Wednesday, May 4, 2011

RCI Cyberjournal

CALGARY: PM 'HUMBLED' BY ELECTORAL TRIUMPH


Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper says he's humbled by the majority mandate his party has received from voters but is disappointed by the lack of progress in the province of Quebec. The Conservatives were reduced to only a handful of Quebec seats in the House. But he added that despite that disappointment, as a federalist he's encouraged by the "collapse" of the separatist Bloc Québécois. The Bloc won only four seats. At his news conference on Tuesday, he gave assurance that the Conservatives don't have an impending right-wing agenda, saying he wants to co-operate with the provinces in making the health-care system better.

OTTAWA: OBAMA CONGRATULATES PM


U.S. President Barack Obama called Mr. Harper on Monday night to congratulate him on his party's election victory. The president told Mr. Harper he hopes the two countries will continue to work on a continental co-operation deal . For his part, the prime minister congratulated Mr. Obama on the successful special forces action that led to the demise of Osama bin Laden.

TORONTO: GRIT LEADER QUITS AFTER ELECTORAL DRUBBING


Michael Ignatieff resigned as leader of Canada's Liberal Party on Tuesday, one day after it suffered the worst electoral defeat in its history. The Liberals won only 34 seats in the House of Commons, an all-time low. The Conservatives led by Prime Minister Stephen Harper won a majority and the New Democratic Party of Jack Layton finished second, thus becoming the Official Opposition in the House. Mr. Ignatieff even lost his own seat in Toronto. Mr. Ignatieff says he felt he ran a good campaign, but never recovered from an early barrage of Conservative attack ads that portrayed him as a disloyal opportunist. The Bloc Québécois was also defeated badly, winning only four seats. Its leader, Gilles Duceppe, resigned on Monday evening. The Liberal leader say he'll consult with party officials about the timing of his departure. Under party rules, a leadership convention must be held within six month's of a leader's departure.

TORONTO: LAYTON DEFENDS NEW MPs


New Democratic Party chief Jack Layton has defended his choice of candidates for the House of Commons, of whom 102 were elected on Monday. Some commentators have suggested that the younger NDP MPs lack the experience to be effective. Nineteen-year-old Pierre-Luc Dusseault is a student at the University of Sherbrooke who is the youngest person ever to be elected to the House. Mr. Layton says his new MPs will bring new ideas and a fresh perspective to Parliament, recalling as well that some of the country's most famous parliamentarians were young when first elected. Mr. Layton also says that as a native Quebecer he's proud of the favour voters there have shown the NDP. Fifty-eight of the 102 NDP lawmakers hail from the province.

OTTAWA: CHILDREN WAIT FOR SURGERY


It appears Canada's health care system could do a lot more to cut the waiting time for children who need surgery. A study found that more than a quarter of the children awaiting operations at the country's pediatric hospitals receive their procedures beyond the target date. There are concerns that extended wait times can have a negative impact on the outcomes for some patients. The study was conducted by researchers at the Hospital for Sick Children in the city of Toronto.


PAKISTAN


There were no protests and no extra security in Pakistan Tuesday, a day after American special forces killed Osama bin Laden, the leader of the al-Qaeda terror network. Bin Laden was shot dead Monday by U.S. commandos who dropped by helicopter into the compound near Islamabad, where he had lived since 2005. Pakistan's President Asif Ali Zardari says Pakistan's security forces were left out of the raid on the hideout in the town of Abbottabad. But there was anger building up over the violation of Pakistan's sovereignty by U.S. forces who carried out the raid. The U.S. has in the past accused Pakistan of lacking the resolve to eliminate militants and of maintaining ties to fighters targeting American troops in neighbouring Afghanistan. Meanwhile, CIA Director Leon Panetta reveals that American officials ruled out informing Islamabad about a planned raid against bin Laden's compound as they feared their Pakistani counterparts might alert him.

ISRAEL


Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has called on Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to cancel the unity deal between his Fatah movement and Hamas. He told international Mideast envoy Tony Blair the deal would deliver "a hard blow" to the peace process and make resumption of the talks almost impossible. The two factions have led rival governments in the West Bank and Gaza. With the talks frozen, Mr. Abbas has been focusing on internal Palestinian questions.

LIBYA


The UN says that thousands of refugees in western Libya are fleeing fighting between forces loyal to Libyan leader Moammar Ghadaffi and rebels. The world body says the refugees are fleeing on foot into Tunisia and trying to reach Europe by boat. The United National High Commission for refugees says more than 8,000 refugees, most of them Berber women and children, arrived last weekend in the southern Tunisian city of Dehiba. Meanwhile, rebels in the western city of Misrata report new shelling in the city's eastern suburbs near the port which is its lifeline to the eastern rebels in Benghazi.

BAHRAIN


Officials have arrested two former parliament members of the main Shi'ite opposition party as part of a crackdown on dissent. Abdul-Jalil Khalil of the Shi'ite party Al Wefaq says two of its former lawmakers, Mater Mater and Jawad Fairoz, were taken into custody on Monday night. Mr. Khalil says he does not know the details of their arrest. Al Wefaq has been the leading political backer of Bahrain's uprising, inspired by revolts in Tunisia and Egypt earlier this year. Bahrain's Sunni rulers declared martial law on March 15 to end weeks of demonstrations by the country's Shi'ite majority, which has demanded greater freedoms, equal rights and a constitutional monarchy with an elected government. At least 30 people have died since the protests began in February.

RUSSIA


There were no protests and no extra security in Pakistan Tuesday, a day after American special forces killed Osama bin Laden, the leader of the al-Qaeda terror network. Bin Laden was shot dead Monday by U.S. commandos who dropped by helicopter into the compound near Islamabad, where he had lived since 2005. Pakistan's President Asif Ali Zardari says Pakistan's security forces were left out of the raid on the hideout in the town of Abbottabad. But there was anger building up over the violation of Pakistan's sovereignty by U.S. forces who carried out the raid. The U.S. has in the past accused Pakistan of lacking the resolve to eliminate militants and of maintaining ties to fighters targeting American troops in neighbouring Afghanistan. Meanwhile, CIA Director Leon Panetta reveals that American officials ruled out informing Islamabad about a planned raid against bin Laden's compound as they feared their Pakistani counterparts might alert him.

MEXICO


An explosion in a coal mine in northern Mexico has trapped 14 miners. Officials in the state of Coahuila say the blast in the town of Sabinas was caused by leaking gas. There are no confirmed deaths. A miner who had not yet entered the pit was injured. Rescue crews are still trying to make contact with the miners. A methane gas explosion at a coal mine in Sabinas in 2006 left 65 miners dead.


TORONTO: FORD CLAIMS TOP SPOT IN APRIL


Ford Canada reports having sold about 25,500 vehicles in April, its best April since 2000. The company claims as well that it outsold its competitors during the month. Ford Canada President and CEO David Mondragon says the company's strategy to improve fuel economy in anticipation of higher gas prices has paid off as consumers are placing a high priority on fuel efficiency when buying a new vehicle. The price of crude oil has jumped 34 per cent since mid-February and is now selling at about US$113 a barrel. The surge has been fuelled by the disruption of oil supplies from Libya and the possibility of further disruptions if there are further violent outbreaks in the Middle East.


SPORTS


HOCKEY

Alex Pietrangelo kept Canada from suffering

another loss to Switzerland at the International Ice Hockey Federation World Hockey Championship,

scoring 4:14 into overtime during an entertaining 4-3 victory

Tuesday.

The big defenceman had his first attempt blocked before beating

Leonardo Genoni high to seal the victory.

Jordan Eberle and John Tavares also scored for Canada.

The Swiss have been a bit of a nemesis for Canadian teams in

recent years.

EXTREME FIGHTING

Canadian Mixed Martial Arts fighter Georges St-Pierre got some good news Monday. The welterweight champion suffered an eye injury during his victory over Jake Shields. It was initially feared a strike by Shields had detached St-Pierre's retina but examinations later showed only blood in the eye.

LACROSSE

Chris Corbeil, one of the best young defencemen in pro lacrosse,

has been added to Canada's roster for the world indoor championship.

A late opening arose when Ryan Cousins withdrew because of a hand

injury. Corbeil eagerly accepted an invitation from Canada's general

manager Johnny Mouradian to join the team for the tournament that

runs May 21-28 in Prague.


WEATHER


British Columbia on Wednesday: rain, high C14 Vancouver. Yukon:rain. Northwest Territories: mix sun cloud. Nunavut: mix sun cloud snow. Whitehorse, Yellowknife 7, Iqaluit -10. Alberta: sun. Saskatchewan: rain north, sun south. Manitoba: rain. Edmonton 14, Regina 15, Winnipeg 12. Ontario: sun. Quebec: rain. Toronto 11, Ottawa 6, Montreal 10. Maritimes: rain. Newfoundland and Labrador: mix sun cloud. Fredericton, Charlottetown 14, Halifax, St. John's 10.