Monday, November 28, 2011

RCI Cyberjournal

Edition 27 November 2011
Canadian International Sports Weather

Ontario man acquitted of slashing wife's throat eager to return home

An Ontario man acquitted in Jamaica of slashing his wife's throat says he is eager to return home to his children and job as an elementary school teacher. Paul Martin was accused of violently attacking Cathy Lee Clayson on the final day of a vacation in the Caribbean nation last year.

He claims his wife was the aggressor and was cut in a struggle. During the trial, Martin's attempted-murder charge was reduced to wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm. A seven-person jury acquitted him on Tuesday. He said he hopes to return to Canada in the coming week.

Canada to eliminate select tariffs

Canada is taking a step to eliminate some tariffs. Finance Minister Jim Flaherty says that the exemption relates to 70 different products used in Canadian manufacturing. The move could save manufacturers about CDN$32 million a year.

The exempted products include mixtures used to make drinks, parts used to make furniture, trailers and transport equipment, gelatin capsules for pharmaceuticals, and conveyor belts. Mr. Flaherty says that the tariffs on these products were outdated and senseless.

He says that the government made a commitment last year to make Canada a tariff-free zone for manufacturers. The government says that in the last two years, tariffs were eliminated for 1,800 products at an annual savingsto business of CDN$435 million.

New Brunswick Liberal Party rebuilds

New Brunswick's Liberal party will vote on a new leader next October, some two years after the party suffered a major defeat. The date was decided during a closed-door meeting this weekend in Fredericton. The party needs time to bring new voting rules into effect, including moving to a one-member, one-vote system.

About 600 members of the party attendeda weekend convention.

Debate wages over new report on impaired drivers

A new Canadian government report concludes that harsh sentences for imparied drivers might be ineffective. The federal Justice Department examined almost 3,300 people convicted of an impaired-driving offence. One in two of them offended again at least once within an average of five years. The advocacy group, Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD Canada) is questioning the validity of the findings. MADD says that the report's statistics are old, and at odds with other research about re-offending drivers.

Newspaper reports British connection to Canadian oilsands campaign

The British newspaper, The Guardian, reports that Britain's government has secretly supported Canada's campaign to drop European penalties for oilsands fuel. The report says that Prime Minister David Cameron has heeded lobbying efforts against the penalties by Shell and BP, two companies that have major oilsands projects in Alberta.

Documents released under freedom of information laws show that at least 15 high-level meetings and communications dealing with the penalties took place between the Canadian and British governments during the last three months. Europe on Friday designated tar sands oil as dirty oil that produces 22 per cent more greenhouse gas emissions than conventional fuels.

The Guardian reports that Britain's opposition to the designation puts it in a minority among European Union countries.

The report could embarrass Britain just as a new round of international negotiations on climate change begins on Monday in Durban, South Africa.

Canada urges still greater sanctions against Syria.

As the Arab League announced new sanctions against Syria, Canada's foreign minister, John Baird, called on the United Nations to consider isolating Syria further.

He said that the Arab League had sent an important signal that Syria's "egregious behaviour" will not be tolerated. He also urged Canadians in Syria to leave.

Canada has imposed stiff sanctions on Syria that include travel restrictions and an asset freeze. The number of Canadians in Syria is unclear.


Putin warns West to stay out of March 2012 election

Vladimir Putin has been formally nominated by his ruling United Russia party to run for President in the March 2012 elections, which is is widely expected to win. Speaking to party delegates at the convention Sunday, Mr. Putin warned the West against interfering in the polls saying any attempts to stir discontent in order to influence the outcome would be futile.

The former president accused foreign nations of paying non governmental organizations in Russia in order to eventually influence the course of the campaign. Mr. Putin also condemned Rusia's fractured opposition, saying its members discredited themselves when they were in power in previous years.

Military in Egypt sends warning

Tens of thousands of protesters are in Cairo's Tahrir Square, again calling on the country's military rulers to resign. But Egypt's military leader Hussein Tantawi had an ominous warning, saying the army will not be pressured by force and he warned of grave consequences if the country does not overcome the present crisis. Mr. Tantawi also urged all Egyptians to vote in Monday's parliamentary elections.

Protestors took to the streets last week in Cairo and elsewhere, angered over the slow pace of reform. More than 40 people have been killed and some 2,000 wounded since then in the worst violence since the fall of dictator Hosni Mubarak last winter.

Arab League punishes Syria with unprecedented sanctions

The Arab League has imposed unprecedented sanctions against Syria, a memberstate.The move is intended to pressure the regime of President Bashar al-Assad to end its deadly eight-month crackdown on dissent.

The proposals include the halting of dealings with the Syrian central bank, the suspension of commercial flights and a travel ban on senior officials. Syria has slammed the move as a betrayal of Arab solidarity and accuses the organization of trying to internationalize the conflict.

Violence continued across Syria on Sunday, with activists reporting at least eight deaths at the hands of Syrian security forces.

Pakistan reacts with anger at NATO raid

NATO appears to be justifying its deadly air attack on Pakistan's territory in which at least 24 Pakistani soldiers were accidentally killed. Pakistan angrily called it an unprovoked attack and responded by closing vital NATO supply routes through Pakistan. But NATO and Afghan military sources who prefer anonymity say that allied forces in Afghanistan first came under fire from Pakistan.

Funerals for the Pakistani soldiers were held on Sunday. Their death has further increased tension between Pakistan and NATO. Pakistan has long criticized the United States for drone missile attacks that accidentally kill Pakistani civilians.

On Sunday, thousands of people in Karachi staged a loud protest at the U.S. consulate.

Iran downgrading relations with Britain

Iran's parliament has voted by a large majority to downgrade diplomatic relations with Britian. The decision came after the British government imposed sanctions on Iranian banks in the wake of an International Atomic Energy Agency report suggesting Iran was working towards acquiring a nuclear weapon.

Iran's Guardian Council must approve the legislation before it can take effect.

Britain has described Iran's action as regrettable. The vote will likely lead to the expulsion of the British ambassador who was just appointed last month. Canada and the U.S. also moved to impose new sanctions against Iran following the UN Watchdog's report. Iran has always maintained itsnuclear program is for entirely peaceful purposes.

Delegates gather for climate summit opening in Durban

Delegates from about 190 countries, including Canada, are gathering in South Africa for a two-week climate change conference. The summit in Durban officially opens tomorrow. Participants hope to break deadlocks on how to curb emissions of carbon dioxide and other pollutants.

The UN's top climate official says she expects governments to make some long-delayed decisions. But some of the developing world's biggest greenhouse gas emitters, including the U.S., Russia, Japan and Canada are still arguing for a longer timeframe to clinch a new deal.

New round of Chinese Indian border talks postponed

It's reported that China has postponed border talks with India scheduled for Monday. The Times of India says China called off the 15th round of the talks after India refused to accept Beijing's demand that a speech by the Dalai Lama at a Buddhist congregation in New Delhi this week be cancelled.

The Indian side is believed to have conveyed to China that the congregation is of a religious nature and not a political event and it cannot cancel it. A representative of the Dalai Lama has also appealed to China not to politicize the event. Neither nation has commented on the reported cancellation of the discussions.

Search continues for Russian crew of sunken cargo vessel

Rescuers searching for six Russian seamen missing after a cargo vessel sank off north Wales in gale force weather say another crew member has been recovered. His condition is not yet known. Two other crew rescued earlier were taken to hospital. Britain's Prince William, who is a search and rescue helicopter co-pilot, took part in the rescue by the Royal Air Force. The ship was carrying rock and was enroute to Cowes on the Isle of Wight at the time of the disaster.

Yemen names interim prime minister

A new interim prime minister was appointed in Yemen on Sunday in an attempt to end months of public protests. Opposition leader Mohammed Basindwa was named by Vice President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi. Mr. Basindwa was head of an alliance that led months of protests against President Ali Abdullah Saleh.

On Wednesday, after months of public demonstrations, Mr. Saleh finally agreed to transfer power to his deputy.

Belgium takes step toward forming government

Spurred by a downgrading of its credit rating, Belgium on Sunday moved closer to forming a government. The country's chief negotiator in charge of forming a cabinet, Elio Di Rupo, says that new government could be formed as early as next week. He commented after six rival political parties agreed on a deal on the 2012 budget, the last major hurdle to forming a government.

On Sunday, Standard & Poor's rating agency downgraded Belgium's credit.

Islamist party will lead Morocco's next government

Final results of the parliamentary elections in Morocco on Friday show that the Islamist party, Justice and Development, won the most seats and will form the next government. The Justice and Development Party won 107 seats in the 395-seat legislature, nearly twice the number as its nearest rival.

The PJD will try to form a three-party coalition. Elections were held in the wake of the Arab Spring uprisings that have led to pro-democracy rallies in other Arab countries.

King Mohammed VI moved elections up by a year and ordered a constitutional reforms to give parliament more power.



Canadian long-track speedskater Christine Nesbitt on Sunday won her second World Cup gold medal in as many days in Astana, Kazakhstan. She finished first in the 1,000 metres. Thijsje Oenema won silver and Margot Boer won bronze, both of the Netherlands. Nesbitt leads the overall World Cup standings with 200 points, 50 more than Boer.


Canada's Daniel Nestor and his partner Max Mirnyi of Belarus won the ATP World Tour Finals doubles title on Sunday, 7-5, 6-3, beating Poland's Mariusz Fyrstenberg and Marcin Matkowski.


The Canadianrelay team won its first luge World Cup title in Igls, Austria on Sunday. Alex Gough, Samuel Edney, Tristan Walker and Justin Snith beat a German team that won five of six relay events last season. Russia took third.


Here is Canada's weather forecast for Monday, November 28 . British Columbia will be mainly cloudy. The high temperature in Vancouver will be seven degrees Celsius. The Yukon: variable cloudiness. Whitehorse, minus three. Northwest Territories: increasing cloudiness. Yellowknife, minus 16. Nunavut: overcast. Iqaluit, minus nine. Alberta: sunny. Edmonton, zero. Saskatchewan: sunny. Regina, minus two. Manitoba: sunny. Winnipeg, three. Ontario: mainly cloudy. Toronto: nine. Ottawa, six. Quebec: clearing skies. Montreal, 11. New Brunswick: rain. Fredericton, 14. Nova Scotia: mainly cloudy. Halifax, 12. Prince Edward Island: overcast. Charlottetown, 11. Newfoundland: overcast. St. John's, 11.

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