Saturday, October 29, 2011

RCI Cyberjournal

Edition 28 October 2011
Canadian International Financial Sports Weather
Canadian

COMMONWEALTH REFORM BOGS DOWN


Commonwealth leaders agreed to better monitoring of existing rules on human rights issues Friday, but are balking at more fundamental reforms that have been called critical to the association's survival. Talks will continue Saturday at the biennial summit of the 54-member organization. The creation of a new Commonwealth commissioner of human rights appears to be in trouble. An 11-member panel submitted a 205-page report to the summit that cited "overwhelming support" from Commonwealth organizations for its 14 core recommendations -- including the commissioner model and the repeal of laws against homosexuality still found in 41 of the 54 member states. The report also highlighted concerns over the forced marriages of girls and young women in some Commonwealth countries. "Look, I think it will be a step-by-step process," Prime Minister Stephen Harper said in a brief scrum with reporters before heading off to a summit dinner hosted by the Queen. "But I'm optimistic here that we'll make some progress in that regard. I think it's necessary to modernize the Commonwealth, make it more effective in some areas."



WHEAT BOARD FACES LEGAL ACTION


A farm group in Canada is trying to keep the Canadian Wheat Board from going to court to challenge the federal government's plan to take away the Board's monopoly on sales of Western wheat and barley. The Western Canadian Wheat Growers plans to seek an injunction that would stop the Board from proceeding. Earlier this week, the Board launched legal action to stop the federal government from ending its grain marketing monopoly. The Board says it's filing the lawsuit because the government is moving to create an open market system without holding a farmers' vote on the issue, as current legislation requires. The government aims to pass legislation by the end of 2011.



NDP HAS NEW LEADERSHIP CANDIDATE


Member of Parliament Peggy Nash says that If the New Democratic Party were in power, it would make sure the economy works to the benefit of all Canadians, not just the few at the top. Mrs. Nash made the declaration Friday as she launched her bid for the party's leadership. Toronto MP and NDP finance critic said choices about leadership are critical, because Canadians are living in a time of instability and change. Noting the European financial crisis, the American debt ceiling, humanitarian crises in Africa and that Canadian businesses are struggling, Mrs. Nash said Canadians need a real alternative to the Conservative government. Her adversaries for the top party post are deputy leader Thomas Mulcair, former party president Brian Topp, Quebec MP Romeo Saganash, B.C. MP Nathan Cullen, Ottawa MP Paul Dewar and Nova Scotia pharmacist Martin Singh. Member of Parliament Peggy Nash says that If the New Democratic Party were in power, it would make sure the economy works to the benefit of all Canadians, not just the few at the top. Mrs. Nash made the declaration Friday as she launched her bid for the party's leadership. Toronto MP and NDP finance critic said choices about leadership are critical, because Canadians are living in a time of instability and change. Noting the European financial crisis, the American debt ceiling, humanitarian crises in Africa and that Canadian businesses are struggling, Mrs. Nash said Canadians need a real alternative to the Conservative government. Her adversaries for the top party post are deputy leader Thomas Mulcair, former party president Brian Topp, Quebec MP Romeo Saganash, B.C. MP Nathan Cullen, Ottawa MP Paul Dewar and Nova Scotia pharmacist Martin Singh.





International

SYRIA


Syrian activists report that the security forces killed about 30 people Friday as mass protests erupted calling for the downfall of President Bashar Assad's regime. It was the highest death toll in weeks stemming from the 7-month-old uprising. The sources say much of the bloodshed happened after the protests had ended and security forces hunted protesters and activists, Syria's revolt has proved remarkably resilient, with protests erupting every week despite the near-certainty they will face bullets and tear gas. The U.N. estimates the government crackdown onthe protests has killed 3,000 people since March.



DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO


Rights groups accused candidates of creating a "climate of fear" in the Democratic Republic of Congo as campaigning got under way Friday for presidential and legislative elections. Violence has marred the build-up to the vote, and local and international rights groups joined together Thursday to send an open letter to presidential candidates calling for calm and an end to "hate speech" ahead of the Nov. 28 vote. President Joseph Kabila has ruled the country since the assassination of his father Laurent in 2001. He has expressed optimism about his chances of returning to power. His aides say he will tour all 11 of the provinces. Thirty-two million people are eligible to vote. Kabila has promised he will stand aside in the event of defeat. His main adversary, veteran opposition leader Etienne Tshisekedi, will early next week start his campaign in the troubled east of the country.



TAIWAN


A museum in Taiwan will host dissident artist Ai Weiwei's first major exhibition in the overseas Chinese world from Saturday in a move that could upset Beijing. Ai, famed for his work on the "Bird's Nest" Olympic Stadium in Beijing and whose 81-day detention this year caused an international outcry, remains under close watch in China. He was released in late June after he was taken from the Beijing airport and held in two secret locations. Aptly titled "Absent" due to China's ban on Ai travelling, the three-month exhibit at Taipei's Fine Arts Museum will have 21 works on display.



PAKISTAN


Security officials and tribal sources in Peshawar say 13 Taliban militants were killed in a suspected U.S. drone attack in Pakistan's South Waziristan region this week. Security sources say there is strong evidence that Taj Gul Mehsud, a senior Taliban commander and close aide to Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan leader Hakimullah Mehsud, was among the victims in the attack on Wednesday. Tribal elders from the Mehsud tribe in Mir Ali in neighbouring North Waziristan said two missiles struck a militant compound. They put the death toll much higher at 22 people and said all were members of the TTP, or Pakistan Taliban.



TURKEY


Rescuers Friday pulled a 12-year-old boy from the rubble of Turkey's earthquake after he had lain trapped more than 100 hours, as the death toll in the disaster rose to 573. The end of the 108-hour ordeal gave fresh hope to rescue crews who have been working round the clock in sub-zero temperatures. Hopes of finding more people alive in the rubble had been fading fast before the rescue of an 18-year-old Thursday in Ercis,where scores of buildings collapsed. According to the latest update from the government's emergency service, 187 people have been pulled out alive from the debris.





Financial

MARKETS


TSX on Friday: 12,520 54. Dollar: US.99 - 129. Euro: $1.4o. Oil: $93.40 - .56.



China again accused of dumping


Canada is investigating allegations that domestic producers are being damaged by unfair trade practices by Chinese companies. Two Ontario firms allege certain types of stainless steel sinks made in China have been subsidized and dumped on the Canadian market. The Canadian International Trade Tribunal will begin a preliminary inquiry to determine whether the imports are harming Canadian producers and hand down a decision by Dec. 28. Last April, the Tribunal announced imports of steel grating from China will be hit with anti-dumping and countervailing duties. The tribunal found the dumping and subsidizing of non-stainless steel grating from China had harmed Canadian companies.



Patent firm agrees to friendly takeover


An agreement by Mosaid Technologies Inc. to be acquired for $590 million includes arrangements that will keep the company's president and CEO with the patent firm, as well as other executives. Sterling Partners, the U.S. private equity firm that reached a deal to buy Mosaid, said Friday that CEO John Lindgren will stay on board when the transaction closes at the end of this year or in early 2012. Late Thursday, Sterling emerged as a bidder for Mosaid with a bid about 10 per cent higher than a competing offer from Wi-LAN Inc. Mosaid's board of directors immediately supported the Sterling bid of $46 cash per Mosaid share.



Telecom watchdog launches united front against telemarketing


Canada's telecommunications regulator and its Australian counterpart are co-chairing a new enforcement network aimed at stopping unwanted telemarketers. The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission and the Australian Communications and Media Authority have assembled 12 enforcement agencies to launch an international do-not-call network. Canada launched its own National Do Not Call List in September 2008. The free service requires online registration and bars most telemarketers from dialling a number once it is on the list, imposing stiff fines if they do. The group held its first meeting in Paris Friday, bringing together agenciesa from Canada, Australia, Britain, the United States, France, Hong Kong, Ireland, Israel, Korea, Mexico, New Zealand and Spain. In December 2010, Bell Canada was hit with a record $1.3-million penalty after the regulator found independent telemarketers hired by Bell in Canada and overseas made unsolicited calls to Canadians to sell TV, telephone and Internet services.



RIM co-operates in India on security worries


The Wall Street Journal reports that Canadian technology firm Research In Motion has set up a facility in Mumbai to help the Indian government conduct surveillance checks on the company's BlackBerry services. The financial daily quoted unnamed people familiar with the matter who said the Canadian firm opened the centre earlier this year to deal with requests from Indian intelligence agencies. RIM and the Indian government have been embroiled in a row over access to BlackBerry services, in particular encrypted email and instant message facilities that New Delhi fears could be used by extremists to plot attacks. Multiple deadlines have been issued to the firm to comply with government requests for monitoring. The newspaper says RIM is now allowing surveillance of BlackBerry Internet services and the company no longer faces the prospect of shutdowns. RIM is said to be complying with intercept requests on suspect individuals once it was satisfied the demand had legal authorization.





Sports

SPORTS


PANAM GAMES

Canada picked up a bronze medal in the

men's K1 1,000-metre race Friday at the Pan American Games.

Philippe Duschesneau of St-Denis-de-Brompton, QC, paddled to a

time of three minutes 44.504 seconds, a day after picking up a

silver with his Canadian teammates in the men's K4 1,000.

Cuba's Jorge Garcia took gold with a time of 3:41.257, while

Argentina's Daniel Dal Bo won silver in 3:43.038.

It was Canada's 98th medal (24 gold, 31 silver, 43 bronze) of the

Games.





Weather

WEATHER


British Columbia on Friday: rain, high C11 Vancouver. Yukon, Northwest Territories: snow. Nunavut: mix sun cloud. Whitehorse 2, Yellowknife 3, Iqaluit -6. Alberta, Manitoba: mix sun cloud. Saskatchewan: rain. Edmonton 9, Regina 6, Winnipeg 7. Ontario: rain south, mix sun cloud north. Quebec: mix sun cloud. Toronto 10, Ottawa, Montreal 6. Maritimes: mix sun cloud. Newfoundland: rain. Fredericton, St. John's 7, Halifax 9, Charlottetown 6.





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