Politics & Policy

Iran sanctions waiver extended

The U.S. has extended by 120 days, effectively to mid-March 2024, a sanctions waiver that enables Iraq to continue buying electricity from Iran and gives Iran limited access to $10 billion in escrow accounts held in Iraq. Also, some revenue from the power exports can be converted in Oman to Euros or other widely-traded for Iran to buy non-sanctioned products. [node:read-more:link]

France wants Syrian leadership arrested

Twelve years after Syrian leaders began cracking down on protests, France has issued unprecedented international arrest warrants for President Bashar al-Assad and his brother Maher as well as two top military generals. UN experts say their tactics, including the use of chemical weapons, amount to war crimes. [node:read-more:link]

Israeli tactics called genocidal

Lawyers representing Palestinian victims of israel’s war on Hamas in the Gaza Strip have complained to the International Criminal Court that Israel’s actions amount to genocide. The initiative could result in arrest warrants for Israeli leaders. “It is clear for me that there are all the criteria for the crime of genocide,” the French leader of the complainants said. “This is not my opinion, it’s the reality of law.” [node:read-more:link]

U.S. leaders sued over Gaza

A New York-based civil liberties group is suing U.S. President Joe Biden and his secretaries of defence and security in federal court for their “failure to prevent and complicity in the Israeli government’s unfolding genocide” in Gaza. [node:read-more:link]

Netanyahu knocks Trudeau

Prime Minister Trudeau’s criticism of Israel’s “heart-wrenching” war against Hamas drew a strong rebuke from his Israeli counterpart today. “It is not Israel that is deliberately targeting civilians but Hamas that beheaded, burned and massacred civilians in the worst horrors perpetrated on Jews since the Holocaust,” Benjamin Netanyahu wrote on social media. “Hamas […] should be held accountable for committing a double war crime — targeting civilians while hiding behind civilians. [node:read-more:link]

Massive battery plant for B.C.

Prime Minister Trudeau and B.C. Premier David Eby have unveiled plans for a $970-million lithium-ion battery cell factory in the Vancouver-area city of Maple Ridge. “This is the future we are building,” the PM said November 14. “Climate policy is economic policy.” Ottawa and the province have committed up to $204.5 million and $80 million, respectively; the balance will be covered by private investment, including the factory operator, E-One Moli, owned by a company in Taiwan. [node:read-more:link]

PM surrounded by police

The presence of a group of protestors, one of whom was arrested for assault, prompted Vancouver to deploy 100 officers to a restaurant where Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was dining November 14. The protesters waved Palestinian flags, shouting slogans and jeering the PM. [node:read-more:link]

EU moves to control critical minerals

The European Union is on track to implement an agreement in 2024 which will govern supplies of 16 critical minerals in a bid to reduce dependence on other countries such as China. They agreed today that the EU should extract 10% of the minerals, recycle 15% and process 40% of the EU’s annual needs by 2030. [node:read-more:link]

Green fund CEO quits

Leah Lawrence, head of Sustainable Development Technology Canada since 2015, has resigned because of “a sustained and malicious campaign to undermine my leadership.” She was reacting to complaints about fiscal and human resources management of the $1-billion and suggestions that the government was dissatisfied. [node:read-more:link]

Interest rates expected to remain high

Canadians are being warned by the senior deputy governor of the bank of Canada that interest rates are unlikely to fall any time soon. Carolyn Rogers says many of the economic forces that pulled down rates in recent decades are going into reverse, a “new normal” she says heightens risks for indebted households and businesses as well as the broader financial system. [node:read-more:link]

British cabinet shakeup

Former British Prime Minister David Cameron returned to PM Rishi Sunak’s cabinet today as Foreign Secretary in a shuffle prompted by the dismissal of Home Secretary Suella Braverman. She had criticized police handling of pro-Palestinian protesters, and Sunak, whose Conservative government is floundering, replaced her with former Foreign Secretary James Cleverly. [node:read-more:link]

Class-action legal fees cut

The federal government and the lawyers who worked on the $23-billion class-action suit over First Nations child welfare have agreed to a deal on legal fees. Rather than the $80 million they had sought, the five firms have agreed to $55 million plus $5 million for ongoing work to implement the settlement. [node:read-more:link]

Interference probe launches website

The Foreign Interference Commission is asking interested stakeholders to apply for standing as it begins looking into alleged meddling with Canada’s political machinery. Among other things on its new website, the inquiry has confirmed that Toronto lawyer Shantona Chaudhury, one of the lawyers that led the Emergencies Act inquiry, will draw on her national security law expertise as lead counsel. [node:read-more:link]

Judges should not be “activists”`

Mary Moreau, the Alberta jurist recently confirmed as the Supreme Court of Canada’s newest member, says she does not believe judges should be “activists.” Asked for her opinion during a weekend interview, she did “not think that judges should be viewing themselves with that particular adjective”, that they have a primary role to be impartial. [node:read-more:link]

Ortis guilty of doing his job?

Cameron Otis, the former RCMP intelligence director on trial for allegedly leaking secret information, has said he was operating legally after being tipped that there were “moles” in Canadian law enforcement agencies. However, according to redacted transcripts from his closed-door jury trial, the prosecution as insisted Ortis was “enabling” the targets. [node:read-more:link]


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