Wednesday, July 13, 2011

RCI Cyberjournal

Edition 12 July 2011
Canadian International Financial Sports Weather
Canadian

HUMAN CARGO MAY HAVE BEEN HEADED FOR CANADA

Canadian Immigration Minister Jason Kenney says the authorities in Indonesia have intercepted a human smuggling ship that seemed to be headed to Canada. The minister acknowledged that the ship may also have been destined for New Zealand, but noted that some smugglers have open-ended agreements with their charges without a guaranteed final destination. Mr. Kenney says the incident highlights the need for Parliament to approve the Conservative government's proposed legislation to crack down on human smuggling, an in particular on the smugglers. Human smuggling is already a crime in Canada but there have been few successful prosecutions. Since October 2009, two ships carrying ethnic Tamil migrants from Sri Lanka have arrived in Canada.



U.S. GIVES PRIVACY ASSURANCES ON SECURITY PLAN

The U.S. ambassador to Canada says privacy concerns will be respected under the proposed North American perimeter security arrangement. David Jacobson told an audience in Halifax, NS, that privacy, human rights and due process will be protected under the plan and that neither country would be forced to abandon its rules or have its sovereignty infringed. Mr. Jacobson was responding to concerns raised on Monday by Canada's privacy commissioner. Jennifer Stoddart said Canada shouldn't forget its own standards while negotiating the perimeter pact. The ambassador said he expects the accord to be completed by the end of the summer.



CANADA HAS NEW PERSIAN GULF BASE

Canadian Defence Minister Peter MacKay says Canada has negotiated the use of a new military base in the Persian Gulf state of Kuwait. The base will be used to support operations in Afghanistan. The minister made the announcement during a two-day visit to Kuwait. The base will provide safe access to airport and sea terminals to ship military equipment used in Afghanistan back to Canada. Canada had been leasing a base in the United Arab Emirates when it became embroiled with the UAE in a dispute over landing rights in Canada for two of that country's airlines. In retaliation, the UAE ordered the base closed, a development that had threatened to complicate the withdrawal from Afghanistan.



COMPAIGN ON TO RAISE FUNDS FOR AFGHANISTAN MEMORIAL

Ground was broken on Tuesday near Canadian Armed Forces base in Trenton, ON, at the site of the future Afghanistan Repatriation Memorial. The monument will be located in Trenton because it is where the bodies of the 157 Canadian soldiers who died during Canada's combat mission in Afghanistan were repatriated. That mission ended earlier this month. Trenton Mayor John Williams is the chairman of the fundraising campaign and expects the memorial will cost $1.5 million. He says it's important to honour the lives of those who gave so much.



FOREIGN MINISTER OFF TO CHINA

Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird will start a five-day visit to China on Saturday. One of his goals will be to prepare the way for Prime Minister Stephen Harper's second official visit to that country. Two weeks ago, Mr. Baird while Canada will continue to press for an improvement in the human rights situation there, China is extremely important to Canada's future prosperity.



TRADE DEFICIT DOWN

Statistics Canada says the country's trade deficit with the world narrowed in May to $814 million, down from $857 million in April. Canada's merchandise exports increased 1.2 per cent in May, while imports rose 1.1 per cent. The agency says the higher volumes were led by the machinery and equipment as well as the automotive products sectors.



NATIVES WANT END TO FEDERAL DEPARTMENT

The organization that represents native Canadians who live on reserves has begun its annual three-day conference in Moncton, NB. One topic on the agenda for the Assembly of First Nations is a demand to abolish the federal Department of Indian Affairs. Assembly head Shaun Atleo says it's clear that the department's bureaucracy has been a failure for First Nations. Mr. Atleo didn't describe what its replacement would look like but said it should be created jointly by the First Nations and the federal government. He also says that the issue could be addressed at a summit later this year which the aboriginal leaders and the prime minister's office are negotiating.



CHINESE FUGITIVE ORDERED RELEASED

An Immigration and Refugee Board adjudicator has ordered the release from custody of Chinese fugitive Lai Changxing. Mr. Lai will appear in Federal Court of Canada later this month to seek a stay of his deportation order. He'll tell the court he could be tortured or killed if extradited. Mr. Lai has been fighting deportation from Canada for the past 12 years. The Chinese authorities accuse him of having masterminded a huge smuggling operation that bilked the government out of billions of dollars of customs duties.



POLAR BEAR COMES UNDER PROTECTIVE LEGISLATION

The Canadian government has given notice that it will list the polar bear as a species of concern under environmental law. The authorities now have three years to devise a plan by prevent the animal from becoming endangered or threatened. Canada is home to 60 per cent of the world's polar bears. Climate change has wrought havoc with its environment. Aboriginal groups oppose the inclusion of the bear under the law, arguing that populations are growing and that they have management of the bear under control.





International

UN

The UN Security Council has unanimously approved a resolution condemning attacks by protesters against the U.S. and French embassies in Damascus. The resolution calls on the Syrian government to protect diplomatic property and personnel. The American and French government both denounced the attacks. Syria's UN ambassador accused them of exaggerating the facts about them. The attacks followed visits by the U.S. and French ambassadors to the city of Hama, which has become the focus of four months of protests against the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. On Monday, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the U.S. has "absolutely nothing" at stake in seeing Mr. al-Assad remain in power.



RUSSIA

Russian rescuers say the bodies of 40 children may be trapped in the playroom of a pleasure boat that sank with some 130 people on board in a storm on the Volga River. It was the worst river boat disaster in Russia since 1983. Officials say there were at least 79 survivors. Reports say the ship had not undergone renovations since 1980 and was only equipped with two of the four required rescue boats. President Dmitry Medvedev has demanded a review of Russia's entire transportation infrastructure and demanded to know why the ship had sailed with a broken left engine and without an operating license.



WEST BANK

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas says he'll go ahead with a plan to take the Palestinian bid for a state based upon pre-1967 boundaries to the UN. Mr. Abbas explained that the failure of the "Quartet" to reach agreement on a resumption of peace negotiations between the Palestinians and Israel leaves no other choice. Russia, the U.S., the UN and the EU met on Monday in Washington but failed to make progress toward finding a way to restart the talks. The negotiations have been on hold since September 2010, when a partial freeze on Jewish settlements in the West bank expired.



UNITED STATES

The U.S. has expressed its regrets over the murder of Afghan President Hamid Karzai's younger brother. The Taliban has claimed responsibility for the killling of Ahmed Walid Karzai by his senior bodyguard in his own home. U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says she telephoned President Karzai to offer condolences. The younger Karzai was a valuable U.S. ally in the province of Kandahar, once the Taliban stronghold. There have long been allegations he was involved in corruption and drug trafficking.



SUDAN

Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir has announced the creation of a new currency within days as part of a package of emergency measures. The government is trying to cope with high inflation and an expected drop in oil revenues because of South Sudan's secession last Saturday. Three-quarters of the country's oil is produced in the south. South Sudan announced on Monday that it will launch its own currency. Mr. al-Bashir also told the parliament in Khartoum that his government would bring political stability to the states of Blue Nile and South Kordofan. The UN reports that fighting THERE between government troops and militias formerly allied to the south continues.



CHINA

There are reports that China could begin testing its first aircraft carrier within weeks. Analysts say the vessel will add to concerns about China expanding its military power amid sovereignty disputes over the South China Sea. The aircraft carrier was bought from Ukraine in 1998 and is expected to be mainly used for training purposes. The former Soviet carrier Varyagis part of President Hu Jintao's push to modernize the navy.





Financial

RIM EXECS FACE TOUGH QUESTIONS

Shareholders of BlackBerry maker Research in Motion were expected to direct tough questions at the company's executives at the annual meeting in Waterloo, ON, on Tuesday evening. Some of the questions would presumably concern RIM's management structure. Some stockholders have raised doubts about the existing arrangement whereby Jim Balsillie and Mike Lazaridis are co-CEOs and co-chairmen. Other likely queries would touch on RIM stock's lacklustre performance. The stock was trading at $27.40 on Tuesday, down from an historic high of $140. The company has faced sharpened competition from Apple's iPhone and new smartphones using Google's Android operating system.



QUEBEC GAS FIRM IN MAJOR PLAY IN VERMONT

Quebec-based Gaz Métropolitain has made a major investment in the neighbouring U.S. state of Vermont. GM will pay US$702 million to acquire Central Vermont Public Service Corp., the state's biggest electrical utility. CVPS will be merged with Gaz Métro's subsidiary Green Mountain Power. CVPS and Green Mountain together employ about 700 employees. CVPS says the new deal will save consumers $144 million over 10 years, avoid layoffs except for some executives and maintain a head office in Rutland.



MARKETS

TSX on Monday: 13,234 + 54. Dollar: US$1.03. Euro: $1.35. Oil: $96.83 + $1.68.





Sports

SPORTS

FOOTBALL

Anthony Calvillo's record-tying performance earned him

the CFL's offensive player of the week award Tuesday.

The Alouettes quarterback threw for 419 yards and five touchdowns

in Montreal's 39-25 victory over the Saskatchewan Roughriders on

Saturday.

Calvillo's final TD pass, a 55-yarder to Tim Maypray, tied him

with Damon Allen for the CFL's all-time mark at 394.

Defensive player of the week honours went to Blue Bombers'

linebacker Joe Lobendahn, who registered seven tackles, two sacks

and two fumble recoveries Friday in Winnipeg's 22-16 victory over

the Argos.

The special teams award went to Calgary kicker Rene Paredes, who

nailed two field goals and four converts Friday in the Stampeders'

34-32 win over the B.C. Lions.

GOLF

Jose Maria Olazabal, Stuart Appleby and David Duval

have been added to the field for this year's RBC Canadian Open.

Olazabal, a European captain for the 2012 Ryder Cup who has 23

career international victories and six PGA Tour wins, will be

competing at the event for the first time.

The Spaniard won the Masters in both 1994 and 1999.

Duval is a 13-time winner on the Tour, including the 2001 British

Open, and will be making fourth appearance at the Canadian Open.

It will be a fifth visit for Appleby, an Australian who has nine

wins on the Tour.

TENNIS

American tennis greats Andre Agassi and Jimmy Connors

are slated to be inducted into the Rogers Cup Hall of Fame next

month.

Agassi will be honoured at the Rogers Cup in Toronto, while

Connors will receive his accolades at a Montreal tournament.

Also to be inducted at the Toronto ceremony is Canadian tennis

veteran Stacey Allaster, who is now the chairman and CEO of the WTA.

Agassi, an eight-time Grand Slam winner and Olympic Gold

medallist, captured the Rogers Cup three times (1992, 1994 and

1995), the last of which was a classic final against his rival Pete

Sampras.

Tuesday's announcement come days after Agassi was inducted into

the International Tennis Hall of Fame.





Weather

WEATHER

British Columbia on Wednesday: rain, high C19 Vancojver. Yukon: mix sun cloud. Northwest Territories: sun. Nunavut: rain. Whitehorse 25. Yellowknife 27, Iqaluit 10. Alberta: rain. Saskatchewan: rain north, mix sun cloud south. Manitoba: mix sun cloud. Edmonton 21, Regina 26, Winnipeg 28. Ontario: sun. Quebec: rain. Toronto 26, Ottawa, Montreal 24. New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador: rain. Prince Edward Island: mix sun cloud. Fredericton 23, Halifax 24, Charlottetown 21, St. John's 19.





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