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Whidbey Island SAR MH-60S helicopter in the North Cascades National Park. Photo:Ignacio D. Perez
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IN THE NEWS

Feb 25

Amid ongoing complaints about Russian meddling in other countries’ affairs, President Vladimir Putin has directed his Federal Security Service to step up its response to what he says are western attempts to destabilize his country. He says the “so-called policy of containment of Russia” includes efforts to “derail our development, slow it down, create problems alongside our borders, provoke internal instability and undermine the values that unite the Russian society.”

Feb 25

More than 2,000 staff at the Communications Security Establishment, without a contract for two years, have voted to strike after what the Public Service Alliance of Canada says is management’s insistence on “a deal-breaking concession” and refusal to send the dispute for binding arbitration. The union says the proposed concession would mean lower pay than elsewhere in the government.

Feb 24

Foreign diplomats, unaccompanied minors, truckers and patients getting treatment abroad are among the travellers exempt from mandatory hotel quarantine when arriving in Canada by air. The government says that insofar as diplomats are concerned, it is bound by international convention.

Feb 24

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director general of the World Health Organization, says wealthier countries should not undermine arrangements for poorer countries to have access to COVID-19 vaccines. He notes that some countries have ordered enough to vaccinate their populations more than once.

Feb 24

A senior UN official says Iran committed multiple violations of human rights and international law in connection with the shooting down of Ukranian International Airlines Flight PS752 in January 2020. Among other things in a report, Special Rapporteur Agnès Callamard cites military operations near Tehran’s international airport

Feb 24

Microsoft President Brad Smith says the U.S. must prepare a “robust menu” of responses to cyber attacks. He was commenting on the massive Solarwinds hack, which exposed the vulnerability of civilian government networks and the limitations of efforts to detect threats. “We need to strengthen the nation’s digital infrastructure and digital defenses, and that touches every part of the public sector, and every part of the private sector as well.”

Feb 24

One of the largest investigations into organized crime in Ontario has collapsed after police intercepted phone calls. Project Sindacato resulted in charges against nine persons alleged to have ties to Italian organized crime but prosecutors stayed charges when defence lawyers raised concerns that investigators committed “significant breaches of solicitor/client privilege.”

Feb 23

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and U.S. President Joe Biden used their first bilateral meeting to promise an “ambitious new partnership roadmap, based on shared values and priorities” as their governments address climate change, the post-pandemic world and China’s detention of two Canadians in December 2019. “Job One remains keeping people safe,” the PM said today after the virtual meeting.

Feb 23

Government lawyers are in Court to argue that the Federal Court misapplied the law in July when it found the Safe Third Country Agreement between Canada and the U.S. violates constitutional guarantees of life, liberty and security by allowing claimants to be returned to make their claim in the country where they first arrived.

Feb 23

A report by the London-based International Institute for Strategic Studies warns that even if the U.S. manages to keep its allies from using Chinese telecommunications technology, Beijing’s “digital silk road” strategy enables China to burrow into those countries' economies and infrastructure, creating dependencies that may ultimately weaken alliance ties.

Feb 23

Saab has been chosen to develop technology which could enable drones to fly safely in European airplace near civil aircraft. Ann-Kristin Adolfsson, who leads business development and strategy at the Swedish firm’s aeronautics arm, says that “while the project focus is on military unmanned aircraft, the technology is fully applicable to also civil systems.”

Feb 22

An Opposition motion declaring that China is committing genocide against its Uighur population was approved 266-0 in the House of Commons today with only the cabinet abstaining. The non-binding motion by the Conservatives’ foreign affairs critic, Michael Chong, was supported by more than 80 government MPs who were given a free vote.

Feb 22

The federal government has awarded IBM Canada a $1.5-million contract to develop an online passport application process but privacy and data protection advocates fear it could put personal information at risk. Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada insists that “the privacy of Canadians and the safety of their personal information will be an absolute priority.”

Feb 22

Effective today, most travellers arriving at Canadian airports are required to be quarantined in a hotel for three days at their own expense. They also must complete multiple COVID-19 tests before their arrival as well as on arrival and during and on completion of the quarantine period.

Feb 22

Luca Attanasio, the Italian ambassador to the Democratic Republic of Congo, was killed today in what authorities suspect was a botched kidnapping attempt. The ambassador was riding in a UN World Food Programme convoy near Goma. An Italian security officer and another individual also died.

Feb 22

On the heels of the return to service of its 737Max platform, Boeing is urging airlines to suspend the use of its 777 after one shed engine parts over Denver on the weekend. The Federal Aviation Administration has ordered extra inspections of the 777’s twin Pratt & Whitney engines.

Feb 22

The new U.S. Secretary of Defense, former Army Gen Lloyd Austin III, wants NATO to help the U.S. counter a growing Chinese threat. He made the pitch during last week’s virtual meeting of the alliance’s defence ministers. “The United States is committed to defending the international rules-based order, which China has consistently undermined,” he said afterward. “NATO can help us better think through our operating concepts and investment strategies when it comes to meeting that challenge.”

Feb 22

U.S. President Joe Biden’s declaration during an online conference that “the transatlantic alliance is back” signalled a renewed commitment to NATO, but his French counterpart had a different message Feb. 19 for the Munich Security Conference. Emmanuel Macron, who described the alliance in November 2019 as “brain dead,” said he is looking for a new transatlantic “security architecture.”

Feb 22

Hundreds of thousands of protesters returned to the streets in Myanmar in one of the largest demonstrations against the country's recent military coup. Businesses closed as employees joined a general strike, despite a military statement that said protesters were risking their lives by turning out. At least two demonstrators were killed Feb. 21.

Feb 22

Code developed by the U.S. National Security Agency evidently has been used by Chinese hackers, according to an Israeli company. Check Point Software Technologies reports that some aspects of “Jian” malware linked to China were so similar they could only have been stolen from National Security Agency software leaked in 2017.

FRONTLINE COMMENTARY

(Feb 17)
Chris MacLean's picture

Responding to calls for change, made after every major gun violence event, the federal government is ready to introduce new gun legislation as a next step to the May 2020 ban on numerous assault weapons.

(Jan 20)
Chris MacLean's picture

Amanda Gorman, America's first-ever youth poet laureate, read her insightful and moving poem during the inauguration of President Joe Biden. "The Hill We Climb" is worth reading over and over.

(Jan 12)
Chris MacLean's picture

As we anxiously await deliverance from COVID-19, remember the lessons learned in 1955. We must not rush production beyond its capacity to produce and administer a safe vaccine.

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Frontline Security Cover Issue 2 - 2020