True North Initiative: News Scan 05 23 17

TOP STORIES

Manchester Arena explosion: 22 dead in suicide attack at Ariana Grande concert, police say

Twenty-two people are dead — including children — and 59 were wounded after a reported explosion at the Manchester Arena in northern England, where American pop star Ariana Grande was performing Monday, according to a statement from Greater Manchester Police. Authorities confirmed that the incident was a suicide attack and they believe it was carried out by one man, Manchester Chief Constable Ian Hopkins said Monday night. (Global) (Daily Mail) (BBC)

Manchester terror WAS planned: ISIS cheerleaders tweeted on arena attack hours BEFORE bomb

ISLAMIC STATE supporting accounts tweeted about an attack on Manchester arena - four hours before a suicide bomber killed at least 22 people and injured 59 others at an Ariana Grande concert. Manchester Arena was rocked by a huge explosion as children and their parents made their way towards the exit after the pop singer’s final performance. (Express.co.uk)

Islamic State supporters celebrate Manchester attack online, no official claim

- Islamic State supporters celebrated on social media on Tuesday after a blast at a concert venue in the north of England killed at least 19 people, although the militant Islamist group has not formally claimed responsibility. British police have said they are treating the blast at the Manchester Arena at the end of a concert by U.S. singer Ariana Grande as a "terrorist incident". More than 50 people were wounded. (Yahoo)

Manchester Arena attack: The search for missing loved ones

Thousands of people have turned to social media to help find missing relatives amid the chaos that followed the blast at Manchester Arena. Olivia Campbell's face was one of many to appear on Twitter with the #missinginManchester hashtag as her family appealed for information. Olivia, 15, has been missing since the Ariana Grande concert, where the explosion happened on Monday night. Her mother Charlotte has appealed for people's help in finding her. (BBC)

Trudeau on Manchester explosion: authorities still seeing whether Canadians were affected

Authorities are still looking into whether any Canadians were impacted by the suspected terrorist attack at the end of an Ariana Grande concert at Manchester Arena, that killed 19 people and injured 59 others, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said in a statement on Monday night. “With our allies and partners, we will continue to counter such senseless acts and to fight terrorism in its many forms,” he said. (Global)

New report alleges outside influence in Canada's 2015 federal election

Foreign money funnelled towards Canadian political advocacy groups affected the outcome of the 2015 federal election, according to a document filed last week with Elections Canada and obtained in part by the Herald. The 36-page report entitled: Elections Canada Complaint Regarding Foreign Influence in the 2015 Canadian Election, alleges third parties worked with each other, which may have bypassed election spending limits — all of which appears to be in contravention of the Canada Elections Act. (Calgary Herald)

Freeland’s Canadian values speech won’t be aimed at Trump

Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland says the world wants Canada to trumpet tolerance and diversity. That’s her plan for what is being billed as a major foreign policy speech early next month. International figures, such as former UN secretary general Kofi Annan, think that’s a fine idea and about time too, in a world grappling with growing nativism, intolerance and anti-immigration sentiment — a phenomenon they lay at the feet of U.S. President Donald Trump. (Toronto Star) (Globe and Mail)

Trudeau heads to NATO, G7 summits, where Trump is top of mind for world leaders

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau heads to Europe this week for the NATO and G7 summits, where global leaders are trying to figure out exactly how the world works now that U.S. President Donald Trump is at the table. The future of military alliances, the fight against climate change and even free trade all hang in the balance as the new man in the White House sits down and lets them all know his plans — or maybe not. (National Observer)

 

OTHER STORIES (Domestic and International) 

Division is the biggest threat to federal Conservatives, says Kenney

Jason Kenney may have left the national scene to immerse himself in Alberta politics, but he keeps an eye on the federal party he used to represent. And he sees a potential threat lurking in the Conservative leadership race — from within the party. "I think ultimately the biggest threat is division," the former immigration minister under Stephen Harper told CBC News. (CBC)

Couples split by asylum outcomes face separation

Nikoletta Notar and Gergo Balogh had been childhood friends in Hungary before they reconnected in Toronto in 2010 after their families, both Roma minorities, separately fled to Canada for asylum. Although Balogh, his parents and two younger sisters were deported from Canada in 2013 after their refugee claim was denied, Notar and her family were accepted and became permanent residents. (Toronto Star)

Toronto's South Sudanese community rallies as famine worsens

Members of Toronto's Sudanese and South Sudanese community gathered for music and food on Sunday in an effort to raise money for the east African famine currently putting nearly 40 per cent of the country's population at risk. A recent report from  Famine Early Warning Systems Network warned that hundreds of thousands of South Sudanese children could die if they go without assistance in the coming months. (CBC)

Canada denies entry to retired CRPF officer over ‘rights abuse, torture’

Relations between India and Canada, marred by recent friction, could take another hit as a retired senior CRPF officer was denied entry at Vancouver airport last week, partly because immigration authorities deemed him to have served a government that engages in “terrorism, systematic or gross human rights violations, or genocide”. (Hindustan Times)

Tax worker fired after biggest privacy breach at Revenue Canada

The Canada Revenue Agency has fired an employee for the biggest single privacy breach ever detected involving confidential taxpayer accounts. The employee improperly accessed the accounts of 38 taxpayers in detail, and briefly accessed another 1,264 accounts using a search function to find surnames and postal codes. The incident happened in an agency office in the Prairie region before March 23, 2016, when an investigation was launched, says an internal report. (CBC)

USA: Report Shows 304,000 Illegal Immigrants Overstayed 2015 Visas into 2017

Roughly 304,000 foreigners arrived at U.S. airports and seaports legally in 2015 but then overstayed their visas until at least January 2017, according to a new report by the Department of Homeland Security. The numbers show that more than half of the nation’s new 2016 illegal aliens arrived legally at airports and seaports, instead of sneaking across a land border, said Steve Camarota, a data expert at the Center for Immigration Studies. The overall inflow was about 550,000 illegals in 2016, he said. (Breitbart)

Trump says concerns about Iran driving Israel, Arab states closer

U.S. President Donald Trump said on Monday that shared concern about Iran was driving Israel and many Arab states closer and demanded that Tehran immediately cease military and financial backing of "terrorists and militias". In stressing threats from Iran, Trump echoed a theme laid out during weekend meetings in Saudi Arabia with Muslim leaders from around the world, many wary of the Islamic Republic's growing regional influence and financial muscle. (Yahoo)

Manchester bombing: Trump calls attacker a 'loser'

US President Donald Trump has called those behind the Manchester suicide bombing and other similar attacks "evil losers in life". "I won't call them monsters because they would like that term. I will call them losers," he said in a speech in Bethlehem. World leaders have been sending messages of grief and solidarity to the UK city after the explosion at an Ariana Grande concert on Monday night. Twenty-two people have been killed. (BBC)

Trump Seeks $3.6 Trillion in Cuts to Reshape Government

President Donald Trump would dramatically reduce the U.S. government’s role in society with $3.6 trillion in spending cuts over the next 10 years in a budget plan that shrinks the safety net for the poor, recent college graduates and farmers. Trump’s proposal, to be released Tuesday, claims to balance the budget within a decade. But it relies on a tax plan for which the administration has provided precious little detail, the elimination of programs backed by many Republican lawmakers, and heavy use of accounting gimmicks. (Bloomberg)

Trump, Netanyahu Cast Iran as Common Enemy

President Donald Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Monday that Iranian aggression has united Israelis and Arabs and brought Middle East peace closer than ever, but Mr. Trump’s warm reception in the region masks risks that have derailed his predecessors’ bids for decades. (Wall Street Journal)

Venezuela's irreconcilable visions for the future

"Venezuela is now a dictatorship," says Luis Ugalde, a Spanish-born Jesuit priest who during his 60 years living in Venezuela has become one of the South American nation's most well-known political scientists. A former rector of the Andres Bello Catholic University in Caracas, Mr Ugalde does not mince his words. (BBC)

Around 3,500 suspected terrorists in UK - but powers to monitor used LESS than in 2015

THE number of potential terrorists being watched in the UK has swelled to nearly 3,500 - but our security services are using powers to monitor them LESS than they did a year ago, Express.co.uk can reveal. The around 3,000 potential terrorists monitored since 2015 has grown after the return of UK-born people who left to fight with ISIS. Around 400 ISIS-trained fighters are believed to have returned from war zones in Syria and Iraq. (Express.co.uk)

British Jihadi brides return home after being widowed or sent back by husbands preparing last ISIS stand

ritish jihadi brides are returning home after being widowed, or being sent away by husbands preparing to make a final stand with the Islamic State group. As many as 10 British women and their children have left the extremists’ so-called caliphate in recent months and a couple have already made it back to the UK, according to both counter-terrorism sources and a former jihadi bride. (Telegraph.co.uk)

ISIS fanatics are plotting to blow up British ports by planting bombs on UK-bound fuel tankers

ISIS is plotting to attack UK-bound oil tankers forcing elite special forces divers to scour ship hulls, it is claimed. Brit spy agencies have allegedly received intelligence the terror group is planning to target the vast ships ferrying highly explosive fuel from the Middle East. (Sun.co.uk)

 

EDITORIAL AND OPINION PIECES 

Ezra Levant: Trudeau escalates trade war with Trump, and Canadian military pays the price

For a year and a half as he campaigned for president, Donald Trump threatened some of America’s largest trading partners with import taxes or other penalties. So you’d think that while Trump was threatening Mexico and China, the smart thing to do for Canada would be to be very quiet.  But no. Just weeks before the U.S. election last year, Trudeau brought in a new import tax on U.S. dairy products. (Rebel)

Michael Mostyn: NDP MP Niki Ashton has made her priorities clear

So far, Niki Ashton’s campaign for federal NDP leader has garnered attention largely because of her missteps. In mid-March, the MP from Northern Manitoba drew the ire of Black Lives Matter over a tweet in which she urged her followers to move “to the left, to the left,” in a riff on a hit single by African-American pop diva Beyonce. (Toronto Sun)

Steve Buist: Refugee claimants: from a stream to a flood

Omid Danish sits ramrod straight in his seat, nattily attired in a suit jacket and tie, a huge smile plastered across his face. Nestled up against his arm with a shy smile, is Alina Yahyaie, his wife. They've been married since last July but they've only been able to spend one month together in that time. Danish (pronounced Dah-NISH), who fled Afghanistan three years ago, has been living in Richmond Hill, while Alina has been back in the capital of Kabul, hoping to join her husband in Canada. (Hamilton Spec)

Jonathan Marcus: Why has Trump been so harsh on Iran?

This is President Donald Trump's first foray to the Middle East and it will not be his last. But he has already got one thing clear. Antipathy towards Iran is the one thing that Washington's disparate allies in the region agree upon. So bashing Tehran has been a prominent theme for Mr Trump both in Saudi Arabia and now in Israel. Hostility to Iran is the glue that binds what some would like to believe is an emerging coalition between Israel, Saudi Arabia and the smaller Gulf States together. (BBC)

 

REPORTS, COMMITTEE HEARINGS, LEGISLATIVE UPDATES

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