Interoperability (International)

Military and security prominent in U.S. budget plan

A $5.8-trillion budget plan released today by the White House reflects growing security and economic concerns at home and abroad, including $773 billion in defence spending, nearly 10 per cent more than eventually approved by Congress for 2021. The administration said the hike reflects ongoing overseas threats such as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and a growing risk of cyberattacks. Dedicated Veterans Affairs medical care funding also is part of the plan as is a four-per-cent increase to $813.3 billion in the national security envelope [node:read-more:link]

Ukraine’s plea for military support fruitless

Allies meeting in Brussels today pledged new sanctions and humanitarian aid to Ukraine, but not the more robust military assistance President Volodymyr Zelenskyy pleaded for to blunt Russia’s brutal assault and drive the invaders out. The allies met in emergency summits involving NATO, the European Council and the G-7 economic group and while grateful for their help, Zelenskyy reiterated his impassioned plea for far more than has been promised. [node:read-more:link]

RCMP reverses embarrassing decision

A decision by the RCMP to terminate contracts with 18 Ukrainians working on a training mission in Kyiv has been reversed only a day after it was disclosed. The original decision to stop their pay March 31 would have left them without income as Russia steps up its assault on the capital. [node:read-more:link]

Zelensky pleads for Canadian help

In a direct appeal to Canada, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky used a video link to a packed Parliament today to press for assistance in helping to right Russia’s invasion. He reiterated an impassioned call for a no-fly zone to be imposed over Ukraine despite repeated NATO refusals over concern that it could spark a wider European war. [node:read-more:link]

Canada’s NATO commitment tested again

Germany, possibly the most pacifist European power as it spends 1.5 per cent of its GDP on defence, has reversed long-standing policy by shipping weapons to Ukraine and promising to meet NATO's two per cent target. Canada currently spends 1.39 per cent and despite sundry promises, continues to fall short. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau possibly signalled a renewed effort March 7, saying that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has changed the global “context.” [node:read-more:link]

NATO membership for Finland and Sweden?

Throughout the Cold War and the decades since, Finland and Sweden remained resolute in their political independence but recent public opinion polls indicate significant support for NATO membership as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has change Europe’s security outlook. The polls indicate indicate unprecedented support of more than 50 per cent among Finns and a similar result in Sweden. [node:read-more:link]

Swiss shelve traditional neutrality

Switzerland, a favorite financial for oligarchs, announced today that it was departing from its traditional neutrality by freezing Russian assets in the country, joining the EU and a growing list of countries critical of Russia’s “unprecedented” invasion of Ukraine. The measure applies to President Vladimir Putin, Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin and Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov as well as 367 others sanctioned by the EU last week. [node:read-more:link]

Global warming response woeful

A report released today by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says countries are not doing nearly enough to protect against disasters expected as global warming continues. UN Secretary General António Guterres calls the report compiled by 270 researchers from 67 countries “an atlas of human suffering and a damning indictment of failed climate leadership.” [node:read-more:link]

West chokes off Russian banking

Canada has joined western allies in cutting off “selected” Russian financial institutions’ access to the global SWIFT program where international transactions are expedited, effecting hamstringing the country’s economy. “We are resolved to continue imposing costs on Russia that will further isolate Russia,” the allies said in a weekend joint statement. [node:read-more:link]

Four frozen to death in Manitoba

RCMP say four people, one an infant, were found dead Jan. 19 in Manitoba within metres of the U.S. border. They are believed to have died from exposure. The RCMP began a search after being notified by U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers who apprehended a group which had items meant for an infant but did not have a child with them. [node:read-more:link]

Russia shuts down ransomware group

Russia’s intelligence service said that information provided by the U.S. enabled it to shut down the REvil ransomware group and charged several of its members on the weekend. “The organised criminal association has ceased to exist and the information infrastructure used for criminal purposes was neutralised,” the agency said. [node:read-more:link]

Haiti assassination suspect charged

A former Haitian Senator, John Joel Joseph, has been arrested in Jamaica in connection with the assassination of Haitian President Jovenel Moïse last July. Haitian police have accused Joseph of supplying weapons and planning meetings. [node:read-more:link]

Canada to benefit from Webb telescope

The largest astronomical mirror in space, the $10-billion James Webb telescope, was unfolded on the weekend, two weeks after it was launched toward a distant orbit, the latest stage in a 30-year joint effort by U.S., European and Canadian space agencies. In return for access to data, the Canadian Space Agency has contributed a near-infrared imager/spectrograph and a fine guidance sensor. [node:read-more:link]


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