Thursday, April 12, 2012

RCI Cyberjournal

Edition 11 April 2012
Canadian International Financial Sports Weather

Canadian finance minister lauds country's decision-making
Canada's Finance Minister, Jim Flaherty, is saying Canada has a big advantage over the United States in dealing with the economy. He says the advantage is that Canada has a system of government that can make decisions. Mr. Flaherty made his comments to journalists in New York Tuesday about the virtues of Canada's parliamentary system. To support his argument, Mr. Flaherty says the minority Conservatives were able to work with the opposition over the course of five years and implement fundamental policies, including tax reductions. The Conservative were re-elected last year with a majority.

Canada's industrial emissions stable
Canada's Conservative government is pointing to a new greenhouse-gas report as a sign that the economy's rebound from recession did not come at the expense of the environment. New figures released Wednesday show greenhouse gases remained stable in 2010 even as the economy grew. Emissions rose by just two megatonnes, or 0.25 per cent, to 692 megatonnes, while the economy grew by 3.2 per cent. Emissions fell in 2008 and 2009 during the global recession and were expected to rise as the economy recovered.
Environment Minister Peter Kent says the report is not a blip, but rather a continuing trend. Canada has signed on to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and must report each year on its greenhouse gases. Last year's report caused a stir because it left out data showing a rise in greenhouse-gas emissions from the oilsands. This year's report is being released just days after Prime Minister Stephen Harper's Conservatives axed an independent advisory body that used to track greenhouse-gas emissions, among other things.

Details emerge of federal budget cuts
More details are being revealed about how budget cuts announced by Canada's government last week will affect government-funded services. Among the services scheduled to see reductions in staff are Heritage Canada, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, Citizenship and Immigration, Industry Canada. The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation will have to close its news bureaus in Africa and South America, and cancel its radio news program devoted to international stories, Dispatches.

Canadian sub back afloat
One of Canada's four problem-plagued submarines was lowered into the water today in Halifax harbour, more than three years after a refit was due to be completed. Dozens of workers stood on a Halifax dock watching the hulking HMCS Windsor as it was lowered by winches attached to a wooden platform, descending at half-a-metre per minute. The sub will eventually move to a neighbouring berth to undergo further testing and preparations for sea trials, but it's not clear when that will happen. Initially scheduled to be completed by 2009, Windsor's refit has taken almost five years. Windsor is one of four British submarines bought by the federal government in 1998 for $750 million, but the fleet has seen little time in active service since then.

Report recommends drug injection sites in Toronto, Ottawa
A new report says Toronto and Ottawa would both benefit from having supervised drug injection facilities. The report by researchers from the University of Toronto recommends three safe injection sites for Toronto and two for Ottawa. But it says there isn't enough evidence at this point to recommend a supervised drug smoking facility and it suggested more research be done on that issue. Vancouver is the only city in Canada that has a supervised drug injection site. The report says facilities in Toronto and Ottawa would reduce new HIV and hepatitis C infections. It says demand for facilities is high in the two cities, although there is concern in the broader community, especially among business owners, about where supervised injection sites would be located.


Syria not obeying ceasefire plan
Syria promised to observe a U.N.-backed ceasefire starting on Thursday, but its forces kept up fierce attacks on opposition neighbourhoods in the hours before the deadline. A Syrian defence ministry source quoted on state television on Wednesday said the army would halt operations on Thursday morning, but would confront "any assault" by armed groups. The report made no mention, however, of withdrawing troops from urban areas, something that was supposed to start on Tuesday under a peace plan agreed with international envoy Kofi Annan. And even as the ceasefire pledge was being broadcast, activists were reporting more tanks moving in to a major city. A spokesman for Annan, mandated by the United Nations and Arab League, said the Syrian government had given the former U.N. secretary general an assurance it would stop fighting by the dawn deadline he has set for a cessation of hostilities. But he also stressed that troops should pull back.

Relations worsen between Sudans
Sudan says it will mobilize its army against South Sudan on Wednesday, and halted talks with Juba over oil payments and other disputed issues after the South occupied an oilfield vital to the north's economy. With South Sudan in turn accusing Sudan of bombing a village on the southern side of their 1,800-kilometer border, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and the United States called for an end to clashes that threaten to spark a full-blown conflict. South Sudan, which seceded in July, has been locked in an increasingly bitter dispute with the north over the fate of the formerly joint oil industry and other issues as fighting has escalated in the countries' ill-defined border region. South Sudan's army (SPLA) on Tuesday attacked Heglig, a
disputed area containing an oilfield that accounts for about half of Sudan's 115,000 barrel-a-day output. The South's army claimed to be holding the oil wells on Wednesday.

Congo to arrest general wanted for war crimes
Democratic Republic of Congo President Joseph Kabila announced on Wednesday that authorities would arrest a serving army general wanted by the International Criminal Court. The ICC has been seeking Bosco Ntaganda's arrest for six years on
charges he conscripted children to fight in a bloody ethnic conflict in northeastern Congo that grew out of a broader civil war.
Ntaganda denies involvement in war crimes. Mr. Kabila's announcement marked a reversal for the Congolese government which had previously resisted calls to arrest Ntaganda, saying he was the lynchpin for a fragile peace deal that integrated his fighters into the national army in 2009. However, the president stopped short of promising his extradition to The Hague, announcing he would instead stand trial in Congo on unspecified charges

Peruvian miners saved
Nine Peruvian miners were rescued Wednesday after six days trapped in an abandoned copper mine. The nine, ranging in age from 23 to 58, walked out without assistance about an hour after dawn from a reinforced tunnel that rescuers had built as they removed more than eight metres of dirt and rock. President Ollanta Humala greeted them. The miners were trapped by a cave-in triggered by an explosion they themselves had set. They had communicated with rescuers through a hose, in place before the collapse, by which they also received food and medicine during their ordeal in a horizontal shaft dug into a mountainside.

Greeks off to polls
Greece's prime minister on Wednesday called a general election for May 6, after his coalition government pushed through financial relief deals that rescued the country from the threat of bankruptcy, but condemned his recession-hit countrymen to
greater hardship. Lucas Papademos, a former vice-president of the European Central Bank, was appointed premier in November and spent five months pushing through harsh austerity measures in order to secure a vital international bailout and a major debt relief deal with banks. He said these included a new austerity program from 2013-16, implementation of cutbacks and structural reforms needed for the Greek economy to grow viably and for the country to remain within the eurozone. Opinion polls have indicated that no party will be able to win the majority needed to govern alone, but it remains unclear whether the country's main political leaders will agree to a new power-sharing deal.

Ireland remembers Titanic victims
Relatives of poor Irish passengers who drowned when the Titanic sank 100 years ago gathered on Wednesday at the liner's last port of call, while local officials sought to use the anniversary to boost the flagging local economy. Irish President Michael D. Higgins led a commemorative ceremony in Cobh, where the Titanic's final 123 passengers, mostly poor Irish emigrants, boarded 100 years ago to the day. Only 44 survived. Approximately 1,500 people watched the ceremony, held on a stage overlooking the sea, with some residents gathering on the rooftop of the Commodore Hotel, the last port of call for some of the wealthier Irish passengers. The picturesque coastal town and naval base, which has seen jobs decimated in recent decades by the closure of a steelworks, is latching on to the Titanic story in a bid to bring much-needed investment to the area.


Canadian banks earn high praise
Moody's rating agency is calling Canada's bank sector the soundest in the world and a safe haven for investors. The New York-based agency says all of Canada's big banks rate are rated double-A2, which is higher than bank rankings in the United
States, Europe, the Asia-Pacific region and other areas of the world. The agency also points out that Canada's big banks also posted good results in the first quarter of 2012.

Canadian gold project in Romania still in limbo
Romania's environment minister says an application by Gabriel Resources Ltd. for permits to move ahead with a controversial gold mine can't be speeded up as requested by the president. But Attila Korodi told a radio station Wednesday he would
carefully examine the project, a day after becoming minister. Gabriel Resources, which is headquartered in Toronto, has spent several years working on permits and negotiations related to the development of the massive Rosia Montana gold-silver project in western Transylvania. The yet-to-be-built mine, which research has indicated holds 300 tons of gold and 1,600 tons of silver, received the public support of President Traian Basescu in August. Mr. Basescu has urged Mr. Korodi to expedite the process, saying the mine will bring jobs to a deprived region and vital foreign investment. But environmentalists and archeologists oppose the project, which uses cyanide in the extraction process. Opponents also say building the open-cast mine would damage ancient monuments and destroy a mountain face.

The Toronto Stock Exchange on Wednesday: 12,027 + 91. Canadian dollar: .99. Euro: $1.31. Oil: $102.59 + $1.57.


The Vancouver Canucks took the ice Wednesday looking to get off on the right foot in the Stanley Cup playoffs. The top-ranked Canucks were home to the LA Kings in Game 1 of their series. It's unclear if Daniel Sedin will be in the lineup for Vancouver. The Canucks' star is still recovering from a concussion.


British Columbia on Thursday: rain, high C13 Vancouver. Yukon: rain. Northwest Territories: sun. Nunavut: snow. Whitehorse 5, Yellowknife -5, Iqaluit -12. Prairies: rain. Edmonton 13, Regina 9, Winnipeg 16. Ontario: sun. Quebec: mix sun cloud. Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal 13. Atlantic Canada: rain. Fredericton 10, Halifax, St. John's 8, Charlottetown 4.

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