Saturday, June 25, 2011

RCI Cyberjournal

Edition 24 June 2011
Canadian International Financial Sports Weather
Canadian

OTTAWA: POSTAL DEBATE THREATENS TO DRAG ON

A debate that began in Canada's House of Commons on Thursday night continued without stop into Friday. Parliamentarians are debating the Conservative Party government's back-to-work legislation that would force an end to the lockout of Canada Post workers. But the opposition New Democratic Party says such legislation interferes with labour negotiations. Earlier this month, the 48,000 postal workers were using rotating strikes to put pressure on Canada Post to sign a new contract when Canada Post abruptly locked them out. By mid-afternoon on Friday, no end to the debate appeared in sight.



OTTAWA: CANADA AGAIN BLOCKS INTERNATIONAL MOVE ON ASBESTOS

Canada is one of five countries that voted at a UN conference in Geneva against the addition of chrysotile asbestos to a list of hazardous substances. The addition of asbestos to a list under the terms of the UN Rotterdam Convention would have obliged its exporters to warn importing countries of any health hazards. Those countries could then refuse the imports. The Rotterdam Convention operates by consensus. Canada had twice before blocked a listing for asbestos, a cancer-causing substance. A Canadian official at the event explained that science has confirmed that chrysotile asbestos can be used without danger under controlled conditions, the Canadian government's standard line. Use of asbestos in Canada has been all but banned.



CHICAGO: BLACK BACK IN JAIL

Former media tycoon Conrad Black will return to jail. A judge in a court in Chicago resentenced the Canadian-born Black to a 42-month term. He had served 29 months before receiving bail, and so will serve 13 months more. He and several associates were found guilty in 2007 of having swlndled the Hollinger Inc. newspaper chain out of millions of dollars.



VICTORIA: FORMER PREMIER GIVEN DIPLOMATIC POST

The former premier of the Pacific coast province of British Columbia, Gordon Campbell, has been named Canada's high commissioner to Britain. Prime Minister Stephen Harper has named the former Liberal Party premier to the key diplomatic post.



MONTREAL: PM INAUGURATES AIR INDIA MONUMENT

Canada's Prime Minister Stephen Harper has unveiled the last of four national memorials to the victims on the Air India bombing on the 26th anniversary of the disaster. The new memorial on the waterfront near the city of Montreal is similar to ones in Toronto, Ottawa and Vancouver. The markers are in remembrance of the 329 people who perished when Flight 182 from Vancouver to New Delhi exploded over Ireland. Most of the victims were Canadians of East Indian origin.



ST.JOHN'S: PREMIER ANGRY WITH FEDERAL BUDGET CUT

The premier of Canada's east coast province of Newfoundland and Labrador, Kathy Dunderdale, is upset with Prime Minister Stephen Harper. She say she does not accept his government's claim that closing a search-and-rescue centre in St. John's won't jeopardize marine safety. The premier says her province is prepared to share the cost of keeping the centre open but Mr. Harper has rejected that. The federal government says shifting communications to the city of Halifax in the province of Nova Scotia will help the federal fisheries department reduce $56 million from its budget.





International

SYRIA

There are varying reports that the Syrian security forces have killed more demonstrators. The protesters took to the streets after Friday prayers. Rights activists have told Agence France Presse that 11 protesters died, while the Associated Press's sources put the death toll at 12. Both agencies say several of the deaths occurred in the Damascus district of Barzeh. In London, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reports that there were demonstrations in many cities. One of them was the eastern oil city of Deir Ezzor, where 30,000 protesters filled the streets. The ongoing crackdown by the government of President Bashar al-Assad has sent 12,000 Syrians fleeing into Turkey.



IRAQ

The death toll from Thursday evening's bomb attacks in Iraq's capital Baghdad is at least 40. Four bombs exploded in Shi'ite neighbourhoods in the worst violence the capital has seen in months.



ISRAEL

Israeli, Palestinian and international human rights groups have issued a joint statement demanding that Gaza militants end their inhumane treatment of an Israeli soldier they hold captive. The declaration was issued as Israel marks the fifth anniversary of the capture of Gilad Shalit by three groups, including the Hamas. Shalit was 19 when he was captured in southern Israel on June 25, 2006, by militants who staged a cross-border raid from the Gaza Strip. He has been held ever since at a secret location there.



LIBYA

The Wall Street Journal reports that Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi is considering leaving the capital Tripoli following almost constant NATO air attacks. The newspaper says Gadhafi does not feel safe anymore in the city. However, officials told the paper they did not see the move as imminent and did not believe Gaddafi would leave the country as demanded by Libyan rebels. Gadhafi is believed to have numerous safe houses and other facilities both within the capital and outside of it.



PERU

A United Nations report says Peru has become the world's largest producer of coca, the plant used to make cocaine. The 2011 UN Office on Drugs and Crime report says Peru has overtaken Colombia as the largest producer of the coca leaf. Peruvian troops are struggling to contain production in the country's eastern valleys, where 4,000 soldiers and police have been tracking hundreds of narco-terrorists connected to the Shining Path insurgency group.



UKRAINE

Former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Timoshenko appeared in court in Kiev on Friday to face an accusation of abuse of power. At a pre-trial hearing, she denounced the judge as a tool of President Viktor Yanukovich. Mrs. Timoshenko told him that the country's entire judicial system is in the hands of the president and his inner circle and that no Ukrainian has a chance of justice from a court. The former prime minister is charged in connection with a gas pricing deal with Gazprom in 2009. The prosecution claims that she forced the then head of Ukrainian gas firm Naftogaz to accept higher and disadvantageous prices. She denies it.



CHINA

Some of the conditions imposed on Chinese artist and activist Ai Weiwei after being released from more than two months in detention include avoidance of the press, no use of the Internet tool Twitter and a travel ban for a year. When Ai moves about Beijing he needs to report his whereabouts to authorities. Prominent rights lawyer Pu Zhiqiang says the conditions violate United Nations conventions. The foreign ministry has said the 54-year old Mr. Wei is being investigated on suspicion of economic crimes.





Financial

MARKETS

TSX on Friday: 12,905 - 75. Dollar: US$1.01. Euro: $1.40. Oil: $91.14 - .12,



CALGARY: FIRM BRIBED BANGLADESHI

A Canadian energy firm that operates in Bangladesh has admitted it bribed a Bangladeshi minister and will pay a fine of almost $9.5 million for the offense. Niko Resources Ltd. acknowledged in court having bribed the minister with the use of a vehicle and a trip to North America. The bribes were offered after explosions at one of Niko's natural gas fields resulted in a spate of protests from residents of a nearby village. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police recently charged Niko under the Corruption and Foreign Public Officials Act. The president of Transparency International Canada has welcomed the development. James Klotz says that although the federal government established an anti-corruption unit within the RCMP several years ago, there has been no real enforcement of the Act. Niko operates mostly in Bangladesh and India, but also explores for natural gas and oil in Pakistan, Indonesia, Trinidad and Madagascar.



COUNTERBID FOR TMX GETS SUPPORT

Investment wizard Stephen Jarislowsky has thrown his support behind a bid to keep the Toronto Stock Exchange in Canadian hands. He says the $3.7-billion offer by a consortium of Canadian big banks and other financial institutions for TMX, the firm that controls the exchange, would create a strong player on the international scene. Mr. Jarislowsky says as well that the bid by Maple Acquisition Group Corp. is preferable to the proposed merger between TMX and the London Stock Exchange because the latter is in decline. Two shareholder advisory services have recommended that shareholders accept the friendly merger offer. They'll vote on it next week.





Sports

SPORTS

HOCKEY

In the National Hockey League, the new Winnipeg franchise has a new name and a new coach. The team will be called the Jets, the same name it bore before the team moved toArizona. The Jets have named Claude Noel its new head coach. Noel coached the AHL's Manitoba Moose last season, leading them to a 43-40-1-6 record. Before that he spent three years with the Columbus Blue Jackets, first as an assistant and then as head coach after Ken Hitchcock was fired in February 2010.

BASKETBALL

Thursday was a memorable night for two Toronto area basketball players who played last season at the University of Texas. Forward Tristan Thompson was selected fourth overall in the National Basketball Association draft by Cleveland, while guard Cory Joseph went late in the first round to San Antonio. Cleveland, which also had the first pick, started the proceedings by taking Duke guard Kyrie Irving. The Toronto Raptors took Lithuanian centre Jonas Valanciunas with the fifth pick.





Weather

WEATHER

British Columbia on Saturday: rain, high C17 Vancouver. Yukon, Nunavut: rain. Northwest Territories: sun. Whitehorse 23, Yellowknife 24, Iqaluit 8. Prairies: rain. Edmonton 17, Regina 21, Winnipeg 22. Ontario: rain south, sun north. Quebec: rain. Toronto 22, Ottawa, Montreal 20. Atlantic Canada: rain. Fredericton 17, Halifax 13, Charlottetown 15, St. John's 12.





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