Thursday, November 10, 2011

RCI Cyberjournal

Edition 9 November 2011
Canadian International Financial Sports Weather

Canadians should brace for quake

A top geophysicist says Canada should expect a major earthquake at any time and should prepare itself if it wants avoid the kind of disasters that have befallen Japan, Italy and China in recent years. John Cassidy, head of earthquake seismology at the Geological Survey of Canada, says large earthquakes have hit parts of Canada numerous times and will again.

Mr. Cassidy says the most vulnerable region is the West Coast, which has been hit with giant magnitude-9.0 quakes 13 times in the last 6,000 years, the last of them about 300 years ago. He says B.C. is in the mostl likely place where a massive tremor might strike. Mr. Cassidy says predicting earthquakes with any degree of consistency remains next to impossible and that the only thing people can do is be prepared. He also says Canada is doing a good job of identifying vulnerable areas and building quake-resistant infrastructure to minimize the damage.

Top book prize awarded

Canada's top literary award, The Giller Prize, goes to author Esi Edugyan for her novel "Half-Blood Blues." The book is about a group of black jazz musicians trying to survive in Europe during World War Two. The Giller Prize carries a prize of $50,000.

Veterans wary of Ottawa's promise

Veterans' advocates say they're skeptical of a federal government promise to study the effects of exposure to depleted uranium after years of ignoring their pleas to recognize the issue. Louise Richard, a long-time critic who says she suffers from Gulf War illness, says Veterans Affairs has persistently refused to acknowledge the health hazards and doesn't even track suspected exposures.

An ex-soldier, Pascal Lacoste, ended a hunger strike Tuesday in Levis, QC, after the veterans minister and local Member of Parliament, Steven Blaney, pledged to launch a review in the next 30 days. The minister said academics, medical researchers and soldiers will make up the panel. Mrs. Richard, who has researched uranium exposure, wants to be on the committee and says she finds it criminal that a veteran had to resort to a hunger strike to get attention. Mr. Lacoste and other veterans blame complaints like chronic pain and neurological disorders on depleted-uranium poisoning they say they contracted during the 1990-91 Gulf War and on missions in Bosnia.

Toronto mayor exasperated with Occupy protest

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford says it's time for Occupy protesters to leave a park in the city's downtown core. Mr. Ford says it has been a peaceful protest, which is why the city tolerated violations of various bylaws, but now he wants the protesters to move on.

The mayor says he's been getting numerous calls from people who have had enough of the protesters. The mayor says his job is to represent the taxpayers and business people of the city, and the right thing to do now is get the protesters to leave St. James Park. Mr. Ford was commenting at a news conference with Premier Dalton McGuinty. The premier says it's up to Toronto officials to decide how to deal with the protesters.

Early Wednesday morning, tents that had been erected in a London, ON, park as part of the city's Occupy protest were removed by police and bylaw officers.

Officials in Vancouver, Victoria and Calgary have also announced plans to start removing camps while Regina's protesters have been asked to leave voluntarily.

U.S. weighs move that could delay Canadian pipeline

A U.S. official says the State Department is considering a plan that would reroute the proposed Keystone XL oil pipeline from Canada away from environmentally sensitive areas of Nebraska. The action could delay a final decision on the project until after the 2012 election. The official says that rerouting the pipeline was one issue that came up during public meetings. TransCanada is seeking to build the $7-billion pipeline to carry oil from Alberta to refineries in Texas. A portion would pass through Nebraska's Sandhills region and the massive Ogallala aquifer, which supplies water to eight states.

In another development, TransCanada says its pipeline that transports crude oil from Canada through seven U.S. states is shut down. The company says the 3,440-kilometre-long pipeline was stopped for "mechanical issues." Crude began flowing through the US$5.2 billion pipeline last year. It's designed to carry 590,000 barrels of oil daily across Saskatchewan and Manitoba, and through North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas and Missouri on the way to refineries in Patoka, IL. and Cushing, OK.


Russia closer to WTO membership

Russia inched closer to joining the World Trade Organization after 18 years of talks Wednesday, by signing a deal with its neighbour and one-time foe Georgia. The agreement signed by Russian and Georgian negotiators at the WTO headquarters in Geneva removes the last major obstacle to Moscow's membership of the global trade body. The deal foresees a neutral company monitoring all trade between the two nations, including the breakaway Georgian provinces of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. Trade officials say there are now no major obstacles to Russia formally joining the WTO at a ministerial meeting in December.

Hindus found guilty of communal riots

An Indian court on Wednesday found 31 Hindus guilty of killing 33 Muslims in a single house during religious riots in the state of Gujarat in 2002. In some of India's worst inter-faith violence since independence in 1947, about 2,000 people died in a wave of anti-Muslim unrest triggered by a train fire in which Hindu pilgrims were burnt alive.

Muslims were blamed for the train fire, and Hindu mobs hungry for revenge rampaged through Muslim neighbourhoods in towns and villages across Gujarat state during three days of bloodshed. The victims had crowded into a house to escape rioters, who set the building alight. Bodies of 28 people were found at the scene, with five others dying later of their injuries. Life sentences were handed to all 31 men for murder, arson and other charges, following earlier convictions of other Hindu rioters over the outbreak of violence.

Venezuelan sues Chavez govt. in U.S.

A wealthy businessman who fought what he claimed were attempts by the Venezuelan government to take over a television network strongly opposed to President Hugo Chavez is suing in a U.S. court for $1 billion in damages, claiming a bank he controlled and his stake in the Globovision network were illegally seized for political reasons. The 124-page lawsuit filed by Nelson J. Mezerhane claims the socialist Chavez government illegally took over Banco Federal in June 2010 because Mr. Mezerhane refused to surrender his 20 per cent stake in Globovision, the only TV network aligned with Chavez' opposition.

The government eventually seized those shares as well as 33 other Mezerhane assets and properties. Mr. Mezerhane's Miami-based attorneys say the government takeovers violate both U.S. and international law because they were based on political persecution of an individual rather than a broader public policy. Mr. Mezerhane was stripped of his Venezuelan citizenship and is living in Boca Raton, FL, while seeking political asylum in the U.S.

Suspect in Yemn terrorist attack arraigned

The main suspect in the USS Cole bombing was formally arraigned Wednesday at Guantanamo in the first such case since US President Barack Obama reversed course and ordered controversial military trials to resume. Saudi-born Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, 46, who was appearing in court for the first time since his 2002 arrest, faces the death penalty if convicted of planning and preparing the October 2000 attack on the U.S. Navy destroyer in Yemen's port of Aden.

Militants riding an explosives-laden skiff blew a 10-m by 10-m hole in the USS Cole, killing 17 sailors and wounding 40 more. The U.S. defence department believes he bought the small boat and explosives used in the Cole attack.

More Syrian civilians killed

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says Syrian troops killed 12 civilians on Wednesday as they pressed their bloody crackdown on dissent. On Tuesday, 20 people were killed across the country, including eight soldiers and 12 civilians, among them a child, according to the Britain-based Observatory.

Italy's political situation still unclear

Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's pledge to resign after implementing economic reforms did nothing on Wednesday to staunch a perilous collapse in market confidence in Italy. Financial markets have been clamouring for weeks for Mr. Berlusconi to depart because of his failure to push through painful austerity measures. But after his announcement on Tuesday that he would step down, there were few signs of the swift appointment of a government capable of supervising reforms.

Mr. Berlusconi said he expected an election would not take place until early 2012. Yields on 10-year Italian debt soared above what is seen as the 'red line' of seven percent.

Talks for new Greek govt. founder

Greece's opposition leader has blamed the governing Socialists for a delay in critical power-sharing talks that saw political leaders leave a top-level meeting without naming a new prime minister. Antonis Samaras said his conservative party "will not become part of the problem" and that according to the country's constitution, the initiative for naming a candidate to head a new interim government lies with the governing Socialist party.

The talks degenerated into confusion Wednesday night, shortly after Mr. Papandreou said the country's two main parties had reached an agreement to form an interim coalition government to secure a new $177-billion debt deal and keep the country in the eurozone.



TSX on Wednesday: 12,156 - 333. Dollar: US.97. Euro: $1.35. Oil: $95.87 - .93.

Bookseller sells e-reader

The head of Indigo, Canada's biggest book retailer, says selling its stake in the Kobo ereader to a Japanese electronic commerce company will put enough financial kick behind the device to compete with the likes of Apple and Amazon's tablets. Heather Reisman, CEO of Indigo Books & Music Inc., says Tokyo-based Rakuten Inc. is an ideal fit to take on the 51-per cent ownership stake in Kobo. She says the Japanese firm has the capacity to invest the $100 million to $150 million that's needed over the next year to advance Kobo's technology and improve its customer base. Kobo has been a rapidly growing part of Indigo's overall retail business. However, the global market for ebooks is intensely competitive and it takes some financial muscle to invest in its continued growth. Indigo expects to receive between US$140 million and $150 million from the sale which will largely go towards investing in Indigo's existing businesses and new areas of growth.




In the Canadian Football League, Montreal quarterback Anthony Calvillo is the East Division nominee for outstanding player. He's up against B.C. pivot Travis Lulay in the West Division. Calvillo is looking to win the league award for the third time in four years.



British Columbia on Thursday: rain south, mix sun cloud north, high C12 Vancouver. Yukon, Northwest Territories: snow. Nunavut: sun. Whitehorse -5, Yellowknife -4, Iqaluit -17. Alberta: mix sun cloud. Saskatchewan: rain south, mix sun cloud north. Manitoba: mix sun cloud. Edmonton 11, Regina 2, Winnipeg 0. Ontario: rain south, snow north. Quebec: rain. Toronto, Ottawa 9, Montreal 11. Maritimes: rain. Newfoundland and Labrador: sun. Fredericton 14, Halifax 13, Charlottetown 12, St. John's 6.

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