Sunday, April 3, 2011

RCI Cyberjournal


SASKATOON: A passenger aboard a twin-engine plan was killed on Friday evening when the plane crash-landed on a highway in Saskatchewan near Saskatoon. The victim, Iaroslav Gorokovski, of Ontario was one of three people on board. The pilot and co-pilot suffered non-life-threatening injuries. They're being treated in hospital. The aircraft was operated by a company that conducts geological surveys. The Transportation Safety Board says that it could be weeks before the cause of the crash is known.


OTTAWA: A Canadian man has been detained by Burma's military regime. Sixty-two year old Ron Zakreski of British Columbia was arrested on March 24th. His sister says the family has had little success in attempts to get information from the Department of Foreign Affairs. She said the federal government will only confirm that a Canadian was arrested in Burma and has received consular assistance. She adds that her brother is an avid traveller and photographer.


DARTMOUTH: As the campaign for Canada's May 2nd election goes into its second week, New Democratic Party leader, Jack Layton, has the spotlight to himself. The N-D-P leader will attend a rally in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia and unveil a plan to improve benefits for military veterans. Conservative leader Stephen Harper and Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff are both taking the day off. On Friday, Prime Minister Harper pledged to scrap the two-dollar-a-vote public subsidy that goes to political parties. He says taxpayers shouldn't have to give money to political parties they don't support. The Liberal leader pushed his plan to let people take time off from work to care for seriously ill or aging relatives. And, Jack Layton pledged to invest 165 Million dollars to train and recruit 12-hundred doctors and six-thousand nurses over the next 10 years.



Parliamentary elections in Nigeria were postponed on Saturday for two days because some voting materials failed to arrive in many areas. Many voters had gone early to polling stations in Africa's most populous country. They hoped to vote in an election less tainted by fraud and violence than 2007 elections that lacked credibility. Confusion reigned on Saturday as voting went ahead in some places that received election materials on time. President Goodluck Jonathan is expected to be re-elected.


The Wall Street Journal reports that construction of a Disney amusement park in Shanghai will begin next Friday. Construction should last five years. It will be the sixth such park in the world and the third in Asia after Tokyo and Hong Kong. Mainland China is the main source of visitors for the Hong Kong park. Last year, 2.2 million mainland Chinese visited it, or 42 per cent of the total. The Shanghai project comes after years of negotiations between the American company and China's government. Shanghai's mayor estimates that the amusement park will cost $3.7 billion, one of the largest foreign investments in China. The park will cover 390 hectares or a small fraction of the size of Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida. Construction was supposed to have started last year. The theme park is expected to include two hotels, a commercial and restaurant complex and a lake.


Radioactive water is leaking into the sea from a 20-centimetre crack at Japan's quake-hit Fukushima nuclear plant. The plant's operator,Tepco has said the crack in a containment pit under reactor 2 may be the source of recent radiation in coastal waters. Officials are preparing to pour concrete into the pit to try to stop the leak. The US Energy Secretary Steven Chu says about 70 percent of one reactor core was severely damaged and 30 percent of another suffered the same fate. Those figures are estimates because high radiation levels prevented workers from getting a close look at the damaged units. The Japanese Prime Minister, Naoto Kan, has been visiting the areas worst affected by last month's quake and tsunami in the northeast of the country.


At least ten people were killed and 83 others wounded in southern Afghanistan on Saturday amid the worst violence in the country in several months. The casualties occurred as hundreds of people protested in the city of Kandahar against the burning of the Koran earlier this week by Terry Jones, a radical American pastor in Florida. On Friday, a suicide attack hit a NATO military base in the capital Kabul, while a day earlier, protesters attacked a United Nations mission in the northern city of Mazar-i-Sharif, killing seven foreign staff. The violence comes as Afghanistan prepares a year-long process to take control of its own security from foreign forces. Canada is ending its military mission in Afghanistan later this year.


Libyan rebel leaders are expressing regret over the death of 13 of their comrades in a NATO air strike. The attack between the towns of Brega and Ajdabiya came after rebels fired an anti-aircraft gun. The air strike destroyed at least four vehicles including an ambulance. Despite their accidental losses, rebel leaders urged NATO forces to continue their attacks against pro-Gaddafi forces who have advanced against rebel positions in recent days. The rebels have agreed to accept a United Nations ceasefire proposal on condition that pro-Gaddafi forces withdraw from eastern zones and also allow more freedom in western cities.


Syrian security forces made dawn arrests on Saturday as mourners prepared to bury the first of at least nine people killed in anti-government protests. The arrests came in the tribal region around the town of Daraa, some 100 kilometres south of Damascus the capital. Daraa has been one of the main centers of more than two weeks of demonstrations to back calls for democratic reforms in Syria. Rights activists say eight of the nine people killed Friday, died when police opened fire on worshippers throwing rocks at them, after leaving Muslim prayers.


A massacre is reported in Ivory Coast. Several hundred people were found dead earlier this week in the western town of Duekoue. They were killed by gunfire or machetes. The deaths occurred in an area under the control of forces loyal to Alassane Ouattara, the political leader who is generally recognized by the international community as the winner of the latest presidential election. A Roman Catholic charity group in Ivory Coast, Caritas, says the victims include many refugees who fled the fighting elsewhere in the country. But a spokesman for Mr. Ouattara's forces insists that they killed only militia, not civilians. Mr. Ouattara's supporters are fighting a virtual civil war with forces loyal to Laurent Gbagbo, the country's longtime president who claims that he was re-elected during the latest vote. Meanwhile, on Saturday, fighting was againreported in the capital, Abidjan. Many residents fear to go outside their homes.


Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International are calling for the immediate release of opposition activists in Azerbaijan. Earlier Saturday, Azeri police arrested dozens of people who were attempting to hold a protest rally in the capital, Baku. Riot police rounded up the protestors and took them away on busses. The scene was similar to last month, when police detained about 150 people at opposition rallies in Baku. The protests were inspired by unrest in the Middle East and North Africa. But analysts believe a revolt in the oil-producing Mulim nation is highly unlikely.


The Palestinian Islamist group, Hamas, has warned Israel of "consequences" after an air strike in Gaza killed three members of its military wing on Friday. The Izz al-Din Qassam Brigades militants were killed near the southern town of Khan Younis. Medics and witnesses said the men had been travelling in a car at the time, and that one person was also injured. An Israeli military spokeswoman described it as a pre-emptive strike against militants planning to kidnap Israelis.


Brazil's biggest bank is being sued by the federal judiciary for allegedly funding deforestation in the Amazon. Public prosecutors say the state-run Banco da Brasil lent money to companies that illegally cleared the rainforest and used labour practices bordering on slavery. Independent prosecutors at the Public Ministry say the loans violated Brazil's constitution, environmental laws, banking regulations and international agreements signed by the government. The smaller state-owned Banco da Amazonia is also being sued on similar charges. The Banco do Brasil has denied the allegations, insisting it complied with Brazilian law, but said it would look into the charges on a case-by-case basis. The Banco da Amazonia has said it won't comment until it has studied the legal documents.


Italy will open archives from its diplomatic posts to help Argentina search for people who went missing during the 1976-1983 military dictatorship. Foreign Minister Franco Frattini made the comment after meeting Argentine President Cristina Kirchner in Buenos Aires Friday. Mrs. Kirchner will travel to Italy in June to sign an agreement that will allow the information to be made available to Argentine researchers. Some 30,000 people are believed to have gone missing during the dictatorship's so called "dirty war" against the leftists. Of those, only some 800 bodies have been found. Italy and Argentina have strong historic ties, as millions of Italians emigrated to the South American country between the 1850s and the 1940s.


Nearly half of Chinese dairies inspected in a government safety audit have been ordered to stop production. The closures would affect mainly small producers who account for about 10 percent of the market. Officials say the dairies failed the quality criteria set by the audit. Inspections became mandatory after a 2008 scandal which involved tainted milk products that poisoned small children and killed at least six of them. Another 300,000 fell ill after they were fed milk powder for babies. An investigation discovered that milk suppliers were adding the industrial chemical melamine, which is used to make plastic. Hydrolyzed leather protein, which is made from leather scraps, turned up in Chinese milk this year. Both additives allow watered-down milk to appear to have normal levels of protein. Since January, the authorires have detained nearly 100 people suspected of producing and selling melanmine-tainted dairy products, despite a ban after the 2008 scandal.


The Dalai Lama says that India should be seriously concerned about the melting of glaciers in the Tibetan plateau as millions of Indians use water that comes from there. The Tibetan spiritual leader on Saturday quoted Chinese experts as saying that the Tibetan glaciers were retreating faster than in any other part of the world. The glaciers are considered to be vital lifelines for Asian rivers, including the Indus and the Ganges. Once they vanish, water supplies in those regions will be in peril. The Dalai Lama was speaking at the centenary celebrations of India's former President R. Venkataraman in New Delhi.



The Toronto Blue Jays defeated Minnesota on Saturday, 6-1.



On Friday, the Calgary Flames beat St. Louis, 3-2.




On Saturday, Chivas USAand Toronto tied, 1-1.



Here is Canada's weather on Sunday, April 3. British Columbia will have showers. The high temperature in Vancouver will be ten degrees Celsius. The Yukon: mainly cloudy. Whitehorse, three. Northwest Territories: sunny. Yellowknife, minus five. Nunavut: variable cloudiness. Iqaluit, minus 15. Alberta: sunny. Edmonton, six. Saskatchewan: snow flurries. Regina, zero. Manitoba: snow. Winnipeg, one. Ontario: increasing cloudiness. Toronto: nine. Ottawa, 12. Quebec: mainly sunny. Montreal, 11. New Brunswick: variable cloudiness. Fredericton, four. Nova Scotia: increasing cloudiness. Halifax, four. Prince Edward Island: cloudy. Charlottetown, zero. Newfoundland: snow flurries. St. John's, three.