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Graffiti after pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong (Photo: Simon Jankowski)
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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

May 29

Seeking other leaders’ support for Canada’s latest bid for a temporary seat on the UN Security Council, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau co-hosted an international call 28 May for global cooperation on mitigating the social and economic impacts of COVID-19. Canada’s campaign for a seat also sought by Ireland and Norway is predicated on what Trudeau said is its “long tradition of convening, of gathering people together, to deal with larger issues.”

May 29

The federal government’s ban on “assault style” long guns is being challenged in federal court by the Canadian Coalition for Firearm Rights. The Calgary-based organization, noting that rifles have been used for legitimate hunting and sporting purposes for decades, wants the new rules struck down as unlawful and outside the scope of the cabinet’s authority.

May 29

A series of often violent protests in Minneapolis over the death of an unarmed black man arrested by police has prompted President Donald Trump to warn that if the city government cannot the situation, there could be forceful federal intervention. “Any difficulty and we will assume control but, when the looting starts, the shooting starts,” he threatened on Twitter.

May 29

No sooner had President Donald Trump ordered a regulatory crackdown on social media for perceived bias -- even though he personally uses Twitter to deliver his pronouncements -- than legal experts were arguing that the executive order would be unenforceable. Trump’s action evidently was in response to Twitter’s decision to fact-check one of his own tweets.

May 29

Daniel Livermore, a senior fellow at the University of Ottawa’s Graduate School of Public and International Affairs, says Canada should act unilaterally to stop the extradition of Huawei executive Meng Wenzhou if the U.S. cannot be persuaded to withdraw its request. It could be the key, he suggests, to China’s release of Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig, who have been detailed in apparent retaliation for Canada’s arrest of Meng at Washington’s request in December 2018.

May 28

A Canadian court’s decision that Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou can be extradited to the U.S., which is certain to be appealed further, is raising concerns about the status of two Canadians detained in China. Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor, accused of violating national security, have been held essentially incommunicado since shortly after Meng was arrested in Vancouver in December 2018. “This is not good news for the two Michaels,” says David Mulroney, Canada’s Ambassador to China from 2009 to 2012, said of the court ruling 27 May. “That's human and personal. It affects two Canadians who are victims in this, who are being held hostage, and we can never forget that.”

May 28

China's rubber-stamp legislature has voted in favour of a new security law designed to criminalize anything the Communist Party construes as undermining Beijing's authority in Hong Kong. The bill, which sparked a new round of protests and arrests in the former British colony 27 May, also could see China installing its own security agencies for the first time.

May 28

Two days after the US recorded its first case of COVID-19, President Donald Trump said the situation was “totally under control.” Four months later, with the corona virus affecting all 50 states, the official death toll has surpassed 100,000, the highest national total in the world as Trump continues to press for easement of state and municipal lockdowns.

May 27

The U.S. Congress has been advised by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo that Hong Kong is no longer considered autonomous from China. “Hong Kong and its dynamic, enterprising and free people have flourished for decades as a bastion of liberty, and this decision gives me no pleasure,” he said in a statement 27 May. “Sound policy-making requires a recognition of reality. While the United States once hoped that free and prosperous Hong Kong would provide a model for authoritarian China, it is now clear that China is modelling Hong Kong after itself.”

May 27

The B.C. Supreme Court has ordered that extradition proceedings can proceed against Huawei executive Meng Wahnzhou, under house arrest in Vancouver since she was detained in December 2018 at the request of the U.S., which alleges financial fraud and violation of sanctions against Iran. Associate Chief Justice Heather Holmes said in the 27 May ruling that the offence Meng is accused of would have been a crime if it occurred in Canada. A day earlier, a spokesman for the Chinese government, which has been detaining two Canadians in apparent retaliation, accused Canada and the U.S. of having “abused their bilateral extradition treaty.”

May 27

Canadian Armed Forces personnel deployed to help civil authorities with long-term care facilities during the COVID-19 crisis have confirmed conditions in facilities which critics say have been known for some time. A CAF report states that personnel found that equipment was used on both infected and non-infected patients without being disinfected, and that a disregard for basic cleanliness had resulted in insect infestation and rotten food.

May 27

The Canadian Centre for Cyber Security within the Communication Security Establishment is warning that some “authoritarian governments” likely are looking to exploit surveillance technologies in Canada by promising to help fight the spread of COVID-19.

May 27

Frontline medical staff wrestling with the COVID-19 pandemic say more than a third of Canadians have been unable to receive treatment for other problems, including scheduled surgeries, because of government-imposed lockdowns. This, among other findings, are outlined in the results of a new Angus Reid poll published 27 May.

May 27

The U.S. public is being asked to comment on the White House’s strategy for controlling the evolution of fifth-generational telecommunications networks. The administration and the Department of Defense are pushing for the removal of what they see as “foreign adversaries” from the 5G supply chain, notably China’s Huawei telecom giant.

May 26

President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw the U.S. from the multinational Open Skies Treaty could a pose a strategic challenge for Canada, according to Rob Huebert, who teaches political science at the University of Calgary. He says Canada can either stick to its long-standing policy of supporting such agreements or risk looking “like a toady” by following Trump’s lead.

May 26

Alberta Energy Minister Sonya Savage says the fact that large-scale public protests are banned due to COVID-19 concerns means it is a “great time” to move ahead with construction of the Trans Mountain pipeline to B.C. She says people need work and that “ideological protests” would not be tolerated.

May 26

The first of five Iranian tankers loaded with gasoline arrived safely in Venezuela over the weekend with the others expected this week. The U.S. had signalled its displeasure and both countries breaching sanctions but there were no signs of interference with the initial traffic.

May 26

The World Health Organization has suspended clinical trials of hydroxychloroquine as a possible answer to COVID-19. The decision follows publication in The Lancet journal of data indicating that the anti-malarial could increase the risk of death in some patients. U.S. President Donald, who used hydroxychloroquine for two weeks, had repeatedly promoted it.

May 26

Douglas Ross, who has been the junior minister for Scotland in British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, has resigned over a COVID-19 controversy. A senior member of the PM’s staff has defended his decision to ignore the government’s own advice on self-isolation, an attitude Ross says was “not shared by the vast majority of people.”

May 26

The prospect of having to deal with an estimated 900,000 pieces of debris in low-earth orbit when planning future space missions has prompted the UK Space Agency to set aside £1 million for research grants on how to sense and track objects which could be a threat.

FRONTLINE COMMENTARY

(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.

(Feb 27)
Chris MacLean's picture

With the first case of "community spread" of COVID-19, the alarm comes "not despite that low fatality rate, but because of it." Let's not forget, we already learned the most important measures during the SARS outbreak of 2003.

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Frontline Security Cover Issue 1 - 2019