True North Initiative News Scan 01 15 2018


Trudeau defends Joshua Boyle photo-op, has ‘no memories’ of meeting Boyle in 2006

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is defending his decision to meet with Joshua Boyle, the former hostage now facing 15 criminal charges related to incidents that allegedly took place after his rescue from Pakistan. Boyle, who along with his wife and three children was rescued from the clutches of the Taliban-linked Haqqani network last fall, is facing charges ranging from assault and sexual assault to forcing an individual to ingest a noxious substance. (Global)

Explosive B.C. court case details seven migration scams

Immigration and tax lawyers are stunned that the Fu and Zhu families became embroiled in a lengthy civil suit over three multi-million dollar houses they purchased together in Vancouver, since their case provides evidence of their illicit schemes around real estate, tax avoidance and immigration. “This case provides unusually candid insight into what those who would abuse our immigration and real-estate systems really think in their own words about their true motives for seeking access to Canada and our real estate,” said Vancouver immigration lawyer Sam Hyman. (Vancouver Sun)

Canada’s failing refugee system is leaving thousands in limbo

New York City never proved to be what the songs had promised to Eugene Mabon. The 30-year-old Haitian couldn’t find work. He got kicked out of the first home that took him in and had to live off a friend’s charity. He’d already tried finding a better life in Brazil, but gave up after three years doing factory jobs for a pittance. His journey north to America took him by plane, bus and foot, through jungle, through water. And Statue of Liberty City proved a lousy place to land. (Macleans)

Illegals Fleeing to Canada Find Even Liberal Canada Has Limits to Freebies

With renewed pressure brought to bear by President Donald Trump on illegal aliens in the U.S., Canada is warning immigrants here that illegally crossing into Canada is not a free ticket to permanent residency and they can still be deported back to their point of origin if they steal across America’s northern border. (Breitbart) (Seattle Times)

Accused Edmonton attacker Terrorist fit to stand trial

The man accused of stabbing an Edmonton police officer and running down pedestrians last fall has been found fit to stand trial. But a second assessment focusing on his mental state at the time of the attack has not yet been completed. Abdulahi Sharif, 30, was linked by telephone in a conference call to Friday's proceedings in a provincial court in Edmonton. He faces five counts of attempted murder and several other charges related to the attack that began Sept. 30  outside the Commonwealth Stadium during an Edmonton Eskimos game. (CBC)

Crown still wants convictions for B.C. pair earlier accused of terror-related crimes

A British Columbia judge was wrong to throw out findings of guilt against a pair of accused terrorist sympathizers who planted what they thought were pressure-cooker bombs on the lawn of the provincial legislature, the Crown says. In documents filed in B.C.’s Court of Appeal, the Crown says Justice Catherine Bruce of the B.C. Supreme Court had no basis to conclude the RCMP manipulated John Nuttall and Amanda Korody into plotting to kill dozens of innocent people and first responders on Canada Day in 2013. (National Post)

Terrorism charges against Ottawa professor dropped in France

More than nine years after his arrest in connection with a 1980 bombing of a French synagogue, former University of Ottawa professor Hassan Diab has been released from prison after authorities in France dropped terrorism charges against him due to lack of evidence. (CBC) (BBC)

New poll shows deterioration in approval ratings for Trudeau Liberals

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has a lot more in common with Stephen Harper than he would probably like when it comes to his job approval score, a new poll shows. More Canadians than ever before dislike Mr. Trudeau's Liberal government, whose approval ratings are now identical to Mr. Harper's before the last election, according to a new poll being released on Monday by Nanos Research and the Institute for Research on Public Policy. (Globe and Mail)

Protests in Iran lead to a surge in downloads of Canadian VPN tools

Recent protests in Iran over economic policies are giving a boost to two Canadian companies offering virtual private networks and other software that can circumvent government moves to censor internet traffic. Virtual private networks, or VPNs, can be used to mask the online IP address that could identify a user. Ryan Dochuk, co-founder and chief executive of Toronto's TunnelBear, said that, over the past few years, the company's software has been downloaded by people who have experienced censorship in countries including Turkey, Venezuela and Uganda. (Globe and Mail)

Iran Releases Hundreds of Anti-Government Protesters From Detention, Officials Say

Iranian officials said Sunday that hundreds of people detained in recent weeks during anti-government protests have been released and acknowledged that at least 25 people were killed during the unrest. The demonstrations that erupted in a number of towns and cities were the largest seen in Iran since the disputed 2009 presidential election, but authorities say the unrest has waned in recent days, and the security forces insist they have restored order. (Time)

‘Hundreds’ of Protesters Killed in ‘Unprecedented’ Iran Protests: Erik Prince (Retired Navy SEAL)

Retired Navy SEAL Erik Prince criticized the brutality of Iran’s response to recent demonstrations and warned about Iran’s growing regional influence on Friday’s edition of Breitbart News Tonight with SiriusXM host Rebecca Mansour. Prince said he does not have a “current feel” on the state of the protest movement in Iran, but called it “unprecedented” and “certainly the biggest protest movement since 2009.” (Breitbart)

Iran protesters thank Trump, call for stronger sanctions

They are risking their lives to bring freedom to Iran, and vow to continue their protests. "These uprisings have just begun. People are not at all willing to give up," one activist told Fox News from the streets of Iran. "Their patience has come to an end and they have nothing to lose. Iran will surely not fall down and people will not retreat from their demands." (Fox)

Two activists die in Iranian prison after being tortured for participating in the protests

Two more civilians, arrested during the recent protests in Iran, have died while incarcerated due to the use of excessive torture by the prison guards, Iranian human rights organizations reported on Saturday. (Kurdistan 24)

Trump Keeps Iran Nuclear Deal But Still Wants Changes

The Iran nuclear deal survived its latest 90-day review, despite President Trump’s frequent criticisms of the arrangement and requests for alternatives from his advisers, and the Trump administration’s strong criticism of the Iranian government’s crackdown on the recent popular uprising. (Breitbart)


OTHER STORIES (Domestic and International)


Internal CSIS note details 'mega trends' set to alter economy, society, security

From cryptocurrencies, to artificial intelligence, to the rise of millennials, a top-secret document by Canada's spy agency explores the so-called "mega trends" on its radar and details how they will transform the economy, society and security. The evolution of these trends -- set to play out over the next five to 15 years -- will unlock new opportunities and new threats, said the recently released document prepared for Michel Coulombe, who was director of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service at the time. (CTV)

‘I very badly wanted to get it done,’ says Dawson of Trudeau report

Mary Dawson says she worked hard to get a report into Justin Trudeau‘s controversial Bahamas vacation out to the public before finishing her term as federal ethics commissioner, mainly because she hates loose ends. (Global)

'No longer a citizen': Government letter tells mom of 4 she's not Canadian

She came to Canada when she was just two-years-old and still has her government-issued citizenship card she received when her parents moved to Steinbach, Man. from Paraguay in 1980. (CBC)

Third asylum seeker in Manitoba suffers severe frostbite

A renewed warning about frostbite and the dangerous journey some asylum seekers take to make it into Manitoba. A man from the West African country of Togo is the third asylum seeker to have suffered severe frostbite on his hands after crossing the U.S.-Canada border on foot into Manitoba. (CTV)

‘No more Lotteries!,’ Donald Trump says in tweet amid immigration deal talks

U.S. President Donald Trump tweeted Sunday morning that he wanted people entering the United States “who are going to help us become strong and great again.” “No more Lotteries!” he added at the end of the message. (Global)

Battling ISIS: Alberta woman recalls treating wounded, freeing sex slaves in Syria

When the self-proclaimed capital of ISIS fell in Syria, Shaelynn Jabs couldn't celebrate. Too many fellow soldiers had died. But nearly two months later she recalls the feeling of liberation as women on Raqqa's pulverized streets ripped black veils from their faces. "This is what everyone died and fought for," Jabs told CBC News in an exclusive interview, from her home in Drayton Valley, Alta, 130 kilometres southwest of Edmonton. "Now they have the opportunity to live a better, freer life." (CBC)

'Delusional, naive, or stupid': Brett Wilson slams Canada's trade tactics

One of Canada’s most outspoken investors, Brett Wilson, says Canada is being “delusional, naïve” and even “stupid” by continually producing the United States with trade challenges. Canada has launched a trade complaint against Washington, the World Trade Organization said on Wednesday, outlining nearly 200 instances of alleged trade violations committed by the U.S. The complaint was made public amid growing concerns that President Donald Trump will announce that the U.S. is withdrawing from North American Free Trade Agreement. (BNN)

Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau scolds pro-lifers as ‘not in line’ with society

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says anyone who disagrees that there is a right to abortion is “not in line” with “where we are as a society.” The remark was prompted at a town hall in Hamilton, Ontario, on Wednesday by an audience member who asked where the government draws the line on free speech. (Washington Times)

Canada appears offside with U.S. after inviting China to sidelines of Vancouver North Korea meeting

Canada and the United States don’t seem to agree on whether China should’ve been on the guest list for a North Korea summit both countries are hosting in Vancouver this week. After China’s foreign minister issued a statement this week that heavily criticized the Jan. 16 meeting, U.S. State Department Under Secretary Steve Goldstein told journalists Thursday that “no,” China is not invited. Invitations were focused on United Nations Command Sending States that supported South Korea during the Korean War, “of which China was not a part,” State Dept. spokeswoman Nicole Thompson said in an email. (National Post)

Donald Trump declares himself the ‘least racist person’, and says DACA scheme for young migrants is ‘probably dead’

US President Donald Trump insisted on Sunday “I’m not a racist” in response to reports that he had described immigrants from Haiti and African countries as coming from “s***hole countries”. Trump also said he was “ready, willing and able” to reach a deal to protect illegal immigrants brought to the United States as children from being deported but that he did not believe Democrats wanted an agreement. (SCMP) (BBC) (Toronto Star)

U.S. urges caution, warns of possible terror attacks in Kosovo

The United States is warning its citizens to "exercise increased caution in Kosovo due to terrorism" and listed some areas Washington thinks are at increased risk. The State Department warning issued Friday said that "terrorist groups continue plotting possible attacks in the Balkans region, including Kosovo." It also advises that politically motivated violence occurs throughout Kosovo. The warning lists four regions where members of Kosovo's Serb minority live as experiencing tensions that could lead to violence. (CTV)

Brother of San Diego man killed while fighting for ISIS sentenced to 10 years on terrorism-related charges

Marchello Dsaun McCain, a convicted violent felon and the brother of Douglas McCain, the first known American who died fighting for the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS), was sentenced in federal court today to 10 years in prison for his illegal possession of a cache of firearms and body armor and making false statements to federal agents involving international terrorism (Kusi)

Vodka shots and ‘I love you’ texts — How two Canadian couples vacationing in Hawaii prepared for the end

They had 10 minutes to live. So they used it well: they dressed, packed up some water and their medications, sent “I love you” texts to bewildered family back home in Hamilton and Brantford. They hugged each other and drank two shots of vodka. (Toronto Star)

Turkey vows imminent strike on Kurdish enclave in Syria

Turkey's president said Sunday the country will launch a military assault on a Kurdish enclave in northern Syria "in the coming days" and urged the U.S. to support its efforts. (CBC)

Chelsea Manning confirms U.S. Senate run

Chelsea Manning on Sunday confirmed via Twitter that she is a candidate for U.S. Senate. Three days after making her intention known to federal election officials, Manning tweeted "yup, we're running for senate" with an attached campaign video indicating her intention to run in the 2018 Maryland Democratic primary. She sent a subsequent tweet seeking donations to her campaign. (CTV)

Las Vegas Gunman Took Elaborate Steps to Hide His Tracks, New Documents Show

As he meticulously planned the Las Vegas attack, the man responsible for the worst mass shooting in modern American history took elaborate steps to stymie the inevitable law enforcement investigation, according to federal court documents unsealed on Friday. (NY Times)

FBI knew Las Vegas gunman had big gun stashes, records say; motive still mystery

FBI agents knew the gunman behind the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history left behind big caches of guns, ammunition and explosives when they sought warrants to search his properties and online accounts, according to court documents released Friday. A U.S. judge in Nevada unsealed the documents showing some of what federal agents learned about Stephen Paddock in the week after the Las Vegas shooting. Prosecutors didn’t oppose the request from media organizations including The Associated Press to release affidavits that were filed to get search warrants. (USA Today)




Candice Malcolm: Canada needs a better approach to dismantling Islamist networks

Returned ISIS fighters join the ranks of a hidden class of enemy citizens secretly embedded in our society. These radical agents have built their own infrastructure, and use our openness and freedom to wage war against us. Of course, most Muslims in North America are not part of this covert network. In Canada, large majorities explicitly reject the Islamist ideology. (Toronto Sun)

Anthony Furey: This Trump hysteria serves no one, least of all, impoverished Haitians

Give us all a break. This obsession with disingenuously interpreting everything Donald Trump says in the worst possible light needs to stop. It benefits no one. Now, it was one thing to twist his words during the campaign, as many political operatives and media foes did with wild abandon. But the “shithole” incident is different. This latest example of derangement comes amidst a very serious public policy debate. (Toronto Sun)

Roy Green: Justin Trudeau’s tour little more than manipulation

Justin Trudeau stands convicted of multiple ethics violations. Trudeau generated national anger over his decision to write a $10.5 million compensation cheque to Omar Khadr, who was involved in a 2002 firefight that killed U.S. Army medic Christopher Speer and also blinded Speer’s platoon-mate Sgt. Layne Morris. (Global)

Abbas Rana: Trudeau should offer better explanation for meeting Boyle, otherwise he looks ‘foolish,’ House should launch review of PMO screening process, say political players

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau should reveal all the facts surrounding his now controversial meeting with former Afghan captive Joshua Boyle last month on the Hill because without a clear explanation the prime minister looks “foolish,” say political players, who also say the House should launch an inquiry to review the PMO’s screening process. (Hill Times)

Lorne Gunter: After all this government meddling, it's surprising Canada has any entrepreneurs left

Sometimes I wonder why entrepreneurs stick with it. As if the risks of starting a small business — finding customers, providing product or services, making payroll and so on — weren’t hard enough, if you succeed, even just a little, governments of all levels treat you like a cash cow to fund their various schemes. (Toronto Sun)

Mark Bonokoski: Trudeau welcome mat a trapdoor for El Salvador refugees

When Donald Trump kicked the Statue of Liberty’s welcome to the curb, and told the “huddled masses yearning to breathe free” to stay home if they were from seven Muslim-dominated countries, our prime minister seized the opportunity to be their saviour. He opened his arms to those seeking refuge from Trump’s America. (Toronto Sun)




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