Monday, May 30, 2011

RCI Cyberjournal


Prime Minister Stephen Harper visited a Greek war-time memorial in the mountains about three hours' drive from Athens on Sunday. He was accompanied by Greek prime minister George Papandreou. The memorial recalls the moment in 1943 when almost 500 Greek men and boys from the town of Kalavryta were executed by the Nazis as a reprisal for attacks by Greek guerrilla fighters. Another 200 from the region were killed nearby. The local women and children escaped from a school where the Nazis tried to burn them alive. Among those killed was the grandfather of Mr. Harper's communications director, Dimitri Soudas, who accompanied Mr. Harper to the site. Mr. Harper was on the last day of a two-day official visit to Greece, where he discussed the country's economic debt crisis with Mr. Papandreou. Greece depends on billions of dollars in financing from international institutions.


Quebec's premier, Jean Charest, for the second time toured flooded areas around the Richelieu River on Saturday, then announced more help for flood victims. The floods are the worst in several decades. More than three thousand homes have been damaged and one thousand people forced from their homes. Mr. Charest said that three new task forces will help with reconstruction, finding accommodation for people whose homes were flooded, and preventing future flooding. Water levels continued to rise in the area on Sunday as a result of rain. More rain was forecast next week.


The governing Yukon Party has chosen a new leader to succeed Dennis Fentie as premier of Canada's northern territory of Yukon. Darrell Pasloski isapharmacist and businessman who's never held elected office. Hewill take over after a transition period. Mr. Fentie became premier nine years ago.He said in March that he would not seek another term as party leader and would not run in the territorial election this fall. Yukon is seeing an economic boom thanks to the territory's mining industry.





A NATO air strike has killed 14Afghan civilians in southwest Afghanistan's Helmand province. Local officials say the strike happened in the Nawzad district, one dayafter a U.S. Marines base in Afghanistan came under attack on Saturday. The strike targetted insurgents, but instead struck two homes, leavingtwo women and 12 children dead. NATO is investigating. President Hamid Karzai has stronglyl criticized NATOfor not doing enough to preventcivilian deaths


Thousands of Serbian nationalists staged rallies in Belgrade and in Bosnia on Sunday to show their support for Ratko Mladic, the former Serbian commander who was arrested last week in connection with war crimes. The Ultranationalist Serbian Radical Party and similar organizations sent their members by bus to the Serbian capital. Mladic will be extradited to The Hague to face charges of genocide in Sarajevo and in the massacre of 8,000 Muslims in Srebrenica during Bosnia's 1992-95 war. In Bosnia, about one thousand of Mladic supporters gathered in Kalinovik where Mladic spent his childhood.


A human rights group says that at least eight civilians were killed on Sunday when Syrian forces attacked towns and villages near the city of Homs. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says that troops and security forces backed by tanks were deployed as part of a military campaign to crush dissent against President Bashar al-Assad. Protests began almost three months ago.


The Dalai Lama has signed amendments to the constitution of the Tibetan government-in-exile giving up his position as political leader. Tibetan parliament member Karma Yeshi saidthe 75-year-old Dalai Lama willonly make suggestions to the Cabinet. The amendments also include changing the name of the Tibetan government-in-exile to the Tibetan Administration to include Tibetans in Tibet. The Dalai Lama announced earlier this year that he would relinquish his political role. In April, Lobsang Sangay, a legal scholar and political activist, was elected prime minister. The Dalai Lama has lived in Dharmsala in northern India since fleeing Tibet after a failed 1959 uprising against Beijing's rule.


About one thousand people marched in Hong Kong on Sunday to call for justice for victims of the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre in Beijing. The march involved politicians, students and labour unionists. It was held in advance of the annual candlelight vigil on Saturday to mark the anniversary of the massacre. Thousands of people are expected to take part. An unknown number of people were killed on the night of June 3, 1989, when the military violently crushed a student-led democracy protests on Tiananmen Square. Tiananmen vigil organizers expect a bigger-tha-average turnout this year reflecting anger over recent arrests of activists in Beijing. Among those arrested was the prominent artist, Ai Weiwei, and the Nobel peace laureate Liu Xiaobo.


Ethnic Mongols in China's Inner Mongolia region could stage a regionwide protest demonstration on Monday. The U-S-based group, Southern Mongolian Human Rights Information Centre is also urging people to organize protests outside Chinese embassies around the world. Large public protests have been held in Inner Mongolia since an ethnic Mongol herder was killed by a Chinese driver two weeks ago. China has maintained tight security in the region in an effort to control unrest, especially around government buildings. There are reports that some Mongolian Internet chat sites have been shut down. China has about six million ethnic Mongols who have cultural and linguistic links with the Republic of Mongolia. Many ethnic Mongols resent alleged Chinese repression and encroachment on pasture lands.


Japanadmits that itscrippled Fukushima nuclear plant is not fully preparedto withstandheavy rain and winds expected when Typhoon Songda makes landfallon Monday. Tokyo Electric Power says some reactor buildings remain uncovered, prompting fears that the storm might carry radioactive material into the air and sea. The Fukushima plant was heavily damaged by the earthquake and tsunami in March that left as many as twenty-five thousand people dead or missing.


Goodluck Jonathan has been sworn in as president amid tight security at a colourful ceremony in Abuja that was attended by many African heads of state and representatives from the U.S. and Britain. The president won nearly 60 per cent of the vote last month, defeating his leading rival from the mainly Muslim north. The poll was seen as the fairest in two decades, but the president is facing a nation divided after deadly post-election riots whichkilled as many as 1,000 people, both Christian and Muslim. Mr Jonathanserved as vice-president until the death in office last year of Umaru Yar'Adua.Mr. Jonathan was then appointed interim leader. In his inauguration speech he pledged to improve the living standards of all Nigerians.



The people of the island nation of Malta have voted to legalize divorce in a non-binding referendum held on Saturday. Malta is the only EU country not to allow divorce. Turnout for the poll was 72 per cent of the electorate. Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi and the Catholic Church had supported a "No" vote during the campaign. Mr. Gonzisays it is up the parliament to enact a law legalizing the dissolution of marriage .


The leader of the separatist Georgian region of Abkhazia, Sergei Bagapsh, has died in a Moscow hospital. Reports say his death resulted from complications following surgery for lung cancer last week. Mr. Bagapsh had led Abkhazia since 2005. The region declared independence from Georgia in 1992, but is only recognized by Russia and a handful of other countries. Russia sent forces into Abkhazia and another breakaway region, South Ossetia, in a brief war in August, 2008. Thousands of ethnic Georgians fled the regions during the conflict .Many remain internally displaced in Georgia. Vice-President Alexander Ankvab will lead Abkhazia until new elections are held, expected within three months.



Canadian Daniel Nestor and his Belorussian partner, Max Mirnyi, reached the quarter-finals of the French Open on Sunday, beating German Christopher Kas and Alexander Peya of Austria, 6-3, 6-4.


The Toronto Blue Jays beat the Chicago White Sox on Sunday, 13-4.


Kenya's Laban Moiben won the men's Ottawa Marathon on Sunday in two hours 10 minutes 17 seconds, just one second ahead of Dereje Abera Ali of Ethiopia. Moiben was second last year. Lucas McAneney was the top Canadian, finishing 11th.

Ethiopia's Kebebush Haile Lema won the women's marathon in 2:32.14, ahead of fellow Ethiopians Birkuktawit Eshetu Degefa and Radiya Adilo Roba. Emily Kroshus was the top Canadian woman, finishing sixth.


Here is Canada's weather on Monday, May 30. British Columbia will be mainly cloudy. The high temperature in Vancouver will be 17 degrees Celsius. The Yukon: sunny periods. Whitehorse, 22. Northwest Territories: sunny. Yellowknife, 16. Nunavut: cloudy. Iqaluit, one. Alberta: increasing cloudiness. Edmonton, 17. Saskatchewan: rain. Regina, eight. Manitoba: showers. Winnipeg, 18. Ontario: clearing skies. Toronto: 23. Ottawa, 26. Quebec: sunny periods. Montreal, 24. New Brunswick: mainly sunny. Fredericton, 24. Nova Scotia: cloudy periods. Halifax, 23. Prince Edward Island: clearing skies. Charlottetown, 21. Newfoundland: rain. St. John's, 12.