Thursday, June 21, 2012

RCI Cyberjournal

Edition du 20 June 2012
Canadian International Financial Sports Weather

Canada to help negotiate Trans-Pacific Partnership
Canada has been invited to join negotiations to create a new trading group of Pacific-rim nations called the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Canada has lobbied hard to join the group. Prime Minister Stephen Harper made the announcement on Tuesday at the end of the Group of 20 summit in Los Cabos, Mexico. Mr. Harper has been promoting new trade deals as essential for Canada's economy. Nine Pacific countries are negotiating a free-trade pact that many feel will have more economic strength than the North American Free Trade Agreement. Canada and Mexico will join the United States, Australia, New Zealand, Peru, Chile, Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam and Brunei in the trade talks. But Canadian critics of the talks fear that Canada could abandon safeguards that would leave Canadian manufacturers vulnerable to foreign competition. During their two-day summit, the Group of 20 leaders focussed on Europe's debt crisis. They urged Europe to end a pattern of growing debt. Canada and the United States both refuse to pledge any more money to the International Monetary Fund. The IMF is trying to raise $430 billion in emergency funds to bail out debt-ridden countries.

Bodies of Canadian sisters to be repatriated from Thailand

The bodies of two Quebec sisters found dead in in Thailand last week could be returned to Canada as early as Thursday. The bodies of Noemi Belanger and Audrey Belanger were discovered in a resort hotel on Phi Phi Island. They were then transferred to a hospital in Bangkok. Preliminary autopsies were performed, so local medical authorities agreed to release the bodies. Police speculate that the sisters were accidentally poisoned. A family member credits Canada's embassy in Thailand with making rapid arrangements to repatriate the bodies.

Two Canadians charged with defrauding Nepalese
Two Canadian men are facing charges of defrauding more than 100 people in Nepal. Bradley Jacobson and Kendall Schmidt have appeared in a Winnipeg court charged with various offences under Canada's Refugee Protection Act. It's alleged that they charged Nepalese CDN$1,300 to find jobs for them in Alberta's oilsands industry. The Nepalese had little assets and had to borrow money and sell their lands to send the fee in cash. Jacobson was a member of the Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council, a watchdog agency that observes the conduct of immigration consultants. Jacobson is no longer a member. Investigators allege that Jacobson and Schmidt created false businesses called North West Construction and Access Health Manitoba to cover their fraud. They also allegedly submitted fake documents to lure more than 300 foreign workers.


Facing crisis, Greece forms coalition government

Greece's political parties have agreed to form a conservative-led coalition. Members of the three-party coalition will decide on Wednesday who will be in the new cabinet. The winner of Greece's turning-point election on Sunday, Antonis Samaras, must form a new government by Wednesday evening or risk further political uncertainty. But he'll face difficulty finding common ground between his right-wing members and socialist party members. Greece is facing its most serious economic crisis since the Second World War. The new government will be under pressure to soften the severe austerity measures that the European Union and the International Monetary Fund are demanding in return for a huge bailout package.

Off life support, Hosni Mubarak remains in coma,

Egypt's former president, Hosni Mubarak, is reported to be in critical condition following a stroke. Doctors in Cairo say that he's in a coma, but no longer on life support. Mr. Mubarak is 84. He suffered the stroke on Tuesday in prison, where he recently began serving a life sentence for and failing to stop the killing of protesters during the uprising that led to his ouster last year. Meanwhile, Egypt's election committee warns that official results of the recent run-off presidential election might be delayed. Results were expected on Thursday, but the committee needs more time to review appeals from the two candidates. Both have claimed victory. One is a conservative Islamist of the Muslim Brotherhood while the other was the last prime minister under President Hosni Mubarak.

Pakistan's parliament to choose new prime minister
Pakistan's parliament will elect a new prime minister on Friday following the unprecedented court-ordered dismissal of Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani. On Tuesday, the Supreme Court ruled that Mr. Gilani was unfit to hold office. The court cited his failure to investigate President Asif Ali Zardari for corruption. President Zardari's Pakistan People's Party and its coaltion have enough seats in parliament to support his choice for prime minister. The most likely candidate appears to be the textile minister, Makhdoom Shahabuddin. The new prime minister's term of office will be short. The government must call elections before March next year.

Dozens killed in attacks in Nigeria

Radical Islamists in northern Nigeria have staged multiple deadly attacks in the past few days. Close to 100 people are reported killed. Four policemen and two soldiers were among the dead in attacks in the city of Damaturu. The city was deserted on Wednesday after the government imposed a round-the-clock curfew that left residents trapped. Residents are running out of food, medicine and water. The Islamist sect called Boko Haram has been fighting for an Islamic nation in Nigeria's north. The latest violence came after church bombings over the last three Sundays again heightened sectarian tensions.

Cambodia holding Frenchman in connection with Chinese murder scandal
Authorities in Cambodia are still deciding whether to extradite a French architect embroiled in a major political scandal in China. Patrick Henri Devillers had business ties with the deposed Chinese Communist Party politician, Bo Xilai and his wife, Gu Kailai. Ms. Gu is a suspect in the murder of a British businessman, Neil Heywood, last year. Cambodia and China have an extradition treaty. Cambodian police may hold Mr. Devillers for 60 days while they decide what to do. China has not charged Mr. Devillers with any crime. But on Wednesday, Cambodian authorities admitted that his arrest was made at the request of Chinese police.

Uganda banning groups for allegedly promoting homosexuality
Uganda is banning more than three dozen non-government organizations for allegedly promoting homosexuality. Uganda is one of more than 30 African countries where homosexuality is illegal. Homosexuals in those countries fear imprisonment, violence and the loss of their jobs. Uganda's Ethics Minister Simon Lokodo says that 38 NGOs were receiving support from abroad for Uganda's homosexuals. He accused homosexuals of recruiting young children into homosexuality. Uganda's parliament is considering a bill calling for harsh penalties against homosexuality and its promotion. But the bill is expected to abandon previous calls for the death penalty or life imprisonment for repeat offenders.

Russian police arrest dissident Pussy Riot supporters
Russian police in Moscow have detained 15 people who publicly protested against the detention of three members of a dissident girl punk band. The three Pussy Riot band members were arrested for singing a song denouncing President Vladimir Putin inside Moscow's Christ the Saviour Cathedral. Maria Alekhina, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Yekaterina Samutsevich could face up to seven years in jail for hooliganism. Some Russian Orthodox believers were offended by the act. About 300 people demonstrated on the band's behalf on Wednesday outside a Moscow court. One woman who was detained protested that her constitutional rights were being violated. On Tuesday, other members of the Pussy Riot gave an impromptu performance on a balcony above central Wenceslas Square in Prague. They also unfurled a large banner demanding Russian authorities to free their fellow band members. Amnesty International has also called for the women's release.


Research in Motion cutting jobs
Research in Motion is beginning to cut jobs in an attempt to save CDN$1 billion by the end of next year. The number of imminent layoffs was not announced. The company, which manufactures the Blackberry cellphone, employs 16,500 people across its global operations. Last July, RIM laid off about 11 per cent of its workforce, or 2,000 employees, marking the biggest employee reduction in its history. The company faces stiff competition in the smartphone market. RIM shares fell on news of the cuts.

Couche-Tard acquiring Statoil
The Quebec convenience store chain, Alimentation Couche-Tard, has acquired more than 90 per cent of the shares of the Norwegian-based company, Statoil Fuel & Retail ASA. Couche-Tard says that as a result, it can initiate a compulsory acquisition of any shares not tendered to its CDN$2.7-billion bid for Statoil.



The Toronto Blue Jays beat the Milwaukee Brewers on Tuesday, 10-9. Toronto's Colby Rasmus and Jose Bautista had back-to-back home runs in the ninth inning.

Canada's Aleksandra Wozniak was eliminated on Wednesday from the Eastbourne tennis tournament, losing in a quarter-final match to France's Marion Bartoli 6-2, 6-2.

The Toronto Argonauts beat the Montreal Alouettes, 25-20, in exhibition action on Tuesday. In other Canadian Football League news, receiver Milt Stegall and quarterback Damon Allen are among five players to be inducted into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame in November. Stegall holds several CFL records in a career that ran from 1995 to 2008. Allen retired in 2008 as professional football's all-time leading passer. He has since lost the title to Anthony Calvillo, who is still active. The other players are offensive lineman and placekicker Jack Abendschan, running back Eric Lapointe and late linebacker Tyrone Jones.

Several National Hockey League players have signed new contracts. The biggest was awarded to Ottawa Senators defenceman Erik Karlsson. Karlsson signed a seven-year extension worth US$45.5 million. dollars. He led all NHL defencemen last season with 78 points.

Canadian diver Alexander Despatie is suffering from a concussion after hitting his head in a diving accident during training in Spain last week. Despatie is a two-time Olympic silver medallist. His concussion has put his hopes of competing at the upcoming London Olympic Games in doubt.



Here is Canada's weather forecast for Thursday, June 21. British Columbia will be mainly cloudy. The high temperature in Vancouver will be 19 degrees Celsius. The Yukon: showers. Whitehorse, 22. Northwest Territories: variable cloudiness. Yellowknife, 23. Nunavut: sunny. Iqaluit, 16. Alberta: mainly sunny. Edmonton, 24. Saskatchewan: sunny. Regina, 21. Manitoba: variable cloudiness. Winnipeg, 21. Ontario: increasing cloudiness. Toronto: 34. Ottawa, 34. Quebec: mainly sunny. Montreal, 32. New Brunswick: variable cloudiness. Fredericton, 27. Nova Scotia: sunny. Halifax, 22. Prince Edward Island: sunny. Charlottetown, 21. Newfoundland: sunny periods. St. John's, 13.

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