Monday, July 11, 2011

RCI Cyberjournal

Edition 10 July 2011
Canadian International Sports Weather
Canadian

NEW CANADIAN MISSION IN AFGHANISTAN NOT WITHOUT RISKS

As Canada's combat soldiers leave Afghanistan after a nine-year mission, their deputy commander warns that Canada's new mission in Kabul will not be without risks. About one thousand Canadian soldiers will be training Afghan forces. Colonel Peter Dawe says that the biggest hazard will come from the possibility of Afghan trainees going rogue, or an insurgent slipping into the training area. In the past two years, there have been a dozen instances of Afghan police turning guns on their soldier-mentors. But Canadian Lieutenant-General Stuart Beare, who is NATO's deputy commander of police training, says that NATO has improved screening of Afghan police and army recruits. During Canada's combat mission, 157 Canadian soldiers lost their lives.



ALBERTA WATERS DROPPING BUT ALERT REMAINS IN EFFECT

About 60 homes have flooded in Slave Lake, Alberta where levels on the nearby Sawridge Creek are dropping. However, a high streamflow advisory remains in effect following heavy rains on Thursday and Friday. Residents and town crews worked side-by-side this weekend to shore up a dike on the creek. Part of the town was badly damaged by a forest fire in May.

 



SOME ACTIVISTS RETURNING HOME AFTER FAILED GAZA TRIP

Some Canadian activists are returning home after being prevented from delivering aid to Palestinians on the Israeli-blockaded Gaza strip. For several days, Greece blocked the Canadians' boat from leaving a Greek port. Greece's government fears that aid ships to Gaza will encounter violence at the hands of Israeli patrol ships. Israel says its sea blockade is aimed at preventing weapons from reaching Hamas, which controls Gaza. Last year, nine people were killed when a Turkish ship was boarded in an unsuccessful attempt to run the blockade. Several other ships have also abandoned the latest attempt to reach Gaza, but some vessels might still try. Ottawa classifies Hamas as a terrorist organization.



FEWER HOSPITALS REPORT C. DIFFICILE OUTBREAK

Three hospitals in Ontario have announced an end to their outbreak of bacteria, C. difficile. Two of the hospitals, in Hamilton and in Toronto, resolved the problem on Friday, while the third in Napanee, ended the outbreak on Sunday. But the outbreak continues at seven Ontario hospitals. In the past two months, 20 people have died of the disease. C. difficile is typically spread in hospitals through contact with fecal matter. The disease causes severe diarrhea. It especially attacks elderly and ill people.



ONTARIO PARK ORDERED TO RETURN KILLER-WHALE

An amusement park in Canada's Ontario has been ordered to return a young killer-whale to SeaWorld in Orlando, Florida. An Ontario Superior Court judge issued the order against Marineland in Niagara Falls, after SeaWorld pleaded for the young orca's return, saying it was concerned about the eight-year-old whale's well-being. Marineland says it will appeal the order.



TOP CHARITY WORKERS' SALARIES REVEALED

A new study reveals that many workers at Canadian charities are earning salaries far above the Canadian average. In an analysis of tax filings, the Canadian Press news agency found that some six thousand charity workers earned more than CDN$120,000 last year. A few hundred earned over CDN$350,000. Some twelve thousand charity employees made between CDN$80,000 and $120,000. About 163,000 workers received less than $120,000. Under Canadian tax laws, charities must reveal the salaries of their ten highest-paid workers. Charities say that they need to pay high salaries to retain the best workers.





International

RUSSIA

A search continued on Sunday for 101 people who were missing after a passenger ship sank on the Volga River in Russia. At least two bodies were recovered. A riverboat rescued some 75 passengers. The aging double-decker vessel sank about three kilometres from the nearest bank. The sinking occurred about 750 kilometres east of Moscow. The vessel was heading to the city of Kazan. Government officials say that there were 135 passengers and 47 crew onboard. One of the passengers said that two ships passed the sinking vessels but failed to stop despite passengers' cries for help.



BRITAIN

Media tycoon Rupert Murdoch arrived in London on Sunday to take charge of the scandal facing his tabloid newspaper, News of the World. Three people connected to the newspaper have been arrested on charges that they were responsible for hacking into the telephones of celebrities and families of dead soldiers and murder victims. One of those charged was Andy Coulson, a former editor. Another suspect, Clive Goodman, was former royal editor. In 2007, he was jailed for hacking the voicemails of Princes William and Harry. The third person was not named. All three suspects were released on bail until October. Mr. Murdoch has ordered the newspaper to end publication on Sunday, concluding 168 years of publication. The fate of 200 employees is unclear. Britons rushed to buy the final copy of the News of the World on Sunday, putting aside for a moment their disgust at the phone-hacking scandal to snap up a little piece of journalistic history.



TURKMENISTAN

After a week of silence, Turkmenistan's government confirmed on Sunday that explosions killed 15 people at a military depot outside the capital last week. The government announcement offered few details about the damage in the town of Abadan, but said that a new town would be built on the site of the old one. Abadan is about 20 kilometres from Ashgabat. Several blasts were heard. Government opposition sources said that as many as 200 people might have been killed. The government says that the blasts were caused by fireworks that sparked explosions at an arms depot containing aged explosives. As a reprimand, the defence minister was demoted to a colonel from a major-general.



NIGERIA

A bomb blast has killed three people and seriously injured seven others at a church near Nigeria's capital, Abuja. The casualties were reported by the local Red Cross. The church is in Suleja, where a deadly bomb attack occurred earlier this year on the eve of parliamentary elections. Last month, a bomb exploded outside the national police headquarters in Abuja, killing several people. Security in Abuja was tightened. Police suspect an Islamist sect, Boko Haram, for the bombings.



TAIWAN

Taiwan, one of the world's major shark catchers, announced plans on Sunday to tighten measures against hunting the ocean predator for its fin. Taiwan fishermen are already barred from tossing sharks back into the water to die after slicing off the fin -- a delicacy in Chinese cuisine -- and are required instead to ship back the carcass. But the measures have failed to stifle criticism from conservationists who say loopholes in the law allow finning to continue. Under new laws to take effect early next year, it will be an offence to remove a shark's fin onboard a fishing vessel. The new measure has been welcomed by the Environmental and Animal Society of Taiwan (EAST), which estimates that up to four million sharks are slaughtered in Taiwan each year. Environmental groups estimate that up to 73 million sharks are killed each year around the world for fins, leading to declines of up to 90 percent of some species of sharks -- which have plied the oceans since the age of the dinosaurs. Despite campaigns from activists, demand for shark fins is seen as growing as China becomes increasingly prosperous.



JAPAN

No major damage, injuries, or a tsunami were reported Sunday after northeastern Japan was hit by a strong magnitude-7.3 earthquake. The tremor caused lots of concern in the region, which was devastated four months ago by a magnitude-nine quake and a seven-metre tsunami. The twin disasters killed almost 23,000 people.



INDIA

A train accident in northern India has killed at least 26 people and injured more than 150 others. Nearly a dozen coaches of a passenger train derailed in the state of Uttar Pradesh after the train driver applied emergency brakes. The accident is again raising concern about the state of India's railways, which carry 30 million passengers each day. Earlier this month, at least 31 people were killed when a train rammed into a bus driving over a crossing that had no gate or attendant.



NORTH KOREA

A senior Chinese official has arrived in North Korea to mark the 50th anniversary of a treaty of friendship between the two allies. Chinese Vice Premier Zhang Dejiang greeted by North Korean Vice Foreign Minister Kim Hyong Jun after arriving Sunday. North Korean state media said Chinese President Hu Jintao had sent a letter to North Korean leader Kim Jong Il that says strengthening ties is Beijing's "unshakable strategic policy." Mr. Kim travelled to China in May, and Beijing and Pyongyang have recently begun a new joint economic project. The countries fought together in the 1950-53 Korean War and China remains North Korea's most important ally.



VIETNAM

Security forces in Vietnam on Sunday quashed an anti-China rally in Hanoi by taking protesters and journalists into custody. More than a dozen demonstrators near the Chinese Embassy were herded onto buses when they tried to assemble for the sixth straight Sunday. The protests are over a disagreement with China involving disputed South China Sea territory. Associated Press Television News assistant Hau Dinh was filming the protest when he was forced onto a bus with armed police along with other Vietnamese journalists working for Japanese outlets. He was released after three hours. Public protests are rare in communist Vietnam, but authorities had previously tolerated the anti-China rallies. China and Vietnam have been at odds over the potentially oil-rich Paracel and Spratly island groups, which straddle vital commercial shipping lanes. Analysts say that while Vietnamese authorities allowed the earlier public protests as a means of expressing displeasure with Beijing, they are now reining in the demonstrators after holding talks with China on the dispute. The arrests come about two weeks before Vietnam's communist-controlled National Assembly convenes after nationwide one-party elections in May. The Assembly is expected to confirm another five-year term for Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung, who is believed to be supported by the powerful security apparatus.



CHINA

The United States's top military advisor is in Beijing for talks with Chinese leaders. Admiral Mike Mullen, chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, urged Beijing to use its relationship with Pyongyang to ensure regional stability, while warning North Korea against further dangerous provocations. Adm. Mullen also said Washington was in no way seeking to contain China's dramatic rise, but that the US would remain active in the Asia Pacific region for a long time. He added added that Washington was worried disputes in the resource-rich South China Sea could lead to serious conflict. China has been embroiled in a row with the Philippines and Vietnam in recent months over what each government sees asintrusions and illegitimate claims in the stretch of ocean spanning key shipping lanes.Tensions in Northeast Asia have risen sharply since South Korea accused the North of torpedoing a warship in March 2010, killing 46 sailors. Pyongyang angrily denied the charge but went on to shell a border island in November, killing four South Koreans including two civilians. Six-party nuclear disarmament talks, grouping the two Koreas, China, Japan, Russia and the United States, have been stalled since the North abandoned them in April 2009. It staged its second nuclear test a month later.



LEBANON

The Special Tribunal for Lebanon investigating the 2005 murder of ex-premier Rafiq Hariri said on Sunday that Interpol had circulated arrest warrants for the four suspects in the bombing. A spokesman said that the international police organisation had issued a so-called "red notice" to member states late on Friday but gave no information on the presumed whereabouts or the identity of the four suspects. He said the warrants were for four senior Hezbollah officers who are accused of carrying out a "terrorist act" and of "killing Rafiq Hariri and 21 others using explosives." The Special Tribunal submitted a confidential indictment and arrest warrants for the four accused on June 30. The names of the four were not released but were leaked to the Beirut media and later confirmed by the Lebanese government. Mustafa Badreddin, Salim Ayyash, Assad Sabra and Hussein Anaissi are all members of Shiite militant group Hezbollah, which fought a devastating 2006 war with Israel and now leads the majority bloc in the Lebanese parliament. In a July 2 speech, Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah ruled out the arrest of four.



LIBYA

Forces loyal to Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi launched a counterattack on Sunday against rebel advance positions 50 kilometres southwest of Tripoli. Loyalist forces fired half a dozen Grad rockets into the hamlet of Gualish. The rebels replied with anti-tank fire as they sought to maintain their grip on Gualish, a key gateway on the road to the capital, Tripoli, which they seized on Wednesday. Elsewhere, NATO said Saturday that its warplanes have struck a missile launching position used to attack civilians. The missile site near the rebel-held port city of Misrata was used to fire on civilians in the area. Misrata's rebels have faced stiff resistance from government forces in the rebels' attempt to move on Tripoli. Meanwhile, the International Organization for Migration is airlifting about 2,000 stranded migrants out of the southern Libyan town of Sebha. Most of the migrants are from neighbouring Chad. The first of about a dozen flights left Thursday. The last flight will be in a week or two.

 



YEMEN

The elite Republican Guard has shelled a neighbourhood of the opposition stronghold of Taez. Residents said two civilians were killed and 10 others were wounded. The overnight bombardment damaged a school and two houses in the Al-Rawda neighbourhood in the north of Yemen's second-largest city. The residents said the apparent target was the home of dissident tribal chief Hammud Sayed al-Mekhlafi, which emerged unscathed from the shelling. Mr. Hammud said he was shocked by the bombardment and blamed a unit of the Republican Guard stationed at the Republic Hospital near Al-Rawda. In Arhab, north of the capital, Sanaa, the army shelled positions held by pro-opposition tribesmen overnight. There was no immediate word on any casualties. In the south, tribesmen clashed with suspected Al-Qaeda militants in the town of Mudia, leaving four people wounded.



SYRIA

Syria opened a "national dialogue" on Sunday that it hailed as a step towards multi-party democracy after five decades of Baath party rule. However, the meeting is being boycotted by leading opposition figures. They say they will not attend as long as authorities continue their crackdown on protests against President al-Assad's rule that erupted in mid-March. The regime is attrempting to quel the protests with a mix of violence and promises to reform. Meanwhile, Syria's Foreign Ministry says it has summoned the American and French ambassadors to protest over their visits to the restive city of Hama during large, anti-government protests. The ambassadors were in Hama on Friday as thousands of demonstrators chanted against the regime. The ministry claimed Sunday that the visits were interference in the country's internal affairs and accused the ambassadors of undermining Syria's stability.

 



UNITED STATES

Prince William and his wife, Catherine, visited a poor area of Los Angeles on Sunday, the last day of their official tour abroad. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge watched a dance performance by the neighbourhood's children and took part in a children's art class. They were also scheduled to meet with American war veterans at an agency that helps veterans to find jobs. On Saturday, the royal couple attended a formal dinner that raised money for British cinema. They were scheduled to return to Britain on Sunday evening.



EGYPT

Protesters camped out at a central Cairo square on Sunday blocked access to the Egyptian capital's largest government building and are threatening to lay siege to the nearby Interior Ministry and state TV building if their demands are not met. The protesters want justice for the nearly 900 protesters killed by security forces during the 18-day uprising that toppled long-time leader Hosni Mubarak in February. They also demand speeding up the trials of corrupt, Mubarak-era figures.Tens of thousands demonstrated in Cairo and several cities across Egypt on Friday to protest what they see as the slow pace adopted by the country's military rulers to cleanse the country's institutions from Mubarak loyalists. Only several hundreds remain at the square on Sunday.



ISRAEL

Israel's Cabinet has proposed a maritime boundary with Lebanon significantly different from the line that Beirut is seeking. The two countries are racing to stake their own claims for a demarcation line in the Mediterranean Sea, where energy reserves have been found. They have asked the United Nations to mediate in the matter since Israel and Lebanon have no relations. The sea boundary dispute could trigger a new conflict over lucrative gas and oil reserves. Israel recently discovered two gas fields off its coast, and energy companies believe other reserves could be in the area. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says Lebanon's proposed line falls "significantly south" of the line Israeli ministers agreed on Sunday.



FRANCE

One of the world's best-known choreographers, Roland Petit, died in Geneva on Sunday at the age of 87. Mr. Petit was a Frenchman who collaborated on his many creations with leading artists and designers like Picasso and Yves Saint-Laurent. He choreographed for the most famous dancers of the day including Rudolf Nureyev and Fred Astaire. Among ballerinas who worked with Mr. Petit was the Canadian dancer Karen Kain, artistic director of the National Ballet of Canada. Mr. Petit was married to the famous French ballerina, Zizzie Jeanmaire.



SENEGAL

Senegal on Sunday decided against repatriating Chad's former leader, Hissene Habre. Habre has spent 20 years in exile in Senegal. He's wanted in Chad for alleged atrocities committed during his rule from 1982 to 1990. It's alleged that he was implicated in the murder of forty thousand people and many cases of torture. But the United Nations and human rights groups argued against his repatriation, saying that there was insufficient guarantee of a fair trial in Chad. Chad will consult with the African Union, human rights groups and Habre's alleged victims about organizing a fair trial in Senegal.





Sports

SPORTS

 

ROWING

Canadians won gold, silver and bronze medals on Sunday at the World Rowing Cup in Lucerne, Switzerland. Tracy Cameron and Lindsay Jennerich captured the women's lightweight doubles event. The Canadian women's eights team finished second in its race. The team was made up of Lesley Thompson-Willie, Ashley Brzozowicz, Krista Guloien, Janine Hanson, Darcy Marquardt, Natalie Mastracci, Andreanne Morin, Cristy Nurse and Rachelle Viinberg. David Calder and Scott Frandsen were third in the men's pair.

 

TRACK AND FIELD

Canadian Christian Brennan won a silver medal in the girls' 200-metre event on Sunday at the world youth track and field championships in Lille, France. Brennan set a Canadian youth-record time of 23.47 seconds. The Canadian girls' relay squad of Brennan, Shamelle Pless, Khamica Bingham and Sage Watson won a bronze medal in the relay.

 

BASEBALL

Jose Bautista drove in two runs to help the Toronto Blue Jays defeat the Cleveland Indians, 7-1, on Sunday.

 

AUTO RACING

Scotland's Dario Franchitti won the Honda Indy Toronto race through the streets on Sunday for the third time. He also won in 1999 and 2009.

CANADIAN FOOTBALL LEAGUE

On Saturday, Montreal defeated Saskatchewan 39-25 and Edmonton defeated Hamilton 28-10.





Weather

CANADA WEATHER

Here is Canada's weather on Monday, July 11. British Columbia will have variable cloudiness. The high temperature in Vancouver will be 20 degrees Celsius. The Yukon: mainly sunny. Whitehorse, 24. Northwest Territories: sunny. Yellowknife, 26. Nunavut: variable cloudiness. Iqaluit, 13. Alberta: showers. Edmonton, 18. Saskatchewan: variable cloudiness. Regina, 23. Manitoba: cloudy periods. Winnipeg, 21. Ontario: variable cloudiness. Toronto: 33. Ottawa, 31. Quebec: sunny periods. Montreal, 30. New Brunswick: variable cloudiness. Fredericton, 29. Nova Scotia: mainly sunny. Halifax, 25. Prince Edward Island: variable cloudiness. Charlottetown, 26. Newfoundland: mainly sunny. St. John's, 21.





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