Wednesday, December 7, 2011

RCI Cyberjournal

Edition 6 December 2011
Canadian International Financial Sports Weather
Canadian

Canada sceptical of China's climate offer


Four emerging world economic powers want wealthy nations such as Canada to sign up for a second phase of an expiring climate deal. The bloc of Brazil, South Africa, India and China says they will step up their own efforts to reduce greenhouse gases if the world's richest countries take on a second round of commitments under the Kyoto Protocol.

The world's top polluter, China, has signalled it will adopt binding targets to lower its emissions, something it has long refused to do, if developed countries sign on for a second phase of the Kyoto Protocol on Climate Change. But Canada's environment minister says the Chinese delegation declined to answer when asked by a Canadian official if China would make its pledge official. Peter Kent says China has yet to provide any details of what commitments it might agree to during climate talks in the South African coastal city of Durban. The Conservative government says Canada will not renew its Kyoto commitment to reduce industrial emissions.



Main lending rate unchanged


The Bank of Canada is keeping its interet rate at one per cent. It has been held at that level since September of last year and no one expects it will change anytime soon. The Bank warns that the economy is facing a series of shocks from around the world that will dampen growth and keep inflation in check. Analysts suggest that with the stock market volatile and the economy slumping amid European debt worries, the central bank will continue to be cautious.



U.S. senators try legislative maneuvre to support Canadian pipeline


Five U.S. senators have urged Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to reject Republican efforts to make approval of the Keystone XL pipeline part of a payroll tax cut bill expected to pass through Congress in the next two weeks. Last week, Republicans in the House of Representatives said they would include a measure in the payroll tax cut bill that would give the power to approve the $7 billion Canada-to-Texas pipeline to an energy regulator, taking the decision out of the hands of the administration of President Barack Obama.

For the Keystone measure to advance, it must be agreed to by the Democratic-controlled Senate. The senators called the Republican plan would be a "rubber stamp" for the TransCanada Corp project, which would move 700,000 barrels a day of crude from the Canadian oilsands to Texas refineries. Republicans support the project because it would create thousands of jobs at a time when the economy is struggling. But some Democrats are wary of the climate-changing emissions from the oil and the impact any accidental spills could have on the environment.



Federal crime bill through Commons


The Canadian government's anti-crime legislation has passed in the House of Commons. The bill calls for more severe sentences for both adult and teenage criminals. The opposition parties claim the Conservative Party government pushed its omnibus crime bill through the Commons without proper study. Meanwhile, The Canadian Bar Association has suggested the bill is a waste of taxpayers' money and will overload the justice system. However, the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police supports the legislation. But the Association also says the bill needs to be balanced by crime-prevention efforts. The bill now goes to the Senate for approval before becoming law.



Native leader supports beleaguered village


The head of the Assembly of First Nations says that struggling native bands need to use whatever means they have to ensure improvements in their quality of life. In a keynote speech to the annual meeting of native leaders, National Chief Shawn Atleo said he stands with Chief Theresa Spence of the troubled Attawapiskat First Nation. Spence recently declared a state of emergency in her James Bay Cree community because a severe housing shortage left families facing winter in uninsulated shacks without running water.

When the federal government sent in a third-party manager to take over the band's finances on Monday, Spence's band members sent him packing, turning the housing problem into a full-blown political crisis. Mr. Atleo's term comes to an end in the coming year and he is widely expected to run for re-election. He is preparing for a major summit with Prime Minister Stephen Harper at the end of January, where he hopes to repair the relationship between Canada and First Nations to give natives more control over their affairs.



Court scrap over wheat monopoly starts


A court battle got underway Tuesday over the federal government's move to transform the Canadian Wheat Board. The board and it supporters are fighting Ottawa's decision to strip the agency of its monopoly over sales of western wheat and barley. They are asking the Federal Court of Canada in Winnipeg to declare that the government acted illegally. Board lawyer John McDougall says the law requires the government to hold a plebiscite of producers before making any changes.

The government disagrees, and has said it is simply allowing farmers the right to decide where to sell their grain. Wheat Board supporters say farmers need the wheat board monopoly to ensure high prices.



Massacre of women 22 years ago commemorated


Hundreds of women gathered on Parliament Hill Tuesday to commemorate the school slaying of 14 women in Quebec 22 years ago. They were angry with the Harper government over its decision to abolish the long-gun registry. Conservatives were pointedly not invited to the commemoration. Gun control advocate Wendy Cukier says the Dec. 6 anniversary of the mass shooting at the Ecole Polytechnique is a day to mourn, but also to pledge to work harder against gun violence. Suzanne Laplante Edward says the move to end the gun registry is a personal affront. Her daughter Anne-Marie was killed at the school and it was on her birthday this year that the Tories introduced their bill.





International

Bomber kills dozens of Afghans


Afghan officials say55 people have been killed in a suicide bombing targeting Shiite worshippers in Kabul. The attacker blew himself up Tuesday in the midst of a crowd of men, women and children gathered outside the Abul Fazl shrine to commemorate the seventh century death of the Prophet Muhammad's grandson Imam Hussein. Mohammed Zahir, chief of the Kabul Criminal Investigation Department, gave the death toll and said more than 100 people were wounded. Officials say four other people were killed when a bomb strapped to a bicycle exploded as a convoy of Afghan Shiites drove by in the northern city of Mazar-i-Sharif.



Europeans warned on debt


Standard & Poor's is warning it may downgrade the European bailout fund's AAA long-term credit rating. The move announced Tuesday follows S&P's notice on Monday that it may cut the credit rating of 15 eurozone countries, including Germany's, because the region's financial crisis is worsening without any imminent fix. The agency says in a release that it is putting the AAA long-term credit rating for the European Financial Stability Facility on "CreditWatch with negative implications." It says it could downgrade the rating by one or two notches.



Sudans urged to reach oil deal


Western powers on Tuesday urged Sudan and South Sudan to hold talks as soon as possible to reach an agreement on oil exports, hoping to avert fresh conflict in the wake of Juba's independence. The United States, Britain and Norway in a joint statement said they "strongly urge" Sudan and South Sudan to convene a new round of talks on oil exports before the scheduled date of Dec. 20.

Sudan won international praise for accepting South Sudan's independence in July after decades of bloodshed. But the new landlocked state took with it around three-quarters of the nation's oil production capacity. The Nov. 25-30 talks arranged by the African Union failed, after Khartoum,which controls access to the sea, said it would take 23 percent of southern exports. South Sudan said such a move would amount to theft.



Libyan militias told to relinquish arms


A Libyan official says residents of the capital Tripoli have until the end of December to hand over weapons to authorities. The head of the Tripoli local council, Abdel-Rafik Bu Hajjar, also says that all non-Tripoli brigades in the city must leave by Dec. 20 and that the Tripoli brigade itself would dissolve at the end of the month. He said Tuesday all armed individuals must join security forces under the ministries of interior or defence or "return to civilian lives." Since the end of the eight-month civil war that toppled the Gadhafi regime, rival revolutionary militias have clashed repeatedly.



Violence feared after Congo vote


Electoral officials in the Democratic Republic of Congo struggled to finish counting votes from last week's presidential election, sending helicopters to remote polling stations on Tuesday to try to meet a midnight deadline as street tensions rose. A delay in issuing full preliminary results from the vote in the central African state could further complicate an election marred by deadly violence, logistical problems and allegations of fraud.

Partial preliminary results, representing nearly 70 percent of the ballots cast, give President Joseph Kabila a 10-point lead over his chief rival, Etienne Tshisekedi. But the opposition has said it will reject the outcome. The electoral commission set the deadline for a full preliminary count for Dec. 6.



Egyptian electoral leader promises coalition


Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood movement says it will form a broad coalition government if it emerges victorious from a series of national elections. The Brotherhood led in the first phase of voting last week. The movement's opponents claim it wants to turn Egypt into an Islamic state by stealth. The Egyptian army will remain in charge until a presidential election in June.



Russians protest against alleged vote fraud


Police clashed Tuesday on a central Moscow square with demonstrators trying to hold a second day of protests against alleged vote fraud in Russia's parliamentary elections. Hundreds of police had blocked off Triumphal Square on Tuesday evening, then began chasing about 100 demonstrators, seizing some and throwing them into police vehicles. Pro-government United Russia supporters also rallied late Tuesday at Revolution Square near the Kremlin.

State television footage showed a crowd appearing to number in the thousands. Prime Minister Vladimir Putin's United Russia party saw a significant drop in support in Sunday's election but it will still have a majority in parliament. Opponents say even that watered-down victory was due to massive vote fraud.





Financial

Bombardier expects fat years


Canadian manufacturer Bombardier Inc. says it expects to nearly double its revenues and boost its profit margins in five years, once it completes major new development projects and expands sales to emerging markets. The Montreal-based company told analysts Tuesday it hopes to add between US$10 billion and $16 billion of revenues to its current base of $18 billion. The company is investing heavily, primarily in new business and commercial planes. The investments should deliver $8 billion to $12 billion a year in additional revenues, including up to $8 billion from the CSeries airliner, included related services.

The lightweight composite CSeries and Learjet 85 planes are scheduled to enter into service the end of 2013. The new Global 7000 and 8000 planes are forecasted to generate US$1.5 billion to US$2 billion in annual revenues. The Learjet 85 should capture up to US$1.5 billion in extra revenues per year. The company says that over the next decade, 40 per cent of its business jets will be delivered outside of Europe and the United States, representing 400

additional units per year.



Markets


TSX on Tuesday: 12,081 - 38.. Dollar: US.99. Euro: $1.35. Oil: $101.22 + .23.





Sports

Sports


HOCKEY

National Hockey League officials have approved a radical realignment plan that will give the league four conferences instead of six divisions. The Board of Governorsproved the move Monday at the first day of their meeting. The realignment won't be implemented until NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman discusses the new plan with the NHL Players' Association. The league needed to make changes to accommodate Atlanta's move to Winnipeg this past summer. They could have switched one team from the Western Conference with the Jets but opted for a more dramatic plan. There will be two conferences with eight teams and two with seven teams instead of the current format of six five-team divisions.





Weather

Weather


British Columbia on Wednesday: sun north, mix sun cloud south, high C7 Vancouver. Yukon, Northwest Territories: mix sun cloud. Nunavut: snow. Whitehorse -12, Yellowknife -22, Iqaluit -4. Alberta: mix sun cloud north, snow south. Saskatchewan, Manitoba: snow. Edmonton -8, Regina -10, Winnipeg -7. Ontario, Quebec: snow. Toronto 3, Ottawa 0, Montreal 1. Atlantic Canada: rain. Fredericton 3, Halifax 9, Charlottetown 5, St. John's 7.





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