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ANALYSIS – Trump's theo-politics and 'peace' deal of century – Anadolu Agency

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ISTANBUL

“I will always stand with Israel and the Jewish people,” “I have done a lot for Israel; I have moved the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem and then recognized that the Golan Heights belong to Israel.” U.S. President Donald Trump last month announced the unilateral “Middle East peace plan” which he described as the “peace plan of the century.” With these words, he explained his so-called peace plan that gives Israel everything it ever wanted; destroying the two-state solution, stripping Palestine of all its rights, and consequently isolating Palestinian people to an unprecedented level.

Following the announcement, the plan is currently being debated with its historical, political, geo-political and demographic aspects. In this respect, the main focus of these debates is Trump’s desire to keep the support of evangelical Christians and the Jewish lobby ahead of the recent impeachment vote, which left him politically in a tight squeeze. Although it has been emphasized from time to time, the theo-political and apocalyptical aspects behind this plan have been overlooked.

We can assert that the U.S. and the policies and plans of the administration of Trump and Vice President Pence about the Muslim world and the Middle East essentially focus on the following two factors: The first is economic interests, and the second is, along with the support of Jews and the Jewish lobby, realizing the theo-political purposes of radical fundamentalist evangelicals in the United States, whose numbers currently top 100 million and whose votes they desperately depend upon – and gained, at the end.

From this point, it can be positively asserted that without having a full grasp of the theo-politics of Jewish and Christian Zionism towards Jerusalem, the apocalyptical approaches that define this theo-politics and the “political orientalism” which brings all of this in one pot in the form of policymaking in the region, one cannot comprehend the policies and political moves of the U.S. and the Jewish-evangelicals on Jerusalem, which the Holy Qur’an defines as “whose surroundings We have blessed.” The reason is the following: debates around Jerusalem are very much intertwined with apocalyptical approaches such as “the end of the world – the Apocalypse” “Armageddon- millennium (1,000 years of Heaven on earth)” that are found in the holy texts of Judaism, Christianity and Islam.

After the Trump-Pence administration took power, the three significant theo-political decisions that they made regarding Jerusalem, which are obviously apocalyptical decisions, confirm our hypothesis here. In this sense, it is useful to remember the historian of religions Justin McCarthy’s remarks: “There is not one existing phenomenon in the world that has nothing to do with religion.”

This situation is much more explicit in the case of the United States, in which there is a 70-80% rate of religiosity, compared to that of Europe, where around 70% of people are moving away from religion/the church, specifically in the northern regions.

Trump’s and Zionist evangelicals’ Jerusalem theo-politics and apocalyptics

As we pointed out in our articles “Trump’ın Zaferinde Evanjeliklerin Rolü ve İslam Karşıtlığı” (The Role of evangelicals in Trump’s Triumph and Opposition to Islam) published right after Trump took office, and “Trump’in Kudus Kararinda Evanjeliklerin Rolu” (The Role of evangelicals in Trump’s Jerusalem Decision) published after Trump’s decision to move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem, the influence of evangelicals’ theo-politics and apocalyptics is explicitly seen in the Trump-Pence duo’s decisions and plans for Jerusalem. By then, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan also pointed at this issue by saying “evangelicals are behind this decision, I heard this from the president himself.”

In his presidency, Trump wasted no time in announcing his decision to move the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, after which he recognized the Israeli occupation of the Golan Heights. This decision has everything to do with Jerusalem. For that reason, it is plain to see that Trump’s so-called “peace plan of the century” was prepared in line with the evangelicals’ and the Israeli lobby’s theo-political purposes. 

This path, which leads Zionist Jews towards the “promised lands” and Zionist Christians towards the ideal of the millennium, Jesus’ “Heaven on earth” in Jerusalem, raises the question of what the next concrete theo-political step will be.

The Jerusalem apocalyptics

In order to understand Trump-Pence’s and therefore evangelicals’ theo-politics on Jerusalem, it is imperative to understand the apocalyptical knowledge about the end of the world which we find in the holy books of Judaism and Christianity. This knowledge is also present in Islamic sources and is referred to as “fiten-melahim” and “esratu’s-saa.”

The words “apocalypse” and “apocalyptical” are used to explain various cosmic phenomena. The root of this word comes from the Greek “apokalypsis,” which means “to uncover something that is hidden.” Although its usage in the context of “destroying calamity” and agitation can be found in the Book of John in the New Testament, after 11 A.D. all Jewish and Christian books which resemble the New Testament’s understanding of apocalypse used this meaning.

According to the apocalyptical narratives that are defined by F. Rosenthal as “the history of the future,” God explained the secrets of the ending of the world to the chosen ones. The end was near, and the chosen ones were meant to teach the people about it. These chosen ones learned the secrets through visions and dreams, and wrote them down. In this sense, along with the much-respected chapters and passages of the holy scripture, an apocalyptical literature has been created within the Judeo-Christian tradition including the following: the Pseudo-Ephraem Apocalypse, Pseudo-Methodius Apocalypse, Edessene Apocalypse, Shenute Apocalypse, John bar Penkaye Apocalypse, 12 Apostles Apocalypse, Ezra Apocalypse, and Daniel and Bahira Apocalypse.

For Zionist evangelicals, this approach is related to the millennium (1,000 years of Heaven on earth) believed to be set to follow “Armageddon,” the Grand Apocalypse War, in addition to the apocalyptical events that will happen after that. According to evangelicals, one of the necessary transitory stages required to reach the millennium is the congregation of all Jews in Israel-Palestine. After this stage is realized, the last stage is believed to be the arrival of Jesus, ordering Jews to convert to Christianity. They believe that some of them will consent to this, while those who do not will perish.

This is one of the main reasons behind Trump’s hardcore evangelical deputy Mike Pence’s decisions about Jerusalem, and consequently behind the so-called peace plan. Although there are nuances among them, nearly all of the evangelical sects are considered to be the most radical-fundamentalists of all Christians. They interpret some eschatological-apocalyptical passages in the New Testament and the Bible (canon- apocrypha) in the most literal and virtual sense possible. For that reason there are some approaches that compare them to “radical-integrist Salafis.”

 ‘President bestowed by God’

Among these Zionist evangelical and anti-Islam groups, which are very actively operating within seemingly civil society organizations, are Jerry Falwell, Jr. (president of the pioneering evangelical school Liberty University), Johnnie Moore, Sarah Palin, Billy Graham, Joyce Meyer, Pat Robertson, and Tim Keller. In this context, evangelical organizations and civil society organizations such as Focus on the Family, Family Research Council, Christian Coalition, and Moral Majority – the last of them founded by the late Jerry Falwell, one of the most significant figures in the Christian right wing with a large following that supports Israel – are effectively operating in the field.

Among these groups are large numbers of evangelical Christians who see Trump as the “president bestowed by God.” For instance, David Barton, the head of a group called “Wall Builders” who work to make the U.S. government comply fully with the New Testament / Christian-evangelical values, said: “Trump is a candidate bestowed to us by God and God has shown us through him that we will not succeed if we are alone. I’m certain that after a few years with Trump we will look back and we will say ‘this man has achieved things none of us thought possible before’.”Due to these ideas, evangelicals are sometimes referred to as “Zionist Christians” “the American Taliban,” and “extreme right wing” in the U.S. as well. In fact, they are known to have announced the “manifesto of Christian Zionism” approximately 10 years before Theodore Herzl rallied the first Zionist Congress (1897). Nearly 85% of evangelicals who act in accordance with this manifesto believe that God gave Israel to the Jews. This rate is around 40% even among Jews in the U.S.

This shows that in terms of their approach to Jerusalem, evangelicals have more theo-politically and apocalyptically fueled ideals and beliefs compared to Jews in the U.S. The fact that evangelical Christians heartily support a Jewish state in Jerusalem is quite remarkable, for if we consider the historical and theological facts, we may remember that the founding father of Protestantism Martin Luther described Jews as one of his three greatest foes (the other two being Turks/Muslims and the pope). This support can only be explained through theo-political and apocalyptical beliefs and motivations. As pointed out above, according to some Christians the arrival of Christ and the millennium, “1,000 years of Heaven on earth,” can only be possible if Jews can found their own state in Jerusalem and rebuild the Temple of Solomon, their main temple. The “Heaven on earth” led by Jesus Christ can only be possible if these steps are taken. Then, according to evangelicals, some Jews will put their faith in Jesus to become Christians. Those who do not will be deemed enemies and destroyed.

Although Jews’ interpretations of this apocalyptical target differs in nature, this theo-political cooperation works for their benefit until they reach ideals of their own. Evangelicals believe that those who oppose this apocalyptical belief and the Jerusalem plan devised by that same belief are “Antichrists” and “Gog and Magog.”

‘Antichrist’ and ‘Gog and Magog’

Craig C. White’s recent book Halfway to Armageddon (High Time to Awake) can be considered an example of this apocalyptical belief and its reflections. In this book, President Erdogan is targeted because he has shown the most effective reaction to the theo-political plans regarding the Muslim world, specifically Jerusalem. With references to some verses in the Bible, Erdogan is called the Antichrist and Gog/Magog (endtime enemies of God). Craig attempts to create apocalyptical proofs for this claim by citing Old and New Testament biblical eschatological and apocalyptical passages from such books as Daniel, Ezekiel, Isaiah, and Revelations.

Historically, whenever Muslims defeat Christians, the strong Muslim leaders of the era are defined as the “Antichrist.” In this sense, Salahaddin Ayyubi upon conquering Jerusalem, Mehmed II upon conquering Constantinople, and Suleiman the Magnificent upon sending Ottoman troops deep into Europe to the gates of Vienna are all defined as “Antichrists.” Naturally, after the revelation of Islam, the first records written by the church fathers and in all anti-Islam debates throughout the Middle Ages, the Prophet Muhammad was also referred to as an Antichrist, along with all other sorts of heinous definitions.

US presidents and the theo-politics of Jerusalem

It is useful to remember the other American presidents who supported Israel in religious and theo-political aspects. For instance, President Woodrow Wilson (1913-1921) at the time of Balfour Declaration (1917), which paved the way for Israel’s creation, was known as a Presbyterian and a firm supporter of the declaration. The son of an evangelical priest, Wilson is reported to have believed that the holy lands had to be seized by the rightful Jewish people and that he had a vital role to play in this process. Another example would be Harry Truman, president in 1945-1953 in and around the time of Israel’s foundation in 1948. He regarded himself as Cyrus II, who is mentioned in the Bible as the savior of the Jews, and thus he placed specific importance on the foundation of the state of Israel.

Today, evangelicals also compare Trump to the Cyrus II. After the king of Babel Nebuchadnezzar invaded Jerusalem in 586 B.C., demolished the Temple of Solomon, and sent 70,000 Jews into exile to Mesopotamia-Babylon (the first Jewish diaspora), Jews had to live in captivity for 60 years. Cyrus II is after all the king who saved the Jews from this captivity and allowed them to return to Jerusalem and rebuild the Temple of Solomon; thus the enthusiastic comparison with Trump.

Later Presidents Lyndon B. Johnson (1963-1969) and Ronald Reagan (1981-1989) also had similar views. Moreover, both father and son Presidents Bush destroyed and demolished Iraq with policies that can be considered in the same context, which also comes from the same logic of Israeli and Jerusalem theo-politics.

Consequently, if the Muslim world does not react swiftly and take action against Trump’s Jerusalem plan, which can be described as the “neo-Balfour Declaration” and has a strong theo-political and apocalyptical background, it is doomed to destruction and further violence.

If we look back, we will remember that the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) was founded after a Christian integrist Dennis Michael Rohan, a member of Church of God sect, set Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa Mosque on fire. At that time, Jerusalem became a meeting point of the Muslim world and brought it together. And today, if the necessary measures are taken to raise awareness of the theo-political, apocalyptical, and orientalist plans towards the Muslim world, Jerusalem will preserve its potential to bring the Muslim world together once again. At the same time, the Judeo-Christian-evangelical apocalyptical projections led by the Trump-Pence administration are on full speed in “forcing God for apocalypse” and thus bringing the world to an end, primarily directed towards Jerusalem.

(Ozcan Hidir is a professor at Istanbul’s Sabahattin Zaim University)

*Translated by Firdevs Bulut in Ankara

* Opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Anadolu Agency.



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The politics of climate change | TheRecord.com – Waterloo Region Record

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In her brilliant 2019 article “The challenging politics of climate change,” Elaine Kamarck, a senior fellow with the Washington-based Brookings Institution, explores how “the lack of intensity around (climate change) is simultaneously incomprehensible and totally understandable.”

She offers four explanations: “complexity; jurisdiction and accountability; collective action and trust; and imagination.”

Our climate crisis is a political hot potato because it is complex and voters don’t like complexity. As well, it isn’t obvious how our actions impact the climate — for good or bad. We can’t see greenhouse gas emissions the way we can see water pollution from a chemical plant, or toxic smoke pouring out of a smokestack.

Kamarck says climate change and cybersecurity are “two of the stickiest problems of the 21st century … because it’s so difficult to nail down jurisdiction.” Who is responsible for what? Where does the buck stop? And do we trust our government and politicians to do the right thing?

A half-credit of Civics in high school is not enough for most of us to untangle the Gordian knot of responsibilities in the multiple levels of government impacting our lives.

The politics of climate change is about government action, or the lack of it, but it’s also about navigating the strategies we use to tackle the issue. Since we politicized climate change in the 1970s, our response has been highly divisive. This has to change because everyone is affected and a vigorous and collaborative political response is essential.

Despite the sound science, we still have climate deniers and liars, who come in many forms. The Guardian’s environment editor, Damian Carrington, categorizes them as “the shill, the grifter, the egomaniac and the ideological fool.”

In a Scientific American interview, climate scientist Michael Mann, famous for his hockey stick graph showing the exponential growth in carbon dioxide in our atmosphere from human activity, said that climate deniers have been replaced by inactivists. The deep pockets from the fossil fuel industry are now funding “legislative efforts blocking clean-energy policies” through “deflection, delay, division, despair mongering, doomism.”

Both the oil and tobacco industries share the same devious strategy to shift the blame and responsibility from the corporation to the individual. In 2005, British Petroleum created a marketing campaign for people to calculate their personal carbon footprints. There is no question that we each bear responsibility for our own actions to live sustainably, but who is holding corporations to account?

For the past 10 years, Ottawa-based Gerald Kutney has taken on the climate denialists, bots and trolls to clean up the Twitter-verse. His goal is to stop the propaganda and lies being repeated by the “denial-saurs” from becoming the truth.

Kutney picked Twitter because it’s “the best, ongoing teaching ground about climate denialism in the world, day in and day out.” To counter the piling on from followers of the biggest climate deniers, Kutney introduced #climatebrawl. Just like the bat signal in Batman’s Gotham City, the hashtag alerts an international support system prepared to do battle, armed with the truth about our climate crisis.

We have to trust the evidence-based solutions from our best climate scientists and not the ramblings and rants of disbelievers. Denial-saurs, like most of the contenders for the Canadian Conservative party leadership, are treating our future like a political football.

Kutney’s best advice is “Vote. Just vote,” and hold our elected officials to effective climate-action plans. We cannot afford to be silent in our winner-take-all electoral systems unless we want to be governed by the choices of a minority of climate denialists.

This goes for municipal politics as well. There will be many new faces on councils after this fall’s municipal elections. Our future depends on their commitment to climate action.

Susan Koswan is a freelance contributing columnist for The Record, based in Waterloo Region. Follow her on Twitter: @SKoswan

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Afghans are suffering and dying while Canada plays politics, says aid worker – CBC.ca

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Aid worker Samira Sayed Rahman was in eastern Afghanistan recently, where she met a woman struggling to survive in a one-room mud structure that she shared with her six children.

“If she is able to get food on the table, it is because she’s picking from the garbage. And if she can get enough of the hair and dirt off, she brings it home for her six children,” said Sayed Rahman, a Canadian who has been in Afghanistan for seven years, and works with the NGO International Rescue Committee (IRC). 

“Otherwise [they] go days without eating,” she told The Current’s guest host Michelle Shephard.

The IRC was in the area to provide economic training to locals; this particular woman learned how to make pickles, as a source of income for her family.

Sayed Rahman said her story of deprivation is the story of millions of Afghans, who are having to resort to “horrific means to survive” since the Taliban’s resurgence in the country sparked a humanitarian crisis. And she added that it’s fuelled by an economic crisis that “is a direct result of the decisions of the international community.”

Afghans are resorting to “skipping meals, taking on debt, pulling children out of school — and … extreme measures, such as selling daughters into marriage or selling organs,” she said.

WATCH | Afghanistan gripped by humanitarian crisis

One year after Taliban takeover, Afghanistan gripped by humanitarian crisis

2 days ago

Duration 3:00

Afghanistan is marking a year under Taliban rule. While the repressive regime is celebrating the anniversary, the country is now facing a humanitarian crisis with millions of ordinary Afghans struggling to find food, while women and girls have been stripped of their basic rights.

The humanitarian crisis is being fuelled by economic sanctions levied by the international community after the U.S. and its allies pulled out of Afghanistan last summer, and Kabul quickly fell into the hands of the Taliban. Funding and aid to the country was widely suspended in line with international policies around interacting with the Taliban, designated by many countries as a terrorist organization.

The UN estimates that of Afghanistan’s population of 38 million, roughly 25 million people are living in poverty, in need of humanitarian assistance. That number has risen from 14 million in July 2021, just before the Taliban’s takeover. 

Some countries have created exceptions to their laws, to allow the delivery of aid to ordinary Afghans — but Canada’s strict policies remain in place. Last week, Canada-based aid agency World Vision cited the ban when it cancelled a large shipment of food to Afghanistan, which the charity said could have fed around 1,800 children

“Aid organizations in Afghanistan that are heavily dependent on Canadian foreign aid are now struggling,” said Sayed Rahman, adding that policies intended to “isolate the Taliban” have instead “punished the Afghan people.”

“We are punishing 38 million people just because a few hundred are in power.”

WATCH | Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland discusses Afghan refugees

Deputy prime minister answers questions about Afghanistan

6 days ago

Duration 2:23

Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland says Canada’s priority is to focus on the women and children of Afghanistan ‘who have suffered real setbacks.’

Taliban ‘remains a terrorist group’: GAC

In an emailed statement to The Current, a spokesperson for Global Affairs Canada (GAC) said that “Canada remains committed to facilitating life-saving assistance to vulnerable Afghans.”

“In 2022, Canada has allocated $143 million in humanitarian assistance to support vulnerable populations in Afghanistan and neighbouring countries,” the statement read.

But the statement added that “although the Taliban has taken over as the de facto national authority of Afghanistan, it remains a terrorist group and is a listed terrorist entity under the Criminal Code.”

Departments across the federal government are “working to identify a solution that upholds Canada’s national security interests while facilitating the effective delivery of assistance to the Afghan people in this unprecedented situation,” it said.

The Taliban’s early assurances that it would not row back progress for Afghan women and girls have not been borne out in the last 12 months. In March, the group decided against reopening schools to girls above the sixth grade.

GAC said that “Canada continues to engage with international partners to hold the Taliban to account for its horrific treatment and discrimination of women and girls.”

Last year, Canada’s then-minister of foreign affairs Marc Garneau said Canada could exert economic leverage over the Taliban, citing international aid earmarked for the country.

WATCH | Afghans urgently need help, says UN co-ordinator

Afghans urgently need help, says UN co-ordinator

2 days ago

Duration 8:26

The world should find ways to get more medicine and food deliveries into Afghanistan, says Ramiz Alakbarov, the UN humanitarian co-ordinator based in a country where he says people are selling their belongings to survive.

Speaking to The Current on Tuesday, former member of Afghanistan’s parliament Fawzia Koofi said the Taliban too was exerting leverage, by weaponizing the rights of women and girls in their quest for international legitimacy.

“They are bargaining our rights for their political interests,” said Koofi, who was the country’s first female deputy parliamentary speaker.

Sayed Rahman agreed that the issue of girls’ education is important, but the humanitarian crisis is “a matter of survival for the Afghan people.”

She argued that Afghanistan’s population has relied on international aid and funding for years, only to have it suddenly removed in the last 12 months.

“Are we going to let more Afghans die in the meantime while we play our politics?” she said.


Written by Padraig Moran. Produced by Samira Mohyeddin and Niza Lyapa Nondo.

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Politics Briefing: Trudeau says approval of U.S. Inflation Reduction Act 'is good news for Canadians' – The Globe and Mail

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Hello,

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is praising the approval of major new climate-focused legislation south of the border, calling it “good news” for Canadians.

U.S. President Joe Biden signed the landmark Inflation Reduction Act on Tuesday, which is a watered-down version of the Democrats’ original “Build Back Better” plan.

From a Canadian perspective, the most significant change to the bill is the fact that the final version removed an earlier provision that would have excluded vehicles made outside of the U.S. from qualifying for generous new consumer tax incentives. The final version allows those incentives to apply to North American-made vehicles, which was a big win for Canadian officials and industry leaders who had lobbied Congressional decision makers for the change.

“It’s official: @POTUS signed legislation that will include Canada in a new tax incentive for electric vehicles purchased in the US,” Mr. Trudeau tweeted Tuesday evening. “This is good news for Canadians, for our green economy, and for our growing EV manufacturing sector.”

The U.S. plan is widely viewed by climate advocates as a serious effort to reduce emissions, but its incentive-focused approach is very different from Canada’s plan, which is based on imposing a growing price on carbon emissions via a patchwork of provincial programs and federal backstops.

The Globe and Mail’s Adam Radwanski recently wrote a detailed analysis of what the new U.S. bill means for Canada’s climate plans.

“What the breakthrough south of the border does demand is swift movement on policies that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has promised but not yet acted on, especially to use public dollars to attract private capital for clean technology,” he wrote. “It also requires a sharpening of existing programs with that aim. And it underscores the need to plug major gaps in Canada’s current climate strategy – especially when it comes to the cleanliness and reliability of the electricity grid, which is by far the biggest focus of the U.S. package.”

The Globe also recently reported that the substantial tax changes in the U.S. bill that will be imposed to cover some of the cost of the new incentives present tax policy challenges for Canada.

While the U.S. changes are substantial, they are not currently in line with OECD-led efforts to forge a common front on corporate taxation, especially with respect to large multinationals in the technology sector.

Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland has said Canada strongly supports the OECD plans, but is prepared to go it alone in 2024 with a digital sales tax on foreign multinationals if the global talks are not finalized by then.

This is the daily Politics Briefing newsletter, written by Bill Curry, who is filling in for Ian Bailey. It is available exclusively to our digital subscribers. If you’re reading this on the web, subscribers can sign up for the Politics newsletter and more than 20 others on our newsletter signup page. Have any feedback? Let us know what you think.

TODAY’S HEADLINES

MOUNTIES STAND BY POLITICAL-INTERFERENCE ALLEGATIONS: Nova Scotia Mounties have told Parliament that RCMP Commissioner Brenda Lucki put politics ahead of policing after Canada’s deadliest mass shooting when she pressed her investigators to make disclosures about firearms in a bid to reinforce the Liberal government’s gun-control agenda. Story here.

PROPORTION OF FRENCH SPEAKERS IN DECLINE: CENSUS – The proportion of Canadians who predominantly speak French at home declined in all provinces and territories except Yukon between 2016 and 2021, according to the latest census release. That includes Quebec, where a provincial election is scheduled for Oct. 3. Story here.

WASHINGTON POST FEATURE DESCRIBES STEVEN GUILBEAULT AS “CANADA’S ONETIME ‘GREEN JESUS’ WHO OKAYS OIL MEGAPROJECT”: “Guilbeault, now 52, is under fire for his decision in April to greenlight the Bay du Nord deep-sea oil drilling project off the coast of Newfoundland and Labrador, finding that it is ‘not likely to cause significant adverse environmental effects.’ He says that — to his knowledge — it will be the lowest-emitting project of its kind in the world.” Feature story on the federal environment minister is here.

INTELLIGENCE REPORT FLAGGED POSSIBLE ‘VIOLENT REVENGE’ AFTER OTTAWA CONVOY PROTEST SHUTDOWN: Newly disclosed documents show federal intelligence officials warned decision-makers that the police dispersal of “Freedom Convoy” protesters in Ottawa last winter could prompt an “opportunistic attack” against a politician or symbol of government. Story here.

ANTI-TERROR LAW CAUSING PROBLEMS: Humanitarian groups say the federal government should exempt their on-the-ground work in Afghanistan from its anti-terror law, warning that Ottawa’s current policies are preventing them from delivering crucial aid to people in desperate need. The law also hinders the work of groups helping evacuate Afghans to Canada. Story here.

CARDINAL OUELLET ACCUSED OF SEXUAL ASSAULT: A prominent Vatican cardinal from Quebec, long considered a top candidate for the papacy, is one of dozens of clergy members facing allegations of sexual assault as part of a class-action lawsuit against his former diocese. Story here.

LAFLAMME’S CTV NEWSCAST ONE OF CANADA’S MOST POPULAR, RATINGS SHOW: Before her ouster as anchor of CTV National News this week, Lisa LaFlamme presided over one of the most-watched newscasts in Canada, whose ratings significantly outpaced competitors – raising questions about the rationale presented by CTV’s parent company, Bell Media, which referred to the abrupt change as a business decision. Story here.

CANADIAN PARLIAMENTARIANS HEADING TO TAIWAN: Liberal MP Judy Sgro, who chairs the standing committee on international trade, told CBC News that a group of MPs and Senators may visit Taiwan this fall. Story here.

NORTHERN NURSES GET A BOOST: Indigenous Services Canada will nearly triple incentives for nurses who work on remote Manitoba reserves, the Winnipeg Free Press reports here.

NEW PASSPORT OFFICE LOCATIONS ANNOUNCED: The federal government is adding new passport service locations across Canada as a backlog in processing applications continues. Story here.

THIS AND THAT

The House of Commons is not sitting again until Sept. 19. The Senate is to resume sitting on Sept. 20.

RBC CEO SAYS EMPLOYEES SHOULD BE IN THE OFFICE MORE OFTEN: Dave McKay says in an internal memo to staff that more frequent office attendance is needed. He said technology can’t replicate the “energy, spontaneity, big ideas or true sense of belonging” that come from working together in person. He added that mentorship and skills development, critical parts of the bank’s culture, are challenging when done through video screens. Globe story here.

THE DECIBEL

The Globe’s Asia correspondent James Griffiths is on the show to talk about how Taiwan came to dominate the semiconductor and microchip industry and why it’s crucial to the delicate geopolitical situation today. A link to Wednesday’s podcast, as well as earlier episodes, can be found here.

PRIME MINISTER’S DAY

The Prime Minister’s public itinerary says he is in private meetings Wednesday in the National Capital Region.

OPINION

Andrew Coyne (The Globe and Mail) says the proposed Alberta Sovereignty Act places the province on the verge of the constitutional abyss: We are potentially seven weeks away from a constitutional crisis, the likes of which this country has not seen. Because the front-runner for the UCP leadership is Danielle Smith, and because the centrepiece of her campaign is a wholly unworkable, flagrantly unconstitutional and massively destabilizing proposal called the Alberta Sovereignty Act.

Matt Gurney (TVO) wades into Toronto’s Car vs. Bike debate raging in High Park and concludes it’s time for widespread photo radar: Put a robot on every corner. In every park. Or at least have enough of them that they can be rotated through all of the city, ensuring coverage in all areas on a regular basis. I really wish this weren’t necessary. Really. But no one can spend any time at all on Toronto’s roads and walk away unconvinced that they are necessary. Toronto drivers are terrible. The police have more important stuff to do than hand out tickets. Neighbourhoods need help controlling reckless drivers. And we have a ready-made, proven technological solution that will eventually pay for itself. Not every problem in life has such a clear solution. This one does. What the hell are we waiting for? Bring on the robots.

The Globe and Mail’s editorial board says Canada’s Conservative Party should not be drawing inspiration from U.S. Republicans: What happens in Vegas may stay in Vegas, but what happens in American politics does not remain in the United States. It drifts across the world’s longest undefended intellectual border, and it falls like acid rain. Prolonged exposure – too much MSNBC or Fox News – can lead to hallucinations, delusions and loss of contact with (Canadian) reality. Voters and politicians are both susceptible to infection … But the party most at risk from cross-border emissions these days is the Conservative Party. There’s a lot of crazy in American politics right now, and the majority of it is coming from the people that Conservatives think of as their American cousins. The Republican Party is increasingly going off the deep end.

Got a news tip that you’d like us to look into? E-mail us at tips@globeandmail.com. Need to share documents securely? Reach out via SecureDrop.

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