Sunday, March 13, 2011

RCI Cyberjournal

Edition 12 March 2011
Canadian International Financial Sports Weather


At least one Canadian is confirmed dead in the wake of Japan's devastating 8.9-magnitude earthquake and the massive tsunami it generated. Canada's minister of state of Foreign Affairs iane Ablonczy says the department has been in contact with the victim's family but no name or hometown has been released. The Foreign Affairs Department is still trying to account for all the Canadians living in or visiting Japan. It's estimated 11,000 Canadians live in Japan, but only 1,500 were registered with the Canadian Embassy there. Foreign Affairs says 13 Canadians were registered as being in the hardest hit area. Prime Minister Stephen Harper said Friday that Canada would offer a helping hand to the people of Japan and said Canadians' thoughts and prayers are with people there.


Canada's governing Conservative party is losing two high-profile cabinet ministers: Transport Minister Chuck Strahl and Treasury Board President Stockwell Day both say they won't be seeking re-election. And, the long-time Member of Parliament for the British Colombia riding of Delta-Richmond, John Cummins is also leaving federal politics. Prime MInister Stephen Harper has issued a statement thanking them for their service. The departure of the three Conservatives is adding fuel to speculation that Canadians are about to be called to the polls in a federal election.


Canadian military leaders in Afghanistan are looking into the idea of arming local villagers in the Kandahar district of Panjwaii. The tactic is credited with reducing violence during the Iraq war. But, it also raises concerns about insurgent infiltration. Under the Afghan Local Police program, launched by President Hamid Karzai last August, villagers are given guns and training to provide security in their communities.


Canadian Commandos havereceived commendations in a secret ceremony with Governor-General David Johnston in Ottawa . Who they were, how many of them and what they won for are not known -- that's considered classified information. Three "Stars of Military Valour" and two "Medals of Military Valour" -- the second and third highest decorations for bravery, were awarded to members of the special forces.


In Canada's west coast province of British Columbia, the work of a fourth radiologist is now under question. It's part of a review into thousands of diagnostic imaging tests carried out in British Columbia hospitals. Last month, thousands of patients were notified that their files were under review, prompting concerns their scans could have been misread by unqualified doctors. The four radiologists whose work has come under scrutiny are no longer working in the province. Investigators say all 287 radiologists now working in B-C are properly licensed, but some need more peer review and opportunities to upgrade their skills.


This is the weekend most Canadians switch from Standard Time to Daylight Saving Time. Before going to bed tonight, they'll turn their clocks and watches ahead one hour. The major Canadian exception is Saskatchewan, which is on Standard Time year round. In areas where the time change applies, Standard Time returns November 6th.



A huge rescue and relief operation is underway in Japan, after the country was devastated by a cataclysmic magnitude 8.9 earthquake which generated an enormous tsunami Friday. 50-thousand military personel have been mobilised to take part in the relief effort. More than a thousand people are feared dead and thousands more remain unaccounted for. One report indicates four trains disappeared Friday and still hadn't been located.Meantime, a major relief operation is underway as Japanese defence staff try to rescue people and recover the bodies of the victims. The international community is also mobilizing to offer assistance.The United Nations says about 60 international teams from more than 45 countries are on alert to assist Japan if asked.


A massive explosion at a Japanese nuclear power station Saturday destroyed a building housing the reactor, but officials said a radiation leak around the plant was decreasing and that the primary containment vessel was intact. There have been fears of a meltdown from damage caused by Friday's catastrophic earthquake and tsunami. But, Japan's nuclear safety agency said the accident at the 40-year-old Dai-ichi 1 reactor plant in Fukushima prefecture, was less serious than either the Three Mile Island accident in 1979 or the 1986 Chernobyl disaster. Still, 90,000 people have been evacuated from areas near the plant while authorities prepared to distribute iodine to people who may have been exposed. Iodine can help protect against thyroid cancer following exposure to radiation.


The Arab League says it has decided to open contacts and cooperate with Libya's Benghazi-based rebel council which is fighting forces loyal to the country's leader, Muammar Gaddafi. The organisation says the Libyan government's actions against its own people have stripped it of legitimacy. Arab League Secretary-General Amr Moussa says communications with the Libyan National Council would include contacts on humanitarian assistance. The Arabic all-news satellite television network Al-Jazeera meantime is reporting that one of its cameramen has been killed near Benghazi. It says Ali Hassan al-Jaber was killed in the Hawari area when his crew was caught in "armed ambush.

Earlier, Libyan troops took over the oil town of Ras Lanuf.* The rebels who had been holding the town retreated to the east overnight under heavy bombardment from government forces, but say they will try to regain control of the town . Meantime, the Arab League member states, which met in Cairo Saturday, have unanimously decided to ask the U.N. Security Council to impose a no-fly zone on Libya



Palestinian security forces have joined an Israeli manhunt after a grisly multiple murder Saturday in the remote West Bank settlement of Itamar. The victims, a family of five, were stabbed to death in their sleep. The attack, which killed two young children, a baby and their parents, was the deadliest in years. Itamar is a small and extreme settlement that has had rocky relations with nearby Palestinian towns and villages.


An early morning crash involving a tour bus in the Bronx Saturday, has left 13 people dead and critically injured six others. A spokesman for the New York Fire Department says the bus overturned on the New England Thruway -- part of Interstate-95 -- and skidded on its side into a sign pole. The sign post sheared-off most of the top of the bus along the window line.



Business analysts say the Canadian economy will feel the aftershocks of Japan's powerful earthquake and enormous tsunami; but they say the effects likely will be short lived. Experts like the University of Toronto's Professor Tim Richardson, the former head of the now-defunct Canada-Japan Trade Council, say that with many Japanese factories shut down as a result of the disaster, the focus will be on recovery rather than producing cars or electronics. That means Japanese imports of Canadian wheat, lumber, coal and minerals used in manufacturing likely will drop off for a time. Japan imported about $9.2 billion of Canadian goods last year.


Saturday Sports

Speedskating and freestyle skiing success for Canada. Christine Nesbitt of London, Ontario, captured the women's 1,000-metre title at the world speedskating championships in Germany. And in Sweden, freestyle skier Montreal's Alex Bilodeau won the men's dual moguls while Justine Dufour-Lapointe, also of Montreal, and Jennifer Heil of Spruce Grove, Alberta, were second and third, respectively, in the women's event.


Canada's Trish Paulsen defeated Sweden 9-6 Saturday in Perth, Scotland, to advance to the women's semifinal at the world junior curling championship. The semifinal winner will battle Scotland in the tournament final Sunday.


Sunday's forecast

Canada's weather for Sunday. In the Canadian north, sunny in Iqaluit and minus 26 degrees Celsius. Flurries in Yukon and minus 12 degrees in Whitehorse. Rain in British Columbia with a high of 6 in Vancouver. Mainly sunny across Alberta and Saskatchewan and clearing Manitoba with highs of minus 6 in Edmonton, minus 1 in Regina and minus 11 in Winnipeg. Flurries in Ontario; clearing in Quebec and a mix of sun and cloud in the Atlantic provinces of New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island. Showers in Nova Scotia and Newfoundland. Some temperatures: 3 in Toronto, 1 in Ottawa, zero in Montreal, 8 in Halifax and 3 in St. John's.

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