U.S. Speaker John Boehner said the House cant pass an increase to the U.S. debt ceiling without packaging it with other provisions — something President Barack Obama has labeled a nonstarter, adding to concern growth is slowing in Canada s largest trading partner. The fact that the U.S. government is still shut down is starting to concern markets a little bit more now that were a week into it, David Bradley, director of foreign-exchange trading at Scotia Capital Inc., a unit of Bank of Nova Scotia , said by phone from Toronto. We just had Canadian data, which was quite a bit weaker than expected. Thats helped this last little push. The loonie, nicknamed for the image of the aquatic bird on the C$1 coin, declined 0.2 percent to C$1.0314 per U.S. dollar at 1:16 p.m. in Toronto. One Canadian dollar buys 96.96 U.S. cents. Oil Trade Crude-oil futures dropped 0.4 percent to $103.41 a barrel in New York .
Canada’s Prime Minister Stephen Harper waves as he boards a Royal Canadian Air Force plane before departing for Asia in Ottawa October 3, 2013. Credit: Reuters/Chris Wattie By David Ljunggren OTTAWA | Mon Oct 7, 2013 1:38pm EDT OTTAWA (Reuters) – Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper said on Monday he would not attend a November summit of the Commonwealth in Sri Lanka because of what he called human rights abuses on the island. “We remain disturbed by ongoing reports of intimidation and incarceration of political leaders and journalists, harassment of minorities, reported disappearances, and allegations of extra judicial killings,” he said in a statement. Sri Lanka’s envoy to Canada disputed Harper’s comments. The U.N.’s human rights chief said last month that Sri Lanka could be sliding toward an authoritarian system as President Mahinda Rajapaksa gathered power around him. Harper is the only leader from the Commonwealth, which groups Britain and many former colonies, to announce he will boycott the November summit. Britain also has criticized human rights in Sri Lanka. Harper said it was unacceptable that Sri Lanka had yet to investigate allegations of atrocities during and after a long civil war with Tamil rebels, which ended in 2009. Sri Lanka has long dismissed allegations its troops committed major crimes. “It is clear that the Sri Lankan government has failed to uphold the Commonwealth’s core values, which are cherished by Canadians … I will not attend the 2013 Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting in Colombo,” he said.
Brazil Demands Canada Explain Spying Allegations
Foreign Minister Luiz Alberto Figueiredo summoned the Canadian ambassador in the capital, Brasilia, to “transmit the indignation of the Brazilian government and demand explanations,” the Foreign Ministry said in a statement that followed the revelations, aired Sunday night on Brazil’s Globo network. The report said the metadata of phone calls and emails from and to the ministry were targeted by Canada’s Communications Security Establishment to map the ministry’s communications. It didn’t indicate if emails were read or phone calls listened to. The report was based on documents leaked by former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden and was the latest showing that Latin America’s biggest nation has been a target for United States, British and now Canadian spy agencies. During Monday’s meeting, Figueiredo expressed “the government’s repudiation of this serious and unacceptable violation of national sovereignty and the rights of people and companies,” the Foreign Ministry statement said. A spokeswoman for Canada’s Communications Security Establishment said the “CSE does not comment on foreign intelligence gathering activities.” A spokeswoman for the Canadian Defense Department also declined comment. In comments Monday on Twitter, Rousseff said industrial espionage appears to be behind the alleged spying. Canadian companies have large mining interest across the globe, including in Brazil. In her Twitter comments, which the president’s office confirmed were authentic, Rousseff also instructed Mines Minister Edison Lobao to beef up the ministry’s data protection systems. American journalist Glenn Greenwald, based in Rio de Janeiro, worked with Globo on its report. Greenwald broke the first stories about the NSA’s global spy program focusing on Internet traffic and phone calls. Globo previously reported that the communications of Rousseff herself, and also state-run oil company Petrobras, were targeted by NSA spying. Earlier, Greenwald wrote articles in the O Globo newspaper saying that the NSA was gathering metadata on billions of emails, phone calls and other Internet data flowing through Brazil, an important transit point for global communications. The fallout over the spy programs led Rousseff last month to cancel a planned visit to the U.S., where she was to be the guest of honor for a state dinner. Rousseff last month spoke at the United Nations General Assembly and called for international regulations on data privacy and limiting espionage programs targeting the Internet.