True North Initiative News Scan 12 29 2017


Surrey RCMP says growing number of asylum seekers illegally crossing border

Surrey RCMP is reporting an increase in people illegally crossing the border at 0 Avenue seeking asylum in Canada. Cpl. Scotty Schumann said police were called as recently as Dec. 22 to a report of a man seeking refugee status after making the crossing. “That asylum seeker was waiting on 174th and 4th Avenue when he was approached by police,” Schumann said. (Global)

Here are all the innocuous things that suddenly became racist in 2017

Whatever else 2017 is remembered for, there’s no doubt it was a banner year for people accusing others of racism. Left, right, black, white or brown; the only thing people seemed to agree on in 2017 was that everyone was racist except them. And we don’t want to alarm you, but sometimes those accusations had a tendency to be a bit overblown. Below, a shortlist of all the things that suddenly became “racist” in 2017. (National Post)


Hundreds of Islamic State militant group (ISIS) fighters from Britain are hiding in Turkey, according to Syrian Kurdish intelligence, adding to fears of an increased threat of extremist attacks on European soil. Ciwan Xhalil, a Syrian Kurdish intelligence officer who collaborates with western intelligence agencies over foreign ISIS fighters, told The Times of London that most British ISIS fighters had fled Syria and gone to Turkey. (Newsweek) (Zeenews)

NAFTA, TPP, China — Canada’s trade woes set to carry into 2018

When Claire Citeau looks at Canada’s international trade situation, with NAFTA under threat amidst an ongoing search for new markets, she worries about another South Korea. Canada struck a trade deal with the Asian country in 2015, but not before the European Union, Australia and the United States inked their own pacts to get rid of tariffs on a plethora of goods entering its $1.8-trillion economy. (Toronto Star)

Egypt attack: Nine dead in gun attack on church near Cairo

Nine people died when gunmen tried to storm a church south of Cairo, but were intercepted by police, officials say. Three of the dead were police who were on duty at Mar Mina church. One attacker was killed and his explosives belt was defused. Another gunman managed to escape. (BBC)


OTHER STORIES (Domestic and International)

'I applied for over 100' jobs: Refugees struggle to find employment in Manitoba

A civil war forced Cyprien Séguin and his family to leave the Ivory Coast in search of refuge, and while that escape is years behind them, Séguin now finds himself in the middle of an entirely different kind of battle on Canada's Prairies. The Séguins arrived in Winnipeg late in 2015 after five years as refugees in Ghana, yet Cyprien says he has been unable to find a job in his new home. (CBC)

N.L. should bring in more foreign entrepreneurs, says St. John's Board of Trade

With Newfoundland and Labrador's population in decline, the St. John's Board of Trade says it's time for the province to change its immigration rules. Recent data shows there are 2,000 fewer people in the province than there were just a year ago; Newfoundland and Labrador is the only province in Canada to see its population drop over the last 12 months. (CBC)

Get set for 50% hike in carbon tax, $150 increase in bills per household (Alberta)

The average Alberta household will see bills rise by about $150 this year due to a 50 per cent increase in the carbon tax, a University of Calgary economist said Thursday. But 60 per cent of the province’s households will see those costs covered by the province’s rebate program, which is indexed to increases in the carbon levy that rises from $20 to $30 a tonne on Jan. 1, said Dr. Trevor Tombe. (Calgary Sun)

Jason Kenney ready to 'raise the bar' of decorum in Alberta legislature

With four electoral victories under his belt in 2017, including a byelection win that left challengers trailing in the dust, United Conservative Party (UCP) Leader Jason Kenney is looking forward to assuming his role as leader of the Official Opposition. During a year-end interview with CBC News, Kenney said when he brings together his caucus in the legislature, he wants to "raise the bar" when it comes to the cross-floor banter. (CBC)

Former topless model cleared in ISIS terror probe

A former topless model turned ISIS fan girl has escaped being charged by British cops. Counterterrorism agents feared Kim Miners — who appeared scantily clad in numerous publications — was being groomed by the death cult’s recruiters to unleash bloodshed in the U.K. A number of female British converts have played key roles in the jihadist’s wicked machinations, including Sally ‘White Widow’ Jones, who was obliterated by a drone strike last summer. (Toronto Sun)

US Department of Homeland Security morphs into an international operation

About 2,000 Homeland Security employees are now stationed in more than 70 nations around the world, including Canada, according to a report by the New York Times. Among them are Immigration and Customs Enforcement special agents and Transportation Security Administration employees. Hundreds of Homeland Security agents are also working aboard Coast Guard ships or flying in surveillance planes over the eastern Pacific Ocean and Caribbean Sea. The agents screen airport passengers and inspect cargo on ships headed for the U.S. They’re also training other nations’ customs and border officials. (Blaze)

US and Turkey visa crisis ends after three-month stand-off, but tensions still fester

The United States and Turkey announced on Thursday an end to visa restrictions that have affected thousands of travellers, but tensions continued to fester as Turkish officials disputed a US account of how the crisis was resolved. (SCMP)

North Korea: South seizes ship amid row over illegal oil transfer

South Korea has revealed it seized a Hong Kong-registered ship last month suspected of supplying oil to the North in breach of international sanctions. Officials said the Lighthouse Winmore had secretly transferred 600 tonnes of refined oil to a North Korean ship. (BBC)

One-Legged American ISIS Jihadist Jabs 'Fake Media' and 'Dog of Rome' Trump

An American-accented ISIS fighter who apparently lost a leg fighting with the terror group was featured in a new Islamic State video calling on Western supporters, including the disabled, to conduct knife or gun attacks. The bearded jihadist is referred to by nom de guerre Abu Salih Al-Amriki, or the American, and is shown using crutches and attaching a prosthetic leg. In "Inside the Khilafah" video released by ISIS' official al-Hayat Media Center in English and Arabic, Abu Salih also calls for would-be terrorists to take advantage of gun availability in the United States. (PJ Media)

In Wake of Attacks, Tighter Security for Times Square on New Year’s Eve

With a gunman raining bullets down on a crowd of Las Vegas concertgoers in October, police officers who rushed into the hotel where he was holed up struggled at first to figure out what floor he was on. That quandary — and the many other difficulties of disarming a high-rise sniper — have informed how the New York Police Department is preparing for hundreds of thousands of people to gather in Times Square on New Year’s Eve. (NY Times)



Candice Malcolm: PIN project helps the world's refugees

The world has more refugees today than at any other time in history. According to the United Nations Refugee Agency, there are 66 million people worldwide who have been forcibly displaced from their homes, including 22.5 million refugees and 10 million considered “stateless”. Over half of all refugees are under the age of 18 and about 55% come from just three countries: South Sudan, Afghanistan and Syria. (Toronto Sun)

Tarek Fatah: How my cancer saved my life

It sounds strange to say it, but 2017 may well have been the year my cancer saved my life. But more on that later. Also on the bright side this Christmas and New Year holiday, I was able to see the bright red, green and white colours of the season, under a blue sky, in a way I had never seen them before. My cancer chemotherapy for the last six months may have exhausted me, but a fresh set of lens implants for my eyes, made the world all around me a visual delight. (Toronto Sun)

Mark Bonokoski: Plenty of news and uncertain times as 2018 nears

As 2017 hurtles its way towards the finish line, 2018 is already setting up for heightened conflicts on many fronts. Here in Canada, Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland announced the booting of Venezuela’s ambassador out of our country in a tit-for-tat response to Venezuela booting our envoy out of Caracas. (Toronto Sun)

David Menzies: Is a Trudeau “hurt feelings” payout next for Montreal “bomb” couple?

Montreal couple El Mahdi Jamali and Sabrine Djermane were planning a trip to Greece two years ago when some culturally-insensitive types accused the couple of harbouring secret plans to join ISIS in Syria. What would make the authorities suspicious that this fun-lovin’ couple was up to no good? (Rebel)



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