Saturday, July 2, 2011

RCI Cyberjournal

OTTAWA: PRINCE LAUDS CANADIAN FORCES


Britain's Prince William paid tribute to the Canadian military's successes and sacrifices in Afghanistan in remarks before 300,000 people celebrating Canada Day on Parliament Hill in Ottawa. The Canadian Forces are winding down almost one decade of deployment in that country and fought alongside their British comrades in arms. Prince William says this draws to a close an episode of which all Canadians can be proud, adding that Canada's sacrifices at Vimy Ridge, Juno Beach, Korea and Afghanistan's Kandahar province are universally respected. The prince also said he and his bride Catherine are tremendously excited to be spending nine days in Canada. The royal visitor spoke in both English and French. Prime Minister Stephen Harper also was on hand, welcoming his royal guests warmly and urging the crowd to celebrate Canada's 144th birthday with pride in the past and anticipation of a great future.

OTTAWA: DIPLOMATS COMPLAIN OF BUDGET CUTS


Canadian diplomats say that cost-cutting measures introduced by the federal government are affecting the way they do business at their embassies. They warn that shrinking hospitality budgets at embassies and high commissions around the world are compromising Canada's ability to increase trade, advance Canadian interests, and raise the country's international presence. Canadian heads of mission were told in 2009 that the so-called program budgets for all missions were being slashed by 50 per cent.

OTTAWA: BATTERED LIBERALS CURRY ETHNICS' FAVOUR


Canada's federal Liberal Party is developing a strategy to recapture the ethnic vote, much of which went to the Conservative Party, which won a majority in the May 2 general election. The Canada Day message of Liberal Leader Bob Rae has been translated into 26 languages, other than English and French. Mr. Rae's message has been sent to ethnic groups and media outlets across the country. The Liberals suffered their worst defeat in election history, finishing in third place behind the New Democrats, who now form the official opposition.

VANCOUVER: RIOT REVIEW BEGINS


The independent review has began into the June 15 riot that occurred in the west coast Canadian city of Vancouver. Hundreds of people damaged cars and buildings and looted stores following the final game of the National Hockey League Stanley Cup championship series. The hometown team, the Vancouver Canucks were defeated. The review is being carried out by John Furlong, former chief executive officer of the Vancouver Winter Olympics, and Doug Keefe, a former Nova Scotia deputy justice minister. They will examine whether the city of Vancouver and its police department were prepared for the riot and make recommendations to avoid a repetition. Their report is due Aug. 31.

WINNIPEG: EMBATTLED FARMERS GET HELP


The western Canadian province of Manitoba has announced $194 million in aid for flood-stricken farmers. That's almost four times what was spent last year on a federal-provincial recovery program. Farmers will receive $30 dollars for each unseeded or flooded-out acre. The federal government has yet to sign onto the details of the program this year, but Manitoba Agriculture Minister Stan Struthers says he's confident that the federal government will be part of the funding plan.

SHESHATSHIU: INNU ACCEPT HYDRO PROJECT


The premier of Newfoundland and Labrador, Kathy Dunderdale, says the acceptance by the Innu native people of a major hydro-electric project marks a proud moment in the province's history. The premier says ratification by the Innu of the New Dawn agreement will bring them new opportunities and secure important benefits from the Muskrat Falls project. They approved the accord in a referendum on Thursday. It offers the Innu hunting rights on 34,000 square kilometres of land. They will receive royalties on revenue from Muskrat Falls and the province will also pay the 2,200 natives $2 million annually in compensation for the flooding caused by the construction of the Churchill Falls hydroelectric dam 40 years ago.


LIBYA


Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi has threatened to carry out attacks in Europe unless NATO stops its airstrikes against his country. The leader said that his forces can take the fight to Europe. He delivered the threat in an audio speech to thousands of supporters gathered in the main square of Tripoli. Friday's rally was the biggest pro-government demonstration in recent weeks. Earlier in the week, the International Criminal Court issued arrest warrants for Gadhafi, one of his sons and his intelligence chief on grounds they ordered the killings of protesters.

YEMEN


Tens of thousands of Syrians took to the streets nationwide Friday demanding that President Bashar al-Assad resign. The protests followed a call from a Facebook group for people to take to the streets across the nation. A group known as The Syrian Revolution 2011 called on people to rally after the weekly prayers, branding July 1 the Friday of departure. On Thursday, the opposition announced the creation of a national co-ordination committee of exiled dissidents and opponents at home to push for democratic reforms. The announcement came after about 160 dissidents, several of whom spent years in jail, gathered in Damascus earlier the week, vowing to press ahead with a peaceful uprising. But Syrian forces are continuing their crackdown across the country despite global condemnation and warnings from Western powers.

SYRIA


Tens of thousands of Syrians took to the streets nationwide Friday demanding that President Bashar al-Assad resign. The protests followed a call from a Facebook group for people to take to the streets across the nation. A group known as The Syrian Revolution 2011 called on people to rally after the weekly prayers, branding July 1 the Friday of departure. On Thursday, the opposition announced the creation of a national co-ordination committee of exiled dissidents and opponents at home to push for democratic reforms. The announcement came after about 160 dissidents, several of whom spent years in jail, gathered in Damascus earlier the week, vowing to press ahead with a peaceful uprising. But Syrian forces are continuing their crackdown across the country despite global condemnation and warnings from Western powers.

VENEZUELA


Venezuela's president has confirmed that he underwent cancer surgery in Cuba last month. Hugo Chavez said on Thursday that a tumour was removed from his pelvis. He'll continue to receive medical treatment in Cuba before returning home. In reaction to Mr. Chavez' announcement, Venezuela's army chief, Gen. Henry Rangel Silva, said that the president's health problem poses no threat to Venezuela's constitutional order. Mr. Chavez left Venezuela without explanation in early June, leaving his government functioning without him for almost three weeks.

PHILIPPINES


The Philippines has called on China to be a responsible power. The comment was made as the Philippines has again expressed concern over China's increasing assertiveness in disputed waters of the South China Sea. Tensions in the strategic and resource-rich sea have escalated in recent weeks, with the Philippines and Vietnam voicing alarm at what they say are increasingly forceful Chinese actions there. Filipino Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario said he did not expect rival sea claims to lead to armed conflict but he planned to visit China next week and looked forward to discussing the dispute with Chinese leaders. He also indicated that Philippine President Benigno Aquino would eventually accept a long-standing invitation by the Chinese to visit, although that trip was also unconfirmed.


OTTAWA: NORTEL COMPLETES ASSET LIQUIDATION


Nortel Networks Corp., once the top high-technology Canadian company, has auctioned off all of its remaining patents for US$4.5 billion. The buyer is a consortium made up of Research in Motion, Apple, Sony, Microsoft, Ericsson, and EMC. When Nortel filed for bankruptcy protection on Jan.14, 2009, its stock sank to 12 cents. Nine years earlier, a Nortel share was worth $124 dollars.

OTTAWA: FEDERAL SHIPBUILDING DEADLINE EXTENDED


The Canadian government is extending the deadline for bids on a lucrative shipbuilding contract, but only by two weeks. The new deadline is July 21. The decision follows two requests by unidentified bidders that it be extended by two months. Companies are bidding on a $35-billion contract that the federal government will award to two different yards to build new navy warships and other vessels.

MARKETS


TSX, dollar, euro: closed for holiday. Oil: $94.68 - .74.


SPORTS


FOOTBALL

The new Canadian Football League season kicked off with Montreal's 30-26 win over B.C. Thursday. It continued today with two games. First, Winnipeg opened the season on the road at Hamilton and Calgary played host to Toronto.


WEATHER


British Columbia on Saturday: sun south, rain north, high C22 Vancouver. Yukon: rain. Northwest Territories: cloud. Nunavut: sun. Whitehorse 15, Yellowknife 17, Iqaluit 14. Prairies: sun. Edmonton 26, Regina 27, Winnipeg 14. Ontario: rain south, sun north. Quebec: sun. Toronto 28, Ottawa 26, Montreal 29. New Brunswick, Nova Scotia: sun. Prince Edward Island: rain. Newfoundland and Labrador: mix sun cloud. Fredericton 26, Halifax 23, Charlottetown 22, St. John's 21.