Tuesday, January 31, 2012

News 1.31.2012

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Copyright (c) 2012 Radio Prague (Cesky Rozhlas 7 - Radio Praha)

News Tuesday, January 31st, 2012

By: Daniela Lazarova

* A fierce row has broken out in the Czech government over the prime
minister's refusal to sign up to the EU fiscal compact.

* The Czech Finance Ministry has revised its economic growth forecast
for 2012 down to 0.2 percent and is not ruling out a recession.

* Prague city hall will erect an emergency shelter for the city's
homeless.

* The European Union Rule of Law Mission in Kosovo, EULEX has appointed
Jaroslava Novotna as its new Chief Prosecutor.

* Over 4 500 people are expected to join Thursday's protest march
against the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement signed in Tokio last
week.

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Fierce row over Czech "no" to fiscal compact
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A fierce row has broken out in the Czech government over the prime
minister's refusal to sign up to the EU fiscal compact. Sharp criticism
of the decision from the country's foreign minister, who said it would
damage Czech interests, elicited a fierce counter-attack from Prime
Minister Petr Necas. At a press briefing in Prague on Tuesday evening
Mr. Necas slammed the foreign minister for what he called a rash and
ill-considered remark. He moreover criticized the work of the Foreign
Ministry and advised the foreign minister to devote more time to
fulfilling his duties properly.

In his own defense Mr. Necas said that in Brussles he had acted
precisely within the mandate he had received from the centre-right
cabinet


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Foreign minister says PM harmed country's interests
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Mr. Schwarzenberg who on Tuesday criticized the prime minister for
harming the Czech Republic's interests, speaking ahead of a four-day
official visit to Israel, said he wanted to address the situation upon
his return. The Czech foreign minister has repeatedly stressed the
importance of staying in the European mainstream and recently even
threatened to leave the cabinet should the country decide to go its own
way. Mr. Schwarzenberg hinted that the real reason behind the country's
refusal to sign up to the treaty was discord within the prime
minister's Civic Democratic Party, whose conservative faction opposed
the move.


========================================================================
Czechs say no to fiscal compact
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The Czech Republic and Britain were the only two EU members who said
they would not be signing the EU fiscal compact which aims to
coordinate budget policy and enforce fiscal discipline across the
block. The treaty, finalized at Mondays EU summit, spells out the
enhanced role of the European Commission in scrutinizing national
budgets and will empower the European Court of Justice to monitor
compliance and impose fines on rule-breakers. The Czech prime minister
said he could not sign up to the treaty for constitutional reasons. He
also noted that the treaty held no advantages for Czechs and said the
country's eurosceptic president Vaclav Klaus had already made it clear
he would not ratify such an agreement. The Czech prime minister has not
ruled out that the country might join the treaty sometime in the future.


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Czech president welcomes Czech "no" to fiscal union
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President Vaclav Klaus has welcomed the prime minister's rejection of
the fiscal compact as a wise and responsible decision. On his web-page
Mr. Klaus said that the authors of the treaty were using the debt
crisis to push through a deeper degree of integration which would rob
EU member states of more important powers. He said he hoped Prague
would maintain a firm stand on the matter and not join the treaty at a
later date.


========================================================================
Finance Ministry revises 2012 growth figure down
------------------------------------------------------------------------

The Czech Finance Ministry has revised its economic growth forecast for
2012 down to 0.2 percent and is not ruling out a recession. The revised
forecast, down from a predicted 1 percent growth, is based on growing
problems in the euro-zone which are expected to impact the
export-dependent Czech economy. The government is expected to draft an
amendment to the 2012 budget which was tailored to 2.5 percent growth.


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City hall to erect emergency shelter for homeless
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Prague City Hall has said it will erect an emergency shelter for the
city's homeless in order to provide some protection in the freezing
cold weather. Ten homeless people have already died of exposure in the
Czech capital this winter and the worst bout of arctic weather is still
to come. Meteorologists say that night time lows at the close of the
week could drop to minus 35 degrees Celsius and according to some
forecasts the freezing cold weather could last until mid-February.
There are over three and a half thousand homeless people in the Czech
capital and its few facilities for the homeless are bursting at the
seams.


========================================================================
Czech appointed new chief EULEX prosecutor
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The European Union Rule of Law Mission in Kosovo, EULEX has appointed
Jaroslava Novotna as its new Chief Prosecutor. Novotna has worked as a
prosecutor for more than thirty years both at home and abroad, most
recently working in the Supreme Prosecutor's Office in the Czech
Republic. She has particular expertise in dealing with cases related to
drugs trafficking and organised crime. EULEX was established in 2008
with the aim of helping to secure the rule of law in Kosovo. It
includes a team of prosecutors from EU countries who cooperate with
their local opposite numbers in the prosecution of organised crime, war
crimes, terrorism, ethnic violence and corruption. There are currently
two other Czech prosecutors working in Kosovo.


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Prague mayor elected head of Prague Civic Democrats
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The Prague branch of the Civic Democratic Party elected Prague Mayor
Bohuslav Svoboda its chairman on Monday. A total of 68 out of 95
delegates supported Mr. Svoboda, who had only one contender, former
City Hall councillor Jiri Janecek. The newly elected chairman announced
that the Civic Democrats should strive to renew their dominant position
in Prague. Mr. Svoboda replaces Boris Stastny, who submitted his
resignation on the same day. Mr. Svoboda, a gynaecologist and
obstetrician, joined the Civic Democrats in September 2011. The head of
the Civic Democratic Party, Prime Minister Petr Necas welcomed the
outcome of the vote on Tuesday and expressed the hope that Mr. Svoboda
would help the Prague Civic Democrats regain public trust.


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Pirate party organizes protest march against ACTA
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Over 4 500 people are expected to join Thursday's protest march against
the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement signed in Tokio last week. The
protest is organized by the Czech Pirate Party which says it will seek
ways to boycott the treaty which the Czech Republic signed up to. The
agreement aims to establish international standards on intellectual
property rights enforcements. Within hours of its signing last Thursday
hackers attacked the websites of the Czech government and that of OSA,
a Czech copyrights holders association. The march is to set out from
Klarov at 2pm on Thursday and lead to Prague Castle and back by the
same route.


========================================================================
Train accident narrowly averted
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Two trains were in danger of colliding on Tuesday morning after running
opposite each other on the same track. The passenger train was
reportedly travelling on its regular Pardubice -Rosice route east of
Prague when the express train was guided onto the same track some
distance away. The trains were stopped at a safe distance from each
other. A team of railway inspectors is investigation the case.


========================================================================
Stands to disappear from Wenceslas Square
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Prague councillors on Tuesday voted to clear Prague's Wenceslas Square
of stands to pave the ground for a face lift that is expected to start
in the near future. The plan envisages installing 6 unified stands
which would sell only newspapers, flowers and possibly fresh pastries.
Whether or not any of the traditional items -such as hot sausages -
will be allowed back remains open to debate. A previous attempt to ban
them from the square failed amidst loud protests from both locals and
tourists.


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Weather:
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The coming days should bring clear to partly cloudy skies and day
temperatures dropping to minus 10 degrees Celsius. Night time lows can
drop to minus 20 degrees.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Articles posted on www.radio.cz today
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Czech government refuses to join EU's planned fiscal compact
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The Czech government has refused to join the European Union's planned
fiscal compact which paves the way for a closer coordination of fiscal
policies within the bloc. At an EU summit in Brussels on Tuesday, Czech
Prime Minister Petr Necas cited "ratification issues" as the main
reason why the country will stay out of the pact, as the only EU member
state besides the UK. The Czech refusal has already caused a stir on
the domestic scene as Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg said the
move would harm the Czech Republic's interests. Jan Czech Radio's
former correspondent in Brussels, Ondrej Houska summed up the reasons
Prime Minister Necas gave to back his decision.

http://radio.cz/en/section/curraffrs/czech-government-refuses-to-join-eus-planned-fiscal-compact


Internet brings major advantages for the blind and visually impaired
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Internet banking, online shopping, google searches - the internet has
made our life much more convenient. And despite the fact that it is a
highly visual medium, blind people, too, are increasingly taking
advantage of the internet. But how do they perceive it and what are
some of the difficulties of mastering the World Wide Web for those
without eyesight?

http://radio.cz/en/section/curraffrs/internet-brings-major-advantages-for-the-blind-and-visually-impaired


Jaroslav Foglar and his "Rapid Arrows"
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Writer and youth movement activist Jaroslav Foglar left a deep trace in
Czech popular culture. Besides more than 25 novels for children,
Jaroslav Foglar is also the father of Rychle sipy, or "Rapid Arrows", a
legendary comics that has earned a following with generations of Czech
readers. Persecuted by the Nazis and the communists, the writer also
single-handedly founded his own youth organization which, in its
heyday, had tens of thousands of members across the country.

http://radio.cz/en/section/czech-history/jaroslav-foglar-and-his-rapid-arrows


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Radio Prague Today 1.31.2012

Articles posted on www.radio.cz today

Czech government refuses to join EU's planned fiscal compact

The Czech government has refused to join the European Union's planned fiscal compact which paves the way for a closer coordination of fiscal policies within the bloc. At an EU summit in Brussels on Tuesday, Czech Prime Minister Petr Nečas cited "ratification issues" as the main reason why the country will stay out of the pact, as the only EU member state besides the UK. The Czech refusal has already caused a stir on the domestic scene as Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg said the move would harm the Czech Republic's interests. Jan Czech Radio's former correspondent in Brussels, Ondřej Houska summed up the reasons Prime Minister Nečas gave to back his decision.

Internet brings major advantages for the blind and visually impaired

Internet banking, online shopping, google searches – the internet has made our life much more convenient. And despite the fact that it is a highly visual medium, blind people, too, are increasingly taking advantage of the internet. But how do they perceive it and what are some of the difficulties of mastering the World Wide Web for those without eyesight?

Jaroslav Foglar and his "Rapid Arrows"

Writer and youth movement activist Jaroslav Foglar left a deep trace in Czech popular culture. Besides more than 25 novels for children, Jaroslav Foglar is also the father of Rychlé šípy, or "Rapid Arrows", a legendary comics that has earned a following with generations of Czech readers. Persecuted by the Nazis and the communists, the writer also single-handedly founded his own youth organization which, in its heyday, had tens of thousands of members across the country.

NEWS /www.nrcu.gov.ua/

Dear subscriber!

We offer you most recent news by this moment on air at National radio company of
Ukraine. To read these news items in full, please, refer to our site
www.nrcu.gov.ua.

Sincerely yours, administrator.
webadm@nrcu.gov.ua
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2012-01-31 15:12:00
10, 000 new orphans in Ukraine every year.
The Ministry of Social Policy, along with public organizations, is preparing a
strategy of its work with families in crisis, which will help to prevent the
removal of children from families and the deprivation of parental rights, Deputy
Prime Minister and Minister of Social Policy Serhiy Tihipko hassaid.
http://www.nrcu.gov.ua/index.php?id=148&listid=162911

2012-01-31 15:08:00
Correspondent accounts of banks shrink 11.5% last week.
Average volume of balances on banks' correspondent accounts made up UAH 22.2
billion (1 USD - 7.99 UAH) January 23-27, which is UAH 2.9 billion (11.48%) less
against the same index of the previous week, Brokbusinessbank statementreads.
http://www.nrcu.gov.ua/index.php?id=148&listid=162908

2012-01-31 14:51:00
Kyiv doubles efforts to settle Transnistrian conflict.
The Ukrainian side 'has doubled its efforts' in settling the Transnistrian
conflict, Ukraine's Foreign Minister Kostiantyn Hryshchenko said in his blog
following a meeting of the Moldovan and Transnistrian leaders in Odesa on
January27.
http://www.nrcu.gov.ua/index.php?id=148&listid=162896

2012-01-31 13:54:00
Thirty people freeze to death in Ukraine over five days.
Thirty people died in Ukraine due to frostbite in the period from January 27 to
January 31, the press service of the Emergency Situations Ministry has reported,
citing figures from the Health Ministry.
http://www.nrcu.gov.ua/index.php?id=148&listid=162898

2012-01-31 13:17:00
Cabinet proposes to free IT companies from VAT.
The government proposes the Verkhovna Rada to exempt IT companies in Ukraine
from paying a value added tax (VAT) within special taxation environment from
January 1, 2013, reads a bill on amendments to the Tax Code of Ukraine,
registered in theparliament.
http://www.nrcu.gov.ua/index.php?id=148&listid=162913

2012-01-31 12:55:00
Eight foreign doctors want to examine Tymoshenko.
The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry has submitted proposals to the Prosecutor
General's Office regarding the formation of an independent medical commission of
eight foreign doctors to examine former Ukrainian Prime Minister and leader of
the Batkivshchyna Party YuliaTymoshenko.
http://www.nrcu.gov.ua/index.php?id=148&listid=162899

2012-01-31 12:04:00
EBRD may credit Agrotrade with up to $28 million.
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is considering
providing a loan to the Ukrainian agroindustrial group Agrotrade, worth up to
$28 million to finance working capital and draw investment in grain handling and
storage infrastructure, the press office of the bankreported.
http://www.nrcu.gov.ua/index.php?id=148&listid=162905

2012-01-31 11:59:00
Hryvnia rate rises.
The national currency of Ukraine has slightly risen on the cash market of
Ukraine. The European currency rate against the hryvnia fell by 10 kopecks in
the purchase, in the sale the euro dropped by 5-8 kopecks against yesterday
indexes. The U.S. dollar rate fell by 3 kopecks in thepurchase.
http://www.nrcu.gov.ua/index.php?id=148&listid=162903

2012-01-31 11:56:00
Ukrainian Agrarian Exchange invites Kazakhs to set up Black Sea grain pool.
The Agrarian Exchange of Ukraine signed memorandums of cooperation and mutual
understanding with two trading exchanges of Kazakhstan, the press service of the
Agrarian Exchange informs.
http://www.nrcu.gov.ua/index.php?id=148&listid=162900

2012-01-31 11:11:00
Court refuses to release former Interior Minister Lutsenko.
The Pechersky District Court of Kyiv has rejected a motion of the defense team
of former Interior Minister Yuriy Lutsenko to change a preventive measure in
view of the adoption of the PACE resolution, Judge Serhiy Vovk announced this
after returning from the consultation room, the People's Self-Defense party said
in astatement.
http://www.nrcu.gov.ua/index.php?id=148&listid=162910


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RCI Cyberjournal

Edition 30 January 2012
Canadian International Financial Sports Weather
Canadian

Canadian lawmakers back


Canada's Members of Parliament returned to the House of Commons in Ottawa after their six-week holiday recess. The opposition Liberal party expects the governing Conservative Party to introduce significant cuts to government spending in their upcoming federal budget. The Liberals say they hope the cuts will be done intelligently and with the primary focus on jobs. Another big issue will be proposed changes to the country's public and private pension systems.



Canada calls on Palestinians to return to table


Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird has called on the Palestinians to resume peace talks with Israel to createa two-state solution to Cthe two sides' long conflict. Mr. Baird says the Palestinians will come closer to achieving their own state if they don't impose pre-conditions on the talks. The minister's comments in Israel came one day after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas accused each other of stalling the talks. The two sides have been holding exploratory discussion through the mediation of Jordan for some months. Mr. Baird's speech largely avoided the main issues of contention. The minister is travelling with his cabinet colleague, Finance Minister Jim Flaherty.



Canada defends human rights in Libya


Canadian Trade Minister Ed Fast says Canada expects Libya's new government to respect human rights. Mr. Fast says the Canadian government and Canadian firms are prepared to help Libya make the transition to democracy. But he says he's worried by reports that supporters of overthrown dictator Moammar Gadhafi are being subjected to torture, rape and killing. He says he raised the issue with ministers of the interim government several times during his now concluded three-day visit to Libya. Mr. Fast also says many Canadian firms are considering their options in Libya once security is established there.
 



Chinese deported from Canada to appeal sentence


A wealthy Chinese man who fled to Canada and was jailed for fraud after he was deported will appeal his sentence. Zeng Hanlin fled in 2004 to escape the charges but was deported in March last year after Canadian authorities dismissed concerns he would be tortured or executed if he returned to China. The 66-year old Zeng was tried and convicted of fraud in November over a stock scheme linked to a failed business merger. A court in the Chinese city of Chengdu sentenced him to 15 years in prison. His son, Sam Zeng, says the family would hold a news conference in the Canadian city of Toronto next week ahead of Canada's Prime Minister Stephen Harper's visit to China. He wants Mr. Harper, who arrives in Beijing next Monday, to raise his father's case during talks with Chinese leaders. Canada, which does not practice capital punishment, bans the return of prisoners to countries where they might face the death penalty. But it has recently deported several people wanted by China.



Former Bloc leader denies misappropriate accusation


The former leader of Canada's opposition Bloc Québécois party, Gilles Duceppe, is taking action against accusations that he mishandled public funds. Mr. Duceppe says he will present a legal opinion to the parliamentary body that's investigating reports he used House of Commons funds for partisan purposes. Mr. Duceppe says the allegations are false and the notice will show he always made sure to respect parliamentary rules. There had been speculation that Mr. Duceppe was planning a takeover of the Quebec-based opposition Parti Québécois from current party leader Pauline Marois. But Mr. Duceppe said last week after the accusations were made public, that he's out of active politics at least until he clears his name.



Minister reproves 'honour' killing


Canada's Justice Minister Rob Nicholson says the practice of honour killings is barbaric and unacceptable in this country. He commented after three members of the Shafia family of Laval, QC, were found guilty Sunday in the 2009 deaths of three teenaged sisters and a fourth woman. Mr. Nicholson say the federal government is committed to protecting vulnerable people from all forms of violence and to hold perpetrators accountable. A jury found that Mohammad Shafia, his wife and their son killed the couple's three teenaged daughters and Shafia's first wife.

 





International

EU leaders agree on euro rescue fund


All European Union leaders except two have agreed to create a permanent rescue fund for the euro. Twenty-five of the 27 EU leaders agreed to set a a 500-billion euro European Stability Mechanism. The instrument will go into effect in July, a year earlier than planned. The International Monetary Fund had been pressing the EU to increase the size of the fund. Britain and the Czech Republic refused to support the Fund. The development comes as the risk premium on southern European government bonds rose. The yield on 10-year Portuguese bonds compared with those of Germany rose 15 per cent. Greece's negotiations with private bondholders over its national debt remained unfinished.
 



Syrian forces beat back rebels before capital


Syrian activists report that forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad killed at least 25 people on Monday as they battled their way deep into eastern suburbs of Damascus to seize them back from rebels. The death toll comprised 19 civilians, mostly killed in tank and mortar bombardment, and six members of the Syrian Free Army. The Syrian Free Army is a loosely grouped organisation of
army defectors who have turned against Assad and joined a mass protest movement against his 11-year rule.



U.S. democracy advocates seek refuge in Cario


Three American democracy advocates barred by Egyptian authorities from leaving the country have sought refuge at
the U.S. Embassy in Cairo, as tensions between the two allied nations sharply escalated over a probe into foreign-funded organizations. The unusual step comes amid a row over an Egyptian crackdown on U.S.-funded groups promoting democracy and human rights that could jeopardize more than $1 billion of crucial U.S. aid to Egypt, one of its biggest recipients. The investigation is closely intertwined with Egypt's political turmoil since Hosni Mubarak's fall nearly a year ago. The generals
who took power have accused "foreign hands" of being behind
protests against their rule and frequently depict the protesters as
receiving foreign funds in a plot to destabilize the country.



Trade body rules against China


The World Trade Organization on Monday upheld its ruling that Chinese restrictions on key raw material exports broke trade rules following an appeal by Beijing. An appeal body said China must bring its duty and export quota measures on elements including magnesium and zinc into line with its WTO obligations, The WTO found in favour of the United States, European Union and Mexico in July following a complaint that China had failed to meet the promises it made when joining the body. The ruling applies to bauxite, coking coal, fluorspar, magnesium, manganese, silicon metal, silicon carbide, yellow phosphorus and zinc, many of them vital to the chemical and metal industries. Beijing launched an appeal on Aug. 31. Both the United States and the European Union claimed victory after the publication of the appeal body's report.



Former Haitian dictator to be accused of lesser charges


A Haitian judge says he is recommending that Jean-Claude Duvalier face trial on corruption charges but not the more serious human rights violations during his brutal 15-year rule. Magistrate Carves Jean says the statute of limitations has run out on the human rights violations that occurred when the former leader known as "Baby Doc" led the country in the 1970s and 1980s. Mr. Jean says he will recommend that the corruption case be handled by a special court that handles relatively minor offences. The
former leader would face no more than five years in prison.



Mexican envoy to Venezuela freed


Mexico's envoy to Caracas was briefly seized overnight then freed on Monday in the latest high-profile kidnapping in Venezuela. Ambassador Carlos Pujalte and his wife were seized in their car in Caracas then released in a slum before dawn. The Mexican embassy confirmed the kidnapping took place on Sunday night and said the envoy was recovering fine after his pre-dawn release. Senior diplomats from Chile and Belarus were also seized in similar incidents last year.





Financial

Drug firm withdraws takeover offer


Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc. says a "lack of progress" has led it to withdraw its offer for Irvine, CA-based ISTA Pharmaceuticals Inc. of US$7.50 per share. Originally, the Mississauga, ON,-based pharmaceutical company had planned a deadline of Jan. 31 for the offer, but on Monday decided to pull out early. Valeant has been pursuing ISTA for months, but the target company said it was in talks with a number of parties that have expressed interest in pursuing a transaction. ISTA operates the third-largest branded prescription eye care business in the United States.



Markets


Toronto Stock Exchange on Monday: 12,436 - 30. Canadian dollar: US99. Euro: $1.31. Oil: $98.97 - .59.
 





Sports

Sports


HOCKEY
The National Hockey League's first star of the week award goes to Toronto Maple Leafs centre Mikhail Grabovski. He led the league with five points last week. Grabovski had one goal and four assists in back-to-back wins over the New York Islanders. Nashville goalie Pekka Rinne is the second star and Ottawa Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson is the third star.





Weather

Weather


British Columbia on Tuesday: rain south, cloud north, Vancouver C8. Yukon, Northwest Territories, Nunavut: mix sun cloud. Whitehorse -9, Yellowknife -23, Iqaluit -18. Prairies: mix sun cloud. Edmonton 4, Regina 2, Winnipeg -1. Ontario: rain south, cloud north. Quebec: sun. Toronto 7, Ottawa -3, Montreal -5. Atlantic Canada: snow. Fredericton -6, Halifax, St. John's -4, Charlottetown -10.





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Monday, January 30, 2012

News 1.30.2012

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Copyright (c) 2012 Radio Prague (Cesky Rozhlas 7 - Radio Praha)

News Monday, January 30th, 2012

By: Sarah Borufka

* Prime Minister Petr Necas has labeled the current draft of the EU
fiscal compact unsatisfactory for the Czech Republic.

* Defense Minister Alexandr Vondra has announced a proposal for the
future of the Czech mandate in Afghanistan will be completed by the
spring.

* The Czech construction company Metrostav has signed an exclusive
agreement with the US firm Westinghouse to expand the Temelin nuclear
power plant if the U.S. company wins a tender for the deal.

* A bugging device was uncovered in a car used by the transport
minister last autumn, the Czech daily Mlada fronta Dnes reports.

* The European Commission has slammed the Czech Education Ministry for
its use of EU funds.

========================================================================
Czech Prime Minister criticizes current draft of fiscal compact
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Czech Prime Minister Petr Necas, upon his arrival at an EU summit in
Brussels on Monday, said that the current draft of the fiscal compact
was unsatisfactory for the Czech Republic. If the Czech Republic was to
sign the compact and contribute funds to the IMF, it should be treated
as a full-fledged partner, he said. Mr. Necas added that without full
Czech participation in eurozone summits, the pact would not be
acceptable.

EU leaders are expected to sign off on the final text of the fiscal
compact, aimed at establishing tighter fiscal discipline across the
eurozone, on Monday. Another point on the agenda is a treaty creating
the European Stability Mechanism.


========================================================================
Defense minister: Proposal for Czech mandate in Afghanistan to be
completed in spring
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Czech Defense Minister Alexandr Vondra will be presenting a proposal
for the Czech mandate in Afghanistan up until the year 2014 in the
spring. Mr. Vondra told press on Monday that Czech troops would
continue taking part in the peace-keeping mission ISAF but that the
contingent would gradually be reduced. NATO members had entered the
mission together and should finish it together as well, he said. He
added that he would be discussing the Czech mandate with the opposition
and that he wanted to ensure the soldiers currently serving in
Afghanistan would be informed of the details of a possible future
deployment by the end of this year, when their current deployment ends.
Mr. Vondra will also be discussing the ISAF mission in Brussels at the
end of this week, as well as at the upcoming NATO summit in Chicago in
May. Some 600 Czech soldiers are currently deployed in Afghanistan.


========================================================================
Metrostav and Westinghouse sign cooperation deal for Temelin completion
------------------------------------------------------------------------

The Czech construction company Metrostav has signed a cooperation
agreement with the US firm Westinghouse, which has applied for a tender
to complete the Temelin nuclear power plant. The contract, signed on
Monday, concerns the construction of two new reactors at the plant,
which should amount to some 30 percent of the total price of the
tender. Metrostav's general director said that while other bidders for
the Temelin tender had approached his company, he believed Westinghouse
had a strong chance of winning it. In December, Westinghouse signed a
cooperation agreement with the Czech engineering company Vitkovice with
a view to supplying components for the two planned blocks at the
Temelin nuclear power plant.

Westinghouse is one of three bidders in a multi-billion tender to build
new reactors at the Temelin plant, along with France's Areva and the
Russian state enterprise Atomstroiexport. The total cost of the two new
reactors for Temelin is estimated to reach roughly 150 billion Czech
crowns.


========================================================================
Daily: bugging device found in car
------------------------------------------------------------------------

A bugging device was uncovered in the car of Transport Minister and
Public Affairs party member Pavel Dobes last autumn, the Czech daily
Mlada fronta Dnes reports. Technicians allegedly found the listening
device during a technical check. At the time, Mr Dobes's chauffeur was
Tomas Jansky, the paper said, describing him as an aide to the party's
de facto leader Vit Barta and to the ABL security agency that Mr Barta
owned before entering high politics.

Last autumn, no one reported the uncovered bug in the transport
minister's car to the police, who learned about it only in connection
with a different investigation. According to the newspaper, Tomas
Jansky figured in a police file concerning Vit Barta's alleged attempt
to bribe then-fellow Public Affairs MPs Kristyna Koci and Jaroslav
Skarka. Mr Barta was himself transport minister from mid-2010 to April
2011 when he resigned over suspected corruption.


========================================================================
European Commission slams Education Ministry for use of EU funds
------------------------------------------------------------------------

The European Commission has slammed the Czech Education Ministry for
two of its projects financed with EU funds, OKNO and SPORT. Both
projects were of dubious quality and their effects questionable, the
commission writes in its letter to Education Minister Josef Dobes. The
EC has voiced harsh criticism over the fact that the projects, with a
combined budget of 1.2 billion Czech crowns, did not have a sound
financing plan. In addition, more than half of the funds spent under
the SPORT initiative went to analyses and TV commercials, which was
simply unacceptable. EU funds for education are meant to go to
individuals, not PR agencies, the commission writes in its letter. It
notes that the ministry's use of EU funds casts doubt on whether the
money is being used to make the systematic changes needed to modernize
the country's education system. Prime Minister Petr Necas is set to
discuss the matter with Mr. Dobes.

This is not the first time Mr. Dobes's ministry has come under fire
from the European Commission. Previously, Brussels auditors had
uncovered irregularities in EU-funded projects and ordered that all
further payments from the Education for Competitiveness Operational
Program be frozen until the matter was investigated and fully explained.


========================================================================
Supreme Audit Office inspectors concerned over environment ministry's
use of EU funds
------------------------------------------------------------------------

The Supreme Audit Office has expressed concern over the Czech
Environment Ministry's use of EU funds awarded to fight pollution and
lower emissions. Inspectors from the office said Monday that even
though the country does not meet most of the union's emission limits,
only a small portion of funds from the Operational Program
"Environment" has been used to fight pollution and lower emissions to
date. Inspectors said that while 18 billion crowns had been earmarked
for the Czech Republic for the years 2007 to 2013, the total budget of
projects approved by the ministry nearly four years after the start of
the program amounted to only 1.5 billion crowns. This was connected to
the Czech Republic's unfavorable legal situation regarding air
pollution. NKU inspectors have warned that the European Commission may
call for sanctions to be imposed on the Czech Republic over its
violation of emission limits should the funds not be used by 2013.


========================================================================
Labor office workers' unions call for resignation of Labor and Social
Affairs Minister
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Eleven branches of the labor office workers' union from across the
country have harshly criticized Labor and Social Affairs Minister
Jaromir Drabek and are calling for his resignation over problems
connected to the introduction of a new system of making welfare
payments. According to union members, the new computer system that was
introduced as part of a far-reaching social reform is not functional;
the minister is downplaying the situation, which union leaders have
called "fatal". Among the unions' main complaints is that the new
software is preventing them from efficiently performing their job and
paying out welfare in the necessary time frame. However, the ministry
announced last week that the majority of welfare payments for January
would be dispensed on time.

IT-workers from labor offices across the country have backed the
unions. According to a report that they have handed over to the
ministry, the new system lacks connectivity between different
applications and has failed to fully digitalize the welfare application
process.


========================================================================
Czech student killed on research trip to Papua New Guinea
------------------------------------------------------------------------

A Czech student who had been sent to Papua New Guinea for a research
trip was killed on January 27th. He was working on his dissertation at
the University of South Bohemia in Ceske Budejovice and was an employee
of the university's entomological institute. His doctoral thesis
focused on the ground beetle. He died after a fall into a ravine in
Papua New Guinea's Finisterre mountain range.


========================================================================
Decapitated head found in Prague's Karlin
------------------------------------------------------------------------

A decapitated head that was found in Prague's Karlin district on Sunday
belongs to the body of a dead woman, whose torso and limbs were found
in Prague at the end of last year, a medical examination confirmed on
Monday. Police are investigating the case and have called on the public
to contact them with any possible clues that would help identify the
woman.

The head was found on Sunday at the corner of Pobrezni and Saldova
streets, in an area that is frequented by homeless people. The find was
the latest in a series of gruesome discoveries in the Czech capital: at
the beginning of December hands cut at the wrists and taped together
were found near the Kunratice stream.


========================================================================
Driver killed in collision with bus
------------------------------------------------------------------------

A bus collided with a car near the town of Rychnov in the Hradec
Kralove region on Monday morning. The driver of the car was killed in
the accident; another five people were injured. According to police,
the accident happened around 7 a.m., when the driver of the automobile
swerved out of his lane and into the opposing traffic. Police say it is
not yet clear what caused the driver to swerve into oncoming traffic
and are investigating the case.


========================================================================
Temperatures across the country drop to record lows
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Across the country, temperatures are set to drop to record lows in the
upcoming week. The Czech Hydrometeorogical Institute has warned that in
areas where deep frost will hit, temperatures can reach up to minus 20
degrees Celsius on Tuesday; with conditions expected to get harsher on
the weekend, when in some regions, temperatures could drop to minus 35
degrees. In the Jeseniky district, the lowest temperature record of
-16.4 degrees centigrade was broken on Monday; meteorologists measured
temperatures of -19.9 degrees Celsius. Near the town of Vsetin, in the
country's Zlin region, railroad tracks broke due to the harsh frost.
Railroad dispatchers are expecting weather-related complications across
the country.


========================================================================
Weather
------------------------------------------------------------------------

The start of the week brings clear and cold conditions, with daytime
temperatures between -6 and -2 degrees Celsius.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Articles posted on www.radio.cz today
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Sports News 30.1.2012
------------------------------------------------------------------------

The Australian Open ended with mixed blessings for the Czech players,
the happiest of whom was doubtless Radek Stepanek. Unseeded Stepanek
and Leander Paes of India won the men's doubles tournament, defeating
the defending champions, the American Bryan twins, 7-6, 6-2. With that,
Karvina native Stepanek leapt forward 68 places in the rankings to
world 23rd, two places behind his compatriot Frantisek Cermak.

http://radio.cz/en/section/sport/sports-news-2012-01-30


Czechs keep their options open in Brussels
------------------------------------------------------------------------

After much controversy at home on whether the Czech Republic should
join the euro-zone's emerging fiscal compact, the Czech government
delegation headed for Monday's key EU summit in Brussels determined to
keep its options open. In the midst of continuing discord on the
subject, there is just one thing Czech politicians heartily agree on -
they want to have a finger in the pie.

http://radio.cz/en/section/curraffrs/czechs-keep-their-options-open-in-brussels


Documentary filmmaker Martin Dusek on why his native region continues
to inspire him
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Martin Dusek, who often works with co-director Ondrej Provaznik, is a
two-time winner of the main prize at the Jihlava International
Documentary Film Festival, the Czech Republic's most prestigious
documentary award. His films "A Town Called Hermitage" and "Coal in the
Soul" were both shot in the former Sudetenland in North Bohemia, a
border region whose Sudeten German inhabitants were expelled from
Czechoslovakia after the war. Martin Dusek 's latest film deals with
his own Sudeten German heritage - in a humorous and provocative way. I
caught up the director to speak about why this part of country
continues to inspire him and how he discovered his love for making
documentaries.

http://radio.cz/en/section/one-on-one/documentary-filmmaker-martin-dusek-on-why-his-native-region-continues-to-inspire-him


------------------------------------------------------------------------
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Radio Prague Today 1.30.2012

Articles posted on www.radio.cz today

Sports News 30.1.2012

The Australian Open ended with mixed blessings for the Czech players, the happiest of whom was doubtless Radek Štěpánek. Unseeded Štěpánek and Leander Paes of India won the men's doubles tournament, defeating the defending champions, the American Bryan twins, 7-6, 6-2. With that, Karviná native Štěpánek leapt forward 68 places in the rankings to world 23rd, two places behind his compatriot František Čermák.

Czechs keep their options open in Brussels

After much controversy at home on whether the Czech Republic should join the euro-zone's emerging fiscal compact, the Czech government delegation headed for Monday's key EU summit in Brussels determined to keep its options open. In the midst of continuing discord on the subject, there is just one thing Czech politicians heartily agree on – they want to have a finger in the pie.

Documentary filmmaker Martin Dušek on why his native region continues to inspire him

Martin Dušek, who often works with co-director Ondřej Provazník, is a two-time winner of the main prize at the Jihlava International Documentary Film Festival, the Czech Republic's most prestigious documentary award. His films "A Town Called Hermitage" and "Coal in the Soul" were both shot in the former Sudetenland in North Bohemia, a border region whose Sudeten German inhabitants were expelled from Czechoslovakia after the war. Martin Dušek 's latest film deals with his own Sudeten German heritage – in a humorous and provocative way. I caught up the director to speak about why this part of country continues to inspire him and how he discovered his love for making documentaries.

NEWS /www.nrcu.gov.ua/

Dear subscriber!

We offer you most recent news by this moment on air at National radio company of
Ukraine. To read these news items in full, please, refer to our site
www.nrcu.gov.ua.

Sincerely yours, administrator.
webadm@nrcu.gov.ua
-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
2012-01-30 14:35:00
Ukraine sees its future in European Union.
Ukraine sees its future in the European Union and aims to become its full
member, President Viktor Yanukovych told The Future of Eurasia session of the
World Economic Forum in Davos.
http://www.nrcu.gov.ua/index.php?id=148&listid=162785

2012-01-30 14:28:00
6 million in Ukraine employed informally.
Prime Minister Mykola Azarov said that, out of 20.5 million working-age
population of Ukraine, 6 million people are employed informally. He said this at
a meeting with activists of the national and regional tradeunions.
http://www.nrcu.gov.ua/index.php?id=148&listid=162788

2012-01-30 13:46:00
High parliamentary election threshold will encourage opposition to unite - CEC
head.
Raising the parliamentary election threshold to 5% will encourage minor
opposition parties to unite and force politicians to abandon their excessive
ambitious. Central Electoral Commission Chairman Volodymyr Shapoval expressed
this opinion in an interview with the Zerkalo Nedeli Ukraine weekly, according
to the website of thepublication.
http://www.nrcu.gov.ua/index.php?id=148&listid=162794

2012-01-30 13:39:00
Ukraine should actively promote energy saving.
Ukraine should actively promote energy efficiency, aiming more free resources at
these goals. Deputy Prime Minister - Minister of Social Policy Serhiy Tihipko
said this in a TV talk show, according to his officialwebsite.
http://www.nrcu.gov.ua/index.php?id=148&listid=162789

2012-01-30 13:31:00
2012 parliamentary election will take 1.2 billion UAH.
According to estimates by the Central Election Commission of Ukraine, the
parliamentary elections of 2012 will take 1.2 billion UAH, but only 0.8 billion
USD (1 USD - 7.99 UAH) was earmarked for their conduct, CEC Head Volodymyr
Shapovalsaid.
http://www.nrcu.gov.ua/index.php?id=148&listid=162790

2012-01-30 12:50:00
Naftogaz to sell Ukrinterenergo 162 million cubic meters of gas at USD 495 for
1, 000 cubic meters.
The national joint-stock company Naftogaz of Ukraine has agreed to sell to the
Ukrinterenergo state-owned enterprise engaged in foreign economic activity 162,
980.3 thousand cubic meters of gas for its own needs, totaling UAH 643, 103,
965.77 (1 USD - 7.99 UAH), the public procurements websitereported.
http://www.nrcu.gov.ua/index.php?id=148&listid=162798

2012-01-30 12:49:00
Statistics service estimates 2011 GDP growth at 5.2%.
The State Statistics Service of Ukraine, according to operative data, estimates
GDP growth in 2011 compared with 2010 at 5.2%.
http://www.nrcu.gov.ua/index.php?id=148&listid=162796

2012-01-30 12:44:00
2011 budget deficit 2.7 times down.
The state budget deficit in 2011 compared to 2010 decreased by 2.7 times to
23.554 billion UAH (1 USD - 7.99 UAH), according to the Finance Ministry's
information on the fulfillment of the consolidated and state budget of Ukraine
for the pastyear.
http://www.nrcu.gov.ua/index.php?id=148&listid=162792

2012-01-30 12:41:00
Pension Fund deficit about UAH 19.5 billion in 2011.
The Pension Fund deficit by results of 2011 made up about UAH 19.5 billion,
which is approximately 1.7 billion up against the expected index of UAH 17.8
billion (USD 1 / UAH 7.99), Vice Prime Minister and Social Policy Minister
Serhiy Tihipko hassaid.
http://www.nrcu.gov.ua/index.php?id=148&listid=162791

2012-01-30 11:52:00
Agricultural production cost 17% up in 2011.
The index of costs on agricultural production in Ukraine in 2011 grew by 17%,
the State Statistics Service reported.
http://www.nrcu.gov.ua/index.php?id=148&listid=162801


-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

RCI Cyberjournal

Edition 29 January 2012
Canadian International Sports Weather
Canadian

Shafia family trial ends in guilty verdict


Four months after the start of one of Canada's most sensational murder trials, a jury on Sunday handed down a verdict of guilty. A verdict of first-degree murder was passed on each of the three Afghan-Canadian defendants---Mohammad Shafia, his wife Tooba Yahya, and their son Hamed. They were sentenced to life prison terms with no chance of parole before 25 years. They were accused of killing the Shafia couple's three daughters along with Shafia's first wife. The victims' bodies were found in their car three years ago in a canal near Kingston, Ontario. It wasalleged that the defendants were upset that the daughters had abandoned their traditional Afghan customs. Judge Robert Maranger instructed the jury in Kingston that they could reach different verdicts for each of the three accused. The options included guilty of first-degree murder, guilty of second-degree murder or not guilty.
 



Canadian general sees end looming for allied mission in Afghanistan


A senior Canadian military commander is expressing strong doubt that allied forces will remain in Afghanistan after 2014. Lieutenant-General Peter Devlin is chief of land staff. He once commanded NATO's multi-national force in Kabul. Gen. Devlin says that allied governments are facing an economic crisis that will prevent them from extending their Afghan military operations. He also says that politicians will be unwilling to promote longer missions. Canada ended its military mission to Afghanistan last year after almost a decade of participating in the allied mission. About 950 Canadian soldiers remain in Kabul to train local Afghan troops. General Devlin did not see an early end to training missions. Afghanistan's defence minister, Abdul Rahim Wardak, estimates that Afghanistan spends more than six billion dollars on its military. Much of the money comes from foreign aid.
 



Parti Quebecois calls for lower voting age


The leading separatist party in the province of Quebec, the Parti Quebecois, wants to lower the voter age. Delegates attending the party meeting in Montreal this weekend voted to adopt a plan to lower the voting age from 18 to 16. Young people are considered to be among the party's strongest supporters. The delegates also agreed that if the party regains power in the National Assembly, it would introduce citizen-led referendums. The introduction of citizen-led referendums means that popular demand could lead to future votes on Quebec's independence. Two earlier referendums on Quebec sovereignty held over the past 30 years were defeated. The party meeting also served to give party endorsement to Pauline Marois as leader. In the past few months, Ms. Marois came under criticism over her leadership. The Parti Quebecois is facing a new political challenge after the creation of a new Quebec party last year called the Coalition for Quebec's Future. The Liberal Party under Premier Jean Charest remains in power.
 



Memorial service for Manitoba family planned for Monday
 


A memorial service is being planned for five members of a Manitoba family who died in a house fire. Shahina Siddiqui of the Islamic Social Services Association in Winnipeg says the memorial will be held at the city's Grand Mosque on Monday evening. Hamid Farooq lost his entire family to the fire last Tuesday. His wife, mother and three daughters died. He was at work when the fire broke out. His youngest daughter was only four months old and had been on life support but died Friday afternoon. Mr. Siddiqui says both the Muslim community and the general community have expressed a desire to pay their respects to the family members who died, as well as to Mr. Farooq.





International

Insurgent attack kills six soldiers in Damascus suburb
 


Syria's state-run news agency says "terrorists" ambushed a bus carrying soldiers on a road south of the capital, Damascus, on Sunday, killing six soldiers and wounding six others. It says an explosive device was detonated by remote control as the bus was travelling in the suburb of Sahnaya, some 20 kilometres south of the capital. SANA says those killed include two first lieutenants. Six other soldiers were injured. The uprising against President Bashar al-Assad has become increasingly militarized recently as some frustrated protesters and army defectors arm themselves against the regime. Pro-regime forces Saturday battled defectors in suburbs on the eastern edge of Damascus in the most intense fighting yet so close to the capital. At least 5,000 people are believed to have died in the 10-month rebellion against Mr. Assad's rule.



Another bomb hits southeastern Baghdad
 


Iraqi officials say a roadside bomb targeting a police patrol has killed one person in southeastern Baghdad on Sunday, two days after a blast in the same area claimed the lives of 33 people. Police officials said the morning attack in Baghdad's predominantly Shiite neighbourhood of Zafaraniyah wounded nine others. On Friday, a suicide car bomber struck a Shiite funeral procession in Zafaraniyah. Many Iraqis suspect al-Qaida militants of engineering a recent series of attacks on Shiites to provoke a counterattack by Shiite militias and rekindle sectarian conflict now that U.S. troops have left Iraq.



Police open fire on demonstrators in Bangladesh
 


Police on Sunday opened fire and used batons on crowds of stone-throwing opposition activists in several Bangladesh towns, killing at least three people and injuring more than 100. The United News of Bangladesh news agencyreportedthe violence occurred when two opposition parties held protests demanding the reinstatement of a 15-year-old system in which independent caretaker governments oversee national elections. The system was scrapped by the government of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. The opposition says elections will be rigged if held under the current government. Doctors at two hospitals in the eastern towns of Chandpur and Laxmipur confirmed that three men died from bullet injuries.
 



Jubilant crowds greet Aung San Suu Kyi
 


Huge crowds hailed Burma opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi as she hit the campaign trail Sunday ahead of by-elections seen as a key test of the regime's commitment to reform. Tens of thousands flocked to get a glimpse of the Nobel Peace Prize winner in the coastal district of Dawei. It was her first political trip outside Rangoon since declaring she would stand for office in the Apr. 1 polls. Streets were flooded with local people waving flags, cheering and dancing with delight at the appearance of the democracy icon, who could be swept into parliament by the vote. Ms. Suu Kyi's decision to stand for a seat in parliament is the latest sign of dramatic change taking place in the country after the end of nearly half a century of outright military rule.

 



Sudan rebels abduct Chinese workers
 


Insurgents in Sudan's South Kordofan state say they have captured 29 Chinese workers after a battle with government forces. The rebels say nine members of the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) are also being held. China confirmed some of its nationals "have gone missing" after rebels on Saturday attacked the camp of a Chinese company. Chinese officials say the Foreign Ministry and the Chinese embassy to Sudan have initiated an emergency response. All the captives were taken hostage on Saturday when the rebels destroyed a Sudanese military convoy between Rashad town and Al-Abbasiya in the northeast of the province, which has been at war since June. China is a major military supplier to the regime in Khartoum, and the largest buyer of Sudanese oil. There is growing international concern over the situation in South Kordofan and nearby Blue Nile state, where a similar conflict broke out in September. The government is fighting ethnic minority insurgents once allied to the former rebels who now rule South Sudan. The South gained independence from Khartoum last July after decades of civil war.
 



Hamas leader visits Jordan
 


Jordan's King Abdullah received Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal on Sunday. It was Mr. Meshaal's first official visit to the kingdom since his expulsion 13 years ago. Officials said the visit is meant to "break the ice" with the militant group banned in Jordan, Israel's closest Arab peace partner. They added that Jordan will not allow Hamas to reopen offices in the kingdom. Mr. Meshaal insisted that Jordan will not be a substitute homeland for the Palestinians. Jordan is trying to engage with previously shunned Islamists, who have been gaining ground across the region amid the Arab Spring uprisings that toppled pro-Western dictators in Egypt and Tunisia.
 



Costa Concordia recovery efforts suspended again


Divers on Sunday again suspended their search of the disabled Italian cruise ship, Costa Concordia. Rough seas forced suspension of any recovery efforts. The ship remains on its side off the coast of Italy, where it ran aground more than two weeks ago. At least 17 people on board the Costa Concordia were killed. Another 15 people are missing. The recovery operation has begun to focus on retrieving the ship's fuel to avoid spillage that could cause an environmental disaster. Experts say that it would take 28 days to remove fuel from 15 tanks accounting for more than 80 per cent of all fuel on board. Recovery efforts are unlikely to resume before Tuesday.
 



Yemen says it has crushed Republic Guard mutiny
 


A Yemeni military official says units loyal to embattled President Ali Abdullah Saleh have crushed a mutiny by Republican Guard troops in the capital demanding the ouster of their commander. The official says an unspecified number of people were wounded when loyalist Guard units crushed the mutiny by the force's 4th Brigade outside Sanaa on Sunday. The Republican Guard is considered a pillar of the regime. Yemen is preparing for presidential elections on Feb. 21, but many fear that Mr. Saleh will try to keep his allies in power. Mr. Saleh is currently in the United States seeking medical treatment. Yemen's air force has seen a wave of anti-Saleh mutinies over the past week.
 


 



Egyptians go to polls in upper house vote
 


Egyptians went to the polls Sunday to cast their ballots for the upper house of parliament, a largely consultative body with limited powers. Turnout was light early Sunday in Cairo, one of 13 provinces where the first stage of elections for the Shura Council are taking place. A second stage will take place on Feb. 14-15. The Shura Council is composed of 270 members. Only two-thirds are elected while the rest are appointed. Islamists dominated elections for the People's Assembly, the more powerful of the two houses of parliament, in voting that ran from Nov. 28 through January. Turnout was heavy in these elections, which were the first since the Jan. 25-Feb. 11 2012 uprising which ousted Hosni Mubarak.
 



U.N. head appeals for tolerance of homosexuals in Africa


The United Nations Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, has sent a strong appeal to Africa to end discrimination against homosexuals. Speaking to African Union leaders in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Mr. Ban said that some African nations treated homosexuals as second-class citizens, even as criminals. He said that discrimination based on sexual orientation had been been ignored or santioned by many African states for too long. Many African countries outlaw homosexuality and many African churches preach against it. African leaders had gathered in Addis Ababa for an African Union summit. There was no immediate response to Mr. Ban's appeal.
 



Republican Party to press for Canada-U.S. pipeline project


Republican Party congressmen are planning more pressure tactics in another attempt to win rapid approval for a cross-border oil pipeline from Canada. The Keystone XL pipeline was designed to transport oil from the province of Alberta to the U.S. Gulf coast. But U.S. President Barack Obama ordered a new route for the pipeline after environmentalists objected to the initial route. The pipeline builder, TransCanada Pipeline, says that it will make a new proposal, but U.S. approval could take as long as one year. The speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, John Boehner of the Republican Party, says that his party could link the pipeline project to passage of a new jobs bill that will be introduced next week.
 



Office of Russia opposition newspaper destroyed by Molotov cocktail
 


The Yabloko opposition party said Sunday the office of a regional newspaper published by the party had been destroyed in a Molotov cocktail attack. Yabloko said on its website the attack on the Vecherny Krasnokamsk weekly in the Perm region in the Urals occurred early Saturday. No one was reported hurt in the pre-dawn incident. The party said the attack was captured on security cameras. The newspaper's editor, Olga Kolokolova, heads the Perm region's branch of Yabloko. The party linked the attack to the newspaper's investigative reports on corruption by the Krasnokamsk Mayor Yury Chechetkin. Russia's central electoral commission last week excluded Yabloko's candidate, Grigory Yavlinsky, from the presidential polls that Vladimir Putin is expected to win in March. The commission rejected the veteran politician, saying too many of the two million supporters' signatures he submitted to qualify were invalid. There is now only one independent candidate in the race, billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov.
 





Sports

Sports


SPEED SKATING
Jing Yu of China set a world record in the women's 500 metres at the world sprint championship in Calgary, Alberta, on Sunday. She became the first woman to go under 37 seconds with a time of 36.94 at the Olympic Oval. Jenny Wolf of Germany set the old record of 37.00 in 2009.

 

MARATHON SWIMMING
Canadian Richard Weinberger won a bronze medal on Sunday in the men's ten-kilometre race at a marathon swimming World Cup in Santos, Brazil. World champion Spiros Gianniotis of Greece won gold in 2:11:39.51and Nicola Bolzonello of Italy was second.

 

FREESTYLE AERIAL SKIING
Canadian Olivier Rochon was first in a World Cup freestyle aerials skiing competition in Calgary, Alberta. Qi Guangpu of China was second, and his countryman Liu Zhongqing was third.

 

WINTER X GAMES
Ski cross world champion Christopher Del Bosco won the gold medal at the Winter X Games in Aspen, Colorado, on Sunday. His Canadian teammate, Dave Duncan, won the bronze. Filip Flisar of Slovenia won the silver.





Weather

Canada Weather


Here is Canada's weather forecast for Monday, January 30. British Columbia will have rain showers. The high temperature in Vancouver will be eight degrees Celsius. The Yukon: sunny. Whitehorse, minus 18. Northwest Territories: snow flurries. Yellowknife, minus 22. Nunavut: sunny. Iqaluit, minus 17. Alberta: cloudy. Edmonton, four. Saskatchewan: cloudy. Regina, four. Manitoba: overcast. Winnipeg, zero. Ontario: mainly cloudy. Toronto: minus one. Ottawa, minus six. Quebec: clearing skies. Montreal, minus four. New Brunswick: snow flurries. Fredericton, zero. Nova Scotia: snow. Halifax, three. Prince Edward Island: snow flurries. Charlottetown, minus two. Newfoundland: variable cloudiness. St. John's, zero.





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