Saturday, October 22, 2011

RCI Cyberjournal

Edition 21 October 2011
Canadian International Financial Sports Weather


A U.S. senator says he expects a border security accord between Canada and the U.S. to be signed next month. Sen. Charles Schumer says a major feature of the deal will be the screening by the Americans inside Canada of 90 per cent of the truck traffic entering the U.S. The senator says this will greatly ease congested traffic on the Peace Bridge linking Buffalo, NY, and Fort Erie, ON, and the Lewiston-Queenston Bridge across the Niagara River. These are the third and fourth busiest commercial crossings in the U.S. According to the Canadian Press, the "perimeter security" accord will increase common identification of security threats, align the countries' food and auto industries and reduce paperwork for cross-border shoppers and frequent travellers. CP says it will entail $1 billion ofspending on border post facilities.


Canada's finance minister continues to express exasperation with what he deems the tardiness of Europe to deal with the continent's national debt problem. Jim Flaherty says he feels confident about the Canadian and U.S. economies but wishes that European leader would show some resolve in tackling the debt issue. Mr. Flaherty expressed particular irritation with the apparent devision between Germany and France on the expansion of the EU's 440-billion euro bailout package. The minister says the amount is not enough. Earlier in the week, Greek protesters rioted over their government's latest austerity measures aimed at avoiding a national bankruptcy. And Moody's credit rating firm downgraded Spain's rating and threatened to do the same to France.


Inflation in Canada has risen by 3.2 per cent in the 12 months preceding September. Statistics Canada reports that the increase is due chiefly to higher gasoline and food prices. The price of gas rose by almost 23 per cent and the cost of fuel oil more than 27 per cent. Food prices went up by more than four per cent.


The labour dispute between Air Canada and its flight attendants is to be settled by an arbitrator. The two sides have agreed to binding arbitration in their battle over wages, working conditions and pension changes and Air Canada's plans to introduce a discount carrier. The arbitrator will issue a binding agreement in about two weeks. Air Canada's 6,800 flight attendants were forced to abandon their strike threat last month when the Harper government referred their contract dispute to the national labour board. The governing Conservatives have threatened back-to-work legislation in a number of labour disputes, saying strikes would harm the country's fragile economy.


The chief justice of the Supreme Court of Canada says two new justices will be sworn in at a private ceremony next Thursday. Chief Justice Beverly McLachlin says a formal welcoming ceremony will be held at the high court itself in mid-November. Prime Minister Stephen Harper named Michael Moldaver and Andromache Karakatsanis to the court earlier this week. Both had been judges of the Ontario Court of Appeal. A House of Commons committee interviewed them on Wednesday. One MP expressed reservations about Justice Moldaver because he doesn't understand French.



Finance ministers of the 17 euro zone nations have agreed to pay Greece the next downpayment of $11 billion from the zone's bailout package. This followed the approval by the Greek legislature of more austerity measures. The measures caused riots in Athens. Greek Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos says the payment will ensure that Greece will meet next year's fiscal targets. The Greek government had said it would declare bankruptcy in the absence of the latest tranche. The loan still has be to okayed by the IMF. The finance minister meeting in Brussels are also considering an expansion of the eurozone's bailout fund and the imposition on banks of an obligation of increase their capital buffers.


Libya's National Transitional Council says it will proclaim the country's liberation from the fallen régime of Moammar Gadhafi in the eastern city of Banghazi on Sunday. Gadhafi was killed after being captured on Thursday while trying to flee Sirte, his hometown. It's unclear whether he was shot while caught in a crossfire, as the NTC claims, or was summarily executed. His widow has demanded that the UN investigate the death. Three of Gadhafi's sons have been killed since revolted erupted six months ago. His heir apparent, Seif al-Islam, and former intelligence chief Abdullah al-Saznussi are still at large.


U.S. President Barack Obama on Friday declared an end to the Iraq war, one of the longest and most divisive conflicts in U.S. history, announcing that all American troops would be withdrawn from the country by year's end. Obama's statement put an end to months of wrangling over whether the U.S. would maintain a force in Iraq beyond 2011. Mr. Obama spoke after a private video conference with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, and he offered assurances that the two leaders agreed on the decision. The U.S. military presence in Iraq stands at just under 40,000. All U.S. troops are to exit the country in accordance with a deal struck between the countries in 2008 when George W. Bush was president.


A two-year old Chinese girl, who was run over by two vehicles and ignored by passers-by on a busy street a week ago, has died of her injuries in a Guangzhou military hospital. Doctors says her injuries were too severe and treatment had no effect. Video of the two-year-old's ordeal shocked people around the world. The plight of the child, Wang Xue, came to symbolize what many Chinese see as a decay in public morals after decades of pursuing economic growth. The official Chinese news agency Xinhua says both drivers have been arrested.


Ten Colombian soldiers on a mission to keep the peace before local elections died from a guerrilla ambush Friday in what the military called the deadliest attack it has suffered this year. Colombia's military blamed the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Columbia, or FARC, for detonating explosives as two military vehicles traveled a road in the southern province of Narino near the border with Ecuador, a region known for drug production and trafficking. Leftist guerrillas of the FARC and National Liberation Army traditionally stage attacks before elections. Colombians on Oct. 30 will choose local officials nationwide in a campaign already marked by election violence.



TSX on Friday: 11,949 + 114. Dollar: US.99. Euro: $1.40. Oil: $87.45 + $1.38.


Canadian pension funds suffered in the third quarter from deteriorating global financial markets. The Royal Bank of Canada reports that the plans which it tracks were down by 5.5 per cent and on a yearly basis declined by 3.2 per cent. The bank says the plans suffered because of Europe's national debt crisis, the downgrade of U.S. government debt and concerns the situation could worsen.




Canada is in prime position to win more medals at the Pan American Games. The women's squash team advanced to the gold medal match Thursday morning and the men's team is guaranteed at least a bronze. It's an all-Canadian final in women's singles badminton.



British Columbia on Saturday: rain south, mix sun cloud north, high C13 Vancouver. Yukon, Nunavut: mix sun cloud flurries. Northwest Territories: sun. Whitehorse 2, Yellowknife -1, Iqaluit 0. Alberta, Saskatchewan: mix sun cloud. Manitoba: rain. Edmonton, Winnipeg 11, Regina 14. Ontario: mix sun cloud. Quebec: rain. Toronto 12, Ottawa 8, Montreal 10. Atlantic Canada: rain. Fredericton, Charlottetown 15, Halifax, St. John's 14,

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