Sunday, June 17, 2012

RCI Cyberjournal

Edition du 16 June 2012
Canadian International Sports Weather

Judge's ruling reopens debate on doctor-assisted suicide
The Supreme Court in British Columbia has reopened Canada's debate over doctor-assisted suicide. Justice Lynn Smith ruled that laws forbidding doctor-assisted suicides contravene Canada's charter of rights. The judge has called on the federal government to rewrite the laws. But the ruling was suspended for one year to allow Parliament time to legislate the change. In a move that has generated controversy, the B.C. judge decided to allow a terminally ill woman in West Kelowna, Gloria Taylor, to arrange for a legal doctor-assisted suicide. In 1992, the debate over assisted suicide intensified when Sue Rodriguez challenged the law in the Supreme Court of Canada. The Supreme Court ultimately ruled against Rodriguez, but her struggle became a rallying point for advocates of assisted suicide. Ms. Rodriguez committed suicide in 1994 with the help of an anonymous doctor.

Suspect sought in Alberta triple-killing
The mother of a suspect in the murder of three security guards in Alberta is pleading for her son to surrender to police. Travis Baumgartner is sought on suspicion of shooting and killing three co-workers who on Friday were guarding an armoured car on the campus of the University of Alberta in Edmonton. A fourth guard was seriously wounded. The shooting occurred during a delivery to a cash machine. In a message released by police, the suspect's mother expresses her love for him and pleads for him to surrender without further bloodshed.

Mystery surrounds death of two Canadians in Thailand
Police in Thailand are investigating the mysterious death of two Canadian women. The victims' bodies were found in their hotel room in the popular resort region on Phi Phi island. Initial unconfirmed reports described the victims as sisters in their twenties from Quebec. A maid found their bodies on Friday morning. Police saw no evident signs of violence at the scene. Autopsies will be performed to try to determine the cause of death.

Nik Wallenda crosses Niagara Falls on tightrope

Before a crowd of tens of thousands and a television audience of millions, the American daredevil, Nik Wallenda, walked across Niagara Falls on a tightrope on Friday evening. He needed about 20 minutes to walk 550 metres on a tightrope made wet by constant spray from the Falls and unsteady by swirling wind. During the walk, he was in radio contact with his father and made what sounded like casual comments about conditions above the Falls. Afterwards, he called his stunt the fulfillment of a lifetime. Mr. Wallenda is a member of a famous family of tightrope walkers, some of whom died while performing on the highwire. Against his objections, Mr. Wallenda was tethered to a safety harness. Niagara Falls authorities had banned tightrope crossings for more than a century. Earlier crossings were made some distance from the Falls itself. Mr. Wallenda was the first to cross directly above the Falls.


Citing danger, United Nations suspends monitor activity in Syria
The United Nations has temporarily suspended operations by its monitors in Syria because of increasing violence. The head of the mission, General Robert Mood, says that monitors will remain where they are until further notice. Syria's violence is also generating fear in neighbouring Lebanon, where violent clashes have occurred in the northern port city of Tripoli as well as in the capital, Beirut. Interior Minister Marwan Charbel says that Lebanon's rival leaders must set aside their disputes if they want to avoid further violence. Prime Minister Najib Mikati leads a coalition that includes the Christian Free Patriotic Movement and the Shi'ite party, Hezbollah. But the opposition grouping called March 14 is calling for a salvation government and the disarmament of Hezbollah. Lebanon fought a bloody 15-year civil war that ended in 1990. Tension among Lebanon's rival groupings is being heightened by Syria's violence.

Amid uncertainty and discontent, Egyptians vote in presidential runoff election

Voters in Egypt began casting ballots on Saturday in an important runoff presidential election. The two candidates are promising widely different views for Egypt's future, but to many Egyptians, neither view would be acceptable. One candidate, Ahmed Shafiq, was the last prime minister under deposed president Hosni Mubarak. Some voters fear that he would reinstitute Mubarek's authoritarian style. The other candidate, Mohamed Morsi, represents the hardline Islamic policies of the Muslim Brotherhood. Initial voter turnout on Saturday was described as low, in contrast to turnouts for the first round of presidential election and a groundbreaking constitutional referendum earlier this year. Several months after the fall of Mubarak, Egypt still has neither a parliament nor a new constitution in place to define the president's powers.

China launches its first female astronaut
China launched its fourth manned rocket into space on Saturday, including the country's first female astronaut. Liu Yang was identified only on Friday. She and two male astronauts, veteran Jing Haipeng and newcomer Liu Wang, will spend ten days in space. They will stop at China's orbiting module, Tiangong 1. China hopes to make the module a permanent space station. The Shenzhou 9 capsule lifted off from Jiuguan Satellite Launch Centre near the Gobi desert. China could make another manned flight later this year. China first launched a man into space in 2003 followed by a two-man mission in 2005 and a three-man trip in 2008 that featured the country's first space walk.

21 years late, Aung San Suu Kyi makes Nobel acceptance speech
Twenty-one years after she was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, Aung San Suu Kyi was finally able on Saturday to accept the honour. The Burmese democracy advocate was in Oslo, Norway, a stop on her first trip of Europe since she was released from long-time house arrest last year. Speaking to the Peace Prize committee and about 600 dignitaries including Norway's King Harald and Queen Sonja, Ms. Suu Kyi said that more work remains to be done to achieve national reconciliation in Burma. She called for the release of Burma's political prisoners. And she pleaded for an end to violence between Buddhists and the minority muslim Rohingya population in northwestern Rakhine state. The state recently saw its worse sectarian clashes in many years. The official death toll from two weeks of attacks stands at 50, but residents say that many more were killed. More than 2,500 houses burned down. About 800,000 Rohingyas live virtually without a state, most in abject conditions.

Japan to reopen two nuclear power plants

Despite public opposition, Japan is going to resume nuclear power operations. Safety concerns led Japan to shut down its nuclear power plants after a tsunami last year destroyed the large Fukushima nuclear plant northeast of Tokyo. Radiactive water leaked into the nearby ocean. Concerns were raised that Japan's other nuclear stations were vulnerable to natural disasters like tsunamis and earthquakers. But Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda has supported resumption of nuclear power activity. He says that two reactors will reopen in Ohi in western Japan. The decision could lead to resumption of operations at other of Japan's 50 nuclear plants.

Heir to Saudi throne, Crown Prince Nayef, dies
A powerful force in Saudi Arabia's politics and the heir to the Saudi throne, Crown Prince Nayef bin Abdulaziz al-Saud, has died. He was in his seventies. Eight months ago, he become heir to 89-year-old King Abdullah. Crown Prince Nayef built the security force that crushed an al-Qaeda revolt in Saudi Arabia, ensuring the royal family's grip on power. Liberal-minded Saudis viewed him as a hardline conservative opposed to moves toward democracy or greater women's rights. As Interior Minister, he imprisoned political activists without charge. In 2001, Crown Prince Nayef dismissed initial reports that Saudi citizens carried out the attacks on New York's World Trade Center. Later, it was shown that 15 of the 19 airplane hijackers were Saudis.

Queen Elizabeth celebrates birthday
Britain's Prince Philip took part on Saturday in celebrations marking Queen Elizabeth's birthday. It was the Prince's first major public appearance since he he was released from hospital earlier this month following treatment for a bladder ailment. The Queen's birthday is April 21, but celebrations are delayed until June to take advantage of better summer weather. The royal couple watched the traditional Trooping of the Colour ceremony in London. The Queen is celebrating her 60th anniversary on the throne this year.


The Toronto Blue Jays beat the Philadelphia Phillies on Friday, 3-0. Toronto pitcher Drew Hutchinson left with a sore right elbow after nine pitches. Five relievers came to the rescue and combined on a five-hitter.

In Canadian Football League pre-season action on Friday, the Calgary Stampeders beat the Edmonton Eskimos, 20-17. In other CFL news, the Winnipeg Blue Bombers are admitting that their new stadium will not be ready this season. Unpredictable weather is delaying construction of the 33-thousand-seat Investors Group Field. The Bombers will be playing one more season at Canad Inns Stadium.



Here is Canada's weather forecast for Sunday, June 17. British Columbia will have showers. The high temperature in Vancouver will be 17 degrees Celsius. The Yukon: overcast. Whitehorse, 16. Northwest Territories: variable cloudiness. Yellowknife, 20. Nunavut: showers. Iqaluit, eight. Alberta: overcast. Edmonton, 18. Saskatchewan: rain. Regina, 17. Manitoba: overcast. Winnipeg, 19. Ontario: few showers. Toronto: 26. Ottawa, 29. Quebec: increasing cloudiness. Montreal, 29. New Brunswick: variable cloudiness. Fredericton, 25. Nova Scotia: mainly sunny. Halifax, 18. Prince Edward Island: variable cloudiness. Charlottetown, 24. Newfoundland: sunny. St. John's, 16.

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