Monday, September 12, 2011

RCI Cyberjournal


Three New Brunswick firefighters were at Ground Zero Sunday to commemorate the 10th anniversary of 9-11. They were paying tribute to the 343 firefighters killed when the twin towers of the World Trade Center collapsed. The firefighters also say they're touched by the way Americans have honoured the Newfoundland and Labrador town of Gander in the leadup to the 9-11 anniversary. The community was given an international resiliency award in Washington Thursday for what the firefighters say was typical Atlantic Canadian kindness. Canadian air controllers safely landed hundreds of flights in 17 Canadian airports across the country when the US closed its air space following the attacks. Gander alone received 6,600 stranded passengers. Virtually all were taken into the homes of local residents.


Two men who dedicated their lives to protecting the north were remembered at an RCMP national memorial service on Sunday. Constable Michael Potvin drowned in July 2010 when his patrol boat capsized on the Stewart River in the Yukon. The RCMP also honoured Special Constable Andrew Ooyoumut. He drowned in 1954 in what is now Nunavut.


Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty met with members of the fire department in the city of Oakville Sunday and thanked them for their service on the 10th anniversary of 9-11. Mr. McGuinty said it's particularly important today to recognize the difference that first responders make. Mr. McGuinty shook hands with the firefighters and flipped some flapjacks at their pancake breakfast, and later attended a Sept. 11 firefighter memorial in London. Ont. Progressive Conservative Leader Tim Hudak and NDP Leader Andrea Horwath also attended 9-11 memorials Sunday. Ontario voters go the polls in a provincial election on Oct. 6.


Three-year-old Kienan Hebert is back with his family in Sparwood after he was snatched from his home sometime after his parents put him to bed Tuesday night. The family and the RCMP on Saturday issued an appeal to the little boy's abductor to let him go free. Police say the suspect returned the child overnight. They got a 911 call and went to the Hebert home where they found him. The Mounties are now making an appeal for a suspect, 46-year-old Randall Hopley, to come to police to get the help they say he needs.


Prime Minister Stephen Harper says the Sept. 11 attacks 10 years ago are a constant reminder that no one is immune from terrorism. He said the attacks that took nearly 3000 lives, including 24 Canadians, were senseless and cowardly. Speaking at a memorial to the Canadian victims in Manhattan on Sunday, Mr. Harper said Canada shares in the grief of all those mourning loved ones lost. The prime minister also paid tribute to the acts of courage, sacrifice and kindness by those who took part in rescue efforts.He pledged that his government will continue to stand firm with its allies to help ensure such a tragedy never happens again.


Security officials said Sunday two Yemeni soldiers had been killed and four wounded by a roadside bomb blast in a southern city held by al-Qaeda linked militants for nearly four months. Yemeni government forces, backed by the US and Saudi Arabia, are battling al-Qaeda fighters in Zinjibar, the capital of Abyan province, in their first major advance on the city in months. Ground battles and airstrikes have failed to dislodge the militants from Zinjibar and other towns, which militants overran in April and May. The security officials, speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to reporters, said Sunday the bomb exploded in eastern Zinjibar. Some 90 soldiers and over 300 fighters have been killed in southern Yemen this year.


Four people have been arrested in Sweden on suspicion of preparing to carry out a terrorist attack. Police say they were detained in the west coast city of Gothenburg. Earlier, some 400 people attending the opening of an international festival for contemporary art were evacuated from the city's arts centre due to what officials called a terror threat. It's not know if the perceived threat was linked to the tenth anniversary of the 9-11 attacks. Police searched the building but didn't find anything. Sweden raised its terror alert level from low to elevated last November because of a "shift in activities" among Swedish-based groups thought to be plotting attacks.


President Barack Obama, former President George W. Bush and other dignataries led sombre ceremonies Sunday, marking the 10th anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks on New York, Washington and Pennsylvania. Relatives of those who died gathered at the sites where four hijacked planes struck, killing nearly 3,000 people. In New York City, an official memorial was unveiled in Lower Manhattan at the site of what used to be the World Trade Center. There were two moments of silence, separated by 17 minutes, to mark the exact times when two hijacked jetliners slammed into the Trade Center's twin towers. As in previous anniversaries, the names of the people who died were read aloud at Ground Zero. The list includes 24 Canadians who perished in the attacks. President Obama attended ceremonies in Washingon and Pennsylvania later Sunday. Security was tight at all venues, following warnings of a possible attack by al-Qaeda.


Nealy 80 US troops were injured and two Afghan civilians killed in a suicide truck bombing on a military base in eastern Wardak province Saturday. NATO said none of the injuries are life-threatening. Rockets were also fired at the US military base in Bagram. The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attacks that coincided with ceremonies at the U.S. embassay in Kabul marking the 10th anniversary of the 9-11 attacks which prompted the US military operation to oust the Taliban in Afghanistan. American Ambassador Ryan Crocker acknowledged that many in the US have grown tired of the 10-year war in Afghanistan but said the US troops must remain in the country. During its rule in Afghanistan, the Taliban gave sanctuary to al-Qaeda chief Osama Bin Laden.


The storming by Egyptian demonstrators of the Israeli embassy in Cairo on Friday has raised questions about the future of the two countries' 1979 peace treaty. Israel flew its ambassador home but made clear on Sunday it remained committed to the pact. And Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says he believes Egypt's military rulers would also abide by the accord. Israel and Egypt fought four major wars in three decades before they signed the treaty, Israel's first with an Arab state. Protesters stormed the Israeli embassy on Friday, prompting the evacuation of nearly all Israeli diplomatic staff. Egypt is on alert after the attack, in which three people died as security forces fought rioters in Cairo. Cairo says those involved in the attack will be tried in an emergency court. Anti-Israeli feeling rose after five Egyptian policemen on the Gaza border were killed last month as Israeli forces chased suspected militants across the border.


Egypt's military ruler and one-time confidant of Hosni Mubarak has failed to attend a court session in which he was expected to offer highly anticipated testimony about the former president's alleged role in the death of protesters. The report Sunday on Egyptian State TV did not give a reason for Field Marshal Mohammed Hussein Tantawi's absence. The report said the judge ordered him to show up on September 24. Mr. Mubarak is charged with ordering the killing of anti-government protesters during the uprising that toppled him in February. Nearly 900 people died in the unrest.


Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said Sunday Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan will not cross the border into the Gaza Strip during his trip on Monday to Egypt but warns that Israel faces "growing isolation" in the region. Mr. Erdogan will also travel to Tunisia and Libya, but will limit his itinerary to those destinations. Israel has had strained relations recently with both Turkey and Egypt, where rioters ransacked the Israeli embassy on Friday. A visit to Gaza by Mr. Erdogan could spike tensions following Israel's refusal to apologize for its raid on a Gaza-bound flotilla that killed nine pro-Palestinian activists last year. Israel says it "will act to lower the flames" and try to mend relations with Turkey.


Activists say Syrian forces killed at least 12 people Saturday in their ongoing bid to crush anti-regime dissent. The deaths came as the Arab League announced an agreement with embattled President Bashar al-Assad on long-promised reforms. Arab League chief Nabil al-Arabi met Mr. Assad with a 13-point document outlining Arab proposals to broker an end to the bloodshed in Syria, hold elections and push for reforms in the League member state. During his talks with Mr. Assad, Mr. Arabi said the League and other Arab countries "reject any form of foreign interference in Syrian domestic affairs. In Cyprus, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said on Sunday prominent rights campaigner Najati Tayara is in a "very bad" health condition after he was "severely" beaten at a Homs prison. The Britain-based observatory said in a statement that it "has learned that investigators at the so-called 'Polish' prison in Homs severely beat Tayara on Friday. Mr. Tayara is 66.


The head of Libya's interim government has flown to Tripoli for the first time since anti-Gadhafi forces captured the capital. Mustafa Abdul Jalil was greeted by hundreds of cheering, flag-waving supporters. He had previously remained in the eastern city of Benghazi and correspondents say his presence in the capital is aimed at sending a message regarding his authority as head of the new interim leadership. Meanwhile, NATO aircraft continued bombing Bani Walid, one of the last pro-Gadhafi strongholds, following fighting there. Anti-Gadhafi forces now control most of the country - and Colonel Moammar Gadhafi's whereabouts are still unknown.


Guatemalans are voting in a presidential election. Former army general Otto Perez Molina of the right-wing Patriotic Party is the frontrunner, followed by businessman Eduardo Baldizon, also right-leaning. Of the ten candidates the only leftist is Rigoberta Menchu, the indigenous human rights activist who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1992. Fighting crime has been a focus of the campaign. Guatemala, one of the poorest Latin American nations, has seen rising gang violence as well as an expansion of operations by Mexican cartels who use the country as a key transit location for drugs smuggled from South America to the United States. The winning candidate needs more than 50% of the vote to avoid a run-off poll in November


A government official said Sunday more than 200 bodies have been recovered after an overloaded ferry sank off the Tanzania coast late Friday. The official said 192 bodies had been claimed by relatives and 28 more were awaiting identification. The bodies were taken to a sports field, where imams said prayers and the bodies were washed and wrapped in white according to Islamic custom. Weeping families walked among them looking for their families. The MV Spice Islander sank in an area of deep sea and strong currents in the early hours of Saturday with hundreds more people aboard than its official capacity of 600. The number of total passengers is still unclear and officials expect the death toll to rise.


Vancouver is sunny with a forecast high temperature of 22 degrees Celsius. Calgary and Regina are sunny, highs of 16 in Calgary, 17 in Regina. Winnipeg and Toronto have a mix of sun and cloud with a chance of showers, highs of 23 in Winnipeg, 26 in Toronto. Ottawa and Montreal are cloudy and 25. Fredericton and Charlottetown are cloudy with a chance of showers, 25 in Fredericton, 21 in Charlottetown. Halifax has a mix of sun and cloud, a high of 22. St. John's in cloudy with a high of 18. Whitehorse is sunny and 16. Yellowknife has in a mix of sun and cloud, a high of nine. Iqaluit has a mix of sun and cloud with a chance of flurries, a high of four.