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William Watson: On military spending, we are number one out of three!

For half a century, we haven’t really had to take these questions seriously. Now we do. let’s go

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We are very satisfied with our Ukrainian efforts, aren’t we? Our newscasts are full of stories of aid workers going there, church basements filling up with donated items, grandmothers making pierogis to raise funds (millions of pierogis, it must be now), our little gestures and ceremonies before hockey games, on billboards and so on. Our Parliament had its face-to-face with the world’s bravest leader, sandwiched between Westminster and the US Congress, and gave him a three-minute standing ovation before our own politicians rose to hurl judgmental ladles in return. It was a bigger ticket than when Nelson Mandela came to town. We felt good there, it could be seen on the faces of the people who were applauding.

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It’s all heartfelt (except maybe from the politicians) and touching and, in reaction to what’s happening, it’s much better than nothing. It is very good that, under the enamel of our sophistication, we can still be genuinely appalled by an aggressor ready to burn down a neighboring country to express the depth of his brotherly feelings.

But because there are broader interests at stake than just Ukraine and because over the years we have neglected our hard power, we are going to disappoint President Zelenskyy, as he surely understands. We will do anything to help Ukraine except what Ukraine wants and needs the most, which is for us — the West, not just Canada — to come and fight with them. We may be on Ukraine’s side, but we stand 7,000 kilometers apart.

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And here we are, in the accompanying chart, #103 in the CIA World Factbook ranking of countries by military spending as a percentage of GDP. We don’t even do double digits, the top 99.

Our official target is to spend 2% of GDP, but it has been many years since we got close to that. We like to tell ourselves that we punch above our weight. With a weight of 103, it’s not asking much.

That all this money is spent on the military, largely by very poor countries, is of course a tragic waste. Eritrea: 10% of GDP for its army. Venezuela: 5.2%. Jordan: 4.7%; Mali: 3.4%. You don’t need to know anything about Isaiah to think that swords should all be turned into plowshares and missiles and drones into CT scanners and 3D printers.

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But the world we live in – as opposed to the one we would like to live in or even, until three weeks ago, might have thought we were living in – requires this kind of spending. And in any country that has anything to do with NATO or Europe or also the periphery of China (for who knows which big country will go on a adventure next), the share of GDP spent on the military will increase .

Ukraine is still in play and will do so largely on its own. But NATO defenses must be bolstered and supplies must be sent to buffer states against which Russia has not yet moved but might be willing to.

Until three weeks ago, two percent of GDP seemed like an unattainable ceiling. It now seems one floor. We are currently 0.6% of GDP below. At the current rate of production, that’s just under $16 billion a year. This government has shown no reluctance to spend tens of billions of dollars. But the effect required now does not come from the announcement of new expenditure, but from the quality of its deployment over the next few years. The current government excels in announcements. The deployments disconcert him. Either that – or that – will have to change.

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  1. Alberta Premier Jason Kenney speaks at the CERAWeek by S&P Global 2022 conference in Houston, Texas.

    Terence Corcoran: The head turn of the World Oil War

  2. Any

    Terence Corcoran: Russia’s invasion of Ukraine means Ottawa needs a war budget

  3. Any

    Opinion: How we helped pay for Putin’s invasion of Ukraine

  4. Any

    William Watson: Cancel Putin, not Russia

What do we need? What do not do we need? More people to make everything work. And we must quickly develop a war ethic that treats arms acquisitions as military decisions, not as regional or industrial policy.

If you go to the websites of our armed forces, you see a lot of different types of equipment. The army, for example, points to a list of weapons: “Fire! Our soldiers use a range of modern weapons, from indirect fire weapons to small arms. On the main page, however, under ‘Features’, the first link is to ‘Inappropriate Sexual Behavior Resources’. It’s not immediately obvious what this string of words actually means – is this where you can get the resources to do this sort of thing? — but it turns out that’s where you can “learn more about sexual misconduct and how the Canadian Armed Forces addresses it.” One solution is to settle a $900 million sexual harassment class action lawsuit. Even with inflation, $900 million would have bought a lot of bullets.

The RCAF gear page actually lists the Sopwith Camel – but only among “historic aircraft.” But its active aircraft page doesn’t show how old each is, what percentage of the fleet can fly at any given time, and how each performs against peak opposition.

For half a century, we haven’t really had to take these questions seriously. Now we do. Let’s go.

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International headquarters

Prime Minister Modi’s global reach has boosted the BJP electorally

The poll results are also an endorsement of Prime Minister Modi’s comments he made at one of his rallies when he attributed the success of Operation Ganga to India’s rise to power over the World Scene.

New Delhi: The four out of five election result for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) can be attributed to some extent to the steadfast, determined and extraordinary global reach of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, which led to “India’s substantial rise ” on the global platform. The surge of saffron in most states that have recently gone to the polls suggests that Prime Minister Modi’s “masterstrokes” on the foreign policy front have struck a chord with voters.
As he addressed party workers after the election victory at the BJP headquarters in New Delhi on Thursday, what Prime Minister Modi said was, in fact, a confirmation of how voters endorsed diplomatic positions that his government has taken from time to time. Referring to the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine, Prime Minister Modi said on Thursday, “India’s many needs are related to the countries concerned, but she is on the side of peace and hopes that all problems will be solved through dialogue”. He added, “In this uncertain environment of upheaval, the people of India, especially states like Uttar Pradesh, have shown their foresight.” “The way voters gave their mandate for stable governments in these polls means that democracy runs through the veins of Indians,” he added.
Prime Minister Modi’s message was loud and clear to the global community as well as Indian politicians who questioned his government’s stance on the conflict in Ukraine. The BJP’s massive mandate in the UP and other states is the people’s response to those who question India’s Ukrainian position. The poll results are also an endorsement of Prime Minister Modi’s comments he made at one of his rallies when he attributed the success of Operation Ganga – an evacuation mission in Ukraine – to the rise in power of India on the world stage. What created a positive impact of Prime Minister Modi’s diplomacy among the people of the contending states was that the President of Ukraine and other world leaders asked him to persuade Russian President Vladimir Putin to stop the war . The fact that Putin continued to brief Prime Minister Modi on the conflict situation “reinforced the belief in the strength of his leadership on the world stage”. Even diplomats from the Department of External Affairs (MEA) analyze how the government’s diplomatic positions have been well received by voters. “Prime Minister Modi not bowing to pressure from Quad members over India’s stance on Ukraine was appreciated even by his political opponents,” a diplomat told the Sunday Guardian.
While expressing satisfaction with law and order, development and other issues in UP, voters in the more remote parts of the state have publicly appreciated Prime Minister Modi’s bold foreign policy moves. What is interesting for diplomats is how the current dispensation’s foreign policy has impacted domestic electoral politics. “That major powers such as the US, UK, Germany, France and Italy are coming to India was the perception of the voters. These countries are unable to bully us today with Modi as prime minister,” a foreign service official says. Prime Minister Modi’s surgical strike on Pakistan continues to thrill voters. “People attributed to the aggressive diplomacy of the Modi government that Pakistan continues to be on the FATF gray list,” the sources said.
China being under enormous pressure due to Prime Minister Modi’s diplomatic offensive was another reason cited by some for supporting the BJP. “Some voters were of the view that India’s pressure and the foreign minister’s tough rhetoric forced China to come to the dialogue table,” a source said.
What has also dominated public discourse is that Prime Minister Modi has been named the most popular leader in the world with an approval rating of 71% of India’s adult population. A US-based global leader endorsement tracker, Morning Consult had released this result. Among the 13 leaders surveyed by the research firm, PM Modi tops the list with 71%. US President Joe Biden and Canadian Justin Trudeau were far behind him. “It was another certificate of Prime Minister Modi’s international image,” a diplomat said.
“Needless to say, India’s international standing has improved tremendously over the past seven years,” a diplomat said. “Although the members of the Quad, including the almighty United States, criticize Russia, India has continued to take a different stance due to the determination of Prime Minister Modi,” he adds. He insisted that India wants peace which can only be achieved through dialogue.
Voters also recalled how the global community praised Prime Minister Modi’s vaccination policy in what was another great global achievement of his government.
Moreover, Prime Minister Modi’s outspoken comments during his Independence Day speech at Red Fort were remembered by UP voters when he said, “India is fighting with great courage against the double challenge of terrorism and expansionism, and does not hesitate to make difficult decisions. “He said that by carrying out surgical and airstrikes, the country was sending the message of a ‘New India’.
“This was welcomed by voters in Uttar Pradesh as the ‘New India’ refrain cemented Prime Minister Modi’s image of being a strong leader,” sources said. It is undeniable that the huge public reaction to Prime Minister Modi’s foreign policy initiatives aimed at containing China’s “enemies” from Pakistan to the Taliban has also boosted the energy levels of BJP workers and leaders. BJP MP Hema Malini was so quick to take advantage when she declared to thunderous applause at a rally that everyone in the world wanted PM Modi to stop the Russian-Ukrainian war .

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International headquarters

Latest news on Russia and the war in Ukraine

Ukraine announces evacuation routes from 7 cities

Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk said there would be seven civilian escape routes on Thursday.

Six of the routes will take civilians fleeing heavy fighting in Trostyanets, Krasnopillya, Sumy, Mariupol, Volnovakha and Izyum to other parts of the country, while another will transport people from the outskirts of Kyiv to the center of the city.

Numerous attempts to evacuate civilians have been halted in recent days, with Ukrainian authorities accusing Russian forces of violating ceasefire agreements, attacking agreed escape routes and only allowing civilians to flee to Russia.

— Chloe Taylor

‘Close the skies and stop the bombings’: Ukrainian Zelensky urges allies to create no-fly zone

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky speaks during a news conference in Kiev on March 3, 2022.

Sergei Supinsky | AFP | Getty Images

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy renewed his call for Western allies to create a no-fly zone over the country, saying any further delay would be “too late” to avert a humanitarian disaster.

“We’re talking about closing the sky. You can’t decide to close or not to close, you can’t decide,” Zelenskky said. in an interview with Sky News.

“Do not wait [for] me asking you many times, a million times, to close the sky. No. You have to phone us…our people who have lost their children and say, ‘Sorry, we didn’t yesterday, a week ago. We didn’t push Putin, we didn’t talk much with him, we didn’t find a dialogue with him. We didn’t do anything.'”

“And it’s true. Yesterday the world did nothing. I’m sorry but it’s true,” Zelenskky said, calling on policymakers to act faster to impose a no-fly zone over Ukraine.

“Close the skies and stop the bombings,” he said.

Asked about Western concerns of a no-fly zone leading to a direct confrontation with Russia, further aggravating the situation, Zelenskky replied: “So it would be worse for whom? For our families? No, for whom? For them “No, who knows? Nobody knows. But we know that’s exactly what’s happening now. And in the future, it will be too late.”

—Sam Meredith

Ukrainian and Russian foreign ministers to meet for talks

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba briefs the media after a General Assembly meeting on the situation in Ukraine at the UN headquarters.

Lev Radin | Light flare | Getty Images

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba is due to meet his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov in Antalya, Turkey on Thursday for talks.

The two ministers will hold separate press conferences after the meeting.

—Chloe Taylor

IMF approves $1.4 billion in emergency financing for Ukraine

The seal of the International Monetary Fund is seen near the headquarters of the World Bank (R) in Washington, DC, January 10, 2022.

Stefani Reynolds | AFP | Getty Images

The International Monetary Fund has approved $1.4 billion in emergency funding to support Ukraine’s economy, citing the devastating humanitarian crisis and destruction of infrastructure following the Russian invasion.

It is estimated that more than 2 million people have fled Ukraine since the Russian assault began two weeks ago.

“The Russian military invasion of Ukraine has been responsible for a massive humanitarian and economic crisis,” IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva said in a statement.

“The tragic loss of life, huge refugee flows and immense destruction of infrastructure and productive capacity are causing severe human suffering and will lead to a deep recession this year. Financing needs are large, urgent and could increase dramatically as the war continues,” she added.

Earlier this week, the World Bank approved a package of grants and loans totaling $723 million to Ukraine.

—Sam Meredith

Read previous CNBC coverage here:

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Canadian army

NATO chief advises Russia against attacking supply lines supporting Ukraine

The NATO Secretary General has warned that a Russian attack on the supply lines of allied countries supporting Ukraine with arms and ammunition would be a dangerous escalation of the war raging in Eastern Europe.

Jens Stoltenberg made the remarks Tuesday during an interview with CBC News as he, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the leaders of Spain and Latvia toured the NATO base and training range at Adazi , outside Riga, the Latvian capital.

“Allies are helping Ukraine uphold its right to self-defense, which is enshrined in the UN charter,” Stoltenberg said after meeting with Trudeau, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez and Latvian Prime Minister Arturs. Krišjānis Kariņš at Adazi base.

“Russia is the aggressor and Ukraine is defending itself. If there is an attack on a NATO country, a NATO territory, it will trigger Article 5.”

Article 5 is the self-defense clause of NATO’s founding treaty which states that an attack on one member is an attack on all 30 member countries.

“I am absolutely convinced that President Putin knows this and we remove any possibility of miscalculation, of misunderstanding about our commitment to defending every square inch of NATO territory,” Stoltenberg said.

The United States and its allies, including Canada, have been in a race against time to send arms and ammunition to Ukraine, which has been under relentless assault by Russian forces for more than two weeks.

Some members of the US intelligence community fear that Moscow is trying to cut off the flow of weapons into Ukraine, either with airstrikes or long-range artillery. Weapons coming from the West are unloaded in neighboring countries, such as Poland, and then transported by land.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, left, and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg walk during their visit to the Adazi military base in Kadaga, Latvia on Tuesday March. 8, 2022. (Roman Koksarov/AP)

Stoltenberg said there is a clear distinction between supply lines within Ukraine and those operating outside its borders.

“There is a war in Ukraine and, of course, supply lines inside Ukraine can be attacked,” he said.

“An attack on NATO territory, on NATO forces, on NATO capabilities, that would be an attack on NATO.”

Stoltenberg said NATO’s message to Russia is that “they must end the war, that we will continue to support Ukraine, and that we will continue to impose unprecedented sanctions.”

Poland offers fighter jets to Ukraine

The stakes appeared to rise dramatically on Tuesday night when Poland announced it was ready to transfer all of its MiG-29 planes to the United States so they could be handed over to the Ukrainians.

The Polish Foreign Ministry has urged other NATO members with the same type of Russian-made warplanes to do the same.

WATCH | Ukrainian Chargé d’Affaires Andrii Bukvych says fighter jets are needed immediately

Ukraine needs fighter jets and a no-fly zone (diplomat)

“We need these fighters [jets] and sheltered skies as soon as possible,” said Ukrainian Chargé d’Affaires Andrii Bukvych. “Otherwise the cost will be calculated in thousands of civilians.” 6:59

The United States suggested that it would support Poland by providing replacement fighters. But in a tweet on Tuesday evening, the Pentagon said the proposal was not “sustainable” because it would involve fighter jets in the hands of Americans flying in “airspace that is disputed with Russia. .

“[That] raises serious concerns for the entire NATO alliance.”

The West has sent Ukraine thousands of anti-tank and anti-aircraft missiles since the war broke out.

Ukrainian civilians receive weapons training, on the outskirts of Lviv, western Ukraine, Monday, March 7, 2022. (Bernat Armangue/AP)

A Canadian shipment of small arms – including machine guns, carbines and 15 million rounds – arrived in Ukraine just before the Russian invasion. The Liberal government has pledged to send anti-tanks and grenade launchers, but it is not known if the shipment has arrived.

Some of the lethal aid is taken from the Canadian Armed Forces’ own stocks. This highlighted some of the shortcomings facing the Canadian military; the Canadian army does not have its own dedicated anti-aircraft system, for example.

Trudeau was asked on Tuesday if his government was ready to place an urgent supply order to equip the Canadian army in response to the war and Ottawa’s plans to increase the contingent of Canadian troops in Latvia.

“All of these weapons are far more useful right now and in the weeks to come in the hands of Ukrainian soldiers fighting for their lives than they would be in the hands of Canadians,” Trudeau said.

“But of course we have to make sure that we replace those weapons quickly and that we continue to invest in the equipment that allows our armed forces to be able to continue contributing.”

A Russian MiG-29 aircraft in flight outside Moscow on August 11, 2012. (Misha Japaridze/Associated Press)

Trudeau, Stoltenberg and the other leaders visited a training range on Tuesday where troops from a 10-nation contingent were conducting a live-fire training exercise. They walked among armored personnel carriers, tanks and mobile guns and chatted with the troops.

Colonel Sandris Gaugers is the commander of the Latvian mechanized brigade working with the NATO battle group. He said integrating equipment and procedures from different armies has been a challenge but the mission is succeeding.

“Certainly we can go fight”

“Honestly, if I had to say, can we go fight? Sure, we can go fight,” he told Trudeau, Stoltenberg and Sanchez as they overlooked the training area from a position at the top of a hill.

Canada has pledged to add an artillery battery of 120 soldiers to its current commitment of 540 soldiers and staff in Latvia.

General Wayne Eyre, Canada’s top military commander, told CBC News in an exclusive interview on Tuesday that he is currently focused on organizing those reinforcements.

“We have the same challenge we had in World War I, World War II,” the Chief of the Defense Staff said. “We have to cross this great lake known as the Atlantic and we only have limited strategic lift capability. So we are going to have an effect on the ground here very soon.”

Canada activates NATO reinforcements

The federal government has ordered the activation of 3,400 reinforcements who could join the NATO Response Force (NFR) if called by the Supreme Allied Commander.

Eyre said the military is still investigating if and how they will be needed.

“The NATO Response Force is a shopping list of capabilities, which can be requested depending on the nature of what NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander is requesting,” he said. “So the likelihood of all 3,400 being called is relatively low.”

Trudeau also announced on Tuesday the anticipated renewal of Canada’s military contribution to the NATO deterrence mission, known as Operation Reassurance.

WATCH: Canada renews Operation Reassurance

Canada renews NATO’s Operation Reassurance

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the renewal of Operation Reassurance a year before its scheduled end during his visit to Latvia. 1:11

“As Russia continues its unwarranted and unjustifiable attacks on Ukraine, Canada stands united with our European allies in supporting Ukraine and the Ukrainian people, and democracy and human rights everywhere,” said Trudeau on Tuesday.

The mandate to deploy hundreds of Canadian troops to Latvia was set to expire in 2023. The federal cabinet extended it indefinitely in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Prior to the invasion, the Liberal government signaled in Defense Minister Anita Anand’s mandate letter that it intended to renew the mandate of the NATO mission. Stoltenberg welcomed the move when he and the three prime ministers met the media after their meetings.

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Canadian army

Ukraine-Russia War: Live Updates – The New York Times

A fire broke out early Friday at a complex in southern Ukraine housing Europe’s largest nuclear power plant after Russian troops fired on the area, and the Russian military later took control of the site, Ukrainian officials said.

Security camera footage verified by The New York Times showed a burning building inside the Zaporizhzhia nuclear complex near a line of military vehicles. The videos appeared to show people in the vehicles shooting at power plant buildings. Ukraine’s state emergency service later said the fire was extinguished after 6 a.m.

The fire did not affect essential plant equipment, the International Atomic Energy Agency said on Twitterciting his communication with the Ukrainian government.

About an hour after dawn, the inspection of Ukrainian nuclear regulations said in a press release that Russian military forces now occupied the complex. He said all power units at the site remained intact and no changes in radiation levels were observed.

The fire started after a Russian attack on a training building outside the factory perimeter, according to a statement from Ukraine’s state emergency service. A spokesman for the nuclear power plant, Andriy Tuz, was quoted by The Associated Press as saying on Ukrainian television that shells set fire to one of the plant’s six reactors which was being renovated and did not work.

Ukraine’s nuclear inspectorate later said in its statement that one unit of the six units was working, another was “out of order”, two were being cooled down and two others had been disconnected from the grid.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky had accused the Russian military of deliberately attacking the complex and said an explosion there would have been “the end for everyone, the end of Europe”.

“Only immediate actions from Europe could stop the Russian military,” he added.

President Biden spoke with Mr. Zelensky about the fire and joined him in urging Russia to “cease its military activities in the region and allow firefighters and emergency responders access to the site,” the White House said. Local reports later said emergency teams had gained access.

Mr. Biden’s energy secretary, Jennifer M. Granholm, said on Twitter that the United States had not detected high levels of radiation in the region, echoing an earlier assessment by the International Atomic Energy Agency. “The plant’s reactors are protected by robust containment structures and the reactors are shut down safely,” she said.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said he will request an emergency meeting of the United Nations Security Council over the fire at the complex, according to his office.

Before the fire was reported by Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba, Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency said in a press release that “a large number of Russian tanks and infantry” had entered Enerhodar, a town next to the factory. Chief Executive Rafael Mariano Grossi said troops were “heading straight” to the reactor site.

the Zaporizhia nuclear complex, on the Dnieper about 160 km north of Crimea, is the largest in Europe. According to the International Atomic Energy Agencyits six reactors produce a total of 6,000 megawatts of electricity.

By comparison, the Chernobyl plant in northern Ukraine produced 3,800 megawatts, about a third less. (One megawatt, one million watts, is enough to light 10,000 hundred-watt bulbs.) All four reactors at the Chernobyl complex were shut down after one suffered a catastrophic fire and meltdown in 1986 .

Reactor cores are filled with highly radioactive fuel. But an added hazard at the Zaporizhzhia site is the many acres of open water ponds behind the complex where spent fuel rods have been cooled for years. Experts fear that errant shells or missiles striking such sites could trigger radiological disasters.

For days, social media reports detailed how the residents of Enerhodar erected a giant barrier of tires, vehicles, and metal barricades in an attempt to block a Russian advance into the city and the reactor site. Christoph Koettl, Visual Investigator for The New York Times, noted on twitter that the barricades were so big that they could be seen from outer space by orbiting satellites.

Since last Sunday, three days after the start of the invasion, the Ukrainian nuclear regulator started reporting an unusual rate of disconnections: Six of the country’s 15 reactors were offline. Tuesday, the Installation of Zaporizhzhia was the site with the most offline reactors.

John Youn, Marc Santora and Nathan Willis contributed report.

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Canadian army

The Rebel to Rabble Review: The Aftermath of “Insurrection”

The convoy of trucks protesting the mandatory COVID vaccination that turned into a nearly month-long occupation of downtown Ottawa may have left, but the search team from Tap Progress still refers to its ties to other right-wing movements on the far right – including “a nationwide network of right-wing evangelical Christian pastors”, according to a dispatch filed by “Prairie reporter” Emily Leedham.

“Pastors, many of whom have previously been fined for holding church services in violation of public health orders, are part of a group called Liberty Coalition Canada (LCC),” notes Leedham, which “was founded in January 2021 to oppose COVID-19 restrictions on churches, but has since launched campaigns to oppose vaccination mandates and capacity limits in workplaces, schools and universities.

More recently, the LCC “wrote an open letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau condemning his use of the Emergency Powers Act in response to the three-week occupation of Ottawa by the far-right convoy, saying to Trudeau that they are “concerned” that he does not appreciate “the significance of God’s wrath on a rebellious and lawless nation. ”

The letter, which was sent two days after the emergency order was issued, went on to “implore” Trudeau to “step back, restore the constitutional freedoms of the people, respect the God-given rights to our citizens and, above all, to humble yourself and kneel before Christ the King, lest you perish on the way.

Leedham also cites a Global News report which “indicates the blockade has ties to libertarian groups in the United States and notes the presence of American supporters in Coutts, AB.”

In a separate room, Mitchell Thompson, PP Ontario reporter strong points a recently unearthed photo of Ontario MPP and vocal convoy supporter Randy Hillier’ posing with the flag of a far-right secessionist group linked to charges of conspiracy to murder and firearms seized en route to the Coutts border blockade”.

According to PP, the photo “was originally posted on a far-right TikTok account” and “shows Hillier wearing a ‘No More Lockdowns’ t-shirt while holding an open beer can next to a flag. of the ‘Diagolon’,” which, Thompson notes, “is the symbol of a neo-fascist group called the ‘Plaid Army’, which has been spotted at the center of chaos in downtown Ottawa.

Meanwhile, Mob Contributors Ish Theilheimer and Marc Zwelling have suggestions for “how not to talk about the insurgency”, starting with the assertion that “illegal squatters in Ottawa are well-funded far-right extremists, which is good to call them, because it’s undeniably true” .

According to them, “the great victory of the insurgents in the media is to appropriate the word ‘freedom’ for their cause”.

Their recommendation, then, “for those who want to cancel the rioters (is) not to inadvertently give them free publicity using the rioters’ own words,” the duo wrote.

“This advice is at the heart of the concept of framing. Like a frame around a painting, a verbal frame outlines a debate. If you say winning Ottawa “has nothing to do with freedom,” you’re repeating the frame. By doing so, you conjure up images of freedom in your audience, when you really want them to think about oppression, a war against peaceful citizens, and an attack on democratically elected governments.

Elsewhere on the site, National political journalist Rabble Stephen Wentzell turn his attention on Canada’s response to rising tensions on the Ukrainian border, and the announcement earlier this week that Trudeau had approved “millions more to export lethal weapons to Ukraine” even as “all major parties except (the) Conservatives” – in this case, New Democrats and Greens – called for “a non-violent response”.

It is worth noting that The scoundrel essayist Marusya Bociurkiw offers a distinctly different grip on the tensions in his “lament for Ukraine” on February 22.

“The newspaper, online journals, even the alternative media space of the left, are full of crude anachronisms and xenophobic assumptions,” she writes.

“A left-wing broadcaster features a Russian ‘expert’ chastising those who are ‘too’ anti-Russian, as if this autocratic theocracy could still be redeemed by the long-disavowed progressive ideals of early communism. My leftist community is largely disinterested in Ukraine, asserting its ignorance with elaborate shrugs.

In response, she writes, “I find myself throwing out facts and statistics like so many baseball cards to anyone who will listen: that Ukraine was the first post-Soviet country to legalize homosexuality; the only country in the world to renounce its nuclear arsenal without violence; (a) leader in artistic, culinary and technical innovation; and that her feminist and queer organization is a model for the tottering state of North American feminist and queer politics.

More than Canadian Dimension, Oliver Boyd-Barrett warns that “Western media continue to press the ‘imminent Russian invasion of Ukraine’ narrative, claiming it has happened before and citing the alleged pressure Moscow is supposed to apply on Ukraine. »

In fact, he suggests, “even if Russia withdraws its forces from its own border with Ukraine – and even if all parties agree that full membership (in) NATO will not be extended to Ukraine at any time in the immediate future – NATO will maintain its dangerous passive-aggressive “victim” posture. This is because “Washington only wants one kind of development in Ukraine: a neoliberal paradise that will give Western capital total freedom to do whatever it wants with Ukrainian land and resources”.

Ultimately, Ricochet writer Christopher Curtis explore Quebec City’s “Hostility Merchants”, otherwise known as “Trash Radio”, the “talk radio hosts (who) set the agenda, determine elections and traffic in fear and mistrust », in particular Dominic Mrais from Radio X.

“Radio X is part of what its detractors call junk radio, or junk radio – a collection of conservative talk radio stations for which controversy is a business model,” he wrote. But it’s also “a glimpse into what looks like a unique moment of anger in Canadian politics.”

Centre-Right Trends in the Canadian Political Media Universe:

  • Ezra Levan, commander of Rebel Newsyou take a closer look to “whom Trudeau entrusts with his emergency crackdown,” beginning with “Bill Blair, the disgraced ex-cop who ran Toronto police during the G-20.”
  • Roberto Wakerell-Cruz of Post Millennial chronic Tory MP Colin Carrie’s attempt to ask ‘which ministers agreed’ with the agenda of the World Economic Forum, which Wakerell-Cruz describes as a ‘globalist think tank’, only to be ‘interrupted by the chairman of the Chamber due to very clear audio “being really bad”. ”
  • Rebel News reporter Alexandra Lavoie landed an exclusive interview with Candice Sero, “an Indigenous Mohawk residing in Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory in Hastings County who was in Ottawa protesting vaccination mandates, when she was trampled by the Toronto Police Mounted Unit and punched kicked by other police officers while she was on the ground”.
  • True North News Contributor Harley Sims was at launch of the “4,395 kilometer march from Vancouver to Ottawa…in solidarity with Canadian truckers and workers to end authoritarian government mandates” by Canadian Armed Forces veteran James Topp.

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Non profit living

Italian town raises funds to pay pensioners’ rising energy bills

FLORENCE, Italy (AP) — Florence is famous for its contributions to Italian art, architecture and cuisine. But these days, local leaders in the city considered the birthplace of the Renaissance are preoccupied with more mundane matters: paying the bills.

Amid soaring energy costs across Europe, officials at Palazzo Vecchio – the building that serves as both city hall and museum in Florence – have teamed up with a nonprofit local charity to help fixed-income retirees retain their power through an “Adopt-a-Bill” fundraising campaign.

“Florence is a city where you live well, and for this reason too, people live very long,” said Mayor Dario Nardella.

However, a significant number of retirees in Florence live on less than 9,000 euros ($10,205) a year and cannot afford to make ends meet with an expected 55% increase in home electricity costs and a 42% rise in residential gas bills, he mentioned.

The widower Luigi Boni, 96, confirms this. He says that by the end of February he will have emptied his bank account and spent his monthly pension check of less than 600 euros ($680) before covering the charges.

“Either I eat or I pay the rent,” Boni said as he sat on his sofa, a daily newspaper in his hand.

To help him and others of Florence’s approximately 30,000 residents over the age of 65 who live alone, the city administration launched the fundraising campaign with the non-profit Montedomini Foundation, which runs projects aimed at helping the city’s retirees.

The campaign raised 33,000 euros (over $37,000) in its first days. Private citizens, including Florentines living abroad, made more than 200 donations, according to city social councilor Sara Funaro.

“Our goal is to raise funds to ensure that every elderly person who comes to us for help can receive help to cover the increase in bills due to the increase (in energy costs),” Funaro said.

Soaring energy prices are pushing up utility bills – and driving inflation to a record high – from Poland to the UK. In response, governments across Europe are rushing to provide aid to residents and businesses as utility companies pass the costs on to consumers.

In Turkey, where economic pressure is extreme and has fueled protests, Istanbul, Ankara and Izmir are among opposition-run municipalities with similar Pass a Bill initiatives. The Istanbul municipal website says nearly 49 million Turkish liras (around $3.6 million) have been donated since 2020, covering 320,000 utility bills.

Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi’s government has passed measures valued at more than 8 billion euros ($9 billion) to help mitigate the impact of soaring energy prices for businesses and individuals.

The latest government decree, published on Friday, also had a forward-looking component: it aimed to accelerate Italy’s transition to more renewable energy sources, particularly solar power, to make the country less dependent on imported supplies. .

Italy currently imports 90% of its gas, much of it from Russia, and Draghi insisted that any European Union sanctions aimed at punishing Russia for recognizing two separatist-held areas in the east of Ukraine must exempt the energy sector.

The association of Italian mayors has said the government’s response has so far been insufficient to help cities cope with hundreds of millions of euros in additional energy costs, forcing them to choose between balancing budgets or cutting costs. services.

Florence, Rome and other cities kept their civic monuments and local government buildings dark on February 10 to draw attention to the situation.

Florence’s Adopt-a-Bill campaign has popular support. As well as being a top tourist destination, the capital of the Italian region of Tuscany has a long history of success in providing social services to poor and vulnerable residents.

“It’s a great initiative because you can help people who can’t come to pay a bill that has shamelessly reached unsustainable costs,” said Luca Menoni, owner of a butcher shop in the food market. covered with Sant’Ambrogio in Florence.

“I’m paying a (electricity) bill myself that’s double what I used to pay,” Menoni said.

Boni may be getting help with her energy bills to get her through the winter and avoid a planned move to a retirement home. But he’s still on a tight budget that doesn’t allow for a lot of luxury.

“Steaks? Me at? Let’s not even talk about it. I eat (cheap) packaged food,” he said. After the death of his wife, he said: “I became an expert in economical cooking.

___

Nicole Winfield in Rome and Zeynep Bilginsoy in Istanbul contributed to this report.

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Russia extends military exercises in Belarus, raising fears of Ukraine invasion

Tanks move during the Union Courage-2022 Russia-Belarus military exercises at the Obuz-Lesnovsky training ground in Belarus on February 19.Alexander Zemlianichenko Jr/Associated Press

Russian troops in Belarus did not return to their home bases as planned on Sunday, instead continuing military exercises near the Ukrainian border and raising fears that Russia could soon launch a three-pronged attack on Ukraine.

The 10-day drills involving some 30,000 Russian troops, along with Belarusian forces, began Feb. 10, and their expected conclusion was one of the most watched signals of whether Russian President Vladimir Putin would choose to step up or to ease the months- old crisis around Ukraine. No end date was given for the extended exercises.

The continued presence of Russian troops in Belarus leaves open the worst case scenario of Russia attacking Ukraine from three directions, with troops in Belarus capable of pushing towards the capital of Kiev from the north. US officials have estimated that Russia now has between 170,000 and 190,000 troops in position around Ukraine. Most are massed along Ukraine’s eastern border, while large numbers are also concentrated in the south on the Russian-occupied Crimean peninsula.

Freeland deviates from G20 economic scenario to warn Russia over Ukraine, sources say

If Ukraine is invaded, the US and UK will block Russia’s access to dollars and pounds, UK PM warns

Belarusian Defense Minister Viktor Khrenin said Mr Putin and Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko had decided to continue the joint exercises due to “increasing military activity on the external borders” of Russia and Belarus, as well as “the aggravation of the situation in Donbass”, a region in the south-east of Ukraine.

“There is a conclusion – that it smells strongly of gunpowder in Europe,” Khrenin said.

On Saturday, the Russian and Belarusian leaders jointly oversaw the start of exercises to test the readiness of Russia’s nuclear arsenal, which is the largest in the world.

Russia says it has no intention of attacking Ukraine. But the Kremlin demanded guarantees that its neighbor will never be allowed to join the North Atlantic Treaty Organization – guarantees that the United States and the alliance of 30 NATO countries have said they would not give.

French President Emmanuel Macron called Mr Putin on Sunday in what the Elysee Palace described as “a last-ditch effort to avoid a Russian invasion of Ukraine”. Afterwards, the Kremlin said Mr Putin had told the French leader that the United States and NATO must respond to Russia’s demands “in a concrete and substantial way”. Moscow says NATO’s eastward expansion in the three decades since the end of the Cold War is a threat to its security.

Mr Putin believes Ukraine has been under de facto Western control since a 2014 revolution that toppled a pro-Moscow president. Mr Putin said last week he believed Ukraine’s military was committing “genocide” in the predominantly Russian-speaking region of Donbass, which is part of Ukraine but is under the control of a militia backed by Moscow for eight years. .

Fighting between the Ukrainian army and pro-Russian militants in Donbass has killed more than 14,000 people since 2014. The United Nations monitoring mission for Ukraine says that while both sides have committed human rights abuses Man, there is no evidence to support Mr. Putin’s claim. of genocide.

Since Mr Putin’s remarks, however, there have been a series of explosions and other alleged attacks in separatist-held areas, raising fears the Kremlin is manufacturing a provocation to use as justification for an invasion. pre-planned from Ukraine. US President Joe Biden said on Friday he believed Mr Putin had already made up his mind to attack.

After a visit to the Donbass frontline on Saturday, Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk said the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe mission that monitors ceasefire violations had been weakened after Canada, the United States and Britain ordered their nationals to leave early. this month as concerns mounted over a possible Russian invasion.

Ms Vereshchuk said impartial reporting on what was happening in eastern Ukraine was now more important than ever and called on Ottawa, Washington and London to “review” their decision to withdraw from the mission. OSCE.

“We need to have a clear record of these situations. We have to make sure every incident is properly documented,” she told The Globe and Mail after visiting a kindergarten in the frontline town of Stanytsia Luhanska which was hit by a shell last week. injuring three staff members.

Canada and several other Western governments have also temporarily closed their embassies in Kyiv and moved staff to the city of Lviv, near the Ukraine-Poland border. Canada also withdrew the 260-soldier Operation Unifier that had been training the Ukrainian military for seven years, and Ottawa advised all Canadian citizens to leave Ukraine “now”.

Russia and Belarus, which are close military allies, say the tension in Eastern Europe has been caused by NATO, which has deployed additional troops to alliance member countries Poland, Romania and the Baltic States in response to Russian military build-up.

Andrei Sannikov, a Belarusian dissident who in 2010 ran for president against Mr Lukashenko in an election widely seen as rigged, said joint military exercises in Belarus posed a threat not only to Ukraine, but also for the sovereignty of his country.

Their extension almost certainly means that Russian troops will be in Belarus during the February 27 referendum on constitutional changes that would allow Mr Lukashenko, who came to power in 1994, to remain president until 2035.

“The referendum will be held under the presence of foreign troops, under the threat that foreign troops will be used against the civilian population,” Sannikov said.

“Russia now completely controls Belarus. You can see how Belarus is being used as a springboard… which not only threatens Ukraine, but also Europe.

Ukraine says Russian-backed separatists are to blame after a kindergarten in Stanytsia Luhanska was bombed and videos of fleeing civilians made in separatist-controlled areas of Donetsk are fabricated.

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Russian and Belarusian troops will continue readiness checks, says Belarusian defense minister

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson. (Matt Dunham/Pool/AFP/Getty Images)

Russia is planning ‘the biggest war in Europe since 1945’, says British Prime Minister Boris Johnson told the BBC during an interview broadcast on Sunday.

“I’m afraid to say the plan we see is for something that could really be the biggest war in Europe since 1945,” he said.

He added that “people need to understand the cost in human lives that this could entail not only for Ukrainians, but also for Russians and young Russians.”

On the issue of sanctions, Johnson said the goal was to impact not just “Vladimir Putin’s associates but also all companies, organizations of strategic importance to Russia.”

“We are going to prevent Russian companies from raising funds in the UK markets and we are going, even with our American friends, to prevent them from trading in pounds and dollars, which will be very difficult,” he said.

Speaking at the Munich Security Conference in Germany on Saturday, Johnson said that in preparing to invade Ukraine, Russian President Vladimir Putin “made a serious miscalculation”, adding that Moscow would not have “absolutely nothing to gain from this catastrophic enterprise and everything to lose”.

Johnson urged Moscow to defuse tensions before it was too late.

I fear that a blitzkrieg will be followed by a long and hideous period of retaliation, revenge and insurrection, and that Russian parents will mourn the loss of young Russian soldiers, who in their own way are just as innocent as the Ukrainians who are now preparing to attack,” he said.

Johnson said: “We don’t know exactly what President Putin has in mind,” adding that “the omens are bleak and that’s why we need to stay strong together.”

Johnson’s remarks come a day after US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin said Russia was “putting itself in the right positions to carry out an attack”.

“They’re unfolding and now ready to strike,” Austin said, speaking Saturday from Vilnius, Lithuania.

“If you look at the position he’s in today, it’s obvious [Putin] made a decision and they are moving into the right positions to carry out an attack.

Echoing US President Joe Biden’s assertion that Putin had decided to invade, Austin added that the United States would pursue a diplomatic solution “until the very last minute, until it’s not possible”.

However, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has denied increased claims by Western leaders that a Russian invasion is imminent.

Asked about the aggressive use of US intelligence to dissuade Putin from invading Ukraine, Zelensky said he was “grateful for the work that our two intelligence services have done. But the intelligence I trust is my information.

“I trust the Ukrainian intelligence services who … understand what is happening along our borders, who have different sources of intelligence and understand different risks depending on the data intercepted … this information must be used,” Zelensky told Christiane Amanpour, CNN’s chief international anchor. personal interview at the security conference on Saturday.

He continued: “We’re not really living in illusion. We understand what can happen tomorrow…just putting ourselves in coffins and waiting for foreign soldiers to come in is not something we’re prepared to do.”

Zelensky then called on international partners to support Ukraine by investing in the country. “Strengthen our arms… our economy. Invest in our country. Bring your business.

“We are not panicking, we want to live our lives,” he added.

CNN’s Ross Levitt, Karen Smith, Maegan Vazquez, Kevin Liptak, Betsy Klein, Sam Fossum, Emmet Lyons and Lauren Said-Moorhouse contributed to this post.

This post has been updated.

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Canadian army

Canada’s Trudeau triggers Emergency Act to break lockdowns – AZERTAC

Baku, February 15, AZERTAC

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Monday invoked the Emergencies Act as part of a move to lift a blockade in the capital Ottawa and other areas in connection with protests by truckers against the government’s health rules. COVID-19, according to Anadolu Agency.

It also aims to prevent a repeat blockade of the Ambassador Bridge, the main commercial artery between Canada and the United States. The law is time-limited, although the duration of its effect is unclear. It is also targeted at specific areas like the blockade of Ottawa.

“This is about keeping Canadians safe,” Trudeau told a nationally broadcast press conference, adding “we cannot and will not allow dangerous activities to continue.”

The law has never been used before, but an earlier version — in 1988, it replaced the War Measures Act — was invoked in 1970 by the late Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau, Justin Trudeau’s father , who used it to repress a Quebec separatist. organization that kidnapped British Trade Commissioner and Quebec Cabinet Minister Pierre Laporte. He was later found dead.

On Monday, Trudeau declared the Emergencies Act to deal with blockades by truckers and others who demanded the repeal of all government COVID-19 health measures. Border points were disrupted in several provinces, including Ontario, Alberta and Manitoba.

But when his father called in the army to deal with the Quebec threat and there were soldiers everywhere and tanks roamed the streets, Justin did not call the Canadian Armed Forces, which he had said at the end of last week was a last resort.

“We don’t use the Emergencies Act to call in the military,” Trudeau said. “We are not suspending fundamental rights or nullifying the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

“We don’t limit people’s freedom of expression. We don’t limit freedom of peaceful assembly. We don’t prevent people from exercising their right to lawfully protest.”

While protesters on the Ambassador Bridge were evacuated and the bridge reopened on Sunday, the city of Ottawa, which has a population of one million, remains paralyzed by protesters and hundreds of large transport trucks. The “siege,” as Ontario Premier Doug Ford called it, is in its third week. Ford declared a provincial state of emergency, but this had no effect on the situation in Ottawa.

The law is defined as a tool to deal with an “urgent and critical situation” that “seriously endangers the life, health or safety of Canadians”.

It gives the government the right to enact “temporary special measures which might not be appropriate in normal times”.

For example, under the law, the federal government can order Ottawa tow trucks to remove parked trucks that have created havoc downtown. The towing companies had refused to do so, fearing reprisals. Trudeau made the decision after consulting with provincial premiers and his caucus (elected Liberal MPs).

Meanwhile, at the Coutts Dam in Alberta, between the United States and Canada, police said on Monday they arrested 11 militant protesters and seized a number of weapons, including long guns, handguns fist, ammunition and bulletproof vests.

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Should the military put an end to the “freedom” protests?

It’s funny how the so-called Conservative Party of Canada and our two local Conservative MPs seem unable to tell these ‘freedom convoy’ protesters that their voices have been heard and now is the time to let others Canadians enjoy their freedoms, such as going to work and crossing the border.

No other previous prime minister, regardless of political stripe, would have endured two weeks of traffic jams in downtown Ottawa, followed by mounting protests at border crossings. Pierre Trudeau and Jean Chrétien, up to Brian Mulroney and Stephen Harper, would have put an end to this nonsense a few days ago.

They allegedly let the protests continue for a few days, then firmly told the protesters to go home and if they did not leave, they would be evicted by members of the Canadian Armed Forces.

And naturally, these protesters in Ottawa, at the border crossings and elsewhere will cry out for the violation of their civil liberties and their rights to freedom of assembly. Here’s what Trudeau the Elder had to say about it in October 1970.

“There are a lot of bleeding hearts around who just don’t like to see people with helmets and guns. All I can say is, carry on and bleed, but maintaining law and order in this society is more important than worrying about weak-kneed people who don’t like the looks of a soldier’s helmet.

“At all costs? How far would you go with this? How far would you stretch this?” the reporter asked.

“Well, look at me,” Trudeau replied.

It’s funny how the so-called Conservative Party of Canada and our two local Conservative MPs seem unable to tell these ‘freedom convoy’ protesters that their voices have been heard and now is the time to let others Canadians enjoy their freedoms, such as going to work and crossing the border.

The Conservatives have great points to argue about the validity of federal and provincial vaccine mandates and they should vigorously present them in the House of Commons. Many mandates are – in whole or in part – no longer supported by scientific developments. But Tories should also agree with fellow parliamentarians that these protests are now causing significant economic damage and must end, voluntarily or not.

From a politically cynical standpoint, which has been Trudeau’s playbook since day one, threatening to call in the military (and following through if necessary) would now be warmly welcomed by most urban voters and suburbs, with all parties serious about government formation. Needs.

Pierre said he had no choice when he called in the army and was only responding to the clear and present danger to democracy. Justin can also use this line.

There are many wrongs in the current mandates and everyone is tired of living with them, regardless of individual opinions on vaccine safety. These demonstrators, however, crossed the line between protest and anarchy. Their continued actions are statements that their love for freedom does not include the freedom of anyone who disagrees with them.

If it takes soldiers patrolling downtown Ottawa and border crossings to restore democratic law and order, this Prime Minister — or any other Prime Minister — should do it without hesitation.

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Canadian army

Fired Georgian College instructor becomes face of Ottawa protest convoy

Tom Marazzo says he was fired by the college after sending an email to faculty members that questioned the school’s vaccination policy

A new face of the truckers’ protest and the Ottawa occupation is a former Georgian College instructor who is now demanding that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau meet with him and his team of “world-class scientists.”

On Monday night, video was filmed by organizers of the protest in the nation’s capital, which has now been going on for nearly two weeks. The video’s keynote speaker is Tom Marazzo, who taught at Georgian for two years.

A reporter contacted Marazzo on Tuesday. He responded to clarify his ties to the Barrie area. On Wednesday, he replied to confirm his work at Georgian College. However, Marazzo was unavailable for an interview.

“I can tell you that I was fired by Georgian College for sending an internal email to over 250 faculty, the president, the vice president of human resources and several deans, questioning the legality of the mandate vax. I put my name in it,” Marazzo wrote in his response.

“Within days I was fired for sending the email,” he added. “The overwhelming majority of teachers have turned on me in a show of unity in support of the mandates. OPSEU has been totally useless. I have a lawyer.

When asked if he still lives in Barrie, Marazzo said he sold his house and “moved away from Barrie.”

Marazzo’s LinkedIn page says he was hired full-time at the college from September 2019 to September 2021 as a computer software instructor.

A Georgian College spokesperson confirmed that Marazzo was on staff until September 2021, but would not comment further on his departure as it was a confidential personal matter.

On August 13, 2021, Georgian College announced that it will require vaccinations for all students and employees entering any campus or university location beginning September 7.

On his LinkedIn page, Marazzo says “if your company does not respect the Canadian Constitution and the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, you are not a good choice for me”.

In the YouTube video posted earlier this week, Marazzo talks at length about what he calls “preventive SOS.”

Two of the main points raised in the video were that Trudeau was meeting face-to-face with Marazzo and the group, which includes Tamara Lich (secretary of a Western separatist group called the Maverick Party of Canada), Paul Alexander (former President Donald Trump civil servant administration and health researcher), and some people identified as “road captains”.

At one point, Marazzo said he would like all police officers who are on the fence about COVID to sit down with their “world-class scientists” and wave to the group behind him.

For a moment when everyone present identified themselves, a man calling himself Dr. Roger Hodkinson, a self-styled pathologist from Edmonton, was the only person claiming to be a doctor.

The video also calls for other protesters to come to Ottawa, as the group feared more police were heading to the nation’s capital.

“If you want to support us, if you really want to help us, what I would like you to do is start thinking about coming to Ottawa,” Marazzo said in the video.

Marazzo said he wasn’t asking people to get in their vehicles or pack their bags immediately, but that they wanted “to start preparing your families or start talking to your employers and saying, ‘Look, I feel really my place is in Ottawa this week’.”

Marazzo’s LinkedIn profile also indicates that he was a Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) military officer.

A The CAF spokesperson confirmed by email that “a person with the name Thomas Marazzo is a former member of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF)”.

“He was released seven years ago in September 2016, after 18 years of service. Thomas Marazzo joined the CAF in September 1998 in Hamilton, Ontario. He was a captain in the Canadian Army and served as a construction engineering officer. He was released from the regular force in 2015 to join the supplemental reserves. Thomas Marazzo (was) fully released from the CAF in September 2016. His service does not include any international deployment.

CAF said any additional information is protected by privacy legislation and was unable to comment further.

We still do not know what the next moves of the Ottawa group will be.

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Some critics call on Trudeau to channel his father on the protests

His three-word response to a violent uprising became one of the most famous ever uttered in the history of Canadian law enforcement: “Just look at me.”

It was October 1970 when Pierre Elliot Trudeau — Justin Trudeau’s father — took this position. When asked outside Parliament how far he would go to stop the Front de libération du Québec, an extremist group that campaigns for Quebec’s independence from Canada, he was provocative. The group had kidnapped a Quebec cabinet minister, Pierre Laporte, who was later assassinated. There had been a reign of terror of hundreds of bombs and robberies in Montreal. A British trade commissioner had also been kidnapped.

Mr. Trudeau succeeded in crushing extremists by invoking the War Measures Act — the only time in Canadian history that it has been applied in peacetime. He sent thousands of soldiers to Montreal and abrogated certain civil liberties. Uniformed soldiers raided houses in search of terrorists. Some 400 people were arrested and detained without charge.

Now some in Canada are asking Justin Trudeau to have his “Just watch me” moment.

“‘Just watch me’ is etched in the memory of all of us who were alive to hear Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau say it, all those years ago,” read a letter published Monday in the Toronto Star, Canada’s largest-circulation newspaper. “It is time for his son, Justin, to do the same with the protesters in Ottawa.

“Justin Trudeau needs his own ‘look at me’ moment,” added an opinion piece in the National Observer, an online publication. “Canada is under attack,” he said. “It is time for Trudeau to step back.

As anti-vaccine protests in Ottawa persist for a second week, Trudeau has at times appeared to channel his late father’s resolute voice, stubbornly refusing to negotiate with protesters. But he was also adamant that he would not call in the army. As Ottawa residents complain that unruly protesters are terrorizing their daily lives, he has turned to words rather than soldiers in an attempt to tame the protesters, some of whom have mocked him by calling him a ” chicken “.

The protesters are “trying to block the economy, our democracy and the daily lives of our people”, he told the House of Commons on Monday evening. “It has to stop.” “This pandemic has sucked for all Canadians,” he added.

Earlier, he denounced protesters for desecrating war memorials, criticized them for displaying “racist flags”, spreading misinformation and even robbing homeless people.

Defenders of Mr Trudeau say calls for him to send in the military are misguided in a country that values ​​freedom of speech while noting that comparing the events of the 1970s – known as the October Crisis – at trucker convoy protest wrongly equates to angry anti -vaxxers with terrorists.

During the crisis, Mr. Trudeau kept a relatively low profile. He was moved to his official country residence, along with his family, to help ensure his safety. He has also self-isolated after testing positive for Covid-19 last week.

Mr. Trudeau, who has long established himself as a champion of human rights, is likely aware of the lessons of the October crisis. As the military suppressed the FLQ, critics at the time accused her father of trampling on civil liberties by allowing law enforcement to arrest people without charge.

Then-New Democratic Party leader Tommy Douglas compared Pierre Elliot Trudeau’s actions to wielding “a hammer to crack a peanut.” Nevertheless, a majority of Canadians supported the Prime Minister’s father in restoring law and order.

The elder Mr. Trudeau, for his part, was unrepentant after sending soldiers to Ottawa to protect public servants. “There are a lot of bleeding hearts around who just don’t like to see people with helmets and guns,” he said. “All I can say is, go on and bleed.”

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Canada’s CDS ‘sickened’ by Capitol Hill-style protests at National War Memorial in Ottawa

Given the anti-vaccination protests in Canada on Sunday, its Chief of the Defense Staff, General Wayne Eyre, expressed his disagreement with the ongoing protests. Speaking to the microblogging site Twitter, he raised strong objections to protesters at the National War Memorial and underscored the feelings of Canadian Army soldiers who died “for rights, including freedom of expression, but not for that”.

General Eyre said: “I am sickened to see protesters dancing at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and desecrating the National War Memorial. Generations of Canadians have fought and died for our rights, including free speech, but not for this. Those involved should hang their heads in shame.”

Protests against Canada’s vaccine mandate

Meanwhile, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau left Ottawa on Saturday with his family to a “secret location” after security concerns erupted following escalating anti-vaccine mandate protests in the capital, reported CBC News. The decision to evacuate the Prime Minister’s residence came after the Sergeant-at-Arms of the Canadian Parliament warned that protesters could show up at official residences. The prime minister’s office declined to comment on Trudeau’s relocation, citing security concerns.

Protests against the vaccine mandate for cross-border truckers began on Saturday when the Parliamentary Protective Service estimated a gathering of nearly 10,000 protesters in Canada’s capital, Ottawa. Additionally, a convoy of truckers against the COVID-19 vaccine mandate descended on Ottawa, setting off an impending violent turn of events.

While Ottawa Police Chief Peter Sholy said on Wednesday he had been in contact with protest leaders, who claimed peaceful protests, Deputy Chief Steve Bell raised concerns about the presence of “parallel groups” that Canadian intelligence speculated.

It is pertinent to mention that Canadians launched protests against the vaccination mandate after the government launched a new requirement that truckers entering Canada must be fully immunized as of January 15. This happened after the United States imposed an identical mandate on truckers entering the country.

However, according to the Canadian Trucking Alliance’s estimate, about 15% of truckers in Canada, or about 16,000, are not fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Canadian opposition from Conservative lawmakers backed the convoy, saying the vaccine mandate has created a bottleneck for the supply chain, leaving store shelves empty across the country.

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Russian envoy urges Justin Trudeau to call Vladimir Putin to discuss Ukraine crisis

Russian Ambassador to Canada Oleg Stepanov said that if Justin Trudeau called Vladimir Putin, the Russian President would “pick up the phone immediately”.Dave Chan/The Globe and Mail

Moscow’s envoy to Canada is urging Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to phone Vladimir Putin so he can hear the Russian president explain there’s “no chance” Russia will invade Ukraine.

Oleg Stepanov, the recently arrived Russian ambassador to Canada, told The Globe and Mail on Tuesday that Mr. Putin would accept a phone call from Mr. Trudeau to discuss the crisis in Ukraine and the gathering in Moscow of more than 100,000 troops to the Russian-Ukrainian border. .

“I am 100% sure that my president would pick up the phone immediately,” Mr. Stepanov said, noting that the two leaders never attended a bilateral meeting during Mr. Trudeau’s seven years in office.

Mr. Putin would welcome the opportunity to make it clear to Mr. Trudeau that he has no intention of invading Ukraine and to explain the Kremlin’s opposition to the encroachment of the NATO on its borders, Mr. Stepanov said.

He noted that the leaders of the United States, Britain, Germany and many other Western countries regularly dialogue with Mr. Putin and he urged the Government of Canada to do the same.

But even though he ruled out the possibility of an invasion, Mr Stepanov mentioned a scenario in which some Ukrainian politicians – whom he declined to identify – could spark a conflict.

He urged Canada and other Western governments to work with Kyiv to deter this group.

“My government’s concern is that there is a war party in Kiev. There are radical politicians out there who could use the current stormy situation to provoke conflict on their side,” the envoy said.

When it comes to Ukrainian national security, Vladimir Putin has already won

Stepanov’s comments come a day after the NATO military alliance announced it was putting forces on standby and bolstering Eastern Europe with more ships and fighter jets in response reinforcement of Russian troops near its border with Ukraine.

He called on Ottawa and its allies “who have vested interests in Ukraine to work with the Kyiv government to keep them under control and deter them from any possible provocations in Donbass or elsewhere in Ukraine.”

As he spoke about the need for Russian-Canadian engagement, the envoy said the Kremlin would even drop a travel ban imposed on Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland in 2014 after Canada imposed sanctions to the Russian elites for the annexation of Crimea by Moscow and the destabilization of Ukraine. At the time, Russia retaliated by issuing travel bans on Ms Freeland and other Canadian officials – actions the ambassador called “how the game is played”.

The travel ban, however, would only be ignored if Ms Freeland were to come to Moscow for serious high-level talks – talks which the Russian envoy expressed hope would transform Canada into what he called a “voice of moderation” on the Ukrainian crisis. .

“If miracles happen and Madame Freeland wants to come to Moscow with a special message from the prime minister, I’m sure the exception can be made,” he said.

However, he expressed concern that Ms. Freeland, a Ukrainian-Canadian whose mother helped draft Ukraine’s constitution, is heavily influencing government policy in favor of Kyiv. He noted that she holds regular discussions with the Congress of Ukrainian Canadians, a group that represents people of Ukrainian descent in Canada.

“She is a member of the Ukrainian diaspora,” Mr. Stepanov said. “She’s the prime minister’s right-hand man… so she’s an influential voice in decision-making.”

The ambassador laughed when he learned that Canada was recalling spouses of diplomats and their children under the age of 18 from Kiev as a precaution against a possible Russian invasion.

“It’s your taxpayers’ money,” he said. “You want to remove them, you [will] I have to bring them back because I’m sure the situation will calm down.

On Ukraine, let’s not forget what history teaches us about appeasement

Mr. Stepanov denied that Russia hacked into Global Affairs Canada’s computer system last week; it suffered a multi-day meltdown that security experts called a cyberattack. And the ambassador dismissed warnings from the Communications Security Establishment, the top-secret federal agency that handles signals intelligence and cybersecurity, to be wary of Russian cyberattacks.

“No, absolutely not,” he replied when asked about the disruption of computer networks at Global Affairs, discovered on January 19. “Russia does not conduct any malicious activity in the cybersphere against Canada or any other country.”

When told that Washington had accused Russian intelligence of a major hack of US government departments and private companies, such as Microsoft Corp., in late 2020, Mr Stepanov said: “They still do this. if it helps to increase their self-esteem, but the problem with Americans and others is that it is very easy to blame the Russians.

The federal cabinet met on Tuesday and will meet again on Wednesday to approve a six-month extension to the Canadian Armed Forces training mission in Ukraine. He should approve a package of measures including the supply of small arms to the army of this country.

The Russian ambassador questioned why Canada would supply arms to Ukraine when Kiev appears to have a sufficient inventory of weapons – since it also exports defense equipment abroad.

Stepanov noted that the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), which tracks arms sales, records arms exports from Ukraine. In 2019, according to the SIPRI database, Ukraine exported missiles and armored fighting vehicles. In 2020, Ukraine exported missiles and aircraft. The United Nations Conventional Arms Register also shows that in 2020 Ukraine exported missile launchers and portable anti-tank rocket systems, as well as firearms, including pistols, submachine guns and rifles. assault.

“For me, it is quite surprising to see that the country continues to profit from arms exports and at the same time asks its foreign partners to provide it with additional weapons,” he said.

“If you feel threatened by Russia or any other country, you don’t sell your weapons; you store them.

When asked why Russia had placed more than 100,000 combat-ready troops on the border with Ukraine, the ambassador replied: “This is our land, this is our army. The army must conduct exercises from time to time.

With a Reuters report

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International headquarters

All the registrations and certificates you need to visit Saudi Arabia

A Saudi hospitality project will allow visitors to walk in the footsteps of the royal family, in palaces steeped in history

MAKKAH/RIYADH: Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman recently announced the launch of the Boutique Group, which plans to turn a number of historically and culturally significant palaces in Saudi Arabia into ultra-luxury hotels.

The move is part of efforts to showcase the Kingdom’s rich heritage and vibrant culture to domestic and foreign visitors, as well as the hospitality for which the country is renowned. The first phase of the project focuses on the development of three historic destinations: Al-Hamra Palace in Jeddah, Tuwaiq Palace and Red Palace in Riyadh.

Al Hamra Palace

Al-Hamra Palace is one of the most historically significant palaces of the modern era, according to Saleh Al-Misnad Al-Tamimi, a contemporary Saudi history researcher.

Inspired by Andalusian culture and style, it was built during the reign of King Saud bin Abdulaziz for Prince Faisal bin Abdulaziz but was not intended to host official functions and conferences.

The palace, located north of the US embassy, ​​was relatively small when it was built in the late 1950s, Al-Tamimi told Arab News. It was later expanded and transformed into a place to receive royal guests and hold official meetings.

The prince had an office on the south side of the building, directly overlooking the palace mosque, according to Al-Tamimi. Palace workers would hear requests and complaints from citizens, then relay them to the royal in his office, near reception.

The palace hosted many important events, Al-Tamimi said, including the first conference of foreign ministers of Islamic countries in March 1970, which resulted in the formation of the General Secretariat of the Organization of the Islamic Conference, now known as the Organization of the Islamic Conference. Cooperation.

Inspired by Andalusian culture and style, Al-Hamra Palace was built during the reign of King Saud bin Abdulaziz for Prince Faisal bin Abdulaziz. (Provided)

Among the many foreign leaders and heads of state who met King Faisal at the palace were US President Richard Nixon, Egyptian President Anwar Sadat, Lebanese President Suleiman Frangieh and Sudanese President Jaafar Nimeiry. Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser was a rare exception, who was instead received at the royal court at Khuzam Palace.

Al-Hamra Palace was built by the Arab Engineering Company, which had built many similar structures in Jeddah, including those belonging to Prince Nawaf bin Abdulaziz and politician, economist and poet Mohammed Surur Sabban.

After its development by Boutique Group, Al-Hamra Palace will have 77 rooms, including 33 luxury suites and 44 luxury villas.

Mohammed H. Al-Ruwaili, of the Al-Sudairy Cultural Center in Jouf, described the launch of the Boutique Group as a civilizational, historical and cultural investment leap that will open up Saudi Arabia’s heritage and cultural treasures to the world. . and enjoy.

He said the project aims to capitalize on the aspect of Saudi heritage represented by the luxurious palaces nestled in nature and once owned by kings and princes, turning them into tourist attractions that visitors from all over the world can enjoy. .

With their eye-catching courtyards, gardens and floors, they will be transformed into world-class luxury hotels with ornate interior decorations and unprecedented architectural designs, he told Arab News.

The palace, located north of the US Embassy, ​​was relatively small when built in the late 1950s. (Supplied)

“I think we are on the verge of making a significant and qualitative shift in investing and introducing valuable historical and cultural destinations in our country,” Al-Ruwaili said, referring to the first phase of the Boutique group project.

“The announcement (by the Crown Prince) is historic as it will likely be followed by milestones and milestones that Saudi citizens will benefit from.”

Abdullah Almuneef, dean of the faculty of tourism and antiquities at King Saud University, also welcomed the announcement, saying the project will ensure the restoration and preservation of historical sites by turning them into elite tourist destinations.

“It is an important experience for the Kingdom, similar to that in Europe, where many famous palaces have benefited from restoration and preservation projects,” he said.

The red palace

King Abdulaziz ordered the construction of the Red Palace in Riyadh in 1942 to serve as the residence of his son, Saud, who was then the crown prince. It was also used to receive official guests.

After King Saud moved to his Nasiriyah Palace in 1956, the Red Palace became the seat of the Council of Ministers during the reigns of King Faisal, King Khalid and King Fahd, before becoming the seat of the Committee of Grievances .

After the redevelopment, the Red Palace will have 71 rooms, including 46 luxury suites and 25 luxury guest rooms. (Provided)

It was called the Red Palace because of the distinctive color of its exterior. Among the notable guests hosted within its walls were Egyptian Presidents Nasser and Sadat, Syrian President Shukri Al-Quwatli, Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and King Talal bin Abdullah of Jordan.

The palace consists of 16 suites and rooms equipped with air conditioning and ceiling fans, as well as a system that allows sunlight to illuminate the interior of the palace. After the redevelopment, the palace will have 71 rooms, including 46 luxury suites and 25 luxurious guest rooms.

Tuwaiq Palace

Tuwaiq Palace is located in the diplomatic district of Riyadh, occupying an area of ​​approximately 24,000 square meters. Designed in 1981 and completed in 1985, it received the Aga Khan International Award for Architecture in 1998.

Today, the palace is a center for cultural activities, conferences, seminars, specialized exhibitions and social activities. It also hosts workshops, festivals, meetings and training events.

It comprises several halls, public facilities and reception areas behind a long undulating wall clad in Riyadh stone, a beige-colored limestone quarried in Saudi Arabia.

Designed in 1981 and completed in 1985, Tuwaiq Palace received the Aga Khan International Award for Architecture in 1998. (Supplied)

It also has a three-story guest house overlooking the valley, with four suites and 25 rooms.

There are several reception halls and amphitheatres, all equipped with presentation and translation facilities, in addition to dining halls and other hospitality services.

Three distinctive white canopies span the main halls, whose walls of glass offer a breathtaking panorama of the surrounding valley, gardens and scenic outdoor pathways. After redevelopment, the palace will feature 96 rooms, including 40 luxury suites and 56 luxury villas.

Khuzam Palace

Although not currently included in the redevelopment plan, Khuzam Palace has great potential to become a boutique hotel. Located in Al-Nazla Al-Yamaniya, in the southeast of historic Jeddah, the palace was named after the Khuzam tulips that grow abundantly on its grounds. Construction began in 1928 and was completed in 1932.

“The palace was built of stone bricks and its roof was constructed of Javanese timber,” Al-Tamimi said. “About three years later, the Egyptian National Company built reinforced concrete annexes there, including the palace that King Abdulaziz used to receive kings, heads of state, ministers, ambassadors and high officials.”

Located in Al-Nazla Al-Yamaniya in the southeast of historic Jeddah, Khuzam Palace was named after the Khuzam tulips that grow abundantly on its grounds. (Provided)

According to Al-Tamimi, Khuzam Palace was where the concession agreement allowing oil exploration was signed between the Saudi government, represented by Finance Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Suleiman, and Standard Oil of California, represented by Lloyd Hamilton, May 29, 1933. .

The palace also hosted the signing ceremonies of a border agreement with Kuwait and a reciprocal memorandum with Egypt regarding construction projects, according to Al-Tamimi. Other notable events that took place there include the renewal of the Jeddah Treaty with the British government in 1943, the signing of the Dhahran Airfield Agreement with the United States, a trade agreement with Syria and a friendship treaty with Pakistan.

The palace’s importance throughout the kingdom’s history has been such that its iconic main gates were once featured on Saudi banknotes.

Al-Saqqaf Palace

Al-Saqqaf Palace, also known as Al-Bayyadiyah Royal Palace, is located in the holy city of Makkah. It should be included in the next phase of the Boutique Group project, as it is currently undergoing restoration work.

“The palace is a high beacon of architectural art and one of the oldest archaeological buildings,” Makkah history researcher Samir Ahmed Barqa told Arab News.

“It represents heritage architectural designs and bears the Islamic architectural character as it contains a lot of Islamic arts and decorations. He has also witnessed many high-profile occasions throughout a royal era, whose roots stretch to the first Saudi state.

Al-Saqqaf Palace, also known as Al-Bayyadiyah Royal Palace, is located in the holy city of Makkah. (Provided)

The site consists of two older palaces, Al-Bayyadiyah Al-Shamali and Al-Bayyadiyah Al-Janoubi, which were combined with a newer palace built by King Abdulaziz, who lived there from 1924.

“The palace became the seat of government when the founding king came to Makkah,” Barqa said. “After that, the palace was used as the headquarters for King Abdulaziz’s deputy in Hejaz, his son Prince Faisal, and later it was used as the headquarters of the Muslim World League, and then as the headquarters of Makkah Police.”

King Abdulaziz ordered the construction of several halls to accommodate visiting presidents, kings and other dignitaries, as well as heads of Hajj missions. (Provided)

King Abdulaziz ordered the construction of several halls to accommodate visiting presidents, kings and other dignitaries, as well as heads of Hajj missions. The palace became the seat of the Royal Court in 1953, then was occupied by a number of government departments between 1960 and 1982.

It has over 100 rooms, including a central meeting room. The main entrance stands out for its exquisite grandeur.

If included in the boutique project, it would undoubtedly become an important attraction for religious tourists visiting Makkah and captivated by the heritage of the Kingdom.

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Canadian army

Canadian company used COVID wage supports to hire scabs

For the past eighteen months, the manufacturing company CESSCO, based in Edmonton, Alberta, has been locking out unionized employees. Meanwhile, the company used Canada’s federal government COVID-19 wage subsidy funds to hire strikebreakers.

Unionized workers at CESSCO Fabrication and Engineering Ltd have stood up against a series of attacks on their pay and working conditions. These include cutting wages by 10%, pensions by up to 50% and removing seniority from their collective agreement. In union agreements, seniority stipulates that wage and security benefits go to workers according to their seniority, so that those who have been there the longest are paid the best and are the last to be fired in the event of a dismissal.

The employees, many of whom are boilermakers and welders who fabricate containers that hold gases and liquids for the oil and gas industry, were locked out of their workplace since June 28, 2020.

Hugh MacDonald, the business manager of Boilermakers Lodge 146, which represents locked-out CESSCO workers, said Jacobin that the union was initially willing to accept wage cuts until the price of oil rose. Since January 14, the canadian crude price more than doubled from $27.84 on June 29, 2020 to $69.51.

“A lot of guys on the picket line have worked their entire adult lives at this facility. Some of them have been there for over 40 years. They would definitely prefer to work,” MacDonald says. “But we get support from the working community in northern Alberta and we get support from our international in Kansas City. It helps members on the lockdown line to realize that there are a lot of people standing up and supporting them.

At first, thirty workers were locked out. Eight have since crossed the picket line, according to MacDonald.

CESSCO is listed on the database companies that have received the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS). The wage subsidy was introduced at the start of the pandemic to subsidize 75% of the salaries of employees of companies that have experienced a significant drop in income.

The CEWS grantee database does not detail disbursement dates or the amount raised by recipient companies. Whatever the amount of CESSCO’s revenue, the fact remains that the company benefited from the wage subsidy when many of its employees did not receive a salary. MacDonald says the Boilermakers were surprised to find that CESSCO received funds from CEWS while they were locked out.

The Canadian government introduced two major COVID-19 benefits at the start of the pandemic – the aforementioned CEWS and the Canadian Emergency Response Benefit (CERB). The latter provided $2,000 a month to those who had lost their jobs as a result of COVID restrictions.

Since December 19, 2020, the total cost of CEWS was $99.13 billion, down from $81.64 billion for the CERB, which ended in October 2020. As the right-wing media ruminated that CERB was turning unemployed Canadians into “wellness loafers,” Where encouraging gang violencesome major hardware flaws of the CEWS became apparent.

In December 2020, the Financial position reported that at least sixty-eight companies that received federal wage subsidies have continued to pay dividends to their shareholders, including some of Canada’s largest corporations, such as oil companies Imperial Oil, Suncor and Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. The sixty-eight companies together received $1.03 billion in CEWS support while paying out $5 billion in dividends.

“Think about what happens: taxpayers indirectly subsidize payouts to shareholders,” said Richard Leblanc, York University professor and corporate governance adviser. To post. “This is completely unacceptable. Even if the government did not drop the ball, which it did, these remarkable companies should lead by example.

A beginning of 2022 report from the Canadian Center for Progressive Policy Alternatives (CCPA) reveals that CEO compensation has increased from 2019 to 2020. The CCPA notes that more than a third of Canada’s 100 highest-paid CEOs run companies that have received funding from the CEWS.

“A lot of these companies probably didn’t need [CEWS]but if there was federal money available, they were going to ask for it and they were going to take it,” CACP senior economist David Macdonald told the CBC. “That was not what this program was intended for.”

Effective October 28, 2021, the federal government divided the CEWS into two more targeted programs: the Tourism and Hospitality Recovery Program and the Hardest-Hit Business Recovery Program.

On January 11, 2021, Heather McPherson, a left-leaning New Democratic Party (NDP) legislator who represents a riding in the city of Edmonton, where CESSCO is located, wrote a letter to Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland. In the letter, McPherson expressed concern that CEWS funds were being used to hire scabs. Freeland has yet to respond.

McPherson wrote:

I think all Canadians would be appalled to learn that their tax money is being used in this way. But I don’t believe your government has planned COVID-19 economic relief programs for this purpose. In fact, I hope you find this situation as appalling as I do.

McPherson sees the CESSCO situation as an extension of Alberta Conservative Premier Jason Kenney’s scorched-earth assault on the province’s labor movement. The Kenney government passed a law that prohibits strikers from peacefully blocking entrances to workplaces.

McPherson has raised the issue of the scab subsidy in Parliament on several occasions throughout 2021. February 17, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau provided a boilerplate response to his line of questioning, saying:

We continue to know that many Canadians across the country still need help. We will be there for them. As I said from the start, we will be there for Canadians for as long as it takes, no matter what.

All five parties represented in Parliament supported the introduction of the CEWS, the NDP push successfully the ruling Liberals to increase the subsidy from 10 percent to 75 percent.

McPherson, explaining the situation to Jacobin, said that when “COVID arrived. . . we were trying to get the money out very, very quickly. She added:

I understand that there may be loopholes, but it is possible to fix those loopholes when the program has been in place for months and months. Not fixing them has to be either because you don’t care or because you don’t really see it as a problem. Maybe they don’t think it’s a problem to use taxpayers’ money to pay scabs and lock out workers. I can’t see it any other way.

McPherson argues that CEWS was an important program to keep local businesses afloat, but its flaws should have been ironed out as criticisms arose.

On July 5, while walking the CESSCO picket line, worker Raymond Mudryk, a welder who had been a member of Boilermaker Lodge 146 since 1976, died suddenly at the age of seventy.

“Brother Mudryk was a proud member of Lodge 146 who put the needs of others before his own. He has always done his part to get better wages, benefits and working conditions,” reads his memorial page on the Boilermakers website. On August 25, 2021, which would have been his seventy-first birthday, the lodge held a celebration of his life on the picket line.

Mudryk was not the first CESSCO worker to die on the job in recent years.

In May 2019, CESSCO pleaded guilty to a single charge of failing to ensure the use of fall protection, which resulted in the death of Barry Maitland on January 19, 2016. According to the Edmonton newspaper, Maitland fell from the top of a liquefied natural gas storage tank he was welding on.

The Boilermakers aren’t surrendering anytime soon. Despite picket line struggles in sub-zero temperatures of northern Alberta and CESSCO not returning calls from local, MacDonald says workers will continue to picket out of a sense of justice :

We know that is wrong. We know this is an example of corporate greed. What CESSCO has done here is harsh and unfair, especially during a global pandemic. . . . We simply demand fair wages for an honest day’s work. . . . We’re not going to give up, we’re going to stay strong and see what happens.

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Migrants at the Hungarian border are part of the election campaign

title=s

Migrants clean an abandoned shed while preparing for harsh winter weather near the Hungarian border outside the village of Majdan, Serbia, Tuesday, January 11, 2022. Hungarian nationalist Prime Minister Viktor Orban holds to use the threat of migrants on his country’s southern border to give him an advantage in the upcoming elections. But the extent of the migratory pressure claimed by Orban is called into question by statistics from neighboring Serbia and the European Union’s border agency. (AP Photo/Bela Szandelszky)

PA

A group of migrants huddle next to a small, smoky fire inside an abandoned building in northern Serbia, the last moments of warmth before rushing through the snow towards barbed wire, cameras and sensors of Hungary’s electrified border fence.

Hours later they return, their efforts to cross Hungary and into Western Europe thwarted by the three-meter (10-foot) fence and the heavy patrols of the Hungarian police who, having intercepted them, escorted them from across the border to Serbia.

“I’m going to Austria, I’m going to Germany, I’m going to the Netherlands,” says Muhtar Ahmad, a 26-year-old from Aleppo, Syria, who is squatting with about 35 other migrants in the makeshift tent camp in outside the Serbian village of Majdan, one mile (less than two kilometers) from the Hungarian border.

“I am not staying in Hungary. What’s the problem?”

As migrants from Syria, Afghanistan and other countries embark on the final leg of their long journey to Europe’s wealthier countries, their efforts to enter the European Union illegally via Hungary – and the practice the country’s controversial move to send them back to Serbia when captured – have incorporated them into a political campaign with which the Hungarian nationalist leader hopes to win the next general election.

Prime Minister Viktor Orban, who according to polls will face his closest election in more than a decade in April, is campaigning on a strict anti-immigration platform and keen to use the prospect of a wave of migrants massing at the Hungarian border as a means of mobilizing his conservative electoral base.

“This year alone, we have arrested and detained…more than 100,000 people,” Orban said in a rare appearance before reporters in December. “If the Hungarian fence had not been there, more than 100,000 more illegal migrants would now be first in Austria and then in Germany.”

One of Europe’s most vocal opponents of immigration, Orban said migration threatens to displace the continent’s Christian culture and that illegal migrants are responsible for bringing in infections like COVID-19 variants. in his country.

“We don’t want to be an immigration country,” Orban said in a state radio interview this week.

Ahead of the April 3 election, he described current migration pressures as higher than in 2015, when hundreds of thousands of refugees entered the EU fleeing war and poverty in the Middle East and elsewhere. , and when he ordered the construction of the border of the country. fence.

But figures released by Serbian officials and the EU Border and Coast Guard agency suggest far fewer people are trying to enter Hungary than the right-wing leader claims.

“It’s a bit bigger number than, say, two years ago, but they’re not significant numbers. It’s a small increase,” Nemanja Matejic, manager of a migrant reception center in the northern Serbian town of Subotica, said of the current level of migrants along the Hungarian border.

While Hungarian police put the number of migrants intercepted by Hungarian authorities at more than 122,000, data from the European border agency Frontex showed that there were 60,540 attempts to cross borders illegally. last year on the Western Balkan migration route, which includes the Hungary-Serbia border.

Moreover, since most migrants make repeated attempts to cross, the number of individuals involved is even much smaller.

The Serbian Commissariat for Refugees and Migration reports that there are 4,276 migrants residing in reception centers in Serbia and another 1,000 sleeping rough.

Frontex noted that the majority of Western Balkan crossings “can be traced back to people who have been in the region for some time and repeatedly attempt to reach their target country in the EU”.

Hikmad Serat, 20, from Nangarhar province, Afghanistan, took shelter in an isolated abandoned building near the Serbian border town of Horgos this month as a cold snap brought temperatures to -10 C (14 F.)

Serat said he had been in Serbia for 15 months and had lost count of how many times he had entered Hungary and been turned away by the police.

“Many times I try, 100 times, more than 100 times… Each time the police arrest me and deport me to Serbia,” Serat said.

This practice – where police deny migrants the right to seek asylum and escort them back across national borders – is known as “refoulement”. It has been declared illegal by the EU’s highest court and violates international asylum treaties.

Matejic, the head of the reception center, said migrants making dozens of crossing attempts are “typical”.

“Sometimes a guy tries once and walks away, he’s lucky…Sometimes they try over 50 times…They try and try again,” he said.

Many migrants have reported being ill-treated by the police after leaving Serbian territory for Hungary, Croatia or Romania. This includes destroying or stealing mobile phones, sitting or kneeling in the snow for hours and being beaten – allegations that are very difficult to independently confirm.

Romanian police did not respond to questions from The Associated Press. But Hungary’s national police headquarters wrote in an email that it “strongly rejects the unsubstantiated allegations” of migrant abuse.

Still, Matejic said 150 cases of broken limbs were recorded by the Subotica reception center in 2019.

“Sometimes they break their phones, the police. Sometimes they take their money. Sometimes they break their legs. It’s a different experience for everyone,” Matejic said.

Orban has asked the EU to reimburse Hungary for at least half of the costs of building, maintaining and patrolling its border fence, which he says amounted to 590 billion Hungarian forints ( $1.9 billion) over the past six years.

Still at odds with the EU’s more liberal member states, he also threatened “to open a corridor along which migrants can walk to Austria, Germany and Sweden and anyone who needs it”.

Despite the dangers, Faris al-Ibrahimi, a Moroccan migrant from the Subotica reception center who intends to travel to Spain, said he was undeterred after being pushed back 27 times by Hungarian police .

“I will try again. I won’t give up now… I will try until I succeed,” he said. “It’s an adventure. We cross, we go, they catch up with us, we come back, we leave. It’s like a game for us.”

___

Follow AP’s global migration coverage at https://apnews.com/hub/migration

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Canadian army

Over 500 Canadian troops at ‘high readiness’ in case of invasion of Ukraine – National

The Canadian commander of a multinational battle group in Latvia says he is working to ensure his troops have enough supplies and can talk to each other, as tensions rise between the NATO military alliance and Russia feed fears of a new war in Europe.

Canada has more than 500 troops in Latvia as part of a larger NATO reassurance mission first launched in 2017 in response to concerns about Russian aggression in Eastern Europe.

The Canadian contingent includes about 350 soldiers mainly from Valcartier, Quebec, who form the core of a 1,000-man NATO battle group stationed at Camp Adazi, about 30 kilometers northeast of Riga, the Latvian capital. .

Read more:

Ukrainian Canadians worried about conflict with Russia: ‘I fear for my family’

This battle group also includes military personnel and equipment from nine nations of the alliance, including Poland, Spain, Italy and the Czech Republic, all of which fall under the command of the lieutenant colonel. Dan Richel.

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In an interview with The Canadian Press on Thursday, Richel said one of his main responsibilities since taking command last month has been to ensure that the various contingents are able to communicate quickly and accurately with each other. others in the field.

“English is a second language for pretty much everyone in the battle group right now,” he said. “They are all NATO countries, obviously, so their tactics are generally the same. We just have to make sure everyone has the same understanding of all the terminology.

Clear communication would be essential in the event of a Russian invasion, which the battlegroup is specifically designed to defend against. It is also important to ensure that the NATO force has fuel, ammunition and other supplies to fight.


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‘Don’t panic’: Ukrainian president addresses nation on possible conflict with Russia


‘Don’t panic’: Ukrainian president addresses nation on possible conflict with Russia

The battle group is designed for conventional warfare, that is, the battle with an army similar to that of Russia. Although Canada’s contribution is primarily infantry with armored vehicles, other partners have contributed tanks, artillery and other equipment.

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“We all come with very different gear, different gear that uses different ammo and requires different support,” Richel said. “It’s a challenge that I think we handle quite well.”

The Canadian commander said the main objective of the battle group was to train and prepare for a possible attack, as it has done since its creation five years ago.

“The battle group itself is already a high-readiness combat unit,” Richel said. “I would say what you see here today is a lot of what you would have seen in the other rotations as well.”

Read more:

Biden predicts Russia will ‘intervene’ in Ukraine and test Western leaders

In addition to those assigned to the battle group, Canada also has about 200 support personnel and a headquarters in Riga responsible for the overall planning and coordination of NATO efforts in Latvia.

Similar battlegroups led by Britain, Germany and the United States were established in Estonia, Lithuania and Poland respectively. The Liberal government has said Canada will lead the mission in Latvia until at least March 2023.

Designed to defend against a Russian invasion, the battlegroups’ small size means they would almost certainly be overwhelmed in a real war. Instead, their primary goal is to deter Russian aggression, with the idea that an attack on one would draw in all of NATO.

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Questions remain about how much the Canadian military can help Ukraine


Questions remain about how much the Canadian military can help Ukraine

The Russian government has in recent weeks asked the alliance to withdraw all its forces from the region, including those from the Baltic and Poland, after mobilizing around 100,000 troops on the Russia-Ukraine border.

Canada, the United States and other NATO members have rejected the request, sparking growing concerns that an armed conflict between the two sides could start in Ukraine and spread to the rest of Europe. from the east.

Asked Wednesday whether the government would repatriate Canadian troops from Latvia and Ukraine if Russia attacked, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau underscored Canada’s commitment to NATO’s Baltic members.

“We are in Latvia to defend the Baltic states – Latvia, Lithuania and the states of Eastern Europe – against any incursion by Russian forces,” he said in French during a briefing on the COVID-19 in Ottawa. “We will continue the important work that NATO is doing to protect its eastern front.”

© 2022 The Canadian Press

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Canadian army

WARMINGTON: Ford one-man army in snow battle

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Why call in the military when the Premier of Ontario is patrolling in the snow?

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Granted, there were no complaints from Etobicoke Edwin Kandic about this kind of personalized service from Doug Ford.

“I was stuck on Wincott Dr. for about two hours, and it was cold,” said the 26-year-old, who was trying to get to his warehouse job.

Then he noticed that someone had stopped.

“It was a guy in a Ford pickup truck. I said, ‘Oh my God, it’s Prime Minister Doug Ford,'” recalls Kandic, who had never seen the politician in person before. was shocked. He told me to get in the truck.

Kandic left his car on the side of the road, so he could accept the prime minister’s offer to drive him home in about 15 minutes.

“He was a nice guy,” Kandic added. “I thanked him for helping me.”

For Ford Nation, it was the familiar style of retail politics for which the premier and his late mayor brother, Rob Ford, became famous.

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Within minutes there were cynical comments, but as anyone who knows Doug Ford will attest, it wasn’t contrived.

That’s what Doug Ford does. Coming out to help, whether it’s a flood, an ice storm or a heavy snowfall, is part of the Ford brand. It’s letting Doug be Doug and not the guy who sometimes looks like he’s been held hostage by the Pandemic Industrial Complex.

It certainly seemed like the Prime Minister was enjoying every minute he spent shoveling cars through snow banks. In his own way, it seems he was reminding his caucus of what he was supposed to do.

“I’m the taxi driver today, the snow plow and everything else,” the prime minister told Kandic.

Move on, Batman, Spider-Man and Superman. It was Fordman to the rescue.

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Of course, there are people who will throw snow at this story and complain about everything a leader does.

But for me, it was just fun to see Ford Nation alive and well. Admittedly, when you’re two years old in an endless pandemic, sometimes you just need a reminder of a time when it was okay to smile or to be able to see one.

The only thing missing was a range of free Fordfest burgers instead of a vaccine or rapid test.

Who would have thought that a snowstorm would bring so much humanity and warmth?

We apologize, but this video failed to load.

‘Just helping out’ and ‘making sure people are safe in their cars,’ Ford said CP24 George Lagogianes in a live TV hit. “Anything I can do to help them, you do what you have to do.”

Many more have received such help from a premier whose “For the People” campaign slogan was dusted once again during a shutdown that crippled the province even more than the snowstorm.

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Lagogianes declared Ford an “army of many” about 23 years after Toronto called in the Canadian military to help deal with the snow. The Prime Minister, who is seeking re-election on June 2, played it all down.

‘Prime Minister or no Prime Minister’, people are ‘here to help their neighbors right now,’ Ford says CP24.

Kandic said he could vouch for the prime minister who helped him when he really needed it.

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“As he was dropping me off at home, Premier Ford said, ‘Let me know if there’s anything else I can do to help you. “”

As a matter of fact.

“My car is still stuck in a snow bank,” teased Kandic, who will need a drive back to retrieve his car once the snow plows pass.

But the Prime Minister is quite busy at the moment. Ford was still making calls on the road Monday afternoon.

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Canadian army

Canada must prepare for a potentially hostile government in Washington

In the 155 years since Confederation, most Canadians have rarely thought about national security. For the first 60 years after Confederation, we were protected by the British Empire. Then, in August 1938, United States President Franklin Roosevelt, during a visit to Kingston, Ontario, said, “I assure you that the people of the United States will not stand idly by if the domination of Canadian soil is threatened. Since then, our national security has been guaranteed by the United States.

It would be wise for Canadians to rethink this dependence on the United States. Since Donald Trump’s election to the White House in November 2016, we have seen a rise in right-wing extremism fueled by Trump’s irresponsible and sometimes dangerous rhetoric. We have seen massive unrest in cities across the United States as people protest against police violence against minorities. On January 6, 2021, we witnessed the infamous uprising as Trump supporters attempted to prevent election certification. Since then, the right-wing media and Trump have continued to “fan the flames” of fury and outrage. The majority of the Republican Party seems to tolerate this.

Why should we care, you may ask. We live in Canada after all. We need to be concerned about this, because violence can very easily spread across our borders. Prime Minister Lester Pearson knew this when he deployed Canadian troops to the border crossings between Windsor, Ontario and Detroit, Michigan during the Detroit Riots in July 1967. President Richard Nixon moved American troops to the border areas near Quebec during the October Crisis. of 1970. Both leaders knew that their primary duty was to protect their citizens and they took steps to achieve it.

The modern Republican Party is nothing like the party of decades past. This is not the party of Dwight Eisenhower, Nixon, Ronald Reagan, etc. This is a party that embraces violence, intolerance, disregards logic, reason and science (witness the horrific deaths in pandemic ‘red’ states) and opposes rights reproduction of women. These values ​​upheld by the current Republican Party are totally foreign and repugnant to most Canadians. We also have to believe that the Republicans oppose most of the values ​​that are dear to Canadians.

If the Republicans take control of Congress in November and the White House in 2024, it will mean Canada has a potentially hostile government across the border. We must prepare for it and do it immediately. What actions should we take?

We must first ensure that we can protect our borders. That means we have to make sure that we can mobilize enough military personnel and deploy them to any part of the border that is needed quickly. It will also require a change in military policy in Canada. Currently, army reserve units have very little ammunition available to them in their arsenals. In an emergency, ammunition would be brought to them from larger bases. This must change. We need to be able to mobilize our reserves and they can’t wait for enough ammunition to deploy to the border.

Next, we need to be able to show a potentially hostile Republican president that no threat will come to the United States via Canada. This means, for example, that we must have a modern, well-equipped air force that can destroy any threat entering Canadian airspace and heading towards the United States. No US president would hesitate to order US military forces into Canada if he felt Canada had failed to deal adequately with a crisis that could threaten the United States. We cannot give them any excuse to do so.

The current Republican Party is not a friend of Canada and could indeed threaten us if it regains power. This means that we must be prepared to keep a respectful distance and ensure that we can defend our people.

Craig Wallace is a Hamilton resident and author of five books.

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Ukraine dust off Cold War bunkers in case of Russian invasion, many believe it won’t happen

Under an administrative building in Kiev, a concrete stairwell leads to a thick metal door – the entrance to a Cold War-era air raid shelter. It is just one of hundreds of shelters that city officials are inspecting in case the simmering conflict in eastern Ukraine turns into a full-scale Russian invasion.

“Our goal is to have shelters for 100% of our population,” said Nikolai Budnik, director of the city’s shelter system, as he showed CBC on Monday a bunker built in 1986.

Due to the recent escalation of tensions between Ukraine and Russia, he said, authorities are inspecting shelters and restocking supplies stored inside, such as gas masks.

Diplomatic talks on several fronts to ease ongoing tensions

While Russian officials have denied that they are planning an offensive, US and Ukrainian intelligence sources estimate that around 100,000 Russian troops are amassed near the Ukraine-Russia border.

A series of high-level diplomatic talks are underway in an attempt to ease escalating tensions and avoid the risk of war.

US and Russian negotiators met in Geneva on Monday, and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg is due to meet Russian officials in Brussels on Wednesday. Prime Minister of Canada Justin Trudeau, meanwhile, discussed the extension of Canada’s military training mission and the prospect of new sanctions against Moscow during an appeal with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Tuesday.

Supplies are lined up in an air raid shelter in the Ukrainian capital, Kiev. The shelters are being assessed to ensure they have enough space and supplies for the nearly three million people who live in the city. (Jean-François Bisson / CBC)

The particular shelter that CBC visited this week is outfitted with old bunk beds and water tanks and is meant to house essential workers to keep the city running and utilities running in the event of an attack.

Russia has issued a series of demands and repeatedly warned of the dangers of crossing its so-called red lines, gestures by the West towards Ukraine that would trigger a response from Russia. He warned, for example, that Ukraine should never be allowed to join NATO, although the United States has already called the request a non-starting.

Officials on both sides have expressed doubts that diplomatic talks will lead to a breakthrough, but that doesn’t mean all Ukrainians believe a bigger war is imminent or even likely.

Inside one of the Cold War era bomb shelters in Kiev being prepared for possible use again. (Jean-François Bisson / CBC)

“Not the Ukraine of six or seven years ago”

In Kiev’s historic Podil district, crowds strolled through a holiday market on Monday. Some sipped mulled wine, and others took a ride on a Ferris wheel.

“I wouldn’t say we care a lot,” said Oksana Dalko, 23.

“Ukraine now is not the Ukraine of six or seven years ago… we have a strong army now.”

Oksana Dalko, 23, says that while Ukraine traditionally looks like Russia, Ukrainians wish to be more like Western democracies. (Corinne Seminov / CBC)

Ukraine has grown its military in recent years with the help of allies, including the United States and Canada. In 2021 alone, the United States provided $ 400 million in military assistance to Ukraine, and Canadian troops helped train the country’s soldiers on Operation UNIFIER.

A war between Ukrainian forces and Russian-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine has continued since 2014, killing around 14,000 people. But, about 750 kilometers into the country’s capital, Dalko says there are few signs of an imminent threat.

The Donbass region in eastern Ukraine is currently divided into government-controlled territory, in yellow, and that held by Russian-backed separatists, in orange. The opposing parties have been fighting since 2014. (SRC)

An invasion poses an economic risk

Volodymyr Korniienko, 27, was among the crowd at the holiday market.

He doesn’t think Ukraine will be allowed to join NATO for years to come, but that it will eventually happen and says Russia should just accept it.

He says he is also not worried about the apparent political stalemate.

“I’m pretty sure that no kind of military escalation will happen on the Russian side,” he said.

“Even if Russia invades Ukraine, it won’t make economic sense.”

Volodymyr Korniienko, 27, believes Ukraine will eventually join NATO, but says the ongoing fighting in the Donbass region means it is unlikely to happen anytime soon. (Briar Stewart / CBC)

He is referring to the new punitive sanctions that the United States and NATO have threatened to impose if Russia launches an attack. Officials have hinted that the sweeping measures could include financial sanctions that could target Russian assets abroad, which would deal a heavy blow to the country and in particular to the ultra-rich elite who have investments and accounts. banking abroad.

“They depend on it a lot,” said Illia Ponomarenko, 29, a defense reporter for the Kyiv Independent, an English-language news site.

“Our enemy is nasty but not stupid. They still need their billions in the West. They take advantage of the villas in the south of France.”

Journalist Illia Ponomarenko said Russia’s growing rhetoric was part of a plan to intimidate Ukraine and put pressure on the West. (Jean-François Bisson / CBC)

He worked for the Kyiv Post, Ukraine’s main English-language newspaper, until the owner abruptly sacked all of the newspaper’s staff in November. He and some of his colleagues banded together to start the Kyiv Independent.

Ponomarenko, from the Donbass region in eastern Ukraine, says he has seen three wars and two revolutions in his life. Thus, he feels less anxious about the situation today than it did last spring, when Russia also amassed troops near the Ukrainian border.

“It was a real apocalyptic atmosphere here in Kiev. I have to admit I was scared. I was really scared.”

A psychological campaign

Now, he says, he’s less emotional. If Russia had wanted to take over all of Ukraine, it would have tried in 2014 when it annexed the Ukrainian peninsula from Crimea, he said.

He suspects that the war rhetoric this time is more of a psychological campaign by Russia to maintain its influence.

Ponomarenko says the more Westward Ukraine leans and develops its democracy and civil liberties, the more likely Russian residents are to take notice.

“They will start to wonder … ‘if the Ukrainians can do it, why can’t we do it too?'”

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Learn about the best stories of the day in one quick scan


Good morning! This is our daily roundup of the news with everything you need to know in one, concise read. Sign up here to have this delivered to your inbox every morning.

Police, fire and ambulance services across Canada hit by staff shortage due to COVID-19

Emergency departments in many major Canadian cities face staff shortages due to an increase in COVID-19 cases across the country, with police, ambulances and firefighters all scrambling to redeploy and strengthen their ranks.

For example, many police departments report higher levels of frontline officers absent due to illness or isolation caused by COVID-19.

“There is a lot of concern and it is having an impact,” said Tom Stamatakis, National President of the Canadian Police Association.

In Winnipeg, the city’s police chief on Wednesday said he was declaring a “state of emergency” for the Winnipeg Police Department as it now faces “real challenges ahead.”

“The current COVID-19 situation has had a significant impact on our personnel resources,” Chief Danny Smyth said in a statement.

WATCH Omicron Surge Disrupting Workforce Across Country:

Omicron disrupts workforce across country

Of the approximately 1,900 police service employees, there are currently 90 active COVID-19 cases with 170 staff on leave related to COVID-19, Smyth said. The declaration of a state of emergency gives him more latitude in the redeployment of officers to strengthen the ranks of the general patrol.

In Calgary, the police department currently has the highest number of coronavirus infections among employees since the start of the pandemic, said Susan Henry, head of the Calgary Emergency Management Agency.

“To minimize disruption to emergency services, Calgary Police have started redeploying officers from other areas of the organization to support frontline workers who are already stretched before this wave of COVID-19,” said she said on Wednesday.

In Edmonton, Edmonton Fire Department Chief Joe Zatylny said yesterday nearly five percent of the force’s frontline firefighters are currently on sick leave due to COVID-19. Zatylny said they would replace staff by using staff on leave to ensure “we can meet our demands for basic services.” Read more about this story here.

Go for a tumble

TOPSHOT – French driver Guerlain Chicherit and his co-driver Alex Winocq crash their buggy during stage 4 of the Dakar 2022 between al-Qaysumah and Riyadh in Saudi Arabia on January 5, 2022. (Franck Fife / AFP / Getty Images)

(Franck Fife / AFP / Getty Images)

The French team of driver Guerlain Chircherit and his co-driver Alex Winocq crashed their buggy during stage 4 of the Dakar 2022 between al-Qaysumah and Riyadh in Saudi Arabia on Wednesday. The teammates were able to get away from the accident.

In short

The Ontario government has asked hospitals and healthcare professionals to stop all non-emergency surgeries and procedures in order to preserve critical care capacity and human resources. The directive entered into force on Wednesday. Alexandra Hilkene, spokesperson for the Ontario Ministry of Health, said in an email on Wednesday that the province is reinstating what she calls “Guideline # 2” in response to the growing spread of the Omicron variant of COVID -19. “Although it was not an easy decision, this time-limited measure will help preserve and increase the capacity of hospital beds by making between 1,200 and 1,500 acute / post-acute care beds available depending on the requirements. needs, ”said Hilkene. The directive signed by Dr. Kieran Moore, Chief Medical Officer of Health for Ontario, says action is needed due to the spread of the highly transmissible variant of Omicron. Read more about this story here.

The federal government risks hitting Canada’s fragile supply chains with yet another shock wave if it issues a planned vaccination mandate for truckers, say federal Conservatives and industry groups. Ottawa will begin requiring proof of vaccination for all truckers effective January 15. Some warn the mandate will sideline thousands of workers in an industry that already suffers from a shortage of drivers. “There will be serious consequences for the supply chain if this policy remains in place,” said MP Melissa Lantsman, Conservative transport critic. Those worried about the government’s plan to require vaccines for truckers say the loss of more drivers could threaten the movement of essential supplies, like food and building materials, and make it difficult for small businesses to deliver their products to customers. The Canadian Trucking Alliance, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce and Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters have all called on the federal government to eliminate or postpone the mandate. The Liberal government has not indicated whether it intends to change or delay the mandate. Read the full story here.

As the second anniversary of the destruction of Flight PS752 approaches, families of the victims say the RCMP are not sharing evidence quickly enough with Ukraine, the only country to conduct a criminal investigation into the tragedy. Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps fired two surface-to-air missiles at the Ukraine International Airlines flight on January 8, 2020, shortly after takeoff in Tehran. All 176 people on board died. Most had ties to Canada. The RCMP has resisted calls to launch its own criminal investigation. Instead, the police chose to help Ukraine’s efforts. More than 120 RCMP members participated in the effort and conducted 58 interviews, the RCMP told CBC News. But Hamed Esmaeilion, spokesperson for the association representing the families of the victims in Canada, said the prosecutor’s office and the Ukrainian government told him “the cooperation has not been excellent.” Esmaeilion said Ukrainian officials told him his testimony was not shared by the RCMP. Read more here.

WATCH | The families of the victims of flight PS752 frustrated by the role of the RCMP in the Ukrainian investigation:

Families of victims of flight PS752 frustrated by RCMP role in Ukrainian investigation

Six days before Canadian military combat engineer Patrik Mathews was arrested by the FBI in January 2020, he was providing military training to members of a neo-Nazi group. On recordings made by an anti-fascist activist who infiltrated the base, Mathews can be heard discussing how he would organize a paramilitary training event in Michigan, teaching members of the organization the skills he had learned in the Canadian army. He offered to train the members in “guerrilla warfare, reconnaissance patrols and how to use the terrain so they can maximize their impact.” The man who recorded the conversation is called Tradian and is an anti-fascist activist who has infiltrated The Base since its inception in the summer of 2018. When he left in February 2020, Tradian took with him 80 gigabytes of screenshots. ‘screen, videos and audio recordings. Most of the tapes – around 100 – were of male screening sessions asking to become members of The Base. Tradian donated to CBC The fifth state and researchers have access to its material. Learn more about this story of The fifth state here.

Australian border officials have denied tennis star Novak Djokovic entry into the country after receiving a controversial medical exemption from COVID-19 vaccination requirements to play in the upcoming Australian Open. Defending men’s champion Djokovic landed in Melbourne on Wednesday night after securing exemption from the Victoria state government to play in the tournament, which begins on January 17. However, the Australian Border Force issued a statement saying that Djokovic did not meet the entry requirements. Health Minister Greg Hunt said the visa cancellation followed a review of the player’s medical exemption by border officials who examined “the integrity and the evidence behind it.” Australian media reported that legal action has been taken in Federal Court against the visa cancellation. Djokovic is believed to be in a government detention hotel, pending a court ruling on his deportation on Monday. Read the full story here.

WATCH | Novak Djokovic refused entry to Australia after vaccine exemption:

Novak Djokovic refused entry to Australia after vaccine exemption

Now, some great news to start your Thursday: For many people, a polar dip in the dead of winter is enough for the year. Maybe even for a lifetime. But not for Kathryn Maguire, her sister, Susan Ingraham, and her niece, Tanya Horgan. The women of the Saint John area took their first polar dive in the freezing waters of the Bay of Fundy last January and immediately agreed two things: the experience was freezing and they couldn’t wait to do it again. Since then, the three women have kept that pact, taking road trips to southern New Brunswick and visiting a different beach in the Bay of Fundy each month. Learn more about the polar trio.

Front Burner: dozens of people die in detention after arrests while intoxicated

“Alcoholism is a disease, it is not a crime, and it certainly should not be punished with death.” This is a message from Jeannette Rogers, whose son, Corey, died in custody in Halifax in 2016.

He is one of 61 people who, according to a CBC investigation, have died after being detained for public drunkenness or a related offense since 2010.

In many cases, the investigation found that those arrested were not being properly monitored or that their deteriorating state of health was not taken into account.

Today, CBC investigative reporter Kristin Annable shares some of the stories of those who have died and explains how deaths like these could be prevented.

21:09Dozens of people die in custody after public arrests while intoxicated

Today in History: January 6

1936: Barbara Hanley becomes the first woman in Canada to be elected mayor when she wins the general election in the town of Webbwood, in northern Ontario.

1974: The Global Television Network, Canada’s third-largest English-language television network, begins programming in southern Ontario.

1978: The Sun Life Assurance Company sparked a storm of controversy in Quebec when it announced its intention to move its head office from Montreal to Toronto.

2012: Prime Minister Stephen Harper appoints seven new senators, including Betty Unger, the first woman elected to run for the upper chamber. Unger, who filled a vacant position in Alberta, was selected by more than 300,000 people for a Senate seat in a 2004 poll in that province.


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As Covid policies divide America, Ontario doubles (again)


The verdict of the health experts: Too little, too late, told you.

Public health experts across the country had warned for weeks that Omicron’s outsized transmissibility would fuel a surprising new wave of infections at a time when Covid-tired families – boosted or not – were planning to come together.

Sabina Vohra-Miller, health advocate and co-founder of the Vohra Miller Foundation, was among those who sounded the alarm and called for advice and restrictions.

“We know people are going to get together over the holidays. And it’s going to cause exponential growth. I mean, there is already exponential growth,” she told POLITICO on December 15.

“We have to be proactive, not wait for things to get out of hand. It’s so much harder to take back control when it’s already past that point.”

At the time, Ontario had registered 1,808 new cases. Two days before Christmas the number rose to 5,790. On New Year’s Eve it reached 16,790.

Hints of a January crackdown, the kind of which seemed unthinkable just a month ago, have sprung just before the holidays. Canadians have been advised not to travel abroad. The schoolchildren were ordered to bring everything home.

The Liberals and New Democrats in the House of Commons shortened their in-person seats in mid-December, adopting a hybrid configuration as they warned of a dangerous new variant spreading like wildfire. The same parties quickly banned MPs from traveling abroad during the holidays.

In a nation obsessed with hockey, players of all skill levels have become canaries in a coal mine.

The December epidemics hit most of Canada’s NHL teams, whose games have been postponed. The annual World Junior Tournament, held just after Christmas in Edmonton and Red Deer, was called off after a handful of positive tests on multiple teams. The biggest youth hockey tournament on the planet, the annual Bell Capital Cup in Ottawa, was next on the chopping block.

Duty free shops have been reduced to ghost towns. “I’ve heard in some stores that they would make one or two sales a day,” said Barbara Barrett, executive director of the Frontier Duty Free Association. She blamed federal travel advisories for reduced traffic and “dismal” morale among its members.

Meanwhile, millions of Americans – and Canadians too – tuned in to dozens of college and pro football games attended by tens of thousands of unmasked fans – none were put off by the record number of daily cases across the country. (Ontario’s shutdown includes a cap of 10 on outdoor gatherings, down 66,829 from last weekend’s Orange Bowl.)

Innovative Research Group pollster Greg Lyle found in a december poll that Canadians were losing confidence in governments’ handling of Covid. But as fears of the virus escalated, respondents were “more likely to view provincial public health restrictions as too loose (34%) than too strict (23%).”

Lyle’s conclusion: “Clearly the pressure was on governments to do something, and something would include tighter restrictions. “

In Quebec, Premier François Legault has imposed his province’s second curfew against the pandemic – a last resort attempt to slow the skyrocketing spread that has unfolded like a lead ball among civil liberties advocates.

Quebec also called on the military to help with a booming vaccination campaign. Federal Emergency Preparedness Minister Bill Blair confirmed Monday that members of the Canadian Armed Forces have been deployed to the province.

Most provinces are facing peaks in similar cases. Many have delayed the return to in-person learning. Alberta and British Columbia have postponed the trials. Newfoundland and Labrador reduced the capacity of gymnasiums and restaurants.

Prime Minister Trudeau’s response echoes what he has told Canadians since the start of the pandemic: “We support you. “

The PM has organized dozens of appeals with premiers since March 2020. He won an election in part by offering vaccine warrants for the federal public service and travelers on planes and trains.

Top federal ministers spent time on Monday tweeting eligibility information for lockdown support programs approved by Parliament in the final hours before a six-week winter break that ends Jan.31. Canadians who cannot work due to capacity restrictions can request weekly payments of C $ 300 – a revamped and targeted version of an old benefit of C $ 2,000 per month.

Trudeau’s critics say these measures do not address capacity issues in provincial health systems. The federal government gave billions to the provinces last year in the form of an expanded Canada health transfer, but premiers complained that a one-time increase was not enough. They called for sustained increases in annual funding to the tune of C $ 35 billion.

Provinces have fought hard against testing capacity limits. Ontario distributed millions of rapid antigen tests in December through its network of government-owned liquor stores, but government-administered PCR tests are harder to find. They are now reserved for symptomatic people at high risk. Anyone else who experiences symptoms is presumed positive.

Trudeau Liberals insist they are constantly buying and delivering rapid tests across Canada – a total of 112 million of them, according to the latest data available. But the provinces are always hungry for more. Alberta recently requested 30 million over three months.

Federal-provincial disputes over how to manage a pandemic often turn into disputes over jurisdiction and who is responsible for what.

The so-called Team Canada approach, in which Premiers mainly held their tongue instead of attacking Ottawa, lasted much of the first two years of the Covid era. But this wave of high-stakes infections is a test of tenuous relationships.

The skyrocketing number of cases and limited testing capacity virtually everywhere has sparked debate over whether the number of base cases should even guide decisions about the new restrictions. Amid the early data suggesting that most Omicron infections are relatively mild, there’s an open question around dinner tables: If it’s next to impossible to avoid Omicron, is it even that bad?

A key indicator is the number of hospitalizations, but even that produces asterisks. More Covid-positive patients are popping up in hospital beds for unrelated reasons and adding to the total – a gap that official Ontario calculators will soon be able to accommodate. Hospitalizations also lag behind infections, meaning the disease is still ahead of the data.

The real mark of Omicron’s impatience will likely be found in the intensive care units. Most civil servants are cautiously optimistic, the variant is significantly smoother than Delta, although their inevitable caveat is that a prolonged spike in cases could still overwhelm most health systems.

Ontario’s new restrictions take effect Wednesday. The province’s health advisers say they believe the wave will peak later this month. “We anticipate a very short, rapid and rapid approach to this epidemic and its impact on the health system,” Chief Medical Officer of Health Kieran Moore said on Monday.

A crumbling healthcare system is the worst-case scenario for any province, and Ford’s desperate appeal could save lives. But there is another factor at play.

Ontario voters go to the polls in June. The measure that matters most to the Prime Minister that day is at the ballot box. A disastrous wave of infections that leaves a helpless province searching for a culprit could spell the end of the Ford era after just one term.

While Ford’s shutdown saves lives, it could save its own skin, too.


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Mass protests against coup in Sudan mark anniversary of uprising


CAIRO – Sudanese took to the streets in the capital Khartoum and elsewhere in the country for mass protests on Sunday against a military takeover in October and a subsequent deal that reinstated Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok but put the movement away.

The protests mark the third anniversary of the uprising that ultimately forced the military withdrawal of longtime autocrat Omar al-Bashir and his Islamist government in April 2019.

Video footage posted online showed tens of thousands of protesters marching through the streets of Khartoum and its sister city of Omdurman on Sunday. Protesters were seen waving the Sudanese flag and white flags with printed images of those killed in the uprising and the protests that followed.

Ahead of the protests, Sudanese authorities tightened security in the capital, barricading government and military buildings to prevent protesters from reaching the army headquarters and the presidential palace. They also blocked the main roads and bridges connecting Khartoum and Omdurman across the Nile.

Security forces used tear gas to disperse protesters who were heading for the palace on the bank of the Blue Nile in the heart of Khartoum, according to activist Nazim Sirag. Sudan’s Medical Committee said some protesters were injured, but did not provide a count.

Activists described chaotic scenes, with many protesters rushing through side streets with tear gas. Later, footage showed protesters at one of the palace gates chanting, “The people want the fall of the regime” – a slogan heard during the Arab Spring uprisings that began in late 2010. These movements have forced the withdrawal of leaders in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and Yemen.

The Sudanese Professionals Association, which led the uprising against al-Bashir, called on protesters to gather in front of the palace and block the roads with makeshift barricades.

Demonstrations have also taken place elsewhere in the country, such as the coastal town of Port Sudan and the town of Atbara in the north of the country, the cradle of the uprising against al-Bashir.

The protests were called by the pro-democracy movement that led the uprising against al-Bashir and struck a power-sharing deal with the generals in the months following his ouster.

Relations between the generals and the civilians of the transitional government were fragile and limited by the takeover by the army on October 25 which overthrew the government of Hamdok.

Hamdok was reinstated last month under international pressure under a deal that calls for an independent technocratic cabinet under military control led by him. The agreement provided for the release of government officials and politicians detained since the coup.

Talks are underway to agree on what General Abdel-Fattah Burhan, head of the ruling Sovereign Council, has described as a “new political charter” focused on building a broader consensus among all forces and movements. policies.

Speaking to Sudanese on Saturday night before the protests, Hamdok said he honored the Nov. 21 agreement with the military primarily to prevent bloodshed. He warned that the country could sink further into chaos amid difficult economic and security challenges.

“Today we are facing a setback on the path of our revolution which threatens the security and integrity of the country,” Hamdok said, adding that the agreement was aimed at preserving the achievements of his government over the two years. years and to “protect our nation from sliding into a new international isolation.

“The deal, in my opinion, is the most effective and cheapest way to get back on track with civic and democratic transition,” he said.

Hamdok urged political parties and movements to agree on a “national charter” to complete the democratic transition and achieve peace with the rebel groups.

The pro-democracy movement insisted that power be handed over to a civilian government to lead the transition. Their incessant protests follow the slogan: “No negotiations, no compromise, no sharing of power” with the military.

The list of demands also includes the restructuring of the army and other security agencies under civilian oversight and the disbandment of militias. One is the Rapid Support Forces, a paramilitary force emerging from Janjaweed militias accused of atrocities during the Darfur conflict and more recently against pro-democracy protesters.

Sunday’s protests “united all revolutionary forces around a single demand: handing over power to civilians,” said Mohammed Yousef al-Mustafa, spokesperson for the Association of Sudanese Professionals.

“Prime Minister Hamdok must declare a clear position and choose to join the people or continue to side with the generals,” he told The Associated Press.

Continuing protests since the coup have increased pressure on the military and Hamdok, who has yet to announce his cabinet.

Security forces have resorted to violence, including firing live ammunition at protesters, in the latest round of protests, activists said. At least 45 people have been killed and hundreds injured in protests sparked by the coup, according to a count from a Sudanese medical group.


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Biden calls on tribes to influence high-stakes pipeline talks


The Biden administration has invited Great Lakes tribes to participate in unprecedented talks with Canada over the fate of a contentious pipeline that is creating what sources say is a rift between the two countries.

The Enbridge Inc. Line 5 litigation is at issue in a dispute resolution process established by the “1977 Transit Pipeline Treaty” that Canada first invoked in this case.

The treaty, Canada argues, secures the uninterrupted flow of petroleum products between the United States and Canada, while Michigan Democratic Governor Gretchen Whitmer pushes to close Line 5 in state court (Energy wire, 1st December).

Because the negotiations are unprecedented, experts say there is no way to tell when the talks will begin, how long they will last, or if the results will be public.

“That thing was never really used – period,” said Andy Buchsbaum, a lawyer with the National Wildlife Federation and lecturer at the University of Michigan Law School. “And certainly, the negotiations between these two countries never took place within the framework of this treaty.”

The 68-year-old Line 5 pipeline, which transports light crude oil and natural gas liquids from Superior, Wisconsin, to Sarnia, Ontario, has become a lightning rod among tribal communities and activists concerned about the effects that ‘a spill could have on the Great Lakes.

In addition to treaty negotiations, the pipeline is also at the center of a fight in Michigan state court and an environmental review by the Army Corps of Engineers.

While the State Department has repeatedly said it is weighing political options and plans to enter into treaty talks with Canada soon, the Department has provided few details.

But Aaron Payment, president of Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians, confirmed that the State Department invited her tribe to participate in treaty negotiations with Canada.

Payment joined the 12 federally recognized tribes of Michigan last month in to call President Biden in supporting Whitmer’s efforts to decommission the pipeline, citing tribal fishing and hunting rights in the pipeline area that date back to an 1836 treaty.

The White House and State Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The Biden administration’s invitation to the Great Lakes tribes to intervene is notable given the limited information available on how the treaty talks would unfold. But the White House has spoken openly about giving tribes a big say in treaties and spurring consultation on energy issues.

“The Biden administration has been very silent on this issue and will soon have to take a stand,” said Kristen van de Biezenbos, professor of law at the University of Calgary.

“Yes [the White House] accepts that this treaty applies, and that appears to be the case since they agree to the arbitration process, “she said,” so do they think the provisions of the treaty would prevent Michigan from doing what he is trying to do this by forcing the removal of the Straits of Mackinac section of line 5? “

“You do not have public access”

Canada kicked off the arbitration process by invoking the pipeline treaty in early October and said formal negotiations would begin soon.

“Canada’s goal remains to work with the United States in these formal negotiations to seek a solution where Line 5 remains open and operates safely,” said the Canadian Embassy spokesperson, Diana Tan. “As this process is ongoing, we are unable to provide further details at this time. “

Now, time is running out to establish a three-person panel to decide the fate of a pipeline of disproportionate social and political importance.

Under the terms of the treaty, the United States and Canada each have 60 days to choose an arbitrator to represent them in the discussions and an additional two months to choose a third arbitrator who will serve as a neutral party.

If the two countries do not choose a third arbitrator within that time frame, either country can ask the president of the International Court of Justice to nominate a person or choose someone to make the decision, depending on the treaty. The third arbitrator, who cannot be a national of one or the other country, will then determine the place of the talks.

A decision in the dispute would be taken by majority and would be binding on both countries.

Van de Biezenbos said arbitrators usually have a legal background and some are former judges or lawmakers. Countries and large multinational companies, she added, generally opt for arbitration over court proceedings because, in addition to being confidential, the decisions do not set a legal precedent.

“Many parties (…) choose arbitration deliberately, so that if they have a dispute, the procedure and the decisions are all confidential,” van de Biezenbos said.

“It’s entirely possible that we won’t see the US submissions to the arbitrator. I mean, I’m not 100% sure, because we’ve never seen arbitration under this treaty before and there’s no specific procedure, ”she continued. “But normally you don’t have public access to arbitration submissions unless the parties agree to disclose them.”

It is unclear what role the Great Lakes tribes will play, but members called on the Biden administration to stop the pipeline and an underwater tunnel replacement project.

In a request to Biden earlier this year, the Michigan tribes that make up the Three Fires Confederacy of Ojibwa, Odawa and Potawatomi asked the president to intervene and shut the pipeline, arguing that there is a reasonable risk of spill taking into account the history of the anchor. pipeline strikes.

Tribes also pointed to Enbridge’s track record, noting that the company was at the center of a spill that polluted the Kalamazoo River watershed more than a decade ago, a disaster that is still being remedied. .

In addition to asking Biden to revoke a 1991 presidential cross-border permit for Line 5, the Great Lakes tribes claim that Enbridge for years violated the security conditions of the 1953 easement and “repeatedly concealed these violations to the state, while putting the The Great Lakes are seriously threatened.

The White House did not respond to questions about inviting tribes to treaty talks or whether it asked other parties to participate.

Cross-border conflict

Line 5 battle fuels tensions between Canada and the United States over energy issues that began with Biden’s decision to shut down the Keystone XL pipeline to credits for electric vehicles in his debated “Build Back Better” proposal at Capitol Hill.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said last month he had asked Biden directly about concerns arising from Line 5 at a trilateral summit as well as other issues complicating the countries’ trade relations. He gave no details of what they discussed.

In one letter First reported by POLITICO, Canadian officials told Senate leaders on Friday that the provisions of the “Build Back Better” bill “discriminate against Canada, Canadian workers and our auto industry”. They have officially threatened tariff retaliation against the auto industry and other parts of the U.S. economy if the provisions remain intact.

When asked about the treaty negotiations, an Enbridge spokesperson said any attempt to close Line 5 would have “serious ramifications” under the pipeline treaty and raise “substantive questions” about federal law relating to the pipeline. interstate commerce and federal jurisdiction over pipeline safety matters.

The company said Whitmer’s decision to shut down the pipeline and remove an easement for the project was a “clear violation” of the 1977 treaty.

“We greatly appreciate the Government of Canada’s efforts and its commitments to keep Line 5 open. We also greatly appreciate their desire to move forward with the timely construction of the Great Lakes Tunnel Project, ”the company spokesperson said.

Maryscott Greenwood, CEO of the Canadian American Business Council, said the pipeline and continuous flow of oil and other products – jet fuel, propane and refined fuels in the Midwest – are essential for Americans and Canadians.

“The issue of an international, multi-jurisdictional infrastructure that can be actioned by a single office holder is a daunting one, so it has a broader life,” said Greenwood. “We are completely interconnected. … It is important that we act as the integrated unit that we are and that we do not turn against each other.


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Non profit living

As violence increases in Haiti, aid groups struggle to help


title=

FILE – People line up for food aid in Camp Perrin, Haiti on August 20, 2021, six days after a magnitude 7.2 earthquake struck the region. The United Nations agency estimates it needs $ 97 million to help 1 million people in Haiti next year. (AP Photo / Fernando Llano, file)

PA

A spike in violence has worsened hunger and poverty in Haiti while hampering aid organizations fighting these problems in a country whose government struggles to provide basic services.

Few aid workers are willing to speak publicly about the cuts – perhaps worried about drawing attention after the October kidnapping of 17 people from Ohio-based Christian Aid Ministries – 12 of whom remain hostages.

But several confirmed, without giving details, having sent personnel out of the country and having been forced to temporarily reduce aid operations.

Gang-related kidnappings and shootings have prevented aid groups from reaching parts of the capital, Port-au-Prince, and beyond where they had previously distributed food, water and equipment. ‘other commodities.

A severe fuel shortage also prevented agencies from operating at full capacity.

“It’s only getting worse in every way it can,” said Margarett Lubin, Haiti director for CORE, a US nonprofit organization.

“You see the situation deteriorating day by day, affecting life at all levels,” Lubin said, adding that aid organizations have gone into “survival mode”.

Few places in the world depend as much on aid groups as Haiti, a nation often referred to as “the republic of NGOs.” Billions of dollars in aid have flowed to hundreds – by some estimates several thousand – of aid groups even as government has become weaker and less efficient.

Shortly after the assassination of the president on July 7, Prime Minister Ariel Henry took charge of a country still struggling to regain political stability. Almost all seats in parliament are vacant and there is no specific date yet for a long-delayed election, although Henry has said he expects them early next year.

Less than ten elected representatives currently represent a country of more than 11 million inhabitants.

And in the streets, the gangs hold the power.

More than 460 kidnappings have been reported by the Haitian National Police so far this year, more than double what was reported last year, according to the United Nations Integrated Office in Haiti.

The agency said Haitians “live in hell under the yoke of armed gangs. Rapes, murders, thefts, armed robberies and kidnappings continue to be committed on a daily basis, on populations often left to their own devices in the disadvantaged and marginalized neighborhoods of Port-au-Prince and beyond.

The agency added: “Without being able to access these areas under gang control, we are far from knowing and measuring the extent of these abuses and what Haitians really experience on a daily basis …

“Humanitarian actors have also limited their interventions due to security risks for their staff and access problems,” he added.

Large organizations like the United Nations World Food Program have found other ways to help people, such as using barges rather than vulnerable trucks to transport goods from the capital to the southern region of Haiti. But small organizations do not always have such resources.

World Vision International, a California-based organization that helps children in Haiti, told The Associated Press it had moved at least 11 of the 320 employees due to the violence and was taking undisclosed safety measures for other members of the team. staff.

Water Mission, a South Carolina nonprofit, said it was considering moving to other parts of Haiti and said kidnappings and general violence had forced it to change its staffing plans. to ensure the safety of people.

“These issues sometimes cause a slowdown in progress in our ongoing work on the drinking water project,” the organization said. “However, we continue to work despite the temporary disruptions that occur.”

The difficulties arise at a time when calls for help multiply. A magnitude 7.2 earthquake in mid-August destroyed tens of thousands of homes and killed more than 2,200 people. The country is also struggling to cope with the recent arrival of more than 12,000 deported Haitians, the majority from the United States.

In addition, more than 20,000 people have fled their homes due to gang violence this year, according to UNICEF, many of whom are living in temporary shelters in extremely unsanitary conditions and the pandemic. The United Nations agency estimates it needs $ 97 million to help 1 million people in Haiti next year.

Among them, Martin Jean Junior, a fifty-something who sold scrap metal. He said his house was burnt down in mid-June amid fighting between police and gangs.

“I’ve been on the street ever since,” he said as he lay on a blue sheet he had spread out on the hard floor of a school in Port-au-Prince temporarily converted into a shelter.

Things could soon get worse: A prominent gang leader warned Haitians this week to avoid the besieged community of Martissant, as rival gangs will fight each other in the coming days.

“Even dogs and rats will not be saved. Anything that moves, trucks, motorcycles, people, will be considered an ally of Ti-Bois, ”the gang leader known as“ Izo ”said in a video, referring to a rival gang. “Martissant is declared a combat zone, and those who ignore this warning will pay with their lives.” “

Most are already avoiding the area for fear of being kidnapped, shot, or having their cargo looted. This largely cut off the southern peninsula from the country because the main road runs through the neighborhood.

Among those recently killed by crossfire in Martissant include a nurse, a 7-year-old girl and at least five passengers on a public bus. Violence forced aid group Médecins Sans Frontières in August to close an emergency clinic that had served the community for 15 years.

Liman Pierre, a 40-year-old mechanic, said he had recently had to drive through Martissant to get to work and saw four dead, including two elderly neighbors and the biker carrying them.

“Criminals kill with impunity and leave the dead to dogs,” he said. Those who are not devoured by dogs are set on fire, outright. It cannot be.

For the moment, Pierre is sleeping in the streets of Port-au-Prince because he fears having to cross Martissant to get home: “We don’t even have the opportunity to visit relatives and friends in difficulty.

“The state does not exist,” says Pierre. “Criminals have been in power for over six months. It is December and we do not see the light at the end of the tunnel.


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Canadian army

FIRST READING: ‘Gun-hardened’ Liberals Facilitate Gun Crime


Canada courageously joins Biden’s Olympic boycott which is not really a boycott

Content of the article

First Reading is a daily newsletter that keeps you up to date on the plight of Canadian politicians, all hosted by Tristin Hopper of the National Post. To get a first draft delivered straight to your inbox Monday through Thursday at 6 p.m. ET (and 9 a.m. Sunday), sign up here.

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BEST STORIES

Canada – along with Australia and the UK – officially signed the US diplomatic boycott of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics . The boycott does not prevent these countries from sending their athletes to Beijing. Rather, all it does is declare that politicians and other officials will not be accompanying the national teams. That’s why critics have argued that one of the only real effects of a diplomatic boycott is that it gives China fewer figures to worry about. “Canada should not go there”, David Mulroney, Ambassador of Canada to China from 2009 to 2012, recently told Maclean’s . “To participate in the Games while genocide is taking place is deeply reprehensible. “

The Bloc Québécois obtained approval on Tuesday to form a special parliamentary committee to investigate the smuggling of illegal firearms. Ironically, this will happen simultaneously with a liberal campaign to make it easier for criminals to smuggle guns . Specifically, a new invoice seeks to remove mandatory minimum sentences for a multitude of crimes committed with firearms, many of which are related to arms trafficking. As to why, the Liberals presented it as an attempt to remove “” systemic racism in Canada’s criminal justice system . “

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All of these crimes are subject to the loss of their mandatory minimum sentences, including second and third offenses in some cases.  This is probably where it should be mentioned that Toronto and Montreal, among others, are currently experiencing a dramatic increase in gun violence involving precisely this type of crime.
All of these crimes are subject to the loss of their mandatory minimum sentences, including second and third offenses in some cases. This is probably where it should be mentioned that Toronto and Montreal, among others, are currently experiencing a dramatic increase in gun violence involving precisely this type of crime. Photo from the Department of Justice Canada

Remember when Meghan Markle complained to Oprah Winfrey that the Queen “shot our safety? “? It turns out you were paying for this security from the start. Documents obtained by Radio-Canada confirmed that Prince Harry and his family have cost the Canadian taxpayer more than $ 330,000 in security expenses during their various visits to the country since 2017 . This includes the brief episode in early 2020 where Harry and Meaghan fled London to Victoria, British Columbia and for the first time announced their intention to leave the royal family. At the time, protecting the couple in British Columbia – something Canada was obligated to do since Harry and Meaghan were officially considered diplomats – was costing the federal treasury more than $ 1,000 a day. Contrary to Meaghan’s comments to Oprah, that security was taken away because once the couple were no longer members of the Royal Family, Canada’s obligations to surround them with Mounted Police officially ceased.

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Nathan Cullen, an assistant minister in the government of British Columbia Premier John Horgan, sent a stern letter to RCMP Commissioner Brenda Lucki opposing some videos he has seen online claiming to show that mounted police treat activists who illegally blocked a Coastal GasLink labor camp last month. He forgot only one thing: the only reason the RCMP were there was to fill an order. issued by Cullen’s own government .

Canada barely made Forbes’ list of powerful women in the world . The 97 e place this year was occupied by Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland . (Our 95 year old queen also made number 70).

The new Parti Québécois logo (left) is not only confusing, but it was allegedly plagiarized from the logo of a Kazakh consulting firm (right).  In an analysis, Quebec graphic designer Jean-François Proulx called the design
The new Parti Québécois logo (left) is not only confusing, but it was allegedly plagiarized from the logo of a Kazakh consulting firm (right). In an analysis, Quebec graphic designer Jean-François Proulx called the design “identical” to that of QazContract from Kazakhstan. Photo of the Parti Québécois / QazContract

ECONOMIX

The Bank of Canada no longer calls our more than doubled inflation rate ‘temporary’, but it has also decided to do nothing for a while. . A updated policy statement by the central bank admitted that inflation is likely to continue until 2022, well beyond their earlier predictions that this was all “temporary” or “transient.” The inflation rate currently stands at 4.7%, more than double the usual 2%.

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Meanwhile, the bank also said it would continue to keep interest rates low. rocky bottom 0.25 percent . In summary, your dollar has hemorrhagic value because the economy currently has too much money for too few goods, and there is virtually no incentive for people to withdraw their dollars from said economy as they put it in the spotlight. bank will currently earn them -4.5 percent. per year.

It’s probably just a coincidence that mortgage debt is skyrocketing in today’s era of cheap interest in Canada . Better Living Analysis found that mortgage debt has grown more than twice as fast as GDP over the past 10 years. If you add up Canada’s outstanding mortgage debt, that works out to 71% of GDP. As Better Dwelling observes, Canada’s economy increasingly resembles a “housing ponzi scheme”.

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It is that time of year again when the <a class=Canadian Army begins to shoot at the snow. Operation Palaci, held every winter at Rogers Pass in British Columbia, had artillery units bombarding the snowpack to prevent avalanches from hitting the Trans-Canada Highway.” class=”embedded-image__image lazyload” src=”https://smartcdn.prod.postmedia.digital/nationalpost/wp-content/uploads/2021/12/flo_2307.jpg?quality=90&strip=all&w=288″ srcset=”https://smartcdn.prod.postmedia.digital/nationalpost/wp-content/uploads/2021/12/flo_2307.jpg?quality=90&strip=all&w=288,
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It is that time of year again when the Canadian Army begins to shoot at the snow. Operation Palaci, held every winter at Rogers Pass in British Columbia, had artillery units bombarding the snowpack to prevent avalanches from hitting the Trans-Canada Highway. Photo of the Ministry of National Defense

STRONG HOLD

Terry Glavin was never a big fan of former Ambassador to China Dominic Barton. Glavin writes: “If Barton is to be remembered for anything, it is that he played a key supporting role in the catastrophic lurch from Canada to China. He also unearths a factoid which in Barton’s final year as Managing Partner at McKinsey & Company, the company literally held a global retreat within walking distance of a Uyghur concentration camp .

Despite Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s promises to end the AIDS crisis, Canada does worse on HIV than any other G7 country , notes Sabrina Maddeaux. “Our number of new HIV cases increased by 25.3% between 2014 and 2020,” she wrote, noting that during the same period, HIV cases in the UK and the US United have fallen. As to why, Maddeaux says it’s due to the same thicket of bureaucratic incompetence that has repeatedly marred Canada’s response to COVID-19. The most obvious example is that While most countries of the world are now battling HIV with liberal access to take-home HIV tests, Canada has rigged it so that self-tests cannot even be bought at drugstores .

Get all of this information and more delivered to your inbox every weekday at 6 p.m. ET by signing up for the First Reading newsletter here.

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International headquarters

Mossad chief visits US as Iran nuclear talks stall


Mossad chief David Barnea was due to travel to Washington on Sunday to discuss Iran with senior officials in the Biden administration.

The trip comes days after renewed negotiations halted to reinstate the 2015 agreement limiting Iran’s nuclear program in return for sanctions relief, with the United States saying the Iranians did not appear serious about concluding the move. ‘a deal.

The Haaretz daily reported that Barnea will seek to convince U.S. leaders not to seek an interim deal that does not see Iran revert to full compliance with the agreement, and will instead seek international support for tough sanctions against Tehran. .

The newspaper said the meetings were described as “extremely important”.

The espionage chief will stress that if an agreement with Iran is finally reached, Israel will not be bound by it and will continue its efforts to thwart the nuclear work of the Islamic Republic, according to the Ynet news site.

Barnea, who will act as Prime Minister Naftali Bennett’s emissary, also reportedly intends to present Americans with new information on the Iranian program.

Defense Minister Benny Gantz will travel to the United States later in the week for talks which are also expected to focus on Iran.

Barnea’s trip follows his promise on Thursday that Iran will never acquire nuclear weapons. He also said that a bad deal between Tehran and the world powers would be “intolerable” for Israel.

The Iranian flag flies in front of the building of the International Center with the headquarters of the International Atomic Energy Agency, IAEA, in Vienna, Austria, May 24, 2021 (AP Photo / Florian Schroetter, FILE)

On Saturday, a US official said Iran had moved away from all of its previous compromises on relaunching the 2015 nuclear pact and that this would not allow Iran to “slow down” international negotiations while simultaneously stepping up its negotiations. atomic activities.

“We cannot accept a situation in which Iran is stepping up its nuclear program and slowing down its nuclear diplomacy,” the senior US administration official said, echoing a recent warning from Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

Speaking to reporters after returning from Vienna, the official said Washington was not yet considering withdrawing from the indirect talks it resumed with Tehran last week in the Austrian capital, but hoped Iran would return. “with a serious attitude”.

In this week’s talks, the official said, Iran reneged on any compromises it had made in months of previous talks on relaunching the deal, while retaining the compromises made by it. others and looking for more.

Iran came to Vienna “with proposals that amounted to nonsense – any of the compromises Iran had offered here in the six rounds of talks pocketed all the compromises that others, and the United States in particular had done and then demanded more, “the senior official quoted by Reuters said.

He said it was not clear when talks would resume and that Washington was “preparing for a world in which there is no return to the JCPOA,” a reference to the agreement’s official name, the Plan. common global action.

He said more sanctions would likely come if Washington concluded that Iran had killed the negotiations.

The seventh round of nuclear talks ended on Friday after five days in Vienna, with delegations returning to their national capitals and due to return to Austria next week.

Iran’s chief nuclear negotiator Ali Bagheri Kani leaves Coburg Palace, venue of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) meeting to revive the Iran nuclear deal, in Vienna on December 3 2021 (Joe Klamar / AFP)

Iran’s chief negotiator, Ali Bagheri Kani, said the talks were on hold “because the opposing side had to consult their capitals to provide a documented and reasonable response to these [Iranian] the proposals. ”He said negotiations would resume in the middle of next week.

Blinken said on Friday that the negotiations had been halted because “Iran does not appear seriously at the moment to do what is necessary to return to compliance.”

And European diplomats have expressed “disappointment and concern” after Iran submitted two draft proposals that appeared to cancel months of dialogue.

Iran suspended talks in June after the election of ultra-conservative President Ebrahim Raisi.

The official argued on Saturday that the United States had shown patience in allowing a five-month break in the process, but meanwhile the Iranians “continued to step up their nuclear program in particularly provocative ways.”

When Tehran finally returned to the table on Monday, he said, it was “with proposals that amounted to any of the compromises Iran had offered in the six rounds of talks.”

He accused Iran of seeking to “pocket all the compromises that others – the United States in particular – had made, and then ask for more.”

The official said he believed countries close to Iran were also upset with Tehran’s positions during recent talks.

At this point, he said the United States will continue diplomatic efforts – but reaffirmed that it has “other tools” at hand if negotiations fail.

Coburg Palace, the site of Iranian nuclear talks, is pictured in Vienna on November 29, 2021 (Vladimir Simicek / AFP)

The landmark 2015 nuclear deal – initially between Britain, China, France, Germany, Iran, Russia, and the United States – began to unravel in 2018 when the U.S. President then Donald Trump withdrew and reimposed the sanctions, prompting Iran to start overstepping the limits of its nuclear program. the next year.

US President Joe Biden has said he wants to re-enter the deal, and the US has indirectly participated in the talks this week.

Iran insists its nuclear program is peaceful.

Agencies contributed to this report.

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Canadian army

Longtime Canadian Ranger Retires – 100 Mile House Free Press


When Robert Cockram visited the recruiting post on a whim in 1966, he didn’t expect him to lead a life in the military.

Fifty-five years later, Cockram retired from the Canadian Armed Forces – with four bars and the distinction of being one of the oldest members of the Canadian Ranger Patrol. He had been a member of the Royal Regiment of Canadian Artillery.

“It was interesting. It never got boring,” said Cockram, 71. “I retired as captain, long in the tooth.”

His military journey began at age 18, and an officer at a recruiting station in southern Saskatchewan suggested he join a military college. He chose the Royal Military College of Canada in Kingston, Ontario, where he graduated with honors and a major in history.

As a member of the Royal Regiment of Canadian Artillery, he held positions with the Fourth Canadian Artillery Regiment, the Second Canadian Artillery Regiment and a volunteer position with the Canadian Airborne Regiment in Edmonton, where Cockram said that he was able to “jump planes and enter strange places.”

He remembers a training operation in Churchill, Manitoba. where they “lived in the snow banks” for several days to acclimatize to the cold. Cockram was then redeployed overseas to Germany for two years, working with self-propelled artillery pieces. Thanks to then Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, his unit was redeployed to southern Germany, far from the border.

“In Germany, when you had free time, you just jumped in the vehicle and went on tours. I’ve been to Switzerland a few times and skied there, it was just down the road where we were based, ”said Cockram. “We took a great trip to London and got to see other parts of Europe.”

Over the following decades, Cockram worked across the country as an administrator and instructor before finally being posted to Royal Roads University in Victoria, when it was still a military college. . As he neared retirement age, Cockram decided to move to Lone Butte, where he had owned a property for several years.

READ MORE: Let’s not forget: Remembrance Day ceremonies held at 100 Mile House

It turns out, however, that retirement was not in the cards: a year and a half later, a call was made to form a Canadian Ranger patrol.

“I thought I would go see what it is and now I’m one of the old guys from the Ranger Patrol,” Cockram said. “I’ve been in the Ranger Patrol for 27 years now and people look at you and say ‘what? “Are you in the army ?!” And I say “yes, the Canadian Rangers do not have a mandatory retirement age. “

At first, the Rangers only had three pieces of equipment: a baseball cap, an armband, and a rifle. For additional gear, he said they had to search military surplus stores for raincoats and other gear. They were also largely on their own and established their own training and patrolling schedules. Cockram said they used to meet for shooting practice at the 100 Mile High School shooting range, where they used to “get by”.

Rangers needed to know their area and provide support in a crisis. Before the South Cariboo Search and Rescue Society was formed, Cockram said the Rangers would search for the missing. Cockram recalled “beating the bush” near 108 Mile Ranch looking for a missing eight-year-old, only to have the child show up safe and sound away from where they were looking.

Eventually the decision was made to tie the Rangers to the Canadian military reserves and is now run more like the military. With it came a lot more equipment and organization. By then, Cockram was already well on his way to becoming one of the force’s oldest serving officers.

“They give you a medal for 12 years of service, then a bar every 10 years thereafter. I’ve held on so far because I said, ‘I want that fourth bar, no one else is going to wear it because no one else has been there for so long,’ Cockram said, but added: “I look forward to my free time.”


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100 Thousand House


Robert Cockram began his military career in 1966 and only recently retired from the Canadian Ranger Patrol South Cariboo. (Photo by Patrick Davies – 100 Mile Free Press)

Robert Cockram began his military career in 1966 and recently retired from the Canadian Ranger Patrol South Cariboo.  (Photo by Patrick Davies - 100 Mile Free Press)

Robert Cockram began his military career in 1966 and only recently retired from the Canadian Ranger Patrol South Cariboo. (Photo by Patrick Davies – 100 Mile Free Press)



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History organization

Inside the fraying of American Zionism


“The assumptions that young Jews grew up with about Israel were shattered along with the assumptions that anti-Semitism was in the past and Jews becoming whites were shattered.”

In the years that followed 67, the Palestinian cause gradually gained ground on the world stage. Yet young baby boomers, Generation X and even those of us born in the 1980s, who were charmingly labeled “geriatric millennials,” grew up with an optimistic view of the peace process, especially so. more than, as Jews, we generally viewed it through an Israeli lens. There was peace with Egypt, then with Jordan. Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin shook hands with Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat on the White House lawn in 1993, before his martyrdom. (Rabin was assassinated by a right-wing Israeli Jew two years later.) When the Israeli-Palestinian accord, the Oslo Accords, failed to achieve peace and Palestinian suicide bombers killed hundreds of civilians Israelis in buses and cafes during the Second Intifada in the early 2000s, the specter of terrorism was first anticipated and then coiled into 9/11, making Israelis righteous victims. This story was of course incomplete, but it offered narrative coherence to young minds hungry for her.

On the other hand, if you are 26 years old, you were not yet born when Oslo was signed and you only faintly remember the height of the Second Intifada. Your impression of Israel may well be that of an occupying power and a fortress protected by militarized barriers and the US-funded Iron Dome missile defense system – a powerful country which, in a war in Gaza in 2014 responded to the Hamas murder of three Israeli teenagers. and rocket attacks on Israeli towns with airstrikes and ground incursions that killed more than 2,000 Palestinians, many of them non-combatants. Israel for you is not personified by Rabin, or statesman Shimon Peres, or even reformed hawk Ariel Sharon, but by Netanyahu, who has not only presided over the building of new settlements in the West Bank, but sided with the ultra-Orthodox rabbinate on the issues. both religious and civil, tried to cripple liberal NGOs, engaged in racial demagoguery against Palestinians and made common cause with Republicans, including and especially Donald J. Trump.

The 26-year-old reportedly saw Republicans use a dogmatic pro-Israel stance as a political club, while the Democratic center of gravity on the subject, while still strongly pro-Israel, shifted to the left. Our 26-year-old has also seen the Israeli government explicitly embrace right-wing American evangelicals, who are staunch Zionists, while despising American Jews. Last May, Ron Dermer, Netanyahu’s longtime adviser and former Israeli ambassador to the United States, dismissed American Jews as “disproportionately among our detractors.”

Several academic studies over the past decade have researched Israel’s disengagement among young Jews. Instead, some have found passionate involvement, but on terms politically different from what the establishment might prefer. Dov Waxman, professor of Israel studies at UCLA, relied on data from Pew in a 2017 article that found that millennial Jews engage with Israel, even when they are young, so much than previous generations – they were simply more likely to question his actions and policies. . “In the past, the support was really unconditional, unequivocal,” Waxman told me. “Most American Jews today believe that it is quite possible to be pro-Israel and at the same time criticize many policies of the Israeli government, especially policies towards the Palestinians.

Isabelle’s freedman The Jewish Retreat Center is a bucolic kibbutz and summer camp located in the hills of northwest Connecticut, in a town aptly called Canaan. One August afternoon Leah Nussbaum, who signed the letter in the spring and is now in fifth and final year at the HUC New York campus, took a break from farming and met me on a gravel road. Nussbaum, who is 28, was one of 10 center farm fellows last summer. The comrades would wake up early each morning for prayer and meditation at 6 a.m., doing chores, taking agricultural and Judaism classes, and tending to the land throughout the day. They grew leeks, tangy blueberries, and juicy Sungold cherry tomatoes, all pollinated by the bees they kept. On Saturdays, they rested – although they still milked the goats, to ease the goats’ discomfort, and then gave the milk to neighbors who did not observe Shabbat. The ordinarily vegetarian Nussbaum had eaten a farm-raised chicken the night before I met them, after seeing the bird ritually killed kosher by a chochet. “There is a lot of intentionality,” Nussbaum said, “and it sounds Jewish – deliberately thinking about what you do.”

After weeding the potato plants and touring the center, which hosts holiday events and retreats for the Jewish institutional world, Nussbaum and I sat in Adirondack chairs in a tent and chatted for a while. Growing up, Nussbaum was settled in a welcoming Jewish community, a Boston-area Reformed congregation that was a refuge from the homophobia they experienced in public school, and supported their interest in interfaith work. HUC also agreed; in particular, Nussbaum praised his one-year program in Israel for exposing them to all kinds of Israelis and Palestinians.


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History organization

It’s the decade to cut emissions


As the sun rose in Glasgow, more than 20,000 people – delegates from individual nations, representatives of non-governmental organizations and activists – gathered in Scotland for the start of the United Nations climate conference. two weeks. Known as the Conference of the Parties or COP 26, it takes place from Monday November 1 to Friday November 12, 2021.

COP 26 will mainly focus on two things: (1) commitments on reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions; and (2) financing and technology transfers from developed countries to developing countries, to help them cope with and adapt to climate change.

This year’s climate negotiations are important because, under the 2015 Paris Agreement, countries must submit information to the UN detailing their plans to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Although discussions on GHGs tend to focus on carbon dioxide (CO2), GHG emissions also include methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N20). The UN aggregates the commitments, called Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) and assesses the cumulative impact.

The Paris Agreement, which was adopted at COP 21 in Paris in 2015 and entered into force in 2016, stipulated that NDCs were to be reported every five years, with the intention of increasing commitments over time. time. The submission deadline was 2020, and 194 of 197 parties submitted their first NDCs.

The Paris Agreement also established a target to take action to limit the increase in average global temperature to well below 2.0 degrees Celsius and preferably to 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 Fahrenheit), considered by many countries, especially countries in sub-Saharan Africa and low-lying islands. , be the limit. “1.5 to stay alive,” as the island nations say.

Unfortunately, the nations at the top have made little progress on these issues leading up to COP 26. According to the UN, the commitments made so far will not reduce emissions but will actually allow them to increase by 16%. The current commitments would result in a temperature increase of 2.7 degrees Celsius (4.9 degrees Fahrenheit).

Historically, developed countries (in the UN parlance), such as EU countries and the United States, are the biggest emitters. The EU initially pledged to reduce its GHG emissions by 40% by 2030 based on 1990 levels. In December 2020, it updated its pledges for a more ambitious 55% reduction. by 2030, based on 1990 levels. EU supply is in line with reduction targets recommended by most scientific bodies.

Overall, current commitments would reduce CO emissions2 emissions by only 7% by 2030. But the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, established in 1988 by the World Meteorological Organization and the United Nations Environment Program, for example, argues that GHGs must be reduced by 45% by 2030 based on 2010 levels, then reduced to net zero by 2050, in order to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) and d ” avoid irreversible climate change.

The United States has said it will reduce its GHG emissions by 50 to 52% by 2030—based on 2005 levels. While most countries use 1990 as a benchmark, the United States uses 2005, which means their commitments are actually lower. The current 50 to 52 percent of the United States appears to be close to the 55 percent of the EU, but is actually 13 to 14 percent under the 2005 baseline scenario. Accounting tricks will not solve the climate crisis. (Many states in the United States, such as California, Massachusetts, and Washington, use 1990 as a benchmark for emissions.)

Germany, on the other hand, has increased its cuts from 55% to 65% by 2030 based on 1990 levels. Yet although the amount appears large, to achieve this, Germany would have to phase out coal. by 2030, as will the major producing countries of China, India, the United States, Indonesia, Australia and Russia. UN Secretary General António Guterres has called for “no new coal by 2021”. And the president of the COP 26, Alok Sharma, demanded that the meeting of the UNO “entrust the coal to history”. The Powering Past Coal Alliance, a group of 137 countries, regions, cities and organizations working to accelerate the phase-out of coal-fired power plants, will do everything possible to ensure that COP 26 throws coal in the dustbin of history.

Developing countries, like China and India, have proposed cuts based on their economic growth. (Developing countries like China and India still remember historic inequalities in emissions production.) In 2020, China said it will aim to be net zero by 2060 and that its emissions would peak by 2035. Chinese President Xi Jinping will not attend COP 26. In his stead, Chinese Climate Envoy Xie Zhenhua and Vice Minister Zhao Yingmin will lead the delegation and provide China’s commitment to the NDC.

In 2016, India proposed a reduction of 33 to 35 percent by 2030 based on 2005 levels and has yet to submit its 2020 NDC target. Indian Prime Minister Modi will attend COP 26.

Limiting methane emissions will also be discussed. Methane is 25 times more powerful than carbon dioxide at trapping heat in the atmosphere. In September, the US and the EU unveiled the Global Methane Pledge, which aims to reduce methane emissions by at least 30% by 2030 based on 2020 levels. Already more than 35 countries have signed the Global Methane Pledge.

Ambitions have been lowered somewhat in recent weeks by the US President’s special climate envoy John Kerry. Chinese President Xi Jinping, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador and South African President Cyril Ramaphosa will not be in attendance. That said, Biden and many other heads of state will be in attendance. COP 26 will be vital in putting pressure on world leaders to take action and reduce emissions.

AIn addition to emission reductions, finance is a key topic in the UN climate negotiations.

Developed countries have agreed to provide funding to developing countries to help them adapt to the impacts of the climate crisis, such as sea level rise and drought. One hundred billion dollars a year has been pledged to developing countries, a commitment that dates back to the 2009 climate conference in Copenhagen.

This amount is, however, much lower than the amounts claimed by negotiators from various groups of nations, such as the African Group, the Alliance of Small Island States, and the least developed countries and small island developing States, which have the least. contributed to and have already suffered the worst impacts of global warming. And since 2019, the most recent year for which data is available, developed countries have contributed less than $ 90 billion, according to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). In 2018, the OECD, together with the UN and the World Bank released a report indicating that $ 6.9 trillion would be needed annually until 2020 to ensure the resilience of developing countries.

As key climate negotiators and NGOs discuss these issues in the negotiating rooms, activists will take to the streets throughout the week to advocate for climate justice. A wave of protests will take place during COP 26, possibly the largest in Scotland since those against the Iraq war in 2003. Yesterday, Extinction Rebellion’s Deep Water Rising actions highlighted how the burning of fossil fuels results in a sea ​​level rise. Friday, a march organized by young people, Fridays for Future, will take place. On Saturday, a Global Day of Action for Climate Justice will follow, with marches planned in Glasgow, London and around the world. And on Sunday, the People’s Summit for Climate Justice will launch a series of in-person and online workshops and events. This week, 350.org is also organizing a Global Week of Action. These actions in Glasgow and around the world will inspire COP 26 negotiators to set high ambitions and take action. Time is running out, because it is the decade to reduce emissions.


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Canadian army

Anita Anand Bets She Will Succeed Where A Lot Of Men Have Failed


In the weeks following the September 20 election, how many Liberal MPs, one wonders, got down on their knees at bedtime to offer this prayer to the Almighty:

“Dear Lord, I will do whatever you like, serve in any capacity you choose, but please, I beg you, don’t let him make me Minister of National Defense.”

Once a plum on the ministerial tree, classified in prestige with Finance and External Affairs (now foreign), Defense has experienced a miserable period. It has become Cabinet’s worst job, its major problems overtaking any cabinet minister trying to solve them. Defense is not only the crazy price when the Prime Minister shifts the portfolios, it is a landmine for any minister who dreams of one day being Prime Minister.

Last week, Justin Trudeau handed over the landmine to Anita Anand, a 54-year-old business lawyer from Oakville, who was first elected in 2019. She earned her “promotion” thanks to her performance in as Minister of Public Services and Supply. , in what capacity she was responsible for the supply of COVID-19 vaccines for Canada. She replaced Harjit Sajjan, who became the lightning rod of the opposition and moved on to international development.

Anand now faces the same assortment of issues that had frustrated Sajjan. The starting point is the absence of a clear mission or purpose for the Canadian Armed Forces, a mission that the men and women of the military, navy and air force can accept and be motivated to do. by, and that the public understands and supports.

For several decades after World War II, Canada was known for its international peacekeeping. Our “Blue Berets” have distinguished themselves for their service in Cyprus, Somalia, Rwanda, the Balkans, East Timor and Eritrea, among other global hot spots.

As the focus on peacekeeping operations fades, the Canadian Forces are asking themselves: is their primary objective to participate in relief missions in countries like Haiti, to support firefighters in British Columbia, patrolling Canada’s coasts and airlines, or cleaning up mess left in long-term care homes by incompetent managers and negligent provincial overseers?

Confusion or fragmentation of the mission is reflected in military procurement programs which are infamous for poor planning, stupid decision-making, endless delays, and huge cost overruns. Why, for heaven’s sake, did the Defense Department buy four rusty and obsolete diesel submarines from Britain? Destined for the scrapyard of the Royal Navy, they were of no use in Canada on the rare occasions when they were actually seaworthy.

The department paid $ 750 million for the four submarines. As one British MP exclaimed at the time, “Why were Canadians dumb enough to buy them?” … It’s either incompetence on the part of Canadians or simple MOD (Defense Department) salesmen here in Britain.

Then there is the saga of the “new” fighter planes. New, perhaps, in 1997, when the Liberal Chrétien government began the process of purchasing F-35 Lightning II “stealth” fighters from Lockheed Martin, based in the United States. Still fairly new in 2010 when the Harper Conservative government ordered 65 of the controversial F-35s. Not new in 2021 when after 24 years of review, reassessment and re-examination by three administrations, one cancellation and now a reopened competition – with no final decision yet in sight.

Not the least and most immediate, Anand should deal with firmness and determination with the issue that has stuck his nine immediate predecessors (all male) since 1998, when the issue first surfaced – sexual misconduct seen in all. army ranks. Somehow, it must address the pervasive culture of boys who will be boys and establish a credible and effective procedure for handling complaints and administering discipline, a procedure that all stakeholders can agree to. .

Trudeau is betting that a strong, capable woman can succeed where male ministers have failed. Anand is betting that the potential career reward is worth the risk she takes.

Cambridge resident Geoffrey Stevens is an author and former Ottawa columnist and editor of The Globe and Mail and Maclean’s. Her new book, “Flore! A Woman in a Men’s World, ”co-authored with the late Flora MacDonald, has just been released. His column appears on Mondays. He accepts comments at [email protected]


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Canadian army

Canada’s Justin Trudeau unveils his new cabinet | Politics News


Former Greenpeace member Steven Guilbeault will take over as environment minister and a new defense minister has been appointed.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau unveiled his third cabinet since his first term in 2015, replacing the Minister of Defense and Minister of the Environment as his Liberal government seeks to emerge from the coronavirus pandemic, improve its environmental record and to push back the political challenges of rival parties.

In Canada’s last national election last month, the Liberals won 159 out of 338 seats in the House of Commons, meaning they need the support of another party to pass legislation.

The left-wing New Democratic Party (NDP) and the Bloc Québécois, which presents candidates only in the French-speaking province of Quebec, should be possible legislative partners for the Liberals.

Trudeau said on Twitter on Tuesday that the new cabinet “will end the fight against COVID-19, make housing more affordable, fight climate change, create good jobs, take the path of reconciliation and build a better future for all” .

Steven Guilbeault, a former Greenpeace staff member who represents a riding in Quebec, will be Canada’s new Minister of the Environment. He replaces Jonathan Wilkinson who will move to the natural resources portfolio.

Guilbeault’s appointment came just before the UN climate talks in Glasgow, Scotland. Trudeau is expected to attend the talks and Canada’s environmental record should be scrutinized.

Peter Donolo, political strategist at public relations firm Hill + Knowlton and director of communications for former Liberal Prime Minister Jean Chrétien, told Reuters news agency that Trudeau aimed to “position Canada as a winner in a greener global economy in the long run. ”.

Trudeau consistently makes ambitious promises on climate change, but Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions have actually increased faster than any other G7 country since 2016, the first full year of his term, according to a June study. 2021 from the Canadian Center for Policy Alternatives.

Prime Minister of Canada Justin Trudeau speaks with Minister of Health Jean-Yves Duclos during the swearing-in ceremony at Rideau Hall in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, October 26, 2021.[Blair Gable/Reuters]

Harjit Sajjan, a former Canadian military colonel who had served as defense minister since 2015, was removed from his post following a series of high-profile sexual misconduct scandals that rocked the upper echelons of the government. army. He will become Minister of International Development.

The new Defense Minister will be Anita Anand, who served as Minister of Utilities and Procurement during the pandemic and has been credited with securing the country’s vaccine supplies amid fierce competition.

Mélanie Joly will become Canada’s new Minister of Foreign Affairs, replacing former astronaut Marc Garneau, who will no longer sit in Cabinet.

Joly will have to deal with Canada’s strained relationship with China, among other foreign policy challenges.

Trudeau has promised a gender-balanced cabinet, and Canadian prime ministers typically try to represent different regions of the world’s second-largest country at the cabinet table, narrowing his options for Tuesday’s announcement.

Marci Ien, a former television reporter who defeated former Green Party leader Annamie Paul for a seat in downtown Toronto, will become Minister for Women, Gender Equality and Youth.

Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland, a former journalist and Reuters author whom political analysts have viewed as a candidate to eventually replace Trudeau as prime minister, will retain her high-level posts.

Former Minister of Health Patty Hajdu will become the new Minister of Indigenous Services. The Liberal government is committed to improving the conditions of aboriginal peoples in Canada, where some communities do not have access to safe drinking water.

Ahmed Hussen, a longtime minister in various portfolios who first arrived in Canada as a refugee, will become Minister of Housing, Diversity and Inclusion. The affordability of homes has become a major issue in Canada, especially during the coronavirus pandemic, as young families struggle to buy their first home.

Canada’s new cabinet has 38 members, including the Prime Minister.


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Canadian army

Taxpayers Spent Up to $ 720,000 in Salaries for Military Leaders Sidelined by Sexual Misconduct Crisis




a man's silhouette: several senior military leaders have been placed on temporary leave or permanently removed from their posts due to the sexual misconduct crisis.


© Murray Brewster / The Canadian Press
Several senior military leaders have been placed on temporary leave or permanently removed from their posts due to the sexual misconduct crisis.

According to a CBC News analysis, taxpayers spent an estimated $ 639,000 to $ 720,900 in salaries for high-ranking military officers who were dismissed from their posts due to the sexual misconduct crisis in the military.

CBC News analyzed the salary scales for eight military commanders and the time that has elapsed since they were removed from their posts. Some of them are on paid leave, others are leaving the military and others have been assigned to other positions within the Canadian Forces.

While it is difficult to determine a figure given publicly available information, the analysis indicates that the federal government has spent approximately $ 639,000 to $ 720,000 on salaries for these individuals since they left their roles as leadership.

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The Ministry of National Defense says that all military personnel have the right to due process and are entitled to their pay during military police investigations. DND says Canadian law guarantees that a workplace cannot punish employees unless they have been proven guilty.

CBC’s analysis does not include people who have retired, who have been removed from their posts and placed in other positions, or who have used their vacation to cover all of their temporary leave.

Former Chief of Defense Staff Retired General Jonathan Vance is receiving his pension and awaiting criminal trial on one count of obstructing justice. Vance’s salary before his retirement in July 2020 was $ 260,600 to $ 306,500, according to to an order in council.

The salary figures and the number of officers under investigation reflect the scale of the misconduct crisis and its effects on the Canadian military, said Megan MacKenzie of Simon Fraser University.

“This number is just the tip of the iceberg in terms of the cost, both financial, emotional and reputational, to the defense forces,” said MacKenzie, Simons Chair in International Law and Rights Security. humans.

“I think that signals that we really need leadership on this issue. We need civilian leaders. We need the Prime Minister and the Minister of Defense to come and help solve this problem.”

MacKenzie said the real cost of the sexual misconduct crisis goes beyond wages. She said the military are taking medical leave or leaving the military altogether, as the military grapples with the effects on recruitment and the risk of prosecution.

Eleven high-ranking military officers have been temporarily or permanently removed from their leadership roles since February due to allegations of sexual misconduct or in response to the way they have handled complaints of sexual misconduct.

CBC News has a full list of cases here.

‘Case after case’

MacKenzie said she can’t think of another defense force in the world that has seen so many top leaders face allegations of sexual misconduct or be put on leave at the same time. She has been researching military culture for a decade and is leading an international study on military sexual misconduct in Canada, the United States and Australia.

In other countries, she said, high-profile scandals erupt and then die out after official reviews or policy changes.

“But what has happened in Canada is that you have case after case, several cases at the same time,” she said. “There is no recovery. There is no moment between scandals and you have this kind of growing wave of calls for serious action.”

MacKenzie said it was not unusual to put military members on paid leave while they were under investigation. The problem, she said, is that some of the investigations take “a very long time”, with soldiers stuck in their homes waiting to hear the outcome.

She said it was a common tactic for the military to try and wait for the public’s anger by putting members on paid leave.

“There are so many individuals under investigation, so these investigations need to be dealt with quickly,” she said.

Throughout the crisis, the military maintained that its police were conducting thorough investigations. DND said in a statement to media that as an institution founded on the rule of law, the Canadian Armed Forces “must ensure that all members are granted their basic rights to due process and to justice. procedural fairness ”.

Admiral McDonald’s case unsolved after nearly 8 months

Admiral Art McDonald has been the highest paid to date while on leave for almost eight months. He was removed from his post as Chief of the Defense Staff in February in link to an allegation of sexual misconduct.

CBC News estimates that McDonald’s has been paid between $ 149,000 and $ 176,000 since his suspension.

MacKenzie said she was surprised the government was not in a more rush to solve the McDonald’s case, given that he is still being paid while his old job is done by the acting chief of staff from the Defense, General Wayne Eyre. McDonald’s annual salary is $ 232,700 to $ 273,700, according to an order in council.

The position of Chief of the Defense Staff is an appointment by the Governor in Council, which means that the Prime Minister can remove the chief at any time. Lawyers for McDonald’s revealed in August that the military police investigation ended without charging him with anything. More than two months later, the federal government has not decided whether it will reinstate McDonald’s.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau yesterday commented on McDonald’s recent public attempts to get his old job back. Trudeau said McDonald’s comments were at odds with the government’s emphasis on putting victims first and that they will “be taken into account when we make a final decision on the permanent post of chief of staff. defense staff “.

The Prime Minister’s Office said it would not comment further when asked why it had not yet made a decision on McDonald’s future, or whether it was waiting for public attention to the crisis misconduct is reduced.

major-general. Dany Fortin’s lawyers, meanwhile, say he’s stuck at home earning a salary with no work to do. Quebec prosecutors indicted Fortin in August with one count of sexual assault; his criminal case is now making its way through the civilian justice system.

Fortin denies the allegation. He has launched a battle in federal courts to regain his former post as vaccine deployment chief, arguing that the federal government had become politically involved in the decision to sideline him.

He was assigned a new job, but his lawyers say he stayed at home without any assignments. CBC estimates he has collected between $ 81,000 and $ 95,000 since leaving his post with the Public Health Agency of Canada.

In March, the military also placed Vice-Admiral Haydn Edmundson on indefinite paid leave from his role as commander of military personnel following a CBC News report of an alleged sexual assault. A military police investigation is underway into an allegation that he raped a 19-year-old flight attendant on a Canadian Navy ship in 1991 while docked in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.

Edmundson denies the allegation and has been posted since May as a sustained member at the Transition Center in Ottawa. Since leaving his post as head of military personnel, he has been paid between $ 137,000 and $ 148,000, according to CBC News analysis.

Edmundson’s successor, Lieutenant-General. Steven Whelan, stepped down from his role last week in response to an investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct. The military also postponed the lieutenant general’s appointment last week. Trevor Cadieu as the next army commander for sexual misconduct.

Whelan and Cadieu are now on leave and their individual monthly wages are estimated to be between $ 20,683 and $ 22,392, depending on the publicly disclosed military pay rates.

DND says it has full confidence in broader leadership

CBC News asked DND what it was doing in response to the number of senior executives currently on leave. The department said military leaders are being trained to replace their superiors.

“As the justice system continues to function conscientiously, we have full confidence in our extended management team to continue to look after the defense of Canada,” said DND spokesperson Daniel Le Bouthillier.

Retired Captain Annalize Schamuhn, who was sexually assaulted by another soldier, said she viewed the number of reported sexual misconduct allegations as an encouraging sign. Schamuhn shared his story publicly, hoping that this would contribute to institutional change within the Canadian Armed Forces.

“I think the more stories and cases there are, the worse it looks like,” Schamuhn said. “But I take it as a sign that things are improving.

“The fact that people feel comfortable coming forward, I think, is a sign of progress.”


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Canadian army

Ukrainian army extremists brag about Canadian training: report


TORONTO – Report exploring far-right extremism in the Ukrainian military found neo-Nazis and supporters of far-right white nationalist groups boasted of having received training from Canada and others NATO countries, prompting the promise of a thorough review from the Department of National Defense.

The report, entitled “Far-right group has moved into Ukraine’s main western military training centerAnd published by the Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies at George Washington University, details a group within the National Academy of the Ukrainian Army (NAA) known as the “Centuria of the military order ”or simply“ Centuria ”.

The group is led by people with ties to the internationally active far-right Azov movement, according to the report. The Azov movement attacked anti-fascist protests, city council meetings, media, art exhibitions, foreign students, LGBTQ2S + and Roma community.

A 2016 report published by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights details the charges against the militia of the Azov movement known as the “Azov Battalion” of torture and other war crimes in the ensuing conflict after the annexation of Crimea by Russia in 2014. Ukrainian National Guard later took the Azov battalion in its ranks – where it is now known as the Azov Regiment.

“I discovered evidence that a far-right group of military, officer and cadet with a clearly defined international agenda and apparently dozens of members were able to operate in a prestigious military academy supported by the West in Ukraine, proselytizing academy cadets since 2018, ”said report author and Washington, DC-based investigative reporter Oleksiy Kuzmenko in a series of emails to CTVNews.ca Wednesday.

Kuzmenko said the Centuria Military Order has ties to the international Azov movement, which he describes as “a large far-right organization with thousands of members stretching from a highly skilled and politicized Azov regiment to the Ukrainian National Guard to a far-right political organization. National Corp. party

The report states that members of the Centuria Military Order are part of an “order of ‘European traditionalist’ military officers” that shares the goal of reshaping the Ukrainian military with right-wing ideologies and defending what it is. they call “the cultural and ethnic identity of European peoples.”

Evidence detailed in the report, including photos taken on social media and posts on messaging platforms, shows members of Centuria, as well as unaffiliated cadets and other NAA officers, performing Nazi salutes , professing their admiration for Hitler and other Nazi figures, and espousing open and violent anti-Semitic rhetoric. Centuria members have boasted online that they have received training from foreign military forces, including those of Canada, Germany, the United States and the United Kingdom

The report states that the NAA denied that Centuria operated within the academy, despite the evidence presented. Kuzmenko said several photos and videos of suspected members were removed from various social media accounts and websites after Kuzmenko contacted the group for the report, including a propaganda video showing suspected Centuria members using weapons.

Kuzmenko detailed an example of his research on Twitter which shows the proximity of Ukrainian military extremists to the Canadian Armed Forces, where a man he describes as a “neo-Nazi opposite” graduated from a tactical medical program run by the Canadian Armed Forces and the United States military and is now training other cadets. The soldier, Kuzmenko says, appears on several social media posts holding Nazi flags and in others posing with Canadian instructors. CTVNews.ca has not independently verified Kuzmenko’s photos or claims.

Noting that the Ukrainian in question was wearing clothes that clearly showed his affiliations, Kuzmenko said that members of Centuria and other far-right groups in the military “are practically screaming who they are with the way they operate in the country. big day “.

Another Centuria member received officer training in 2020 at the Royal Military Academy in Sandhurst in the UK, according to the report, and another attended the German Army Officers Academy in Dresden in 2019 .

“I think my report shows that despite the far-right’s lack of electoral success, it continues to strengthen its influence in Ukraine, especially in the military which appears to tolerate open far-right activity in its ranks,” Kuzmenko said by email. . “To be clear, I’m not suggesting that Ukraine is ruled by neo-Nazis, or that the Ukrainian military is dominated by the far right… what I’m saying is that there are strong indications that Ukraine is ignoring an obvious problem, as are its Western allies.

Kuzmenko said Ukraine’s Defense Ministry initially denied the allegations in detail in its report, but later announced an investigation after local and Russian media picked up on the story.

Several Ukrainian agencies did not respond to CTVNews.ca’s request for comment at the time of publication.

Christian Leuprecht, security analyst and professor at Royal Military College and Queens University and senior researcher at the Macdonald-Laurier Institute, says Kuzmenko’s report should give Canada and its allies a ‘pause’ from their missions ongoing in Ukraine.

“It is ultimately up to Ukraine to control its own soldiers, but when it is not careful about getting soldiers who fundamentally do not match our values ​​and interests, it increases the risk that the allies will do everything. just their luggage, “Leuprecht said in a statement. telephone interview with CTVNews.ca Saturday.

Leuprecht said he believes Canadians will “expect more” from Ukraine, which has received an immense amount of resources, time and energy over the years from Canada.

“It’s a country that wants to join the EU and ultimately wants to join NATO, and when you openly and actively court and tolerate anti-democratic elements in the very institutions that [are] there to defend your way of life… it will raise questions in Canada if this mission is worth the candle, ”he said.

WHAT IS CANADA DOING IN UKRAINE?

Canada has been present in Ukraine since 2015 as part of Operation UNIFIER, as support to the Ukrainian security forces – which includes military training, according to the website of the Ministry of National Defense.

Canada is part of a multinational joint commission that includes the United Kingdom, United States, Denmark, Poland, Sweden, Lithuania and Ukraine, and sends approximately 200 members of the Canadian Armed Forces to the country all six months and provides “non-lethal” supplies and equipment such as night vision goggles and medical kits.

According to the FAC, as of September 30, more than 30,000 Ukrainian Security Forces candidates had participated in the training since the start of the mission, with the FAC claiming to have provided training to 1,951 members of the Ukrainian National Guard.

The mission is scheduled to expire in March 2022, unless it is further extended by the federal government.

WHAT IS CANADA’S RESPONSE TO THE REPORT?

In an emailed statement to CTVNews.ca on Monday, the Canadian Armed Forces said they were “very concerned” by the results of the study.

“In light of these findings, DND will conduct a thorough review of the report, including to determine whether the current policies and procedures in place are strict enough to report and prevent the CAF from unintentionally assisting those whom it fundamentally opposes. opinions, ”the statement read. bed.

The statement says Canada relies on the Ukrainian Defense Ministry to control its members, but if Canadian soldiers suspect their Ukrainian counterparts or trainees have racist views, they are immediately fired.

“There is no burden of proof on the CAF to demonstrate this beyond a reasonable doubt,” the statement continued. “When Ukrainian military officers are selected to seize opportunities in Canada, it is imperative that members do not have values ​​contrary to those of their Canadian hosts in the Ukrainian government. “

CTVNews.ca contacted the Prime Minister’s Office and received an emailed statement Tuesday from a spokesperson for the Department of National Defense, who responded on behalf of the government that “the Minister is deeply concerned about these reports and he asked officials to look into this matter. Our government and the Canadian Armed Forces do not tolerate anti-Semitic, racist or hateful views.

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh called the report “alarming” in an emailed statement to CTVNews.ca on Tuesday, adding that the party planned to “examine the report in more depth in the coming weeks.” .

“Our armed forces should not train or support any far-right group in the world. The Liberals promised to make Canada’s commitment to democracy and human rights a central strategic priority of their new government. The new defense minister should examine this and put in place mechanisms to avoid any situation like this in the future, ”the statement said.

CTVNews.ca has contacted Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole, but has not received a response at the time of publication.

And while control of foreign soldiers rests with their home country, questions about responsibility and liability may arise for Canada in the long run, Leuprecht said.

“The government has always claimed to be values-driven… so that really puts Ukraine at odds with the larger agenda that the federal government claims to be leading… which then becomes a high political risk,” Leuprecht said. “Because if one of those more members or units commits war crimes or other types of violations of the law of armed conflict or international law – and it turns out that they were trained by Canadians – the government will have to provide some very difficult answers.



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International headquarters

Dubai’s hosting of the T20 Cricket World Cup final further adds sparkle to its status as a leading global sporting destination


Mansoor bin Mohammed: Dubai’s steady growth as a global sports hub has been made possible by the vision and strong support of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid and the considerable investments made in world-class infrastructure under his guidance

ICC T20 Men’s Cricket World Cup takes place for the first time in the Middle East

Dubai’s track record and infrastructure and its ability to facilitate internationally benchmark bio-secure bubbles make it one of the safest venues for global tournaments.

Over 2 billion viewers worldwide are expected to watch the T20 World Cup match on October 24 between India and Pakistan, one of the most exciting rivalries in global sport

Dubai recently hosted the final of the Indian Premier League, the richest cricket tournament in the world

Dubai, home of the International Cricket Council, is set to host the finals of the 2021 ICC T20 Men’s World Cup. The seventh edition of the world tournament, which is being held for the first time in the Middle East, strengthens the Dubai’s growing status as one of the world’s most important and safest destinations for international sporting events.

Dubai was chosen as the venue for the final of the 16-country tournament, featuring the world’s top cricket stars, due to its exceptionally successful record of hosting multi-stage global tournaments. In addition, its complete hotel and sanitary infrastructure as well as its ability to create the bio-secure bubbles of international reference necessary for the safe organization of a tournament as vast as the T20 Cricket World Cup have made it the place. ideal for the event.

His Highness Sheikh Mansoor bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairman of the Dubai Sports Council, said: Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates and Ruler of Dubai, and the considerable investments made in world-class infrastructure under the guidance of Son Highness. Encouraging international sporting activity and developing infrastructure in this sector is a high priority for leadership and is an integral part of the drive to transform Dubai into the best city in the world in which to live and work.

“In addition to some of the best stadiums in the world for various sports, Dubai is home to leading coaching academies in all disciplines, which groom the international stars of the future, all of whom have made the emirate’s sports sector a one of the fastest growing in the world.

His Highness noted that the T20 Cricket World Cup is one of a series of mega sporting events for which Dubai has provided a safe place, amid the current exceptional global circumstances. The emirate’s ability to implement rigorous precautionary protocols and high vaccination rates have made it a preferred destination for international tournaments, he added.

His Excellency Mattar Al Tayer, Vice President of the Dubai Sports Council, said: “The ICC T20 Men’s Cricket World Cup is the latest example of leading global sports organizations choosing Dubai as the venue for the international mega tournaments because of the world-class infrastructure and health. and the safety standards it offers. The generous support and encouragement given by Dubai’s leadership for the sports sector and the extensive infrastructure projects that have been implemented over the years have made Dubai a major destination in the international sports landscape. The strategic initiatives undertaken in Dubai to develop all aspects of sporting excellence have further strengthened Dubai’s position as a world leader in sports and allowed the sector to develop and prosper.

“In addition, the emirate’s exceptional success in combating the pandemic and its ability to provide a protected environment for multi-stage international tournaments make it one of the few destinations that the global sports community has confidence in, in current global circumstances. We are convinced that Dubai will continue to be a privileged place for major sporting events on the world stage, ”he added.

The 16-team ICC Twenty20 World Cup to be held in the United Arab Emirates and Oman from October 17 to November 14, 2021 features a total of 45 matches, of which 13 will be played in Dubai. Cricket fans around the world look forward to the second day of the Super 12 round of the ICC T20 World Cup when traditional rivals India and Pakistan renew their cricket rivalry in Dubai on October 24. India vs Pakistan is one of the most exciting rivalries in the sport, and with 90 percent of Southeast Asia’s billion cricket fans, the match at Dubai International Cricket Stadium is the biggest tournament discussion topic. The first match between two countries in more than two years, this match has aroused considerable interest among the more than 4 million people from India and Pakistan who call the UAE home. Tickets for the India-Pakistan match sold out in less than five hours. Over 2 billion viewers worldwide are expected to watch the competition on international channels.

The magnificent 25,000-seat Dubai International Cricket Stadium in Dubai Sports City, the emirate’s state-of-the-art sports complex, will also be the venue for the Twenty20 World Cup final on November 14. Dubai is already a major hub for international cricket, home to the headquarters of the International Cricket Council (ICC), the sport’s governing body, and the ICC Academy, where emerging cricket stars are framed.

In 2021, with many sporting events canceled across the world due to the pandemic, Dubai has emerged as one of the safest venues for global tournaments. The annual Dubai World Cup, hosted by the Dubai Racing Club, was among the top ten sporting events in the world in the first quarter of 2021. Major events held by Dubai this year include the 32nd Omega Desert Classic Golf Tournament, the UAE Tour , the 2022 Fifa World Cup qualifying rounds, the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships, the 6th Ironman 70.3 Dubai, the 2021 ASBC Asian Elite Men and Women Boxing Championships and the PUBG Mobile Global Championship. The Australian Open tennis qualifying rounds took place in Dubai, in addition to the Hankook 24H Dubai, and the prestigious Al Marmoom Ultramarathon. On October 15, Dubai hosted the final of the 2021 edition of the multibillion-dollar Indian Premier League (IPL), the richest cricket tournament in the world.

Dubai’s prime location and exceptional infrastructure have also made it a favorite spot for international athletes to train ahead of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. Over the coming months, Dubai will also host more than 30 international sporting events, notably the men’s and women’s rugby World Cup qualifiers, the “Race to Dubai” final of the European Tour and the DP World Tour championship.

In addition to hosting 130 international sporting events, the city is home to more than 400 academies, which offer expert training in all kinds of sports, and more than 100 public and private sports clubs. Since the start of 2021, Dubai has hosted more than 70 training camps and friendlies for international teams in different sports including swimming, synchronized swimming, modern pentathlon, cycling, tennis, football, badminton , cricket, rugby, golf and more.

The sports sector’s contribution to Dubai’s economy exceeds AED 4 billion per year, according to recently released figures. Currently, more than 20,000 people are employed in the sector.


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Canadian army

Newport D-Day veteran Lyndon Sheedy’s medals have gone home


The last wish of a decorated Newport D-Day veteran has been granted – after his medals were returned to Wales from his home in Canada.

Lyndon Sheedy, CStJ, CD, ADC from Crindau had a decorated career in the Armed Forces and regularly returned from his home in Canada to Newport and France to pay his respects on D-Day.

Lyndon Sheedy in his South Wales Borderers uniform

Mr Sheedy passed away at the age of 96 on August 14, 2020 and wanted his medals returned to the Royal Regiment of Wales Museum in Brecon – formerly the South Wales Borderers Museum.

On September 30, 2021, his sister Joan Reynolds – herself a veteran who served in the Auxiliary Territorial Service (ATS) attached to the Royal Artillery on anti-aircraft guns – and Lord Lieutenant of Gwent, Brigadier Robert Aitken were awarded his military and civilian medals. and awards as well as two photos to the museum’s curator, Amanda Rosewarne. They were joined by Mrs. Reynolds’ friends Ivan and Sue Beatty.

South Wales Argus: Lord Lieutenant for Gwent Brigadier Robert Aitken and Joan Reynolds MBE presenting Royal Regiment of Wales Museum curator Amanda Rosemarme with Lyndon Sheedy medalsLord Lieutenant for Gwent Brigadier Robert Aitken and Joan Reynolds MBE presenting Royal Regiment of Wales museum curator Amanda Rosemarme with Lyndon Sheedy medals

Mr. Sheedy was born in Crindau on July 31, 1924 and he joined the 2nd Battalion, South Wales Borderers in 1942 and was assigned to A Company to secure the residence of Prime Minister Winston Churchill.

On D-Day – June 6, 1944 – he was posted to Normandy with the 2nd Battalion and the Gloucesters and Essex regiments. At 7:30 am, he landed on the ‘Gold’ beach in Normandy. He was then injured and returned home for treatment.

He then served with the 1st Battalion South Wales Borderers in Cyprus, Gaza and Palestine during the uprising. He also served in Sudan and Eritrea.

South Wales Argus: Lord Lieutenant for Gwent Brigadier Robert Aitkin and Joan Reynolds with medals and photographs of Lyndon Sheedy at the Royal Regiment of Wales MuseumLord Lieutenant for Gwent Brigadier Robert Aitkin and Joan Reynolds with the medals and photographs of Lyndon Sheedy at the Royal Regiment of Wales Museum

Mr. Sheedy spent the last period of his career in the British Army as a permanent staff instructor at the Brecon Regimental Depot. He left the British Army in 1952 with the rank of sergeant.

In 1953, he enlisted in the Canadian Army as a corporal and was transferred to the 2nd Canadian Guard Battalion. The following year, he was promoted to sergeant. In 1956, he was posted to NATO, West Germany, as a platoon commander and, upon his return to Canada, he performed field garrison and ceremonial guard duties on the Parliament Hill.

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He was promoted to warrant officer in 1965 and served as a company quartermaster. He then returned to NATO in West Germany to the brigade headquarters where he served as an administrative adjutant.

Mr. Sheedy returned to Canada at Bordon, Ontario, and served as the Senior Warrant Officer in the Infantry Basic Training Division. In 1972, he transferred to the Combat Arms School as an instructor, then to the Mechanized Commando where he was a platoon warrant officer.

In 1974, he was appointed lieutenant and requested leave from the Canadian Forces. As a civilian, he was later employed by the United States Embassy in the Department of State Administration on General Services. His role was to coordinate and oversee the placement of staff during presidential visits, the Secretary of State and other VIPs.

South Wales Argus: Lyndon Sheedy in his Order of St. John uniformLyndon Sheedy in his Order of St. John uniform

He was awarded the United States Government Medal of Citation for his outstanding performance and upon his retirement in July 1989 he was awarded a Certificate for Dedicated Service to the Government of the United States of America by the United States Ambassador in Canada, Edward N. Ney.

After his retirement, Mr. Sheedy devoted his time to the community, spending 17 years with the Order of St. John – where he was described as personifying the principles of the Order and was recognized as a “rare person who has shown leadership and determination extremely well. of the highest level. ‘

South Wales Argus: Lyndon Sheedy's medalsLyndon Sheedy’s medals

Mr. Sheedy has received a number of accolades from various organizations and nations for his service. He was awarded the French National Order of the Legion of Honor – the highest national order in France. It was presented to him by the French Ambassador to Canada at the French Embassy in Ottawa.

He also received a medal from the mayor of Caen in France – a place he visited every year. This presentation was made in her house in Newport by Madame Marie Lambert-Prou.

He was elevated to the rank of Officer and then Commanding Officer in 1983 during ceremonies at Christchurch Cathedral in Ottawa. In July 1991, he was appointed aide-de-camp to the Governor General.

South Wales Argus: Lyndon Sheedy's military and civilian medalsLyndon Sheedy Military and Civilian Medals

For 32 years, he took care of his wife Jean who suffered from MS. He also took care of another lady who lived in the same apartment complex for 11 years.

Mr. Sheedy not only had a long and exceptional career in the military and government, but he was also an author and artist. He painted landscapes and wrote about his life and experiences in his book Under five flags, the Odyssey of a soldier.


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Canadian army

Canada does not accept China’s request to join Pacific Rim trade deal


OTTAWA – Canada is giving China a cold shoulder over its interest in joining an 11-country trade bloc in the Pacific region that is seen as an important gateway to diversifying Canadian trade with d other Asian countries.

A spokesperson for International Trade Minister Mary Ng said Canada recognizes China’s desire to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement on the Trans-Pacific Partnership, but has yet to had discussions with the People’s Republic on this matter.

“We are aware of China’s interest,” Ng spokesman Chris Zhou said in an email response to questions.

“All decisions are made by consensus, and any country that joins the CPTPP must adhere to the high-quality rules and ambitious market access commitments of the CPTPP.”

Canada’s language on China’s potential accession to the pact reflects the stance taken by new Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida after taking office on Monday.

Trade analysts say Canada should vigorously oppose China’s entry into the trade pact which also includes Australia, Brunei, Chile, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam.

They say the safe return to Canada of Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor gives the federal government more leeway to verbally oppose China’s entry into the pact. The two Canadian men were arrested in apparent retaliation for the December 2018 arrest of Chinese high-tech leader Meng Wanzhou under a US extradition warrant.

Meng returned to China last month, just hours after the United States withdrew its extradition request and a British Columbia court terminated legal proceedings against her. This paved the way for the immediate release of Kovrig and Spavor who were repatriated to Canada at the exact moment of Meng’s departure.

“Canada has no reason to do China a favor. Their appalling behavior towards Canada over the past two years, including belligerent and belligerent criticism of Canada Ǫ provides all the justifications for a cold, if not frosty, Canadian response to China’s request to the CPTPP, ”said Lawrence Herman, international trade lawyer and former Canadian diplomat.

Canada may be much smaller than China, but its membership in the larger CPTPP allows it to use its “leverage and influence” to counter “China’s aggressiveness,” Herman said.

Meredith Lilly, Simon Reisman Chair in Trade Policy at Carleton University’s Norman Paterson School of International Affairs, said Canada need not necessarily endorse or reject China’s candidacy, because the he trade agreement already contains firm rules regarding criteria for new members.

“China is currently not meeting the standards or ambition set by the accession process to join the CPTPP, and China is expected to undertake a series of reforms to be taken seriously in areas such as state-owned enterprises, subsidies national, labor and human rights. and supply, ”Lilly said.

“I think it would be a mistake for CPTPP members to dilute the deal to accommodate any new members.”

Guy Saint-Jacques, former Canadian ambassador to China, said China failed to honor commitments it made two decades ago when it joined the World Trade Organization.

“Knowing how difficult it remains for foreign companies to operate in China compared to Chinese companies that want to operate here,” Saint-Jacques said, “we need to base our approach much more on reciprocity.”

China applied to join the CPTPP in mid-September, and Taiwan followed suit with its own candidacy a week later. The move angered China, which opposes Taiwan’s involvement in all international arenas because it views the island as a separatist province.

China has stepped up military intimidation against Taiwan in recent days, flying more than 50 fighter jets to the island on Monday.

Saint-Jacques and Lilly said Canada should endorse Taiwan as a member of the CPTPP.

“Of course China is going to go mad, but you know China is not ready,” Saint-Jacques said.

“Once appointed, Canada’s next trade minister should publicly recognize Taiwan’s candidacy, sending an early signal that Canada will give its full attention to Taiwan’s candidacy,” said Lilly.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also affirmed Canada’s solidarity with its two biggest CPTPP partners in recent days.

He spoke on the phone Monday with his Australian counterpart, Scott Morrison. “The two leaders discussed the close cooperation between Canada and Australia to strengthen global trade and uphold human rights as well as the rules-based international order,” said an excerpt from the office. by Trudeau published Tuesday.

And on Monday, his office released a statement congratulating Kishida.

“Our extensive trade and investment ties, underpinned by the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership, contribute greatly to our economic security,” said Trudeau.

“Together, we will advance our shared vision of a free and open Indo-Pacific and take ambitious action in the fight against climate change.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published on October 5, 2021.


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Canadian army

Planned recruitment announcements aimed at women as military tackles sexual misconduct – Summerland Review


An expert on sexual misconduct said it would be dishonest for the Department of National Defense to promote the military as a positive workplace for women in an upcoming campaign after much information to the contrary.

The Canadian Armed Forces, which have long struggled to increase the number of women in its ranks, hope they will make up a quarter of the membership by 2026.

That figure now stands at around 15%, and an internal study suggests the department needs to recruit around 3,500 women each year to reach its goal.

Although recruiting more women poses a challenge, the military was rocked last year by public reports of allegations of sexual misconduct, including against its most senior officials.

Complaints of widespread inappropriate behavior prompted Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to say that it was clear military complainants did not think they had a place to report their experiences. He asked a former Supreme Court justice in April to investigate the matter, more than six years after a previous report on the matter.

That same month, a consulting firm released a report based on focus groups with women aged 18-34 to test the ads ahead of a recruitment drive originally slated for October.

“Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, production has been halted and an adjustment in campaign plans and tactics has been required,” National Defense spokesperson Andrew McKelvey said Thursday.

He added that the department started working on this latest effort in the spring of 2020 and had released different versions of those ads over the years.

“Currently, we are planning to launch a campaign for women in winter. “

A summary of the report posted on a federal website explains how attendees saw storyboards with different advertising concepts that examined the lives of women in the Air Force, Royal Canadian Navy, and Canadian Army.

The images showed women traveling, mothers able to find a work-life balance with their families, and opportunities to serve in non-traditional settings.

“I think they have to deal with a cultural issue before they can somehow make claims in the recruitment drives,” said Megan MacKenzie, chair of international law and human security at the University. Simon Fraser who studies sexual misconduct in the military.

“It is dishonest to recruit women into an institution at this point with such positive messages when so many women and men who have been the victims of sexual misconduct say they do not feel safe in the institution. . “

The report includes summaries of the comments the 59 participants gave on the advertisements they saw, including one where they saw the post as one of the women accepted into the military if they were part of the LGBTQ community. .

“Participants felt that the ad did not address concerns about LGBTQ in the military, and to a few, it seemed at odds with what recent headlines are communicating about sexual abuse in the forces,” reads. we.

Another theme communicated through the various advertisements was that of women serving in the military still being able to care for their children, which drew both positive and negative reactions.

“Some participants did not like the stereotype that women have to take care of family or children and that a similar approach would not be used to recruit men,” according to the report.

For a similar case, he said the women felt that “the importance of a family-work balance is displayed in a more subtle way, showing only the pram instead of the baby.”

Different responses were also recorded for scenes showing a woman from the Royal Canadian Air Force working as a mechanic.

“The youngest participants said it was important to highlight work typically done by men done by a woman, but that a female mechanic is no longer so rare,” the report said, while asserting that others found the image “empowering”.

“It seems there is a little bit of trouble in explaining why the Canadian Defense Forces are a good place for women, or a good employer for women,” MacKenzie said after reviewing the report.

She questioned whether it was even possible for the department to conduct a positive recruiting drive when the military is in “crisis,” adding that she suspects that the months of well-documented reports of military misconduct are among the longest. High ranks could have an impact on the number of women and men who decide to join in the future.

—Stéphanie Taylor, The Canadian Press

Military sexual harassment


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Canadian army

Evening briefing: Freeland keeps cabinet concerts


Tonight’s Evening Brief is brought to you by iPoliticsINTEL. Daily Watch INTEL Briefs are a concise rundown of the day’s committee meetings in the House and Senate – delivered to your inbox each morning. Learn more.

Good evening to you.

It was said today that Parliament would return before the end of the fall. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has also said his cabinet will be sworn in next month. As to who will attend, all we know at this point is that Chrystia Freeland will remain Minister of Finance and Deputy Prime Minister. The cabinet will have an equal number of women and men around the table, what Trudeau has called a “basic starting point”, and there will also be an “appropriate regional distribution”.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Minister of Finance Chrystia Freeland, who will remain Minister of Finance and Deputy Prime Minister. (Sean Kilpatrick / The Canadian Press)

In his first full press conference since last Monday’s federal election, Trudeau said the government’s top priorities are to: continue to sign child care agreements with the provinces; the introduction of 10 days of paid sick leave in federally regulated workplaces; make housing more affordable; work on indigenous reconciliation; and fight against climate change.

It comes like Members of Parliament arrive on the Hill and begin their orientation, and Kevin Vuong is preparing to sit in the House as an independent.

Now that the federal election is over, negotiations to bring Ontario into Ottawa’s child care plan can resume – and sources on both sides say they are headed in the right direction. Charlie Pinkerton has more.

In response to a reporter’s question, Trudeau said he would decide whether or not to ban Chinese tech giant Huawei from Canada’s telecommunications network in the coming weeks. He has largely dodged the case for the two and a half years that Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor have been detained in China. Aidan Chamandy has more.

Meanwhile, at the United Nations General Assembly, the two recently released detainees were at the center of a verbal fight between Canada and China today. Foreign Minister Marc Garneau told officials around the world that Canada is applying both Canadian and international law in response to the US request for extradition of Huawei leader Meng Wanzhou, while the two Michaels were paying a “heavy price” for Canada’s commitment to the rule of law. “We continue to oppose the way these two citizens were treated,” he said, adding that Canada “will never forget this experience.” More information on this in Global News.

Jessica Lovell / Metroland

On COVID-19, the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) is now recommend that seniors in long-term care homes, retirement homes and assisted living facilities receive vaccine boosters. Given their day-to-day interactions with staff and other residents, their age, and other pre-existing underlying medical conditions, this is a population that is at increased risk for serious illness from the virus. NACI cited the time that has elapsed since this population received their initial injections, as well as the weakening of the immune response that can occur with age when recommending going beyond the two doses. regular.

In Quebec, Minister of Health Christian Dubé announced that public health officials in the province recommend that people in these care settings receive a third dose. CBC News reports.

Still in Quebec, major-general. Fortin was in court today to demand his reinstatement as head of federal vaccine deployment. As CBC News reports, the government says that role no longer exists.

Process Nerd: Do the Greens even need an interim leader?

Comings and goings: lawyer McMillan adds communications staff

Net Zero: Industry Groups Oppose Federal Clean Fuel Standard

The Sprout: Ontario farm charged after deadly COVID outbreak

In other titles:

Elizabeth May has been proposed as potential interim leader of the struggling Green Party (CP)
Canadians Unhappy But Not Angry With Federal Election Result: Poll (CP)
Science Table Says Ontario’s 4th Wave Has ‘Flattened’ And Releases ‘A Wide Range’ Of Case Projections (Global)
Albertans die from COVID-19 at more than three times the average Canadian rate (SRC)
BC data shows dramatic increase in COVID-19 cases among school-aged children (Global)
Travelers to Prince Edward Island will be tested for COVID-19 at its borders starting Thursday (CP)
A “potential anomaly” with the ballot boxes leads to a recount in the riding of Châteauguay — Lacolle (CP)
Don’t Stop Federal COVID-19 Benefits, Companies Say As Expiration Approaches (Global)

Internationally:

South of the border, General Mark Milley, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, today warned that Al Qaeda terrorists in Afghanistan could threaten the United States in as little as 12 months. In an appearance before Congress to answer questions about last month’s withdrawal, he said the Taliban, which now controls Afghanistan, is still a terrorist organization with links to al Qaeda.

General Mark Milley, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (Photo: Matthew Moeller, US Army)

As the Associated Press reports, he called the 20-year war in Afghanistan a “strategic failure” and said his preference would have been to keep several thousand troops in the country to prevent a collapse of the Afghan government and subsequent takeover by the Taliban. In his testimony, the US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin admitted that the collapse of the Afghan army that international troops had spent two decades bringing about “Took us all by surprise”.

Meanwhile, Milley also defended his decision during the last days of Donald Trump’s presidency to call on China to reassure officials that the former president was not going to attack.

“Rebuild better, blah blah blah. Green economy, blah blah blah. Net zero by 2050, blah blah blah. At conference in Milan today, sacred words and inaction, she also urged people not to give up hope, saying change is “not only possible, but urgently needed”.

In other international titles:

US government will run out of cash by Oct. 18, treasury secretary says (CNN)
WHO horrified by sexual exploitation by aid workers in DR Congo (BBC)
Dutch police arrest politician over alleged plot to assassinate prime minister (BBC)
‘Capital Gazette’ gunman sentenced to several life sentences, plus 345 years (NPR)
PM Haiti: Elections, referendum scheduled for next year (PA)
Greece, France tout European defense autonomy with warship deal (Al Jazeera)
Sudan: five members of the security forces killed in a raid on an ISIL cell (Al Jazeera)

In Notice:

Andrew Fleming: Trudeau wins a minority with a majority in British Columbia
James Cohen: This government must work with other parties to end snow washing

The kicker:

Photo: @ Kyr0Nagib / Twitter

Michael Kovrig has been a very busy man since his return to Canadian soil. Since the weekend, he has had his hair cut, a COVID-19 vaccine, and urged others to do so as well. As the National Post reports, he also discovered he was a bit of a celebrity.

Good night.

More iPolitics


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International headquarters

Canadians, Chinese return home in prisoner exchange


China, the United States and Canada have concluded a high-stakes prisoner swap with happy homecoming for two Canadians detained by China and for an executive from Chinese global communications giant Huawei Technologies accused of fraud, potentially putting end to a three-year feud that involved all three of the countries.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau hugged diplomat Michael Kovrig and entrepreneur Michael Spavor on the tarmac after they touched down in Calgary early Saturday. The men were arrested in China in December 2018, shortly after Canada arrested Meng Wanzhou, chief financial officer of Huawei Technologies and daughter of the company founder, in connection with a US extradition request.

Many countries have called China’s action a “hostage policy,” while China has accused Ottawa of arbitrary detention. The two Canadians were jailed for over 1,000 days.

“It’s fantastic to be back in Canada and I’m extremely grateful to everyone who worked hard to bring us both home,” said the visibly slimmer Kovrig after a government plane Canadian landed in Toronto and was greeted by his wife and sister. .

“I feel fantastic,” Kovrig said.

Meng’s return to China later Saturday was broadcast live on state television, highlighting how Beijing has linked his case to Chinese nationalism and its rise as a global economic and political powerhouse.

Wearing a red dress to match the color of the Chinese flag, Meng thanked the ruling Communist Party and its leader, Xi Jinping, for supporting her for more than 1,000 days under house arrest in Vancouver, where she has two multi-million dollar mansions.

“I have finally returned to the warm embrace of the homeland,” Meng said. “As an ordinary Chinese citizen going through this difficult time, I have always felt the warmth and concern of the party, the nation and the people.”

The chain of events involving the world powers brought an abrupt end to the legal and geopolitical feuds that disrupted relations between Washington, Beijing and Ottawa. The three-way deal allowed China and Canada to each bring home their own detained citizens as the United States completed a criminal case against Meng who, for months, was mired in an extradition battle.

“These two men went through an incredibly difficult ordeal. Over the past 1,000 days they have shown strength, perseverance and grace and we are all inspired by them, ”Trudeau said of the two Canadians.

The first activity took place on Friday afternoon when Meng, 49, reached a deal with federal prosecutors calling for the fraud charges against her to be dropped next year and allowing her to return to China immediately. As part of the deal, known as the Deferred Prosecution Agreement, she accepted responsibility for distorting the company’s business relationship in Iran.

The deal came as President Biden and his Chinese counterpart Xi sought to ease signs of public tension – even as the world’s two dominant economies disagree on issues as diverse as cybersecurity, climate change, human rights and trade and tariffs. Biden said in a speech to the United Nations General Assembly earlier this week that he did not intend to start a “new cold war,” while Xi told world leaders that disputes between the countries “must be treated through dialogue and cooperation”.

“The US government joins the international community in welcoming the decision of the authorities of the People’s Republic of China to release Canadian citizens Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig after more than two and a half years in arbitrary detention. We are pleased that they are returning home to Canada, ”US Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken said in a statement.

As part of the deal with Meng, the Justice Department agreed to dismiss fraud charges against her in December 2022 – exactly four years after her arrest – on condition that she meets certain conditions, including not challenging any government factual allegations. The Justice Department also agreed to drop her request for Meng’s extradition to the United States, which she had vigorously contested.

After appearing by videoconference for her hearing in New York, Meng made a brief appearance in Vancouver court, where she was released on bail living in a multi-million dollar mansion while the two Canadians were held in cells. Chinese prison where the lights were on. 24 hours a day.

Outside the courtroom, Meng thanked the Canadian government for upholding the rule of law, expressed his gratitude to the Canadian people and apologized “for the inconvenience.”

“Over the past three years my life has been turned upside down,” she said. “It was a disruptive time for me as a mother, wife and business leader. But I believe every cloud has a silver lining. It was truly an invaluable experience in my life. I will never forget all the good wishes I received.

Soon after, Meng left on an Air China flight to Shenzhen, China, where Huawei’s headquarters are located.

Huawei is the world’s largest supplier of network equipment for telephone and Internet companies. It has been a symbol of China’s progress to become a global technological powerhouse – and a subject of US security and law enforcement concerns. Some analysts say Chinese companies have flouted international rules and standards and stolen the technology.

The case against Meng stems from a January 2019 indictment by the Trump administration’s Justice Department that accused Huawei of stealing trade secrets and using a Hong Kong shell company called Skycom to sell equipment to Iran in violation of US sanctions. The indictment also accused Meng herself of committing fraud by misleading HSBC bank about the company’s business dealings in Iran.

The indictment came amid a broader Trump administration crackdown on Huawei over concerns from the U.S. government that the company’s products could facilitate Chinese espionage. The administration cut off Huawei’s access to U.S. components and technology, including Google Music and other smartphone services, and subsequently banned vendors around the world from using U.S. technology to produce components for Huawei.

The Biden White House, meanwhile, has maintained a hard line on Huawei and other Chinese companies whose technology is believed to pose national security risks. Huawei has repeatedly denied claims by the US government and safety concerns with its products.

Former Canadian Ambassador to China Guy Saint-Jacques, the former boss of Kovrig, said he was delighted that the two Canadians were at home.

“Obviously, the Chinese were so eager to get Meng back that they dropped all claims that the two Michael’s had been arrested for good reason. They must recognize that their reputation has been seriously tarnished, ”said Saint-Jacques. “There are grunts within the Chinese Communist Party, people say, ‘Which way are we going, Xi Jinping? We are creating too many enemies. Why are we enemies of countries like Canada and Australia? “


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International headquarters

Huawei executive returns as China frees Canadians


SHENZHEN, China – The Chinese government eagerly awaited the return of a top executive from global communications giant Huawei Technologies on Saturday following what amounted to a high-stakes prisoner swap with Canada and the United States

Meng Wanzhou, 49, chief financial officer of Huawei and daughter of the company founder, has reached a deal with U.S. federal prosecutors that asked for the fraud charges against her to be quashed next year. As part of the deal, known as the Deferred Prosecution Agreement, she accepted responsibility for distorting the company’s business relationship in Iran.

On the same day, two Canadian citizens detained by Beijing were released and flown back to Canada.

Meng was due to arrive at the southern tech hub of Shenzhen, where Huawei is based, on Saturday evening.

Her imminent return was a major topic on the Chinese internet and in the midday news program of the public broadcaster CCTV, presenter Tian Liang claiming that Meng was returning home thanks to “the Chinese government’s unremitting efforts.”

Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian reposted on social media a report about Meng’s departure from Canada, adding “Welcome home.”

In an emailed statement, Huawei said it looked forward to Meng’s return and “will continue to defend against the allegations.”

The company also sent a statement from Meng’s attorney, William W. Taylor III, claiming that Meng had “not pleaded guilty and we expect the indictment to be dismissed with prejudice after fourteen months. “.

Former Canadian diplomat Michael Kovrig and entrepreneur Michael Spavor were arrested in China in December 2018, shortly after Canada arrested Meng in connection with a US extradition request. China charged them with endangering national security and sentenced Kovrig to 11 years in prison, although their arrests were widely seen as Beijing’s attempt to gain the upper hand in the Meng case.

“These two men have gone through an incredibly difficult ordeal. Over the past 1,000 days, they have shown strength, perseverance and grace and we are all inspired by it,” Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Friday.

The case had caused a huge rift in Sino-Canadian relations, with Beijing regularly launching swords against the Canadian legal system and banning some imports from the country. In addition, two Canadians convicted in separate drug cases in China were sentenced to death in 2019. A third, Robert Schellenberg, was sentenced to 15 years in prison, which was brutally increased to the death penalty after the arrest of Meng. It was not immediately clear whether these prisoners could be granted a reprieve.

In Shenzhen, 20-year-old job seeker at Huawei headquarters repeated the government’s view that Meng’s arrest was motivated by politics and rivalry with the United States over technology and global influence .

“I think (this) had to stop the development of Huawei in the world,” said the man, who only gave his last name, Wang, as is often the case with Chinese speaking to foreign media. “This is a very important reason – no one wants other countries to have better technology than themselves.”

The frenzied chain of events involving the world powers has brought an abrupt end to the legal and geopolitical feuds that, over the past three years, have disrupted relations between Washington, Beijing and Ottawa.

Huawei is the world’s largest supplier of network equipment for telephone and internet companies and a symbol of China’s progress to become a global technological powerhouse that has received massive support from the government. It has also been the subject of security and law enforcement concerns in the United States, with officials and analysts claiming that it and other Chinese companies flouted international rules and standards and stole documents. technologies and vital personal information.

The case against Meng stems from a January 2019 indictment by the Justice Department of the administration of former President Donald Trump. He accused Huawei of stealing trade secrets and using a Hong Kong shell company called Skycom to sell equipment to Iran in violation of US sanctions. The indictment also accused Meng herself of committing fraud by misleading HSBC bank about the company’s business dealings in Iran.

The indictment came amid a broader Trump administration crackdown on Huawei over concerns from the US government that the company’s products could facilitate Chinese espionage. The administration cut off Huawei’s access to U.S. components and technology, including Google Music and other smartphone services, and subsequently banned vendors around the world from using U.S. technology to produce components for Huawei.

President Joe Biden, meanwhile, has maintained a hard line on Huawei and other Chinese companies whose technology is considered to pose national security risks.

Huawei has repeatedly denied claims by the US government and safety concerns with its products.

As part of the deal with Meng, which was leaked in federal court in Brooklyn, the Justice Department agreed to dismiss fraud charges against her in December 2022 – exactly four years after her arrest – on condition that it comply with certain conditions, including not contesting any of the government’s factual allegations. The Justice Department also agreed to drop her request for Meng’s extradition to the United States, which she had vigorously contested, ending a process that prosecutors say could have persisted for months. .

After appearing by videoconference for her hearing in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York, Meng appeared briefly in court in Vancouver, where she had been released on bail living in a multi-million dollar mansion while the two Canadians were detained. in Chinese prison cells where the lights were on 24 hours a day.

Outside the courtroom, Meng thanked the Canadian government for upholding the rule of law, expressed his gratitude to the Canadian people and apologized “for the inconvenience.”

“Over the past three years my life has been turned upside down,” she said. “It was a disruptive time for me as a mother, wife and business owner. But I believe every cloud has a silver lining. It was truly an invaluable experience in my life. I will never forget all the good wishes. that I received. “

A video was also posted online in China of Meng speaking at Vancouver International Airport, saying; “Thank you motherland, thank you to the people of the motherland. You have been my greatest pillar of support.”

Soon after, Meng left on an Air China flight to Shenzhen.

___

Associated Press editors Eric Tucker in Washington, Rob Gillies in Toronto, Jim Mustain in New York, and Jim Morris in Vancouver, Canada, contributed to this report.


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Alberta calls on the military


Nadine Wellwood, Kelly Lorencz and Ann McCormick just ended a grueling federal election battle representing the People’s Party of Canada in three separate races in Alberta.

But instead of taking off their running shoes and putting their feet up, the trio will soon be hitting the highways of Alberta as three PPC candidates for Alberta’s pending senatorial election next month. .

And the trio expect PPC leader Maxime Bernier to travel with them during certain stages of their campaign in Alberta.

Lorencz was the PPC candidate for Red Deer-Mountainview and finished third, garnering 7,388 votes.

“I am fighting for Alberta and for a sane voice to be heard in the Senate,” said Lorencz, who owns an area west of Innisfail near the Dickson Dam.

Kelly lorencz

With a background in corrections, the married father made his home in the riding of Red Deer-Mountain View for approximately 23 years.

He said he would like to add his voice to the national conversation on veterans. Lorencz is a former member of the Canadian military who toured Rwanda in the 1990s, where a humanitarian crisis led to genocide.

“The hypocrisy around veterans is staggering,” Lorencz said, noting that little has been done to help homeless veterans.

Wellwood placed fourth in her riding of Bannf-Airdrie, but she hopes the growing PPC momentum will continue.

Nadine wellwood

“We want to keep the message alive in Alberta,” Wellwood said.

“Albertans must have some hope for the future.

McCormack finished in a respectable second place in the Lakeland constituency, garnering 7,388 votes, or 12.1% of all ballots cast.

“It’s been a whirlwind for the past four weeks and I guess the whirlwind will continue for a few more,” said McCormack, who lives on her husband’s family farm in the “center of the universe (actually Clandonald, north of Vermillion.) “

“PPC policies are good, the ones I can spread the word about. The only concern I have is electoral fatigue, but there is not much I can do about it. “

Lorencz has a website that can be reached here.

The Wellwood website can be reached here.

McCormack website can be reached here.

Albertans will elect three pending senators in the October 18 municipal ballot.

It would then be up to the Prime Minister to appoint them each time there is an opening in the Upper House.

On June 11, 1990, Stan Waters became the first senator elected from Alberta to be sworn in after being appointed by Prime Minister Brian Mulroney.

He was also the first Reform Party member in the upper house.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Allision Redford’s former finance minister Doug Horner has also joined the race for the Senate.

Erika Barootes, Pamela Davidson and Mykhailo Martyniouk represent the Conservative Party in the race.

Other nominees include Duncan Kinney, Sunil Sookram, Randy Hogle, Jeff Nielsen, and Chad Jett Thunders Sauders.


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Reuters Global News Summary | Politics


Here is a summary of the news in the world.

Taiwan threatens to take China to WTO in new fruit dispute

Taiwan on Sunday threatened to bring China to the World Trade Organization after Beijing said it would suspend imports of sugar apples and wax apples from the island due to pest concerns, during the last quarrel between the two over the fruit. Relations between Taipei and Beijing, which claim democratically ruled Taiwan as its own territory, are at their lowest in decades, with China increasing political and military pressure for the island to accept its sovereignty.

Explanation – The Canadian Federal Election: What Happened and What Are the Stakes

Canadians go to the polls on Monday in an election that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called two years earlier, seeking to turn public approval for his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic into a new four-year term . WHY NOW?

Stored COVID vaccines must be handed over to poorest countries, says former UK prime minister

A vaccine summit hosted by US President Joe Biden this week is expected to come up with a plan to transfer 100 million stored COVID-19 vaccines to poorer countries before they reach their expiration date, said the former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown. Biden is due to convene a virtual COVID-19 summit on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly on Wednesday, aimed at boosting vaccinations around the world with the aim of ending the pandemic by the end of 2022.

World leaders return to UN with focus on pandemic and climate

World leaders return to the United Nations in New York this week with a focus on stepping up efforts to tackle both climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic, which forced them last year to send video statements for the annual gathering. As the coronavirus still rages amid an unfair vaccine rollout, about a third of the 193 UN states plan to send videos again, but presidents, prime ministers and foreign ministers of others are expected get to the United States.

Canadian Trudeau hammers his rival on COVID-19 position on the last day of the campaign

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, crisscrossing the country to deliver a final speech to voters ahead of Monday’s election, said on Sunday that only his Liberals can end the COVID-19 pandemic and accused his main rival of adopting the wrong approach. Opinion polls indicate that the political advantage is with Trudeau, who is stepping up attacks on Conservative Party leader Erin O’Toole over the pandemic. Trudeau supports vaccination mandates against O’Toole, who prefers testing to control the public health crisis.

Russia’s ruling pro-Putin party wins majority after crackdown but loses ground

Russia’s ruling party United Russia, which backs President Vladimir Putin, has retained its majority in parliament after three days of elections and a widespread crackdown on critics, despite losing about a fifth of its support, have showed partial results Monday. With 33% of the ballots counted, the Central Election Commission said United Russia won just over 45% of the vote, with its closest rival the Communist Party at around 22%.

Australia defends cancellation of French submarine deal, Macron and Biden discuss

Australia defended on Sunday its decision to drop a multibillion-dollar order for French submarines and opt instead for an alternative deal with the United States and Britain, saying it had signaled its concerns in Paris months ago. Canberra’s move angered Paris, sparking an unprecedented diplomatic crisis that analysts say could cause lasting damage to US alliances with France and Europe. It has also annoyed China, the main rising power in the Indo-Pacific region.

Netanyahu suggests on Facebook that Biden fell asleep upon meeting new Israeli PM

Former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu suggested in a video posted to Facebook on Sunday that US President Joe Biden fell asleep when he met with new Israeli leader Naftali Bennett last month. A Reuters fact check https://www.reuters.com/article/factcheck-biden-asleep-idUSL1N2Q00H8 previously debunked the idea that Biden dozed off, after social media users shared a video clip of the US President who they said showed him looking down and falling asleep while Bennett spoke in the Oval Office.

Syrian military leader pays rare visit to Jordan to discuss border security

The Syrian Defense Minister visited Jordan on Sunday to discuss stability at their mutual border, the first such meeting since the Syrian conflict erupted ten years ago when the two neighbors backed opposing factions , officials said. The meeting follows a major military offensive to retake the last rebel stronghold in southern Syria, and after reestablishing control this month over Daraa, a town south of Damascus, as part of a deal brokered by Russia that prevented a full Iranian-led military assault. army units.

France cancels defense meeting with UK over submarine dispute, sources say

France canceled a meeting between Armies Minister Florence Parly and her British counterpart scheduled for this week after Australia canceled a submarine order with Paris in favor of a deal with Washington and London, two sources said. close to the file. Parly personally made the decision to drop the bilateral meeting with British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace, the sources said.

(This story was not edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)


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As leaders meet again at UN, climate and COVID tops list


The UN chief keeps repeating that the world is at “a pivotal moment” and must shift into high gear towards “a greener and safer world”. To do this, leaders must give multilateralism ‘teeth’, starting with joint action to reverse the global failure to fight COVID-19 in 2020 and ensure that 70% of the world’s population is vaccinated. during the first half of 2022.

But as is often the case with the United Nations, it remains to be seen whether the high-level meetings, which start on Monday and end on September 27, actually make progress.

After COVID-19 forced leaders to deliver pre-recorded speeches remotely at last year’s meeting, more than 100 heads of state and government and more than two dozen ministers decided to come to New York this year despite the pandemic. This reflects the unique role of the United Nations as a global public forum for the 193 member countries, whether small or large, weak or powerful.

The annual gathering of assembly world leaders – called the General Debate – has always been a place where presidents, prime ministers, monarchs and other senior officials can discuss local, regional and global concerns in public meetings and functions or private, and during lunches and dinners. . In other words, it creates a space for carrying out the delicate business of face-to-face diplomacy, which is seen as much more productive than online virtual meetings.

Richard Gowan, director of the International Crisis Group at the UN, said the first in-person meeting of the General Assembly since the start of the pandemic – although some 60 leaders have chosen to give pre-recorded speeches – is not only symbolic but an opportunity to “show that the international cooperation is important.”

“For the leaders of the poorest countries, this is also a rare opportunity to speak publicly about the ongoing aftershocks of COVID-19,” he said. “It’s also, frankly, quite fun coming to New York. Many of these leaders are stuck in their capitals.

After four years of Donald Trump representing the United States in meetings, this week Joe Biden will make his first appearance as president when the general debate opens on Tuesday. Gowan said that “the really important question is exactly how he frames relations with China.”

“He won’t be criticizing China as openly as Trump, especially in 2019 and 2020,” Gowan said. “But I think Biden will try to portray China as a country that challenges the rules-based world order and a country that should not be trusted to lead the international system.”

The pandemic is not only something world leaders need to discuss, but also something to deal with on the ground: a key issue ahead of the meetings has been COVID-19 entry requirements for leaders in states – United – and at the UN headquarters itself.

Traditionally, the first speaker after the Secretary General presents his State of the World Report is Brazil. Its president, Jair Bolsonaro, who is not vaccinated, reiterated Thursday that he does not plan to be vaccinated anytime soon. Bolsonaro’s rationale: He had COVID-19 and therefore, he says, he has a high level of antibodies.

Entry into the United States requires a vaccination or recent COVID-19 test, but New York City has a vaccination requirement for convention centers, and it considers the General Assembly Hall – which does not. is technically not American soil – is part of it.

Assembly Speaker Abdulla Shahid said in a letter Thursday that the UN relies only on an honor system. This means that there will be no New York City police to screen people entering the UN headquarters.

Many diplomats say they will keep a close watch on the last scheduled speakers on the last day, September 27, because each has something controversial.

North Korea has just tested new cruise missiles that could deliver nuclear weapons. In Myanmar, generals toppled the democratically elected government in February. The Guinean army overthrew the democratically elected president a month ago. And in Afghanistan, the Taliban seized power on August 15 when the Afghan army did not fight as the last American troops withdrew from the country after 20 years of war.

The credentials of Myanmar’s current ambassador, the country’s ousted democratic government, are challenged by the military junta, but UN officials say the General Assembly’s credentials committee will not meet to hear the protest only after the end of the week’s meetings. And the Taliban have yet to submit a letter challenging the credentials of the previous government’s ambassador.

Among those delivering pre-recorded statements this year are the presidents of Iran, Egypt, Indonesia, South Africa and Zimbabwe. French President Emmanuel Macron was supposed to deliver a pre-recorded statement, but the government has said Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian will now deliver the country’s speech in person on the last day.

France and China have reacted angrily to the surprise announcement by Biden, alongside Australian and British leaders, of an agreement to supply Australia with at least eight nuclear-powered submarines. Australia had signed a contract of at least $ 66 billion for a dozen French conventional diesel-electric submarines and their construction was already underway.

France, the United States’ longest-serving ally, responded by recalling its ambassadors from the United States and Australia on Friday, and the implications of the dispute for Asian and global security will certainly be hot topics in private meetings this week. .

The action begins Monday morning when the Secretary-General brings together world leaders and global pop group BTS to highlight the 17 UN goals for 2030 ranging from eradicating poverty and protecting the planet to achievement. of gender equality, providing every child with a quality education and ensuring a healthy life for all.

An hour later, around 40 world leaders will take part in a closed-door meeting on climate change co-chaired by Guterres and UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson in the run-up to November’s big climate event in Glasgow, Scotland.

“We need urgent progress on money, cars, coal and trees,” British Ambassador to the UN Barbara Woodward said. This means raising $ 100 billion to help vulnerable countries cope with climate change and get countries ambitious emission reduction plans, she said.

Louis Charbonneau, UN director for Human Rights Watch, said world leaders must also deal with human rights crises.

“They must be clear that there can be no status quo with perpetrators of serious rights violations and support UN action which will impose real costs,” he said. “Violent leaders around the world need to know that the world is watching them and that they could one day be held responsible for serious violations. “


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Milley: Calls to China were “perfectly” within the scope of work


Grief and guilt are all Zakia Zarifi has felt since returning home to Ontario from Afghanistan.

“I’m happy to see my family here, but it’s torture for me because I couldn’t bring my parents with me,” the Brampton realtor said over the phone.

“It was the toughest farewell ever, but deep down I hope I can get them here.”

The single mom says she was beaten, shot and barely dodged a bomb outside Kabul airport during the chaotic journey. All she thinks about now is helping the people left behind.

“(A) genocide… is happening in Afghanistan right now and no one is talking about it. That’s why I’m here, but my mind is still here.

Zarifi, 50, arrived this week with tears and warm hugs from her three grown children. They worked frantically to bring their mother home after the Taliban took control of Afghanistan in August. She had been there to try to get her aging parents out of harm’s way.

Before going out herself, Zarifi criticized Canada’s evacuation of its citizens from the region.

She told The Canadian Press while stranded in Afghanistan that she made two attempts to escape before the August 31 deadline for the US-led military mission, but had beaten by members of the Taliban and pushed back from the airport gates.

She was angry with the Canadian authorities who told her and others to meet in dangerous places, while other countries helped their citizens to get on military planes using airplanes. safer routes. Ten days after the Canadian Forces left the region, and as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was criticized for mismanaging the evacuation, Zarifi received another call from Global Affairs Canada, she said. This time the plan was better. “They told me to be at (Kabul) the Serena hotel and then from there the Qatari government was in charge of taking us to the airport. We had a flight with the Qatar airline (to Qatar). ” On Tuesday, she was on a plane from Doha in Canada.

“The first flight that left Afghanistan (had) all different citizens around the world. On the second flight … there were, I believe, 10 Canadians.

She said others on the return flight were telling horrific stories of the Taliban knocking on their families’ doors and taking their men away.

“They took their birth certificates and took them there. They are all gone, ”she said.

“Someone even knocked on my parents’ door. The guy who takes care of them (said), ‘No one lives here’, and they left.

Zarifi said his parents are a target as they are from Panjshir province in the northeast, at the heart of the military resistance in Afghanistan and where his father fought the Taliban regime.

While she waited for a flight, she and her family helped other Afghans, she said.

They donated items to their home, distributed 120 blankets and provided food to 500 families. Many of the Afghans they have helped are among the thousands of religious and ethnic minorities who fear the Taliban’s return to power will lead to oppression or death.

Zarifi recalled a similar trip she made in 1987 during the Soviet Union’s invasion of Afghanistan. She fled from Kabul to Pakistan. Two years later, she moved to Canada.

“The Afghans… the majority of them are refugees and they all found a way out before and during much worse times,” said Zarifi’s daughter, Marjan.

“When my mother first came to Canada, she had to walk two days, two nights to get to where she needed to go. They were shot directly at them. So she did it twice.

“She keeps a lot of strength and says, ‘It’s going to be fine,’ but every day we can’t think clearly… Everyone’s still living, but my spirit is constantly with my family and what’s going on.”

Despite her frustration with the Canadian government, Zarifi said she was grateful Trudeau had not forgotten her and other citizens.

“I just hope the liberal (government) will do their best to bring people in because their lives are in danger,” Zarifi said.

“When I moved here, I was working 20 hours a day. I worked as an accountant, I did bookkeeping, night shifts at Walmart. I worked hard. I made my living for myself.

She said she prayed that other Afghans would have the same chance to have a new life. For her part, she plans to continue helping people in Afghanistan in any way she can.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published on September 17, 2021.

___

This story was produced with the financial assistance of Facebook and the Canadian Press News Fellowship.

Fakiha Baig, The Canadian Press


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Evening update: pandemic dominates federal campaign after Jason Kenney’s overthrow in Alberta


Have a good evening, let’s start with today’s best stories:

Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau calls the COVID-19 situation in Alberta “heartbreaking” and says Ottawa will send ventilators to the province. Meanwhile, Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole wouldn’t say if he still supports Prime Minister Jason Kenney’s response to the pandemic.

The federal campaign has been disrupted by Kenney’s decision this week to declare a state of public health emergency and introduce a vaccine passport system in the province. Trudeau on Thursday criticized O’Toole’s previous support for the premier of Alberta. In turn, Mr. O’Toole sued Mr. Trudeau for calling an election amid a pandemic, and said the $ 600 million spent on the campaign could have been sent to the provinces to fight the Delta variant. highly contagious instead. .

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“The fans are on. Anything more we can do, be it sending more health professionals like we did to Ontario a few months ago when they were overwhelmed. We’re going to make sure Albertans get the support of everyone in this country in the way they need to get through this time. “

Alberta Health Services said on Wednesday the agency will ask other provinces if they can take care of patients in Alberta’s intensive care units, as well as if they can send frontline staff.

Related:

  • Federal campaigns must do everything to get supporters to the polls
  • Saskatchewan to Require Proof of COVID-19 Vaccination to Try to Increase Adoption

This is the daily evening update bulletin. If you’re reading this on the web, or if it was sent to you as a transfer, you can sign up for Evening Update and over 20 other Globe newsletters. here. If you like what you see, share it with your friends.

Chinese PLA general collaborates with licensed scientist at Canada’s top infectious disease lab

A high-ranking People’s Liberation Army officer collaborated on Ebola research with one of the scientists who was later fired from the Canadian High Security Infectious Disease Laboratory in Winnipeg.

Research by Major-General Chen Wei and former Canadian government laboratory scientist Xiangguo Qiu indicates that cooperation between the Chinese military and scientists at the National Microbiology Laboratory has gone much further than previously thought. previously. major-general. Chen Wei was recently praised by President Xi Jinping for developing a Chinese vaccine against COVID-19,

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major-general. Chen Wei and Dr Qiu, who until recently headed the vaccine and antiviral therapy development section at the Winnipeg lab, collaborated on two scientific papers on Ebola, in 2016 and 2020. These papers did not identify the major-general. Chen as a high-ranking officer in the military wing of the ruling Chinese Communist Party. Instead, she is identified as Wei Chen, who holds a PhD and works at the Beijing Biotechnology Institute.

Common? SpikeVax? Health Canada Authorizes Rebranding for Approved COVID-19 Vaccines

Health Canada has approved new names for the Pfizer, Moderna and Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccines. The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine will now carry the brand name Comirnaty, which the company says represents a combination of the terms COVID-19, mRNA, community and immunity. The Moderna vaccine will go through SpikeVax and the AstraZeneca vaccine will be called Vaxzevria.

Manufacturers said the changes followed full approval of the vaccines by Health Canada on Thursday. During the interim order, which expired Thursday, the vaccines did not carry their brand names.

Read more:

  • NHL says it expects 98% of players to be fully vaccinated before the start of the season
  • France suspends around 3,000 health workers for failing to comply with COVID-19 vaccine mandate

ALSO ON OUR RADAR

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Ontario is requiring universities and colleges to update their policies on sexual assault: The province says policies need to better support students who file complaints. The guidelines were released amid calls from University of Western Ontario students to tackle the threat of sexual violence on campus after allegations that young women were drugged and sexually assaulted in residence last week.

The world risks missing its climate targets despite the pandemic pause in emissions, according to the UN: The economic slowdown linked to the virus caused only a temporary drop in CO2 emissions last year and that was not enough to reverse the rising levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, said the ‘World Meteorological Organization, adding that there is a growing likelihood that the world will miss its Paris The deal aims to reduce global warming to 1.5C above pre-industrial levels.

Suncor is partnering with eight Indigenous communities to purchase TC Energy’s remaining interest in Northern Courier Pipeline: Suncor, three First Nations communities and five Métis communities will own a 15% interest in this approximately $ 1.3 billion pipeline asset. The partnership is expected to generate roughly $ 16 million per year in gross revenue for its partners and provide reliable revenue, Suncor said in a statement.

The Maple Leafs and Sabers will play an outdoor game in Hamilton on March 13: Buffalo is listed as the home team against the Maple Leafs in the NHL Heritage Classic, which will be played at Tim Hortons Field. Buffalo becomes the first US-based team to compete in what will be the sixth Heritage Classic.

WAKE-UP

A drop in commodities depressed the major Canadian stock index a day before heightened volatility associated with the quarterly expiration of options known as quadruple witching.

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The S & P / TSX Composite Index closed 91.69 points lower at 20,602.10.

In New York, the Dow Jones Industrial Index lost 63.07 points to 34,751.32. The S&P 500 Index lost 6.95 points to 4,473.75, while the Nasdaq composite was up 20.39 points to 15,181.92.

The Canadian dollar was trading at 78.90 US cents against 79.05 US cents on Wednesday.

Got a topical tip you’d like us to review? Write to us at [email protected]. Need to share documents securely? Contact us via SecureDrop.

DISCUSSION POINTS

Climate change puts Canada’s seniors at risk

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“If you think the pandemic has been incredibly difficult, remember that the World Health Organization and The Lancet have both declared climate change to be the number one health threat of this century. And just as we’ve seen with COVID-19, climate change won’t affect all Canadians equally. “- Amit Arya and Samantha Green

Canada’s gun violence epidemic is unlike what you might think

“Instead of just hearing an audio clip of Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole’s opinion on Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau’s semi-automatic rifle ban, it would have been nice to hear it as well, as well as other leaders, discuss the details of Bill C-21. Gun owners and community leaders have voiced opposition to the legislation, which contains many provisions that are not rooted in evidence-based science. “- Jooyoung lee

Low-income Canadian households will suffer the most from surging inflation

“If we truly appreciate the essential services that our workers provide to our economy, we should also appreciate the increase in their wages. Higher wages will cushion the impact of inflation on low-income Canadians, encourage more of these workers to re-enter the workforce, and alleviate labor shortages in businesses. – Sohaib Shahid

LIVE BETTER

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Five shows to see across Canada (and five to watch online) as theater returns to normal

Globe Theater columnist J. Kelly Nestruck says it has never been clearer than this month that theater is a local art form. As such, Canadian cities are in very different return states.

In Montreal, for example, the performing arts have almost returned to a pre-pandemic level of activity. In Toronto, on the other hand, many large theater companies wait until winter or even spring to resume in-person performances indoors.

Nestruck is taking a look at some in-person shows to look forward to this fall, but also has a few alternatives online.

LONG READING OF THE DAY

Ocean Cleanup struggles to deliver on pledge to eliminate plastic from the Pacific

An offshore supply vessel used by the nonprofit Ocean Cleanup to remove plastic from the ocean is docked in a port in Victoria on September 8, 2021.

GLORIA DICKIE / Reuters

Ocean Cleanup, a non-profit organization launched in 2013 and funded by cash donations and support from companies such as Coca-Cola, had hopes of ridding the world’s oceans of 90% of floating plastic by here. 2040. The meager transport shows how difficult the task will be.

The group’s best-case scenario allows it to remove 20,000 tonnes per year from the North Pacific, a small fraction of the roughly 11 million tonnes of plastic dumped into the oceans each year. And that amount entering the ocean is expected to nearly triple to 29 million tonnes per year by 2040, according to the Pew Charitable Trusts.

During a month’s 120-hour trip, Ocean Cleanup collected 8.2 tonnes of plastic – less than the standard haul of a garbage truck.

“I think they came from a good place to want to help the ocean, but by far the best way to help the ocean is to prevent plastic from getting into the ocean in the first place,” said Miriam Goldstein, Director of the Ocean. politics at the Center for American Progress think tank.

Read the full story here.

The evening update is presented by Rob Gilroy. If you wish to receive this newsletter by e-mail every weekday evening, go to here register. If you have any comments, drop us a line. Remark.


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“Catastrophe” in Afghanistan: Canada saves only a fraction of the performers, according to an NGO


“As soon as the Canadians leave, the United States will leave, they will be massacred … It’s a disaster”

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Despite repeated government promises that Canada would save endangered interpreters and other Afghans who worked for that country, only a small fraction of them are airlifted out of Kabul, say advocates for local workers.

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About 90 percent of those flown by Ottawa from Afghanistan are Canadian citizens and permanent residents of Afghan origin, said Dave Fraser, a retired army general with the Veterans Transition Network.

Most performers and other ex-Canadian military and government employees are still waiting for a quickly fading opportunity to flee, he said.

“It’s always absolutely chaotic,” said Fraser, who led Canadian troops on Operation Medusa, that country’s most notorious offensive in Afghanistan. “It’s still incredibly dangerous.”

Chris Ecklund, founder of the Canadian Heroes Foundation, said only 100 of the 1,500 former employees and family members his group helps have made it to Canada. He estimates that the interpreters and their relatives represent only 5 to 10% of the evacuees.

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Meanwhile, the Taliban recently killed several former employees of that country, he said. Although he did not provide any details, such targeted assassinations have long been a hallmark of the organization.

“The government is just not interested in this, they never have been,” Ecklund accused. “We are there now, we have one week left. Are we going to take them all out? The math doesn’t make sense. It does not indicate that.

It’s still absolutely chaotic

Most have not received a visa from Canada and face a dangerous trek from privately funded secure homes in central Kabul to the airport, a trip that may include walking a mile down a sewer. in the open, according to defenders.

Other countries, like the British and the French, brought in hundreds of Afghans from the city in bus convoys.

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Although Canadian government officials told reporters that country’s special forces ventured outside the airport to bring people in, private lawyers say they see little evidence of this happening. produce.

As the August 31 deadline approaches for the departure of foreign forces from Afghanistan, desperation is growing among veterans and other Canadians helping ex-employees.

“It’s a nightmare,” said another Canadian NGO volunteer, who works with government officials and asked not to be named. “It is a disaster of epic proportions.”

Spokesmen for Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) could not be reached before the deadline for comment – or to describe who exactly is being evacuated.

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But Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Tuesday that Canada was prepared to stay in Afghanistan to continue evacuation efforts past the August 31 deadline, if possible.

“We will continue to work every day to bring out so many people alongside our allies,” Trudeau told reporters after a virtual meeting of G7 leaders. “The commitment of our G7 colleagues is clear: we will all work together to save as many people as possible.

  1.     In this file photo taken on August 15, 2021, Prime Minister of Canada Justin Trudeau holds a press conference at Rideau Hall after asking Governor General Mary Simon to dissolve Parliament.

    Trudeau says Canada is ready to stay in Kabul past August 31 deadline after G7 meeting

  2. British and Canadian soldiers stand guard near a canal as Afghans wait outside the foreign military-controlled portion of Kabul airport, hoping to flee the country on August 22, 2021.

    Former Canadian interpreter fears for his life while awaiting evacuation from Afghanistan

However, US President Joe Biden, who set the deadline, has indicated his country will not stay beyond the end of this month.

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Trudeau also said Canada will continue to pressure the Taliban to allow people to leave the country even after the current phase ends.

Defense Minister Harjit Sajjan said in a tweet that Canada had flown 500 people out of the country just on Monday, adding to several hundred previously.

But Fraser said his group believed that only 11% of the 1,000 former interpreters and their families followed by VTN had received visas to come to Canada.

Even if they do receive a visa, getting into the airport and boarding a Canadian plane is a major challenge.

IRCC officials are telling Afghans to make their own way to the compound, despite the threat posed by huge crowds and Taliban guards, Fraser said.

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An Afghan-Canadian working for a Canadian NGO at the airport said it took people several days to get from the city to the airport. The quickest route takes them for three hours through an open sewer, where they then have to wait while Canadian authorities check their papers, said the man, who asked not to be named to avoid conflicts with government officials.

A friend who managed to cross and board a plane said he had traveled for several days as his children were injured by barbed wire and then had to wade through the sewers, he said by phone from Kabul.

A Canadian soldier walks through an evacuation checkpoint during an evacuation at Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan, August 24, 2021.
A Canadian soldier walks through an evacuation checkpoint during an evacuation at Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan, August 24, 2021. Photo by Staff Sgt. Victor Mancilla / US Marine Corps / Document via Reuters

The NGO worker estimated that about 95 percent of those who board Canadian planes are citizens or permanent residents. Most of the interpreters he knows have not even received a visa.

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Once they make contact with Canadian authorities, the fleeing Afghans face another obstacle. IRCC staff categorically reject any family member – including in one case the widowed mother of a former employee – who does not themselves have a visa, the airport worker and a lawyer said based in Canada.

A former Canadian military interpreter in Kandahar province who immigrated to Canada in 2010 argued that Afghan nationals and their families should in fact be given priority over Canadian citizens. They do not have passports that would allow them to leave the country after the departure of foreign forces, he said.

Khan, who asked that his last name not be released to avoid reprisals against his family in Afghanistan, said the policy should extend to relatives of performers like him who have already settled in Canada, as those relatives are at increased risk of retaliation by the Taliban.

There are over 200 ex-performers in Canada and so far no family member in Afghanistan has made it, he said.

“As soon as the Canadians leave, the United States will leave, they will be slaughtered,” Khan predicted. “It’s a disaster.”

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World News Roundup: Trudeau Sentences 11-Year Chinese Court in Canada’s Espionage Case; Iranian Raisi appoints anti-Western hard line as new foreign minister, more


Here is a summary of the news in the world.

Trudeau condemns Chinese court’s 11-year sentence in Canadian spy case

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Wednesday that a Chinese court’s sentencing of Canadian businessman Michael Spavor to 11 years in prison for espionage was “absolutely unacceptable” and called for his immediate release. The US Embassy in Beijing also condemned the conviction in a statement, saying the prosecution of Spavor and another Canadian accused of espionage was an attempt to “use human beings as a bargaining chip.”

Iranian Raisi appoints anti-Western hard line as new foreign minister

New President Ebrahim Raisi on Wednesday appointed an anti-Western diplomat as foreign minister as Iran and six world powers seek to restore their 2015 nuclear deal. Raisi, a hardline supporter under Western sanctions for allegations of human rights violations while a judge, was sworn in on August 5 with religious leaders in the Islamic Republic facing growing crises at home and abroad.

Taliban could take Afghan capital in 90 days – US intelligence

Taliban fighters could isolate the Afghan capital in 30 days and possibly take control of it in 90 days, a US defense official told Reuters on Wednesday citing US intelligence as militants took control of an eighth Afghan provincial capital. The Taliban now control 65% of Afghanistan and have captured or are threatening to take 11 provincial capitals, a senior EU official said on Tuesday.

Ramaphosa de S. Africa says he tried to resist corruption as deputy to ex-president Zuma

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, testifying in a corruption probe on Wednesday, said he chose to “stay but resist” rather than resign as vice president when allegations of widespread corruption surfaced. surfaced under his predecessor Jacob Zuma. Ramaphosa, Zuma’s number two from May 2014 to February 2018, made anti-corruption a mainstay of his presidency, although opposition parties criticized him for not doing enough to stop the rot during his tenure of deputy.

Germany arrests Briton suspected of spying for Russia

German police have arrested a Briton who worked at the British embassy in Berlin on suspicion of passing documents on to Russian intelligence services in exchange for cash, prosecutors said on Wednesday. German prosecutors said the apartment and workplace of the man, identified only as David S., had been searched and he would be brought before an investigating judge later on Wednesday.

North Korea warns of “security crisis” if US, South Korea escalate tensions

North Korea said on Wednesday that South Korea and the United States had missed an opportunity to improve relations and risked a “serious security crisis” by choosing to escalate tensions as they conduct joint military exercises . Kim Yong Chol, a general and politician who played a leading role in historic summits between North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and former US President Donald Trump, criticized South Korea and the United States for responding to Pyongyang’s goodwill with “hostile acts”.

Belarus calls on US to cut embassy staff by September 1, RIA says

Belarus has called on the United States to cut staff at its embassy in Minsk and revoked its consent to the appointment of Julie Fisher as ambassador in response to the latest Washington sanctions, Russian news agency RIA reported on Wednesday. RIA quoted a spokesperson for the Belarusian Foreign Ministry as saying that Minsk wanted the embassy staff to be reduced to five by September 1.

At least 65 dead in forest fires in Algeria

Forest fires that ravaged forest areas in northern Algeria have left at least 65 dead, state television reported on Wednesday, as some of the most destructive fires in the country’s history continued to rage . The government has deployed the military to help fight the fires, which have ravaged the mountainous region of Kabylia the hardest, and 28 of the dead are soldiers, with 12 others seriously injured from burns.

Analysis-Brazil Bolsonaro deploys tanks to cover weak position

Clouds of black exhaust fumes spewing aging tanks and amphibious vehicles passing far-right President Jair Bolsonaro on Tuesday were a bad smokescreen for a leader whose political support is crumbling and whose re-election is in trouble. Politicians and analysts said this week’s unusual military display outside the Presidential Palace https://www.reuters.com/world/americas/brazil-military-parade-presidential-palace-rattles-politicians-2021- 08-10 in Brasilia had not revealed the strength but rather the political weakness of a president on the ropes for not having taken Brazil out of the coronavirus pandemic and an economic crisis.

Greece says EU “is not ready for another migration crisis”

The European Union is unable to cope with another migration crisis like the one in 2015 and must act to try to prevent people from fleeing the growing conflict in Afghanistan, Greek Migration Minister Notis Mitarachi said on Wednesday. . Mitararchi, who last week co-signed a letter with ministers from five other EU countries saying deportations of failed asylum seekers should continue despite the fighting, said ending such returns “would send a bad message ”and would encourage more Afghans to try to reach Europe.

(This story was not edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)


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International headquarters

Forest fires ravage Greece’s forests and cut the big island in two


GOUVES, Greece (AP) – Columns of smoke and ash blocked the sun over Greece’s second largest island and turned the skies orange as a days-old wildfire devoured pristine forests and triggered more evacuation alerts on Sunday, as residents called for additional firefighting. to help.

The fire in Evia, an island of mountains and forested canyons dotted with small coves of crystal clear water, began on August 3 and swept through the popular summer destination from coast to coast, burning uncontrollably for five days. Dozens of homes and businesses have been destroyed and thousands of residents and vacationers have been evacuated.

The fire is currently the most serious of dozens to erupt in Greece following the country’s most prolonged and intense heat wave in three decades, which has raised temperatures to 45 degrees Celsius (113 F) and created conditions of bone dryness.

The Greek Coast Guard said that three patrol boats, four navy ships, a ferry, two tourist boats and numerous fishing and private boats were ready to carry out further potential evacuations from the seaside village of Pefki, in the northern tip of Evia.

About 350 people have already boarded the ferry, the coast guard said, as towering flames cut many evacuation routes from the roads. Evacuation orders were issued for four villages, including Pefki, but some residents refused to leave, hoping to save their properties.

Planes and helicopters dropped water on the flames from above.

“It is already too late, the area has been destroyed,” lamented Giannis Kontzias, mayor of the municipality of Istiaia, north of Evia, on the Greek television channel Open TV. Residents of neighboring villages were urged to travel to Istiatia, a town of 7,000 in northern Evia that firefighters struggled to save overnight.

Villagers and residents of North Evia’s main port, Aidipsos, were urged to close windows, doors and fireplaces to prevent embers from entering homes.

Civil protection chief NIkos Hardalias said conditions in Evia were particularly difficult for planes and helicopters dropping water. Their pilots were facing “great danger” with limited visibility, air turbulence and wind currents from the fire, he said.

“We have a tougher afternoon ahead of us, a tougher night,” said Hardalias. “All the forces that have fought an uphill battle all these days will continue to operate with relentless intensity, with the same selflessness. “

Overnight, coast guards and ferries evacuated 83 people from the beaches of northern Evia. On Friday evening, ferries evacuated more than 1,000 people from beaches and a seaside village in doomsday scenes as flames raged on the hills behind them.

Local officials and residents of northern Evia called for television news broadcasts on Saturday, calling for more firefighters and planes to drop water.

Firefighters said 575 firefighters with 35 ground crews and 89 vehicles were battling the Evia blaze, including 112 Romanian firefighters and 100 Ukrainian firefighters sent to Greece as reinforcements. Four helicopters and three planes, including a huge Beriev-200 leased from Russia, provided air support.

Three other major fires also burned on Sunday in Greece’s southern Peloponnese region, while a massive blaze that ravaged forests, homes and businesses on the northern outskirts of the Greek capital appeared to be in decline. This fire traversed large swathes of a national park on Mount Parnitha, the largest remaining forested area near Athens which still bore deep scars from a fire in 2007.

The reactivation of the blaze north of Athens was a constant concern, Hardalias said, adding that firefighters and the military had patrolled through the night to deal with the situation. A firefighter was transferred to hospital on Sunday after losing consciousness while on patrol, Hardalias said. His condition was not life threatening.

A volunteer firefighter died on Friday from head injuries caused by a fall from a utility pole north of Athens, while at least 20 people were treated for fire-related injuries, including two firefighters who were hospitalized in intensive care.

The causes of the fires are under investigation. Three people were arrested on Friday _ in the greater Athens region, central and southern Greece _ on suspicion of starting fires, in two cases intentionally.

Another person, a 47-year-old Greek, was arrested on Saturday afternoon in the Athenian suburb of Petroupoli for lighting two fires in a grove and setting four dumpsters on fire, police said.

Ten countries have already sent firefighting personnel and equipment such as planes to Greece, while eight others are sending additional reinforcements.

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis visited the firefighters’ headquarters in Athens on Saturday and expressed “deep sorrow” for the death of the volunteer firefighter. He then went to the airport from where the firefighting planes take off and thanked the pilots, Greek and French.

Ensuring aid to all those affected by the forest fires will be “my first political priority,” the prime minister said, promising that all burnt areas would be reforested.

“When this nightmarish summer is over, we will turn our full attention to repairing the damage as quickly as possible and restoring our natural environment,” Mitsotakis said.

Greek and European officials have blamed climate change for the large number of fires that have ravaged southern Europe in recent days, from Italy to the Balkans, Greece and Turkey.

Massive fires have also been burning in Siberia in northern Russia for weeks, forcing the evacuation of a dozen villages on Saturday. In total, forest fires have burned nearly 15 million acres this year in Russia.

In the United States, hot, dry and gusty weather also fueled devastating wildfires in California.

About the photo: People use a ferry to evacuate the village of Pefki on the island of Evia, about 189 kilometers (118 miles) north of Athens, Greece on Sunday, August 8, 2021. Columns smoke and ash block sun above Greece’s second-largest island as days-old wildfire is devouring pristine forests and triggering more evacuation alerts. (AP Photo / Petros Karadjias)

Copyright 2021 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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Canadian army

Afghanistan will sanction Pakistan? Vice-President Saleh reacts to ex-Canadian call for “invasion”


Responding to a tweet from former Canadian politician and diplomat Chris Alexander, Afghan Vice President Amrullah Saleh described the current period as a “period of shock” and has flooded confidence as he recovered. The Canadian diplomat spoke of the “Pakistan invasion of Afghanistan” and how it should be treated. With the hashtag “Sanction Pakistan”, the Canadian politician blasted Pakistan for its alleged involvement in the violence in Afghanistan.

“It’s on its way. The Afghan route,” the vice president wrote amid fierce fighting with Taliban forces.

Demonstration of the Afghan vice-president against Pakistan

As Afghanistan is in the throes of war, the country’s first vice president, Amrullah Saleh, joined a civil protest against the Taliban and Pakistan last week. As he marched through the streets of Kabul on August 3, the Afghan First Vice President was seen chanting Allah-o-Akbar and criticized Pakistan for supporting the Islamist movement Deobandi and the organization. military. The former director of the National Security Directorate, who has consistently spoken out against Pakistan’s support for the Taliban, took to the microblogging site and called the protest a “historic moment” against Tablian terrorists and their supporters.

25 Pakistani fighters killed by Afghan forces

According to reports, 25 Pakistani terrorists have been killed by Afghan forces so far in Nijrab, located 100 kilometers from Kabul. Among them, five are said to be Pakistani army commandos dressed as Taliban terrorists. The major revelation came as evidence regarding Afghanistan’s claims of Pakistani involvement on its soil. Reports further indicated that one of the commandos fighting alongside the Taliban had been ambushed by Afghan forces. After the assault, Afghan forces returned the bodies of Pakistani commandos through the Red Cross.

Imran Khan calls Taliban “normal civilians”

Anger against Pakistan escalated after a shocking statement was recently adopted by Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan in which he described the Taliban as not in military dress, but “normal civilians”. In an interview, Khan asked how Pakistan was supposed to hunt down the Taliban as it hosts three million Afghan refugees, the majority of whom are Pashtuns, the same ethnic group as the Taliban fighters. Khan has also denied claims about the Taliban’s alleged safe havens on Pakistani soil and has repeatedly shifted his argument in favor of the three million refugees in the country.


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Defense Minister urged military to create controversial aid role in Vancouver: Documents – National


Defense Minister Harjit Sajjan called on the military to create a post possibly occupied by a reserve officer from his former unit who had been suspended from Vancouver Police for an inappropriate relationship with a subordinate, according to notes from recently published information.

Sajjan also wanted the military to upgrade the post less than two months after Major Greg McCullough was hired, as the minister wanted even more support in his Vancouver constituency, the notes say, although that request has not come true. .

The briefing note comes amid lingering questions about how and why McCullough found himself in the unique position before his dismissal last month following revelations about the complaint and the disciplinary action taken against him while he was sergeant in the Vancouver Police Department.

McCullough was hired to support Sajjan in March 2020 despite an external investigation that found him guilty in 2018 of two counts of misconduct for his relationship with Const. Nicole Chan, who later committed suicide in January 2019.

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READ MORE: Sajjan’s assistant had an inappropriate relationship, suspended while with Vancouver Police

It also follows opposition calls for Sajjan’s resignation for his handling of allegations of sexual misconduct involving senior military commanders. Global News first reported allegations against retired General Jonathan Vance in February – which he denies – and since then concerns about an “Old Boys Network” protecting top brass have sparked a military sexual misconduct record.

Defense experts have described the case as an institutional crisis for the military.

Vance was charged earlier in July with one count of obstructing justice. Military police brought the charge but turned the matter over to civilian court, citing the “limitations” of the military justice system.


Click to play the video: “Gén.  Jonathan Vance accused of obstructing justice '







General Jonathan Vance accused of obstructing justice


General Jonathan Vance charged with obstructing justice – July 15, 2021

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Sajjan’s office acknowledged that the Minister and McCullough knew each other as officers of the British Columbia Regiment (Duke of Connaught’s Own) and that they both served concurrently with the Vancouver Police Department.

But he says the military was responsible for the process that led to McCullough’s hiring, and neither the minister nor his staff were aware of the complaint and disciplinary action taken against him while he was a sergeant. in the Vancouver Police Department.

READ MORE: Officer suspended for inappropriate relationship no longer working as Sajjan’s assistant

The Department of National Defense announced last month that McCullough was no longer working as Sajjan’s assistant, although he remains a member of the Canadian Army Reserve.

Prepared for Jonathan Vance, then Chief of the Defense Staff, dated May 6, 2020, the briefing note obtained by The Canadian Press through access to information does not mention McCullough’s name, but shows the minister personally led the charge for a new assistant in Vancouver.

While Sajjan at the time already had four military assistants in Ottawa, and the Defense Ministry says he has no record of such a post being created outside the capital, the memo reads: “The Minister has determined that additional full-time support is needed while in Vancouver.

He goes on to say that a “suitable candidate” was selected in March 2020 and was currently working with the minister, but that “based on the recent direction of the minister” Sajjan would need even more support and therefore the position should be reclassified from part-time to full-time role.

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Such an upgrade would have represented a significant pay rise for whoever held the post.

READ MORE: Sajjan censored by House of Commons for dealing with military sexual misconduct

The briefing note recommends that the post be reclassified and filled through an “open, fair and equitable” competition, although Defense Ministry spokesman Daniel Le Bouthillier said the reclassification no. had not taken place because such full-time positions only concern exceptional circumstances.

Sajjan spokesman Daniel Minden defended the creation of the post of military assistant in Vancouver, saying in an email: “In order to avoid the high costs of moving military personnel based in Ottawa to Vancouver, a post of military assistant Vancouver-based military assistant was created.

“During the COVID-19 pandemic, Minister Sajjan spent part of the last year working remotely from his constituency of Vancouver, where this support was even greater. “

The pandemic is not mentioned in the briefing note.


Click to play video:







Military Ombudsman blames Ottawa for inaction on sexual misconduct


Military Ombudsman Blames Ottawa for Inaction on Sexual Misconduct – June 22, 2021

Le Bouthillier said the post remains vacant.

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“Military assistants from Ottawa travel to Vancouver as needed to perform these tasks,” he added in an email.

“The function is still required, but an updated feasibility and effectiveness analysis (after several months of COVID-19 restrictions) is underway by the Canadian Armed Forces to make a decision on how best to structure the office of the military assistant. “

Reached by phone Thursday, McCullough declined to comment, saying he had gotten into trouble for previously speaking to The Canadian Press and was not allowed to speak further.

“Minister Sajjan had nothing to do with my hiring process,” he said last month. “He needed a military assistant on the west coast because of the time he’s spending here, and that’s it. I have not spoken with Minister Sajjan about this process, and I serve the Canadian Armed Forces.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau insisted that Sajjan, who has been Canada’s only defense minister since the Liberals took office in late 2015, is the right person to lead the charge when it comes to change military culture and eradicate sexual misconduct and hatred.

© 2021 The Canadian Press


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History organization

This week in history: July 19 to 25


25 years ago: bombing of LTTE train kills dozens of workers in Sri Lanka

On July 24, 1996, a bomb attack by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) at Dehiwala station outside Colombo killed 64 commuters. 400 other people were injured. LTTE agents placed suitcase bombs containing more than 200 pounds of explosives in four cars during the height of the rush hour. The act deliberately targeted workers going to the suburbs of Sri Lanka’s capital. The train, which was due to leave Colombo Fort station after 5 p.m., was supposed to take city workers home after the day shift. The train was known as the “office train” and was extraordinarily crowded. More than 2,000 people were on board the day of the attack.

Sri Lankan soldiers and spectators stand near the exploded train in Dehiwala. (AP Photo / Eranga Jayawardena)

The Revolutionary Communist League (RCL), the Sri Lankan section of the International Committee and forerunner of the Socialist Equality Party, issued a statement condemning the brutal attack by the LTTE on the working class, while explaining that the incident was the direct result of the racist war. against the Tamil people, stepped up by the Sri Lankan government.

President Chandrika Kumaratunga’s “People’s Alliance” consisted of her own Sri Lanka Freedom Party, one of Sri Lanka’s two main bourgeois parties, along with the Lanka Sama Samaja Party, which broke with Trotskyism. in 1963-1964, and the Stalinist Communist Party. Sri Lanka Party, as well as several small bourgeois-populist parties. While using populist language, the Peoples Alliance pursued a chauvinistic policy towards the Tamil minority, which fueled support for the LTTE, and carried out vicious attacks on poor workers and farmers.

The link between the war and attacks on working class conditions was illustrated on the same day as the bombing when Kumaratunga addressed a meeting of small tea growers. She declared her government’s determination to remove economic subsidies and threatened to fire workers who are fighting for wage increases. “Lethargic civil servants and teachers who continue their old wars without being aware of the needs of the moment and of changes in society will face heavy penalties, including dismissal,” she said.

The RCL urged workers not to get drawn into the racist anti-Tamil campaign that was unleashed following the bombing by the ruling class. The party called on workers to establish their own independent defense committees to organize the safety of workers and their families. He urged them to oppose the government’s racist war and the government’s growing militarization.

The bombing, a previous bombing of Central Bank employees, and the continued harassment of Sinhala peasants in the Tamil-populated northern and eastern provinces demonstrated the LTTE’s opposition to the unity of the Sinhalese and Tamil masses. The LTTE sought to prevent the development of a movement of workers and the oppressed against the Sri Lankan regime.

50 years ago: failed Communist Party coup in Sudan

On July 19, 1971, the Sudanese Communist Party (SCP) attempted a coup against the government of the Democratic Republic of Sudan and ousted the country’s leader, Jaafar Nimeiry, from power. The blow was short lived, less than a week. On July 23, Nimeiry would be released and returned to power.

Years of immense political crisis in Sudan preceded the coup. Following a coup d’état in 1969 by the Free Officers Movement, Nimeiry led the North African country as chairman of the National Revolutionary Command Council (RCC), the ruling junta where all the political power has been consolidated.

Initially, the SCP had given some support to the RCC government after the 1969 coup. However, fearing the development of a revolutionary movement among Sudanese workers, the RCC began an anti-Communist crackdown in March 1971. Nimeiry had announced the creation of a state-controlled political party called the Socialist Union of Sudan, which would essentially dissolve all parties, including the SCP, into a tightly-run organization. The RCC also forcibly seized control of the unions, where the SCP gained most of their support.

Many SCP leaders went underground, with most of the party’s operations going underground in the spring and early summer of 1971. Under these conditions, the SCP began to prepare for the coup. Status as of July 19. Under the leadership of the Stalinist bureaucracy in Moscow, the SCP turned not to the working class, but to its supporters within the nucleus of Sudanese military officers. The most prominent of this layer was Major Hashem al-Atta who would lead the coup and briefly serve as the commander-in-chief of the armed forces after surrounding the presidential palace with tanks and arresting Nimeiry.

Coup leader Hashem al-Atta

The SCP was the largest communist party in the Arab world, but its coup met with hostility, not only from the RCC in Sudan, but from all surrounding nations. Egyptian Anwar Sadat and Libyan Muammar Gaddafi opposed the SCP coup and supported Nimeiry and his return to power. These bourgeois nationalists, who balanced themselves between the Soviet Union and the imperialist powers, feared that the establishment of a Stalinist-led government in the region would destabilize their own fragile regimes.

Outside of members of the SCP itself, which had been substantially shattered by Nimeiry’s repressions, the coup had little popular support. Atta was unable to bring the army under his control, with the vast majority of generals and other officers continuing to support the RCC.

After a few days, forces loyal to Nimeiry released him from prison and arrested Atta and the other coup plotters, who were court martialed and shot. In the process, Nimeiry intensified his persecution of the SCP, arresting and executing its leaders and banning all unions and other communist-led organizations.

75 years ago: Zionist Irgun group bombs King David hotel in British Palestine

On July 22, 1946, the Zionist organization Irgun bombed the King David Hotel in British-controlled Palestine, killing 91 people and injuring 46 others. The terrorist attack was part of a series, based on the prospect of forcing Britain, or other great powers, to approve the creation of a Jewish state in the region. Among those who died were 41 Arabs, 28 British citizens, 17 Jews and members of several other national groups.

British forces in Palestine

The attack received wide international coverage, not only because of the large number of casualties, but also because the King David Hotel was the seat of the British mandatory authorities who oversaw the occupation of Palestine. It was conceived as a retaliation for a security crackdown carried out by the British authorities against militant Zionist organizations.

Well-organized Irgun agents planted bombs in the hotel’s basement, as well as in a cafe next door and on a nearby street. Some spectators who gathered to see the aftermath of the explosion at the latter location were touched by the detonations that followed. While members of the Irgun claimed that a warning was sent to the hotel nearly half an hour before the attacks, details were disputed and no evacuation was carried out.

The attack had apparently been discussed beforehand within the wider Zionist community. However, its aftermath and the international response resulted in the breakdown of the alliance between the Irgun and several other groups, including the Haganah, the military wing of the Labor Zionists, which took a nominally leftist stance.

Unlike some of the other Zionist organizations, the Irgun only began hostilities against the British after it was clear that the Allied Powers would be victorious over Nazi Germany. His perspective was not based on any form of anti-colonialism, but included scathing denunciations of the “Arabs,” including calls to expel them from the region or to subdue them.

At the time of the bombing, the Irgun was led by Menachem Begin, who would later become Israel’s sixth prime minister, from June 1977 to October 1983.

100 years ago: Major military defeat of the Spanish in occupied Morocco

On July 22, 1921, the Berber rebels (known as the Rifis after the Rif mountain range), led by Abd el-Krim, inflicted a major defeat on the Spanish imperialist troops at Annuel in the northeast of the Morocco, triggering the Rif war. The Spaniards, who controlled areas along the coast including the enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla, sought to push inland and east, ignoring Abd el-Krim’s warnings.

Abd-el Krim on the cover of TIME magazine

A Spanish general, Manuel Fernández Silvestre, had occupied the village of Annual in January with several thousand Spanish soldiers. Silvestre’s lines of communication were poor, and his army ran out of ammunition in the summer. Five thousand Spanish soldiers clashed with 3,000 irregular fighters from the Rif on July 21.

The Spaniards began a retreat, which turned into a rout. Spain sent reinforcements but these were also defeated by the Rifis. In total, Spain lost more than 20,000 soldiers as well as large quantities of arms and ammunition. Abd el-Krim reportedly remarked: “In one night, Spain provided us with all the equipment we needed to wage a great war. Silvestre was reportedly killed, although his remains have never been definitively identified. Abd el-Krim established a Republic of the Rif.

The Rif War has its origins in more than 20 years of aggression in North Africa by the imperialist powers, which was a source of persistent inter-imperialist conflict. During the Algeciras conference of 1906, France and Spain had claimed Morocco and distributed the areas of influence. Despite attempts to modernize its army, the Sultanate of Morocco, which had ruled a unified state since the 17th century, collapsed under European incursions and retained control of only six cities.

Germany also had claims on Morocco, which almost led to a war between the great powers after the Agadir crisis of 1911, when a German gunboat entered a French-held port on Morocco’s Atlantic coast. and raised the possibility of war. The incident sparked mass anti-war protests in Europe led by social democratic parties. The crisis was part of a series of inter-imperialist skirmishes that led to World War I.

In 1912, Spain established, with French and British agreement, an official protectorate in Morocco.

After World War I, Spain and France both renewed their colonial ambitions in Morocco, sparking the rebellion of Abd el-Krim.

The Rif War of 1921, which the French joined, lasted another five years. In a retaliatory war for the defeat of Annual, the Spanish indiscriminately used chemical weapons against civilians. Some Berber organizations claim today that the residues of these weapons still poison the inhabitants of the region. The war ultimately ended with the defeat and capture of Abd el-Krim, who died in exile in Cairo in 1963.


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Canadian army

Taliban will ‘hang’ me: Afghan interpreters ask Canada for help


TORONTO – As Taliban insurgents have made rapid territorial gains across Afghanistan in recent weeks, a chilling new audio from a local performer who has worked with the Canadian Forces illustrates just how much he and others like him face in their own country.

In an audio file posted to YouTube, an interpreter in Helmund province recounts how he and others risked their lives alongside Canadian soldiers to support the mission against the Taliban from 2010 to 2011. He now asks why Ottawa and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau are not moving. faster to get his family to safety.

“Mr. Trudeau, I am a father. My daughter is one and a half years old. From father to father, I beg you to please help me and my family out of Afghanistan before the Taliban don’t find us, ”he said.

“If Canada does not act immediately, my wife, daughter and brothers will be captured by the Taliban. They will hang me, shoot me and cut my head off. They will kill my wife and my daughter. They will kill my brothers … you promised me that my family would one day come to Canada [and] enjoy the peace your family enjoys every day.

Canadian veterans have expressed, with increasing urgency, the need for Canada to assist Afghan translators and interpreters who worked with Canadian soldiers during the war to come to Canada with their families.

Canadian Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Minister Marco Mendicino said the government was working on a plan to help families, but did not say when that plan could go into effect.

“We know the Afghans are putting their own lives at risk by helping the Canadian effort in the war there, and we want to do what is right for them,” he said on Friday. “And so we hope to have more to say about it as soon as possible. Near future.”

Sayed Shah is worried about his two brothers who face threats due to his work with the Canadian Forces more than a decade earlier. The Taliban know him well, Shah said, and it is certain that if they take control of Kandahar and Kabul, his brothers will die. He has already lost five family members in 2013 when they were killed by a roadside bomb set off by the Taliban.

“They are in danger because of me, because I worked with the Canadian military,” he said. “I put my family in danger. “

A former battlefield interpreter who worked with the Canadian military between November 2007 and March 2010, Shah was able to come to Canada under the original special immigration program. The soldiers who supported his visa application acknowledged that his bravery under intense Taliban fire had saved Canadian lives. Now that the Taliban is closing in on Kandahar, he is seeking similar protection for his brothers, who are now in hiding.

“If they are not evacuated from Afghanistan, they will be targeted and killed,” Shah said.

Ottawa previously announced the creation of a dedicated refugee stream for “human rights defenders,” including journalists and others who may seek asylum to escape persecution in their country.

As the September 11 departure deadline approaches, other NATO allies have already announced evacuation plans for thousands of Afghans. The United States said this week that flights for eligible Afghan citizens will begin by the end of July.

Interpreters have played a vital role in NATO operations in the Middle East, including the more than 40,000 Canadian troops who have served in Afghanistan. Many Afghans risked their lives helping on the front line.

A special immigration program put in place in 2009 and completed two years later brought some 800 former interpreters and their families to Canada, but thousands have been left behind. Many now face the possibility of being tortured or killed for their role in helping Canadian troops, advocates say.

The sudden withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan in early July after nearly two decades of fighting accelerated the movement of the Taliban across the country, with Taliban officials claiming the group now controls more than 85% of the territory – a figure which is disputed by others.

With files from CTV National News Parliamentary Bureau reporter Annie Bergeron-Oliver, CTVNews.ca editor Christy Somos and The Canadian Press


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Bach meets Suga as Tokyo virus cases near 6-month high


TOKYO – Tokyo on Wednesday reported its highest number of new COVID-19 cases in nearly six months, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government said with the Tokyo Olympics opening in just over a week.

The growing numbers came out on the same day that the President of the International Olympic Committee, Thomas Bach, paid a courtesy visit to Tokyo to Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga.

Suga and Bach both pledged that the Tokyo Olympics would be “safe and secure” despite the games opening with Tokyo and neighboring prefectures under a state of emergency imposed by the national government.

Tokyo reported 1,149 new cases on Wednesday. It was the highest since 1,184 were reported almost six months ago on January 22. It was also the 25th day in a row that cases were higher than they were a week earlier.

Suga asked Bach to make sure the Olympics are safe, especially for the Japanese public, less than 20% of whom are fully vaccinated.

A d

“To gain the understanding of our people, and also for the success of the Tokyo 2020 Games, it is absolutely necessary that all participants take appropriate measures and measures, including countermeasures against the pandemic,” Suga said. to Bach. “As the host of the games, I hope that the IOC will make efforts to ensure that all athletes and stakeholders fully comply with these measures.”

Bach replied, “We would like to reaffirm our full commitment from the Olympic community to do everything, that we are not putting the Japanese people at risk.”

Bach told Suga that 85% of athletes and officials living in the Tokyo Bay Olympic Village will be fully vaccinated. He said nearly 100% of IOC members and IOC staff were “vaccinated or immunized”. The IOC also indicates that between 70 and 80% of international medical representatives have been vaccinated.

The IOC and Tokyo organizers last week banned fans from all venues in Tokyo and three neighboring prefectures. A few peripheral venues will allow a few spectators, and overseas fans were banned a month ago.

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About 11,000 athletes and tens of thousands more will enter Japan for the Olympics. The Paralympic Games will add approximately 4,400 additional athletes.

Japan has attributed around 15,000 deaths to COVID-19, a low number by many criteria but not as good as most of its Asian neighbors.

The Olympic torch relay has also been taken off the streets of Tokyo, with the Tokyo government fearing the relay will draw crowds and spread the virus. The opening ceremony will take place on July 23 at the new $ 1.4 billion national stadium in Tokyo.

Bach is expected to travel to Hiroshima on Friday and his vice president John Coates to Nagasaki to use the two bombed cities as a backdrop to promote the Tokyo Olympics and the first day of the so-called Olympic truce.

The Olympic truce, a tradition of ancient Greece, was restored by a United Nations resolution in 1993.

Bach arrived in Tokyo last week and spent the first three days secluding himself in the five-star hotel the IOC uses for its headquarters in Tokyo.

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The IOC is pushing the Olympics forward, despite opposition from much of the Japanese medical community, in part because it relies nearly 75% of its income on the sale of broadcast rights.

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Journalist AP Kantaro Komiya and video journalist AP Kwiyeon Ha contributed to this report.

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More AP: https://apnews.com/hub/olympic-games and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.



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Bach from the IOC arrives in Tokyo; greeted by state of emergency


TOKYO (AP) – IOC President Thomas Bach arrived in Tokyo on Thursday to find Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihde Suga on the verge of declaring a state of emergency, which is expected to result in a ban on fans at the Olympic Games from Tokyo as coronavirus infections spread in the capital.

Bach largely avoided the cameras at Tokyo’s Haneda Airport and, on a rainy afternoon, made his way to the Games headquarters of the International Olympic Committee in Tokyo, a five-star hotel in the center of the city. He would need to self-isolate for three days.

Bach’s arrival comes just two weeks before the opening of the postponed Tokyo Olympics. The IOC and local organizers are trying to hold the games during a pandemic despite opposition from the public and the Japanese medical community.

In a meeting with medical experts Thursday, government officials proposed a plan to declare a state of emergency in Tokyo from next Monday to August 22. The Olympics are scheduled to start on July 23 and end on August 8.

The main focus of the emergency is a request to close bars, restaurants and karaoke lounges serving alcohol. Banning the serving of alcohol is a key step in easing the Olympic festivities and preventing people from drinking and partying. Tokyo residents are expected to face stay-at-home requests and watch the Games on TV from their homes.

“How to prevent people enjoying the Olympics from going out for drinks is a major problem,” said Health Minister Norihisa Tamura.

The current state of emergency ends on Sunday. Tokyo reported 920 new cases on Wednesday, up from 714 a week earlier. It was the 18th consecutive day of week-over-week increase and the highest total since 1,010 reported on May 13.

Fans from overseas were banned from attending the Olympics months ago. But just two weeks ago, the organizers and the IOC decided to allow the venues to be filled to 50% of their capacity but that the crowds not exceed 10,000 people. The state of emergency will force them to change their plans again, a decision likely to come later Thursday.

The surge in cases likely means the sites will be fanless, although sponsors and others can access them. The fanless atmosphere could include the opening ceremony at the $ 1.4 billion National Stadium.

The rise in infections has also forced the Tokyo city government to remove the Olympic Torch Relay from the streets of the capital, allowing it to operate only on remote islands off the Tokyo coast. It is not known how the torch will enter the stadium for the opening ceremony.

“The infections are in their phase of expansion and everyone in this country needs to firmly understand the severity,” Dr Shigeru Omi, one of the government’s top medical advisers, told reporters.

He urged authorities to take strict action quickly ahead of the Olympics, as the summer vacation approaches.

Omi has repeatedly called for a fan ban and said it was “abnormal” to hold the Olympics during a pandemic.

Separately, a government advisory group on COVID-19 met on Wednesday and expressed concerns about the continued resurgence of infections.

“Two-thirds of infections in the capital region come from Tokyo, and our concern is the spread of infections to neighboring areas,” said Ryuji Wakita, director general of the National Institute of Infectious Diseases.

The Olympics are pushing forward against most medical advice, in part because the postponement has blocked IOC revenue streams. It derives nearly 75% of its revenue from the sale of broadcast rights, and estimates suggest it would lose between $ 3 billion and $ 4 billion if the Olympics were canceled.

About 11,000 Olympians and 4,400 Paralympians are expected to enter Japan, along with tens of thousands of officials, judges, administrators, sponsors, broadcasters and media. The IOC says more than 80% of residents of the Olympic Village will be vaccinated.

Nationally, Japan has recorded about 810,000 cases and nearly 14,900 deaths. Only 15% of Japanese are fully vaccinated, which remains low compared to 47.4% in the United States and nearly 50% in Britain.

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More AP: https://apnews.com/hub/olympic-games and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports



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International headquarters

G Kishan Reddy visits BSF headquarters in Jammu; commends the officers for eliminating threats at the international border


Minister of State (Interior) G Kishan Reddy visited the Border Security Force (BSF) headquarters in Jammu on Friday and was briefed on the current security situation at the Jammu border. He also interacted with BSF officers and staff and praised their abilities to tackle challenges at the international border.

NS Jamwal, BSF Inspector General, Jammu Frontier, made a detailed presentation to the Union Minister, explaining the threats and challenges at the Jammu border and BSF’s strong border domination plan to counter these challenges.

G Kishan Reddy was also informed of the different systems and innovations adopted by BSF to neutralize cross-border threats from the counterparty side.

G KISHAN REDDY ADDRESS ‘PRAHARI SAMMELAN’

The Union Minister also addressed a “Prahari Sammelan” which was attended by about 250 officers and staff of the BSF.

READ ALSO : General CDS Bipin Rawat: The Indian Air Force remains a supporting weapon like artillery and engineers | Exclusive

He paid tribute to the BSF martyrs who sacrificed their lives for the unity and integrity of the country.

The Union Minister stressed that BSF, being the first line of defense, has done excellent homework at the international border, especially at the Jammu border.

G Kishan Reddy praised the abilities of BSF staff who work in difficult and difficult conditions, whether in snowy areas, hot desert terrain, or a difficult area of ​​Rann of Kutch or areas prone to malaria or areas prone to Naxal.

Congratulating officers for consistently meeting challenges successfully, G Kishan Reddy said BSF has been successful in eliminating threats from its counterparts, be it undercover, tunneling, smuggling or drones.

Additionally, G Kishan Reddy said it was a matter of pride for him to see the Mahila Praharies sitting among the Jawans and rendering their services at the border with the same zeal and enthusiasm.

READ ALSO : Army obtains 12 indigenous bridges for operations along western borders with Pakistan

Appreciating the recent success of Jammu FTR, where BSF troops successfully cleared intruders across the border and confiscated large quantities of narcotics and detected underground tunnels at the Jammu border, the minister said commended the BSF for shooting down a Hexacopter that was coming across the border, carrying weapons and ammunition to the Samba border.

G Kishan Reddy presented a fruit basket to the troops. (Photo: Sunil Ji Bhat)

NS Jamwal presented a souvenir to G Kishan Reddy on behalf of Jammu Frontier. (Photo: Sunil Ji Bhat)

G Kishan Reddy congratulated Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Interior Minister Amit Shah for their efforts through which BSF received modern weapons and advanced technology to effectively protect the country’s international borders against new threats.

In addition, he also underlined that the Prime Minister and the Minister of Interior have been working continuously to provide all possible assistance to the staff of BSF. Various social protection programs like Ayushman Bharat, Skilled Development have been launched under the leadership of PM Modi in this regard.

G Kishan Reddy wished BSF great success in all its future endeavors and trusted in its capabilities.

LOOK: BSF opens fire on “Pakistani drone” spotted near Jammu border


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Canadian army

The Rebel to Rabble Review: A Canceled Canada Day


“Pathetic.”

It’s like that Ricochet Columnist Katsi’tsakwas Ellen Gabriel, whose biography says she “has been an indigenous human rights and environmental activist since 1990,” sums up the “shock and horror” with which “mainstream” Canadian society reacted to news of the discovery “hundreds of Aboriginal children on the grounds of two former Indian residential schools” – a number that is expected to increase with site surveys.

“The hearts and souls of indigenous peoples have been breaking for generations,” she says.

“Our pain and anger have been boiling for ages. While most compassionate people mourn with us, the majority of Canadians still do not know the truth about their country. How can anyone claim to have never heard of the residential school system? Or not knowing that there are thousands of Indigenous children buried in anonymous graves across Canada? The Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) traveled across Canada for seven years. There was media coverage. Millions of dollars have been spent. That alone must have attracted attention!

She is also attacking the “insidious Indian Act,” which she says “remains a tool to control the native population, or, as Duncan Campbell Scott, a key architect of the residential school system, said,” to get rid of the Indian problem. ‘ “

His response: “We are not a problem; we are human beings. The sooner this is achieved, the sooner we can implement an education program that will protect against (current) and future generations from making the same apathetic mistake of not recognizing when a crime against humanity is committed. “

Meanwhile, Ricochet writer Brandi Morin, “An award-winning French / Cree / Iroquois journalist from Treaty 6 territory in Alberta,” shares the latest news on the standoff between indigenous rights activists and ancient logging operations in Fairy Island, Alta.

“Noah Ross, a Vancouver Island-based lawyer who assists the Rainforest Flying Squad – as the loose group of volunteers behind the roadblocks is called – says the RCMP are systematically working to reduce the number of witnesses (of) their actions using exclusion zones. », Reports Morin.

According to Ross, the RCMP “are like a ‘colonial army’ occupying Indigenous lands … and they do not treat Indigenous peoples the same as white settlers in these situations.” In fact, he told Ricochet, “there are certainly times when they (the RCMP) behave in a very peaceful manner, largely when it (the protest or the blockade) is dominated by militants of the settlers. “

Also unabashedly in favor of canceling the usual Canada Day celebrations was Canadian Dimension columnist and longtime Indigenous activist Pam Palmater.

“A national day of mourning and collective reflection in honor of these children is far more appropriate than the usual fireworks and parades, which celebrate a country founded on genocide – a genocide that continues unabated”, she argued.

“It will be a summer of truth for Canadians as more and more graves of Native children are discovered,” Palmater wrote. “At the same time, it will be a summer of great suffering for Indigenous peoples, especially residential school survivors and the families of those children who never made it out alive. Calls for the cancellation of Canada Day celebrations this year (had) nothing to do with the so-called “cancellation culture” – the term dog whistle used by angry white men taking advantage of the status quo. On the contrary, #CancelCanadaDay is what true reconciliation looks like. “

More than Rabble, political writer Karl Nerenberg explains why Carolyn Bennett should step down as Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations – which she believes goes way beyond the now infamous snipe of a note she texted to her former cabinet colleague , Jody Wilson-Raybould.

“Voters would do well to not only remember this incident, but also to carefully consider Carolyn Bennett’s record since taking on this new post, leading a new ministry,” he wrote.

“Bennett has been successful in negotiating a few small-scale deals with individual First Nations bands. But the government has done nothing systemic to reform the current colonial relationship between the Crown and Indigenous peoples. “

In fact, he argues, “whenever large resource projects are on the table, transnational corporations can count on willing partners from the provincial and federal governments, (who) normally collude to put pressure on small underfunded First Nations bands to accept vague promises. jobs and benefits, no co-ownership, no meaningful partnership and not a dime in royalties, ”something Bennett“ has done very little to change, ”in his opinion.

“In fairness to the Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations, she received little support from federal government centers of power, such as the departments of Finance, Treasury Board, Natural Resources and Industry,” as well as the Privy Council and the Prime Minister’s Office. . That, more than a verbal insult, might be a good reason for Bennett to quit.

Elsewhere on the site, Rabble blogger and self-proclaimed “street nurse,” Cathy Crowe, looks at “the militarized operation to evict two dozen people from Toronto’s Trinity Bellwoods Park,” which she notes was not just “a gruesome story of city hall against the poor “, But a repeat of what happened two decades earlier in Tent City, a” 140-person waterfront encampment “that also found itself” brutally evicted early one morning, “with the courtesy of then-mayor Mel Lastman.

“A fence was erected around the site, a convoy of trucks and heavy machinery arrived, a substantial amount of security and police arrived to remove the traumatized residents and, within hours, their homes – a combination of auto shacks. -built and prefabricated houses. – were flattened, ”she recalls.

“Solidarity demonstrations took place within the hour and included members of the union squadron. “

The move also sparked “tears from housing activists, including residents of Tent City,” who “fought and secured housing through a pilot rent supplement program.” Yet 20 years later, under current Toronto Mayor John Tory, “homelessness has exploded” and the city “is more than unraveled; it is broken by surgical assistance from other levels of government.

Also keeping a close eye on events at Trinity Bellwood is Passage essayist Matthew Alexandris, who criticizes Toronto City Council for failing to keep its promise to fight “devastating changes” to the Residential Tenancies Act under Ontario Premier Doug Ford.

“Almost a year later, the city has yet to launch this legal challenge,” he says.

“And beyond doing nothing to prevent people from becoming homeless, the city hasn’t done much to help those who are, making matters worse. Campsites have emerged in increasing numbers throughout the pandemic, serving as places for those who have been evicted and who cannot afford rent. “

In fact, Alexandris notes, “The violent methods used by police and security guards to clear encampments reflect the violence of being forced out of your residence, not knowing where you will be staying next, and having your belongings thrown away. … By evicting people and pushing them from place to place, it is more difficult for them to have stability in a community and to have access to support networks.

To finish, Progress of the press recounts the latest twist in the ongoing Alberta investigation into “foreign funding of anti-Alberta energy campaigns,” sending official notices to environmental groups and other organizations formally requesting their support. response to “research materials, evidence and conclusions report.”

The twist: “The letters were missing specific allegations of all kinds,” which, according to Greenpeace Canada – one of several groups to confirm receipt of the mass letter – “puts the legal right to the investigation of make an allegation public on a legal basis. “

Or, as the group’s senior energy advisor, Keith Stuart, put it in an interview with PP, “It’s a bit of a puzzle.

PP adds, “The letter of inquiry further states that its evidence was ‘mostly’ drawn from publicly available information online, including websites and government documents that the organizations have already published themselves. “

“Paradoxically, it is also clear that the recipients, a number of whom received identical letters, according to Stuart, were not found guilty of acting unlawfully during the two-year investigation.”

Trends on the right side of the Canadian activist media universe:

  • Adam Soos, correspondent for Rebel News in Alberta has an “exclusive” interview with Pastor Artur Pawlowski, who he reports was found “guilty of all contempt of court charges” for refusing to comply with the province’s social distancing restrictions, which Soos describes as a “much worse – case scenario.
  • Meanwhile, after responding to a tweet from Alberta’s chief medical officer, Deena Hinshaw, accusing her of “sentencing hundreds of Albertans to death for depression, suicide and drug overdoses,” and l called “a wicked woman going to hell,” Ezra Levant, Commander of Rebel News is faced with a retort from former Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s son Ben for his “ridiculous and unbalanced claims”.
  • Levant also offers his thoughts on Catherine McKenna’s announcement that she will not stand for re-election. McKenna “quits politics in a typically futile way” and “will be remembered as a bully,” he says.
  • To finish, True North News compiled a timeline of “every community that has decided to give in to Canada Day cancellation requests.”

More iPolitics


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International headquarters

NATO leaders say China is a global security challenge – The North State Journal


President Joe Biden, center, walks with European Council President Charles Michel, right, and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, during the US-EU summit at the Brussels European Council on Tuesday June 15, 2021 (AP Photo / Patrick Semansky)

BRUSSELS – NATO leaders said last Monday that China is a constant security challenge and said the Chinese are working to undermine world order.

In a summit statement, the leaders said that China’s objectives and “assertive behavior presented systemic challenges to the rules-based international order and areas relevant to the security of the alliance.”

While the 30 heads of state and government have avoided branding China as a rival, they have expressed concern over what they have termed “coercive policies,” the opaque ways in which it is modernizing its armed forces and its nation. use of disinformation.

They called on Beijing to respect its international commitments and act responsibly in the international system.

President Joe Biden, who arrived at the summit after three days of consultations with the Group of Seven allies in England, pushed for the G-7 statement denouncing what he says are forced labor practices and d other human rights violations affecting Uyghur Muslims and ethnic minorities in Western Xinjiang Province. The president said he was satisfied with the statement, although differences remain between the allies on the force to criticize Beijing.

The new press release from Brussels indicates that NATO countries “will engage with China in order to defend the security interests of the alliance”.

But some allies bristled at NATO’s efforts to speak out on China.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said NATO’s decision to designate China as a threat “should not be overstated” because Beijing, like Russia, is also a partner in some areas. China is Germany’s largest trading partner and relies heavily on Russia to meet the country’s energy needs.

Merkel noted that “when you look at the cyber threats, the hybrid threats, when you look at the cooperation between Russia and China, you can’t just ignore China.”

But she added that it was important to “strike the right balance” because China is also a partner on many issues.

“I think it is very important, just as we do in Russia, to always offer political discussions, a political speech, in order to find solutions,” said Merkel. “But where there are threats, and I said they are also in the hybrid realm, then as NATO you have to be prepared.”

French President Emmanuel Macron urged the alliance not to let China distract it from what he saw as more pressing issues facing NATO, including the fight against terrorism and security concerns related to the Russia.

“I think it is very important not to disperse our efforts and not to be prejudiced in our relationship with China,” Macron said.

The Chinese Embassy in the UK issued a statement saying that the G-7 statement “deliberately defamed China and arbitrarily interfered with China’s internal affairs,” and exposed the “sinister intentions of a few countries, such as the United States “.

Biden arrived at his first NATO summit as president as key members said it was a pivotal moment for an alliance. Under the presidency of Donald Trump, who questioned the relevance of the multilateral organization and took steps to ensure that nations bear their share of the costs.

Shortly after arriving at alliance headquarters, Biden spoke with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and underscored the United States’ commitment to Article 5 of the charter of the alliance, which states that an attack on one member is an attack on all and must be fought. a collective response.

“Section 5 which we regard as a sacred obligation,” Biden said. “I want NATO to know America is here.”

Belgian Prime Minister Alexander de Croo said Biden’s presence “underlines the renewal of the transatlantic partnership”. De Croo said NATO allies were looking to get past four difficult years under the Trump administration and the infighting among member countries.

“I think we are now ready to move on,” said de Croo.

Trump has regularly berated other NATO nations for not spending enough on defense and even threatened to pull the United States out of the world’s largest security organization.

The alliance has also updated Article 5 to provide more clarity on how the alliance should respond to major cyber attacks – a growing concern amid hacks targeting the US government and businesses around the world by hackers based in Russia.

Beyond extending the potential use of Article 5’s mutual defense clause to space, leaders also broadened the definition of what could constitute such an attack in cyberspace, in a warning to any opponent who might use constant low level attacks as a tactic.

The organization said in 2014 that a cyber attack could be countered by a collective response from the 30 member countries, but on Monday they said that “the impact of significant cumulative malicious cyber activity could, under certain circumstances, be considered equivalent to an armed attack. attack. “

The President started his day by meeting with leaders of the Baltic states on NATO’s eastern flank as well as with separate meetings with Polish and Romanian leaders to discuss the threat posed by Russia and the recent air piracy in Belarus, according to the White House.

Biden’s route to Europe was designed to meet first with G-7 leaders and then with NATO allies in Brussels ahead of his much-anticipated meeting with Putin in Geneva on Wednesday. .

Biden met Turkish President Erdogan on the sidelines of the summit on Monday evening.

Biden, during his campaign, angered Turkish officials after he described Erdogan as an “autocrat.” In April, Biden infuriated Ankara by declaring that the Ottoman-era massacres and deportations of Armenians were “genocide” – a term US presidents have avoided using.

In a brief exchange with reporters, Biden described it as a “very good meeting.” He and Erdogan met in private before being joined by other officials.


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