Wednesday, July 27, 2011

RCI Cyberjournal


Canadian Finance Minister Jim Flaherty says the current high value of the Canadian dollar reflects the country's fiscal and economic health and that the dollar is a haven for investors seeking a safe investment. The loonie was trading as high as US$1.0630, a three-and-a-half-year high. The minister says this is a result of the country's fiscal prudence and strong prices for the commodities which Canada exports. On another subject, Mr. Flaherty said he's "relatively confident" the U.S. will reach an agreement to raise its debt ceiling by an Aug. 2 deadline. But he says he's worried about the financial fallout for Canada of any deterioration of the debt situation of his country's top trading partner.


Another suspected war criminal listed on a Canadian government website has been arrested by police. Manuel De La Torre Herrera was arrested Monday in the Toronto area. Herrera is the third suspected war criminal caught since last week, when the federal government launched a web site featuring 30 of the most wanted suspects. Public Safety Minister Vic Toews says public response to the site has been tremendous and tips have been flowing in. The Canadian Border Services Agency says Herrera was part of a brutal government regime in Peru. He disappeared after his refugee claim was denied several years ago.


Canadian farmers are voting on the future of the Canadian Wheat Board, the agency that sells their wheat and barley abroad. The farmers who like the Board argue its monopoly protects them from selling at a loss when markets are low. But opponents claim the monopoly is not fair and restricts farmers from marketing their grain to the highest bidder. Federal Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz says he will ignore the results of the vote, which the Board has organized itself. The federal government is in the process of dismantling the agency's monopoly.


About 150 people displaced by forest fires in northwestern Ontario have been allowed to return home. They are members of the Mishkeegogamang First Nation and returned to their community by bus on Tuesday. However, nearly 3,500 other people are still waiting for the green light to go back home. Officials say there are well over 100 active fires burning in the region. A change of weather was expected to help firefighters quell some of the blazes.


The Canadian government is planning to cut off an unknown number of specific land-claims negotiations. Aboriginal negotiators say they have been told of the plan by federal government counterparts. One lawyer representing several native bands says that Oct. 16 has been set as a deadline for negotiations, at which time all previous offers made by the federal government will be formally revoked. Many of the land claims have dragged on for years.


The lawyer for the Norwegian gunman who has claimed responsibility for killing 76 people in twin attacks last week says that everything about his client's case indicates he is insane. The lawyer says that a medical evaluation would occur to establish the psychiatric condition of Anders Behring Breivik. The lawyer says that the 32-year-old Mr. Breivik believes that he's in a war and you can do things like killing without pleading guilty. But prosecutors say police want to charge him with crimes against humanity for the bombing of Oslo's government district and a shooting bloodbath on a nearby island. Both attacks occurred last Friday. The police have come in for heavy criticism over the time it took them to reach Utoeya island where Behring Breivik shot dead 68 of his victims in a spree that lasted around 90 minutes. The other victims were killed in the Oslo bombing attacks.


Eighty people were killed Monday when a Moroccan military plane crashed in the south of the country. The plane crashed into a mountain as it attempted to land in Guelmim's military airport after taking off from the Western Saharan city of Dakhla Two. Most of those onboard the aircraft were soldiers flying from Laayoune in Western Sahara to the coastal city of Agadir. But the army said civilians, including family members, were also on the flight. King Mohammed VI announced three days of national mourning following the crash, one of the deadliest in the country's history.


The UN warns that the numbers of people in Kenya needing food aid will rise to 3.5 million by September. That's more than one million more than are now starving. The world body considers the present situation in Kenya as an emergency, one level short of a famine. The UN's World Food Program says it is now distributing food aid to 1.7 million people in the Horn of Africa who are starving because of drought or violence or both.


A roadside bomb blew up a United Nations vehicle near the southern Lebanese port city of Sidon on Tuesday. Five French peacekeepers were wounded. The UN says the circumstances of the blast have yet to be determined. A similar roadside bomb injured six Italian peacekeepers over a month ago, prompting Italy to look into reducing its peacekeeping contingent in Lebanon.


The leader of one of Colombia's most powerful criminal groups was killed by his own bodyguards Monday in Antioquia province. Police said Angel de Jesus Pacheco, the leader of the Rastrojos criminal gang, was shot dead by his bodyguards, who then reported the killing to authorities. The gang is the most powerful of six main criminal groups in Colombia whose numbers total about 4,000.


Mexican officials say at least 17 people have been killed and another four injured in an armed clash in a prison in the northern city of Ciudad Juarez. The fight broke out Monday night when one group of inmates attacked rivals from another drug gang. They used weapons they'd seized from prison guards. Security forces were not able to regain control of the prison for several hours. At least one woman was among those killed. Some 2,500 inmates are housed at the prison. Ciudad Juarez is one of Mexico's most violent cities. Some 10,000 people are believed to have died there in drug-related killings since Mexican President Felipe Calderon sent in the army to crush the cartels in late 2006


Rogers Communications Inc. says its second-quarter results fell by nine per cent, that result being chiefly due to tougher cellphone competition. The company's profit came to $410 million, down from $452 million a year earlier. Increased competition from Telus and Bell Canada, as well as from mobile newcomers Globalive, Public Mobile and Mobilicity have lowered prices.


TSX on Monday: 13,303 - 133. Dollar: US$1.06, up .37. Euro: $1.35. Oil: $99.49 + .29.



The Winnipeg Blue Bombers and Edmonton Eskimos

dominated the Canadian Football League's weekly awards announced Tuesday.

Quarterback Buck Pierce tossed for 361 yards and three touchdowns

in the Blue Bombers' 33-24 comeback win over the Toronto Argonauts

on Saturday to take the offensive award.

Edmonton defensive end Greg Peach earned defensive honours with

four tackles and two sacks in the Eskimos 24-19 win over Calgary on


Teammate Damon Duval took special-teams honours, connecting on

three field goals and two converts against the Stampeders.


Four-time Stanley Cup champion Kris Draper has retired after 20 seasons in the N-H-L. The Detroit Red Wings forward was acquired from the Winnipeg Jets off waivers for one dollar in 1993. He played 17 seasons with Detroit, winning four championships and taking home honours as the league's best defensive forward in 2004.


British Columbia on Wednesday: mix sun cloud, high C21 Vancouver. Yukon, Northwest Territories, Nunavut: rain. Whitehorse 18, Yellowknife 26, Iqaluit 13. Prairies: mix sun cloud. Edmonton 20, Regina, Winnipeg 24. Ontario: rain north, mix sun cloud south. Quebec: mix sun cloud. Toronto 29, Ottawa 28, Montreal 27. Atlantic Canada: rain. Fredericton 22, Halifax, Charlottetown 18, St. John's 12.