3 June 2023
After months of brutal political infighting in Congress, President Joe Biden today signed into law a bill to suspend the U.S. debt ceiling for two years. “If we had failed to reach an agreement on the budget, there were extreme voices threatening to take America, for the first time in our 247-year, into default on our national debt,” Biden said. “Nothing would have been more irresponsible.” Without the legislation, the U.S. would have been in default June 5 and most federal programs would have been affected.
2 June 2023   (AP)
Amazon has agreed to pay a $25 million penalty to settle U.S. Federal Trade Commission allegations it violated a child privacy law and deceived parents by retaining voice and location data recorded by its Alexa voice assistant. The Seattle-based company will refund $5.8 million to customers for alleged privacy violations involving its doorbell cameras.
2 June 2023   (Al Jazeera)
The U.S. State Department said June 1 that it will stop notifying Russia about missile and launch locations as required by their moribund 193 nuclear arms treaty and has revoked visas for Russian inspectors and aircrews. It said the decision is a “countermeasure” to Russian “violations” of the accord.
1 June 2023   (BBC)
Some social media platforms have been erasing posts about potential human rights abuses I what one executive has acknowledged may be an “overcautious” policy of deleting offensive content. YouTube and Facebook’s parent company, Meta, say they try to balance the duties to bear witness while also blocking possibly harmful posts.
31 May 2023   (CP)
Former Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole, who is retiring from federal politics this summer, said May 30 that the Canadian Security Intelligence Service has told him he was the target of Chinese interference intended to discredit him and promote false narratives about his policies before and during the 2021 general election. He also faulted the agency and the government for not warning him ag the time.
31 May 2023   (CP)
A Quebec company, Ultra Electronics Forensic Technology, has agreed to pay some $10.5 million in a case involving attempted bribery of Philippines officials as it sought police contracts. This is according to a statement of facts about a court-approved deal with prosecutors to avoid prosecution in Canada, only the second deferred prosecution deal since the Criminal Code was amended in 2018 to address corporate malfeasance. Charges against four executives have been conditionally stayed.
30 May 2023   (EuroNews)
The World Health Organisation has verified 1,004 attacks on Ukraine’s healthcare system since Russia’s invasion began in February 2022. The WHO representative in Ukraine says the attacks have “wide-ranging, long-term consequences” and violate international law.
29 May 2023   (CP)
Vancouver NDP MP Jenny Kwan says she has been told by the Canadian Security Intelligence Service that she is being targetted by the Chinese government. The Hong Kong-born MP was told May 26 that she was singled out during her 2019 re-election campaign and that she remains target because of her criticism of Beijing.
29 May 2023   (BBC)
Incumbent Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan was returned to power for five years May 28 in a runoff election which gave him just over 52% of the votes. His chief opponent, Kemal Kilicdaroglu, called it “the most unfair election in recent years”, saying that Erdogan’s party had mobilized state resources against him.
24 May 2023   (CBC)
As wildfires persist in the three western provinces and parts of the U.S., a peer-reviewed study published in a Britgish quarterly journal has drawn a measurable link to fossil fuel sector’s carbon emissions. Among other things, the researchers concluded that more than a third of the total burned forested areas in the regions between 1986-2021 can be traced back to 88 major fossil fuel producers and cement manufacturers.