Sunday, April 10, 2011

RCI Cyberjournal

Edition 9 April 2011
Canadian International Sports Weather


OTTAWA: Political party leaders on Saturday ridiculed Prime Minister Stephen Harper's campaign promise to erase the federal deficit a year early in 2014. On Friday, Mr. Harper said that an additional $11 billion would be cut from the federal budget over four years by reviewing government programs, but he did not provide details. Campaigning in Toronto, Liberal Party leader Michael Ignatieff said that such cuts would have a devastating effect on immigrant services, eductaion and health care. But some political analysts say that the Liberal platform also seems to hide a few billion dollars in cuts. The New Democratic Party leader, Jack Layton, criticized both of his opponents, saying that the Conservatives will hurt Canadians' quality of life with budget cuts and the Liberals have apoor history of making painful budget cuts. Campaigning in Saskatoon, Mr. Layton said that his party will release its platform on Sunday. The Bloc Quebecois leader, Gilles Duceppe, campaigned in Saguenay, Quebec, the only province where his separatist party fields candidates. Mr. Harper took Saturday off from campaigning.


In Canada's western provinces there's growing concern over flooding as the snow melts and rivers continue to rise. In Manitoba, rain is forecast for the weekend, increasing the threat from the swollen Red River, which is already jammed with ice. Residents in Selkirk, where the river has spilled over its banks, have been asked to leave their homes. Residents are also leaving flood-prone areas of Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan. And in Manitoba, officials have activated a floodway to divert water around the city of Winnipeg. As many as 50 homes arebeing evacuated north of the city.


VANCOUVER: The Royal Canadian Mounted Police is coming under criticism after its officers fired a stun gun Taser at an 11-year-old boy. The incident occurred in Prince George, British Columbia, next to the home of a man whom the boy was suspected of attacking with a knife. The Taser was fired as the boy emerged from a neighbouring house. The B.C. Civil Liberties Association wants to know whether the boy was armed at the time. Executive Director David Eby says that it would take "pretty exceptional circumstances" to justify using a stun gun on a boy.


TORONTO: Several hundred people marched through city streets on Saturday to protest Mayor Rob Ford's plans to cut public services. They were also angry about his plans to privatize community housing, and to cancel a light-rail transit line. Instead of a light-train line, Mr. Ford wants to expand the city's subway system. Since his election last year, Mr. Ford has managed to pass a bill that bans transit workers from staging a labour strike.



Forces loyal to Ivory Coast's incumbent leader Laurent Gbagbo have gained ground in the capital, Abidjan. A senior U.N. official says Mr Gbagbo's forces used a lull for peace talks to strengthen their position in the country's main city. Forces loyal to the internationally recognised president Alassane Ouattara had been besieging Mr Gbagbo in his residence in Abidjan. The U.N. says Mr. Gbagbo's troops now control two districts of the city. Earlier Saturday, French helicopters were fired upon during an evacuation of diplomatic staff. No one was injured and the mission was aborted. French helicopters fired back at Gbagbo's forces, destroying at least one armoured vehicle. Forces supporting the democratically elected president, Allesane Outtara, have been trying to force Gbagbo from his bunker but he refuses to emerge or cede power.


Egypt's Health Ministry says one person was killed and 71 injured after the army charged into a central Cairo square to disperse a protest. Hundreds of soldiers stormed the square, beating protesters with sticks and firing volleys of gunfire in the early hours of the morning to disperse a demonstration carried over from the night before. After the soldiers withdrew, protesters reoccupied the square, armed themselves with makeshift weapons and sealed off the entrances with barbed wire left by the military. They are demanding that former President Hosni Mubarak to be put on trial and an end to military rule.


The Gaza Strip has undergone its most intense fighting in almost three years. Palestinian militants fired some 30 rockets on southern Israel. There were no reports of injuries, but some damage was caused. Israeli warplanes retaliated, killing five militants in Gaza. Violence escalated earlier this week when a Palestinian missile struck an Israeli school bus. Since then, Israeli strikes have killed 18 militants. The violence is raising fears of another full-scale Israeli attack on Gaza.


One of Bahrain's leading human rights activists has been detained by security forces. The daughter of Abdulhadi al-Khawaja says 20 armed and masked policemen broke down the door of their apartment overnight and began beating her father. He and his two sons-in-law were then arrested and taken away by the security forces. It is the latest in a series of violent night-time arrests of opposition activists.


After two delays, Nigeria held its election on Saturday for members of the National Assembly amid reports of violence and voting irregularities. The election was delayed last weekend because ballots were not ready. Some ballots were still not ready on Saturday, but the election went ahead. In Lagos, some voters were refused because their names were absent from the polling register because of a printing error. Gunmen killed a local politician in the city of Maiduguri, where they also set a hotel on fire. And an explosion killed at least one person and injured several others at a polling station. About 73 million people were eligible to vote at about 120,000 polling stations. The election campaign was marred by bomb attacks and violence.


A gunman killed six people and wounded at least ten others during a shooting spree on Saturday in a busy shopping mall in the city of Alphen Aan Den Rijn, south of Amsterdam. The gunman, Tristan van der Vlis, then killed himself. The killer was a member of a shooting club who had permits for five weapons. He left a farewell letter. Details were not reported. Survivors described the gunman as a cold-blooded killer who moved without haste.


A veteran Cuban anti-communist activist and former CIA agent has been acquitted on immigration charges in the United States. U.S. federal prosecutors had accused Luis Posada Carriles of lying to immigration officials, but a Texas jury found him not guilty. The 83-year old Posada Carriles is wanted in Cuba on terrorist charges for his alleged involvement in bomb attacks in Havana in 1997, in which an Italian tourist was killed. Cuba and Venezuela also want to extradite him for allegedly masterminding the bombing of a Cuban airliner in 1973, which killed 73 people. Cuban exile groups describe the Teaxas verdict as a big defeat for Havana.


U.S. politicians have agreed to slash spending, in a deal reached just one hour before a government shutdown would have been enforced. The agreement between Democrats and Republicans calls for spending to be cut by 37-billion dollars by this Autoumn. Had the budget deal not been reached by midnight local time, many U.S. government services would have come to a halt.


The manufacturer of Japanese nuclear reactors, Toshiba, says it could decommission the earthquake-damaged Fukushima nuclear complex in about 10 years. Radiation has been leaking from the Fukushima plant since a 9.0-magnitude quake and tsunami on 11 March. Its operator said it would stop pumping radioactive water into the sea on Sunday, a day later than expected. Radiation has seeped into tap water and farm produce, leading some nations to ban imports of Japanese produce and fish. High levels of radiation have also been detected in the Pacific Ocean on the northeast coast where the plant is located. More than 12,800 people died in the twin disasters. Another 15,000 are missing. Hundreds of thosuands of others lost their homes.


A Syrian rights activist says security forces have fired on protesters during a funeral in a volatile southern city where at least 25 people were killed on Friday. Ammar Qurabi heads Syria's National Organization for Human Rights. He said the group's information is coming from residents and eyewitnesses in the city of Daraa. He says several people were wounded in Saturday's shooting as burials were taking place. Friday marked the single bloodiest day of the pro-democracy protests, with at least 37 people killed nationwide.


Colonel Moammar Gaddafi's soldiers made a serious push into rebel-held territory on Saturday, coming within 160 kilometres of the city of Benghazi. Gaddafi forces hoped to recapture the town of Afjabiya along the route, which would give them a centre from which to launch attacks further east. NATO forces retaliated with air strikes to stop the advance. At least eight people were killed during the ground fighting. Diplomatic efforts to find a solution to Libya's conflict continue. The African Union will send a team to Libya on Sunday for meetings with both government and rebel leaders.


Dubai's main opposition party is questioning the circumstances surrounding the death of an anti-government activist in police custody. Rashid Zakaria Hassan was found dead in a detention facility where he'd been held for about a week. A medical examiner says that he died as a result of sickle-cell anemia. Authorities detained him for allegedly inciting hatred and publishing false news, among other charges. On Saturday, a prominent human rights activist, Abdulhadi al-Khawaja, was arrested. His relatives say that he was beaten unconscious during his arrest. Bahrain declared emergency rule last month to crack down on protests by the country's Shiite majority against a Sunni monarchy. At least 27 people have been killed in protests during the past several weeks. According to Human Rights Watch, more than 400 people are being held by Bahrain's authorities.




Canada's Jeff Stoughton beat Scotland, 5-2, in a playoff on Friday to advance to the finals of the world curling championship in Regina, Saskatchewan.



On Saturday, Bostonbeat the Ottawa Senators, 3-1. Mnnesota beat Edmonton, 3-1, on Friday.



The Toronto Blue Jays lost to the Los Angeles Angels on Friday, 3-2.



Philadelphia beat the Toronto Raptors, 98-93, on Friday.



Here is Canada's weather on Sunday, April 10. British Columbia will have rain. The high temperature in Vancouver will be nine degrees Celsius. The Yukon: mainly cloudy. Whitehorse, three. Northwest Territories: light snow. Yellowknife, minus three. Nunavut: snow. Iqaluit, minus 11. Alberta: cloudy. Edmonton, five. Saskatchewan: sunny. Regina, 11. Manitoba: rain. Winnipeg, ten. Ontario: a few showers. Toronto: 18. Ottawa, 17. Quebec: sunny periods. Montreal, 17. New Brunswick: sunny. Fredericton, 12. Nova Scotia: sunny. Halifax, 12. Prince Edward Island: sunny. Charlottetown, ten. Newfoundland: variable cloudiness. St. John's, three.

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