Monday, July 4, 2011

RCI Cyberjournal

Edition 3 July 2011
Canadian International Sports Weather


Britain's Prince William took part on Sunday in a colourful ceremony honouring a Canadian military regiment in the province of Quebec. Speaking in French at the city hall in Quebec City, the Prince praised the Royal 22nd Regiment, commonly called the Vandoos. He said that it was a privilege to inspect the troops because he is a serving British soldier and pilot. The Prince's visit to Quebec City had particular significance. Quebec City was the site of the battle in 1759 in which British forces took control of Quebec from the French. During the royal couple's visit to Montreal on Saturday, a small group of Quebec sovereignists protested against Canada's ties with the British monarchy. A few hundred sovereignists also staged a protest in Quebec City, but there were no incidents. After the ceremony, the Prince and his wife, Catherine, abandoned protocol and to loud cheers shook hands with people in the attending crowd. The royal couple is on a nine-day visit to Canada---the couple's first official tour abroad since they were married earlier this year. They will next visit the province of Prince Edward Island.


Some disquieting security lapses are found in a police reivew of the Group of Eight summit in Canada last year. The review was made by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. The review says that the site of the summit in a wooded area of Huntsville in northern Ontario offered ideal conditions for snipers to assassinate the summit delegates. The review also criticizes Canada's decision to host the Group of 20 Summit in Toronto immediately after the G8 summit. Providing security for the second summit led to a complete re-examination of the first summit. The two summits involved the largest security operation on Canadian soil. More than twenty thousand security personnel took part at a cost of CDN$930 million. The G20 Summit in Toronto was disrupted by violent demonstrations and clashes with police. Hundreds of people were detained. The RCMP review was obtained by the Canadian Press under Canada's Acces to Information law.


As many as onemillion peopleturned out inTorontoon Sundayfor Canada's biggest gay pride parade. The city's mayor, Rob Ford, will be noticeably absent. Mr. Ford says that healways spends the Canada Day long weekend at thefamilycottage. He is the first Toronto mayor in 16 years to skip the event. Francisco Alvarez, the parade's co-chair, says Mr. Ford is missing an opportunity to show support for gays and lesbians.


Floodwaters making their way north on the Souris River from the U.S. State of North Dakota will reach the Canadian province of Manitoba first in the town of Melita. Dikes are in place. In the town of Souris, a historic bridge had to be sacrificed because the bridge's cables were underneath the dike. The bridge was built in 1904. Residents are waiting to see how high the river crests in the next few days. About 300 soldiers have been dispatched to Manitoba to help with flood control measures and relief efforts. Floodwaters making their way north from the U.S. State of North Dakota on the Souris River will reach the Canadian province of Manitoba first in the town of Melita. Dikes are in place. Residents are waiting to see how high the river crests in the next few days.Three hundred and seventy-five soldiers have been dispatched to Manitoba to help with flood control measures and relief efforts.


Mexican police are investigating the murder of a Canadian woman, 250 kilometres northwest of Mexico City. The victim is identified as 64-year-old Judith Baylis of Ottawa.She was repeatedly stabbedin her home in a suburb of San Miguel de Allende, a city popular with retirees and artists from other countries. San Miguel rarely sees thedrug-related violencein many other areas of Mexico.




For the first time, Thailand has a female prime minister. Yingluck Shinawatra and her For Thais party defeated Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva in national elections on Sunday. Unofficial polls show her party won 261seats in the 500-seat parliament. The new prime minister is the sister of former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra. She has no political experience, but has the support of her brother's followers in the countryside. The results are considered a rebuke of the traditional establishment in Bangkok who supported Mr. Vejjajiva. Voters hope that a majority government will bring stability after several years of unrest. Last year, anti-government protesters clashed violently with the army.


European finance ministers have approved the latest distribution of money to help the Greek economy. They will release about 17 billion dollars in the next two weeks to help Greece meet payments on its huge debts and avoid bankruptcy. Last week, the Greek parliament passed tough austerity measures demanded by the European Union and International Monetary Fund. Legislators backed the measures despite angry and violent protests in Athens. Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos welcomed the approval by E.U. ministers saying it strenghened Greece's international credibility.


The son of a former premier of Bangladesh is wanted for murder. Tarique Rahman is accused of masterminding a bomb attack at an opposition party rally in 2004 that killed 24 people. The attack targeted the main opposition leader, Sheikh Hasina, who was unharmed and is now prime minister. Mr. Rahman's father, Khaleda Zia, was prime minister at the time of the attack. Mr. Rahman denies the allegation. He's lived in Britain for the past three years.


Political uncertainty continues in Yemen. President Ali Abdullah Saleh remains in a hospital in Saudi Arabia where he's recovering from an assassination attempt last month. He's refusing to give up power until he returns home to oversee a transition. He is under pressure to resign from the United States and Saudi Arabia who fear that his continued absence could create a power vacuum. A Yemeni cabinet official says that Mr. Saleh plans to support a Gulf Arab transition plan that he has already refused to accept three times.


Some Syrian refugees who fled to Turkey are starting to return home. More than 300 crossed the border on Saturday. But more than ten thousand remain in five Turkish refugee camps near the border. Most fled Syria last month after President Bashir al-Assad sent troops to stifle anti-government protests.


About 200 people were injured on Sunday when police officers in northern Italy clashed with protesters rallying against a new rail link. Most of those injured were police officers. The clash began after a small group stormed a tunnel that was part of the work site at Chiomonte, west of Turin. A steady exchange of tear gas, stones and molotov cocktails continued throughout the day. Police arrested at least five people. Police blamed hundreds of masked leftist "black block" extremists from Italy and neighbouring countries. Protest organizers pointed the finger at a small group that broke away from a larger group of several thousand peaceful demonstrators. The new high-speed rail link would reducet the seven-hour train journey between Paris and Milan by three hours. Work on the main 58-kilometre tunnel is scheduled to begin in 2013 and due to go into service around 2023.


Libyan rebel leaders have welcomed an offer by the African Union to open talks with the government in Tripoli, without the direct involvement of Moammar Gadafhi. The Transitional National Council said it was the first time the A.U. had recognised the people's aspirations for democracy and human rights in Libya. At a weekend summit in Equatorial Guinea, the A.U. also told members not to execute an arrest warrant by the International Criminal Court for Colonel Gaddafi, his son and the head of Libya's intelligence agency. A Libyan government spokesman welcomed the African Union decision. Moussa Ibrahim described the I.C.C. as a European Guantanamo Bay tribunal.


The head of the Islamist extremist group Hezbollah has rejected indictments of four of its members over the 2005 assassination of Lebanon's former Prime Minister, Rafiq Hariri. It was Hassan Nasrallah's first reaction to the indictments issued by the Special Tribunal for Lebanon on Thursday. Hezbollah has repeatedly denounced the UN-backed tribunal and vowed to retaliate. Mr. Hariri and 22 others were killed February 14th,2005 in central Beirut when a huge bomb exploded near his motorcade.


A Hong Kong journalists' group has released its annual report on human rights, with a warning that freedom of expression in the city has deteriorated and the territory is moving further away from an open and transparent society. The report by the Hong Kong Journalists Association calls for the territory to enact a freedom of information law. It's chairwoman, Mak Yin-ting, said journalists face growing restrictions in their reporting, especially covering public protests, and some human rights observers have been removed from the scene. She says this has become evident by police action during recent public protests. A Hong Kong TV journalist was among more than 200 people arrested during anti-government demonstrations on Friday. The Association head called for a change in policy and is also demanding that Radio Television Hong Kong, currently a government department, be made independent. The government responded to the report, saying it would continue to be open and accountable. But it says there are no plans to create a law on freedom of information.


A cave-in at one coal mine and a flood at another are hampering rescue efforts in southern China where 42 people are trapped for a second day. They are venting explosive gas and pumping water from a mine in Guangxi region, where three miners died. Flooding has continued to hamper rescue work at the other mine in the neighbouring province of Guizhou. Officials say water levels continue to rise at Gizhou pit. Heavy rains are blamed on the latest accidents. China's mines are the world's deadliest.


The authoritarian government of Belarus blocked access to popular social networking sites on Sunday in an attempt to prevent opposition protests on a national holiday. The Internet-based opposition group "Revolution through the Social Network" had vowed to disrupt President Alexander Lukashenko's Independence Day speech with mass clapping and hold two actions in the evening to protest against his crackdown on critics. The respected rights group Vesna says dozens of activists were rounded up before the holiday's traditional military parade in Minsk, including Stanislav Shushkevich, Belarus' first post-Soviet leader. Many other activists were called in by the KGB and warned not to protest. In a speech to mark Independence Day, President Alexander Lukashenko warned his opponents of dire consequences if they attempt any uprising against his rule. Dozens of opposition activists have already been imprisoned, including Lukashenko's leading rival in the elections, the former diplomat Andrei Sannikov, who was jailed for five years. Speaking in neighbouring Lithuania last week, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Belarus must release political prisoners and embark on the path of democratic reform.


An oil pipeline in the U.S. state of Montana has ruptured, leaking hundreds of barrels of crude oil into the Yellowstone River. ExxonMobil says pipe had been shut down and the segment where the leak happened had been isolated. Residents who were forced to evacuate were later allowed to return home. The accident happened downstream from the famed Yellowstone national park, a major tourist attraction in the U.S. The spill comes at a bad time. The river is flooded and running fast, and it's the American Independence Day weekend, when Yellowstone Park is filled with tourists.


A group trying to bring humanitarian aid to Palestinians in Gaza is vowing to continue its efforts to sail from Greece. On Friday, the Greek government prevented several aid ships from leaving Greek ports. The ships hoped to run Israel's naval blockade of Gaza. Aid organizers staged small protests in Athens on Sunday in an effort to persuade the government to lift its ban on sailing. The aid group is being urged to abandon its project by the United States, the United Nations, the European Union and Russia. Among the aid activists are Canadians and Americans. Last year, Israeli commandos used force to stop an aid ship, killing nine activists. Israel imposed the blockade to prevent arms from reaching Palestinian militants by sea.




The Toronto Blue Jays beat Philadelphia, 7-4, on Sunday.



Here is Canada's weather on Monday, July 4. British Columbia will have variable cloudiness. The high temperature in Vancouver will be 21 degrees Celsius. The Yukon: variable cloudiness. Whitehorse, 19. Northwest Territories: mainly cloudy. Yellowknife, 15. Nunavut: variable cloudiness. Iqaluit, eight. Alberta: sunny. Edmonton, 21. Saskatchewan: sunny. Regina, 26. Manitoba: showers. Winnipeg, 29. Ontario: sunny. Toronto: 28. Ottawa, 29. Quebec: mainly sunny. Montreal, 29. New Brunswick: showers. Fredericton, 23. Nova Scotia: showers. Halifax, 20. Prince Edward Island: showers. Charlottetown, 22. Newfoundland: mainly sunny. St. John's, 23.

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