Sunday, May 22, 2011

RCI Cyberjournal

Edition 21 May 2011
Canadian International Sports Weather


Prime Minister Stephen Harper has visited Slave Lake, the northern Albertan town that was partially destroyed by a wildfire last weekend. Mr.Harper says he's been inspired by the courage and resilience of residents and that his government will continue to work closely with all levels of government to help the residents rebuild their lives. Most of the town's 7-thousand residents have been living in temporary shelters, elsewhere in Alberta. And there's still no word on when they'll be allowed to return home. In other developments, Transportation Safety Board investigators will try to figure out why a helicopter under contract to fight fires in northern Alberta crashed yesterday, killing the pilot. The British Columbia-based aircraft webt down in shallow water in Lesser Slave Lake while working as part of a crew assigned to putting out fires near property at the summer village of Canyon Creek. The rescue operation was difficult and police say a number of people who tried to save the pilot were treated for hypothermia


High winds forecast for Sunday could raise water levels once again in a flood zone south of Montreal along the Richelieu River. Flooding began last month, forcingresidents in the Richelieu Valley to evacuate one thousand homes. Quebec Premier Jean Charest toured the region on Saturday. Afterwards, he urged Defence Minister Peter MacKay to visit, and if necessary, to send the army to help.


Canadian journalist Dorothy Parvaz, who was detained for three weeks in the Middle East, is speaking out about her ordeal. The 32-year old works for the al Jazeera English division. She says she is not surprised Syria blames her for the 19-day ordeal. The journalist holds American and Iranian citizenship and entered Syria on an expired Iranian passport. She admits she told officials she was a tourist, and although she'd not been assigned to cover the unrest, she had planned to write about the protests. She was arrested and spent several days at a detention center in Damascus where anti-government protestors were being held. Ms Parvaz also says Syria partly laid the blame for her arrest on her employer, al Jazeera, for condoning her trip to the country after it shut its bureau there. Syria then deported her to Iran where she said she was treated well before her release last week.Ms. Parvaz is visiting her parents who live in British Columbia.



Labour negotiations continued on Saturday to avert a strike at Canada Post that could begin on Wednesday. A contract agreement for some 50,000 employees expired in January. Negotiations began a few months earlier, but disagreements remain over wages and benefits, working conditions and numbers of staff. Federal Labour Minister Lisa Raitt has urged both sides to reach a deal. Canada Post has already made arrangements to use volunteer postal workers to deliver cheques to pensioners and welfare recipients in case of a strike.


This year is the one hundredth anniversary of the founding of Canada's first national park in Banff, Albera. Celebrations to mark the year are taking place in national parks across the country. The Canada Parks system has more than 40 parks across the country. They range in size from St. Lawrence Islands National Park, which is nine square kilometres, to Wood Buffalo National Park, which covers almost forty-five thousand square kilometres. Canada's government protects the parks' vegetation and wildlife.



Syrian security forces continue to crack down on anti-government protesters. On Saturday, six people wereallegedly killed and scores of others were wounded when security forces opened fire during a funeral in the city of Homs. The funeral was for ten people killed during a protest earlier this week. Security forces also fired at demonstrators in Damascus. Syria has barred most international media. Protests against President Bashir al-Assad began two months ago. One human rights group estimates that several hundred people have been killed.


After months of violent strife in his country, Alassane Ouattara was inaugurated on Saturday as president of Ivory Coast. At the ceremony in the capital, Yamoussoukro, Mr. Ouattara said that it was a historic day that marked a will to write a new page of history for Ivory Coast. Mr. Ouattara was declared the winner of the federal election last November, but his predecessor, Laurent Gbagbo, refused to resign. Post-election violence between the two rivals' supporters killed as many as three thousand people. Mr. Ouattara praised his country's former colonial ruler, France, for helping to end the violence. France's president, Nicolas Sarkozy, was among the guests at the ceremony, one of about 20 heads of state in attendance. U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has called on the international community to support Mr. Outtara in his effort at achieving national reconciliation.


Reports say about 30 children were buried by a landslide that hit a Malaysian orphanage and six bodies have been recovered. The orphanage is located in central Selangor state. The Star newspaper reported Saturday that firefighters and villagers pulled out children who were critically injured and they were rushed to a hospital. Rescue work is continuing.


Chinese and South Korean leaders have toured the area near Japan's damaged Fukushima nuclear plant. In a show of support for the quake-and tsuanami hit country, Prime Minister Wen Jiaobao and President Lee Myung Bak were joined by their host Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan as they met victims of the March 11th twin disaster at an evacuation center on Japan's northeast coast. China's prime minister signalled during the visit that his government would be easing a ban on Japanese agricultural products. The quake and ensuuing tsunami left an estimated 24,000 people dead or missing and sparked a crisis at the Fukushima plant, where workers still are attempting to contain a radiation leak.


South Korea's Yonhap News agency reports that the reclusive North Korean leader Kim Jong Il is visiting an industrial city in northeastern China on the second day of a mysterious visit to Pyongyang's most important ally. On Friday Japan's public broadcaster NHK obtained footage appearing to show Mr. Kim leaving his hotel in the northeastern Chinese city of Mudanjiang. Mr. Kim hasn't made any public appearances since his apparent arrival in China on Friday. And it is not known who he is meeting or the makeup of his entourage. His rare foreign visits are normally shrouded in secrecy, and there have been no comments by either the North Korean or Chinese government.


Some 25,000 Spanish protesters have defied a government ban and camped out overnight in a square in the capital, Madrid. The protesters are angry with the government's economic policies and have occupied the area for the past week. Spain's electoral commission had ordered them to leave ahead of local elections on Sunday. As the ban came into effect at midnight, the crowds started cheering and police did not move in. The Madrid protests have spread to cities across Spain where people are also demanding jobs, better living standards, a fairer system of democracy and changes to the Socialist government's austerity plans.


Palestinians say they will go ahead with a plan to seek recognition as a United Nations member-state in September, given the deadlock in U.S.-brokered peacemaking with Israel. The statement comes after talks in Washington Friday during which Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahurejected President Barack Obama's call for a Middle East peacebased on a future Palestinian state within the borders in place before the 1967 Middle East War. Mr. Netanyahu saidthat Israel cannot return to those borders because they are indefensible. He noted as well that the borders wouldn't take account of the demographic changes in the past 44 years. Both leaders stressed the impossibility of negotiating with Hamas, a terrorist group dedicated to the destruction of Israel.


A tanker carrying fuel for NATO forces in Afghanistan exploded Saturday in northwestern Pakistan as people tried to siphon off some of its fuel. Fifteen people were illed in the bombing. Separately, 14 NATO tankers were damaged in a bombing in a nearby border town, but no one was hurt. A Pakistani Taliban group claimed responsibility for both incidents. Since the May 2 killing of al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden by American forces in northwest Pakistan, there have been fears of revenge attacks on the vehicles carrying non-lethal supplies to western troops in Afghanistan through Pakistan.


A suicide attack at Afghanistan's main military hospital in the center of Kabul has left six medical students dead and 23 others injured. The blast took place in a tent used as a dining room by students at the heavily-secured hospital, which is one of the biggest and best-equipped in the central Asian nation. The hospital is not used by NATO forces, although it is thought that foreign medics are often stationed there to train their Afghan counterparts. The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack.


President James Michel won 55 per cent of the vote in a presidential election, a large-enough margin of victory to avoid a run-off vote. But the opposition party leader, Wavel Ramkalawan, who had 41 per cent of the vote, says that the election was marred by bribery.


Pope Benedict spoke by telephone on Saturday with the crew of the International Space Station. During the conversation, the Pope spoke about Gabby Giffords, the U.S. congresswoman who was seriously injured by a deranged gunman earlier this year. Ms. Giffords' husband, Mark Kelley, is the commander of the Space Shuttle Endeavour that recently arrived at the station. The Pope asked the astronauts five questions about their activity in space. Earlier in the day, the Canadian-built robot arm was used to inspect the heat-resistent tiles on the underside of the space shuttle. There was concern that one of the tiles might have been damaged during takeoff.




The Toronto Blue Jays beat Houston on Saturday, 7-5.



The Iroquois Nationals beat Ireland on Saturday, 23-3, in the opening game of the world indoor lacrosse championships in Prague. Stu Hill scored five goals for the Iroquois, Dean Hill and Cody Jamieson had four each. The Iroquois Nationals field lacrosse team was barred from entering the United Kingdom last year because they tried to enter using their aboriginal Haudenosaunee passports. There were no problems with the Haudenosaunee passports for the event in Prague.


Canadian Dylan Armstrong won the shot put at a throwing events meet in Halle, Germany on Saturday to remain undefeated this year. Armstrong's throw was 21.54 metres. He set the Canadian record of 21.72 metres at the UCSD Triton Invitational in San Diego last month. Halle was his fourth victory this year.


In the National Hockey League playoff games: The Vancouver Canucks lost Friday's game 4 to 3, to the San Jose Sharks. Vancouver still leads in the Western Conference series two games to one. The next game is Sunday afternoon in San Jose.

In interleague baseball, Toronto Bluejays lost to Houston 5-2.



Here is Canada's weather on Sunday, May 22. British Columbia will have rain showers. The high temperature in Vancouver will be 13 degrees Celsius. The Yukon: showers. Whitehorse, 13. Northwest Territories: sunny. Yellowknife, nine. Nunavut: mainly cloudy. Iqaluit, minus two. Alberta: showers. Edmonton, 22. Saskatchewan: overcast. Regina, 19. Manitoba: sunny periods. Winnipeg, 18. Ontario: showers. Toronto: 20. Ottawa, 25. Quebec: mainly cloudy. Montreal, 22. New Brunswick: variable cloudiness. Fredericton, 15. Nova Scotia: mainly cloudy. Halifax, ten. Prince Edward Island: variable cloudienns. Charlottetown, nine. Newfoundland: sunny periods. St. John's, five.

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