Sunday, April 8, 2012

RCI Cyberjournal

Edition 7 April 2012
Canadian International Sports Weather

With celebrities' help, woman gets double lung transplant

A young Canadian woman is recovering from a double lung transplant in Toronto after she waged an international campaign to promote organ donations. Helene Campbell's campaign drew the attention of Canadian pop star Justin Bieber and American television host Ellen DeGeneres. The two celebrities used their social networks to find an appropriate donor. Ms. Campbell will remain in hospital for about a month to ensure that her body does not reject the lung. Doctors say they have every expectation that she will recover.

Federal government rejects British Columbia allegations
Canada's government is rejecting allegations that it failed to inform the province of British Columbia about a pay raise for the province's contingent of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. The RCMP provides police services for many municipalities. Langley Mayor Peter Fassbender and B.C. Attorney General Shirley Bond said on Thursday that they only learned about the pay raise this week. But the federal Public Safety Ministry says that the terms of the raises were discussed last year. Six provinces, including British Columbia and Canada's three territories, recently signed a 20-year RCMP policing deal with the federal government.

Condemned man's daughter makes appeal
The daughter of a Canadian who is on death row in the U.S. State of Montana is upset that a memo was leaked suggesting that her father's bid for clemency will be rejected. The document from the Montana Board of Pardons and Parole recommends against clemency for Ronald Smith. Smith is the only Canadian on death row in the United States. His clemency hearing is scheduled for early next month. Smith's daughter, Joan, hopes that the board will listen to all of the facts of the case before making a decision. Smith was convicted in 1983 for killing two men in Montana.

Despite government capitulation, Attawapiskat First Nation to pursue lawsuit
First Nation Canadian natives in the northern Ontario community of Attawapiskat are proceeding with legal action against the federal government. The case involves the appointment of a third-party manager last year to handle the community's finances. The government wanted to ensure that federal aid money to the community was being spent properly. In response to First Nation protests, the government later declared that the manager will be withdrawn by April 19. Despite the government's change of position, the native band still intends to proceed with legal action launched last year to block the manager's appointment. The band wants the courts to refute Prime Minister Stephen Harper's suggestion that the band mismanaged federal funds. Attawapiskat became a major focus of national interest late last year when it was revealed that residents of the community were living in substandard housing.


Avalanche in Pakistan buries soldiers at military base
An avalanche has buried as many as 100 Pakistani soldiers at their base in the Himalayas. Helicopters, sniffer dogs and troops have been deployed to look for any survivors on the remote Siachen Glacier, where the avalanche occurred. The base is situated in a valley between two high mountains. The avalanche hit a battalion headquarters early on Saturday morning. Siachen is on the northern tip of the divided Kashmir region claimed by both India and Pakistan. Both countries have thousands of troops there. There were regular skirmishes there until 2003, when a ceasefire was declared.

More deaths in Syria despite apparent retreat
The U.S. ambassador to Syria, Robert Ford, says that Syria's government appears to have pulled some of its forces out of occupied towns and cities. Mr. Ford based his observation on satellite surveillance photos. But he says that arrests, military sweeps and the artillery bombardment of opposition strongholds continue. Political activists say that shelling and offensives against rebel-held towns across the country killed at least 28 people on Saturday. Their claim cannot be confirmed independently. Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has accepted a ceasefire deadline brokered by international envoy Kofi Annan. The ceasefire calls for his forces to withdraw from towns and cities by Tuesday. Both government forces and rebels must lay down their arms by Thursday. But Mr. al-Assad has made promises to cease violence in the past and failed to follow through.

Malawi has southern Africa's first female leader
Malawi's vice-president, Joyce Banda, assumed the leadership of the African nation on Saturday, two days after the death of President Bingu wa Mutharika. Ms. Banda will be southern Africa's first female head of state. The move has calmed fears of a struggle for succession. State institutions gave their support to the handover of power, which conforms with the constitution. Ms. Banda had been expelled from Mr. Mutharika's DPP party in 2010 after an argument about the succession. She retained her state position nevertheless. At a news conference in the capital, Lilongwe, she declared 10 days of official mourning for Mr. Mutharika. He had governed for eight years. Elections are scheduled to take place in 2014.

Mali coup leader promises handover to interim government
Mali's coup leader is promising to hand power to an interim government within days. Captain Amadou Sanogo says that the handover is part of a deal reached with the 15-state West African bloc ECOWAS. In return, the nations will end sanctions against Mali and help to repel Tuareg rebels who have seized much of the north and proclaimed an independent state. The coup last month by soldiers angry at ousted President Amadou Toumani Toure's handling of the Tuareg rebellion emboldened Tuareg nomads. Captain Sanogo says that in the next few days, a prime minister and a government will be in place.

Pilgrims thronging to Jerusalem for Easter Sunday
Thousands of Roman Catholic and Protestant Christians have gathered in Jerusalem's Church of the Holy Sepulchre in anticipation of Easter Sunday, the day on which Jesus is believed to have risen from the dead. Thousands of pilgrims marched through Jerusalem's cobbled old city in a procession led by guards in black costumes, followed by Franciscan monks and pilgrims.

U.S. fighter jet crashes in city
A U.S. fighter jet crashed in an apartment complex in Virginia Beach, Virginia on Friday, injuring five people on the ground. The plane's two pilots ejected from the craft safely. The F/A-18Dairplane developed some kind of engine trouble during a training run from the nearby Naval Air Station Oceana. The pilots managed to eject most of the plane's fuel before the plane crashed, preventing a worse explosion.

Five charged in China with illegal organ sales
Five people in central China have been charged in connection with selling human organs illegally. The arrests came after a teenager sold one of his kidneys to buy a smartphone and computer tablet. Prosecutors in the city of Chenzhou charged the suspects with intentional injury for organizing the removal and transplant of the teenager's kidney. The defendants include a surgeon, a hospital contractor, and brokers who looked for donors online and leased an operating room to conduct the procedure. The case has led to public concern that the government is failing to guard against the consequences of increasing consumerism in China. About 1.5 million people in China need organ transplants. But only about 10,000 transplants are performed each year, fueling the illegal trade in organs.

Deadly storm in Bangladesh

Heavy rains and strong winds have killed at least 17 people and injured dozens more in Bangladesh. The storms on Friday damaged mud-and-straw huts and felled trees in 10 of the country's 64 districts. Most of the deaths occurred as a result of lightning. Some victims were buried under their collapsed houses. Rainstorms are common in Bangladesh.

Famous Chinese dissident, Fang Lizhi, is dead
One of China's best-known dissidents has died. Fang Lizhi was 76. He and his wife spent 13 months hiding in the U.S. Embassy after China cracked down on dissidents in 1989 in the wake of the democratic uprising on Tiananmen Square. Mr. Fang died in the United States where he and his wife fled. Mr. Fang's speeches on democracy inspired student protesters throughout the 1980s.

Lost for several days, round-the-world sailing ship renews contact
Contact has been re-established with a Russian sailing ship, Scorpius, that disappeared from sight for several days while on a round-the-world voyage. The 29-metre sailing ship began its voyage last September in the hope of making a trip around the world from north to south by way of the Arctic and Antarctic. A spokeswoman for the expedition, Anna Soubotina, says that the ship's crew sent an e-mail overnight in which they describe difficult atmospheric conditions and ice. Communications were cut because the ship's antenna was damaged in a storm. The ship had fuel for less than three days and the crew decided to head towards Chile. The crew says it does not need help.

Military officers in Yemen close airport in protest
Yemeni air force officers shut down the airport in the capital, Sanaa, on Saturday, in protest at the dismissal of their commander. The commander, Saleh al-Ahmar, is a half brother of former president Ali Abdullah Saleh. The protest is a direct rebuke to President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, who replaced Mr. Saleh earlier this year. President Hadi is trying to push through a restructuring of the armed forces to remove Saleh allies from key posts. Military vehicles encircled Sanaa airport at dawn, turning passengers away and preventing flights from taking off or landing. President Hadi dismissed Mr. al-Ahmar on Friday and gave him the post of assistant to the defence minister.



Canada's Glenn Howard will play for the gold medal at the world men's curling championship on Sunday. Howard qualified for the championship game on Saturday with a 7-6 win over Scotland's Tom Brewster in the Page playoff 1-versus-2 game at St. Jakobshalle in Basel, Switzerland. Howard has won the world title three times.

The Toronto Raptors lost 84-80 to Cleveland on Friday. Toronto was on a three-game winning streak before the loss.

Canadian Mike Weir failed to make the cut after the second round of the Master's championship in Augusta, Georgia, on Friday. Weir won the event in 2003, the only Canadian to win one of golf's four major championships.




Here is Canada's weather forecast for Sunday, April 8. British Columbia will have variable cloudiness. The high temperature in Vancouver will be 14 degrees Celsius. The Yukon: sunny. Whitehorse, eight. Northwest Territories: sunny. Yellowknife, minus eight. Nunavut: cloudy. Iqaluit, minus one. Alberta: sunny. Edmonton, three. Saskatchewan: sunny. Regina, four. Manitoba: increasing cloudiness. Winnipeg, six. Ontario: increasing cloudiness. Toronto: 16. Ottawa, 14. Quebec: sunny periods. Montreal, 12. New Brunswick: rain. Fredericton, five. Nova Scotia: snow flurries. Halifax, four. Prince Edward Island: snow. Charlottetown, six. Newfoundland: rain. St. John's, eight.


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