Friday, January 20, 2012

RCI Cyberjournal

Skier Sarah Burke succumbs to injuries


Freestyle skier Sarah Burke died on Thursday morning from injuries sustained in a superpipe training accident suffered January 10th. University of Utah Medical Center officials confirmed that Burke died at 9:22 in the morning in the presence of her family after her fall on a training superpipe at nearby Park City. She was 29.

Doctors said she suffered a ruptured vertebral artery that reduced blood flow to the brain, leading to severe bleeding. She remained in a coma and on life support from the time she reached the Salt Lake City hospital.

Doctors discovered Burke had suffered irreversible brain damage after going into cardiac arrest.

Burke, a four-time Winter X Games champion, has been instrumental in raising the profile of freestyle halfpipe and was an enthusiastic and influential supporter of its inclusion in the Olympics from 2014. She would have been among the medal favorites in Sochi for the women's superpipe debut.

"Our hearts go out to Sarah's husband Rory and her entire family. It's difficult for us to imagine their pain and what they're going through," Peter Judge, chief executive of the Canadian Freestyle Ski Association, said in a statement. "Sarah was certainly someone who lived life to the fullest and in doing so was a significant example to our community and far beyond," Judge said. "She will be greatly missed by all of us at the CFSA and the entire ski community."

Family spokeswoman Iris Yen said Burke's family "was moved by the sincere and heartfelt sympathy expressed by people inspired by Sarah from all around the world." A public celebration of Burke's life would be held in the coming weeks, she added.

Canadian company to revise cross-border pipeline plan


TransCanada Pipelines will revise its plans to build an oil pipeline across the United States after U.S. President Barack Obama rejected its original proposal on Wednesday.

Mr. Obama cited environmental concerns in the U.S. State of Nebraska.

The proposed 2,700 kilometre Keystone Pipeline was designed to transport oil from the Canadian province of Alberta to the U.S. Gulf coast.

Mr. Obama's Republican Party opponents are accusing him of deliberately delaying a controversial decision until after the U.S. presidential elections in November.

Republicans also warn that the delay will encourage Canada to sell its oil to other foreign markets, principally China.

Oil industry analysts say that the controversy over the Keystone Pipeline could influence the fate of the proposed Northern Gateway pipeline from Alberta to Canada's Pacific coast.

Trade with U.S. overstated - Conference Board


A Canadian think-tank says Canada is less dependent on trade with its US neighbour than conventional wisdom would suggest. The Conference Board says its analysis of supply chains and value-added components to trade shows only about 62 per cent of Canada's overall trade involves the U.S., as opposed to the official statistic of 69 per cent.

As well, it notes, trade in services is much more important to the picture than conventional statistics indicate, representing 40 per cent of overall activity rather than just 16 per cent.

The Conference Board says its analysis shows why Canada's economy was less affected by the recent global recession than many other countries.

Bank of Canada governor worried about the economy


Bank of Canada governor Mark Carney says the biggest external threat to the Canadian economy is the debt crisis in Europe.

He estimates that will cost the Canadian economy about 10 billion dollars.

That figure takes into account such factors as lower profits for Canadian companies that do business in Europe.

Welfare of veterans linked to proposed budget cuts


Former members of the Canadian Forces will be adversely affected if the Government of Canada proceeds with budget cuts at the Department of Veterans Affairs.

That's the argument the union representing workers in that department is using to try to convince Ottawa to exempt it from a government-wide spending review.

The president of the union says staff are already overburdened, with some case workers handling up to 900 files. Yvan Thauvette says losing 500 employees will only degrade services for veterans.

A member of the opposition NDP, Peter Stoffer, says veterans already have to wait too long for service from the department after muddling through complicated paperwork.

The Conservative government is looking for ways to reduce government spending by up to 10 per cent across all departments and agencies.

New information on Canada spy case


New information has been learned about the Canadian naval officer accused of spying for foreigners.

Until 2010, Sub-Lieutenant Jeffrey Delisle worked for both the Chief of Defence Intelligence and the Strategic Joint Staff.

That raises the possibility that Delisle had access to more classified material than first thought.

Delisle is in custody in the city of Halifax where he's due in court on Wednesday of next week.

He faces two charges under the Security of Information Act that deal with communicating information over the past five years that could harm Canada's interests.

Federal government officials would not confirm reports that the Delisle passed on information to Russia.

Supreme Court thwarts civil suit in torture cases


Three Canadians who were detained and tortured abroad have been denied access to official documents they say would show Canadian complicity in their treatment. The Supreme Court of Canada, by refusing to hear their case, effectively sided with the government's position.

It argues that the documents in question, if released, could harm Canada's foreign relations or national security.

Abdullah Almalki, Ahmad El Maati and Muayyed Nureddin have filed a civil suit against the government in a bid to clear their names. The three were arrested by Syrian military intelligence during trips abroad from 2001 to 2004, suspected of Al-Qaeda links.

In 2008, an independent inquiry in Canada found that the three men's mistreatment "resulted indirectly" from actions taken by Canadian intelligence agencies and federal police, including information sharing and in some cases "deficiencies" of consular service provided to the men.

Each claimed upon return to Canada that he had been tortured, and that Canadian security officials had supplied their captors with intelligence and questions to pose the detainees.

Judge reserves decision on future of Canadian Wheat Board


A Canadian judge has reserved his decision on a bid to suspend a new law that ends the Canadian Wheat Board's monopoly on western grain sales.

Justice Shane Perlmutter of the Province of Manitoba heard arguments during a two day period about the legislation passed by the federal government late last year.

The Wheat Board directors want implementation of the law stopped until a court rules on its validity.

They say the legislation is not valid because the government did not hold a referendum among producers before ending the monopoly.

The federal government says farmers have a right to sell their grain independently and Parliament can change its own laws.


Some 600 Syrians have been killed since Arab League observers arrived last month


The ongoing violence in Syria is reported to have killed at least 600 people since Arab League observers began their work in the country in late December.

And Arab League foreign ministers, meeting in Cairo this past weekend, disagreed over how to handle the uprising in which thousands of people have been killed.

Some of Syria's opponents want action from the United Nations Security Council.

But Russia has said that it will work with China to block any move to authorise military intervention.

Reliable casualty figures are hard to come by in Syria where media access has been limited.

NATO asks Russia not to build up its military near nations of the alliance


The head of NATO, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, has asked Russia to refrain from building up its military near the alliance's borders.

He questioned Russian moves to add forces in its Kaliningrad territory which borders NATO members Lithuania and Poland.

Russia has repeatedly said it will be forced to take additional measures if it fails to agree with NATO on a missile defence shield.

The United States, a NATO member, insists a shield is needed against potential threats from Iran.

But Russia says that anti-missile facilities planned in Poland would undermine its own security. Moscow has warned that it plans to deploy Iskander missiles in Kaliningrad.

And earlier this month, Russian media reported that an S-400 Triumph anti-aircraft missile system would go into service there in April.

Bangladesh foils coup


The Bangladesh military says it has stopped an attempt by mutinous officers to overthrow the government of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

General Muhammad Masud Razzaq says the military has evidence that a group of up to 16 hardline Islamic military officers including two retired officers were planning to remove the democratically elected government in a coup.

He says two retired officers have been arrested.

China jails writer


A Chinese court in Wuhan Province has jailed writer Li Tie for 10 years on subversion charges for writing essays that urged people to defend their rights.

He is the third person to receive a lengthy jail sentence on such charges in less than a month.

Analysts say the sentences suggest a crackdown on dissidents is intensifying ahead of the anniversary of online calls for the Arab-inspired Jasmine Revolution rallies and before a leadership transition later in the year.

The 52 year old Li reportedly told the court he was not guilty. Calls by foreign journalists to the Wuhan Intermediate People's court about Li's case were unanswered.

Taiwan drops plans to erect statue


Taiwan officials have dropped a plan to erect a statue of the Goddess of Democracy on a small island that faces the coast of China.

The statue was a defining image of the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests in Beijing.

Taiwan's Kinmen county government said the plan was delayed as it could not find a proper location for the 30-metre high statue by Chinese activist artist Chen Weiming.

The artist says he is raising funds for the project in the United States where he is based.

Analysts say the 30-metre high statue would undoubtedly anger Beijing.

On the night of June 4, 1989, the Chinese military shot dead hundreds if not thousands of students and other pro-democracy protesters who had been demonstrating peacefully in Beijing's Tiananmen Square.

Tanks also crushed the Goddess of Democracy statue which students had built out of styrofoam and papier-mache and which had stood for five days in the square.

Perry out of Republican race


Another of the U.S. presidential hopefuls has dropped out of the race to lead the Republican Party.

In doing so, Texas Governor Rick Perry gave his endorsement to former House of Representatives Speaker, Newt Gingrich.

Polls of voters in South Carolina, which holds its primary contest on Saturday, showed that Governor Perry had about 5 percent of the vote.

Kodak seeks bankruptcy protection


Eastman Kodak, the photography icon that invented the hand-held camera, has filed for bankruptcy protection and plans to shrink significantly after a prolonged plunge for one of America's best-known companies.

Kodak's market value has sunk to below $150 million from $31 billion 15 years ago.

George Eastman, a high-school dropout from upstate New York, founded the company in 1880 and began making photographic plates. To get his business going, he splurged on a second-hand engine to make the plates for $125.

Within eight years, the Kodak name had been trademarked, and the company had introduced the hand-held camera as well as roll-up film, where it became the dominant producer.


Markets close


The Toronto stock market closed higher as financials improved in the wake of U.S. bank earnings and traders took in a better than expected reading on manufacturing.

The S&P/TSX composite index ran up 53.17 points to 12,380.69.

The Canadian dollar was off 0.02 of a cent to 98.87 cents US.

The Dow Jones industrial average gained 45.03 points to 12,623.98. The Nasdaq composite index was up 18.62 points to 2,788.33 and the S&P 500 index rose 6.46 points to 1,314.5.

Oil lost early momentum to close down 20 cents at US$100.39 a barrel.

Toronto leading economic engine


C-I-B-C World Markets says Toronto is once again leading the country in terms of economic momentum.

C-I-B-C says its the second consecutive year that Canada's largest city has topped its Canadian Metropolitan Economic Activity Index, this year with a reading of 23.

It says the city's index of economic momentum is currently at its highest level in more than 10 years, led by growth in population, employment and housing starts.

Second on the index was Edmonton, at 20, followed by Kitchener at 18, Halifax at 16.8 and Vancouver at 15.5.


Hockey


One of seven Canadian teams in the National Hockey League played Wednesday with Montreal losing to Washington 3-0.

The NHL's Winter Classic may be at the University of Michigan's 110,000 seat stadium. The Detroit Red Wings and Toronto Maple Leafs would reportedly take part in the 2013 game.

Hockey


The federal government is giving money to four groups to support their efforts to reduce the rate and severity of head injuries in kid's sports.

ThinkFirst Canada, Hockey Canada, the Coaching Association of Canada and the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport are getting at total of 1.5-million dollars. It will be used to make coaches, players and parents more aware of the problem.

The groups hope to develop guidelines for fitting helmets, and provide better information about when it's safe to return to playing after an injury.

Carter ailing


The condition of baseball Hall-of-Fame catcher, Gary Carter, is said to be deteriorating.

Doctors at Duke University Hospital in Durham, North Carolina, have informed his family that new brain tumours have been detected in the most recent scans. Carter, who is 57, has been under treatment since last May when he started suffering dizzy spells and memory loss.

He told the New York Daily News that he feels no better now than he did then.

Carter played 19 seasons in baseball for the Montreal Expos, Mets, Giants, and Dodgers.

The 11-time All Star was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2003.

CFL


Mike O'Shea will back as the Toronto Argonauts' special-teams co-ordinator. The star linebacker had been interviewed this off-season for head-coaching positions in both Saskatchewan and Hamilton.

After being bypassed for both jobs, O'Shea decided to return to Toronto and become a part of new head coach Scott Milanovich's staff.

O'Shea spent 16 seasons in the C-F-L with both Hamilton and Toronto.


January 20, 2012


Vancouver, rain or wet snow. High 5.

Edmonton, variable skies with a few flurries. High minus 18.

Calgary, variable cloudiness. High minus 19.

Sunny across Saskatchewan and Manitoba, with highs of minus 21 in Saskatoon, minus 19 in Regina and minus 22 in Winnipeg.

Toronto, mainly sunny with evening flurries. High minus 5.

Ottawa, sunny. High minus 11.

Montreal, sunny. High minus 12.

Fredericton, snow. High minus 1.

Halifax, snow. High plus 1.

Charlottetown, snow. High minus 1.

St. John's, snow. High minus 1.

Whitehorse, sunny. High minus 29.

Yellowknife, mainly sunny. High minus 20.

Iqaluit, mainly sunny with evening flurries. High minus 24.

Globe is warming


The world's average temperature in 2011 was the ninth highest since the U.S. started keeping records. That was in 1880.

NASA scientists said on Thursday that the average surface temperature last year was about a half Celsius degree higher than a mid-20th century baseline, continuing a trend that saw nine of the 10 hottest years occurring since the year 2000.

The only year from the 20th century that was among the top-10 warmest years was 1998.

The NASA statement said the current higher temperatures are largely sustained by increased concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, especially carbon dioxide.

The average temperature for 2011 for the contiguous United States was 53.8 degrees Fahrenheit, or 12.11 degrees Celsius.