Saturday, December 31, 2011

RCI Cyberjournal

Edition 30 December 2011
Canadian International Financial Sports Weather
Canadian

Order of Canada recipients announced


Sixty-six notable Canadians are being inducted to or promoted within the Order of Canada, including hockey coach Scotty Bowman, sportscaster Brian Williams and former prime minister Paul Martin. Also among those receiving honours, former Canadian diplomat Robert Fowler, retired chief of defence staff Rick Hillier and storyteller Stuart McLean. Lieutenant-General Charles Bouchard, who commanded NATO's military mission in Libya, has received a promotion to Officer of the Order of Canada. The Order of Canada recognizes a lifetime of outstanding achievement, dedication to the community and service to the nation. Chosen by an independent panel based on nominations from the public, the order has three levels of membership -- companion, officer and member.



Whistler ski patroller killed in B.C. avalanche


A backcountry skier who died after an avalanche near Pemberton in the Pacific coast province of British Columbia has been identified as 30-year-old Duncan MacKenzie, a ski patroller at the Whistler-Blackcomb resort. Described as an avid outdoorsman, Mr. MacKenzie was among four skiers making their final descent when they were caught up in the slide. The avalanche hit late Thursday afternoon and darkness fell before he could be evacuated from the Casper Creek area. The deadly snow slide came amid warnings from the Canadian Avalanche Centre, that the risk of avalanches is high across most of B-C.



Ottawa allows Agent Orange compensation


The federal government has changed its mind about refusing compensation for dozens of Canadians sickened by Agent Orange. The Canadian Press reports that some 30 soldiers exposed to the defoliant in the 1960s, or their families, will now receive compensation. Several families have gone public in recent weeks about the bureaucratic battles they've fought over the issue. That prompted a review of the rules which are now being revised to also allow compensation for primary caregivers, like the spouses of soldiers who died in nursing homes.



Family treated for carbon monoxide poisoning


Canadians are being reminded to make sure their home is equipped with carbon monoxide detectors after a Quebec family was sent to hospital with carbon monoxide poisoning early Friday morning. Officials say two adults and two children were experiencing headaches, but were conscious when emergency crews arrived at their home in the city of Gatineau. Tests detected a significant amount of carbon monoxide inside their house but firefighters have yet to identify the source of the leak. Carbon monoxide is an odourless and colourless gas that is often linked to gas-powered tools, heaters and cooking equipment. Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning include headaches, lightheadedness and confusion. Exposure to the gas can be deadly.



Weather clears, stranded ferry passengers finally leave N.S. port


Passengers who've been stranded aboard a Marine Atlantic ferry for more than two days finally set sail on Friday afternoon. High winds and rough seas had prevented the ferry Blue Puttees from leaving North Sydney, Nova Scotia for Newfoundland since Wednesday night. Marine Atlantic's other ferries, including ones scheduled to depart Port aux Basques, Newfoundland, were also delayed.





International

Russian firefighters extinguish sub fire


Firefighters extinguished a massive fire aboard a docked Russian nuclear submarine as some crew members remained inside. Officials are assuring that there was no radiation leak and that the vessel's nuclear-tipped missiles were not on board when the fire began on Thursday. Military prosecutors have launched an investigation into whether safety regulations were breached and President Dmitry Medvedev has demanded punishment for anyone found responsible. The fire broke out at an Arctic shipyard outside the northwestern Russian city of Murmansk where the submarine Yekaterinburg was in dry-dock. Seven members of the submarine crew were hospitalized after inhaling poisonous carbon monoxide fumes from the fire.



China: Fishermen sue oil giant


A Chinese court has agreed to hear a lawsuit brought against the U.S. oil company ConocoPhillips by a group of fishermen. The lawsuit is a result of an oil spill last June that released more than 3,000 barrels of oil near Tianjin. Lawyers for a group of 29 fishermen filed the lawsuit with the Tianjin Maritime Court. It claims the oil leak, from a field operated by ConocoPhillips, killed many of their clams and sea cucumbers, a form of seafood. There were no details on the amount of compensation being sought.



Kurds mistakenly killed in Turkish airstrike laid to rest


Thousands of angry KurdsFriday buried 35 civilians who were accidentally killed in a Turkish airstrike onThursday. The mourners accompanied the coffins of victims of the raid to the cemetery in Gulyazi village, near the Iraqi border. Many of the mourners called Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan a murderer. For his part, Mr. Erdogan offered his condolences to the families of the victims for what he called an unfortunate incident. He said the attack was to have been carried out against separatist rebels of the Kurdistan Workers Party who had used the same route to bring weapons into Turkey to mount attacks. The Workers Party took up arms in Kurdish-majority southeastern Turkey in 1984. That led to a conflict that has so far claimed about 45,000 lives. The Party is labelled a terrorist organisation by Turkey and much of the international community.



Somalia: Wounded aid worker dies


An aid worker shot at the Doctors Without Borders compound in the Somali capital of Mogadishu Thursday, has died of his wounds. 44-year-old Andrias Karel Keiluhu, a doctor from Indonesia, died in hospital after surgery. Another victim of the shooting incident, 53-year-old Philippe Havet of Belgium died on the spot. The two men were gunned down by a Somali employee of Doctors Without Borders who'd been fired the day before, for theft.



The United States denounces statement by Venezuela's President


The administration of U.S. President Barack Obama is denouncing Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez for allegedly questioning whether the United States might be behind a series of cancer cases among Latin American leaders. U.S. officials say Mr. Chavez'scomments were horrific and reprehensible and not worthy of further response. Mr. Chavez has often questioned whether the U.S. government could be plotting to oust him. But earlier this week he went far beyond that, saying it was very strange that he and the leaders of Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay have struggled with cancer. He said he was not accusing the U.S. and does not have any proof.





Financial

Market highlights


Stocks:

S&P/TSX Composite Index -- 11,955.09, up 113.40 points

TSX Venture Exchange -- 1,484.66, up 23.11 points

TSX 60 -- 680.87, up 7.80 points

Dow -- 12,217.56, down 69.48 points

S&P 500 -- 1,257.60, down 5.42 points

Nasdaq -- 2,605.15, down 8.59 points

Currencies:

Cdn -- 98.33 cents US, up 0.37 of a cent

Pound -- C$1.5798, up 0.58 of a cent

Euro -- C$1.3190, down 0.41 of a cent

Euro -- US$1.2970, up 0.09 of a cent

Oil futures:

(February) $98.83, down $0.82

Gold Futures:

(February) $1,566.80, up $25.90



CNRail merger


Canada's biggest railway is about to complete the merger of three of its U.S. subsidiaries. The new unit of the Canadian National Railway Company will be known as Wisconsin Central Ltd. CN says the merger will simplify its corporate structure and operations. The merger, which will be finalized tomorrow (Saturday), combines the operations of Duluth, Missabe and Iron Range Railway Co., Duluth, Winnipeg and Pacific Railway Co. and Wisconsin Central. CN is one of North America's largest rail companies, with operations across Canada and into the U.S. Midwest down to the Gulf of Mexico.



Teddy bear recall


Canadian children who received a Build-A-Bear teddy bear from Santa this Christmas, may need to get a new one. The toy-maker is recalling some of its teddy bears because they might present a choking hazard. The recall covers about 300-thousand "Colourful Hearts Teddy" bears, more than 13-thousand of which were sold in Canada. Build-A-Bear says certain production runs of the bear used substandard fabric which can tear around the eye and cause the eye to fall out. Consumers who return their teddy to a Build-A-Bear store, will receive a coupon for any available stuffed animal of their choice.



B.C. Taxes set to rise


British Columbians may not enjoy the distinction of paying some of the lowest taxes in Canada for much longer. Residents of the Pacific coast province will be paying more in the coming year, for health care, electricity, car insurance and gasoline. The increases are coming under fire from critics who complain that the hikes hit lower-income tax-payers at the same rates as wealthier ones. The chief economist with B.C.'s Central 1 Credit Union, Helmut Pastrick, says taxes and fees in the province appear to be rising faster than incomes, but he says it's a complicated balancing act between keeping taxes low and ensuring government services are properly funded.





Sports

Sports


The Grey Cup champion B-C Lions are The Canadian Press 'Team of the Year' after a vote by Canadian sports editors and broadcasters. B-C opened the football season with five straight losses before winning 12 of 13 and eventually the Grey Cup. The Vancouver Canucks were a distant second in the vote.

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Canada's junior team spent Friday preparing for their final prelimimary-round game of the world junior hockey championship against the United States on New Year's eve. The Canadian team has won its first three games at the event.

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NHL action Friday: The Calgary Flames play the Senators in Ottawa.

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Basketball: The Toronto Raptors visit the N-B-A champion Mavericks in Dallas .





Weather

Weather


Here is Canada's weather for Saturdday, December 31. British Columbia will have a cloudy New Year's Eve. The high temperature in Vancouver will be 6 degrees Celsius. The Yukon: sunny. Whitehorse, minus 8. Northwest Territories: clearing. Yellowknife, minus 23. Nunavut: flurries. Iqaluit, minus 21. Alberta: mainly sunny. Edmonton, minus 4. Saskatchewan: flurries. Regina, minus 5. Manitoba: snow. Winnipeg, 1. Ontario: a mix of sun and cloud. Toronto: 8. Ottawa, minus 5. Quebec: snow. Montreal, minus 1. New Brunswick: snow. Fredericton, 2. Nova Scotia: rain. Halifax, 7. Prince Edward Island: snow. Charlottetown, 4. Newfoundland and Labrador: mainly sunny in Newfoundland. St. John's, minus 2. Sunny in Labrador: Happy Valley-Goose Bay, minus 18.





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