True North Initiative: News Scan 10 10 17


Canadian terror suspect awaits sentencing in NYC jail

If anyone needed further proof that Canada is not immune to the growing global reach of terrorist networks following last weekend’s attack in Edmonton that saw a police officer stabbed and four pedestrians injured in a high-speed police chase, a 19-year-old Canadian sits in a New York jail awaiting sentencing after pleading guilty to terrorism offences in a 2016 plot to carry out bomb attacks in New York City. (Radio Canada)

‘I agreed to support ISIS’: transcript of Canadian’s confession about New York terror plot

U.S. prosecutors revealed last week that Abdulrahman El Bahnasawy, 19, of Mississauga, Ont. confessed to an ISIS-inspired plot to target key New York City landmarks. In the confession, which was made a year ago, El Bahnasawy said he traveled from Canada to the U.S. and planned to carry out attacks on Times Square and the New York City subway system. Despite El Bahnasawy claiming he felt “well” when questioned about his mental health prior to the guilty plea, his lawyer claimed he had “serious mental health and substance abuse issues,” according to court documents. (Global)

Canadian linked to New York terror plot suffers ‘serious mental health and substance abuse issues,’ lawyer says

A Canadian caught plotting terrorist attacks targeting the New York subway, concert venues and Times Square has “serious mental health and substance abuse issues,” his lawyer says in newly-unsealed court documents. The documents refer repeatedly to Abdulrahman El Bahnasawy’s struggles with drugs and unspecified “mental health issues,” confirming what sources have told Global News since his arrest in New Jersey. (Global)

New York terrorist plot suspect a surgeon from Philippines Isis hotbed

A Filipino citizen accused of funding the foiled terror plot in New York is an orthopaedic surgeon previously based in Marawi City in the Philippines, where armed groups linked with Islamic State have staged a bloody battle for more than four months. (Guardian)

Rapists, wife beaters drawn to ISIS: Study

Rapists and wife beaters were keen to join ISIS because of the death cult’s freewheeling attitude towards slavery and sexual assault, a new study reveals. According to the Henry Jackson Society, Islamic State’s wink and nudge to horrific sex abuse served as a recruiting tool for “attracting, retaining, mobilizing and rewarding fighters.” (Toronto Sun)

Canadians don’t want ‘Canada First’ foreign policy mirroring Trump’s ‘America First’: poll

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau heads to Washington Tuesday to further strengthen the ties between Canada and the U.S. just as a new poll suggests Canadians don’t want this country heading down the same path as its southern neighbour. But the results of the Ekos-Canadian Press survey don’t necessarily mean Canadians’ points of view are completely at odds with those who voted U.S. President Donald Trump into office, said Ekos president Frank Graves. (Global)

Canadians appear pessimistic about their economic futures, poll suggests

A new poll suggests the political battle constantly waged for the support of Canada's middle class is being fought over increasingly shrinking territory. An Ekos-Canadian Press survey of 4,839 Canadians indicates the number of people who self-identify as working class sits at 37 per cent, while 43 per cent place themselves in the middle. (Globe and Mail)

Gov't of Canada targeting retail workers with employee discount tax

The latest version of the Canada Revenue Agency’s tax folio advises employers that “when an employee receives a discount on merchandise because of their employment, the value of the discount is generally included in the employee’s income,” with the value of the discount assessed at “equal to the fair market value of the merchandise purchased, less the amount paid by the employee,” unless the discount is “available to the public or a segment of the public, at some point during the year.” (CTV)


OTHER STORIES (Domestic and International)

Trudeau, Harper talk NAFTA in D.C. on same day

In an ironic scheduling twist, the current prime minister and his predecessor will both be in Washington, speaking on the same day, about the same issue: the renegotiation of NAFTA, which enters a high-stakes phase this week. Old political nemeses Justin Trudeau and Stephen Harper might literally cross paths. Harper is scheduled to attend a panel discussion on trade Wednesday afternoon, just as Trudeau is a few blocks away at the White House, discussing thorny trade issues with President Donald Trump. (CTV)

Nenshi warns voters about 'racists, haters' trying to influence election online

n a Facebook video posted by Mashhood Qazi, a community activist and president of the Sindhi Association of North America’s southern Alberta chapter, Nenshi talked about what he said is expected to be a “very, very tight election.” Nenshi added he had concerns around hateful language in social media representing “forces in the community” that are supporting his opponents and wanting to “take the city backwards.” (Calgary Herald)

Defence lawyers for Liberals in Sudbury byelection trial ask judge to drop case

Lawyers for two Liberals accused of bribery in a 2015 Sudbury byelection — including Premier Kathleen Wynne’s former deputy chief of staff — will be back in the northern Ontario city Tuesday to argue the case should be dropped. The unusual push for a directed verdict of not guilty by Judge Howard Borenstein comes two weeks after Crown attorneys finished laying out the prosecution and before any defence witnesses have been called. (Toronto Star)

Refugee family devastated by townhouse fire receives Thanksgiving miracle

A few days ago, Khaled Alawad and his family were contemplating how to start over after their home was destroyed by fire. Now, thanks to the compassion of a complete stranger, they have reason to be hopeful again. The Oct. 7 blaze at the Alawad family’s townhouse in Mississauga spread to eight other homes, forcing multiple families to flee with only the clothes on their backs. (Global)

After White House Issues Demands, Hopes for an Immigration Deal Dim

The list of hard-line immigration demands that President Trump said he needs to back protections for young undocumented immigrants triggered a furious response on Monday from Democrats and immigration activists, who gave no indication they were willing to strike any deal. (NY Times)

Trump wall: New proposal ties Dreamer plan to border clampdown

The White House has tied any new deal on young undocumented immigrants to a clampdown on illegal immigration, including a border wall with Mexico. US President Donald Trump is asking for funding for the wall, speedier deportations and the hiring of thousands of new immigration officials. (BBC)

Starving Rohingya babies, moms, trapped in Burmese tent city

A plastic and bamboo tent city has emerged overnight in a space roughly the size of the neighbourhood of Jane and Finch—two to three families, of at least five members each, occupying one tent. There is no open space; just people. (Toronto Star)

Spain on edge before possible Catalan secession declaration

The focus of the deepening clash between Catalan separatists and Spanish authorities is shifting to the regional parliament for a key session likely to include a historic declaration of independence that Spain has pledged to crush. Catalan president Carles Puigdemont hasn't revealed the precise message he will deliver Tuesday evening with separatist politicians expecting some sort of declaration based on the results of the disputed Oct. 1 referendum on independence. (CTV)

Swedish lawyer writes heartfelt plea for government to 'lift the lid' on the country's rape problem as she reveals migrants are suspects in majority of cases she sees

A lawyer from Sweden has claimed the majority of rape cases she deals with are being committed by people of 'a foreign background'. Elizabeth Massi Fritz, a legal expert from Stockholm, has now called on the government to 'lift the lid' on the problem. (Daily Mail)

North Korea 'hackers steal US-South Korea war plans'

Hackers from North Korea are reported to have stolen a large cache of military documents from South Korea, including a plan to assassinate North Korea's leader Kim Jong-un. Rhee Cheol-hee, a South Korean lawmaker, said the information was from his country's defence ministry. (BBC)

Las Vegas officials say gunman opened fire on a security guard before turning on crowd

The Las Vegas gunman opened fire on a security guard six minutes before he rained down bullets on a crowd and killed 58 people, officials said on Monday in a change to the timeline of the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history. (Global)

Isis insists Las Vegas shooter was 'soldier of caliphate' as authorities probe gunman's motive

Isis has repeated its claim of responsibility for the Las Vegas attack while alleging that Stephen Paddock converted to Islam six months ago. Investigators have not yet confirmed any link between the 64-year-old gunman and the terrorist group, with his girlfriend and relatives claiming he had no religious affiliation and was not an extremist. (

Isis supporter jailed for planning to bomb Birmingham train lines

An Islamic State supporter who planned to blow up railway lines using a bomb built with Christmas tree lights has been jailed for at least 15 years. Zahid Hussain, 29, a former nightclub doorman, was caught on CCTV climbing into a storm drain under the mainline out of Birmingham to London as he researched possible targets. (Guardian)



Lorrie Goldstein: The oily excuses of Justin Trudeau

A government unwilling to take responsibility for its actions is a government Canadians can not trust. Last week, TransCanada cancelled its $15-billion Energy East pipeline to ship crude oil from Alberta and Saskatchewan to refineries in Eastern Canada, and to a new marine terminal in New Brunswick, for distribution to global markets. In response, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau insisted his government bears no responsibility for that decision. (Toronto Sun)

Mark Bonokoski: Trudeau's tax hounds salivate over discounted hot dogs

Who would have thought retail sales clerks, hardly perceived as at the top of the financial food chain, were such tax-evading scofflaws that the Trudeau Liberals would be unleashing the taxman on them? But they are. (Toronto Sun)

Toronto Sun: NDP shifts left with Singh

Jagmeet Singh has a key quality NDP leaders need – charisma. He should prove an effective foil to Justin Trudeau’s selfie-loving “Sunny Ways” that increasingly rain on average people. However, Singh’s leadership also poses challenges for the NDP. (Toronto Sun)

National Post View: Try to keep track, Prime Minister Trudeau — Holocaust = Jews

“If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.” Good advice. We just never thought it would apply to Justin Trudeau and his Liberals in their attempts to memorialize the Holocaust. You know the Holocaust. Nazi Germany’s campaign to annihilate European Jewry? The murder of six million Jews, along with millions of other supposedly impure ethnicities, gay people, and disabled individuals. These facts are extremely well known and disputed only by hateful deniers. So why do the Liberals keep screwing them up? (National Post)

Douglas Todd: Vancouver's ethnic Chinese irked by inequality, tax avoidance

When urban planner Andy Yan spent an hour last week on a Fairchild radio talk show, every Cantonese- and Mandarin-speaking person who called was irate about growing housing inequality and tax avoidance. “It really surprised me. The biggest lesson out of it was that Chinese-speaking people are as concerned as everyone about fairness and transparency and accountability,” Yan said. (Vancouver Sun)

Andre Picard: Stop using mental illness to explain away violence. It’s not that simple

After every horrific mass shooting and disturbing terrorist attack, the reflex is the same: The attacker(s) must be mentally ill. The shocking randomness of these acts is destabilizing, so simplistic conclusions may provide comfort, but you can't explain away violence by saying the perpetrators are "nuts." Doing so does a grave disservice to those who do suffer from mental illness – the vast majority of whom are not violent – and it prevents us from discussing the complex personal, political and social drivers that create angry, young (for the most part) men. (Globe and Mail)

Conrad Black: Enough with the nonsense: Trump is doing fine

Over many years, I have had occasional exchanges of friendly fire with Lawrence Martin of The Globe and Mail, who has been sent back to Washington to report on the Trump phenomenon. We first met when he was that newspaper’s Washington bureau chief in 1979, and reported to a large group of Globe and Mail dinner guests that Teddy Kennedy might wrest the Democratic nomination from incumbent president Jimmy Carter, but that either would easily defeat former California governor Ronald Reagan should the Republicans be so unwise as to nominate him for president. (National Post)



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