Friday, December 2, 2011

RCI Cyberjournal

Edition 1 December 2011
Canadian International Financial Sports Weather
Canadian

Flag taken down last time in Kandahar


The Canadian flag was hauled down for the last time in Kandahar on Thursday. The quiet ceremony at Kandahar Airfield marked the end of Canada's military presence in the war-wasted province. The task force of Canadian troops assigned to pack and move the army's combat gear has completed its job and aside from a few clean-up details, the last soldiers will be out of the southern region by Dec. 12.

Lt.-Gen. Stuart Beare, who is in charge of all of Canada's overseas forces, said in a telephone interview it was "gratifying" to witness the last parade. Canada's deployment was part of the NATO-led as International Security Assistance Force. Parliament ordered the army to leave Kandahar by the end of this year, ending more than five years of bitter guerilla warfare with the Taliban. Combat operations finished in July.



Former terror suspect sues Ottawa


Abousfian Abdelrazik a Sudanese-born Canadian accused of being an al-Qaida operative who trained in Afghanistan, is thanking Canadians for their help and support in getting him removed from a United Nations terror watchlist. But he now says that he will sue the federal government for $27 million. His lawsuit is against the former Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannon.

Mr. Abdelrazik says he and his family suffered a miserable seven years because he was wrongly placed on the list. He was arrested but not charged in 2003 when he went to Sudan to see his mother. He has been trying to clear his name since 2009 when he returned to Canada. The Canadian Security Intelligence Service and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police have already cleared Abdelrazik of terrorist allegations.



Canadian energy firm exempted from Syria sanctions


Canadian energy firm Suncor will continue to operate in Syria, despite the growing pressure of sanctions against that country because of its government's political crackdown. Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird has told a House of Commons committee that suncor should be exempt from Canada's sanctions because it creates much-needed electricity for the Syrian people.

The Canadian firm operates a $1.2-billion natural gas project in partnership with a state-owned Syrian firm. The EU recently imposed additional sanctions on Syria. The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, says the country is in a state of civil war because of the growing numbers of soldiers defecting to the rebels.



B.C. natives unite against pipeline


Aboriginal groups in the Canadian Pacific province of British Columbia said on Thursday they had formed a united front to oppose all exports of crude oil from the Alberta tar sands through their territories. The declaration adds to the uncertainty over Enbridge Inc.'s planned $5.5 billion Northern Gateway oil pipeline, which would move 525,000 barrels a day of tar sands-derived oil 1,177 kilometres to the Pacific port of Kitimat, BC.

Sixty aboriginal groups say they fear the consequences of a spill from the pipeline, which would pass through some of Canada's most spectacular and mountainous landscape. They also oppose the idea of shipping oil from British Columbia ports. Prime Minister Stephen Harper has identified the Northern Gateway, which would open up a new supply route to Asia, as important to the country's economic interests, especially after the United States last month imposed a delay on approving TransCanada Corp's Keystone XL pipeline, which was planned to take Alberta oilsands crude to Texas.



Military forms partnership for northern rescues


A civilian air rescue group says a new deal with the military means it could have search planes anywhere in the Arctic within three hours. John Davidson of the Civil Air Search and Rescue Association says the final details on how his group could provide initial searches in the Arctic is being worked out now. He says that group would use trained civilian spotters and privately owned planes already in the North to guide military aircraft and search and rescue technicians more quickly to those needing help. He says the service is close to being ready for Nunavut and will be launched later in the Northwest Territories.



Green leader indigant over Durban exclusion


Green party Leader Elizabeth May says since her own government doesn't want her contribution at an international conference on climate change, she's offered it to the South Pacific nation of Tuvalu. May calls it a "gross insult" the federal government has excluded her and other opposition MPs from the Canadian delegation heading to a key climate conference in South Africa.

She says she and opposition environment critics sent the Prime Minister's Office a letter offering to pay their own way to the conference in Durban and they haven't received so much as a reply. Rising sea levels due to global warming threaten to submerge the tiny island chain, population 10,500. Mrs. May says excluding her, the single Green party Member of Parliament, is one thing but that the exclusion of the environment critics from the official Opposition NDP and Liberals is unprecedented.



Canadians growing wary of debt


A financial analysis company says Canadians appear reluctant to add to their lines of credit, consumer and car loans and credit card debt. The company, TransUnion, says that's because people are facing an uncertain economy and, as a result, they are losing their confidence. After peaking in the fourth quarter of last year, TransUnion says the average consumer debt, excluding mortgages, was $25,594 in the third quarter.



Canadians unworried by crime


New data indicate that 93% of Canadians feel safe from crime. That survey released by the federal government agency Statistics Canada comes as the federal government pursues its tough-on-crime agenda. Statistics Canada surveyed people aged 15 and older in 2009 and found 83% are not worried about being home alone in the evening and 90% feel it's safe to walk in their neighbourhoods after dark. Residents of Moncton in the Province of New Brunswick and residents of the cities of Kingston, Guelph and Oshawa in the Province of Ontario were more satisfied with their personal safety.





International

Arabs bar Syrian leaders


The Arab League, which voted to impose sanctions on Syria for failing to end a crackdown on protesters, has listed 17 people banned from travel to Arab states, including President Bashar al-Assad's brother. Breaking with decades of inaction against any of its 22-member states, the Arab League has suspended Syria from the pan-Arab organization and imposed sweeping economic sanctions. Only Syria's neighbours Iraq and Lebanon voted against the move.

Syria says the League has declared "economic war" with sanctions imposed on its central bank after Damascus ignored demands to end its nine-month crackdown on protests. The list of names banned from travelling to Arab states includes the defence and interior ministers, intelligence officials and senior military officers.



Egypt vote results delayed


Egypt's electoral commission announced Thursday a delay in final results for the first-round of parliamentary elections while judges monitoring the count said Islamist parties are poised to gain a parliamentary majority. The political arm of the Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt's largest and best organized group, could take as much as 45 per cent of the seats being contested. The Egyptian bloc coalition of liberal parties and the ultra-fundamentalist Nour party were competing for second place.

Together, Islamist parties would have a majority, which could allow them to steer the long-secular country in a more religiously conservative direction. Egypt would follow Tunisia and Morocco, where Islamist parties have won majorities in parliament since the outbreak of this year's Arab revolutions.



Israel alludes to Iran war


Israel's defence minister says Israel has no desire to go to war with Iran over its nuclear program but warns that at some point there may be no other option. Ehud Barak says Israel would be very glad if sanctions and diplomacy would lead Iran to abandon its suspected nuclear weapons program but that he doesn't think that will happen. Mr. Barak told Israel Radio on Thursday that Israel doesn't wish to fight unnecessary wars, but might be forced to act. Israel, like the West, is convinced Iran is developing a nuclear bomb. It says a nuclear-armed Iran would be an deadly threat, citing Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's calls for Israel's destruction.



Greeks protest against austerity


Thousands of protesters bitterly opposed to government austerity measures marched through the Greek capital Thursday, as another general strike closed schools and public services, left hospitals functioning on reduced staff and confined ferries to port. The 24-hour strike is the first test of union opposition to Prime Minister Lucas Papademos' three-week-old coalition government and comes a day after it promised rescue creditors it will impose additional "deep and broad reforms." Up to 15,000 members of a Communist-backed union marched peacefully through central Athens.

Another 6,500 people took part in two separate demonstrations in the northern city of Thessaloniki. The austerity measures -- pension and pay cuts, increases in taxes and retirement ages have been imposed in return for bailout cash from fellow eurozone countries and the International Monetary Fund.



Advanced countries producing most toxic emissions


More than half of all carbon pollution released into the atmosphere comes from five countries, according to a national ranking of greenhouse gas emissions released Thursday. The first 10 countries on the list, made available during UN climate talks in Durban, South Africa, account for two-thirds of global emissions, said the report compiled by British-based firm Maplecroft, specialists in risk analysis.

China, the United States, India, Russia and Japan top the ranking, with Brazil, Germany, Canada, Mexico and Iran just behind. The majority of the countries' emissions are carbon dioxide, thanks to massive energy demand.



Former Ivorian leader has first court appearance


Former Ivory Coast President Laurent Gbagbo will appear before the International Criminal Court on Monday, to face charges of crimes against humanity including murder and rape. Gbagbo was flown from Ivory Coast to the Netherlands on Wednesday and transferred to a detention centre in The Hague, making him the first former head of state to be tried by the global court since its inception in 2002. About 3,000 people were killed and more than a million displaced in a four-month civil war in Ivory Coast after Gbagbo refused to cede power to Alassane Ouattara in an election he lost last year.





Financial

Stock exchange bidder has key condition


TMX Group and Maple Group representatives say the integration of Canada's largest securities market with its sole clearing house would better prepare the country's capital markets for a 2008-type crisis. Luc Bertrand, spokesman for Maple Acquisition Group, says the group of pension plans, banks and other financial services companies, has the expertise to find solutions to financial crises.

Mr. Bertrand added Thursday in a presentation to Ontario regulators that the Maple offer for TMX is conditional on the integration of CDS and if regulators prevent the merger, the deal would be void. CDS Inc. is a central part of Canada's stock and securities trading. Among other things, it manages the transactions required to complete purchases and sales of securities on Canada's public markets.



Bombardier's fortune looking up


Transportation manufacturer Bombardier said Thursday its profits soared by more than 30 per cent to US$192 million in the third quarter, as it recorded improvements in both the aerospace and railway segments. The Montreal-based company earned 11 cents a share for the period ended Oct. 31, a gain of three cents compared to the third quarter of 2010. President and CEO Pierre Beaudoin says the railway division's strong backlog promises good revenues and aerospace deliveries and backlog have increased by 16 per cent since the beginning of the year.

Bombardier's commercial aerospace business has been affected by slow orders for regional jets and Q400s, which has led to production rate decreases.



Markets


TSX on Thursday: 12,113 - 91. Dollar: US.98. Euro: $1.36. Oil: $99.98 - .38.





Sports

Sports


RUGBY

Canada's seven-a-side rugby team takes the first step towards the

2016 Olympics on Friday when it makes its season debut on the

International Rugby Board's HSBC Sevens World Series in Dubai.

The road to Rio is a complicated one, with the Canadians first

looking to earn core member status on the world sevens circuit.

Canada has been a part-time player since 2007 -- this year, for

example, it will take part in five of the nine events.

After Dubai, the Canadians will play in South Africa, New Zealand

and U.S. events before taking part in the pivotal Hong Kong sevens

in March.

FOOTBALL

Scott Milanovich has his first Canadian Football League head coaching job. The former Montreal Alouettes assistant has been named head coach of the Toronto Argonauts. Former coach Jim Barker will concentrate solely on his general manager duties. The Argos missed the playoffs this past season





Weather

Weather


British Columbia on Friday: snow north, mix sun cloud south, high C6 Vancouver. Yukon, Nunavut: snow. Northwest Territories: mix sun cloud. Whitehorse 5, Yellowknife -20, Iqaluit - 14. Alberta: snow north, mix sun cloud south. Saskatchewan: snow. Manitoba; mix snow rain. Edmonton -2, Regina 0, Winnipeg 2. Ontario: snow south, mix sun cloud north. Quebec: rain. Toronto, Montreal 3, Ottawa 0. New Brunswick: snow, Nova Scotia: mix sun cloud. Prince Edward Island: sun. Newfoundland and Labrador: cloud. Fredericton 1, Halifax 4, Charlottetown, St. John's 3.





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