Monday, May 14, 2012

RCI Cyberjournal

UN Observer examines Canada's record on access to food
A United Nations Special Observer on food rights met with aboriginal representatives from across western Canada Sunday. The meeting in the province of Alberta is part of a cross-country investigation into Canada's compliance with human rights laws regarding access to food. The 11-day mission is headed by Olivier De Schutter. In addition to Sunday’s meeting he will travel to Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, Winnipeg and Edmonton. Canada is the first developed country facing a probe since the UN created the position in 2000, and the report on the mission, to be presented to the UN Human Rights Council, will be part of Canada's official international human rights record.

Mid-air plane collision under investigation
A mid-air collision in western Canada between two small planes has left five people dead. It happened north-east of Saskatoon in the prairie province of Saskatchewan. Transport Canadaofficials havebegun their investigation into the crash.Officials are puzzled by this accident. The weather was clear, visibility was good, but it appears the pilots didn't see each other. The collision involved a Lake Buccaneer amphibious plane and a Piper P-A 28.

Bail hearing set in Montreal smoke-bomb case

A bail hearing is set for Monday in a Montreal court for four people charged in a smoke-bomb attack last week that shut down the city's subway system. The suspects are three women and a man, all in their early 20s. They're charged with committing a hoax regarding a terrorist activity, conspiracy, and mischief. If convicted, they could get up to five years in prison. After the attacks, suspicion immediately fell on students who have been publicly demonstrating for several weeks against the Quebec government's plan to increase college tuition fees. The government's latest compromise proposal was strongly rejected by student leaders. The government's debate with students has become a major political crisis in the province.

Senior Lord's Resistance Army commander captured
A senior commander in the rebel Lord's Resistance Army has been captured by the Ugandan army. Caesar Achellam was seized on Saturday following a struggle between Ugandan soldiers and a group of 30 rebels. Ugandan officials say Achellam was captured in Congo-Central African Republic, one of several nations where the Ugandan-led LRA operates. He’s considered to be a key military strategist in the rebel army. The most notorious wanted LRA member is leader Joseph Kony. He is wanted by the International Criminal Court for rape, mutilation and murder of civilians, as well as forcibly recruiting children to serve as soldiers and sex slaves.

Top Afghan peace negotiator killed
A gunman in Afghanistan has killed a top peace negotiator, Arsala Rahmani. A former member of the Taliban, he was one of the first to join the peace process. He was shot and killed from a passing car in Kabul on Sunday. Rahmani was the Taliban's higher education minister during their rule from 1996 to 2001. He left the Islamic militia and joined Harmid Karzai's government after the US invaded Afghanistan. An aid to the Afghan president says he was an important member of the council set up two years ago to open up negotiations with the Taliban. His killing is seen as a major setback in efforts to negotiate a peaceful end to the decade-long Afghan war.

Bodies dumped on highway in Mexico
In Mexico, 49 bodies have been found dumped on a highway near the city of Monterrey. Forty-three of the victims are men; the rest are women. There have been other similar cases where bodies have been scattered by drug gangs in public places to warn rivals. Authorities closed off the highway, blocking the way for hundreds of motorists, as federal and state police, joined by Mexican troops,sealed off the scene Sunday.

No sign of coalition agreement in Greece
iThere is no sign of a compromise in the political impasse in Greece. Greek conservative leader Antonis Samaras says the left Syriza party that came second in last week's inconclusive elections is refusing to join or support any coalition government. He made the comments after attending a meeting convened by President Karolos Papoulias with the head of Syriza and the socialist PASOK party. The president called the meeting in hopes of brokering an agreement to break the deadlock created by the elections, which left no party with enough parliamentary seats to form a government. If no deal is reached, the country will have to hold new elections next month, prolonging the political uncertainty and endangering the country's euro membership.

Syrian peace plan in jeopardy

The leader of Syria's main opposition group says a peace plan brokered by international mediator Kofi Annan is in crisis. Burhan Ghalioun is the head of the the Syrian National Council. He says more must be done to put pressure on the regime of President Bashir Assad because his forces continue to launch attacks across the country. He made the comments after meeting with the Italian foreign minister in Rome. Meanwhile, one soldier and once civilian were killed in clashes in Tripoli,as fighting erupted between Sunni Muslims and the Alawite minority in Lebanon. Tensions have been rising there since the uprising began in Syria last year. Tripoli is home both to many Sunnis who support the Syrian rebellion andto those who support President Bashar Al-Assad who is an Alawite.


Thousands protest in Spain
Tens of thousands gathered in Bacelona and in Madrid's Puerta del Sol squareSaturday night marking the first anniversary of the "indignants" movement. The movement began as a protest against Spain's grim economic situation and the austerity measures being imposed. Spain's unemployment rate is the worst in Europe at nearly 25 per cent. Protesters in Madrid vowed to occupy the sqaure for days but police moved in to disperse them after they ignored a midnight deadline to leave the square. There were no reports of confrontations in Barcelona.

 Transitional leader named for Guinea-Bissau

West Africa's regional bloc ECOWAS has named a leader for Guinea-Bissau's transitional government. The group has named Serifo Nhamadjo to the post for one year. He was among a group of presidential candidates who called for a March poll to be annulled, claiming fraud. Guinea-Bissau was just weeks away from holding a presidential runoff election when soldiers in April attacked the front-runner's home and arrested him along with the country's interim president.



At the World Hockey Championships in Finland, Canada defeated Kazakhstan 8-0 putting Canada into the quarterfinals. Canada can clinch the top seed in Helsinki with a victory in its final round-robin game against Belarus on Tuesday.


In North America's Major League Baseball, Canada's only team, the Totornto Blue Jays, beat the Minnesota Twins 2-1.


In North America's Major League Soccer, the Montreal Impact remain unbeaten on their home pitch. Saturday's match against David Beckham and the Los Angeles Galaxy ended in a 1-1 draw. Montreal's Olympic Stadium was filled with more than 60,000 spectators to see the Impact play the defending MLS champions.

The Vancouver Whitecaps were defeated by the New England Revolution 4-1.


Canadian cyclist Ryder Hesjedal is leading the pack at the Giro d'Italia.The Victoria native became the first Canadian to ever take the overall lead at the event. Hesjedal finished fifth in the seventh stage of the race to build a lead of 15 seconds in the overall standings.

Here is Canada's weather for Monday, May 14. British Columbia will be sunny. The high temperature in Vancouver will be 21 degrees Celsius. Victoria,24. The Yukon: cloudy. Whitehorse, 7. Northwest Territories: increasing cloudiness. Yellowknife, 8. Nunavut: partly cloudy. Iqaluit, 2. Alberta: sunny. Edmonton, 20. Saskatchewan: sunny. Regina, 25. Manitoba: mainly sunny. Winnipeg, 28. Ontario: sunny. Toronto: 23. Ottawa, 26. Quebec: partly cloudy. Montreal, 21. New Brunswick: showers. Fredericton, 20. Nova Scotia: increasing cloudiness. Halifax, 19. Prince Edward Island: partly cloudy. Charlottetown, 15. Newfoundland and Labrador: sunny breaks in Newfoundland. St. John's, 13. Cloudy in Labrador: Happy Valley-Goose Bay, 9.