Monday, May 2, 2011

RCI Cyberjournal

Edition 1 May 2011
Canadian International Sports Weather


Canadians vote in a federal election on Monday, and on the last day of campaigning, all of the talk is about the New Democratic Party. The left-leaning party led by Jack Layton is showing surprising strength in voter opinion polls. The NDP's surge first began in Quebec, where people appear to be abandoning their long-time support of the sovereignist Bloc Quebecois party. Prime Minister Stephen Harper's last day of campaigning had him rallying support for the Conservative Party in several cities across the country. He's still hoping to achieve his first majority government after leading two minority governments. The Liberal Party leader, Michael Ignatieff, is concentrating his final campaign efforts on Canada's most-populous province, Ontario. He was urging voters to look closely at the NDP's platform and what he called Jack Layton's extravagant spending programs. The Bloc Quebecois leader, Gilles Duceppe, campaigned on Sunday in his own riding in central Montreal. Mr. Duceppe faces the risk of losing there for the first time. His party promotes Quebec sovereignty and runs candidates only in Quebec.


Some 20 centimetres of snow fell on southeastern Saskatchewan and southwestern Manitoba on Saturday.River levels will likely be higher than normal for a longer period of time once the snow melts. In Manitoba,it might be several months before flood waters recede from the western part of the province. Almost 2,000 people haveleft their homes becauseof flood waters. Some 80 provincial highways havebeenflooded, and some 600 municipal roads are closed.


Police in Hong Kong are investigating the death of two Canadians. A police spokeswoman at Kowloon City Division says two men died, but declined to provide further details. A manager at the local Metropark Hotel also confirmed the deaths. A spokeswoman for Canada's foreign affairs department says that the Canadian consulate in Hong Kong is working with local authorities to gather additional information. The names of the victims were withheld until family members could be informed.


A team of forensic scientists, anthrophologists and veterinarians will start next week to exhume the remains of about 100 sled dogs that were slaughtered and buried in Whistler, B.C. last year. The slaughter shocked the world at around the time that the Olympic Winter Games were held in the same area. The dogs' deaths were revealed in January after the man who claimed he killed them sought worker's compensation for post-traumatic stress. The dogs were either shot or had their throats slit. The general manager of cruelty investigation for the provincial Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animalscalled the investigation one of the most complex in the Society's history. The excavation is expected to cost more than CDN$225,000.


Two soldiers based at Canadian Forces Base Shilo in Manitoba were killed on Sunday after their plunged off a bridge into a creek. The driver of the SUV and a passenger died at the scene. Two other soldiers survived. One is in serious condition. The other had non-life threatening injuries. The accident occurred in wintry driving conditions about six kilometres east of Brandon. It's not known if they were on duty at the time of the accident.



The United Nations is withdrawingits international staff fromTripoli. The move comes after U.N. buildings and some foreign missions were targetted by crowds angered over a NATO air strike, which Libyangovernment officials said killed a son of Colonel Moummar Gaddafi onSaturday. The Libyan government said Saif al-Arab Gaddafi and three of Colonel Gaddafi's grandchildren had died in a NATO attack on a villa in Tripoli. Foreign reporters were shown widespread damage to the building in the compound, but no bodies. NATO says its raid targetted a command-and-control building. NATO assumed control of the Libyan mission on March 31, under a strict U.N. mandate to protect civilians.



A human rights group says that a prominent human rights lawyers was arrested on Sunday in the city of Raqqa. Abdallah Khalil was arrested after he criticized government violence against anti-government protests. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says that Mr. Khalil was arrested at the Place of Justice. Raqqa in eastern Syria experienced a water crisis in the last six years that some experts say was largely a result of mismanagement of resources and corruption. Anti-government protesters say that they will stage a week of nationwide demonstrations including in the southern city of Daraa, where troops killed six civilians on Saturday. Protesters say that at least 582 people have been killed since demonstrations calling for the departure of President Bashar al Assad began over a month ago


The late Pope John Paul has moved a major step closer to sainthood at a ceremony in Rome that drew more than a million people today. Among those in St Peter's Square were tens of thousands of Poles and a French nun Marie Simon-Pierre, who says she was cured of Parkinson's Disease. Her apparently miraculous cure by the late Polish-born Pontiff is part of the case for his fast-tracking to beatification, the last stage before sainthood. If he is declared to have performed another miracle he will be eligible for canonisation as a saint. In his sermon, Pope Benedict described his predecessor as "blessed". The Roman Catholic beatification ceremony was a morale boost for a church scarred by a sex abuse scandal that occurred partly under John Paul's papacy.


President Hamid Karzai is accusing the Taliban of using a 12-year-old boy as a suicide bomber. The boy was sent to carry out an attack on Sunday that killed a local council member and three other civilians in eastern Afghanistan on Sunday. Mr. Karzai says the use of children and youths in terrorist attacks is inhumane and un-Islamic. The attack took place in Paktika province, 260 kilometres south of the capital. Elsewhere,in Ghazni province a gunman opened fire on a checkpoint, killing two policemen and two civilians were killed and 13 bystanders wounded. And, in Logar province, militants ambushed a convoy of NATO troops, starting a firefight in Baraki Barak district in which three children were killed by Taliban fire. The latest attacks come one day after the Taliban announced the beginning of its spring offensive.


On Sunday,a widespread ban on smoking in public places went into effect in China. Chinais home to one-third of the world's smokers and the government is trying to cut the number of deaths from smoking-related diseases, which number over a million each year. Smoking ishenceforth banned in restaurants, hotels, railway stations, theatres and other public places.No penalties for breaking the ban have been announced.


For the first time in more than 60 years, a Chinese government ship has arrived in Taiwan. The arrival of the rescue ship Dong Hai Jiu in Taichung Harbour on Saturday is the latest sign of warming ties between Taiwan and its rival China. The Chinese Search and Rescue Association, a Taipei-based civil body, was the host of the trip. The ship will also visit the island's Kaohsiung port in the south, Hualien in the east and Keelung in the north. The ship returns to China on May 10. Last year, Taiwan and China staged their biggest joint maritime search and rescue drill off Kinmen, a Taiwan-controlled island group near China's Xiamen city.


Police and rescue teams from India and Bhutan are searching their common border for a helicopter that disappeared while transported a senior India official. Chief Minister Dorjee Khandu of northeastern Arunachal Pradesh, two other passengers and two pilots were on board the aircraft when it vanished Saturday in bad weather. The aircraft had just taken off 20 minutes previously from the Himalayan Buddhist retreat of Tawang for the state capital, Itanagar. There have been two helicopter crashes in the region involving the deaths of over 20 people in the past two weeks, The company which operates the aircraft has suspended operations.


Israel is delaying a cash transfer to the Palestinian Authority, because of a new unity deal between rival Palestinian factions. Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz says the money is being held to ensure it doesn't wind up in the hands of the miliant Islamist group Hamas. Israel considers Hamas a terrorist group. The move involves 89 million dollars in Palestinian tax and customs fees collected by Israel for the Palestinian Authority. Last week, the Palestinians announced a new unity deal between the Western-backed Palestinian Authority and the Iranian-backed Hamas.


Labour activists marking May first, International Worker's Day, staged protests in cities around the world demanding more jobs, better working conditions and higher wages. InIstanbul, more than 200,000 people took to the streets. And in Asia, one of the biggest rallies took place in South Korea, where police said 50,000 rallied in Seoul for better labour rights. Some 8,000 Hong Kong and Macau activists turned out to protest over soaring rent and food prices in the southern Chinese territories. Hundreds of thousands of people took to the streets in May Day rallies across Russia, most showing support for the Kremlin while others called for Arab-style rallies to overthrow Moscow's leaders. And in Cuba, hundreds of thousands of people marched through Havana and other cities. The May Day demonstration is being touted as a show of support for economic changes recently approved by the Communist Party.


The Supreme Court in El Salvador has disbanded two conservate parties which dominated politics in the country for a 20 year period beginning in the l960s. The High Court said neither the Christian Democratic Party (CDP) or the National Conciliation Party (NCP) had won the minimum level of votes required in the 2004 presidential election. Therefore they would cease to exist once the terms of office of their mayors and legislators ended. The ruling cannot be appealed. Leaders of both parties have denounced it. Both political movements will be allowed to register for local and congressional elections in 2012 if they meet the same conditions as otheer political parties.


Argentine writer Ernesto Sabato died in Beunos Aires on Saturday at the age of 99. His family said the cause was bronchitis. Sabato trained as a physicist before becoming a write. One of his three novels, "The Tunnel", is hailed as an existentialist classic. In l983, Sabato presided over a probe into the crimes committed by the nation's military rulers. The so called "Dirty War" commission investigated the killings of thousands of people under Argentina's military rule in the 1970s and '80s. The final report of the commission was later used to prosecute nine members of the Argentine military establishment.


Two years after an Air France jetliner crashed in the mid-Atlantic Ocean, an undersea search has located the plane's flight data recorder. Investigators hope to determine the cause of the crash during a thunderstorm. Flight 447 from Rio de Janeiro to Paris was carrying 228 people. Most of the plane's wreckage was only recently discovered in a deep-sea search.




Canadian Melanie McQuaid won the women's title at the inaugural ITU Cross Triathlon World Championships in Extremadura, Spain, on Sunday. Shonny Vanlandingham of the United States was second and her compatriot, Emma Garrard was third. Canadian Christine Jeffrey finished fourth.


Canada defeated France, 9-1, in early rounds at the IIHF World Hockey championship in Kosice, Slovakia on Sunday.


Curtis Granderson hit a three-run homer to help the New York Yankees beat the Toronto Blue Jays on Sunday, 5-2.



Here is Canada's weather on Monday, May 2. British Columbia will have rain. The high temperature in Vancouver will be 11 degrees Celsius. The Yukon: showers. Whitehorse, 11. Northwest Territories: sunny Yellowknife, four. Nunavut: snow. Iqaluit, minus three. Alberta: variable cloudiness. Edmonton, 20. Saskatchewan: variable cloudiness. Regina, 17. Manitoba: sunny. Winnipeg, ten. Ontario: sunny periods. Toronto: 13. Ottawa, 13. Quebec: showers. Montreal, 14. New Brunswick: sunny. Fredericton, 19. Nova Scotia: increasing cloudiness. Halifax, 12. Prince Edward Island: sunny. Charlottetown, 12. Newfoundland: mainly cloudy. St. John's, four.

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