News Breakdown: October 7-13

Cal Fire firefighter Mario Topete sprays water to help prevent flames from crossing Highway 29, north of Calistoga on Thursday. (Marcus Yam/Los Angeles Times)

Cal Fire firefighter Mario Topete sprays water to help prevent flames from crossing Highway 29, north of Calistoga on Thursday. (Marcus Yam/Los Angeles Times)

International

  • 15 fires in Northern California have left 33 dead, scores injured, 90,000 displaced or evacuated, 900 km2 burnt and 5,700 homes and businesses destroyed. Three fires have been fully contained, while 12 continue to burn with containment rates ranging from 7-95 per cent.
  • The President of Catalonia, Carlos Puigdemont, suspended the effects of an expected declaration of independence to open a period of dialogue to resolve the conflict with Spain. This announcement comes after businesses pulled out of Catalonia, foreign governments, including France, declaring they would not recognize an independent Catalonia and a large anti-independence rally in Barcelona.
  • President Trump declared his intent to not certify Iran’s compliance with the nuclear agreement, which transfers the decision to reimpose sanctions to Congress. Specifically, Trump asked Congress to establish “trigger-points,” actions which if taken by Iran would prompt the reimposition of sanctions. Additionally, Trump authorized the US Treasury Department to sanction the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps as supporters of terrorism.
  • Liberia held its first elections without the help of the UN and outside institutions since the civil war in 2003 on October 10. Liberia’s elections will head to a second round in November, which will be contested between ex-football star and Senator George Weah who had 39.6 per cent of votes and Vice-President Joseph Bokai who received 31.1 per cent of votes.
  • Kenyan opposition leader Raila Odinga announced that he is withdrawing from the re-run of the presidential elections on October 26 due to the lack of electoral reforms since the annulled August 8 presidential elections. In response to this decision, the Kenyan government has banned protest in Kenya’s three biggest cities, which have been occurring weekly in support of the opposition’s desire for changes to the electoral commission.
  • In lighter news, a woman was granted paid sick leave from work to look after her ill dog by an Italian court on October 11. The judge ruling on the case stated that the dog’s illness amounted to “serious or family personal reasons” for leave. The case to take care of the 12-year old Cucciola was won with the help of lawyers from Italy’s Anti-Vivisection League, a large animals rights organization, who wanted this case to act as a precedent.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau meets with U.S. President Donald Trump in the Oval Office of the White House on Wednesday. (Sean Kilpatrick/Canadian Press)

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau meets with U.S. President Donald Trump in the Oval Office of the White House on Wednesday. (Photo: Sean Kilpatrick/Canadian Press)

National

  • During a meeting with Prime Minister Trudeau on October 11, U.S. President Trump brought up the possibility of ending NAFTA and replacing it with a bilateral agreement between Canada and the states. This comes amidst NAFTA renegotiation talks where the U.S. is making tough demands a new U.S.-proposed clause would automatically end NAFTA after five years unless all member countries decide to renew the agreement.
  • A Canadian man, his American wife and their three children born in captivity were freed from imprisonment after five years of as captives of the Haqqani Network of the Afghanistan Taliban. The Pakistani army rescued the family using intelligence obtained by U.S. intelligence services.
  • Finance Minister Morneau is to unveil changes to the government’s controversial tax reform proposals on October 16. These reforms have sparked a wave of opposition, some of it coming from Liberal backbench MPs. Prime Minister Trudeau altered the government’s position on one of the most controversial proposed reforms, the taxation of employee discounts. He came out against this change, saying it wouldn’t happen and that the matter would be cleared up by the Canada Revue Agency. (For full disclosure, the author worked in Finance Minister Morneau’s constituency office two summers ago, although they never met and the author doesn’t personally support the Liberal party.)
  • Two female Canadian actors are speaking out against Harvey Weinstein as the sexual harassment and assault scandal unfolds. Mia Kirshner spoke out against Weinstein saying he treated her like chattel and calling their interactions an ordeal. Erika Rosenbaum spoke of three incidents that occurred 15 years ago where Weinstein initially sexually harassed her and later assaulted her.
  • Sears Canada received permission to liquidate its remaining stores from Ontario Superior Court on October 13. This liquidation will put 12,000 employees out of a job. This is contrasted with Canada’s most recent monthly employment numbers showing a net of 10,000 new jobs created. As a result, Canada’s employment numbers are expected to go from a net gain to a net loss due to Sear’s closure the month Sears Canada officially shuts its doors.
Left: An alternate to the Frank Magazine image, drawn by Bria Cherise Miller (courtesy Bria Cherise Miller, Facebook). Right: The original Frank Magazine image.

Left: An alternate to the Frank Magazine image, drawn by Bria Cherise Miller (Courtesy Bria Cherise Miller, Facebook). Right: Part of the original Frank Magazine image (Source: Frank Magazine).

Provincial/Local

  • El Jones, a black poet and activist, is speaking out against a racist cartoon published by Frank Magazine that shows her among a crown of activists calling for the removal of a statue of Edward Cornwallis. The cartoon depicts Jones with skin several shades darker than her own, a jutting chin, a sloped forehead and features an unattended black child. The managing editor of Frank Magazine, Andrew Douglas, issued an apology to readers, though not to Jones, and commissioned another cartoon that depicts Jones more accurately. (For full disclosure, the author circulated a petition supporting El Jones in this matter among people they know.)
  • Missing Enfield teen, Mackenzie Eagles, who has been missing since September 23 has been found safe in Dartmouth after contacting her mother, Kelly Eagles. Mackenzie ran away from her grandfather’s house in Enfield on her bike. Kelly said of Mackenzie, “She’s tired, she’s very tired. She is safe,” and asked for privacy during this trying time.
  • A 23-year-old man has been arrested and charged in connection with two suspicious fires in Sydney. Kristopher Michael Clarke was arrested at the scene of one of the three suspicious fires lit on October 11. He is now facing charges of arson causing damage in relation to a fire and arson with disregard for human life.
  • Get Prescription Drugs Off the Streets Society, an advocacy group, is criticizing the Nova Scotia government for its poor handling of opiate education. The group calls on the province to expand its teaching from prevention and avoiding drug use to include information on how to reduce the risks if someone decides to take drugs. In response, Nova Scotia decided to move discussions on their education program up to the week of October 16.
  • A seventeen-year-old boy, and student at Charles P. Allen High School, was killed in a car crash on Rochester Drive in Hammond Plains on October 13. The driver of the car, another 17-year-old boy suffered only minor injuries and was arrested at the scene and later released without charges being laid. A psychologist and other staff will be provided by the HRM school board for students.