Monday, April 25, 2011

RCI Cyberjournal


Canada's Foreign Affairs Department is advising Canadians to avoidtravel to Syria, where political unrest has left 120 people dead in the past two days.Foreign Affairs alsosays that Canadians already in Syria should think about leaving. Over the past five weeks, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad hasviolently clamped down onprotestersdemanding democratic reform.


Flooding is still causing concern in the provinces of Manitoba and Saskatchewan. All 850 residents of the Roseau River First Nation, 100 kilometres south of Winnipeg, were told to evacuate by Monday. Many residents will be taken by bus to Winnipeg. In all, about 1,700 Manitoba residents will have left their homes because of flooding or the threat of flooding. Across Manitoba, more than 700 roads are washed out. The Red River is expected to crest by Tuesday. In Saskatchewan there are worries about the high level of the Qu'Appelle River.


Canada's political leaderscampaigned again on Sunday as Christians celebrated Easter.Canada's federal election ison May 2. Liberal Party leader Michael Ignatieff and the New Democratic Party leader,Jack Layton,addressed votersin Toronto. Both were scheduled to speak at the same event, the annual Khalsa Day celebration outside the Ontario Legislature. Theevent typically draws tens of thousands of Sikhs to mark the birth of their religion. Prime Minister Stephen Harpercampaigned in British Columbia.The Bloc Quebecois leader, Gilles Duceppe,asked the formerpremier of Quebec, Jacques Parizeau, to campaign with himon Monday.On Saturday night, about 1,300 people attended a rally forMr. Layton in downtown Montreal,theNDP's biggest rally in Quebec.It was held in the riding that Mr. Duceppe has held for the past 20 years. The sovereignist Bloc Quebecois fields candidates only in the province of Quebec.


Another civilian was reported killed on Sunday following a pro-democracy protest in the town of Jabla. At least 120 people have died in the past three days in connection with protests. In Homs, one of centres of recent demonstrations, security forces arrested Mansour al-Ali, a prominent figure from the minority ruling Alawite sect. The arrest came after he spoke against government-sponsored violence toward protesters. In the past five weeks, thousands of Syrians have protested against President Bashar al-Assad. His security forces have killed more than 300 protesters since demonstrations began in March. President al-Assad has withdrawn a state of emergency in place for decades, but his security forces continue to crack down on public protests.


Thousands of anti-government protesters in Yemen remain camped out in the main square of the capital, Sanaa. They say an Arab-brokered draft agreement providing for President Ali Abdullah Saleh to step down falls short of their demands. The 30-day transition plan would give him Mr. Saleh immunity from prosecution. More than two months of violent unrest over Mr. Saleh's 32 year rule has left at least 120 people dead. The U.S. has welcomed the agreement and is urging all parties to "swiftly" implement a peaceful transfer of power.


Orthodox and Western Christian churches on Sunday marked Easter, the day when they believe that Christ was resurrected. At the Vatican, Pope Benedict made a traditional address to Roman Catholics throughout the world and to tens of thousands of pilgrims gathered in St. Peter's Square. He urged solidarity with refugees from conflict regions, particularly in Africa.


Chinese police detained at least a dozen Christians belonging to an unregistered Beijing church as they gathered to hold Easter services. The worshippers had gathered near a public plaza in Beijing's university district. They were put on a bus and taken to a local police station. Shouwang members have been trying to meet at the plaza in Beijing's Haidian district every Sunday since the congregation was evicted from its usual rented place of worship three weeks ago. But they have been detained or put under house arrest each time. While China's Constitution guarantees freedom of religion, the country's 70 million Christians are required to worship in churches run by state-controlled organizations. The authorities have also been carrying out a wider suppression of dissents, harassing foreign reporters and detaining lawyers and activists. The most high-profile detainee, artist Ai Weiwei, was taken by police as he tried to board a flight abroad earlier this month.



Millions of Hindus are mourning the death of a revered guru. Sathya Sai Baba was 86. He died on Sunday after a month in hospital near his religious centre in India's southern town of Puttaparti. He's remembered as a pious man who useddonations to his charitable trust to help people. His followers included high Indian government officials, movie stars, famous athletes and corporate heads. Mr. Sai Baba's missions were found in more than 130 countries, including Canada. His detractors accused him of staging fake miracles and sexually abusing his followers, charges that he rejected.His funeral in Puttaparti on Wednesday is expected to attract hundreds of thousands of mourners.


Chilean rescuers have saved two adventure tourists who became trapped on the slopes of the Quetrupillan volcano, near the border with Argentina. The Italian woman and her Czech companion used a satellite device to send their location to a U.S. rescue center in Texas. Chilean rescuers dealt with heavy snow, rain and fierce winds to reach the pair. The couple got stuck on day five of their trek after entering the park where the volcano is located on Monday. Both were suffering from symptoms of hypothermia, but said they felt lucky to be alive.


A shooting incident near a shrine in the city of Nablus in the occupied West Bank has left one Israeli dead. Military officials say at least four other Israelis were wounded. The violence broke out before dawn as the worshippers left a site known as Joseph's Tomb and got into a car. The vehicle was then fired upon. The Israeli military said the victims had been shot by a Palestinian policeman, who had identified "suspicious movements". Ultra-Orthodox Jews regularly defy a military ban on entering the shrine, which is in Palestinian-controlled territory and is believed by some Jews to be the burial place of the biblical Joseph.


Heavy fighting between Thai and Cambodian soldiers near their common border continued on Sunday for a third day. The clashes have left 11 soldiers dead. The artillery and gunfire in forests around the Ta Krabey temple has disrupted village life. Many people who refused to be evacuatedare trying to leave the region. Both sides claim the temple. On Saturday, U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki Moon said the countries' border dispute could not be resolved by military means and both sides needed to engage in "serious dialogue."


There are conflicting reports on the situation in the rebel-held city of Misrata. Witnesses say explosions and gunfire continue, despite an announcement that the Libyan army had halted operations there. The army said it had stopped fighting to give local tribal leaders an opportunity to negotiate with rebels. But the rebels claim Colonel Moammar Gaddafi's forces have not left the city. On Saturday, one of the bloodiest dayssince the conflict began broke out, with at least 24 people reported killed. Rights groups say that since the popular revolt against Gaddafi began, over 1,000 people have lost their lives in Misrata, Libya's third-largest city and the rebels' main stronghold in the west.NATO aircraft have carried out more air strikes on targets around the capital, Tripoli.Missiles from a NATO drone destroyed a local anti-aircraft gun.




Canada's under-17 men's team lost, 3-0, to Mexico on Sunday in a tune-up in Morelia, Mexico, for the FIFA U-17 World Cup.



The Tampa Bay Rays beat the Toronto Blue Jays, 2-0, on Sunday. Ben Zobrist hit a two-run homer in the first inning. The Jays fell to 9-and-12.



Russia denied Canada a medal with a 6-4 win in the bronze-medal game at the world under-18 hockey championship in Crimmitschau, Germany, on Saturday. In the first round of the National Hockey League playoffs, Boston defeated Montreal, 2-1, in overtimeonSaturday. Boston leads the series 3-2.


Here is Canada's weather on Monday, April 25. British Columbia will have showers. The high temperature in Vancouver will be 13 degrees Celsius. The Yukon: mainly sunny. Whitehorse, ten. Northwest Territories: snow Yellowknife, minus four. Nunavut: snow. Iqaluit, minus 11. Alberta: increasing cloudiness. Edmonton, 18. Saskatchewan: sunny. Regina, 19. Manitoba: clearing skies. Winnipeg, 15. Ontario: showers. Toronto: 14. Ottawa, 18. Quebec: increasing cloudiness. Montreal, 15. New Brunswick: variable cloudiness. Fredericton, 16. Nova Scotia: variable cloudiness. Halifax, 13. Prince Edward Island: variable cloudiness. Charlottetown, 12. Newfoundland: variable cloudiness. St. John's, five.