Perimeter Security

Conservative MPs meet with protesters

Four months after the “Freedom Convoy” paralyzed downtown Ottawa, 23 members of the federal Conservative caucus met in the parliamentary precinct this week with key protest figures. One said that Ontario Conservative MP Dean Allison had helped to secure access. [node:read-more:link]

COVID-19: some travel restrictions to be eased

Quarantine restrictions are to be eased, beginning, July 5 for fully-vaccinated Canadians and permanent residents returning to Canada as long as they test negative for COVID-19. Announcing the relaxation today, the government said that with few exceptions, vaccinated foreigners still would be quarantined. [node:read-more:link]

Facial recognition on the rise

U.S. Customs and Border Protection is extending the use of facial recognition technology to its optional Global Entry program for frequent travelers. Until now, those “low risk” persons only had to have their passports and fingerprint scanned on entry but CBP says the use of facial biometrics eliminates the passport and fingerprint requirements. [node:read-more:link]

WHO seeks coronavirus funding

The World Health Organization says the equivalent of $890 million it says is necessary to help countries to handle the coronavirus outbreak, especially countries with less-developed health infrastructures. It says the “relatively small” number of confirmed cases outside of China gives the WHO a “window of opportunity” to prevent a global crisis. [node:read-more:link]

COVID-19 pandemic feared

As more confirmed diagnoses of potentially fatal respiratory problems caused the latest corona virus continue to emerge around the world, there are growing concerns about a possible COVID-19 pandemic. Most infections and deaths have been confirmed in China but the outbreak has spread elsewhere in Asia as well as to North America, Europe and the Middle East. The WHO officially named the Coronavirus as COVID-19 (coronavirus disease 2019) on 11 Feb 2020. [node:read-more:link]

Greece resists mass entries from Turkey

A push by masses of people trying to cross the Turkish border was met 04 March with tear gas and stun grenades fired by Greek authorities fired tear gas and stun grenades. The attempted influx followed Turkey’s announcement that its border with Europe would be wide open. [node:read-more:link]

Global Affairs ups COVID-19 response

Flooded with thousands of phone calls and emails from Canadians stranded abroad by governments’ border closures in response to the COVID-19 outbreak, Global Affairs Canada is operating around the clock with extended resources. Foreign Affairs Minister François-Philippe Champagne says that “on any given day we likely have somewhere around 200 to 250 people and volunteers from across the department who are contributing their time and their energy." [node:read-more:link]

Wuhan lockdown to be eased

Chinese officials said 24 March that the COVID-19 lockdown in Wuhan, the original epicentre for the global viral pandemic, will be partly lifted 08 April and that travel restrictions in the rest of Hubei province will be lifted earlier for demonstrably healthy residents. [node:read-more:link]

More military funds for Mexican wall

Hundreds of millions of dollars for conventional military infrastructure projects are being diverted for continued work on President Donald Trump’s wall at the U.S. border with Mexico. Secretary of Defense Mark Esper directed the moves in a memorandum earlier this week. [node:read-more:link]

New government; familiar issue

A new Israeli unity government has been sworn in with Benjamin Netanyahu returning for a fifth stint as Prime Minister and arch-rival rival Benny Gantz as his deputy. The deal ended a long-standing political deadlock but the new government is pressing on with an internationally condemned but U.S.-backed plan to annex part of the occupied West Bank. [node:read-more:link]

Canadians welcome in EU

Even though Covid-19 remains a global threat, Canada is on a European Union list of 14 from which visitors are deemed “safe” due to the success of their governments in dealing with the pandemic. So, too, are Australia and Japan, among others, but the U.S., Brazil and China are not. [node:read-more:link]

Canada-EU cooperation continues

Foreign Affairs Minister François-Philippe Champagne and European Commission Vice-President Josep Borrell have reaffirmed their transatlantic commitment to tackle COVID-19 as well and other challenges. In a statement issued 10 September, they said that, among other things, they fully support the World Health Organization’s pandemic work, continue to cooperate in identifying and responding to foreign threats such as state-sponsored disinformation, and remain committed to the Paris Agreement climate goals. [node:read-more:link]

Tension in Alaskan waters

Recent Russian military operations inside the U.S. economic management zone off Alaska were the latest in a series of escalated encounters across the North Pacific and the Arctic, where the retreat of polar ice continues to draw new commercial and military traffic. The local U.S. Coast Guard chief, RAdm Matthew T. Bell Jr., says that while Russian operations in the Bering Sea are not unusual, “the surprise was how aggressive they got on our side of the maritime boundary line.” [node:read-more:link]

COVID-19: travel ban extended

Canada is extending its ban on non-essential entry by most travelers who are not Canadians, permanent residents or people entering from the U.S. The ban on entries from the U.S. is extended to Dec. 21 and on others until Jan. 21, as are 14-day quarantine requirements. [node:read-more:link]


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