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Members of Mourne Mountain Rescue Team (Ireland) assist a casualty.
A CH-149 Cormorant helicopter sits at the Jarvis Lake SAR Training Facility. (Photo: LS Zachariah Stopa)
Whidbey Island SAR MH-60S helicopter in the North Cascades National Park. Photo:Ignacio D. Perez
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IN THE NEWS

Aug 12

Non-medical masks have been required for air travellers in Canada since mid-April to prevent the spread of COVID-19 but Transport Canada has closed a loophole which made it easier for some passengers to eschew face coverings. They now must present an official note from their physician that they should be exempt from the requirement; otherwise they will not be allowed to board.

Aug 12

The City of Edmonton has begun handing out mask exemption cards to any individuals who say they cannot wear a mask against COVID-19. There is no requirement for medical proof, however, as the city relies on “an honour system, that Edmontonians will do the right thing.”

Aug 12

Russian President Vladimir Putin says his country’s health regulator is the first to approve a COVID-19 vaccine. But scientists worldwide say the decision to proceed with widespread immunization is dangerously premature because Russia hasn’t completed large Stage 3 trials to test its safety and efficacy.

Aug 12

After a third night of protests in Belarus against the reelection 9 August of Alexander Lukashenko’s government, police have used live ammunition against demonstrators who claim the election was fixed. The European Union has called the vote “neither free nor fair.”

Aug 12

Authorities say that the remaining oil on a Japanese cargo ship which ran aground off Mauritius in late July is expected to be pumped out before the vessel breaks up. The island nation in the Indian Ocean is home to world-renowned coral reefs and tourism is a crucial part of its economy.

Aug 12

New satellite imagery of an already fractured ice shelf north of Ellesmere Island shows that an 80km2 section has broken off and then split into two segments which drifted into the Arctic Ocean in late July. Ellesmere was once bounded by extensive shelves covering 8,600km2 but global warming has resulted in continued shrinkage to less than 500km2.

Aug 12

The Canadian government has quietly abandoned its prosecution of a couple for alleged espionage after Federal Court Judge Henry Brown was “unable to reasonably find any reason to believe the applicant was engaged in anything secret, clandestine, surreptitious or covert.” The Canada Border Services Agency, relying mainly on unsubstantiated claims by a Russian defector, opted to pursue the case against David and Elena Crenna even though Canadian and American intelligence officials found their version of events credible.

Aug 11

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has professed confidence in Finance Minister Bill Morneau in response to a published report that they had clashed over how much the PM wanted to spend in tackling the COVID-19 crisis. “The Prime Minister has full confidence in Minister Morneau and any statement to the contrary is false,” Trudeau’s office said in a statement, lauding the finance minister’s “important work.”

Aug 11

Former Vice-President Joe Biden has chosen California Senator Kamala Harris as his running mate in the race for the U.S. presidency. Of Jamaican-Indian heritage, the former prosecutor had criticized Biden during Democratic primaries and is only the fourth woman in U.S. history to be chosen as vice-presidential candidate.

Aug 11

>An autonomous aerial vehicle designed for fighting highrise fires has been demonstrated by its Chinese developer, EHang Holdings Ltd. The company says its autopilot and centralized management technologies enable the EHang 216, which it also describes as a “passenger grade” AAV, to be remotely dispatched ahead of first responders, equipped with up to 150 litres of foam and extinguisher “bombs” which can be fired into a blaze at levels too high for conventional fire-fighting equipment.

Aug 10

The U.S. Department of Defense Department requested a 30-day court extension to resolve ongoing issues with its Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure cloud contract. The multibillion-dollar contract had been expected to be awarded 17 August after numerous delays, notably the need to address a legal protest by Amazon Web Services after the contract was initially awarded to Microsoft last fall. Already two years behind schedule, there evidently are still “areas of concern with respect to the revised proposals,” the DoD said 10 August. 

Aug 10

The U.S. Transportation Security Administration is seeking an alternative to biometrics or physical identification for verifying passengers at airport security checkpoints. The initiative is prompted by the fact that before COVID-19 disrupted air travel, the TSA had to deal with 600 passengers daily who lacked acceptable documention.

Aug 10

Transport Canada has certified EHang Holdings Ltd., of Guangzhou, China, to conduct flight tests of its EHang 216 autonomous aerial vehicle in Quebec, following special operating certificates issued by several other countries. “It conveys a positive signal from global regulators to establish a supportive and sustainable regulatory environment,” the company said in a statement.

Aug 10

Hong Kong chief executive Carrie Lam and 10 other senior officials from the former British colony and mainland China have been sanctioned by the U.S. Department of the Treasury for their role in undermining Hong Kong’s autonomy. Lam is specifically accused of “implementing Beijing's policies of suppression of freedom and democratic processes.”

Aug 10

Veteran immunologist Anthony Fauci, who has been the frequent face of the U.S. government’s COVID-19 effort, says he has received death threats and his three adult daughters have been harassed “to the point where I have to get security.” A member of the administration’s coronavirus "task force" headed by Vice-President Mike Pence, Dr. Fauci has often been at odds with President Donald Trump.

Aug 10

Governments and the pharmaceutical industry are mounting public awareness campaigns to ensure that public distrust doesn’t undermine the efficacy of any COVID-19 vaccination program. More than 200 vaccine candidates are in development globally, including more than 20 currently in human clinical trials.

Aug 10

A week after a cataclysmic explosion flattened Beirut’s harbour area and caused damage for kilometres around, Prime Minister Hassan Diab announced 10 August that his government was resigning. PM for only nine months, he blamed the blast on systemic corruption “in every part of the state.” The cause of the explosion is believed to have ammonium nitrate which had been in storage in a waterside warehouse since 2013.

Aug 10

President Donald Trump has signed executive orders which would ban the Chinese social media apps, TikTok and WeChat, effective 20 September, on alleged national security grounds because of linkages with the Chinese government.

Aug 07

Ontario Premier Doug Ford says U.S. President Donald Trump's decision to reimpose a 10 per cent tariff on Canadian aluminum is nothing more than back-stabbing. “I just have to say how disappointed I am with President Trump,” Ford said 7 August. “In times like this, who tries to go after your closest ally, your closest trading partner, your number one customer in the entire world? Who would do this? Well, President Trump did this.”

Aug 07

Just five weeks after the new North American free trade agreement went into effect, U.S. President Donald Trump’s announced 6 August that he would impose a 10 per cent import tariff on Canadian aluminum. As with a previous aluminum tariff, Trump cited national security concerns. In Ottawa, Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland promised “dollar-for-dollar countermeasures.” 

FRONTLINE COMMENTARY

(Jul 26)
Scott Newark's picture

Last week, the Federal Court of Canada issued a ruling striking down the legislation which gave force to the Canada-US Safe Third Country Agreement. I will explain why that ruling needs to be appealed... now.

(Apr 01)
Chris's picture

The federal government has done, and is continuing to do a very credible job of providing solid information and leadership during the health crisis facing the globe. Someone should tell Andrew Scheer to stop making COVID-19 a misguided political campaign (he lost already) and get onboard with trying to help Canadians deal constructively with the many challenges. 

(Mar 29)
Chris MacLean's picture

HBO has released a documentary on the rapid spread of disinformation to the public. It shows how it is being embraced and justified by the people creating it, and how readily it becomes accepted.

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Frontline Security Cover Issue 1 - 2020