Tuesday, July 12, 2011

RCI Cyberjournal


A Chinese who is wanted by China has won another fight in his long battle to avoid deportation from Canada. Federal Court of Canada has ruled that he can stay until July 21, when another immigration hearing will be held. Lai Changxing has been fighting deportation for 12 years. China accuses him of having masterminded a smuggling ring that bilked the Chinese government out of billions of dollars of import duties. Mr. Lai lost his initial refugee hearing but Federal Court has blocked his removal on the grounds that it disbelieves China's assurances that he wouldn't be tortured or killed.


Canada's privacy commission has warned that Canadians won't accept weaker protection of their personal information to win a border security pact withe the U.S. Jennifer Stoddart says Canada's negotiators for a "perimeter security" deal should maintain their country's stringent standards for the protection of such data. Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and U.S. President Barack Obama agreed in February that their countries would work towards a formal North American security perimetre aimed at extending co-operation for border security while smoothing the flow of goods and people across the congested mutual border. Critics see the idea as a threat to Canadian sovereignty, while the Conservative government says both sides value one another's constitutional and legal frameworks the protect civil liberties. Mrs. Stoddart says Canada and the U.S. may differ on key points, such as where there's a reasonable expectation of privacy, what constitutes personal information and the legal implications of transferring information to third parties. She suggests Canada push for a European-style security system which involves only the collection of photographs and limmited sharing with police agencies. The U.S. security system, on the other hand, involves collection of photos and fingerprints from many foreign visitors and circulates data widely.


Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird says a declaration of Palestinian independence by the UN General Assembly this fall would be meaningless. Mr. Baird dismisses the Palestinian campaign for an Assembly vote in September as a mere publicity stunt. The minister says he would be glad to see a Palestinian state but only as a result of peaceful negotiations between the Palestinians and Israel. On another UN matter, Mr. Baird says it's absurd that North Korea is the chairman of the forthcoming UN Conference on Disarmament. The minister says to allow a rogue nuclear state to assume its rotating chairmanship undermines non-proliferation efforts and the world body itself and therefore Canada will withdraw from the conference during the North Korean rotation. The presidency of the Geneva-based conference rotates alphabetically through its 65 members, but Mr. Baird said Canada would seek to change this rule. He said Iran was another country that should not head the disarmament conference.


New England governors and premiers of eastern Canada and Quebec discussed a controversial hydroelectric project at their annual summer meeting on Monday in Halifax, NS. Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy says he hopes financial issues connected to the Muskrat Falls development in Labrador will soon be resolved because pressure is building in the U.S. to satify renewable energy needs locally rather than importing power from Canada. The provinces of Newfoundland and Labrador and Nova Scotia have agreed that an undersea cable will convey hydro power from Muskrat Bay to mainland Nova Scotia. The electricity would be both consumed locally and exported to New England. The two provinces have requested a federal subsidy to complete the project. Quebec objects on the grounds that Ottawa would be providing unfair competition for Hydro Quebec's own electricity exports to the U.S.


Guelph General Hospital in the Canadian province of Ontario has declared another death from the C. difficile bacterium. The death is at least the 21st in provincial hospitals since late May. Ten hospitals were battling C. difficile outbreaks last week, but three have since called them off.


The death of former Canadian beer-brewing magnate Richard Oland is being treated as a case of murder. The body of the 69-year-old Mr. Oland was found in his office in Saint John, NB, on Thursday night. Local authorities say they've determined Mr. Oland was the victim of foul play. He was a member of the family that owns Moosehead Breweries, but he left the company in the 1980s. His funeral is scheduled for Tuesday.


The Canadian government won't help provinces set up long-gun registries after it folds its own. A spokesman for Public Security Minister Vic Toews says Quebec or any other province is free to create gun registries if they wish but that the federal government is prevented from sharing its own data by the federal Privacy Act. The spokesman was reacting to reports that Quebec is considering the creation of a registry if the federal long-gun registry is scrapped, as the Conservative government has long planned. Quebec has been leading supporter of gun control since the massacre of 14 women at l'École Polytechnique in 1989.


A federal court in Chicago has ordered former media tycoon Conrad Black to return to prison by Sept. 6. Last month, the court ruled that Black hadn't served sufficient time for having defrauded investors and ordered him to serve 13 months more. He was originally given a six-and-a-half-year term for his conviction in 2007. He served part of the sentence before being released on bail.


The already tense diplomatic relations between the United States and Syria were further strained Monday when Washington accused Damascus of an "absolutely outrageous" failure to protect foreign embassies as it is required to do under the Vienna Convention. Furious U.S. officials summoned Syria's chargé d'affaires to the state department after angry mobs converged on the U.S. and French embassies in Damascus. The embassies were stormed in apparent retaliation for visits by the American and French ambassadors to the protest city of Hama. The visits were seen by the Syrian government as interference in Syrian affairs, but the Americans say Ambassador Robert Ford's visit to Hama was intended to show Syrians everywhere that the United States stands with those seeking recognition of their basic human rights. Syrian pro-democracy activists say 1,300 civilians have been killed and 12,000 arrested since their protests began in mid-March.


The UN says South Sudan will become its 193rd member state on Thursday through a declaration by the General Assembly. The world body says that on Wednesday the Security Council will adopt a resolution by which the UN's 7,000 soldiers and 900 civilians now based in Sudan will be transferred to the new country. Some of that contingent will be based in the disputed territory of Abyei. South Sudan declared its independence on Saturday. The declaration followed decades of war between north and south Sudan.


There are further developments in Britain's telephone hacking scandal. The Guardian and Independent newspapers report that reporters at several publications owned by newspaper mogul Rupert Murdoch repeatedly tried to hack into the telephone of Gordon Brown both when he was finance minister and prime minister. The Guardian says reporters working for News International Crop. tried to access Mr. Brown's voicemail and bank account. The Guardian says the Sun newspaper may have obtained the medical records of his infant son. Until Monday, the scandal had revolved around the now defunct News of the World, which Mr. Murdoch closed last week.


A massive explosion on a naval base on Cyprus Monday has killed 12 people and wounded 62 others. The explosion happened in dozens of containers of gunpowder that had been seized from an Iranian cargo ship in 2009. A brush fire is believed to have sparked the explosion. The commander of the Cypriot navy and the commander of a military base were among the dead. The explosion prompted Cyprus' defence minister and chief of staff to resign.


Thousands of people gathered Monday to mark the 16th anniversary of the Srebrenica massacre just weeks after the arrest of Ratko Mladic, the alleged mastermind behind the slaughter. The Srebrenica massacre is the only episode in the Balkans wars to have been ruled a genocide by the UN international court. Both Mladic and his political chief Radovan Karadzic, who was arrested in 2008, are charged by a United Nations war crimes tribunal with genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes.


The Bank of Canada reports that a majority of the country's businesses expect to hire in the next 12 months. The bank says in its summer business outlook that 57 per cent of the firms surveyed expect to hire new workers. Only four per cent expected to have fewer employees over the next year. A majority of those asked expected sales growth as well. On Friday, Statistics Canada reported a gain of 28,000 jobs in June. It was a third month of jobs growth.



Jose Bautista will bat cleanup for the American League at Tuesday in the all-star game in Phoenix. The Phillies' Roy Halladay will start for the N-L against the Angels' Jered Weaver. Bautista leads all of baseball with 31 home runs on the season.


Canada's Milos Raonic has dropped a spot in the latest ATP tennis rankings. The rising star now sits at Number 27 in the world. Raonic hasn't played since injuring his hip in the second round at Wimbledon. He underwent surgery last week and expects to resume practising next month.


British Columbia on Tuesday: rain, high C17 Vancouver. Yukon, Northwest Territories: mix sun cloud. Nunavut: sun. Whitehorse 21. Yellowknife 25, Iqaluit 8. Alberta: rain. Saskatchewan, Manitoba: cloud. Edmonton 15, Regina 17, Winnipeg 21. Ontario: mix sun cloud. Quebec: cloud. Toronto 32. Ottawa 29, Montreal 25. New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador: mix sun cloud. Prince Edward Island: rain. Fredericton 28, Halifax 24, Charlottetown 26, St.John's 23.