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Good Friday morning,
— Sajjan opposes Trudeau, Freeland by defending navy chief: Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan is defending a decision by Canada’s acting defence chief, Lt.-Gen. Wayne Eyre, to allow Vice-Admiral Craig Baine to keep his job, despite criticism from the prime minister and deputy prime minister. Baines’ future was called into question after he went golfing with former chief of the defence staff, Jonathan Vance, who is under investigation for alleged sexual misconduct.
— Experts divided over move to take Speaker to court: The Liberal government’s decision to take the Speaker of the House of Commons to court for confirmation that it has legal authority to withhold documents from Parliament has divided experts. The question of whether the government can override the powers of Parliament is a complex one, with legal precedents dating back to the 1600s. CBC News explains.
— Disappointment with Senate over un-passed bills: Federal ministers and advocates have expressed their disappointment with the Senate for not passing a bill to ban conversion therapy, and another to update the Broadcasting Act, before rising for the summer. Prime Minister Trudeau said he was in conversations with Senate leadership to try to move ahead with the bills before the fall, when an election is expected to be called, which would kill the bills.
— Wildfires rage in B.C.: More than 60 wildfires and 29,000 lightning strikes have been reported in British Columbia in the past 24 hours. New evacuation orders have been made in communities across the province, and a state of emergency may be declared.
Meanwhile, officials say some residents of Lytton, B.C. are unaccounted for after an emergency evacuation was ordered as a fire tore through the village Wednesday. Most of the village is now destroyed.
— Trudeau gets his second shot today. It’s expected to be Moderna (he got AstraZeneca in April). The prime minister’s wife, Sophie Grégoire Trudeau, got her second dose yesterday.
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AROUND THE WORLD
— 130 countries back global tax rate: China and India have gotten on board with a U.S. proposal for a 15 per cent global minimum corporate tax. Ireland, however, has not signed on. Canada was among the signatories.
— The last foreign forces quit Bagram base in Afghanistan, NATO’s centre of operations against the Taliban, Al-Qaeda, and other forces throughout the past two decades. A formal ceremony to mark the handover will be held on Saturday. The Taliban say they welcome the news, as they continue to launch fresh offensives across the country. Last month alone, more than 600 government soldiers and civilians died as a direct result of fighting. Schools, government buildings, and infrastructure have all been destroyed in recent weeks.
— The WHO urged the West to recognize the Sinovac and Sinopharm vaccines. Meanwhile, nine European countries have agreed to accept travellers vaccinated with Covishield, the India-made version of AstraZeneca’s vaccine. And Russia is giving out booster shots for people vaccinated more than six months ago.
— Elsewhere: What to expect after the Trump Organization inditement on tax fraud charges. Australia to halve flight arrivals to combat Delta strain. Kim Jong-Un wants even closer ties with Beijing. An OPEC+ panel recommended gradual output hikes for the rest of the year. Slovenia‘s EU presidency gets off to rocky start. Angela Merkel meets Boris Johnson on what’s expected to be her last visit to Britain as German chancellor. France’s Macron declares himself a feminist at a gender equality summit, then says he’s against girls wearing crop tops. Prince William and Prince Harry unveiled a statue of Princess Diana together in London.
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Meanwhile, some good news for real astronauts: new innovations in space laundry.
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