Friday, September 16, 2011

RCI Cyberjournal

Edition 15 September 2011
Canadian International Financial Sports Weather


There's a report that the recovery from the recession that began in 2008 has almost ground to a halt. The news comes from the Organization of Economic Co-operation and Development. It says that even better-performing economies like Canada's can expect only weak growth this year. The OECD predicts one-per cent growth for Canada in the third quarter and almost two-per cent in the last. The report forecasts as well low growth for several major economies, including those of the U.S., Germany and Italy. The OECD recommends that governments keep interest rates low and spend to stimulate their economies if they're fiscally able to do so.


Manufacturing sales rose 2.7 per cent to $46.7 billion in July after three straight monthly declines. Statistics Canada reported Thursday more than three-quarters of the sales gains were in Ontario. Higher sales were reported in 15 of 21 industries, representing 74.8 per cent of total manufacturing. The petroleum and coal products, primary metal and fabricated metal product industries led the gains. Production fell 17.5 per cent to $946 million in the aerospace product and parts industry, offsetting a portion of the gains in manufacturing sales.


The interim leader of Canada's official opposition party says its Members of Parliament won't be distracted from their duties in the House of Commons after it resumes on Monday by the party's leadership contest. Nycole Turmel says the party will elect its new leader in six months and that in the meantime it will be working hard in the House of Commons to oppose a Conservative government which she says has turned its back on families. Mrs. Turmel says the NDP will push the government of Prime Minister Stephen Harper to invest in retirement security and job creation measures, such as infrastructure projects. Former NDP leader Jack Layton died last month. Party President Brian Topp is the only declared candidate to replace him.


The Canadian Broadcasting Corp. is reporting that a former Royal Canadian Mounted Police officer involved in the investigation into the crash of a Swissair jetliner off Nova Scotia 13 years ago believes an incendiary device may have brought down the plane.

Swissair Flight 111 bound from New York to Geneva crashed off Peggy's Cove on Sept. 2, 1998, killing 229 passengers and crew.

The officer, Tom Juby, says that he was prevented by senior RCMP and aviation safety officials from pursuing his theory that the crash may have been caused by a criminal device.

A Canadian Transportation Safety Board investigation concluded the plane was brought down by a fire in the cockpit that was caused by sparking electrical wires.


There has been a new development in the string of allegations of corruption in the construction industry in the Canadian province of Quebec. The latest allegations come from a leaked document from a newly created police unit set up by the provincial government. The document links organized crime and criminal biker gangs to the industry. It claims corrupt government employees helped construction firms find legal loopholes to charge more to carry out public-works contracts. The document alleges as well that some of the additional money charged ended up in the hands of political parties. The report says the scale of the corruption is so vast as to usurp certain functions of the state. The Liberal Party government has for months resisted calls for a public inquiry into corruption in the construction industry.


The global environmental group Greenpeace is marking its 40th anniversary Thursday in Vancouver, the city where it was born four decades ago. Greenpeace was started by a small group of activists who opposed nuclear weapons testing off Alaska and who set off in a ship there named the Greenpeace on Sept. 15, 1971. That campaign spawned an international movement that has a long and controversial history fighting against issues such as climate change, nuclear waste and whaling. Greenpeace has often staged public events that ended in arrests, criticism and, most importantly, headlines. Greenpeace International executive director, Kumi Naidoo, says it's a remarkable accomplishment that the group has survived for 40 years, but he says it still has work to do addressing issues such as climate change.



Britain and France say they'll present a resolution before the UN Security Council on Friday to authorize the release of all Libyan assets. Prime Minister David Cameron and President Nicolas Sarkozy made the revelation on Thursday in a visit to Tripoli. Mr. Cameron says Britain has already itself unfrozen $1.6 billion of Libyan assets but if the Council resolution is approved that would make a further $18 billion of assets available to Libya's National Transitional Council. Britain and France have led international support for the revolt against the fallen régime of Moammar Gadhafi and are major contributors to the NATO airstrikes against his forces. Canada has also taken part in the strikes. Mr. Cameron says the air war will continue because Gadhafi's supporters continue to resist.


A group of Syrian opposition figures has announced in Istanbul, Turkey, the creation of a Syrian National Council designed to present a common front to oppose the government of President Bashar al-Assad. The Council groups about 140 opposition figures, including 70 dissidents still in Syria. They adhere to varying ideologies, some being secularists and others secularists. One of the Council members is Paris-based academic Bassma Kodmani. He says the Syrian revolution is peaceful and the that Council opposes any foreign intervention or military actions against Mr. al-Assad's régime.


The top Palestinian diplomat says the Palestinians will submit a bid for full membership at the UN Security Council on Sept. 23. Foreign Minister Riad al-Malki told reporters on Thursday in the West Bank capital of Ramallah that the bid would be submitted next Friday. His remarks appear to end the speculation over whether the Palestinians would risk a threatened United States Security Council veto of their statehood bid. The other option was to seek a lesser status as a non-member observer from the UN General Assembly, where the U.S. does not wield veto power. Canada also appears set to oppose a Palestinian bid to gain increased recognition.


The Democratic Republic of Congo's electoral commission says it has accepted the applications of all 11 presidential candidates, including President Joseph Kabila, for the country's second national election after a civil war that ended in 2003. The vote will take place on Nov. 28. Mr. Kabila is the favourite to be re-elected, despite his failure to suppress corruption and rebellion in the east of the country. His election in 2003 was funded mostly by the international community and was considered a success even though hundreds died in fighting in Kinshasa after the vote.


The Indian Ocean island nation of the Maldives is urging governments to act against global warming, saying low-lying island nations are already suffering from rising sea levels. Maldives Environment Minister Mohamed Aslam told an Asian Development Bank conference on climate-induced migration Thursday in Manilla that entire island populations in his archipelago have had to relocate over the last two decades because life has become unsustainable. An ADB-funded report says environmental disruptions will increase forced migration in Asia and the Pacific, the region expected to be most severely affected by climate change. The report calls on governments to boost vulnerable communities' resilience.



Canadian high-tech firm Research in Motion reports a drop in its second-quarter profits of more than half. The maker of the BlackBerry smartphone says it earned US$329 million in the quarter, compared with US$797 million a year earlier. The latest result fell short of analysts' expectations. RIM has gone a year without producing a new BlackBerry model, as rival Apple and Android devices gained ground. Earlier this year, RIM announced 2,000 job cuts, or about 11 per cent of its global workforce, in an effort to cut costs in the competitive smartphone market.


The Ford assembly plant in the southwestern Ontario community of St. Thomas closed Thursday after four decades. With closure, the last of 1,200 hourly-paid employees at the plant were thrown out of work. A decade ago, there were about 3,600 union members at the factory. The final sedan rolled out of the 2.6-million-square-foot factory and with it end a 44-year history that included building Fairmonts, Pintos, Mavericks and other vehicles. The plant has been building full-sized sedans such as the Lincoln Town Car and Crown Victorias, but sales have fallen steadily for years.


TSX on Thursday: 12,415 + 31. Dollar: US$1.01. Euro: $1.36. Oil: $89.32 + .41.




Canadian tennis star Milos Raonic might have to delay his return to tennis. The 20-year-old was set to play his first match since June as Canada takes on host Israel at this weekend's Davis Cup. But Raonic has been hit with a bug and is still in the process of recovery. If he is too ill to play, Peter Polansky will step in.


Winnipeg Blue Bombers legend Buddy Tinsley has died. The offensive lineman and Canadian Football Hall of Famer played for the Bombers from 1950 to 1960, making five Grey Cup appearances and winning two of them, in 1958 and '59. Tinsley was 87.



British Columbia on Friday: rain, high C17 Vancouver. Yukon: mix sun cloud. Northwest Territories, Nunavut: rain. Whitehorse 12, Yellowknife 16, Iqaluit 7. Alberta: rain north, sun south. Saskatchewan: rain. Manitoba: sun. Edmonton 17, Regina 22, Winnipeg 16. Ontario, Quebec: sun. Toronto 15, Ottawa, Montreal 14. Atlantic Canada: rain. Fredericton, Charlottetown 15, Halifax 16, St. John's 18.

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