Friday, July 29, 2011

RCI Cyberjournal

Edition 28 July 2011
Canadian International Financial Sports Weather


Canada's official opposition New Democratic Party has ratified the decision to have rookie Member of Parliament Nycole Turmel replace Jack Layton as interim leader. Miss Turmel had the unanimous support of the New Democrat caucus and her ratification of its decision Thursday by the party council was considered a mere formality. Mr. Layton is taking the rest of the summer off to battle a new, unspecified form of cancer but vows he'll be back when Parliament resumes on Sept. 19. Miss Turmel is a social activist who was the first woman to lead the largest union of Canadian federal civil servants.


A debt-rating agency has given its most reliable assessment to Canadian government's rating. Moody's Investor Services has renewed Canada's rating of triple-A. Moody's says it bases that rating on the country's economic resiliency and the efforts by the federal and provincial governments to deal with their debt levels in coming years.


A fifth man of the 30 whose names and photos were posted online last week has been taken into custody. The Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada dismissed a refugee claim by Abraham Bahaty Bayavuge in 2004 on the grounds that he had been a member of the brutal security forces of the late Congolese dictator Laurent-Désiré Kabila. He lost an appeal of the decision in 2006 and a removal order was issued. He disappeared until he was tracked down on Wednesday by the Canadian Border Services Agency. His family claims their relative was only a low-level employee in the dictator's government. He the fifth alleged war criminal to be caught since the Conservative posted the 30 fugitives on the Canadian Border Services Agency's website.


The Canadian government has wasted millions of dollars by having a long-term contract for the use of a civilian ship to transport military supplies and equipment. Federal documents show the container ship has been used by the defence department 13 times since October 2007. But it has also sat empty for periods of time, at a cost of $21.3-million to taxpayers. The documents show that leasing a ship on a part-time basis would have been considerably cheaper, at about $13 million. The government contract for the ship will be allowed to end in October.


The Supreme Court of Canada will rule on Friday on whether tobacco firms and the federal government should share the medical costs of smoking. The high court will determine whether the federal government can be dragged into court cases aimed at forcing the firms to pay such costs. The court will rule in two cases in which the companies want to shift the financial burden to Ottawa. One case is a class-action suit against Imperial Tobacco by smokers who said they were tricked into thinking that "light" cigarettes aren't dangerous.


The government of the western Canadian province of Manitoba says an emergency channel to drain two swollen lakes will not save an aboriginal reserve that was inundated by this year's floods. Aboriginal Affairs Minister Eric Robinson says the Lake Saint Martin First Nation reserve is a writeoff because many of its homes are saturated and beyond repair. About 600 residents were forced from their homes in May.



A vote was scheduled in the House of Representatives on a measure aimed at preventing the federal government from defaulting on its debt as early as next Tuesday. The measure presented by Republican Party Speaker John Boehner calls for spending cuts higher than the debt ceiling increase. The vote seems unlikely to resolve the impasse between Republicans and Democrats because the Senate majority leader, Sen. Harry Reid, says the Democratic-dominated Senate would refuse to vote on it. Mr. Boehner's bill calls for a return to the debt issue early next year, coinciding with the national election campaign. President Barack Obama, who will be running for re-election, has said he would veto such a bill.


The U.S. has imposed sanctions on six men whom it accuses of funnelling people and money through Iran on behalf of the al-Qaeda terrorist network. One of them is Ezedine Abdel Aziz Khalil, who the Americans claim has operated from Iran since 2005 under an agreement between al-Qaeda and the Iranian government. A second man is described as al-Qaeda's commander in Pakistan's tribal areas. Americans and U.S. businesses are forbidden to engage in commercial transactions with the six. Any assets they may have in the U.S. are frozen.


Top rebel leader Mustafa Abdel Jalil says the top insurgent commander has been shot to death. Mr. Jalil says assailants killed Abdel Fattah Younes after he was summoned before a judicial committee that was reviewing military operations. The leader says the head of the armed cell that planned the murder has been arrested. Rebel security had arrested Younis and two of his aides early Thursday in their operations room near the rebels' eastern front. Security officials said at the time that Younis was to be questioned about suspicions his family still had ties to Moammar Gadhafi's régime. Meanwhile, the rebels have won diplomatic recognition from a 30th country, Portugal.


A global campaigning organization says that almost 3,000 people have gone missing in Syria since the start of the uprising against President Bashar al-Assad more than four months ago. A survey by the online activist group estimates that one person is disappearing in Syria every hour. The group says it has identified 2,918 Syrians arrested by security forces whose whereabouts are now unknown. Activists say more than 1,600 people have been killed, most of them unarmed protesters.


China's Prime Minister Wen Jiabao is promising to punish any corrupt person found responsible for a high-speed train crash that killed at least 39 people and triggered public anger over its handling. He gave the warning at the site of Saturday's crash between two high-speed trains near the eastern city of Wenzhou that also injured 190 people. He said an investigation was under way and that results will be made public. Mr. Wen's comments were made shortly after a railway official said design flaws in signal equipment and human error caused the crash. Six train cars derailed and four fell after one train struck the back of another that had stalled after being hit by lightning.


Police say they've ended a six-day search for bodies on the island that was the scene of a mass shooting last Friday. However, they say they're still searching the surrounding lake. Anders Behring Breivik shot dead 68 people on the island, hours after a bomb killed eight people in Oslo's government district. Breivik took responsibility for both attacks. The shooter has told police that he was part of a network but a police lawyer cast doubt on the claim on Thursday. Police will question Breivik for a second time on Friday. He won't go on trial until next year.


Former army officer Ollanta Humala has been sworn in as president of Peru. Mr. Humala is the country's first leftist president in almost 40 years. A dozen Latin American heads of states and delegations from more than 100 countries attended the ceremony in Lima. Mr. Humala has pledged to improve the lot of Peru's poorest. The country's economy has improved greatly on the strength of high global mineral prices over the past decade. Despite the new prosperity, 30 per cent of Peru's 28 million people live below the poverty line.


The world's biggest copper mine in northern Chile has suspended shipments of copper concentrate because of a strike that is now a week old. The management of the Escondida mine said notices had gone out to its customers informing them that the company would not be able to respect its contracts. About 2,300 workers at the mine walked off the job last week over unresolved contract disputes, including one about annual bonuses. Workers want a bonus of $11,000 linked to the company's high earnings. The company has offered $6,000. The strike could cost the mine owners $30 million a day. Chile is the world's largest copper producer with 5.6 million tons annually.



TSX on Thursday: 13,048 + 15. Dollar: US$1.05, down 0.3 of a cent . Euro: $1.36. Oil: $97.12 - .28.


The owner of a ruptured pipeline that caused Alberta's worst oil spill has applied for permission to restart it. Plains Midstream Canada says the Rainbow line in the wilderness of northern Alberta is now safe and has requested that the provincial Energy Resources Conservative Board for permission to start sending oil through it. Three months ago, it leaked 4.5 million litres, only one-half of which has been recovered. The spill forced producers to cut crude oil shipments from northern oilfields.


Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan says global demand for potash is ballooning and that its producers will be challenged to keep up. PotashCorp. CEO Bill Doyle says farmers want to grow more food and consequently will need more fertilizer. Mr. Doyle says his company is now diversifying sales beyond markets like China and India to countries elsewhere in Asia and Latin America. The world's biggest potash producer announced second-quarter profits of $840 million, up from $480 million a year earlier. It also raised its outlook for the third quarter to between 80 cents and $1. Investors reacted by pushing the company's stock up by more than 2 per cent to $57.22 in afternoon trading.


Imperial Oil Ltd. says the first phase of its Kearl oilsands development near Fort McMurray, AB, is 68 per cent complete. The development is supposed to start producing 110,000 barrels of crude a day by late 2012. The company says the schedule hasn't so far been set back by difficulties in getting huge pieces of machinery to the construction site. Imperial ordered the equipment from South Korea and has brought it as far as the the U.S. states of Montana and Idaho, from where it is to be trucked to northeastern Alberta. However, the shipments have encountered court challenges over the use of state highways. Also on Thursday, Imperial announced second-quarter profits of $726 million, a 40 per cent increase of the result a year earlier, due to higher world oil prices.




Canadian swimmer Brent Hayden is back on the

world championship podium, with an eye to repeating that success at

next year's Olympics in London.

The 27-year-old from Mission, BC, won silver Thursday in the

men's 100-metre freestyle at the world swimming championships.

Australian James Magnussen won in what has been his first

international meet.


In the Canadian Football League, the Winnipeg Blue Bombers took the field Thursday night with heavy hearts and the letters "RH" on their helmets. The Bombers have dedicated their game against the visiting BC Lions to coach Richard Harris, who died on Tuesday after collapsing in his office. The team's defensive line and assistant head coach was 63.



British Columbia on Friday: mix sun cloud, high C22 Vancouver. Yukon, Northwest Territories, Nunavut: rain. Whitehorse 13, Yellowknife 20, Iqaluit 11. Alberta, Saskatchewan: rain. Manitoba: sun. Edmonton 19, Regina 30, Winnipeg 28. Ontario: sun north, rain south. Quebec: rain. Toronto 26, Ottawa, Montreal 28. New Brunswick, Nova Scotia: mix sun cloud. Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland and Labrador: rain. Fredericton 28, Halifax, Charlottetown 25, St. John's 18.

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