Thursday, October 13, 2011

RCI Cyberjournal

Edition 12 October 2011
Canadian International Financial Sports Weather


Flight attendants with Air Canada will not be allowed to strike at midnight Thursday, as they planned to do. Labour Minister Lisa Raitt submitted two referrals to the Canada Industrial Relations Board Wednesday, ending the possibility of a legal strike by the attendants until the board completes its review on whether the employees should be considered essential workers. The board will also consider either imposing a settlement or sending the dispute to binding arbitration. Air Canada has said it will maintain its services so as not to disrupt the public. The move by the labour minister gives the federal government time to draft back-to-work legislation. The latest developments come after the attendants voted for the second time to reject a tentative contract that the union had negotiated with the employer.


U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has denied that the state department is biased in favour of a proposed and controversial Canadian oil pipeline. Mrs. Clinton says her officials have kept open minds during the current review process. She acknowledges that the debate about TransCanada's Keystone XL project has been emotional among supporters and opponents. TransCanada wants to build a 2,700-kilometre pipeline to convey oil from Alberta's oilsands region through the U.S. Midwest to refinerines on the Gulf coast of Texas. Supporters say the project would create thousands of jobs and lessen U.S. reliance on oil from the Middle East. Opponents say the pipeline would be an environmental menace and increase greenhouse gases from the oilsands extraction process.


Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird presided over the reopening of the Canadian embassy in Tripoli on Tuesday. He also announced $10 million to help the country recover and to secure all arms stockpiles. A priority of Canada's embassy will be helping Canadian companies that were forced to stop operations because of the uprising against dictator Moammar Gadhafi. Those include Calgary-based oil producer Suncor and Montreal engineering giant SNC- Lavalin.


There were two elections on opposite sides of Canada on Tuesday. Voters in the east coast Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador have elected Kathy Dunderdale as their first female premier. She led the Progressive Conservative party to a third-straight majority government after taking over from Danny Williams nearly a year ago. The Liberal Party finished second and the New Democrats placed third. And the northern territory of Yukon, Premier Darrell Pasloski's Yukon Party was given its third straight majority mandate, capturing 11 of the assembly's 19 seats. The New Democrats doubled their seat total to six while the Liberal Party captured only two.


The union representing Canada Post workers has gone to court to challenge the federal government's law which ended a lockout last June. The Canadian Union of Postal Workers says the back-to-work law is unconstitutional. The union says the case involves the issue of whether the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms protects the right to strike. Canada Post locked out the union after 12 days of rotating strikes. The government said the conflict had to be brought to an end because of the continuing fragile state of the economy.


The organization representing Canadian military veterans says veterans' program should be protected from federal budget cuts. The Royal Canadian Legion says the government has a moral debt to veterans and should exempt their benefits from cuts. The Conservative government has told all departments, including Veterans' Affairs, to reduce their spending by between five and 10 per cent. The order is the result of the decision to return to a balanced budget by 2014. The Legion says the government of Prime Minister Stephen Harper should follow the lead of U.S. President Barack Obama. The president promised American veterans that their programs wouldn't be affect by a similar review of government spending.



A 25-year-old Nigerian man pleaded guilty of eight terrorism-related charges in a court in the U.S. city of Detroit on Wednesday. Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the "underwear bomber" said he had tried to blow up an airliner with almost 300 people on board on Christmas Eve 2009 in retaliation for the killings of Muslims worldwide. The Nigerian told the court his bomb was a blessed weapon to save the lives of Muslims. The bomber's weapons didn't work and passengers jumped him when they saw smoke and fire. He faces life in prison.


Saudi Arabia says Iran will pay the price for an alleged plot to kill its ambassador in Washington. U.S. government says it has broken up a plot by two men linked to Iran's security agencies to assassinate Saudi Ambassador Adel al-Jubeir. One was arrested last month while the other is believed to be in Iran. The motive for the alleged plot is not clear. Iran has in the past assassinated its own dissidents abroad. But analysts say an attempt to kill an ambassador would be a highly unusual departure for Tehran. Meanwhile, U.S. officials says there could be a push for a new round of United Nations sanctions against Iran because of the incident.


Bombers killed 25 people and wounded dozens of others in attacks against the police in the Iraqi capital on Wednesday. A suicide bomber killed 13 people and wounded 25 others in a southern neighbourhood of Baghdad. Police say nine others died in an attack against the mostly Shi'ite neighbourhood of Hurriyah. Police says the damage would have been worse had they not defused two more car bombs and discovered a third on a road leading to the police academy in the east of the city. No group has claimed responsibility for the attacks. But a military spokesman blamed al-Qaeda, claiming that the terrorist group organizes all its resources to stage such attacks every three months to prove it's still effective.


Forces of Libya's new régime appear to be winning the battle against fighters of deposed leader Moammar Gadhafi in his hometown of Sirte. The regime's forces are meeting little resistance as they capture a series of important buildings, day after seizing Sirte's police headquarters. The National Transitional Council forces have been told by rights groups that they must protect civilians and allow them to flee the combat zone. The Council has ruled most of the oil-rich country since its forces overran Tripoli on Aug. 23, forcing Gaddafi and his inner circle to flee. However, he remains at large and continues to call on his supporters not to surrender.


The speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, the lower chamber of Congress, has condemned legislation passed by the Senate to punish China over its alleged currency manipulation. Speaker John Boehner is pressuring President Barack Obama to take a stand against the bill. Mr. Boehner has repeatedly criticized the measure, which requires retaliatory duties on Chinese goods if the yuan is found to be unfairly low. Mr. Boehner says he's concerned about China's currency policy but he's also worried that the measure could trigger a destructive trade war between the countries. China's foreign ministry called the bill a breach of World Trade Organization rules. The bill still has to be passed by the House, which is controlled by the Republican Party that does not fully support the bill.



The Canada Pension Plan is taking a big stake in the U.S. dollar-store market. It's paying $1.5 billion to acquire a chain called 99-Cents-Only. The investment wing of the Canada Pension Plan says it will team up with New York-based merchant bank Ares Management to buy the chain. It has 289 stores in California, Texas, Arizona and Nevada.


Canadian users are the latest hit by technical problems with the handheld mobile device BlackBerry. Widespread outages, affecting millions of users in a number of countries, have been reported for the smartphone's text and email services. It's the third day of problems for the Canadian manufacturers of the smartphone, Research In Motion, as it struggles to repair what it says is a failure within the company's own infrastructure. The outage spread to Canada early Wednesday morning.


TSX on Wednesday: 12,130 + 154. Dollar: US.98. Euro: $1.40. Oil: $85.27 - .54.




Anthony Calvillo's record-breaking performance has earned him even more honours. The Alouettes quarterback is the Canadian Football League's offensive player of the week after he broke pro football's all-time passing yards record in Montreal's 29-19 victory Monday over Toronto. Alouettes defensive end Anwar Stewart won the defensive honour, B.C. kicker Paul McCallum took special team honours, and Edmonton running back Jerome Messam was the top Canadian.


Canadian Milos Raonic is out of the Shanghai Masters tennis tournament. The 20-year-old from Thornhill, ON, lost in straight sets to David Ferrer. It's the third time Raonic has lost to the Spaniard this year. Raonic is returning from July hip surgery after a fall at Wimbledon.



Thursday in British Columbia: mix sun cloud, high C15 Vancouver. Yukon: mix sun cloud. Northwest Territories: rain. Nunavut: sun. Whitehorse, Yellowknife 4, Iqaluit -6. Alberta: rain north, mix sun cloud south. Saskatchewan, Manitoba: rain. Edmonton, Winnipeg 9, Regina 8. Ontario, Quebec: rain. Toronto 20, Ottawa, Montreal 15. Maritimes: rain. Newfoundland and Labrador: mix sun cloudl Fredericton 14, Halifax 17, Charlottetown 15, St. John's 12.

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