Interoperability (International)

RCAF surveillance aircraft in Haiti

The federal government has deployed one of the RCAF’s Lockheed Martin CP-140 Aurora maritime patrol aircraft to Haiti. Capable of flying for 17 hours at a time, it is tasked with providing surveillance and intelligence support for the authorities’ campaign against endemic gang violence which has paralyzed the country for months. [node:read-more:link]

B.C. man rescued and arrested

The U.S. Coast Guard’s rescue of a Canadian at the mouth of the Columbia River in Oregon took a strange twist on the weekend. A massive wave had rolled the trawler yacht which he was aboard, which turned out to be stolen. He was not only arrested in connection with another incident in Oregon but also is wanted in B.C. on a variety of other outstanding charges [node:read-more:link]

Turkey under renewed pressure

Bipartisan forces in the U.S. Senate are pressing President Joe Biden to block a $20-billion arms sale to Turkey as long as it continues to block NATO membership for Sweden and Finland. “Once the NATO accession protocols are ratified . . . Congress can consider the sale,” the Senators say in a letter to Biden. “Failure to do so, however, would call into question this pending sale.” [node:read-more:link]

No NATO aspirations in Serbia

Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic told his parliament today that he has no plan to join NATO and will remain militarily neutral while maintaining ties with alliance members through weapons procurements. Kosovo and Bosnia & Herzegovina are the only other Balkan states which have not joined NATO. [node:read-more:link]

Turkish firm wins NATO contracts

A Turkish engineering firm has won two contracts worth some €31.5 million to modernize intelligence infrastructure in the NATO Communications and Information Agency. STM says it is one of the largest software development projects assigned by the alliance to a Turkish company. [node:read-more:link]

Sweden tightening terror laws

Swedish Justice Minister Gunnar Strömmer says proposed legislation would restrict activities linked to militant Kurdish groups in the hopes of persuading Turkey’s objections to his country’s bid for NATO membership. “It's a broader criminalisation, targeting a large number of activities within a terrorist organisation that are not concretely connected to a particular terrorist crime,” he said. [node:read-more:link]

Jamaica prepared to help Haiti

Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness said February 1 that his government is willing to send troops and police to Haiti as part of a proposed multinational security force. The UN special envoy for Haiti said a week ago that she hoped the Security Council would deal “positively” with the request from Haiti’s government which has been dealing with widespread gang violence. [node:read-more:link]

EU leaders visit Ukraine

European Commission Ursula von der Leyen and 15 senior EU officials were in Kyiv today for meetings with the Ukrainian government to discuss economic ties and to show solidarity against Russia’s invasion. European Council President Charles Michel is scheduled to join them February 3 for talks with President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. [node:read-more:link]

Europe competes for green business

Concern about losing investment and jobs, the European Commission has new plans to boost homegrown green industry and counter U.S. tax credits and rebates. Announced today, the latest package combines simpler subsidy rules, repurposed funds, faster approval of renewable projects, common production targets, trade deals and upskilling. “In the fight against climate change, what is most important is the net-zero industry,” said EC President President Ursula von der Leyen. “We want to seize this moment.” [node:read-more:link]

SIPRI explores global defence spending

A new paper from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute explores the financial cost of war using links between taxation and defence spending and drawing on data from 100 countries, including Ukraine. It offers evidence to understand how increases in military spending may affect tax structures, but also how low-income, autocratic and conflict-affected countries fund their military spending. [node:read-more:link]

Pandemic protections woefully lacking

The International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies says all countries ae “dangerously unprepared” for future pandemics in an evolving era of climate-related disasters. In a January 30 World Disasters Report, it urges countries to update preparedness plans by the end of this year. “The next pandemic could be just around the corner,” says its Nepali Secretary General Jagan Chapagain. “If the experience of COVID-19 won’t quicken our steps toward preparedness, what will?” [node:read-more:link]

Alleged ISIS repatriations naïve?

The federal government’s agreement to repatriate Canadians detained in Syria on suspicion of involvement in the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria is a concern for some of the 1,200 Yazidis who fled to Canada when ISIS destroyed their community in northern Iraq. Lawyers for the detainees contend there is no link to terrorism, saying that if the federal government does have evidence, it should prosecute in a Canadian court. Some Yazidis believe that the government and human rights organizations are naïve. [node:read-more:link]

Fiji breaking accord with China

Fiji’s new government, elected in December, today suspended its police commissioner and its elections supervisor as it beefs up ties with Australia and New Zealand and prepares to terminate a contentious policing agreement with China. “Our system of democracy and justice systems are different so we will go back to those that have similar systems with us,” explained Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka. [node:read-more:link]

West Bank raid kills nine

In what is being described as the deadliest Israeli raid in the occupied West Bank in years, nine Palestinians were killed January 25. The military said it went in the town of Jenin to arrest Islamic Jihad “terror operatives” it said were planning “major attacks.” The Palestinian presidency accused Israel of a “massacre” and announced it had ended security coordination with Israel. [node:read-more:link]

Quebecker faces 22 years in prison

A Quebec woman accused of mailing ricin to Donald Trump in 2020 pled guilty in U.S. District Court in Washington today and agreed to a sentence of nearly 22 years. Pascale Ferrier, 55, of Saint-Hubert, who was arrested at a border crossing in 2020, also pled guilty to eight charges related to similar offences against law enforcement and corrections officials in Texas in 2019. [node:read-more:link]


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