Saturday, July 9, 2011

RCI Cyberjournal

Edition 8 July 2011
Canadian International Financial Sports Weather


Prince William and his wife Catherine launched this year's Calgary Stampede by pushing a button to unleash the pyrotechnics for the event's opening parade at the conclusion of their nine-day visit to Canada. Four-hundred-and-twenty-five thousand people were on hand, almost twice the usual number. The visit to Canada was the couple's first abroad since their recent marriage. They were to fly to California later in the day.


More jobs were created in Canada in June but the unemployment rate remained unchanged. Statistics Canada reports that there were 28,000 new jobs in June but that the unemployment rate remained at 7.4 per cent because the number of people seeking work went up. Three-quarters of the new jobs were part-time. The Canadian results compared favourably to the much larger U.S. economy in which only 18,000 new jobs appeared.


The premiers of the Atlantic provinces and Quebec will hold their annual meeting with the six New England governors for three days in Halifax, NS, starting Sunday. Nova Scotia Premier Darrell Dexter and Massachusetts Gov. Duval Patrick will be co-chairmen. Mr. Dexter says he'll present an update on the planned Lower Churchill hydroelectric project in Newfoundland and Labrador. The $6.2-billion project involves building an subsea cable to carry electricity from Labrador to Nova Scotia both for that province's use and for export to the U.S. Both provinces have request federal aid to carry out the plan. Quebec objects on the grounds that such a subsidy would constitute unfair competition to Hydro Quebec's exports there.



Tens of thousands of Syrians turned out in the streets of the central city of Hama on Friday in continuing protest against the government of President Bashar al-Assad. The U.S. and French ambassadors were on hand in gestures of solidarity. The U.S. state department explained that the envoy was showing that Americans are standing with Syrians who are expressing their right to demand change. The Syrian government reacted to the American ambassador's visit by calling it proof the U.S. is playing a role in the past 15 weeks of turmoil. Protesters also emerged from Friday prayers in mosques in the southern city of Dera'a, Hom in the northeast and other cities. Activists have told the Reuters news agency that the security forces shot dead 13 people, including six in the town of Dumair near Damascus.


Israel has ordered the deportation of at least 65 pro-Palestinian activists after they flew into Tel Aviv airport. Police say they questioned more than 300 people who flew into Ben-Gurion airport and were allowed to stay. Several hundred people were stopped by airlines in European airports after Israel provided the carriers with lists of suspected activists and warned the airlines they they would have to bear the cost of flying them back. Protesters from Europe want to challenge Israel's restrictions on travel to the West Bank. This is intended as a response to Greece's refusal to allow a flotilla of ships, one of them Canadian, to attempt to break Israel's naval blockade of Gaza.


A Chinese writer and government critic, Liao Yiwu, has left China for Germany after police repeatedly threatened him with imprisonment to prevent him from publishing any more of his controversial works overseas. He arrived in Berlin two days ago at the end of a secretive journey that included transfers in Vietnam's capital Hanoi and Warsaw, Poland. The writer told The Associated Press news agency that he felt very relaxed knowing that he could now speak freely and publish openly. Mr. Liao said police in China had visited him often in recent months to deliver threats that if he published any more works abroad, he would be jailed. The Sichuan-based writer was also banned from leaving China to attend a literary festival in Australia in March. In February, he was removed from a plane in the city of Chengdu before a flight to Germany for Europe's largest literary festival. Mr. Liao and his work have been under government scrutiny ever since he publicly mourned those killed during a military crackdown on pro-democracy protests in Tiananmen Square in 1989.


Venezuela's socialist President Hugo Chavez is continuing his duties despite recent cancer surgery in Cuba. On Thursday, he visited a military base in the capital Caracas. Analysts say the 56-year-old Chavez has reasserted political domination of the OPEC nation he has governed since 1999 with an unexpected return to Caracas this week that surprised supporters, calmed his inner circle and left opponents struggling how to respond. However, doubts remain over his health and whether he can both continue to govern Venezuela effectively and keep his 2012 re-election aspiration on track.


South Sudan becomes the world's newest nation on Saturday. Guests for the new country's inauguration include UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, former U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell, and Gen. Carter Ham, the commander of U.S. Africa Command, as well a Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir. On Friday, the UN Security Council approved a new peacekeeping force for South Sudan, authorizing the deployment of 7,000 military personnel and 900 international police.


Two UN agencies warn that the food situation in the Horn of Africa is dire. UNICEF says that two million children in Kenya, Somalia, Ethiopia and Djibouti are malnourished because of drought and high food prices. Of these, one-quarter are in a life-threatening condition. Meanwhile, the World Food Program HAS revised its estimate of the number of people needing food assistance in the region from six million to 10 million. Of these, 3.5 Ethiopians are going hungry because of drought. In Somalia, 2.8 million people, or one-third of the population, are going hungry both because of drought and warfare. The WFP says the $477 million which it has allocated for the region is insufficient.


The U.S. space shuttle Atlantis lifted off from Cape Canaveral on Friday on the last voyage of the shuttle program. In the past 30 years, eight Canadians have been among the astronauts who've flown on shuttles into space.



TSX on Friday: 13,372 - 34. Dollar: US$1.04. Euro: $1.37. Oil: $96.31 - $2.36.


A survey indicates that Walmart Canada Corp. has the most to lose among major retailers in competition from newcomer Target Corp. Tononto-based research fim asked frequent shoppers at retail chains which ones they would be less likely to patronize after Target starts operating new stores. Fifty-seven per cent answered Walmart, 44 per cent mentioned Sears and 37 per cent The Bay. Only 19 per cent responded Canadian Tire. But the founder of the research firm, Mark Satov, says Canadian Tire's frequent proximity to Zellers locations and Canadian Tire's product mix means it too could be in serious trouble. Six weeks ago, Target announced the first 105 store leases it had acquired from Zellers.




The Canadian Football League season resumed Friday on two fronts. The Toronto Argonauts travelled to Winnipeg to face the Blue Bombers. The Argos were 3-0 against the Bombers last season. Later, the Calgary Stampeders visited the B.C. Lions. The Stamps and Lions split their four games last year.



British Columbia on Saturday: rain north, mix sun cloud south, high C20 Vancouver. Yukon, Nunavut: rain. Northwest Territories: sun. Whitehorse 21, Yellowknife 25, Iqaluit 7. Alberta, Saskatchewan: rain north, mix sun cloud south. Manitoba: rain. Edmonton 17, Regina 23, Winnipeg 26. Ontario: rain north, sun south. Quebec: sun. Toronto, Montreal 27, Ottawa 26. Maritimes: rain. Newfoundland and Labrador: mix sun cloud. Fredericton 24, Halifax 18, Charlottetown 22, St. John's 17.

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