Sunday, July 3, 2011

RCI Cyberjournal

ROYAL COUPLE ARRIVES IN MONTREAL


Britain's Prince William and his wife, Catherine, arrived in Montreal on Saturday afternoon after two symbolic events in Ottawa. They planted a Canadian hemlock tree at the residence of the Governor-General, Rideau Hall. The tree will serve as a lasting memory of the royal couple's first official tour abroad since their marriage early this year. The hemlock is the 17th royal tree to be planted on the Rideau Hall grounds. Among the guests at the ceremony were couples who were married on the same date as the royal couple some 30, 40, 50, even 70 years ago. The duke and duchess later travelled to the Canadian War Museum nearby for a reception with veterans, war brides and families. In Montreal, they were scheduled to visit a local children's hospital, attend a private cooking lesson at a culinary institute and join Premier Jean Charest for dinner. A small protest group awaited the royal couple at the hospital. The protest against the monarchy was organized by a nationalist group, Reseau de Resistance du Quebecois. The royal couple is on a nine-day visit to Canada that ends on July 8.

COMMANDER BIDS FAREWELL TO COMBAT TROOPS


Canadian combat troops in Afghanistan heard a final farewell on Saturday from their top commander, General Walt Natynczyk. Canada's combat mission in Afghanistan ends this month. General Natynczyk urged soldiers to take care of each other as they return to regular military life at home. He also presented several commendations to individual soldiers. Canada maintained about 2,800 soldiers in Afghanistan during a decade-long mission with Allied forces.

CANADIAN SOLDIERS TO AID MANITOBA FLOOD RELIEF


Some 200 soldiers are being dispatched to southwestern Manitoba to help with flood control measures. The troops will aid relief efforts along the Souris River, some 250 kilometres from Winnipeg. The Souris River is expected to crest in the next few days. Soldiers will place sandbags to reinforce dikes. Public Safety Minister Vic Towes says that circumstances warrant the military's help.

CANADIANS SAIL ABOARD PALESTINIAN AID SHIPS


Greek authorities have prevented a ship from carrying humanitarian aid to Palestinians in Gaza. The ship, Audacity of Hope, had tried to sail from the Greek port of Perama on Friday, but was stopped by the coast guard. The captain was arrested on charges of leaving port without permission and endangering the lives of passengers. Thirty-six passengers were aboard along with the crew and ten journalists. The ship is one of several that seek to run Israel's blockade of Gaza. Two other ships suffered damage while in port in Greece and Turkey. Aid activists accuse Israel of sabotaging the ships. Israel denies the charge. Among the aid activists are some Canadians. Israel says that its blockade of Gaza aims to prevent weapons from being shipped to Palestinian militants. Last year, a ship carrying aid was forcibly stopped by Israeli forces. Nine people were killed, mostly Turks. Canadian activists planned on Saturday to stage protest rallies outside the Greek embassy in the Canadian capital, Ottawa, and at Greek consulates in Toronto, Vancouver, and Montreal.

CANADIAN COMPANY TO BUILD IRAQ POWER PLANTS


The Canadian company, Capgent, will build ten power plants in Iraq. A contract worth CDN$1.66 billion was signed on Saturday. Iraq's demand for electricity is twice as big as its capacity to generate power. As a consequence, Iraq is forced to ration its electricity severely . In the past several months, angry public demonstrations have been held to urge the government to build more power plants. The government responded by promising to build 50 small power stations. Canada will build the ten plants within the next year. Each will have a capacity of 100 megawatts.

NEW DEATH TOLL IN PLANE CRASH


Police in Saskatchewan have confirmed that five people died in the crash of a float plane in the north of the province on Thursday. Initially, it was believed that no more than three had died. Divers will examine the site of the crash in waters of Buss Lake. The cause of the crash is under investigation.

CANADIAN ALLEGEDLY MURDERED IN MEXICO


A Canadian woman has allegedly been murdered in the Mexican city of San Miguel de Allende. Guanajuato Deputy Prosecutor Miguel Angel Rangel-Zendejas says that Judith Zena Baylis, 64, was stabbed 21 times in her home in Atotonilco. The victim's body was found on Wednesday. Robbery is one suspected motive. Canada's embassy in Mexico City has yet to comment on the report. San Miguel is a picturesque town that attracts artists and retired peopoe. Violence is rare.


SYRIA


Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has fired the governor of a key city in what appears to be an attempt to appease an uprising against his authoritarian rule. The state-run news agency announced today that the governor of Hama has been relieved of his duties.No reason was given, but Hama has seen one of the deadliest government crackdowns during three months of protests against the Assad family's 40-year dynasty. On Friday, over 400-thousand people filled the main square in Hama's capital city and chanted for Assad to step down. Reports say at least 28 people were killed by security forces. Activists say the regime has killed more than 1,400 people across the countrysince mid-March. The government disputes that number.

MOROCCO


Morocco's pro-democracy activists are vowing to continue protests after preliminary results showed that Friday's referendum on constitutional reforms has been approved by a landslide. The reforms were proposed by King Mohammed VI after protests broke out across Morocco in later February. But the youth-based February 20 Movement says the monarch's proposed changes do not go far enough. The turnout in Friday's poll was over 70 percent despite calls for a boycott. Opponents allege vote-rigging and say they will take to the streets in huge numbers on Sunday.

GREECE


Eurozone countries prepared on Saturday to issue the first installment of their emergency bailout for Greece. A sum of US$12.6 billion will be issued. The International Monetary Fund is expected to approve the second installment next week. Greece was facing default on a massive foreign debt. This week, as thousands of Greeks protested, Greece's government passed a severe austerity package as a way of securing the bailout. Eurozone countries feared that Greece's economy would collapse without aid, leading to widespread economic repercussions in Europe. Some economists worry that the loans will not be enough.

YEMEN


Gunmen killed four Republican Guards in clashes in Taez on Saturday. Witnesses related that the fighting involving protesters against President Ali Abdullah Saleh began in the morning and was still continuing in the evening. The clashes erupted when the Guards tried to enter a new area in the north of Taez. Six houses were destroyed. Taez has been a centre of protests calling for the departure of Saleh. Yemen's official Saba news reported that 79 people were referred to court for alleged involvement in the massacre of 52 people in Sanaa in March. Many of the victims were shot in the head. More than 120 people were wounded. Pro-Saleh thugs were blamed. The massacre drew widespread condemnation from Western powers and human rights groups.

EQUATORIAL GUINEA


The African Union is calling on its members to disregard the international arrest warrant for Libyan leader Moammar Gaddafi. The A-U calls the warrant by the International Criminal Court 'discriminatory.' The A-U chairman, Jean Ping, says that the ICC ignores crimes committed outside Africa in countries such as Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan. If A-U members agree to disregard the warrant, Colonel Gaddafi could seek asylum in Africa. Colonel Gaddafi has so far refused demands to resign. He continues to use violent force against rebels seeking to depose him. Canada's military is part of the NATO force on a mission in Libya to protect civilians from government attacks.

BAHRAIN


Bahrain's Sunni-led government and the majority Shia opposition are holding talks following months of anti-government protests that have left over 30 people dead. Hundreds of opposition supporters remain in prison. The opening of today's meeting was broadcast on state television. Parliamentary speaker Khalifa Dhahrani said the dialogue would have no preconditions and no ceiling on the demands that could be raised by delegates. He said the aim is to reach a concensus to relaunch the political reform process.

BURMA


Australian Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd met with Burma's pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi in Burma on Saturday. He said she still intended to go on a tour outside Rangoon, despite government warnings. On Monday,Ms. Suu Kyi plans to join her son, Kim, on a four-day pilgrimage to Bagan, an ancient city about 700 kilometres north of Yangoon. It would be her first trip outside her home city since she was released from nearly 20 years of detention last November. Mr. Rudd called on the Burmese government to guarantee the Nobel Laureate's security while she undertakes the tour. He said Australia is also demanding the release of an estimated 2,000 political prisoners in Burma.

MONACO


Prince Albert married Charlene Wittstock of South Africa on Saturday in ceremony attended by celebrities and royalty. The Roman Catholic service followed a small civil ceremony on Friday. The bride is a former Olympic swimmer.


SPORTS


TENNIS

Canada's Daniel Nestor and his Taiwanese partner, Chan Yung-jan, lost in the mixed doubles final at Wimbledon on Saturday, 6-4, 6-4, to Austrian Jurgen Melzer and Iveta Benesova of the Czech Republic.

SOCCER

Toronto won the Canadian Soccer Championship on Saturday, beating Vancouver, 2-1.

BASEBALL

The Philadelphia Phillies beat the Toronto Blue Jays on Saturday, 5-3.


CANADA WEATHER


Here is Canada's weather on Sunday, July 3. British Columbia will have variable cloudiness. The high temperature in Vancouver will be 20 degrees Celsius. The Yukon: variable cloudiness. Whitehorse, 16. Northwest Territories: sunny. Yellowknife, 22. Nunavut: mainly sunny. Iqaluit, six. Alberta: showers. Edmonton, 24. Saskatchewan: sunny. Regina, 33. Manitoba: sunny. Winnipeg, 28. Ontario: sunny. Toronto: 28. Ottawa, 31. Quebec: showers. Montreal, 26. New Brunswick: sunny. Fredericton, 27. Nova Scotia: sunny. Halifax, 22. Prince Edward Island: sunny. Charlottetown, 25. Newfoundland: mainly sunny. St. John's, 22.