Tuesday, September 20, 2011

RCI Cyberjournal

NL TO VOTE NEXT MONTH


The Progressive Conservative Party Premier of the eastern Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador has called an election for Oct. 11. This will be Kathy Dunderdale's first campaign since succeeding former Premier Danny Williams. The Conservatives will be seeking a third straight majority. At dissolution they held 43 of the 48 seats in legislature. A likely them for the Liberal and New Democratic parties will be the absence of oil wealth in the province's outports.

PARLIAMENT BACK


Canada's Parliament has resumed its labour after summer recess. The governing Conservative Party's House of Commons leader Peter Van Loan says it will keep its promise to pass a law-and-order bill within 100 days. The House leader of the official opposition, the New Democratic Party, says the crime legislation is mere posturing for the benefit of the Conservative Party base. Thomas Mulcair says the legislation is unneeded because crime has been on the decrease in Canada for decades. Mr. Van Loan also says the government will introduce legislation to get rid of the Canadian Wheat Board monopoly over the marketing of Western wheat and barley as well as to abolish the rifle and shotgun registry.

TOP SOLDIER MAY PAY FOR GOVT. PLANE USE


Canada's top military commander has done an about-face and says he'll consider reimbursing taxpayers the commercial cost of a 2010 Caribbean vacation flight aboard a government aircraft. Gen. Walt Natynczyk, the chief of defence staff, met with Prime Minister Stephen Harper and opposition critics Monday amid a furore over his travel expenses. Access-to-information documents reveal Gen. Natynczyk spent more than $1 million since 2008 flying on private military jets. In an interview after the documents were made public, he said that if he hadn't used them, the aircraft would have otherwise flown around empty, because the pilots and crew need to fly to remain proficient. In effect, he said, the costs of the flights were prepaid

PASSPORT FEE MAY RISE


Canadian citizens could soon be paying a lot more for passports if the first versions of Canada's new electronic passport are any indication. Since 2009, the passport office has issued 40,000 so-called ePassports to senior government officials and diplomats. The document has a computer chip that stores key personal data. According to an expense claim filed by Prime Minister Stephen Harper, the special passports cost $225 each. Currently, adult Canadians pay $87 for a passport.

DEADLINE REACHED FOR CLASS-ACTION FOR FORMER NATIVE STUDENTS


Monday is the final day for former students of Canada's residential schools to apply for compensation from the Canadian government. They are eligible for up to $10,000 each. The students, mostly native Canadians, were forcibly removed from their families over many decades and enrolled in schools administered by religious denominations and funded by the Canadian government. The last residential school in Canada was closed in 1996. Many of the former students were subjected to physical and sexual abuse. The 2007 Indian Residential School Settlement Agreement, which provides for their financial compensation, is the largest class-action settlement in Canadian history


LIBYA


Libya's National Transitional Council says its fighters tried but failed to enter the town of Bani Walid. The town 140 kilometres south of Tripoli is one of the last strongholds of forces loyal to fallen dictator Moammar Gadhafi. The NTC says Gadhafi's son Saif has been spotted in Bani Walid, and that it's likely Gadhafi himself is there as well. The Council also says its forces have captured the airport and a fortress at Sabha in the far south, a second pro-Gadhafi stronghold.

SYRIA


Syrian activists report that government forces have killed five protesters in several villages in the central province of Homs. The London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says the military killed the protesters in the province's Houla area. The UN Commission for Human Rights says at least 100 Syrian demonstrators have lost their lives in the past week, bringing the death toll to 2,700 since the protests against the government of President Bashat al-Assad began six months ago.

RUSSIA


An official report says that the navigator of a Russian plane that crashed onto a highway in the region of Karelia in June, killing 47 people, was drunk. The RusAir Tu-134 aircraft was trying to land at its destination of Petrozavodsk in the Karelia region near Finland in bad weather but failed to make the runway and instead crashed onto a nearby highway. The report said the navigator's behaviour was a contributing factor in the crash, but found that the main cause was the decision to attempt the landing in bad weather with poor visibility. The findings come as an investigation continues into the crash of a plane carrying a top ice hockey team earlier this month, the latest in a string of air disasters in Russia, where many smaller airlines use outdated Soviet-era planes.

VENEZUELA


Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez has begun his fourth and final round of chemotherapy treatment for cancer in Cuba. Mr. Chavez has said he will stand for re-election next year. He's also said he will be well enough to host a regional summit on Dec. 2. Mr. Chavez recently underwent emergency surgery in Havana to remove a tumour from his pelvic region. He had two rounds of chemotherapy in Cuba, and a further round in Venezuela at the end of August.

URUGUAY


A military judge in Montevideo has ordered five sailors accused of sexually abusing a young Haitian while on peacekeeping duties in Haiti to be jailed until a tribunal decides whether to expel them from the military. The sailors arrived back in Uruguay's capital on Friday. Once the military court makes its decision, a civil court will take up the abuse charges. President José Mujica has said the five will face the most severe punishments if found guilty.

BURUNDI


 

The government of Burundi says gunmen from the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo killed 36 patrons of a public establishment in the central province of Bujumbura. The governor of the province says the gunmen targeted a pub in Gatumba after crossing a river from Congo. One survivor said the attackers wore military uniforms. A spokesman for the Congolese military said the gunmen were likely members of Burundi's last rebel army.


MINISTER TRIES TO AVERT AIR CANADA STRIKE


Canada Labour Minister Lisa Raitt met with representatives of Air Canada and the company's flight attendants union on Monday to try to avert a walkout. The union has threatened a strike on Wednesday morning. The country's biggest airline has not yet disclosed its plans in the event of a walkout. The key issues in the dispute are wages, pensions and crew rest. A walkout by Air Canada's customer service employees ended in June just three days after Mrs. Raitt said she would legislate an end to the conflict.

MARKETS


TSX on Monday: 12,172 - 92. Dollar: US$1.01. Euro: $1.35. Oil: $85.80 - $2.16.


SPORTS


SKATING

Canadian Olympic speed skater Kristina Groves has called a press conference for Wedneday to make a major announcement about her career. Groves crashed and suffered a concussion in a World Cup race in last November and hasn't skated since. The 34-year-old from Ottawa has won three Olympic silver medals and a bronze.


WEATHER


British Columbia on Tuesday: mix sun cloud, high C21 Vancouver. Yukon: ran. Northwest Territories, Nunavut: mix sun cloud. Whitehorse 12, Yellowknife 14, Iqaluit 3. Alberta: sun. Saskatchewan: mix sun cloud. Manitoba: rain. Edmonton 17, Regina 16, Winnipeg 12. Ontario: sun south, rain north. Quebec: rain. Toronto 21, Ottawa 22, Montreal 23. New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador: rain. Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island: cloud. Fredericton, Halifax 20, Charlottetown 18, St. John's 13.