In The News is a roundup of stories from The Canadian Press designed to kickstart your day. Here is what’s on the radar of our editors for the morning of Oct. 19 …
What we are watching in Canada …
Mounties are mourning one of their own after an RCMP officer was fatally stabbed at a homeless campsite in Burnaby, British Columbia.
Deputy Commissioner Dwayne McDonald says the death Tuesday of Const. Shaelyn Yang, 31, will be felt by her colleagues who say goodbye to their loved ones each day when they go to work to serve their communities.
Police say Yang was partnered with a city employee when an altercation broke out at a campsite and she was fatally stabbed.
A suspect, who was shot and seriously injured, was being treated in hospital.
Burnaby Mayor Mike Hurley says the city worker who was with Yang was “deeply shaken” and the city is offering support to affected staff.
Homicide detectives are investigating the death, while the Independent Investigations Office of B.C., which looks into any incidents of serious harm or death involving police, is also reviewing what happened.
Also this …
A coroner’s inquest into the death of an Indigenous teen whose body was found near a group home in Hamilton, Ontario, will begin hearing closing arguments today.
The inquest examining the death of Devon Freeman has heard the 16-year-old was reported missing from the Lynwood Charlton Centre group home in the Flamborough area of Hamilton in the fall of 2017 and found dead in April of 2018.
The inquest, which began three weeks ago, has explored systemic issues that played a role in the teen’s death, including public policy and legal issues related to Indigenous children and youth in the child-welfare system.
Jurors have heard testimony from many people who were involved in Freeman’s life, including child welfare experts, a children’s aid worker, the teen’s psychiatrist and his grandmother.
Closing arguments are expected to conclude on Thursday.
And this …
Statistics Canada is expected to release September inflation numbers this morning.
In August, Canada’s annual inflation rate slowed to 7.0 per cent, largely driven by the price of gasoline falling, but the cost of groceries continued to climb.
RBC expects the annual inflation rate to come in at 6.7 per cent for September.
At the same time, the bank says core measures of inflation, which are less volatile, are unlikely to decline because of strong demand for services in the economy.
The latest CPI report will come one week ahead of the Bank of Canada’s next interest rate decision.
What we are watching in the U.S. …
U.S. President Joe Biden will announce the release of 15 million barrels of oil from America’s strategic reserve today as part of a response to recent production cuts announced by OPEC+ nations.
That’s according to senior administration officials who spoke Tuesday on the condition of anonymity to outline Biden’s plans. He will also say more oil sales are possible this winter, as his administration rushes to be seen as pulling out all the stops ahead of next month’s midterm elections.
The strategic reserve now contains roughly 400 million barrels of oil, its lowest level since 1984.
What we are watching in the rest of the world …
The United Nations Security Council is expected to vote today on a resolution that would demand an immediate end to violence and criminal activity in Haiti.
According to the final draft obtained by The Associated Press, the resolution would impose sanctions on influential gang leader Jimmy “Barbecue” Cherizier and other Haitian individuals and groups who engage in actions that threaten the peace, security or stability of the Western Hemisphere’s poorest country.
Daily life in Haiti began to spin out of control last month just hours after Prime Minister Ariel Henry said fuel subsidies would be eliminated.
The impoverished nation has been gripped by inflation, violence and protests, with political instability simmering since the 2021 assassination of Haitian President Jovenel Moise.
On this day in 1957 …
Maurice (Rocket) Richard of the Montreal Canadiens became the first NHL player to score 500 career goals. He did it in 863 games. Richard retired in 1960 with a then-record 544 goals. He died of abdominal cancer on May 27, 2000.
In entertainment …
A man with a distinctive back tattoo is suing Cardi B, with his lawyers saying he was humiliated after the rapper allegedly misused his likeness for her sexually suggestive mixtape cover art.
Kevin Michael Brophy has filed a $5 million copyright-infringement lawsuit against the Grammy-winning musician in federal court in Southern California.
Brophy alleges that he did not consent to such a use of his likeness. Cardi B was in court and is fighting the allegations.
Cardi B, who is expected to testify during the trial, is fighting the allegations.
She has said an artist used only a “small portion” of the tattoos without her knowledge.
Did you see this?
Alberta Premier Danielle Smith says she is apologizing for what she calls “ill-informed comments on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.”
In April, Smith said the only answer for Ukraine is neutrality, adding that she understands why Russia would have a concern with a western-aligned Ukraine armed with nuclear weapons on its doorstep.
Ukraine surrendered its nuclear weapons in the 1990s.
In February, she wrote that two regions of Ukraine feel more affinity to Russia.
On Monday, Alberta’s Opposition NDP called on her to apologize for her “tone deaf” and “cruel” remarks, noting that Alberta is home to about a quarter of all Canadians of Ukrainian heritage.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 19, 2022
The Canadian Press
More 'police' centres run by China found around world: NGO – CTV News
A human rights organization says it has found dozens of additional overseas Chinese “police service centres” around the world, including at least two more in Canada.
In a new report released Monday called “Patrol and Persuade,” the Spain-based non-governmental organization Safeguard Defenders says it used open source statements from People’s Republic of China authorities, Chinese police and state media to document at least 48 additional stations.
This on top of the 54 stations revealed in September, bringing the total number of documented centres to 102 in 53 countries. Some host countries also have co-operated in setting up these centres, Safeguard Defenders says.
The stations are accused of targeting Chinese nationals living abroad, particularly those who allegedly committed crimes in China, in order to coerce them to return home.
Safeguard Defenders reports that along with the three police “stations” previously confirmed in the Greater Toronto Area, which are operated out of the Chinese city of Fuzhou, it has found newly confirmed centres in Vancouver, operated out of Wenzhou, and another whose location is unknown but operates out of Nantong.
In a statement to CTV National News on Monday, the RCMP said it’s “investigating reports of criminal activity in relation to the so-called ‘police’ stations.” No further details were provided.
A similar statement was given by the police force to CP24 in late October following the previous report of Toronto-area stations.
The consulate general of the People’s Republic of China said at the time that the stations are to help Chinese citizens renew their driver’s licences, given many of them are unable to return to China due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and that the “local volunteers” facilitating this “are not Chinese police officers.”
However, Safeguard Defenders says the vast majority of the newly documented stations were set up starting in 2016, years before the pandemic began.
In its previous report in September, Safeguard Defenders found that Chinese police “persuaded” 230,000 claimed fugitives to return to China “voluntarily” between April 2021 and July 2022. Among the tactics used, Safeguard Defenders said, included denying suspects’ children in China the right to education and punishing relatives through “guilt by association.”
The U.S. Department of Justice accused seven people in October of a yearslong campaign to harass and intimidate a U.S. resident to return to China.
While Prime Minister Justin Trudeau attended the G20 summit in Indonesia in November, his office told reporters that he had raised concerns with Chinese President Xi Jinping of “interference” in Canada.
Asked about what specific interference he referred to, Trudeau later told the House of Commons, “We’ve known for many years that there are consistent engagements by representatives of the Chinese government into Canadian communities, with local media, reports of illicit Chinese police stations.”
With files from CP24 Web Content Writer Joanna Lavoie, CTV National News Vancouver Bureau Chief Melanie Nagy, CTV News Toronto Videojournalist Allison Hurst and The Canadian Press
Trudeau 'extremely concerned' about report Canadian parts ended up in Iranian drones – National | Globalnews.ca – Global News
Trudeau shared his worries with reporters in Ingersoll, Ont., Monday after the Globe and Mail reported on Sunday the discovery by a non-profit organization, Statewatch. Its “Trap Aggressor” investigation detailed last month that an antenna manufactured by an Ottawa-based Tallysman Wireless was featured in the Iranian Shahed-136 attack drone.
Federal government ‘extremely concerned’ about report Canadian-made parts found in Iranian attack drones used in Russia: Trudeau
The drones have been used recently by Russia in Ukraine as Moscow increases its strikes on the country’s energy and civilian infrastructure.
“We’re obviously extremely concerned about those reports because even as Canada is producing extraordinary, technological innovations … we do not want them to participate in Russia’s illegal war in Ukraine, or Iran’s contributions to that,” Trudeau said.
“We have strict export permits in place for sensitive technology that are rigorously enforced, and that’s why we’ve been following up with this company, that’s fully cooperating, to figure out exactly how items that we’re not supposed to get into the hands of anyone like the Iranian government actually ended up there.”
The Shahed-136 is manufactured by Shahed Aviation Industries, one of two Iranian drone makers Ottawa sanctioned last month for reportedly supplying Russia with its lethal drones. After denying reports it was supplying Moscow, Iran acknowledged for the first time on Nov. 5 it had sent Moscow drones before the Feb. 24 war began.
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It denied continuing to supply drones to Russia. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has accused Iran of lying, previously saying Kyiv’s forces were destroying at least 10 of its drones every day.
Aside from its Iranian-made engine, the Shahed-136 consists entirely of foreign components, Statewatch said in its report. It cited Ukrainian intelligence managing to identify more than 30 European and American companies’ components, with most parts coming from the United States.
Drones like the Shahed are packed with explosives and can be preprogrammed with a target’s GPS coordinates. They can nosedive into targets and explode on impact like a missile, hence why they have become known as suicide drones or kamikaze drones.
Shaheds are relatively cheap, costing roughly US$20,000 each — a small fraction of the cost of a full-size missile.
Drones “provide a critical capability” to exploit vulnerabilities in defences, and their use may be a prelude to a new phase in the conflict, U.S. Army Lt.-Col. Paul Lushenko previously told Global News.
Gyles Panther, president at Tallysman, told the Globe the company is not “complicit in this usage” and “is 100-per cent committed” to supporting Ukraine.
Ottawa is working to understand how the parts ended up in the drones, and wants to “ensure” incidents like this don’t “happen again in the future,” Trudeau said.
© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.
Available Nexus appointments Canada
There’s good news for those looking to expedite their border crossing experience.
To mitigate the ongoing backlog issues at Canadian border crossings, border officials have reopened two Nexus and Free and Secure Trade (FAST) enrolment centres in Canada.
It’s the first time any Nexus and FAST offices have been open in Canada since the pandemic began, and federal officials say more offices will be opening in the future.
The Nexus program, which has over 1.7 million members, is designed to speed up the border clearance process for its members, while also freeing up more time for Canadian and U.S. border security agents to tend to unknown or potentially higher-risk travellers and goods.
The benefit of Nexus is that it allows for those travelling between the two countries to save time, skipping long lineups and using the shorter, dedicated Nexus lanes when crossing the border, as well as designated kiosks and eGates at major airports, and quicker processing at marine crossings.
Reopening these two Canadian centres is the first phase of a larger plan to address the lengthy Nexus and FAST backlog, and will increase availability for applicants to book appointments to interview for Nexus pre-approval, the Canada Border Service Agency said in a statement Monday.
Those looking to get Nexus approval can now schedule interviews, by appointment only, at the Lansdowne, Ont. (Thousand Islands Bridge) and Fort Erie, Ont. (Peace Bridge) enrolment centres, through the trusted traveller programs portal.
Travellers looking to apply will still need to complete a new two-step process, and the Canadian offices don’t mean applicants won’t have to cross the border to finalize the process.
If conditionally approved for Nexus status, travellers can complete the first part of the interview at one of the two reopened Canadian enrolment centres, then complete the second interview portion just across the border at the corresponding U.S. enrolment centres on the other side. For Lansdowne, that’s Alexandria Bay, N.Y., and for Fort Erie, it’s Buffalo, N.Y.
To become conditionally approved, both the CBSA and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) have to grant approval prior to scheduling the interview portion, and interviews need to be conducted on both sides of the border.
“Nexus and FAST are a win-win for Canada and the United States – and we’re working hard to find creative solutions to reduce wait times, address the backlog and help more travellers get Nexus cards,” said Marco Mendicino, minister of public safety, in a press release. “This new, two-step process is further proof of our commitment to it. We’ll keep finding solutions that leverage technology and streamline renewals.”
Applicants also have the option to complete a one-step process and schedule complete interviews at enrolment centres in the U.S., which may be a preferred option for those who don’t live near the two centres currently open in Canada.
And those who are already members of the Nexus program and are awaiting an interview can renew their membership ahead of its expiry date in order to retain their travel benefits for up to five years.
More centres are expected to open at select land border crossings in the future, as this initial phase carries on, CBSA says.
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