Sunday, April 29, 2012

RCI Cyberjournal

Edition 28 April 2012
Canadian International Sports Weather

Students reject Quebec government offer
Students in Montreal continue to pressure Quebec's government to abandon its plan to increase college tuition fees. Thousands of students marched through downtown Montreal again on Friday to denounce the government's latest offer. Earlier the same day, Premier Jean Charest offered to extend the tuition fee increase of 16 hundred dollars from five years to seven. Although Quebec's college tuition fees are among the lowest in Canada, student leaders say that the increase is still too much.

Canada supporting Dalai Lama
Canada is expressing support for the Dalai Lama's message of peace and harmony. The Tibetan spiritual leader was in Ottawa on Friday to attend the Sixth World Parliamentarian's Convention on Tibet. Some Canadian parliamentarians from all three main federal parties attended. Immigration Minister Jason Kenney told conference delegates that Canada's government supports the Dalai Lama. The Buddist leader thanked the world for its support of Tibetans. Prime Minister Stephen Harper was scheduled to meet the Dalai Lama in a private setting. China considers the Dalai Lama to be a Tibetan separatist. China's government has criticized world leaders who meet him. The Dalai Lama is one of only a few foreigners to be made an honorary Canadian citizen.

Air Canada reopens labour negotiations with two unions
Labour negotiations have resumed at Canada's biggest airline, Air Canada. Officials of the airline and the labour union representing eighty-six hundred mechanics and other ground workers have agreed to negotiate with a mediator for 10 days. During the same time, the union representing Air Canada's three thousand pilots will hold separate negotiations with the airline. Both unions were set to go on strike six weeks ago until Canada's government passed a bill that banned a walkout or a lockout. The government said that labour action by the airline's unions was not in the public's interest.

Canada expected to announce consulate closures
Canada is expected to reveal next week which of its consulates in the United States will close. Canada's Foreign Affairs department is facing a six per cent budget cut. Unconfirmed reports say that at least four of its 21 consular and trade offices in cities across the United States will close. Foreign Affairs is also expected to close some of its 18 trade offices across Canada. The offices help businesses to sell their products abroad and to attract foreign investment. Foreign Affairs could also reduce its operations in Europe and redirect resources to expanding countries in South America and to China and India.


Huge protest demonstration in Malaysia
One of the biggest public protests in Malaysia in years turned violent on Saturday as police fired tear gas and chemical-laced water at tens of thousands of demonstrators in Kuala Lumpur. At least three demonstrators and 20 police officers were injured, and dozens of people were detained. Demonstrators want Prime Minister Najib Razak to change electoral rules before the next election, expected as early as June. His coalition has held power for nearly 55 years. The demonstration remained peaceful for several hours, but a small group appeared to breach the police barriers, leading authorities to retaliate.

Fugitive Chinese activist reported in U.S. hands
A blind Chinese dissident who fled house arrest in a dramatic escape is reported to be under the protection of U.S. officials. Chen Guangcheng escaped from his home in Shandong province last weekend, leaving his wife and small child behind. The U.S.-based ChinaAid Association says that he was driven hundreds of kilometres to the U.S. embassy in Beijing. Neither China nor the U.S. have confirmed the report. Mr. Chen was active in exposing forced abortions and sterilizations that occurred in villages as a result of China's one-child per family policy.If he is sheltered in the U.S. embassy, itcould lead to diplomatic tension between China and the U.S. at a time when the U.S. is seeking China's support on issues related to North Korea, Iran and Syria.

New trial delayed for former Ukrainian prime minister

The court hearing in the second criminal case against Ukraine's former prime minister, Yulia Tymoshenko, has been postponed because of her poor health. The hearing was scheduled on Saturday in Kharkiv, but the judge agreed to postpone the hearing until May 21. Ms. Tymoshenko suffers from back pain. She is also on a hunger strike to protest alleged abuse in prison in Kharkiv. She is serving a seven-year prison sentence after being found guilty of abusing her powers while in office. She faces new charges of evading taxes. Some Western nations believe that the charges against her were politically motivated.

Ukraine offering reward for terrorist bombers
Ukraine's president, Viktor Yanukovich, is promising a swift investigation into bomb blasts in the city of Dnipropetrovsk on Friday. Bombs planted in trash bins at four separate downtown locations injured 30 people. Twenty-two people are still in hospital, three them in grave condition. Police are blaming terrorists. Speaking in Dnipropetrovsk, Mr. Yanukovich offered a reward of $250,000 for information that would help find the bombers. The attack has unsettled government authorities who are preparing to host the Euro-2012 soccer championship together with Poland later this year.

Deadly seaborne raid targets Syrian military
Gunmen in rubber boats have staged the first seaborne assault against the government of Syrian president Bashar al-Assad. Under cover of darkness, the gunmen attacked a military unit at Latakia on the Mediterranean coast just south of the Turkish border. Syria's official news agency reports that several gunmen and soldiers were killed in a firefight. The attack was the latest sign that a ceasefire arranged earlier this month has failed. On Friday, a suicide bomber killed nine people including
security officers at a mosque in Damascus.

Gunfight kills two militants in Afghan governor's office
Two Taliban militants infiltrated an Afghan government compound on Saturday and killed two guards before dying in a gunbattle. The militants passed through security checks that failed to detect handguns in their shoes. They aimed to killed a southern provincial governor, but a guard in the governor's reception room became suspicious and stopped them. The assailants shot two guards, then engaged in a gunbattle that lasted half an hour. The Taliban regularly target Afghan government officials.
The attacks have raised doubts about the readiness of the Afghan government to take control of security as international forces withdraw over the next two years. On Saturday, U.S. Senator John Kerry discussed extending American presence in Afghanistan with President Hamid Karzai during an unannounced visit to Kabul.

U.N. worker among four detained in Sudan
The United Nations says that a member of its mission's staff in South Sudan was among four people detained in Sudan on Saturday and taken to Khartoum. Sudan says that a Norwegian, a Briton and a South African were stopped for illegally entering a disputed border area. Sudan accused them of helping the South Sudan army. South Sudan rejects the claim. The nationality of the U.N. worker was not initially reported.

Citing security, Saudi Arabia closes embassy in Cairo
Saudi Arabia has recalled its ambassador from Egypt and closed its embassy and consulates. Saudi officials cited security reasons. The embassy in Cairo has been the target of demonstrations against Saudi Arabia's arrest of an Egyptian lawyer, Ahmed El-Gezawi, in Jeddah earlier this month. He was detained when he arrived for a pilgrimage after being sentenced in absentia to a year in prison and 20 lashes for insulting King Abdullah. Egypt's ruling military council is discussing the arrest with Saudi officials. Saudi Arabia's move is the first public rupture between the two major Arab states since a popular uprising in Egypt forced President Hosni Mubarak from power.

Journalists in Nigeria fearful of attacks
A deadly attack on a major newspaper office in Nigeria is raising fear among journalists. The extremist Islamist sect called Boko Haram says it was responsible for a suicide car bombing of the newspaper, ThisDay, in Abuja on Thursday. Another attack was aimed at the newspaper's offices in Kaduna. In all, seven people were killed. Boko Haram warns that it will target media that publishes what it calls unfair stories. The media in Nigeria are highly politicized. Oligarch families and
politicians own many of the major newspapers. Low-paid journalists are the targets of targets of threats and bribes.

Saudi Arabia to consider sports club network for women
Saudi Arabia is considering allowing women's sports clubs. Saudi religious groups frown on women participating in sports, and sports are not allowed at state-run girls schools. Gyms for women are designated as health centres. Abdullah al-Zamil, a senior official from the General Presidency of Youth Welfare, says that it is necessary to end what he called the chaos surrounding women's sports clubs. The al-Watan daily newspaper reports that a special ministerial committee will be formed to consider creating a women's sports club network. Human Rights Watch has called on the International Olympic
Committee to bar Saudi Arabia from the London Olympic Games unless it fields a woman athlete.

Elections in Guinea postponed yet again
An important parliamentary election in Guinea is being postponed again. The election was originally to be held last December, and then re-scheduled for July 8. But President Alpha Conde has postponed it again to permit authorities to resolve technical problems over voter registration. Opposition parties refused to participate in the vote until disputes over voter registration and their representation in an election commission were first resolved. The election will be the final step in Guinea's transition from military to civilian rule. A democratic vote will enable Guinea to unblock European Union aid that could be worth billions of dollars.



Canadian Milos Raonic lost to Spain's David Ferrer, 7-6, 7-6, in the semi-finals of the Barcelona Open on Saturday. In men's doubles, Canadian Daniel Nestor and partner Max Mirnyi of Belarus lost in the semifinals to Mariusz Fyrstenberg and
Marcin Matkowski of Poland, 6-3, 0-6, 10-6.

The Phoenix Coyotes won their first second-round NHL playoff game on Friday, beating Nashvile, 4-3. Phoenix goalie Mike Smith 39 saves.

The Seattle Mariners had a 9-5, 10-inning victory over Toronto on Friday.

Toronto Raptors coach Dwane Casey has won a contract extension. Toronto finished the season, 23-and-43.




Here is Canada's weather forecast for Sunday, April 29. British Columbia will have variable cloudiness. The high temperature in Vancouver will be 14 degrees Celsius. The Yukon: variable cloudiness. Whitehorse, nine. Northwest Territories: mainly cloudy. Yellowknife, four. Nunavut: sunny. Iqaluit, minus two. Alberta: showers. Edmonton, minus 11. Saskatchewan: showers. Regina, eight. Manitoba: showers. Winnipeg, 15. Ontario: sunny. Toronto: 13. Ottawa, nine. Quebec: sunny. Montreal, nine. New Brunswick: sunny. Fredericton, nine. Nova Scotia: sunny. Halifax, ten. Prince Edward Island: sunny. Charlottetown, nine. Newfoundland: variable cloudiness. St. John's, seven.


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