Tuesday, April 26, 2011

RCI Cyberjournal

Edition 25 April 2011
Canadian International Financial Sports Weather


The town of Watson in the western Canadian province of Saskatchewan is the latest community to declare a state of emergency because of floodwaters. A total of 15 communities in Saskatchewan have declared a state of emergency because of the rising waters. Manitoba's minister for emergency measures says damage from this year's floods could be in the tens of millions of dollars. And in the neighboring province of Manitoba, nearly 1,000 people from Indian reservations have been evacuated in recent days because spring floods are threatening their homes. Fifty provincial highways and hundreds of local roads are closed due to flooding in southern Manitoba.


The whistle-blowing website Wikileaks has released secret intelligence assessments of more than 700 suspects who passed through the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Among the documents is one from 2004 that suggests the U.S. military kept Canadian Omar Khadr at the prison as long as it did, partly because he continued to provide valuable information to interrogators. The document says Mr. Khadr gave details of purported al-Qaeda training camps and key al-Qaeda and Taliban militants. Last October, Mr. Khadr pleaded guilty to throwing a grenade that killed a U.S. soldier in 2002. And he is still being held at the Guantanamo Bay prison.


A public opinion poll in Canada's election campaign shows the Conservative Party within reach of electing a majority in the House of Commons. The survey by the Nanos Research pollster puts the Conservatives at 39.2 per cent. Forty-per cent popularity is the minimum figure for a majority in the Commons. The Liberal and New Democratic parties are in a statistical tie at about 25 per cent. In Quebec, where the support for the separatist Bloc Québécois continues to fall. The NDP leads in the largely French-speaking province with 30-per cent support, compared with 27 per cent for the Bloc.


New Democratic Party leader Jack Layton has dismissed the idea that his party's bounding popularity could cause another electoral victory for the Conservatives. There have been suggestions that that popularity is coming at the expense of the Liberals and Bloc Québécois not that of the Conservatives. Speaking in Saint John, NB, Mr.Layton ridiculed the idea. He advises voters to shun the Liberals because they have voted more than 100 times in the House of Commons with the Conservatives.


Former Parti Québécois leader Jacques Parizeau has begun making public appearances to boost the sagging fortunes of the federal Bloc Québécois party in the last week of the federal election campaign. He told a crowd in Montreal's south shore that the Bloc Québécois is needed now more than ever in Ottawa. Both parties support Quebec independence. Mr. Parizeau urged Parti Québécois members to get involved in the campaign in its last week because only the Bloc has the interests of Quebecers at heart.


Prime Minister Stephen Harper says another Conservative Party government would bundle all of its controversial criminal justice bills into a single piece of legislation and pass it within 100 days if it's re-elected next Monday. Mr. Harper told a crowd in Sault Ste. Marie, ON, that the government would proceed cautiously in changing foreign investment laws and that it would consult widely before naming new justices to the Supreme Court of Canada.



Brazil has declared a state of emergency in seven cities in the southern state of Rio Grande do Sul, where heavy rain has left 12 dead and thousands homeless. The 12 dead include seven people killed in a landslide in the town of Novo Hamburgo that engulfed six houses with the other deaths occurring in the towns of Sapucacia and Fazenda Vilanova. The torrential rains began last Thursday.


Tuesday marks the 25th anniversary of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster. Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich and Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill will commemorate the victims in a candle-light ceremony in Kyiv on Monday evening. A19-kilometre area around Chernobyl has been uninhabitated since 1986, except for several hundred local people who returned home without authorization.


There's a report that more than 25 defendants at Russia's biggest trial since the 1930s are on hunger strike. Lawyers have told the Reuters news agency that the hunger strikers are protesting against beatings, threats and poor prison conditions in their jail in Nalchik, the capital of the territory of Kabardino-Balkaria in the North Caucasus. The defendants are on trial for alleged participation in the attack on government facilities in Nalchik that left 140 dead in 2005, most of them assailants. One lawyer says that masked interior ministry troops have beaten the defendants and that prison guards have restricted lawyers' access to their clients. The source says the defendants also have been threatened with rape or castration. The Federal Prison Service declined to comment on the accusations. However, the jail chief last week said pretrial detention is not a summer home.


Soldiers taking part in a two-day search for victims along the coast of northeastern Japan found dozens of bodies on Monday. About 25,000 troops are scouring the rubble and swamps in northeastern Japan for the bodies of the nearly 12,000 people still missing from last month's quake and tsunami. Fourteen-thousand people have been confirmed dead in the twin disasters.


An estimated 475 prisoners, most of them Taliban fighters, have escaped form a prison in Kandahar city. Their escape was through a tunnel dug into the prison grounds by fellow Taliban militants. The prison facility has undergone security upgrades and tightened procedures following a 2008 Taliban attack that freed 900 prisoners. Afghan government officials and their NATO backers have regularly said that the prison has vastly improved security since that attack. The governor of Kandahar province said that a search operation is under way to find the escapees.


Egypt's public prosecutor ordered on Sunday that former President Hosni Mubarak be transferred from a resort area hospital to a Cairo prison hospital pending a corruption and murder investigation. The demand came after a doctor declared Mr. Mubartak well enough to travel from the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh. But the prosecutor stopped short of demanding an immediate, transfer saying it would take at least a month to prepare the prison's medical equipment. The 82-year-old Mr. Mubarak is said to be experiencing heart problems. He took refuge at the resort after a popular uprising ended his 30-year rule. He is accused of abusing power, embezzling funds and being responsible for the deaths of protesters. He denies the accusations. Mr. Mubarak's two sons are now in prison in Cairo facing corruption charges.


NATO air strikes have destroyed Libyan leader Moammer Gaddafi's office in his Tripoli residence. Libyan officials say the attacks left at least 45 people wounded. And they added that they did not know whether there were victims under the rubble following the bombing. In related news, the rebels claim they're now in control of the city of Misrata, 215 kilometres east of Tripoli.


Thousands of Syrian troops poured into the southern Syrian town of Dera'a on Monday to suppress political demonstrations. For the first time, the government of President Bashar al-Assad has deployed tanks against protesters. There are varying reports about casualties. One activist cited by a Western news agency put the death toll at 18 and another at 25. Troops also attacked protesters in two Damascus suburbs. More than 350 people have been killed since the unprecedented protests began six weeks ago, 100 of them since Mr. Assad abolished the 48-year-old state of emergency last Thursday.



Barrick Gold Corp., the world's biggest gold firm, has made a friendly offer to buy Equinox Minerals Ltd. $8.15 per share. The bid tops a hostile offer of $7 per share, or $6.3 billion, put forward by Minmetals Resources of China. Equinox's director have unanimously recommended that its shareholders accept Barrick's bid. Equinox's most valuable asset is the Lumwana copper mine in Zambia, one of the largest new copper mines to be developed over the last several years.




It's win or stay home for the Canucks. Once leading the series 3-0, Vancouver has let the defending Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks off the hook. Now it comes down to a deciding seventh game Tuesday night at Rogers Arena. Ben Smith's first career overtime goal at 15:30 gave the home-town Hawks a 4-3 win over the Canucks on Sunday.


Canadian Milos Raonic has moved up one place to No. 27 in the ATP rankings. The 20-year-old from Thornhill, Ont., started the year at No. 156. Raonic is playing in an event in Portugal this week as he continues his preparations for the French Open.



British Columbia on Tuesday: rain, high C13 Vancouver. Yukon: mix sun cloud. Northwest Territories: sun. Nunavut: snow. Whitehorse 8, Yellowknife 0, Iqaluit -9. Alberta: rain south, mix sun cloud north. Saskatchewan, Manitoba: sun. Edmonton 16, Regina 19, Winnipeg 21. Ontario, Quebec: rain. Toronto 17, Ottawa 11, Montreal 10. Maritimes: rain. Newfoundland and Labrador: mix sun cloud. Fredericton, Charlottetown 10, Halifax, St. John's 8.

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