Monday, July 18, 2011

RCI Cyberjournal

Edition 17 July 2011
Canadian International Sports Weather


The Canadian Press news agency is reporting that India is looking for Canadian partners to sell nuclear reactors in new markets, like Africa. The effort comes in the wake of a landmark agreement signed between India and Canada last year on civilian nuclear cooperation. Once it's ratified by Parliament, the deal will allow the export of Canadian uranium to India. The Canadian Nuclear Association says Indian officials and business executives have been visiting Canada in a search of partnerships.


Hundreds of Canadian travellers considered trustworthy enough to be waved through border crossings in and out of the United States, have been caught smuggling goods into the country. The Nexus programme allows low-risk Canadian residents to be fast-tracked through special lines when they travel to the U.S. Newly released documents from the second half of last year, show that more than a hundred Nexus travelers were found to be less than honest about declaring the goods they were bringing into Canada. The items being smuggled into Canada ranged from a couple of bottles of undeclared beer to a boat. A spokeswoman for the Canada Border Services Agency which oversees the programme says more than 400 Nexus members had their passes revoked last year; a small fraction of the half-million people who hold Nexus passes.


The Canadian military's movers have taken over in Kandahar. The group, known as the Mission Transition Task Force, is in charge of moving all of the Canadian forces' vehicles, helicopters and equipment out of Afghanistan before the end of the year. Canada's overseas commander, Lt.-Gen. Marc Lessard, says they aim to get everything back home in good order so as to be ready for another overseas mission by the end of next year, if need be. The commander of the transition unit, Brig.-Gen. Charles Lamarre, says it helps that about 10-percent of the equipment will stay in Afganistan to support Canada's new training mission in Kabul. The army is also trying to sell off some of the equipment that was bought specifically for the Afghan mission, most notably four CH-47D troop transport helicopters.


Research presented by the office of the chief coroner of the province of Ontario shows a high rate of youth suicides in First Nation communities. Between 2006 and 2008 on the Pikangikum reserve alone, 16 people between the ages of 10 and 19 killed themselves. The northwestern Ontario community's overall population is just 24-hundred. Provincially there are between 40 and 50 suicides per year in that age group on reserves.


High temperatures and tinder dry conditions are fuelling 80 raging forest fires in northwestern Ontario. Choking smoke is drifting across parts of the region, leading to the evacuation of some First Nations communities. More than two-thousand firefighters, including 350 from British Columbia, are battling the blazes. They're being aided by more than 40 aircraft, including water bombers from Quebec and Alberta.


Wildlife biologists in Nova Scotia have released 100 endangered Blanding's turtles in the past week, in a bid to boost their numbers. There are just 350 of the turtles left in three genetically different populations in the Atlantic province and the species was at risk of disappearing altogether. The turtles are now being raised in captivity as part of an effort to improve their chances of survival. Experts say Blanding's turtles born in the wild have a one per cent chance of surviving but the odds increase to 75 per cent if they're part of the head-start program.


The Canadian Tourism Commission is launching a new campaign aimed at attracting visitors who don't worry about how much money they spend on vacation. The head of the organization Michele McKenzie says travellers spend three trillion dollars worldwide on tourism a year and Canada wants a larger share of that revenue. So the commission is highlighting nearly 50 unique and exotic experiences and adventures that fall outside of the norm. These include a buggy ride to photograph polar bears in Churchill, Manitoba, inching across a swinging suspension bridge over a ravine in British Columbia's Mountains and tidal bore rafting on Nova Scotia's Shubenacadie River. The campaign is being launched in 11 countries, including the United Kingdom, France, Germany and Australia.



London's police chief is the latest casualty of Britain's telephone hacking scandal. Sir Paul Stephenson has resigned over his ties to Rebeckah Brooks, the former editor at the now defunct News of the World tabloid. Brooks, who was the chief executive of media mogul Rupert Murdoch's British operations was arrested Sunday. She's been questioned on suspicion of conspiring to intercept communications (or phone hacking) and on suspicion of corruption related to the alleged bribing of police officers for information.


NATO has handed over control of the central Afghan province of Bamiyan to Afghan security forces. It's the first of seven areas to be passed to local forces under a plan announced by President Hamid Karzai in March. The handover is seen as a critical step in a transition of power before foreign troops end combat operations in 2014. Police are taking responsibility for security in Bamiyan province - the country's most secure and poorest region, because no army units are deployed there. New Zealand soldiers will remain in the area for the time being, but they will be under Afghan control. Canada's 2500 combat personnel ended their mission in southern Afghanistan earlier this month. But some Canadian troops remain, to train Afghan security forces.


A protest ship trying to breach Israel's blockade of the Gaza strip has passed through Greek waters and is expected to reach the area by Monday. A Canadian man, Stephane Corriveau of Montreal is among the dozen or so activists aboard the Dignity al-Karama. The French vessel was part of a bigger protest flotilla that included a Canadian ship, which was prevented from leaving port several weeks ago. A Canadian organiser of the flotilla, Montreal-based Ehab Lotayef says this latest attempt sends a political message that the activists haven't given up. Israel imposed the naval blockade of Gaza in 2007 after Hamas militants took control of the coastal region. Israeli commandos raided on a similar flotilla last year, killing 9 Turkish activists.


A wildfire raging out of control in the Jerusalem forest Sunday forced the evacuation of Israel's Holocaust memorial Yad Vashem. A spokeswoman says the fire has not reached the building but the area is very smoky. Yad Vashem contains tens of thousands of historical documents and artifacts from the Holocaust.


A lawyer for Egypt's former President says Hosni Mubarak, has fallen into a coma. Mr Mubarak, who was toppled from power in February, has been detained in a hospital in the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh. A doctor at the hospital is downplaying the report saying Mr Mubarak's condition remains stable and that he falls into coma occasionally, meaning nothing is new in his condition.


In Libya, rebel forces entered the oil town of Brega Sunday in the biggest offensive in eastern Libya in weeks. A spokesman says 127 rebels were wounded in street battles with forces loyal to Muammar Gaddafi. Brega, which is about 750 kilometres east of the capital, Tripoli, is the site of a strategic oil terminal. Colonel Gaddafi, for his part, remains defiant, refusing to step aside despite a 5-month-long popular uprising supported by Nato airstrikes. Western and Arab countries, including Canada and the United States, are now recognising Libya's rebel leaders as the country's legitimate government of Libya and are demanding Gaddafi and his family give up power.


In Japan, concern over radiation-tainted beef are intensifying as officials struggle to determine the scope of the problem and prevent further contamination of the meat supply. The government is preparing to suspend cattle shipments from Fukushima this week amid a growing tally of cows that were fed rice straw containing high levels of radioactive cesium. The straw was harvested from rice paddies after the March 11 earthquake and tsunami triggered the release of radiation from the stricken Fukushima nuclear power plant on the northeast coast. Meat from the exposed cows has already reached some consumers in Japan. Officials say the government may consider expanding the expected cattle restriction beyond Fukushima.


A volcano in central Indonesia unleashed its most powerful eruption in weeks Sunday, forcing thousands of residents in Sulawesi province to return to emergency shelters. Mount Lokon spewed hot ash and smoke some 3,500 metres into the air. There have been no reports of casualties. Residents had begun returning to their villages along the mountainous slopes, despite warning to stay away from the crater. Some 28,000 inhabitants live within a 3.5 kilometre evacuation zone which was set up on north Sulawesi last weekend.


Former Uruguayan dictator Pedro Bordaberry is dead at the age of 83. Bordaberry's son says he died Sunday of respiratory problems at his home, where he was serving a 30-year sentence for killings and disappearances during Uruguay's war against leftists. Elected in 1971, Bordaberry was a wealthy, conservative landholder who cut short his democratic term with a June 1973 auto-coup carried out with military backing. He suspended the constitution, banned political parties, ordered tanks to ring Congress and ruled for three years by decree until his 1976 ouster by generals who went on to lead a right-wing dictatorship until 1985.



Major League Baseball: N.Y. Yankees 7 Toronto 2

Soccer: the Women's World Cup final: Japan 3 U-S 2 (Japan wins in penalties)



Here is Canada's weather on Monday, July 18. British Columbia will have clearing skies. The high temperature in Vancouver will be 22 degrees Celsius. In Yukon: a chance of showers. Whitehorse, 15. Northwest Territories: possible showers. Yellowknife, 21. Nunavut: possible showers. Iqaluit, 12. Alberta: a chance of showers. Edmonton, 25. Saskatchewan: a chance of showers. Regina, 34. Manitoba: sunny. Winnipeg, 34. Ontario: possible showers. Toronto: 29. Ottawa, 29. Quebec: a few showers. Montreal, 28. New Brunswick: a chance of showers. Fredericton, 27. Nova Scotia: showers. Halifax, 22. Prince Edward Island: showers. Charlottetown, 22. Newfoundland: a mix of sun and cloud. St. John's, 22.

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