7 February 2023   (AP/CNN)
U.S. intelligence officials believe that the Chinese balloon shot down by the U.S., and now in the hands of the FBI, is an extensive military surveillance program which has conducted at least two dozen missions over at least five continents in recent years. Roughly half have been into U.S. airspace, including the downed “weather” balloon which also entered Canadian airspace after being detected by NORAD. The debris now is being analyzed by FBI engineers in an attempt to learn what kind of intelligence it could have collected as well as how future incursions can be tracked.
7 February 2023   (CP)
An RCAF CP-140 Aurora maritime patrol and surveillance aircraft headed back to base in Atlantic Canada today after intelligence gathering flights over Haiti. The aircraft was retasked from a U.S.-led counter-narcotics mission and a Canadian Armed Forces official said the data collected over two days would be used by the government “to further assess the situation in Haiti,” which has requested military help in dealing with endemic gang violence.
7 February 2023   (CP)
Two former Canadian diplomats in China say the lack of a registry of foreign agents in Canada facilitates meddling. David Mulroney, ambassador from 2009 to 2012, told a parliamentary committee that a key concern is foreign agents threatening expatriates’ families and meddling in Canadian politics. Charles Burton, who served twice as a political affairs counsellor in Beijing, added that the registry should be directed at the broad issue of interference, not just one country
7 February 2023   (CP)
As the death toll from the weekend’s earthquakes and aftershocks in Turkey and Syria topped 6,200 today, the Canadian government has committed an initial $10 million to the international relief effort. International Development Minister Harjit Sajjan said further aid and potential deployment of disaster response teams are being considered.
7 February 2023   (CTV)
The two crewmembers of a converted Boeing 737, one of six owned by Vancouver-Island Coulson Aviation, survived the February 6 crash of their waterbomber while fighting wildfires in western Australia. The aircraft was based in Sydney after Coulson waterbomber had been based in Sydney after the company recently signed a two-year contract from the Australian government
6 February 2023   (EuroNews)
The European Union’s ban on imports of Russian refined oil products, notably diesel and jet fuel, went into effect February 5. The EU used to be the largest buyer of Russian products, amount to some €70 million daily and while EU industry has built up stocks of diesel in recent months, the long-term outlook is uncertain.
6 February 2023   (Al Jazeera)
The Brazilian navy scuttled a decommissioned aircraft carrier, which it acquired from France in 2000, in a five-kilometres deep area of the Atlantic 350 kilometres off Brazil’s east coast February 3. The navy had said two days earlier that it had little choice despite a last-minute legal challenge because the ship was at risk of sinking.
6 February 2023   (Al Jazeera)
At least 2,600 persons are reported dead and rescue efforts continue today after two earthquakes in an area of southeastern Turkey which borders on Syria. Turkish authorities have confirmed 1,651 victims while at least 968 are reported in Syria.
6 February 2023   (Toronto Sun)
New York City is paying for bus tickets to the Canadian border for migrants who want to flee the Big Apple. The New York Post not only reported on the issue Sunday night, but they also confirmed it with top government officials.
6 February 2023   (BBC)
A magnitude 7.8 earthquake centred in southeastern Turkey February 5 has killed at least 100 persons in that country and at least 50 in Syrian border regions
6 February 2023   (BBC)
Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has pardoned “tens of thousands” of prisoners, including many linked to anti-government protests in recent months, on the eve of the anniversary of the 1979 Islamic revolution. Persons charged with offences such as espionage, murder or destruction of state property, some of whom face the death penalty, are not being pardoned.
5 February 2023   (CTV)
The U.S. Coast Guard’s rescue of a Canadian at the mouth of the Columbia River in Oregon took a strange twist on the weekend. A massive wave had rolled the trawler yacht which he was aboard, which turned out to be stolen. He was not only arrested in connection with another incident in Oregon but also is wanted in B.C. on a variety of other outstanding charges