Thursday, December 1, 2011

RCI Cyberjournal

Edition 30 November 2011
Canadian International Financial Sports Weather

Central banks intervene in European debt crisis

The Bank of Canada and five other central banks have launched an effort to head off a new global credit crunch that could trigger a second recession. The European Central Bank, the U.S. Federal Reserve, the Bank of England and the central banks of Canada, Japan and Switzerland said they will make it cheaper for banks to access U.S. dollars. The move targets European banks, which have been seeing their costs for acquiring funding in U.S. currency rise four-fold.

Each day, banks in Canada and around the world lend billions of dollars to each other, which then is used to lend to consumers, businesses and others who need cash for purchases, investments and other uses. But there's growing fears the European debt crisis will force them to take tens of billions of dollars in losses on bad government debt. That has made it hard for them to raise money in financial markets and could worsen a looming recession in Europe.

The joint statement said the central banks will reduce the cost of temporary dollar loans to banks by a half percentage point.

Canada denounces proposed Nigerian law

Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird has spoken out against Nigeria over a proposed anti-gay law. He says legislation being considered in Nigeria would disregard basic human rights. Nigeria's Senate has approved a bill which would further toughen Nigerian anti-gay laws and make same-sex marriages punishable by 14 years in jail. It also targets those who support or even witness such unions or those who form gay-rights groups.

Mr. Baird says Nigeria should ensure equal basic rights for all its citizens. At the October Commonwealth conference in Australia, Canada was involved in a failed effort to persuade member states to rescind anti-gay laws. The minister Baird says Canada will keep trying, even though 41 of the group's 54 member countries have anti-gay laws.

Ottawa intervenes to help destitute native village

The federal government is taking control over public funding out of the hands of a Northern Ontario reserve grappling with a severe housing shortage. Aboriginal Affairs Minister John Duncan says he's also ordering an audit to find out where $90 million in federal money spent in Attawapiskat has gone over the last five years.

Mr. Duncan says emergency management measures have also been put in place to ensure people in the Cree community have access to warm shelter this winter. Placing the community under third-party management is the highest form of intervention available to the federal government when it feels the health, safety or welfare of aboriginals is compromised and funding agreements aren't being honoured.

Opposition New Democratic Party Leader Nycole Turmel says the situation in the community is unimaginable and the prime minister needs to go and see for himself. A severe housing shortage has families living in tents and trailers, many without access to running water, electricity and heat.

Woman pleads for right to die

An emotional plea has been made by an ailing B.C. woman who has gone to court seeking the right to a doctor-assisted suicide. Gloria Taylor, who has Lou Gehrig's disease, told reporters in Vancouver she doesn't want to die, but she also doesn't want to die an agonizing and horrible death. The right-to-die challenge in B.C. Supreme Court has been hearing expert evidence for two weeks. Mrs. Taylor says that in the 18 years since Sue Rodriguez challenged the laws, the beliefs of Canadians have changed and it's way past time for the law to change. She Taylor says she's fighting so that all the people of Canada will have the choice in the way they want to die.

NB legislature to hold free vote on shale gas

New Brunswick's Conservative government and the Liberal Opposition are both promising free votes in the legislature on motions concerning shale gas exploration in the province. The Liberals will present a motion Thursday calling for a moratorium and the creation of a select committee to study the shale gas industry. The Conservatives will present a motion next week that supports exploration, but under strict regulations.

Government backbencher Kirk MacDonald presented a nearly 16,000-name petition Tuesday that calls for a ban on shale gas exploration. While Mr. MacDonald said he had concerns about the industry, he would not say if he would back the demands of those who signed the petition.

Vancouver ranks high for quality of life

Canada's Pacific coast city of Vancouver ranks among the top five cities in the world for quality of life, according to the latest annual survey by the international human resources firm, Mercer. Vancouver tied for fifth with Dusseldorf, Germany. Vienna ranked first, followed by Zurich, Auckland and Munich. Mercer's survey takes into account factors such as the state of infrastructure, public transport, the environment and public safety.

Three other Canadian cities also ranked high. Ottawa was fourteenth, Toronto was fifteenth and Montreal was twenty-second. The first Asian city in the top 25 is Singapore, at twenty-fifth.

Historic sports building reopens

After being closed for a decade, a landmark Canadian building has reopened in downtown Toronto. For some 70 years, Maple Leaf Gardens was the site of epic hockey games and concerts by big-name stars like Elvis Presley. On Wednesday, hundreds of people lined up at the Gardens, which re-opened with a major new supermarket and other stores. It's also the site of Ryerson University's new athletic centre.


UK expels Iranian envoys

Britain ordered Iran on Wednesday to remove all its diplomats from the U.K. within 48 hours following attacks on its embassy and a residential compound in Tehran, one of the most significant diplomatic retaliations against Iran since the 1979 U.S. embassy crisis. Foreign Secretary William Hague told the House of Commons that Britain had also withdrawn its entire diplomatic staff from Iran after angry mobs hauled down British flags and tossed looted documents through windows. Iran currently has 18 diplomats in Britain.

Turkey imposes measures against neighbour

Turkey slapped tough economic sanctions on Syria on Wednesday, freezing assets of officials involved in the government's crackdown on an 8-month-old uprising, suspending ties with the nation's central bank and banning all military sales. The move comes on top of sanctions already imposed by the Arab League, the United States and the European Union. Turkey is Syria's neighbour and largest trading partner, but its leaders have turned on Damascus because of its violent campaign to crush the revolt.

Venezuela hosts regional summit

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez hosts a regional summit this week that draws attention to his recovery from cancer as he begins his toughest electioncampaign yet. The first meeting of the 33-member Community of Latin American and Caribbean States on Dec. 2-3 was originally meant to be held six months ago to coincide with the 200th anniversary of Venezuela's independence.

But it was called off at the last minute as Mr. Chavez recovered in Cuba after surgery to remove a large tumor. He has revelled in preparations for a group that he hopes will be an alternative to the Organization of American States and does not include the United States or Canada.

UN climate expert give warning at climate conference

The UN's top climate scientist cautioned climate negotiators Wednesday that global warming is leading to human dangers and soaring financial costs, but containing carbon emissions will have a host of benefits. Rajendra Pachauri, head of the Nobel-winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, summarized a litany of potential disasters at a UN climate conference in the South African city of Durban.

Although he gave no explicit deadlines, the implication was that time is running out for greenhouse gas emissions to level off and begin to decline. He says that heat waves currently experienced once every 20 years will happen every other year by the end of this century. Coastal areas and islands are threatened with inundation by global warming, rain-reliant agriculture in Africa will shrink by half and many species will disappear. Within a decade, up to 250 million more people will face the stress of scarce water.

Former Ivorian leader in The Hague for rights trial

The former president of Ivory Coast is in The Hague over allegations of crimes against humanity. Laurent Gbagbo was flown to the International Criminal Court last night. He faces charges of murder, rape, persecution and other inhuman acts. The Court has been investigating the unrest that followed last year's disputed elections in Ivory Coast. The violence began after Mr. Gbagbo refused to give up power to Alassane Ouattara, who won the December 2010 election. Human rights groups have welcomed his arrest.

Belarussian bombers receive death sentence

A court in Belarus sentenced two men to death after convicting them of carrying out a deadly bombing on the capital's subway system that killed 15 people and wounded hundreds of others. Investigators said the sentenced men, Dmitry Konovalov and Vladislav Kovalyov, were driven by "hatred for humanity," not political motives.

The two men also have been accused of three other nonfatal bombings in 2005 and 2008. The Supreme Court found that Konovalov, from the provincial city of Vitebsk, had constructed the bomb and had stayed with Kovalyov in his Minsk apartment just before the blast. Investigators said Kovalyov was aware of the blast plans.


U.S. senators apply pressure to unblock Canadian pipeline project

Key U.S. senators presented legislation on Wednesday aimed at forcing President Barack Obama to allow the controversial U.S.-Canada Keystone XL pipeline project to move ahead. Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, one of the bill's top backers, accused President Barack Obama of trying to "curry favor" with environmentalists by delaying the project. The measure would require U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to issue a permit within 60 days to allow the project to move forward unless Mr. Obama formally declares it not in the national interest.

The legislation states that the project would promote job creation and economic growth. Environmental activists fear an accident along the 2,700-kilometer pipeline would threaten aquifers in central U.S. Great Plains states.


TSX on Wednesday: 12,204 + 472. Dollar: US.98. Euro: $1.37. Oil: $100.40 + .61.




Marcel Bellefeuille is out as head coach of the Hamilton Tiger-Cats. General manager Bob O'Billovich says while Mr. Bellefeuille is leaving the organization in a better place, the move is necessary in order to reach the ultimate goal of winning a Grey Cup. There's no immediate word on a replacement. Bellefeuille's firing comes just over a week after Hamilton dropped a 19-3 decision to Winnipeg in the Canadian Football League East Division final.


Cory Schneider continues to excel in the Canucks net. Schneider made 47 saves Tuesday night as Vancouver beat the visiting Columbus Blue Jackets 4-1. It was his fifth straight victory since starting in place of the injured Luongo, who is now back to full health and watching from the bench.



British Columbia on Thursday: rain south, cloud north, high C5 Vancouver. Yukon, Northwest Territories, Nunavut: snow. Whitehorse, Yellowknife -2, Iqaluit -12. Alberta mix sun cloud. Saskatchewan: mix sun cloud north, snow south. Manitoba: sun. Edmonton 6, Regina -3, Winnipeg -8. Ontario, Quebec: mix sun cloud. Toronto 6, Ottawa, Montreal -1. Maritimes: sun. Newfoundland and Labrador: rain. Fredericton 3, Halifax 9, Charlottetown 6, St. John's 13.

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