Monday, March 7, 2011

RCI Cyberjournal

Edition 6 March 2011
Canadian International Sports Weather


OTTAWA: Canada's government is dismissing Britain's suggestion that the two countries jointly build warships. Britain's High Commissioner in Canada, Andrew Pocock, had remarked that a joint program could make better use of defence budgets that were being squeezed as a result of economies weakened by the recent global recession. But a spokesman for Defence Minister Peter MacKay says that Canada will not collaborate with Britain to build new frigates. The suggestion of a joint program caused concern among Canada's struggling shipbuilding industry.


OTTAWA: Canada's government is warning its citizens to avoid traveling to Yemen, where recent public demonstrations have called for President Ali Abdullah Saleh to resign. The protesters have had several clashes with security forces. There is also a risk of terrorist activity. The United States and Britain have also warned people to avoid Yemen.


MONTREAL: A new study by Canadian scientists concludes that countries with the least pollution could suffer the worst from global pollution. The study by McGill University shows that countries with low carbon dioxide emissions tend to be more vulnerable to climate change. Hot, low-latitude countries are most likely to see the effects of climate change over the next several decades. Parts of South America and the Arabian Peninsula and much of Africa could see just a small population growth if temperatures rise only a few degress. The study predict changes in local populations by 2050.

More Canadians flee Libya

OTTAWA: A Canadian military plane evacuated nine Canadians out of Libya on Saturday. The flight also carried a dozen other evacuees--including Americans, Britons and Ukrainians. Nearly 330 Canadians have now fled Libya since the fighting started last month. A Canadian navy frigate is on its way to Libya to aid in the evacuation effort and to offer humanitarian aid. HMCS Charlottetown is expected to arrive in several days.

Report warns of reno risks

OTTAWA: A report from the Canadian Environmental Law Association is urging people undergoing home energy renovations and retrofits to take steps to avoid risks to children's health. The report calls for greater education and care to avoid the release of toxic substances during the process. The paper says children are most susceptible to such exposures, and activities taking place during renovations and retrofits can significantly increase their risk if care isn't taken.


EDMONTON: Over 100 teams are competing this weekend in Edmonton, Alta. in the first-ever Canadian Yukigassen championship. Yukigassen means snow battle in Japan, which is where the format for the organized snowball fights originates. But the snow in Japan isn't the same as in Western Canada. Organizers say prairie snow is very cold and very dry, so the snow has to be warmed and a small amount of moisture added to make the snowballs hold together. The snowballs in the tournament are pre-made to a uniform size and by the time they're tested in combat they're almost as solid as billiard balls. Competitors are required to wear a helmet with a visor, or goggles, for protection.



Hundreds of people protested in Kabul on Sunday against the U.S. military following news earlier in the week that nine children had been accidentally killed in a U.S. attack. Protesters chanted death to America and burned U.S. President Barack Obama in effigy. Afghan President Hamid Karzai rejected the U.S. military's apology for the deaths. He has often condemned U.S. and NATO actions that led to the death of civilians.


Britain says that a small team of its diplomats has left Libya after what foreign secretary William Hague calls 'difficulties.' Initial reports said that the team was taken on Saturday by anti-Gaddafi rebels in eastern Libya. Britain's government declined to confirm reports that the team included special forces commandos. The team was apparently sent to make contact with rebel leaders. Mr. Hague says that Britain intends to send another team to Libya to strengthen the dialogue.


Violence has broken out between rival supports of Ivory Coast's two presidential claimants. Forces loyal to incumbent president Laurent Gbagbo fought supporters of his presidential rival Alassane Ouattara in the west of the country near the border with Liberia. Mr. Ouattara's forces are reported to have captured a town held by Gbago forces. On the same day, gangs of youth supported by uniformed police invaded ten houses in Abidjan belonging to allies of Mr. Ouattara. The homes belonged to senior ministers, mayors and other allies were ransacked. Witnesses say that dozens of teenagers forced their ways into houses. In one case, they left wearing suits and robes, carrying dishes and other valuables. Mr. Gbagbo has refused to cede power more than three months after the United Nations says he lost an election. Mr. Ouattara and his government have been confined to a hotel since early December.


About 2,000 supporters of Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi poured into the streets of Tripoli Sunday, waving flags and firing guns in the air in celebration. They said they were celebrating becauseMr. Gadhafi'sforces had re-gained control of the oil town of Ras Lanouf, 660 kilometres east of the capital. The claim was rejected by Ras Lanouf residents. Meanwhile, Libyan warplanes attacked rebels moving west along the country's Mediterranean coast towards Tripoli. There was also heavy ground fighting between the rebels and forces loyal to Mr. Gadhafi. The rebels are reported to be moving toward Sirte, a Gadhafi stronghold east of Tripoli on the Mediterranean. On Saturday, forces supporting Mr. Gadhafi tried but failed to take control of the city of Zawiyah. Gadhafi forces used tanks and artillery to attack the strategic town about 50 kilometres west of Tripoli. Rebels said that they repelled both attacks. A local doctor said at least 30 people, mostly civilians, had been killed.


A new Egyptian interior minister took office on Sunday. Mansur al-Issawi pledged to restore public confidence in the police, a day after protesters stormed several state security buildings. Authorities urged the return of documents taken by the protesters when they stormed the buildings in raids on Friday and Saturday, saying it was important they be returned to preserve "national security."


Thousands of Shiite opposition supporters descended on the prime minister's office in Bahrain on Sunday as their campaign for reform in the strategic Gulf nation entered its third week. The protesters are demanding the prime minister step down because of corruption and a deadly crackdown on the opposition in which seven people have been killed. Bahrain's Shiite majority has long complained of discrimination and political persecution in the island kingdom. Sheik Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa--the prime minister and the king's uncle--has been in power for 40 years. Bahrain is the home of US Navy's 5th Fleet. A Sunni dynasty has ruled Bahrain for two centuries.


A Turkish court has ordered two leading investigative journalists jailed pending the outcome of a trial into an alleged plot to topple the Islamic-rooted government. The court on Sunday charged Nedim Sener and Ahmet Sik with links to the alleged conspiracy to overthrow Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's government, after nearly four days of questioning. Their detention along with six other journalists has drawn expressions of concern from Western governments and international media rights groups. About 400 suspects are already on trial in the case. The government rejects allegations of trying to muzzle dissent and undermine Turkey's secular legacy.


Voting went to the polls Sunday in Estonia's first Parliamentary election as a eurozone member. Opinion surveys suggest the centre-right government could win another term. Estonians appear to have retained confidence in Prime Minister Andrus Ansip's coalition government going intothe vote. The Baltic country of 1.3 million became the 17th nation to adopt the euro on Jan. 1. after enduring its deepest recession since regaining independence from the Soviet Union in 1991. Growth has returned and the jobless rate has dropped, but at 14 per cent it's still among the highest in the EU.


A Taliban-style roadside bomb tore through a car in eastern Afghanistan's Paktika province Sunday, killing 12 civilians and wounding five others. The dead included five children, two women and five men. Meanwhile, NATO said a bombing in southern Afghanistan had killed one of its service members. Officials said late Saturday that the service member died after a bomb attack earlier in the day. It did not provide the victim's nationality or any other details. NATO typically waits for the relevant national authorities to confirm deaths of service members. The death was the fourth in March. A total of 71 NATO service members have been killed so far this year. Canada has 2800 soldiers with the NATO force in southern Kandahar province.


Beijing is increasing controls on foreign journalists amid calls on the Internet for anti-government protests styled on those in the Middle East and North Africa. The Vice Director of Beijing's Foreign Affairs Office, Li Honghai, said reporters must now apply for government permission to conduct any news gathering within the city centre. No details were given. Li said the verbal order was merely Beijing's interpretation of a 2008 decree from the State Council, or China's Cabinet. The announcement was made at a news conference Sunday that followed protest calls at designated spots in Beijing, Shanghai, and other Chinese cities that have drawn few outright demonstrators but have sparked a harsh police crackdown.


Police said Sunday suspected Muslim militants fatally shot two people and wounded five in weekend violence in insurgency-plagued southern Thailand. Officials said six gunmen opened fire in a busy area of Pattani province's Yarang district Sunday and killed a retired police officer. Four bystanders were wounded. Two insurgents on a motorcycle also in Pattani shot at a mother and son riding a motorbike back from a market. The 23-year-old son died and the mother was wounded. The latest violence came a day after suspected militants in Pattani shot dead a Buddhist monk. Pattani is one of three Muslim-majority provinces where an insurgency has claimed more than 4,000 lives since 2004.

Hong Kong

Protesters in Hong Kong rallied Sunday against an unpopular government budget.Media estimated the crowd at more1,000.News reports said a few protesters broke through a police line to plant jasmine flowers in a government compound. They were supporting attempts by activists to hold a "Jasmine Revolution" in mainland China modeled on Middle East protests. everal dozen people ended the march by holding a sit-in on a main road in the city's central business district. They want Hong Kong's chief executive and financial secretary to step down. The government faces public anger over handouts in last month's budget that were criticized as short-term and unfair. Hong Kong is a semi-autonomous Chinese city that guarantees civil liberties not seen on the mainland, including freedom of speech and freedom to demonstrate.


China is promising an economic overhaul that would raise the status of consumers and entrepreneurs.However, officials gaveno sign how they will tacklethe politically volatile reforms. In a weekend speech to the National People's Congress Premier Wen Jiabao said Beijing wants to nurture self-sustaining growth driven by consumption and service industries. Achieving those goals will require cutting subsidies for state companies and other changes that might trigger a backlash within the Communist Party. The changes could drive China's evolution from low-cost factory into a major consumer market. That might help to narrow a yawning wealth gap and ease tensions over China's trade surplus by boosting consumer demand for imports.


A presidential election due to take place Sunday has been postponed until March 13. On Saturday, state television announced that the constitutional court had accepted the electoral commission's request for a one-week delay because voting materials had not been printed and election observers had not been properly trained. President Boni Yayi, first elected in 2006, is facing 12 opposition candidates in his bid for a second term. Benin is viewed as a rare example of democracy in a region of West Africa better known for coups. Mr. Yayi's popularity has been hurt, however, by a Ponzi scheme scandal that touched numerous members of his administration and in which more than 100,000 people in the nation of 8.7 million lost their savings.


The top Chinese government official in Tibet says the Himalayan region continues to face serious challenges from separatism three years after major anti-government protests. Regional Communist Party head Zhang Qingli said Sunday those seeking to overthrow Chinese rule threaten Tibet's stability and therefore its economic development. Mr. Zhang was quoted by the official Xinhua News Agency as saying that officials and the Tibetan public should remain vigilant against anything that could sabotage public order. His remarks at a meeting of Tibetan delegates to the national legislature in Beijing underscore the government's relentless crackdown on all dissent in the region. The March 2008 rioting in Tibet's capital, Lhasa, left at least 22 people dead.


Thousands of people joined funeral ceremonies Sunday for former Nepal Prime Minister Krishna Prasad Bhattarai, who led a popular movement to restore multiparty democracy in 1990. Bhattarai died Friday at the age of 87. His body was first kept at Kathmandu's national stadium, where government leaders and ordinary citizens paid their last respects. It was then taken Sunday on an open army truck decorated with flowers to the revered Pashupati temple as thousands of people lined the route. The government declared a period of national mourning. Bhattarai served as prime minister twice -- in 1990, when he conducted the first free elections in 30 years, and again in 1999.


Supporters call it the greatest party on earth. Brazil's famous Carnival kicked into high gear Sunday. A light rain did nothing to dampen the festive spirit Saturday, serving more as a refreshing cool-down for bodies worked into a sweat as they danced and gyrated at the numerous "blocos," or street parties. The centre of Rio de Janeiro was filled with a crowd of up to two million people wearing all manner of clothes--in many cases, very little. Throughout the city, nearly 800,000 tourists, Brazilian and foreign, werepartying alongside most of Rio's population of six million. Although the focus was on Rio, which holds key parades Sunday and Monday, the whole nation was letting loose. On Saturday, tragedy struckIn the southern state of Santa Catarina, At least 25 people were killed when a bus collided head-on with a truck. Carnival celebrations run until Wednesday.




Canadian Christine Nesbitt finished second in the overall World Cup standings in the 1000-metre race. In the last race of the season in Heerenveen, Netherlands on Sunday, she finished fourth. American Heather Richardson won the overall title while Margot Boer of the Netherlands was third.


Canadian Milos Raonic defeated Daniel Garza in straight sets on Sunday and Canadian Frank Dancevic beat Manuel Sanchez in a Davis Cup series in Metepec, Mexico. Canada leads four matches to one.

National Hockey League

Saturday's results: Montreal defeated Tampa Bay 4-2, Chicago defeated Toronto 5-3, Edmonton defeated Colorado 5-1 and Vancouver defeated Los Angeles 3-1.

Figure Skating

Andrei Rogozine has become the first Canadian to win the junior men's world figure skating champion since 1978. He captured the title on Saturday in Gangneung, South Korea. He landed seven triple jumps including one in combination and concluded the program with two double Axels. Keiji Tanaka of Japan was second and Alexander Majorov of Sweden was third.

National Basketball Association

Saturday's result: In a game played in London, England, New Jersey defeated Toronto 137-136 in triple overtime.


New Brunswick's James Grattan pulled off the big surprise on day one at the Tim Hortons Brier Saturday in London, Ont. by defeating Ontario's Glenn Howard 5-4. Manitoba's Jeff Stoughton leads at 2-and-0. Alberta's Kevin Martin is 1-and-0, along with Quebec, Saskatchewan and Newfoundland and Labrador. New Brunswick and the Territories are 1-and-1.



Here is Canada's weather on Monday, March 7. British Columbia will have variable cloudiness. The high temperature in Vancouver will be eight degrees Celsius. The Yukon: mainly sunny. Whitehorse, minus ten. Northwest Territories: snow flurries. Yellowknife, minus 14. Nunavut: mainly sunny. Iqaluit, minus 24. Alberta: mainly sunny. Edmonton, minus 13. Saskatchewan: increasing cloudiness. Regina, minus 15. Manitoba: sunny. Winnipeg, minus 15. Ontario: sunny. Toronto: zero. Ottawa, zero. Quebec: snow. Montreal, minus three. New Brunswick: heavy rain. Fredericton, six. Nova Scotia: rain. Halifax, eight. Prince Edward Island: rain. Charlottetown, eight. Newfoundland: sunny periods. St. John's, four.

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