Friday, August 26, 2011

RCI Cyberjournal

Edition 25 August 2011
Canadian International Financial Sports Weather


The body of Jack Layton, the late leader of Canada's main opposition New Democratic Party, was being transported Thursday to his hometown of Toronto. Mr. Layton's closed casket had been lying in state since Tuesday in the foyer of House of Commons in the federal capital Ottawa. Thursday afternoon, the hearse carrying the casket made short, symbolic detour through the province of Quebec at the request of his family. Quebec was Mr. Layton's home province and the province that delivered the majority of seats to the NDP in May's federal election. Mr. Layton's casket is expected to arrive at Toronto City Hall Thursday evening where he will lie in repose until Saturday's state funeral. The ceremony will be attended by Prime Minister Stephen Harper and a host of dignitaries. Mr. Layton, who died of cancer on Monday at the age of 61, was leader of the NDP for the past eight years. The NDP's federal council is expected to meet the first week of September to start the process of finding a new leader.


Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper has announced a two-year extension to 2014 of his government's contribution to health care in the three northern territories. The accord is worth $60 million to the territories of Yukon, the Northwest Territories and Nunavut. The prime minister made the commitment while visiting Yellowknife, the capital of the Northwest Territories. The territories share common problems of huge transportation costs for patients. Mr. Harper acknowledged the difficultires in providing health care to a sparse population spread across remote communities.


Friends and co-workers of a 24-year-old software developer report that he was shot dead in Libya earlier this week. The sources say Nader Benrewin of Ottawa was shot by a sniper a day after rebels launched an attack against Moammar Gadhafi's compound. One friend said he wanted to make videos to show the world the true situation in Libya. Many of Mr. Benrewin's family members live in Libya. Canada foreign affairs department hasn't confirmed the death. However, the department did reveal that Libya's transitional government has sent an interim chargé d'affaires and that he has been accredited. Canada expelled all of Gadhafi's diplomats in early August. Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird says the new envoy has thanked Canada for its support in the efforts to rid Libya of Gadhafi.


The Canadian Hurricane Centre in Halifax, NS, says Hurricane Irene will likely have some impact on Eastern Canada either during the weekend or early next week. But the Centre also says it's too early to say what that impact might be because its path and intensity can vary. The governments of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia have advised residents to be prepared with food and water in the event of major storm hits. Hurricane Irene was classified Wednesday as a Category 3 hurricane with winds of over 176 kilometres an hour and was striking Bahamas.


Canada's police chiefs are calling on the federal government to give police occasional access to emails, cellphone calls and text messages. The chiefs complain criminals currently have a secure means of communication that cannot be accessed by police. Their request was made at the annual meeting of police chiefs in the city of Windsor, ON. Therewas no immediate response from the federal government.


Canada's Pacific Coast Province of British Columbia will announce the results of a referendum on the Harmonized Sales Tax on Friday. The 12-per-cent HST took effect almost 14 months ago and was extremely unpopular with the public. In an effort to make the tax less painful, Premier Christy Clark has pledged to cut it to 10 per cent by 2014.


A Canadian government panel appointed to assess the impact of building new nuclear plants in the province of Ontario has concluded the project is not likely to cause major environmental risk. The Ontario government is planning to build two new nuclear reactors at Ontario Power Generation's Darlington site in the hopes of eventually producing about one-twelfth of the province's energy supply. The site is located near Toronto. The move follows ongoing protests from environmentalists about the safety of the project. The hearings went ahead despite the environmentalists' concerns that the panel was ignoring safety questions raised by leaks at the Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear plant in Japan following a March tsunami. The panel submitted its final report to the federal minister of the environment, who will be responsible for approving or denying the project.


A provincial-federal environmental assessment board has taken a dim view of a proposed energy project in the eastern Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador. The Board has concluded that the province's energy agency, Nalcor Energy, hasn't proven the need to invest $6.2 billion in the Muskrat Falls hydroelectric development in Labrador. The panel says the government hasn't proven the justification of the project in energy and economic terms. The government wants to build a hydroelectric plant on the Lower Churchill Fall River that would produce hydro power for both Newfoundland and Nova Scotia. An undersea cable would convey the energy from Newfoundland to the neighbouring province. Muskrat Falls would produce 824 megawatts of electricity.



Fighting continued another day in Tripoli between loyalists to Moammar Gadhafi and rebels two days after the insurgents overran his compound. Gadhafi himself remains in hiding. In an audio message broadcast on a television, he called on Libya's tribes to march on Tripoli to kill the "rats." The rebels say they think Gadhafi is still in Tripoli but may try to escape through tunnels and bunkers to start up his own insurgency. Aid agencies in the capital warn that there are shortages of food, water and medical supplies, especially for hundreds of wounded. But the National Transitional Council says it has found huge stockpiles in Tripoli that will meet all the population's needs for food, drugs and fuel. The NTC also reports that it hopes to resume oil exports next month and that the damage to oil facilities isn't nearly as bad as feared.


Masked gunmen in Damascus have kidnapped a famous liberal cartoonist and beaten him. The gunmen broke the hands of 60-year-old Ali Ferzat before dumping him on a road outside the capital. Mr. Ferzat has drawn cartoons about the ongoing uprising against the government of President Bashar al-Assad and posted them on his private website. This week, he posted a cartoon depicting the president hitching a ride with a fleeing Moammar Gadhafi.


China has banned 100 songs from being featured on websites and also barred artists ranging from Lady Gaga to the Backstreet Boys. In announcing the decision, the ministry of culture says it wants to ban songs that harm the security of state culture. The ministry did not explain why the songs were banned. China routinely censors anything it considers politically sensitive or offensive.


President Hugo Chavez has announced that he will travel perhaps next week to Cuba for a new third round of chemotherapy in his ongoing fight against cancer. The 57-year old Mr. Chavez has said he underwent surgery in Cuba in June for a malignant tumor in his pelvic area. He has not offered more detailed information on his cancer for which he underwent chemotherapy rounds in July and August. Since then Mr. Chavez has reduced his public appearances.


Russia has grounded its Soyuz rockets after a space ship carrying tonnes of cargo for the International Space Station crashed into Siberia shortly after liftoff. Analysts say the failed launch of the unmanned Progress capsule was a major setback for Russia which had become the sole nation capable of transporting humans to the Station after the withdrawal of the U.S. space shuttle in July. The next manned flight to the space station is scheduled for Sept. 22 and a cargo vessel with new supplies is due to take off on Oct. 28. The station depends on the Progress deliveries for basic supplies such as food and water. But both Russian and U.S. officials took care to dispel suggestions that the accident may prompt an emergency evacuation of the station's six member crew.


Steve Jobs, who turned the Apple company into one of the world's most powerful computer companies, says he's resigning as chief executive officer. He says he can no longer handle the job but will stay on as chairman. The announcement appears to be the result of a medical condition for which the 56-year-old took an indefinite leave from his post in January. His health problems include a diagnosis of pancreatic cancer seven years ago, and a liver transplant two years ago. Apple's chief operating officer, Tim Cook, has been named CEO.



Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd. has won a $440-million contract to refurbish Argentina's Embalse nuclear generating station in the country's northeast. The station powered by a Candu 6 reactor began commercial operations in 1984. The nuclear division of Canadian engineering firm SNC-Lavalin will provide direct support until it completes the acquisition of AECL's nuclear division. The Canadian government agreed in June to sell the division to SNC-Lavalin for $15 million. The engineering company agreed in return to preserve 1,200 jobs at AECL.


TSX on Thursday: 12,284 - 60. Dollar: US$1.01, down .15. Euro: $1.42, down .10. Oil: $84.96 - .20.




Michelle Wie kicked off her title defence at the C-N Canadian Women's Open with a 5-under 67 for a share of the clubhouse lead. Wie is joined by fellow American Angela Stanford and South Korea's Mi Hyun Kim. Canada's Adrienne White is two shots back while top-ranked Yani Tseng trails by four strokes.


Canada's women's hockey team won again the the 12 Nations tournament. Meghan Agosta had a hat trick and added two assists as Canada thumped Russia 14-1. The victory came one day after Canada blasted Switzerland 16-nothing.


Toronto FC failed to capitalize on a reprieve after a storm postponed their CONCACAF Champions League game. Toronto lost 1-0 FC Dallas in a game that took 16 hours to wrap up. Dallas had led 1-0 last night before the storm delayed the game. It was restarted with the score wiped out but Dallas still won after defender Jack Stewart scored on a header in the first half.



British Columbia on Friday: sun north, mix sun cloud south, high C23 Celsius. Yukon, Nunavut: rain. Northwest Territories: sun. Whitehorse 14, Yellowknife 18, Iqaluit 7. Prairies: sun. Edmonton, Regina, Winnipeg 24. Ontario: rain north, mix sun cloud south. Quebec: sun. Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal 24. Atlantic Canada: rain. Fredericton 23, Halifax 22, Charlottetown 24, St. John's 21.

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