Canada In The News for Dec. 5: Can Ottawa be compelled to repatriate 19 Canadians from Syria
The Islamic State group announces the death of its leader and appoints its successor
© LP A new leader of the group has been appointed, and is called Abou al-Hussein al-Husseini al-Qurashi. (Illustration) LP defeated in Iraq and Syria, group Islamic State announced on Wednesday the death of its leader, the Iraqi Abu Hassan al-Hashimi al-Qurashi, specifying that he had been killed "by fighting the enemies of God ”. In an audio message, the spokesperson for the jihadist group announced that a new "Muslims caliph", Abou al-Hussein al-Husseini al-Qurashi, had been appointed.
In The News is a roundup of stories from The Canadian Press designed to kickstart your day. Here is what's on the radar of our editors for the morning of Monday, Dec. 5, 2022 ...
What we are watching in Canada ...
A Federal Court is slated to begin two days of hearings today into the Liberal government’s refusal to repatriate 19 Canadian women and children who are being held in northeastern Syria.
Family members for the six women and 13 children are expected to argue that the government’s refusal to help them, as well as some Canadian men, amounts to a breach of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
Syria: The FDS cease to cooperate with the coalition after Turkish strikes, according to spokesperson
Qamishli, Syria (Reuters)-Syrian democratic forces (FDS), Kurdish predominance alliance supported by the United States, interrupted Their cooperation with the coalition led by Washington after Turkish bombings in the territories they control in northern Syria, a spokesman for the group announced on Friday.
The court hearings come as a document filed in the case last week said Global Affairs Canada had determined the 19 Canadians have met a threshold for providing extraordinary assistance.
Global Affairs says in the document that it has begun assessments to determine whether to provide that assistance.
A handful of women and children have returned to Canada from the region in recent years, but for the most part, Canada has not followed the path of other countries that have successfully repatriated citizens.
Also this ...
A major UN conference on biodiversity will get underway in Montreal Tuesday with a lofty goal to get every country to agree to protect almost one-third of the world's land and oceans before the end of this decade.
Feds eyeing repatriation of 19 Canadian women and children held in Syria: document
OTTAWA — The federal government is looking at helping to secure the release of 19 Canadian women and children being held in northeastern Syria, a newly filed court document says. The move comes just as family members of the six women and 13 children get set to argue in Federal Court that the Liberal government's long-standing refusal to repatriate them — as well as some Canadian men — amounts to a breach of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. AThe move comes just as family members of the six women and 13 children get set to argue in Federal Court that the Liberal government's long-standing refusal to repatriate them — as well as some Canadian men — amounts to a breach of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
But the environment may be the easy part of a meeting that is being co-hosted by Canada and China amid growing diplomatic tensions between the two, and without the political heft of world leaders, who weren't invited to attend.
"I would say that it will be very interesting and very important to watch how the COP15 unfolds," said Guy Saint-Jacques, a former Canadian ambassador to China.
China is the president of this year's biodiversity meeting, which means it helps set the agenda and guides the negotiations. It would normally play host, too, and delayed the meeting four times because of COVID-19.
Because China still hasn't opened its borders to international travellers, the Chinese government agreed in June that the meeting could be moved to Montreal, which is home to the offices of the UN biodiversity secretariat.
What we are watching in the U.S. ...
Raphael Warnock is the first Black U.S. senator from Georgia, having broken the colour barrier with a special election victory in January 2021.
No legal obligation to bring Canadians home from Syria, federal lawyer tells court
OTTAWA — The Charter of Rights and Freedoms does not obligate Ottawa to repatriate Canadians held in Syrian camps, a government lawyer told a Federal Court hearing Tuesday. Family members of 23 detained Canadians — six women, four men and 13 children — are asking the court to order the government to arrange for their return, saying that refusing to do so violates the Charter. The Canadian citizens are among the many foreign nationals in Syrian camps run by Kurdish forces that reclaimed the war-torn region from the extremist Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.
Now Warnock can add another distinction by winning a full six-year term in a Tuesday runoff.
Standing in the way is another Black man, Republican challenger Herschel Walker.
The two men have cut different paths and offer clearly opposing visions for the country, including on race and racism, despite their common upbringings in the wake of the civil rights movement and the guarantee of a historical first from their Senate matchup.
The senator's campaign has said since then that he'd have to assemble a multiracial coalition, including many moderate white voters, to win reelection in a midterm election year. But they've not disputed that a strong Black turnout would be necessary regardless.
The Republican National Committee has answered with its own uptick in Black voter outreach, opening community centers in several heavily Black areas of the state. But the general election results raise questions about the effectiveness, at least for Walker.
Black voters in this Deep South state say the choice is stark.
What we are watching in the rest of the world ...
Interest rates have soared in 2022. Here’s how much more you’re paying to borrow
The Bank of Canada’s policy rate sets interest payments directly or indirectly for many types of debt — something Canadians have a lot of right now. Equifax Canada said this week that total consumer debt hit $2.36 trillion in the third quarter, a 7.3 per cent increase year-over-year.Ipsos polling conducted exclusively for Global News shows that higher interest rates are weighing on Canadians’ minds and bank accounts.Some 71 per cent of respondents said they were worried interest rates would rise faster than they can keep up, according to the polling conducted Nov. 11-15.
China is easing some of the world's most stringent anti-COVID controls and authorities say new variants are weaker.
But they have yet to say when they might end a "zero-COVID" strategy that confines millions of people to their homes and set off protests and demands for President Xi Jinping to resign.
Commuters in Beijing and at least 16 other cities are allowed to board buses and subways without a virus test in the previous 48 hours for the first time in months.
The government announced plans to vaccinate millions of elderly people. That spurred hopes for quick reopening of the country. But health experts and economists warn it will be mid-2023 and possibly 2024 before "zero COVID" ends.
On this day in 1837 ...
Lower Canada (now Quebec) was placed under martial law during a rebellion that had broken out largely over constitutional issues. The unrest was sparked in part by the control exercised by the largely English-speaking executive government over the elected -- and predominantly French-speaking -- legislative assembly.
In entertainment ...
Actor, musician and children's author widely known for his portrayal of one of the first regular characters on the children's show "Sesame Street," Bob McGrath, has died at the age of 90.
ISIS leader killed in US-led Syria raid, Biden says
ISIS leader Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurayshi was killed Wednesday during a US counterterrorism raid in northwest Syria, President Joe Biden announced Thursday morning. It was the biggest US raid in the country since the 2019 operation that killed ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. Qurayshi blew himself up as US forces approached his compound, Biden administration officials said, and the explosion resulted in multiple civilian casualties, though there was a discrepancy between the Biden administration and a Syrian civil defense group over how many. There were no US casualties, according to the Pentagon.
McGrath's passing was confirmed by his family who posted on his Facebook page on Sunday.
Sesame Workshop tweeted Sunday evening that it "mourns the passing of Bob McGrath, a beloved member of the Sesame Street family for over 50 years." McGrath was a founding cast member of "Sesame Street" when the show premiered in 1969.
He is survived by his wife, Ann Logan Sperry, and their five children.
Did you see this?
After nearly two weeks of voting, the union representing more than 50-thousand Ontario education workers will announce this morning whether its members have ratified a tentative deal it struck with the province.
The results could see the Canadian Union of Public Employees head back to the bargaining table with the Ontario government in what has been a tense dispute.
CUPE is slated to announce the results during a news conference this morning at 10 a.m.
Education workers walked off the job for two days last month after the government passed -- and then later repealed -- legislation that imposed a contract on them and banned them from striking.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 5, 2022
The Canadian Press
Erdogan says he asked Russia for support for military operations in northern Syria .
The Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said in a phone call with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin on Sunday for support for the military surgery "Schwert claw", the Ankara has been performing in northern Syria since November 21.