompson Iron Minesby for US$4.1 billion. Other bigs deal included Wuhan Iron and Steel's deal for a 27-per cent stake in Adriana resources and a 25-per cent share of Century Iron Ore Holdings.


There's a prediction that oil production will increase greatly between now and 2025. The Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers says the industry will produce 2.9 million barrels of oil a day this year but that the figure will bound upwards to 4.7 million in 2025. Association President Greg Stringham says it's vital that Canadian producers expand their access to U.S. and Asian markets to sell that production. Asia is the second-largest market for crude oil, but Canadian producers currently have limited access to it via West Coast pipelines. Enbridge Inc. is proposing to build a pipeline connecting the oilsands to the West Coast called Northern Gateway. The Association says most of the increase will come from the oilsands. Production from that source is expected to be 1.6 million barrels a day this year and 3.7 billion barrels in 2025. CAPP notes that the recession stopped new oilsands projects but that the investment climate is improving and companies are spending again.


U.S. retailer Target Corp. and Canada's Fairweather Ltd. have failed to resolve their dispute over the use of the name Target. A judge in a mediation session in Federal Court of Canada said that no settlement has been reached and no arrangements for further sessions have been made. Target is awaiting a verdict on its request for an injunction to prevent the Fairweather women's wear chain from using the name Target Apparel in its stores. Fairweather, for its part, has filed a lawsuit seeking up to $250 million in damages for infringement of trademark. Fairweather has owned the Canadian rights to the name for 10 years.


TSX on Thursday: 13,519 - 8. Dollar: US$1.02. Euro: $1.41. Oil: $100.49 + .20.




The Vancouver Canucks inched closer to their first Stanley Cup in franchise history. Raffi Torres set off a tremendous roar at Rogers Arena when he scored with 18.5 seconds left, giving the Canucks a 1-0 win over Boston. Roberto Luongo made 36 saves for his third, series opening shutout of the playoffs. Tim Thomas stopped the first 33 shots he saw in the Bruins' net. Game Two is Saturday in Vancouver.


The Toronto Raptors are looking for a new coach after announcing they won't pick up the option year on Jay Triano's contract. The Niagara Falls, ON native will remain with the organization as a consultant.



British Columbia on Friday: rain south, sun north, high C16 Vancouver. Yukon: rain. Northwest Territories: mix sun cloud. Nunavut: sun. Whitehorse 16, Yellowknife 6, Iqaluit 4. Prairies: rain. Edmonton 14, Regina 18, Winnipeg 19. Ontario: sun south, rain north. Quebec: sun. Toronto, Ottawa 22, Montreal 21. Atlantic Canada: rain. Fredericton 15, Halifax 13, Charlottetown 10, St. John's 14.

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