#DeathSentence; #murder; #SecretTrialHearings; #SaudiArabia; #JamalKhashoggi
Saudi Arabia, Dec 23 (Canadian-Media): Five people have been sentenced to death by Saudi Arabia for the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, but the two most senior officials implicated in the case, including an adviser to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, were cleared of wrongdoing, media reports said.
Washington Post columnist, Khashoggi's murder soon after he entered at the Saudi consulate to obtain documents that would allow him to remarry, drew international condemnation.
His body was dismembered and his remains have not been found.
The sentence was announced after more than one year long trial was held in secrecy, with sessions closed to the general public. Human rights groups warned that the lack of transparency made the proceedings unfair, and increased the likelihood that senior officials could escape justice.
Amnesty International called Monday's verdict as "a whitewash" and accused Saudi officials of failing the slain journalist and his family.
"This verdict ... brings neither justice nor the truth for Jamal Khashoggi and his loved ones. The trial has been closed to the public and to independent monitors, with no information available as to how the investigation was carried out," Lynn Maalouf, Amnesty International's Middle East Research Director, said in a statement.
#USPresidentDonaldTrumpFormallyCharged; #HouseOfRepresentatives; #Impeachment
New York, Dec 19 (Canadian-Media): Formal charges for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress were laid by U.S. House of Representatives Wednesday on Donald Trump, the third U.S. president to be impeached, media reports said.
Trump's abuse of power related to allegedly pressuring the president of Ukraine to investigate his Democratic rivals while crucial U.S. security aid was being withheld and his obstruction of Congress related to stonewalling investigative efforts.
During the trial in the Republican-controlled Senate, it would be decided by the lawmakers if Trump would be to convicted and removed from office.
Trump's impeachment occurred 85 days after the announcement opening of the impeachment inquiry by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
During Trump's trial, the Senate would decide about Trump's conviction and his removal from office when Congress returns to Washington in early January.
Trump tweeted repeatedly about the impeachment proceedings against him on Wednesday and said,
"The House Democrats are surrendering the majority, their dignity," Trump said at a rally in Michigan after learning he'd officially been impeached. "They look like a bunch of fools."
# Turkey, # RecepTayyipErdogan
Ankara, Dec 16 (Canadian-Media): Closure of two military bases where US soldiers are stationed by Turkey would be done if needed, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said in a televised interview with ATV broadcaster on late Sunday, media reports said.
Recep Tayyip Erdogan (right)/Twitter
"We regret that the polarization in US domestic politics has had negative consequences on us and that some groups abuse developments of our country for their own interests in order to weaken (U.S. President Donald) Trump," he said.
A unanimously passed resolution, by US Senate on Thursday to formally recognizes the Ottoman Empire's killings of the Armenian people Ottoman Empire from 1915 to 1923, as genocide.
Fearing the fury of Turkey, the passage of the resolution in the House of Representatives in late October had been blocked by Republican Senators several times at the request of the White House
Iraq, Dec 15 (Canadian-Media): Canadian and NATO military training missions in to train instructors at three Iraqi military schools and providing counter terrorism advice and assistance to the country's defence ministry had not been hindered by the anti-government violence including targeted killings of protesters, media reports said.
Canadian & NATO military training mission in Iraq/Twitter
Lt.-Gen. Mike Rouleau: 'The political instability doesn't hurt ISIS.' (CBC News)"There have been a number of meetings and engagements that have had to be cancelled," he said. "The lion's share of the business proceeds apace."
Although Canadians face risk of 'indirect fire, Rouleau was confident in the security measures put in place to protect Canadian troops.
Up to 850 soldiers throughout the Middle East had been deployed by the Liberal government, most of them assigned to the NATO mission and the separate U.S.-led counterterrorism campaign in Iraq.
The demotion of Abdel-Wahab al-Saadi, a prominent commander in the Iraqi counter terrorism service, to a desk job in the country's defence ministry, was the fundamental reason behind protests in Iraq, which the NATO training mission is trying to address.
Loss of over 400 lives recent resignation of the prime minister, Adel Abdul-Mahdi. are the direct results of the anti-government protests, which have grown in size and violence since October.
Continuing with the security sector reform is crucial, Rouleau said.
#Re-ElectionOfBorisJohnson; #BritishPrimeMinister; #Brexit; #EuropeanUnion
London (United Kingdom), Dec 13 (Canadian-Media): Boris Johnson's re-election as British Prime Minister on Friday considered to be a historic mandate for Brexit, which represents the country's biggest political and economic party since the Second World War, will allow him to take Britain out of the European Union by Jan. 31, media reports said.
"We will get Brexit done on time by the 31st of January, no ifs, no buts, no maybes," a triumphant Johnson told supporters at a rally in London.
"Leaving the European Union as one United Kingdom, taking back control of our laws, borders, money, our trade, immigration system, delivering on the democratic mandate of the people," he said.
'Celebrate Boris!'U.S. President Donald Trump was quick to congratulate Johnson.
"Britain and the United States will now be free to strike a massive new Trade Deal after BREXIT. This deal has the potential to be far bigger and more lucrative than any deal that could be made with the E.U.," Trump wrote on Twitter. "Celebrate Boris!"
The Conservatives had won 364, their biggest election win since Margaret Thatcher's 1987 triumph.with results in from 649 of the 650 parliamentary seats.
Britain will enter a transition period, after Jan. 31, during which it will negotiate a new relationship with the EU.
But no details were given by Johnson during his victory speech how he intended to handle Brexit after Jan. 31.
Mexico, Dec 10 (Canadian-Media): An announcement was made by U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi Tuesday about months long-overdue new agreement on the North American trade agreement (NAFTA) renegotiated deal, media reports said.
Pelosi said that the main areas of concerns of the democrats such as workers' rights, the environment and prescription drugs, had been taken care of in the renegotiation and added that the amended agreement is definitely better than the one proposed by Trump administration.
"This is a day we've all been working to, and working for on the path to yes," said Pelosi.
"There is no question, of course, that this trade agreement is much better than NAFTA, but in terms of our work here, it is infinitely better than what was initially proposed by the administration."
Canada's Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland, who flew to Mexico City, to meet with her counterparts to finalize the updated agreement, known as the Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement, or CUSMA in Canada, is expected to hold a media conference at the Canadian Embassy later Wednesday afternoon.
Freeland's team said there will a signing ceremony at 1 p.m. ET. U.S. for the modified NAFTA agreement.
Robert Lighthizer, U.S. President Donald Trump's trade representative, and Jared Kushner Trump's son-in-law and adviser, were expected to be there.
One of the main stumbling block for this long delay was fears of enforcing the new deal's higher labour and environmental standards in Mexico.
Mexican senators approved the proposed changes which were presented by Lighthizer to his Mexican counterpart Jesus Seade on Saturday.
#U.S.; #Trump'sImpeachementReports; #AbusingPowersOfOffice; #Benefit2020Re-election
New York, Dec 5 (Canadian-Media): Opposition Democrats allegedly impeached U.S. President Donald Trump had endangered US national security by having abused powers of his office by trying to "solicit foreign interference" from Ukraine to help his 2020 re-election bid, media reports said.
The Trump-Ukraine Impeachment Inquiry Report', written by the staff of the House Intelligence, Oversight and Reform and Foreign Affairs Committees, was released by the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and says that Trump had placed personal political interests above the national interests of the United States.
"The evidence is clear that President Trump used the power of his office to pressure Ukraine into announcing investigations into his political rival, former Vice President Joe Biden, and a debunked conspiracy theory that it was Ukraine, not Russia, that interfered in the 2016 election," said chairs of the three House Committees after the release the report on Tuesday.
Unfortunately the allegations of the joint statement of Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, Oversight Committee Chairwoman Carolyn B Maloney and Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Eliot Engel, that Trump conditioned official acts on the public announcement of these investigations, was immediately dismissed by the White House slamming the House Democrats for their bid to remove Trump from office.
But the three top lawmakers alleged with clear evidence about Trump's engaging in categorical obstruction in order to cover-up his misconduct, after his scheme to secure foreign help in his re-election was uncovered.
"These matters...make it plain that President Trump abused the power of his office for personal and political gain, at the expense of our national security," they alleged.
The joint statement said that Trump's actions have not only damaged our national security and undermined the integrity of the next election, but have also challenged the very core of our Constitutional system by violation of his oath of office.
#TrumpCallsTrudeauTwo-Faced; #US&CanadaRelationsStrong; #NATOSummit
London (United Kingdom), Dec 3 (Canadian-Media): Ignoring United States (U.S.) President Donald Trump's comment that Trudeau was "two-faced", Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said that Canada's relationship with the United States is "extremely strong," despite Trump calling him "two-faced", media reports said.
Donald Trump (top)/Facebook and Justin Trudeau (bottom)/Twitter
Besides defence spending, Trump and Trudeau were expected to talk about some high-profile and sensitive files during their meeting on Tuesday, including the detention of the two Canadian men in China and the progress of the new North American free trade deal.
"I think people know that the relationship between Canada and the United States is deep and goes far beyond..we have a very good and constructive relationship between me and the president...and I have a very good relationship with President Trump and his team."
Trump was late at the meeting of the world leaders gathered in London at the NATO summit and Trudeau had said, "He was late because he takes a 40-minute press conference at the top."
When asked about Trudeau's comments on Tuesday, Trump responded "he's two-faced."
"I find him to be a nice guy, but the truth is, I called him out on the fact that he's not paying two per cent and I guess he's not very happy about it," said Trump, referring to the target for spending on defence.
"So I called him out on that, and I'm sure he wasn't happy about that, but that's the way it is," said Trump, after the Trudeau video made international headlines.
"It's Canada. They have money."
#NATOSummit; #London; #JustinTrudeau
Ottawa, Dec 2 (Canadian-Media): It is expected that during the NATO summit in London, Canada would be tested on multiple fronts and would be required increase its defense spending to keep existing forces at a higher state of readiness, media reports said.
NATO, an international organization comprises the USA, Canada, Britain, and other European countries, all of whom have agreed to support one another if they are attacked.
Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau would be leaving tomorrow for NATO summit in London with his government yet undecided whether to accept Huawei's participation in the yet-to-be-established network said that Canada has already committed to increasing its defense spending but it will not meet NATO's target of two percent of the country's gross domestic product.
The Canadian navy and air force both maintain high-readiness ships and fighter aircraft for rapid deployment. The Canadian army keeps one battle group (which is slightly bigger than a battalion) trained and ready to deploy in case of an emergency.
Moreover, Canadian defense planners are faced with the problem of reinforcing Europe in an emergency because the Russian submarines would either restrict the use of sea lanes or close them.
But Robert O'Brien, recently-appointed U.S. National Security Adviser, said America expects its allies, including Canada to fall in line on security threats such as Huawei by keeping with its funding commitment.