Tuesday, October 4, 2011

RCI Cyberjournal

Edition 3 October 2011
Canadian International Financial Sports Weather


Nobel officials said Monday they will award the Nobel Prize for Medicine to Canadian-born scientist Ralph Steinman even though Dr. Steinman died of pancreatic cancer last Friday at age 68. Earlier Monday, Nobel officials had announced they were awarding the prize to Dr. Steinman, American Bruce Beutler and Jules Hoffman of France for their research on the immune system. However, officials were unaware of Dr. Steinman's death when they made the announcement. Nobel statutes don't allow posthumous awards unless a laureate dies after the announcement but before the Dec. 10 award ceremony. After conferring much of the day, Nobel officials said that the award to Dr. Steinman would stand because it was made in good faith, based on the assumption that he was alive. Nobel officials said was the first time they had awarded a prize without knowing the laureate had died. Dr. Steinman was born and raised in Quebec and was a graduate of Montreal's McGill University. At the time of his death, he was an immunologist and cell biologist at Rockefeller University in New York. He won a Gairdner award in 2003, which recognizes excellence in medical research. Individuals who win the award have frequently gone on to win other prestigious international prizes. After he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer four years ago, Dr. Steinman was treated with immunotherapy based on his discovery of dendritic cells two decades earlier.


Premier Robert Ghiz was poised to lead his Liberal Party to a majority victory Monday in Prince Edward Island's general election, defeating the Progressive Conservative Party led Olive Crane. A hour after the polls closed, the Liberals had almost 52 per cent of the vote, winning eight seats and leading in 13 others. The PCs had 40 per cent of the vote, winning one seat and leading in five others. At dissolution, the Liberals had 24 seats in the legislature, the Conservatives had two and there was one vacancy. The province's political history shows that PEI tends to elect lopsided majorities and give governments a second chance. In 2000, the Conservatives won 26 of the province's 27 seats in the legislature, leaving the Liberals with one. Four years later, the Tories took 23 seats to the Liberals' four. Mr. Ghiz and the Liberals won 23 seats in the 2007 vote. Energy issues and and rural development were the main issues in the 2011 campaign.




Residents of the Northwest Territories are voting Monday in a general election. Nineteen members will be returned to the Legislative Assembly. The Northwest Territories operates on a consensus government system without political parties. The premier is then chosen by members of the Legislative Assembly. Monday will mark the 22nd general election in the territory's history.


A strike has been averted at Canada's Saint Lawrence Seaway, one of Norrth America's major shipping routes. Some 450 workers, who are members of the Canadian Auto Workers union, were set to walk off the job at noon Monday. The Seaway allows for large freight ships to travel between the Atlantic Ocean and the five Great Lakes, serving some of the most important industrial cities in Canada and the United States.


American opponents of TransCanada's Keystone XL pipeline are stepping up their line of attack. New emails obtained by the environmental group Friends of the Earth suggest a cosy relationship between a TransCanada lobbyist and employees at the US State Department, which will decide the fate of the controversial pipeline in the coming weeks. Friends of the Earth say the emails prove the approval process is hopelessly corrupt since they show evidence of complicity between TransCanada and US officials. The emails are the second batch to be released by the group under freedom-of-information legislation. They reveal a senior State Department official fishing for invitations to a July 4 party for TransCanada officials this year at the US Embassy in Ottawa, and sharing details of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's meetings with the company.



Canadian cities could be hit by demonstrations similar to those occurring in New York City's financial district, better known as Wall Street. An Oct. 15 march in Canada's financial district of Bay Street is planned by a group calling itself Occupy Toronto Market Exchange. The protest in New York's financial district is to denounce corporate greed and social inequality is entering its third week. More than 700 people were arrested Saturday after they blocked traffic on the Brooklyn Bridge.


Trade Minister Ed Fast says Canada is close to reaching a key trade agreement with China, Mr. Fast, who will travel to China next week, The trade says he hopes negotiations on a foreign investment and protection agreement with China will be completed soon. That could set the stage for a trip to the country later this fall by Prime Minister Stephen Harper, his second since taking office in 2006. Mr. Fast says Canada is keen to diversify trade around the world and China is among the most important markets. The minister spoke on a conference call after completion of a trip to Indonesia and Japan, where he signed some minor agreements. China is the world's second-largest economy and a major buyer of Canadian resources -- from coal and fertilizer to grain and lumber.


Alberta's premier-designate, Alison Redford, plans to name her cabinet within two weeks. She says there will be some new people, and the appointees will get their jobs based on merit. Ms. Redford won the leadership of the Progressive Conservative Party in a vote this past weekend.The former human rights lawyer will be the first-ever woman premier in Alberta. The PCs have held power in the province for the past 40 years.


Quebec's premier has begun a 10-day tour of Europe while a political scandal over the province's construction industry rages at home. Jean Charest is in France today at the start of a trip that will also take him to Spain. His reasons for the tour are two-fold: celebrate the 50th anniversary of Quebec's diplomatic mission in Paris and promote his plan for northern economic development. The premier's visit began Monday in Paris with a ceremony and military inspection at the Invalides war museum.



The Nobel Foundation said Monday the prize for medicine awarded to Canadian-born Ralph Steinman would stand even though he died Friday. The Nobel Prize Committee was not aware of Mr. Steinman's death when it made the announcement early Monday that Dr. Steinman would share the prize with American Bruce Beutler and Jules Hoffmann of France for their research on the immune system. Their work is cited for opening up new avenues for prevention and treatment of infections, cancer and inflammations. Dr. Steinman was born and raised in Montreal and was a science graduate of McGill University before earning his medical degree from Harvard University. At the time of his death, he was an immunologist and cell biologist at Rockefeller University in New York. He died Friday of pancreatic cancer at the age of 68. Nobel statutes don't allow posthumous awards unless a laureate dies after the announcement but before the award ceremony. But after an emergency meeting, the Swedish foundation said the prize to Dr. Steinman would stand because it was made in good faith, based on the assumption that he was alive.After he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer four years ago, Dr. Steinman was treated with immunotherapy based on his discovery of dendritic cells two decades earlier.



Thousands of Libyans were fleeing Sirte on Monday while a temporary ceasefirewasin place. For the last several weeks, pro- and anti- Gadhafi forces have been battling for control of the city, which is Muammar Gadhafi's birthplace. The Red Cross says the situation in Sirte is dire. Earlier, a Red Cross convoy carrying aid to relieve a worsening humanitarian crisis in Sirte had to turn back because interim government forces unleashed a barrage of gunfire. Aid agencies say they are concerned about the welfare of civilians inside Sirte who are trapped by the fighting and running out of food, water, fuel and medical supplies.


Activists said on Monday the Syrian National Council, a newly launched anti-regime front, has gained mass support with many people demanding it be recognised as the country's sole authority. Dissidents formally established the council on Sunday. It is designed to overthrow President Bashar al-Assad's regime, which they accuse of pushing the country to the brink of civil war. The council appeared to be the most serious step yet to unify a deeply fragmented dissident movement. Analysts say that in forming a national council, the Syrians are following the Libyan rebels who formed a National Transitional Council during the uprising that ousted dictator Muammar Gadhafi. The Libyan council won international recognition and has now become the main governing body that runs the country.




US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta is asking both Israeli and Palestinian leaders to start taking strong action to achieve peace. Mr. Panetta issued the call during his first trip to Israel since becoming defence secretary. On Monday, Mr. Panetta met his counterpart Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak. He is also scheduled to hold separate talks with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. US-brokered peace talks collapsed a year ago after Mr. Netanyahu refused to extend a 10-month limited moratorium on construction in Israeli settlements in the West Bank. Mr. Abbas applied last month for full Palestinian membership of the United Nations, a move opposed by the United States and Israel.


As many as 15 people were killed Monday after security forces fought gunmen and suicide bombers who had seized hostages during separate attacks on a local government compound and a police station in Anbar province. It was not immediately clear whether the casualties came from the initial attack on the government compound or the fighting that followed as security personnel retook the site.


President Jacob Zuma does not know if Tibet's exiled spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, will be granted a visa to enter the country. He says the Department of International Relations and Co-operation is dealing with it, adding that he would not give a definite answer about the application. Well-respected anti-apartheid activist Bishop Desmond Tutu has invited the Dalai Lama, a fellow Nobel Peace Prize winner, to give an inaugural peace lecture as part of celebrations for Bishop Tutu's 80th birthday on Friday. The Dalai Lama was denied a visa in 2009 with South Africa openly admitting that it feared angering Beijing, which regards him as a "separatist" seeking autonomy for Tibet. China resents any perceived outside interference for Tibet or official recognition for the Dalai Lama. Civil rights groups are set to hold an evening vigil outside the parliament in Cape Town to call for the visa to be issued.


A Tibetan activist group says another monk has set himself on fire to protest against China's tight grip over Buddhist practices. Free Tibet said Monday that the monk, aged 17 or 18, was from the Kirti monastery in Aba in western Sichuan near the Tibetan border. A statement from the group, which calls for self-determination for Tibet, said it is the fifth such incident this year. It said the monk called for religious rights and freedom in Tibet when he set himself on fire. Aba and the Kirti monastery have been the scene of numerous protests over the past several years against the Chinese government. It was not possible Monday night to independently confirm the report.



In the Toronto the S&P/TSX Composite Index closed at 11,251.84, down 372 points. In New York, the Dow Jones closed at 10,655.30, down 258.08 points, and the Nasdaq closed at 2,335.83, down 79.57 points. The Canadian dollar closed at 95.14 cents US, down 0.26 of a cent from Friday's close. The US dollar stood at 105.11 cents Cdn, up 0.29 of a cent. Pound sterling closed at C$1.6234, down 1.07 cents, and US$1.5445, down 1.45 cents. The Euro was worth C$1.3864, down 1.78 cents.


Finance Minister Jim Flaherty says he has taken steps to promote Bank of Canada governor Mark Carney as the next head of the Financial Stability Board, which is responsible for crafting new global banking regulations and is world's top banking regulator. Mr. Flaherty says he hopes the appointment is made next month when the current head of the board moves to the European Central Bank. Taking on the added responsibility would not require Mr. Carney to leave the Bank of Canada before his seven-year term expires in 2015. Mr. Carney has been a strong advocate of new, stringent regulations for banks. He's reported to have had a behind-closed-doors dustup last month over that position with the CEO of JP Morgan Chase, one of the biggest commercial banks in the United States. A few days after the confrontation with Jamie Dimon, Mr. Carney was sharply criticizing banking executives for fighting new regulations.


A new report suggests Canada's factory sector is continuing to expand despite growing concerns about the global economy. The RBC manufacturing purchasing manager's index rose slightly in September for the third straight month to 55, reaching its highest reading since April.

The report says the pace of growth in both output and new orders quickened last month and job creation was the strongest since March. Statistics Canada will issue the official employment numbers for September on Friday, with economists expecting a pickup of just under 20,000 jobs. The manufacturing report warned, however, that supply-side pressures continued to build in September. In the US, a key manufacturing index also showed surprising strength in the sector in the face of the global downturn.


Three companies have pleaded guilty for their roles in bursting a pipeline that showered a Vancouver-area neighbourhood with crude oil four years ago. Construction crews digging a sewer-line trench in Burnaby punctured two holes in a pipeline, causing nearly 250,000 litres of synthetic crude to gush onto nearby homes and into the Burrard Inlet. The pipeline was owned by Kinder Morgan subsidiary Trans Mountain Pipeline, which was charged along with construction company Cusano Contracting and the engineering firm R.F. Binnie. On Monday, the companies pleaded guilty, and each agreed to pay $150,000 in fines, nearly all of which would go to the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation. In addition, Trans Mountain has also agreed to pay $100,000 to the British Columbia Common Ground Alliance, a non-profit industry group that promotes safe practices to protect underground infrastructure. The judge has yet to approve the agreed sentencing recommendations and will rule in a few weeks.




Pittsburgh star Sidney Crosby will miss the Penguins'first week of the NHL because of the concussion he suffered last January.The team put him on the injured list, on Monday, meaning hemust sit out the first week of the season. Crosby has skated with the the Penguins since Sept. 17 but has not been cleared for contact. The Penguins open the season on Thursday in Vancouver.


In their first game at the refurbished BC Place Stadium, Vancouver were shut out by Portland 1-0 on Sunday. A turnover at midfield helped set up Kenny Cooper's goal in the 25th minute. Vancouver striker Eric Hassli missed a scoring chance on a header in the final moments that would have tied the game.


Anti-doping officials say scientists have endorsed a new test for human growth hormone that can detect use of the drug going back as far as 21 days and could be implemented in time for next year's London Olympics. US Anti-Doping Agency CEO Travis Tygart told The Associated Press the "biomarker" test won unanimous consensus among anti-doping scientists and experts from around the world who attended a London symposium on detection of growth factors. Mr. Tygart says the test, which still needs final validation by the World Anti-Doping Agency, could be used alone or together with the existing "isoform" test, which can only detect HGH use going back 12 to 72 hours.



Vancouver has rain with a forecast high temperature of 15 degrees Celsius. Calgary has a mix of sun and cloud with a high of 21. Regina is sunny, a high of 23. Winnipeg is sunny, a high of 25. Toronto is cloudy with a chance of showers, a high of 17. Ottawa is cloudy with showers, a high of 14. Montreal has periods of rain and drizzle, a high of 14. Fredericton has showers, a high of 12. Charlottetown has showers, a high of 13. Halifax has showers, a high of 15. St. John's is cloudy with a chance of showers, a high of nine. Whitehorse is cloudy with a chance of flurries and showers, a high of five. Yellowknife has periods of rain, a high of nine. Iqaluit is cloudy, a high of minus-one.

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