Friday, May 11, 2012

RCI Cyberjournal

Edition 10 May 2012
Canadian International Financial

Israeli president warns of Iran danger
Israeli President Shimon Peres says he can't imagine the free world being resigned to the idea of Iran getting the nuclear bomb. In his latest stop on a Canadian tour, Peres reminded 1,700 members of Montreal's Jewish community of the potential implications of Iran becoming a nuclear power. Mr. Peres said the free world would have to care about the Middle East being subjected to that reality. The Nobel laureate also spent part of his speech, which lasted about an hour, talking about economic difficulties that Egypt is struggling with. More than a year after its revolution, Mr. Peres says he doesn't see the country's leadership having any solutions to the problems it faces. But he added that other people's difficulties don't give Israel any pleasure. He's was ending a Canadian visit after earlier stops in Ottawa and Toronto.

Canadian opposition parties plan procedural bushwhack in Commons
Canada Conservative Party government will have to scale potentially hundreds of procedural hurdles erected by three different opposition parties to secure passage of its massive budget implementation bill. The Conservatives' majority ensures the 400-plus-page bill will eventually win parliamentary approval. But procedural ploys promised by the New Democratic Party, Liberals and lone Green Member of Parliament Elizabeth May could mean it could take days or even weeks longer than the government had hoped. The NDP vows to continue tactics to delay a planned second-reading vote on Monday, after which the bill is supposed to be sent to the Commons finance committee for more detailed examination.
Once the bill returns from committee, both the Liberals and May promise to propose dozens of amendments. The opposition parties are hoping they can delay passage long enough that the government will eventually bow to their demands to split the huge, complex bill into smaller bills. The bill is stuffed with a variety of non-budgetary matters, including controversial changes to environmental regulations, immigration law and Employment Insurance.

PM finds post for former foreign minister
Prime Minister Stephen Harper has named one-time Tory cabinet minister Lawrence Cannon to be Canada's next ambassador to France. The former foreign affairs minister replaces Marc Lortie, who has served as ambassador since 2007. Mr. Cannon was first elected to the House of Commons in 2006 and re-elected in 2008, when he was named foreign affairs minister. He lost his Quebec seat to a New Democrat in the 2011 election. Mr. Cannon served in the Quebec National Assembly as a Liberal from 1985 to 1994. The new ambassador will take office after presenting his credentials to president-elect François Hollande, who is to be inaugurated next Tuesday. Mr. Harper says Mr. Cannon is an ideal choice for the job.

Canadian opposition formation maintains popularity
A new Canadian political survey suggests the federal opposition New Democratic Party is gaining support across the country. The survey of about 2,000 people suggests the NDP has 34 per cent of popular support and has become competitive in traditional areas where the governing Conservative Party is popular. The survey puts supports for the governing Conservatives at 30 per cent support. The Conservatives were re-elected with a majority a year ago.

Federal police officer sues employer
A Royal Canadian Mounted Police corporal who once served as the public face of the force in British Columbia is suing her employer. Deputy Commissioner Craig Callens, the B.C. RCMP's commanding officer, says the force has not yet been served but understands a suit is being filed by Const.. Catherine Galliford. He says tRCMP will respond in a statement of defence. According to the notice of claim obtained by CBC News, Const. Galliford alleges she was sexually assaulted, harassed and bullied over 16 years. Named in the suit are Canada's attorney general, B.C.'s justice minister, four Mounties, an RCMP doctor and a Vancouver police officer. Cpl. Galliford went public with her allegations last fall.

Defence minister apologizes for grotesque blunder
Canada's Defence Minister Peter MacKay says a Defence Department booklet featuring a photograph of convicted sex killer Russell Williams was a terrible mistake. Williams is a former commander of a major Canadian air base. Mr. MacKay says he will call the families of Williams' two murder victims to apologize to them personally. Williams was sentenced to life in prison in October 2010 after pleading guilty to killing Jessica Lloyd and Cpl. Marie-France Comeau. The booklet shows Williams sitting with Canadian military members in a photo taken less than a month before he was arrested.

PM congratulates Alberta's senators-in-waiting
Prime Minister Stephen Harper is congratulating three Conservatives who were chosen as Alberta's new senators-in-waiting in a vote held in conjunction with last month's Alberta provincial election. Mr. Harper says he will recommend the governor general appoint the next senator from Alberta from among the winners: Doug Black, Scott Tannas and Mike Shaikh. The prime minister says his government is "deeply committed" to reform on the issue. He's encouraging all provinces and territories to follow Alberta's lead by giving voters a say in who will represent them in the Senate. The elections have been running for two decades as part of Alberta's ongoing fight to improve the effectiveness and accountability of the upper house.


Suicide bombers kill dozens in Syria
Two suicide car bombs ripped through the Syrian capital Damascus Thursday, killing 55 people. The interior ministry says they tore off the facade off a military intelligence building in the deadliest explosions since the country's uprising began 14 months ago,The blasts happened in quick succession during morning rush hour. There was no claim of responsibility for Thursday's blasts.
The ministry says more than 370 people also were wounded in the attack. Central Damascus is under the tight control of forces loyal to President Bashar Assad but has been struck by several bomb attacks, often targeting security installations or convoys, since the revolt against him began in March 2011.

Sudan threatens southern neighbour
Sudan's president vowed revenge for any attacks by South Sudan against the north's territory, saying Thursday his forces will "chop off any hand" trying to take Sudanese land. Omar al-Bashir also claimed his soldiers killed more than 1,300 South Sudanese troops during the 10-day fighting last month over the oil-rich border town of Heglig, which the south briefly captured. Heglig is claimed by the north and has since been reoccupied by Sudan.
Mr. Al-Bashir's warnings came a day after South Sudan accused Khartoum of resuming aerial bombardment of the south in violation of international calls for a cessation of hostilities between the two neighbours. The Sudanese government has repeatedly denied it is carrying out a bombing campaign over southern territory, saying instead it is the victim of its southern neighbour's aggression.

No survivors of Russian plane crash in Indonesia
A rescue team found several bodies but no survivors on Thursday in the wreckage of a Russian plane that crashed into a mountain in Indonesia during an exhibition flight with 45 people on board. Russia said it would take part in the investigation of the crash of its first all-new passenger jet since the fall of the Soviet Union. The Sukhoi Superjet 100 aircraft that went missing on Wednesday about 60 kilometres south of Jakarta. It was carrying Indonesians including journalists and businessmen, eight Russians including embassy officials, pilots and technicians, as well as two Italians, one French citizen and one American.

Chinese dissident complains family persecuted
Chinese authorities in the hometown of blind activist Chen Guangcheng have increased restrictions on members of his extended family while he awaits permission in Beijing to travel abroad under an agreement between China and the U.S. Mr. Chen says his brother and sister-in-law have been placed under house arrest, his nephew is in police detention, and another half-dozen relatives face some form of restriction on their movements in their village in Shandong province. Mr. Chen's flight from abusive house arrest in Shandong and into the protection of U.S. diplomats, which led to an agreement with Beijing to let him study in the U.S. accompanied by his wife and children, has exposed the impunity of local officials and embarrassed the central government.

U.S. sues controversial sheriff
The U.S. Justice Department sued an Arizona sheriff on Thursday for civil rights violations, alleging he and his office intentionally denied Latinos their constitutional rights. The lawsuit cited systemic racial profiling, sloppy and indifferent police work and a disregard for minority rights by Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio and county officials. The DOJ said it sued Maricopa County, the sheriff's office and Mr. Arpaio in U.S. District Court in Arizona after trying unsuccessfully for three and a half months to get Mr. Arpaio to comply with federal civil rights law. The sheriff's office is also accused of punishing Hispanic jail inmates for speaking Spanish and launching some patrols based on complaints about dark-skinned people congregating in a given area or speaking Spanish.

German leader makes comparison unfavourable to Ukraine

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Thursday that Ukraine was a "dictatorship" and likened it to Belarus, one of Europe's most isolated countries, in her sharpest comments to date against the former Soviet republic. Mrs. Merkel has been an outspoken critic of Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich for his treatment of jailed opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko. But the chancellor's comments in a speech to German lawmakers confirmed the extent to which Ukraine's image has slipped in the West over the Tymoshenko case.
Mrs. Tymoshenko is serving a seven-year jail sentence for an abuse-of-office conviction, after a trial denounced by the West as politically motivated. She has also accused prison guards of beating her up, a charge they deny, and went on a now-ended hunger strike for about three weeks in protest. The row has prompted European Union commissioners and several other Western politicians to threaten to boycott the month-long European soccer championships, which Ukraine is co-hosting with Poland in June.



Benefits of oilsands flowing abroad: lobby
An environmental group that has come under fire for its anti-oilsands lobbying is pointing out how many of the benefits of Canada's energy industry flow outside the country. ForestEthics Advocacy, which recently gave up its charitable status, says nearly three-quarters of oilsands production is foreign owned. It says over more than 40 per cent of the profits from oil and natural gas in Canada goes to foreign-owned companies. That's more than twice the average of all other sectors in the Canadian economy. The group says the federal government should manage the energy industry for the benefit of Canadians, not foreign investors. ForestEthics Advocacy has also been criticized for accepting foreign funding.


The Toronto Stock Exchange on Thursday: 11,736 + 61. Canadian dollar: US.99. Euro: $1.29. Oil: $96.83 + .02.

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