IN THE NEWS

IN THE NEWS

Aug 13, 2019

Russian authorities’ acknowledgement that there was a “nuclear element” in an explosion which killed five scientists last week is fuelling speculation that they were working on a nuclear-powered cruise missile at the offshore facility. Nearby Dvinsky Bay has been closed to shipping for a month and the city of Severodvinsk, 40 kilometres away, posted and then withdrew a website report of a radiation spike shortly after the explosion.

Aug 13, 2019

The leaders of Canada’s five main political parties have been invited to participate in two nationally-televised debates in the runup to the Oct. 21 general election. The Liberals, Conservatives, New Democrats, Bloc Quebecois and Greens qualified for the Oct. 7 and 10 debates because they met several criteria, including having held at least one seat in the current Parliament, which excluded the fledgling People’s Party of Canada.

Aug 13, 2019

The Department of National Defence has launched the first phase of a new response and support coordination in a bid to address sexual misconduct in the Canadian Armed Forces. The initiative links victims with a coordinator to provide ongoing assistance until it is no longer needed, withdrawn by the complainant or they transition to civilian services.

Aug 12, 2019

Two consistent and related themes in enterprise technology have emerged in recent years, both involving rapid and dramatic change. One is the rise of the digital enterprise across sectors and internationally. The other is the information technology sector's need to react quickly and develop innovations aggressively to meet the enterprise’s digital aspirations.

Aug 12, 2019

Five people were killed and three injured in an explosion at an Arctic naval test range last week. The state nuclear company Rosatom said its engineering team was working on a “isotope power source” for the rocket’s liquid-fuel engine at the time.

Aug 12, 2019

Alejandro Giammattei, a conservative and former director of Guatemala’s prison system, has been elected to a four-year term as president. He captured 59 per cent of the vote compared with 41 per cent which went to centre-left candidate Sandra Torres. Giammattei has said he wants to amend his country’s immigration arrangement with the U.S.

Aug 12, 2019

A Helsinki-based startup company, Iceye, is using suitcase-size radar satellites to return images of objects smaller than a metre in size. That level of detail has until now has required satellites weighing a tonne or more and costing more than €100 million or some 50 times Iceye’s cost.

Aug 12, 2019

The RCMP officer heading Canada’s police presence in Mali says it will be doubled to 20 officers by the end of the year. Ten are currently deployed as part of the UN mission trying to bring stability to Mali amid an ethnic and jihadist insurgency.

Aug 12, 2019

The U.S. National Security Agency, headquartered at Fort Meade, Md., has been hiring highschool students to work “somewhere in cyber,” as one puts it. Others are equally vague, saying only that they work in language translation as well as cybersecurity.

Aug 12, 2019

The U.S. Army Maneuver Centre for Excellence is researching ways to use robotic technologies to augment human capabilities, the immediate goal being a technology demonstration late next year at the centre in Fort Benning, Ga. The National Advanced Mobility Consortium, an alliance which has been engaging “non-traditional” contractors in the venture, is a key partner.

Aug 12, 2019

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif says his country must intervene against any foreign military presence in the Persian Gulf. Calling their presence a “source of insecurity.” In his media, posted on social media, he calls the Gulf a “vital lifeline.”

Aug 12, 2019

U.S. Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson and the USAF Chief of Staff, four-star Gen. David Goldfein, have rebuffed the idea of a Space Corps in the face of a House of Representatives’ approval of draft legislation to create one.

Aug 12, 2019

North Korea has completed its fifth weapons test in recent weeks, sending what South Korea says were two short-range ballistic missiles into the sea, a potential breach of 11 UN Security Council resolutions. The latest test came after U.S.President Donald Trump said he had received a “very beautiful letter” from North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

Aug 12, 2019

U.S. National Security Advisor and former UN ambassador John Bolton is in London for meetings with members of new Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s administration. A senior official travelling with Bolton said he would articulate policies and identify areas where the two governments can collaborate.

Aug 12, 2019

Months of dialogue between U.S. diplomats and Taliban representatives apparently have yielded a framework peace accord expected to be announced shortly. That deal could pave the way for direct talks between elected Afghan leaders and the insurgency.

Aug 12, 2019

Afghanistan’s president, Ashraf Ghani, says that even as the U.S. and the Taliban seem to be making progress on a peace agreement without the Afghan government at the negotiating table, his country’s fate should be “decided here in this homeland. He is counting instead on his country’s presidential election next month to give the leadership a mandate to shape Afghanistan’s future.

Aug 09, 2019

Even as China’s economic engine cools down, it continues to undergo one of the fastest growth rates in the world. A new report from the McKinsey Global Institute takes an in-depth look at the situation, noting China’s engagement in fields such as digital and technology, trade and the environment.

Aug 09, 2019

The third annual Rolling Barrage, a fund-raising cross-Canada motorcycle charity ride, will be stopping in Ottawa Aug. 11. The visit, beginning with the morning Changing of the Ceremonial Guard on Parliament Hill, will include the first annual Operation Resilient Maple, recognizing a member of the military hitherto overlooked for an achievement. Organizers hope to recognize first responders in later events.

Aug 09, 2019

Commercial vessels transiting the Strait of Hormuz and the Persian Gulf have reported interference with their Global Positioning System receivers and the U.S. Department of Transportation believes Iran is at fault. Its maritime administration is warning about a range of issues, including communications from unknown entities purporting to be naval escorts.

Aug 09, 2019

The federal government is marking Aug. 9 as National Peacekeepers’ Day in honour of the more than 125,000 Canadian Armed Forces, police and civilians who have served on multinational missions around the world since 1956.

Aug 09, 2019

National Counterterrorism Center Director Joseph Maguire, a retired U.S. Navy SEAL vice-admiral, has been named by President Donald Trump as acting Director of National Intelligence. The current DNI, Dan Coats, is stepping down Aug. 15, as is Principal Deputy Director Sue Gordon.

Aug 09, 2019

Senior South Korean officials have met in Seoul with U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper, making his first international trip since being appointed. Among the issues discussed is President Donald Trump’s announcement that he expects South Korea to cover more of the cost of having U.S. troops stationed there as a deterrent to North Korea.

Aug 09, 2019

David MacNaughton, Canada’s ambassador to the United States “at a pivotal time in our country’s history,” is retiring at the end of August. Deputy Ambassador Kirsten Hillman will be the acting ambassador until a formal successor to MacNaughton is appointed after the Oct. 21 federal election.

Aug 09, 2019

The number of mid-air conflicts between remotely-piloted and conventional aircraft in the first half of 2019 was higher than the same period last year. Transport Canada reports that despite new regulations and stiffer penalties, there had been 33 incidents reported mainly by commercial aircrews to June 30 compared with 24 in the first half of 2018 and 25 a year earlier.

Aug 09, 2019

Senior Canadian and U.S. military staff are reported to have agreed to an overhaul of the North America Aerospace Defence Command. Emerging threats, including North Korean ballistic missiles and rapidly advancing cruise missile technology evidently are among the reasons for the development.

Aug 09, 2019

A total of 123 of the 450 Lockheed Martin C-130 Hercules H and J models operated by the U.S. Air Force’s Air Mobility Command have been grounded after “atypical” cracking of one aircraft’s lower-centre wing joint was discovered during scheduled maintenance. The Royal Canadian Air Force also flies J models but there was no immediate indication of similar action on its fleet.

Aug 08, 2019

Melanie Chapman, director of investigations in the Ombudsman’s Office in the Department of National Defence and Canadian Forces, has won a Federal Court challenge against an internal investigator’s decision that she had not had not been sympathetic and accommodating enough to a staff member who committed suicide in 2017. Setting aside the earlier finding, Justice Russel Zinn said in his ruling (Docket No. 1753.18) that Chapman had been “denied procedural fairness in the investigation and in the decision-making process.”

Aug 08, 2019

Security forces in the central Asian republic of Kyrgyzstan have stormed the residence of former President Almazbek Atambayev, who was stripped of immunity in June after accusations of corruption.

Aug 08, 2019

Scientists and engineers are being asked by the Department of National Defence to help with development of a cost-effective way to clean up space debris. These include inactive satellites and fragments leftover from their disintegration. Research indicates that thousands of pieces of debris at least 10 centimtres in diameter were in orbit at the beginning of this year.

Aug 08, 2019

U.S. President Donald Trump says his administration is talking with the Republic of Korea on how it should pay more for the long-running deployment of thousands of American troops there. Trump says on social media that the Korean should “pay substantially more” that the current US$990 million a year.

Aug 08, 2019

A region in the Australian outback is being considered by the U.S. as an alternative source of rare earth minerals critical in the development and production of missile guidance system, electric vehicles and an array of consumer goods. China, hitherto the main source for U.S. industry, has signalled that it could restrict shipments as their trade dispute escalates.

Aug 07, 2019

On August 8 through 11, the Ceremonial Guard will conduct military training in the vicinity of the Shirleys Bay Boat Launch located in Ottawa's West end at the intersection of Rifle Road and Shirley Boulevard. The training will involve soldiers swimming in the water and participating in boating exercises.

Aug 07, 2019

Pakistan is suspending trade with India in response to the latter’s decision to strip its portion of the mostly Muslim Kashmir region of its long-standing autonomous status. Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said Pakistan also plans to expel India's ambassador while its own newly-appointed ambassador to India had yet to take up his post.

Aug 07, 2019

Peace talks between U.S. diplomats and dissident militants in Afghanistan have been disrupted by a truck-bomb explosion outside a Kabul police station. Fourteen people were killed and more than 145 injured. Taliban extremists are blamed.

Aug 07, 2019

Subject to confirmation by autopsy, the bodies of two British Columbia teenage fugitives suspected of three murders have been found in northern Manitoba. RCMP teams, backed by Canadian Armed Forces personnel at one stage, had been searching for Kam McLeod and Bryer Schmegelsky since late July.

Aug 07, 2019

The United States’ main Asia-Pacific allies are being warned by China that they risk countermeasures if they accept deployment of intermediate-range U.S. missiles,. Singling out Australia, Japan and South Korea, the foreign ministry says any deployments would “not serve the national seurity interests of these countries.”

Aug 06, 2019

As the F-35C becomes officially deemed “operational”, the Navy is reportedly adding weapons, sensors and software to the aircraft to expand its attack envelope.

Aug 06, 2019

The Prime Minister is being pressed to release the results of a review of arms exports to Saudi Arabia, specifically Light Armoured Vehicles manufactured by General Dynamics Land Systems Canada in London, Ontario.

Aug 06, 2019

As Hong Kong's pro-democracy protests continue to escalate in the former British colony,the commander of its People’s Liberation Army garrison says violence should not be tolerated. Meanwhile, a spokesman for China's Hong Kong and Macau Office said the local government and police were capable"of handling the protests.

Aug 06, 2019

A state of emergency has been declared around the Siberian city of Achinsk after a fire at a military depot set off huge explosions. Thousands of residents have been evacuated within a 20-kilomere radius around the depot.

Aug 06, 2019

Large-scale cyber attacks by North Korea evidently generated as much as $2 billion dollars which may be used to underwrite its weapons programs, according to a report presented to the United Nations North Korean sanctions committee. Among other things, the report cites forced transfers of funds from financial institutions and cryptocurrency exchanges.

Aug 06, 2019

As it launched its fourth in a series of missile launches in less than two weeks, North Korea has lashed out again at the United States and South Korea for continuing military exercises. There are suggestions that North Korea is trying to build leverage ahead of negotiations about its nucler capabilities.

Aug 05, 2019

Mass shootings in Texas and Ohio over the weekend prompted President Donald Trump to state that “hate has no place” in the U.S., but there are accusations that his own remarks over the years have been a factor. “Perhaps more has to be done,” he said after an attack in El Paso left 20 dead and another in Dayton claimed 11 lives.

Aug 05, 2019

India has revoked a section of its constitution which guarantees significant autonomy in Kashmir, a Muslim-majority border state which has been a flashpoint in relations with Pakistan ever since India’s independence and partition 62 years ago. Both nuclear power claim full control but, in fact, each controls only parts of it.

Aug 05, 2019

China’s central bank has permitted its Yuan to fall below the politically-sensitive level of seven to the U.S. dollar for the first time in 11 years, a possible precursor to a further escalation in the countries’ trade war. It came only a few days after President Donald Trump slapped more tariffs on imports from China.

Aug 03, 2019

Russian opposition leader Lyubov Sobol is among more than 300 people detained over an unauthorised protest in Moscow, part of an ongoing pattern of suppression, Protesters have been gathering in the Russian capital after authorities disqualified a number of opposition candidates from contesting local elections.

Aug 03, 2019

Sudan's ruling military council and the main opposition coalition have agreed on a constitutional declaration which should set the stage for a new transitional government. The development was confirmed Aug. 3 by the African Union’s mediator. The country has been in violent turmoil since President Omar al-Bashir’s was ousted in April.

Aug 03, 2019

Any new nuclear arms control agreement must include Chinas well as Russia, says U.S. President Donald Trump. He says he has spoken with their leaderships whom he says were “very excited” by the idea.

Aug 03, 2019

NATO Secretary General Hans Stoltenberg calls the formal demise of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces treaty a “serious setback” for stability in Europe. U.S. President Donald Trump confirmed the decision only a few hours earlier as his administration and Russia continued to accuse each other of contravening the pact.

Aug 02, 2019

Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland finally managed to meet with her Chinese counterpart, Wang Yi, to discuss tensions following Canada’s arrest of a Huawei executive on a U.S. warrant last December and China’s subsequent detention of two Canadians. They met Aug. 2 on the sidelines of the Association of South East Asian Nations summit in Bangkok.

Aug 02, 2019

Five days after U.S. President Donald Trump announced that he would nominate John Ratcliffe to succeed Dan Coats as Director of National Intelligence, the Texas Republican congressman has withdrawn. Democrats excoriated him as a Trump loyalist who would undercut the traditional independence of the intelligence agencies and other Republicans had been unusually silent.

Aug 02, 2019

Green Party leader Elizabeth May suggested that “if” engineering firm SNC is found guilty on corruption and fraud charges, they should be forced to perform “community service” by repairing water infrastructure on native reserves. This solution “would keep the workers working. The shareholders of SNC-Lavalin wouldn’t like it, but maybe they should have paid more attention.”

Aug 02, 2019

U.S. military intelligence has tracked a new North Korean missile test Aug. 2. The initial assessment is that it involves two short-range ballistic missiles fired earlier in the week.

Aug 02, 2019

No sooner had U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo expressed official optimism about the prospect of satisfactory trade talks with China, set to resume next month, President Donald Trump ramped up the pressure with a statement that he will impose 10 per cent tariffs on the remaining $300 billion in Chinese imports he hasn't already taxed.

Aug 02, 2019

The United States confirmed Aug. 2 that it has formally withdrawn from its 1988 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty with Russia, a Cold War deal which ostensibly has limited development ground-based missiles with a range of 500-5,500 kilometers. “Russia is solely responsible,” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a statement, accusing it of having “failed to return to full and verified compliance” of new technologies.

Aug 02, 2019

A $45-billion increase in the U.S. military budget, to $2.7 trillion over the next two years, has been approved by the Republican-controlled Senate. However, the vote of 67-28 divided the Republican majority with 30 voting “yes” and 23 voting “no”. The budget breakdown is $738 billion in 2020 and $740 billion in 2021 compared with $716 billion this year.

Aug 02, 2019

Advances in quantum computing evidently pose a threat to levels of encryption currently seen as secure. While a major breakthrough is not considered likely for several years, it is estimated that weaker cybersecurity algorithms will be vulnerable earlier.

Aug 01, 2019

Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan announced that $250 million will be spent to repair and upgrade Canadian Armed Forces Reserves armouries and training facilities over the next five years. His department says the plan will “accommodate future growth in the reserves” to a projected 30,000 while adding new equipment.

Aug 01, 2019

At least 32 people died in Yemen when Houthi rebels used missiles and a remotely-piloted vehicle to attack what the government says was a graduation ceremony in Aden for new army recruits. movement. The rebels say the parade was part of preparations by pro-government forces for an assault on Houthi-held territory.

Aug 01, 2019

Only one of the multiple candidates for selection as the Democratic Party’s candidate in the 2020 U.S. presidential election next year favours maintenance of a smaller peacekeeping force in Afghanistan. The U.S. currently has 14,000 personnel deployed.

Aug 01, 2019

A day after stating that President Donald Trump wants U.S. troops withdrawn from Afghanistan within the next 15 months, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has reversed himself. He now says there is no deadline and accuses media of misinterpreting his earlier comments.

Jul 31, 2019

Osama bin Laden’s son, Hamza bin Laden, seen as an eventual heir to the Al Qaeda terrorist leadership, has been killed but other than that he died within the first two years of the current U.S. administration, when and where is unclear. His death was disclosed by anonymous U.S. officials.

Jul 31, 2019

The German government, which has resisted the use of military assets to protect commercial shipping in the Persian Gulf, evidently is worried that Britain may be drifting closer to an American-led response to Iranian activities, an approach previously rebuffed by France as well as Britain.

Jul 31, 2019

Canadian Armed Forces personnel helping police to track down two murder suspects in northern Manitoba have been withdrawn at the request of the police as the hunt stretched into its ninth day. “We want to be . . . focused with our own resources and determine where we should go from here," a police spokesperson explained.

Jul 31, 2019

John Turner will join Seaspan Shipyards as Vice President, Government Relations on 19 August 2019. 

Jul 31, 2019

The Department of National Defence is continuing to investigate complaints about harassment and unprofessional behaviour by personnel deployed with NATO’s mission in Latvia. The focus evidently has been on conflict between staff in the civilian-military cooperation element who allegedly, among other things, mocked senior leadership.

Jul 31, 2019

At least 35 people, all civilians, were killed in Afghanistan July 31 when an improvised explosive device destroyed their bus on the main road between the provincial capitals of Herat and Kandahar. Security has been deteriorating across the country as the Taliban and Islamic State fighters mount near-daily attacks on Afghan forces, government employees and civilians.

Jul 31, 2019

North Korea launched two more short-range ballistic missiles into the Sea of Japan July 31, less than a week after a similar test, the South Korean military said, adding that the latest development “not aid in efforts to ease the tension on the Korean Peninsula." A U.S. official said the launch posed no threat to the U.S. or any of its allies in the region.

Jul 30, 2019

The next federal general election will take place as scheduled, on Monday, Oct. 21, despite a federal court directive. An orthodox Jewish group had pushed for a one-week delay because the original date is a holiday on the group’s calendar but Elections Canada points out there are advance polling options.

Jul 30, 2019

The U.S. Senate failed July 29 to override President Donald Trump’s veto of a congressional bid to block the sale of weapons to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. The White House said last month that the sales improved the security of two friendly countries.

Pages