Wednesday, February 1, 2012

RCI Cyberjournal

Edition 31 January 2012
Canadian International Financial Sports Weather

Canada wants UN to act on Syria mayhem
Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird says the Syrian government is slaughtering innocent civilians and that the UN Security Council should deal with the worsening situation in Syria. Mr. Baird says Canada condemns the violence that erupted there during the weekend, which stopped the Arab League's monitoring mission. The minister also says the reduced staff at Canada's embassy in Damascus is doing what it can to help Canadians escape. Three-hundred have informed the foreign affairs department since Dec. 15 of their departure. Mr. Baird and his cabinet colleague Finance Minister Jim Flaherty are spending three days visiting Israel.

Afghan diplomats denounce 'honour' murders
The Afghan Embassy in Ottawa has condemned the murders
of four members of a Montreal family originally from Afghanistan. The embassy calls the deaths of
the three teenaged sisters and their father's first wife "a heinous
crime against humanity." The embassy says this kind of crime is not part of Afghan or
Islamic culture and "is not acceptable in any way."
Hamed Shafia, 21, and his parents Mohammad Shafia, 58, and Tooba
Yahya, 42, were each found guilty of four counts of first-degree
murder on Sunday after a three-month trial.
Hamed Shafia's lawyer says his client has filed notice to appeal
his conviction.
The bodies of sisters Zainab, Sahar and Geeti Shafia, along with
Rona Amir Mohammad -- Mohammad's first wife in a polygamous marriage
-- were found in a car at the bottom of a Kingston, Ont., canal in
June 2009.
During the trial, the Crown alleged the murders were carried out
to restore honour to the family after the daughters tried to resist
their parents' strict control.

GDP down in november
Canada's economy shrank last November. Statistics Canada says the decline amounted of .1 per cent. This follows no gain in the previous month. Most of the decline in November was due to weakness in oil and natural gas extraction, some of it because of temporary shutdowns. But the numbers show there wasn't enough strength in the economy to take up the slack.

Demands renewed for opening of lawmakers' books
There are more calls to open the books on the expense accounts of Canadian Members of Parliament. The demand comes amid reports that the former leader of the federal Bloc Quebecois party, Gilles Duceppe, paid a political operative's salary with taxpayer money. The Canadian Taxpayers Federation says showing the numbers is a good idea, since contracts and receipts can now be scanned and posted on the Internet. Mr. Duceppe is to appear Feb. 13 before a House of Commons committee. The Board of Internal Economy want to know why he paid the Bloc's director general with his parliamentary budget for six years.

More charged in NHL riot
Police in Vancouver have charged more suspects in the wake of last June's hockey riot. The police says prosecutors have approved 11 more accusations against five people suspectedof taking part in the Stanley Cup final riot that caused millions of dollars of damage. The police also have added more photos and videos of the riot to its website to help the public identify suspects. Prosecutors have charged 43 of the 100 suspects against whom police have recommended charges. The riot on June 15 erupted when thousands of fans gathered in downtown Vancouver to watch the National Hockey League Boston Bruins defeat the Vancouver Canucks in the final game of the Stanley Cup championship series on giant television screens.


Arab League wants end to killing in Syria
Qatar's prime minister, speaking on behalf of the Arab League, urged the UN Security Council on Tuesday to take action to stop Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's "killing machine." Opening a top-level Security Council meeting on the Syrian crisis, Prime Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim Al-Thani said that the Arab League had tried to seek a solution with Mr. Assad in face of the 10-month uprising but in vain. He called for support of a UN draft resolution, sponsored by Arab League member Morocco, under which Mr. Assad would step down from power and agree to an end to violence ahead of negotiations on a settlement.
Russia, a close ally of Syria which holds veto power on the Security Council, has voiced opposition to the draft.

Egyptians march on parliament
Thousands of protesters marched on Egypt's parliament on Tuesday demanding a swift end
to army rule, and some turned their anger on the leading
Islamist movement they accused of doing the military's bidding. Inside, army-backed Prime Minister Kamal Ganzouri, 78, who
served ousted President Hosni Mubarak in the 1990s, addressed
the new parliament for the first time but faced tough criticism
by Islamist and other deputies of the slow pace of reform. Some youth members of the Muslim Brotherhood, whose Freedom
and Justice Party (FJP) won nearly half the seats in the recent
parliamentary election, formed a cordon in the street leading to
parliament to prevent protesters from approaching the building. The standoff reflects the deepening frustration of young
activists who galvanised the anti-Mubarak revolt but have seen
Islamists capitalise on the political changes by sweeping up
seats in the first free parliamentary poll in decades. The army has pledged to hand over power by the end of June.

Sanctions hurting Iran's food supply
At least 24 cargo ships carrying a total 480,000 tonnes of wheat and other grains are waiting off Iran's coast. They are unable to unload because of the effects of sanctions on Iran. European Union and U.S. sanctions have prevented contact with Iran's financial sector. The move has forced grain suppliers to stay away from unloading docks until they can be paid. Iran imports around 4.5 million tonnes of grain a year. The United States and Europe have applied sanctions in an effort to pressure Iran to give up its nuclear activities, which they fear include research for atomic weapons, despite Tehran's denials.

Italy ends search for bodies from wrecked cruise ship
Italian authorities have ended the search for bodies on the submerged sections of the capsized cruise ship Costa Concordia.
They say the decision had been finalized after the families of the 15 people still unaccounted for had been informed. As well as the 15 missing, a total of 17 bodies have been recovered since the accident on Jan. 13 in which the Concordia, carrying more than 4,200 passengers and crew, struck a rock and partially sank off the island of Giglio. A statement from the civil protection authority said conditions on the wreck had made it impossible for divers to continue working safely in the underwater sections of the 290-meter-long vessel.

China currency issue again arises
Two top U.S. lawmakers on Tuesday urged President Barack Obama's administration to
broaden efforts to pressure China to change its currency
practices by raising the issue at a World Trade Organization
symposium in March. A letter signed by to Treasury Secretary Timothy
Geithner and U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk.
Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max
Baucus, a Montana Democrat, and House of Representatives Ways
and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp, a Michigan Republican. Many U.S. lawmakers believe that China significantly
undervalues its currency to give its companies an unfair price
advantage in international trade. Last year, the Democratic-controlled Senate passed
legislation to allow the Commerce Department to treat currency
undervaluation as an illegal subsidy so that countervailing
import duties could be imposed.


Blackberry maker makes governance change
After having already replaced top executives Jim Balsillie and
Mike Lazaridis, Research In Motion says a review of its corporate
governance has concluded that the roles co-CEO and co-chairmen
formerly held by the pair should be split.
The findings of the review, which had been encouraged by an
activist shareholder group about a year ago, were released late
Monday just over a week after the BlackBerry smartphone maker had
already replaced the two men.
Almost two weeks ago, co-CEOs Balsillie and Lazaridis stepped
down from their lead positions at the Waterloo, ON,-based company.
Both remain on the board of directors but Mr. Lazaridis is
RIM's senior executive, Thorsten Heins, was appointed CEO on Jan.
Mr. Heins has said he doesn't anticipate major changes for RIM as the
company works to launch its new generation of BlackBerrys later this
year to better compete with Apple's iPhone and Google's
Android-powered smartphones.
Shares in Research In Motion were down 46 cents, or 2.69 per
cent, at $16.61 in early afternoon trading on the Toronto Stock

Toronto Stock Exchange on Monday: 12,462 + 15. Canadian dollar: US99. Euro: $1.31. Oil: $98.42 - .36.


Milos Raonic and veteran Daniel Nestor will lead
Canada's Davis Cup team against France in their World Group
first-round tie in February.
They will joined by Frank Dancevic of Niagara Falls, ON., and
Vancouver's Vasek Pospisil at the Doug Mitchell Thunderbird Sports
Centre in Vancouver for the Feb. 10-12 tie.
Peter Polansky of Thornhill, ON, will also be in Vancouver with
the team as a fifth player.
The hard-hitting Raonic is ranked 28th in the world.



British Columbia on Wednesday: rain south, mix sun cloud north, high C7 Vancouver. Yukon, Northwest Territories, Nunavut: mix sun cloud. Whitehorse -5, Yellowknife -17, Iqaluit -21. Alberta: snow south, mix sun cloud Saskatchewan, Manitoba. Edmonton, Winnipeg 1, Regina 2. Ontario: mix sun cloud. Quebec: snow. Toronto 5, Ottawa 1, Montreal -2. Maritimes: mix snow rain. Newfoundland and Labrador: mix sun cloud. Fredericton -5, Halifax 2, Charlottetown -11, St. John's 1.

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