#UnitedNations; #UNOCT; #ICAO; #goTravelsoftware
A new programme aimed at improving the tracking of suspected terrorists, using state-of-the-art software, was launched yesterday by the United Nations (UN) Office of Counter-Terrorism (UNOCT), UN reports said.
The launch at UN Headquarters in New York, of the United Nations Countering Terrorist Travel Programme, comes in the wake of the territorial defeat of the Iraq and Syria-based ISIL terrorist group. Thousands of foreign terrorist fighters (FTFs) are attempting to return home or relocate to safe havens or conflict zones, representing a major threat to international peace and security.
The Programme, described by UNOCT as a “flagship initiative,” is designed to help countries to enhance the detection of FTFs and serious criminals, through the collection, identification, and analysis of their passenger data.
A mix of technology and legislation
Several UN counter-terrorism departments, as well as the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), will work closely together to implement the initiative, which provides countries with free access to advanced “goTravel” software, which analyses travel data to help countries detect and disrupt terrorists’ movements.
Another aspect of the Programme involves the UN supporting national authorities in the development of legislation and national expertise, via training and certification to operate the software lawfully and effectively.
The “goTravel” software is a reconfigured version of a system donated by the Netherlands to the United Nations.
Recent attacks 'tragic reminders of global reach of the scourge of terrorism
'Speaking at the launch of the Programme, UN Secretary-General António Guterres, said that recent attacks, notably those in Kenya, New Zealand and Sri Lanka, are “tragic reminders of the global reach of the scourge of terrorism.”
The UN chief noted the “dramatic movement” of terrorists to and from conflict zones around the world over the past seven years, in particular the estimated 40,000 FTFs from 110 countries who may have travelled to join terror groups in Syria and Iraq.
Mr. Guterres also stated that the Programme will help states to collect, process and share travel data with other competent national and international authorities, with full respect for privacy and other fundamental freedoms.
Balancing surveillance with data and human rights protection
In an interview with UN News, Jelle Postma, chief of the Countering Terrorist Travel and Aviation Security Section in the UN Office of Counter-Terrorism, insisted that the technology was built with safeguards in place for data and human rights protection, explaining that after a certain period of time, sensitive data elements, such as sexual orientation, or trade union membership, will be automatically deleted by the system.
Mr Postma said that the UN will work with national parliaments to ensure that new surveillance laws include independent and transparent oversight mechanisms.
The programme is currently funded by India, Japan, the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Qatar and Saudi Arabia.
#TheInternationalLabourOrganization; #ILO; #WorldFutureCouncil; #UNDP; #UN;
Geneva, Apr 20 (Canadian-Media): The International Labour Organization (ILO) has joined a call for nominations for an award that highlights laws and policies that advance youth access to decent jobs, ILO reports said.
© World Future Council
With main aims to promote rights at work, encourage decent employment opportunities, enhance social protection and strengthen dialogue on work-related issues, ILO is supporting the Future Policy Award 2019, an initiative of the World Future Council , an independent body that researches, identifies and spreads policy solutions that contribute to sustainable development.
The aim of the award is to showcase legislation and policies that create better living conditions for current and future generations.
This year’s award has been established in partnership with the Inter-Parliamentary Union and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) with the support of the ILO, the UN Secretary-General’s envoy on youth and Youth Policy Labs, a global think-tank focusing on youth.
Its focus is on laws, policies and legal frameworks that have been developed with the participation of young people and which help them realize their full potential.
Targeting national, local and regional governments and non-governmental organizations, nominations should be sent to Samia Kassid: email@example.com by the deadline of 26 April, 2019.
#Airbnb; #AlexDagg; #Quebec, #BritishColumbia; #TheHotelAssociationofCanada; #AlanaBaker; TrudeauLiberals
Ottawa, Aug 18 (Canadian-Media): Airbnb, a privately owned company which rents out condos and houses, had been for long advocating, with its five-page submission, to Federal Liberal party to set rules for it in the market, media reports said.
In the submission Airbnb had asked Liberals to set some regulations around offers from online service providers, including applying sales taxes, all of which the government has so far ignored.
“We think as a platform our hosts should pay taxes. I know people get shocked when we say that, but we do. We think we should be contributing,” Alex Dagg, Airbnb’s public policy manager in Canada, said in an interview.
“We just need to figure out what are the appropriate rules in place to do that and how can we facilitate that.”
Rules had been enacted reportedly by Quebec, British Columbia and some cities to get tax revenues from bookings on Airbnb.
Quebec had been able to get a revenue of about $2.8 million over the first six months of the tax agreement.
The Hotel Association of Canada said Thursday the Liberals should give detailed information on all home-renting activity.
The industry group argued that rules should be enacted for hosts who rent out multiple homes or units for months on end as part of a larger commercial operation.
“We are not against Airbnb and we’re not against the competition. Competition is, in fact, a good thing. What we’re looking for here is fairness and a level playing field,” said Alana Baker, the association’s director of government relations.
Airbnb says there are some 80,000 people who offer places to rent in Canada, and they earn on average about $5,500 annually.
(Reporting by Asha Bajaj)
#EuropeanUnion’sGeneralDataProtectionRegulation, #(GPDR), #DavidMartinRuiz; #KirstenThompson
May 26, (Canadian-Media): European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GPDR), which came into effect on Friday, as a defining moment for the digital economy, are a complex set of laws, said Data-privacy advocates, which empowers users more control over their personal information and check Big Tech companies to track users across the web, media reports said.
But others warn that the rules would reportedly would help social-media giants Facebook and Google to consolidate their digital power even further.
Privacy critics said GDPR also required companies to get consent from users before they gather their data and also explain them in plain language what they plan to do with that information.
The GDPR had thus made it harder for companies to collect personal data, such as names and e-mail addresses, to browser cookies, IP addresses and location information.
The new law can fine companies up to 4 percent of global revenues, or €20-million ($30-million), for the most serious privacy breaches.
Companies must also notify authorities of a data breach within 72 hours.
“There is no doubt for us that the GDPR is a game-changer, and that it will require companies to change their mindset and put the privacy of their users first,” said David Martin Ruiz, senior legal officer for the European Consumer Organisation, an umbrella group of consumer watchdogs.
While the GDPR only applies in the 28 EU member states, the laws have implications for any company that collects data on European residents, even if they are headquartered abroad.
Foreign companies that offer services or collect data on users in the EU who don’t comply with the new laws could potentially face the same steep financial penalties as businesses based in Europe.
Canadians clients failed to understand what the rules meant for them.
Much of the public attention has focused on tech companies, but the law applies to a wide array of firms that operate in Europe. “I have everything from regulated professional colleges, right through to construction companies,” Kirsten Thompson, a lawyer with McCarthy Tétrault who specializes in data issues said.
Some Canadian firms wrongly assumed they were outside the reach of the European laws, she said.
Canadians believed that existing federal privacy laws were already in line with some aspects of the GDPR.
But the federal government would reportedly have to overhaul its legislation to avoid Canadians firms blocked from accessing customers in Europe.
“One of the criticisms of GDPR is it imposes another state’s laws outside its own borders,” Ms. Thompson said. “I expect there will be litigation around that.”
#Canada'sfamilyjusticesystem; #child'sphysicalemotionalpsychologicalsafety, BillC-78, #HouseofCommons, #accessibilityandefficiencyoffamilyjusticesystem
Ottawa, May 22 (Canadian-Media): Canada's family justice system are undergoing complete overhaul by the Liberal government to prioritize children's best interests, media reports said.
The first major overhaul, in more than 20 years, to reportedly address family violence and child poverty, was proposed by Bill C-78, which was tabled Tuesday in the House of Commons.
Other proposed changes include adoption of more neutral terminology, leaving out current terms like "custody" and "access" in favour of "parenting orders" and "parenting time."
These proposed changes would reportedly ensure a court's consideration of the best interests of the child's physical, emotional and psychological safety and well being.
Canada's federal divorce laws/Courtesy of CBCNews
Besides, the relationship of the child to parents, grandparents and other members. the child's linguistic, cultural and spiritual heritage, including Indigenous heritage, as well as the child's own views and preferences would be given a priority.
Other proposed amendments include: a parent to provide proper notification of relocation; the court's decision would take into account family violence and its impact on future parenting arrangements; establishing more tools to enforce child support; more accessibility and efficiency of the family justice system to ensure less time consuming and expensive visits to the court.
#Tampa, #Florida, #US, #FloridaStatehouse, #NationalRifleAssociation, #PaulNBlake, #DonaldTrump, #WhiteHouse
Tampa,FL, Feb 22 (Canadian-Media): A week after a shooter killed 17 people in Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, thousands of protesters, including many angry teenagers swarmed the Florida Capitol on Wednesday calling for changes to gun laws, and improved care for the mentally ill, media reports said.
Among the students that gathered in Florida Statehouse there were reportedly more than 100 survivors of the Feb. 14 attack who burst into lawmakers’ offices holding signs and chanting slogans and demandied to be heard.
Many protesters reportedly complained that lawmakers were not serious about reform, and they said they would oppose in future elections any legislator who accepts campaign contributions from the National Rifle Association.
According to official reports, a larger protest is being planned for Washington DC on 24 March.
Paul N Blake, Journalist for BBC World in North America had tweeted as follows:.
'And they’re off. 100 students from Parkland, Florida are headed to Tallahassee (state capital) to demand action on gun control and mental health. It’s a 7 hour journey, and several I’ve spoken to have never been to the capital, much less met their lawmakers.'
US President Donald Trump on Tuesday had reportedly called for a ban on rapid-fire "bump stock" devices.
Hundreds of teenagers from the Washington DC suburbs rallied outside at the time, some voicing support for arming teachers.
Trump listened to pleas for gun reform on Wednesday from about 40 students, teachers and families in the executive mansion's state dining room.
Teachers carrying a concealed gun could end attacks "very quickly", Trump was reported to state..
"It's not going to be talk like it's been in the past," he said.
Andrew Pollack, whose daughter Meadow died in last week's attack was reported to say "We, as a country, failed our children."
"It should've been one school shooting and we should've fixed it. And I'm pissed. It's my daughter I'm not going to see again," he went on to say.
At his White House event, Trump promised to look "very strongly" at calls for educators to be armed with guns.
"If you had a teacher who was adept at firearms," Trump said, "they could very well end the attack very quickly."
"Where a teacher would have a concealed gun on them," he said, while acknowledging the plan was controversial, "they would go for special training and they would be there, and you would no longer have a gun-free zone.
Trump tweeted to state: 'I never said “give teachers guns” like was stated on Fake News @CNN & @NBC. What I said was to look at the possibility of giving “concealed guns to gun adept teachers with military or special training experience - only the best. 20% of teachers, a lot, would now be able to....immediately fire back if a savage sicko came to a school with bad intentions. Highly trained teachers would also serve as a deterrent to the cowards that do this. Far more assets at much less cost than guards. A “gun free” school is a magnet for bad people. ATTACKS WOULD END!'
Throughout his presidential campaign he endorsed the idea of an armed citizenry as a defence against attacks.
(Reporting by Asha Bajaj)
Donald Trump: Facebook
#Toronto-DominionBank, #G7countries #CanadianImperialBankofCommerce, #DonaldTrump, #U.S.Taxreformpackage, #taxcutsandjobsact, #TCJA, #NAFTA, #Bill Morneau, #Toronto, #Canada
Washington, Feb 14 (Canadian-Media): This week's report by analysts from both Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD) and the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC) highlighted that U.S. recent tax reform package has caused Canadian businesses to lose their competitive advantage to their U.S. peers, media reports said.
"Canada's formerly favourable position in corporate taxation has eroded considerably, with the U.S. now holding the edge," said economists at TD.
"[Tax reforms] along with growing NAFTA uncertainties, increases the likelihood of a slow bleed of investment from Canada to south of the border," they said.
It was also pointed out by strategists at CIBC that a lower tax rate in the U.S. could negatively impact Canada's economy by making U.S. peers more competitive on mergers and acquisitions.
"With a revitalized tax code, CEOs have another reason to locate in, or worse yet, relocate to the US," Ian de Verteuil of CIBC was reported to state.
U.S. tax reform bill worth $1.5-trillion, known as the tax cuts and jobs act (TCJA), had reduced the U.S. corporate income tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent - the biggest change to the U.S. tax code in over 30 years and other business owners get a 20 percent deduction on business income.
U.S. reportedly had one of the highest business tax rates among G7 countries, prior to this law, which had not declined over the past 20 years.
Canada, on the other hand, had one of the lowest corporate tax rates in the group and rates had been declining consistently for several years.
"For Canadian companies, the focus has so far been on companies that win from the lower overall level – because they have large U.S. operations and were accruing taxes at a higher rate," Verteuil was reported to state.
Derek Burleton, economist at TD reportedly said that present circumstances has necessitated Canadian government to take action in the upcoming budget.
"We do not believe that a tit-for-tat reduction in tax rates is necessary to guard against these risks, since taxes form only one part of the competitiveness equation," Burleton was reported to state.
"Maintaining longer term fiscal sustainability, increasing the efficiency of tax systems through revenue-neutral tax reforms and well-thought-out investment in human capital and skills training can achieve the similar aim of improving competitiveness," he added.
Bill Morneau, Canada's Finance Minister would reportedly meet with leading economists in Toronto on Friday for a pre-budget consultation.
(Reporting by Asha Bajaj)
#AhmedHussen, #CanadianCitizenshipAct, #Bill C-6
Ottawa, Oct 6 (Canadian-Media): Federal Refugees and Citizenship Minister, Ahmed Hussen, announced Wednesday at an event in Brampton, Ontario that more relaxed rules for obtaining Canadian citizenship will take effect on Oct. 11, Immigration, media reports said.
"As a country that's committed to the settlement and integration of newcomers successfully so they can restart their lives and make contributions to our society, we have to ensure the path to citizenship for permanent residents," Hussen was quoted by the media, CBCNews reports said.
Ahmed Hussen: Facebook
The new rules said that requirement for the people's physical presence in Canada would be reduced from four out of six yearsto three out of five years.
Temporary workers and students would be given credit for portion of time spent in Canada before permanent resident status and will count toward residency requirements.
The new rule also signified the reduction of the age range for language and knowledge requirements would be reduced from the previous requirement of 14 to 64 to 18 to 54 years old.
Applicants must file Canadian income taxes, according to new rules, if required to do so under the Income Tax Act, for three out of five years, matching the new physical presence requirement.
These changes are part of changes of the Citizenship Act, Bill C-6, which passed in the House of Commons in June.
Bill C-6, according to official reports is an Act to amend the Citizenship Act and to make consequential amendments to another Act.
(Reporting by Asha Bajaj)
#JodyWilson-Raybould, #StephanieVallée, #Ottawa, #Ontario, #HubertSacy, #MartinVézina, #JoyceReynolds, #MichaelSpratt, #FrancoisMeunier
Ottawa, Aug 9 (Canadian-Media): The federal Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould announced yesterday to consider lowering the legal alcohol limit for licensed drivers to .05 percent from .08 percent but her proposal opposed was by many who said lowering the legal alcohol limit for licensed drivers was not a solution for reducing drunk driving, media reports said.
Wilson-Raybould had written to Quebec Justice Minister Stephanie Vallée in May with suggestions to lower the legal alcohol limit for licensed drivers professing that the change would enable to fight drunk driving, CBCNews reports said.
Jody Wilson-Raybould: Facebook
But, Hubert Sacy, the director of Éduc'alcool did not reportedly agree with Wilson-Raybould’s proposal and said other preventive measures should be taken on the provincial level -- including increasing awareness among drivers that they will be caught if they drink over the limit -- before making any legal changes.
The number of roadblocks should also be increased, said Sacy, and restaurant and bar servers should be empowered to stop drunk patrons from driving.
Joyce Reynolds, a spokeswoman for Restaurants of Canada, which has about 30,000 members, reportedly said according to evidence vast majority of impaired drivers who cause deaths had twice the legal limit of alcohol in their bloodstream.
More recent research indicated that this data underestimated the fatal crash risk, Wilson-Raybould said Tuesday, and added the risk is almost double at 50mg, and almost triple at 80mg, and rises above that level.
In a separate statement to the media, she said impaired driving was the leading criminal cause of killing and injuring thousands in Canada each year.
Although Michael Spratt, an Ottawa criminal defence lawyer reportedly acknowledged that lowering the blood-alcohol limit would save lives, but he said it could overload the courts with new cases.
According to Statistics Canada’s report on drunk-driving incidents in 2015 -- the last year for which data was available -- was the lowest in 30 years.
The proposal to lower limit coincides with the federal government’s preparation to legalize marijuana use next summer.
When a new law on marijuana use and distribution was introduced in April, it also gave police the right to demand a breath sample from any driver at roadside instead of suspecting a driver had been drinking.
Francois Meunier, who works for an association that represents restaurateurs in Quebec reportedly said new rules would not only impact alcohol sales but food sales.
Martin Vézina of the Quebec Restaurant Association was also worried, said reports, that proposal of a lower limit of blood-alcohol level would discourage potential patrons from going to restaurants and bars which would impact both alcohol and food sales.
(Reporting by Asha Bajaj)