News breakdown: Sept. 9 – 15

Super Typhoon Mangkhut in its most recent satellite photo approaching the Philippines, the southern coast of China, and northern Vietnam. (Image courtesy NASA Earth Observatory/Lauren Dauphin)

Super Typhoon Mangkhut in its most recent satellite photo approaching the Philippines, the southern coast of China, and northern Vietnam. (Image courtesy Lauren Dauphin/NASA Earth Observatory)

International

Super typhoon Mangkhut, with the wind speed equivalent to a category five hurricane, has hit the northern Philippines, killing 14 people amid storm surges of 20 feet, and is now headed to southern China and northern Vietnam. Hurricane Florence hit the Carolinas as a category two storm and has killed at least five people with storm surges of 10 feet. Florence is predicted to blow out over the Carolinas and dump up to four feet of rain in the region.

Taliban insurgents launched a renewed assault on northern Afghanistan, with 117 killed in over seven separate attacks and 68 killed in a suicide bombing in the eastern province of Nangarhar. Ninety police officers and soldiers remain surrounded by the Taliban in an unspecified northern province. The Taliban captured a military base in the northern Baghlan province earlier this week.

The European Parliament has voted to pursue never-before-taken disciplinary action against Hungary over an alleged breach of the European Union’s core values including attacks on the free press, the rule of law, privacy and data protection, freedom of expression and religion, equal rights, and the constitution and electoral system. If Hungary does not reform its government’s behaviour, national leaders in the EU may decide to sanction the country by suspending Hungary’s EU voting rights.

Russian police detained 839 people protesting in 33 cities across the country and forcibly broke up protests against pension age reforms. President Putin’s approval rating fell 15 to 20 per cent in the most recent polls, and his government jailed protest and opposition leader Alex Navalny after embezzlement charges Navalny says are politically motivated.

North and South Korea have opened a liaison office between their two governments at the border, in an effort to set up permanent communications and move away from dated landline and fax technology. North Korea left its intercontinental ballistic missiles out of a military parade in a gesture of goodwill, and sent a letter to U.S. President Trump requesting further diplomatic meetings that the U.S. government is now preparing for.

The flags of Canada, US, and Mexico fly at the last trilateral NAFTA renegotiation meeting (Image courtesy of Judi Bottoni/Associated Press)

The flags of Canada, US, and Mexico fly at the last trilateral NAFTA renegotiation meeting (Image courtesy of Judi Bottoni/The Associated Press)

National

As the U.S. and Mexico push for an Oct. 1 deadline for signing a renegotiated NAFTA, senior Canadian sources spoke to the CBC and stated that Canada is comfortable pushing renegotiation and missing that date, making passing a new NAFTA much more difficult. U.S. President Trump and Mexico’s chief NAFTA negotiator have threatened to morph NAFTA into a bilateral agreement between the U.S. and Mexico if Canada is unwilling to sign a deal on their terms.

An Ontario Superior Court judge struck down Ontario Premier Ford’s bill to cut the size of Toronto’s city council in half during the run up to the municipal election, on the basis of violating the Charter’s free-expression guarantee. Premier Ford then announced that his government would use the notwithstanding clause in the Charter to override the ruling and introduced the bill again, while the city of Toronto contemplates another legal challenge.

Maxime Bernier has officially launched a new libertarian conservative political party called the People’s Party of Canada/Parti Populaire, and says it will be competitive in the 2019 federal election. Bernier says he has raised $140, 000 in the last three weeks and is currently recruiting candidates for the federal election. He highlighted the ‘migrant crisis’ as an important issue for his party.

First Nations leaders are criticizing Prime Minister Trudeau for the lack of follow-through in disbursing the committed $2.6 billion over five years for schools and education for Canada’s First Nations. The small amounts that have been offered are only project and location based, and First Nations leaders want Trudeau to know that their schools still can’t afford science labs, sports equipment, and Indigenous language programs.

U.S. media report that Canadian cannabis entrepreneurs, investors, and users could face a lifetime ban against travel into the U.S., or a one-time travel ban. U.S. border officials can apply this policy at their discretion and people who have received bans can apply to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Agency for a waiver.

Justice Minister Furey announced the policy alongside the leaders of the PC and NDP provincial parties, saying that the practise no longer has a place in Nova Scotian society. (Image courtesy of Andrew Vaughan/The Canadian Press)

Justice Minister Furey announced the policy alongside the leaders of the PC and NDP provincial parties, saying that the practise no longer has a place in Nova Scotian society. (Image courtesy of Andrew Vaughan/The Canadian Press)

Local

Justice Minister Furey has introduced a bill that prohibits the use of conversion therapy on LGBTQ+ youth, specifically making illegal the act of attempting to change people’s sexual orientation for youth under 16, and those under 19 who are incapable of consenting to conversion therapy. The bill will pass with opposition PC and NDP support and is a response to two speakers who advocated for conversion therapy at a Christian church camp in Pugwash.

Halifax Regional Municipality once again has a ban on smoking in public, except in designated areas, after a motion to consider alternatives ended in a tie, which meant its defeat as per city council rules. Council staffs’ report on the topic recommended the original bylaw continue and for the bylaw to be supplemented by another enforcing a smoking ban for cannabis use.

The Nova Scotian government, along with several other provinces, is extending the period of time parents can take family leave for a newborn infant. The changes will be written into the Labour Standards Code and increase combined pregnancy and parental leave from 52 weeks, to 77 weeks.

The Nova Scotia NDP have tabled a bill to address environmental racism in Nova Scotia, specifically looking to address the practise of locating dumps and hazardous waste deposits in non-white communities and polluting the water of non-white communities. The NDP and community activists are looking to establish a panel made up of members of the affected communities to explore the topic and to provide recommendations to fix the problems it uncovers.

Josh Evans, a 29-year-old former inmate at Central Nova Scotia Correctional Facility, tried to kill himself and was pronounced dead the next day following his hospitalization. Evans’ family members say that his death could have been avoided if he was given proper treatment for his mental health issues and blame the province for his death. The province says he was receiving medical care but have not specified if this care was specifically for his mental health.