Monday, April 4, 2011

RCI Cyberjournal

Edition 3 April 2011
Canadian International Sports Weather
Canadian

WOMEN STAGE 'SLUT WALK' TO PROTEST POLICE COMMENT

TORONTO: Wearing high heels and fishnet stockings, women in Toronto staged a protest 'slut walk' on Sunday to express their anger over a comment that a local police officer made about women wearing sexy clothing. Speaking to students at York University, the officer commented that women could avoid being raped if they did not dress like sluts. The officer later apologized. Demonstrators marched on Toronto city hall, crying that rape is not about dress but about asserting power. The march in Toronto followed a rally on Friday in Winnipeg where a small number of people marched to protest a Manitoba judge's comments about the way a female rape victim was dressed. It was the second rally in Winnipeg against Justice Robert Dewar. The Canadian Judicial Council has received complaints about Justice Dewar's comments.



GENES IDENTIFIED FOR ONSET OF ALZHEIMER'S DISEASE

TORONTO: Canadian scientists have contributed to identifying five genes related to the onset of Alzheimer's Disease. One of the scientists, Peter St. George-Hyslop of the University of Toronto, says that each identified gene adds to the risk of dementia later in life. He says that the information provides great insight into the cause of Alzheimer's disease. The discovery was a result of a international collaborative effort involving investigators from 44 universities and research institutions. The identification of four new genes arose from the genetic analysis of 54,000 people from the United States, Canada and Europe.



PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND FACES AUSTERE BUDGET

The finance minister of Prince Edward Island will avoid big spending projects when he presents his provincial budget on Wednesday. Wes Sheridan says that he will maintain the Liberal Party's five-year plan to control spending. He's aiming for a balanced budget within three years. Canada's smallest province has a debt of CDN$1.7 billion. The island province has 140,000 residents. Mr. Sheridan says that annual expenditure increases should not exceed two per cent. He will continue to favour programs for seniors and low-income residents that were begun within the past three years. A recent energy agreement signed with NB Power in the nearby province of New Brunswick has resulted in lower power rates on the Island.



LIBERAL PARTY UNVEILS ELECTION PLATFORM

OTTAWA: As the campaign for Canada's federal election next month entered its second week on Sunday, the Liberal Party became the first party to announce its full campaign platform. The platform is directly aimed at middle-class voters. It promises tax credits for home renovations that conserve energy, assistance to family caregivers, a fund for firefighters and police officers killed on duty, and a billion-dollar fund for more early learning and child-care spaces. The plan would increase corporate tax rates, and end tax breaks for oilsands development. Liberal Party leader Michael Ignatieff is assuring voters that the platform promises are possible without raising personal taxes. Prime Minister Stephen Harper campaigned on Sunday in Ottawa, where he promised tax credits to encourage better fitness. He said that if his Conservative Party is re-elected, it would double the tax credit for children participating in fitness activities to one thousand dollars. He would also introduce a 500-dollar tax credit for adults involved in certain sports activities. The leader of the New Democratic Party, Jack Layton, spoke about health-care on a campaign stop in Gatineau, Quebec. The Bloc Quebecois leader Gilles Duceppe campaigned in the area around Sherbrooke in Quebec, the only province where the party is running candidates. The Green Party leader, Elizabeth May, campaigned in her own riding in British Columbia.





International

INDONESIA

A strong earthquake shook Indonesia's island of Java during the night on Sunday, sending hundreds of residents fleeing from the port town of Cilacap. The tremors were centred about 270 kilometres south of Java. They measured between 6.7 and 7.1. A tsunami warning was initially issued and then withdrawn. Although the tremors caused fear, there were no initial reports of damage or casualties.



AFGHANISTAN

Hundreds of demonstrators have marched through the streets of the Afghan cities of Kandahar and Jalalabad in new protests over the burning of a Koran by a U.S. church last month. Fourteen people, including seven U.N. staff, were killed in similar violent protests over the past two days. Dozens have been injured. U.S. President Barack Obama has described the killings as "outrageous" and the Koran burning as "intolerance and bigotry". The UN's chief envoy to Afghanistan, Staffan de Mistura, blamed Friday's violence in the northern city of Mazar-e Sharif on the Florida pastor who burnt the Koran on 20 March.



LIBYA

More diplomatic efforts are being made to find a way to end the military stalemate in Libya. A British delegation is going to Libya to discuss strategy with rebel leaders. On Sunday, Libya's deputy foreign minister, Abdelati Obeidi, delivered a message to Greece's prime minister in Athens, saying that Colonel Moammar Gaddafi wants fighting to end. No initial reaction to Colonel Gaddafi's latest overture was reported, but the Libyan leader's offers are regarded with skepticism. On the same day, a Turkish ship evacuated wounded from Libya's city of Misrata, where rebel forces are under siege. Thousands of other injured people pleaded to be rescued.



YEMEN

Dozens of Yemeni protesters were wounded today when police used live rounds, tear gas and batons to try to break up demonstrations against President Ali Abdullah Saleh. The violence broke out in Taiz province, south of the capital Sanaa. The president has called on opponents demanding he step down to end weeks of street protests. He said his rulihg party is ready to discuss transferring power, but only in a peaceful and constitutional framework.



IVORY COAST

 

Fierce fighting is continuing in Abidjan, the main city in the west African country of Ivory Coast. Forces loyal to Allassane Outtara, the man internationally recognized as the winner of November's disputed predential election, are trying to force out the incumbent Laurent Gbagbo. Both sides are battling for control of the Presidential Palace, several military bases and the headquarters of the state television. There has been no word on the whereabouts of Mr. Gbagbo for days. The United Nations has begun evacuating some 200 employees from the country. French troops have taken over the airport in Abidjan. About 12-thousand foreign nationals are now under their protection at a camp near the airport. Thousands of people have fled to neighbouring Liberia, but millions of others remain trapped.



SYRIA

 

State-run Syrian television says the president has appointed a former minister to form a new government. President Bashar al- Assad issued a decree Sunday appointing Adel Safar, the agricultural minister in the resigned government, to form a new Cabinet. Mr. Assad fired his Cabinet last week in an attempt to appease protesters demanding reforms. An extraordinary wave of pro-democracy protests has proved the most serious challenge yet to Mr. Assad's 11-year rule



PAKISTAN

 

The Taliban staged a suicide bomber attack on one of Pakistan's most important Sufi Muslim mosques on Sunday, killing 42 people and injuring about 100 others. The victims were celebrating the anniversary of their sect's founder's death at the Sakhi Sarwar shrine. Among those killed were nine children. Police arrested one of the bombers whose explosive vest only partially detonated. A fourth militant was arrested before the attack.



IRISH

A 25 year old Catholic police officer was killed in Northern Ireland, today, in the first lethal attack on security forces in two years. A bomb exploded when he got into his car, in the town of Omagh. No one has claimed responsibility. But police and politicians are all blaming I-R-A dissidents.Leaders from all political parties, both Pro-British Protestant and Irish Catholic parties, have condemned the murder.



JAPAN

Japanese officials now say it could take several months to get the country's tsunami-ravaged nuclear plant under control. The Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant has been leaking radiation since the March 11 earthquake and tsunami. A Nuclear safety agency spokesman says officials will face a crucial turning point in the next few months but even that won't be the end. He says that in order for reactors at the plant to be under control, a cooling system incapacitated by the tsunami must be restored and engineers must stop radioactivity from being released into the air and the ocean. This is the first rough estimate provided by Japan concerning how long the effort to control the plant might take. In other developments, the remains of two employees have been found in the plant. They were on duty when the complex was swept by massive waves last month.



MEXICO

A new report says thousands of people have disappeared in Mexico since 2006. The country's human rights commission, CNDH, says that since President Felipe Calderon declared war on the drug cartels, 5,397 people have been reported missing. The CNDH report was prepared from information provided by relatives and by state authorities . The commission say it is investigating the reasons behind the disappaearnces. It says the figure includes those kidnapped for ransom and economic migrants from within Mexico and Central America whose whereabouts are unknown. Nearly 1,900 of the disappeared are women. The CNDH report was released just days after a United Nations study suggested that Mexican security forces may have played a part in the disappearance of some of the missing. The U.N. has urged Mexican authorities to stop using the military in drug operations.



CHINA

China blocked one of its most famous contemporary artists from taking a flight to Hong Kong on Sunday. And police later raided Ai Weiwei's studio in Beijing. Mr. Ai is an outspoken government critic and had been barred from travelling abroad before. There's no word on why he was prevented from boarding his flight at Beijing Airport early Sunday. His cellphone could not be reached by journalists. China has launched a massive crackdown on lawyers, writers and activists, arresting and detaining dozens since February when online calls for protests similar to those in the Middle East and North Africa began to circulate. Mr. Ai has been keeping an informal tally of those detentions on the social media network,Twitter, where he has more than 70,000 followers.



GUATEMALA

Guatemala's first couple has been ordered to halt their divorce proceedings. First Lady Sandra Torres is seeking to divorce President Alvaro Colom, so she can stand for election to succeed him. But the constitution bans close relatives of the president from running for the top office. A group of students petitioned a court to stop the divorce process, calling it a farce. The main opposition candidate for Guatemala's presidential election in September, former general Otto Perez Molina, called it electoral fraud. The Catholic Church has also been critical of the move.





Sports

SPORTS

SWIMMING

Canadian Sinead Russell Russell won the women's 200-metre backstroke in 2:08.89 to set a Canadian record at the world swimming trials in Victoria on Sunday. Erica Morningstar set a record in the 200 individual medley in a time of two minutes 11.23 seconds. University of British Columbia's women's relay team of Lauren Lavigna, Haylee Johnson, Noemie Thomas and Heather MacLean posted a time of 4:05.89 to set a Canadian record. The trials determined the Canadian team for the 2011 FINA world championships in Shanghai, China, this summer.

 

BASEBALL

On Sunday, Minnesota beat the Toronto Blue Jays, 4-3.

 

HOCKEY

On Saturday, Toronto beat Ottawa, 4-2, and Montreal defeated New Jersey, 3-1.

 

BASKETBALL

Toronto lost to Chicago, 113-106, on Saturday.





Weather

WEATHER

Here is Canada's weather on Monday, April 4. British Columbia will have rain. The high temperature in Vancouver will be eight degrees Celsius. The Yukon: mainly sunny. Whitehorse, five. Northwest Territories: sunny. Yellowknife, four. Nunavut: sunny. Iqaluit, minus 15. Alberta: clearing skies. Edmonton, seven. Saskatchewan: mainly sunny. Regina, two. Manitoba: increasing cloudiness. Winnipeg, three. Ontario: showers. Toronto: 16. Ottawa, eight. Quebec: rain. Montreal, nine. New Brunswick: mainly sunny. Fredericton, eight. Nova Scotia: mainly sunny. Halifax, eight. Prince Edward Island: mainly sunny. Charlottetown, zero. Newfoundland: variable cloudiness. St. John's, minus one.





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