Wednesday, July 6, 2011

RCI Cyberjournal

Edition 5 July 2011
Canadian International Financial Sports Weather


After nearly a decade, Canada's combat role in Afghanistan came to an end on Tuesday. Soldiers of the Royal 22nd Regiment formally handed over command of Kandahar battleground to American forces. The handover ceremony took place at Ma'sum Ghar, the base where Canadians fought their first battles with Afghan militants. Canada will continue to have legal responsibility of the Panjwaii region for several more days, but Canadian combat missions have ended. Canadian forces have already begun to return home. About 1,000 will remain on a mission to train Afghan soldiers. During the past decade, a force of about 2,800 Canadian soldiers served with the NATO-led military mission in Afghanistan. During the mission, 157 Canadian soldiers died.


The Greek authorities are reported to have freed two Canadians arrested for having ignored an order not to try to sail to Gaza through the Israeli blockade to convey relief supplies. A spokesman for the some 30 people, most of them Canadians, on board a Canadian ship says that Soha Kneen of Ottawa and Sandra Ruch of Toronto have not been cleared and that charges are still pending. One activist on board told the Canadian Press that Mrs. Ruch is the ship's owner. The ship was stopped 15 minutes after it sailed from a port in northern Crete. The coast then took the ship back to a second port, where the activists claimed it was deliberately damaged by being rammed into a concrete pier. The ship is one of a flotilla of vessels that had planned the trip to Gaza bringing supplies to the territory operated. The Greek authorities banned the expedition on security grounds. Last year, nine aid activists were killed by Israeli commandos when aid ships ignored warnings and tried to reach Gaza.


Canada has officially listed the Pakistani Taliban as a terrorist organization. The group, known as Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan, operates from northwest Pakistan in the mountainous tribal regions along the Afghanistan border. Public Safety Minister Vic Toews says listing the group as a terrorist network under the Criminal Code is an essential part of the government's efforts to combat terrorism and to keep Canadians safe. The Pakistani Taliban has claimed responsibility for many suicide attacks in Pakistan and on a CIA base in Afghanistan. As well it attempted a bombing of New York's Times Square in May 2010.


A Canadian cabinet minister says she's well aware that aboriginal women are Canada's most vulnerable group when it comes to violence. But Public Works Minister Rona Ambrose is rejecting a call by about 800 protesters on Parliament Hill who want a task force or national action plan to prevent more violence. Ms. Ambrose says all levels of government are taking strong action to deal with the situation. Protesters held the rally to bring attention to more than 500 native women who have been murdered or have disappeared in Canada over the last several decades.


Several thousand police officers from across Canada took part in a procession on Tuesday morning in honour of their colleague, Constable Garrett Styles. Constable Styles died last week in Newmarket, ON, near Toronto, as a result of injuries suffered when he was struck by a minivan and dragged a few hundred metres. First-degree murder charges have been laid against a 15-year-old boy who allegedly drove the vehicle. The accused will make his first court appearance on Thursday. If convicted, the teenager could face a maximum sentence of life behind bars with no possibility of parole for ten years.


A tightrope walker's bid to cross Niagara Falls is gaining support. Nik Wallenda wants to be the first person to cross the Niagara River Gorge on a rope in 101 years. The stunt has been illegal for the past century, but there's support for it on both the Canadian and American sides of Niagara Falls, which straddles both countries. U.S. Senator George Maziarz has co-sponsored American legislation to allow the wire walk as a way of attracting tourists. On Tuesday, the mayor of the Canadian town of Niagara Falls, ON, James Diodati, was reported to have given his support to the Senator's proposal.



Officials in Khartoum report that almost 200 illegal immigrants drowned in the Red Sea Tuesday when a ship carrying them from northern Sudan to Saudi Arabia caught fire after four hours at sea. The sources say 197 migrants died and only three were rescued. The semi-official Sudan Media Centre says the people-smugglling operation had been planned in the area of Tokar, near the border with Eritrea. The Centre says four Yemenis have been arrested in connection with the disaster.


NATO's head says that the United Nations should take charge of Libya's transition to democracy once Moammar Gadhafi cedes power. Anders Fogh Rasmussen spoke on Tuesday amid reports in a Russian newspaper that Gadhafi is willing to leave in exchange for guarantees of his safety. The newspaper, Kommersant quoted an unnamed Russian government official who said that he was aware of Gadhafi's proposal. But Libyan rebel leaders say that no such proposal was made. A rebel spokesman, Moussa Ibrahim, says that talks with the Gadhafi régime concern only a ceasefire, humanitarian aid, and a dialogue between Libyans. Libyan rebels are preparing to move into territories around Tripoli.


Four NATO soldiers were killed on Tuesday in two separate attacks in eastern Afghanistan. Three troops died from an improvised roadside bomb. A fourth soldier was killed in a separate attack. The deaths bring the number of international troops killed so far this year to 280. Nine were killed so far this month.


Russia President Dmitri Medvedev says that the late lawyer Sergei Magnitsky likely died from the perpetration of criminal acts. He made the assessment at a meeting of Russia's human rights council. A report by the council on Mr. Magnitsky's death in prison in 2009 says there remain many questions and inconsistencies about how and why he died. A co-author of the report, former legislator Vladimir Borshchyov, said he believes the lawyer may have been beaten before his death. Mr. Magnitsky was arrested for fraud in November 2009. He had claimed to have discovered an illegal scheme by which officials were siphoning off money from the $200 million in taxes paid by the Hermitage Capital investment firm.


The World Trade Organization says that China is using unfair means to protect its industries from foreign competitors. In a ruling on Tuesday, the WTO said that China was limiting the export of nine raw materials that are used widely in steel, aluminum and chemical industries. The ruling responded to complaints by the United States, European Union and Mexico. The complaints charged China with imposing export duties and quotas on raw materials such as coke, bauxite and zinc. China had argued that export limits were needed to protect China's environment. The WTO's ruling could help the U.S. and Europeans win another trade complaint directed against China's decision to restrict exports of rare-earth materials that are used in many high-tech products. EU Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht says that the ruling sends a strong signal to China to refrain from imposing unfair restrictions to trade. China can still appeal the panel's decision.


Venezuela is celebrating its 200th anniversary of independence. The celebration on Tuesday came one day after President Hugo Chavez returned home from Cuba, where he recently underwent surgery for cancer. In a homecoming speech from the presidential palace balcony in Caracas on Monday, Mr. Chavez said that he was confident that further medical treatment would cure him fully. But doubts remain about his ability to run for re-election next year. Government ministers led ceremonies to mark the bicentennial of the end of Spanish colonial rule. Among Latin American leaders expected to join the festivities in Caracas are Evo Morales of Bolivia, Jose Mujica of Uruguay and Fernando Lugo of Paraguay.


Police in India have arrested 25 local legislators in the southern state of Andhra Pradesh in connection with a protest strike. The strike was called to force the national government to recognize statehood for Telangana, a region within the state. The strike forced businesses, schools and public transport to close. Earlier this week, 93 state and federal legislators resigned, citing government failure to act on demands for Telangana's statehood. More than 13,000 police and paramilitary troops have been deployed to prevent public protests in the state capital, Hyderabad. Some violent incidents were reported, as protesters attacked vehicles, stores and factories.



Canadian manufacturer Bombardier Transportation Inc. has announced it will lay off 1,400 employees at its plant in Derby in central Britain. That's almost one-half of the staff at the facility. The layoffs are the result of Bombardier's failure to win a $2.2-billion contract to build passenger cars for a train that links Brighton on the south coast to Bedford, 80 kilometres north of London. The British government awarded the contract to Bombardier's rival Siemens of Germany. Britain's biggest labour union, Unite, has called on the government to act swiftly to save the country's last train manufacturer.


Automaker Toyota's plants in Cambridge and Woodstock, ON, are to receive additional investment to enable the company to produce more environmentally friendly vehicles. The federal and Ontario government will each provide $70.8 million, the federal contribution being a loan, and Toyota itself will supply the rest. The upgrades will support the production of more fuel-efficient vehicles. As well, the company will convert its paint shop at Cambridge to a water-based system to reduce emissions. The federal government says the upgrades will create jobs. However, the Canadian Auto Workers union says it doubts that contention because the upgraded equipment will require less labour.


TSX on Tuesday: 13,425 + 39. Dollar: US$1.03. Euro: $1.38. Oil: $96.84 + $1.90.




A third loss and a power outage extended

Canada's misery at the FIFA Women's World Cup.

Perpetua Nkwocha scored to give Nigeria a 1-0 victory over

winless Canada on Tuesday in a game marked by a 13-minute power


Nkwocha scored in the 84th minute, just a minute after play

resumed, pouncing on a deflection to launch a shot past veteran

Canadian goalkeeper Karina LeBlanc.

Both teams head home after failing to survive the first round.



British Columbia on Wednesday: rain north, sun south, high C23 Vancouver. Yukon, Nunavut: rain. Northwest Territories: mix sun cloud. Whitehorse 17, Yellowknife 21, Iqaluit 8. Alberta, Saskatchewan: sun. Manitoba: rain. Edmonton, Regina 29, Winnipeg 26. Ontario: rain south, mix sun cloud north. Quebec: rain.Toronto 29, Ottawa 25, Montreal 26. New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island: rain. Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador: mix sun cloud. Fredericton 30, Halifax 26, Charlottetown 29, St. John's 23.

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