Monday, April 16, 2012

RCI Cyberjournal

Edition 15 April 2012
Canadian International Sports Weather
Canadian

Prime Minister Harper offers millions to combat drug violence in Central America
Prime Minister Stephen Harper is promising more Canadian funding to help Central American countries fight drug cartels in the region. The new initiative will involve spending $25 million over five years to help train law enforcement agencies and to provide them with police equipment. At the same time, Mr. Harper is refusing to consider calls by many of the hemisphere's leaders to rethink the current approach to the drug trade and consider possible regulation and even legalization. Besides the drug issue, the continued absence of Cuba at the table has been one of the central themes at this weekend's Summit of the Americas. The presidents of Nicaragua and Ecuador both boycotted the summit in solidarity with Cuba, and Colombian host Juan Manuel Santos said it would be unacceptable for another summit to exclude the commuist island nation. Prime Minister Harper's main goal at the summit has been to promote Canada as a destination for trade and investment, and to support Canadian businesses seeking new opportunities in the region.



NDP's Mulcair slams public service cuts


Canada's opposition NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair says the Harper government's public service cuts put Canadians at risk. In a scathing attack against Prime Minister Stephen Harper during a speech at an NDP gathering in Hamilton, Ontario, Mr Mulcair warned that public safety is being put at risk with job cuts among food inspectors. The NDP leader says the government should remember that public service workers provide services that Canadians need. Mr. Mulcair also called the Conservatives dishonest for cutting health transfers to the provinces after repeatedly promising not to make such cuts.



Halifax commemorates Titanic tragedy
The city of Halifax is spending the weekend commemorating the 100th annivesary of the sinking of the Titanic. People from as far away as Australia have gathered in the Nova Scotia capital, where about 150 victims of the tragedy are buried in several cemeteries. Meantime, the passengers and crew of MS Balmoral, a cruise ship that's been retracing the route of the Titanic, paused to pray, early Sundayat the spot in the North Atlantic where the liner went down. More than 15-hundred people perished when the Titanic sank after hitting an iceberg, 100 years ago.


First Nations worry about Oxycontin withdrawal

Remote First Nations in Canada are bracing for a crisis, six weeks after a prescription drug to which many adults are addicted, was taken off the market. The sudden disappearance of Oxycontin from pharmacy shelves has many native leaders worried about widespread withdrawal symptoms among people forced to quit cold turkey. Authorities are now scrambling to provide treatment to ensure that addicts don't just switch to something else, like morphine or alcohol. Dr. Claudette Chase, the co-medical director for the Sioux Lookout First Nations Health Authority, says full-fledged community plans that involve nurses and medical treatment are urgently required. She says changes are in the works, driven by communities and by Health Canada, but not nearly fast enough.


Peter Lougheed campaigns for Alberta Progressive Conservatives

Alberta's Progressive Conservatives have brought out the big guns as they try to hold on to power in the prairie province. Former Premier Peter Lougheed has come out of retirement to do some door-to-door campaigning in support of new premier Alison Redford in the April 23rd election. It was Mr. Lougheed who led the Conseratives to power in Alberta in 1971, and they've been in charge ever since. This time though, they face a serious challenge from the more right-wing Wildrose Party.




International

Taliban stage attacks in Afghan capital
Afghanistan's capital, Kabul has been rocked by co-ordinated attacks in a number of areas, including neighbourhoods frequented by Afghan government officials and their international allies. A Taliban spokesman has claimed responsibility saying militants attacked NATO forces headquarters, parliament and several diplomatic residences. There were also attacks in three other cities in eastern Afghanistan.


Massive Pakistan prison break

Taliban militants have freed nearly 400 inmates from a prison in northwest Pakistan, including at least 20 described by authorities as "very dangerous" insurgents. More than 100 attackers staged a pre-dawn raid on the prison in the city of Bannu close to the Afghan border. The militants, armed with automatic weapons and rocket-propelled grenades, fought with guards for around two hours, setting part of the prison on fire. The Pakistani Taliban movement is closely linked to the Afghan Taliban, which is battling NATO troops in Afghanistan. Bannu is the main gateway to North Waziristan, the most militant-infested region along the border.


U.N. Secretary-General urges Syria to respect truce
United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon says he's very concerned about the situation in Syria after Syrian troops shelled residential neighbourhoods dominated by rebels in the central city of Homs. The attacks came just hours before the first group of UN observers was to arrive in Damascus to help enforce Syria's shaky cease-fire. The six observers are expected to be "on the ground in blue helmets" Monday with their numbers eventually to rise to 250. The reported shelling in Homs is threatening the truce to which both President Bashar Assad and rebels fighting to topple him have agreed. Secretary Ban says he urges "in the strongest possible terms" that the ceasefire be maintained. Activists say at least 3 people were killed in Sunday's shelling.



 Israel intercepts activists
Hundreds of Israeli police were deployed to the country's main airport Sunday, to intercept activists flying in to protest Israel's occupation of Palestinan areas. By mid-afternoon police officials said 27 activists had landed at Ben-Gurion International Airport in defiance of the Israeli government's vigorous efforts to block their arrival. They were all denied entry and were to be placed on return flights.



North Korean leader addresses nation, world
North Korea's new leader has addressed his nation and the world for the first time, promising to make the military his impoverished country's top priority. And, military officials then promptly unveiled a new long-range missile. Kim Jon Un's speech was a highlight of two weeks of celebrations marking the one-hundredth anniversary of the birth of his grandfather, North Korea's national founder Kim Il Sung. But the festivities were marred Friday by a failed attempt to launch a rocket.


China, Philippines naval standoff

A tense naval standoff between China and the Philippines, over a disputed shoal, shows no sign of easing. Experts are warning that rival claimants need to work out accords to prevent future confrontations from becoming violent. A spokesman for the Philippines Department of Foreign Affairs says the impasse at Scarborough Shoal is continuing after China deployed a second surveillance ship and an aircraft flew over a Philippine coast guard vessel in the area. Carlyle Thayer, a South China Sea expert, says the South China Sea has become more vulnerable to clashes after rival claimants beefed up their maritime forces amid the territorial rifts.


Strong earthquake rocks Indonesia

There's been a strong earthquake off the coast of western Indonesia but experts say there is no danger of a tsunami. The magnitude 6.2 quake was centred about 650 kilometres southwest of Banda Aceh, the capital of Aceh province, at a depth of 15 kilometres. There were no immediate reports of injuries or damage. Two powerful quakes on Wednesday, with magnitudes of 8.6 and 8.2, triggered a tsunami watch in more than two dozen countries and island territories, from Australia and India to as far off as Africa.





Sports

Sports
Four games on the N-H-L schedule Sunday: The Nashville Predators beat the Detroit Red Wings 3-2 in an early match-up to take a 2-1 lead in their first-round series.
The Philadelphia Flyers go after a 3-nothing lead when they host Pittsburgh. The New Jersey Devils will look to win a second straight on the road when they battle Florida in Game 2 of their series. And, Vancouver meets L-A in Game 3 of that series. The Kings took the first two from the Canucks on the road.
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The Toronto Blue Jays look to salvage the final game of their three-game set with Baltimore Sunday. Toronto has lost the first two games of the series.
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Basketball action: The Toronto Raptors are in Atlanta to take on the Hawks.




Weather

Weather


Here is Canada's weather for Monday, April 16. British Columbia will have showers. The high temperature in Vancouver, 13 degrees Celsius and Victoria, 11. The Yukon: increasing cloudiness. Whitehorse, 7. Northwest Territories: sunny. Yellowknife, minus 7. Nunavut: cloudy. Iqaluit, minus 9. Alberta: mainly sunny. Edmonton, 8. Saskatchewan: cloudy. Regina, 4. Manitoba: sunny. Winnipeg, 2. Ontario: a few showers. Toronto and Ottawa, 25. Quebec: sunny. Montreal, 26. New Brunswick: variable cloudiness. Fredericton, 19. Nova Scotia: variable cloudiness. Halifax, 15. Prince Edward Island: sunny. Charlottetown, 17. Newfoundland and Labrador: sunny in Newfoundland. St. John's, 11. Snow in Labrador: Happy Valley-Goose Bay, 2.




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