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Trudeau consults with allies and Russia's relentless attack: In The News for Mar. 7

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 Mar.7 ... What we are watching in the world ...

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 Mar.7 ...

What we are watching in the world ...

LONDON — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is to meet with the leaders of the United Kingdom and the Netherlands today to discuss Russia's military invasion of Ukraine.

Trudeau flew to London on Sunday before his scheduled meeting today in the U.K. capital with Prime Minister Boris Johnson. They will be joined by their Dutch counterpart, Mark Rutte.

In the following days, Trudeau will also be getting together with other leaders in Riga, Latvia, Berlin and Warsaw, Poland.

In addition, the prime minister's busy agenda includes a meeting with NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg and a visit to the Latvian military base where hundreds of Canadian Forces personnel are contributing to Canada's leadership in that country of NATO's long-standing deterrence mission to bolster its eastern European flank against Russia.

Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Melanie Joly has been in Europe over the past few days in meetings with NATO and European Commission officials about ongoing efforts to sanction Russia.

International Development Minister Harjit Sajjan will also travel to Geneva and then join Trudeau in eastern Europe to meet with the United Nations and others for talks on Ukraine.

The British defence ministry said Sunday in an intelligence update that Russia's tactics in Ukraine were comparable to their previous pummeling of cities in Chechnya in 1999 and Syria in 2016 with airstrikes and artillery, after Russian forces faced unexpected resistance. The intelligence report said the strength of Ukrainian fighters continues to surprise the Russians, and that the bombing of cities, including Kharkiv, Chernihiv and Mariupol represented an effort to break Ukrainian morale.


Also this

LVIV, Ukraine — Russia has announced a cease-fire and the opening of humanitarian corridors in several areas of Ukraine after two failed attempts to evacuate civilians from the city of Mariupol.

A Russian task force said a cease-fire would start Monday morning, the 12th day of the war, for civilians from Ukraine’s capital Kyiv, the southern port city of Mariupol, Kharkiv, the second-largest city, and Sumy. It wasn’t immediately clear if fighting would stop stop beyond the areas mentioned in the task force’s statement, or when the ceasefire would end.

Hundreds of thousands of Ukrainian civilians attempting to flee to safety Sunday were forced to shelter from Russian shelling that pummeled cities in Ukraine’s center, north and south. Ukraine officials described a “catastrophic” situation during failed evacuation efforts in Kyiv’s suburbs.

Officials from both sides also planned a third round of talks Monday.

Russia and Ukraine have traded blame for the earlier failed evacuation attempts.

Evacuation routes published by Russia’s RIA Novosti news agency, citing the Defense Ministry, show that civilians will be able to leave to Russia and Belarus. Russian forces will be observing the ceasefire with drones, the task force said.

Meanwhile, Britain’s defence ministry says Russian forces made little progress on the ground in recent days but appear to be targeting Ukraine’s communications infrastructure “in order to reduce Ukrainian citizens’ access to reliable news and information.”

The ministry said on social media that Russian forces “probably made minimal ground advances over the weekend.

It said a TV tower in Kharkiv was reportedly struck Sunday, suspending broadcasting output. A TV tower in Kyiv was hit March 1.

Britain said Ukrainian internet access is also highly likely being disrupted as a result of collateral damage from Russian strikes on infrastructure.


What we are watching in Canada ...

OTTAWA — Several immigration experts and refugee advocates say countries like Canada should offer temporary safe haven to people fleeing Russian violence in Ukraine, regardless of their citizenship status.

Last Thursday the federal immigration minister announced an unlimited number of Ukrainians fleeing violence would qualify to come to Canada on a temporary basis while they figure out their next steps.

The program only applies to Ukrainian citizens for now, and not others who were in the country when Russia attacked.

The minister's office says non-citizens fleeing Ukraine will be prioritized if they apply to come to Canada under other immigration streams.

The move has been generally applauded by advocates like the Canadian Council for Refugees as a more flexible solution to bring Ukrainians to safety quickly, but they have also warned that such a policy could leave vulnerable people in dangerous situations.

Juliana Wahlgren, a member of the expert group on migration, integration, and asylum for the European Commission, says providing protection should be done on the basis of the risk, not on individuals' nationalities.

Other countries are experiencing similar dilemmas about how to manage what has now been deemed Europe's fastest growing refugee crisis since the Second World War.

The United Nations Refugee Agency, UNHCR, said 1.5 million people have fled the country so far.


Also this ...

IQALUIT — The City of Iqaluit and Nunavut's health department debated how to respond to the capital's water emergency last year.

Some 8,000 Iqaluit residents couldn't drink tap water for nearly two months after it was found to be contaminated with fuel.

Emails obtained by The Canadian Press under Nunavut's access-to-information legislation show the city and health department faced hurdles in co-ordinating a response as questions arose about what was and wasn't safe with the water.

Some residents have water piped directly to them, while others have city trucks deliver water which is stored in tanks inside their homes.

One topic of debate was whether residents who depended on trucked water needed to clean their tanks before the city filled them with river water.

The city said no, but the health department suggested there wasn't enough evidence to draw that conclusion.

The city's treatment plant is still off-line and a bypass has been installed that pumps in lake water, which is treated before being delivered to residents.


What we are watching in the U.S. ...

SELMA — U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris is in Selma, Alabama, to mark the anniversary of a defining moment in the fight for equal voting rights.

On March 7, 1965, white state troopers beat and tear-gassed Black voting rights marchers attempting to cross the Edmund Pettus Bridge.

Under a blazing blue sky Sunday, Harris linked led a march of thousands across the bridge.

The vice president vowed to push for federal legislation that guarantees voting rights.

Betty Boynton was one of the woman who marched in Selma in 1965.

She said: "I wouldn’t think in 2022 we would have to do all over again what we did in 1965.”


In entertainment ...

SANTA MONICA, Calif. — Maggie Gyllenhaal’s “The Lost Daughter,” “Drive My Car” and “Summer of Soul” were among the big winners at the 37th Film Independent Spirit Awards Sunday.

The ceremony hosted by Nick Offerman and Megan Mullally was held in a tent by the beach in Santa Monica, California, broadcast on AMC and IFC. It is the cool, casual counterpart to some of the more traditional film awards shows.

“If you don’t win, you can just walk straight into the ocean,” Offerman said.

Gyllenhaal won best feature, director and best screenplay for her adaptation of the Elena Ferrante novel “The Lost Daughter.”

Japan’s “Drive My Car, which has also been nominated for a best picture Oscar, picked up best international feature.

Taylour Paige won best female lead for “Zola,” which was based on a Twitter thread about a wild trip to Florida.

Simon Rex won best male lead for playing an ex-porn star in Sean Baker’s “Red Rocket.” Rex said his career was in the dumps before Baker called him for the shoestring film.

“Summer of Soul” won best documentary. The film brings back to life the largely forgotten Harlem Cultural Festival of 1969.

The Spirit Awards can sometimes serve as a preview of what will happen on Oscar night. But because of their production budgets, many top contenders this year were not eligible, including “Belfast,” “King Richard” and “The Power of the Dog.” To be considered, films must have cost less than $22.5 million to make.

During last night's show Offerman took a moment to acknowledge Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, saying he hopes “Putin (expletive) off and goes home” and he implored the audience to send the Russian president off with a “Spirit Awards salute.” Many raised their hands with a middle finger.


Did you see this?

ZHANGJIAKOU, China — Canada added two gold medals and a bronze in cross-country skiing at the Beijing Paralympics on Monday.

Brian McKeever easily defended his title in the men's 20-kilometre cross-country vision-impaired race. It was the 14th gold medal and 18th medal overall in the Paralympics for the 42-year-old from Calgary.

Shortly after, Natalie Wilkie of Canmore, Alta., captured gold in the women's 15-kilometre standing race.

Brittany Hudak, also of Canmore, took home the bronze.

McKeever, in his sixth and final Paralympics, was the three-time defending champion in his event and a clear favourite heading into the long-distance race.

Meanwhile, Tyler Turner and Lisa DeJong captured Canada's first-ever medals in snowboarding at the Paralympic Winter Games.

Turner from Campbell River, B.C., won gold in the men's snowboard cross Monday at the Beijing Paralympics.

The 33-year-old Turner led from the very beginning of the big final. He built a commanding lead and would not be caught.

The victory came just minutes after DeJong, from Sherwood Park, Alta., won silver in the women's snowboard cross.


This report by The Canadian Press was first published Mar. 7, 2022

The Canadian Press