Wednesday, October 12, 2011

RCI Cyberjournal

Edition 11 October 2011
Canadian International Financial Sports Weather
Canadian

CANADA ADVISED TO CHECK ON AFGHAN PRISONERS


Amnesty International has demanded that Canada continue to look out for the welfare of Afghan prisoners who its soldiers turned over to the Afghan authorities. The rights group says Canada has a responsibility for their safety even though the country's combat mission there ended in July. The soldiers continued to turn over suspects until the very end of the deployment. On Monday, the UN issued a report saying that Taliban suspects had been tortured in Afghan jails. However, the report also says such detainees may have been better treated better than those captured by other nations, possibly because of political pressure from Canada after a political debate over torture claims.



AIR CANADA WALKOUT AVERTED


Canadian Labour Minister Lisa Raitt says she will refer the conflict between Air Canada and the union representing its flight attendants to the Canada Industrial Relations Board. Mrs. Raitt says the reference prevents the union from launching the almost 7,000 flight attendants on a strike on Thursday, as it had threatened to do. The move gives the minister a few days to draft back-to-work legislation. The development comes after the attendants voted for the second time to reject a second tentative contract that the union had negotiated with the employer.



CANADA TO HELP LIBYA RECOVER ARMS


Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird says Canada will spend $10 million to help Libya recover and secure a growing stockpile of weapons. Mr. Baird is in Tripoli and says the new interim government is actively hunting down as many as 20,000 surface-to-air missile launchers that were looted or went missing when rebel forces began raiding armories earlier this year.



OTTAWA URGES MEXICO TO INVESTIGATE CRIMES AGAINST CANADIAN VISITORS


The Canadian government has called on Mexico to do more when Canadians are victims of crime there. Diane Ablonczy, the minister of state for foreign affairs, says the government is pressing Mexico to conduct prompt and transparent investigations of incidents involving Canadians. Mrs. Ablonczy says the government receives great frustration from Canadian families whose loved ones have been killed in another country and who feel nothing is done to arrest the perpetrators. The minister recently returned from Mexico and the Dominican Republic, two vacation destinations popular with Canadians. Several Canadians have lost their lives in recent years while visiting Mexico.



NL VOTES


It's election day in the east coast Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador. Conservative Party Premier Kathy Dunderdale is looking for her first election victory after succeeding Danny Williams, who resigned last December. Voters in the northern territory of Yukon are also voting. Premier Darrell Pasloski hopes to lead his Yukon Party to its third consecutive majority government. And the election campaign has just begun in the western province of Saskatchewan. The province's voters will cast their ballots on Nov. 7.



HOUSING A BULWARK AGAINST RECESSION


Canadian housing starts increased by a higher than expected 7.3 percent in September, helped by a surge in the condominium sector. Analysts suggest Canada's property boom stayed intact last month and should help the economy from falling into recession. Economists say Canadian housing remains healthy as a result of low mortgage rates and a solid job market.



SENIORS DON'T SHUN DEBT


There's a report that older Canadians are going into debt as they never have before. The report by the Toronto Dominion Bank says that younger Canadians who buy a first house have the most debt. But the report says Canadians aged 65 or older are also active in the credit market. TD says seniors are increasingly taking out "reverse mortgages" that allow seniors to borrow against their homes' equity for such items as renovations, travel, repayment of other debts or daily expenses. Statistics Canada recently revealed that Canadians' average debt compared with income has risen to a record 149 per cent.





International

BURMA


Burma's newly elected civilian government has announced it will grant amnesty to more than 6,300 prisoners. It did not specify how many of those freed would be political detainees. The news came hours after the country's new human rights body called for the release of "prisoners of conscience" who did not threaten the stability of the state. Canada is among Western nations that have imposed sanctions on Burma, mainly because of its jailed political prisoners. The U.S. has said that it would react accordingly if Burma were to show progress on the issue of human rights.



SLOVAKIA


Slovakia's legislature has voted against the expansion of the eurozone's financial rescue fund. The vote has toppled the four-party government of Prime Minister Iveta Radicova. Slovak leaders say they'll try to arrange another vote later in the week. No date has been named.



UNITED STATES


The U.S. government says it has broken up an Iranian plot to assassinate the Saudi ambassador. Attorney General Eric Holder says two men are accused, both Iranians, one of them being a naturalized U.S. citizen. One of men was arrest at John F. Kennedy Airport on Sept. 29 and the other is still at large. He's described as a member of Iran's Revolutionary Guard. The man in custody is said to have confessed and provided details of the conspiracy to kill the ambassador. Officials say the envoy was never in danger.



LIBERIA


Liberians are voting in the West African state's second presidential election since the end of Liberia's civil war. Incumbent Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf is running for a second term. Earlier in the week, she became the co-winner of the Nobel Peace Prize. Her chief rival is former UN diplomat Winston Tubman. Since the end of the war eight years ago, investors have been developing the country's gold and iron mines and donors have forgiven most of its debts. But unemployment remains high and average income amounts to only $300 a year.



ISRAEL


Israel and the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas have reached a prisoner exchange agreement. Hamas has agreed to free Sgt. Gilad Schalit, an Israeli soldier kidnapped by militants in Gaza five years ago. Israel, in return, will free about 1,000 Palestinians from Israeli jails. Hamas says the prisoner swap will take place in one week. The case of Schlit has become a national cause in Israel.



FRANCE


Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas and France's President Nicolas Sarkozy will meet in Paris on Friday to discuss the peace process with Israel. French officials say the talks will focus on the relaunch of the Israeli-Palestinian peace process. Mr. Abbas recently said he was willing to restart peace negotiations with Israel at any moment. The Middle East Quartet, made up of the European Union, Russia, the United Nations and the United States, has called for a resumption of negotiations.



IRAN


Iran has criticized a new round of European Union sanctions targeting 29 of its officials, including three government ministers, over alleged human rights abuses. The Iranian ministers for intelligence, culture and justice are among the people targeted by new sanctions that include visa bans and asset freezes within the bloc. Iran has already been affected by other EU sanctions for its disputed nuclear program which the West fears is being used to build atomic bombs, a charge Tehran has repeatedly denied.



AFGHANISTAN


Afghanistan's government is rejecting allegations by the United Nations of torturing detainees held by the Afghan intelligence agency. But Afghan officials promised to investigate any claims of abuse and implement reforms accordingly. The report added that more than a third of 117 detainees interviewed after being held by police for alleged insurgent activity experienced treatment that amounted to torture or to other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment.





Financial

CHINA AGAIN INVESTS IN ENERGY SECTOR


There has been a major oil agreement between Canada and China. China's Sinopec International Petroleum Exploration has agreed to buy Canadian oil and gas company Daylight Energy for about $2.2 billion. The transaction must be approved by Daylight's shareholders. Sinopec International is a unit of China Petrochemical Corporation.



BLACKBERRY DOWN AGAIN


For the second straight day on Tuesday, users of the BlackBerry smartphone in Europe, South America, the Middle East and Africa have had their service disrupted. The Canadian manufacturer, Research in Motion, says some users in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, India, Brazil, Chile and Argentina were experiencing messaging and browsing delays. RIM says the problems that have plagued millions of users around the world were caused by a core switch failure within the company's network. The company explained that a transition to a back-up switch did not function as tested, causing a large backlog of data. The smartphone maker said it is now working to clear the backlog and restore normal service as soon as possible. The company has about 70 BlackBerry users worldwide. In another development, Toronto-based institutional investor Jaguar Financial Corp. has renewed pressure for a shakeup of RIM's management, as well as the company's sale or dismemberment. Jaguar CEO Vic Alboini claims a total of 12 institutional investors owning about eight per cent of the stock want management changes at RIM.



MARKETS


TSX on Tuesday: 11,876 + 287. Dollar: US.97. Euro: $1.36. Oil: $85.42 + .01.





Sports

SPORTS


HOCKEY

Former National Hockey League players Stu Grimson, Chris Nilan and Jim Thomson are

considering legal action over Don Cherry's rant about fighting in

hockey.

They issued a joint statement early Tuesday morning calling

Cherry's comments "damaging and inflammatory" and his attempts to

qualify them "entirely ineffectual."

Cherry singled out the three men as "pukes", "hypocrites" and

"turncoats" for speaking out against fighting in the sport during

the first "Coaches Corner" segment of the season on Canadian Broadcasting Corp.'s Hockey

Night in Canada last Thursday.





Weather

WEATHER


British Columbia on Wednesday: rain, high C13 Vancouver. Yukon: rain. Northwest Territories: cloud. Nunavut: sun. Whitehorse, Yellowknife 4, Iqaluit -6. Alberta, Manitoba: rain. Saskatchewan: mix sun cloud. Edmonton 12, Regina 14, Winnipeg 15. Ontario: rain. Quebec: cloud. Toronto 21, Ottawa, Montreal 18. Atlantic Canada: mix sun cloud. Fredericton 17, Halifax 16, Charlottetown 14, St. John's 12.





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