International News Desk – At Home: More winter on the way for Canadians – In Foreign News: Chinese troops move into Tibetan areas

International News Desk – At Home: More winter on the way for Canadians – In Foreign News: Chinese troops move into Tibetan areas

At Home: More winter on the way for Canadians

Environment Canada’s senior climatologist has some fashion news for Canadians: leave the spring bonnets in storage and hold onto your toque. Spring may officially be here, but the cold weather isn’t going away anytime soon.

As the CBC reported, David Phillips cautions that ?Canadians won’t see any sign of balmy weather for at least a month.?

?Spring,? he said ?is going to take its sweet time.?

The next 30 days are expected to bring colder-than-normal temperatures to Canadians all across the country.

?The cold air is the bully now and It’s hovering over Canada,? Phillips said.

The lingering cold is a result of La Nina, a weather pattern that occurs when waters in the Pacific Ocean are cooler than normal. This winter, La Nina is not only persisting, but also seems to be gaining strength.

Although cold Arctic air is partly to blame for this year’s chilly Easter weather, the calendar also plays a part. This year, Easter celebrations fall much sooner than usual?the earliest they’ve been since 1913.

Along with the cold, there’s more snow in the forecast.

This likely comes as no surprise to winter-weary Canadians, who have seen snowfall records broken in places such as Bathurst, N.B., Waterloo, Ont., and Quebec City. As well, the Prairies usually see their biggest snowfalls in April and May, and more records may be broken in the coming weeks.

But if the sight of snowbanks at Easter is getting you down, just remember that the spring celebration brings its own sweet consolation: chocolate, the perfect remedy after all that shovelling.

In Foreign News: Chinese troops move into Tibetan areas

The conflict between Tibetan protestors and the Chinese government escalated March 21 as riot police descended on large areas of Tibet. The move by China’s government was part of an effort to find rioters who took part in the recent protests.

The capital, Lhasa, was the site of the largest demonstrations against China’s rule in decades, and, along with locating specific protestors, the crackdown by Chinese officials can be seen as a display of regaining control.

The protests began as peaceful demonstrations led by Buddhist monks. Events turned violent on March 14, however, and the ensuing clashes spurred forceful shows of support in neighbouring provinces, such as Gansu, Sichuan, and Qinghai.

On the same day that government troops were moving in, Nancy Pelosi, the U.S. House Speaker, met with the Dalai Lama, Tibetans? spiritual leader. Exiled from his home, the Dalai Lama met with Pelosi in Dharmsala, India.

As the CBC reports, Pelosi ?called on the world to denounce Beijing’s handling of the anti-government protests.?

?If freedom-loving people throughout the world do not speak out against China’s oppression in China and Tibet, we have lost all moral authority to speak on behalf of human rights anywhere in the world,? Pelosi said. Her visit was part of a Congressional delegation planned before the riots broke out.

In spite of international criticism over China’s actions, and protests at Chinese embassies around the world, the government does not appear to be easing its show of strength.

One resident of Qinghai province reported that as many as 300 troops were stationed in the town of Zeku, a result of a protest by monks outside government offices. Further north, in Yunnan province, the mainly Tibetan town of Zhongdian saw two truckloads of riot police arrive overnight. These troops are in addition to the 400 already there. Cities in other provinces are turning away visitors, and government forces are patrolling some tourist areas.

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