Sunday, December 11, 2011

RCI Cyberjournal

Edition 10 December 2011
Canadian International Sports Weather

Attawapiskat reserve chief rebukes federal government

The head of a Canadian First Nation community has reponded to an overture from the Conservative goverment. Chief Theresa Spence of the Attawapiskat reserve in northern Ontario sent an angry letter to the government on Friday, criticizing Ottawa's offer of 15 modular houses for vulnerable families as insufficient.

And she says her community will not pay for the third party manager, appointed by the government this week to take control of the reserve's finances. The consultant's fee is about 13-hundred dollars a day. The isolated Cree community of Attawapiskat became a recent focus of national attention after declaring a state of emergency over a housing crisis that has forced residents to live in tents and uninsulated shacks as Winter sets in. The federal government has said the new homes will not be ready to ship until the end of January.

CBC says Canadian held in Mexico previously investigated at home



The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation says it has learned that the federal police force and Canada Border Services Agency investigated and even briefly detained a Canadian woman now under arrest in Mexico. But Canadian officials have given no details on why Cyndy Vanier of Ontario was under investigaton and briefly detained last September.

Mexican authorities have been holding Ms Vanier without charge, alleging she is the leader in an international plot to shelter and hide al-Saddi Gadhafi, the son of former Libyan dictator, Moammar Gadhafi. Ms. Vanier denies any wrongdoing.

Regulator approves project for controversial northern lead-zinc mine


A northern Canadian regulator has approved a controversial lead-zinc mine, in a world heritage site in the Northwest Territories. The Mackenzie Environmental Impact and Review Board says the underground mine wouldn't pose any significant environmental hazard.

The company, Canadian Zinc, wants to operate the mine in the Nahanni National Park Reserve, a scenic wilderness that is a prime habitat for woodland caribou and grizzly bears. The proposal still requires the Canadian government's final approval.

RIM data service at risk in Indonesia

Indonesia could stop local data service by the Canadian smartphone maker, Research in Motion. The Jakarta Post reports that the government is angry with RIM because the company refused to honor its promise to build a regional data centre. The centre was supposed to monitor data sent by RIM's Indonesian subscribers. Earlier this week, RIM say that it would build the data centre in nearby Singapore, with a router in Indonesia.

The newspaper reports that an official of the Indonesian Telecommunications Regulation Body predicted that the government would likely terminate RIM's local Internet service and Blackberry Messenger service.

RIM has about six million subscribers in Indonesia, its largest market outside North America.

Fire destroys landmark church

A fire on Saturday destroyed a landmark church in Nova Scotia. The Victoria Presbyterian Church, built in 1912, was considered an important centre in the community of Birch Grove. Firefighters were unable to salvage the building but were able to recover the church's bell and gold cross. The church was going to celebrate its centennial next year. The fire began in the attic. Arson is not suspected.

Wife accepts late husband's Nobel Prize

The wife of the late Canadian-born scientist, Ralph Steinman, accepted the Nobel Prize for Medicine on his behalf on Saturday at a ceremony in Stockholm. Claudia Steinman was given his medal and diploma by Sweden's King Carl XVI Gustaf. Dr. Steinman died of cancer three days before the Nobel Committee announced that he won the prize along with American Bruce Beutler and French scientist Jules Hoffman. They were chosen for their discoveries about the immune system.

Dr. Steinman became the only person to win the award posthumously after the Nobel Committee agreed to make an exception to the rules. Each prize is worth US$1.5 million.

The Prizes are handed out on the anniversary of the death of their founder, Alfred Nobel in 1896.


Thousands stage anti-government protest in Moscow

Thousands of people have attended the biggest anti-government rally in the Russian capital Moscow since the fall of the Soviet Union.

As many as 50,000 people gathered near the Kremlin to condemn last Sunday's parliamentary elections and demand that a new poll be held.The protesters allege the vote was flawed, though Prime Minister Vladimir Putin's ruling United Russia party did see its share of the vote fall sharply.

Some of the protestors are also asking that the head of the election commission step down, and some have even demanded that Mr. Putin himself resign.Reports say Communists, nationalists and Western-leaning liberals are all taking part in the protests, despite divisions between them.


Bloodshed continues in Syria

The U.S. and Britain are urging Syria to allow observers into the country to monitor spiralling deadly violence. Syrian activists say nine civilians were killed Saturday by security forces in the flashpoint regions of Homs, Daraa and Idlib, a day after 41 people died across the country.

Activisits issued a statement, condeming continuing bloodshed in Syria as the world marks International Human Rights Day. Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has refused to let investigators from two UN human rights inquiries enter Syria, and his regime is resisting Arab League calls to accept monitors despite being hit by crippling sanctions. The UN says 4,000 people have lost their lives since the popular revolt against Damascus erupted in March.

U.N. climate summit facing decisive moment


Delegates at the United Nations climate talks in Durban, South Africa, were urged on Saturday to approve a compromise deal. The talks' chairwoman, South African foreign minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, admitted that the deal is not perfect. But she called it a good result following two weeks of difficult negotiations. The talks involving 194 nations were scheduled to end on Friday, but continued into the next day amid disagreements and procedural delays.

Delegates came in the hope of arranging a new deal to replace the Kyoto Accord, which expires next year. Canada indicated during the conference that it will withdraw from the Kyoto Accord because its targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions are unrealistic.

Pakistani Taliban says it's talking peace with Islamabad

The deputy commander of the Pakistani Taliban says the group is in peace talks with the Pakistani government. Maulvi Faqir Mohammad, says the focus of discussions is on the Bajaur tribal area bordering Afghanistan, and that if successful, they will be extended to other districts. Mr. Mohammed is quoted as saying 145 Taliban prisoners have been freed as a goodwill gesture and that Pakistan wants a truce.

For the last four years, the group has been waging a guerrilla campaign against Islamabad. Analysts say the peace talks are likely to further fray already strained relations between the U.S. and Pakistan. Relations chilled after a recent NATO air strike mistakenly killed 24 Pakistani soldiers at a border checkpoint. Pakistan retaliated by refusing to attend a key conference on AFghanistan's future and blocading the vital U.S. supply route through Pakistan to Afghanistan.

U.S. urges human rights improvements in China

The U.S. ambassador to China on Saturday urged Beijing to improve its human rights record, pointing to imprisoned Nobel Peace Prize laureate Liu Xiaobo as an example where China falls short. In a statement released on the U.N.'s International Human Rights Day, envoy Gary Locke said protection of human rights in China had not kept up with the country's massive economic gains.

Liu was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize last year but was not allowed to collect it. He is serving an 11-year prison sentence for co-authoring an appeal for political reform. His wife, Liu Xia, has largely been held incommunicado, effectively under house arrest, watched by police, without phone or Internet access and prohibited from seeing all but a few family members. China maintains Mr. Liu is imprisonned because he is a criminal.

Women's rights champions accept Nobel Peace Prize

One of the winners of the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize is urging suppressed women worldwide to find their voice. Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf is one of three womenwho acceptedthe prize on Saturdayat a ceremony in Oslo.

The other two were Leymah Gbowee, also of Liberia and Tawakkul Karman of Yemen.

The three fought injustice, dictatorship and sexual violence in their countries. Each received a gold medal, a diploma, and almost half-a-million dollars U.S.

Violence continues as new Yemeni government sworn-in


A new national unity government was sworn-in this morning, in Yemen. It's the next step in a deal brokered by Yemen's Gulf neighbors which saw longtime dictator Ali Abdullah Saleh step down last month. Mr. Saleh transferred his powers to Vice President, Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi until new elections are held in February.

Meanwhile, sporadic violence continues between supporters and opponents of Mr. Saleh in the capital, Aden, and between government soldiers and suspected members of al-Qaeda in the south.

China pledges further support to Eurozone nations

China has indicated it will remain part of international efforts to help Europe through its debt crisis. Vice foreign minister Fu Ying on Saturday dismissed suggestions that Beijing is sitting back as the region suffered.

When asked by reporters at a conference in Vienna Saturday, Ms. Fu said China and Europe are interrelated, interdependent and in the same boat.

She said China has sent delegations to Brussels to study how the government can invest and import more from Europe and added that would help create jobs and stimulate the economy in the Eurozone nations. As the owner of the world's largest foreign exchange reserves, China is one of the few governments that could buy a sizeable portion of European government debt and help pull the region from its economic malaise.

Noriega deemed fit for extradition

Panama's former dictator, Manuel Noriega, could be extradited from France as early as Sunday. Noriega has been serving a prison sentence in France for money laundering. He previously served time in the United States. He faces severe prison sentences in Panama in connection with two murders committed while he was the country's ruler. Noriega is 77. He had been in poor health, but French doctors say that he's fit to travel to Panama.Noriega was ousted in 1989 when the United States invaded Panama.

Peru's prime minister resigns

Peru's Prime Minister Salomon Lerner abruptly resigned on Saturday, just five months after taking the post. Mr. Lerner was considered an important aide to President Ollanta Humala. Peru's laws require that the president's entire cabinet must resign as well. President Humala is a former army officer who was sworn in last July. Mr. Humala immediately named former interior minister and ex-army officer Oscar Valdes to be the new prime minister.



Canadian Olivier Jean won his third gold medal of the season in the 500 metres at an ISU World Cup short-track speed skating event in Shanghai, China on Saturday. China's Qiuwen Gong was second and Dutch skater Daan Breeuswsma was third. In the men's 1,500 metres, Charles Hamelin won a silver medal in a photo finish with Korea's Jinkyu Noh, who set a world record of 2:09.41.


The Montreal Canadiens beat the New Jersey Devils on Saturday, 2-1.


Canadians Lyndon Rush and Neville Wright placed fifth in Canada 1 and their compatriots Chris Spring and Derek Plug were sixth in Canada 2 at a World Cup two-man bobsled event in La Plagne, France, on Saturday. Germany's Thomas Florschuetz and Kevin Kuske won, edging Steven Holcomb and Steve Langton of the United States.


Canadian Mikael Kingsbury has started the World Cup season with a win on Saturday at Ruka, Finland. He finished ahead of American Sho Kashima and France's Anthony Benna.


Canada's Mellisa Hollingsworth won her first event in two years on Saturday at a World Cup skeleton meet in La Plagne, France.

Americans Annie O'Shea and Katie Uhlaender took the silver and bronze medals.


Carolina Kostner of Italy won the gold medal in women's singles at the ISU Grand Prix Final in Quebec City on Saturday. Akiko Suzuki of Japan won the silver and Russia's Alena Leonova took bronze. In the men's competition, Canada's Patrick Chan won the gold, Daisuke Takahashi of Japan won the silver, and Javier Fernandez of Spain earned the bronze.


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

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