Wednesday Night #2203

Written by  //  June 5, 2024  //  Wednesday Nights  //  Comments Off on Wednesday Night #2203

There are weeks when the previous days’ news seems humdrum – merely a tiresome repetition of previous reports. Not so this week.

GUILTY! said the mega front page headline of the NYT; other publications were hardly less restrained. From teflon to felon was a frequent theme. And speaking of felon, Trump Is Banned from 37 Countries as Convicted Felon, Including Major Allies Like Canada and U.K. Thirty-eight nations, counting the United States, bar felons from entry, according to World Population Review. Those bans stand regardless of whether someone is allowed to retain their passport after conviction.
Now comes the analysis of what the impact of the verdict will be on the campaign; opinions are -and will continue to be- divided.

In this year of an unprecedented number of elections around the world, AP offers an invaluable resource: a hub for Elections news.

A week of important elections -on three different continents- some with unexpected results.
2 June
Mexico Joins List of Latin American Nations That Have Elected Female Presidents
Mexico not only has a female president-elect but also women at the helm of both houses of Congress, where women held half the legislative seats going into this election. Women also serve as chief justice of the Supreme Court and governor of the Central Bank.
A scientist, a leftist and a former Mexico City mayor. Who is Claudia Sheinbaum?
Claudia Sheinbaum is the first female president of Mexico. The 61-year old is a former mayor of Mexico City and an environmental scientist; she has a Ph.D. in energy engineering. She was part of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change team that shared a Nobel Peace Prize with former US Vice President Al Gore in 2007.
It sounds as though she can run rings around any of the current or possible future (male) North American leaders.
29 May
As predicted by almost everyone, South Africa‘s ANC lost its 30-year majority and will have to form the first national coalition government. Not necessarily an easy task as Jacob Zuma is already exacting his revenge for his forced resignation amidst corruption charges six years ago.
ANC facing coalition as election ends decades of dominance
19 April- 1 June
And the surprise outcome of the seemingly interminable Indian election
Modi loses parliamentary majority
Latest results reveal unexpected blow to PM, forcing negotiation with coalition partners to regain power

Still to come this week: EU elections
6-9 June
Viewpoint: Far right poised for gains in EU elections
(GZERO media) Nearly 400 million people across the 27 countries of the EU will be eligible to vote  for members of the European Parliament. These representatives will serve a five-year term and be charged with passing and amending EU legislation.
See Long reads: What the EU Has Done for Us

Surprising change of tone in U.S. – Israel relations
In a surprise broadcast on Friday evening, President Biden urged Hamas to accept what he said was a new proposal from Israel for a three-phrase plan towards a permanent ceasefire in the nine-month war. …the president’s speech – his most pointed call to date for the war to end – appeared to be designed to pressure the Israeli government into coming to the table, as well as Hamas.
We have long been puzzled by the failure of the White House to take a firm stand against Israel’s actions in Gaza, but perhaps there was much more going on behind the scenes than we suspected.
The timing of the announcement and the reaction from Hamas, as well as members of the Israeli War Cabinet and the protestors representing civil society, seem to have put Netanyahu in a bind.
Even more surprising was the report of the President’s interview with TIME
Biden: ‘every reason’ to believe Netanyahu is prolonging Gaza war for political gain
US president’s remarks to Time magazine about PM’s role in conflict draw heavily critical response from Israeli government
International opinion is increasingly united in condemning Israel’s unrelenting attacks on Gaza. Accounts of death and destruction in Rafah, along with Israeli complicity in the intentional starvation of Palestinian civilians (Food for starving Gazans rots in the sun as Israeli military keeps Rafah crossing shut), condemnation by international humanitarian groups (MSF: Carnage in Tal Al-Sultan camp — States supporting Israel’s military operations are complicit in the massacre of civilians in Rafah), have contributed to Israel’s increasing international isolation.

In Crimea, Ukraine is beating Russia
The Economist daily newsletter published a report on Sunday suggesting that the long-delayed passage in April by America’s Congress of a military-aid package worth $61bn is already beginning to make a difference.
In particular, the arrival of ATACMS ballistic missiles, with a range of 300km, means Ukrainian forces can hit any target anywhere in Russian-occupied Crimea. As a result, says a former commander of American forces in Europe, the Ukrainians are in the process of making Ukraine “uninhabitable” for Russian forces. Crimea was supposed to be Vladimir Putin’s “unsinkable aircraft-carrier”. It is becoming a strategic liability.

Some Canadian politicians collaborating with foreign governments to further own interests: report
The National Security Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians (NSICOP) released a report Monday into foreign interference, both in the 2019 and 2021 elections, but also more broadly into the country’s democratic institutions.

Media stories
We have come to rely more and more on the WaPo coverage of international affairs, as well as Washington events. For how long remains to be seen.
Politico Playbook covers the shake-up at WaPo – Inside WaPo’s Monday morning maelstrom
” Following last night’s stunner announcement that Sally Buzbee is stepping aside as executive editor at WaPo — with surprise replacements Matt Murray (former WSJ editor-in-chief) and Robert Winnett (of The Telegraph) on the way — the newsroom held a meeting this morning to discuss the fallout and hear from the new bosses.” There’s sure to be more to follow
What will become of The Epoch Times with its chief financial officer accused of money laundering?
Closer to home
Congratulations! Gazette reporter Aaron Derfel wins top journalism award
He won the Canadian Association of Journalists’ McGillivray Award for a (2023) four-part series that “exposed egregious failures in care” in the emergency department of the Lakeshore General Hospital, the CAJ stated.
‘Ticking time bomb’ at Lakeshore ER decades in the making
“It’s like a Catch-22” for staff at the West Island hospital. “If we don’t say something, how is anything going to get fixed?”
The Ottawa Declaration on Canadian Journalism
Independent digital media outlets sign The Ottawa Declaration calling on the media industry to reject government payroll subsidies.

Lest we forget
4 June
Heavy security in China, Hong Kong mark 35th anniversary of Tiananmen crackdown
Checkpoints and rows of police vehicles lined a major road leading to Beijing’s Tiananmen Square on Tuesday as China heightened security on the 35th anniversary of a bloody crackdown on pro-democracy protests.
5 June
Senator Robert Kennedy is shot at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles after winning the California presidential primary 1968
6 June
It was fun having both Mark and Chris Roper with us last week, telling stories of their father’s D-Day exploits. We are thinking of them as they honour Dr. Peter Roper’s memory by attending the 80th anniversary celebrations in Normandy.
Sunday [2 June] A mass parachute jump over Normandy kicks off commemorations for the 80th anniversary of D-Day
All along the Normandy coastline…French officials, grateful Normandy survivors and other admirers are saying “merci” but also goodbye. The ever-dwindling number of veterans in their late nineties and older who are coming back to remember fallen friends and their history-changing exploits are the last.

One episode of the GZERO AI series
Can AI help doctors act more human?
In this episode of GZERO AI, Taylor Owen, host of the Machines Like Us podcast, explores the rather surprising role artificial intelligence could play in the healthcare industry’s efforts to reconnect with humanity. Doctors have become busier and are spending less time with their patients, but AI has been touted as a solution to enable them to foster more human connections.
‘BlackBerry,’ ‘Little Bird’ nab top trophies at Canadian Screen Awards
Matt Johnson’s BlackBerry…dominated the Canadian Screen Awards in an evening full of self-referential jabs about the industry and some moments of protest Friday. The Toronto filmmaker’s chaotic dramedy about the rise and fall of an era-defining smartphone won best picture, while Johnson won for achievement in direction and Montreal’s Jay Baruchel took home the prize for best lead performer in a comedy film. This brought the movie’s Screen Awards tally to 14…
Three of the horses that bolted across London expected to troop the colour
Trojan, Tennyson and Vanquish back on duty and army says ‘against all expectations’ should be at king’s birthday parade 15 June

4 June
Experts discuss the situation in Ethiopia’s Tigray region
Kyle Matthews and representatives of the New Lines Institute hold a news conference in Ottawa to discuss the latter’s report on the situation in Ethiopia’s Tigray region.
10-14 June
The 2024 Sustainability Research and Innovation Congress
Helsinki and Espoo, Finland
10 June
The Earth-Humanity Coalition
Former Wednesday Nighter, Club of Rome co-president Paul Shrivastava is speaker
13 June
The City of Helsinki hosts Sustainable Cities Discussion Forum

31 July
Singapore hosts the 2024 Bloomberg Sustainable Business Summit

Long reads
What the EU Has Done for Us
Nadia Calviño, President of the European Investment Bank
The global order that Europeans helped build – and which has served Europeans well for the past 80 years – is being put to the test. As voters cast their ballots in this week’s European Parliament elections, they must not lose sight of all the ways the European Union has improved their daily lives.
Bret Stephens: This D-Day, Europe Needs to Resolve to Get Its Act Together
Europe today faces four great challenges that typically determine the fate of great powers
Thursday’s D-Day anniversary — the 80th — is occasioning somber and anxious reflections about the fate of the Atlantic alliance. Somber because the last of the Greatest Generation will soon no longer be with us. Anxious because Donald Trump, and his evident disdain for that alliance, may soon be with us again.
Foreign policy becomes a liability for Biden’s campaign as he heads to France
As Biden begins a month of high stakes international meetings with a trip to France this week, two bloody wars in Ukraine and Gaza have complicated the president’s job and, polls show, contributed to the shakiness of his political standing at home.
Policy Q&A: Nobel Laureate Oleksandra Matviichuk on Ukraine, Human Rights and Winning the War
Ukrainian civil society was hardly surprised when the Center for Civil Liberties and its founder, Oleksandra Matviichuk, received the Nobel Peace Prize in 2022. …
Today, the work of the Center focuses on documenting war crimes committed by Russians against the civilian population of Ukraine. Since the beginning of the war, the organization and its network of partners have reported more than 70,000 such cases.
The Shallow Roots of Iran’s War With Israel
Beneath Tehran’s Extremism, a Lost History of Deep Iranian-Jewish Ties
Sheinbaum Made Mexico City the Digital Capital of the Western Hemisphere
During her time as mayor, the president-elect built world-class technological infrastructure that she can now bring to the national stage.

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