True North Initiative News Scan 01 02 2018

TOP STORIES

Iran's Supreme Leader blames 'enemies' for protests, death toll hits 21

Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei blamed Iran's "enemies" on Tuesday for stirring up unrest in the country, as the death toll from days of anti-government protests climbed to 21. In his first remarks since the demonstrations erupted last Thursday, Khamenei accused the nation's enemies of "joining forces" against Iran and blamed them for the violence in recent days. (CNN) (Washington Post)

Iran hits back at Canada criticism over protests

A spokesperson for Iran's foreign ministry has condemned Canada's "interventionist" response to widespread demonstrations taking place in the country, the latest critique lobbed by Tehran against countries that have shown support for the protesters. (MWC)

Asylum seekers flooding San Diego entry ports

So many people fleeing persecution in their home countries have asked for help in San Ysidro in recent weeks that federal officials have not been able to process all of them, leaving some stranded and running out of money while they wait in Tijuana. U.S. border officials are trying to work through the backlog, but they can go only as fast as migrants can be processed and moved from temporary holding cells to immigration detention. (VC Star)

Create a new watchdog to review border agency, RCMP, federal report recommends

The Trudeau government should create a new watchdog to handle public complaints about the Canada Border Services Agency, says a federally commissioned report. The report, prepared for Public Safety Canada, also recommends the proposed body be able to look into trends and any systemic problems at the border services agency. (National Post)

Iran protests: Supreme leader Khamenei blames 'enemies'

Iran's supreme leader has accused the country's enemies of stirring days of protests that have claimed at least 22 lives. Ayatollah Ali Khamenei was speaking for the first time since clashes between protesters and security forces broke out last Thursday. Nine people, including a child, died overnight in violence in central Iran, state media say. (BBC)

Trump says 'time for change' in Iran as deadly protests continue

President Trump took aim at the hard-line regime in Iran Monday, tweeting it is "time for a change" and blasting the Obama administration's controversial nuclear deal as the death toll from protests around the Islamic republic rose to 12. Trump – who has clashed with Irannian President Hassan Rouhani in recent days as the protests have continued – opened 2018 with a Twitter broadside at Tehran's authoritarian mullahs. Iran “is failing at every level despite” the controversial nuclear deal the Obama administration made with Iran in 2015, Trump tweeted. (FOX)

Iranian protesters attack police stations, raise stakes in unrest

Iranian protesters attacked police stations late into the night on Monday, news agency and social media reports said, as security forces struggled to contain the boldest challenge to the clerical leadership since unrest in 2009. (Reuters)

Pakistan plans to seize charities run by Islamist leader Hafiz Saeed

Pakistan‘s government plans to seize control of charities and financial assets linked to Islamist leader Hafiz Saeed, who Washington has designated a terrorist, according to officials and documents reviewed by Reuters. (Global)

 

OTHER STORIES (Domestic and International)

Years after Canada opened its doors, thousands of Syrian refugees are still waiting to come here

It was a bittersweet moment when Hassan Alshikh Darwish was selected in Turkey as part of Canada’s massive Syrian refugee resettlement project almost two years ago. His whole family — parents, elder brother, three sisters and their spouses and children — had always lived together in Damascus. Even after they all fled to Batman, a city in southeastern Turkey, in 2013, they still lived in the same building. (Toronto Star)

Alberta carbon tax jumps, but NDP says it’s connected to improving economy

Alberta’s carbon tax jumped on New Year’s Day, but the province’s NDP government maintains the tax played a vital role in Alberta’s improving economic outlook. Deputy premier Sarah Hoffman told reporters there was a clear link between the approval of several pipelines last year and the tax that Alberta first introduced on carbon on January 1, 2017. (IPolitics)

Canadian government to search social media using artificial intelligence to predict suicides

The Canadian government will soon hire an Ottawa-based company specializing in social media monitoring and artificial intelligence to forecast spikes in suicide rates. A contract with Advanced Symbolics Inc., an AI and market research firm, is set to be finalized next month. (CBC)

Sultan Khan’s dying wish was to see his son. But Canada denied the visitor’s visa

On his deathbed, at St. Joseph’s Health Centre, Sultan Khan hastened the end of a hard life by pulling out the breathing tube from the hole in his throat. With the consent of his family in Pakistan, doctors took the more merciful course of action and left the tube out. (Toronto Star)

Federal government targets black – and grey – markets with legal cannabis

The legalization of cannabis in coming months will offer a clear opportunity for provinces to shut down the black market for the drug and put an end to any notion there are still "grey" areas in Canadian law, top Liberal officials said. In a joint interview, federal Health Minister Ginette Petitpas Taylor and her parliamentary secretary, former Toronto police chief Bill Blair, said the new regime for legal marijuana will vary by province, as different rules are being put in place for distribution and retail. (Globe and Mail)

With key allies at risk of defeat, 2018 could be a tough year for Trudeau's Liberals

Justin Trudeau's Liberals won't be facing the electorate in 2018, but two of their key provincial allies will. If Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne and Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard meet their political ends this year, it could prove to be an annus horribilis for the Liberals. (CBC)

Former Obama Advisers Tell Trump to ‘Be Quiet’ on Iran Protests

Several key advisers to former President Barack Obama have poured scorn on President Donald Trump’s support for the protests sweeping Iran in recent days. In 2009, when the “Green Revolution” threatened the Iranian regime, Obama and his administration refrained from supporting the protests. Obama said that “we respect Iranian sovereignty and want to avoid the United States being the issue inside of Iran.” (BreitBart)

Trump withholding $255M in aid to Pakistan, as he accuses country of giving 'safe haven' to terrorists

The Trump administration has decided to withhold millions in military aid to Pakistan as the president accuses the Muslim-majority nation of harboring terrorists and telling “lies” to the United States. “The United States does not plan to spend the $255 million in [Fiscal Year] 2016 Foreign Military Financing for Pakistan at this time,” a National Security Council official told Fox News on Monday. (FOX)

NYT Plays Defense For Iranian Mullahs: Demonstrators 'Ignored Calls For Calm,' Defied 'Moderate' Iranian Leadership

On Monday, The New York Times ran the latest in a series of despicable pieces dedicated to making excuses for the tyrannical Islamist Iranian despotism. Here’s their tweet on the regime’s killing of dissidents: (Daily Wire)

US Intelligence Reportedly Gives Israel Green Light To Assassinate Iran's Top General

According to reports circulating widely in Israeli media today, the United States has quietly given Israel the green light to assassinate Iran's top military officer, Iranian Revolutionary Guards al-Quds Force commander Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani. The leader of Iran's most elite force also coordinates military activity between the Islamic Republic and Syria, Iraq, Hezbollah, and Hamas - a position he's filled since 1998 - and as Quds Force commander reports directly to the Supreme Leader of Iran, Ali Khamenei, and oversees Iran's covert operations in foreign countries. (Zero Hedge)

Sanctuary State Signs Pop Up on California Highways for the New Year: “Felons, Illegals and MS13 Welcome!”

Anonymous Street artists moved out to highways once again to ring in the new year by posting messages to the “Welcome to California” highway signs. (Gateway Pundit)

 

EDITORIAL AND OPINION PIECES

Terry Glavin: The uprising in Iran: ‘This is what revolution looks like’

The Iranian uprising that began last Thursday in Mashhad, Iran’s second largest city, was initially reported as an isolated protest over food prices and unemployment. By Sunday, the entire country was heaving in convulsions. Tens of thousands of people had poured into the streets of at least two dozen Iranian cities and towns, upturning police vehicles and setting government offices ablaze. The Khomeinist regime has been shaken to its foundations. Hundreds of people have been arrested. At least 12 people are dead. (Macleans)

Toronto Sun: 2018 shaping up to be a doozy

Now that 2018 has taken its first breaths, it is time to buckle up for a tumultuous year in politics. At month’s end, the House of Commons returns where Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will finally be put in the pillory to suffer humiliating opposition taunts as a result of his ethics violations. (Toronto Sun)

Mark Bonokoski: A new year in Ottawa: Deep freeze, weed breeze and ethics sleaze

As the nation’s capital celebrated New Year’s freezing in wind-chill factors of -30C, the Trudeau Liberals were envisioning hip summer breezes with the familiar whiff of weed in the air. After all, 2018 is the year the pot-loving Liberals promised the legalization of the recreational use of marijuana, even if the start date of Canada Day may be a bit of a reach for the sweet dreams to begin. (Toronto Sun)

 

REPORTS, COMMITTEE HEARINGS, LEGISLATIVE UPDATES

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