Thursday, August 25, 2011

RCI Cyberjournal

Edition 24 August 2011
Canadian International Financial Sports Weather


The body of Jack Layton, the late leader of Canada's official opposition New Democratic Party, will lie in state in the Parliament buildings in the federal capital Ottawa for the next two days. His closed casket will rest for public visitation in the foyer outside the House of Commons. Mr. Layton's casket will then be returned to Toronto's City Hall, where he will lie in repose Friday and Saturday before a state funeral at Roy Thomson Hall on Saturday afternoon. Mr. Layton died on Monday of cancer at the age of 61. He led his party to official opposition status in the May 2 federal election. It was the first time in the party's history that it formed the main opposition in the House of Commons. Mr. Layton had been the leader of the NDP for the past eight years. The Party's federal council is expected to meet during the first week of September to set the leadership process in motion.


Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper says the current record-high world gold prices proves that his government's economic policy in the Arctic is on the beam. He offered that assessment during a visit to the Meadowbank gold mine near Baker Lake, in the eastern Arctic territory of Nunavut. It's Nunavut's only operating mine. Meadowbank is owned by Agnico-Eagle Mines Ltd. of Toronto and the company has spent $1.4 million to develop the site. Its chairman, Jim Nasso, was on hand to greet the prime minister and he noted that almost 40 per cent of its 760-member workforce are local residents. Critics of federal policy in the North complain that it is based solely on development and ignores environmental damage and the impact of climate change. Mr. Harper responded during his mine visit that while it's true that his government's approach is led by economic and sovereignty considerations, it pays attention to environmental and social issues in the North as well.


The Toronto Dominion Bank says Canada could fall back into recession if the U.S. economy shrinks. The bank says it expects the U.S. economy narrowly to avert recession in coming quarters. But TD acknowledges that if it's wrong, there could be serious trouble in Canada. The bank also says that although its preliminary estimate is that Canada's economy had zero growth in the second, the actual result could be that it contracted. The bank's revised yearly growth estimate for 2011 now stands at 2.3 per cent, down from a June forecast of 2.6 per cent.


The Conference Board of Canada says its index of consumer confidence fell in August to its lowest level in more than two years. The Board says the index fell 6.6 points in August to 74.7, the lowest since July 2009. The survey found pessimism was higher on answers to questions about current and future household finances. The survey also suggested that consumers were at their most pessimistic since April 2009 about whether it is good or a bad time to make a major purchase. The survey was conducted between August 4 and August 14. The period was a volatile time for financial markets and the debt-rating agency Standard & Poor's downgraded the credit rating of the United States.


Canada's western province of Alberta has set up an independent investigation into the wildfires that destroyed 400 buildings in the northern town of Slave Lake in May, forcing thousands of people to flee their homes. The probe will be led by Bill Sweeney, a former senior deputy commissioner of Canada's federal police force. He will examine the effectiveness of the firefighting effort and make recommendations.


Despite publicity campaigns supporting the environmental and cost benefits in Canada, the majority of commuters are using their cars rather than public transit. Statistics Canada has found that about 82 per cent of commuters travelled to work by car in 2010, while 12 per cent took public transit and six per cent walked or cycled. The vast majority of commuters feel public transit is inconvenient.



Supporters and rebels continued to fight on Wednesday afternoon near the compound of Moammar Gadhafi in Tripoli. Light arms, heavy machineguns, rocket-propelled grenades and mortars were being fired. Rebels captured the compound on Tuesday. Gadhafi broadcast a message early Wednesday on a website explaining that he had made a "tactical withdrawal" from the compound after it was wrecked by NATO warplanes. The National Transitional Council has offered a $1.7-million for the strongman, dead or alive. At the UN, the U.S. has requested an urgent meeting of the Security Council to discuss easing sanctions against Libya so that $1.5 billion of aid can be sent. And in Washington, the U.S. defence department reports that Libya's stockpile of chemical weapons are "secure" but that thousands of should-launched missiles remain a concern.


Japan has lodged a protest with China after two Chinese boats entered waters near a disputed Japanese-administered island chain in the East China Sea on Wednesday. Japan's coast guard claims two Chinese fisheries patrol boats intruded into a 12-nautical-mile zone around the islands that Japan considers its territorial waters. The islands, called Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in Chinese, and also claimed by Taiwan, have been the source of diplomatic disputes at a time when Japan has also voiced concern about China's growing naval power. Last September, Beijing broke off all high-level contact with Tokyo after Japan detained a Chinese fishing boat captain whose vessel had collided with Japanese coast guard patrol ships in the same waters.


Ukrainian police prevented thousands of opposition supporters from marching to the presidential administration building Wednesday during a protest against the trial of former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko. The crowd was stopped after marching only about 100 metres from a park in the centre of the capital Kiev. The march on the 20th anniversary of Ukraine's independence from the Soviet Union was led by Olexander Turchinov, an aide to Miss Tymoshenko. She is on trial on charges of abuse of office while prime minister. But supporters say she is the victim of a vendetta by President Viktor Yanukovich.


Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez has signed a decree formalizing the nationalization of the country's gold mining industry. The move gives the government total control over gold produced in that country. Mr. Chavez did not offer details how the new decree differs from a 1965 law that nationalized gold mining. In 1977, the government granted itself exclusive rights to extract gold. Mr. Chavez also announced the repatriation of $11 billion in Venezuelan gold reserves currently held in U.S. and European banks. He says the repatriation will begin within several weeks.


A Russia spacecraft loaded with several tonnes of supplies for the six astronauts at the International Space Station has failed to reach orbit and burned up in the atmosphere. Local officials in Siberia say the debris crashed in the Altai Republic.



U.S.-based online search engine Google has agreed to pay $500 million to resolve a dispute with the U.S. government involving online Canadian pharmacies. The U.S. justice department says Google allowed the Canadian pharmacies to use its Adwords programs to target customers in the U.S., who then imported unsafe and unlawful drugs from Canada. The ads appeared between 2003 and 2009. Federal investigators say the $500 million represents the gross revenues Google collected in ad buys from the Canadian pharmacies, plus the earnings generated from the illegal sales of drugs to American consumers. Google has acknowledged that the company shouldn't have allowed Canadian pharmacies to advertise prescription drugs to U.S. consumers.


There's a report that the Cuban authorities are investigating the business dealings of a Canadian firm that has extensive operations on the island. The Reuters news agency cites unnamed foreign business and diplomatic sources as saying that Tri-Star Caribbean is under investigation. According to Reuters, Tri-Star President Sarkis Yacoubian was taken in for questioning in mide-July, as have as many as 60 company sales personnel and state purchasers and officials. Some of them have been jailed. The cause of the investigation isn't clear. Cuban President Raul Castro has made fighting corruption a top priority since taking over from his brother Fidel in 2008. Tri-Star is one of the largest foreign trading offices in Cuba, having dealings with a range of ministries and state-run businesses involving tourism, transportation and construction, the nickel and oil industries and public health.


Canadian energy firm Enbridge Inc. says it has customers on both sides of the Pacific Ocean who back its Northern Gateway pipeline project. The Calgary-based company says shippers have committed themselves to using the proposed double pipeline that would link Alberta to the B.C. coast. One line would convey crude oil from Alberta's oilsands to the port at Kitimat, BC, for export to Asian markets. The other would transport light hydrocarbons inland for use in oil refining. The $5.6-billion project is under review by the National Energy Board, with public hearings scheduled for the beginning of next year. Environmentalists and First Nations oppose Northern Gateway as a threat to the environment.


TSX on Wednesday: 12,344 + 6. Dollar: US$1.01, down .15. Euro: $1.42, down .10. Oil: $85.15 - .29.




The Canadian women's hockey team opened the

12 Nations Tournament on Wednesday with a 16-0 win over Switzerland.

Veteran Jayna Hefford of Kingston, Ont., led Canada with a hat

trick, while Montreal's Jesse Scanzano, Haley Irwin of Thunder Bay,

Ont., and Tessa Bonhomme of Sudbury, Ont., each added a pair.


Canada's Svein Tuft has signed to ride for the Australian GreenEDGE cycle team next season. The 34-year-old from Langley, B-C was a silver medallist in the time trial at the 2008 world championships. Tuft spent this season riding with Canadian team SpiderTech-C10 after the two previous seasons with Garmin-Cervelo.



British Columbia on Thursday: sun north, mix sun cloud south, high C23 Vancouver. Yukon, Northwest Territories: mix sun cloud. Nunavut: rain. Whitehorse 15, Yellowknife 18, Iqaluit 6. Alberta: mix sun cloud. Saskatchewan: sun. Manitoba: rain. Edmonton 19, Regina 28, Winnipeg 29. Ontario: mix sun cloud. Quebec: rain. Toronto, Montreal 26, Ottawa 25. Maritimes: rain. Newfoundland and Labrador: sun. Fredericton 25, Halifax, Charlottetown 24, St. John's 23.

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