Thursday, January 26, 2012

RCI Cyberjournal

Edition 25 January 2012
Canadian International Financial Sports Weather

Prime Minister at Davos economic forum.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper is in Davos, Switzerland for a major international economic conference. Also attending the meeting will be a number of other world leaders, central bankers, company executives and some of the world's top thinkers. Mr. Harper will deliver a speech that will likely urge Europe to act quickly to resolve its sovereign debt crisis. He will also explain the need to diversify its international trade base so Canada will not rely so much on the United States. Meanwhile, the International Monetary Fund warns that Europe is slipping into a mild recession that could affect the rest of the world.

Expert says spy case may run very deep

An expert in espionage says the relocation of portions of the military's East Coast intelligence centre is an ominous sign that Canada's security services haven't reached the bottom of a spy scandal involving a junior naval officer. National Defence acknowledged earlier this week that some elements of the Trinity establishment, located behind razor wire at a Halifax naval base, had been moved as a "precaution" to a military air base at Shearwater, N.S. Wesley Wark, a long-time expert on security and intelligence, described it as one of the most telling developments since Sub-Lt. Jeffery Delisle was arrested and accused of leaking secrets to a "foreign entity." At the same time, a defence source says that there have been "consternation and choice words" directed at Russia through the back channels of nations involved in signals intelligence co-operation under the United Kingdom -- United States of America Agreement (UKUSA). Mr. Wark says the thought that even some of Trinity's computers might have been compromised is chilling for the Canadian intelligence community. He says the fear would be that Sub-Lt Delisle may have been engaged in data mining the way a U.S. Army private is accused of doing for WikiLeaks.

AFN grand chief wants more in the next federal budget

The head of the Assembly of First Nations says he wants to see the results of Tuesday's historic talks with the federal government reflected in the next budget. National Chief Shawn Atleo says areas such as education need urgent attention and not just to benefit First Nations communities. He says the economic future of Canada depends on it and that's something the government believes as well. First Nations and the Conservative government emerged from talks on Tuesday with a commitment to renew their relationship by addressing a number of long-standing concerns. They agreed to set up working groups to look at the financial relationship between Ottawa and native communities as well as economic development. Chief Atleo says past studies and task forces on those issues were done unilaterally and now is the time for both sides to work together. Over 600 First Nations chiefs attended Tuesday's meeting. Stephen Harper told them his government is determined to improve the levels of prosperity in First Nations Communities and wants to promote their full participation in Canada's political and economic life. Mr. Harper said he had no plans to rewrite orunilaterally rewrite the Indian Act. Chief Atleo responded by saying the Indian Act has "utterly failed" Canada's aboriginal people.

Liberal Party gains in polls

A public opinion survey suggests that Canada's federal Liberal Party is gaining back some popularity. The poll shows Liberal support has risen to 25 per cent, up six percentage points from last May`s election when the party had its worst electoral defeat in its history--finishing third behind the New Democratic Party and the governing Conservative Party. The latest poll puts Conservative support at 32 per cent and the NDP at 29 per cent. Compared with last May`s election, the Tories have slipped eight percentage points, while the New Democrats are downt wo percentage points.

Canada defends decision to deport Rwandan man

Immigration Minister Jason Kenney is defending deportation of Leon Mugesera to Rwanda. Mr. Kenney says for 16 years, Mr. Mugesera exploited Canada's legal system to avoid being deported to his homeland. Mr. Mugesera is said to have delivered an anti-Tutsi speech that was seen as one of the triggers that led to a 100-day massacre of up to one-million Rwandans in 1994. Rwanda's foreign minister says Canada did the right thing sending him back where he will stand trial. Mr. Mugesera had claimed that he would face torture if he were to be sent back home. He arrived back in Rwanda Tuesday night.

Obstacles hindering investigation of blast and fire at BC sawmill

Some obstacles continue to prevent an investigation into the cause of a deadly explosion at a Canadian sawmill on Friday. Two people were killed in the explosion that devastated the Babine Forest Products mill in Burns Lake, British Columbia. Nineteen other people were injured, some of them critically. It remains unclear whether the mill that provided a livelihood for 280 workers will be rebuilt.

Canadian in Mexico out of coma

A Canadian woman who was badly beaten in Mexico has been taken out of a medically induced coma. But Mexican doctors say that 27-year-old Sheila Nabb will undergo a long recovery. She will also require surgery to her face. She was found early Saturday in a pool of blood in the elevator of a five-star hotel resort in Mazatlan. Mexican authorities have made no arrests. At the time of the assault, the victim was on vacation with her husband. Relatives have created a fund to help pay for her medical expenses in Mexico.

Katz named to CRTC post

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission, Canada's broadcast regulator, has named Leonard Katz as its acting chairman. Mr. Katz follows Konrad von Finckenstein, who recently retired. Mr. Katz has been vice-chairman of the Commission since 2007. Before joining the regulator, Mr. Katz spent 30 years in the private sector, including stints as president and chief operating officer of Digimerge Technologies and president of Rogers Business Solutions. He will be acting chairman until the federal government appoints a full-time replacement for von Finckenstein.


Merkel rejects calls for eurozone rescue fund hike

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has rejected calls on Wednesdayfor a big increase in the eurozone's rescue fund. Ms. Merkel expressed determination to defeat the weaknesses of the joint euro currency used by 17 nations. But she rejected appeals from the IMF and others for a big jump in the size of the fund created to help weaker eurozone nations struggling with too much government debt. She also suggested the European Union and the United States should pursue a free trade deal. Ms. Merkel spoke during her keynote address at the World Economic Forum in Davos.

Obama takes to the hustings

U.S. President Barack Obama on Wednesday set out to sell his newly defined vision of an equitable economy in five states crucial to his hopes of winning re-election in November. His trip follows his combative and populist State of the Union address Tuesday night. Mr. Obama was in Iowa Wednesday. He will also travelto Arizona, Nevada, Colorado and Michigan in the next three days. All five states, or a combination of several of the battlegrounds, could help provide a pathway for Mr. Obama to secure a second White House term, despite his approval ratings of below 50 percent and a tough economic environment.

Huge crowds gather in Cairo to mark anniversary of Mubarak's resignation

Huge crowds of Egyptians gathered in Cairo's Tahrir Square Wednesday to mark the one year anniversary of the uprising that toppled Hosni Mubarak. The square was the main gathering place for the protests that ousted Mr. Mubarak. Critics still say the revolution has been hijacked by Mr. Mubarak's long-time defence minister, Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi. They want him and the ruling generals to step down immediately and to stay out of drafting Egypt's new constitution. The critics are worried the generals might include military powers in the constitution. On Tuesday Field Marshal Tantawi announced the partial lifting of a decades-old emergency law, in an apparent bid to placate protesters.

Russia warns UN against action against Syria

Russia's foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, says his country will prevent any United Nations sanctions on Syria. He says that such a move would be unfair and counterproductive. The United States, the European Union, the Arab League and Turkey all have introduced sanctions against Syria in response to President Bashar al-Assad's crackdown on an uprising that has left more than 5,400 people dead since last March. The UN Security Council has been unable to agree on a resolution since the violence began because of a strong opposition from Russia and China.

Scotland to announce referendum plans on separation from Britain

Scotland's first minister, Alex Salmond, will announce detailed plans Wednesday for a referendum that will ask voters whether they want to leave the United Kingdom and form an independent country.The vote will be held in the fall of 2014. The British government insists it has the final authority to authorize a binding referendum and wants a straight yes or no question. Scotland and England united in 1707 to form Great Britain. Mr. Salmond says that splitting the 300-year-old union would be good for everyone, saying current arrangements are not fair to Scotland and they are not fair to England.

Chinese forces said to shoot more Tibetan protesters

There are unconfirmed reports that police in China have shot dead more protesters in Tibetan-inhabited areas of Sichuan province. The death toll so far in this week's violent clashes is said to be four. The clashes between police and ethnic Tibetans are some of the worst since huge protests against Chinese rule in 2008. Reports say there are indications that the authorities were restricting movement and communications in the region as unrest spread. The situation has prompted the head of the India-based Tibetan government-in-exile, Lobsang Sangay, to call on the international community to intervene to prevent further bloodshed. The unrest comes at a time of increasing tensions in Tibetan-inhabited areas where at least 16 people have set themselves on fire in less than a year because of a lack of religious freedom.

Five Mexican police officers shot dead

Five police officers were shot to death Monday after they stopped a vehicle in a town outside Mexico City. Police say the municipal officers from the town of Ixtapaluca had stopped the vehicle when a taxi and a van pulled up and a group of attackers opened fire with weapons. Investigators believe the attack was an attempt to free people who had been stopped by the police. Two civilians were found at the scene, one dead and one wounded and unconscious. Police assume they were among the attackers or the suspects originally stopped by the officers' two patrol cars.

War crimes prosecutors say no basis for charges against general

Serbia's war crimes prosecutors have denied a human rights group's claim that the country's new army chief of staff committed war crimes against civilians in Kosovo during the 1998-1999 war. The prosecutors' office says an investigation has shown there is no basis whatsoever to suspect the criminal responsibility of General Ljubisa Dikovic. Belgrade's Humanitarian Law Center claims that General Dikovic should be replaced because of massive crimes in Kosovo where he was a brigade commander. About 10,000 people, mostly ethnic Albanians, died in the Kosovo war. Kosovo declared its independence from Serbia in 2008.


Wednesday's markets

In Toronto,The S&P/TSX composite index rose 143.98 points to 12,539.21. In New York, the Dow closed up 83.1 points at 12,758.85, while the Nasdaq composite index gained 31.67 points to 2,818.31 and the S&P 500 index added 11.41 points to 1,326.06. The Canadian dollar closed at 99.65 cents US, up 0.65 of a cent from Tuesday's close. The U.S. dollar stood at 100.35 cents Cdn, down 0.64 of a cent. Pound sterling closed at C$1.5723, down 0.49 of a cent, and US$1.5668, up 0.51 of a cent. The Euro was worth C$1.3158, up 0.04 of a cent.

Leaked files spell out Ottawa strategy in free trade talks

Leaked documents from the Canada-European Union free trade talks suggest Ottawa is seeking to carve out telecommunications and agriculture from any agreement. But there is no exemption for water services, a sore point with critics of the negotiations which many expect will result in a signed, comprehensive deal later this year. International Trade Minister Ed Fast has called a European trade, services and investment pact one of the Conservative government's top priorities. Documents released Wednesday by RQIC, a coalition of Quebec civil society groups, are the first public glimpse of the list of exemptions Ottawa and the provinces have proposed for protection under any new deal. A spokesman for RQIC says the group is still analysing more than 200 pages of exempted items, but the lack of a set-aside for municipal water systems sticks out like a sore thumb. The list was presented to the European negotiators in October and represents the Canadian side's initial position in the areas of services and investment.




One of the biggest stages in freestyle skiing will honour Sarah Burke. The Winter X Games is planning a tribute to the Canadian skier on Thursday. Burke was a four-time gold medallist at the event. She died last week of injuries suffered in a training accident.


Tuesday's results: Phoenix defeated Ottawa 3-2, Toronto defeated the New York Islanders 4-3 in overtime, the New York Rangers shutout Winnipeg 3-0, San Jose shut out Calgary 1-0 and Vancouver defeated Edmonton 3-2 in a shootout.


Tuesday's game: Toronto defeated Phoenix 99-96.


Canadian Daniel Nestor and his partner, Max Mirnyi of Belarus, the second seeds, have reached the men's doubles semi-finals at the Australian Open. On Wednesday they defeated the team of Santiago Gonzalez of Mexico and Christopher Kas of Germany 6-1, 6-7(4-7), 6-2.


The Toronto Blue Jays avoided salary arbitration Wednesday by signing Brandon Morrow to a three-year deal worth $20 million U.S. dollars with a club option for 2015. Morrow went 11-11 last season with a 4.72 ERA and 203 strikeouts. Meanwhile, multiple media reports say Toronto has signed free-agent closer Francisco Cordero to a one-year deal worth $4.5 million U.S. Cordero was 5-3 with a 2.45 ERA and 37 saves for Cincinnati last season.


The Edmonton Eskimos re-signed all-star receiver Fred Stamps to a two-year deal. Stamps led Edmonton with 82 receptions for 1,153 yards and eight touchdowns in 15 games last season. Meanwhile, Jeremaine Copeland is trading in his helmet for a headset. The Toronto Argonauts veteran receiver announced his retirement Wednesday to become an assistant coach with the rival Hamilton Tiger-Cats. Copeland spent 11 seasons in the CFL with Montreal, Calgary and Toronto. Last season became just the 15th player in league history to surpass 10,000 career receiving yards.


Thursday's forecasts

Vancouver has clearing skies with a forecast high temperature of seven degrees Celsius. Calgary is sunny with a high of five. Regina is sunny, a high of zero. Winnipeg has clearing skies, a high of zero. Thunder Bay has morning flurries followed by clearing skies, a high of three. Toronto is mainly cloudy with rain mixed with wet snow beginning in the evening, a high of two. Ottawa is mainly sunny with some afternoon cloud and a chance of later evening snow, a high of minus-two. Montreal is sunny, a high of minus-seven. Fredericton is mainly sunny, a high of minus-five. Charlottetown has a mix of sun and cloud, a high of minus-seven. Halifax has clearing skies, a high of minus-four. St. John's is mainly cloudy with a chance of evening flurries, a high of minus-one. Whitehorse is mainly cloudy with a chance of flurries, a high of minus-10, Yellowknife is sunny, a high of minus-25. Iqaluit has mainly clear skies with some blowing snow around midday, a high of minus-26.

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