Tuesday, January 10, 2012

RCI Cyberjournal

Bank of Canada reports business leaders pessimistic about economy

The Bank of Canada says business leaders in the country are generally pessimistic about the Canadian economy. The bank's latest quarterly survey finds most businesses are expecting to see a dip in sales this year. As well, they're predicting a drop in investments and in hiring. The central bank says the survey suggests that Canadian businesses are concerned most about the global economic situation, specifically the debt crisis in Europe.

Canadian cabinet minister begins Haiti trip

Canada's minister of international co-operation, Bev Oda, began a trip Monday to Haiti. Canada is not pleased with the slow progress of the rebuilding of Haiti after it was hit two years ago by a devastating earthquake. The quake killed an estimated 300,000 people, destroyed tens of thousands of buildings and dispaced some 1.5 million people from their homes. Some 550,000 are still living in grim and densely populated camps. Ms. Oda says Canada will focus part of its aid effort to Haiti on maternal and child health. Canada is also funding education and helping torebuild agriculture.

Canada wants to make an impact in Cuba

Canada's federal cabinet minister for Latin America, Diane Ablonczy, makes her first trip to Cuba this week. Ms. Ablonczy praises the reforms President Raul Castro has made since taking over from his ailing brother, Fidel, almost four years ago. She says there have been major economic reforms and liberalization under Raul Castro and adds Canada can help Cuba do more. Each year, over a million Canadian tourists visit Cuba, which is known for it warm weather and many beach resorts.

Minister of Natural Resources calls pipeline opponents "radical"

Canada's natural resources minister is blaming radical environmentalists backed by foreign money for opposition to a new pipeline through British Columbia. Joe Oliver says foreign-funded environmentalists and jet-setting celebrities are trying to hijack regulatory hearings on the Northern Gateway project. The hearings are scheduled to begin on Tuesday. The $5.5-billion Enbridge pipeline would carry crude from the Alberta tarsands to terminals on the B.C. coast. It's opposed by environmentalists and most BC First Nations.

Class action suit filed over Wheat Board

A class action lawsuit has been filed that claims Canadian farmers should be repaid $15.4 billion when the Canadian Wheat Board is dismantled. The suit says the Wheat Board's assets include $100 million in cash, more than 3,400 hopper cars, lake freighters and an office building. The federal government has passed legislation to end the board's monopoly on western wheat and barley sales and has removed farmer-elected directors from the organization. The board will still operate with government support for five years. Regina-based lawyer Tony Merchant says the act makes clear the federal government has no intention of compensating farmers when the board winds up. None of the allegations has been proven in court.

Honour killing trial resumes in Kingston

The high profile murder trial of a Montreal family accused of killing four family members resumed Monday in a courtroom in Kingston, ON. Mohammed Shafia, his wife and eldest son are charged with four counts of first degree murder. They allegedly killed Mr. Shafia's three daughters and his first wife in an honour killing in 2009. This phase of the trial is expected to focus on the girls' mother and brother.

Alleged Rwandan war criminal appears in Canadian court Monday

An alleged Rwandan war criminal was due in a Canadian Federal Court on Monday to challenge his deportation order. Leon Mugesera is accused of helping to incite Rwanda's massacres by delivering a 1992 speech that promoted the genocide of ethnic Tutsis. Hutu-backed militias led the 100-day massacre of Tutsis and Hutu moderates in 1994, killing between 800,000 and one million Rwandans. Mr. Mugesera, who has lived in the Province of Quebec since 1993, wants any allegations against him to be heard in Canada. He claims his life would be in danger if he's sent back to Rwanda. He is demanding that any allegations against him be heard in Canada.

Services held for Canadian who died in police custody in Grenada

Hundreds turned out for funeral services Monday in the Caribbean country of Grenada for a Canadian man who died while in police custody. Thirty-nine-year-old Oscar Bartholomew of Toronto who was a native of Grendawas allegedly beaten into a coma two weeks ago. He died the next day. At the funeral, Mr. Bartholomew was remembered as a family man who was bigger than life. Five officers are charged with manslaughter his death

Canadian political party will select a candidate to replace the late Jack Layton

Canada's official opposition New Democratic Party will select a candidate tonight in a constituency in the city of Toronto. The ridiing of Danforth was formerly held by Jack Layton, the former leader of the NDP who died of cancer last August. The three candidates in the running are almost unknowns in federal politics. Layton had held the riding since 2004. Within six and-a-half weeks, Prime Minister Stephen Harper must announce a date for a byelection in the Danforth constituency.

Arab League to maintain observers in Syria

The Arab League is continuing its observer mission in Syria to try to stop a 10-month crackdown on protests that has killed more than 5,000 people. The obervers have been criticized for not doing enough to stop the crackdown by Syrian forces. At a meeting in Cairo on Sunday, an Arab League ministerial committee pledged to boost the number of monitors in Syria. The committee also urged Syria to implement its commitments under an Arab plan that calls on all parties to immediately stop all forms of violence. The head of the observer mission, Gen. Mohammed Ahmed Mustafa al-Dabi, is scheduledto give a report to the League on Jan. 19 on Syria's compliance with the peace plan.

Pakistani ambassador denies writing memo of army coup

Pakistan's former ambassador to the United States, Husain Haqqani, has denied any involvement in drafting a memo that accused the army of plotting a coup. During testimony to a Supreme Court commission Monday in Islamabad, he also suggested, that he was being framed. Mr. Haqqani said that he had no role in creating or delivering the memorandum to U.S.Joint Chiefs of Staff Chariman Admiral Michael Mullen. The scandal began last October when Pakistani businessman Mansoor Ijaz wrote a column in the Financial Times newspaper. He wrote that a senior Pakistani diplomat had asked that the memo, seeking help to control Pakistan's military, be sent to the U.S. Defense Department. Mr. Ijaz later identified the diplomat as Mr.Haqqani, an ally of President Asif Ali Zardari. No evidence has emerged that the military was plotting a coup and theU.S. Defense Departmentat the time dismissed the memo as not credible.

China criticizes U.S. strategy in Asia

China has criticized the United States' new defence strategy for Asia. The strategy, released last week, says the growth of China's military power must be accompanied by greater clarity in its strategic intentions to avoid causing friction in the region. Chinese officials say the U.S. accusations of Beijing's lack of openness are wrong and unfair. In addition, China says it is committed to peaceful development and a defensive policy in the region. U.S. Defence Secretary Leon Panetta said last week that the U.S. is not anticipating military conflict in Asia. But he emphasized that the Asia-Pacific region is growing in importance for the U.S. economy and national security.

Four Russian officers killed in Chechnya

Russia's Interior Ministry says four of its officers were killed and 16 wounded during a clash with militants in the mountains of southern Chechnya. The Ministry says that that four militants also were killed and two wounded. Chechnya fought two wars for independence against Moscow in the 1990s. But it has become relatively quiet in recent years as the insurgency has largely spread to neighbouring republics in Russia's Caucasus.

Pope says world need economic ethics

Pope Benedict says the global crisis shows that the world needs economic ethics and new rules so the financial system benefits all humanity. He also says that economic decisions should be based on what advances the common good rather than individual gain. Since the economic downturn began, the Pontiff has often said the lack of sufficient ethics in the world of finance could not be overlooked. Pope Benedict issued the statement today in his New Year speech.

Monday's markets

In Toronto, the S&P/TSX composite index rose 8.08 points to 12,196.72. In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 32.77 points to 12,392.69. The Nasdaq composite index was up 2.34 points to 2,676.56. The Canadian dollar gained 39-100ths of a cent to close at 97.76 cents U.S. The U.S. dollar stood at 102.29 cents Cdn, down 0.41 of a cent. Pound sterling closed at C$1.5817, down 0.34 of a cent, and US$1.5463, up 0.29 of a cent. The Euro was worth C$1.3064, unchanged.



Canadian Milos Raonic moved up six ranking spots on the ATP computer Monday following his victory over Janko Tipsarevic of Serbia, 6-7(4), 7-6 (4), 7-6 (4) to win the Chennai Open in India on Sunday. Raonic moved to 25th in the world. He now heads to Australia to play in an exhibition event to prepare for the Australian Open, which begins on Jan. 16. Meanwhile, at the ATP tournament in Brisbane, Australia, top seeds Canadian Daniel Nestor of Canada and Max Mirnyi of Belarus, won the men's doubles title on Sunday, defeating second seeded Jergen Melzer of Austria and Philipp Petzchner of Germany, 6-1, 6-2. Nestor and Mirnyi are the second-ranked men's doubles team in the world.


Sunday's result: Ottawa defeated Philadelphia 6-4.... In other NHL news, Scott Arniel was fired Monday as head coach of the Columbus Blue Jackets, who promoted assistant Todd Richards to interim head coach. Arniel was in his second season as coach. Columbus has an 11-25-5 record this year....A hockey fan who threw a banana at a black player during an NHL exhibition game in London, Ontario, has been fined $200. Twenty-six-year-old Christopher Moorhouse was charged with a provincial trespassing offence after the incident Sept. 22. Moorhouse lobbed a banana on the ice as Philadelphia Flyers forward Wayne Simmonds was approaching the Detroit Red Wings net during a shootout. His lawyer says Moorhouse didn't know that hurling bananas at black athletes could be seen as hateful.


Longtime Cincinnati shortstop Barry Larkin is headed into the baseball Hall of Fame. After falling 75 votes short last year, Larkin received 86 percent of the vote this year. To gain admittance to the Cooperstown, New York shrine, 75 per cent of the vote is needed. He will be inducted this summer with long-time Chicago Cub Ron Santo....In other baseball news, the Toronto Blue Jays have finalized a $4 million U.S. one-year contract with left-hander Darren Oliver. The deal, agreed to last month, includes a $3 million team option for 2013. The 41-year-old Oliver spent the last two seasons with the AL champion Texas Rangers. An 18-year major league veteran, he has a 112-90 record.

Tuesday's forecasts

Vancouver has a mix of sun and cloud with a high of six degrees Celsius. Calgary has periods of light morning snow followed by clearing skies, a high of minus-three. Regina has increasing cloud with increasing snow beginning around noon, a high of minus-two. Winnipeg is mainly cloudy with a chance of evening flurries, a high of four. Toronto has increasing cloud, a high of five. Ottawa is cloudy with periods of snow beginning in the evening, a high of minus-one. Montreal has light morning snow followed by clearing skies. Fredericton and Charlottetown are mainly cloudy with a chance of afternoon flurries, a high of one. Halifax is mainly cloudy with a chance of flurries or rain showers, a high of three. St. John's is mainly cloudy with a chance of flurries, a high of minus-two. Whitehorse has a mix of sun and cloud, a high of minus-14. Yellowknife has clearing skies, a high of minus-22 Iqaluit has a mix of sun and cloud followed by afternoon clearing, a high of minus-25