The Ukrainian Parliament has voted to approve martial law in 10 of its 25 provinces for thirty days following a Russian attack on and seizure of three vessels of the Ukrainian Navy which were attempting to cross the Kerch Strait between Russia and the annexed Crimean Peninsula. Ukraine has barred Russian men aged 16 to 60 from entry into the country except under humanitarian exemption to prevent the formation of ‘private armies’ and Russian special operations troops from operating freely.
Insight, NASA’s most recent Mars lander, has successfully touched down on the Elysium Planitia, a vast plain near the Martian equator and has begun to deploy a mechanical mole to study Mars’ internal heat and a seismometer to listen for possible earthquakes. Insight has a two-year scientific mission to study the deep interior of the planet to learn more about Martian geology and how rocky celestial bodies have formed.
Chinese scientist and researcher, He Jiankui, has claimed to have used the CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing method to edit the DNA of two twin girls who were born earlier this month to protect them against HIV, which their father has. A cacophony of scientists in the field of gene-editing and the CRISPR co-creator have heavily criticized Jiankui for not adequately addressing safety and ethical problems while calling for a pathway to eventual genetic editing in humans.
32 people died when a boat on a pleasure cruise in Lake Victoria, Uganda, capsized with nearly 100 passengers on board. The boat lacked a licence to operate and when marine police tried to prevent people from embarking on the cruise they were overwhelmed by the large number of people and the presence of two local princes along the crowd.
A special election for Senate in Mississippi has been won by Republican Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith over black Democrat Mike Espy after Hyde-Smith made remarks to her supporters that she supports lynching and public hangings. In other US news, a group of largely Central American migrants have been tear-gassed at the border by US Border Patrol Agents and this has raised concerns over the use of tear gas against civilians when it is banned for military application.
Prime Minister Trudeau, US President Trump, and Mexican President Pena Nieto signed the Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement (CUMSA) on the sidelines of the G20 meetings in Buenos Aires on the last day of Nieto’s Presidency. The opposition Conservatives, the New Democrats, and national dairy organizations all criticized the trade deal, saying that Prime Minister Trudeau granted too many concessions to the United States, particularly around agriculture.
A reporter from Vice Media will be compelled to hand recordings of his conversations with an alleged ISIS member to police following a unanimous decision by the Supreme Court. The case was brought by Vice Media to attempt to uphold the journalistic interest of protecting sources, however the court decided that the state’s duty to investigate crimes took precedence.
The federal government has sanctioned 17 Saudi nationals who were involved in the killing of Saudi dissident, Jamal Khashoggi, under the Magnitsky law. Foreign Minister Freeland has said that Canada is reviewing its arms sales to Saudi Arabia and went on to say that no new arms export permits will be issued, but that current permits remain active.
General Motors is closing its Oshawa car manufacturing plant and approximately 3000 jobs will be lost with local suppliers such as Martinrea International also being forced to close. The ripple effect of this closure comes after the GM bailout by the federal and provincial government in 2009 and is expected to compromise up to 15 000 more jobs.
Following an investigative journalism investigation into problems with medical devices, Health Canada says that they will improve the systems for pre-market approval of medical devices to ‘include requirements for clinical data’. Additionally, Health Canada will improve their post-market checks on medical devices and make the system for medical device approval more transparent.
Following a large winter storm nearly 250 000 people lost power in what opposition leaders are calling a failure of the privately-owned Nova Scotia Power. The outages were caused by transmission lines falling and being unable to transfer power from generating stations in Cape Breton to the mainland and is the worst outage since 2003.
Lobster fishing season has been delayed with an incoming storm pushing the season opening date where 700 boats will begin to drop their traps. On the opening day a fishing boat began taking on water and capsized 300m from shore but a nearby vessel was able to rescue the four fishermen on board from incredibly cold water.
The death rate at hospitals in and around Sydney is among the highest in the country and the MLA for the area says that the NS Health Authority needs to take remedial action. MLA MacLeod says that an exodus of family doctors and specialists could be contributing to the death rates and that people simply aren’t getting the care they deserve.
Following the back-to-work legislation postal workers in Halifax and Dartmouth have walked off the job in protest of the violation of their constitutional right to collective bargaining.
Hundreds of people came to the funeral of 4 year old MaCali Cormier after she was killed when run over by a float at Yarmouth’s Christmas Parade of Lights. Nova Scotia is to review the permitting process and safety around parades after this tragic event.