Saturday, April 16, 2011

RCI Cyberjournal


Floodwaters in southern Saskatchewan continue to rise. Officials say floodwaters from the Qu'Appelle River could swamp the main highway between Saskatoon and Regina. Highway 11 is a four-lane highway that connects the two cities and runs up to Prince Albert. About 20 sections of highway have been flooded and closed. The flooding is threatening communities across the southern Prairies. It has been caused by heavy snowfall on ground that was soggy in the fall.


An opinion survey indicates that Canadians view China and India as important economically and politically but at the same time are uneasy of the world's two most populated countries. The survey for the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada found that Asia's growing power is increasingly viewed as a threat instead of an opportunity. About two-thirds of Canadians polled saw Asian economies as essential to the Canadian economy and felt that China's power will eclipse that of the United States within a decade. The number of Canadians who accept a Chinese government-controlled company acquiring a controlling stake in a major Canadian firm declined from 18 percent to 16 percent.


Elections Canada has refused a request by the Conservative Party to invalidate an early vote by students at the University of Guelf in Ontrio. Elections Canada has ruled that although the early ballot at the school wasn't properly authorized, the voting took place in conformity with electoral law. The students at Guelph had criticized the attempt to invalidate their ballots, as did Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff. The Conservatives had complained that their local campaign manager had not been able to oversee the process and that Liberal campaign materials had been spotted in the voting area. The Conservatives appeared to back off their complaint following Election Canada's decision and even welcomed it. The party's statement blamed the situation on mistakes by the local returning officer.


One year after Helena Guergis was abruptly ejected from the Conservative Party caucus, the former federal minister for the status of women is providing proof that she was treated unfairly. Prime Minister Stephen Harper removed her from his caucus amid rumours of drug use and links to prostitution. Mr. Harper repeatedly declined to specify the reasons for his decision. A police investigation later cleared her of any wrongdoing. At a televised news conference on Friday, Miss Guergis blamed the prime minister's office for staining her reputation. Under access to information legislation, she received a letter that a Harper aide sent to police not long before her dismissal. The letter described the allegations that were later shown to be unsupported by proof. Miss Guergis has decided to run in the federal election on May 2 as an independent candidate in Ontario. Political observers say that her criticism of Mr. Harper's actions toward her could lead some women voters to vote against the Conservative Party.


Mexican officials have found an unmarked grave in the northern state of Durango containing 13 bodies. The discovery came after authorities in the northwestern border state of Tamaulipas found mass graves holding more than 145 corpses in recent days. Durango is part of the so-called triangle of northern states, along with Sinaloa and Chihuahua, that has seen a sharp increase in violence since authorities began a crackdown on drug traffickers who use the region to grow marijuana and opium poppies.


U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has expressed the hope that a treaty with Russia on conventional arms can be revived. Mrs. Clinton told her Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov at a meeting in Berlin she hoped for the revival of the Conventional Forces in Europe treaty. She says such a revival could flow from the goodwill generated by Russian President Dmitri Medvedev's visit to the NATO summit last year. The Conventional Forces in Europe treaty was signed in 1990. It governed the deployment of weapons from the Atlantic Ocean to the Ural Mountains. But NATO countries refused to ratifiy an amended version until Russian troops withdrew from the former Soviet republics of Moldova and Georgia, claiming their presence violated the treaty. Russian then suspended compliance in 2007.


Islamist extremists in Gaza have murdered an Italian hostage seized earlier in the week. Vittorio Arrigoni, a pro-Palestinian activist, was found hanged early Friday by the Hamas security forces. A group representing the strict Sunni Salafist movement had laid down a 30-hour deadline for Hamas to release prisoners after which the hostage would be killed. Mr. Arrigoni was murdered before the deadline expired. Hamas officials denounced the killing. Italy's foreign ministry described it as a "barbaric murder."


The leaders of China, Japan and South Korea will hold a two-day summit in Tokyo beginning May 21. They will discuss nuclear safety, disaster preparedness and other issues. The talks will come more than two months after the massive March 11 earthquake and tsunami caused Japan's worst post-war disaster and triggered an ongoing nuclear emergency that has caused global concern. China and South Korea have sent quake rescue teams and offered other support to Japan. Both China and South Korea have voiced concern after Japan dumped 10,000 tonnes of low-level radioactive water into the Pacific Ocean as part of emergency operations at its crippled Fukushima nuclear plant.


Egypt's news media are reporting that former President Hosni Mubarak may face death or be sent to prison if found guilty of ordering the killing of demonstrators during the 18-day popular uprising that forced him to resign on Feb. 11. The state-owned newspaper Al-Ahram quoted the head of Cairo's appeals court as saying that Mr. Mubarak may face execution after a trial he expected to last at least a year. Mr. Mubarak and his two sons Alaa and Gamal were remanded into 15 days custody this week after prosecutors launched an investigation into violence against protesters. An estimated 800 people were killed in protests that toppled Mr. Mubarak.


Leaders of Britain, France and the United States have promised to keep up their military campaign in Libya until that country's leader, Muammar Gaddafi, leaves power. In a reference to Mr. Gaddafi, the three nations say that it is unthinkable that someone who has tried to massacre his own people can play a part in their future government. France and Britain want to extend air strikes to the logistics and decision-making centres of Gaddafi's army, rather than start arming Libyan rebels. Libya's government reacted to the three nation request saying that a request for Mr. Gaddafi's departure is an insult to the Libyan people.


Canada's broadcasters have called on the country's telecom watchdog to rethink its attitude toward Internet providers. The Globe and Mail reports that a group of 35 executives from the telecommunications, broadcasting and TV production sectors, as well as union leaders, has written a letter to the Canadian Television-Radio and Telecommunications Commission to ask it to revise its policy of not regulating the Internet. In 2008, the CRTC considered the issue of new media. The Commission decided that although video delivered over the Internet qualifies as broadcasting, the new media shouldn't be regulated. The broadcasters are particularly concerned by competition from Netflix Canada, which launched its Internet service last September, offering movies for a monthly fee. The broadcasters say it's unfair that Netflix can act as a broadcaster without being subject to the same regulatory requirements, such as spending for Canadian programming. Cable and satellite companies also fear that the cheap Netflix service will impel their customers to cancel their subscriptions.


TSX: 13,811, - 10. Dollar: US$1.04. Euro: $1.38. Oil: $109.64, + $1.53.



Hockey Hall of Famer Ray Bourque and former Canadian Football League star

Lui Passaglia are among the six inductees who will enter Canada's

Sports Hall of Fame this fall.

They are joined by 10-time Paralympic medallist Lauren

Woolstencroft, triathlon athlete Peter Reid, soccer player Andrea

Neil and International Olympic Committee member Dick Pound.

The induction ceremony will be held Nov. 8.


Vancouver's Rebecca Marino will open for Canada

against Slovenia's Masa Zec-Peskiric on Saturday in their Fed Cup

World Group II playoff tie.

Montreal's Eugenie Bouchard will play the second singles match

Saturday against Polona Hercog.

The singles will be reversed Sunday, when there will also be a

doubles match between Sharon Fichman of Toronto and Stéphanie Dubois

of Laval, QC., and Katarina Srebotnik and Andreja Klepac.

A win will keep Canada in World Group II for 2012 while a loss

would relegate them back to Americas Zone Group I play for next

year. Only eight countries qualify for the elite World Group with

the next eight qualifying for World Group II.


British Columbia on Saturday:sun south, rain north,high C11 Vancouver. Yukon: mix sun cloud. Northwest Territories: sun. Nunavut: mix sun cloud snow. Whitehorse 3, Yellowknife -7, Iqaluit -18. Alberta: snow south, mix sun cloud north. Saskatchewan: snow north, rain south. Manitoba: mix sun cloud. Ontario: rain south, snow north. Edmonton 4, Regina 5, Winnipeg 3. Ontario: snow north, rain south. Quebec: rain. Toronto 9, Ottawa, Montreal 7. Maritimes: sun. Newfoundland and Labrador: mix sun cloud. Fredericton 6, Halifax, Charlottetown 4, St. John's 3.