Tuesday, August 2, 2011

RCI Cyberjournal

EXPRESSWAY DAMAGE EVEN WORSE


Officials with Transport Quebec say a downtown expressway in Montreal onto which a massive concrete slab crashed on Sunday morning is in even worse condition than first appeared. Officials noticed a second unsteady concrete beam above the Ville Marie Expressway and were forced to tear it down. Workers are now trying to stabilize a third beam. No one was hurt when the first 15-metre-long slab crashed in the underground tunnel. Montreal's aging road network has suffered a number of forced lane closures this summer as engineers try to shore up the city's crumbling infrastructure. The closed routes have resulted in traffic-congestion nightmares across the city amid fears that simply maintaining the network now will be prohibitively expensive.

PM DENOUNCES SYRIAN VIOLENCE


Canada has condemned a weekend assault on anti-government protesters in Syria that killed dozens of people. Prime Minister Stephen Harper says it's not acceptable to use military force to suppress the Syrian people's calls for democratic reform. Backed by tanks and snipers, Syrian security forces launched a major attack on defiant cities and towns. Death toll estimates are as high as 140.

OTTAWA: SUBS ARE RUST BUCKETS


Rust on Canada's submarines is limiting the depth to which they can descend. A navy document obtained by the Canadian Press recommends that one submarine, HMCS Windsor, have its rust removed by grinding rather than by more expensive methods such as welding or replacing plates. As a result, the vessel's depth range will be limited. The navy is declining to confirm if the depth limit recommendation has been enforced. Canada's navy has three submarines that were bought from Great Britain. Critics of the sale said that the vessels were too old and and obsolete to have been worth acquiring.

DOCTORS STILL FACE GEOGRAPHIC BARRIERS


More than two years after an agreement was signed to eliminate such barriers, Canadian doctors still face problems crossing provincial borders to work. The provinces agreed in 2008 on a deal to address doctor shortages that was supposed to make it easier for physicians to have their licenses recognized in other provinces. But some say they're still having problems moving their accreditation from one province to another and they blame the colleges responsible for licensing.

OTTAWA: WAR CRIMES SUSPECT DEPORTED


Canada has deported a war crimes suspect. Manuel de la Torre Herrera was arrested last week in Toronto. His arrest came a few days after the federal government posted photographs of 30 alleged war criminals on the web site of the Canadian Border Services Agency. Five have been arrested since the web site was created. The government says Mr. de la Torre was guilty of crimes committed in Peru. He disappeared several years ago after he was denied a refugee claim. Police have received many tips as a result of the web site, but some critics say that the website undermines the idea that people in Canada are presumed innocent until proven guilty.

TORONTO: SHOOTING MARS FESTIVAL


Organizers of the Caribbean Carnival in Canada's largest city Toronto say they are shocked and saddened over a shooting death along the festival's parade route on Saturday. Three people were also wounded in the incident. Organizers says the event is about love and community and to have a shooting happen around that event is devastating. Police are investigating the shootings.


SYRIA


Syrian troops backed by tanks have renewed attacks on the northern city of Hama on the second day of a crackdown on anti-government protesters. Residents attempted to keep the troops out by building barricades and burning tires. Security forces are reported to have killed over 100 people in the city on Sunday. Hama was the scene of a massacre in l982, when government troops were sent to crush an Islamist revolt. Activists say dozens of other people died across Syria on Sunday, making it one of the bloodiest days since the uprising against President Bashar al-Assad began in mid-March. Later today, the UN Security Council will discuss the Syrian crisis in emergency session.

UNITED NATIONS


The UN warns that the famine in the Horn of Africa is spreading and may overwhelm six more regions of Somalia. The world body says 12.4 million people in Kenya, Ethiopia, Somalia and Djibouti are in dire need of help and that the situation is worsening. The UN declared famine in two areas of southern Somalia on July 20, reporting as well that tens of thousands of Somalis have already starved to death. The drought affecting the region is said to be the worst there in 60 years.

BRAZIL


Brazil's labour ministry says 251 employers are being charged with keeping workers in slave-like conditions. The list of employers facing charges of slavery is released twice a year. The latest version was released Friday and the number is up from 220 cases in December 2010. The state of Para had the greatest number of cases, 62. The labour ministry says names of employers are kept on the list for two years or until they pay all the fines related to the charges.

CHILE


The world's third-largest copper mine resumed full operations Sunday after a 24-hour strike by workers demanding improved benefits. The Collahuasi mine, owned by Swiss-based Xstrata and the London-based firm Anglo American, accounts for three percent of world copper production. Last year, it produced 504,000 tonnes of copper. Separately, the world's largest copper mine, Minera Escondida, also in Chile, is into its 11th day of a strike by workers demanding a production-linked bonus. Chile supplies 33 percent of copper on international markets, making it the world's largest copper producer.

MEXICO


Police in Mexico say they have caught the leader of a drug cartel who ordered the murder of more than 1,000 people. Jose Antonio Acosta Hernandez was paraded in front of the media by authorities. He is allegedly a key figure in the Juarez cartel. Police say Acosta Hernandez has confessed to ordering the murder of 1,500 people. He's wanted in the U.S. in connection with the killing of an American consular employee and her husband.

CHINA


China's government is blaming Muslim extremists trained in Pakistan for killing six civilians in an attack in the Xinjiang region Sunday. Police later shot dead five suspects. Sunday's attack raised the death toll to 18 from weekend violence in the city of Kashgar. An overseas ethnic activist group is concerned the violence could prompt a new crackdown on minority Uighurs blamed for the previous violence. Kashgar's city government says an initial investigation showed members of the group behind Sunday's attack had trained in making explosives and firearms in neighbouring Pakistan in camps belonging to the East Turkestan Islamic Movement. The banned militant organization advocates independence for Xinjiang. In 2009, nearly 200 people were killed in fighting between Uighurs and Han Chinese in 2009 in Urumqi, the regional capital of Xinjiang.


RESTAURANTS HIDING REVENUE


The Canada Revenue Agency has discovered evidence that as many as one-third of restaurants may be using sophisticated software to hide their sales. The agency says that a preliminary probe has found that about $141 million in sales were erased. A three-year pilot project found at least 143 such cases, each with an average of $1 million in hidden sales. The agency says that in some cases the restaurant owners are suppressing evidence of sales and paying employers and suppliers in cash, while not claiming the expense. However, the agency also notes that not all restaurants use electronic sales systems so that the results of the probe cannot produce a definite conclusion about the extent of the cheating.

AIRLINE SETTLES WITH FLIGHT ATTENDANTS


Air Canada says it has reached a contract settlement with the union representing its 6,800 flight attendants. Details of the contract with the Canadian Union of Public employees weren't released. The tentative deal must be approved by the union members and the airline's directors. The agreement follows a three-day strike by the Canadian Auto Workers union, which represents customer service employees. The walkout ended in a settlement after the federal government started preparing back-to-work legislation. The two unions representing pilots and mechanics and baggage handlers have yet to settle.

MARKETS


TSX on Monday: 12,946 - 102. Dollar: US$1.04. Euro: $1.36. Oil: $95.25 - .45.


SPORTS


HOCKEY

Longtime National Hockey League players Chris Chelios, Keith Tkachuk and Gary Suter

were selected for induction into the United States Hockey Hall of

Fame on Monday. Chelios played 26 NHL seasons with Montreal, Chicago, Detroit and

Atlanta. He left after the 2009-10 season as the all-time leader in

games played by a defenceman (1,651). He also was part of three

Stanley Cup championships.

TENNIS

Canadian tennis star Milos Raonic has dropped two spots in the latest rankings. The 20-year-old from Thornhill, ON, is down to number 29 and hasn't played since suffering an injury during his second-round match at Wimbledon. Raonic is expected to return in August in time for the U.S. Open.


WEATHER


British Columbia on Tuesday: rain north, mix sun cloud south, high C22 Vancouver. Yukon: mix sun cloud. Northwest Territories: mix sun cloud rain. Nunavut: cloud. Whitehorse, Yellowknife 20, Iqaluit 10. Alberta: mix sun cloud. Saskatchewan: rain north, sun south. Manitoba: sun. Edmonton 24, Regina 25, Winnipeg 29. Ontario: rain. Quebec: mix sun cloud. Toronto 31, Ottawa, Montreal 26. Atlantic Canada: rain. Fredericton, Charlottetown 22, Halifax 19, St. John's 20.