Sunday, November 13, 2011

RCI Cyberjournal

Edition 12 November 2011
Canadian International Weather

Prime Minister Harper at APEC summit

As 21 Asia-Pacific leaders began their summit in Honolulu, Hawaii on Saturday, Canada's prime minister, Stephen Harper, came under pressure from business leaders to do more to promote trade with APEC countries.

Canada has indicated that it might consider joining the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), an arrangement signed in 2005 among Brunei, Chile, New Zealand and Singapore.

Several other countries, including Japan, are also considering membership.

But Canada is not among the ten nations that are discussing an expanded TPP.

Interest in the TPP grew after the United States described it as the cornerstone of a widespread free-trade zone.

China has discouraged the TPP's expansion, apparently out of fear of competition in the region.

Finance minister promotes alternative markets for Canadian oil

Finance minister Jim Flaherty is expressing doubt about the future ofa multi-billion dollar Canadian pipeline projectto carryoil fromthe Alberta tarsands to the Gulf of Mexico.

The U.S. Obama administrationwants to look at alternate routes that would bypass fragile eco-systems in the state of Nebraska.

A decision won't be made until early 2013.

Speaking in Honolulu where he is attending the APEC summit, Mr. Flaherty said he is not sure the projectcan survive such a delay.

Hesaid that might mean the Canadian government will have to move quickly on another pipeline project ,which could see Canada export Albertan crude oil from British Columbia by tankers to Asia.





Halifax police detain protestors

Some residents in Canada's Atlantic city of Halifax are reacting angrily to recent police action. On Friday, police used force to clear a public park where demonstrators had set up tents as part of an international protest against corporate greed. Fourteen people were arrested for violating a bylaw against camping in a public park. A protest organizer, Ian Matheson, criticized Mayor Peter Kelly for using violence instead of diplomacy.A public demonstration against the police action was planned on Saturday.

Canadian killed in Egypt

A Canadian man has been accidentally shot dead in Egypt as a result of a family feud.

Jean-Francois Pelland was killed on Wednesday while touring in a car in southern Egypt.

He was shot by armed men when his driver refused to stop at an illegal checkpoint in the town of al-Samata.

Mr. Pelland, 24,was from Montreal. He worked in Cairo as a teacher and sports coach.

Family feuds in southern Egypt commonly turn to violence.

No arrests were reported.

Inquiry into Maui helicopter crash that leaves two Canadians dead

An investigation has begun into a helicopter crash in Hawaii that killedall aboard, including two Canadian tourists. The Blue Hawaiian Helicopters flight was on a 45-minute aerial tour of west Maui and Molokai when it crashed Thursday. Firefighters recovered four bodies and the fifth was found under the wreckage. Officials say the aircraft was less than a year old.

Customers still without electric power in B.C.

There are still several thousandHydro customers on the Pacific coast without power because of a huge wind storm.Rough weather in British Columbia has also forced B-C Ferries to delay and cancel service between the mainland and Vancouver Island. And the CoquihallaHighway had to shut-down for hours because of blowing snow.

Defence minister to discuss Iran nuclear threat

Canada's defence minister, Peter Mackay, is expressing concern about reports that Iran is close to developing nuclear weapons.

Mr. Mackay will discuss the reports next week when Israel's defence minsiter, Ehud Barak, visits Canada.

Mr. Barak and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu have warned Iran to avoid building nuclear weapons.

This week, the International Atomic Energy Agency released a report about Iran's secret experiments that could lead to a nuclear device.

Iran denies the allegations.

Mr. Mackay repeated that Canada is a strong ally of Israel, adding that Iran has shown a "blatant disregard" for Israel's right to exist.

Mr. Mackay spoke in Kabul, Afghanistan, where he took part in Remembrance Day ceremonies on Friday along with Canadian non-combat soldiers.


Silvio Berlusconi resigns

Silvio Berlusconi resigned as Italy's prime minister on Saturday, ending his tenure as the country's longest-serving post-war leader. His resignation came after Italy's parliamentapproved an austerity program aimed at controlling massive government debt and spending.

It's expected that Mario Monti, a former European Commissioner, will be appointed as the new prime minister.

The European Union demanded that Italy take action to handle its debt crisis to prevent further insecurity in world markets following the turbulence caused by the economic crisis in Greece.

Italy's next elections are scheduled for 2013. The interim government, whose cabinet was expected to be appointed within a day or two, could have about 18 months to pass painful economic reforms.

Italy's debt is more than 120 per cent of its gross domestic product.

Syria expelled from Arab League

The Arab League voted on Saturday to suspend Syria until Syria agrees to end its bloody crackdown against anti-government protesters. Eighteen countries voted for the suspension. Lebanon, Yemen and Syria voted against it and Iraq abstained. Following the announcement, crowds in Damascus attacked the Saudi embassy. The French and Turkish consulates in Latakia were also attacked. Last week the government of President Bashar al-Assad accepted an Arab League peace plan calling for a halt to violence and the beginning of negotiations with the opposition. But the government crackdown continued. On Friday, more than 20 people were killed, most in the city of Homs. According to the United Nations, more than 3,500 people have died in the protests, which broke out in March.

Iran blast kills at least 17

Government officials say an accident caused an explosion that killed at least 17 soldiers near Tehran on Saturday.

Sixteen others were injured, some of them critically.

The accident occurred at a Revolutionary Guard ammunition depot in the village of Bidganeh, 40 kilometres from the capital.

Military personnel were transporting munitions at the time.

The government has ruled out sabotage.

Kazakhstan security forces in battle with Islamist militant

An Islamist militant killed seven people in running battles with security forces in a southern Kazakh city on Saturday. The prosecutor-general's office said a 34-year-old "follower of jihadism" killed four members of the security forces and two civilians in gun battles in the city of Taraz. He blew himself up when cornered, killing another policeman. It was the latest in a series of attacks on the oil-producing nation, that was long seen as the most peaceful in Central Asia.


Rescuers continue to search for Turkish quake survivors

The first heavy snows of winter have brought more misery to thousands of earthquake survivors in eastern Turkey. Rescuers have so far found 30 people alive after Wednesday's 5.7 magnitude tremor. Out of 22 buildings that collapsed, only two were occupied, both hotels, as most people had left their homes after a more powerful quake hit the same region last month killing over 600 people. Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan visited the quake zone Saturday, amid rising anger among homeless families over relief efforts.

Reporters get tour of Fukushima nuclear plant

Japanese officials have allowed reporters to tour the inside of the Fukushima nuclear plant for the first time since it was crippled by an earthquake and tsunami in March. Previous requests by journalists to visit the site had been rejected on the grounds that radiation levels were too high. All of those on Saturday's tour wore protective clothing. An Associated Press reporter says there were overturned vehicles, crumbling reactor buildings and piles of rubble which have remained untouched since the tsunami struck. The vist is aimed at showing that the situation at the plant is gradually becoming more stable. More than 25,000 people were killed or went missing in the twin disasters.

Turkish commandos kill Kurdish rebel holding ferry hostages

Turkish commandos killed a Kurdish rebel Saturday after he hijacked a ferry with 24 people aboard in the country's northwest. The hostage-taking began Friday and lasted over 12 hours. None of the 24 passengers and crew was hurt. Officials say the Kurdish rebel was wearing a belt of plastic explosives.

Burma's democracy icon may contest by-election

Burma's pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi is likely to contest an upcoming by-election. A spokesman for Ms. Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy party said the NLD will likely re-register as a political party on Friday. The move would pave the way for a political comeback by the 65 year old Nobel laureate after years of exclusion by Burma's army generals. The NLD was delisted last year for boycotting the first elections for 20 years. It is not yet clear when a by-election will be held, but there are more than 40 seats available in parliament's two chambers. The NLD won democratic elections in 1990 but the party was barred from taking office. It shunned last year's vote largely because of rules that would have forced it to expel imprisoned members. Ms.Suu Kyi was under house arrest at the time.



Here is Canada's weather forecast for Sunday, November 13. British Columbia will be cloudy. The high temperature in Vancouver will be ten degrees Celsius. The Yukon: snow flurries. Whitehorse, minus seven. Northwest Territories: snow flurries. Yellowknife, minus five. Nunavut: snow flurries. Iqaluit, minus four. Alberta: overcast. Edmonton, four. Saskatchewan: clearing skies. Regina, two. Manitoba: overcast. Winnipeg, three. Ontario: windy. Toronto: 14. Ottawa, 11. Quebec: sunny periods. Montreal, 12. New Brunswick: mainly sunny. Fredericton, 12. Nova Scotia: sunny. Halifax, 11. Prince Edward Island: sunny. Charlottetown, eight. Newfoundland: variable cloudiness. St. John's, eight.

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