Saturday, November 12, 2011

RCI Cyberjournal

Edition 11 November 2011
Canadian International Financial Weather

Canada remembers

Canadians are marking Remembrance Day, the day when the country pays tribute to soldiers fallen in armed conflicts through the years. For the first time in a decade, Canada's armed forces are not involved in combat. Remembrance ceremonies are planned across the country. In the nation's capital, Ottawa, thousands of people observed a minute of silence at the National War Memorial Governor-General David Johnston and Prime Minister Stephen Harper placed wreathes at the Memorial along with The Silver Cross Mother this year, Patricia Braun, who represented parents of fallen soldiers. Her son, Corporal David Braun, was killed by a suicide bomber in Afghanistan five years ago. Canada's defence minister took part in Remembrance Day ceremonies in Afghanistan.

Speaking at a military air base in Kandahar, Peter Mackay read the names of 158 Canadians who died during Canada's decade-long combat mission with NATO in Afghanistan.

Alleged thief of  poppy proceeds caught

The son of the head of a veterans group has been arrested in London, ON., after several poppy donation boxes were stolen from the group's building.

Ten of the boxes were taken during a break-in Sunday night at the Canadian Corps Association office on Dundas Street. The suspect broke through a window. Police announced today that Kenneth Maudsley, 22, has been charged with two counts of break, enter and theft. The association confirms he is the son of the group's president, Ken Maudsley. It's believed the 10 boxes taken from the building contained a total of between $500 and $1,000.

Less than 24 hours after word of the theft came out Wednesday, the group had received more than $10,000 in donations from companies and individuals.

Occupy Halifax protesters told to decamp

The mayor of Halifax says people camping out in a public park as part of the Occupy Nova Scotia protest have to take down their tents and move out. Peter Kelly says notices were handed out to the dozens of campers in Victoria Park Friday, informing them that they're in violation of a municipal bylaw. The bylaw states that no one can camp in a municipal park without written permission from the city.

Also, people are not supposed to be in the park between 10 pm and 5 am. Police were seen taking down tarps, pulling up tents and packing personal belongings into green garbage bags as campers stood by.

Tories plead guilty to election irregularities

Canada's governing Conservative Party and its fund raising body have pleaded guilty to having violated electoral law in 2006. The party has agreed to pay fines of $52,000 on four counts for having exceeded spending limits and failed to report all expenses for the 2006 national election campaign. Elections Canada has agreed to drop charges against four party members, including two Conservative senators.

The party had consistently maintained it did nothing wrong by shuffling money between the national and local campaigns. But Elections Canada said the maneuvre had enabled the party to exceed its spending limit of $18.3 million by more than $1 million.

NS bay misses out on global honour

The Bay of Fundy didn't make the cut as one of the seven natural wonders of the world. The Bay of Fundy Tourism Partnership got the news Friday after campaigning for weeks to have the 270-kilometre-long bay named one of the top natural attractions in the world. The bay was one of the contenders in the New7Wonders of Nature campaign.

More than 100 billion tonnes of seawater flow in and out of the bay during each tide cycle, resulting in dramatic changes along the shoreline. The premiers of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia had both promoted the competition and the bay's natural virtues, saying a win would boost tourism globally. The Bay of Fundy had been one of a group of 28 finalists that included the Galapagos Islands, the Grand Canyon and the Great Barrier Reef.

Polar bear gets new attention

Environment Canada has added the polar bear to the list of "species of special concern." The listing under the Species at Risk Act requires the department to draft a management plan within three years. Environment Minister Peter Kent says Canada is home to two-thirds of the world's polar bears amd that the country therefore has a special responsibility to care for them. Scientists generally agree that climate change is a threat to the animal because shrinking icepack restricts their hunting at sea. Environment Canada acknowledges that most of the northern communities consulted disagree with the listing and fear that the already limited hunting of the bear will be further curtailed.


Italy edges closer to reforms

Italy's Senate approved economic reforms demanded by the European Union on Friday, the first step in paving the way for Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi to resign as early as this weekend and a transitional government to be formed. The 156-12 vote took place after respected economist Mario Monti, widely expected to become the interim prime minister, was welcomed with sustained applause in the Senate chamber, where he was officially designated senator for life.

Italy's eagerly awaited political transition is expected to happen Saturday, when the lower chamber of parliament also votes on the reforms. It will follow a similar power shift in Greece, where a technocratic government this week took over under the leadership of former banker Lucas Papademos. The hope is that politically neutral governments will have the strength to push through deeply unpopular and painful economic reforms needed to reduce the two countries' massive debt loads. After weeks of political deadlock in Rome and Athens, investors were this week fearing the worst: a Greek-style crisis in Italy that would tear apart the 17-nation euro currency union and shake the global economy.

UN Security Council divided on Palestinian issue

The Portuguese U.N. ambassador says a UN Security Council committee said Friday it had failed to reach agreement over a Palestinian application for full membership in the United Nations. The decision by the council's admissions committee brought the Palestinian Authority's push for UN recognition of a Palestinian state in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, one step closer to collapse.

It is now up to Palestinians, who have so far been unable to secure the nine votes needed to pass a Security Council resolution favoring their U.N. bid, to decide whether or not to call a vote on their application. The Palestinians currently have only eight supporters. If the Palestinian delegation chooses to force a vote without securing nine votes, the United States would not need to use its veto power to block it.

Weekly protest in Syria takes more lives

Syrian activists say security forces fired on anti-government protests Friday and conducted sweeping raids during violence that killed at least 16 people. With more than 250 Syrians killed in less than two weeks, November is shaping up to be one of the bloodiest months yet in a dramatic escalation of the conflict around Syria's 8-month-old uprising.

There have been growing signs that some protesters are taking up arms to protect themselves, along with reports of intense battles between soldiers and army defectors. The bloodshed came as Human Rights Watch accused the regime of possible crimes against humanity in the crackdown that the UN estimates has killed at least 3,500 since the uprising began in mid-March.

Egyptians mourn dead Christians

Hundreds of Egyptians marched through Cairo Friday to commemorate 27 people killed last month in clashes with the military. The violence on Oct. 9 was the worst since the revolution that ousted President Hosni Mubarak in February. Most of those killed were Coptic Christians who had been holding a protest.

In Friday's march, crowds of Muslims and Christians called for unity. Several wore T-shirts marked with the ancient Egyptian symbol known as the Ankh, or key of life, and wore ancient Egyptian-style dress. Copts make up about 10 per cent of the country's 85 million people and are demanding greater rights.

UN wants Sudan probe

The UN human rights chief called Friday for an independent probe into deadly air strikes on a refugee camp in South Sudan, stressing that those responsible for the attacks must be brought to justice. Navi Pillay also expressed alarm about the ongoing attacks in Sudan's South Kordofan state. Earlier Friday, Mrs. Pillay's spokesman said the air strikes could amount to an international crime. South Sudan has accused Khartoum of carrying out the strike on a refugee camp in Yida town in Unity State on Thursday, which a local official said killed 12 people and injured more than 20.

Re-elected Liberian leader to launch reconciliation drive

Liberia's President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf on Friday announced fellow Nobel Peace Prize laureate Leymah Gbowee would lead reconciliation efforts after her reelection left the country divided. Failed challenger Winston Tubman, who pulled out of Tuesday's presidential run-off vote claiming fraud, said he was willing to work with Mrs. Sirleaf.

The poll had been billed as a chance for Liberia to cement its fragile democracy and hard-won peace eight years after the end of a long and savage conflict which left some 250,000 people dead. However accusations of fraud, which the international community dismissed as unfounded, followed by the boycott and violence on the eve of the election, only highlighted the nation's divisions and weaknesses. Mrs. Sirleaf made the address after being confirmed the landslide winner in polls with 90 percent of votes to Tubman's nine percent with 86.6 percent of votes counted.

Former Ukrainian prime minister again to be prosecuted

Ukraine has filed new criminal charges against imprisoned former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, defying Western pressure to release her. The State Tax Service said Friday it charged Mrs. Tymoshenko with concealing $165 million worth of foreign currency revenues, and embezzling and evading taxes worth $5.8 million while she headed an energy company in the mid-1990s. Mrs. Tymoshenko's office rejects the charges.

Ukraine's top opposition leader, was sentenced to seven years in prison last month on charges of overstepping her authority while negotiating a natural gas import contract with Russia in 2009.

Serbian doctors to examine Mladic

Serbia's health minister says a team of five doctors will travel to the Netherlands next week to examine former Bosnian Serb army commander Ratko Mladic at the Yugoslav war crimes tribunal. Zoran Stankovic said Friday the Serbian doctors will work together with those from the U.N. tribunal in The Hague in assessing Mr. Mladic's health. Mr. Stankovic says he hopes Serb doctors will have a say in the further treatment.

Mr. Mladic was too ill to appear at a hearing Thursday where the 69-year-old was to plead to a new allegation of more killings by Serb forces under his command during the early 1990s.


Natives in court to block B.C. mine

The Tsilhqot'in Nation has gone to court in an attempt to block Taseko Mines Ltd. from doing any preparatory work on its controversial Prosperity mine in British Columbia's Cariboo region. In a petition filed with the B.C. Supreme Court, the First Nations group asks the court to halt any drilling, excavation, timber clearing, road construction and the like while reviewing provincial approvals for the work.

In seeking the court review, the petition says provincial government officials should have consulted with the Tsilhqot'in before the approvals were granted. Several First Nations in the B.C. interior oppose the project because the original mine proposal would have seen the destructionof a lake considered culturally significant to them. On Monday, the federal Environmental Assessment Agency agreed to review a revised proposal for the mine after having rejected a proposal last year that would have turned a lake into a tailings pond.


TSX on Friday: 12,277 + 168. Dollar: US.98. Euro: $1.39. Oil: $99.00 + $1.22.



British Columbia on Saturday: rain south, snow north, high C8 Vancouver. Yukon: snow. Northwest Territories: mix sun cloud. Nunavut: rain. Whitehorse -2, Yellowknife -8, Iqaluit 2. Alberta: snow south, mix sun cloud north. Saskatchewan, Manitoba: snow. Edmonton -1, Regina 4, Winnipeg 6. Ontario: mix sun cloud. Quebec: rain. Toronto 11, Ottawa 6, Montreal 8. New Brunswick, Nova Scotia: mix sun cloud. Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland and Labrador: rain. Fredericton 5, Halifax 7, Charlottetown 4, St. John's 8.

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