Saturday, August 27, 2011

RCI Cyberjournal

Edition 26 August 2011
Canadian International Financial Sports Weather


Hurricane Irene is expected to strike the eastern U.S. state of North Carolina on Saturday. The storm will then travel the coast northwards, reaching New York City on Sunday. State officials from North Carolina to New York have declared states of emergency and tens of thousands of residents have been ordered to flee as the hurricane approaches. The hurricane is expected to have an impact as far as eastern Canada. Kinetic Analysis Corp., a company that does computer models of predicted storm damage, says Irene could cause as much as $10 billion of damage.


Voters in the west coast Canadian province have rejected a combined provincial and federal sales tax in a referendum. The result after almost eight weeks of voting was almost 55 per cent against the 12-per cent harmonized sales tax. The B.C. Federation of Labour calls the outcome a victory for common sense. The Canadian Taxpayers Federation, however, describes it as good for democracy but bad for the economy. The government says the loss of the HST will mean that its deficit for this year will rise from $925 million to almost $3 billion and that this will automatically lead to cuts to government programs and a long period of budget deficits.


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 criticized federal environmental officials on Friday for what he called an unauthorized shutdown of water-quality monitoring stations in the Northwest Territories earlier this week. Local officials said they ordered the stations to be turned off because of federal budget cuts. The monitoring stations have been ordered back on. There was no immediate explanation about why officials made the decision when they lacked the authority to do so. Mr Harper's comments came as he wrapped up his annual tour of the country's North with a stop in the northwestern territory of Yukon. On Saturday, Mr. Harper will attend the funeral of NDP leader Jack Layton in Toronto. Next week, he travels to Paris for an international meeting to discuss the future of Libya. The meeting is being hosted by France and Great Britain.


Alberta's energy minister says he's glad about a decision by the U.S. concerning a pipeline planned to convey oil from the western Canadian province's oilsands region. Ron Liepert says he's especially pleased that the U.S. state department's decision to approve the TransCanada Pipeline firm's extension project is based on facts rather than emotion. TransCanada wants to entend an existing pipeline that ends in the U.S. Midwest to refineries on the Gulf Coast of Texas. U.S. environmentalists oppose it on the grounds that the project is an environmental threat and will increase U.S. reliance on hydrocarbons. More than 250 people have been arrested in front of the White House in recent days as they protested against the Keystone XL project. The U.S. government now has 90 days to decide whether the project is in the national interest.


The energy regulator in Canada's western province of Alberta has approved the restarting of a pipeline from which spilled millions of litres of oil spilled last April. The energy resources Conservation Board says the Plains Midstream Canada pipeline firm can restart its Rainbow line in the north of the province because it's now safe. A cracked weld burst on April 28, spilling 4.5 million litres of oil. The Board says the company has agreed to inspect all sections of the pipeline containing similar welds. The pipeline also will only be allowed to operate at 75-per cent capacity. The 44-year-old pipeline runs between the town of Zama and Edmonton.


Canada's privacy commissioner is reminding Canadians to protect their personal information. Jennifer Stoddart says a survey by her office found that only 40 per cent of the people who own a smart phone or portable computers have security measures in place. Miss Stoddart says meaningful protection of privacy has to start with the individual. She's encouraging everyone to use passwords, encryption and privacy settings to safeguard their personal information.



Libyan rebels claim to be close to capturing Moammar Gadhafi but there's no sign of an end to fighting between them and his supporters. British warplanes on Friday bombed a headquarters in Sirte, 450 kilometres east of Tripoli, in a city still in control of Gadhafi's forces. There has been speculation he might try to seek refuge where he was born among his tribesman. The National Transitional Council continues to press for the release of frozen Libyan assets imposed as part of UN sanctions. However, South African President Jacob Zuma says the African Union won't recognize the Council until the fighting stops. The AU called on Friday for a negotiated peace in Libya.


Syrian rights activists report that government security forces killed three protesters in the eastern town of Deir al-Zor and the southern town of Nawa. Protesters continue to turn out after Friday prayers in mosques to demand the ouster of President bashar al-Assad. At the UN, the U.S., Britain, France and Portugal circulated a draft resolution for the Security Council calling for sanctions against al-Assad, members of his family and associates. Western diplomats says Russia and China are refusing to discuss the document. Russia has long had close ties with Syria and its one of its main arms suppliers.


At least 18 people have died in a suicide bombing directed against the main UN building in Nigeria's caital Abuja. Witnesses say a sedan loaded with explosives crashed through two gates and entered the building before the blast. The radical Muslim sect Boko Haram has claimed responsibility for the attack. The UN headquarters had offices for 450 employees working for 26 UN humanitarian and development agencies. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has denounced the attack as an assault on those who devote their lives to helping others. Nigeria's health minister, Mohammed Ali Pate, has appealed for blood donations, saying there are at least 60 injured people at a nearby hospital alone.


Mexican authorities are blaming drug cartels for an attack that killed 52 people in the northern city of Monterrey. Gunman entered a casino, spread gasoline and ignited a fire that trapped gamblers and employees. Police say the death toll could rise because a dozen people are injured. The government is offering a reward of $2.4 million for information on the perpetrators.


Japan's Prime Minister Naoto Kan has resigned as president of the governing party. The decision opens the way for the selection of a sixth prime minister in the last five years. His resignation comes after nearly 15 months in power during which his response to the March 11 earthquake, tsunami and resulting nuclear plant accident drew strong criticism that led to a sharp decline in his approval ratings. A leadership election for a new party president, who would then become prime minister, is expected on Monday. Parliament will then vote the leader in as prime minister on Tuesday.


Russia may delay the next manned launch for the International Space Station after an unmanned space vessel crashed into Siberia instead of reaching orbit. The Sept. 22 launch could be delayed to give specialists time to work out the precise cause of the crash this week of the Progress cargo vehicle. The planned return to earth from the station of two Russians and an American astronaut on Sept. 8 may also be delayed. Russia has also grounded all its Soyuz rockets pending an investigation into the failed launch and has postponed the launch of a navigation satellite from a Soyuz that was due this week.



The Ontario Securities Commission has temporarily stopped trading in shares of the Sino-Forest Corp. on grounds that the company is guilty of fraud. The regulator says Sino-Forest has either lied about its revenue or timber holdings in China or both. The temporary order will last for 15 days but can be extended if the OSC decides to hold a hearing. The order says that Sino-Forest's CEO, Allan Chan, and four other directors knew or should have known that their company was making fraudulent declarations. The uproar over the company's public statements began earlier in the summer when an American investment house made similar allegations of misrepresentation. Sino-Forest stock was trading at more than $14 at the time but afterwards plunged to as low as $1.29.


TSX on Friday: 12,328 + 43. Dollar: US$1.01, down .15. Euro: $1.42, down .10. Oil: $85.42 + .12.




Ai Miyazato holds the clubhouse lead at the CN Canadian Women's Open. Miyazato shot a 4 under and stands at 11 under through two rounds. Canadian Samantha Richdale slid down the leaderboard after starting the day one shot off the leaders. She shot 1 over par and stands at 5 under.



British Columbia on Saturday: sun south, mix sun cloud north. High C23 Vancouver. Yukon, Northwest Territories: mix sun cloud. Nunavut: rain. Whitehorse 16, Yellowknife 18, Iqaluit 9. Alberta: sun. Saskatchewan, Manitoba: rain. Edmonton 25, Regina 24, Winnipeg 26. Ontario: sun. Quebec: mix sun cloud. Toronto, Ottawa 26, Montreal 27. Maritimes: sun. Newfoundland and Labrador: mix sun cloud. Fredericton 27, Halifax, Charlottetown 26, St. John's 21.

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