In the News

Jun 18, 2021

More than 20 countries, with Canada in the forefront, are preparing to demand “meaningful and unfettered access” to China to investigate “credible reports” of widespread human rights violations against a Muslim minority in Xinjiang province. They are expected to deliver their demand June 21 to the UN Human Rights Council headquarters in Geneva.

Jun 18, 2021

Canada’s border with the U.S. will remain to non-essential travel until July 21and restrictions on visitors from other countries also are being extended by an additional month. Public Safety Minister Bill Blair used social media today to confirm the government’s decision, adding that more details would be forthcoming June 21 on easing restrictions for fully vaccinated Canadians and others currently unable to return to or visit Canada.

Jun 18, 2021

A federal government push to regulate online services such as Netflix in much the same way it oversees conventional broadcasters is encountering stiff resistance in the Senate. Most feel that the government’s draft legislation, Bill C10, introduced last November, requires more detailed study. Conservative Leo Housakos referring to conversations with others, says “there doesn’t seem to be any momentum to . . . rubber-stamp this.”

Jun 18, 2021

A House of Commons committee is suggesting that the COVID-19 pandemic has disclosed flaws in the unemployment insurance system, saying in a June 17 report that EI “no longer reflects the realities of today's labour market.” The committee chairman says that when the pandemic erupted, “the system didn't have a chance of covering off the people that were thrown out of work through no fault of their own.”

Jun 18, 2021

As the RCMP is pressed to be more sensitive to racial issues and other, a House of Commons committee says the government should consider ending contract policing by the RCMP. “A transformative national effort is required to ensure that all . . . racialized people . . . are not subject to the discrimination and injustice that is inherent in the system,” the committee says in a June 17 report.

Jun 18, 2021

The World Economic Forum says putting a price on carbon-based fuels is an effective way of reducing greenhouse gas emissions and global pollution. Moreover, it says carbon taxation can generate significant revenues which then can be used to address the economic harm from fossil fuels. It cites, among others, British Columbia’s implementation of a tax in 2008 as “a textbook example” of how to tackle the issue.

Jun 18, 2021

Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger, the US Airways pilot, now retired, who gained global fame for safely ditching his disabled Airbus A320 in New York’s Hudson River after it was disabled by bird strikes in 2019, has been chosen by President Joe Biden as the next U.S. ambassador to the Council of the International Civil Aviation Organization in Montreal.

Jun 18, 2021

The federal government is expected to begin issuing COVID-19 vaccination verification documents next month. The initial focus would be on visitors and the app, ArriveCan, evidently will enable travellers to take a photo or upload a shot of their vaccination documentation before going through customs.

Jun 18, 2021

The UN General Assembly today appointed António Guterres to a second five-year term as Secretary General, effective next January. The Security Council had already recommended reappointment of the former Portugese prime minister.

Jun 17, 2021

An all-party House of Commons committee says the government should give more weight to national security than costs of information technology and security hardware procurements. In its report to Parliament, the committee expressed concerns about Chinese state-owned enterprises and recommended more rigorous screening of contractors who install and maintain equipment in sensitive facilities such as embassies.

Jun 17, 2021

Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole is pulling his MPs out of the National Intelligence and Security Committee, saying it has been used to cover up sensitive documents about the National Microbiology Laboratory. The Conservatives have been pressing the government for weeks for details about the removal of two Chinese employees from the Winnipeg facility and its relationship with the Wuhan Institute of Virology.

Jun 17, 2021

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has nominated an Ontario appellate court judge, Mahmud Jamal, to replace retiring Supreme Court Justice Rosalie Abella. The Kenyan-born judge was educated at Christian schools but raised at home as a Muslim and family immigrated to Canada in 1981. A veteran litigator before his appointment to the Ontario court two years ago, he also was involved in dozens of appeals heard by the SCOC.

Jun 17, 2021

Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International say in a joint report that Canada detains thousands of asylum seekers every year in often abusive conditions where people of colour appear to be held for longer periods. Ketty Nivyabandi, Secretary-General of AI Canada, says the system contrasts starkly with the country’s rich diversity and values of equality and justice.

Jun 17, 2021

A federal government bill designed to bring Canadian law into line with the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples now needs only Royal Assent to take effect. Bill C-15 had been resisted by Conservatives in the House of Commons and Senate who shared the concerns of six provincial premiers about the implications for their jurisdictions.

Jun 17, 2021

Mumilaaq Qaqqaq, an Inuit MP first elected to the House of Commons in 2019, says she does not plan to run again due to the “intimidating” behaviour of Parliamentary Protective Service personnel. “I've had security jog after me down hallways, nearly put their hands on me and racial profile me,” the New Democratic Party MP said this week when telling the House about her decision. The PPS responded with a statement that it is committed to its security role while ensuring “a safe, welcoming and inclusive environment” in the parliamentary precinct.

Jun 17, 2021

Two Vancouver residents who sneaked into a small Yukon community, flouting quarantine and posing as local motel workers to get early COVID-19 vaccinations have been fined a total of $2,300 after pleading guilty. “There was harm, but the harm wasn't anyone catching COVID,” Territorial Court Judge Michael Cozens said in sentencing Rod and Ekaterina Baker. “It was certainly psychological.”

Jun 17, 2021

North Korea Leader Kim Jong-un says his counry is facing food shortages due to crop losses from last year’s typhoons and a drop in trade with China possibly due to North Korea’s border closures due to COVID-19. “The people's food situation is now getting tense,” he disclosed at this week’s meeting of his ruling Workers' Party central committee in Pyongyang.

Jun 17, 2021

Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister, Alexander Novak, said today that a European Union plan to impose carbon emissions costs on imports is a potential breach of global trading rules and threat to energy security. “Artificial restrictive measures of the traditional fuel and energy sectors may reduce the profitability and investment attractiveness of the sector, and as the result, the threat to the safety of energy supplies will emerge,” the former energy minister added.

Jun 17, 2021

U.S. and Russian officials agreed June 16 to open the lines of communication about their nuclear weapons stockpiles in the hope of reducing the risk of an accident. U.S. President Joe says the dialogue on the sidelines of the recent NATO Summit is “diplomatic-speak for getting our military experts and our diplomats together to work on a mechanism that can lead to the control of new and dangerous and sophisticated weapons that are coming on the scene now that reduce the times of response, that raise the prospects of accidental war.”

Jun 17, 2021

China’s mission to the European Union has denounced as “slander” a NATO declaration that it is a “constant security challenge.” Instead, the mission states, the alliance’s position is “a misjudgment of the international situation and its own role, and a continuation of the Cold War mentality.”

Jun 17, 2021

Cihan Erdal, a Canadian permanent resident and PhD student at Carleton University in Ottawa, was released from a Turkish prison this week after nearly nine months of incarceration. Included in a mass arrest in September of dozens of persons who had been accused of anti-government protest six years ago, he still must report to police twice weekly and cannot leave Turkey without official permission.

Jun 17, 2021

The U.S. Department of Transportation is trying to fine Air Canada $25.5 million for failing to give thousands of customers “timely refunds” for bookings on cross-border flights cancelled due to COVID-19.

Jun 17, 2021

Leftist candidate Pedro Castillo won just over 50 per cent of the most votes in a close presidential run-off election, 44,000 more than right-wing challenger Keiko Fujimori, the daughter of a former president. However, a winner cannot be declared until electoral officials deal with legal protests by Fujimori, who has made unsubstantiated claims about fraud.

Jun 15, 2021

U.S. President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin ended their first in-person meeting today with broad claims of good will but clearly were deeply divided on a range of issues. Putin said their talks “took place in a constructive spirit” while Biden called the overall tone “positive.” That said, Putin denied his country has been involved in cyberattacks against the U.S., insisting that the U.S. is the main offender.

Jun 15, 2021

The U.S. and the European Union agreed today to a truce in a 17-year trade spat over government support for Boeing and Airbus, removing billions of dollars in taxes on an array of non-aerospace products for an initial five years. Both companies welcomed the agreement; Airbus said it would be “the basis to create a level-playing field.”

Jun 14, 2021

Only weeks before the European Union is expected to impose globally-unprecedented carbon dioxide emissions costs on some imports, including ferrous metals, aluminum and fertilizers, Canada and the other G7 countries agreed June 13 to work together to address the risk that some countries’ climate policies could compel companies to relocate. “We need to address carbon leakage to create (a) global level playing field,” European Council President Charles Michel explained.

Jun 14, 2021

Terror charges have been laid against the man accused of intentionally driving into a Muslim family walking on a London, Ontario sidewalk. Grandmother, parents, and teen were killed, and a younger child sent to hospital with serious injuries. Police have alleged that the attack on the evening of June 6, was a planned and premeditated act against Muslims.

Jun 13, 2021

Nicaraguan police arrested and jailed five prominent opponents of President Daniel Ortega over the weekend, including former allies who denounced the detentions as an assault on democracy. The arrests, following on the heels of earlier detections, come as Ortega seeks to extend his 14 years as president in an election set for November.

Jun 13, 2021

After 12 years as the dominant force in Israeli politics, Benjamin Netanyahu has been replaced as Prime Minister by Naftali Bennett, a political centrist chosen from an alliance of eight parties who found common cause in a diverse political spectrum for at least the time being. The new government was approved today by a vote of 60 to 59 in the Knesset.

Jun 13, 2021

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said today that he and U.S. President Joe Biden have discussed lifting pandemic-related border restrictions but that no real breakthrough was imminent. The two were in Cornwall, England, for the latest G7 Summit.

Jun 13, 2021

Police evacuated residents from several homes in a Jerusalem suburb on Sunday after a fire broke out in the area. Last week, several large wildfires erupted on the outskirts of Jerusalem and the West Bank, leading to the temporary evacuation of some residents and numerous road closures. Reports at the time said authorities suspected the fires may have been deliberate acts of arson.

Jun 12, 2021

A defamation lawsuit has been filed against Ottawa Life Magazine, its publisher and a Carleton University criminologist by Ottawa Police Chief Peter Sloly, who is seeking $150,000 in damages. An article by the criminologist, Darryl Davies, contains unsubstantiated claims of corruption and calls the Chief incompetent and a liar. The defendants are claiming the right to free expression.

Jun 12, 2021

People’s Party of Canada Leader Maxime Bernier was ticketed and arrested by RCMP June 11 for violating Manitoba public health orders designed to curb the spread of COVID-19. He was released several hours later after a bail hearing and before a rally was scheduled on his “Mad Max Manitoba Tour.”

Jun 11, 2021

The three-member Green Party caucus in the House of Commons was reduced by one member June 10 when New Brunswick MP Jenica Atwin, first elected in 2019, crossed the floor to join the Liberals. Having openly challenged Green Leader Annamie Paul on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Atwin explained that she fundamentally had arrived at a “crossroads” with the party.

Jun 11, 2021

Myanmar's military authorities have laid corruption charges against deposed leader Aung San Suu Kyi, specifically accusing her of accepting bribes. This is atop earlier charges related to alleged illegal importation of half a dozen handheld radios and inciting unrest. The former state counsellor was arrested during a February coup.

Jun 10, 2021

Responding to the deaths of two dogs on Wednesday and one person being hospitalized after being in Grand Lake, the Nova Scotia Department of Environment and Climate Change is testing water samples taken from Grand Lake and Fish Lake, near the Wellington and Enfield areas, for two types of toxins produced by blue-green algae.

Jun 10, 2021

The family of a mentally-ill Ontario man convicted for agreeing to a terrorism plot in 2015 while a teenager say he shouldn't be in a Colorado “supermax” prison. They want Abdulrahman El Bahnasawy repatriated for the rest of his 40-year sentence to receive psychiatric help. Diagnosed with bipolar disorder and addiction issues, he was 17 and living with his parents when he encountered an FBI agent posing as a terrorist and agreed to help plot attacks which were never carried out.

Jun 10, 2021

The RCMP's use of U.S. facial recognition software “to search through massive repositories of Canadians who are innocent of any suspicion of crime presents a serious violation of privacy,” says Privacy Commissioner Daniel Therrien. In a report to Parliament today, he said that by using third-party software, the RCMP violated the Privacy Act rule that no personal information can be collected by a government institution “unless it relates directly to an operating program or activity.”

Jun 10, 2021

The National Security and Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians chaired by Ottawa Liberal MP David McGuinty is reviewing Public Health Agency of Canada documents about the case of two Chinese scientists who were fired from the Natiional Microbiology Lab in Winnipeg two years ago amid a shroud of secrecy. Two national security experts are speculating about alleged espionage but the Chinese foreign ministry says “normal” scientific cooperation with Canada “should not be politicized.”

Jun 10, 2021

An emergency alert from the Nova Scotia system was sent out just before 1am this morning. “There is an unknown issue with the water in Grand Lake that has caused animals to die and has sent one citizen to hospital,” it said. “All consumption is banned […] Do not go in the water by foot or by boat at anytime, unless this order is rescinded.”

Jun 10, 2021

As early as next month, returning fully-vaccinated Canadians might not not be subject to self-isolation or quarantine requirements. Health Minister Patty Hajdu said June 9 that this first step in a “phased” easing of federal COVID-19 border measures depends on talks with the provinces and territories as well as case counts and vaccination rates. “These metrics are very important factors as we move towards implementing the changes on the border that we hope to have in place in early July,” she said.

Jun 09, 2021

Cancellation of the Keystone XL pipeline, which Alberta was counting on to get crude oil to southern U.S. refineries, will cost the province approximately $1.3 billion, it was disclosed today. “We invested in Keystone XL because of the long-term economic benefits it would have provided Albertans and Canadians,” said Energy Minister Sonya Savage in a news release. The government agreed last year to a $1.5 equity position in the project as well as billions more in loan guarantees.

Jun 09, 2021

China cannot be compelled to provide more data on the origins of COVID-19, a senior World Health Organization official has pointed out. Rather, says Mike Ryan, the Irish epidemiologist who oversees the WHO Health Emergency Program, “we fully expect cooperation, input and support of all of our member states in that endeavour.”

Jun 09, 2021

The U.S. is forming expert working groups with Canada, Mexico, Britain and the European Union to determine how best to restart travel after 15 months of pandemic restrictions. A White House official says decisions on reopening borders “will be fully guided by the objective analysis and recommendations by public health and medical experts.”

Jun 09, 2021

The official spokesman for the Taliban says postwar Afghanistan will be a law-abiding society open for business and at peace with the rest of the world while still under strict control. In the meantime, adds Zabiullah Mujahid, the insurgents will continue to fight for an “Islamic government.”

Jun 09, 2021

More than 800 suspected criminals have been arrested worldwide after being tricked into using an encrypted messaging app. Australian, British and U.S. law enforcement agencies were able to monitor exchanges about narcotics, money laundering and even murder plots before moving in to make arrests as well as seizing drugs, guns and money.

Jun 08, 2021

Former Bosnian Serb commander Ratko Mladić has lost his appeal against a 2017 conviction for genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity. A five-member UN panel upheld his life sentence today for his role in killing some 8,000 Muslim men and boys in Srebrenica in 1995.

Jun 08, 2021

The Russian foreign ministry has banned visits by Canada’s Justice and Intergovernmental Affairs ministers, the Commissioner of the RCMP, the Deputy Minister of Defence and the commander of the Canadian Armed Forces Intelligence Command. They and other senior officials have been accused by the ministry of “inappropriate and counterproductive activity in support of the ultra-nationalist regime” in Ukraine and other “Russophobic forces” in the Baltic states.

Jun 08, 2021

On the heels of Air Canada executives agreeing to return bonuses paid last year amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, their counterparts at NAV CANADA are under political pressure to follow suit. They received $7 million in bonuses even as the company was laying off employees and accessing federal financial support.

Jun 07, 2021

Four members of a Muslim family in London., Ont., were killed in a June 6 hit-and-run attack which resulted in the 20-year-old driver of the vehicle being charged with four counts of first-degree murder and one of attempted murder, the latter involving a fifth member of the family. Police said the attack was a “premeditated act motivated by hate” and were consulting the RCMP on the possibility of laying terrorism-related charges as well.

Jun 07, 2021

The U.S. Justice Department said June 7 that it had recovered much of the roughly $4.4-million Bitcoin ransom paid last month to Russian hackers who shut down the company’s control systems. A department team is reported to have seized some $2.3 million in cryptocurrency by hijacking the Darkside Network’s Bitcoin wallet.

Jun 07, 2021

Abubakar Shekau, leader of the Nigerian militant Boko Haram movement evidently has been killed in a battle with rival Islamic State West African Province forces. ISWAP leader Abu Musab al-Barnawi confirmed Shekau’s death in a verified audio recording.

Jun 07, 2021

A thick slimy layer of organic mucilage has spread through the sea south of Istanbul, posing a threat to the fishing industry and marine life. Turkey’s environment minister announced plans to make the entire Sea of Marmara a protected area, reduce pollution and improve treatment of waste water from coastal cities and ships, which has contributed to the sea snot spread.

Jun 07, 2021

Canada's border agency is urgently looking to hire a global technology firm to help develop a biometric strategy in response to rapidly evolving issues including COVID-19. The chosen contractor would help CBSA develop a plan to "manage, evolve and adapt" the use of biometrics to address issues flowing from the pandemic and other priorities.

Jun 07, 2021

"We believe the victims were targeted because of their Islamic faith,” said London Police Chief after 4 pedestrians were run down and killed while walking on the sidewalk on Sunday evening. The victims, all related, ranged in age from 15 to 74. A 9-year old boy is in hospital with non life-threatening injuries. The driver of the vehicle was apprehended wearing a body armour vest.

Jun 07, 2021

A strategic intelligence report prepared by the Canada Border Service Agency warns that the COVID-19 pandemic is likely to drive an increase in immigration fraud and human smuggling. It says that economic downturns and increased poverty abroad will prompt more people to resort to irregular methods to gain entry.

Jun 07, 2021

Some 400,000 persons living in the U.S. on humanitarian grounds have been ruled by the U.S. Supreme Court as ineligible to apply to become permanent residents. However, with Temporary Protected Status, they cannot be deported and are permitted to work. The case turned on whether people who entered the country illegally and were given humanitarian protections were ever “admitted” under immigration law.

Jun 07, 2021

Canada and the other G7 countries countries plan to set common minimum corporate tax rates, a move Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland says is the first step toward a global deal. She also says Canada will go ahead with a three per cent digital services tax next year, contingent on any international deals.

Jun 07, 2021

The U.S. government is being pressed by major airlines to relax COVID-19 restrictions which continue to block travellers who have been in much of Europe and elsewhere even as other countries began to ease prohibitions.

Jun 07, 2021

Investigations into misconduct by Canada Border Services Agency officers increased by nearly 27 per cent last year despite a dramatic drop in international travel. The CBSA said it conducted 215 “founded” investigations last year compared with 171 in 2019 and that 170 officers were reprimanded, mainly with temporary suspensions, but one was dismissed for interfering in the immigration process.

Jun 07, 2021

A sweeping law designed to wipe out any type of foreign “reactionary thought”, including using slang or wearing some types of clothing, has been enacted by the North Korean government of Kim Jong-Un. Anyone cause with large amounts of media from South Korea, Japan or the U.S. is liable for the death penalty.

Jun 07, 2021

In a settlement with French authorities, the Internet giant Google said today that it will change its global advertising policy to ensure it does not abuse is dominant market position. This was after the California-headquartered company was fined €220million by the French competition bureau in a case with broad international ramifications.

Jun 07, 2021

A U.S. federal judge has overturned California’s 32-year-old ban on assault weapons, calling it a “failed experiment” and fundamentally unconstitutional. Immediately criticized by the state government, the ruling was on a 2019 lawsuit file by a California resident and a political action committee. “Government is not free to impose its own new policy choices on American citizens where Constitutional rights are concerned,” Judge Roger Benitez wrote.

Jun 07, 2021

After Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland lambasted them in Parliament, senior Air Canada executives confirmed June 6 that they would return their 2020 bonuses and stock options. The bonuses had been awarded as the carrier was negotiating pandemic-related financial support.

Jun 07, 2021

Dozens of Chinese companies with alleged ties to the country’s military will be off-limits to U.S. investors, effective August 2. President Joe has signed an executive order which initially targets investment in 59 companies but the prohibition is to be updated on a rolling basis.

Jun 04, 2021

NAV CANADA has launched an app designed to enhance the safety of drone operations in controlled airspace. help drone pilots and operators safely and legally fly their remotely piloted aircraft systems. The air navigation service provider said it received nearly 16,000 flight authorization requests in the second half of last year, a 54 per cent jump from the same period in 2019.

Jun 04, 2021

Nearly two decades after the Anglo-French Concorde was retired service, United Airlines has signed an agreement to buy 15 smaller platforms from Colorado-based Boom Supersonic, which has been developing new technologies since 2014. Whether the deal can be realized evidently won’t be known until 2026.

Jun 04, 2021

Cristiana Chamorro, a prospective candidate for the presidency of Nicaragua, has been placed under house arrest, accused by Danial Ortega’s government of money laundering. Her arrest is the latest in a series of measures the opposition says is designed to ensure Ortega’s reelection.

Jun 04, 2021

Effective today, the European Union is preventing Belarus airlines and other carriers with code-sharing agreements. The move is the latest in a series of punitive measures against Belarus in response to its scrambling a fighter May 23 to force a Ryanair flight to land in Minsk so that authorities could arrest a political critic.

Jun 03, 2021

A 41-year-old Chinese man from Jiangsu province has been confirmed as the first human case of infection with a rare bird flu strain. Officials did not give details on how the man got infected, but the H10N3 strain is thought to not easily spread from humans to humans. Contact tracing did not find any other cases of the virus.

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