Emergency/ Crisis Management

Cynical Russian UN proposal defeated

A draft Russian resolution which would have called attention to the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine without mentioning Russia’s four-week-old invasion was defeated in the UN Security Council March 23 when it was supported only by China. [node:read-more:link]

Global grains supply at risk

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, now in its fifth week, highlights the fragility of the global food supply at a time when sustained investment is needed. Between them, Ukraine and Russia account for nearly a third of global wheat and barley exports as well as some 20 per cent of corn exports and the fate of some six million hectares planted to wheat in Ukraine remains uncertain. [node:read-more:link]

Myanmar junta accused of genocide

The U.S. said today that violence against the Rohingya minority in Myanmar by the country’s military amounts to genocide and crimes against humanity. The formal declaration by Secretary of State Antony Blinken comes four years after a UN fact-finding mission concluded the military's campaign included “genocidal acts” but the administration of the day called it “ethnic cleansing”, which has no legal definition under international criminal law. [node:read-more:link]

“Terminator” video goes viral

An online warning to the Russian people by actor Arnold Schwarzenegger about how they are being lied to about their government’s invasion of Ukraine captured a global audience in no time, including in Russia. Among other things, it challenges President Vladimir Putin’s claim that he wants to “denazify” Ukraine, whose own leader is Jewish. “You started this war and you can stop it,” he told Putin. [node:read-more:link]

Canada-Russia spat at UN

A draft Russian resolution at the UN, ostensibly seeking support for aiding and protecting Ukrainians, prompted Canada to edit it to add that “like other members of the international community, we are gravely concerned” about the invasion. That prompted a Russian envoy to accuse Canada on social media of “kindergarten-level Russophobic libel.” The resolution eventually was not put to a vote March 18. [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]

Domestic extremism “here to stay”

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s national security and intelligence adviser, Jody Thomas, said March 10 that the Emergencies Act was an appropriate response to the three-week “freedom convoy” occupation of downtown Ottawa. Calling the convoy a protest was an “over-simplification,” the former deputy minister of national defence said, because it was a manifestation of “ideologically-motivated extremism . . . here to stay.” [node:read-more:link]

China parroting Russian invasion claims

Beijing has seemingly adopted a neutral position on Russia’s war on Ukraine, neither condemning Moscow nor ruling out the possibility of mediation. However, China’s state media’s coverage of the invasion has tended to parrot Russian President Vladimir Putin’s characterization of his bloody assault as nothing more than a “special military operation” and largely echoing Russian state media or information from Moscow. [node:read-more:link]

Convoy organizer released from jail

Tamara Lich, the Alberta woman who became the face of the “freedom convoy” which paralyzed downtown Ottawa for three weeks, has been released from jail and told to get out of town. Arrested Feb. 17 and charged with counselling to commit mischief, she initially was denied bail because a judge was not convinced she would go home. The judge who ordered her release March 7 acknowledged that Lich “does require some supervision.” [node:read-more:link]

Growing humanitarian crisis in Ukraine

Despite the perception that Russian ground forces’ invasion of Ukraine seems to have stalled after 12 days of intense bombardments, Ukrainian officials say the humanitarian crisis continues to grow. Nearly two million Ukrainians have fled to neighbouring countries and one official says his country expects that “the catastrophe in Ukraine will lead to a catastrophe in the world with food because Ukraine was a major supplier of wheat and grain.” [node:read-more:link]

Another Russian ceasefire in Ukraine

Russia today announced yet another ceasefire in its invasion of Ukraine and opened a few humanitarian corridors as a prelude to a third round of talks. However, previous measures have fallen apart as bombardments resumed shortly thereafter; hundreds of thousands of fleeing civilians were forced to shelter March 6 as Russians shelled several cities. Some of the new corridors would funnel Ukrainians toward Russia or Belarus, a prospect rejected by Ukraine. [node:read-more:link]

“Freedom convoy” funding defended`

The U.S. crowdfunding site GiveSendGo says the Canadian government did not ask it to stop collecting donations for the “freedom convoy” which paralyzed downtown Ottawa for three weeks. A parliamentary committee also was told “that the suppression of speech is much more dangerous than speech itself” and that GSG would host fundraisers for extremist organizations if their plans were legally authorized. [node:read-more:link]

Ottawa accused of “tyranny” and fascism

Conservative interests in the U.S., stoked by former President Donald Trump, are trying to gain political capital in the aftermath of the “freedom convoy” which paralyzed Ottawa for three weeks before the government invoked the Emergencies Act. In a weekend speech to Republican loyalists in Florida, Trump effectively accused Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government of “tyranny” and being allied with “left-wing fascists.”


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]

New Zealand protest mirrors Canada

Antigovernment protests that jolted Canada this month have been quashed but a similar occupation in New Zealand’s capital is now in its third week. The occupation in Wellington initially had a carnival atmosphere but has deteriorated into a violent pushback against police attempts to clear the area. [node:read-more:link]


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