Tuesday, January 24, 2012

RCI Cyberjournal

Bank of Canada governor worried about U.S. economy

The governor of the Bank of Canada, Mark Carney, says the U.S. economy could take years to recover from its current weak state. He even says it may never return to its once powerful economic status. Mr. Carney also says the weakness in the US economy is costing the Canadian economy $30 billion annually in lost exports. But he adds consumer spending and business investment will prevent Canada from falling back into recession.

Jobs in Canada's public service to be reduced

A new report estimates the Canadian Conservative Party government will cut between 60,000 and 68,000 jobs once all the rounds of announced spending cuts are complete in 2015. The business research group the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives says 6,300 jobs are already being cut in the first series of departmental reviews that began in 2007.But the Ottawa-based research group says that's just the beginning of the cuts. The group predicts the major share of job losses will come with this year's implementation of the two-year departmental freeze announced in 2010.

Founders of  Research In Motion--the BlackBerry company--step down

The two founders of the Canadian company Research in Motion, the maker of the Blackberry smartphone device, are resigning. Co-CEOs Jim Balsillie and Mike Lazaridis will be replaced by chief operating officer Thorsten Heins. Once one of Canada's most valuable companies, its fortunes have declined during the last few years from a market capitalization of more than $70 billion to $9 billion. The company has lost smartphone market share to competitors Apple and Google's Android platform and saw disappointing sales of its PlayBook tablet.

Accused intelligence officer's lawyer quits the case

The lawyer for a Canadian navy intelligence officer accused of passing information to a foreign entity has withdrawn from the case. A provincial court official in Halifax says Cameron MacKeen told a brief proceeding today that he could no longer continue representing Sub.-Lt. Jeffrey Paul Delisle. Reached later in the day, Mr. MacKeen declined comment. Sub-Lt. Delisle was expected to return to court Wednesday, but the federal Prosecution Service says his next court appearance is now Feb. 28, at which point a bail hearing date will be set. The 40-year-old Delisle faces two charges of violating the Security of Information Act that deal with communicating information that could harm Canada's interests. The Halifax man is also charged under the Criminal Code with breach of trust by a public officer. Meanwhile, a handful of staff at the military's principle East Coast intelligence centre have been relocated. A senior official in Defence Minister Peter MacKay's office would not say how many people have moved, but that it's been conducted as a precaution. The highly-secure Trinity establishment is located behind razor wire at Canadian Forces Base Stadacona in Halifax. It has been home to the navy's information gathering effort for years. The staff at the base were relocated to the nearby Shearwater air base, across the harbour in Dartmouth. Officials say the move is indefinite.


Canada making changes to intelligence services

The Canadian Press news agency has obtained internal documents showing Canada's navy has made major changes to its intelligence strategy. The documents show military planners have spent two years drawing up a so-called road map to provide decision-makers and warship commanders with better data on possible threats. The strategy was widely circulated among senior naval members in 2010. Meanwhile, the federal government is not saying whether Sub-Lt. Jeffery Delisle had access to the strategy.

Rwandan man facing deportation suffers legal setback

A man accused of helping to incite the Rwandan genocide, now fighting to stay in Canada, is one step closer to being deported. Leon Mugesera has suffered a setback in a Quebec courtroom, with a last-ditch attempt to stave off deportation rejected. A Quebec Superior Court judge ruled Monday that the case is beyond the jurisdiction of the provincial court. But whether Mr. Mugesera remains in Canada a bit longer, or is sent to his native Rwanda, remains up in the air. Federal lawyers say another attempt at a stay on his deportation was filed in Federal Court Monday. It's not clear Canadian officials will wait before executing the order. Mr. Mugesera is wanted in Rwanda on charges of inciting genocide and crimes against humanity. He has lived in Canada for almost 20 years.

Harper meets with aboriginal chiefs Tuesday

Prime Minister Stephen Harper meets Tuesday with many of the country's aboriginal chiefs to discuss such issues as education, health care and native housing. The head of the Assembly of First Nations says the high-level meeting Ottawa is critical for rebuilding relations with aboriginal communities. Chief Shawn Atleo says if anything is to be accomplished, aboriginal governments must be seen by the government as equals.

Two Cabinet ministers heading to Israel

Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird and Finance Minister Jim Flaherty will travel to Israel later this week after accompanying Prime Minister Stephen Harper to the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. The visit to Israel will cap a week of intense travel for Mr. Baird, who is visiting the United Kingdom prior to the Davos summit. In September, Mr. Baird used his speech to the United Nations General Assembly to lambaste opponents of Israel as being no better than pre-Second World War appeasers who allowed fascism and communism to flourish. In an interview with The Canadian Press last month, Mr. Baird dismissed criticism from Arab and Muslim groups that the Conservatives have tilted too far towards supporting Israel in the conflict with the Palestinians. Mr. Baird said last month he also planned to travel to the Palestinian territories on his upcoming trip. Mr. Flaherty is expected to meet with Israeli business leaders.

Another train goes off the tracks in Alberta

Canada's biggest railway company is looking into the third train derailment in a week in Alberta. The latest was this past weekend in the province's north, where 17 Canadian National railway grain cars plunged off a 60-metre-high bridge and landed in a valley below. No one was hurt and the derailment does not pose an environmental risk, but CN says the bridge was damaged. On Friday, 18 cars of a CN train went off the tracks near Hay Lakes, and earlier last week, a CN freight train derailed between Hinton and Grande Cache.

Manitoba announces grants for flooded communities

The Manitoba government is providing nearly $2.5 million to rural communities affected by record flooding last year. Agriculture Minister Ron Kostyshyn says the money is meant to help communities get back on their feet. The goal is to restore economic activity to levels at least equal to what they where before the floods. Mr. Kostyshyn says in a release that 42 grants ranging between $1,000 and $100,000 have been issued to 34 communities. Projects include restoring damaged tourist facilities, co-ordinating plans for residential and tourism redevelopment and promoting "buy local" campaigns. The minister is to address delegates later this week at the Keystone Agricultural Producers meeting in Winnipeg.

Canadian beaten in Mexico is in induced coma

The uncle of a Canadian woman who was severely beaten in Mexico over the weekend says his niece is in a medically induced coma and doctors are going to have to perform extensive surgery on her in the coming days. Robert Prosser of Kingston, N.S., said bones in Sheila Nabb's face were broken from a beating Saturday at her hotel on Mexico's west coast. The 37-year-old Calgary resident was on vacation with her husband. Prosser says he is receiving updates on the condition of his niece, who is originally from the Halifax area, from the woman's mother. Ms. Nabb was on vacation at the Hotel Riu Emerald Bay in Mazatlan with her husband, Andrew Nabb, who is still in Mexico with her. Mr. Prosser says he was told Ms. Nabb was found in a pool of blood in a hotel elevator by staff. He said police are investigating.

Syria rejects calls for resignation of President Assad

Syria has rejected an Arab League call for President Bashar al-Assad to resign in favour of a unity government. Syrian officials are calling the League's request an interference in its affairs as the government tries to end a 10-month-old uprising seeking Mr. Assad's overthrow. Meanwhile, it was not immediately clear whether Syria would accept the League's decision to keep Arab observers in the country for another month despite their failure to stop bloodshed. Hundreds of people have died since the observers deployed in Syria on Dec. 26. Since the protests began last March, more than 5,000 people have beedreported killed.

ICC orders prominent Kenyans to stand trial

International Criminal Court judges in the Hague have ordered four prominent Kenyans, including two potential presidential candidates, to stand trial. They allegedly manipulated a wave of violence triggered by their country's disputed 2007 presidential election. More than 1,000 people were killed in postelection violence after police ejected observers from the centre where votes were being counted and the electoral body declared President Mwai Kibaki the winner. Among the four suspects sent for trial were Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Uhuru Kenyatta and former Education Minister William Ruto. Both men are planning to run for the presidency this year.

U.N. experts check Japan's nuclear reactors

A team of United Nations nuclear experts has begun a review of tests conducted by Japan to prove the safety of its nuclear reactors. The reactors in Fukushima were damaged after last March's earthquake and tsunami knocked out cooling systems and triggered reactor meltdowns and radiation leaks. It caused mass evacuations and widespread contamination. The Vienna-based International Atomic Agency's team of 10 experts will be in Japan until Jan 31. Only five of Japan's 54 nuclear reactors remain in operation.

European Union eases sanctions on Burma

The European Union has agreed to begin easing sanctions on Burma in order to encourage reform in that country. The EU move would see travel bans lifted against the Burma's leaders. The EU says continuing positive political change in Burma would lead to the further easing or lifting of other restrictive measures. That could include the lifting of embargos on arms deliveries, logging and mining, the resumption of aid, and unlocking assets of more than 900 firms and utilities. Apart from the EU, other Western nations, including Canada and the United States, have in the past imposed sanctions on Burma because of the military regime's repression of human rights and ill treatment of Democracy Party leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

Reports say Chinese police fired on Tibetans

Reports say that police opened fire on Tibetan protesters in Chinaon Monday,killing at least one person and injuring many others. The rights group Free Tibet and the Tibetan government-in-exile say the protest occurred in China's Sichuan province. Citing witnesses, the two groups said the situation is still very tense in the area. According to the London-based Free Tibet, the protest began in response to the arrest of Tibetans earlier today over pamphlets that were distributed in the area calling for freedom in the region. There are also reports that Tibetans from different areas are reported to be traveling to join the demonstration. There have been a number of incidents this year in Sichuan where Tibetans have set themselves on fire to protest against perceived religious repression.

Haitian president has big hopes for power project

Haitian President Michel Martelly said Monday he hopes a new government program will double the number of homes that have power within two years. He says the project aims to help 200,000 households in two of the most remote corners of the country purchase solar kits. Local banks will issue $30 million loans at an interest rate of seven per cent to help families buy the devices that will supply energy to power cellphones or computers. The government says that only 30 per cent of Haiti has access to power lines. Even then, most Haitians only have electricity for a few hours a day. Wealthy Haitians, foreign diplomats and aid workers must rely on generators and expensive fuel imports to power their homes and businesses.

Two more bodies recovered aboard Italian cruise ship

Two more bodies have been discovered aboard the submerged Costa Concordia off the coast of Italy. That brings to 15 the number of bodies recovered from the ship that ran aground 10 days ago. Seventeen people are still listed as missing and the search continues. Meanwhile, emergency crews are still trying to determine how to safely remove the fuel that remains in the ship's fuel tanks.

Lawmakers debate temporary move out of Westminister

British lawmakers are considering whether they will need to abandon the House of Commons for the first time since the Second World War. Legislators were meeting Monday to discuss if future maintenance work to the Palace of Westminster -- home to the Commons and the House of Lords -- would need the two chambers to briefly move out. Between 1940 and 1941, both Houses of Parliament met in London's Church House, after bombs destroyed the Commons chamber and damaged the Lords. Consideration of possible repairs follows the disclosure in October that Parliament's clock tower -- known as Big Ben -- is nearly half a metre out of line. The palace, which was rebuilt in the mid-19th Century, is expected to need major repairs in the coming years.

 Lunar New Year in many parts of the world

Millions of Chinese, Koreans and Vietnamese across Asiacelebrated the new Year of the Dragon Monday with fireworks, feasting, visiting temples and lighting incense and watching street performances of lion and dragon dances. For many, the Lunar New Year is the biggest family reunion of the year. In ancient times the dragon was a symbol reserved for the Chinese emperor and it is considered to be an extremely auspicious sign.

Monday's markets

In Toronto, the S&P/TSX composite index gained 124.61 points to close at 12,521.70. In New York, the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at 12,708.82, down 11.66 points. The S&P 500 closed at 1,316, up 0.62 of a point and the Nasdaq closed 2,784.17, down 2.53 points The Canadian dollar closed at 99.27 cents US, up 0.57 of a cent. The U.S. dollar stood at 100.74 cents Cdn, down 0.58 of a cent. Pound sterling closed at C$1.5687, down 0.84 of a cent, and US$1.5572, up 0.06 of a cent. The Euro was worth C$1.3129, up 0.26 of a cent.



U.S. President Barack Obama honoured the 2011 Stanley Cup champions Monday at the White House. The Boston Bruins won their first Stanley Cup title in 39 years last June after a seven-game final with the Vancouver Canucks. Playoff MVP Tim Thomas did not attend the ceremony. The team said he chose not to attend but did not reveal a reason why. NATIONAL BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION

Sunday's result: The Los Angeles Clippers defeated Toronto 103-91


In men's doubles at the Australian Open, Canadian Daniel Nestor and his partner, Max Mirnyi of Belarus, the second seeds, have advanced to the fourth round. Canadian Adil Shamasdin and his partner, Philipp Marx of Germany, were eliminated in the second round.

Tuesday's forecasts

Vancouver has rain with a forecast high temperature of nine degrees Celsius. Calgary has a mix of sun and cloud with a high of two. Regina is sunny, a high of zero. Winnipeg has a mix of sun and cloud, a high of minus-six. Thunder Bay has morning cloud followed by clearing skies in the afternoon, a high of minus-six. Toronto is cloudy with a chance of showers turning to flurries, a high of zero. Ottawa has morning snow followed by cloud and a chance of afternoon flurries. Montreal is mainly cloudy with a chance of morning showers, a high of five. Fredericton, Charlottetown and Halifax have morning rain followed by afternoon showers. Highs: five in Fredericton, nine in Charlottetown, eight in Halifax. St. John's is mainly cloudy with snow beginning in the evening, a high of minus-one. Whitehorse has morning flurries followed periods of afternoon snow, a high of minus-12. Yellowknife has a mix of sun and cloud with a chance of flurries, a high of minus-17. Iqaluit is mainly sunny with local blowing snow, a high of minus-28.