Tuesday, August 16, 2011

RCI Cyberjournal

Edition 15 August 2011
Canadian International Financial Sports Weather
Canadian

CANADA EXPANDS NORTH KOREA SANCTIONS

The Canadian government has announced it has tightened economic sanctions against North Korea. Canada now bans all imports and exports from and to that country, as well as new investment. The government says the measures are intended to punish North Korea for aggressive actions such as the sinking of a South Korean naval vessel in March 2010. The Pyongyang government denied responsibility. The Canadian sanctions are largely symbolic because bilateral trade last year was worth only $12.4 million.



GOVT. WON'T YIELD ON SENTENCES

Canadian Justice Minister Rob Nicholson says the Conservative Party government won't soften its proposed law on mandatory minimum sentences for criminals. Mr. Nicholson was reacting in Halifax, NS, to a resolution passed by the Canadian Bar Association during its annual conference. It said judges should have more discretion in cases when there could be an injustice through a mandatory minimum sentence. Mr. Nicholson pointed out that certain minimum mandatory sentences already exist and that the new ones proposed are appropriate. But a Nova Scotia Crown lawyer, Dan MacRury, says that without more discretion judges would be forced to incarcerate mentally ill people who would be better off treated in community-based health clinics.



MILITARY AGAIN TO BE ROYAL

The Canadian Conservative Party government will put back the designation "royal" into the country's navy and air force. They will henceforth be called the Royal Canadian Air Force and the Royal Canadian Navy. A former Liberal government removed the designation in 1968 when it amalgamated the branches of military service and called it the Canadian Forces. The chief of defence staff, Gen. Walter Natynczyk, explained that the change is aimed the restoration of a recognizable part of Canada's military heritage. Defence Minister Peter MacKay has scheduled announcements on Canada's military history for Tuesday.



ASBESTOS MINE GETS REPRIEVE

The Quebec government has extended a deadline for one of Canada's last asbestos mines to find new financing. The government's original deadline for a $58-million loan guarantee had been Monday, a deadline now extended until Oct. 1. The government has demanded that the owners of Jeffrey Mine in Asbestos, QC, obtain $25 million in private investment before extending the loan guarantee. The mine's president, Bernard Coulombe, says complicated negotiations with Indian investors have delayed the financing process. Critics of the mine say Canada should stop mining and exporting a substance known to cause cancer.



FORMER B.C. LEADER GETS DIPLOMATIC PLUM

The Canadian government has named former British Columbia Liberal Party Premier Gordon Campbell to the post of high commissioner to Britain. Mr. Campbell resigned as premier earlier this year after the introduction of his government's controversial harmonized sales tax.





International

LIBYA

Libyan rebels claim to have captured a second strategic town near Tripoli and now have the capital surrounded. The insurgents says they have captured the town of Garyahn south of Tripoli after having taken Zawiyah on Sunday. That prize cut the coastal highway from Tripoli to the Tunisian border. This would be the boldest rebel advance since the rebellion began six months ago. Meanwhile in Tunisia, unnamed sources have told the Reuters news agency that negotiations are taking place on the island resort of Djerba between insurgents and representatives of the government of Moammar Gadhafi.



IRAQ

Terrorist attacks in 18 Iraqi cities and towns have killed 74 people and injured more than 300 others in Iraq's worst day of violence in more than a year. The worst incident occurred in the town of Kut, 160 kilometres south of Bagdad, where a roadside bomb followed by a car bombing killed 40 people and wounded 65. The attacks raise questions about the ability of the Iraqi security forces to defend the country, as the U.S. military continues its withdrawal.



UNITED NATIONS

The World Food Program says that some of the food supplies meant for Somalia's famine victims may have been stolen. WFP says it will suspend any of its employees found to be guilty of such theft. The world body didn't provide any details of the allegations. The announcement came on the same day that the Security Council expressed that governments have contributed only about one-half of the $2.4 billion it has called for to fight the famine. The has warned that 12.4 million people risk dying of starvation.



RUSSIA

Russian security forces report having stopped a plot by a group of Islamists to blow up a high-speed train running between Moscow and Saint Petersburg. The Kommersant business daily says a group of North Caucasus-based militants had already prepared a fertilizer bomb and were in the closing stages of their operation when they were arrested by Federal Security Service agents. An explosion on the same route that authorities blamed on Muslim rebels killed 26 people in November 2009.



TAIWAN

The United States has refused Taiwan's request for 66 new warplanes. The refusal came after China had repeatedly warned that the U.S. would risk increasing tensions between the two countries if the sale went through. Taiwan has repeatedly asked Washington to agree to sell the advanced F16 fighter jets, citing the need to counter the growing military strength of China.





Financial

MARKETS

TSX on Monday: 12,684 up 1,412. Dollar: US1.02 cents, up $1.11. Euro: $1.42. Oil: $87.93 + $2.33.



GM ALTERS RETIREE BENEFITS

The Globe and Mail newspaper reports that General Motors of Canada Ltd. has acted to ensure benefits for its unionized retirees. According to the newspaper, GM will put $2.5 billion into a trust fund to pay for dental care, glasses and other health benefits for 30,000 retirees and their spouses. The creation of the fund was a condition for the $10.8 billion loan from the federal and Ontario government to help prevent the company's parent corporation from going bankrupt. A group of retirees is opposed to the arrangement, claiming it won't suffice to maintain benefits at their existing levels. The group says the new arrangements will represent between 77 and 84 per cent of the existing coverage.





Sports

SPORTS

HOCKEY

Pittsburgh general manager Ray Shero says Sidney Crosby "has

progressed really well this summer" but he could not say for sure

whether the Penguins superstar would be ready for the start of the

new season. Shero says Crosby has suffered on and off from symptoms from his concussion,

but the side effects hadn't forced him to shut down his training.

The GM says the Penguins will evaluate Crosby when he returns to

Pittsburgh in a month's time, about a week before the Penguins begin

training camp.





Weather

WEATHER

British Columbia on Tuesday: rain north, sun south, high C21 Vancouver. Yukon, Northwest Territories, Nunavut: rain. Whitehorse 11, Yellowknife 16, Iqaluit 12. Alberta, Saskatchewan: sun. Manitoba: rain. Edmonton, Regina 22, Winnipeg 21. Ontario: rain north, sun south. Quebec: sun. Toronto 28, Ottawa 27, Montreal 25. Atlantic Canada: rain. Fredericton 21, Halifax 20, Charlottetown 18, St. John's 17.





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