Thursday, September 22, 2011

RCI Cyberjournal


Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has thanked his Canadian counterpart Stephen Harper for his support for Israel. The two leaders met briefly on Wednesday at the UN. Both said that the solution to the Israel-Palestinian political deadlock is negotiation not a UN declaration of Palestinian statehood. Mr. Harper is on record as saying that such a declaration won't help the Middle East peace process. Earlier, Mr. Harper spoke to American business leaders at the New York Stock Exchange. He touted his country as a great place for investment because of its stable business environment, sound public finances and low taxes.


The president of Canada's official opposition New Democratic Party, Brian Topp, has received another major endorsement in his campaign for the leadership of the party. Former Saskatchewan Premier Roy Romanow is backing Mr. Topp to succeed Jack Layton as party leader. Mr. Layton died in August of cancer at the age of 61. Mr. Romanow says Mr. Topp has the right combination of skills and experience. Mr. Topp once served as Mr. Romanow's deputy chief of staff. He also has the support of former party leader Ed Broadbent. Another possible candidate from the province of Quebec who has not yet announced his intentions is Thomas Mulcair. In the May federal election, the majority of NDP candidates elected to the House of Commons came from Quebec.


A member of Canada's federal separatist Bloc Québécois party, Maria Mourani, will be a candidate for for the leadership of the party. She's urging sovereignists to join the Bloc to help it rebuild from its crushing electoral defeat in the May federal election in which she was one of just four Bloc candidates to win a seat in the House of Commons. Miss Mourani joins fellow Member of Parliament Jean-François Fortin in the race to succeed Gilles Duceppe. The Bloc's new leader will be chosen in December. The Bloc Québécois only presents candidates in the mainly French-speaking province of Quebec.


Environment Canada has acknowledged that it is eliminating much of its ozone-monitoring program but insists it will be able to keep monitoring the earth's protective layer of gas. The department says it has two separate technologies to carry out the task and that the two networks will be "consolidated and streamlined" to make sure the technology is used most effectively. It also explained that ways to monitor ozone are now well known and that there is no longer any need to maintain two separate networks.


U.S. President Barack Obama has advised the Palestinians to drop their plan to request UN recognition of a Palestinian state but the advice will likely be ignored. Mr. Obama told the General Assembly that peace between Palestinians and and Israelis is only possible through negotiations, not UN declarations. The president's speech met with little apparent enthusiasm. His government has already said the U.S. will veto a unilateral Palestinian declaration of independence in the Security Council. The Palestinian Authority has said it will in that case ask recognition from the General Assembly.


Powerful Typhoon Roke dumped a month's worth of rain along the northeastern coast of Japan in just a twelve-hour period. The area is the same region battered by a deadly earthquake and tsunami in March. Strong winds and rising rivers have already claimed six lives and disrupted air and rail travel. Several million people were advised to leave their homes and move into shelters. The still crippled Fukushima nuclear plant was in the storm's path, but escaped now new damage. However officials say they are concerned about contaminated water being washed away into the sea.


Iran has freed two American hikers who had been in custody for more than two years. The two left Teheran for the Persian Gulf state of Oman. Iran freed them on $500,000 bail each. A third American female hiker arrested with the men was released a year ago. They were taken prisoner along Iran's border with Iraq. The three denied the accusation they were spies, saying they were only hiking in Iraq's relatively peaceful Kurdistan region.


The Greek government is continuing to try to persuade international creditors to keep bailout payments flowing by promising deeper austerity measures. After a six-hour cabinet meeting, the government said it would suspend more civil servants than originally planned. The numbers of government workers to be suspended on partial pay by the end of the year will be increased by 10,000 to 30,000. Greece has 750,000 national employees out of population of 11 million. Pensions will also be slashed further than planned. The government says the latest cuts should show that Greece is able to fulfil its commitments and will remain within the eurozone.


The Chinese government has denounced the U.S. decision to upgrade Taiwan's aging fleet of F-16 warplanes. China's deputy foreign minister, Zhang Zhijun, called in the new U.S. ambassador, Gary Locke, to express his country's indignation. Mr. Zhang says he told the American envoy that the decision is a serious interference in China's internal affairs. Mr. Zhang was reacted to the Obama administration's notification to Congress of an upgrade of the Taiwanese planes that could be worth $5.3 billion. American defence officials had said that the upgrade could give the aircraft the same capabilities of the newer F-16 which Taiwan had sought in vain.


An American newspaper reports that the U.S. is establishing a series of bases for unmanned aircraft to use against al-Qaeda terrorists in Somalia and Yemen. The Washington Post says three bases have been established in Ethiopia, the Seychelles Islands and Djibouti. The newspaper also says a secret airstrip is being built in the Arabian Peninsula. The Post says it obtained the revelation from diplomatic cables obtains by the Internet anti-secrecy site Wikileaks.


The Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission has ruled that companies cannot offer television programming exclusively to their mobile or Internet subscribers. The CRTC says any program broadcast on television must be made available to competitors at fair and reasonable terms. However, the telecom watchdog offers an exception for programs specifically produced for the Internet or a mobile device. The CRTC made the ruling after six days of hearings in June during which it heard from all of the major cable and telecom firms.


Canadian Pacific Railway says it expects to make more money next year from commodity exports to Asia than from the transport of retail goods. CP CEO Fred Green says the railway's intermodal business, which carries retail goods in containers shipped by ship, rail or truck, likely won't return to strength anytime soon. However, he says that markets for commodities like potash, grain and energy products remain strong because of demand in Asia. He also expects increased shipments of oil from Saskatchewan, Montana and North Dakota to refineries in Texas.


TSX on Wednesday: 11,955 - 254. Dollar: US.99. Euro: $1.36. Oil: $85.18 - $1.74.



Canadian speedskater Kristina Groves is hanging up her skates. The Ottawa native claimed four Olympic and 18 world championship medals, including a silver and bronze at the 2010 Vancouver Games. The 34-year-old suffered a concussion in a crash last November which sidelined her for the rest of the season.


A controversial bill aimed at protecting Quebec City's

arena project has been adopted by the provincial legislature.

Bill 204 declares that an agreement granting the Quebecor media

empire control over the arena is perfectly legal.

The move aims to block any potential lawsuit.

A former city director general is planning legal action because

he considers the deal illegal and says it circumvents city

contracting guidelines.


British Columbia on Thursday: rain, high C19 Vancouver. Yukon: rain. Northwest Territories: mix sun cloud. Nunavut: mix sun cloud flurries. Whitehorse 11, Yellowknife 13, Iqaluit 2. Prairies: sun. Edmonton 21, Regina 23, Winnipeg 15. Ontario: rain north, mix sun cloud south. Quebec: rain. Toronto 20, Ottawa, Montreal 23. Maritimes: rain. Newfoundland and Labrador: sun. Fredericton, Halifax, Charlottetown, St. John's 18.