Sunday, December 18, 2011

RCI Cyberjournal

Edition 17 December 2011
Canadian International Sports Weather
Canadian

Liberal Party leader tours Attawapiskat


The interim leader of Canada's opposition Liberal Party, Bob Rae, had a first-hand look on Saturday at housing conditions at the First Nations reserve of Attawapiskat in northern Ontario. The community has made nationwide headlines as a result of its poor housing and a dispute over federal government aid. Earlier this month, the federal government agreed to the community's request to send 22 modular homes for residents living in unheated shelters.

But there's still anger in the community over the government's decision to appoint a third-party manager of the reserve's finances. Prime Minister Stephen Harper defended the action, saying that the community needs to account for millions of dollars in federal aid over the last several years.

After his tour, Mr. Rae gave a mixed review of housing conditions, saying that some residents were living in adequate houses while others were suffering in poor accommodations. However, he strongly criticized the government for taking control of the reserve's financial affairs.



Federal government to help native community


The Canadian government will help pay to remove mould in homes in a native community in the province of Newfoundland and Labrador. Peter Penashue, a Conservative Party member of parliament in the province says a consultant's report has shown that nearly all the homes in the Innu community of Natuashish have a serious problem with mould.

Mr. Penashue says the federal government has been working with the community and has money available for the repairs. But he says there has to be an official request from the chief and council.

Two species of the mouldare toxic and capable of producing disease. Natuashish hasuntil the end of March to apply for the money.



Conservative senator upset with crime bill


A Conservative senator is speaking out against his own government's omnibus crime bill.

Quebec Senator Pierre Claude Nolin is upset with a section that strengthens penalties for growing marijuana. Senator Nolin has been a longtime advocate for ending the prohibition on the drug. He was the chairman of a Senate committee in 2002 that called for the legalization of pot.





International

Flash flood kills over 400 in Philippines


A flash flood in the southern Philippines has killed at least 430 people. Hundreds more are missing.A tropical storm moved in overnight, as many people were sleeping. It battered the island of Mindanao with strong winds, and heavy rain.

Rivers began overflowing -- triggering flash floods, and landslides. A search for victims and survivors is ongoing.



Egypt's prime minister says latest protests are counter-revolutionary


Clashes continue for a second day in Egypt. On Friday eight people died in clashes in the capital, Cairo. Saturday, hundreds of protesters again threw stones at security forces, who have sealed off the streets around the parliament building.

Egypt's prime minister, Kamal al-Ganzouri, describes the latest protests as a "counter-revolution". He says those taking part are not those who participated in the uprising that toppled President Hosni Mubarak in February.

The demonstrators object to the appointment of mar Ganzouri last month and are demanding an immediate handover to civilian rule in Egypt.



Iraq reports positive results from Syrian mediation mission


An Iraqi government delegation says it has held positive talks with Syrian officials aimed at ending the violence there. The delegation went to Damascus Saturday, to try to broker a deal based on Arab League proposals. Iraq will update the League at a meeting in Cairo on Wednesday.

The Arab League has now given Syria until Wednesday to allow in observers or else it will consider turning to the UN Security Council for action to try to stop violence against opponents of President Bashar al-Assad's regime. In other developments, the Syrian National Council met in Tunisia Saturday.

The main opposition group discussed strategies for presenting itself as a government in waiting, ready to replace Assad as pressure mounts on the embattled President to end the bloodshed that the UN says has taken more than 5,000 lives since March.



U.S. defence secretary visits Tripoli


U.S. Defence Secretary Leon Panetta has expressed confidence in Libya's new interim government. During a visit to Tripoli on Saturday, he said Libya needed to unite fractious rebel groups, secure arms caches and build democratic institutions.

His visit follows Friday's decision by the UN to lift sanctions on Libya's central bank. The move clears the way for Libya's new government to gain control of tens of billions of dollars frozen overseas.

The authorities had recently stepped up calls for the release to help enhance security, pay employee wages, keep basic services running and rebuild war-torn regions.



Violent clashes in Kazakhstan kill 11.


A state of emergency was announced on Saturday in Kazakhastan's western town of Zhanaozen, a day after clashes between strikers and police left at least 11 dead. An unknown number of others were wounded. A decree bans strikes and protests and introduces a night-time curfew for a period of 20 days. Access to the city is blocked. The clashes began when police tried to clear the town square where oil workers had protested for over six months in a dispute over better pay. Such violence is unusual in the former Soviet republic where President Nursultan Nazarbayev keeps tight rein over public protest.



Aid for stranded Russian trawler


A New Zealand plane has dropped supplies of equipment and fuel to a Russian fishing boat stranded in icy Antarctic waters. The Sparta is holed beneath the waterline and stuck in heavy sea ice, some 3,700 kilometres south-east of New Zealand.

Reports say the crew worked overnight to stabilize the vessel, pumping water from the hold and moving cargo around the boat. Those crew who had boarded lifeboats are now back on board. A number of ships are on their way to assist the Sparta but all are days away and being hampered by heavy sea ice.

The crew comprise 15 Russians, 16 Indonesians and a Ukrainian. Officials say there are presently no helicopters in the area to help with a mid-sea rescue.



New deal reported between North Korea and USA


Reports from South Korea say North Korea has agreed to suspend its enriched-uranium nuclear weapons program, a key United States demand for the resumption of disarmament talks. Yonhap news agency quotes an unidentified diplomatic source saying that Washington has also agreed to provide the North with up to 240,000 tonnes of food aid.

The agreements were apparently struck when U.S. special envoy for North Korean Human Rights met with Ri Gun, head of North American affairs at North Korea's foreign ministry on Thursday and Friday in Beijing.

The North quit six-party talks on its nuclear program in April 2009, one month before its second nuclear test. The talks also include China, Russia, Japan and South Korea



Chinese villagers revolt


Thousands of residents of a southern Chinese village are staging a revolt following the death in police custody of a local representative who was helping their cause. The villagers of Wukan have driven local authorities from the area and Saturday they gathered at a square outside a local temple.

They shouted slogans calling for the return of the dead man's remains and also for farmland they say has been sold to developers without their consent. The are also urging the central government to intervene.

Police have set up checkpoints around the village of 20,000 people and have halted food deliveries. The protestors have set up barricades made of tree trunks. blocking all access to the town.



More than 300 feared drowned in Indonesia


A wooden ship carrying as many as 380 migrants mainly from the Middle East sank on Saturday near Indonesia's Java island. A local government official said that fishermen managed to rescue 76 people, some in critical condition. The fate of the others remained unknown, but many were feared drowned. The passengers were from Afghanistan, Turkey, Iran, and Saudi Arabia. Indonesia's islands are a transit point for illegal migrants seeking to reach Australia.



Associate Press chooses story of the year


News directors and editors at The Associated Press have chosen the killing of Osama bin Laden as the story of 2011. The Japanese earthquake and tsunami that damaged the Fukushima nuclear plant was the second-ranked story. The Arab Spring uprisings were number three, and the European Union's financial turmoil was number four.



Florentines march to denounce racism


At least ten thousand people marched in the northern Italian city of Florence on Saturday to condemn racism. The march was organized after a man went on a shooting spree in the city on Tuesday, killing two merchants from Senegal. Demonstrators carried Senegalese flags . The shooter, Gianluca Casseri, wounded three other people before he killed himself. The bodies of the two victims will be flown to Senegal on Tuesday after a Muslim rite is performed for them on Monday.





Sports


HOCKEY

Head coach Jacques Martin of the Montreal Canadiens was dismissed on Saturday, a result of the team's poor showing this season. The team is last in the Northeast Division. Assistant Randy Cunneyworth will be the interim head coach for the remainder of the

season, and Larry Carriere, Montreal's assistant general manager, will serve as an assistant coach.

SKELETON

Canada's Amy Gough won the gold medal on Saturday at a World Cup meet in Winterberg, Germany. Germany's Katharina Heinz won silver while teammate Marion Thees received the bronze medal.

SKI CROSS

Canada's Brady Leman won the gold medal in a ski cross meet in San Candido, Italy, on Saturday, his first World Cup appearance in two years. Russia's Egor Korotkov won the men's silver, and Canadian Dave Duncan won the bronze medal. World champion Kelsey Serwa of Canada won the women's gold. Switzerland's Sanna Luedi won the silver, and Canadian Marielle Thompson won the bronze.





Weather


Here is Canada's weather forecast for Sunday, December 18. British Columbia will have sunny periods. The high temperature in Vancouver will be nine degrees Celsius. The Yukon: variable cloudiness. Whitehorse, minus two. Northwest Territories: variable cloudiness. Yellowknife, minus 19. Nunavut: mainly cloudy. Iqaluit, minus 12. Alberta: sunny. Edmonton, minus two. Saskatchewan: light snow. Regina, one. Manitoba: overcast. Winnipeg, two. Ontario: snow flurries. Toronto: three. Ottawa, minus six. Quebec: sunny. Montreal, minus six. New Brunswick: mainly sunny. Fredericton, minus eight. Nova Scotia: sunny periods. Halifax, zero. Prince Edward Island: mainly cloudy. Charlottetown, minus two. Newfoundland: snow. St. John's, minus three.





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