Friday, April 20, 2012

RCI Cyberjournal

Edition 19 April 2012
Canadian International Financial Sports Weather

Canada defends free trade at G20 conference
Canadian Trade Minister Ed Fast says expanding trade links would be the best new stimulus for countries in the post-recession global economy. The minister is hoping for such a declaration to come out of Puerto Vallarta, Mexico at Friday's conclusion of the first G20 meeting of trade ministers. Mr. Fast says most governments used public spending to boost their economies during the recession, but that period is over. Regrettably, he adds, some countries also turned to protectionism in the time of crisis, which he says did more harm than good. The minister notes that Canada went in the opposite direction, removing tariffs from manufactured imports, and benefited with one of the earliest and strongest recoveries in the G7. He says for the global economies to take advantage of the recovery they must expand their trade links around the world.

Controversial Canadian pipeline gien new route
Officials have unveiled a new preferred route for the Nebraska portion of the stalled Keystone XL oil pipeline that avoids the state's groundwater-rich Sandhills region. Nebraska environmental officials released details Thursday about the proposal that would veer east around the Sandhills before looping back to the original route. Developer TransCanada Pipeline says the reroute adds about 160 kilometres to the original 2,700-kilometre project that would carry oil from Alberta to the Gulf Coast. TransCanada submitted the proposal after Gov. Dave Heineman allowed the state officials to proceed with an environmental review. The review had stalled in January after the Obama administration rejected a federal permit for the pipeline. Administration officials said they didn't have time to review the project before a congressional deadline and cited uncertainty about the Nebraska route.

Scientists due in Montreal to discuss Arctic research
Thousands of scientists from around the world are to meet in Montreal next week to discuss complex research that has come
to a simple conclusion. They say the Arctic is now changing faster than the people who live there and the governments who regulate it. Issues will include shrinking sea ice that creates new iceberg threats in areas of oil exploration. Animals are scrambling as plants they once depended on are replaced by invasive species. And people can no longer count on travelling safely over the land and water. More than 2,000 scientists are expected at the week-long meeting to discuss the findings of International Polar Year.

Ottawa closes historic prison
The Canadian government is closing Kingston Penitentiary in Ontario, the country's oldest penal institution, as well as the Leclerc prison near Montreal as part of a cost-cutting effort. The famous Kingston prison, whose turreted limestone walls are a waterfront landmark, dates back to 1835. It houses some of the country's most high-risk convicts, including notorious killers Paul Bernardo and Russell Williams. Public Safety Minister Vic Toews says the prisons are outdated and their infrastructure is crumbling. He says the closures will save $120 million a year as the inmates are transferred to more modern facilities. Kingston Penitentiary holds maximum security convicts, while Leclerc is a medium-security prison.

Ontario opposition retreats from budget demand
Ontario's New Democrats are backing off one of their budget demands to remove the provincial portion of the HST from home heating bills. NDP Leader Andrea Horwath says it was obvious that the minority Liberals wouldn't go there, even though they need her party's support to avoid an election. She says Premier Dalton McGuinty must now come to the table to make the budget fairer to families. Mrs. Horwath is pressuring the Liberals to adopt her proposal to hike taxes for the rich, which public opinion polls indicate is gaining popularity with voters. She says Mr. McGuinty needs to decide whether families should come before millionaires. The Liberals need at least two opposition members to support their budget next Tuesday to avoid sending voters to the polls for the second time in six months.


U.S. demands UN action on Syria
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton has called for a new U. resolution authorizing an arms embargo and other stronger measures against Syria if it fails to abide by U.N.-backed cease-fire aimed at ending the bloodshed on its soil. Mrs. Clinton spoke Thursday at a meeting of top Western and Arab diplomats in Paris. She stopped short of calling for outside military intervention in Syria but said the time has come to impose more consequential measures. Her address made clear the United States has little faith in the success of the cease-fire plan set forth by special envoy Kofi Annan and that it does not want other nations to settle for weak measures or lose focus on the severity of Syrian President Bashar Assad's crimes. U.S. policy has largely amounted to an acknowledgment that Assad is entrenched and that there is little appetite for a foreign military attack to dislodge him. But the UN mandate Clinton seeks would give backbone to a range of measures to assist Syrian rebels fighting the Assad regime.

India launches long-range missile
India announced the successful test launch Thursday of a new nuclear-capable missile that would give it the ability to strike the major Chinese cities of Beijing and Shanghai for the first time, a significant step forward in its aspirations to become a regional and world power. The Agni-V missile, with a range of 5,000 kilometres still requires a battery of tests and must clear other bureaucratic hurdles before it can be inducted into India's arsenal. But officials hailed the launch as proof the country has taken its place among the world's most powerful and scientifically advanced nations. China is far ahead of India in the missile race, with intercontinental ballistic missiles capable of reaching anywhere in India. Currently, the longest-range Indian missile, the Agni-III, has a range of 3,500 kilometres and falls short of many major Chinese cities.

South Sudan claims defeat of northern attacks
South Sudan says it has repulsed four attacks from Sudan over a 24-hour period as fighting on the border showed no signs of slowing. A southern government spokesman said South Sudan was only defending its territory. South Sudan broke away from Sudan last year after a self-determination vote for independence. That vote was supposed to guarantee an end to decades of civil war between the two sides. But the sides never fully agreed where their shared border lay, nor did they reach agreement on how to share oil wealth that is pumped from the border region.

Former Ukrainian PM again on trial
Ukraine's former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko went on trial on Thursday and faces up to 12 more years in prison if convicted of fresh graft charges. She refused to attend Thursday's hearing citing poor health. A key opponent of President Viktor Yanukovich, Mrs. Tymoshenko was sentenced last October to seven years in prison for abusing her powers as prime minister. The case soured Ukraine's ties with the West, which saw it as politically motivated. In the new trial, she is accused of tax evasion, fraud and attempted theft related to her work as the head of major gas trading company UES, now defunct, in the 1990s.

Annual Holocaust march held
Thousands of youth from Israel, the United States and other countries marched Thursday between Auschwitz and Birkenau, the two parts of Nazi Germany's most notorious death complex, to honour the millions killed in the Holocaust. Also Thursday, Polish officials and members of the Jewish community gathered in Warsaw to mark the 69th anniversary of the start of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, the doomed revolt that a group of Jews waged against the Nazis in 1943. An estimated 10,000 young people, some carrying Israeli flags or wearing them draped around their shoulders, took part in the March of the Living in Oswiecim, a town in southern Poland where the Germans operated Auschwitz during World War II. Auschwitz-Birkenau was liberated by Soviet troops in January 1945, in the closing months of the war as Germany faced defeat.

Norwegian mass murderer planned decapitation
Confessed mass killer Anders Behring Breivik testified Thursday that he had planned to capture and decapitate former Norwegian Prime Minister Gro Harlem Brundtland during his shooting massacre on Utoya island. Breivik said his plan was to film the beheading and post the video on the Internet. Mrs. Brundtland had already left the Labour Party's youth camp on Utoya when Breivik arrived on July 22, after setting off a bomb in Oslo that killed eight people. Sixty-nine people, mostly teenagers, were killed on Utoya, where nearly 600 members of the Labor Party's youth wing had gathered for their annual summer retreat. Mrs. Brundtland was prime minister for the Labour Party for 10 years. She later headed the World Health Organization.

Bahrainis clash with police before car race
Bahrain riot police fired tear gas and stun grenades at anti-government activists on Thursday as unrest simmered ahead of this weekend's Formula One Grand Prix. Protesters seeking to oust Bahrain's monarchy have threatened "days of rage" to coincide with the race, while organizers have ignored appeals to call off an event that was cancelled last year due to violent demonstrations. Several hundred people tried to stage a protest in the capital, Manama, on Thursday. The protesters moved from a Shi'ite neighbourhood in the back streets chanting slogans against the government but riot police fired tear gas and stun grenades when they tried to enter a main highway near the British embassy.


Railway exec fight looms
Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd. will make a renewed pitch to shareholders Friday to try to convince them the railway is on the right track when the company reports its latest quarterly results. Locked in a fight with its biggest shareholder, who wants to replace chief executive Fred Green, the railway is expected to report a significant improvement from a year earlier. But whether that will be enough to convince shareholders to back the current management at the company's annual meeting next month remains an open question. New York-based hedge fund Pershing Square, which holds a 14.2 per cent interest in Canadian Pacific, has been locked in a bitter war of words with Canada's second-largest railway for months. Pershing chief executive officer Bill Ackman has called CP the worst-performing top tier railroad in the industry and put the blame on the company's board and Mr. Green. The investment firm has nominated a slate of seven prospective directors for election to CP's 15-member board and is seeking the replacement of Mr. Green with Hunter Harrison, former CEO of rival Canadian National Railway Co.

The Toronto Stock Exchange on Thursday: 12,153 + 24. Canadian dollar: US$1.00. Euro: $1.30. Oil: $102.44 - .23.


Patrick Chan saw one world record fall and the Canadian figure skating team finish fourth on the opening day of the World Team Trophy competition in Tokyo. The 21-year-old landed his quad jump but fell on his triple Axel to finish second behind Japan's Daisuke Takahashi in the short program. Takahashi scored 94.00to better Chan's world record of 93.02 set at the world championships last year in Moscow. Chan finished second today with a score of 89.91.
Olympic bobsledder Pierre Lueders and World Cup
champion speedskater Jeremy Wotherspoon are among the nine people
who be inducted into Canada's Sports Hall of Fame later this year.
Soccer play Charmaine Hooper, hockey player Scott Niedermayer,
rower Derek Porter and figure skaters Jaime Sale and David Pelletier
are the other athletes to be inducted.


British Columbia on Friday: rain south, mix sun cloud north, high C12 Vancouver. Yukon: mix rain sun snow. Northwest Territories: sun. Nunavut: mix sun cloud. Whitehorse 8, Yellowknife 6, Iqaluit -12. Alberta, Saskatchewan: rain. Manitoba: sun. Edmonton 14, Regina 9, Winnipeg 11. Ontario: rain south, mix sun cloud north. Quebec: rain. Toronto 14, Ottawa 7, Montreal 8. Atlantic Canada: rain. Fredericton 19, Halifax 16, Charlottetown 14, St. John's 9.

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