Tuesday, December 6, 2011

RCI Cyberjournal

Edition 5 December 2011
Canadian International Financial Sports Weather

Canada pulling out of Kyoto

Environment Minister Peter Kent says Canada will withdraw from the Kyoto Protocol by the end of next year. Mr. Kent made the announcement from Durban, South African where he's attending the UN climate change summit. The Kyoto accord requires countries to make strict cuts to their greenhouse gas emissions, but Canada's Conservative government says that making those reductions would hurt the economy. The world's biggest polluters -- the United States, China and India -- are not part of Kyoto and the Conservatives argue that any agreement that does not include the big emitters is meaningless. The Kyoto treaty expires at the end of 2012 but new commitments are being sought through the end of 2017.

Canada noncommital on future Afghanistan aid

Canada has joined its American and European partners in pledging long-term solidarity with Afghanistan. But Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird can't put a dollar figure on Canada's continued development assistance to the war-torn country beyond 2014. Canada halved its yearly aid spending to Afghanistan with the end of the combat mission in Kandahar earlier this year, and will now contribute about $100 million a year for three years.

In all, Canada has spent about $1.7 billion in aid to Afghanistan since 2002, making it the single largest recipient of funds from the Canadian International Development Agency. But the government has frozen CIDA's overall $5-billion budget to 2015 as a deficit-cutting measure. Mr. Baird was among the 60 foreign ministers, 100 countries and international organizations attending a major conference in Bonn, Germany, on Afghanistan's long-term prospects for aid and a possible political settlement with the Taliban beyond 2014. Canada has committed 950 military personnel to a non-combat training mission to 2014.

Border security deal to be inked on Wednesday

Canada's Prime Minister Stephen Harper and U.S. President Brack Obama will hold talks in Washington Wednesday to announce a perimeter security deal. The agreement, which includes changes that will cost Canada $1 billion, is meant to boost security at the border while improving the flow of goods between the two countries.

Eastern premiers want more federal money for health care

The four premiers of Atlantic Canada want the federal government to pay one-quarter of provincial health-care costs. The four say Ottawa currently pays about one-fifth of their costs. Newfoundland and Labrador Premier Kathy Dunderdale says the provinces aren't able to keep up with the rising costs of the heatlh-care system. Mrs. Dunderdale met on Monday in St. John's with her counterparts from Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick.

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper has promised to increase federal funding for health care by six per cent a year until 2016. But the four Atlantic premiers says this isn't enough. The provinces are preparing for negotiations with Ottawa for a new accord on federal transfer payments for health and social funding. The existing one expires in March 2014.

Minister to meet chief of troubled native village

Ontario Aboriginal Affairs Minister John Duncan has agreed to meet the chief of the troubled Attawapiskat First Nation. A spokeswoman for the minister said Chief Theresa Spence has been contacted and the two are trying to arrange a meeting in Ottawa. The Attawapiskat leader is pleading with the federal and provincial governments to boost emergency aid for her remote Northern Ontario community, where some families are living in uninsulated shacks, and dozens of families are crowded into cramped, temporary shelters. Chief Spence declared a state of emergency in her James Bay community at the end of October.

Government officials have advanced some funding to renovate a few houses before winter grips the town. Last week, Mr. Duncan called for an additional audit of the band's spending and placed the community under third-party management.

Rich-poor gap growing

A global economic think-tank says the gap between rich and poor in Canada has been getting wider, particularly since the mid-1990s. The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development says income equality in Canada is above the average for its member nations, but remains below the income gap in the United States. In Canada, the average income of the top 10 per cent of Canadians in 2008 was $103,500, 10 times that of the bottom 10 per cent at $10,260.

The ratio for Canada in the early 1990s was about eight to one. The OECD says the gap between rich and poor in its member countries has reached the highest level in over 30 years. The report found the main driver behind rising income gaps has been that high-skilled workers have benefited more from technological progress than the low-skilled.

Taser cops to stand trial for perjury

Four federal police officers will stand trial for perjury. They're accused over testimony they gave at a public inquiry into the death of a man on whom they used a stun gun at Vancouver airport in October 2007. Robert Dziekanski, a would-be immigrant from Poland, died after being shocked several times. The four officers of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police will be tried separately, with the first trial beginning next October.


Dozens of bodies found in Syira

More than 60 bodies were taken to several hospitals in Syria's central city of Homs on Monday, activists in the city said. Circumstances of their deaths were not immediately clear but activists and residents in several neighbourhoods reported a spate of kidnappings since Sunday, a tactic used in recent sectarian killings in the city which has been the hotbed of armed opposition to President Bashar al-Assad. The British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said pro-Assad militiamen kidnapped and killed at least 34 people from anti-Assad districts on Monday. An activist in the city said at least 32 other bodies were taken to the national hospital in the early hours on Mondayé

Violence feared after Congo vote

Hotels were emptying out, airlines cancelled their flights and people were rushing to stock their pantries ahead of the announcement of results Tuesday from a contested presidential election which could plunge The Democratic Republic of Congo back into conflict. Many fear a return to violence in the showdown between the country's 40-year-old president, who controls the army, and Congo's 78-year-old opposition leader, who controls the street.

With half the votes counted, President Joseph Kabila was ahead with 49 per cent of the vote, compared to 34 per cent for longtime opposition chief, Etienne Tshisekedi. It makes it all but certain that Mr. Kabila will be declared the winner when results are published. The African Union and the United Nations have appealed to the two leaders to avoid bloodshed.

Fallen Ivorian leader in international court

Former Ivory Coast president Laurent Gbagbo appeared at the International Criminal Court on Monday to face charges of crimes against humanity, the first former head of state expected to be tried by the court since its inception in 2002. Mr. Gbagbo, 66, was arrested and flown from Ivory Coast to the Netherlands last week, and held since then at a detention centre in The Hague. About 3,000 people were killed and more than a million displaced in a four-month civil war in Ivory Coast after Mr. Gbagbo refused to cede power to Alassane Ouattara in a 2010 election.

Former Khmer Rouge leader defiant in court

The No. 2 leader of Cambodia's Khmer Rouge régime told a court he and his comrades were not "bad people," denying responsibility Monday for the deaths of an estimated 1.7 million Cambodians during their 1970s rule. Nuon Chea's defiant statements came at a U.N.-backed tribunal, which began questioning him and two other Khmer Rouge leaders in court for the first time since their long-awaited trial began late last month.

Nuon Chea, the trusted deputy of the late Pol Pot, instead blamed neighbouring Vietnam for the atrocities. The Khmer Rouge have often claimed that the mass graves discovered subsequently were of people killed by Vietnamese armed forces.

Russia election decried

Several thousand people protested Monday night against Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and his party, which won the largest share of a parliamentary election that observers said was rigged. It was perhaps the largest opposition rally in years and ended with police detaining some of the activists. A group of several hundred marched toward the Central Elections Commission near the Kremlin, but were stopped by riot police and taken away in buses.

Estimates of the number of protesters at the rally ranged from 5,000 to 10,000. United Russia took about 50 per cent of Sunday's vote, a result that opposition politicians and election monitors said was inflated because of ballot stuffing and other vote fraud.

Libya stops hundreds of migrants

Libya's interior minister says security forces have intercepted a boat carrying more than 500 migrants, most of them from sub-Saharan Africa, who were trying to reach Italy. Fawzy Abdul-Ali says the migrants were on a fishing boat off the Libyan coast Monday when police caught them. He says his ministry is creating a new department that will focus on preventing illegal migration from the North African country to Europe. He accused Moammar Gadhafi's toppled regime of illegally sending migrants on boats to Italy to pressure Europe. At least 28,000 people, many of them sub-Saharan Africans, have arrived from Libya to Italy this year since the beginning of the Arab revolts.


RIM manager a suspect in stampede in Indonesia

The outgoing country director of Canada's Research In Motion is a suspect in last month's stampede at a BlackBerry promotion in Indonesia, police said Monday. Several people fainted and dozens were injured at the Nov. 25 debut of RIM's BlackBerry Bold 9790 in Jakarta. Police spokesman Col. Baharudin Djafar said Canadian Andrew Cobham was among four suspects who could face charges of negligence leading to injury. The Jakarta Post reports that Mr. Cobham has been barred from leaving the country. The $540 smartphones phones were being sold at half price to the first 1,000 shoppers.

Employers seeked right skills

A recent survey indicates that half of Canadian manufacturers say they are looking to hire next year. But but they also expect to have difficulty finding workers with the right expertise. The survey shows there has been an increase of activity in the Canadian mining, energy and aerospace industries is creating demand for workers. But employers say there's a lack of skilled workers. The survey found 45 per cent of manufacturers say the limited number of workers has proven to be a significant barrier for growth.


TSX on Monday: 12,119 + 44. Dollar: US.98. Euro: $1.36. Oil: $100.79 - .17.




New York Islanders left-winger Matt Moulson is the National Hockey League's first star of the week. He became the first player to record a four-goal game this season when he led the Islanders to a 5-4 win over Dallas on Saturday. Colorado forward Ryan O'Reilly takes the second star and Los Angeles goalie Jonathan Quick is the third star.



British Columbia on Tuesday: snow north, mix sun cloud south, high C4 Vancouver. Yukon, Nunavut: mix sun cloud. Northwest Territories: snow. Whitehorse -14, Yellowknife -13, Iqaluit -12. Alberta, Saskatchewan: snow. Manitoba: mix sun cloud. Edmonton 5, Regina 4, Winnipeg -2. Ontario: snow south, mix sun cloud north. Quebec: snow. Toronto 2, Ottawa 0, Montreal -1. Atlantic Canada: rain. Fredericton 5, Halifax 11, Charlottetown 9, St. John's 7.

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