Thursday, November 3, 2011

RCI Cyberjournal

Edition 2 November 2011
Canadian International Financial Sports
Canadian

PM off to crucial G20 meeting on Greece


Prime Minister Stephen Harper has flown to Cannes, France, for a critical meeting of G20 leaders. The primary issue at the upcoming meetings is the financial turmoil in Greece and its tentative plan to hold a referendum on a European bailout. That decision unleashed a wave of fresh uncertainty on financial markets, with European markets down as much as five per cent Tuesday. Canadian Finance Minister Jim Flaherty warned Tuesday that the Greek decision to hold a referendum places the global economic recovery in peril. The European plan calls for backstopping banks to prevent a crisis and allows other indebted foreign nations to borrow at reasonable rates. Greece's prime minister held firm early Wednesday to his shock decision to call for a referendum. George Papandreou's government still faces a battle for survival, with a vote of confidence scheduled for Friday and a grilling from frustrated G20 leaders later in the day.



NDP wants end to Afghan training mission


Canada's official opposition New Democratic Party says it's time to end the country's training mission in Afghanistan. The party's defence critic, David Christopherson, made the demand Tuesday, the same day the body of Master Corp. Byron Greff arrived home from Afghanistan. Mr. Christopherson says the federal government misled Canadians last year when it said there would be minimal risk involved in the training mission. Master Corp. Greff was among 17 people killed Saturday when a suicide bomber struck a NATO bus in the Afghan capital Kabul. Canada withdrew its troops from combat duty in Afghanistan this past summer after joining the NATO war effort in that country in 2002. Canada is currently involved in training Afghan forces.



Privacy watchdog defends gun registry data


Canada's privacy commissioner, Jennifer Stoddart, is questioning one of the federal government's justifications for destroying records compiled by the long-gun registry. The government has introduced legislation to abolish the registry. It insists the records must be scrapped because of privacy concerns. But Miss Stoddart says that nothing in the Privacy Act would bar the federal government from sharing the data with provincial governments. The province of Quebec wants the data because it's planning to launch its own registry.



New Windsor-Detroit bridge said imminent


The governor of the U.S. state of Michigan has promised a second bridge will be built between Detroit and Windsor "in months not years." Rick Snyder won applause when he made the pledge at a luncheon speech in Ottawa to hundreds of business people, diplomats and politicians. The Detroit-Windsor crossing is the busiest land border point between Canada and the United States, the world's two largest trading partners. The Ambassador Bridge between the two cities is a major chokepoint for goods moving between the two countries. Canada and the U.S. are on the verge of announcing a new perimeter security pact that is expected to include major investments in border infrastructure.



Public broadcaster marks milestone


Radio Canada International's parent company, the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. Wednesday is celebrating its 75th anniversary. The CBC began broadcasting as a government-funded corporation on Nov. 2, 1936. Two days later, the CBC 's first president, Leonard Brockington, officially announced the event on the airwaves to Canadians across the country. Seventy-five years later, the CBC also includes the French-language network, Radio-Canada, and two nationwide television networks. Radio Canada International was launched in 1945.



Standards sougt to assess elderly drivers


Canadian researchers say it's time to introduce a national standard in Canada for evaluating elderly drivers to determine when they should stop driving vehicles. Researchers from 10 Canadian universities are developing the Candrive program to provide guidelines for doctors to figure out which seniors can safely drive. In seven provinces, doctors are legally responsible for evaluating their patients and reporting them to the government. But researchers say there's little scientific evidence on which to base the decision.





International

Egypt


Egypt's ruling generals have announced the pardon of 334 civilians who were sentenced in military tribunals since the uprising that toppled President Hosni Mubarak in February. The generals did not say what those pardoned were sentenced for or when they would be released but that the names would be released later. At least 12,000 people have been tried by military courts since January. Human rights groups and Egyptian activists have harshly criticized the practice. The U.S. government has also called on Egypt to try civilians in civilian courts.



Syria


Machine-gun fire and explosions erupted inside a Syrian city at the heart of the country's uprising Wednesday as activists reported two grisly attacks that killed at least 20 people in Homes over the past 24 hours. Homs has endured the brunt of the Syrian government's brutal crackdown on dissent since the revolt began in mid-March. It was not clear who was behind the latest attacks. The Syrian opposition's two main activist groups said gunmen attacked factory workers in the nearby village of Houla on Wednesday, killing 11 people. Majd Amer, an activist in Homs, said some of the men were decapitated and others shot in the head, their hands tied behind their backs. Amateur videos posted online showed the men, bound and gagged, lying on the ground. Meanwhile in Cairo, the Arab League said on Wednesday the Syrian government had approved an Arab plan for dialogue with the opposition and steps to end seven months of bloodshed.



Israel


Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday defended his decision to expand construction in east Jerusalem, saying it was Israel's "right" and "duty" to build in all parts of its capital. Late Tuesday, Netanyahu's office said 2,000 new apartments would be built in Jewish areas of east Jerusalem. Officials said the move was an Israeli response to recent unilateral steps by the Palestinians, particularly its acceptance in the U.N. cultural agency UNESCO. The Palestinians, Britain and the European Union condemned the decision to accelerate construction. Speaking at a special parliamentary session, Netanyahu pledged to keep building in east Jerusalem and said the city has never been a capital to any other people.



France


The head of UNESCO is pleading with the U.S. to reinstate funding cut off after the agency granted membership to Palestine. Director-General Irina Bokova warned in a statement Wednesday that the move jeopardizes programs "in America's core interests," such as those fostering a free media in new Mideast democracies. Canada also has stopped financial support for UNESCO over the Palestine decision. On Monday, the members of the U.N. Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization voted to welcome Palestine as a member. The United States typically funds about 20 per cent of the agency's budget, but American law bars contributions to organizations that grant membership to territories that are not internationally recognized as states.



Ukraine


Jailed former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko exhorted European Union leaders on Wednesday to continue co-operation with her country despite her arrest. In an emotional letter from her jail cell, Tymoshenko urged the EU to "ignore the actions of Ukraine's criminal authorities" and still proceed with the signing of a landmark association agreement with Kyiv, which the EU has warned it could scrap in protest against her imprisonment. The United States and the EU have harshly condemned Tymoshenko's 7-year jail sentence on abuse-of-office charges last month as politically motivated. Tymoshenko was found guilty of violating legal procedures while negotiating a natural gas import contract with Russia in 2009.





Financial

MARKETS


TSX on Wednesday: 12,242 +127. Dollar: US.98, up .51. Euro: $1.39. Oil: $92.52 + .33.



Port of Churchill may have shipped last wheat


This season's last shipment of wheat has been loaded through the port of Churchill in northern Manitoba. Canadian Wheat Board officials say it could be the last load ever to move through the Hudson Bay port. The wheat board shipped over 500,000 tonnes of grain through Churchill this year. But many fear the port will be abandoned if the board loses its monopoly over Canadian grain shipments. Board Chairman Allen Oberg says grain companies will use their own terminals once grain shipments are open to competition. The federal government has tabled legislation to abolish the board's monopoly and allow farmers to sell grain to whomever they choose starting next August. Ottawa is promising up to $5 million in each of the next five years to help fund grain shipments through Churchill.



Thai floods causes more auto slowdowns


Toyota is making more adjustments to its output in order to conserve its supply of parts from flood-ravaged Thailand. The Japanese automaker says overtime will be suspended at all assembly plants in Canada and the United States for an additional week beginning Nov. 7 and including Saturday Nov. 12. Toyota had already announced last week that overtime would be suspended through to Saturday Nov. 5. The company has assembly plants in Woodstock and Cambridge, ON, which supply the Canadian and U.S. markets. Honda Canada has also announced production from its six North American factories will be cut by 50 per cent for about a week.



Canada relatively bribe-free


Transparency International places Canada in sixth place with Australia on a list of 28 countries seen as most likely to use bribery to secure foreign contracts. The German-based organization says companies from China and Russia are most likely to have recourse to bribery. The watchdog group's Bribe Payers Index released Wednesday. Firms from the Netherlands and Switzerland are seen as the least likely to use bribes. The survey asked 3,000 business executives how often firms they deal with from different countries engage in bribery. No country was seen as wholly clean, and the survey found companies were almost as likely to pay bribes to other businesses as to officials.





Sports

Sports


FOOTBALL

Anthony Calvillo is in the running for a third straight

Canadian Football League's Most Outstanding Player award.

Calvillo was announced as the Montreal Alouettes nominee for the

honour, which he has won the last two years.

Voting for the team-by-team nominees was conducted by members of

the Football Reporters of Canada as well as the eight CFL head

coaches.

The 39-year-old Calvillo has enjoyed a banner 2011 campaign,

leading the CFL in passing yards (5,188) and touchdowns (32) while

surrendering just eight interceptions.

And earlier this season Calvillo became the CFL's all-time leader

in completions (5,345), touchdown passes (418) and passing yards

(73,349).

OLYMPICS

The Hudson's Bay Company is drawing on styles from the past and homegrown influences in its latest line of Olympic apparel.

The retailer has unveiled some of the new designs that Canada's athletes will be wearing when they head to the 2012 Games in London.

The collection includes windbreakers, varsity-style track jackets, T-shirts and sweats.

The Bay says the new line represents iconic Canadian looks and is a modernized hybrid of some of the country's best uniforms.

Canada's signature red and white colours are featured prominently in the line alongside evergreen, black and heather grey.





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