Sunday, September 11, 2011

RCI Cyberjournal


Financial leaders from the world's most developed nations, including Canada's Jim Flaherty, are meeting in Marseille, France Saturday. The G-8 ministers and bankers, as well as officials from wealthy Arab nations, are discussing how to speed up the flow of tens of billions of dollars to help support democracies in North Africa and the Middle East. Boosting trade with the region is also a focus of the discussions.


Prime Minister Stephen Harper is representing Canada at Sunday's 10th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks that killed almost 3,000 people in the United States. Mr. Harper will speak at a memorial honouring the 24 Canadians and two others holding dual citizenship who were among those killed in the attacks. On Saturday, Mr. Harper met privately with the families of the Canadians who died in the collapse of the Twin Towers. On Friday, Defence Minister Peter MacKay attended a forum hosted by the Foreign Policy Association, a US non-profit organization. He spoke about how North American security and defence have evolved over the past ten years. Mr. MacKay said he believes the lessons of Sept. 11 have made Canada and the US much better at sharing intelligence. He said part of his message was to remind Americans that Canada is equally vigilant, and to that end both nations are safer.


A new public opinion poll suggests suggests Canadians remain divided over whether details about the Sept. 11 attacks are purposely being withheld from the public. Nationally, 42 per cent of people polled in the Canadian Press/Harris Decima survey believe claims that information is being intentionally hidden are credible, while 47 per cent disagree. The credibility of such claims was most popular in Quebec and British Columbia, among those under age 35 and those with household incomes below $100,000 a year. Overall, Canadians polled give themselves and their federal government high marks for the response to the 9-11 attacks. But the poll also suggests that some feel the Muslim community hasn't been treated fairly by the media and Canadian citizens in general since the attacks.


Financial leaders from the world's most developed nations, including Canada's Jim Flaherty, met Saturday in Marseille, France. The G-8 ministers and bankers, as well as officials from wealthy Arab nations, discussed how to speed up the flow of tens of billions of dollars to help support democracies in North Africa and the Middle East. Boosting trade with the region was also a focus of the discussions.


The National Energy Board will hold a week-long meeting next week in the Northwest Territories to discuss the advisability of energy drilling in the Arctic. Representatives of industry, government, aboriginal and environmental organizations will assess Canada's current knowledge and practices of drilling in the North. The roundtable will be the last public event before the board releases a report on the question in December. After the BP blowout in the Gulf of Mexico last year, the board announced it would review how it regulates drilling in the Arctic. There is no drilling currently going on in the Canadian Arctic, but several energy majors have spent billions of dollars to acquire exploration rights.


A new report shows that India has moved ahead of Canada in space competitiveness and that Canada is also losing ground to other big players in space. The 2011 Space Competitiveness Index of 10 leading space nations revealed Canada lost its sixth-place ranking to India in 2010. The Index is compiled by US consulting firm Futron. It also says that Canadian government delays in presenting a long-term space plan are offsetting Canada's competitive advantages. There are also concerns the delays may even put Canada behind in the space robotics sector where it has built a world-wide reputation with its iconic Canadarm.


The RCMP have confirmed for the first time that three-year-old Kienan Hebert was abducted from his home in Sparwood, BC. Cpl. Dan Moskaluk says police are certain the child didn't wander away from his bed on his own, as was initially suggested as a possibility earlier this week. At the short news conference Saturday, Kienan's parents begged for the safe return of their son. Paul Hebert, with his wife, Tammy, by his side, addressed a brief message to Randall Hopley, a convicted sex offender who police allege took the child. Mr. Hebert asked that his son be dropped off at a gas station or convenience store so he can be reunited with his family. He noted Kienan is too young to tell police anything and his captor can then make his escape.


Canada's Pacific Coast region of Vancouver Island was rattled by a 6.4 earthquake on Friday. The tremor was felt as far away as the British Columbia interior. The United States Geological Survey said the centre of the quake was about 50 kilometres west of Vancouver Island. There were no reports of damage and no tsunami warning was issued.


Authorities on Saturday continued to work around the clock to confirm a credible tip about an attack on Washington or New York. Officials have confirmed that the al-Qaeda terror network may have sent operatives to the two cities to detonate car bombs to coincide with the 10th anniversary events marking the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. Police in New York continued to check cars and pedestrians on roads, bridges and subways throughout the city. Two of the suspected plotters are said to be American citizens or to possess US travel documents. Ceremonies to commemorate victims of 9-11 are taking place this weekend in New York and Washington, where hijackers crashed planes into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon


The Taliban on Saturday vowed to keep fighting against US forces in Afghanistan until all American troops leave the country and stressed that their movement had no role in the Sept. 11 attacks. In a statement emailed to media, the Taliban accused the United States of using Sept. 11 attacks as a pretext to invade Afghanistan and said the international community was responsible for killing thousands of Afghans during the invasion and ensuing occupation. The United States and its allies invaded Afghanistan on Oct. 7, 2001, after the Taliban, who then ruled the country, refused to hand over Osama bin Laden. The late al-Qaida leader was at the time living in Afghanistan, where the terror network had training camps from which it planned attacks against the US and other countries. Bin Laden was killed in Pakistan in May in US military operation.


Following the declaration of a state of alert, Egypt's information minister said Saturday Cairo is totally committed to protecting all embassies in Egypt and the protesters involved in Friday night's attack on the Israeli embassy will be tried in an emergency state security court. Security forces fired tear gas and drove armoured vehicles at demonstrators who threw stones and Molotov cocktails at them. Three people were killed and nearly 1100 others injured. Officials said the protesters broke into the Israeli embassy building, entering consular offices and throwing out documents. The staff were rescued by Egyptian commandos and Israel later flew its ambassador and nearly all its diplomats back home. Hundreds of protesters remained on streets near the embassy until early Saturday. Many of the protesters had gathered earlier Friday at Tahrir Square to protest the slow pace of political change in Egypt. Protests have occurred at the embassy, since the deaths last month of five Egyptian policemen on the border with Israel. Egyptian officials say they were killed as Israeli forces chased suspected militants across the border.


Reports Saturda said forces loyal to Moammar Gadhafi were putting up fierce resistance in Bani Walid, one of four towns still controlled by loyalist fighters. Rebel leaders had expected to take the town earlier, but have yet to reach the centre. Correspondents say fighting continued overnight with exchanges of fire and rocket launches. As well, NATO carried out air strikes on the town. In other developments, the International Monetary Fund says it recognizes the anti-Gadhafi National Transitional Council (NTC) as the new government of Libya. And the International Criminal Court has issued a warrant for crimes against humanity against Colonel Gadhafi, his son, Saif al-Islam, and intelligence chief Abdullah al-Sanussi, whose whereabouts are still unknown.


Arab League chief Nabil Elaraby met Syria's President Bashar al-Assad on Saturday in Damascus. Mr. Elaraby was to deliver a message from the League which wants an end to bloodshed and a pledge for democratic reforms. As the talks got underway, activists said security forces killed six people in the ongoing crackdown on dissent in Syria. The British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said five people were killed in Homs during a sweep by troops and security forces. And a 45-year-old man was shot dead by security forces at a checkpoint in the northern province of Idlib.


At least 163 people died when a ferry capsized late Friday off the popular tourist archipelago of Zanzibar. Another 100 people were missing late Saturday. Officials said 163 others had been rescued. At least 40 of those rescued were seriously injured, including some hit by falling debris as the boat rolled onto one side. Around 600 people were believed to have been on the stricken ferry, including families returning home after the holidays to celebrate the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.


Tens of thousands of mourners, including Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, paid tribute to the Lokomotiv Yaroslavl hockey team at the main sports arena in Yaroslavl on Saturday. All but one member of the team was killed in a plane crash Wednesday that killed 43 people, including the team's Canadian coach, Brad McCrimmon. Two people survived the crash of the Yak-42 jetliner. The Kontinental Hockey League will hold a meeting Monday to determine the immediate future of the franchise.



Saturday's result: Toronto defeated Baltimore 5-4. On Friday, the Orioles shut out the Jays 2-0.


Friday's result: Calgary defeated Edmonton 30-20.


Canada on Sunday will be sunny from Vancouver to Halifax. Highs: 26 in Vancouver, 28 in Calgary, 31 in Regina, 30 in Winnipeg, 22 in Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal, 21 in Fredericton, 18 in Charlottetown, 17 in Halifax. St. John's will have a mix of sun and cloud and a high of 14. In the north, Whitehorse will be mainly sunny with a high of 15. Yellowknife will be cloudy with a high of 12. Iqaluit will be cloudy with a chance of showers, a high of six.