Saturday, November 19, 2011

RCI Cyberjournal

Edition 18 November 2011
Canadian International Financial Sports Weather

Ottawa confident stealth jet program not in danger

Canadian Defence Minister Peter MacKay and his American counterpart say they're confident the F-35 fighter jet program is not in jeopardy, despite worries over costs and the need for such a procurement. Mr. MacKay says such concerns are merely "clatter and noise" and that the program will proceed because it is vital in protecting Canadian security.

U.S. Secretary of Defence Leon Panetta says he is confident the American government will be able to fund the F-35s, even as it tries to cut costs to rein in its deficit. Both were in in Halifax Friday to discuss defence and security issues at the Halifax International Security Forum. Their talks come just days after Mr. Panetta threatened to cancel the F-35 program unless the Republican-controlled Congress agrees to a series of spending cuts elsewhere in the U.S. defence department.

Court weighs rights of Toronto protesters, city

Ontario Superior Court heard arguments on Friday on whether the city has the right to expel Occupy Toronto protesters from a park in the city's downtown. Protesters mounted a legal challenge after Mayor Rob Ford issued demonstrators in St. James Park notices of bylaw violations.

The lawyer representing the protesters argued that their presence is an affirmation of their right to assemble and express their views. The city argues they're trespassers who are infringing the rights of other park users. The judge will issue a ruling on Monday. The protesters have erected a tent city in the park as part of the global Occupy movement that started on Wall Street in September.

Canada chided for scrapping climate agency

An international scientific body that deals with climate change has criticized a budget reduction by the Canadian government. The criticism comes from the UN-led Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which has issued its fifth report on climate change. The Panel criticizes the government's decision to stop funding in March for the Canadian Foundation for Climate and Atmospheric Sciences. The foundation provides grants for weather and climate research.

The Panel says Canada and other governments should be taking precautions to deal with the consequences of climate change and these include a central organization that supports research. The government recently announced a three-year extension to $30 million in annual funding for adaptation to climate change. But Green Party leader Elizabeth May says this is nothing compared with the expenses local governments are racking up to deal with the results of the phenomenon. She cited the millions of dollars paid in compensation for the latest drought in Western Canada and the money spent to shore up harbour infrastructure to withstand storm surges.

High court resolves decades-old sexual discrimination case

The Supreme Court of Canada has awarded a victory to a labour union at Canada Post in a pay equity case that began 27 years ago. The Public Service Alliance of Canada claimed in 1983 that female postal employees were being paid less for comparable work than their male colleagues. After 10 years of hearings, the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal ruled that the complaint was justified, awarding back pay and interest. But Federal Court of Canada overturned that ruling. The high court has now suppported the original decision. The Supreme Court doesn't general explain its rulings but says it will give its reasons in this case at a later date.

Canada wins commercial label scrap with U.S.

Canada has won a long-going trade battle with the United States over labelling of beef and hog exports. The World Trade Organization had sided with Canada's complaint that a U.S. requirement for country-of-origin labelling on meat packaging discourages imports and adds to export costs. Trade Minister Ed Fast and Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz made the announcement at a ranch north of Calgary.

The labelling measure came into force in the U.S. in 2008 and was challenged by Canada and Mexico. The Canadian Cattlemen's Association estimates the initial impact of the regulation was to lower Canadian cattle values by about $100 a head. The United States still has 60 days to appeal the ruling.

Mexico seeks to reassure Canadian travellers

Mexico's tourism board is launching an advertising campaign to convince Canadians the country is safe to visit. The board says some Canadian media outlets have given unfair attention to tourist deaths in the country, which it says are isolated incidents. The board says it wants people to understand that security is improving in Mexico. In recent years, the murders of several Canadians in Mexican tourist areas has caused concern among Canadians wishing to travel tothe country.


Burma's Peace Prize winner will compete in election

Burma's Nobel peace laureate, Aung San Suu Kyi, has decided to run in the country's next election. Until her release last year, Miss Suu Kyi spent much of the past 20 years under house arrest. The military government confined her after her Democracy Party won elections in 1990. She is one of only five people to be named an honorary citizen of Canada.

Pole received warmly in West African nation

Pope Benedict, arriving on his second trip to Africa as Roman Catholic leader, on Friday urged African nations to resist the temptation to surrender to market forces as they grow and modernize. The pope arrived in the largest city in Benin, in West Africa, to start a three-day trip whose highlight will be the publication of a papal document on Africa which he wrote after a synod of African bishops at the Vatican in 2009.

He was greeted by one of the most enthusiastic crowds of his foreign trips. Thousands of singing, chanting people lined the dusty streets as his motorcade passed on the way into the city. In his arrival address, the pope spoke of the need for African countries to modernise but said it should not come at any cost. Among the "pitfalls", he said African nations should avoid the "unconditional surrender to the law of the market and that of finance".

Libyan militias flex muscles

Militiamen in Libya who fought the régime of ousted leader Muammar Gaddafi have marched through the capital Tripoli demanding a voice in the formation of a new interim government. Abdullah Naker, a Tripoli militia commander at Friday's march, says that if the militias do not approve of the new cabinet list, they will not sign on to it. The march was a show of strength by the many armed groups from the anti-Gaddafi uprising which the current leadership has had difficulty controlling. The ruling National Transitional Council is to announce a new government next week to be followed by elections.

Jailed former Ukrainian leader looks to world for help

Ukraine's jailed former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko asked international medical organizations Friday to help examine and treat her worsening health conditions. Mrs. Tymoshenko, who is serving a seven-year jail sentence on charges of abuse of office, says she is suffering from severe back pain and from mysterious bruises on her body. She says she doesn't trust government-appointed doctors and accuses authorities of refusing to let independent medical experts see her.

Her top aide she has turned to the International Committee of the Red Cross and Doctors Without Borders and asked them to intervene to help her get examined and treated properly. The U.S. and the European Union have sharply condemned Tymoshenko's sentence last month as politically motivated. Tymoshenko's office said authorities have ignored the fact that Tymoshenko cannot walk or stand up because of the back pain and have held daily hours-long interrogations in her jail cell, questioning her as she lay in bed, unable to move.

Former Soviet republics closer to economic union

Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan on Friday signed a decree to set up a joint body to oversee and regulate the economy and trade in the three nations, paving the way for an economic union of the three former Soviet republics. The Eurasian Economic Commission will be set up in January to regulate and to gradually take over functions in shaping and executing economic, trade and currency policies from Russian,Belarusian and Kazakh authorities in a way similar to the economic bodies of the European Union. The commission would help to set up the Eurasian Economic Union of the three nations by 2015.

Norway mass killer targeted politicians

The right-wing extremist who killed dozens of left-wing youth activists in Norway told police he had originally planned to capture and kill leading Labor Party politicians whom he viewed as traitors. The Norwegian VG tabloid cited leaked police interrogations with Anders Behring Breivik for its story. It reported that Breivik's aim was to kill former Norwegian Prime Minister Gro Harlem Brundtland, Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Stoere or Eskil Pedersen, head of the Labor Party's youth wing.

Of those three, only Mr. Pedersen was present when the 32-year-old Norwegian arrived at the Labor Party youth camp on July 22 after setting off a bomb that killed eight people in downtown Oslo. Mr. Pedersen survived the attack by Breivik but 69 other people were killed at the Utoya Island camp.


Wireless newcomer lacks cash for new spectrum bid

The head of cellphone service provider Wind Mobile says his company doesn't have the amount of money it would need to make a competitive bid in the upcoming federal auction for wireless licences. Anthony Lacavera said Friday that Wind has faced "unprecedented legal and regulatory battles" in Canada just to remain competitive. Without wireless spectrum set aside for companies such as his, "no new entrant will show up, the spectrum will be split by the incumbents."

Lacavera's comments come after the Globe and Mail reported that the Egyptian telecom mogul who backed Wind Mobile now regrets his decision to invest in the Canadian marketplace. Naguib Sawiris told the Globe he was misled by the Canadian government, and is now calling for Ottawa to set aside some spectrum for new wireless entrants to bid on, instead of forcing them to participate alongside the bigger companies. He said if that doesn't happen, he will back out of the upcoming wireless spectrum auction. The federal government is expected to auction off radio waves next year or in early 2013 in the 700 megahertz band, which will allow telecom companies expand and upgrade their networks.


TSX on Friday: 11,817 - 19. Dollar: US.97. Euro: $1.38. Oil: $97.41 - $1.41.




Canadian Dwayne De Rosario is the best player in Major League Soccer. The Toronto native has been named the league's Most Valuable Player. The D.C. United midfielder earns the honour after finishing as a finalist in 2005 and 2006. He also spent time with Toronto FC and the New York Red Bulls this season. The 33-year-old also won the Golden Boot as the league's leading scorer.


The blue is back. The Toronto Blue Jays officially announced their new look today at the Rogers Centre. Instead of last year's black jerseys, the Jays are sporting royal blue shirts reminiscent of their power blues from the 1980s. The new logo is a more sleek, modernized version of the team's traditional Blue Jay.



British Columbia on Saturday: mix sun cloud. high C2 Vancouver. Yukon, Northwest Territories, Nunavut: mix sun cloud. Whitehorse -20, Yellowknife -21, Iqaluit -14. Alberta: mix sun cloud. Saskatchewan, Manitoba: snow. Edmonton -17, Regina -15, Winnipeg -9. Ontario mix sun cloud south, snow north. Quebec: mix sun cloud. Toronto 11, Ottawa, Montreal 10. New Brunswick, Nova Scotia: mix sun cloud. Prince Edward Island: snow. Newfoundland and Labrador: mix sun cloud snow. Fredericton, Halifax 9, Charlottetown 8, St. John's.

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