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Good morning, and happy Friday.
— Path to permanent residency for families of air-crash victims: Ottawa will allow the families of victims of two plane crashes — Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752, which was shot down in Iran, and Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 — to apply for permanent residency. Immigration Minister Marco Mendicino called it “justice and accountability for the families by demonstrating compassion.”
— Defence Department pursues victims’ bill of rights: After a long delay in drafting regulations to support C-77 — legislation that inserts a victims’ bill of rights into the separate justice system for the Armed Forces — Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan is launching a survey of survivors of military sexual assault and misconduct, which he says will enshrine victims’ rights in Canadian military law. CBC News has more.
— 95 per cent of rapid tests unused: Almost none of the 43 million COVID rapid antigen tests procured by the federal government have been used. Rapid tests are less effective than PCR tests, but are still useful screening tools in some settings.
— New U.S. ambassador: President Joe Biden has picked David Cohen, a Pennsylvania “powerbroker” and Washington lobbyist, as the next ambassador to Canada, the Globe and Mail reports. He hosted the first fundraising event for Biden as a presidential candidate in 2019.
— No freedom-of-speech concerns found in Bill C-10: A Charter review by the Justice Department has found that the updated version of Bill C-10 to amend the Broadcasting Act does not infringe on freedom of speech. Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole said his party would nevertheless vote against it.
— ICYMI, Ethics Commissioner Mario Dion cleared Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of wrongdoing in the WE Charity scandal, but former Finance minister Bill Morneau was found to have breached ethics law.
— The Rabble to Rebel Review: ‘Petro-friendly’ media & Papineau-eviction fight.
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AROUND THE WORLD
— Israel-Gaza latest: In an escalation from the Israeli airstrikes and Gaza rockets used so far this week, Israel launched artillery and tank fire from the border into Gaza this morning. The Israeli military said no ground troops have crossed the border. Last night, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tweeted: “The last word was not said and this operation will continue as long as necessary.” Some 119 people in Gaza, and eight in Israel, have been killed since Monday.
Within Israel, Arab Israelis and Jewish mobs continued to clash in the streets, in what Israel’s president warned could become a civil war.
— Irish health service hit by cyberattack: Ireland’s health service has been hit with a “significant” ransomware attack, forcing it to temporarily shut down its IT system. In May 2017, Britain’s national health service was also brought to a standstill for days due to a ransomware attack.
Separately, DarkSide, the same group that targeted Colonial Pipelines earlier this week, has hit a European unit of Toshiba with a ransomware attack this morning.
Meanwhile, Colonial Pipeline has paid 75 Bitcoin, or nearly $5 million, in ransom money to the extortionists, thought to be based in Russia. The New York Times has more.
— New U.S. masking guidelines: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced new masking guideline yesterday. Fully vaccinated Americans can now, mostly, go maskless indoors. They can also go maskless outdoors in crowded spaces. There are still a few exceptions.
— Elsewhere: Marjorie Taylor Greene accused of “verbal assault” on Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. COVID cases surge in Nepal. Myanmar frees Japanese journalist. The Kabul school attack death toll has increased to 94 people, most of whom were schoolgirls. Harrowing testimony from inside Tigray. The Ugandan and Congo armies are joining forces in eastern DRC for a joint offensive against Islamist rebels. 200 Glasgow residents surrounded a van to stop the deportation of two men who were detained in an early-morning Eid raid.
IN OTHER HEADLINES
WHAT WE’RE READING
The latest edition of the No Talking Points podcast is live. This week we’re talking about the Line 5 pipeline and sexual misconduct in the military. Have a listen here.
ICYMI FROM IPOLITICS
An Australian woman — who’s never even been to Ireland — woke up from tonsil surgery with an Irish accent. It’s now been a couple of weeks and she hasn’t managed to shake it.
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