Saturday, July 30, 2011

RCI Cyberjournal

Edition 29 July 2011
Canadian International Financial Sports Weather


The Canadian economy shrank in May for the second straight month. Statistics Canada reports that GDP fell by .3 per cent in the month. The federal agency says mining and oil and natural gas production were down by 5.3 per cent. Oil and gas production were hurt by wildfires in northern Alberta, bad weather and maintenance shutdowns. However, production of computer and electronic products, chemicals and machinery rose. The Toronto Dominion Bank suggests the figures mean that highly indebted consumers will no longer be able to carry the economy on their backs as they have been doing.


The Supreme Court of Canada has unanimously ruled against tobacco firms who wanted the federal government to share responsibility in lawsuits against cigarette companies. The high court ruled in the federal government's favor in two cases which the companies sought to force the government to help pay the bills for smokers who got sick. One of the cigarette companies, Imperial Tobacco Canada, had claimed that the Canadian government has been a senior partner of the tobacco industry for decades. Imperial Tobacco also said that the government legalized tobacco in Canada, heavily regulated it, and taxed it to the amount of billions of dollars every year.


The Canadian government says it will appeal the case of accused terrorist Abdullah Khadr to the Supreme Court of Canada. The government's leave-to-appeal request says Canada's ability to comply with its international obligations could be compromised if a lower-court decision staying his extradition to the U.S. is maintained. The request says the lower court erred in preventing an "admitted" terrorist to escape trial in the U.S. In October 2004, the U.S. paid Pakistan $500,000 to kidnap Mr. Khadr. He then admitted to American agents that he had procured arms for al-Qaeda. Pakistan freed him in the following year without charges and he returned to Canada. Last year, Ontario Superior Court ruled that although there were grounds to extradite Mr. Khadr, the extradition would be stayed because he had been mistreated during his 14 months of detention in Pakistan. His brother Omar is a prison in Guantanamo, where he confessed to acts of terrorism in a plea bargain.


B.C. Supreme Court has granted bail to three of four men accused of human trafficking in connection with the ship that arrived on Canada's west coast almost two years ago carrying 76 ethnic Tamils from Sri Lanka. The court ruled the three can be released on cash deposits and conditions. The court awaits more information before deciding on the fate of the fourth accused. The four were arrested in Toronto last month. Last summer, a second ship carrying almost 500 ethnic Tamils from Sri Lanka arrived in B.C. waters. The Canadian government alleged that many of the migrants are connected to the Tamil Tigers, a group classified as a terrorist organization in Canada. Ottawa cites the two cases as proof that immigration laws must be toughened.


Canada's Pacific Coast province of British Columbia is raising controversy with its decision to allow an energy company to use fresh water in a process to extract natural gas. Talisman Energy will take the water from a huge reservoir in the north of the province. The water will be pumped underground to release natural gas from shale deposits, a process is called fracking. There's opposition to the provincial government's decision within the government itself.


City Council has held a 23-hour session at which the public was invited to speak out on the subject of budget cuts. The session is believed to be the longest in city history. More than 300 residents signed up to weigh in but one-half of them left without having spoken. The city is facing a $775-million shortfall in next year's spending and Mayor Rob Ford must decide which services to cut. A consultant's report has suggested measures including the closure of libraries, the elimination of overnight buses, a reduction of police on the streets and the sale of the Toronto Zoo. Some councilors complained afterwards that many speakers focused on saving services but failed to provide alternatives to cost-cutting.



The death of Gen. Abdel Fatah Younes, the commander of forces fighting to oust leader Muammar Gadhafi, remains mysterious. Rebels are blaming the Libyan leader for his murder. Gen. Younes was shot dead Thursday by an armed gang after he was summoned from the battlefield to Benghazi by the rebel National Transitional Council to discuss military issues. He was Libya's former interior minister and number two in the Gadhafi government prior to his defection in February.


Eighteen civilians were killed when a roadside bomb destroyed their minivan Friday in Helmand province. The attack occurred a day after a Taliban attack in Uruzgan killed 21 people. The latest bomb blast came as United Nations figures show civilian deaths are up 15 percent in the first half of this year. Officials say the figures are reaching record levels in the long war between insurgents and the Kabul government that is backed by NATO-led troops.


Saboteurs blew up an oil pipeline near the Syrian city of Homs Friday. The official SANA news agency reports that the pipeline is badly damaged and leaking great amounts of oil. The latest pipeline blast came just hours ahead of newly called protests against President Bashar al-Assad's autocratic government. Meanwhile, Syrian security forces fired at demonstrators in the southern city of Dera'a, as thousands took to streets across Syria after Friday prayers to demand the downfall of Mr. al-Assad.



The CEO of Brazilian aircraft manufacturer Embraer has repeated a commitment to decide by the end of the year how to react to its rival Bombardier's production of its CSeries airliners. Frederico Fleury Curado said in Montreal on Friday that Embraer is considering whether to re-engine its largest aircraft, the E195, or to develop an even larger family of planes. The Brazilian company has come under pressure to modify its airliner models after Boeing announced last week it would re-engine its 737 aircraft, following a similar decision by Airbus. All three of Bombardier's competitors are trying to reduce fuel burn to compete against the savings promised in Bombardier's new design.


TSX on Friday: 12,943 - 104. Dollar: US$1.04,

down 0.43 of a cent

. Euro: $1.37. Oil: $95.92 - $1.52.




Canada's Martha McCabe won the bronze medal

Friday in the women's 200-metre breaststroke at the world swimming


The Toronto native took third place in two minutes 24.81 seconds.

American Rebecca Soni, who led from start to finish, won gold in

2:21.47. She also won Tuesday's 100-metre breaststroke.

Yuliya Efimova of Russia won the silver in 2:22.22.



British Columbia on Saturday: rain, high C23 Vancouver. Yukon, Northwest Territories, Nunavut: rain. Whitehorse 16, Yellowknife 24, Iqaluit 7. Alberta: mix sun cloud north, sun south. Saskatchewan: sun. Manitoba: rain. Edmonton 24, Regina 25, Winnipeg 27.Ontario: mix sun cloud south, rain north. Quebec: mix sun cloud. Toronto, Montreal 28, Ottawa 27. Maritimes: rain. Newfoundland and Labrador: mix sun cloud. Fredericton,, Charlottetown, St. John's 19, Halifax 17.

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