Friday, May 18, 2012

RCI Cyberjournal

Edition 17 May 2012
Canadian International Financial Sports Weather

Federal fisheries dept. to shed hundreds of jobs
About 400 jobs at the federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard are being cut as part of efforts to save just over $79 million. A spokeswoman for Fisheries Minister Keith Ashfield says workers may be asked to relocate or switch jobs but won't necessarily be laid off. In an email, she says the cuts amount to less than two per cent a year over three years of the department's workforce of 11,000 staff. She says the rate of people leaving through attrition, such as retirement, has been about six per cent a year. No other details were released about which services may be affected or in what parts of the country.

Legal team for terror suspects dismayed to prosecutors' tactic
Lawyers for three men accused of terrorist offences are expressing dismay about a sudden federal move that derailed months of planning. Unexpectedly, federal prosecutors decided this week the men will go directly to trial in Ontario Superior Court. Misbahuddin Ahmed and Hiva Mohammad Alizadeh of Ottawa, and Khurram Syed Sher, of London, ON, were arrested in August 2010 in the case known as Project Samossa. Police said they seized terrorist literature, videos and manuals, along with dozens of electronic circuit boards allegedly designed to detonate homemade bombs remotely. Lawyers for Ahmed and Alizadeh told a judge their preparations have been thrown into disarray by the new federal plan to skip preliminary hearings.

Beheading case leads to legal rethink
The Canadian government is reviewing the Criminal Code to put public safety ahead of individual rights in cases involving people found not criminally responsible for their actions. Justice Minister Rob Nicholson did not mention Vince Li in connection with the review. Word of the review comes just two days after Li's psychiatrist asked a review board to let the man out of a Manitoba mental hospital for supervised visits. Li beheaded another man on a Greyhound bus. He was found not criminally responsible for the July 2008 killing of Tim McLean because he was suffering hallucinations due to untreated schizophrenia.

Quebec moves to end student turmoil
The Quebec government was ti table emergency legislation On Thursday evening in an effort to stamp out a turbulent student crisis that has gripped the province for months. If passed, the government of Premier Jean Charest would suspend the current academic session for striking students while hoping to restore order. It could also include some harsh measures like stiff financial penalties for anyone preventing classrooms from opening. The move met by swift condemnation from student leaders, left-wing opinion-makers and even the provincial bar association. Thousands of angry protesters instantly swarmed Montreal's streets for a tumultuous, late-night demonstration. Windows were smashed, protesters and police officers were injured, and more than 120 people were arrested. Polls show Charest's unpopular government, facing a long-shot re-election bid, has public support for its tuition hikes.

TO mayor shows up for gay event
The mayor of Canada's most populous city won cheers Thursday as he made an unexpected appearance at a rainbow flag-raising marking International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia. The group behind the event -- Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays -- had initially said Toronto's Rob Ford had declined their invitation to the ceremony, a move they saw as a lost opportunity for the mayor. But in a surprise showing, Mr. Ford appeared just as the ceremony got underway and took to the podium to read a proclamation against homophobia. With a rainbow flag flying overhead, the mayor added that Toronto is an active participant in the fight for the elimination of all forms of discrimination and was committed to equal treatment of all people.


Mladic war crimes trial delayed
The presiding judge at the war crimes trial of Ratko Mladic has orderd an indefinite delay in the presentation of evidence, because of errors by the prosecution. Prosecutors are obliged to share all their evidence with Mladic's defence team, but judge Alphons Orie said there had been "significant disclosure errors". Earlier, prosecutors described five days of terror in the Bosnian enclave of Srebrenica in July of 1995, when troops under Mladic's command massacred thousands of unarmed Muslim boys and men. An estimated 7,000 to 8,000 were killed in the massacre, which is described as Europe's worst atrocity since World War II.

EU calls on Greece to respect commitments
The head of the head of the European Commission, José Barroso, says the European Union says it will honor its commitments to Greece in an effort to make sure it remains within the euro area but said Athens too must meet its obligations to the EU. Mr. Barroso made reference to upcoming Greek elections after attempts to form a government failed following an inconclusivevote on May 6. New elections are set for June 17 in which rising leftist leader of the SYRIZA party, 37-year-old Alexis Tsipras, is calling for an end to "barbaric" austerity policies he said were bankrupting the nation. Mr. Barroso says that while the EU respects the will of the Greek people and their vote, it also must bear in mind the will of the 16 other euro area nations that have agreed on conditions for giving Greece financial assistance. Greece's long-running economic crisis turned into a full political crisis after parties opposed to the terms of a $168 billion-bailout made strong gains in the May 6 vote, leaving the country without a government and raising the chances that it would renege on terms of the deal.

Violence ongoing at Venezuelan jail
Shots rang out and smoke rose over a Caracas jail on Thursday in the latest outbreak of violence in one of Venezuela's notoriously violent and overcrowded jails. Authorities are trying to close the chaotic La Planta facility, built in 1964 to house 350 inmates, which now houses nearly 2,500, many armed with heavy weapons. Prisoners have, however, been resisting closure for weeks, leading to a virtual siege with security forces ringing the jail. Wailing relatives are also camped outside. President Hugo Chavez' government says a dialogue is underway with prisoners about their transfer. He accuses opposition media of exaggerating and fanning the situation. Critics of the socialist president counter that his government has neglected the prison issue, especially during Mr. Chavez' absence from public life for cancer treatment.

U.S. gives more gacking to Israeli defence system
The Pentagon says the U.S. will give Israel the extra $70 million that it asked for this year for short-range missile defence.
Defence Secretary Leon Panetta said Thursday that President Barack Obama directed him to fill Israel's request for the extra
money for the Iron Dome system. The U.S. already has provided $205 million for the system, which is designed to intercept short-range rockets and mortars. Mr. Panetta met Thursday with Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak, then issued a statement saying he had told Barak of the U.S. intention to provide the additional help. He said there will be additional help over the next three years as well but gave no figures.

West African troops arrive in Guinea-Bissau
The first wave of troops from the West African regional bloc have landed in Guinea-Bissau to try to restore order after a coup. The first 70 troops arrived Thursday afternoon at the Bissau airport from Burkina Faso. ECOWAS says it is sending about 600 troops in total in the coming days. The country underwent a coup last month. The regional bloc is trying to help bring some stability to the nation. Guinea-Bissau was just weeks away from holding a presidential runoff vote when a military junta arrested the election's front-runner and the country's interim leader. Both men later fled the country.

Mladic trial hits legal roadblock
A judge suspended Ratko Mladic's genocide and war crimes trial indefinitely Thursday after prosecutors failed to disclose thousands of documents to the former Bosnian Serb military chief's defence team. The a ruling that could delay the trial for months. Presiding judge Alphons Orie said he was delaying the Yugoslav war crimes tribunal case due to "significant disclosure errors" by prosecutors, who are obliged to share all evidence with Mr. Mladic's lawyers. The announcement at the International Criminal Court in The Hague is a significant setback for the court in one of its highest profile cases, its final trial to focus on atrocities committed during the 1992-95 Bosnian war, which left over 100,000 dead.

Egyptian police acquitted
An Egyptian court on Thursday found 14 policemen not guilty in the killing of protesters during last year's popular uprising. It's the latest verdict in what activists claim to be a pattern of acquittals for police blamed for the deaths of hundreds of people during the revolt. The men are among nearly 200 security officers and former regime officials -- including former President Hosni Mubarak himself -- who face trial for the deaths of nearly 850 protesters during the revolt. On Thursday, a Cairo Criminal Court acquitted the 14 policemen of charges of shooting protesters in front of police stations on Jan. 28, 2011, one of the most violent days of the uprising.


Pipeline firm launches ambitious expansion
Canadian pipeline firm Enbridge Inc. has launched one of the most sweeping expansions in its history on Wednesday, a $3.2- billion series of projects across its pipeline system aimed at moving western Canada and North Dakota oil to Eastern refineries and eliminating costly bottlenecks in the U.S. Midwest. Enbridge, the largest transporter of Canadian oil exports, said two-thirds of the investment would support a reversal in flow direction of a pipeline between Sarnia, ON, and Montreal to move Alberta oil sands and North Dakota shale oil to refineries that are now captive to foreign suppliers. These are the latest in a series of proposals to open up new markets for oil sands-derived crude with production slated to nearly double this decade. Other initiatives involve moving large volumes to Texas via TransCanada Corp's controversial Keystone XL pipeline, and to Asia via Canada's West Coast on Enbridge's equally contentious Northern Gateway proposal.

The Toronto Stock Exchange on Thursday: 11,331 up 5. Canadian dollar: US98 - 0.57. Euro: $1.29. Oil: $92.23 - .58.


For a third straight year, Canada is making an early exit from the IIHF World Hockey Championship. Michal Handzus tipped in a shot with 2:32 to play in regulation as Slovakia eliminated Canada with a 4-3 quarter-final victory Thursday. Tomas Kopecky, Miroslav Satan and Milan Bartovic also scored for Slovakia (6-2-0). Evander Kane, Jeff Skinner and Alex Burrows replied for Canada (6-1-1).


British Columbia on Friday: rain north, mix sun cloud south, high C16 Vancouver. Yukon, Northwest Territories: mix sun cloud. Nunavut: sun. Whitehorse 12, Yellowknife 10, Iqaluit 3. Prairies: rain. Edmonton 12, Regina 15, Winnipeg 29. Ontario: sun south, rain north. Quebec: sun. Toronto 20, Ottawa 22, Montreal 21. Maritimes: sun. Newfoundland: rain. Fredericton 19, Halifax 16, Charlottetown 17, St. John's 15.

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