True North Initiative News Scan 01 12 2018

TOP STORIES

From Nazi women and Khadrs to Star Wars and torture: A look at Joshua Boyle's vast Wikipedia edits

An examination of the 62,267 changes and additions Joshua Boyle made to Wikipedia before he and his wife were held captive in Afghanistan and his recent arrest on more than a dozen criminal charges reveals persistent activity on terrorism, Nazi women, torture devices, snipers and sex acts including bondage. Boyle did extensive, perhaps obsessive, work as an avid unpaid contributor to the public-source online encyclopedia on a wide variety of subjects, spending several hours almost every day adding and deleting inform­­ation and arguing with other editors for years. (National Post)

Joshua Boyle’s Wikipedia edits seem to explain his alleged 2006 meeting with Trudeau

A close examination of Joshua Boyle’s online presence offers the likely answer to the mystery of his previous meeting in 2006 with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, cryptically revealed by the former Afghanistan captive shortly before his arrest in Ottawa on more than a dozen criminal charges. Boyle, the Canadian man who was held hostage along with his family for five years by Afghan militants, met with Trudeau on Dec. 18, 2017, and posted photographs of their cordial interactions, including the prime minister holding their youngest child on Twitter. He added the note: “Incidentally, not our first meeting with @JustinTrudeau, that was ‘06 in Toronto over other common interests, haha.” (National Post)

Omar Khadr can't dodge US$134M civil judgement by recanting guilty plea: U.S. court filing

Former Guantanamo Bay prisoner Omar Khadr cannot avoid a huge civil judgment against him by recanting the confession and guilty plea he made before an American military commission, lawyers acting for the widow of a U.S. special forces soldier argue in new court filings. Canadian courts must accept the agreed statement of facts that underpinned Khadr’s war-crimes conviction in 2010, they argue, regardless of whether he lied under oath when he admitted to tossing a hand grenade that killed the soldier eight years earlier. (National Post) (IPolitics) (CTV)

Trump derides protections for immigrants from ‘shithole’ countries

President Trump grew frustrated with lawmakers Thursday in the Oval Office when they discussed protecting immigrants from Haiti, El Salvador and African countries as part of a bipartisan immigration deal, according to several people briefed on the meeting. "Why are we having all these people from shithole countries come here?" Trump said, according to these people, referring to countries mentioned by the lawmakers. (Washington Post) (Global) (CBC)

Trump's Immigration Crackdown Driving Illegal Immigrants To Canada

The recent crackdown on 7-Eleven stores sent an electric shock through the American economy that was felt all the way up to the Canadian border.  As Trump cranks up pressure on employers hiring undocumented aliens, those undocumented aliens and others who are losing their status in the U.S. are looking for alternatives. One such promising alternative, at least according to recent trends, has been to migrate to Canada. (Forbes)

A 'great number' of Salvadoran asylum seekers could be heading to Windsor

A "great number" of Salvadoran asylum seekers fleeing the United States could end up in Windsor as their protected status ends. The right to stay in the U.S. was extended to people from El Salvador after two deadly earthquakes shook the country in 2001, killing hundreds and leaving thousands homeless. But on Monday the Trump Administration announced 200,000 Salvadoran immigrants now allowed to live and work in America will lose that right by Sept. 9, 2019 — giving them 18 months to leave or seek lawful residency. (CBC)

Canada's economy to 'wane,' says internal memo to finance minister

Canada is coming off a stellar year for economic growth, but an internal memo for the finance minister says the party's over. The note for Finance Minister Bill Morneau, obtained by CBC News under the Access to Information Act, forecasts average annual growth of just 1.7 per cent this year through to 2022. That slower-growth number has big implications for federal tax revenues and annual deficits, and suggests Morneau has little wiggle room for spending in Budget 2018. (CBC)

Iranian-Canadian Liberal MP expresses concern about Iranian protests but defers on re-establishing diplomatic ties

Iranian-Canadian rookie Liberal MP Ali Ehassi says the heavy-handed response to massive street protests against the government in Iran is “heart-wrenching” to watch, though remained tight-lipped on whether he continues to support efforts by the Trudeau government to reopen diplomatic ties with the country. (Hill Times)

Iran: Relatives Say Protesters ‘Maybe Tortured to Death’ in Prison

Iranian protesters who have been released from prison, and the families of those still held without charges, say that some of the detainees have been tortured and killed. “People inside are being tortured, maybe tortured to death,” a 31-year-old activist named Amir told Fox News, speaking by telephone from a rally outside Iran’s infamous Evin prison. (Breitbart)

At least 8,000 people have been detained during Iran protests

The massive and widespread arrests of young people in different Iranian cities continue since the people took to the streets on December 28. According to reports from inside Iran and from within the regime, the number of detainees has mounted to at least 8,000 by the end of the second week of the Iranian people's uprising. In recent days, several of these prisoners were martyred under the regime’s medieval tortures. (Al Arabiya)

 

OTHER STORIES (Domestic and International)

Hecklers interrupt Trudeau telling crowd how he deals with ‘haters’ during town hall

As Justin Trudeau answered a young boy’s question about dealing with “haters,” a woman stood up and began hating on the prime minister. The third stop on Trudeau’s town hall loop took place at Western University in London, Ont, but the trip hasn’t been a smooth ride so far. (Global)

It's déjà vu as Justin Trudeau holds town halls again when his support looks vulnerable

One might be forgiven for experiencing a little déjà vu. In the wake of controversy surrounding his vacation on the Aga Khan's private island, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau embarks on a cross-country tour of town halls to hear the concerns of Canadians. It happened in January 2017 when the news of his trip first appeared. And it is happening again in January 2018, just weeks after the ethics commissioner found Trudeau had violated the rules in accepting the invitation. (CBC)

Immigration officials find own website ‘confusing and not user friendly’

It turns out Canada’s immigration officials are as confused as prospective immigrants and travellers by the information provided on their own department website. “We expect clients to know just what to do because ‘it’s on the website,’ ” says an internal Immigration Department document from last year. “Yet, even for immigration officers like ourselves, we often find the website to be confusing and not user-friendly.” (Toronto Star)

Sajjan defends proposed new spy powers to conduct ‘information’ warfare

Canada’s defence minister is defending new powers proposed for the country’s electronic spies, saying the Communications Security Establishment needs to “evolve” to face new threats like electronic propaganda campaigns. But critics of the Liberals national security overhaul say the legislation would give the CSE authority to launch its own disinformation operations — actions Canada would criticize nations like Russia for conducting — and risk “normalizing” state-sponsored hacking. (Toronto Star)

Mentally ill man's 5-year detention before deportation wasn't 'cruel and unusual': court

The five years a mentally ill man spent in maximum-security immigration custody before being deported to his native Jamaica did not amount to cruel and unusual punishment, Ontario's top court ruled Thursday. In upholding an earlier decision, the Court of Appeal agreed Alvin Brown's lengthy detention was neither arbitrary nor indefinite, and concluded he had no claim to damages in the case. (CTV)

Federal NDP calls for intervention on Abdi

Federal NDP immigration critic Jenny Kwan has added her voice to the mounting chorus of calls for the federal government to halt the deportation process of a former child refugee. Speaking with The Chronicle Herald, Kwan said she is appealing to both the federal ministers of immigration and public safety to intervene and stop the process of seeking his deportation. During a town hall event in Lower Sackville on Tuesday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, responding to a question from Abdi’s sister who attended the event, acknowledged that the care system failed Abdi. Kwan said this acknowledgement of failure should make it clear to government something must be done. (Chronicle Herald)

US investigates whether Obama blocked Hezbollah ‘narco-terror’ investigations to aid Iran deal

Us Attorney General John Sessions has ordered the Justice Department to investigate whether the Obama administration thwarted drug prosecutions related to Hezbollah for fear of jeopardising a nuclear deal with Iran. The announcement comes as it emerges a team of prosecutors has been formed to investigate drug trafficking and money laundering - dubbed “narco-terrorism” - linked to the Iranian-backed militant movement. (SCMP)

Trump Is Expected to Stop Short of Reimposing Strict Sanctions on Iran

President Trump has again stopped short of reimposing draconian sanctions on Iran that could break up its nuclear deal with world powers, two people briefed on his decision said on Thursday, but he is expected to give Congress and European allies a deadline to improve the deal or the United States will pull out of it. (NY Times)

Iranian protests expose contours of leadership in the Muslim world

If week-long anti-government protests in Iran exposed the Islamic republic’s deep-seated economic and political problems, they also laid bare Saudi Arabia’s structural inability to establish itself as the leader of the Sunni Muslim world. (Huffington Post)

Ted Cruz: Waiving Iran Sanctions 'Would Be a Serious Mistake'

Texas senator Ted Cruz on Thursday suggested that President Donald Trump buck members of the foreign policy establishment who are “desperately” trying to save the 2015 nuclear deal and not waive sanctions lifted under the agreement ahead of a series of related deadlines. “Waiving the sanctions on the ayatollah while protesters are dying in the streets would be a serious mistake,” Cruz told THE WEEKLY STANDARD, referring to the anti-regime protests that swept Iran starting in late December and have resulted in thousands of arrests. “We should be doing everything humanly possible to support, to encourage those protests, to tell the Iranian people, we stand with you.” (Weekly Standard)

Iran General: U.S. ‘History of Barbarism’ Prevents Valid Criticism on Protests

Iran’s campaign to take the anger directed towards its repressive Islamist regime and redirect it at the United States continued Thursday with a senior military official declaring that the United States’ “history of barbarism” nullified American criticisms of reported arrests and torture of dissidents in the country. (Breitbart)

 

EDITORIAL AND OPINION PIECES

Candice Malcolm: Tackling the underlying jihadist ideology is the real battle

Returned ISIS militants pose a unique threat to the West — one than runs deeper than the daily threat of yet another deadly terrorist attack. These returned ISIS terrorists are loyal to our enemies and devoted to an evil ideology that is completely at odds with our Western way of life. And yet, thanks to decades of careless immigration and integration policies, some of these foreign agents also happen to be Western citizens. (Toronto Sun)

Toronto Sun: Trudeau's conflict of interest violations are no laughing matter

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau seems to think being the first sitting PM to violate a federal statute is something to chuckle about. It’s unlikely many Canadians share this assessment. On Tuesday morning, Trudeau appeared on a Hamilton radio show in advance of his afternoon town hall appearance. (Toronto Sun)

Robyn Urback: Trudeau's town halls offer a master class in changing the narrative

Politicians always earn extra cred by submitting themselves to the lion's den, and the PMO's decision to not screen the questions — as evidenced by the pointed questions about Trudeau's ethical lapses, the government's settlement with Omar Khadr and the deportation of Abdoul Abdi — only bolsters the perception that the prime minister is making himself available and accountable to concerned Canadians. (CBC)

Don Martin: Political correctness behind Sir John A. pub name change

The Maple Leaf flapped over Highclere Castle today, home of the famous Downton Abbey television series. It was to celebrate Sir John A. Macdonald's 203rd birthday and to acknowledge he worked there while drafting the British North America Act. But there's another flap very close to home for Canada’s first prime minister, which foreshadows his current celebration becoming future ostracization. (CTV)

Licia Corbella: In the name of tolerance, Trudeau attacks faith and those who serve others

In the name of “inclusion” and “tolerance,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his Liberal government are excluding and being intolerant to faith-based social agencies and churches from even applying for the Canada Summer Jobs program that provides subsidies to hire summer students. (Calgary Herald)

Andrew Coyne: Lack of consequences over Trudeau’s ethics breach makes mockery of rule of law

On December 20, the outgoing federal Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner (to give her her full title), Mary Dawson, delivered a report finding the prime minister, Justin Trudeau, in violation of sections 5, 11, 12 and 21 of the federal Conflict of Interest Act, in the matter of his acceptance of free vacations on the Aga Khan’s private island in the Bahamas. (National Post)

Michael Ledeen: We Need Regime Change in Iran

The White House and Congress are trying to legislate policy on Iran. It’s a good idea, since, unless you think press releases and speeches constitute policy, we don’t have one at this potentially world-changing moment. Nor will legislation regarding the JCPOA (aka the Iran Nuclear Deal) give us the sort of policy we need. We need action now, not a law about what we can or cannot do some years from now. (PJ Media)

 

REPORTS, COMMITTEE HEARINGS, LEGISLATIVE UPDATES

 

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