Sunday, July 31, 2011

RCI Cyberjournal

Edition 30 July 2011
Canadian International Sports Weather


The Roseau River First Nation in southern Manitoba has settled its land claim with the Canadian government. The settlement is worth $80 Million for the band, which originally filed the claim in 1982. Every band member is to receive five thousand dollars, while the remaining $61Million is to go into a trust fund. The settlement is negotiated compensation for Ottawa unfairly stripping the indigenous group of 60 per cent of its reserve farmland in the Red River Valley and opening it up for settlers in 1903.


Halifax's city hall is ready to take the next step toward building a new ten-thousand seat sports stadium. A city staff report recommends moving to a second phase of study, which would examine the feasibility of the stadium as a venue for various events beyond sports. A similiar recommendation is in a report from Halifax's stadium steering committee, a 15-member volunteer group. Both documents will go to regional council on Tuesday. The staff report warns of potential problems. Although the stadium is expected to be in use for 50 days of the year, some events would attract only small audiences. At present, Halifax has no sports team that could use the stadium, although discussions have long been going on about bringing a Canadian Football League team to the city. Halifax Regional Municipality officials are considering a stadium that might host an international women's soccer tournament in 2015. The stadium could cost about CDN$60 million, but the real cost is unknown. It would be constructed with public funds from the three levels of government and with public sector money.


The government in the province of Alberta has charged three companies in connection with the collapse of a stage during a music festival two-years ago. One woman was killed in the mishap which occurred during a sudden storm at the Big Valley Jamboree. The charges relate to failing to ensure the health and safety of workers. They were announced Friday, as fans gathered in Camrose for this year's popular country music festival.


More than eighteen thousand dancers and 16 bands will perform during the annual Carribben Carnival that began on Saturday in Toronto. Mayor Rob Ford and Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty opened the Carnival, which was formerly known as Caribana. A parade followed along a three-and-a-half kilometre stretch of a highway bordering Lake Ontario. Thousands of people are expected to attend the Carnival events, bringing tourist dollars during a slow tourist season. Fewer Americans are visiting Canada this year as a result of a weaker American dollar and struggling U.S. economy.



U.S. government legislators failed again on Saturday to reach a compromise that would end a looming financial crisis. The Republican Party used its majority in the House of Representatives to reject a Democratic Party bill proposed in the Senate that would slash spending and avert a federal government default on the national debt. The vote was 246-173. The vote was taken even before the Senate had voted on the proposal. Further negotiations will be needed before the government reaches its debt ceiling on Tuesday. Failure to reach a compromise could have wide-ranging economic consequences in the United States and on world stock markets.


More bodies have been recovered from the scene of Ukraine's worst mining accident in four years. Twenty-four miners were killed on Friday by an explosion at the Sukhodolskaya-Vostochnaya coal mine in the eastern Lugansk region. Two miners are still missing. A separate mining accident occurred a few hours later at the Bazhanova pit in the town of Makiyivka in the neighbouring Donetsk region, killing eight people. President Viktor Yanukovych has announced a day of mourning on Sunday. He also called for a government commission to investigate the disasters and to improve safety standards. Deadly accidents are frequent in Ukrainian mines, which are underfunded and poorly equipped.


The U.S. has described its first direct talks on nuclear issues with North Korea in two years as constructive and businesslike. A State Department spokesmanhopes the encounter will lead to greater stability and continued discussions. He also described the discussions as exploratory. The two sides met on Thursday and Friday in New York.Earlier talks aimed at a multi-national nuclear disarmament initiativeinvolved South Korea, Russia, China and Japan. U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton invited the North Koreans to New York after an unexpectedly positive meeting between North and South Korean officials at a security conference last week in Bali, Indonesia.


A Caribbean Airlines jet overshot the runway at Georgetown's Cheddi Jagan airport in Guyana on Saturday, sliding through a fence and finally splitting in two. None of the 163 people on board was killed, but several passengers were injured, a few of them seriously. One passenger suffered a broken leg and others reported neck and back injuries. Twelve Canadians were on board. It's not clear whether any of them suffered injury. The cause of the accident is under investigation. Boeing's 737-800 model was introduced in 1996 and has suffered eight serious crashes causing a total of 525 deaths.


French investigators say pilots of an Air France plane that crashed into the Atlantic in 2009 on a flight from Rio de Janiero to Paris lacked adequate training. They say the pilots failed to discuss repeated stall warnings and did not have the training to deal with the hazard, which caused the plane to go down, killing all 228 people on board. Investigators based their findings on flight data recorders recently recovered from the seabed. Their report concludes that the crew failed to "formally identify the loss of altitude" despite an alarm ringing for nearly a minute. It also calls for mandatory training in high-altitude stalling for all pilots.Air France has rejected the report.


There's a claim that Islamist militia was behind the killing of a Libyan rebel commander. A rebel minister Ali Tarhouni says General Abedel Fattah Younes was killed by members of the Obaida Ibn Jarrah Brigade, a group linked to the rebels. The General defected to the rebels in February after serving in the Libyan leadership since the 1969 coup which brought Colonel Muammar Gadafhi to power. In other developments, NATO says it bombed Libyan state TV transmitters overnight. The Libyan Broadcasting Authority said three of its technicians were killed and 15 other people injured in the attack in the capital, Tripoli. NATO says the operation was intended to stop inflammatory broadcasts by Gaddafi's government. Libyan state TV is reportedly still broadcasting following the attack.


Tens of thousands of people filled the streets of Syria on Friday to demand the end of President Bashar al-Assad's autocratic rule. Activists said troops fired tear gas and live ammunition, killing at least two people and wounding dozens of others. The biggest rally was held in the city of Hamma. Human rights groups say that since the protests began in mid-March, security forces have killed some 1,600 people and detained thousands of others.


The lawyer for two U.S. citizens detained on charges of espionage in Iran says they may be released soon. Josh Fattal, Shane Bauer and Sarah Shourd were arrested by Iranian forces in July 2009 on suspicion of spying after crossing into Iran from Iraq. Ms. Shourd was freed on bail in September 2010 and returned to the United States. A court appearance for the two American men is scheduled on Sunday. Their lawyer, Masoud Shafiee, notes that the date coincides with the second annivesary of their detention. He said he believes the court will rule that the 24 months spent in jail will serve as their sentence. Under Iran's Islamic law, espionage can be punished by execution.


Two NATO service members, seven Afghan soldiers and a translator are dead following an ambush in eastern Paktia province. Afghan officials say a roadside bomb targeted their joint patrol before insurgents opened fire. The nationalities of the NATO soldiers have not been released.


The United States and China on Friday held top-level talks on Taiwan. Wang Yi, the top Chinese official in charge of Taiwan, met with Deputy Secretary of State William Burns. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton joined part of the closed-door session. No details of the discussions were released, but it's expected they touched on U.S. arms sales to Taiwan. The U.S. is expected to render a decision by October on whether to sell F-16 fighter jets to Taiwan. Last year, the United States approved $6.4 billion in weapons for Taiwan, including Patriot missiles and Black Hawk helicopters -- but not jets or submarines. China lodged a protest, suspending military ties with the United States for months.


Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has made an abrupt political shift, urging his socialist movement to reach out to the middle class and small business owners. The President, who has been undergoing cancer treatment, said in an interview Friday that he was entering a more reflective period of his life. He told his supporters to eliminate divisions and dogma, and end what he called the abuse of symbols such as the term "socialist". He has also suggested his supporters stop wearing red shirts, long a symbol of his radicalism. On Thursday, he wore a yellow shirt when he addressed supporters at his 57th birthday celebration. Analysts say his more moderate stance comes as a result of his attempts to expand support ahead of the presidential election in late 2012.


Iraq's prime minister says his country will purchase 36 fighter jets from the United States, more than doubling the number Iraq was previously planning to buy. Nouri al-Maliki told reporters Saturday in Baghdad that Iraq needs to be able to protect its sovereignty. Iraq had previously planned to purchase 16 F-16 fighter jets but the plans were put on hold earlier this year. Iraqi officials said they were going to use the money instead to pay for food rations. Mr. Al-Maliki says a delegation from the Iraqi Air Force will head to the U.S. to facilitate the deal.


Some 40 tribesmen in southern Yemen have been accidentally killed by government airstrikes. A Yemeni security official and a tribal chief described the victims as loyal to President Ali Abudullah Saleh. The president is facing a popular armed uprising. Some anti-government tribesmen have taken control of towns in southern Yemen. President Saleh was wounded in an attack on his palace in June. He's recuperating in Saudi Arabia. The botched airstrikes occurred on Friday close to Zinjibar near the southern coast. A local tribal chief has condemned the strikes.


King Mohammed VI is calling for elections soon and the reopening of Morocco's border with Algeria. He spoke in his first throne speech since citizens voted in a referendum earlier this month to curb some of his powers. The referendum came after pro-democracy demonstrations were held in several cities. The king said that any delay in holding elections threatened the dynamic of confidence generated by the reforms. No date for the elections has been set.


A group of armed, masked men clashed with police in Egypt's Sinai region on Saturday. Six people were killed during a shootout at a police station, among them, three civilians. Twelve suspects were arrested, including Egyptians and Palestinians. The cause of the disturbance is not known, but the armed men were heard expressing pro-Islamic statements.


A strong earthquake struck northeastern Japan on Sunday, shaking buildings with tremors measuring 6.4 that were felt as far south as Japan. The latest tremors were off the coast of Fukushima prefecture, where a massive earthquake and subsequent tsunami in March caused widespread damage. There were no initial reports of damage or casualties as a result of the latest tremors.




Canada's women's relay team was disqualified in the women's 4x100-metre relay at the world swimming championships in Shanghai on Saturday. Jillian Tyler performed a double fly kick off the wall during the breastroke leg of the race. Swimmers are allowed only one kick. The United States won the gold.


The Texas Rangers beat the Toronto Blue Jays on Saturday, 3-0.


Canada will play in a group with St. Kitts and Nevis, Puerto Rico and St. Lucia in preliminary qualifying for the CONCACAF region. If Canada wins the second round qualifying group, Canada would be paired in Group C with Honduras and Cuba in the next round. Canada dropped 22 spots in the latest FIFA rankings to 105th overall, but is still the highest ranked side in the preliminary qualifying group.



Here is Canada's weather forecast for Sunday, July 30. British Columbia will have clearing skies. The high temperature in Vancouver will be 22 degrees Celsius. The Yukon: showers. Whitehorse, 17. Northwest Territories: overcast. Yellowknife, 18. Nunavut: light rain. Iqaluit, 11. Alberta: variable cloudiness. Edmonton, 26. Saskatchewan: sunny. Regina, 34. Manitoba: sunny. Winnipeg, 30. Ontario: isolated showers. Toronto: 29. Ottawa, 29. Quebec: sunny periods. Montreal, 29. New Brunswick: mainly sunny. Fredericton, 27. Nova Scotia: variable cloudiness. Halifax, 23. Prince Edward Island: mainly sunny. Charlottetown, 22. Newfoundland: drizzle. St. John's, 18.

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