Sunday, July 10, 2011

RCI Cyberjournal

CANADA WELCOMES CREATION OF SOUTH SUDAN


Canada is welcoming the world's newest country, South Sudan. South Sudan declared its independence from the north on Saturday following a referendum on separation six months ago. President Salva Kiir promises to find a just peace for all citizens, regardless of their tribal or religious affiliation. Canada's foreign minister, John Baird, expressed his hope that Sudan and South Sudan will resolve their differences through diplomacy. Mr. Baird will open diplomatic relations with South Sudan as soon as possible. The Foreign Affairs department says that Canada has contributed some CDN$885 million to the Sudan region in humanitarian aid, development and building peace.

CANADIAN ACTIVISTS POSTPONE GAZA TRIP


Canadian activists who had hoped to run Israel's blockade of Gaza and deliver aid to Palestinians have postponed their attempt. Their ship, the Tahrir, has been stopped from leaving its port in Greece since last month. Greece's government fears that aid ships to Gaza will encounter violence at the hands of Israeli patrol ships. 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.

ALBERTA TOWN ON EVACUATION ALERT


Residents of the Canadian town of Slave Lake in Alberta are being urged to empty their basements in the face of a flood threat. Heavy rains have already flooded some basements. Water covers some streets. More rain is forecast. Part of the town was badly damaged by a forest fire in May. Prince William and his wife, Catherine, inspected fire damage to the town during a brief visit earlier this week.

HUMANE SOCIETY WANTS END TO CHUCKWAGON RACES


The Vancouver Humane Society is calling for the immediate suspension of chuckwagon races at the Calgary Stampede. A horse was put down Friday after breaking its leg during a race. The death comes after an overhaul of animal care standards at the Stampede, where six horses died last year. The Vancouver Humane Society has been a vocal critic of the rodeo, and says the Stampede's claims to have made the races safer have proven false.

CANADARM USED TO INSPECT SPACE SHUTTLE


In a routine procedure, astronauts aboard the U.S. space shuttle Atlantis have used the Canadian-built robot arm known as the Canadarm to check the spacecraft's heat shield for damage. The procedure was introduced after the shuttle Columbia was destroyed in 2003 as it returned to Earth because of damage to the shield during liftoff. No apparent damage was detected on Atlantis. The shuttle will dock with the International Space Station on Sunday. Atlantis's trip is the final U.S. space shuttle voyage before the shuttles are withdrawn from service.

TOOTOOSIS BURIED NEAR HOME


Actor Gordon Tootoosis was buried Friday on the Poundmaker First Nation in Saskatchewan. Hundreds of mourners gathered for the service on the reserve where he lived. The actor and activist died this past week at the age of 69 following a successful career in show business. Tootoosis appeared in over 80 productions ranging from the TV show "North of 60" to the movie "Legends of the Fall."

MORE JOBS CREATED


More jobs were created in Canada in June but the unemployment rate remained unchanged. Statistics Canada reports that there were 28,000 new jobs in June but that the unemployment rate remained at 7.4 per cent because the number of people seeking work went up. Three-quarters of the new jobs were part-time. The Canadian results compared favourably to the much larger US economy in which only 18,000 new jobs appeared.

PREMIERS, GOVERNORS TO DISCUSS CONTROVERSIAL HYDRO PROJECT


The premiers of the Atlantic provinces and Quebec will hold their annual meeting with the six New England governors for three days in Halifax, NS, starting Sunday. Nova Scotia Premier Darrell Dexter and Massachusetts Gov. Duval Patrick will be co-chairmen. Mr. Dexter says he'll present an update on the planned Lower Churchill hydroelectric project in Newfoundland and Labrador. The $6.2-billion project involves building an subsea cable to carry electricity from Labrador to Nova Scotia both for that province's use and for export to the U.S. Both provinces have request federal aid to carry out the plan. Quebec objects on the grounds that such a subsidy would constitute unfair competition to Hydro Quebec's exports there.


SOUTH SUDAN


South Sudan became the world's newest nation on Saturday. Guests for the new country's inauguration included UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, former US secretary of state Colin Powell and Gen. Carter Ham, the commander of US Africa Command. Sudan President Omar al-Bashir, a deeply unpopular man in Juba, arrived to a mixture of boos and surprised murmurs. US President Barack Obama announced Saturday that the United States formally recognized the newly created Republic of South Sudan and vowed to support it in the "hard work" of nation building. On Friday, the UN Security Council approved a new peacekeeping force for South Sudan, authorizing the deployment of 7,000 military personnel and 900 international police.

BRITAIN


The media tycoon, Rupert Murdoch, is expected to arrive 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.

SYRIA


The violence in Syria continues. Activists said Saturday security forces killed at least 15 people and arrested more than 200 others. The deaths came as Damascus accused the US envoy of inciting violence in Hama -- where nearly half a million people protested on Friday. The charge was denied by Washington which accused the Syrian embassy of spying on demonstrators in the United States. Meanwhile, Human Rights Watch on Saturday denounced what it called a "deliberate policy" to disperse protesters with deadly force. Damascus has used a mix of fierce violence and tentative promises of reform to try subdue a 16-week uprising against the authoritarian regime. Activists say 1,600 civilians and 350 security forces have been killed in four months of violence.

RUSSIA


The Kremlin's top political adviser was quoted on Friday as saying Vladimir Putin was sent to Russia by God to help it deal with its troubles in the early post-Soviet era. Interfax quoted first deputy administration chief Vladislav Surkov as telling Chechen television: "To be honest, I think of Putin as a person who was sent to Russia by fate and the Almighty at a difficult hour." Mr. Surkov serves in the administration of President Dmitry Medvedev. But he has worked there since just before Mr. Putin first entered the Kremlin for a two-year term as president in 2000 and is widely seen as one of his closest allies. Mr. Putin now serves as prime minister and neither he nor Mr. Medvedev have said which of them will run in presidential elections scheduled for March. Mr. Putin has remained the country's most popular politician and has been forced to deal with at times peculiar signs of appreciations from his fans and political supporters. The Russian media in May reported that a small female sect believes Mr. Putin is the reincarnation of Paul the Apostle. Mr. Putin has been made the hero of pop songs and brands of vodka and even a Moscow night club party.

BOSNIA


Hundreds of people have lined Sarajevo's main street on Saturday as trucks bearing 613 coffins carrying victims' remains passed through to Srebrenica, where the victims of Europe's worst massacre since the First World War will be buried. Whispered Muslim prayers turned louder and mixed with sobbing when the three trucks appeared Saturday, slowly approaching the Bosnian Presidency building where they stopped for a few minutes. The weeping crowd tucked flowers into canvas covering the trucks as they drove slowly down a street sprinkled with rose water. The 613 sets of remains, found in mass graves and identified through DNA tests, will be buried at a memorial centre near Srebrenica on Monday -- the 16th anniversary of the massacre in which more than 8,000 Muslim men and boys were killed.

PAKISTAN


Pakistan announced on Saturday its troops had taken back areas of Karachi occupied by armed groups and arrested more than 100 people after political violence across the city claimed 95 lives. Four days of unrest has been blamed on political and ethnic tensions with gunmen firing on two buses in the early hours of Friday, killing 12 people including a six-year-old girl. A grenade attack on Saturday killed two men and wounded three others.

ISRAEL


Israel on Saturday was preparing to expel 124 mostly European activists who arrived on flights to the country as part of a pro-Palestinian protest. Officials said the activists are currently being held in Israeli jails. Israel said most of the activists are French, with the others being American, Belgian, Bulgarian, Dutch and Spanish. The activists were participating in the "Welcome to Palestine" campaign, which some have called the "flytilla," in which up to 800 activists were to fly in on a peaceful mission to visit Palestinian families. Israeli authorities said they largely managed to pre-empt the campaign by foreign activists demonstrating for the right of access to the occupied West Bank. The "flytilla" took place as a flotilla of ships was being prevented by Greece from sailing to the Gaza Strip in a bid to break the Israeli blockade on the Palestinian territory.

CHINA


China has warned the United States not to interfere in its internal affairs after senior US politicians met in Washington with the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, this past week in Washington. China protests his frequent visits and meetings overseas, accusing him of being a separatist. The Dalai Lama says he only seeks greater rights for Tibetans and accepts China's rule. The US State Department said the Dalai Lama met on Wednesday with Under Secretary of State for Democracy and Global Affairs Maria Otero, but that it remained to be decided whether he would have any meetings at higher levels. US lawmakers led by House Speaker John Boehner welcomed the Dalai Lama on Thursday to the Capitol. But the White House has stayed mum on whether President Barack Obama will meet the monk, amid thewarnings from China. The Dalai Lama met Mr. Obama last year, drawing strong denunciation from Beijing. Chinese troops marched into Tibet in 1950 and have ruled with an iron fist ever since. The Dalai Lama fled to India in 1959 after a failed uprising.

EGYPT


The prosecutor in Egypt's second city of Alexandria ordered the arrest of 12 police officers on Saturday. They are accused of torturing to death a suspect in a deadly New Year's church attack. The officers allegedly killed Sayed Belal, a Muslim fundamentalist who was arrested a week after a bombing attack that killed more than 20 people. Belal's bruised body was handed to his family the day after he was arrested. The attack, which took place three weeks before the outbreak of the popular uprising that ousted president Hosni Mubarak, was blamed on the Palestinian Army of Islam, which has links to Al-Qaeda. Around 40 people were arrested in connection with the bombing, but no one has been brought to trial, and the suspects are thought to have escaped from prison during the chaotic times surrounding the uprising.

LIBYA


NATO says 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.

UNITED STATES


The Dalai Lama voiced optimism Saturday that China will reform and allow greater freedoms as he welcomed a young potential spiritual successor before thousands of well-wishers in the US capital of Washington. He spoke to his audience on the West Lawn of the US Capitol near where presidents are inaugurated. The Dalai Lama responded without hesitation when he was asked if he hoped to return to Tibet after 52 years in exile. "Oh yes, things are always changing," the Dalai Lama said to an eruption of cheers from a crowd ranging from fellow Buddhist monks to young Americans lying on the grass on a hot summer morning. The Nobel Peace Prize laureate said that violence can sometimes yield immediate results, but that in the long run, the "power of truth, power of compassion, (are) much more effective than (the) power of gun." Despite the Dalai Lama's optimism, human rights groups report intensifying crackdowns inside Tibet. Many scholars believe China is waiting for his death, believing his cause will wither without the internationally popular monk. The Dalai Lama is in Washington leading a 10-day religious ritual known as a Kalachakra. He took the stage for his public talk by welcoming the 26-year-old Karmapa Lama, who some Tibetans hope could fill a void after the Dalai Lama dies.

GUATEMALA


One of Latin America's best-known folk singers, Facundo Cabral, was shot and killed by gunmen on Saturday. He was 74. Mr. Cabral was on his way to Guatemala's main airport when the gunmen attacked his vehicle. Mr. Cabral's concert promoter, Henry Farina, was also wounded. The motive was not clear. Mr. Cabral was an Argentine who gained fame in the early 1970s with songs that mixed politics and poetry.


SPORTS


 

TRAMPOLINE

Canadian Karen Cockburn won two gold medals at a trampoline World Cup event on Saturday in Kawasaki, Japan. Cockburn won gold in the women's individual competition and in the synchro event with partner Mariah Madigan. In other Canadian results, Carl Rom-Colthoff and Keegan Soehn placed fifth in men's synchro.

 

ROWING

Canadians Rares Crisan and Matt Jensen won the silver medal in the lightweight men's pair final at the World Rowing Cup on Saturday in Lucerne, Switzerland. They were less than one second behind the winner, Germany. Italy was third.

 

BOXING

Canadian Lucian Bute knocked out Jean-Paul Mendy in the fourth round in Bucharest, Romania, on Saturday to retain his IBF super-middleweight title. It was Bute's eighth defence of the title he won in 2007.

 

MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL

Toronto defeated Cleveland 11-7, on Friday.

 

CANADIAN FOOTBALL LEAGUE

On Friday, Winnipeg defeated Toronto 22-16 and Calgary defeated British Columbia 34-32.

 

AUTO RACING

Will Power had the fastest practice practice lap on Friday for Sunday's Honda Indy Toronto. Scott Dixon was second fastest, followed by two-time Toronto winner Dario Franchitti and Toronto's James Hinchcliffe.


CANADA WEATHER


Here is Canada's weather on Sunday, July 10. British Columbia will have mainly cloudy skies. The high temperature in Vancouver will be 20 degrees Celsius. In Yukon: mainly cloudy. Whitehorse, 21. Northwest Territories: sunny. Yellowknife, 26. Nunavut: mainly sunny. Iqaluit, 13. Alberta: a mix of sun and cloud. Edmonton, 18. Saskatchewan: cloudy. Regina, 25. Manitoba: sunny. Winnipeg, 27. Ontario: variable cloudiness. Toronto: 30. Ottawa, 29. Quebec: sunny. Montreal, 28. New Brunswick: sunny. Fredericton, 27. Nova Scotia: mainly sunny. Halifax, 24. Prince Edward Island: sunny. Charlottetown, 23. Newfoundland: variable cloudiness. St. John's, 18.