Wednesday Night #1998

Written by  //  July 1, 2020  //  Wednesday Nights  //  Comments Off on Wednesday Night #1998


Happy Canada Day. Sorry.  The Globe & Mail editorial board underlines the many good reasons for celebration.

Hadfield gift to Canada Chris Hadfield and his brother Dave created a music video in a mission to create “the most Canadian music video ever.”

Deprived this year of the physical experience, we are grateful to the Montreal Jazz Festival for its numerous online shows. Especially Oscar Peterson / Oliver Jones from July 10, 2004 | and Oliver Jones and Oscar Peterson – Just Friends (August 3, 2011) – what better way to celebrate Canada Day than with these two great Canadians?

The new NAFTA takes effect today
CBC comments “If the Trudeau government is looking to celebrate something this Canada Day, it may be the relative security of the status quo that was more or less preserved in the talks and cites Wednesday Night’s favorite economist in the diaspora: “Bullet dodged” — that’s how Brett House, Scotiabank’s deputy chief economist, summed things up for CBC News last weekend. “Sometimes,” he said, “the biggest victories are the bad things prevented, rather than new things built.”

Andrew Caddell celebrates Quebec’s Dominique Anglade, a woman of many firsts, in his Hill Times column

The PM announced the appointment of Salma Lakhani as lieutenant-governor of Alberta; she is the first Muslim in that role in Canada
Ms. Lakhani has been long recognized for her work and philanthropy in a range of fields, including health care and human rights.
She has mentored young students with English as a second language and helped steer a committee dedicated to helping vulnerable women gain access to education.
Ms. Lakhani was born in Uganda and has an honours degree in clinical biochemistry from the University of Manchester.
She has been in Edmonton for more than 40 years, owning and operating an early childhood education centre

Meng and the Michaels: Most support PM’s refusal to swap Huawei executive for imprisoned Canadians HOWEVER Amid the ongoing tension, disagreement continues over whether Canada should have arrested Meng in the first place. As was the case last December, half of Canadians (50%) say that the arrest was the right move, while an equal number (50%) say it should have been avoided. Meanwhile, Brian Mulroney urges ‘immediate and urgent rethink’ of relations with China recommending that the PM strike a blue-ribbon panel of experts to reshape Canada’s policy toward China.
While we do not dispute the need for such a re-set,  that sounds perilously close to a royal commission!

Repatriate Canadian former ISIS fighters and family members, rights group urges
Kyle Matthews, executive director of the Montreal Institute for Genocide and Human Rights Studies at Concordia University, said that if Canada decides to repatriate its citizens who joined ISIS and are now imprisoned in Syria, it must keep in mind that ISIS is not just a terrorist group, but a genocidal one at that.
“The Canadian government should do every thing in its power to investigate whether these Canadians were complicit in committing mass atrocity crimes, including genocide and crimes against humanity, in Iraq and Syria,” Matthews said.
“It is imperative that we seek justice for ISIS’ victims, including the vulnerable Yazidi minority.”

As it is Canada Day, we will only briefly touch on news of  1 July in the rest of the world.
SURPRISE: Russians grant Putin right to extend his rule until 2036 in landslide vote, initial results show
Russians appear to have paved the way for Vladimir Putin to stay in power until 2036 by voting overwhelmingly for a package of constitutional changes which will also boost pensions, initial results of Wednesday’s nationwide vote.
And for U.S.-Russia relations
Trump’s New Russia Problem: Unread Intelligence and Missing Strategy
A congressionally mandated Pentagon report released Wednesday comes amid ongoing scrutiny about the Trump administration’s response to intelligence indicating that Russian operatives had offered bounties to Taliban linked militants for killing US and UK service members in Afghanistan. Previously, allegations that Trump was either unaware of -or ignored- intelligence briefings on Russia’s encouragement (offering bounties) of Taliban attacks on U.S. troops exploded in the media. The White House denial that he ever received such a brief is bizarre.
Illuminating profile and account of Fiona Hill’s experience inside the Trump administration
What Fiona Hill Learned in the White House
The senior fellow at Brookings and expert on modern Russia had hoped to guide the U.S.-Russia relationship. President Trump had other ideas.
Hill did not realize where her real challenges lay: “I know the intrigue in Russia better than the intrigue at home.”

1 July Unhappy Day for Hong Kong

The national security legislation takes effect Hong Kong
and worldwide, China is not making many friends
Read Robin V. Sears The Fall of China’s Mask
As China’s behaviour on the world stage has been emboldened by the incompetence and unpredictability of Donald Trump, Beijing’s abuses of power have become increasingly brazen. On issues from Hong Kong to Taiwan to Huawei, the economic stakes and intimidation tactics that served to mute criticism of China for more than a decade are proving less and less effective. As veteran China-watcher Robin Sears writes, “It is hard to understand what Xi’s endgame is.”

1 July in Israel
Delay Appears Likely In Israel’s Plans To Annex Parts Of West Bank
For weeks, observers of Israel and the Palestinian territories have had July 1 circled on the calendar. Yet, despite Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s previous suggestions, it appears that the date will pass without a formal announcement concerning Israel’s plans for annexing part of the occupied West Bank.

1 July in U.S.
US reports record one-day increase in Covid-19 cases as Trump stays silent
Concerns mount over Trump’s handling of the crisis as he posts erratic tweets attacking the media and Democrats
Frank Bruni: Is Trump Toast?
There’s a persuasive argument that the 2020 election is already over

This week’s social media story is the punishment of Facebook for Zuckerberg’s toadying to Trump.
Zuckerberg once wanted to sanction Trump. Then Facebook wrote rules that accommodated him.
Starting as early as 2015, Facebook executives started crafting exceptions for the then-candidate that transformed the world’s information battlefield for years to come.
Facebook’s Ad Problem Just Turned Into a Full-Blown Crisis
The campaigners want to hold Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg accountable for the spread of hate speech and misinformation on the platform. The “Stop Hate for Profit” campaign will begin calling on major companies in Europe to join the boycott, Jim Steyer, chief executive of Common Sense Media, said in an interview with Reuters on Saturday. Facebook makes 98% of its annual $70 billion revenue from advertising, and the impact of the campaign has not gone unnoticed on Wall Street.


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