Wednesday, October 26, 2011

RCI Cyberjournal

PM STARTS SERIES OF TRIPS


 

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper flew to Perth, Australia, on Tuesday to attend the biennial Commonwealth summit. On the agenda is discussion of the grouping's relevance.

.

The Kamloops, B.C., native set a Games record with a throw of

21.30 metres.

BASEBALL

The Texas Rangers are within one victory of their first World Series title after rallying for a 4-2 win over the St. Louis Cardinals in Game 5 on Monday. Mike Napoli provided a tie-breaking, two-run double in the eighth inning to give the Rangers a 3-2 lead. Game 6 is Wednesday night in St. Louis.

Mr. Harper will then travel to France for a summit of the G20 nations next week. Europe's ongoing national debt crisis will be the chief topic.

CENTRAL BANK STANDS PAT ON LENDING RATE


As expected, the Bank of Canada, Canada's central bank, has maintained its key lending rate at one percent. In a statement, it said it expects a "brief recession" in Europe and weak U.S. growth. Although growth in Canada rebounded in the third quarter, the Bank of Canada said its outlook for the Canadian economy has weakened since July, due to a "significantly less favourable" external environment.


SALARIES TO RISE


 

The Conference Board of Canada suggests salaries are going up next year. The think tank says Canadian workers can expect average salary increases of 3.1 per cent for 2012. The projected average is expected to be higher than the actual average gains of 2.7 per cent and three per cent in 2010 and 2011. Saskatchewan and Alberta are expected to lead the provinces next year with gains of 3.9 per cent and 3.6 per cent. The oil and gas industry, followed by the natural resources sector excluding oil and gas, are expected to see the biggest increases with gains of 4.3 per cent and 4.1 per cent.


GOVT. PRESENTS BILL TO END LONG GUN REGISTRY


 

Canada's Conservative Party government has introduced the long-promised legislation to abolish the registry for rifles and shotguns. Last year, Members Parliament defeated a Conservative private member's bill to abolish the registry. However, the Conservatives won a majority in the last federal election. The Tories argue the registration of long guns is wasteful and unnecessary, although they support the licensing of gun owners and the registration of prohibited and restricted weapons. An internal RCMP evaluation found the federal gun registry was a useful tool for police.


OPPOSITION SEEKS TO SAVE WHEAT BOARD


The opposition parties in Ottawa are doing what they can to block plans by the Conservative government to eliminate the Canadian Wheat Board's monopoly on wheat and barley sales. The New Democrats and Liberals hope conflict of interest complaints will kill the plans. Both parties have written to the federal ethics commissioner, alleging that a number of Tories are involved in grain farming, and stand to benefit from the government's move. The parties say those MPs shouldn't be allowed to vote on it. If 11 or more Tories are unable to vote, the government would no longer have majority support for dismantling the board.


CANADA OBJECTS TO U.S. BORDER FEE


 

The U.S. has lifted an exemption on border fees for Canadians, who will now start paying $5.50 when they enter the U.S. by air or by sea. The fee, known as a passenger inspection levy, had been charged to visitors from other countries, but not Canada until now. International Trade Minister Ed Fast says Ottawa is making its objection to the levy known to U.S. lawmakers. As many as seven million Canadians fly to the U.S. every year, while tens of thousands travel by boat.

CANADIAN WWI SOLDIER BURIED


The remains of a Canadian soldier killed near the end of the First World War have been buried Tuesday in France. The remains of Pvt. Alexander Johnston of Hamilton, ON, were discovered in France in 2008, but were only identified in March through DNA testing. The defence department says Pvt. Johnston was killed during battle in Raillencourt Saint-Olle while a member of the Winnipeg Grenadiers. He died on Sept. 29, 1918, less than two months before the armistice. He's was buried with full military honours.


TURKEY


Another child has been rescued alive from the rubble left by the earthquake in Turkey. A 10-year-old boy was pulled from the wreckage of his house late Tuesday, more than 54 hours after the quake struck. Earlier on Tuesday, a 10-day-old baby girl, her mother and her grandmother were plucked from the rubble. There have been hundreds of aftershocks since the original 7.2-magnitude earthquake struck the city of Van on Sunday. The death toll is now close to 450.

TURKEY


Fear and hope mix in Turkey where hundreds lost their lives in Sunday's earthquake. Thousands of people are still afraid to return to their homes. There have been hundreds of aftershocks. The magnitude 7.2 earthquake killed at least 432 people. Searchers are picking through ruined buildings in hopes of finding more survivors. The searchers did find one Tuesday, a two-week old baby.

KENYA


Kenyans are questioning their country's military assault against Somalia's extremist rebels after two grenades attacks, which they blame on the militia, killed one and wounded 29 others in Nairobi. Many are concerned that there are Shebab sympathisers within Kenya's sizeable Somali community, including ethnic Somali Kenyans. The Al-Qaeda-affiliated Shebab have not claimed responsibility for the attacks on Monday on a Nairobi bar and a bus stop, but police and residents suspect the group, since it warned to revenge Kenya's military drive.

TUNISIA


Partial election results show that a moderate Islamist party in Tunisia will win the largest number of seats in the first elections following the Arab Spring uprisings. The Tunisian electoral commission said Tuesday that the Ennahda party has won 18 out of 44 seats so far in a new assembly that will write a new constitution. There will be 217 seats total in the assembly, chosen in elections Sunday. The final results could fortify other Islamist parties in North Africa and the Middle East.

LIBYA


Moammar Gadhafi and his son Mo'tassim were buried today in a secret desert location. With their Western allies uneasy that Gadhafi was roughed up and shot after his capture on Thursday, NTC forces had put the body on show while they argued over what to do with it. A senior interim government official told Reuters that the ousted dictator and his son were buried at dawn in a secret place with proper respects paid. A military official from the town of Misrata, where the corpses had been on public display in a meat locker, confirmed the burials.

SOMALIA


Gunmen on Tuesday kidnapped an American, a Dane and a Somali working for the Danish Demining Group in central Somalia, the latest abductions by armed gangs in the war-torn nation. The three were abducted in Galkayo, where the group has been present since 2007. A local security officer said the aid workers were kidnapped from near the airport there. DDG clears landmines and other unexploded ordnance in the area to open up the use of land, and also provides mine risk education to reduce injuries. Galkayo saw heavy fighting last month between rival political or clan groups. Somalia is one of the world's most dangerous regions for aid workers, several of whom have been kidnapped in the past by ransom-seeking militia groups

MEXICO


An increasingly powerful Hurricane Rina barreled towards Mexico's popular Caribbean beaches on Tuesday. Rina, already packing 165-kilometer per hour winds, was forecast to become a major category three storm by early Wednesday before crashing into the Mexican coast near the tourist resort of Cancun on Thursday night. Meanwhile, a Nicaraguan naval vessel that disappeared on Sunday with 27 people on board during an evacuation mission ahead of the storm was found with its occupants all "safe and sound" officials said. Central America is still struggling to recover from recent torrential rains that triggered deadly flooding and landslides, swamped huge swathes of farmland, and caused hundreds of millions of dollars in damage.

KENYA


Kenyans are questioning their country's military assault against Somalia's extremist rebels after two grenade attacks, which they blame on the militia, killed one and wounded 29 others in Nairobi. Many are concerned that there are Shebab sympathizers within Kenya's sizable Somali community, including ethnic Somali Kenyans. The al-Qaeda-affiliated Shebab have not claimed responsibility for the attacks on Monday on a Nairobi bar and a bus stop.

RUSSIA


Senior military officers from NATO's high command opened a four-day seminar in Moscow on Tuesday in a bid to ease concerns about NATO'S intentions. The delegation will brief their Russian counterparts on NATO's missions and plans. Russia provides a vital overland supply link for NATO forces in Afghanistan and the two sides have had joint anti-terrorism and search-and-rescue drills. But at the same time, Moscow has bristled at NATO's expansion eastward and claimed U.S.-led missile defence plans have the potential to start a new arms race. Russian Gen. Vladimir Yakovlev, the head of the General Staff of the Russian armed forces' academy, said that meetings like this week's seminar will help narrow differences.

MEXICO


Hurricane Rina has strengthened to a Category Two storm as it swirls off Central America's Caribbean coast. A hurricane watch has been issued for the east coast of Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula. Forecasters say Rina could become a major hurricane by tonight, and could make landfall on the Yucatan peninsula Thursday or Friday.


AIR CANADA UNION THREATENS JOB ACTION


 

The union representing 4,000 customer service employees at Air Canada is threatening job action in response to the employer's appeal of an arbitration ruling. The Canadian Auto Workers union says it may work to rule or even go on strike. The union was on strike for several days in June over the issue of pension benefits for new hires. The workers returned to work under the threat of federal back-to-work legislation. The two sides agreed to send the pension issue to arbitration. The arbitrator chose the union's proposal for a hybrid defined-benefit and defined-contribution system. Air Canada appealed the decision on Monday. Meanwhile, the union representing Air Canada's flight attendants says it's concerned the airline is changing its tune on key pension restructuring agreements as the two head into contract arbitration. The Canadian Union of Public Employees says any change in position on this agreed-to issue will cause grave concern for its 6,800 flight attendants. She said union lawyers are researching and investigating all avenues in order to be ready when CUPE makes its own arbitration submissions on Friday.

ENGINEERING FIRM PONDERS RETURN TO LIBYA


Canadian engineering gian SNC-Lavalin says it doesn't know when its suspended operations in Libya can resume. The company pulled all but a few employees out of the country when the late dictator Moammar Gadhafi began to crack down on political opposition last winter. SNC-Lavalin says it won't send them back until it's assured of their safety. The company has several ventures in Libya, including construction of a prison and part of a water-supply system and an airport in Benghazi. Canada's newly reopened embassy is trying to help Canadian companies resume their activities in Libya.


SPORTS


PANAM GAMES

Canada's women's water polo team has gone

undefeated through the preliminary round and clinched top spot in

its pool at the Pan American Games.

Krystina Alogbo of Rivière-des-Prairies, QC., scored six goals

Tuesday to lead the Canadians in an 18-9 victory over Mexico.

The Canadians are expected to battle the United States for gold.

The tournament winner earns an automatic berth in the London

Olympics.

Canada's Dylan Armstrong capped a

remarkable season with a gold medal in men's shot put at the Pan

American Games on Tuesday.

The Kamloops, B.C., native set a Games record with a throw of

21.30 metres.

BASEBALL

The Texas Rangers are within one victory of their first World Series title after rallying for a 4-2 win over the St. Louis Cardinals in Game 5 on Monday. Mike Napoli provided a tie-breaking, two-run double in the eighth inning to give the Rangers a 3-2 lead. Game 6 is Wednesday night in St. Louis.


WEATHER