Saturday, June 11, 2011

RCI Cyberjournal

Edition 10 June 2011
Canadian International Financial Weather


Prince Philip, the Queen's husband, is celebrating his 90th birthday. In honour of the birthday, Canada's prime minister, Stephen Harper, has appointed Prince Philip to the highest rank of the Canadian armed forces. Britain, meanwhile, has released a special coin with Prince Philip's image. Through the years, the prince has supported many charitable causes.


Canada's unemployment rate fell in May to its lowest level since January 2009, dropping two-tenths of a percentage point to 7.4 per cent. Statistics Canada says 22,300 new jobs were created last month. The lower jobless rate was also due to the fact that fewer Canadians were seeking work. The number of new jobs in May was only about one-third as many as were created in the previous month, apparently showing that the economy is beginning to slow down after six months of solid growth.


Canada's military will soon announce its withdrawal from a NATO air surveillance program as part of cost-cutting measures. The Canadian government is looking at ways to eliminate a $36.2 billion budget deficit. Canada's withdrawal from the NATO Airborne Warning And Control System, or AWACS, comes as the Canadian government look to extend its participation in the Libya mission to September. The AWACS is widely used by the alliance in Afghanistan and Libya to monitor air space and guide fighter jets to their targets.


Canada's governing Conservative Party began its first convention since its electoral victory on May 2. Among the subjects being debated is the way their next leader will be chosen. At present, all riding associations have an equal say in choosing a leader. But Ontario Member of Parliament Scott Reid has put forward a proposal by which the party constitution would give riding associations with more members more say. A majority of delegates at a workshop dismissed the proposal but all the delegates will vote on it on Saturday.


The Canadian Union of Postal Workers is continuing its rotating strikes in specific cities across Canada. The latest targets in the rotating strikes against Canada Post are Quebec City and Kitchener, ON. Postal workers in those two cities walked out late last night for 24 hours. The Canadian Union of Postal Workers says the two cities were chosen because locals there have experienced major cuts. No progress is reported in the negotiations.


A jury in the U.S. city of Chicago has found a Canadian guilty of two of three terror charges he faced. Tahawwur Rana is guilty in connection with a plot against a newspaper in Denmark that printed cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad in 2005. The jury also ruled he supported a Pakistani militant group. Rana was found not guilty of providing material support to terrorism in relation to the deadly 2008 attacks in Mumbai, India. The Pakistani-born Canadian lives in Chicago.


Canadian officials say Canada won't deport a South Korean family with an autistic son. Immigration Minister Jason Kenney will rescind the deportation order now that the the east coast province of New Brunswick will cover the 14-year-old son's health costs. Federal officials had said the family had to leave by month's end because providing health care and social services for the boy would put too much strain on the system.


The Supreme Court of Canada has upheld the right of federal and provincial governments to collect social-service payments from the sponsors of immigrants. The ruling involves the case of eight immigrant families in the province of Ontario who sponsored relatives from abroad. The relatives ended up on welfare. Federal immigration law requires the family sponsors to repay the money. The high court ruled that the responsibility for such immigrants lies on the sponsors not on the taxpayer. The Supreme Court thus overruled a ruling by Ontario Court of Appeal which said governments could exercise discretion to forgive the sponsor's debt on a case-to-case basis.


The Consumers Association of Canada has raised the idea of irradiating more of Canada's food supply. It made the suggestion during a two-day discussion on food safety prompted by E. coli bacterial crisis in Europe. Federal agriculture officials were also involved in the meeting in Ottawa. The outbreak in Europe has killed 31 people and sickened 2,900 others. The source of the contamination has not been traced.


Canada's Pacific coast province of British Columbia now has its own Highway of Heroes. That designation has been given to a 30-kilometre stretch of the Trans-Canada Highway between Langley and Abbotsford. It's to honour the 13 Canadian soldiers from the province who have died in the military mission in Afghanistan. In 2007, the province of Ontario gave the Highway of Heroes designation to the stretch of Highway 401 between Canadian Forces Base Trenton and the city of Toronto. The bodies of Canadian soldiers killed in Afghanistan are driven along that route.



A doctor in the besieged western Libyan city of Misrata says renewed shelling by forces loyal to Moammar Gadhafi have killed at least 22 people and injured at least 61. The source told the Associated Press news agency that the shelling was directed at a village 30 kilometres west of Misrata. The doctor at Misrata's Mikma Hospital says the Gadhafi forces used tanks, artillery and incendiary rockets to bombard the village. Shelling of the area began on Wednesday. Misrata is one of the few rebels strongholds in western Libya. The city is besieged on three sides but receives supplies and food through its port.


A Somali government minister who was injured in a suicide attack has died. Interior Minister Abdi Shakur Sheikh Hassan was injured at his home in the attack which security officials suspect was carried out by his niece. The woman had stayed at the home in Mogadishu for the previous three days. Somalia's fragile government operates under a severe threat from Islamist extremists.


The Syrian army is poised to begin an offensive in Jisr al-Shughour, a town near the Turkish border. The government said earlier that armed gangs in the town killed more than 120 security personnel earlier this week. Thousands of Syrians in the region fled into Turkey on Thursday fearing the military assault. At least 15,000 troops are deployed near Jisr al-Shughour. Britain, France, Germany and Portugal have asked the United Nations Security Council to condemn Syria, although Russia has said it would oppose such a move. The unrest in Syria has become the biggest threat to President Bashar al-Assad's 11-year authoritarian rule.


Russia has agreed to lift its ban on imported vegetables from the EU provided it provides safety guarantees. The development came during the biannual Russia-EU summit in Nizhni Novgorod, which ended Friday. Russia imposed the ban last week in response to the E. coli outbreak in Germany that has killed 30 people. The EU had protested against the ban on the grounds that it wasn't based on science. The EU also protested that it violated the rules of the World Trade Organization at a time when Russia is trying to join it. Russian President Dmitri Medvedev says he called upon his country's EU partners to complete negotiations for Russian accession within a month so that Russia can join by the end of the year.


A dispute over territory in the South China Sea escalated Friday when Vietnam announced a live ammunition drill at sea on Monday. It will carry out two exercises in an area off the country's central Quang Nam province. The announcement warned ships to stay out of the area. The announcement is an apparent response to China's demand that the Vietnamese halt all oil exploration in the area. On Thursday, Vietnam criticized China for interfering with its seismic survey off the central Vietnamese coast. Vietnam claimed a Chinese fishing boat supported by two patrol boats had damaged an exploration cable on the Vietnamese research boat.


Colombia has launched a major military and police operation to try to rescue four Chinese oil workers abducted by rebels. A land and air operation is underway around the town of San Vicente del Caguan, a longtime stronghold of the leftist Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia also known as FARC. The Chinese employees, three engineers and a translator are working for the British oil company Emerald Energy, a subsidiary of the Chinese company Sinochem. They were taken hostage on Wednesday. Last year, 282 people were kidnapped in Colombia.


A laboratory has announced the creation of the world's first transgenic cow, using human genes that will allow the animal to produce the equivalent of mother's milk. The cloned cow is the first bovine born in the world that incorporates human genes containing the proteins present in human milk. Argentina's National Institute of Agrobusiness Technology says the cow will eventually produce milk similar to that of humans. Officials say the goal of the cloning was to raise the nutritional value of cow's milk.



TSX on Friday: 13,089 - 66. Dollar: US$1.02. Euro: $1.40. Oil: $99.39 - $2.54.


A Chinese firm that is listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange faces more legal trouble. Two law firms in Ontario and one in Quebec say they'll soon launch class-action lawsuits against Sino-Forest Corp., some of its directors and audit firm Ernst & Young. The firms say they will accuse the company of misrepresenting its assets and revenues and of violating Chinese law and Canadian accounting principles. A Toronto law firm has already filed a similar suit on behalf of Sino-Forest shareholders. The company's shares have lost three-quarters of their value since an American research and investment firm accused it last week of exaggerating its sales and assets. Sino-Forest will release its quarterly results on Tuesday and company officials are expected to answer analysts' question at that time.


The Plains Midstream Canada pipeline firm says its Rainbow pipeline in northern Alberta won't be back in operation until at least the end of the month. The company says it's completing checks on parts of the line's northern section but that the work has been slowed by forest fires and the remote location. The pipeline has been shut since it leaked 28,000 barrels of oil in April. The closure has caused problems for users such as Imperial Oil, which has had to cut back production in the Northwest Territories. The town of Norman Wells, NWT, which buys byproduct natural gas from Imperial Oil to heat its homes and businesses, also is experiencing problems.



British Columbia on Saturday: cloud south, rain north, high C19 Vancouver. Yukon: rain. Northwest Territories: sun. Nunavut: snow. Whitehorse 15, Yellowknife 14, Iqaluit 2. Alberta: rain south, cloud north. Saskatchewan: rain. Manitoba: sun. Edmonton 20, Regina 21, Winnipeg 23. Ontario: rain south, cloud north. Quebec: rain. Toronto 23, Ottawa 20, Montreal 21. New Brunswick, Nova Scotia: sun. Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland and Labrador: rain. Fredericton 21, Halifax 19, Charlottetown 15, St. John's 10.

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