Contributor’s Links post for March 12, 2019

Daily Links Post graphic

Each day at just after midnight Eastern, a post like this one is created for contributors and readers of this site to upload news links and video links on the issues that concern this site. Most notably, Islam and its effects on Classical Civilization, and various forms of leftism from Soviet era communism, to postmodernism and all the flavours of galloping statism and totalitarianism such as Nazism and Fascism which are increasingly snuffing out the classical liberalism which created our near, miraculous civilization the West has been building since the time of Socrates.

This document was written around the time this site was created, for those who wish to understand what this site is about. And while our understanding of the world and events has grown since then, the basic ideas remain sound and true to the purpose.

So please post all links, thoughts and ideas that you feel will benefit the readers of this site to the comments under this post each day. And thank you all for your contributions.

This is the new Samizdat. We muse use it while we can.

About Eeyore

Canadian artist and counter-jihad and freedom of speech activist as well as devout Schrödinger's catholic

129 Replies to “Contributor’s Links post for March 12, 2019”

  1. Facebook imposes block on links to Zero Hedge
    Tyler Durden, Zero Hedge March 11, 2019

    [Ed. – Ideological censorship watch. We don’t aggregate much from Zero Hedge, which can tend at times to the conspiracist corner (where left and right aren’t always distinguishable, incidentally). But they do pick up on some good stuff from more mainstream sources, and they’re perfectly harmless. Embargoing their links at Facebook is an effort at thought control.]

  2. To Disarm North Korea, Hit Hard on Human Rights

    by Gordon G. Chang
    March 12, 2019 at 5:00 am

    “I’m in such a horrible position, because in one way I have to negotiate,” U.S. President Donald Trump said at CPAC on March 2, while talking about efforts to disarm North Korea. “In the other way, I love Mr. and Mrs. Warmbier, and I love Otto.”

    Trump believes he faces a dilemma: that his efforts on behalf of the parents of Otto Warmbier — the University of Virginia student whom North Korean authorities detained, brutalized and killed — undermine his ability to take away nuclear weapons from Kim Jong Un, the leader of that horrific regime.

    The president at CPAC summed up his perceived predicament this way: “It’s a very, very delicate balance.”

    But is there really a “delicate balance”? Trump and predecessors have thought they should not vigorously raise human rights concerns while negotiating on various matters with the ruling Kim dynasty of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK).

    American leaders have been wrong. The best way to get what we want from North Korea, whether it be “denuclearization” or anything else, is to reverse decades of Washington thinking and raise the issue of human rights loudly and incessantly. The same is true with regard to North Korea’s sponsor and only formal ally, the People’s Republic of China.

  3. Amnesty calls on Yemen to tackle child rape (memo, Mar 12, 2019)

    “Children as young as eight were raped in the besieged Yemeni city of Taiz, Amnesty International said yesterday, pointing out that the suspects are militiamen backed by the Saudi-led coalition who have not yet been held accountable.

    The rights watchdog reported the families of the four boys as saying that their children had been assaulted over the past eight months, adding that they had reported the assaults to the Taiz Criminal Investigation Department, but the local authorities did not take action.

    “A pattern of impunity and reprisals has thus far discouraged families from reporting these incidents, especially since suspects are reported to be politically aligned with the local Islahi-controlled authorities,” it said…”

  4. Algeria activist: Saudi, UAE want us to abort popular movement (memo, Mar 12, 2019)

    “The founding member of the opposition Algerian Rashad movement, former diplomat Mohamed Larbi Zitout accused Saudi Arabia and the UAE of working to thwart the popular movement demanding President Abdelaziz Bouteflika not to run for a fifth presidential term.

    “Saudi Arabia and the UAE stand against the Algerian people’s aspirations and want to destroy their revolution and spread chaos in the country, as they did in Libya, Egypt and Syria,” Zitout told Al-Khaleej Online on Sunday.

    “The rulers of Saudi Arabia and the UAE are at the heart of the counterrevolution, and they have destroyed popular uprisings in a number of Arab countries whose people wanted to rise up against injustice and tyranny, because they know that any popular system will bring them down, because they exist without a popular base,” Zitout said.

    He pointed out that the Algerian people began to mention Saudi Arabia and the UAE in public, so they have to retreat and move away from Algeria, adding “we want to determine our own destiny, and we do not want anyone to attack us”.”

    • An MB “counterrevolution” in Algeria means revolution all over the place. How’d Egypt work out?
      And Algeria is a whole lot closer to Europe, too many hyphenated Algerians living in the EU.
      Is NATO paying attention?

  5. Rights group highlights sexual violence against Syrian men (memo, Mar 12, 2019)

    “The plight of men and boys in Syria who have experienced sexual violence is going unrecognised, a new report by Lawyers and Doctors for Human Rights (LDHR) has highlighted this week.

    Based on findings from over 135 medical reports and 15 individual case studies, the LDHR finds that 87 per cent of men in Syria’s jails have reported some form of sexual violence – nearly half of those affected had experienced more than one form of assault.

    Narrating incidents of rape, forced sterilisation, forced nudity, genital violence as well as other equally grave forms of torture, the rights group notes that such endemic persecution constitutes a crime against humanity.

    The men interviewed range in age from 20 to 56, with some having been detained as early as 2011, at the beginning of the country’s civil uprising. The average duration of detention was found to be close to 18 months, with the detainees held in numerous security, military and intelligence facilitate, in Homs, Aleppo, Hama, Tadmur, Latakia and Damascus and elsewhere.

    LDHR found that the prisoners were usually transferred between multiple facilities during their torture…”

  6. WikiLeaks: UK, Saudi traded votes to secure UN position (memo, Mar 12, 2019)

    “A new WikiLeaks document has raised suspicion over the appointment of Saudi Arabia – one of the world’s worst human rights offenders – to oversee the UN Human Rights Council. The international non-profit organisation that publishes secret information, news leaks, and classified media has uncovered secret documents showing that the UK had a major role in the controversial decision.

    According to documents released last month by WikiLeaks under the headline: “What has WikiLeaks revealed about David Cameron and the Conservatives”, the UK engaged in secret vote-trading with Riyadh to ensure both states were elected to the UN body. It also suspects that payments may have been made to get the Saudis appointed to the coveted position.

    One of the cables outlines the agreement, saying: “The ministry might find it an opportunity to exchange support with the United Kingdom, where the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia would support the candidacy of the United Kingdom to the membership of the council for the period 2014-2015 in exchange for the support of the United Kingdom to the candidacy of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.”

    Another cable shows that Saudi Arabia transferred $100,000 for “expenditures resulting from the campaign to nominate the Kingdom for membership of the human rights council for the period 2014-2016.” It is unclear where or how this money was spent.

    The Saudi cables also reveal Saudi meddling in Bahrain’s internal affairs during the latter’s brutal crackdown on the opposition in 2011. The Saudi government is said to have sent a letter to the British Foreign Secretary at the time, William Hague, and a duplicate letter to the US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, asking them to intervene in lifting the arms embargo on Bahrain, claiming the country was facing serious security challenges and violent acts supported by other regional forces.

    Details of David Cameron’s disastrous handing of the Libyan invasion were also released in the same document. As the war was still raging, in September 2011, a US cable reveals that Cameron and his French counterpart Nicolas Sarkozy were both jockeying for their oil companies to be rewarded by the new Libyan government due to their role in the war. Adviser to US presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, Sidney Blumenthal noted:

    The two leaders, in private conversations, also intend to press the leaders of the NTC [National Transitional Council] to reward their early support for the rebellion against Muammar Al-Qaddafi. Sarkozy and Cameron expect this recognition to be tangible, in the form of favourable contracts for French and British energy companies looking to play a major role in the Libyan oil industry.

    The cable continued: “Cameron appears most concerned that despite British support for the rebels during the fighting, certain members of the NTC remain focused on the fact that the British government and oil industry had good relations with the Qaddafi regime, particularly the firm British petroleum (BP).”

    READ: British MPs attack Cameron over Libya’s ‘collapse’

    Revelations that are likely to raise serious questions about British intentions in the build up to the Libyan war shows that the UK’s intention was always to overthrow Gaddafi and the UN resolution was mere window dressing. Cameron admitted that deposing Gaddafi was illegal when he told Parliament on 21 March 2011 that UN resolution 1973, authorising the use of force, “explicitly does not provide legal authority for action to bring about Gaddafi’s removal from power by military means.” Despite this acknowledgment the decision to remove Gaddafi is said to have been agreed secretly three weeks prior to the UN Resolution.

    A report by the UK Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee offered harsh criticism of Britain’s 2011 military campaign in Libya. The UK is found to have based its intervention into in the Civil War in Libya on flawed intelligence and said that it bears responsibility for accelerating the country’s descent into economic and political turmoil.”

  7. US, Taliban peace talks end with no deal in Qatar (memo, Mar 12, 2019)

    “The fifth round of peace talks between the US and Afghan Taliban ended on Tuesday without reaching a final deal, officials said, Anadolu Agency reports.

    The talks in Qatar’s capital Doha lasted for 16 days.

    “Just finished a marathon round of talks with the Taliban in #Doha. The conditions for #peace have improved. It’s clear all sides want to end the war. Despite ups and downs, we kept things on track and made real strides,” US top envoy Zalmay Khalilzad tweeted after the meeting ended.

    “Peace requires agreement on four issues: counter-terrorism assurances, troop withdrawal, intra-Afghan dialogue, and a comprehensive ceasefire. In January talks, we “agreed in principle” on these four elements. We’re now “agreed in draft” on the first two,” he added.

    He said once an agreement on the withdrawal of troops and counter-terror measures is finalized, negotiations on the other two issues will begin.

    “My next step is discussions in Washington and consultations with other partners. We will meet again soon, and there is no final agreement until everything is agreed,” Khalilzad concluded.

    In a separate statement, Afghan Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said that extensive talks were held on two previously agreed-upon issues.

    “Those two issues were the withdrawal of all foreign forces from Afghanistan and preventing anyone from harming others from Afghan soil; how and when will all foreign forces exit Afghanistan and through what method?” he said in a statement.

    The talks are aimed at ending the 17-year war with Afghanistan.

    The US wants to include the Afghan government in the talks but the Taliban refuse to recognize Kabul.

    “No agreement was reached regarding a ceasefire and talks with the Kabul administration, nor were other issues made as part of the current agenda. Reports by some media outlets in this regard are baseless,” Mujahid concluded.

    Afghanistan has maintained that any peace process in the country should be owned and led by its people.”

  8. UN points to grave conditions of Al-Hol camp, Syria (memo, Mar 12, 2019)

    “The UN on Tuesday expressed grave concern over humanitarian conditions of YPG/PKK-held Al-Hol camp in northeastern Syria, Anadolu Agency reports.

    Babor Baloch, spokesman for UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), speaking at a news conference in Geneva, said that the humanitarian situation in Al-Hol camp was desperate.

    He said that the UN and NGOs were working to provide humanitarian aid to the needy 65,000 people taking shelter in the camp.

    Tarik Jasarevic, spokesman of World Health Organization (WHO), said he was worried about the health conditions in the camp.

    He pointed out that 106 children had died upon their arrival or on their way to the camp since 2018, adding hundreds of children in the Syrian city of Hasakah were taken to hospitals in the same time.

    Jasarevic complained about insufficient health facilities in the camp and noted that the civilians faced great challenges.

    Herve Verhoosel, spokesman of World Food Program (WFP), stressed that the organization was worried about tens of thousands of people in Al-Hol camp.

    Stating that the camp had reached its full capacity with 65,000 civilians taking refuge, he went on to say they did not know the exact number of people who had died in the camp.

    Joel Millman, spokesman of International Organization for Migration (IOM), declined to comment on the civilian casualties and YPG/PKK’s attitude toward the camp residents…”

  9. Hundreds surrender as Islamic State nears defeat in last enclave (reuters, Mar 12, 2019)

    “Islamic State faced imminent defeat in its final enclave on Tuesday as hundreds of jihadist fighters and their families surrendered and the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces said the battle was as good as over…”

  10. Moroccan Farmworkers Denounce ‘Slavery’ in France (moroccoworldnews, Mar 12, 2019)

    “Four Moroccan agricultural workers in France have filed complaints against their employers for exploiting them.

    The Moroccan workers testified yesterday at French labor court, the Conseil de Prud’hommes in Arles, southern France, saying their conditions were close to “slavery.”

    The workers, three women and one man, who came to France as temporary workers with a Spanish temp agency named Laboral Terra, are demanding a requalification in their employment contract to make it open-ended, known in France and Morocco as “CDI.”

    The workers, aged 36-48, harvested fruits and vegetables but accused their employers of overworking them. They explained that they do not get paid overtime, paid leave, or compensation for work accidents, a violation of the French labor code.

    One of the women plaintiffs told French news outlet France3 that their situation is “no longer temporary work but slavery.”

    “Many other people were in the same situation but did not dare to speak for fear of being sent back to their countries,” she stated.

    It is the second time that the same workers have come before the labor court to testify about their situation. They met their employers in trial in October and yesterday, they came to hear the court’s decision.

    The Spanish temp agency, however, said that the workers’ complaints were way out of proportion to the problem.

    The situation, albeit not including sexual assault complaints, is reminiscent of the situation of Moroccan seasonal workers in Spain who filed complaints against their employers for sexual assault in May 2018.

    The assault complaints made international headlines and prompted Morocco’s Ministry of Employment to carry out an investigation on the Spanish farms and take precautions by sending commissions to Spain this year to avoid a repeat of last year’s sexual assaults.”

  11. 100 Teens Chant ‘Geert Wilders,’ Attack Moroccan Family in Netherlands (moroccoworldnews, Mar 12, 2019)

    “Being barged in on and beaten by nearly 100 teenagers in their own home was not how the Boukhizzou family imagined spending Monday evening.

    The Moroccan family experienced a vicious attack at their home in Urk, the Netherlands. As the mother tried to defend her family, the attackers hit her and injured her daughter, throwing rocks and fireworks. But their main target was the Moroccan family’s 18-year-old son, Soufyan.

    The attackers shouted “Geert Wilders” while they attacked the family.

    Geert Wilders is a Dutch anti-Islamist and far-right politician. The attackers invoking Wilders’ name suggests to some that their motives were “racist” or Islamophobic, as Dutch media have reported.

    Wilders holds special political discontent with Islam and Moroccans. The anti-migration MP has sparked outrage multiple times, especially when he called all Moroccan migrants “scum” two years ago and said he wanted to make the Netherlands “ours again.”

    Local residents, however, alleged that Soufyan had offended the girlfriend of one of his neighbors.

    “You shouldn’t do that as a Moroccan,” a Dutch lady told the Dutch daily newspaper Algemeen Dagblad, referring to Soufyan.

    There are, however, two sides to the story. While the Moroccan family’s neighbors criticized Soufyan’s “offensive” behavior towards the girlfriend, Soufyan said the attack was fueled by “revenge” and built on “misunderstandings.”

    Soufyan, who was born in Urk, said that a fellow Dutchman beat him up two years ago. When Soufyan’s mother reported it to the police, officers never followed up with the family.

    The teenager said that his family is misunderstood, emphasizing that he did not receive any compensation for the attack from two years ago.

    “People think we received a compensation for it because my father bought a Mercedes a while ago.”

    Soufyan said that earlier on Monday, someone had warned him of the impending attack. He sensed that someone was pursuing him throughout the day.

    Soufyan tried to hide at a bar but was relieved when he saw a police car driving nearby and requested the policeman to take him home.

    “Soon after, a large group of angry young people were at the door” of his house, he told Dutch media.

    The police, who soon intervened to disperse the mob with batons,

    advised Soufyan, his parents, and sister Ilham to stay at home. The family fears that they will be attacked if they go outside.

    “We are not safe. We are terrified,” Soufyan stated.

    An investigation is underway into the real motives behind the violence.

    There have been numerous notorious anti-Islamic acts in the Netherlands, the most recent of which was against a mosque in Hague—frequented by Moroccan worshippers—by the German group Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamization of the West (Pegida).

    Pegida hung a banner with an obscene message insulting Prophet Muhammed (PBUH) at the entrance of the As-Sunnah Mosque next to a mannequin dressed in traditional male Arab dress with a bearded face covered in dark paint.”

  12. Portugal to take 1000 refugees stranded in Greece (khaama, Mar 12, 2019)

    “Following the conclusion of an for the relocation of one thousand refugees from Greek Camps, around 100 refugees are due to relocated to Portugal in the first phase of the resettlement program, it has been reported.

    The Migration Minister of Greece Dimitris Vitsas announced Friday that 100 refugees would be relocated in the first phase of the program, to include individuals with a right to asylum.

    In a statement posted in his official Facebook page, Vitsas announced that the first 100 refugees to be transferred in the “pilot phase” will be mainly families and other vulnerable persons “granted and/or seeking international protection who are currently in camps.”

    The initial agreement for the resettlement of 1000 refugees to Portugal concluded in October between Greek officials and Portuguese interior minister Eduardo Cabrita.

    The draft agreement was then referred to European Commission for arranging funds for the program which subsequently was approved, according to Vitsas.

    According to agreement, the asylum seekers would be interviewed by Portuguese authorities after submitting their application for asylum in Greece.”

  13. Turkey to grant citizenship to Ah?ska Turks in the US (hurriyetdailynews, Mar 12, 2019)

    “Turkey will grant citizenship to Meskhetian Turks, also known as Ah?ska Turks, who are already U.S. citizens, foreign minister said on March 11.

    “Turkey will offer double-citizenship to the Ah?ska Turks who are already U.S. citizens and living in the U.S.,” Mevlüt Çavu?o?lu said at an event in the Mediterranean branch of World Union of Ah?ska Turks in Antalya.

    Turkey will coordinate with the World Ah?ska Turks Association during the process, he added.

    Çavu?o?lu said that Turkey also granted citizenship to Ah?ska Turks living in Turkey.

    Some 92,307 Ah?ska Turks were expelled from Georgia’s Meskheti region by Soviet leader Joseph Stalin in 1944, according to the World Ah?ska Turks Association.

    During nearly 40 days of deportation period from homeland to Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan, around 13,000 Ah?ska Turks lost their lives due to hunger, cold weather and diseases, the association said.

    Turkey has voluntarily accepted thousands of Meskhetian Turks upon President Recep Tayyip Erdo?an’s instruction.

    Around half a million of Ah?ska Turks live in Turkey, Kazakhstan, Russia, Azerbaijan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, the U.S. and Ukraine.”

  14. Muslim congresswomen criticize Saudi Arabia on Yemen (aa, Mar 12, 2019)

    “Congress’ two Muslim female lawmakers on Tuesday called out Saudi Arabia and criticized the U.S. for supplying the kingdom with weapons for its war in Yemen.

    “Saudi Arabia is consistently ranked among the worst human rights abusers in the world and is responsible for famine/cholera outbreak in Yemen. Yet it is the top buyer of U.S.-made weapons,” congresswoman Ilhan Omar said in a tweet. “Why is Donald Trump siding with weapons manufacturers over human rights activists?”

    U.S. lawmakers have recently taken up more efforts to criticize U.S. President Donald Trump for his continued support for Saudi Arabia’s war efforts in Yemen, which has left the country in ruins and created one of the worst humanitarian catastrophes in the world…”

  15. Turkey trains Gambian protocol officers for OIC summit (aa, Mar 12, 2019)

    “Turkish government organized a protocol training program for dozens of Gambian officers ahead of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) summit slated for November.

    The Turkish team — led by Emre Zeki Karagol, deputy director general for protocol at the Turkish Foreign Ministry, included colleagues Yigithan Ozden and Turgay Dagistanli.

    Two-days program ended on Tuesday. Among 58 participants were security officials and media officers…”

  16. Turkish police arrest 45 FETO suspects (aa, Mar 12, 2019)

    “Turkish security forces arrested 45 suspects Tuesday for alleged links to the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO), said a judicial source.

    The Istanbul Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office had earlier issued arrest warrants for 102 suspects for allegedly using ByLock, an encrypted cellphone app used by FETO coup plotters.

    Following the warrants, the police counter-terrorism department held 45 suspects, said the source, who asked not to be named due to restrictions on speaking to the media.

    Operations are continuing to arrest the remaining suspects.

    FETO and its U.S.-based leader Fetullah Gulen orchestrated the defeated coup of July 15, 2016, which left 251 people martyred and nearly 2,200 injured.

    Turkey accuses FETO of being behind a long-running campaign to overthrow the state through the infiltration of Turkish institutions, particularly the military, police and judiciary.”

  17. the guardian – Isis releases video of fighters in Baghouz as war reaches final days

    Islamic State fighters have released a video from the Syrian town of Baghouz as the five-year war reaches its final days.

    The video urges their followers to remain steadfast as Kurdish forces edge towards the pocket of ruins that shelters the remaining Isis diehards.

    It is one of a few videos released by the militant group in recent months. Its tone is a far cry from the militant group’s earlier productions, which boasted of victories in taking over around a third of Syria and Iraq at the height of its powers in 2014 and summoned followers from around the world to join a growing society

    • Syria: Militants and their families surrender to SDF near Baghouz

      Footage filmed on Tuesday allegedly shows what Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) described as Islamic State militants and their family members surrendering near the last IS stronghold in Syria, Baghouz.

      Scores of injured men, women and children are filmed being helped up mountainside. Later food is distributed amongst them and they are driven off on vans and trucks.

      This follows Baghouz being heavily pounded by the coalition forces overnight.

      Head of the SDF Press Office in northern Syria, Mustafa Bali, said on twitter that 3,000 IS fighters and their families surrendered to the SDF since Monday.

      The SDF says the operation against the last IS stronghold started on March 1, after nearly 15,000 IS members surrendered with their families. It was then paused on March 4, as more wanted to surrender.

      It is estimated that up to 10,000 IS members and their families surrendered between March 4 and 10, according to the SDF.

    • DAILY MAIL –Iraq agrees to take back 20,000 ISIS wives and their children being held at refugee camps in Syria

      Thousands of people have streamed out of the besieged enclave at Baghouz
      Most have gone to al-Hol in northeast Syria where some 65,000 people now live
      They are expected to be sent home in weeks under an agreement with Baghdad

  18. London bloodbath: Horror as three men in their 20s stabbed in Brixton BRAWL (express, Mar 13, 2019)

    “A BRUTAL brawl broke in a Brixton nightclub last night leaving three men with stab wound injuries one of whom is fighting for his life.

    The victims, all in their 20s, were stabbed at the Electric Brixton Nightclub on Town Hall Parade.

    One man is thought to be in a life-threatening condition.

    Police were called to the scene at 10.30pm after a fight broke out at the nightclub.

    More to follow…”

  19. Gangs force children to take knives to SCHOOL for the ‘sole purpose’ of getting them expelled and pushing them into crime, Ofsted warns (dailymail, Mar 12, 2019)

    “Gangs are forcing children to carry knives into school ‘for the sole purpose’ of getting them expelled, Ofsted has warned.

    Many schools have a zero-tolerance policy on weapons, meaning anyone caught with a blade is automatically excluded.

    The watchdog said once this happens, youngsters with no daily routine are ‘groomed’ for a life of crime.

    Gangs often want children to transport weapons or work as drug runners as they raise less suspicion than adults.

    Ofsted urged schools to consider why children had knives before kicking them out – and highlighted the possibility of pupils being ‘coached by dangerous adults to get themselves excluded’.

    It also pointed out that some children with mental health issues might bring in knives to self-harm, and should be given special consideration.

    The comments came in a study published by Ofsted yesterday focusing on London, which is rife with knife crime. It noted that children can be both a ‘perpetrator’ and a ‘victim’.

    ‘Parents told us that their children had been encouraged by adult gang members to carry weapons into school for the sole purpose of triggering an exclusion,’ the researchers found…”

  20. NATIONAL POST – As SNC-Lavalin affair simmered, Trudeau flew to Florida for a break
    The prime minister was spotted on North Captiva Island, a remote tourist destination accessible only by charter boat

    As another round of SNC-Lavalin revelations broke over the weekend, Justin Trudeau was spotted taking a breather in a remote corner of Southwest Florida.

    “Canada’s prime minister, embroiled in a political scandal, is now escaping to Southwest Florida,” announced NBC 2, a local news affiliate who got exclusive word of the visiting national leader.

    The broadcaster dispatched a reporter to North Captiva Island, a largely recreational island where Trudeau reportedly rented two large homes for his family and entourage For much of the prime minister’s visit, the affiliate also kept up a live feed on the prime ministerial plane, a “maple-leaf-emblazoned” Bombardier Challenger parked at Page Field, a small airport close to Fort Myers, Florida.

    North Captiva Island is accessible only by charter boat, and cars are banned, with the only motorized transportation being golf carts. However, Trudeau appears to have been brought to the island by a vessel with U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

    The NBC2 report described a team of 40 “Secret Service” protecting the prime minister and his familyfrom a fleet of golf carts. Trudeau’s typical bodyguards are plainclothes RCMP who closely resemble the Secret Service details that typically surround U.S. presidents and VIPs.

    However, as a visiting dignitary, it’s possible that Trudeau was supplied with U.S. Secret Service agents for added protection. His visit did indeed pull in assistance from local law enforcement, including a marine unit of the local Lee County sheriff’s office.

    Trudeau is one of approximately 3.5 million Canadians who visit Florida every year. Canadians also constitute 27 per cent of the state’s foreign real estate buyers, purchasing $7 billion in Florida properties in 2017 alone.

    The state is also notable as the frequent weekend getaway for the incumbent U.S. president, with Donald Trump’s Mar-A-Lago resort located almost directly east of North Captiva Island on Florida’s east coast.

    The Trudeau family itself has long ties to Florida, with Orlando being where Justin’s grandfather, Charles-Émile Trudeau, died of a heart attack in 1935 while touring with the Montreal Royals baseball team, of whom he was a part owner.

    While the Canadian public is normally informed of Trudeau’s whereabouts, all bets are off when he takes private vacations. For a similar Florida vacation in early 2018, officials in the prime minister’s office said only that he was “spending private time with his family in Florida.”

    On Monday at approximately 6 p.m., the prime ministerial Challenger jet was seen departing Page Field.

    • CBC – Ethics watchdog probing SNC-Lavalin affair taking ‘prolonged’ medical leave

      Mario Dion ‘will resume his duties as soon as he is able,’ says his office

      Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner Mario Dion, the man looking into potential violations of federal ethics rules in the SNC-Lavalin affair, is stepping away temporarily from his duties for health reasons.

      A statement issued by his office today says Dion will be away for a “PROLONGED PERIOD for medical reasons.”

      “Commissioner Dion will resume his duties as soon as he is able to do so,” says the release. “We hope you will join employees of the Office in expressing our best wishes for Commissioner Dion’s health. We would request continued respect for the privacy of Commissioner Dion and his family at this time.”

      Dion’s office said it will continue to gather information on ongoing investigations and offer MPs and other public office holders advice.

      “Despite these exceptional circumstances, the work of the Office will continue,” says the statement.

      Last month, Dion announced he’d investigate claims that the Prime Minister’s Office pressured former attorney general Jody Wilson-Raybould to help Quebec engineering firm SNC-Lavalin avoid criminal prosecution.

      The NDP asked the ethics watchdog to look into the matter after a Globe and Mail report alleged the PMO wanted Wilson-Raybould to direct federal prosecutors to draft a “deferred prosecution agreement” (DPA) — a deal akin to a plea bargain — to avoid taking SNC-Lavalin to trial on bribery and fraud charges.

      Dion said there was sufficient cause to investigate Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for a possible contravention of Section 9 of the Conflict of Interest Act. That section prohibits any official responsible for high level decision-making in government from seeking to influence the decision of another person to “improperly further another person’s private interests.”

      A spokesperson for Dion’s office said the Speaker of the House of Commons and the Privy Council Office have been told of Dion’s absence.

      Dion took over the job in early 2018.

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