Monday, October 24, 2011

RCI Cyberjournal

Edition 23 October 2011
Canadian International Sports Weather


Canada's natural resources minister is taking the European Union to task over its proposal to discriminate against crude from the Alberta oilsands. Joe Oliver has written to EU Energy Commissioner Gunther Oettinger to complain about a plan to differentiate oilsands products from other sources of heavy crude. The proposal stems from complaints that the oilsands have a greater greenhouse gas footprint than conventional production. Mr. Oliver's letter says other oil sources produce the same or even greater amounts of greenhouse gases but aren't singled out for special treatment. He says discriminating against Canadian heavy crude could violate the European Union's international trade obligations. Canadian exports of oilsands crude to Europe are low, but Mr. Oliver says he takes the proposed discrimination seriously.


Hundreds of people gathered on a high school football field in Grand Prairie, Alta. Saturday night to honour the lives of four teenagers. The boys--all of them 15 and 16-years-old--died earlier in the day in a traffic accident. Another 15-year-old boy is in hospital following the apparent hit-and-run collision near Grand Prairie. The 21-year-old driver of the other vehicle was not seriously hurt. He was arrested a short time later. The crash came one week after another collision claimed the lives for four teens near the city of Lethbridge, Alta.


It's been one week since the "Occupy" protests against corporate greed and excesses of capitalism began in Canada. On Saturday, hundreds of people gathered for a march on City Hall in Toronto. Protesters there have occupied a downtown park for the past week, trying to get attention for their message of social equality. In Vancouver on Saturday, dozens of protesters disrupted traffic during a demonstration but no arrests were made. The protests began in New York City over a month ago and last weekend, similar demonstrations were held in 950 cities around the globe.


The health of a Canadian-Saudi man jailed in Saudi Arabia is said to be deteriorating and he is asking Canadian authorities to help secure his freedom. Mohamed Kohail of Montreal, who is 26, was imprisoned on a murder charge in 2007 after a school yard brawl. In 2008 he was sentenced to death by beheading, but the sentence was overturned by the Saudi Supreme Court in 2010. Mr. Kohail has maintained his innocence as he awaits a retrial. His friends and family now say he has developed health problems and they are asking Ottawa to take a renewed interest in his case. Reports say Mr. Kohail underwent multiple operations this summer for chronic tuberculosis.


Eco-activist Wiebo Ludwig says he has been forgoing conventional treatment for esophogeal cancer in favour of alternative medicine. Mr. Ludwig says the cancer is just above his stomach, but he won't know how far it has spread until he gets the results from tests done in Edmonton. He says doctors are advising him to follow more conventional treatments, but he says surgery and radiation are too invasive and destructive for his taste. The 69-year-old says he's been undergoing therapy that involves injections of vitamin C and hydrogen peroxide.Mr. Ludwig was convicted in 2001 of bombing sour gas wells in Alberta and served about a year and a half in jail. Mr. Ludwig has blamed oil developments near his family's property near Hythe, Alta. for livestock deaths as well as a miscarriages in his family.


Ontario's Ministry of Natural Resources will have crews out Monday picking up thousands of dead birds that have washed ashore along beaches on Georgian Bay. Initial estimates pegged the number of dead water fowl as high as 6,000. A ministry spokesman said Sunday staff will also be in the area north of Wasaga Beach on Monday trying to get a more exact count. Testing is being done to confirm the cause of the deaths, which ministry officials say are not uncommon on the Great Lakes at this time of year. The officials say botulism has proven to be the cause of similar occurrences in the past ---- fish ingest botulism when feeding on the lake bottom and the birds eat the contaminated fish. The government clean-up will focus on a large provincial park on the shores of Georgian Bay.



The Nova Scotia Liberal party is divesting itself of controversial funds tied to decades-old political kickbacks and frozen by provincial legislation two years ago. Party President John Gillis says the almost $2.3 million will be used to create an independent, public policy institute named after former deputy prime minister Allan J. MacEachen. The NDP government brought in changes to political party financing in 2009 that banned the use of money or assets held in trust for any political purpose. Although some Liberal party members argue there was never any taint to the money it has long been tied to kickbacks the party received from liquor companies while in government during the 1970s. In 1992 the party gave $1.3 million to the provincial treasury after a review could not clearly determine how much was raised illegally. The party kept $1.6 million and the fund and its earnings have been used to help cover operating expenses.


Shoppers in Truro, NS are lamenting the loss of a decades-old family-owned department store. Margolians - arguably the best-known store in downtown Truro - opened its doors for an "end of an era" sale on Friday as it prepares to shut down after 88 years in business. Margolians, which is known for selling famous brands at reasonable prices, is closing in January. The president of Margolians Maritimes Ltd. said earlier this week that the business has been struggling over the past few years because of changing consumer habits and increased competition.


The provincial government says sled dog companies must have their animals inspected annually if they want to operate on Crown land in British Columbia. The policy was recommended by the Sled Dog Task Force. It was established by former premier Gordon Campbell in early 2011 after the mass killing of sled dogs by an adventure-tourism operation. Sled dog companies are currently allowed to operate on Crown land through provincial Land Act tenures. But the provincial government says it will add the inspection requirement to any new tenures issued. It says current operators must commit to the annual inspection in their business management plans.



As many as 1,000 people were feared killed Sunday in a powerful 7.2 earthquake that struck southeast Turkey, destroying dozens of buildings and trapping some victims alive under the debris. The worst hit areas were the city of Van and the nearby district of Ercis, close to the Iranian border. Hundreds of buildings have collapsed and rescue crews were attempting to find survivors as night fell. The quake was among the strongest in Turkish history, and the worst since 1999 when nearly 20,000 people died in two tremors. International offers of aid have poured in from the US, China, Japan, and European countries.


The National Transitional Council on Sunday officially announced the liberation of Libya from the regime of Moammar Gadhafi. A huge crowd gathered at the main square in the city of Bengazi for the ceremony, many of them waving the red, black and green flags of the new Libya. The celebrations came three days after Gadhafi was captured and killed in his hometown Sirte. His decomposing body still lies in a walk-in freezer in the city of Misrata as people stream in to view it. The body has never been taken to a proper coroner's facility but a doctor who examined the corpse says he died from a shot to the head. The question of whether he was shot in the heat of battle, or executed remains unanswered. The National Transitional Council says Gadhafi was killed in crossfire rather than summarily executed by vengeful fighters.


Tunisians took the next step in their revolution that overthrew a president of 23 years last January. On Sunday, they voted to elect a 217-seat constituent assembly that will draft a new constitution and appoint an interim government. Turnout was heavy and no significance violence was reported. Election officials said there was some "soft" intimidation of voters, such as street demonstrations and people continuing to campaign on voting day, which is against the rules. The officials said some parties received warnings. Rachid Ghannouchi, the head of the country's main Islamist party, Renaissance, has warned that any fraud in the first truly free elections in Tunisia could plunge the nation into chaos. The fall of former president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali has allowed Tunisia's long banned Islamist movement--now legal--to take front-runner status through a well- organized network of committed activists everywhere in the country.



President Bashar al-Assad has replaced governors in two regions that have seen sustained protests against his rule. The changes affect the rural region around the capital, Damascus, and the northern province of Idlib. Activists say Assad's forces have raided towns and villages in both provinces this month, hunting for activists and army defectors. The raids have led to clashes between the army and suspected deserters. On Sunday, activists said Syrian security forces killed at least two people in Hama province. In the southern province of Deraa, shops and businesses in several towns were shut for a fifth consecutive day as part of a protest strike.


At least 12 people were reported killed in clashes between government troops and a renegade army unit in the capital, Sanaa, on Saturday. Dozens of people were injured. The violence broke out between renegade soldiers and government forces in the Hasaba district. On Friday, the UN Security Council urged President Ali Abdullah Saleh to step down immediately in return for immunity from prosecution. Anti-government protests calling for his resignation have been going on for months. The unrest has left dozens of people dead.


European leaders are meeting in Brussels to discuss how to resolve the region's debt crisis and avoid another recession. They're trying to find a way to limit the spread of the debt crisis and to protect the Euro. One issue on the table is how to boost the EU's reserve fund. Another is how much of Greece's debt should be written off. Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou says his country's efforts to deal with this problem should be recognized. On Saturday, EU finance ministers agreed that EU banks should help themselves by raising about 100-billion Euros in capital as a precaution.


At least 100 people are dead or missing after flash floods hit Burma's central region of Magway in the past three days. Officials say the flooding was triggered by several days of torrential rainfall. Search and rescueoperations are underway in the affected area. Local media reports said six relief camps have been set up to accommodate some 1,500 flood victims.


At least 32 people have died and more than 130 others were injured after a bridge collapsed at a political event in India's tea-producing region of Darjeeling. On Saturday night, dozens of villagers were on the bridge for talks by local separatist leaders. Victims fell over 20 meters into the river below. As many as 60 people were rescued last night. Search crews Sunday are forcused on areas down river. The separatists are members of the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha party which is campaigning for an independent state in the Darjeeling region.


The government said Sunday it would set up a distribution centre of Bangkok to help replenish empty supermarket shelves as residents readied for floods that have so far largely spared the capital. Three months of heavy monsoon rains have killed more than 350 people in Thailand and damaged the homes and livelihoods of nine million others. More than 110,000 evacuees have been forced to seek refuge in shelters. In the capital, the authorities are battling the slowly advancing floods on several fronts, with parts of the northern outskirts of Bangkok already under waist-deep water.


Negotiators for the United States and North Korea have arrived in Geneva for a new round of talks focused on Pyongyang's nuclear weapons program. The North Korean delegation arrived Saturday after flying to China and Russia. Preliminary discussions were scheduled for Sunday ahead of the formal talks to take place at North Korea's UN mission in Geneva on Monday and the United States' UN mission on Tuesday.


President Cristina Fernandez is expected to win a landslide victory over six rivals in a presidential election on Sunday. She would be the first woman to be re-elected as a president in Latin America. Ms. Fernandez can win with as little as 40 per cent of the vote if none of her rivals comes within 10 percentage points of her. The latest polls suggest she could win between 52 per cent and 57 per cent of votes.


Chinese media reported Sunday police had formally arrested two drivers suspected of running over a toddler who was then ignored by passers-by on a busy market street and later died. The death of two-year-old Wang Yue gained widespread coverage and prompted soul-searching over declining morality. The incident was captured in gruesome security camera footage and police were able to track down the van that first struck the child, as well as one that subsequently hit her as she lay bleeding on the road. The Beijing News and other outlets said police had concluded their initial investigation and ordered the two men formally arrested. The reports did not say what the men were being charged with.


Two identical twins in the state of Indiana now have another birthday in common: They delivered babies on the same day at the same hospital.The Herald-Times reports 21-year-old Jessica and Jennifer Patterson gave birth Wednesday at Indiana University Health Bloomington Hospital. Jennifer Patterson gave birth first to a girl, Adalynn Rose Patterson, who was born with a collapsed lung but is now doing fine. Eight and half hours later, Jessica Patterson gave birth to a boy, Mason Douglas Patterson, by Cesarean section. Jennifer Patterson calls the same-day births "kind of cool." Both women live in the tiny Lawrence County town of Judah. Hospital spokeswoman Amanda Roach says no one can recall the last time identical twins delivered babies at the hospital on the same day.




It was a good day for the McClintock family of Cambridge, Ontario Sunday at the Pan American Games in Guadalajara, Mexico. Whitney McClintock won gold and silver medals in women's water skiing while her brother Jason earned two silver medals on the men's side. Whitney McClintock took gold in the women's tricks event before adding a silver in the slalom event. Teammate Karen Stevens added a slalom bronze for Canada. McClintock was scheduled to compete in the jump final later Sunday. Jason McClintock won a silver medal in the men's tricks event and another silver in men's slalom. Elsewhere, Canada's equestrian team of Jessica Phoenix, James Atkinson, Hawley Bennett, Rebecca Howard and Serena O'Hanlon won silver in eventing competition. Elsewhere, Brent McMahon won bronze in the men's triathlon and Steven Takahashi won bronze in the men's 55-kilogram freestyle wrestling division after his opponent failed to make weight. Canada's women's softball team settled for silver after suffering an 11-1 loss to the US in the final. Canada started the day off with a 4-0 win over Cuba in the semi-finals to guarantee a shot at gold. On Saturday, Richard Weinberger took gold in the men's 10-kilometre open water swimming event. Canada also picked up three silvers. Aaron Rathy finished second in men's wakeboarding, Whitney McClintock placed second in the water skiing overall event and Crispin Duenas lost out in the men's archery final. Vincent Gagnon won bronze in men's racquetball ball.


Saturday's results: Winnipeg defeated Montreal 26-25 and Hamilton defeated BC 42-10.


Saturday's results: Toronto and New England played to a 2-2 draw and Colorado defeated Vancouver 2-1.


New Zealand won the Rugby World Cup title with a narrow 8-7 victory over France in Auckland on Sunday. The All Blacks claimed their first World Cup since hosting and winning the inaugural event in 1987.



Vancouver is cloudy with a chance of showers. The forecast high temperature: 11 degrees Celsius. Calgary has a mix of sun and cloud, a high of six. Regina is sunny, a high of nine. Winnipeg is sunny, a high of 10. Toronto has showers, a high of 12. Ottawa has showers, a high of 11. Montreal has periods of rain, a high of 15. Fredericton has a mix of sun and cloud, a high of 13. Charlottetown has a mix of sun and cloud, a high of 12. Halifax has a mix of sun and cloud, a high of 14. St. John's is cloudy, a high of 11. Whitehorse has a mix of sun and cloud, a high of minus-three. Yellowknife is cloudy, a high of minus-one. Iqaluit has a mix of sun and cloud with a chance of flurries, a high of minus-six.

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