Tuesday, January 3, 2012

RCI Cyberjournal

Canada's role in Afghan-Pakistani negotiations being questioned

Canada's contribution to Afghan-Pakistan peace negotiations is being questioned after a recent investigation found distrust and long-standing disputes on both sides.

Since November 2007, Canada has taken the lead in faciilitating dialogue and understanding between officials on either side of the heavily travelled but unsecure Afghan-Pakistan border.

But there also indications that the Canadian efforts have not addressed many of the underlying issues.

Critics say has not been successful in achieving a true cross-border peace.

They also claim the process has only produced minor improvements in bilateral co-operation in the face of other major problems aloing the contested border.

The Canadian government has said it will remain involved in the region's cross-border issues through 2014.

Canada's justice minister wants to clear up misunderstanding about new crime law

Canada's Justice Minister Rob Nicholson, wants Canadians to better understand the governemnt's new crime bill.

He says there are misunderstandings about the bill that have angered some provincial governments.

Later this month, Nicholson will meet with his provincial counterparts in what some observers say will be a difficult session.

The country's two most populous Provinces, Ontario and Quebec, have both refused to pick up additional costs with the C-10 crime bill.

Also, Quebec is upset that the federal government refuses to consider amendments aimed at preserving Quebec's approach to criminal justice.

In some instances Quebec favors rehabilitation and reintegration especially where youth are concerned.

Canadian city moves to cleaner pipes for crack cocaine

Drug addicts in Canada's Pacific coast city of Vancouver who are addicted to crack cocainehave have started receiving free pipes.

It's part of a harm reduction startegy aimed at reducing the spread of disease.

The glass pipes are heat resistant and shatterproof which experts say should reduce injury to the users' lips and mouth.

Such wounds can make them susceptible to diseases such as HIV and hepatitis B and C.

The pipes are part of a $60,000 trial project, first announced last August, by the Vancouver Coastal Health Authority.

Accidents involving Canadian government vehicles cost millions of dollars

Documents show accidents involving Canadian government vehicles cost taxpayers 28-million dollars during the past ten years.

An analysis by The Canadian Press news agency found more than eight-thousand federal vehicles have been involved in accidents over the past 10 years.

Two-thirds of the cost comes from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, who say their work often involves high-speed chases and other dangerous duty.

The money went to repairs and money was lost when vehicles were considered no longer safe to drive.

Police officers in Grenade face court over death of Canadian

Five police officers on the Caribbean island of Grenada are due in court tomorrow on charges of beating a Canadian man to death.

The five were charged with manslaughter after Oscar Bartholomew died last Tuesday, one day after he was beaten into a coma.

Relatives say the 39 year old Bartholomew was attacked after he hugged a plainclothes policewoman he mistook for a friend.

He was a native of Grenada, and had returned to the island to spend Christmas with relatives.

Grenada's prime minister says Oscar Bartholomew's death is an unfortunate but isolated case.

Arab League calls for end to shooting in Syria

The Arab League secretary general has called for an end to shootings in Syria, warning snipers remain a threat. Nabil al-Arabi said all signs of military presence had left the cities, with Syrian tanks and artillery removed.

Some 60 Arab League monitors have been in the country for the past week, checking compliance with a peace plan.

But they are said to be frustrated they cannot stop killings. Syrian rights groups say at least 150 people have died at the hands of security forces since the monitors arrived. And according to the UN, more than 5,000 people have been killed in a crackdown on anti-government protests since March.

Iran ends controversial naval exercises in Gulf

Iran says it has successfully test-fired three more missiles on the final day of naval exercises in the Gulf. They included a shore-to-sea cruise missile, and a surface-to surface missile. Iran media said a medium-range surface-to-air missile was successfully launched on Sunday.

Iran has conducted 10 days of exercises near the Strait of Hormuz, through which 20 percent of the world's oil passes. Iran said last week, it might close the Strait of Hormuz to ship traffic, if the west imposes more sanctions on it.

That led the U.S. to say it would oppose the move. And this weekend, President Barak Obama signed into law tough new U.S. sanctions against Iran's Central Bank as punishment for the country's nuclear program. The sanctions cut off from the U.S. financial system any foreign firms that do business with Iran's central bank. They will take hold in six months.

Prosecution begins summary of Mubarak case Tuesday

An Egyptian judge says the prosecution willl begin to summarize its case against former President Hosni Mubarak on Tuesday.

The 83-year old former dictator, two of his sons, a cabinet minister and six police officials are being tried for corruption or complicity in the deaths of over 800 protestors in the uprising that ousted him last February.

A handful of anti-Mubarak demonstrators marched outside the courtroom on Monday.

Iowa caucuses select Republican presidential candidate Tuesday

In the U.S. this is the last day of campaigning for Republican candidates ahead of tomorrow's Iowa caucuses.

The vote is the first major test leading up to the U-S presidential election in November.Former Massachusetts governor, Mitt Romney, appears to be the frontrunner, although polls have been swinging wildly in the past few months.

The Republican party will pick its presidential candidate at a convention in Tampa, Florida in late August.

Australian concern over outbreak of deadly disease

There's concern in Australia over the outbreak of a rare but deadly disease. Health authorities say a mosquito-borne illness, called, Murray Valley encephalitis has been found. It was detected in chickens, and it can spread to humans. Jeremy Maca-noltee is the director of the health protection centre, in New South Wales.

He says, few patients will even show symptoms. The chickens that were infected, had been deliberately placed in hotspots, as part of an early warning system, to detect the virus.


Canada's weather for January 3. In the Canadian north, sunny in Iqaluit and minus 25 degrees Celsius. Sunny in Yukon, minus 3 in Whitehorse. Periods of rain in British Columbia with a high of 8 in Vancouver. A mix of sun and cloud in Alberta while sunny across Saskatchewan and Manitoba with highs of 8 in Calgary, 0 in Saskatoon, and 2 in Winnipeg. A mix of sun and cloud in Ontario and Quebec. minus 12 in Toronto, minus 14 in Montreal. Mainly sunny across the Atlantic provinces of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and rain showers ending early in Newfoundland. 2 in Halifax and 2 in Saint John's.