Sunday, January 22, 2012

RCI Cyberjournal

Edition 21 January 2012
Canadian International Sports Weather

Explosion and fire destroy sawmill, injure 19

An explosion and fire tore through a sawmill in the northern British Columbia community of Burns Lake on Friday evening, sending 19 people to hospital, some with critical injuries.Four injured people were later released from hospital. Two workers at the mill were still missing on Saturday evening. Some workers smelled gas before the explosion. Hospitals from Prince George to Smithers were mobilized to deal with the victims.The injuriesinclude critical burns.Police are investigating the cause of the explosion. The area has been secured.

Locked-out Electromotive workers stage demonstration

Several thousand people from across Ontario traveled to the province's southern city of London on Saturday to help local workers stage a labour protest. About 400 workers at the locomotive engine maker, Electromotive, were locked out three weeks ago. The company was asking employees to agree to cut their salaries by half. Labour union leaders forecast a long, bitter lockout. Electromotive is owned by the industrial machine manufacturer, Caterpillar.

Canadians donate to Sarah Burke hospital fund

It took only one day for Canadians to donate enough money toraise $200,000 to help pay the hospital bill of Sarah Burke. The freestyle skiing star died on Thursday, nine days after suffering brain damage in a training accident in the U.S. State of Utah. The four-time Winter X Games champion tore one of the major arteries supplying blood to her brain and went into cardiac arrest. The Burke family is thanking Canadians for their generosity and says any leftover money will be used to set up a foundation in Sarah's memory.Burke was 29.

Russia denies its diplomats were expelled

Russia's Foreign Ministry is denying reports that four diplomats at its embassy in Ottawa have been expelled in a spy scandal. The ministry says the diplomats left Canada because of a planned rotation. Sources in the diplomatic community say at least two of the staffers left Canada weeks before the arrest of Sub-Lieutenant Jeffrey Delisle earlier this month in Halifax. The Canadian naval intelligence officer is charged with passing secrets to a "foreign entity." Speculation has focused on Russia being that entity. The Canadian government has refused to confirm or deny reports about Russia's involvement. Federal officials are also refusing to say much about the reports of the Russian expulsions. Sub-Lieutenant Delisle is in custody in Halifax and is scheduled to appear in court this coming week. It is not known how he will plead.

Former Bloc Quebecois leader facing allegations

Allegations are being raised about the accounting practice of Gilles Duceppe, the former leader of the Bloc Quebecois, the separatist party based in Quebec. The Montreal newspaper La Presse reports that for seven years during his tenure as leader, Mr. Duceppe paid the party general manager with public funds. Gilbert Gardner was paid more than $100,000 in the last years of his term. But House of Commons funds are meant for activities related to Parliament, not for partisan use. La Presse says a parliamentary committee will review the expenditures.

Man arrested in G20 protest wants criminal charges against police

A man arrested by police at Toronto's G20 summit in 2010 is calling for criminal charges against the officers involved. A report by the agency that investigates complaints against police says officers used excessive force when they arrested Adam Nobody. And it calls on Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair to lay Police Act charges against five officers. It says the officers had reasonable grounds to arrest Mr. Nobody but used unnecessary force -- behaviour which hurts the reputation of the police force. To date, only one officer has been charged criminally in the Nobody case. Mr. Nobody says an officer stepped on his face during his arrest, breaking his nose and a cheekbone.

Canada apologizes for naval exercise near Malta

Canada has apologized to Malta for conducting a naval firing drill near the island without first consulting Malta's government. The Canadian naval frigate, HMCS Charlottetown staged a small-arms firing exercise on its deck while cruising in the eastern Mediterranean Sea. Warships conducting such drills in the waters of other countries must warn other vessels in the area as well as the host nation.

Decision Monday in Mugesera case

Leon Mugesera, facing deportation from Canada to his native Rwanda, will have to wait until Monday to find out if his latest challenge succeeded or failed. His lawyers spent Friday in a Montreal courtroom arguing that Canada is obliged to keep him while a UN body examines his claims that he will be tortured if he's returned to Rwanda. The United Nations Committee Against Torture has requested Canada give it time to examine Mr. Mugesera's case, a process that could take a few months. Mr. Mugesera, who is accused of publicly encouraging the Rwandan genocide in 1994, has been fighting deportation from Canada for years. A decision in this latest court action is expected on Monday. Mr. Mugesera is currently being held in an immigration detention centre near Montreal after being deemed a flight risk.

Charges stayed in Canmore stage collapse

Charges against three companies in a fatal stage collapse at a popular Alberta country music festival in 2009 have been stayed. The Crown says there was no reasonable chance of conviction. A powerful windstorm caused the main stage to collapse at the Big Valley Jamboree near Camrose. One person was killed and more than a dozen people were injured.


Bombings in Nigeria kill more than 100

More than 100 people were killed on Friday night in bomb attacks and subsequent gunbattles in Nigeria's second-largest city, Kano. The radical Islamist group Boko Harm claimed responsibility for a coordinated series of bombings on eight police buildings. The attacks were the group's latest assault against police, government workers and Christians. President Goodluck Jonathan vowed that the killers would face prosecution, but he has faced criticism in the past for failing to take decisive action. In response to the attacks in Kano, the government announced a dusk-to-dawn curfew in the city, home to more than ten million people.

Death toll from Costa Concordia tragedy rises to 12

Italian Coast Guard divers on Saturday found a woman's body in a corridor of a submerged section of the capsized Costa Concordia, raising to at least 12 the number of dead in the cruise liner accident. Officials said the body, wearing a life jacket, was found in a narrow corridor near an evacuation staging point at the ship's rear. The body was brought to Giglio, the Tuscan island where the cruise liner hit a reef and ran aground on Jan. 14. Twenty persons are missing. Earlier Saturday, divers have resumed the search of the wreckage. The search was suspended on Friday after the Concordia shifted, prompting fears the ship could roll off a rocky ledge of sea bed and plunge deeper into the sea. There are also fears the Concordia's fuel could leak, polluting pristine waters.

Muslim Brotherhood dominates Egyptian election results

The final results in Egypt's parliamentary elections show that the Muslim Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party won the largest share of seats, about 38 per cent. The Brotherhood was banned under former leader Hosni Mubarak. The Brotherhood will have a strong influence on designing a new constitution. Islamist parties together won about two-thirds of all the seats. Under a complex electoral system, two thirds or 332 of the seats in lower house are decided by proportional representation on closed party lists. The other third are contested by individual candidates. The elections committee did not provide results for individual seats. The elections were Egypt's first democratically organized vote.

Syria focus of Arab League meeting

As the Arab League prepared on Sunday to decide on the future of its observer mission in Syria, more violence was reported on Saturday in Syria. A roadside bomb killed 17 detainees aboard a prison truck in northwest Idlib province, wounding an unknown number of others. The State news agency SANA blamed an armed terrorist group. Meanwhile, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said that army deserters had taken control of the town of Doumoa, 20 kilometres northeast of Damascus. Fighting was said to be continuing late on Saturday. The report could not be confirmed independently. The Arab League will decide whether to extend its observer mission despite criticism for its failure to end ten months of killing.

UN urges China to halt suppression of dissent

The UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights on Friday urged China to halt its "severe suppression" of dissent following the jailing of democracy activist Li Tie. Li was jailed for 10 years for subversion in the central city of Wuhan on Wednesday. His sentence comes at a time the government is nervous about the one-year anniversary of online calls for Arab-style protests in China and a major leadership transition that takes place in the autumn. The Hong Kong-based group Chinese Human Rights Defenders (CHRD) said the prosecution related to articles Li wrote criticising the government and his participation in online discussions. Nobel Peace Prize winner Liu Xiaobo was convicted of subversion in 2009 and sentenced to 11 years in jail. Long-time dissidents Chen Wei and Chen Xi were also jailed for nine and 10 years respectively at the end of December, and veteran activist Zhu Yufu has just been charged with the same crime.

Released student activists support Suu Kyi

Prominent student activists recently released from prison said Saturday they will work with political reformers and support pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi in upcoming byelections. Min Ko Naing said Saturday the 88 Generation Students Group will always side with those who strive for "fairness, freedom and equality" and join hands with supporters of President Thein Sein's reforms. His colleague Kyaw Min Yu read a statement supporting Ms. Suu Kyi at the first 88 Generation news conference since the activists were released Jan. 13. They also called for remaining political prisoners to be freed, exiled activists welcomed back and ethnic conflicts to be ended. The name refers a failed democracy uprising in 1988 that resulted in long prison terms for the activists.

Yemen's leader to seek medical treatment

Yemeni officials say outgoing President Ali Abdullah Saleh will leave soon to Oman, en route to medical treatment in the United States. Washington has been trying to get Saleh out of Yemen -- though not to settle in the U.S. -- to allow a peaceful transition from his rule. However, there appear to be differences whether Mr. Saleh would remain in exile. Senior ruling party official Mohammed al-Shayef says Mr. Saleh will return to Yemen to head the party after treatment. Mr. Al-Shayef told The Associated Press that Mr. Saleh will leave for Oman in the coming days, then head to America. An official in the prime minister's office, however, said Mr. Saleh is "supposed to go back to Oman" after the U.S. He says Mr. Saleh's son Ahmed is currently in Oman arranging a residence.

Hamas leader set to leave

The Islamic militant group Hamas says its chief, Khaled Mashaal, won't seek re-election. In a statement released to reporters via email on Saturday, the Palestinian group urged him to reconsider his decision, saying the issue of who leads the movement should be left to Hamas institutions. Hamas said the decision shouldn't be made by one person -- even its leader. It is not clear when Hamas would conduct new, internal elections. The militant group elects leaders through a body it calls the Shura Council.




In the women's competition at the Canadian figure skating championships in Moncton, New Brunswick on Saturday, Amelie Lacoste became Canadian champion for the first time, former champion Cynthia Phaneuf was second, and Kaetlyn Osmond was third. In the men's competition, World Champion Patrick Chan set a high-score record for the short program on Saturday. He scored 101.33 points, more than eight points better than his world-record short program at the world championships last year in Moscow. The Canadian championships are a domestic event and his record will not stand as a world record. Kevin Reynolds was second and Jeremy Ten was third.



Australian Lleyton Hewitt reached the Round of 16 in his 16th Australian Open on Saturday, beating Canadian Milos Raonic 4-6, 6-3, 7-6 (5), 6-3. Hewitt hasn't won a grand slam since Wimbledon in 2002.Raonic, seeded 23, is one of the emerging players on the tour after rising 125 places last year. He reached the fourth round at last year's Australian Open and started 2012 by winning the Chennai title without dropping a service game. In men's doubles, Canadian Daniel Nestor and his Belarus partner Max Mirnyi defeated Colombians Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah 7-6 (7-0), 6-2 on Saturday to move into the third round of the Australian Open.



Pittsburgh defeated Montreal, 5-4, in a shootout on Friday.



Portland defeated Toronto, 94-84, on Friday.



Canadian Alex Harvey finished fourth in the men's 1.4-kilometre classic sprint cross-country World Cup race in Otepaa, Estonia, on Saturday. Dario Cologna of Switzerland finished first, just .3 seconds in front of Norway's Ola Vigen Hattestad. Norway's Eirik Brandsdal was third.



Canadian Christine Nesbitt was fourth in the 500-metre race at the long track event at Utah Olympic Oval in Kearns, Utah on Saturday.

Lee Sang-Hwa of South Korea won her second World Cup gold medal of the season. Nao Kodairo of Japan skated a national-record time of 37.42 to take silver. American Heather Richardson took bronze. In the men's 500-metre event, Canadian Jamie Gregg was fourth. Japan's Keiichiro Nagashima won gold, Jan Smeekens of The Netherlands won silver, while American Tucker Fredricks took bronze.




Canada Weather

Here is Canada's weather forecast for Sunday, January 22. British Columbia will have rain. The high temperature in Vancouver will be seven degrees Celsius. The Yukon: snow flurries. Whitehorse, minus 21. Northwest Territories: light snow. Yellowknife, minus 20. Nunavut: light snow. Iqaluit, minus 22. Alberta: sunny. Edmonton, minus five. Saskatchewan: cloudy. Regina, minus ten. Manitoba: snow flurries. Winnipeg, minus four. Ontario: variable cloudiness. Toronto: one. Ottawa, minus seven. Quebec: sunny periods. Montreal, minus ten. New Brunswick: sunny. Fredericton, minus six. Nova Scotia: sunny. Halifax, minus six. Prince Edward Island: snow flurries. Charlottetown, minus eight. Newfoundland: snow flurries. St. John's, minus four.

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