Thursday, May 17, 2012

RCI Cyberjournal

Edition 16 May 2012
Canadian International Financial Sports Weather

Finance minister warns of repercussions of Greece crisis
Finance Minister Jim Flaherty says the eurozone is reaching a turning point but that the departure of Greece is not yet inevitable. Mr. Flaherty says he's concerned failure to resolve the issue could have serious rebound effects on the Canadian banking sector and economy. He told the Senate Finance committee he's been urging the richer European countries to overwhelm the debt crisis with a massive bailout for years, but the no such package has materialized. He says the European Central Bank's latest announcement that it would refuse to deal with troubled Greek banks is the latest example of not living up to the responsibility implied in forming a common currency zone. He fears the ECB's decision could create a shock in financial markets that may reverberate in the U.S. and Canada as well. However, he also says he remains opposed to the International Monetary Fund coming to the rescue of Europe.

Two accused in mass arrival of illegal Tamil migrants
Two men accused of helping to organize a mass smuggling operation into Canada have made a brief appearance in a Vancouver court. Lesly Jana Emmanuel and Kunarobinson Christhurajah each face a charge of helping a boatload of Tamil migrants make it to British Columbia's shores almost two years ago. The men's appearance lasted only minutes while the judge set a June 5 court date for a bail hearing. A third man arrested in France faces the same charge, and Ottawa is working on extraditing him back to Canada to stand trial. There were 492 people aboard the boat when it landed near Victoria in August 2010 and so far just six of the migrants have been accepted as refugees. After police announced charges Tuesday, both Immigration Minister Jason Kenny and Public Safety Minister Vic Toews congratulated the RCMP for its investigation, saying Canada won't tolerate abuse of the immigration system.

Rights advocates say Canada ignores requirements of trade with Colombia
Human rights advocates say the Canadian government is shirking a legal responsibility to evaluate the rights situation in Colombia. When the federal government signed a free-trade agreement with the South American country last year, it agreed to submit annual reports on how human rights were being affected. But the report released this week does not include an assessment of the situation. The Department of Foreign Affairs says since the treaty was passed last August, there hasn't been time to do a proper analysis. It promises to create methodology and review the state of human rights by next year. Amnesty International says it is deeply disappointed by the response and highlights the displacement of hundreds of thousands of Colombians last year because of violence.

SK premier rejects NDP claim
Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall is dismissing comments that he's a messenger for Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper. Federal New Democratic Party Leader Thomas Mulcair suggested the premiers of Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia are messengers for Mr. Harper when it comes to the impact of the oilsands on the economy. Mr. Mulcair has said the oilsands are artificially inflating the Canadian dollar and hurting the manufacturing sector. But Mr. Wall says he has his facts wrong and what he's doing is divisive for the country. The premier says Mr. Mulcair should look at new numbers from Statistics Canada that show factory shipments rose by 1.9 per cent in March to $49.7 billion, led by petroleum and coal products. The premier says he thinks the NDP leader is risking Canada's economic advantage for the sake of politics.

Transgendered beauty queen feels like a winner
Canadian beauty queen Jenna Talackova says she feels like she's already won. The transgendered pageant contestant says she's proud to be blazing a trail for other transgendered Miss Universe Canada hopefuls. There was a storm of controversy when Ms. Talackova, of Vancouver, in Canada's Pacific coast province of British Columbia, was initially disqualified from the beauty contest becaused she wasn't born female. But the pageant's owner, U.S. business tycoon Donald Trump, overruled the decision. The Miss Universe competition takes place Saturday in Canada's biggest city, Toronto.

Quebec students go on rampage
Student protesters stormed into a university in Montreal, many of them with their faces covered by masks, moving through the hallways in a hunt for classes to disrupt. The chaotic scene was orchestrated Wednesday by protesters determined to enforce their declared strikes. They resented the fact that some students had used legal injunctions to return to school. With a list of scheduled classes in hand, about 100 protesters marched through pavilions at the Universite du Québec à Montreal. Making noise with drums and whistles, they moved through the main UQAM building, splitting up on a number of occasions as they searched for ongoing classes. The protesters oppose the provincial government's planned tuition fees increases. Quebec has the lowest tuition fees in Canada.

Canadian conservationist still in jail
The Canadian founder of an anti-whaling group who is being held in Germany will have to wait a few more days to find out if he'll be extradited to Costa Rica. The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society says a judge is expected to decide Friday whether to formally detain or release Paul Watson. Mr.Watson is being temporarily jailed in isolation while German authorities consider Costa Rica's plan to file an extradition request. He is wanted in Costa Rica for allegedly endangering a fishing boat while filming a documentary in 2002.

Rome relieves of duties disgracing Canadian priest
A Roman Catholic bishop who was convicted of importing child pornography into Canada has been stripped of his clerical duties. The Diocese of Antigonish, N.S., says the Holy See in Rome has dismissed Raymond Lahey from the clerical state. The diocese says that is one of the most serious penalties that the Roman Catholic Church can impose. In a statement, the diocese says that means Lahey can no longer preside at any religious services or sacraments. Lahey was sentenced earlier this year to 15 months in jail after he was caught with hundreds of pornographic photos of young boys at the Ottawa airport.


JPMorgan shareholders file suits
Shareholders of JPMorgan Chase & Co. have filed two lawsuits against the nation's biggest bank, accusing it and its leaders of taking excessive risk and causing a monumental $2 billion trading loss. The company disclosed the loss last week, saying it resulted from a failed hedging strategy. The lawsuits filed on Wednesday in New York claim JPMorgan changed its risk model without telling investors. They say the shift led to the losses and claim company leaders misled investors.

Spanish firm sues Argentina over nationalization

Spain's Repsol energy firm says it has sued Argentina over its takeover of the company's majority stake in the YPF oil and gas producer. Repsol and Texas Yale Capital Corp. are demanding that Argentina's government make an offer for the stake that Repsol held in YPF, its former petroleum producer in Argentina. The company and the investment firm also want unspecified monetary damages from Argentina because shares of Repsol and YPF plummeted after the takeover announced last month. Repsol YPF SA announced Wednesday that it filed the class action lawsuit at the U.S. District Court in New York.

Bosnian Serb on trial
Ethnic Serbian general Ratko Mladic went on trial Wednesday at the Yugoslav war crimes tribunal in The Hague, Netherlands. Twenty years ago, his troops embarked on a campaign of ethnic-cleansing in Bosnian towns and villages. Mladic stands accused of 11 counts of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes. The 70-year-old Mladic's appearance at the United Nations court marks the end of a long wait for justice for survivors of the 1992-95 war that left some 100,000 people dead. The Canadian Forces sent thousands of peacekeepers to Bosnia as part of a U.N. peacekeeping force during the Balkan conflict.

Lebanese city again rocked by violence
Security sources report heavy fighting rocked Lebanon's northern port of Tripoli for a fourth day on Wednesday, wounding at least six people in a city where sectarian tensions have been growing over the revolt in neighbouring Syria. The fighting in Tripoli, 70 km from Beirut, has highlighted how violence in Syria can spill into Lebanon. A security source said one Lebanese soldier and five residents were wounded in the clashes, which were mainly between government troops and gunmen in the Sunni Muslim district of Bab al-Tabbaneh. Eight people have been killed and dozens wounded since Saturday in Tripoli, home to Sunni Muslims who support the uprising in Syria and a minority Alawite community who back Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

French president presents cabinet
French President François Hollande named a government dominated by moderate left-wingers on Wednesday after Socialist Party boss Martine Aubry, overlooked for the post of prime minister, said she no longer wanted to be part of the new cabinet. Mr. Hollande, sworn in a day earlier as France's first Socialist president in 17 years, named Pierre Moscovici as finance minister and Laurent Fabius as foreign minister, key posts under prime minister Jean-Marc Ayrault. Mr. Moscovici takes charge of a stagnant economy saddled with a jobless rate of almost 10 percent and the challenge of cutting heavy debts as Hollande launches his campaign against excessive austerity in Europe, a region struggling with a financial market crisis for more than two years now.

Greeks going to polls
Greece has scheduled new elections for June 17. The move comes after members of parliament failed to agree on a coalition government after inconclusive elections earlier this month. Greek state television says a court official will be appointed to lead the interim government which won't make any internationally binding decisions. The prospect of another close election has increased concern over Greece's ability to cope with its finances. Left-wing parties say that, if elected, they would cancel the European Union's bailout deal. This would likely lead to Greece's withdrawal from the euro currency.


Simulator maker expands pilot training operations
CAE Inc. is expanding it global flight training capabilities and entering the pilot outsourcing business by acquiring Oxford Aviation Academy and a subsidiary for $314 million. The Montreal-based company said Wednesday the addition of seven training centres will increase its global network to 42 sites that will train civil aviation pilots, cabin crew and maintenance personnel. The leading manufacturer of flight simulators will also add 40 simulator units for a total of 211. The addition of four flight schools will increase its training capacity by 67 per cent to 1,500 cadets annually at 12 locations around the world. Oxford's training facilities are located in Denmark, Norway, Sweden and the UK, and its academies are in Britain, U.S., Australia
and Hong Kong.

Alberta energy firm wary of more wildfires
An executive with oil company Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. says the company is keeping an eye on wildfires in Northern Alberta. Vice-chairman John Langille says the blazes aren't causing any trouble yet for the company's operations. But there are some fires that are reasonably close to its facilities, and one in the Cold Lake area is of concern. Around this time last year, flames came close to Canadian Natural's Horizon oilsands mine site north of Fort McMurray. Mr. Langille says the smoke affected air quality around the site, making it impossible to work. Last year the fires caused power outages, which in turn led to important pipelines in the region being shut down.

The Toronto Stock Exchange on Wednesday: 11,326 - 17. Canadian dollar: US98 - 0.57. Euro: $1.28. Oil: $92.86 - $1.12.


Edmonton city councillors have had their first look at the proposed new home for the National Hockey League's Oilers. The curving steel-and-glass arena is built in the shape of an oil drop. Who pays for the $450-million project is still not entirely clear. The city is short $100 million in funding.
Regina's proposed new stadium could have a dome on it after all if some people in the city get their way. The city announced several weeks ago that the replacement for Mosaic Stadium wouldn't have a roof, but city councillor Mike O'Donnell says people say there ought to be one. The chairman of Regina's chamber of commerce suggests a fundraising campaign could cover the extra cost. John Hopkins says the most common comments that were listed a survey of the chamber's members were that there should be a roof over the new facility.


British Columbia on Thursday: rain north, mix sun cloud south, high C16 Vancouver. Yukon: mix snow rain. Northwest Territories: rain. Nunavut; mix rain snow. Whitehorse 10, Yellowknife 13, Iqaluit 2. Prairies: rain. Edmonton 15, Regina 23, Winnipeg 19. Ontario: sun south, mix sun cloud north. Quebec: sun. Toronto, Ottawa 17, Montreal 15. Atlantic Canada: rain. Fredericton, St. John's 15, Hallifax 18, Charlottetown 19,

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