Monday, February 6, 2012

RCI Cyberjournal

Edition 5 February 2012
Canadian International Sports Weather

Canada's prime minister to raise concerns about Syria with China
Canada's prime minister will raise his concerns about Syria when he pays an official visit to China next week. Stephen Harper leaves for Beijing on Tuesday.

His government has joined the international community in condemning Russia and China for vetoing the United Nations' resolution on Syria.

The U.N. Security Council resolution sought to bring pressure on Syrian president Bashar al-Assad to end violence against anti-government protesters.

Canada's foreign affairs minister, John Baird says that history will judge those whose obstruction serves to prolong the senseless violence in Syria.

Mr. Baird departs for China on Monday.

His parliamentary secretary, Deepak Obhrai, says that Prime Minister Harper will tell Chinese leaders that the violence in Syria must end immediately.

Mr. Obhrai also said that Canadian diplomats will express Canada's concerns to Russia.

Canada's opposition New Democratic Party is urging Canada to recall its ambassador in Syria.

Foreign minister defends Israel against Iranian threats
Canada's foreign affairs minister, John Baird, on Sunday expressed his support for Israel's right to defend itself against Iranian threats. Speaking on the television interview program, Question Period, Mr. Baird said that Israel was right to feel threatened following recent comments by Iran's supreme leader, the Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. The ayatollah vowed to remove what he called a cancer in the Middle East, and offered Iran's help to nations or groups that are prepared to challenge Israel. In recent weeks, U.S. diplomats have speculated that Israel is considering an air strike on Iranian nuclear installations that are suspected of developing nuclear weapons. Canada's prime minister, Stephen Harper, has called Iran a grave threat to peace and security. An Iranian Charge d'Affaires, Kambiz Sheikh-Hassani, has publicly criticized both Mr. Baird and Mr. Harper for their statements concerning Iran, describing the remarks as uninformed, undocumented and inflammatory.

Canadian Muslim leaders issue moral ruling
Canada's Muslim leaders have issued a moral ruling, also kown as a fatwa.

They have officially condemned so-called honour killings, domestic violence and misogyny.

The Islamic Supreme Council of Canada says it's an effort to counter misinterpretations of the Quran.

The ruling follows last week's convictions at a murder trial in Kingston, Ontario in which three members of a family were found guilty of killing four female relatives.

Canada to mark Queen's Diamond Jubilee
The Canadian government is preparing to launch four months of celebrations marking Queen Elizabeth's 60 years on the Britishthrone.

Even the head of an anti-monarchist group says commemorative ceremonies are entirely appropriate for a woman of such prominence in Canadian cultural and political tradition.

But Tom Freda of Citizens for a Canadian Republic says Ottawa should not be spending 7.5 million dollars on the Diamond Jubilee festivities.

Monday marks the 60th anniversary of the Queen's ascension.

The Queen's representative in Canada is Governor-General David Johnston.

Quebec to further limit industrialization of its north
Quebec Premier Jean Charest is taking a step to calm environmentalists' fears about further industrial development of Quebec's northern regions. The government announced its Plan Nord, or Northern Plan, last year. It involves a variety of mining, forestry, hydroelectric and tourism projects. On Sunday, Mr. Charest announced that he was increasing the amount of protected areas in the north from 12 per cent to 20 per cent. He also says that half of areas slated for industrial development will be protected as well. Environmentalists and First Nations native groups have expressed worry about the extent of the government's plans. Quebec already has huge hydro-electric projects in the north.

Major Toronto strike averted
A labour strike involving municipal workers in Canada's largest city, Toronto, was averted on Sunday morning when the workers' union reached a tentative deal. Tense labour talks continued past the deadline of Saturday midnight set by the negotiators. Some six thousand outdoor workers including garbage collectors, snow plow drivers and others were set to go on strike. The terms of the agreement were not immediately released. Mark Ferguson, head of CUPE Local 416, says that it involves several concessions. Labour observers say that the contract's terms will set a hard line for other city unionized workers negotiating contracts. Toronto has about 23,000 unionized municipal office workers.

Byelection called in Jack Layton's former riding
A byelection will be held next month in the Toronto riding held by the late New Democratic Party leader, Jack Layton. Mr. Layton died of cancer last year. His party is holding a leadership contest to choose his successor on March 24. Prime Minister Stephen Harper has called for the byelection in Toronto-Danforth riding on March 12. The New Democratic Party candidate will be law professor Craig Scott. The Conservative Party has nominated communications specialist Andrew Keyes.

World Cancer Day marked

Saturday was World Cancer Day, a day designed to draw attention to the universal impact of the disease.

The Canadian Cancer Society says last year nearly 178,000 Canadians were diagnosed with cancer and 75,000 died from the disease.

The Society says about half of all cancers can be prevented through healthy living.

It advocates policies that protect the health of Canadians, including strategies that combat tobacco use, unhealthy diets,
physical inactivity and alcohol consumption.


More deaths in Europe due to winter cold
More deaths linked to frigid winter weather were reported in Europe on Sunday. France, Italy, Poland and Ukraine all recorded new deaths. Ukraine has suffered the worst in recent days, with 131 people killed in all, most of them homeless people who froze on the streets. More than 300 people died across Europe in the week since the cold snap descended. Some 1,800 people have been sent to hospitals. London's Heathrow Airport, the world's busiest passenger air terminal, cancelled half of Sunday's 1,300 flights as a result of six centimetres of snow. The cold weather is expected to last until mid-week.

Western and Arab nations upset with veto of UN vote on Syria
Western and Arab countries responded with outrage Sunday after China and Russia vetoed a United Nations Security Council resolution that would have urged Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to give up power.

The U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice said she was disgusted by the vote.

Canada's Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird was deeply disappointed by the result.

The Syrian National Council, which represents major opposition groups, says the vetovote was an irresponsible step that is tantamount to a license to kill with impunity.

The vote came a day after activists say Syrian forces bombarded the city of Homs, killing more than 200 people.

It was the the worst night of bloodshed of the 11-month uprising. More than 5,000 people have been killed since the crackdown on protesters began last March.

Mitt Romney wins Republican Party caucus in Nevada
It's another victory for Mitt Romney in his bid to become the Republican Party'spresidential candidate.

He won the caucuses in the U.S. state of Nevada Saturday just four days after finishing first in the primary in the state of Florida.

His rival Newt Gingrich finished well behind, but is vowing to stay in the race until the nominating convention in August.

The two candidates are seeking the Republican Party's presidential nomination for the November vote against President Barack Obama of the Democratic Party.

China's Premier Wen Jiabao comments on land grabs
China's Premier Wen Jiabao says the government has failed to give farmers adequate protection from seizures of land.

He also acknowledged that the resulting discontent is causing protests.

Mr. Wen made the comments while visiting Guangdong province where a protest by residents of Wukan village in late 2011 attracted official attention on widespread anger over farmland confiscations.

Farmers in China do not directly own their fields.

Instead, most rural land is owned collectively by a village, with farmers allocated leases for usage rights that last for decades.

Saudi women want right to drive vehicles
A group of women in Saudi Arabia is leading a campaign against the kingdom's ban on female driving.

They are calling on the courts to take up their lawsuits demanding the right to drive.

Activist Manal al-Sherif says she and another woman activist are urging judicial authorities to being proceedings on complaints they lodged after being refused driver's licenses.

Miss Al-Sherif was detained for nearly two weeks last year after posting an online video of herself driving. It helped launch wider protests.

No laws prohibit women from driving, but conservative religious edicts have banned it and officials comply with those.

Pro-Europe candidate elected Finland's president
A conservative pro-European former finance minister was easily elected Finland's president in a runoff vote on Sunday. Sauli Niinistoe of the Niinistoe party gained 63 per cent of the votes. His Green party challenger, Pekka Haavisto, won about 37 per cent. Voters showed that they want to keep the country in the euro zone despite concerns over European Union bailouts.



The Canadian short-track speed skating team won four medals at a World Cup in Moscow on Sunday. Olivier Jean won gold in the men's 500 metres to lead a Canadian sweep of the podium. Liam McFarlane was second and Charles Hamelin was third. It was Canada's second podium sweep of the World Cup season. Canada added another gold in the men's relay on Sunday. Hamelin and Jean teamed with Guillaume Bastille and Remi Beaulieu. South Korea was second and China was third.

Miami's LeBron James scored 30 points and Dwyane Wade had 25 as the Miami Heat beat the Toronto Raptors, 95-89, on Sunday.



Here is Canada's weather forecast for Monday, February 6. British Columbia will be mainly sunny. The high temperature in Vancouver will be eight degrees Celsius. The Yukon: overcast. Whitehorse, minus five. Northwest Territories: sunny. Yellowknife, minus ten. Nunavut: mainly sunny. Iqaluit, minus 25. Alberta: sunny. Edmonton, minus seven. Saskatchewan: snow flurries. Regina, minus six. Manitoba: cloudy periods. Winnipeg, minus five. Ontario: sunny. Toronto: six. Ottawa, three. Quebec: light snow. Montreal, one. New Brunswick: snow flurries. Fredericton, one. Nova Scotia: snow flurries. Halifax, two. Prince Edward Island: snow flurries. Charlottetown, minus one. Newfoundland: increasing cloudiness. St. John's, minus four.

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