Thursday, June 9, 2011

RCI Cyberjournal


Canada won't support an extension of the Kyoto Protocol on Climate Change. The revelation emerged at the current UN climate talks in Bonn, Germany. A member of the Canadian delegation confirmed that Canada won't assume a target for emissions reduction under a prolonged Kyoto Protocol. She says Canada feels free to reveal this now that the May 2 national election is over. Canada has now joined Japan and Russian in rejection of a Kyoto extension. The original commitment of industrialized nations to reduce greenhouse gases runs between 2008 to 2012. The conference in Bonn is deadlocked over the desire of poor and emerging nations to extend the accord. The Canadian government had previously said Canada couldn't even meet its original Kyoto reduction targets.


Rotating strikes by Canadian postal workers are continuing in various cities across Canada. The latest walkouts are being held in the western Canadian cities of Calgary and Edmonton. The walkouts are due to the unsuccessful contract negotiations between the Canadian Union of Postal Workers and Canada Post. Union officials say there is no need for a national strike at this time. Both sides are continuing to negotiate. The union is seeking higher wages and other benefits. The employer is seeking ways to cut costs.


An Iranian-Canadian man who was sentenced to death in Iran has been spared. Iran's supreme court is dropping the execution order for Saeed Malekpour. He was arrested in Iran three years ago while visiting relatives, and charged with developing pornographic websites. His lawyers say that new, expert evidence persuaded the court to spare him. Human rights groups were also helpful in saving Mr. Malekpour's life. He will remain in police custody until the court finishes reviewing his case.


An Iranian court has upheld a long prison sentence for an Iranian-Canadian man known as the father of Iranian blogging. Hossein Derakhshan faces 19 years behind bars. He was imprisoned three years ago after Iran charged him with travelling to Israel to promote anti-Islamic propaganda on the Internet and to aid enemy states. Mr. Derakhshan holds dual Canadian and Iranian citizenship, and traveled to Israel on his Canadian passport. His family says that his appeal to overturn his sentence was refused. One family member believes that Iran is punishing Mr. Derakhshan as a message to other bloggers to refrain from posting anti-Islamist or anti-government statements on the Internet.


The office of Canada's prime minister is denouncing what it calls a dangerous hoax. Hackers posted a notice on the office's web site saying that Prime Minister Stephen Harper was in hospital after choking on some food. The incident never occurred, and the notice was quickly removed. Mr. Harper's office says that it's unacceptable and dangerous to make jokes about the prime minister's health.


Canada's foreign affairs department reports that a Canadian man has been stabbed to death in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. The department didn't release a name. But a local news website identifies him as 62-year-old Leonard Francis Schell. The source says Mr. Schell's Mexican wife found him dead when she returned to their home. Police are quoted as saying they suspect robbery was the motive of the crime because $13,000 was missing from Mr. Schell's safe.


Montreal police shot and killed two men in the downtown area on Tuesday morning. One of the two was an innocent bystander. The other was a homeless man, Mario Hamel, who was allegedly wielding a knife to slice through garbage bags. Police say Mr. Hamel had threatened someone before their arrival. Quebec Provincial Police will investigate the shootings.


The UN Security Council prepared on late Wednesday afternoon to discuss a resolution condemning the Syrian government political crackdown. The resolution was to be presented by Britain and France. The resolution is an revision of a previous text updated to address the worsening violence in Syria and urges vigilance on arms supplies intended for the régime of President Bashar al-Assad. It also demands Syrian co-operation with UN Human Rights Council Investigation and a release of political prisoners. The U.S. supports the resolution but Russia and China oppose it. They haven't indicated whether they'll veto it.


Security officials in Yemen say hundreds of armed tribesmen have taken control of part of Yemen's second-largest city, Taiz. Officials also say that the city was quiet Wednesday after two days of fighting during which government troops prevented rival tribesmen from attacking the presidential palace. Yemen's President Ali Abdullah Saleh is in Saudi Arabia for medical treatment for wounds suffered in a rocket attack on his compound in the capital Sana'a last week. His officials say he intends to return to his presidential duties. He has been in office for 33 years and the opposition has been trying to oust him after weeks of protests.


NATO's leadership pressed allies to contribute more to the air war against Libya aimed at bringing down the régime of Moammar Gadhafi. NATO defence ministers met in Brussels on Wednesday to take stock of the alliance's three-month air war. Only eight of NATO's 28 member states are carrying out air attacks. Canada is one of them. Most of the missions are being flown by Britain and France. The ministers extended the campaign against Libya by three months. Meanwhile, there were more air strikes against Tripoli on Wednesday. The Libyan government said 31 people had died in heavy raids against the capital on Tuesday.


An alleged Colombian drug lord and nine associates have been indicted in a New York federal court for allegedly trafficking 25,000 kilograms of cocaine and money laundering. Nine members of the paramilitary Los Rastrojos gang are currently in custody in Colombia and are awaiting extradition to the United States. The group's leader, Javier Antonio Calle Serna, is also indicted but remains in hiding. According to prosecutors, the gang has partnered with Mexican drug cartels since about 2004 in shipping tonnes of Colombian cocaine to the United States via Mexico, Venezuela and other Latin American countries.


Ash coming from a Chilean volcano disrupted air travel Wednesday across much of South America. Air traffic was reduced on the continent as the ash cloud drifted over Argentina and into Brazil. Flights in and out of the Argentine capital Buenos Aires, a key regional hub, were cancelled for most of the day. Officials at Uruguay's main Carrasco airport say the situation was expected to normalize later in the day after more than 90 percent of flights were cancelled due to safety concerns. Meanwhile, rain mixed with volcanic ash affected communities near the Puyehue volcano on Tuesday, raising fears that the weight of water and volcanic materials could cause mudslides and threaten dams in the area.


A court in Inner Mongolia began hearing a murder case against two truck drivers who are accused of recently killing an ethnic Mongolian herder. Police say the herder together with 20 others attempted to block the path of their coal truck in protest against the noise and dust created by other coal trucks day and night near their village. The death led to other demonstrations by ethnic minority Mongolians who are demanding better protection of their rights and traditions. Analysts say a harsh sentence, such as the death penalty, could be given to show the government takes seriously the concerns of the ethnic Mongolians and to help prevent any further unrest.


There is controversy in the western African nation of Mauretania about a fishing deal with a Chinese firm that was ratified on Monday by the country's legislature. Before the ratification vote, furious fishermen threw eggs at lawmakers who had promoted it. Mauretania has some of West Africa's richest fishing grounds. The 25-year agreement was concluded with the Poly Hon Done Pelagic Fishing company. Supporters of the agreement point out that the company has promised to spend $100 million to build a processing factor, a manufacturing site for traditional fishing boats and a training centre. But its critics note that the firm is exempt from all customs duties. For the first five years, it won't have to pay tax on profits equivalent to 20 per cent of its investments. And it can hire foreigners to make up as much as 30 per cent of its work force.


The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has put up new roadblocks in front of TransCanada Corp.'s project to extend its Keystone oil pipeline to convey oil from Alberta's oilsands to Texas. The EPA has written a letter to the U.S. state department outlining its concerns about the $7-billion Keystone XL project. The department must decide whether the project in in U.S. interest. The letter says the EPA wants a description of what producers and the Alberta government are doing to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the oilsands. The oilsands are the fastest-growing source of industrial emissions in Canada. The EPA says it fears potential damage to groundwater in the event of an oil spill, pointing as well to recent leaks from the existing Keystone network. The state department's own impact study concludes that if Keystone XL isn't built, the oil from Alberta will simply be diverted to other markets. The American Petroleum Institute favours the projects on the grounds that it would create 20,000 manufacturing and construction jobs.


Bombardier Transportation Inc. says it has won a share of a $1.04-billion contract to build a light rail transit system in the northeastern Australian state of Queensland. Bombardier's share of the contract to build a 13-kilometre rail corridor at Gold Coast is worth $258 million. Bombardier will design and supply the transit system's engineering and mechanical elements, including 14 45-metre-long Flexity 2 light rail vehicles. More than 1,700 Flexity trams are in service around the world.


The Ontario Securities Commission says it has launched an investigation of a Chinese timberland owner that has been accused of fraud. The OSC didn't provide details of its investigation of Sino-Forest Corp. Sino-Forest's shares are listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange. Last week, the Muddy Waters Research investment firm caused a stir by accusing Sino-Forest of exaggerating its sales and assets in China. Several law firms that specialize in class-action suits on behalf of shareholders say they too are looking into the affairs of Sino-Forest. The company says it will reveal its sources and use of cash when it unveils its quarterly results on Tuesday. Sino-Forest shares have lost three-quarters of their value since the allegations were made. They were trading at about $4.63 in Toronto on Wednesday morning.


TSX on Wednesday: 13,187 - 96. Dollar: US$1.02. Euro: $1.42. Oil: $100.80 + $1.71.



It's a big game for the Boston Bruins in the National Hockey League's Stanley Cup final Wednesday night. They'll try to tie the series with Vancouver at two after blowing out the Canucks 8-1 in Game 3. A win for Vancouver gives them a shot at winning the Cup on home ice. They'll be watched by Prime Minister Stephen Harper, who is in Boston for the game.


Winnipeg's new hockey team doesn't have a name yet,

but it has a general manager.

The NHL club has made the appointment of Kevin Cheveldayoff official.

Cheveldayoff joins the Winnipeg squad after serving as the

assistant general manager of the Chicago Blackhawks.

The 41-year-old is originally from Blaine Lake, Sask., and has

experienced no shortage of hockey success as an executive.

He guided the Chicago Wolves to a pair of Turner Cup titles in

the International Hockey League as well as two Calder Cup

championships, before joining the front office of the

Stanley-Cup-winning Blackhawks.


Canada's Milos Raonic is into the quarter-finals at the Gerry Weber Open. The 20-year-old from Thornhill, ON, defeated Germany's Tobias Kamke in straight sets to advance.


Jozy Altidore scored in the first half and set up Clint

Dempsey's goal in the second as the United States opened its Gold

Cup campaign with a 2-0 win over Canada on Tuesday.

The 21-year-old Altidore put the hosts ahead in the 15th minute

and Dempsey scored in the 62nd from a good Altidore cross.