Saturday, August 13, 2011

RCI Cyberjournal

Edition 12 August 2011
Canadian International Financial Sports Weather


Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper says his country and the Central American state of Honduras have reached a free-trade deal after 10 years of negotiation. The accord includes side deals on labour standards and environmental protection. Two-way trade between the two countries amounted to $192 million in 2010. Honduras is the first of the "Central American Four", also including El Salvador, Guatemala and Nicaragua, to strike a free-trade accord with Canada. Mr. Harper's visit to San Pedro Sula is the first state visit to Honduras since the Organization of American States readmitted that country. The OAS expelled Honduras after a coup in 2009 ousted a leftist president. Both Canada and the U.S. supported the readmission. Honduras is the last stop on Mr. Harper's six-day four-country tour of Latin America. He also visited Brazil, Colombia and Costa Rica.


A Canadian general has advised against a rushed military withdrawal from Libya by NATO. The advice comes from Maj.-Gen. Jonathan Vance, the director of the strategic joint staff. Canada's involvement in the NATO campaign to protect Libyan civilians against forces loyal to Moammar Gadhafi is due to expire on Sept. 27. Gen. Vance has told the House of Commons defence committee that it's impossible to predict whether the alliance will have to extend its campaign beyond that date and that no one knows how the situation will evolve between now and then. New Democratic Party Member of Parliament Jack Harris says he's against an extension of the date for the Canadian mission authorized by Parliament. He says the NATO mission has serious reduced Gadhafi's ability to hurt civilians and that it's now time to return to the UN for a negotiated settlement.


A debate is underway within the federal separatist Bloc Québécois party concerning the election of a new leader. Longtime leader Gilles Duceppe resigned after the party's electoral debacle on May 2. After having won strong majorities in Quebec since 1993, the party was reduced to four seats in the House of Commons. Interim leader Vivian Barbot says the best way to revive the Bloc is to find a new leader quickly. Under the existing rules, the party would hold a leadership race in the fall and elect a leader on Dec. 11. But one of the four remaining Bloc MPs, Maria Mourani, and former MP Pierre Paquette want the party to spend at least a year to study the causes of its drubbing on May 2. Mr. Paquette had been the only declared leadership candidate until he withdrew his candidacy this week.


The Globe and Mail newspaper reports that the federal government is deeply concerned about the growing use by an aging population of the country's health-care resources. The newspaper says Finance Minister Jim Flaherty held closed-door talks this week with business and policy leaders aimed at grappling with the rising imbalance between cost of health care and retirement benefits and the shrinking number of working-age taxpayers available to pay the bills. Mr. Flaherty will have to address the issue in forthcoming negotiations with the provinces over federal health-transfer arrangements. The Globe cites a federal draft report on the impacts of the country's aging population. It suggests incentives to boost fertility rates, encouragements to young immigrants and persuasion of older Canadians to work longer.



The Libyan government says any citizen caught using an unlicensed satellite phone will be charged as a spy for NATO.

Libya's news agency, JANA, reported Friday that those carrying a satellite phone without a permit could be sentenced to death as punishment for treason.

Many Libyans have been using satellite phones to communicate with one another after the government cut off mobile phone communications when the civil war started in February.

Libya's 6-month-old civil war has been deadlocked for months despite NATO's airstrikes to protect civilians.


Chinese human rights activist Wang Lihong went on trial in Beijing on Friday, nearly four months after she was arrested as part of a widespread crackdown on dissent. Ms. Wang, 55, a doctor and a veteran of China's pro-democracy movement in Tiananmen Square in 1989, was arrested on April 21 and is charged with creating a disturbance. Rights groups say Ms. Wang's charges are linked to her support for activists who used the Internet to call for Chinese citizens to join anti-government protests echoing unrest in the Middle East and Africa. The charge she faces carries a maximum sentence of five years imprisonment.


Poland's foreign ministry has apologized after prosecutors gave Belarusian investigators financial information about a human rights activist, who was then detained. The ministry said Belarus had "taken advantage" of international counterterror procedures when it requested information about Ales Belyatsky.

Foreign Minister Radek Sikorski apologized Friday for the "reprehensible mistake" in passing on the data in June. He vowed to redouble efforts to support democracy in Belarus.

Mr. Belyatsky is the leader of Vesna, the most prominent human rights group in Belarus. He was detained Aug. 4 and faces up to seven years in jail for helping political prisoners and government critics in the authoritarian ex-Soviet nation.


The nationalities of six of the seven NATO troops killed in Afghanistan on Thursday have been released. Five were American troops killed in a roadside bombing in southern Afghanistan. France says the sixth person killed was one of its soldiers and also died in a roadside bombing on a convoy. A seventh NATO service member died in an insurgent attack in the south. So far this year, 376 American and other NATO service members have died in the war in Afghanistan.



Taseko Mines Ltd. of British is hoping a new environmental assessment of a gold-copper project can begin by October. Taseko President and CEO Russell Hallbauer says he hopes a new one-year federal assessment will begin in short order. A federal-provincial review completed last year killed the project at Prosperity in southern B.C. because it would have turned Fish Lake into a tailings pond. The original project would have cost $800 million. Taseko has added $300 million to the revised project which would save the lake.


TSX on Friday: 12,54 + 2. Dollar: US$1.00. Euro: $1.41. Oil: $85.28 - .44.




Samantha Stosur and Victoria Azarenka are off to the

women's semifinals at the Rogers Cup.

The 10th-seeded Stosur downed Italy's Roberta Vinci 6-4, 6-1 in

quarter-final action today at Rexall Centre.

No. 4 Azarenka of Belarus made quick work of Galina Voskoboeva of

Kazakhstan, ranked just 135th in the world, in a 6-1, 6-2 victory. Mardy Fish of the U.S. has advanced to the men's semifinals of the Rogers Cup with a three-set victory over Switzerland's Stanislas Wawrinka. The sixth-seeded Fish took the match after dropping an error-filled second set to the 14th-seed.


Charles Hudon had a pair of goals and an

assist to lead Canada past Russia 5-0 in the semifinals of the Ivan

Hlinka Memorial memorial tournament Friday.

The victory puts Canada in the final of the annual under-18

international hockey tournament staged in the Czech Republic and


The Canadians will play the winner of the Sweden-Finland




British Columbia on Saturday: mix sun cloud south, rain north, high C21 Vancouver. Yukon, Nunavut: mix sun cloud. Northwest Territories: rain. Whitehorse 17. Yellowknife 20, Iqaluit 10. Alberta: rain north, sun south. Saskatchewan, Manitoba: sun. Edmonton 28, Regina 25, Winnipeg 26. Ontario: rain. Quebec: sun. Toronto 26, Ottawa 29, Montreal 30. New Brunswick, Nova Scotia: sun. Prince Edward Island: rain. Newfoundland and Labrador: mix sun cloud. Fredericton 27, Halifax 24, Charlottetown, St. John's 21.

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