Thursday, November 17, 2011

RCI Cyberjournal

Edition 16 November 2011
Canadian International Financial Sports Weather
Canadian

Toronto protesters can stay in park for now


A judge ruled Tuesday that Occupy Toronto protesters can remain in a downtown park while the merits of a city eviction order are argued in court. Occupy Toronto protesters went to court Tuesday after receiving the eviction notices and are requesting an injunction against the eviction. The judge said the protesters can't be removed pending arguments in court on Friday, but added that no new structures can be erected in the park. Tuesday's injunction is to remain in effect until Saturday, when the judge's decision is expected to be released. As police looked on, bylaw officers threaded their way between tents and through the mud Tuesday morning to put up the notices, which were quickly taken down.

The protesters vowed not to leave the downtown park they tookover a month ago in defiance of the eviction notice.

Meanwhile, the City of Vancouver has changed its tactics and now wants a court injunction to get rid of the Occupy camp on the grounds protesters are trespassing. Last week, the city told court it had significant health and safety concerns about the camp after a protester died of a drug overdose. But the city told Associate Chief Justice Anne MacKenzie today that the city is seeking an injunction on the grounds Occupy Vancouver is in breach of the city land regulation bylaw.



Libya troops to be honoured


Canadian soldiers who served in Libya will be recognized for their efforts to protect that country's citizens from dictator Moammar Gadhafi. Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Defence Minister Peter MacKay will take part in a celebration on Parliament Hill next week. Gen. Charles Bouchard, the Canadian who commanded NATO operations in Libya, will be honoured for his leadership.

Canadian pilots and aircrew helped enforce a United Nations no-fly zone over Libya, flying more than 1,500 military missions. The Canadian navy was also dispatched to the region after the UN Security Council passed a resolution that called on the international community to protect civilians in Libya following an uprising against the dictatorship of Mr. Gadhafi, who was killed by the rebels last month. Libya is now being governed by a National Transitional Council.



Stealth fighter deliveries delayed


Canadian government estimates indicate that the country's air force will not have all of its new F-35 stealth fighter jets in place by the time the current fleet retires. Documents show less than half of the 65 new jets will be ready by the time the current fleet of 77 C-F-18's retire by 2020. The delivery of the radar-evading jets is being spread out between 2016 and 2023.



Vets take court action over benefits


Lawyers for Canadian veterans are in federal court in Halifax Wednesday, arguing about unfair cutbacks to disability benefits. The veterans have launched a class-action suit against the federal government. The lawyers are arguing that disability benefits for hundreds of former members of the Canadian military are being unfairly cut back. The veterans say the government is clawing back their disability payments because it has incorrectly deemed it to be income.



Canadians pay the piper for productivity lack


A Canadian economic research group says that Canadians are paying a huge price for not being as productive as their counterparts in the United States. The Conference Board of Canada says per capita output would be $8,500 a year higher, and disposable income $7,500 more, if Canada had matched U.S. productivity gains between 1988 and 2008. The Board says it hopes the study will show the importance of improving Canada's lagging productivity.



Province wants to extend pharmacist's jurisdiction


The Canadian province of Quebec wants to give pharmacists more prescription-filling power in an attempt to ease the overcrowding in doctors' offices and clinics. The provincial government has introduced legislation that would allow pharmacists to refill prescriptions for minor health problems without making patients go back to see their doctors.

Those problems include cold sores, seasonal allergies, urinary tract infections, traveller's diarrhea and nausea in pregnant women.





International

Arabs set to impose measures against Syria


The Arab League has asked its economy ministers to device a plan to impose economic sanctions on Syria for that country's government's refusal to end its political crackdown. The Arab League said last weekend that there will be sanctions. The ministers will submit their recommendations at the next League meeting.



Italy has new govt.


Premier Mario Monti formed a new Italian government without a single politician Wednesday, drawing from the ranks of bankers, diplomats and business executives to create a team to steer Italy away from financial disaster. The 68-year-old former European Union competition commissioner told reporters he will serve as Italy's economy minister as well as its premier as he seeks "sacrifices" from across the political spectrum to solve the economy's woes.

After introducing his government, Mr. Monti and his new cabinetministers were sworn in at a solemn ceremony at the presidential palace, formally ending Silvio Berlusconi's 3 1/2-year-old government. Mr. Monti says he will lay out his emergency plan Thursday in the Senate before a confidence vote. A second vote, in the lower Chamber of Deputies, will follow, likely on Friday.



New Greek govt. wins major vote


Greece's new coalition government won a confidence vote in parliament with a large majority Wednesday, backing a pledge by Prime Minister Lucas Papademos to speed up long-term reforms and secure a massive new bailout deal involving banks and rescue creditors. In the country's 300-member parliament, 255 voted in favour of the new government formed last week by the majority Socialists, rival conservatives and a small right-wing nationalist party.

Mr. Papademos' government, which is temporary and is only expected to be in power for a few months, is charged with pushing through the new debt deal agreed on last month and securing a vital installment of Greece's initial bailout loan. He must also oversee the implementation of a series of austerity measures already passed, including increased taxes and the suspension of about 30,000 civil servants on partial pay.



Iran denounces UN condemnation


Iran Wednesday denounced a draft U.N. General Assembly resolution condemning an alleged plot to kill Saudi Arabia's envoy to the United States and urging Iran to obey the law. In a letter to assembly President Nassir al-Nasser, Iran's UN ambassador reiterated Tehran's denials of involvement in the affair and said the assembly would lose credibility if it considered what he called unsubstantiated allegations.

Saudi Arabia's U.N. delegation said Tuesday it was about to hand the assembly the draft, which would have the body say it "deplores the plot to assassinate the ambassador of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to the United States of America." U.S. authorities said last month they had uncovered a plot by two Iranian men linked to Tehran's security agencies to hire a hit man to kill ambassador Adel al-Jubeir. One man, Manssor Arbabsiar, was arrested in September while the other is believed to be in Iran.



Chinese artist vows fight over taxes


Chinese artist and dissident Ai Weiwei said Wednesday he would use his battle with China's tax authorities to expose the regime that detained him, as he prepared to challenge charges of massive tax evasion. Mr. Ai, who was held in a secret location for 81 days as part of a widespread crackdown on rights activism in China earlier this year, says the charge is politically motivated and has vowed to challenge it.

On Tuesday the 54-year-old, facing a bill for $2.4 million in alleged back taxes, handed 8.45 million yuan in donations from his supporters to the Chinese authorities as a bond to clear the way for an appeal. Mr. Ai says he had signed a contract with tax authorities on Wednesday agreeing that the $1.3 million he and his lawyers handed over on Tuesday, all donations from his supporters, would be used as collateral in his case.



Russian space mission flawless


A spacecraft carrying two Russians and an American docked Wednesday with the International Space Station in the first Russian manned mission for five months after a series of technical failures. The docking of the Soyuz TMA-22 came after a perfect launch on Monday and was a huge boost to Russia, which postponed the mission in the wake of the disastrous crash of an unmanned supply ship bound for the ISS in August.

The capsule was carrying American Dan Burbank and Russians Anton Shkaplerov and Anatoly Ivanishin, who joined the three crew currently on board the ISSS.





Financial

Two major continental pipeline deals concluded


The rush to relieve a crude oil glut at the Cushing, OK, storage hub intensified Wednesday, as Canadian pipeline firm Enbridge Inc. announced it would pay US$1.15 billion for a half-stake in an existing pipeline from the Gulf Coast and reverse its flow. The 805-kilometre Seaway Pipeline currently carries crude brought into the U.S. Gulf Coast by tanker north to Cushing, a route that no longer makes sense, given the huge volumes flowing south from Alberta's oilsands and the Bakken region of Saskatchewan, Montana and North Dakota. The move helped push oil prices higher, with benchmark West Texas Intermediate crude rising as high as $100.79. Calgary-based Enbridge is buying its 50 per cent stake in Seaway from Houston energy giant ConocoPhillips. Enbridge will be partners with Enterprise Products Partners LP.

In another deal, Conoco said it would sell its 16.55 percent stake in Colonial Pipeline Company and Colonial Ventures LLC to a subsidiary of pension fund Caisse de Dépot et Placement du Québec for $850 million. Colonial is the largest refined petroleum products pipeline in the United States.



Bombardier expands into Morocco


Bombardier Aerospace is expanding its global manufacturing by spending about US$200 million to build a manufacturing plant in Morocco. The world's third-largest aerospace manufacturer announced Wednesday that it signed a memorandum of understanding with the North African country to build the plant in stages over eight years. Manufacturing is scheduled to start in 2013.

Details of the type of components to be made in Morocco will be finalized in the coming months. By the end of 2020, employment in Morocco is expected to reach 850 skilled and trained workers. The project was announced at the Dubai Air Show. Morocco offfers lower manufacturing, shipping and transportation costs, proximity to Europe and a commitment from the government to develop the country's aerospace industry.



Markets


TSX on Wednesday: 12,174 - 55. Dollar: US.97. Euro: $1.37. Oil: $102.07 + $2.70.





Sports

Sports


SOCCER

Canada can now start planning for the next round of its World Cup qualifying journey: six matches in just over four months starting with a potentially date in Cuba next June. The Canadian men have fallen at this stage in four of the last six qualifying campaigns in CONCACAF, which covers North and Central America and the Caribbean. There are 12 teams remaining: Canada and the five other pool winners from the second qualifying round have been joined by the region's six top-ranked teams, as of the March 2011 FIFA ratings.

CURLING

Quebec and Ontario posted comfortable victories Wednesday morning to remain tied in third place at the Canadian mixed curling championship. Martin Ferland guided his Quebec rink to an 11-2 rout of B.C.'s Doug Marshall. Ferland kept pace with Ontario's Rachel Homan, who also improved to 7-3 after posting a 7-3 win over Nova Scotia's Chris Sutherland. First-place Alberta (8-1) and second-place New Brunswick (7-2) did not play in the early draw.





Weather

Weather


British Columbia on Thursday: rain south, snow north, high C8 Vancouver. Yukon, Nunavut: snow. Northwest Territories: mix sun cloud. Whitehorse -19, Yellowknife -18, Iqaluit -2. Alberta, Saskatchewan: snow. Manitoba: sun. Edmonton, Winnipeg -5, Regina -6. Ontario: rain south, cloud north. Quebec: rain. Toronto 4, Ottawa 3, Montreal 6. Atlantic Canada: rain. Fredericton 8, Halifax 12, Charlottetown 11, St. John's 6.





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