Friday, October 14, 2011

RCI Cyberjournal

Edition 13 October 2011
Canadian International Financial Sports Weather


A new poll shows that Canadians are divided over whether tolls should be used to pay for roads and bridges. The survey by Canadian Press/Harris Decima shows that 48 per cent of those asked support tolls, while 46 per cent do not. The idea of polls is most popular in Quebec and the East, where 53 of respondents supported them. With much of the country's infrastructure underfunded and governments running deficits, policy-makers have been increasingly tempted by polls. The federal government recently announced a $5-billion project to replace Montreal's Champlain Bridge, the project to be financed through tolls.


Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird says Canada and its allies will consider the consequences of the alleged plot by Iran to murder the Saudi ambassdor to the U.S. Mr. Baird says Canada condemns the planned attack on U.S. soil and that the indications of Iranian involvement are "extremely serious." Iran's top leader has accused the West of trying to create a global phobia about his country. Ayatollah Ali Khamenei says the attempt will fail and that the U.S. is caught in a "quagmire" of unsuccessful. The supreme leader didn't respond to Washington's accusation earlier in the week that the Iranian government had plotted to murder the Saudi ambassador to the U.S. Washington claimed that two Iranians working for Iran's Revolutionary Guards had conspired to kill the Saudi envoy. One of them, a dual citizen now in custody, is said to have confessed to the plot. Iran denies it.


Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper says that Europe and the other G20 nations must act decisively and quickly to prevent another global recession. Mr. Harper says that each missed opportunity to resolve the European national debt crisis becomes more and more costly. The prime minister is calling on Europe to carry out commitments to increase the flexibility of the European Financial Stability Fund. He also wants G20 states to implement the plans to reduce government debt, as they agreed to do at their summit in Toronto last year. The prime minister made his remarks in an article in The Globe and Mail newspaper. G20 finance ministers and central bank governors start a two-day meeting in Paris on Friday.


Air Canada has demanded compensation from the union representing its flight attendants for having bargained in bad faith. The airline made the demand concerning the Canadian Union of Public Employees to the Canada Industrial Relations Board. The amount of the compensation wasn't specified. The union had scheduled a strike for Thursday. But on Wednesday, federal Labour Minister Lisa Raitt prevented it by referring the conflict to the Board. CUPE has negotiated two tentative contracts with the employer, but the flight attendants refused to ratify either of them. Air Canada contends that CUPE didn't do enough to encourage ratification and that the union misrepresented at the bargaining table what its members would accept. The attendants are angry about Air Canada's plans to start a discount airline that would pay newly hired employees less. They're also upset about the employers planned changes to their pension plan.


The maker of the BlackBerry smartphone says service has been restored after a four-day outage. Mike Lazaridis, co-CEO of the Canadian firm Research in Motion, says the company's email, texting and Internet services are back to normal. Mr. Lazaridis says RIM is taking aggressive steps to ensure that such an outage never recurs. The outage began on Monday in Europe and spread to the Middle East, Africa and finally to Canada on Wednesday. Millions of RIM's 70 million BlackBerry users were affected. The firm's other co-CEO, Jim Balsillie, says the event has nothing to do with RIM's recent layoff of 2,000 employees. The outage has harmed RIM's reputation for reliability and could give consumers a reason to turn to competing devices.


Another candidate has entered the race for the leadership of Canada's New Democratic Party. Thomas Mulcair of the province of Quebec announced his bid Thursday, saying he wanted to complete the mission set out by the party's late leader, Jack Layton, who died in August of cancer at the age of 61. Mr. Mulcair, a fluently bilingual lawyer, university professor and former provincial civil servant, has a series of political victories dating back to 1994. Apart from Mr. Mulcair, there are four other contenders who have so far declared their candidacies. They are party leader, BrianTopp, Members of Parliament Nathan Cullen and Paul Dewar and a pharmacist, Martin Singh. The NDP leadership convention will be held next March.


Emergency medicine doctors want universal training in techniques to save heart attack victims. The call comes from the Canadian Association of Emergency Physicians. The Association says heart attack victims whose hearts stop outside a hospital are three or four times more likely to survive if they receive cardiopulmonary resuscitation treatment from a bystander. But it says this seldom happens and that few of the 20,000 Canadians who suffer a heart attack outside hospital survive. The Association recommends that all high school students receive CPR training and that the training be a requirement for graduation.



Slovakia's legislature has approved new powers for the eurozone's rescue fund, Slovakia being the last country to do so. The vote for an expansion of the European Financial Stability Facility clears the way for zone countries to act to deal with the various financial crisis afflicting them. The vote comes 10 days before an EU summit at which leaders are expected to draft a comprehensive strategy to deal with Greece's national debt crisis, a plan to strengthen European banks and to stop the sovereign debt contagion from spreading to larger euro countries.


Ukraine's state security service has announce a new prosecution against former Prime Minister Julia Timoshenko. The new case comes just two days after Mrs. Timoshenko was was sentenced to seven years in jail for abuse of office in a trial that provoked widespread condemnation around the world. The state security service now accuses her of having embezzled state funds through natural gas purchases from Russia 15 years ago when she headed an energy company. The service alleges that she and another former prime minister, Pavlo Lazarenko, had resulted in a debt of more than $400 million which Ukraine still owes Russia.


The Egyptian government says it will discuss the issue of building permits for Christian churches. Information Minister Osama Haikal says a commission will study all the violent incidents in recent months involving conflicts about churches. The announcement follows clashes on Sunday when the security forces clashed with thousands of Coptic Christian protesters. Twenty-five people were killed, most of them Christians. The Copts say the laws governing the construction of places of worship discriminate against them and favour the majority Muslims. The government said in May after similar deadly incidents that it would prepare legislation within a month to lift restrictions on the building of churches.


Liberian President and Nobel Peace Prize winner Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf has won 44.5 per cent of the vote cast in Sunday's presidential election. The preliminary result released by the National Election Commission falls short of the majority needed to avoid a runoff against her closest rival. Winston Tubman won 26.5 per cent of the vote. The vote is seen as a test of Liberia's political since the end of its civil war in 2003. A second successful presidential election would ease billions of dollars in investment in Liberia's mining, energy and agricultural sectors.



Ottawa-based patent firm Wi-LAN Inc. has extended its hostile $480-million takeover offer for its Ottawa rival Mosaid Technologies Inc. to Nov. 1. The bid had been scheduled to expire on Friday. The development comes a day after the Ontario Securities Commission allowed Mosaid the protection of a shareholder rights plan until Nov. 1. Earlier in the week, Mosaid advised its shareholders not to tender their shares to Wi-LAN because an unnamed private equity firm is considering a far superior takeover bid.


TSX on Thursday: 11,883 - 147. Dollar: US.98. Euro: $1.40. Oil: $84.43 - $1.14.




The Winnipeg Jets were looking for their first win as they visited Chicago. It's the first time captain Andrew Ladd and defenceman Dustin Byfuglien have played at the United Centre since winning a Stanley Cup with the Blackhawks in 2010.



Canada's weather for Thursday. In the Canadian north, sunny in Iqaluit and minus 6 degrees Celsius. Partly cloudy in Yukon and 5 in Whitehorse. Mainly sunny across British Columbia with a high of 14 in Vancouver. A mix of rain and cloud across Alberta, rain in Saskatchewan and cloudy across Manitoba with highs of 7 in Edmonton, 8 in Regina and 9 in Winnipeg. Rain across Ontario and Quebec while cloudy across the four Atlantic provinces of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland. Some temperatures: 20 in Toronto, 15 in Ottawa, 16 in Montreal, 16 in Halifax and 12 in Saint John's.

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