Wednesday, November 23, 2011

RCI Cyberjournal

Canada imposes more sanctions on Iran


Canada has joined Britain and the United States in announcing additional sanctions against Iran. The Canadian government says virtually all transactions with Iran's central bank will be blocked. House leader Peter Van Loan told the Commons that Canada would expand previous sanctions to block "virtually all" transactions with Iran's central bank.

In July 2010, Canada imposed sanctions on Iran under the Special Economic Measures Act, aimed at restricting Iran's nuclear program. The move comes after Canada once again followed the U.S. and Britain by slapping sanctions last month on five Iranian nationals accused of plotting to kill the Saudi Arabian ambassador to the United States. The three countries froze the individuals' assets and prohibited

Canadians from having financial dealings with them.

U.S. state legislates on Canadian pipeline path


Nebraska's Gov. Dave Heinenmanon Tuesday signed into law new rules that will ensure that a controversial U.S.-Canada pipeline will be rerouted away from the state's sensitive wetlands. Pipeline operator TransCanada Pipeline Inc. agreed last week to reroute the Keystone XL pipeline project pipeline after Nebraska lawmakers introduced the legislation in a special session. The move came shortly after President Barack Obama's administration delayed the project, saying it needed more time to assess the pipeline's environmental implications and warning that a final decision may not come until 2013.

Environmental activists fear an accident along the 2,700-kilometer pipeline would be disastrous for aquifers in the U.S. Midwest. Others oppose the $13 billion project because exploiting the oilsands requires energy that generates a large volume of greenhouse gases. supporters of the project say it would create several tens of thousands of construction jobs and lessen U.S. reliance on oil from the Middle East.

Federal watchdog issues red flag on visas


Canada's auditor general says the country could be admitting people who are security threats or carrying serious diseases because its visa system is badly flawed. The report by John Wiersema is likely to bolster U.S. critics who call for much tighter controls on the border with Canada on the grounds that Ottawa is letting in terror suspects and militants who could one day attack the United States. The interim auditor general says visa and security officials "need to do a much better job of managing the health, safety and security risks" of applicants. In 2010, visa officers abroad processed applications for 1.04 million people seeking temporary residence and for 317,000 people seeking permanent residence.

Mr. Wiersema says officials at the two main departments involved,Citizenship and Immigration and the Canadian Border Services Agency, are overworked, ill-trained, poorly supervised and are using outdated methods.

President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Stephen Harper will meet in Washington next month to sign an agreement on closer co-operation on border security.

Occupy protests wane


Lawyers for British Columbia.'s attorney general are asking a judge to grant a broad new injunction against Occupy Vancouver protesters that would prevent them from setting up camp on any other public land. The government rushed to file the B.C. Supreme Court application after the encampment that spent five weeks on the lawn of the city's art gallery relocated about 30 tents Monday to a partially covered plaza outside the city's provincial law courts. The government is arguing the tents are a public nuisance that interferes with the operation of the courts and could place public safety in jeopardy. Protesters moved their gear to the new site, which does not have public toilets or electricity, after clearing off the art gallery lawns to abide by the court's order that was limited to the city-managed land.

Meanwhile, the Occupy Toronto site had fewer tents Tuesday, and some protesters were moving through St. James Park with garbage bags to clean it up. In Montreal, protesters are vowing to stay put, despite a request from the mayor for them to vacate.

Six plead guilty in G20 tumult


Six people have pleaded guilty in a court in Toronto to having orchestrated the G20 riots in June 2010. Eleven others had their charges dropped.,. The six had been originally charged with conspiracy to commit an indictable offence. Two also pleaded guilty to counselling to obstruct police. The statement of fact read in court note that none of those charged had actually taken part in the riots.

The rioters caused million of dollars of damage by smashing storefronts and torching police cars. Police arrested about 1,100 people, of whom 300 were charged. Two-hundred of the charges havge been dismissed.

Canada, emirates settle commercial dispute


Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird says Canada and the United Arab Emirates have settled a dispute over aviation rights. Last year, the UAE threatened to impose new visa fees of up to $1,000 on visiting Canadians and closed a military base to Canadian use after Ottawa refused to allow the UAE's two national carriers more landing rights. A period of quiet diplomacy ensued, culminating in Mr.Baird's visit to the Gulf state this week to try to mend fences.

More than 25,000 Canadians live in the United Arab Emirates, one of Canada's biggest economic partners in the Middle East, with bilateral trade valued at about $1.5 billion a year.

Fossile fuels to remain predominant


The National Energy Board predicts fossil fuels will still be the dominant source of energy for Canadians in 2035, but that renewable power sources will play a bigger role. The federal energy watchdog says that Canada's oil production will double from last year's rates to about six million barrels per day by 2035. Of that, 86 per cent will be from the oilsands, compared to 54 per cent in 2010.


Egyptian military promises presidential vote next year


Egypt's military ruler says that presidential elections will be held by end of June 2012, and that a referendum on the immediate transfer of power would be organized if necessary. Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi, who took power when Hosni Mubarak was ousted, said in a televised address that he had accepted the cabinet's resignation, a week before legislative elections which he said would be held on schedule. He also says his council is also committed to holding parliamentary elections on schedule on Nov. 28 and to "electing a president of the republic by the end of June 2012."

Tens of thousands had gathered in Tahrir Square on Tuesday after days of deadly clashes between police and protesters demanding democratic change. The health ministry says at least 28 people have died in the clashes and hundreds have been injured.

UN Assembly condemns Syria repression


A UN General Assembly committee on Tuesday condemned the Syrian government's deadly crackdown on protests, stepping up international pressure on President Bashar al-Assad. The resolution passed by 122 votes to 13 with 41 abstentions at the UN General Assembly's human rights committee.

Syria's UN envoy accused the European backers of the resolution, Britain, France and Germany, of "inciting civil war." The resolution "strongly condemns the continued grave and systematic human rights violations by the Syrian authorities," highlighting the "arbitrary executions" and "persecution" of protesters and human rights defenders. Russia and China last month vetoed a UN Security Council resolution condemning Assad's crackdown since March, which the UN says has left more than 3,500 dead.

International court concedes Libya's right to try Gadhafi son


The International Criminal Court's chief prosecutor conceded on Tuesday that the captured son of Muammar Gaddafi may be tried in Libya rather than in The Hague, meaning he faces the death penalty if convicted.

While ICC prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo met officials in Tripoli, the National Transitional Council prepared to unveil a new government line-up that would have to reconcile regional and ideological interests whose rivalry threatens to upset the country's fragile stability.

The Hague-based ICC has indicted Gaddafi's son, Saif al-Islam, for crimes against humanity. But Mr. Moreno-Ocampo says Saif al-Islam, who was captured on Saturday, could be tried inside Libya as long as the trial complies with ICC standards. Libyan officials have promised a fair trial but the country still has the death penalty on its books, whereas the severest punishment the ICC can impose is life imprisonment.

Jailed Ukrainian leader to get medical help


Ukraine's President Viktor Yanukovich on Tuesday allowed jailed opponent Yulia Tymoshenko to get medical treatment outside prison, relaxing a hard line stance after Lithuania's leader told him Europe had been "shocked" by her trial. A Ukrainian human rights monitor was quoted on Monday as saying that Mrs. Tymoshenko, 50, was in poor health and had been unable to move from her bed in her cell.

She was jailed for seven years last month after being found guilty of abuse of office while prime minister, in a trial she and European Union leaders say was politically motivated. Mr. Yanukovich, speaking at a joint news conference after what appeared to have been frosty talks with visiting Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite, said he had been in contact with the prosecutor general and relevant ministries about his rival's health.

Accused Khmer leader says he acted in good faith


The deputy leader of the Khmer Rouge régime blamed for 1.7 million deaths in Cambodia's "killing fields" insisted Tuesday he carried out its policies for the sake of Cambodians and to protect the country from invaders. The communist movement's chief ideologist did not directly respond to the horrors that prosecutors described a day earlier at the start of the UN-backed tribunal for him and two other top Khmer Rouge leaders. Instead, Nuon Chea blamed neighbouring Vietnam for much of the country's troubles.

The tribunal is seeking justice on behalf of the 1.7 million people estimated to have died from executions, starvation, disease and overwork when the Khmer Rouge held power in 1975-79. The three most senior surviving leadersare charged with crimes against humanity, genocide, religious persecution, homicide and torture. They have long denied blame.


Markets


TSX on Tuesday: 11,785 - 108. Dollar: US.96. Euro: $1.40. Oil: $97.89 + .97.

Retail enjoys another good month


Canada's retail market had its best result in September since November 2010. Statistics Canada reports that retail sales increased one per cent to $38.2 billion. The gains were driven by vehicle and parts dealers whose sales were up almost three per cent. Sales of new cars rose almost four per cent. It was the fifth increase in six months, apparently showing that consumers aren't discourage by Europe's national debt troubles and economic slowdown in the U.S. and China.


Sports


HOCKEY

Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby says he's symptom-free the day after his National Hockey League regular-season debut. He took part in an hour-long practice this morning. Crosby had four points in last night's 5-0 win over the New York Islanders. It was his first game since early January. He was out with concussion-like symptoms.

FOOTBALL

Canadian Football Hall of Famer Harold Patterson is dead at age 79. The three-time Canadian Football League all-star won three Grey Cups with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in the 1960's. He also spent seven years with the Montreal Alouettes.


Weather


British Columbia on Wednesday: rain south, mix sun cloud north, high C8 Vancouver. Yukon, Northwest Territories: snow. Nunavut: mix sun cloud. Whitehorse -18, Yellowknife -20, Iqaluit -20. Alberta: rain south, mix sun cloud north. Saskatchewan, Manitoba: sun. Edmonton 2, Regina 5, Winnipeg 6. Ontario: rain south, mix sun cloud north. Quebec: snow. Toronto 4, Ottawa 3, Montreal 0. Maritimes: snow. Newfoundland and Labrador: mix sun clloud. Fredericton 1, Halifax 2, Charlottetown, St. John's 0.