IN THE NEWS

IN THE NEWS

Aug 21, 2019

Iran says the U.S. should not to try to seize an Iranian tanker which recently was released by the Gibraltar government. Tehran says any further action would have “heavy consequences."

Aug 21, 2019

Organizational and management issues in the Department of Defense are hampering internal collaboration efforts, according to a Government Accountability Office study. Congress has called on the Pentagon to address the issue but the GAO says the DoD is 21 months behind its target dates.

Aug 21, 2019

Iranian preparations for what it says is an imminent satellite launch are being described by the U.S. as key to Iran’s development of ballistic missile capabilities. Satellite images of the Imam Khomeini Space Center in show increased activity at the site.

Aug 21, 2019

As the U.S. and the Taliban seem closer to a peace agreement which would withdraw NATO forces from Afghanistan, a report cautions that warlords are “dangerously poised” for a new civil war. The Washington-based Institute for the Study of War says that would be like the one which ensued after the Soviet Union pulled out in 1989.

Aug 21, 2019

The Department of Defense plans to stand up the U.S. Space Command Aug. 29. Confirmed by Gen. Joe Dunford, outgoing chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, it will be the first combatant command to be fully stood up since Africa Command was created in 2009.

Aug 21, 2019

Even as the U.S. administration promises to withdraw 14,000 troops from Afghanistan, President Donald Trump says intelligence assets will remain. “We’ll always have someone there,” he said, calling Afghanistan “the Harvard University of terrorism.”

Aug 21, 2019

U.S. companies involved in the sale of F-16 Viper fighters to Taiwan are being threatened with sanctions. A Foreign Ministry spokesman says the US$8 billion sale of 66 aircraft should be stopped.

Aug 21, 2019

The U.S. administration has formally cleared the potential sale of F-16 Viper fighters to Taiwan. Posted on the Defense Security Cooperation Agency website, the notice of the US$8 billion sale of 66 aircraft by Lockheed Martin requires congressional approval but there has been broad bipartisan support.

Aug 21, 2019

Commenting on calls by some Democrats for sanctions against Israel for its continued occupation and development of West Bank territories, President Donald Trump says Jewish Americans who vote for Democrats display “either a total lack of knowledge or great disloyalty.”

Aug 21, 2019

President Nicolás Maduro of Venezuela says he has been talking with the U.S. for months even as Washington ramps up economic sanctions against the embattled Maduro, whose leadership is considered illegitimate by more than 50 countries, including Canada.

Aug 21, 2019

Lawyers for Meng Wanzhou, the senior Huawei executive detained pending a legal decision on whether she should be deported to the U.S., says she was the target of a “covert criminal investigation.” The allegation is detailed in B.C. court documents.

Aug 21, 2019

A trade and investment officer at the British consulate in Hong Kong is being detained in neighbouring Shenzhen, the Chinese foreign ministry confirms. Simon Cheng was detained during a regular cross-border visit for allegedly violating a law which covers offences not considered criminal.

Aug 21, 2019

Twitter has taken down a network of nearly 1,000 accounts the social media company says are tied to the Chinese government. Many tweets had criticized pro-democracy demonstrations in Hong Kong.

Aug 21, 2019

The U.S. says Russia should be reinstated into the main Economic Summit group of nations, which also includes Canada as well as Britain, France, Germany, Italy and Japan. “It's much more appropriate to have Russia in,” President Donald Trump said at the White House ahead of the Aug. 24-26 G7 summit in France. “If somebody would make that motion, I would certainly be disposed to think about it very favourably.”

Aug 21, 2019

Analysis of medical visits and prescriptions indicates that when a military parent is injured, their children often require psychological help, including medication. Details are set out in the latest edition of the journal Health Affairs.

Aug 21, 2019

The rural Manitoba residence of a Canadian Armed Forces reservist has been raided by the RCMP in response to allegations that he had been recruiting for a neo-Nazi organization. No charges have been laid against the member of 38 Canadian Brigade Group.

Aug 20, 2019

China says Canada should “stop meddling” in Hong Kong affairs, namely a recent spate of sometimes violent protests by residents of the former British colony. In a note posted to its embassy’s website, China was reacting to a statement by Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland and her European Union counterpart, Federica Mogherini, that “the right of peaceful assembly ... must continue to be upheld.”

Aug 20, 2019

Supported by Russian forces, the Syrian military has forced its jihadi opponents out of Khan Sheikhoun, in the heart of rebel-held Idlib province. However, the main militant group calls its withdrawal a “redeployment.”

Aug 20, 2019

Bahrain has confirmed plans to join the U.S.-led effort to protect shipping lanes in the Persian Gulf. The announcement came as Gen.Frank McKenzie, was meeting with King Hamad bin Isa Al-Khalifa in the Gulf state.

Aug 20, 2019

President Donald Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu are being criticized by the first two Muslim congresswomen after Israel, at the behest of the U.S. administration, refused travel permission for one. It subsequently lifted its ban on one but she declined the the opportunity because Israel attached too many conditions.

Aug 20, 2019

Is it possible that U.S. President Donald Trump’s penchant for picking trade fights could undermine his re-election prospects as the spats potentially worsen the threat of a global recession? His future may be in the hands of five senior members of his administration.

Aug 20, 2019

Canada will permit Venezuelans stranded in Canada without valid passports or other travel documents to remain in Canada for up to five years. Citizenship and Immigration Canada says Venezuela’s administrative meltdown in recent months has made it difficult for its consulates to renew expired documents while other Venezuelan expatriates with permanent resident status are finding their citizenship applications interrupted.

Aug 20, 2019

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will not confirm whether Jack Letts, a British-Canadian national held by Kurdish authorities after allegedly joining militants in Syria, might be permitted to come to Canada. Nicknamed “Jihadi Jack” by British media, Letts broached the idea in a televised interview.

Aug 20, 2019

A new ground-based cruise missile with a 500-kilometre range, has been tested by he U.S. only a few weeks after the Trump administration withdrew from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear forces Treaty fter alleging that Russia had violated the pact. The Pentagon says test data would “inform” it about development of its intermediate-range capabilities.

Aug 19, 2019

HMCS Regina has completed a six-and-a-half month deployment to the Asia-Pacific and Middle East regions and returned to CFB Esquimalt today. As a replacement, HMCS Ottawa recently departed for a four-and-a-half month deployment to the region.

Aug 19, 2019

A potential sale of “fourth generation” F-16V Viper light multi-role fighters to Taiwan by Lockheed Martin evidently has renewed U.S. administration support after having been put on hold for a while.

Aug 19, 2019

North Korea’s series of missile tests is generally seen as an attempt to get the U.S. and South Korea to back down on joint military exercises. The Korean Central News Agency in Pyongyang says leader Kim Jong-un has promised “invincible military capabilities no one dare provoke.”

Aug 19, 2019

Britain has revoked the citizenship of Jack Letts, a British-Canadian national born in Oxford. Nicknamed “Jihadi Jack” because of his alleged involvement with militants in Syria and who has been held by Kurdish authorities for two years. Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale says “Canada is disappointed that the United Kingdom has taken this unilateral action to offload their responsibilities.”

Aug 16, 2019

President Donald Trump is expected to meet today with senior national security advisers to review a plan to wind down long-running U.S. military presence in Afghanistan. A Taliban negotiator is reported to have been working for months on how to end the conflict there.

Aug 16, 2019

A day after it had said it would deny entry to U.S. Congresswomen Rashiba Tlaib and Ilhan Omar, Israel says it will permit Tlaib entry on humanitarian grounds to see her elderly grandmother. Tlaib and Omar were denied entry because of their outspoken stance on Israel.

Aug 16, 2019

A week after a Russian test of a “nuclear-fuelled” rocket ended in an explosion, the Norwegian Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority says small amounts of radioactive iodine were detected at an air-sampling station. However, the levels were described a not harmful.

Aug 16, 2019

Western intermediaries reportedly are trying to persuade the U.S. and Iran to cooperate on bolstering security in Afghanistan. Washington has declined comment and Iran has flatly denied that third parties have been relaying messages for months.

Aug 16, 2019

Television talk show host Jimmy Kimmel has been fined $395,000 for mimicking a presidential alert on his late-night program during a sketch mocking the warning system as the Federal Emergency Management Agency tested the alert system last October. It is designed to warn of natural disasters, terrorist activities or other attacks.

Aug 16, 2019

The Danish government of Greenland has told the U.S. that the mostly ice-capped territory, which is host to a major U.S. military base, is not for sale. The CNN network says the notion apparently was resurrected by President Donald Trump.

Aug 16, 2019

North Korea has fired to more missiles into the sea off its east coast, the sixth such test in less than a month. In doing so, it continues to reject the idea of further talks with South Korea and blames its neighbour for the ongoing impasse.

Aug 15, 2019

Despite a last-minute appeal by the U.S., Gibraltar has released an Iranian oil tanker which was seized by Royal Marines July 4. In deciding to let the vessel go, the British territory was assured by Iran that its cargo would not be discharged in Syria.

Aug 15, 2019

Israel has confirmed that it will not allow the entry of two Democrat members of the U.S. Congress who have been critical of its policies – shortly after President Donald Trump urged Israel to do so. Ilhan Omar (Minnesota) and Rashida Tlaib (Michigan), members of a goup of Congresswomen previously attacked by Trump, had planned to visit Aug. 18 for talks with Israeli and Palestinian civilian organizations.

Aug 15, 2019

Hundreds of members of China's People's Armed Police (PAP) have been conducting exercises in Shenzhen, which is effectively adjacent to the border with Hong Kong, where demonstrators are protesting a contentious legislative plan. There have been concerns that they could deploy into the former British colony but some diplomats discount the prospect.

Aug 15, 2019

The U.S. Department of Justice is trying to prevent the release of an Iranian oil tanker which was seized by authorities in Gibraltar. The British territory’s attorney general confirmed the last-minute application to the Supreme Court.

Aug 15, 2019

South Korea plans to respond to its northern neighbour’s evolving missile capabilities by spending more on a defence shield. Details are set out in a defence ministry’s mid-term US$240-billion budget plan which includes some $85 billion on arms improvements.

Aug 15, 2019

A former employee of the Blackwater security firm has been sentenced by a U.S. federal judge to life imprisonment for his role in the 2007 fatal shooting of unarmed civilians in Iraq. Nicholas Slatten was found guilty of first-degree murder by a jury last December.

Aug 15, 2019

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence’s communications director and official spokesperson, Alyssa Farah, is moving to the Department of Defense as its press secretary. She has worked regularly with the the Department of Defense, the National Security Council and the Central Intelligence Agency.

Aug 15, 2019

U.S. military spouses are expected to benefit from additional resources designed to prepare them and their families for transition to civilian life. The Military Spouse Transition Program (MySTeP) has been launched by the Pentagon’s Military Community and Family Policy office.

Aug 15, 2019

Former deputy prime minister Anne McLellan has concluded in a report that there is no need to split the cabinet roles of Attorney General and Justice Minister, which traditionally been handled as a single portfolio. She disagreed with suggestions that the structural change was not necessary to protect prosecutorial independence and promote public confidence in the criminal justice system.

Aug 15, 2019

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is accepting responsibility after Ethics Commissioner Mario Dion found that the PM’s attempts to sway then justice minister Jody Wilson-Raybould’s handling of the SNC-Lavalin affair had breached ethics rules. While he took “responsibility for the mistakes I made,” the PM disagreed with Dion’s finding that any contact with Wilson-Raybould had been improper.

Aug 14, 2019

Military Ombudsman Gregory Lick has been asked by Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan to investigate racism in the Canadian Armed Forces. Sajjan says he wants a “much more thorough understanding” of the issue with a view to keeping it from happening in the first place.

Aug 14, 2019

Federal Ethics Commission Mario Dion has concluded that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau breached the Conflict of Interest Act by using his office in an attempt to influence then Attorney General Jody Wilson-Raybould’s handling of the SCN-Lavalin affair. The PM has said his actions were designed to protect jobs at the engineering giant.

Aug 14, 2019

The U.S. Air Force says Boeing has finished installing new wings on the last of 173 A-10 Thunderbolt II ground-attack aircraft in order to keep them operational into the late 2030s. Popularly known as the Warthog and “the flying gun”, the Fairchild Republic platform, which entered service in 1977, has proven its effectiveness in theatres such as Kosovo and Afghanistan.

Aug 14, 2019

Radiation levels near the site of last week’s deadly rocket explosion in northern Russia spiked 16 times above normal, according to Rosgidromet, the national weather service. Five scientists died and three others were injured when a nuclear-powered engine was being tested.

Aug 13, 2019

Canadian Armed Forces personnel have been warned against getting certain tattoos, including anything deemed discriminatory or sexually explicit. The new rules are set out in an Aug. 12 directive from the Chief of the Defence Staff, Gen. Jonathan Vance.

Aug 13, 2019

A new Sexual Misconduct Incident Tracking Report from DND includes all available data for incidents reported to the Canadian Armed Forces’ chain of command since April 2016. DND says the report enables commanders to better understand and respond to incidents and trends within their areas of responsibility while helping those affected to stay informed as their cases progress.

Aug 13, 2019

Russia draws on a mix of mercenaries and public relations in a bid to reassert its influence in Africa. Walls in the Central African Republic are plastered with propaganda posters proclaiming “Russia: hand in hand with your army!” even as army recruits are trained in Russian with Russian weapons. and local radio plays Russian ballads.

Aug 13, 2019

A U.S. federal appeals court has ruled that federal regulators bent the rules by trying to exempt 5G cellular sites from assessments of their effects on the environment and historical sites. Among other things, the court says the Federal Communications Commission failed to justify its position that smaller installations posed little to no risk.

Aug 13, 2019

Winding up a two-day visit to London, U.S. National Security Advisor John Bolton has confirmed President Donald Trump’s support for British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s push to quit the European Union. Bolton says the U.S. supports the Brexit movement “enthusiastically.”

Aug 13, 2019

A week after grounding 123 Lockheed Martin C-130J Hercules transports for wing box inspections, the U.S. Air Force has cleared many of them to fly again. The grounding directive followed the discovery of cracks in a critical wing element in one aircraft.

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.

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