Tuesday, June 19, 2012

RCI Cyberjournal

Edition du 18 June 2012
Canadian International Financial Sports Weather

Harper looking for Trans-Pacific breakthrough at G-20
The Mexican desert resort of Los Cabos is the site for this year's G-20 summit, which gets under way Monday afternoon. Prime Minister Harper is there, along with U-S President Obama and 18 other leaders of the world's top economies. The G-20 leaders seem clearly relieved that Greece's pro-bailout party eked out a slim victory in yesterday's national elections. It means Greece will keep the euro as its currency, and continue the tough austerity measures it agreed to as a condition of its two multi-billion euro bailouts. Europe's financial woes are expected to dominate the two-day summit. Prime Minister Harper will have several one-on-one meetings before the summit opens. He'll be sitting down with the president of South Korea, British Prime Minister David Cameron and Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard. Harper may get the go-ahead to join talks on a proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership and could make an announcement before he flies home tomorrow.

Quebec law provokes sharp exchange
A reference Monday to a Quebec law by the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights has brought a swift and sharp rebuke from the Government of Canada. In a single line of a speech in Geneva, during which she lamented rights violations in places such as North Korea, Zimbabwe and South Sudan, Navi Pillay said she was disappointed by Quebec's Law 78, which sets limits - for a defined period of time - on how protests are conducted. The law was passed by the province of Quebec to restrain recent street demonstrations by students and others. In Ottawa, the Conservative government defended Quebec's right to pass its own laws in a democratic environment. And a government spokesman shot back at Pillay for ignoring worse rights' abuses in places such as Iran, Belarus and Sri Lanka.

Mystery surrounds deaths of sisters in Thailand
Two sisters from Quebec were found dead Friday inside their hotel room on a popular resort island in southern Thailand. Police say the sisters were dead for about 24 hours prior to being found and there were signs of poisoning or some sort of toxic reaction. However, police say 20-year-old Audrey Belanger and her 26-year-old sister Noemi don't appear to have been murdered. Austopsies will be performed in Bangkok. Canadian Foreign Affairs spokesman John Babcock said consular officials in Bangkok were providing assistance to the family and were in contact with local authorities.

Magnotta to face Canadian justice

Luka Magnotta, charged with first-degree murder for the killing and dismemberment of Montreal student Jun Lin, was aboard a Canadian military plane Monday en route to Canada from Germany. Magnotta, who was arrested in a Berlin cybercafe earlier this month following an international manhunt, is in the custody of police officers from Montreal. The Quebec prosecutor's office said Magnotta would likely have to appear in court within 24 hours of his arrival in Canada. The victim's torso was found locked inside a suitcase in an alley outside Magnotta's Montreal apartment building. His hands and feet were mailed separately to the offices of political parties in Ottawa and schools in Vancouver. DNA tests have confirmed that all the body parts belong to Jun Lin, a Chinese national studying computer science at Concordia University. The 33-year-old's head has still not been found and police have made its recovery a priority.


Greece election results support euro
Greece's centre-right New Democracy party will try to form a coalition on Monday after a narrow election victory that eased fears of a sudden exit from the euro. European stocks and the euro briefly opened higher after Sunday's vote, and the Athens streets were quiet after New Democracy leader Antonis Samaras pledged to move swiftly to form a government. The once-mighty Socialist PASOK party, now reduced to third place, indicated it would support former coalition partner Samaras but had not yet decided whether to join the government or just offer parliamentary backing. With nearly 100 percent of ballots counted, New Democracy had won 29.7 percent of the vote, ahead of SYRIZA on 27 percent, and PASOK on 12.3 percent.

Spain next worry
Spain's ability to manage its debt without an international bailout was thrown into doubt Monday after investors pushed its borrowing rates to the level at which Greece, Portugal and Ireland sought help. Investor sentiment had improved briefly in the morning as electoral results in Greece suggested the country would not drop out of the euro currency union, a scenario that would have put severe stress on Spain's markets. But that market relief quickly faded in Madrid as it became clear that Spain's fundamental economic and fiscal problems remain huge. The interest rate on Spain's 10-year bonds - an indicator of market confidence in how well a country can pay down its debt - hit 7.06 per cent, and stocks fell 1.3 per cent in Madrid while they rose throughout most of the rest of Europe.

Egyptian election results due Thursday
There are conflicting claims in the Egyptian presidential election runoff. The Muslim Brotherhood is claiming its candidate won the election. However, Hosni Mubarak's last prime minister, Ahmed Shafik, is beating "beyond all doubt" the Muslim Brotherhood's Mohamed Morsy in the presidential vote, Shafik's campaign said, disputing the Islamist group's claim that its candidate had won the election. The winner of the presidential runoff will be officially announced on Thursday. Egypt's official news agency is quoting a senior member of the ruling military council as saying the generals will hand over power to the newly elected president at the end of the month.

Syria violence - no respite
Syrian activists say government forces have renewed shelling in the central city of Homs. Monday's violence comes a day after the head of the U.N. observers' mission in Syria demanded that warring parties allow the evacuation of women, children, elderly and sick people endangered by the fighting in Homs and other combat zones. The activist group Syrian Observatory for Human Rights cited witnesses on the ground as reporting the government shelling, along with gunfire and explosions. Opposition groups say more than 14,000 people have been killed since the uprising began in March 2011. The Observatory says more than 3,400 soldiers and militiamen loyal to the government have also been killed. Meanwhile, the Arab League's secretary general is calling for a peacekeeping force to be deployed to violence-wracked Syria in order to "impose a ceasefire." Nabil el-Araby said Monday that the mandate for the United Nations observer mission in the country must be changed because it cannot halt the fighting. El-Araby says that such a force should be tasked with keeping the peace and not engage in fighting. He also urged the U.S. and Russia to find common ground on ways to end the violence in the country.

Russians in Syria to get homeland protection
Two Russian navy ships are to sail to Syria to protect Russian citizens and its naval base there. Interfax on Monday quoted an unidentified Russian navy official as saying that the Nikolai Filchenkov and Caesar Kunikov amphibious assault vessels will be heading to the Syrian port of Tartus, but didn't give a precise date. The official said the ships will carry an unspecified number of marines to protect Russians in Syria and evacuate materials from Tartus if necessary. The Defence Ministry had no immediate comment and the information could not be confirmed independently. Tartus is Russia's only naval base outside the former Soviet Union. Russia has shielded Syria's regime from international sanctions over its crackdown on protests. It also continued to provide it with arms.

Another round of Iranian nuclear talks
Iran and six world powers have launched a new attempt to break deadlocked negotiations meant to reduce international tensions over Tehran's nuclear activities. The two sides began their latest meeting in Moscow Monday after the failure of two recent talks to bridge their differences. The six want Iran to curb nuclear enrichment, which can be used to make both reactor fuel and arm nuclear warheads. Iran says it has a right to enrich and denies Western accusations that it is doing so to be able to make such weapons. Previous talks stalled as each side waited for the other to make the first move. Iran wants sanctions lifted or postponed, but the six powers rule that out until Iran complies with their demands.

Sectarian violence rocks northern Nigeria
Dozens of people were killed in religious rioting in northern Nigeria sparked by suicide bomb attacks on churches. The violence broke out after suspected Islamist suicide car bombers attacked three churches, killing at least 52 people and wounding more than 70 others. Christian youths set up roadblocks and dragged Muslims from cars and motorbikes and beat or burned them to death. Corpses were piled one on top of the other in an old cemetery, some charred. The violence stoked fears of wider sectarian conflict in Nigeria, an OPEC member and Africa's top oil producer that houses the world's largest equal mix of Christians and Muslims.

'Hunger season' in Sahel
It's called "the hunger season". And it's fast approaching in sub-Saharan Africa. As many as 18 million people are being hit by a growing food emergency, and international donors and campaigners are calling for urgent action. The Sahel region's "hunger season" has been worsened by the failure of last year's rains. In addition to food shortages, the Sahel faces increased security risks after a rebel takeover in northern Mali. EU Commissioner Kristalina Georgieva said a meeting in Brussels among African leaders and international donors has created the momentum to double aid commitments to deal with the current crisis.



TSX 11,601 up 76
TSX Venture up 8 to 1259
Dow 12,741 down 25
Nasdaq 2,895 up 22
$C 97.64, down 0.2800

The growing economy hasn't done very much to boost Canadian incomes. Statistics Canada reported Monday that median, after-tax income for families of two or more amounted to $65,500 in 2010, virtually unchanged from 2009 or the year before after adjusting for inflation. The latest reading follows a report last week that showed average household debt in relation to disposable income had risen to a record 152 per cent at the end of 2011. Statistics Canada noted that the rise in the debt ratio was not due to Canadians borrowing more, but to stagnant incomes.

Statistics Canada says non-residents bought a net $10.2 billion of Canadian securities in April, after a sell-off in March. Meanwhile, Canadian investors' holdings of foreign securities declined $2.7 billion. The agency says foreign investors bought $9 billion worth of Canadian bonds in April after selling $1.2 billion worth in March. Non-residents sold $941 million worth of Canadian stocks in April, following two straight months of acquisitions. Canadians sold an additional $2.9 billion of foreign, long-term debt securities in April, following a $3-billion sale in the first quarter. Canadians also dropped $388 million from their holdings of foreign money market instruments in April, a sixth straight month of divestment.

Celestica Inc. says it plans to wind down its manufacturing services for Research in Motion over the next three to six months. Celestica says it has been working closely with RIM as the troubled BlackBerry maker assesses its supply chain strategy. And it says it plans to continue to do so during the transition period. Celestica did not provide further details, saying those would come when it releases second-quarter results on Friday. However, the company said that prior to any recoveries, its restructuring charges would not exceed US$35 million.

Bombardier says it has bought land in Casablanca's tax-free zone near the airport for its new manufacturing facility that is set to open next year. The Montreal-based aircraft manufacturer said it signed a deal with Moroccan property holding and management company Midparc Investment S.A. for the land in a free zone in Nouaceur. Bombardier Aerospace president Guy Hachey said the selection of the site for the manufacturing facility is "an important first step" in establishing the world's third-largest aircraft manufacturer in the North African country. Hachey said he hopes the long-term relationship will serve as a catalyst for the industry in Morocco. Bombardier joins other aerospace manufacturers in setting up shop in Morocco, which has established an aerospace training program and offers tax incentives to attract companies.


Canadian Daniel Nestor and his partner, Max Mirnyi of Belarus, the top-ranked men's doubles team in the world, won the championship Sunday at the Queen's Club tournament, defeating their long-time rivals, Bob and Mike Bryan of the United States, 6-3, 6-4. Last week Nestor and Mirnyi defeated the Bryan twins to win the French Open title. Nestor and Mirnyi were the defending champions at Queen's, a warmup for Wimbledon, which begins next week.

The Toronto Blue Jays hope to continue their win streak today in Milwaukee in interleague play against the Brewers. Toronto swept the Philadelphia Phillies in a three-game series over the weekend. Colby Rasmus had a two-run homer and finished with three R-B-Is yesterday in the Jays' 6-2 win over Philly.

Euro Cup action continues today as Croatia takes on Spain and Italy faces Ireland. Yesterday, Germany and Portugal advanced to the quarter-finals with 2-1 wins over Denmark and Holland respectively. Portugal will play the Czech Republic in the next round. Germany will take on 2004 tournament winners Greece next.

Despatie on road to recovery
Diver Alexandre Despatie is back in Canada after injuring his head in a training accident last week in Spain. Despatie was preparing for last weekend's Grand Prix when he struck his head on the board, suffering a 10-centimetre cut just below the hairline. He underwent surgery the following morning to close the wound. His medical team has said the scar is healing well. The two-time Olympic silver medallist will miss at least three weeks of training but he's still hopeful that he'll be able to compete at the London Olympics.


Tuesday, June 19, 2012

VANCOUVER: Cloudy. 60 percent chance of showers early in the morning. Becoming a mix of sun and cloud early in the afternoon. High 18.
EDMONTON: Cloudy with 40 percent chance of showers. Risk of a thunderstorm in the afternoon and evening. Wind becoming northwest 20 km/h near noon. High 15.
CALGARY: Mainly cloudy. 60 percent chance of showers in the afternoon and evening with risk of a thunderstorm. Wind becoming north 20 km/h near noon. High 14.
SASKATOON: Cloudy. 60 percent chance of showers in the afternoon and evening. Risk of a thunderstorm in the evening. High 17.
REGINA: Cloudy with 60 percent chance of showers. Risk of a thunderstorm early in the evening. Wind becoming east 20 km/h near noon. High 16.
WINNIPEG: Mainly cloudy. High 17.
THUNDER BAY: Increasing cloudiness. 60 percent chance of showers late in the morning and in the afternoon. A few showers beginning late in the afternoon. Risk of a thunderstorm late in the afternoon and in the evening. High 20.
TORONTO: A mix of sun and cloud. 40 percent chance of showers early in the morning and late in the afternoon and early in the evening. Risk of a thunderstorm. Wind southwest 20 km/h becoming light late in the afternoon. High 31.
OTTAWA: A mix of sun and cloud. 40 percent chance of showers late in the afternoon and early in the evening with risk of a thunderstorm. Wind becoming southwest 20 km/h in the afternoon. High 29.
MONTREAL: A mix of sun and cloud. Wind becoming southwest 20 km/h near noon. High 30.
FREDERICTON: Sunny. Wind becoming south 20 km/h in the evening. High 27.
HALIFAX: Sunny. Fog patches dissipating early in the morning. High 23 except 13 along the coast.
CHARLOTTETOWN: Sunny. Wind becoming southwest 20 km/h in the afternoon. High 23.
ST. JOHN'S: Mainly sunny. Wind becoming south 20 km/h in the afternoon. High 20 except 13 along parts of the coast.
HAPPY VALLEY - GOOSE BAY: Mainly sunny. Wind southwest 20 km/h gusting to 40. High 32.
WHITEHORSE: Mainly cloudy. 40 percent chance of showers late in the afternoon and in the evening with risk of a thundershower. High 19.
YELLOWKNIFE: Sunny. Wind becoming northwest 30 km/h early in the evening. High 19
IQALUIT: Cloudy. 40 percent chance of showers or drizzle in the morning and early in the afternoon. High 10.

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