Sunday, November 27, 2011

RCI Cyberjournal

Edition 26 November 2011
Canadian International Sports Weather

Canadian technology aboard giant Mars probe

The most complex probe ever launched on a mission to explore Mars, lifted off from Cape Canaveral, Florida Saturday morning. The 2.5-billion dollar nuclear-powered rover "Curiosity" is the size of a large car and is packed with lasers, x-ray sensors, and three-D cameras. Plans call for "Curiosity" to land on Mars in nine months time, then use Canadian technlogy in a two year search for signs of life, past or present, on the Red Planet. The Alpha Particle X-Ray Spectrometer, which was designed and made in Canada, will analyze chemical elements in rocks and soil on Mars. Of 40 unmanned missions to Mars, two-thirds have failed.

Ontario's McGuinty not interested in federal Liberal leadership

Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty is trying to defuse speculation that he might seek the leadership of Canada's federal Liberal Party. Mr. McGuinty's own brother, Ottawa MP David McGuinty, added fuel to the rumour mill this week when he said the Ontario premier would be a good choice for the job. David McGuinty suggested that his brother's third consecutive election victory likely would make him a very appealing leadership candidate for the federal Liberals. But, in a speech to party loyalists, Premier McGuinty denied having any ambitions beyond leading the government of Ontario. He says he loves his country, but is committed to his province and his party.

Lobster season delayed

Canada's Atlantic province of Nova Scotia is postponing the start of its lobster fishing season by one day. It was scheduled to open on Monday, but won't get underway until Tuesday morning because of concerns about strong winds. Environment Canada meteorologists are forecasting winds of up to 54 kilometres per hour off southwestern Nova Scotia on Monday.

New alcohol guidelines

Canada's new guidelines for alcohol consumption emphasize moderation. A national advisory committee is recommending that men limit themselves to 15 drinks a week with no more than 3 drinks a day. For women it's 10 drinks a week, with no more than 2 a day. The panel says having a set of consisten guidelines will help Canadians make informed decisions.

Harper says no easing of drug laws on his watch

Prime Minister Stephen Harper says his government will never agree to the decriminalization of marijuana. His comments came Friday in Vancouver, where just days ago five former and current Vancouver Mayors spoke in favour of regulating and taxing the drug.

They argued that it would stop most of the violence associated with the drug trade and make marijuana less accessible to children.

Mr. Harper said his government is very concerned about the spread of drugs in Canada and the damage it's doing. He added that current crime legislation before the House of Commons will crack down even further on drug use.

Ontario niqab case nets suspended sentence

A Canadian woman has been given a suspended sentence in an unusual assault case.

Rosemary Cresswell of Ontario was charged, after pulling the niqab off another woman's head.

Cresswell has been ordered to do 100 hours of community service. The judge suggested that some of that time be spent in a mosque - so Cresswell can learn more about Islam. A niqab is the Muslim veil that covers the entire face, except the eyes.

Canadian health ministers lay groundwork for future spending

Canada's health ministers say they've laid the groundwork for future talks on health-care funding. They wrapped up a two-day meeting in Halifax yesterday.

Federal Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq says they talked about what's worked -- and what hasn't -- under the current accord. The meeting was called to discus the future of health-care funding in Canada after a federal-provincial agreement ends in 2014

Occupy movement peters out in Canada

Authorities have cleared out two more Occupy Canada sites which were set up by demonstrators six weeks ago to protest against corporate greed. On Friday, police and city crews moved in on camps in the cities Montreal and Edmonton.

It followed similar moves in Toronto, Ottawa and Vancouver earlier this week. Only two Occupy sites remain standing in Canada, in the western cities of Winnipeg and Calgary.

The movement began in New York City's financial district this summer and spread to many cities around the globe.

Sikorksky settles out of court in Newfoundland crash case

Sikorksky Aircraft has reached an out-of-court settlement with Cougar Helicopters and eight insurance companies. The lawsuit against the U.S. aircraft manufacturer stems from a helicopter crash off Canada's Atlantic province of Newfoundland in 2009.

The helicopter went down 11 minutes after losing oil pressure, killing 17 of the 18 people on board. Cougar had asked 27-million dollars in damages. But the terms of the settlement have not been released.


WHO flu fears

The World Health Organization is scrambling to stop the spread of a strange new flu virus that has been jumping from pigs to people in parts of the United States. The WHO's assistant director-general for health security and environment, Dr. Keiji Fukuda, says the the UN health body is trying to figure out what will need to be done if the virus continues to spread and a global response is required.

Pakistan retaliates after deadly NATO strikes

The government of Pakistan has ordered the U.S. to vacate an air-base which the CIA is suspected of using to launch unmanned drones. The demand comes after NATO helicopters and jets attacked two Pakistani checkpoints on the country's border with Afghanistan Saturday, killing at least 26 Pakistani soldiers.

NATO confirms air support was called in and that it is "highly likely" its forces were responsible for the deaths. The incident took place at the Salala checkpoint, about two-and-a-half kilometres from the Afghan border.

Pakistan says the checkpoints are clearly marked and that the incident was unprovoked and indiscriminate. It has retaliated by closing the border crossing for supplies bound for NATO. The incident is a major blow to relations between Pakistan and NATO forces fighting in Afghanistan. ISAF is offering its condolences to the families of those killed and says it is committed to improving relations with Pakistan.

Syria facing new sanctions

Syria is facing a new round of sanctions after ignoring a deadline to allow an observer mission into the country. The Arab League is trying to pressure Damascus into ending the bloody crackdown on anti-government protesters which has taken over 3,500 lives since it began eight months ago. A draft document to be discussed by Arab ministers on Sunday says Arab states will cut commercial ties with Syria's government and freeze its assets. The proposed sanctions would also include a travel ban on senior Syrian officials and suspend commerical flights to the country. The Arab League says basis commodities for ordinary Syrians would be exempt from the list of sanctions.

Islamists win Moroccan vote

Morocco's moderate Islamist Justice and Development Party has won a parliamentary election for the first time. Official results for 288 of the 395 seats being contested show the PJD winning 80 seats nearly double the 45 seats won by Prime Minister Abbas el Fassi's Independence Party which finished second. Final results are to be released on Sunday.

The poll is part of reforms which King Mohamed VI hopes will defuse protests prompted by the Arab Spring. The King will have to appoint the prime minister from the party which wins the most seats, rather than naming whomever he pleases. But the king still has the final say on issues of defence, security and religion. Morocco, a close U.S. ally and popular European tourist destination suffers from high unemployment and widespread poverty.

Snap elections for Yemen

Yemen will hold snap presidential elections on February 21, 2012to replace President Ali Abdullah Saleh who has agreed to step down after ruling Yemen for 3 decades. The accord leading to his resignation, makes the 69-year-old Mr. Saleh the fourth Arab leader to be removed from power in the Arab Spring, the citizen uprising which has ousted the autocratic rulers of Tunisia, Egypt and Libya.

Egyptian protests continue




Egyptian protesters demanding an end to army rule clashed with police firing tear gas in central Cairo on Saturday. At least one protester was killed.

The death was the first since a truce between police and demonstrators on Thursday calmed violence that had taken 41 livesin Cairo and elsewhere in Egyptin the past week.

Prime Minister-designate Kamal Ganzouri, hand-picked by the military on Thursday, has asked Egyptians to give him a chance. In his first public comments he said he would not name a new government before Monday's parliamentary polls, which protesters want postponed.

New attacks in Baghad raise concern over security

At least 15 people are dead following a series of explosions in and around the Iraqi capital, Baghdad. More than 20 others were wounded.

The attacks have raised concerns over whether the planned withdrawal of U.S. troops will lead to a worsening of the security situation. American forces are due to withdraw from Iraq by the end of 2011, but talks continue between the two sides over whether to retain a limited U.S. presence into next year.

Libyan rape victims want government recognition

Dozens of women have rallied in the Libyan capital Tripoli on Saturday. They want the new government to do more to help women raped during the country's civil war. The women say the government's focus is on helping wounding soldiers and they also need assistance such as financial, legal and counselling support.

There are no official figures on the number of women raped during the eight-month war that toppled Moammar Gadhafi's regime. But the International Criminal Court's prosecutor has said there is evidence indicating hundreds of cases.

Day of silence observed before Sunday poll in South Ossetia

Georgia's rebel region of South Ossetia on Saturday observed a day of silence in campaigning on the eve of a tightly-contested run-off election for its next leader.

The first round on November 13 failed to produce an outright winner with South Ossetia's emergencies minister Anatoly Bibilov and former education minister Alla Dzhioyeva winning around 25 percent of the vote each.

The United States and the European Union both dismissed the first round of polls as illegitimate with Georgia denouncing them as a "cynical act of pseudo-democracy".

China's pork poison trial ends in death penalty for one.

More than 110 people, including over a dozen Chinese government employees, have been sentenced over chemical-laced pork that caused a food safety scandal earlier this year.

According to state media reports, one person was given the death penalty.

Chinese officials launched an investigation into the safety of porklast March, after several farms in central Henan province were found using the fat-burning drug clenbuterol in pig feed. Clenbuterol is a banned chemical that makes pork leaner but can be harmful to humans.

A subsidiary of Shuanghui Group, China's largest meat processor, was one of the companies selling tainted pork.

Venezuela gets its gold

Venezuela has received its first shipment of gold bars, after President Hugo Chavez ordered the repatriation of 85% of the country's bullion reserves. The gold was unloaded from a plane and taken under heavy guard to the Central Bank in the capital, Caracas.

President Chavez said the the move was an act of sovereignty that will protect Venezuela's reserves from global economic turbulence. Those who disagree have described it as expensive and unnecessary.


Grey Cup football

It's Grey Cup weekend in Canada and football fans from across the country are converging on the Pacific coast host city of Vancouver. Festivities included a big parade in downtown Vancouver on Saturday, the highlight of which was two C-F-18 fighter jets screaming overhead in a flyby at about 150 metres. The B-C Lions and the Winnipeg Blue Bombers face-off Sunday for the Canadian Football League's championship.


Eleven games on tap in the National Hockey League Saturday, with several Canadian teams seeing action: Winnipeg visits Boston, Edmonton plays Colorado, Montreal hosts Pittsburgh and Vancouver takes on San Jose.


The National Basketball Association will be providing its annual Christmas Day treat after all. The two sides in the league's labour dispute say they've shaken hands on a deal. The N-B-A is looking to play a 66-game season beginning with a triple-header that includes a finals rematch between the champion Dallas Mavericks and Miami Heat.


Grey Cup Sunday forecast

Canada's weather for Sunday, November 27, 2011. In the Canadian north, increasing cloudiness in Iqaluit and minus 13 degrees Celsius. A mix of sun and cloud in Yukon and minus 17 in Whitehorse. In British Columbia, rain, heavy at times, with 11 degrees in the Grey Cup host city Vancouver. Cloudy, some showers in Alberta, sunny in Saskatchewan and in Manitoba with 7 in Edmonton, 7 in Regina and minus 3 degrees in Winnipeg. Rain in Ontario and Quebec. In the four Atlantic provinces: Rain or flurries in New Brunswick. Cloudy in Nova Scotia, increasing cloudiness in Prince Edward Island and mainly sunny in Newfoundland. Some temperatures: 13 degrees in Toronto, 12 in Ottawa, 11 in Montreal, 6 in Halifax and minus 1 degree in St John's, Newfoundland.

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