True North Initiative: News Scan 09 15 17

TOP STORIES

At least 20 people including children are injured in Tube terror attack

A 'bucket bomb' has exploded on Tube train at the height of rush hour today sending a 'wall of fire' through the carriage injuring at least 18 people including a ten-year-old boy in the latest terror attack to hit Britain. Terrified passengers 'ran for their lives' and were seen covered in blood with scorched legs, faces and hair after the incident at Parsons Green station in west London at 8.20am. Photographs from the District Line train show what experts believe is a 'pretty unsophisticated' bomb in a flaming white bucket inside a Lidl freezer bag with Christmas lights connected to a battery protruding out of the top.  (Daily Mail) (Sun.co.uk) (BBC

Fire in London underground sends 18 to hospital, police treating as terrorist incident

London's police are treating a fire on an underground train during Friday morning's rush hour as a "terrorist incident." London's Metropolitan Police say it's too early to determine what caused the fire. London Ambulance Service says 18 people have been taken to hospital following the fire, adding that none of the patients are thought to be in life-threatening or serious condition.  Photos taken inside a District Line train show a white plastic bucket inside a supermarket shopping bag. Flames and what appear to be wires can be seen. (CBC) (CNN)

Global Study: Immigration a ‘Major’ Concern Across 25 Countries, Majority Doubt ‘Refugee’ Claims

A survey of 25 nations has revealed that countries with higher levels of immigration are changing their attitudes towards it fastest. In every single nation surveyed a plurality thought that immigration had had a negative effect. An average of 48 per cent said there are too many immigrants in their countries, against 21 per cent who believe there are not. A majority in most countries also question if refugees are genuine, believe terrorists are posing as refugees, and think border controls should be tightened. (Breitbart)

Canadians divided on granting entry to asylum seekers from U.S., poll finds

The numbers come as a new survey shows that Canadians are equally divided over whether the country should welcome asylum seekers from the United States or close its borders to them. A Nanos poll found that more than one-third of Canadians – 37 per cent – say Canada should welcome asylum seekers from the United States, while the same percentage of respondents think Canada should close its borders; 26 per cent were unsure. (Globe and Mail)

Islamic State Fighter Returns To North America: ‘We All Do Things We Regret’

A man who travelled from Canada to Syria to join the Islamic State terror group and work for its “morality police” has returned to North America, saying “We all do things we regret”. The unidentified Pakistani-Canadian man, who is said to be in his twenties, returned from Syria to the Toronto area last summer and said that he served as a member of the Islamic State for six months. He claims he was promised an “Islamic utopia” but found an all-controlling police state, Canadian broadcaster Global News reports. (Breitbart)

Jihadist chants, images found on Montreal couple's electronic devices, court hears

An RCMP analyst testified Thursday at the trial of a Montreal couple charged with terror offences, identifying several jihadist chants and images found on electronic devices in the apartment shared by Sabrine Djermane and El Mahdi Jamali. The two, who had been students at Collège Maisonneuve, were arrested in April 2015. (CBC)

Terror trial: Jury hears details of young couple's arrest in Montreal park

The young couple on trial for terror-related charges at the Montreal courthouse was placed under arrest while they were strolling through a park on a spring evening in Villeray. Details of the arrests made in April 2015 were presented on Thursday to the jury hearing the trial of Sabrine Djermane, 21, and El Mahdi Jamali, 20. The couple faces four charges related to their alleged attempt to leave Canada to join the terrorist group ISIL in Syria and an alleged attempt to build a bomb to commit a terrorist act in Canada. (Montreal Gazette)

U.S. not obliged to defend Canada in event of North Korean missile attack, MPs told

The highest-ranking Canadian officer at Norad has demolished a long-held political assumption by telling a parliamentary committee that the U.S. is under no obligation to defend Canada in the event of a ballistic missile attack. Lt.-Gen. Pierre St-Amand laid out on Thursday — in stark terms — where the military lines of each nation begin and end in the event the North Korean crisis erupts into a shooting war. (CBC)

At least 5 Canadian diplomats and families hit by mysterious 'sound attacks' in Cuba, source says

At least five Canadian diplomatic families were affected by mysterious "sonic attacks" in Cuba that left them with symptoms including hearing loss, headaches and dizziness. That is a larger number of people than previously reported and suggests the Canadian diplomats were targeted intentionally and were not merely victims of mistaken identity in a wave of attacks that affected a larger number of U.S. diplomats. (CBC)

 

OTHER STORIES (Domestic and International)

Cuban asylum seeker risked his life to enter Canada through train tunnel

Miguel Padron clung to a rough wall in the darkness and felt his way through the tunnel. Noxious fumes swirled at his feet and up into his lungs, causing him to choke, but he pressed on. Fear of deportation spurred his bruised feet forward, and the hope of leaving the hatred hurled at immigrants in the United States made him desperate enough to risk his life in the pitch-black rail tunnel running more than two kilometres under the St. Clair River between Port Huron, Mich. and Sarnia, Ont. (CBC)

Halifax’s ethnic grocers flavour culinary landscape

As a port city, Halifax has always welcomed immigrants. After the English and French came Lebanese, Greeks, Italians and Iranians who have all established their own thriving communities within the city. Soon after Asian immigrants followed from China, Japan, Vietnam, Korea, Philippines and India. In more recent years Hispanic immigrants — mostly from Mexico and Central America — have increased alongside Syrian and Afghan immigrants. (Chronicle Herald)

Liberal MP Arnold Chan, 50, remembered as good friend, committed public servant

Liberal backbencher Arnold Chan, whose eloquent, emotional tribute to democracy earlier this summer moved many in the House of Commons to tears, was remembered Thursday as a good friend, a wonderful husband and a dedicated public servant. The 50-year-old Chan died of cancer three years after he was first diagnosed with the disease. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called him "a thoughtful, kind and, above all, tireless advocate for Canadians." (Metro)

Wynne threatens trade retaliation if Trump imposes ‘Buy American’ policies

Ontario might respond with its own protectionist measures if the U.S. implements the Buy American policies favoured by President Donald Trump, Premier Kathleen Wynne said Thursday. In an interview in Washington, Wynne said she had told Trump Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross an hour earlier that “we will retaliate if necessary.” “We don’t want to do that, but we will if we have to,” Wynne said at the Canadian Embassy. (Toronto Star)

Doctors' fury over proposed federal tax changes could affect provincial health budgets

If the federal government goes through with its proposed crackdown on tax planning through private corporations, doctors who take a hit on their paycheques could make things harder for provincial governments trying to keep their healthcare budgets under control. Although the proposed changes would affect many professions that see high rates of incorporation, doctors argue their situation is special because of their relationship to the publicly-funded health system. (National Post)

KC man who prompted FBI terror investigation admits passport fraud

On the application, he listed his travel destination as Canada, and in order to get an expedited passport he included a travel itinerary for a round-trip flight from Kansas City to Vancouver, Canada. But he never intended to made that trip, according to the agreement. Several months later, Mohamud traveled to Egypt without telling his family or employer. (Kansas City Star)

Rising: 30,567 Aliens Apprehended or Deemed Inadmissible on SW Border Last Month

Since April, the number of illegal aliens trying to get into the United States along the Southwest border has been steadily rising, reaching a total of 30,567 in August, a 22.5 percent increase from July and almost twice the 15,771 recorded in April, U.S. Customs and Border Protection said. Of those 30,567 detained in August, 22,293 individuals were apprehended between ports of entry. That's up from 18,190 in July; 16,087 in June; 14,520 in May; and 11,125 in April. (CNS)

Jimmy Carter defends Trump on DACA

U.S. President Donald Trump has an unlikely defender of his approach to immigration law: former President Jimmy Carter. Speaking to Georgia college students, the 39th president expressed optimism Wednesday that Trump might break a legislative logjam with his six-month deadline for Congress to address the immigration status of 800,000-plus U.S. residents who were brought to the country illegally as children. (CTV)

Mexico takes steps to ease return of young immigrants

Mexico's top diplomat on Tuesday said his country is taking steps to ease the return of young immigrants whose deportation protection is being rescinded by the Trump administration, but he also acknowledged they would prefer to stay in the United States. On a visit to Los Angeles, Foreign Relations Secretary Luis Videgaray said his government is making it easier to transfer education credits and is extending a loan program for young entrepreneurs. (CTV)

'What's happening is a genocide': Toronto rallies in support of Rohingya people

Torontonians continue to sound the alarm as much of Myanmar descends further into chaos. This weekend will see a series of events to express support for civilians trapped in the conflict and to push the Canadian government to intervene. "Right now the time is not for statements but for real actions and real solutions," said Ahmed Ramadan, co-ordinator for Burma Task Force Canada, a local branch of the global non-profit that has been advocating for the rights of the Rohingya people for the past five years. (Metro)

North Korea proves it CAN hit Guam with fresh missile launch over Japan

North Korea has fired another test missile over Japan, leading to global condemnation amid already high tensions over Pyongyang's nuclear warhead tests. The missile flew over the northern island of Hokkaido, where thousands were awoken by air-raid sirens for the second time in just three weeks, and landed some 1,240 miles off the cape of Erimo just before 7am local time (10pm Thursday GMT). (Daily Mail)

Tunisian women free to marry non-Muslims

Tunisia has overturned a law that banned women from marrying non-Muslims. A spokeswoman for President Beji Caid Essebsi made the announcement and congratulated women on gaining "the freedom to choose one's spouse". Until now, a non-Muslim man who wished to marry a Tunisian woman had to convert to Islam and submit a certificate of his conversion as proof. (BBC)

U.S. Military: American Fighting for ISIS ‘Surrenders’

The U.S. military confirmed a Daily Beast report Thursday that an American fighting in Syria for the so-called Islamic State has been taken into custody. “The U.S. citizen is being legally detained by Department of Defense personnel as a known enemy combatant,” Pentagon spokesman Eric Pahon said. A source familiar with the situation told The Daily Beast earlier that the American was captured by Kurdish forces. Other military spokespeople indicated that the fighter “surrendered” on or around Tuesday. (Daily Beast)

 

EDITORIAL AND OPINION PIECES

Farzana Hassan: Liberals are wrongly supporting a Muslim victimhood narrative

Sixteen years have passed since that horrific day in 2001, and we must still wrestle with the scourge of terrorism. The Muslim world had already been exposed to terrorist atrocities for decades, but in recent years the Western world has also witnessed carnage at the hands of terrorist cells or lone wolves usually inspired by the rhetoric of articulate and ruthless demagogues. In the Muslim world it is long-established sectarianism that claims lives through terror attacks. In the Western world, it is those old animosities coupled with current political conflicts that have sparked the recent waves of terror, inspired largely by the likes of ISIS and their supporters. (Toronto Sun)

Toronto Sun: Trudeau, Wynne pummel small business

Consider the plight of small businesses in Ontario today. Liberal federal and provincial governments are treating them as cash cows for increased government spending and social engineering schemes. It’s being carried out by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in Ottawa and Premier Kathleen Wynne at Queen’s Park, both of whom have never had to meet a payroll. (Toronto Sun)

John Ivison: General has sobering news for politicians who assume U.S. missiles will defend Canada

Politicians approach most subjects with open mouths, but they are rarely at a loss for words. That’s why the testimony at a House of Commons defence committee, specially convened to consider the thorny problem that is North Korea, was so memorable. Honourable members were stumped by the testimony of Lt. Gen. Pierre St-Amand, the Canadian who serves as deputy commander of North American Aerospace Defence Command (NORAD) in Colorado Springs. (National Post)

Chris Hall: Liberals battle problems mostly of their own creation

For the better part of two days members of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's cabinet met behind closed doors in St. John's, plotting strategy for the fall legislative session, while outside their opponents, critics and interest groups declared open season on significant parts of the Liberal agenda. Instead of controlling the debate this week, instead of getting out their message first, the Liberals found themselves responding to problems that, in most cases, were of their own creation. (CBC)

Douglas Todd: Tax avoidance behind Metro's disconnect between housing, income

After census figures this week revealed alarming gaps between housing costs and average incomes in Metro Vancouver, veteran real-estate analyst Richard Wozny is preparing a speech for B.C. politicians that blames the disparity is in part on tax avoidance. A reason why residents of Metro Vancouver municipalities with expensive housing tend to report lower incomes than people in less-costly municipalities is that many of the former avoid declaring their total wealth, said Wozny, whose company has produced 1,200 studies on real-estate trends in Canada and the U.S. (Vancouver Sun)

David Sax: The Fantasy of Trump’s Skills-Based Immigration Proposal

Our conversation happened just two weeks after the election of Donald Trump, who last month backed sweeping changes to America’s own immigration system. At the heart of this is the raise Act, proposed by Republicans senators, which would move the United States from an immigration system that focusses on family reunification to one that prioritizes skills and experiences suited to the job market. Though Trump’s primary motivation may be cutting legal immigration to the United States by as much as half, the core of the raise Act has frequently been compared to the Canadian immigration system. (New Yorker)

Bruce Livesey: Is bigotry blinding CSIS and the RCMP — to disastrous effect?

As he plunks the documents down on the boardroom table, Phillips has good reason to be in high spirits: he’s one of Omar Khadr’s lawyers who negotiated the reported $10.5-million settlement over CSIS and the federal government’s Charter of Rights-abusing actions towards the youth, who spent 10 years in Guantánamo Bay where he was frequently and brutally tortured. This past winter, Phillips also won a $141,000-judgment against the government and two senior RCMP officers over the harassment of Mountie Peter Merrifield (the Department of Justice even agreed to fork over more than $800,000 to cover Merrifield’s legal bills). (National Observer)

 

REPORTS, COMMITTEE HEARINGS, LEGISLATIVE UPDATES

-       Standing Committee on National Defence met yesterday to study Canada’s abilities to defend itself and our allies in the event of an attack by North Korea (Public)