Friday, August 19, 2011

RCI Cyberjournal

Edition 18 August 2011
Canadian International Financial Sports Weather
Canadian

OPPOSITION ACCUSES MINISTER OF BUYING ELECTION

The opposition New Democratic Party has accused Conservative Party cabinet minister Tony Clement of having used the controversial $50-million G8 Legacy Fund to buy his re-election. Municipal documents obtained by the NDP show Mr. Clement met with mayors and councillors in his Ontario riding in the midst of the 2008 election campaign to discuss projects that would be eligible for federal funding. The G8 summit was scheduled to be held there. Twelve days after the meeting, a local news outlet reported that Mr. Clement had posted video endorsements from mayors and councillors on his campaign website. The NDP says the minister's involvement in selecting the G8 projects gave him an unfair advantage during the campaign. But a spokesman for Mr. Clement says he had a duty to be involved in the project in his capacity as minister responsible for the northern Ontario regional development agency. The minister won his Parry Sound-Muskoka riding by only 28 votes in 2006, compared with a winning margin of almost 11,000 votes in 2008.



OTTAWA: PM CALLS FOR SYRIAN LEADER TO DEPART

Canada's Prime Minister Stephen Harper has joined other world leaders in calling on Syria's President Bashar al-Assad to resign amid a violent crackdown. He says Mr. al-Assad's campaign of terror against the Syrian people must stop. Mr. Harper adds that the al-Assad régime has lost all legitimacy by killing its own people to stay in power. Mr. Harper's call for Mr. Assad's departure came after U.S. President Obama issued a written statement urging him to quit. Mr. Obama says the Syrian leader's calls for reform lack credibility when he is imprisoning, torturing and slaughtering his own people. Meanwhile at the UN, top UN officials told a Security Council meeting Thursday that Syrian forces shot dead 26 blindfolded men in a stadium and a boy of 13 was feared killed in government custody. The 15-nation council was told that the death toll from protests that erupted in March was now past 2,000.



AIR ARM SHUTS DOWN IN AFGHANISTAN

The Canadian government has expanded its online wanted list to include immigrants and refugees who have been convicted of serious crimes committed in Canada. Public Safety Minister Vic Toews says the Canada Border Services Agency has added 32 names and photos to a new section on its website, explaining they've all committed crimes that entail a sentence of at least six months. Almost all committed more than one crime and all are wanted on Canada-wide removal warrants. On July 21, the Agency opened the new web service, listing the names and photos of 30 people wanted for alleged war crimes. Six have already been arrested. Rights groups have criticized the initiative, saying the government should try accused war criminals in Canada rather than sending them to face justice in their home countries.



FINANCE MINISTER EXPECTED TO REASSURE ON ECONOMY

Canadian Finance Minister Jim Flaherty and Bank of Canada Governor Mark Carney will appear before the House of Commons finance committee to discuss recent market tumult. Mr. Flaherty is expected to reassure the lawmakers that Canada will ride out the storm. Signs that the U.S. is flirting with another recession caused further market turmoil on Thursday. The Toronto Stock Market was down almost 400 points, 15 per cent lower than its high for the year set in April. In New York, the Dow Jones lost more than 400 points.



ONLINE WANTED LIST EXPANDED

The Canadian government has expanded its online wanted list to include immigrants and refugees who have been convicted of serious crimes committed in Canada. Public Safety Minister Vic Toews says the Canada Border Services Agency has added 32 names and photos to a new section on its website, explaining they've all committed crimes that entail a sentence of at least six months. Almost all committed more than one crime and all are wanted on Canada-wide removal warrants. On July 21, the Agency opened the new web service, listing the names and photos of 30 people wanted for alleged war crimes. Six have already been arrested. Rights groups have criticized the initiative, saying the government should try accused war criminals in Canada rather than sending them to face justice in their home countries.



NEW MP URGED TO SPEAK OUT AGAINST ASBESTOS

About 250 physicians and health professionals have written a letter to a first-time Conservative Party Member of Parliament urging her to speak out against the country's controversial asbestos industry. The signatories have sent the letter to Kellie Leitch. The newly elected Ontario MP is herself a prominent pediatric orthopedic surgeon. The authors have told Mrs. Leitch that she has a professional and ethical duty to put the protection of health ahead of politics. The governing Conservative Party contends that chrysotile asbestos is safe if properly handled. But the letter notes that there are no regulations in the poor countries to which Canada exports asbestos, a cancer-causing substance.





International

LIBYA

Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi's prime minister has called for an immediate ceasefire between forces loyal to the leader and insurgents. Baghdadi Mahmudi says a peaceful outcome to the conflict is possible. Mr. Mahmudi says there has been "contact" in recent days to find a political solution soon. A member of the rebel National Transition Council acknowledged that there have been discussions but not negotiations. Also on Thursday, the opposition said its fighters have seized the oil refinery at Zawiyah, a key source of fuel supplies to Tripoli. Mr. Mahmudi disputed the claim.



ISRAEL

Gunmen killed at least seven people in attacks on vehicles in southern Israel Thursday. Israeli officials say they had infiltrated from the Gaza Strip through Egypt's Sinai desert. Israel's military says the incident began when gunmen shot at a bus on its way to Eilat and then fired an anti-tank rocket at another vehicle. Israeli special forces were called in and engaged the gunmen as police and military closed roads around Eilat, a popular Red Sea resort. Defence Minister Ehud Barak said the incident reflects the weakening of Egypt's hold in the Sinai and the broadening of activities by terrorists. Israel responded with an air strike in the Gaza Strip that killed six Palestinians, including the leaders of a group it blamed for the violence.

 



SOMALIA

The UN has called on donors to save Somalia and its neighbours from the ongoing famine. The Food and Agriculture Organization says it has only receive from international donors $1.3 billion of the $2.4 billion it needs for relief efforts in the Horn of Africa. The drought has affected Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, South Sudan, Sudan and Uganda as well. In another negative development, the World Health Organization warns that cases cholera and acute diarrhea are rising in Somalia, with almost 4,300 such cases in one hospital in Mogadishu alone. The African Union will hold a donors' conference in Ethiopia next week.



IVORY COAST

A former president of Ivory Coast, Laurent Gbagbo, and his wife have been charged by the government of President Alassane Ouattara of economic crimes, armed robbery, looting and embezzlement. The current government has been rounding up members of the former régime who are suspected of violence against pro-Ouattara civilians during and after last November's presidential election campaign. Last Thursday, the authorities arrested 57 soldiers and charged them with crimes including murder and kidnapping. Mr. Gbagbo was almost universally condemned for rejecting the results of the vote that the UN certified as having won by his rival, Mr. Ouattara.



SPAIN

Pope Benedict received a rapturous welcome from hundreds of thousands of pilgrims as he entered the Spanish capital Madrid to preside over the World Youth Day festivities. The event began on Tuesday and lasts until Sunday. It is expected to attract more than one million pilgrims from 193 countries.





Financial

ROMANIA WANTS TO RENEGOTIATE CANADIAN MINE PROJECT

Romanian President Traian Basescu says he favours a gold mining project which is majority-owned by a Canadian company. But the president says he wants to renegotiate the profit split for the Rosia Montana project. The Rosia Montana Gold Corporation is 80-per cent owned by Gabriel Resources. The Canadian firm wants to invest $1.7 billion to extract 300 tonnes of gold and 1,700 tonnes of silver over 16 years. Environmentalists oppose the project in southern Romania because of the use of cyanide to treat the ore to recover the gold. Archeologists say the project would destroy Roman-era mining galleries. Neighbouring Hungary also opposes it because of the use of cyanide.



MARKETS

TSX on Thursday: 12,181 - 181. Dollar: US$1.01. Euro: $1.41. Oil: $81.73 - $5.85.





Sports

SPORTS

HOCKEY

A large crowd is expected in the picturesque

Crowsnest Pass area of southern Alberta to remember National Hockey League tough guy Rick Rypien. The body of the Winnipeg Jets' forward was found in his home earlier this week and police have classified his death as not suspicious. The Lethbridge Herald newspaper reports a funeral service is planned for Saturday at an arena in Blairmore, AB.

BASEBALL

The Little League World Series got underway Thursday in South Williamsport, PA. The Canadian squad from Langley, BC, kicks things off Friday in the international group against Saudi Arabia. Langley beat a team from Valleyfield, QC, in the Canadian championship to make the tournament.





Weather

WEATHER

British Columbia on Friday: sun, high C23 Vancouver. Yukon: rain. Northwest Territories, Nunavut: mix sun cloud. Whitehorse 10, Yellowknife, Iqaluit 13. Alberta: mix sun cloud north, sun south. Saskatchewan, Manitoba: mix sun cloud. Edmonton, Regina 20, Winnipeg 22. Ontario: rain north, sun south. Quebec: sun. Toronto 29, Ottawa, Montreal 28. New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island: rain. Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador: mix sun cloud. Fredericton, Halifax, Charlottetown 27, St. John's 22.





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