Tuesday, November 22, 2011

RCI Cyberjournal

Edition 21 November 2011
Canadian International Financial Sports Weather
Canadian

Toronto, Vancouver protesters told to clear out


Canada's so-called Occupy protest against corporate greed have been told to take down their camps in two major Canadian cities. The Occupy protesters in Toronto are considering an appeal of a court ruling ordering them out of a downtown park. There is no word when the demonstrators might be evicted but Mayor Rob Ford is asking them to leave as soon as possible.

A judge in the west coast city of Vancouver has given Occupy protesters until Monday afternoon to clear their camp in front of the Vancouver Art Gallery. And, Vancouver police have been given the authority to enforce the court order. The Occupy protest began in New York City's financial district and has spread to other cities arouind the wordl.



Warship to stay in Mediterranean after Libya campaign


Canada's defence minister, Peter MacKay, says the Canadian warship HMCS Vancouver will remain in the central Mediterranean Sea until January, when it will be replaced by another Canadian warship that will remain until the end of 2012. HMCS Vancouver was part of NATO's mission in Libya earlier this year. Mr. MacKay says that the warship will track and board any vessel suspected of terrorism. He expressed concern about the latest violence in Egypt and in Syria. Mr. MacKay called the violence in Cairo troubling.



Canadians shrug off invalid deficit promise


A public opinion survey in Canada shows that Canadians don't resent the federal government for its acknowledgement that it won't be able to balance its budget in three years' time as it had promised. The Canadian Press-Harris Decima poll shows that more than 60 per cent of those asked blame international factors for the Conservative Party government's inability to keep its promise. However, the poll also shows that people are divided on where the government should go from the present situation. More than one-half of respondents think the government should continue to cut spending. More than 40 per cent say it should keep spending to create jobs.



Court to rule on legality of polygamy law


A judge in Canada's Pacific coast province of British Columbia is to rule this week on the country's anti-polygamy law. The federal and provincial governments have argued that polygamy is always harmful and inevitably leads to physical and sexual abuse, child brides and the subjugation of women. But lawyers for the polygamous community of Bountiful, B.C., claim the law violates their religious freedom. Observers say that regardless of the ruling on Wednesday, the case will almost certainly be appealed to the Supreme Court of Canada.



Tory lawmakers question asbestos exports


Canada's governing Conservative Party is being challenged by a group of its own members of Parliament on the export of asbestos. The MPs summoned industry experts to a meeting in Parliament Hill last week and questioned them about the safety of the substance which is known to cause cancer.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper has refused to have asbestos listed as a hazardous substance in an international treaty and has defended the industry in the Province of Quebec. But when the official opposition New Democratic Party brought forward a motion to ban asbestos exports outright and support the international treaty, the five Conservative M-P's abstained.





International

Captured Libyan held at secret place


Libya's National Transitional Council says Moammar Gadhafi's captured intelligence chief is being held at a highly secret location deep in Libya's southern desert because of possible threats to his life. Abdullah al-Senoussi, who is wanted by the International Criminal Court in the Netherlands and by France, is being held in the city of Sabha by revolutionary fighters who captured him on Sunday.

Fighters from another faction in Libya's western mountains are holding the other high-level detainee captured over the weekend, Gadhafi's son Seif al-Islam, whose convoy was swarmed by militiamen in the southern desert on Saturday.



WTO lowers growth forecast


The World Trade Organization cut on Monday its 2011 world export growth forecast to 5.8 percent from 6.5 percent, warning that the outlook for the global economy has worsened and activity slowed. "The outlook for the global economy has worsened considerably in recent months," WTO director Pascal Lamy said in his annual report. "Global activity is slowing down... World trade has grown more slowly than expected in recent months.



Spain's markets remain roiled despite election result


Markets pounded Spain's stocks and bonds Monday despite an election win by the right and its promises to fix the country's economy and finances. Spanish stocks slumped and borrowing costs rose, while the new government faced ongoing financial instability and the prospect of social protests when its planned austerity measures hit home.

Conservative leader Mariano Rajoy's Popular Party won by its biggest margin ever in Sunday's election after promising to ease Spain's 21.5-percent jobless rate and rescue it from the eurozone debt crisis. Spain's borrowing costs rose as the investors who help finance the eurozone's fourth largest economy day-to-day appeared to take no comfort from Mr. Rajoy's victory. The interest rate charged on Spanish 10-year government bonds climbed to 6.5 percent in late morning trade from 6.3 percent at the close on Friday.



Somalia denies Ethiopia troop presence


A Somali government spokesman on Monday denied that Ethiopian troops have entered Somalia to help fight insurgents despite several witnesses reporting the movement of troops. The spokesman said Ethiopian troops would only be welcome if they had an international mandate or a bilateral agreement with the Somali government, but there is currently no such agreement. But residents of the Somali town of Guriel, about 80 kilometres from the border, said Ethiopians entered their town on Sunday in a convoy of vehicles.



Brazil impose huge fine over oil spill


Brazilian authorities said Monday they planned to impose fines exceeding $56 million on U.S. energy giant Chevron for the oil spill from a leaking well it operates off Rio de Janeiro state. The well, which Chevron said began leaking on Nov. 8, is near the Frade field located some 370 kilometers northeast of Rio de Janeiro, in an area that is a migratory route for whales and dolphins. The state government says it also plans to slap a fine "that could be as high as 30 million reals" and added that there will be additional fines of more than 20 million reals for the damage caused.



U.S. parties fail to agree on debt


The congressional panel assigned to fashion big cuts in the perilously expanding U.S. deficit shut down Monday, having failed to bridge bitter ideological differences separating Republicans and Democrats in the run-up to presidential and legislative elections next year. Republicans refused to cross their ideological line against increasing taxes. Democrats refused to allow cuts in popular programs that serve the elderly and poor without a compensating growth of government income, especially from the wealthiest Americans.

The close of business Monday marked deadline for constructing a plan to slash $1.2 trillion from federal red ink. The committee was to have had a polished plan ready on Wednesday.



Bahrain acmits excessive force


Bahrain admitted on Monday its forces had used excessive force and mistreated detainees during pro-democracy protests, as it awaited the release of an independent report expected to criticise the Gulf state's handling of the unrest. The death of a Bahraini teenager after he was run over by police during protests last week has raised tension ahead of the release of a report into the government's crushing of the democracy protest movement early this year.

More than 40 people have been killed in the unrest which began in February, when thousands of Bahrainis, inspired by uprisings in Egypt and Tunisia and led by the Shi'ite majority, took over Pearl Roundabout in Manama demanding reforms. A month later Bahrain called in Saudi and UAE troops to help crush the protests and imposed martial law. The statement said the penal code would be amended to outlaw torture and the government would set up a human rights body. The Sunni-led government has said the protests were fomented by Shi'ite power Iran and aimed to establish a Shi'ite Islamist republic like Iran's. Opposition parties say the ruling elite are playing on sectarian fears to avoid reform.



Egypt's cabinet quits


Egypt's cabinet said on Monday it had resigned, as clashes raged for a third day in Cairo's Tahrir Square, pitting police and soldiers against protesters demanding democratic change. The government expressed "deep regret over the painful events, and based on this it handed its resignation (on Sunday) to the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces."

Prime Minister Essam Sharaf's resignation, if accepted, threatens to derail parliamentary elections scheduled for Nov. 28, the first polls since the ouster of Hosni Mubarak in February. Mr. Sharaf was appointed in March to massive nationwide support, but the same protesters who carried him on their shoulders in Tahrir Square to celebrate his nomination gradually turned into his fiercest critics, slamming his weakness in the face of the Council.





Financial

Tembec shuts flooring plant


Forest products company Tembec is closing its Huntsville, ON, hardwood flooring plant as it also sells its Toronto flooring plant to a private company for $13 million. The Montreal-based company said 63 workers will be affected when the Huntsville plant ceases operations in January. The Toronto plant, along with its Muskoka and Vintage flooring brands, will be sold within the next few weeks. The two facilities generated $48 million of sales, $1.9 millionof earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization and $1.6 million of operating earnings.

Tembec's hardwood sawmill operations in Huntsville are unaffected by the transaction.



Robert Redford joins campaign against oilsands


Hollywood actor Robert Redford has joined environmentalists opposed to Alberta's oilsands industry. Mr. Redford made his denunciation of the industry in a column published Monday in The Globe and Mail newspaper.

He argues that the oilsands extraction process produces three times the amount of carbon emissions generated by conventional oil extraction in North America. The actor also urged Canadians to join American who oppose TransCanada Pipeline's proposed Keystone XL pipeline to convey oil from Alberta's oilsands area through the U.S. Midwest to refineries on the Gulf Coast of Texas.



Markets


TSX on Friday: 11,785 - 108. Dollar: US.96. Euro: $1.40. Oil: $96.81 - .86.





Sports

Sports


HOCKEY

Sidney Crosby returned to the National Hockey League Monday night. The Pittsburgh Penguins superstar has been cleared to play and will make his season debut against the New York Islanders. It's his first game in nearly a year since being sidelined with a concussion.





Weather

Weather


British Columbia on Tuesday: rain south, snow north, high C8 Vancouver. Yukon, Northwest Territories: snow. Nunavut: mix sun cloud. Whitehorse -18, Yellowknife -9, Iqaluit -20. Alberta, Saskatchewan: mix sun cloud. Manitoba: sun. Edmonton, Regina 5, Winnipeg 0. Ontario: rain south, mix sun cloud north. Quebec: mix sun cloud. Toronto 6, Ottawa 0, Montreal 1. Atlantic Canada: sun. Fredericton 1, Halifax 2, Charlottetown, St. John's 0.





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