That, in the opinion of the House, the government should:
(a) recognize the need to quell the increasing public climate of hate and fear;
(b) condemn Islamophobia and all forms of systemic racism and religious discrimination and take note of House of Commons’ petition e-411 and the issues raised by it; and
(c) request that the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage undertake a study on how the government could
(i) develop a whole-of-government approach to reducing or eliminating systemic racism and religious discrimination including Islamophobia, in Canada, while ensuring a community-centered focus with a holistic response through evidence-based policy-making,
(ii) collect data to contextualize hate crime reports and to conduct needs assessments for impacted communities, and that the Committee should present its findings and recommendations to the House no later than 240 calendar days from the adoption of this motion, provided that in its report, the Committee should make recommendations that the government may use to better reflect the enshrined rights and freedoms in the Constitution Acts, including the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
As columnist Lorne Gunter wrote in the Edmonton Sun: “While purporting to oppose all forms of religious discrimination, the only form specifically mentioned is Islamophobia. And no definition of Islamophobia is given, leaving the door wide open to the broadest possible interpretations – including public statements condemning radical Islamic terrorism and even academic papers questioning whether Islam truly is a religion of peace.”
Companies such as Verizon and AT&T have decided to pull ads from YouTube over extremist content in the video platform owned by Google. Alphabet Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt and former Google Senior V.P. of Products Jonathan Rosenberg discuss how they are addressing the issue.
“What we do is, we match ads and the content, but because we source the ads from everywhere, every once in a while somebody gets underneath the algorithm and they put in something that doesn’t match. We’ve had to tighten our policies and actually increase our manual review time and so I think we’re going to be okay,” Schmidt told the FOX Business Network’s Maria Bartiromo.
Rosenberg explained that as Google has grown as a company its focus has shifted so it can better address these kinds of issues.
“What we’re focused on now is organizing around the CEOs who can have the kind of technical insights to build products that solve these kind of problems,” said Rosenberg.
Belgian police arrested an inebriated 39-year-old French man of North African descent after he attempted to drive through a crowd in Antwerp in a car containing weapons before being stopped by Belgian security forces, officials said Thursday.
The suspect, a French national and resident whom officials identified as Mohamed R., was found under the influence of drugs, alcohol or possibly both, according to a Belgian official. A French police officer said the suspect’s blood-alcohol content was several times above the legal limit.
Authorities would likely wait until Friday to interview him, the Belgian official said, giving the man time to clear the substances from his system.
Around 11 a.m., a car registered in France drove rapidly toward pedestrians in the center of Antwerp, causing them to jump out of the car’s way, a spokesman for the Belgian federal prosecutor’s office said. No one was injured or killed in the incident, he said.
The Women’s Media Center, led by feminist icon Gloria Steinem and actress Jane Fonda, said in a new report that Fox News’ website leads the online media industry in gender parity.
The women’s group released its annual “Divided 2017” report on Wednesday, which examined who provides coverage for 20 top news outlets in the form of broadcast, newspapers, online news, and wire services.
The study focused on the percentage of male and female journalists who report the news, looking for potential gender imbalances. It analyzed broadcast news from ABC, CBS, NBC, and PBS; the online news sites of CNN, Fox News, Huffington Post, and the Daily Beast; and ten of the nation’s most widely circulated newspapers.
One section of the report examined which outlets “achieve the best gender ratio” for online news, showing that Fox News came in first with men receiving 50.1 percent of bylines and women receiving 49.9 percent of bylines.
A Jewish teenager was arrested Thursday in connection with a series of bomb threats that have rattled Jewish institutions and community centers across the US and other countries, Israeli police said.
A months-long international investigation led to the 19-year-old suspect, who used “advanced camouflage technologies” to cover his tracks, police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said.
The suspect holds dual American-Israeli citizenship, an Israeli security official told CNN. He was arrested in Israel after an undercover investigation with the FBI.
The threats were made against sites in the United States, Australia and New Zealand. In one case, an airline had to make an emergency landing because of the threats, Rosenfeld said.
Law enforcement officials have told CNN they believed many of the threatening calls to Jewish community centers originated overseas.
Israeli police are still trying to determine the teen suspect’s motive. The FBI confirmed the arrest and said in a statement it could not provide further information on the investigation.
One of President Trump’s first official acts was the signing of executive orders approving the Keystone XL Pipeline. The State Department sign-off is one of the last regulatory requirements needed before the work begins.
The Trump administration will approve the Keystone XL oil pipeline by Monday, reversing one of former President Barack Obama’s most politically charged environmental decisions, according to two sources with knowledge of the plan.
The move by the State Department comes 16 months after Obama blocked construction of the 1,200-mile pipeline, which would ship crude from Canada’s western oil-sands region to refineries on the Gulf Coast. The pipeline became the subject of major lobbying efforts by both oil industry supporters and environmental groups, which turned the project into the focus of their climate change campaigns.
Undersecretary for political affairs Tom Shannon plans to sign the pipeline’s cross-border permit on or before Monday, the last day for the 60-day timeline that President Donald Trump ordered in January. Secretary of State and former Exxon Mobil Chief Executive Rex Tillerson recused himself from the process.
The approval, while long expected, will hand Trump a political victory and follows his promise to quickly approve the $8 billion project that developer TransCanada has sought to build for nearly a decade.
Keystone XL has become as much a political totem as an infrastructure project. Republicans and oil industry backers have touted its economic benefits and the thousands of construction jobs it would create, while environmentalists warned the oil artery could pose huge spill risks and would stoke development in Alberta’s oil sands region, unleashing a vast amount of the carbon dioxide that scientists say is causing climate change.
Democratic assemblywoman Deborah Glick of the New York State Assembly has introduced legislation that would fine people who do not vote, and has been promptly criticized on the constitutionality of the measure.
Glick’s legislation proposes a $10 fine for those who fail to vote without providing a “valid excuse,” but she does not specify what a valid excuse would be, the New York Daily News reports.
Glick also wrote a memo claiming the bill’s intention is to increase voter turnout and force elected officials to better represent their constituents.
U.S. Border Patrol and Immigration and Customs Enforcement unions are cheering President Trump’s plan to hire 15,000 new agents, claiming that he has boosted sagging morale by promising to finally help the outnumbered immigration officers — and let them do their jobs.
“During my career at ICE I have never had the opportunity to commend a sitting U.S. president, or DHS secretary, but I’m doing so today. Amidst all the hammering from the media, and protests from special interest groups, President Trump and Secretary (John) Kelly haven’t wavered, but instead continued steadfast in their support of the rule of law and our officers in the field,” said Chris Crane president of the union representing ICE.
A former Russian member of parliament who fled to Ukraine after mounting heavy criticism against President Vladimir Putin was shot dead in Kiev on Thursday.
Denis Voronenkov, a former Communist member in the lower house of Russian parliament, was fatally shot by an unidentified gunman at the entrance of a high-end hotel in the Ukrainian capital, authorities confirmed, according to the Guardian.
Voronenkov moved to Ukraine in late 2016 because he said Kremlin security agencies were pursuing him. He renounced his Russian citizenship and was soon after granted Ukrainian citizenship.
Federal Election Commission Democrats are rebooting their campaign to regulate the internet, from social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook to conservative websites like Drudge. Liberal commissioners previously gave up on this mission amid opposition from Republicans.
Many on the left are arguing FEC rules are outdated and need to be updated to the social media era, arguing the internet should be regulated for political content and spending, the Washington Examiner reported on Wednesday. Democrats have used FEC ex-Commisioner Ann Ravel’s critical exit report to back their case. Ravel was behind the effort to change the rules, but her Republican colleagues shut her down because they believed her only goal was to regulate right-leaning websites.
Count the number of qualifiers and realize that the reason for dropping this nothing burger is to counter the bombshell from House intel chair Devin Nunes that yes, there was collection of the conversations of Trump aides, their names were improperly unmasked and illegally leaked to media.
Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer said Thursday that Democrats will attempt to filibuster Judge Neil Gorsuch’s nomination, saying he would tilt the Supreme Court too far away from what Democrats want to see.
“After careful deliberation I have concluded that I cannot support Judge Neil Gorsuch’s nomination to the Supreme Court,” Mr. Schumer said, announcing his filibuster on the Senate floor.
The speech amounted to a challenge to Republicans, who may now have to decide whether to trigger the “nuclear option” and change the chamber’s rules to curtail the power of the filibuster.
Mr. Schumer, who four years ago himself voted to trigger the nuclear option on all other nominees, told Republicans not to follow his lead.
The Washington Post’s Bob Woodward warned on Wednesday that there are people from the Obama administration who could be facing criminal charges for unmasking the names of Trump transition team members from surveillance of foreign officials.
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., said earlier that he had briefed Trump on new information, unrelated to an investigation into Russian activities, that suggested that several members of Trump’s transition team and perhaps Trump himself had their identities “unmasked” after their communications were intercepted by U.S. intelligence officials.
The revelation is notable because identities of Americans are generally supposed to remain “masked” if American communications are swept up during surveillance of foreign individuals.
During an interview on Fox News, Woodward said that if that information about the unmasking is true, “it is a gross violation.”