Wednesday Night #2095

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Beryl Wajsman: Make it a point to march on May 14

Chris Neal wrote to his fellow board members of the Quebec Writers’ Federation
“Our view is that the bill is compromised by an assumed “decline of French” hypothesis which is unsupported by evidence, and by its deliberate exclusion of, and disregard for over one million English-speaking Quebecers, whose language rights it violates by invoking the notwithstanding clause to pre-empt court challenges. It is of a piece with the earlier Bill 21, which discriminates against practicing religious minorities by denying those wearing hijabs, turbans or kippahs access to public sector employment. For the arts community, there is a looming threat in that the passage of this bill could easily open the door to cuts and/or elimination of arts funding  to institutions and individuals working in English. We raised this concern in our brief, which was sent to all Members of the National Assembly, and to the committee studying the bill, but have received no assurances in response.
This Saturday, May 14, a demonstration/march will be held to express opposition to Bill 96, organized by the Quebec Community Groups Network. Participants will meet at 10:30 a.m. at Dawson College at 3040 Sherbrooke Street West, and march from there to Premier François Legault’s Montreal office on McGill College Avenue. As the Gazette column by Allison Hanes reminds us, Quebec’s English-speaking community has not often demonstrated to demand respect for its rights. But this is a moment when such action is called for, when silence or passivity may be (mis)interpreted as consent.
With this in mind, please consider joining the march on Saturday and sharing this email with your networks.

Despite the (mostly grim) news from around the globe, for Montrealers and Québécois, the struggle over Bill 96 outweighs more international concerns. Among the many issues regarding this odious legislation, delivery of healthcare (already a problem without 96) is uppermost in many minds.
We are delighted that Dr. Mark Roper will join us. We have asked for his thoughts on the impact of Bill 96, and the on-going problems of accessibility to basic care and recruitment of healthcare professionals and workers.
Bill 96 language-law changes could put people’s lives in danger, doctors warn
Bill 96 will harm Indigenous people in Québec. We need more equitable language laws
Quebec reaches deal with family doctors to improve access to basic care
12 organizations demand a law on safe healthcare ratios in Québec

Of note for Sandy W. More people are living in Quebec’s Laurentians, but its health-care system can’t keep up

Putin’s War
Jeremy Kinsman & Larry Haas: How come Putin’s dog didn’t bark? And the war of attrition threatens a global food crisis
In Putin’s words: What Russia’s leader said at Victory Day parade
Russian forces and Donbas volunteers are ‘fighting for the Motherland so no one forgets the lessons of World War II’, says Vladimir Putin.
Meantime, Canadians woke to the news that PM Trudeau, Minister Mélanie Joly and Deputy PM Chrystia Freeland were  making a surprise visit to Ukraine to reopen the Canadian Embassy, and meet with Ukraine’s President Zelenskyy. We are happy to report that Mr. Trudeau was also present when Ukrainian mine-sniffing dog awarded medal from Zelensky after finding more than 200 explosives
Patron, a 2 1/2-year-old Jack Russell Terrier, was awarded a medal for “Dedicated Work in the Ukraine Army.”
In a video shared by Ukraine’s Ministry of Defense on Twitter, Patron is seen walking into the ceremony with his handler Myhailo Iliev, who is a major in the Civil Protection Service, according to Reuters.

War-time media reporting is shaping opinions about Russia’s Ukraine invasion dates from early April and is more valid each day

Plus ça change…
Kyle Matthews wrote this 9 years ago. Relevant again due to Ukraine. Is Vladimir Putin really a voice of reason?


A brief tour du monde
Al Jazeera reporter killed by Israeli gunfire
Israeli forces shot Abu Akleh in the head while she was on assignment in Jenin in the occupied West Bank. Abu Akleh was wearing a press vest and was standing with other journalists when she was killed.

New generation of Marcos, Duterte set to lead Philippines The powerful alliance between the son of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos and the daughter of outgoing President Rodrigo Duterte is set to usher in six years of governance in the Philippines that are concerning to human rights activists.
Fact Finders Try to Combat Disinformation Before Philippine Election
On top of all the campaigning, voters have faced a barrage of disinformation, particularly on social media.

How Sri Lanka spiralled into crisis and what happens next
The South Asian island nation is experiencing an unprecedented economic collapse that has pushed the government into a deep crisis.
The country’s powerful Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa has resigned and his younger brother, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, is seeking a way out of the chaos.

How will South Korea’s new president approach Russia’s Ukraine invasion?
South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol began his first term in office this week with a full plate of international crises to address. Andrew Yeo explains how the new administration may use the war in Ukraine to forge a different foreign policy for South Korea.

Hong Kong arrests 90-year-old cardinal on foreign collusion charges The arrests could signal a new wave of detentions under the national security law since John Lee was elected chief executive of Hong Kong (Hong Kong’s John Lee: Ex-security chief becomes new leader).

WHO’s European countries say Moscow office should be moved
Members of the World Health Organization’s European region have condemned Russia’s war in Ukraine, which could result in moving one of the agency’s offices out of Russia and suspending all meetings there until Moscow pulls its troops out of Ukraine.

Nuclear command & control
Time for review as Indian organisational chart ambiguous on CDS [Chief of Defence Staff] role
C Uday Bhaskar
MAY 11, 1998, was a momentous day for India when it successfully carried out the first nuclear weapon test with PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee at the helm of national affairs. The nuclear Rubicon had been crossed and Vajpayee acknowledged the contribution of his predecessors who nurtured this dormant nuclear capability for decades in the face of severe global restrictions and technology denial regimes.
The role and locus of the CDS in relation to the C2 merits critical review. One hopes that this will receive appropriate attention when the next CDS is appointed. The current void could be a constraint in maintaining the highest degree of efficiency and effectiveness apropos the Indian nuclear deterrent.

The U.S.
Cleo Paskal
turns from her usual preoccupation with China’s geopolitical aims and expansion to discuss The importance of being J.D. Vance – On 3 May, 37-year-old J.D. Vance went from being one of a crowded field of candidates in the Ohio Republican Senate primary race to being a proof of concept. That needs some explaining. …the conservative ground game is now wide and deep enough to win a Republican primary just with conservative voters and against the will of Republican establishment (emphasis added). The question is, will this replicate?
Other primary challengers to watch are Harriet Hageman, Joe Kent, Alex Gray, Antony Sabattini and Blake Masters. And there are many more. If enough of them get through the primaries, the Republicans will be a very different kind of party and the midterms will be a very different kind of race. And if they win their seats, the United States will be a very different kind of country.

Doug Sweet writes: An American history professor named Heather Cox Richardson, who lives in Maine, writes a daily newsletter about what is happening south of our border. Always insightful, with a huge dollop of historical context dating back to the Civil War, the Founding Fathers and so on, it can nonetheless be chilling. This most recent one certainly is. It reveals a country whose institutions are falling into disrepute, where wild and anti-democratic positions are being espoused and swallowed, and describes the unflinching grip a minority of reactionary extremists has on the entire country. [“At the same time that a small minority is imposing its will on the majority of Americans, Republicans are insisting they, not those who are losing their rights, are the victims.“] And that all of this is only getting worse. Read May 10, 2022

Federal budget delivers long-overdue policy changes for Canada’s charities
(The Conversation) Charities and non-profits in Canada will finally get a break as the 2022 federal budget implements long-needed regulations to support the charitable sector. Two new amendments will take effect.

Rich Strike stuns field in second biggest Kentucky Derby upset of all time – an absolutely extraordinary run.

Thursday, May 11, 2022, 6pm PT/9pm ET
Virtual Live Talks Los Angeles event:
Eliza Reid in conversation with Lisa Napoli discussing her book,
“Secrets of the Sprakkar: Iceland’s Extraordinary Women and How They Are Changing the World“
Eliza Reid is the First Lady of Iceland and co-founder of the acclaimed Iceland Writers Retreat. Eliza grew up near Ottawa, Canada, and moved to Iceland in 2003.

Long reads
Alon Pinkas in Haaretz Putin’s strange war in Ukraine has no endgame in sight
The Russian president’s mendacious speech on Victory Day was consistent with previous delusional statements, but his army’s tactics in Ukraine are harder to decipher
Ian Bremmer: What Putin’s Victory Day speech means for the war
The speech was important not because of what was said, but because of what wasn’t.
This dates from 29 April; it would be interesting to see a follow-up
Cracks emerge in Russian elite as tycoons start to bemoan invasion
Oligarchs and financial officials are alarmed over the economic toll it’s taking and feel powerless to influence Putin
NB 7th Russian oligarch to die this year allegedly poisoned with toad venom
The ripple effects of Russia’s war in Ukraine are changing the world
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has triggered seismic repercussions: a fast-moving refugee crisis, unprecedented sanctions against a major economy and a shakeup of global relationships, including a reinvigorated NATO. Below, we zoom in on some of the ways the world has changed since the war began on Feb. 24.




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