Sunday, May 29, 2011

RCI Cyberjournal

Edition 28 May 2011
Canadian International Sports Weather


Prime Minister Stephen Harper met in Athens on Saturday with Greek prime minister George Papandreou, whose country is relying on international aid to cope with a profound economic crisis. For the past year, Greece has maintained its economy with the help of multi-billion-dollar bailout loans from other European Union countries and the International Monetary Fund. In return, Mr. Papandreou's government has introduced austerity measures to reduce the national deficit, a move that sparked fierce public protests. There is worry that the austerity measures are insufficient. On Friday, Mr. Papandreou failed to win all-party support on new measures, a failure that jeopardizes further bailout funding. After his meeting with Mr. Papandreou, Mr. Harper expressed confidence that the Greek government will be able to cope with its debt crisis despite the lack of opposition party support. Mr. Harper was accompanied by Treasury Board President Tony Clement, who is of Greek heritage. Mr. Clement will be charged with cutting Canadian government services by $4 billion next year as Canada pays down its own deficit. In Athens, Mr. Clement signed an agreement with Greece that will facilitate work and tourist trips to Canada by young Greeks.


Rainfell for a thirdconsecutive day on Saturdayin the Richelieu Valley south of Montreal, where residents have been coping with record-high flooding for the last five weeks. The latest rainfallcould raise water levelsalong the Richelieu River and Lake Champlain by as much as 20 centimetres by Monday. More Canadian Forces personnel were sent to help out in the region this week.Premier Jean Charestis considering increasing the maximum amount of financial aid available to victims of the flooding, which iscapped at 150 thousand dollars for each household.



A mandatory evacuation due to flooding has been lifted for residents in the southern Alberta town of High River. Officials said the Highwood River has crested and there is still a considerable amount of water in the area. So they are warning returning families to use extreme caution. The town ordered the evacuation of 80 homes early Friday, after more than 65 millimetres of rain caused the river to overflow its banks. In northern Alberta, some residents of Slave Lake were allowed back into the community on Friday, almost two weeks after a fire storm forced all 7,000 residents to flee. So far, only those whose homes were not destroyed have been told they can return.


The first Quebec pop singer to achieve an international reputation, Aly Roby, died in Montreal on Saturday. She was 88. Miss Roby was born Alice Robitaille in Quebec City. After gaining fame as a singer in Montreal in the 1940s, she recorded big hit records that became standards like Besame Mucho and Tico Tico. Her fame increased with appearances in New York and London. After a car accident in the United States, she became depressed. Her depression deepened as a result of a failed love affair. Eventually she spent several years in a mental institution in Quebec City. At one point, she was forced against her will to undergo a lobotomy. Miss Roby returned to the public eye in the 1990s.Books, plays and a movie about her life were produced successfully.


The Canadian military is investigating what it calls the "non-combat-related" death of one of its soldiers in southern Afghanistan. The body of Bombardier Karl Manning was foundon Fridayat an outpost 45 kilometres southwest ofKandahar airfield. The military has ruled out enemy action and foul play. BomardierManning wasa 31-year-old radar operator from Chicoutimi, Quebec. His death raisesthe number of Canadian military personnel who have diedduring the Afghan mission to 156. The military mission began in 2002 and is scheduled to end this year.


There's still no sign of an agreement in contract talks between Canada Post and the union representing 50-thousand of its workers. But so far, the union has not issued a 72-hour strike notice, which it must give before walking off the job The union says there has been very little progress in last ditch talks to avoid a strike. The union's executive plans to meet over the weekend with the bargaining committee to plan the next move. Canada Post rejected the union's last proposal claiming it would cost the corporation 1.4 billion dollars over four years. The union's last contract ran out nearly four years ago.



After nearly a week of daily clashes with anti-government protesters, security police in Yemen on Saturday agreed to a ceasefire. A committee of tribal leaders who brokered the deal said that the two sides agreed to withdraw their forces. The clashes killed more than one hundred people and caused thousands of people in the capital, San'aa, to flee. Meanwhile on Saturday, three French aid workers were kidnapped in southern Yemen, the latest foreigners to be abducted by tribesmen. Most hostages are freed unharmed for ransom.


Egypt has relaxed restrictions at its Rafa border crossing with the Gaza Strip. The move allows most Palestinians to cross freely for the first time in four years. Egypt and Israel closed borders with Gaza when Hamas seized power in 2007. The closure, along with an Israeli blockade of its borders with Gaza, had fueled an economic crisis in the densely populated Palestinian territory. Under the new rules, men aged between the ages of 18 and 40 will still require a permit to cross the frontier, while women, children and men over 40 will pass freely. Trade is prohibited. Israel strongly opposed the move out ofsecurity concerns. Since the ouster of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak in February,Egypt's new military leadership has vowed to ease the blockade and improve relations with Hamas.


The Taliban is claiming responsiblity for a suicide bombing at the compound of the governor of Afghanistan's northern Takhar province which left at least seven people dead. NATO's most senior military commander in the region, German General Markus Kneip, was wounded. Two German soldiers and two Afghan police officers, including the region's most senior officer, General Mohammad Daud Daud, were among those killed. General Daud was a former military commander of the Northern Alliance, the Afghan forces who fought against the Taliban. Afghanistan militants have stepped up attacks on police and military targets in recent months, but the north of the country has largely been spared the violence.


Serbia's president , Boris Tadic, says the investigation into former Bosnian Serb army chief Ratko Mladic will be extended to anyonewho helped him to avoid arrest for 16 years.Mladic is being transferred to the War Crimes Tribunal at The Hague, despite an extradition appeal by his lawyers. He wasarrested on Thursday and faces genocide charges in connection with theBosnian conflict which began in l992. In 1995, Mladic was indicted by the International War Crimes Tribunalin the killing of about 7,000 Bosnian Muslim men and boys in Srebrenica, the worst single atrocity in Europe since the Second World War.


NATO air strikes on Tripoli early on Saturday targeted the district where Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi has his residence. Three bombs were dropped in the area, which is alsothe site of an army barracks. There were no details on casualties. Earlier Libyan officials said civilian sites south of the capital had been targeted in the NATO raids. Canada and other members of the Group of Eightsaid this weekthatGaddafi, must relinquish power. The G8 leaders ended a summit in Deauville, France on Friday. Prime Minister Stephen Harper said afterward that he will ask Parliament next month to extend Canada's participation in theNATO mission against Libya, which ends in June. NATO is upholding a U.N. no-fly zone aimed at protecting civilians in the north African state.


South Korea will not abandon its demand for an apology from the North over the sinking of a warship and shelling of an island last year as a precondition to resume dialogue with its northern neighbor. The statement comes from Unification Minister Hyun In-Taek, who oversees policy towards the North. Mr. Hyun has just returned from a visit to Beijing. He is urging the North to follow China's example and institute reforms. South Korea blames Pyongyang for the alleged torpedoing of a South Korean warship in March last year and the shelling of a frontline island. The North denies responsibility for the sinking and has defended the shelling as a self-defence measure against South Korea's artillery drills conducted near their disputed sea border in the Yellow Sea. The two incidents claimed a total of 50 lives.


An American detained in North Korea for six months on unspecified charges has been released. Eddie Jun Yong-su left Pyongyang with U.S. envoy Robert King on Saturday. The North had said he would be freed on humanitarian grounds following repeated requests by visiting U.S. officials. Mr. Jun appeared to be in good health. It's believed that he was involved in missionary work while visiting North Korea on business. The U.S. national, who also holds Korean citizenship, was detained in November. He was said to have confessed to a serious crime. The U.S. welcomed his release as a positive step. The North is experiencing a food shortage and U.S. envoy King discussed the possibility of resuming food aid shipments during his visit this week. No details were released.


President Barack Obama says Poland's successful transition to democracy has made it a leader in Europe and around the world. MR. Obama spoke Saturday following a meeting with Poland's president Bronislaw Komorowski and Prime Minister Donald Tusk. The U.S. president is asking Poland and other Central and Eastern European countries to use their experience transitioning to democracy to assist nations in the Middle East and North Africa. The U.S. leader also tried to assure Poland that his efforts to boost U.S. relations with Russia are not a threat to Central and Eastern Europe. Poland is Mr.Obama's last stop on his six-day European trip which included the G8 summit in France.


For a second day, parts of two county seats in China's Inner Mongolia were closed to outsiders. Police took the action to prevent more protests that were triggered by the death of a Mongolian herder who was run over by a Chinese truck driver. No protests were reported on Saturday, but police continued to cordon off streets leading to government buildings in two counties, Zhenglan and Xiwu. Unconfirmed reports say that high school students in Zhenglan were also being kept in school over the weekend, apparently to prevent them from protesting. Universities and schools in at least two other major cities in the region were under tight security. The protests are believed to be the region's largest in 20 years. Ethnic Mongolians are a small minority, less than 20 per cent of the 24 million people in Inner Mongolia. Many were been educated in Chinese.


Russiawill lift its ban on grain exports on July 1.Russia banned exports of wheat, barley, rye, corn, and flour last August after a drought and heat wave slashed Russia's grain production by more than a third. Since then, world wheat prices have soared.




Canada's Daniel Nestor and his partner, Max Mirnyi of Belarus, defeated Italians Fabio Fognini and Filippo Volandri, 6-3, 6-3, on Saturday to reach the third round of men's doubles play at the French Open in Paris. Nestor won the men's doubles tournament last year with former partner Nenad Zimonjic.


Canada's Adam Van Koeverden won a silver medal in the K-1 one thousand metre event at a World Cup competition in Duisburg, Germany, on Saturday. Canadian Mark Oldershaw was second in the C-1 1,000. Canadians Thomas Hall and Ben Russell were fourth in the C-2 1,000 missing the podium by less than a second.



The Boston Bruins defeated the Tampa Bay Lightning, 1-0, in the seventh and deciding game of the Eastern Conference Stanely Cup final on Friday. The Vancouver Canucks will compete against Boston for the Stanley Cup championship.


The Toronto Blue Jays edged the Chicago White Sox, 9-8, on Saturday, in 14 innings. Toronto defeated Chicago on Friday, 4-2.



Here is Canada's weather on Sunday, May 29. British Columbia will have variable cloudiness. The high temperature in Vancouver will be 17 degrees Celsius. The Yukon: variable cloudiness. Whitehorse, 23. Northwest Territories: sunny. Yellowknife, 16. Nunavut: mainly sunny. Iqaluit, one. Alberta: mainly sunny. Edmonton, 17. Saskatchewan: increasing cloudiness. Regina, 16. Manitoba: variable cloudiness. Winnipeg, 17. Ontario: a few showers. Toronto: 21. Ottawa, 25. Quebec: mainly cloudy. Montreal, 22. New Brunswick: increasing cloudiness. Fredericton, 24. Nova Scotia: drizzle. Halifax, 17. Prince Edward Island: variable cloudiness. Charlottetown, 21. Newfoundland: drizzle. St. John's, 18.

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