Ottawa

Canada's PM Trudeau speaks during Question Period on Parliament Hill in Ottawa
Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks during Question Period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, March 18, 2019. REUTERS/Chris Wattie

March 20, 2019

By David Ljunggren

OTTAWA (Reuters) – In a fresh blow to the embattled government of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, a legislator quit his ruling Liberal Party to sit as an independent on Wednesday after defending a former minister at the center of a political scandal.

Trudeau has been on the defensive since Feb. 7 over allegations top officials working for him leaned on former Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould to ensure construction firm SNC-Lavalin Group Inc avoided a corruption trial.

The political crisis threatens the government’s chances of re-election in a vote scheduled for October this year. Polls have shown that Trudeau’s Liberals could lose the vote as the damage from the scandal spreads.

The prime minister told reporters that parliamentarian Celina Caesar-Chavannes, who has publicly backed Wilson-Raybould several times and earlier this month attacked Trudeau on Twitter, had left the Liberal parliamentary caucus.

“I want to thank her for her service to the Liberal Party and to her constituents and wish her the best,” Trudeau said in brief remarks.

Caesar-Chavannes, who represents a parliamentary constituency in the province of Ontario, had already announced she would not run again in this October’s federal election.

Although her departure has little immediate political effect – the Liberals still have a majority in the House of Commons – it underlines the staying power of an affair that has already cost Trudeau two high-profile female cabinet ministers, his closest aide and the head of the federal bureaucracy.

It is also awkward for a prime minister who came to power in late 2015 promising to boost the role of women in politics.

The office of Caesar-Chavannes was not immediately available for comment.

The legislator told the Globe and Mail newspaper earlier this month that Trudeau had shouted at her after she called him to say she would not contest her seat in this year’s election.

(Reporting by David Ljunggren; Editing by Nick Carey)

Source: OANN

David Krayden | Ottawa Bureau Chief

David Sirota — who joined the presidential campaign of Independent Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders this week as a top communications aide and speechwriter — once wrote an opinion piece that was headlined “Let’s hope the Boston Marathon Bomber is a white American.”

Sirota wrote the article for the liberal outlet Salon in April 2013 in the wake of a terrorist attack at the annual Boston marathon race, and flatly stated that “white male privilege” was a heavy factor in whomever got blamed for the killing.

A jury sentenced Boston Marathon Bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev to death in May 2015. Three people died in the attack and hundreds more were injured. Tsarnaev, a Muslim, said the attack was politically motivated.

Sirota’s desire for it to be otherwise is just the latest skeleton to emerge from the writer’s literary closet this week, as he joins Sanders’ in “properly explaining” Democratic Socialism to Americans. (RELATED: Bernie Sanders’ New Speechwriter Lauded The ‘Economic Miracle’ Of Venezuelan Socialism)

FILE PHOTO: Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) speaks during an event to introduce the "Medicare for All Act of 2017" on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., September 13, 2017. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas/File Photo

FILE PHOTO: Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) speaks during an event to introduce the “Medicare for All Act of 2017” on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., Sept. 13, 2017. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas/File Photo

The author and speechwriter contended:

The dynamics of privilege will undoubtedly influence the nation’s collective reaction to the attacks … This has been most obvious in the context of recent mass shootings. In those awful episodes, a religious or ethnic minority group lacking such privilege would likely be collectively slandered and/or targeted with surveillance or profiling (or worse) if some of its individuals comprised most of the mass shooters. However, white male privilege means white men are not collectively denigrated/targeted for those shootings — even though most come at the hands of white dudes.

Sirota quickly transitioned from an abstract conception of “white privilege” to the “undeniable and pervasive double standards” in American society that “will almost certainly dictate what kind of governmental, political and societal response we see in the coming weeks.” (RELATED: Mark Steyn: Beto O’Rourke ‘A Parody Of Rich White Privilege)

Christopher Nzenwa wipes his eyes after praying over a memorial to the victims of the Boston Marathon bombings. (Photo by REUTERS/Brian Snyder)

Christopher Nzenwa wipes his eyes after praying over a memorial to the victims of the Boston Marathon bombings. (Photo by REUTERS/Brian Snyder)

His ultimate point is that America is supposedly so white and so racist that “if the bomber ends up being a white anti-government extremist, white privilege will likely mean the attack is portrayed as just an isolated incident.”

But if the bomber was not white, Sirota predicted a significant backlash.

“It will probably be much different if the bomber ends up being a Muslim and/or a foreigner from the developing world. As we know from our own history, when those kind of individuals break laws in such a high-profile way.”

Source: The Daily Caller

David Krayden | Ottawa Bureau Chief

U.S. Border Patrol agents nabbed three criminal illegal aliens Tuesday — two trying to enter the United States through Arizona and a third at a California crossing.

Avilia Rosales, one of the two illegal border crossers caught in Arizona, has a criminal record for child molestation. The other, Arturo Benjamin Avila Torres, has been convicted for assault with a firearm and for “lascivious acts with a minor under 14,” according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CPB) as reported by the Washington Examiner.

TIJUANA, MEXICO - JANUARY 10: U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents stand guard on the U.S. side of the U.S.-Mexico border during a 'large-scale operational readiness exercise' on January 10, 2019 as seen from Tijuana, Mexico. President Trump is visiting the southern border in Texas today. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents stand guard … (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

Both men will be prosecuted for illegal immigration, according to the CPB. Border patrol agents are increasingly using biometric assessments of suspects to “ensure illegal aliens with criminal histories are positively identified.” (RELATED: Illegal Arrested In Murder Case Had Long Criminal Record But Was Not Deported)

The third criminal illegal, Alberto Martinez Flores, was stopped at the Calexico, California, border crossing. According to a CBP news release, Flores has a long criminal record dating back a decade. He was convicted of assault, strangulation and unlawful imprisonment and sent to jail. In 2017, Flores was again convicted for vehicular assault and sent to prison for 13 months. Flores has been deported at least once.

Flores said he intended to travel to Los Angeles and live there if he had successfully eluded capture, according to the CBP.

“Our agents were able to arrest Martinez without incident,” said Assistant Chief Patrol Agent David Kim. “This man’s criminal history clearly shows how dangerous he is and now he’s off the streets thanks to our agents’ hard work and diligence.” (RELATED: San Jose Police Officer: Sanctuary Laws Need To Be Changed Immediately)

U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen greets a member of the U.S. Border Patrol at the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Advanced Training Facility in Harpers Ferry, West Virginia, U.S., March 13, 2019. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen greets a member of the U.S. Border Patrol … REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

The arrests underline the increasing activity at the U.S.-Mexico border and why the  Trump administration maintains that the current environment can be characterized as a crisis. Border Patrol Chief Carla Provost agrees with this assessment. President Donald Trump remains committed to building a wall to contain the illegal entry of illegals.

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Source: The Daily Caller

David Krayden | Ottawa Bureau Chief

As the U.S. economy continues to produce positive employment numbers, some Democratic presidential contenders are saying more people than ever are working more than one job to sustain their livelihoods.

But that appears to be more of a political talking point than economic reality, as a Washington Post fact-checker revealed Tuesday. The number of people who have to work more than one job is actually shrinking in Trump’s economy, and in January,  applications for unemployment insurance fell to 1969 levels.

WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 5: Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Vice President Mike Pence look on as U.S. President Donald Trump delivers the State of the Union address in the chamber of the U.S. House of Representatives at the U.S. Capitol Building on February 5, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Doug Mills-Pool/Getty Images)

Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Vice President Mike Pence look on as U.S. President Donald Trump … (Photo by Doug Mills-Pool/Getty Images)

But that hasn’t stopped California Democratic Rep. Kamala Harris from putting her own data out there for voters to consider. (RELATED: February Jobs Report: 20,000 Jobs Added, Unemployment 3.8 Percent)

“[They say,] ‘The economy is great. It is doing great for everybody.’ And then you ask them, ‘Well, how is that?’ Well, they’ll point to the stock market. Well, that’s fine if you own stocks. Then you’ll ask them, what’s your other measure? And they’ll talk about well, the unemployment rate is down. That’s fine,” the Post quotes Harris as saying.

“Yeah, well, I’ve been traveling our country. People are working. They’re working two and three jobs to pay the bills. It’s not working for working people,” she continued, offering anecdotal evidence. Harris also doesn’t talk about the black unemployment being the lowest in history under Trump.

U.S. Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA) speaks to her supporters during her presidential campaign rally launch … (Mason Trinca/Getty Images)

But the economy is working better than it was a year ago, with only 251,000 workers out of a total workforce of 156 million being forced to find a second full-time job. As the Post notes, that’s 100,000 fewer people than 2018 data shows. There are 7.8 million people who work full-time and supplement their income with another part-time position, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Vermont Independent Sen. Bernie Sanders is also inclined to push the multi-job panic button when he speaks to supporters. Last week, he declared, “Millions of Americans are forced to work two or three jobs just to survive.” (RELATED: The Key To Winning In 2020 Will Be Properly Explaining Socialism, Says Bernie Sanders)

Sanders did not mention that those millions comprise just 5 percent of all employed Americans, according to the Post report. Of that 5 percent, the majority have a secondary job that is part-time.

Former Texas Democratic Rep. Beto O’Rourke, also running for his party’s presidential nomination, has painted a similar employment picture of over-worked Americans with little time for rest or relaxation.

“I have already shared with you that many are working second or third jobs. In fact, in Texas, half of your colleagues are working a second or third job just to put food on the table,” O’Rourke told an Iowa crowd, according to Fox News.

The Post fact checker, however, points out that O’Rourke and his team claimed that statistic of “half” the workforce in Texas is working two jobs was actually in regard to teachers only. But the U.S. Department of Education study that used a random sample of teachers showed that only 18 percent of teachers nationwide took up more than one job to earn more money.

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Source: The Daily Caller

Ethiopian Red Cross workers carry a body bag with the remains of Ethiopian Airlines Flight ET 302 plane crash victims at the scene of a plane crash, near the town of Bishoftu, southeast of Addis Ababa
Ethiopian Red Cross workers carry a body bag with the remains of Ethiopian Airlines Flight ET 302 plane crash victims at the scene of a plane crash, near the town of Bishoftu, southeast of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia March 12, 2019. REUTERS/Baz Ratner

March 20, 2019

By Maggie Fick and Cindy Silviana

ADDIS ABABA/JAKARTA (Reuters) – The world’s biggest planemaker Boeing faced growing obstacles to returning its grounded 737 MAX fleet to the skies on Wednesday, while chilling details emerged of an Indonesian crash with similarities to the Ethiopian disaster.

Experts suspect an automated system, meant to stop stalling by dipping the nose, may be involved in both cases, with pilots unable to override it as their jets plunged downwards.

The March 10 Ethiopian Airlines crash has shaken the global aviation industry and cast a shadow over the flagship Boeing model intended to be a standard for decades to come, given parallels with the Lion Air calamity off Jakarta in October.

The twin crashes killed 346 people.

(GRAPHIC: Ethiopian Airlines crash – https://tmsnrt.rs/2Hn6V4k)

Chicago-headquartered Boeing has promised a swift update of the automatic flight software for the craft but major regulators in Europe and Canada want to be sure themselves, rather than rely on U.S. vetting.

As Ethiopian investigators pored over black box data from their crash, sources with knowledge of the doomed Lion Air cockpit voice recorder revealed how pilots scoured a manual in a losing battle to figure out why they were hurtling down to sea.

Investigators examining the Indonesian crash want to know how a computer ordered the plane to dive in response to data from a faulty sensor and whether pilots had enough training to respond appropriately to the emergency.

Communications showed that in the final moments, the captain tried in vain to find the right procedure in the handbook, while the first officer was unable to control the plane.

“It is like a test where there are 100 questions and when the time is up you have only answered 75,” said one of the sources with knowledge of the cockpit recording that has not been made public. “So you panic. It is a time-out condition.”

At the end, the sources told Reuters, the Indian-born captain, 31, was quiet, while the Indonesian officer, 41, said “Allahu Akbar” (“God is greatest”) – an Arabic phrase to express excitement, shock, praise or distress. The plane then hit water.

U.S. “CREDIBILITY DAMAGED”

Boeing has said there was a documented procedure to handle the situation. A different crew on the same plane the evening before had the same problem but solved it after running through three checklists, though they did not pass on all that information to the doomed crew, the preliminary report by investigators released in November said.

Rowing back from previous reliance on U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) vetting, Canada and the European Union will now seek their own guarantees over the MAX planes, complicating Boeing’s hopes to get them flying worldwide again.

Regulators want to be absolutely sure of Boeing’s new automated flight control system, known as MCAS (Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System), and that pilots are fully trained to handle it.

“Our credibility as leaders in aviation is being damaged,” wrote Chesley Sullenberger, a U.S. pilot famed for landing a jet on the Hudson River saving all 155 people on board a decade ago.

“Boeing and the FAA have been found wanting in this ugly saga that began years ago but has come home to roost with two terrible fatal crashes, with no survivors, in less than five months, on a new airplane type, the Boeing 737 Max 8, something that is unprecedented in modern aviation history,” he added in a scathing article on marketwatch.com.

(GRAPHIC: The grounded 737 Max fleet – https://tmsnrt.rs/2u5sZYI)

Facing such high-profile scrutiny, Boeing, one of the United States’ most prestigious exporters, reshuffled executives in its commercial airplanes unit to focus on the crash fallout.

(GRAPHIC: Boeing 737 Max deliveries in question – https://tmsnrt.rs/2Hv2btC)

VOICE RECORDINGS

The FAA noted in a statement that its “robust processes” and “full collaboration with the aviation community” were key to safety worldwide. The regulator is due to have a new head soon, likely to be former Delta Air Lines executive Steve Dickson.

U.S. President Donald Trump had apparently been considering his longtime personal pilot, John Dunkin, before leaning toward Dickson who had a 27-year career at Delta.

In Ethiopia, which is leading the investigation, experts were poring over the in-flight recording of Captain Yared Getachew and First Officer Ahmednur Mohammed’s voices.

As with the Indonesia flight, they radioed control problems shortly after take-off and sought to turn back, struggling to get their plane on track before it hit a field. However, there is no proven link and experts emphasize that every accident is a unique chain of human and technical factors.

For now, though, more than 300 MAX aircraft are grounded round the world, and deliveries of nearly 5,000 more – worth well over $500 billion – are on hold.

Development of the 737 MAX, which offers cost savings of about 15 percent on fuel, began in 2011 after the successful launch by its main rival of the Airbus A320neo. The 737 MAX entered service in 2017 after six years of preparation.

(Reporting by Maggie Fick and Jason Neely in Addis Ababa, Tim Hepher in Paris, David Shepardson in Washington, David Ljunggren in Ottawa, Jamie Freed in Singapore, Cindy Silviana in Jakarta; Writing by Andrew Cawthorne; Editing by Jon Boyle)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: A group of asylum seekers pass a Canadian army vehicle as they walk down the street while escorted from their tent encampment to be processed at Canada Border Services in Lacolle
FILE PHOTO: A group of asylum seekers pass a Canadian army vehicle as they walk down the street while escorted from their tent encampment to be processed at Canada Border Services in Lacolle, Quebec, Canada August 11, 2017. REUTERS/Christinne Muschi/File Photo

March 19, 2019

By David Ljunggren

OTTAWA (Reuters) – Canada said on Tuesday it planned to spend an additional C$1.2 billion ($902 million) over five years to stem the flow of irregular migrants from the United States, which has become a political threat to the Liberal government ahead of an October election.

Some 57,000 asylum seekers from Nigeria, El Salvador, Honduras and other nations crossed the U.S. border into Canada last year, in some cases citing a fear of persecution by the government of U.S. Donald Trump.

They are allowed to stay until their cases have been heard. Given Canada’s clogged judicial system, that could take years.

Canada began prioritizing the deportation of asylum seekers who walked across the border last year, in a bid to tackle the politically sensitive issue.

In the annual budget, Finance Minister Bill Morneau said Ottawa would implement a comprehensive border enforcement strategy “to detect and intercept individuals who cross Canadian borders irregularly and who try to exploit Canada’s immigration system.”

Most arrive in the populous provinces of Ontario and Quebec, which have spent hundreds of millions of dollars taking care of the newcomers. Critics complain that Ottawa is not doing enough to deter the migrants and Liberals concede the issue is hitting the party’s popularity.

According to the budget, the government will start spending the C$1.2 billion in the 2019-20 fiscal year to strengthen the border and speed up the asylum process. Ottawa will also try to “better manage, discourage and prevent irregular migration,” the budget text said.

Canadian officials have over the past two years visited Nigeria, as well as various ethnic communities in the United States, to try to persuade would-be migrants to stay put.

The officials have said that although the people driving the migrant surge claim that everyone who crosses the border is allowed to stay, most are sent back once their cases have been handled.

(Reporting by David Ljunggren in Ottawa; editing by Denny Thomas and Tom Brown)

Source: OANN

Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Finance Minister Bill Morneau walk from Trudeau's office to the House of Commons to deliver the budget on Parliament Hill in Ottawa
Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Finance Minister Bill Morneau walk from Trudeau’s office to the House of Commons to deliver the budget on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, March 19, 2019. REUTERS/Chris Wattie

March 19, 2019

OTTAWA (Reuters) – Canada’s Liberal government on Tuesday presented a budget that focused on improving access to housing and lavished the middle-class with a slew of spending measures to woo voters ahead of an upcoming federal election.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau government’s last budget before the October election was aimed at boosting consumer spending at a time when the economy is slowing amid global uncertainties, while shifting the narrative away from a political crisis that has dented the Liberals popularity.

“There’s a growing sense of uncertainty taking root around the world… and Canada is not immune to those worries,” Finance Minister Bill Morneau said in a prepared budget speech.

The budget outlined measures to help first-time buyers get into housing, new spending for skills training, new benefits for retirees and students, and the creation of a federal agency to cut the cost of prescription medications. 

“We’re going to invest in the middle-class and in the things that matter most to Canadians; good jobs, strong communities, a clean environment and better opportunities for future generations,” Morneau added.

With the new spending, the projected deficit in 2019-20 inched up to C$19.8 billion ($14.9 billion) from C$19.6 billion forecast in November. The 2018-19 deficit is now projected at C$14.9 billion, down from C$18.1 billion forecast in November.

The budget blueprint, which is expected to be implemented given the Liberal’s parliamentary majority, also maintained a C$3 billion a year fiscal cushion, a rainy day reserve to guard against unexpected events that could hurt the government books.

(Reporting by Julie Gordon in Ottawa)(Editing by Denny Thomas)

Source: OANN

Alberta Premier Rachel Notley waits to testify in Ottawa
FILE PHOTO: Alberta Premier Rachel Notley waits to testify before the Senate energy, environment and natural resources committee in the Senate of Canada Building in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, February 28, 2019. REUTERS/Chris Wattie

March 19, 2019

By Nia Williams

CALGARY, Alberta (Reuters) – The western Canadian province of Alberta will hold an election on April 16, kickstarting a contest that many polls suggest will result in a change of government in the country’s oil-producing heartland as it struggles with a sluggish economy.

Premier Rachel Notley’s left-leaning New Democratic Party won a shock victory in traditionally conservative Alberta in 2015, ending 44 years of conservative rule, but inherited a provincial economy rocked by the collapse of global oil prices.

Notley was initially an ally of Liberal Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and backed his attempts to please the oil industry and environmentalists by championing export pipelines while also introducing carbon pricing.

The relationship soured last year over efforts to expand the Trans Mountain pipeline, prompting Notley to pull her support for Trudeau’s carbon plan. Ottawa owns the pipeline, whose expansion remains delayed.

Alberta’s government has grappled with weak oil prices, persistent budget deficits and a dearth of new export pipelines that left the landlocked province’s crude building up in storage, resulting in the discount on Canadian heavy crude blowing out to record levels last year.

As a last resort, Alberta took the controversial step of curtailing oil production to help prop up prices and investing in railcars to move more crude to market, a move that earned approval from some cash-strapped producers in the province’s dominant oil industry, and outrage from critics.

Announcing the date of the election in the oil industry’s corporate hub Calgary on Tuesday, Notley emphasized her government’s commitment to health and education and its efforts to revitalize Alberta’s economy.

“Since the oil price collapsed I know these last few years have been scary for a lot of families and I have worked day and night with my team to fight this recession and bring our economy back,” she told supporters.

Opinion polls suggest Notley could be the first one-term premier in Alberta’s history, and cede power to opposition leader Jason Kenney of the United Conservative Party, a former top federal cabinet minister.

The UCP have been consistently ahead in the polls since last year. An Ipsos/Global News poll on Tuesday said 53 percent of Albertans would vote for the UCP if an election were held today, versus 35 percent for the NDP.

Notley criticized Kenney for recent allegations that he was involved in an ethically dubious campaign to discredit a rival in the UCP leadership contest in 2017.

Kenney has denied any wrongdoing, but some political analysts say the scandal will dog his party’s election bid.

“If you add up the number of actual (UCP) party members to come out and publicly speak against Jason Kenney, this is significant,” said Lori Williams, a political science professor at Calgary’s Mount Royal University. “But is it going to be enough to shift undecided voters, that remains to be seen.”

Voters in Alberta are most concerned about the economy, jobs and getting pipelines built, Williams said, and the UCP will try and focus attention on how they would do a better job of tackling those issues. Notley and the NDP are likely to make issues of integrity, equality and trust a central part of their campaign, especially in light of the allegations surrounding Kenney.

(Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and G Crosse)

Source: OANN

David Krayden | Ottawa Bureau Chief

Independent Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders hopes a new speechwriter, a former apologist for the socialist government in Venezuela, will help propel his 2020 campaign to victory. 

Sanders has hired David Sirota to write speeches and act as a communications consultant as the Democratic-Socialist senator continues his quest to win the Democratic nomination for 2020, the Washington Examiner reported Tuesday.

Bernie Sanders Holds Campaign Rally In Des Moines

Bernie Sanders Holds Campaign Rally In Des Moines. Steve Pope/Getty Images

Sirota exhibited his devotion to Venezuela’s brand of socialism during the years of left-wing strongman Hugo Chavez, whose “brand of socialism achieved real economic gains,” according to Sihota. (RELATED: The Key To Winning In 2020 Will Be Properly Explaining Socialism, Says Bernie Sanders)

The journalist was a contributor to Salon magazine in 2013 when he wrote an essay remembering Chavez, who had recently died, praising the despot’s political legacy as an “economic miracle.”

“Chavez racked up an economic record that a legacy-obsessed American president could only dream of achieving,” Sirota wrote in Salon. He also argued that the Venezuelan socialism “suddenly looks like a threat to the corporate capitalism, especially when said country has valuable oil resources that global powerhouses like the United States rely on.”

Today, Venezuela appears more than ever a threat to its own citizens as food shortages and a country-wide blackout — phenomenons for which Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro blames on America —have devastated millions of citizens.

There is mass looting on the streets. According to a 2019 United Nations Human Rights Office report, at least 40 Venezuelans have died while protesting in recent years. The country’s possession of huge oil deposits hasn’t prevented it from approaching the makings of a civil war as the political opposition demands change.

Venezuelan opposition leader and self declared acting president Juan Guaido (C), arrives to take part in a demonstration called by the transportation sector to support him, in Caracas on February 20, 2019. (FEDERICO PARRA/AFP/Getty Images)

Venezuelan opposition leader and self declared acting president Juan Guaido (C), arrives to take part in a demonstration called by the transportation sector to support him, in Caracas on Feb. 20, 2019. (FEDERICO PARRA/AFP/Getty Images)

But for Sirota, the problem was the United States that had “become more unequal than many Latin American nations” and he asked, “Are there any constructive lessons to be learned from Chavez’s grand experiment with more aggressive redistribution?”

Sirota’s defense of Venezuela could well be embraced by Sanders, who criticized America’s free market policies and well-stocked supermarkets in the 1980s and argued that queuing-up for bread in the Soviet Union was a symptom of economic freedom. (RELATED: Bernie Sanders, Climate Hawk Spends Nearly $300K On Private Jet Travel In A Month)

“It’s funny, sometimes American journalists talk about how bad a country is, that people are lining up for food. That is a good thing! In other countries people don’t line up for food: the rich get the food and the poor starve to death,” said the Vermont senator, according to the Examiner. Sanders also blamed the United States for the Cold War.

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Source: The Daily Caller

David Krayden | Ottawa Bureau Chief

Democratic New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker may want to legalize marijuana, but he doesn’t think presidential candidates should be “bragging about their pot use.”

Booker was being interviewed Monday night on MSNBC’s “Hardball” on a variety of issues when he suggested it wasn’t right for “senators” or officials seeking higher office to laugh about their cannabis experiences when many pot users have criminal records for smoking marijuana.

Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) speaks at his “Conversation with Cory” campaign event at the Nevada Partners Event Center on February 24, 2019 in North Las Vegas, Nevada. Booker is campaigning for the 2020 Democratic nomination for president. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

“We have presidential candidates — senators — bragging about their pot use while there are kids who can’t get a job because they have a nonviolent offense,” Booker said. (RELATED: Senator Wants To Legalize Weed Nationally)

The presidential candidates that Booker cited are most likely Democratic California Sen. Kamala Harris and Independent Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, who both indicated that they have experimented with marijuana.

Harris told “The Breakfast Club” in early February that she smoked pot during her university days.

“Look, I joke about it, half-joking, half of my family is from Jamaica,” Harris said, “Are you kidding me? And I did inhale.”

US Senators Cory Booker (L) and Kamala Harris (R) chat on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, September 27, 2018. (Photo SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)

US Senators Cory Booker (L) and Kamala Harris (R) chat on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, Sept. 27, 2018. (Photo SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)

She even remembered listening to Snoop Dog while toking, even though that memory caused a stir on social media because the rapper didn’t come along until Harris had already graduated from Howard University in 1989.

As for Sanders, his marijuana “recollection” on “The Breakfast Club” didn’t include any music from The Bryds or The Beatles.

“I nearly coughed my brains out, so it’s not my cup of tea,” he said.

Despite the experience apparently being a bummer, Sanders reiterated his support for legalizing recreational cannabis during the interview. (RELATED: The Key To Winning In 2020 Will Be Properly Explaining Socialism, Says Bernie Sanders)

Last weekend, during a town hall meeting in Davenport, Iowa, Booker also made a statement suggesting that smoking pot is no laughing matter while “poor people and — way disproportionately — people of color” have rap sheets for smoking pot.

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Source: The Daily Caller

David Krayden | Ottawa Bureau Chief

President Donald Trump’s 2020 election campaign manager says he knows why Kellyanne Conway’s husband continues to tweet disparaging remarks about the president’s mental health.

Brad Parscale tweeted Monday night that George Conway, whom he refers to as “Mr. Kellyanne Conway,” didn’t get a White House job that he wanted and now he’s on a Twitter vendetta against Trump.

“We all know that @realDonaldTrump turned down Mr. Kellyanne Conway for a job he desperately wanted. He barely worked @TheJusticeDept and was either fired/quit, didn’t want the scrutiny? Now he hurts his wife because he is jealous of her success. POTUS doesn’t even know him!”

Brad Parscale, campaign manager for US President Donald Trump’s 2020 reelection campaign, speaks during a campaign rally at the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas, Oct. 22, 2018. (Photo by SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)

In what may be unprecedented attacks from the spouse of a top White House employee, Conway continues to deliver social media smears against Trump, suggesting he has mental health issues. On Sunday, the lawyer tweeted, “His condition is getting worse.” (RELATED: Kellyanne Conway’s Husband Unloads On Trump)

WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 17: George T. Conway III, husband of White House Counselor to the President Kellyanne Conway, attends the 139th Easter Egg Roll on the South Lawn of the White House April 17, 2017 in Washington, DC. The White House said 21,000 people are expected to attend the annual tradition of rolling colored eggs down the White House lawn that was started by President Rutherford B. Hayes in 1878. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

George T. Conway III, husband of White House Counselor to the President Kellyanne Conway, attends the 139th Easter Egg Roll on the South Lawn of the White House Apr. 17, 2017 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Conway suggested Trump doesn’t have a “rational plan or strategy” and that “the things he says and does” are “a product of his pathologies.”

He then suggested that Trump was suffering from “Anti-social Personality Disorder” or “Narcissistic Personality Disorder.”

Kellyanne Conway, who is the White House counsel, has distanced herself from her husband’s remarks, saying she hadn’t even read them. (RELATED: Kellyanne Conway’s Husband Accuses Trump Of Witness Tampering)

“I have four kids and I was getting them out of the house this morning before I got here so I can talk to the president about substance, so I may not be up to speed on all of them,” she said Monday while talking to reporters, according to Politico.

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Source: The Daily Caller

Ethiopian Red Cross workers carry a body bag with the remains of Ethiopian Airlines Flight ET 302 plane crash victims at the scene of a plane crash, near the town of Bishoftu, southeast of Addis Ababa
FILE PHOTO: Ethiopian Red Cross workers carry a body bag with the remains of Ethiopian Airlines Flight ET 302 plane crash victims at the scene of a plane crash, near the town of Bishoftu, southeast of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia March 12, 2019. REUTERS/Baz Ratner

March 19, 2019

By Maggie Fick and Tim Hepher

ADDIS ABABA/PARIS (Reuters) – The investigation into the final minutes of Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 turned on Tuesday to the secrets in the cockpit voice recorder as Boeing and a shaken global aviation industry hung on the outcome.

The voices of Captain Yared Getachew and First Officer Ahmednur Mohammed could reveal what led to the March 10 crash of the Boeing 737 MAX that has worrying parallels with another disaster involving the same model off Indonesia in October.

(GRAPHIC: Ethiopian Airlines crash – https://tmsnrt.rs/2Hn6V4k)

The twin disasters killed 346 people.

Black box data was downloaded in France but only Ethiopian experts leading the probe have heard the dialogue between Getachew, 29, and Mohammed, 25. The data was back in Addis Ababa on Tuesday, sources familiar with the probe told Reuters.

Experts believe a new automated system in Boeing’s flagship MAX fleet – intended to stop stalling by dipping the plane’s nose – may have played a role in both crashes, with pilots unable to override it as their jets plunged downwards.

Both came down just minutes after take-off after erratic flight patterns and loss of control reported by the pilots. However, every accident is a unique chain of human and technical factors, experts say.

The prestige of Ethiopian Airlines, one of Africa’s most successful companies, and Boeing, the world’s biggest planemaker and a massive U.S. exporter, is at stake in the inquiry.

AWKWARD QUESTIONS FOR INDUSTRY

Lawmakers and safety experts are questioning how thoroughly regulators vetted the MAX model and how well pilots were trained on new features. For now, regulators have grounded the existing fleet of more than 300 MAX aircraft and deliveries of nearly 5,000 more – worth well over $500 billion – are on hold.

Pressure on the Chicago-headquartered company has grown with news that federal prosecutors and the U.S. Department of Transportation are scrutinizing how carefully the MAX model was developed, two people briefed on the matter said.

The U.S. Justice Department was looking at the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) oversight of Boeing, one of the people said. And a federal grand jury last week issued at least one subpoena to an entity involved in the plane’s development.

In the hope of getting its MAX line back into the air soon, Boeing said it will roll out a software update and revise pilot training. In the case of the Lion Air crash in Indonesia, it has raised questions about whether crew used the correct procedures.

“Lives depend on the work we do,” acknowledged Boeing boss Dennis Muilenburg, facing the biggest crisis of his tenure.

The MAX, which offers cost savings of about 15 percent on fuel, was developed for service from 2017 after the successful launch by its main rival of the Airbus A320neo.

(GRAPHIC: The grounded 737 Max fleet – https://tmsnrt.rs/2u5sZYI)

After Ethiopia, France and the United States all noted parallels with the Indonesia crash, one person familiar with the probe said black box data showed the Ethiopian Airlines jet’s “angle of attack” was “very similar” to the Lion Air plane.

The angle of attack is a fundamental parameter of flight, measuring the degrees between the air flow and the wing. If it is too high, it can throw the plane into an aerodynamic stall.

GLOBAL RAMIFICATIONS

In the hot seat over its certification of the MAX without demanding additional training and its closeness to Boeing, the FAA has said it is “absolutely” confident in its vetting.

But given the U.S. probe, Canada said it would re-examine its acceptance of the FAA validation and do its own independent certification.

The crisis has put the airline world in a spin.

One company, Norwegian Airlines, has already said it will seek compensation after grounding its MAX aircraft.

Various firms are reconsidering Boeing orders, and some airlines are revising profit forecasts given they now cannot count on maintenance and fuel savings factored in from the MAX.

Beyond the corporate ramifications, anguished relatives are still waiting to find out what happened.

Many have been visiting the crash site in a charred field to seek some closure, but there is anger at the slow pace of information and all they have been given for funerals is earth.

Abdulmajid Shariff, a Yemeni who lost his brother-in-law, was heading home on Tuesday. “I’m just so terribly sad. I had to leave here without the body of my dead brother. But I have to praise almighty God, there is nothing more to do.”

(Reporting by Maggie Fick and Jason Neely in Addis Ababa, Tim Hepher in Paris, David Ljunggren in Ottawa, Jamie Freed in Singapore; Writing by Andrew Cawthorne; Editing by Georgina Prodhan)

Source: OANN

David Krayden | Ottawa Bureau Chief

New Jersey Democratic Sen. Cory Booker said he wants to overturn the Trump administration’s transgender ban in the United States armed forces “when” he becomes president.

“When I am president of the United States, right away I will end this ridiculous, insulting, un-American ban on transgender Americans serving in the military,” Booker said during a Davenport, Iowa, town hall meeting over the weekend.

The senator was asked by one transgender member of the audience about what he planned to do to promote LGBTQ policy if he is elected president in 2020, NBC News reported.

Democratic 2020 U.S. presidential candidate and U.S. Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) takes a photo with supporters after marching across the Edmund Pettus Bridge during the Bloody Sunday commemorative march in Selma, Alabama, U.S. March 3, 2019. REUTERS/Chris Aluka Berry

Democratic 2020 U.S. presidential candidate and U.S. Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) takes a photo with supporters after marching across the Edmund Pettus Bridge during the Bloody Sunday commemorative march in Selma, Alabama, U.S. March 3, 2019. REUTERS/Chris Aluka Berry

Booker also posted a follow-up tweet Monday to his answer at the town hall meeting. (RELATED: Vegan Cory Booker Says Meat Eaters’ Days Are Numbered)

The Democratic presidential candidate tweeted that “Trump’s ban on transgender Americans serving in the military is insulting and deeply un-American. The next president should immediately end this ridiculous policy — if elected, I plan to do so.”

People attend a protest against U.S. President Donald Trump's announcement that he plans to reinstate a ban on transgender individuals from serving in any capacity in the U.S. military, in Times Square, in New York City, New York, U.S., July 26, 2017. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri

People attend a protest against U.S. President Donald Trump’s announcement that he plans to reinstate a ban on transgender individuals from serving in any capacity in the U.S. military, in Times Square, in New York City, New York, U.S., July 26, 2017. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri

Booker been an active opponent of the Trump administration’s transgender troop policy — since the present publicly declared his intention of changing course in 2017.

Even though the U.S. military has not accepted transgender recruits for most of its history, Booker claimed a ban “flies in the face of the values the United States was built upon” and “undermines our national security,” according to The Hill. (RELATED: ‘Our Planet Is In Peril’: Cory Booker Compares Green New Deal To Fighting Nazi Germany)

At his Iowa town hall, Booker also promised to repeal other parts of the Trump legacy, including the president’s 2017 tax cuts and his policy of deporting some illegal immigrant children who are brought across the U.S. border by their parents, NBC reported.

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David Krayden | Ottawa Bureau Chief

Independent Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders believes he and the Democratic Party can win the White House in 2020 by “explaining socialism” to Americans voters.

Sanders claimed he can help the party do a better job of acclimatizing people to the concept of “democratic socialism,” as he told National Public Radio Monday.

Supporters listen as Democratic 2020 U.S. presidential candidate and U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) is introduced at a campaign rally in Concord, New Hampshire, U.S., March 10, 2019. REUTERS/Brian Snyder

Supporters listen as Democratic 2020 U.S. presidential candidate and U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) is introduced at a campaign rally in Concord, New Hampshire, U.S., March 10, 2019. REUTERS/Brian Snyder

“I think what we have to do, and I will be doing it, is to do a better job maybe in explaining what we mean by ‘socialism’ — Democratic Socialism. Obviously, my right-wing colleagues here want to paint that as authoritarianism and communism and Venezuela, and that’s nonsense,” said Sanders, who has refused to call for Venezuelan despot Nicolás Maduro to resign.

Sanders goes on to call Democratic Socialism as “a vibrant democracy.” (RELATED: Bernie Sanders, Climate Hawk Spends Nearly $300K On Private Jet Travel In A Month)

He insists that Americans can afford socialism because “in the wealthiest country in the history of the world, we can provide a decent standard of living for all about people. That’s just the reality. That’s not Utopian dreaming; that is a reality. Health care for all can be done and we can save money in doing it.”

Sanders has been an enthusiastic advocate of Canada’s universal heath care system, while others have criticized the country’s high taxes and long wait times for medical help. (RELATED: New Spokeswoman For Sen. Bernie Sanders Is An Illegal Immigrant)

FILE PHOTO: Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) speaks during an event to introduce the "Medicare for All Act of 2017" on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., September 13, 2017. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas/File Photo

Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) speaks during an event to introduce the “Medicare for All Act of 2017” on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., September 13, 2017. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas/File Photo

The senator also discussed his support for reparations for the victims of slavery, though he explained:

” … Not if it means just a cash payment or a check to families. I would not support that. . . . I am sympathetic to an idea brought forth by Congressman Jim Clyburn. . . . And he has what he calls a 10-20-30 plan, which says that 10 percent of federal resources should go to communities that have had 20 percent levels of poverty for 30 years. In other words, the most distressed communities in America … “

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Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau poses with Joyce Murray after she was sworn-in during a cabinet shuffle at Rideau Hall in Ottawa
Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau poses with Joyce Murray after she was sworn-in as Canada’s President of the Treasury Board and Minister of Digital Government during a cabinet shuffle at Rideau Hall in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, March 18, 2019. REUTERS/Chris Wattie

March 18, 2019

OTTAWA (Reuters) – Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Monday changed his cabinet for the third time in three months in response to a crisis caused by the resignation of a minister who later alleged inappropriate conduct by officials.

In a surprise move, Trudeau named backbench Liberal legislator Joyce Murray to the post of Treasury Board President, where she will be in overall charge of government spending.

It is the first federal cabinet post for Murray, 64, who had previously been a provincial government minister in British Columbia.

Murray replaces Jane Philpott, who quit on March 4 in protest over how the government was handling a corruption case involving SNC-Lavalin Group Inc, a major construction company.

Philpott expressed unhappiness over allegations that government officials pressured former Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould last year to help Montreal-based SNC-Lavalin avoid a criminal trial.

Wilson-Raybould, who was demoted in January, resigned from Trudeau’s cabinet the next month. Trudeau’s closest personal aide quit shortly afterwards.

Polls show the crisis could derail the Trudeau government’s chances of being reelected in October.

Earlier this month, Trudeau denied he or his officials had interfered in Canada’s judicial system, and he offered no apology.

(Reporting by David Ljunggren; Editing by Paul Simao)

Source: OANN

David Krayden | Ottawa Bureau Chief

The student activists who blamed Chelsea Clinton for the New Zealand mosque shootings say their only aim was “to speak truth to power.”

The aggressive group confronted a pregnant Clinton at a New York University vigil Friday for the 49 Muslims killed in the Thursday attack. But the students, who say they “are unafraid to speak the truth,” wrote in a BuzzFeed News op-ed piece posted Sunday that cornering Clinton was all about their “duty to call out any bigotry wherever it exists.”

“This right here is the result of the massacre stoked by people like you and the words that you have put out into the world,” one student said to Clinton. “I want you to know that. I want you to feel that deep inside. The 49 people died because of the rhetoric you put out there.” (RELATED: Chelsea Clinton Apologizes To Students Who Blame Her For NZ Attack)

The activists apparently did not think Clinton had any business offering her condolences to the dead or attending any vigils.

“We did a double take when we first noticed Chelsea Clinton was at the vigil,” they wrote. “Just weeks before this tragedy, we bore witness to a bigoted, anti-Muslim mob coming after [New York Democratic] Rep. Ilhan Omar for speaking the truth about the massive influence of the Israel lobby in this country.” (RELATED: Minnesota Democrats Want To Topple Ilhan Omar And Nominate New Candidate)

U.S. Representative Ilhan Omar (D-MN) participates in a news conference to call on Congress to cut funding for ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement), at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, U.S. February 7, 2019. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

U.S. Representative Ilhan Omar (D-MN) participates in a news conference to call on Congress to cut funding for ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement), at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, U.S. Feb. 7, 2019. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

Clinton disagreeing with Omar’s contention that Israel was buying-off Congress supposedly made Omar “vulnerable to anti-Muslim hatred and death threats” and therefore the group was “shocked when Clinton arrived at the vigil, given that she had not yet apologized to Rep. Omar for the public vilification against her.” They claimed “many students were dismayed to see her there.”

Students heckle Chelsea Clinton (not in picture) after the vigil held at NYU Kimmel Center to mourn for the victims of New Zealand's Christchurch mosque attack, in New York City, U.S. March 15, 2019. Picture taken March 15, 2019. REUTERS/Rashid Umar Abbasi

Students heckle Chelsea Clinton (not in picture) after the vigil held at NYU Kimmel Center to mourn for the victims of New Zealand’s Christchurch mosque attack, in New York City, U.S. March 15, 2019. Picture taken March 15, 2019. REUTERS/Rashid Umar Abbasi

The activists noted they found the “opportunity to have her ear and confront her on her false charge of anti-Semitism against our only Black, Muslim, Somali, and refugee member of Congress. We took our chance to speak truth to power.”

While maintaining that “Chelsea hurt our fight against white supremacy” and reiterating their right to tell her she was unwelcome at a vigil, the student activists nonetheless argued that “for any of us to be safe, all of must be safe.”

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Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks at a news conference in Ottawa
Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks at a news conference in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, March 7, 2019. REUTERS/Patrick Doyle

March 17, 2019

By Julie Gordon

OTTAWA (Reuters) – With a federal election looming and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government facing its worst political crisis in four years, Canada’s ruling Liberals are expected to table a goody-filled budget later this week in bid to get back on course with voters.

Trudeau’s Liberals surged to power in 2015 on a pledge to jolt the economy by boosting spending, but their popularity has dropped sharply in recent weeks amid claims that Canada’s former Justice Minister was pressured to help construction firm SNC-Lavalin avoid a criminal trial.

Adding to the pain, economic growth slowed sharply at the end of 2018 and, despite blockbuster job gains, Canadians are feeling increasingly pessimistic about the future as record household debt runs up against higher interest rates.

To counter the negative sentiment, Finance Minister Bill Morneau is expected to make use of unexpectedly strong revenues from the first nine months of the fiscal year to table a stimulus-filled federal budget on Tuesday, the last budget ahead of an October election.

High on the list of expectations is supports for millennial home buyers, money for skills re-training, pharmacare help for those lacking prescription drug plans through their workplace, and new spending for families with children.

If Morneau wants to look fiscally prudent, the key will be to divvy up only the unexpected revenue, and not disrupt plans to reduce the net-debt-to-GDP ratio – a measure of how burdensome debt is relative to the economy, said Derek Holt, head of Capital Markets Economics at Scotiabank.

“If they want their cake and eat it too, you spend only the unanticipated revenue surprise, and you keep your powder dry on the rest,” he said.

HOUSING FOR MILLENNIALS

New mortgage rules that came into effect last year, and five interest rate hikes by the Bank of Canada since July 2017, have left would-be buyers on the sidelines.

While the central bank says the changes have improved the quality of new mortgage debt in Canada, they have also contributed to a slowdown, with home sales slumping nationwide to a six-year low in February.

“Our recommendations include restoring 30-year mortgages for first-time home buyers and making some adjustments to the current stress test now that the market has changed,” said Kevin Lee, chief executive of the Canadian Home Builders’ Association.

Others options include bigger tax breaks for first-time buyers and more space to borrow from retirement savings.

But economists warn that too many perks could inadvertently reheat housing markets, putting ownership further out of reach for millennials and other first time buyers, especially in expensive cities like Vancouver and Toronto.

PHARMACARE AND MORE

The budget is also expected to propose a limited expansion to Canada’s healthcare system to cover part of the cost of prescription drugs, Reuters reported in January, citing sources.

Budget documents may go into some detail, or just make a general commitment to boost coverage, leaving specifics for the election campaign.

And while one of the bright spots in Canada’s sluggish economy has been booming employment numbers, companies say they are struggling to fill jobs requiring specialized skills, notably in the technology and healthcare fields.

“We would welcome a focus on skills, since it could address a current business challenge,” said Craig Wright, chief economist at the Royal Bank of Canada, in a research note.

Speaking at a shoe repair shop on Thursday, Morneau hinted such measures would be coming.

“In our budget this year, that’s what we’re going to be thinking about. How do we help Canadians to take time off … and how do they pay for their training?” he said.

The Liberals have faced criticism for backing away from a pledge to balance the budget by 2019, but with a vote looming the focus will likely be on setting up the campaign platform with items to come. A deficit of C$18.1 billion ($13.6 billion) is forecast for 2018/19.

“When it comes to how the deficit gets allocated, as we saw in the last election, (voters) still like to see a check in their own mailbox,” said Avery Shenfeld, chief economist at CIBC Capital Markets, in a research note.

(Additional reporting by Allison Martell and Fergal Smith in Toronto; Editing by Denny Thomas and Nick Zieminski)

Source: OANN

David Krayden | Ottawa Bureau Chief

Former Vice President Joe Biden proclaimed himself the “most progressive” of all the Democrats vying for the party’s 2020 presidential nomination.

Biden, who remains the favorite among Democratic voters to square-off against President Donald Trump and is widely expected to enter the presidential race, almost made those intentions public on Saturday in a speech to the Delaware Democratic Party, The Hill reports.

U.S. former Vice President Joe Biden wipes away tears as he delivers remarks about his family at the First State Democratic Dinner in Dover, Delaware, U.S. March 16, 2019. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

U.S. former Vice President Joe Biden wipes away tears as he delivers remarks about his family at the First State Democratic Dinner in Dover, Delaware, U.S. March 16, 2019. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

“I’m told I get criticized by the ‘New Left,’” Biden told the audience. “I have the most progressive record of anybody running for the … anybody who would run.” (RELATED: Joe Biden Tells Europe That America Is ‘An Embarrassment’)

Biden was arguing that he has been fighting for liberal values long before the advent of socialist and Independent Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders entered Democratic Party politics and prior to the arrival of Democratic New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. (RELATED: Biden To Headline LGBTQ Event)

The audience signaled approval for Biden almost declaring his intention to run as they rose to their feet and applauded, according to The Hill.

Biden quickly transitioned to attacks on Trump, whom he said was inspiring dictators around the world.

EL PASO, TEXAS - FEBRUARY 11: President Donald Trump speaks during a rally at the El Paso County Coliseum on February 11, 2019 in El Paso, Texas. U.S. President Donald Trump continues his campaign for a wall to be built along the border as the Democrats in Congress are asking for other border security measures. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump speaks during a rally at the El Paso County Coliseum on Feb. 11, 2019 in El Paso, Texas. U.S. President Donald Trump continues his campaign for a wall to be built along the border as the Democrats in Congress are asking for other border security measures. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

“The world’s worst dictators are using [the president’s] own words to justify their own abuses of power,” he claimed, after pleading that “we have to bring this country back together again.”

Although Biden is emphasizing his liberal credentials these days, the former senator from Delaware was often a conservative Democrat who was less than progressive on racial issues, once calling segregation “black pride.”

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NHL: Washington Capitals at Tampa Bay Lightning
Mar 16, 2019; Tampa, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Lightning left wing Alex Killorn (17) shoots as Washington Capitals goaltender Braden Holtby (70) makes a save during the third period at Amalie Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

March 17, 2019

Alex Killorn recorded his first career hat trick, Tampa Bay set a franchise record for wins in a season, and the Lightning beat the visiting Washington Capitals 6-3 on Saturday in the first meeting this season between the Eastern Conference’s two division leaders.

The Lightning notched their 55th victory and became just the fourth team in NHL history to win 54 games or more in consecutive seasons.

Tyler Johnson, Erik Cernak and Yanni Gourde also tallied, and Nikita Kucherov notched two assists for the Lightning, who won their fourth straight. Andrei Vasilevskiy stopped 30 shots and won for the 13th time in his past 14 starts.

Alex Ovechkin had two goals, and John Carlson added a marker and an assist for Washington, which lost for just the third time in its past 15 games. Braden Holtby allowed four goals on 33 shots.

Oilers 3, Coyotes 2 (OT)

Connor McDavid scored his second goal of the game 58 seconds into overtime as Edmonton claimed a victory in Glendale, Ariz.

Mikka Koskinen made 28 saves for the Oilers, and Matthew Benning added a goal.

Alex Galchenyuk scored twice for Arizona. Coyotes goalie Darcy Kuemper stopped 22 shots.

Bruins 2, Blue Jackets 1 (OT)

Brad Marchand scored at 3:30 of overtime as Boston returned home and snapped a three-game losing streak with a victory over Columbus.

Patrice Bergeron also scored for Boston, and Jaroslav Halak made 24 saves. The Bruins put together a streak of 19 straight games with a point, the longest in the NHL this season, before going 0-3-0 on a three-game trip to Pittsburgh, Columbus and Winnipeg.

Matt Duchene scored the lone goal for the Blue Jackets, who had a two-game winning streak snapped. Columbus’ Joonas Korpisalo stopped 31 shots.

Blackhawks 2, Canadiens 0

Corey Crawford made a career-high 48 saves in his hometown as visiting Chicago won its fifth in a row, beating Montreal. Connor Murphy and Brendan Perlini were the goal-scorers, both on assists from Alex DeBrincat.

Crawford, who missed 28 games in the middle of the season due to concussion issues, posted his second shutout of 2018-19. He owns a 1.48 goals-against average during a five-game winning streak.

The Canadiens are 6-10-1 following an impressive 8-1-1 stretch.

Blues 5, Penguins 1

Vince Dunn scored twice, and Pat Maroon had a goal and an assist as St. Louis ended a three-game losing streak by winning at Pittsburgh.

Oskar Sundqvist and Jay Bouwmeester also scored, and Colton Parayko and Robert Thomas each had two assists for St. Louis, which built a 4-0 lead through the game’s first 23 minutes. Jordan Binnington made 40 saves and is 17-4-1 in his first 22 NHL starts.

Dominik Simon scored for the Penguins, who had won three straight and six of seven. Matt Murray stopped nine of 13 shots before being relieved by Casey DeSmith, who allowed one goal on 13 shots.

Red Wings 2, Islanders 1

Andreas Athanasiou scored a pair of goals as host Detroit snapped a four-game losing streak with a victory over New York.

Danny DeKeyser assisted on both goals, while Jonathan Bernier turned aside 41 shots. Detroit avenged a pair of one-goal losses to the Islanders earlier in the season.

Anders Lee scored the only goal for the Islanders, who had won their previous two games. Thomas Greiss made 20 saves for New York.

Panthers 4, Kings 3

Jonathan Huberdeau scored the go-ahead goal with 1:56 left in regulation to lead Florida over host Los Angeles.

Huberdeau also had a game-tying assist. Evgenii Dadonov scored twice and had an assist, Mike Hoffman added a goal, and Aleksander Barkov posted three helpers for the Panthers.

Dustin Brown and Anze Kopitar each had a goal and an assist, and Brendan Leipsic also tallied for the Kings, who are 2-11-4 in their past 17 games.

Jets 2, Flames 1

Mathieu Perreault’s second-period power-play goal held up as the winner as host Winnipeg held on for a win over Calgary in a clash of Western Conference division leaders.

Connor Hellebuyck made 27 saves, including 14 in the third period, to record the victory for Winnipeg, which has won two straight games. Hellebuyck had some good fortune, too, as the Flames’ Johnny Gaudreau twice rang shots off the post and Mark Jankowski drilled the crossbar — all in the opening frame.

Mark Scheifele gave the Jets a 1-0 lead in the first period, and Jankowski tied the game with a short-handed goal in the second period. Mike Smith stopped 19 shots for the Flames.

Senators 6, Maple Leafs 2

Magnus Paajarvi scored two consecutive goals during the second period as Ottawa beat visiting Toronto.

Cody Ceci added a goal and an assist, and Brian Gibbons, Anthony Duclair and Oscar Lindberg also scored for the Senators, who won their second straight. Zack Smith added three assists for the Senators.

Morgan Rielly and John Tavares scored for the Maple Leafs, who have allowed 23 goals while losing three of their past four games.

Hurricanes 4, Sabres 2

Rookie Andrei Svechnikov scored his third goal in three games as Carolina recorded its ninth straight win over Buffalo, prevailing in Raleigh, N.C.

Jordan Staal scored to notch his 500th career point, and Justin Williams and Lucas Wallmark also tallied for the Hurricanes, who improved to 8-2-1 in their past 11 contests. Curtis McElhinney finished with 35 saves.

Former Hurricanes forward Jeff Skinner matched his career high with his 37th goal, and Zemgus Girgensons also tallied for the Sabres, who have dropped seven in a row (0-6-1).

Wild 5, Rangers 2

Ryan Donato recorded his second career two-goal game as Minnesota snapped a three-game losing streak with a victory over New York in Saint Paul, Minn.

Eric Staal also scored for the Wild, who won for just the second time in their past 11 home games (2-6-3) since Jan. 19. Jared Spurgeon added a power-play goal, and J.T. Brown scored an empty-net tally for Minnesota.

Mika Zibanejad and Pavel Buchnevich scored for the Rangers, who went 0-3-1 on their four-game road trip. They lost their seventh straight road game and dropped to 2-6-5 in their past 13 games.

Predators 4, Sharks 2

Viktor Arvidsson scored twice, and Filip Forsberg added a goal and an assist as Nashville won at San Jose.

Colton Sissons also scored for the Predators, and goaltender Juuse Saros made 24 saves. Nashville won its second straight and remained a point behind Winnipeg, which beat Calgary 2-1 Saturday, in the chase for first place in the Central Division.

Timo Meier and Joe Thornton scored for the Sharks, and Martin Jones stopped 26 of 29 shots. The Sharks lost their second straight following a six-game winning streak.

–Field Level Media

Source: OANN

David Krayden | Ottawa Bureau Chief

HBO host Bill Maher turned his fire on Democrats Friday night, criticizing the party’s decision to shut out Fox News from hosting primary debates.

Maher said it is “very Trump” for the Democrats to ignore Fox’s probing questions and huge cable audience, The Hill reported.

Bill Maher appears on his HBO Cable Show “Real Time with Bill Maher,” Oct. 26, 2018. YouTube screenshot.

Bill Maher appears on his HBO Cable Show “Real Time with Bill Maher,” Oct. 26, 2018. YouTube screenshot.

“Last week, the Democrats made a terrible decision when they announced that they had turned down Fox News’ offer to host one of their 2020 primary debates, saying Fox was nothing more than propaganda,” he said. “OK so why not go on Fox News and tell them that?” (RELATED: Bill Maher Makes Fried Chicken Joke To Black Congressman)

Maher compared it all to playing baseball.

“You want to be in the big leagues, but you refuse to ever play in an away game? You don’t like the questions that Fox News might ask, so you’re deciding to not take any questions at all? How very Trump of you,” he charged.

Maher also tweeted Friday his disgust with the decision: “Democrats, you call yourself The Resistance? Then fight behind enemy lines! That’s what a resistance does. You have to get inside the @FoxNews bubble and fight.”

Democratic National Committee (DNC) Chairman Tom Perez banned Fox News from hosting primary debates between the various contenders who are seeking their party’s nomination for the 2020 presidential race.

MEMPHIS, TN - APRIL 04: Tom Perez, Chairman of the Democratic National Committee, speaks as people gather during an event to mark the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s assassination April 4, 2018 in Memphis, Tennessee. The city is commemorating King on the anniversary of his assassination that took place on April 4, 1968 at the Lorraine Motel. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Tom Perez, Chairman of the Democratic National Committee, speaks as people gather during an event to mark the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination April 4, 2018 in Memphis, Tennessee (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

The decision was allegedly all based on a report in the New Yorker that alleges Fox News is little more than a Trump administration communications office. (RELATED: NYT Reporter Says Fox News ‘Is Not A News Network)

“Recent reporting in The New Yorker on the inappropriate relationship between President Trump, his administration and FOX News has led me to conclude that the network is not in a position to host a fair and neutral debate for our candidates,” Perez said in a statement explaining the decision.

Fox News host Chris Wallace called that reasoning “Fox derangement syndrome.”

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David Krayden | Ottawa Bureau Chief

Conservative pundit and author Mark Steyn called former Texas Democratic Rep. Beto O’Rourke “a parody of rich white privilege” in a party obsessed with diversity and identity politics.

Steyn began his segment on “Tucker Carlson Tonight” on Friday appraising a ribald poem written in 1988 by the latest Democratic presidential candidate, in which he describes sexual fantasies with a cow.

Former Texas congressman Beto O'Rourke speaks during a campaign stop at The Beancounter Coffeehouse in Burlington, Iowa on March 14, 2019. REUTERS/Daniel Acker

Former Texas congressman Beto O’Rourke speaks during a campaign stop at The Beancounter Coffeehouse in Burlington, Iowa on March 14, 2019. REUTERS/Daniel Acker

“We’re in Keats and Shelly territory here,” Steyn joked in reference to the two poets. “I love the rhyme, I love the meter, I love the poetic sentiment.” (RELATED: Beto O’Rourke: ‘Beyond A Shadow Of A Doubt,’ Trump Tried To Collude With Russia)

The writer summed up the Democratic presidential race as “diversity and identity means we have to put up many black and gay and Muslim and transgendered candidates, so they can lose to the rich white guy.”

While the Democratic Party lauds itself on embracing diversity, Steyn noted, “I don’t believe in the concept of white privilege but these guys do and it’s hard to get any more white privileged than a judge’s boarding-school son, who’s writing bovine poetry.” He added that O’Rourke has styled himself as the “world’s most dedicated, middle-aged skateboarder.” (RELATED: Texas Democratic Party Chairman Unable To Name One Beto Accomplishment)

Beto O’Rourke demonstrates his prowess at skateboarding. Clip shown on Tucker Carlson Tonight, March 15, 2019. Fox News screenshot.

Beto O’Rourke demonstrates his prowess at skateboarding. Clip shown on Tucker Carlson Tonight, March 15, 2019. Fox News screenshot.

Since O’Rourke entered the presidential race this week, he has been the focus of non-stop media attention. The congressman made climate change a key component of his political program and said those fighting the ecological battle are like the troops that stormed Normandy during the D-Day invasion of 1944.

Commenting on contemporary politics, Steyn added, “Beto is the boy band du jour.”

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David Krayden | Ottawa Bureau Chief

Former Florida Republican Gov. Jeb Bush wants to find “someone” to run against President Donald Trump in the 2020 Republican presidential primaries.

Bush reportedly made the declaration in an upcoming episode of CNN’s “The Axe Files,” hosted by former Obama advisor and confidante David Axelrod, who tweeted the news on Friday.

“I think someone should run just because Republicans ought to be given a choice,” Bush said. “It’s hard to beat a sitting president, but to have a conversation about what it is to be a conservative — I think it’s important.”

Then-Republican presidential hopefuls Donald Trump (L) and Jeb Bush high five during the Republican Presidential Debate at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California on Sept. 16, 2015.  FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images)

Although Bush was an early favorite to win the GOP nomination in 2016, he dropped out of the contest early after losing in South Carolina. (RELATED: ‘He Was A Terrible Candidate:’ Meghan McCain Savages Jeb Bush’s Conservative Credentials)

Axelrod continued tweeting that the interview with Bush had proven to be “incredibly candid on all fronts” in terms of the former governor’s opinions on the current president, his policies and the Republican Party.

Bush reportedly also suggested that Maryland Republican Gov. Larry Hogan might be the person to take up the nomination challenge. Bush spoke at Hogan’s Inauguration Day ceremonies and he told CNN that he “kind of got a sense that maybe this was an opening” for Hogan to consider a presidential campaign. (RELATED: Maryland Gov Pledges To ‘Get Even Tougher’ On Baltimore Crime)

Maryland Governor Larry Hogan (R) speaks at the MGM National Harbor Grand Opening Celebration on December 8, 2016 in National Harbor, Maryland. Larry French/Getty Images for MGM National Harbor

Maryland Governor Larry Hogan speaks at the MGM National Harbor Grand Opening Celebration on Dec. 8, 2016 in National Harbor, Maryland. Larry French/Getty Images for MGM National Harbor

Bush wouldn’t say if he believes Hogan plans to run or not. He further told Axelrod that Republicans must “offer a compelling alternative” to Democratic ideas rather than just calling their ideas “bad,” according to CNN.

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David Krayden | Ottawa Bureau Chief

Former Vice President Al Gore likened the “ecological crisis” of climate change to the American Civil War but said this time the stakes are even higher, with the “end of civilization” looming on the horizon.

“What is going on in the public square right now is more important than any time since the Civil War,” Gore told an audience of 2,000 supporters.

“We are facing an ecological crisis that can bring about the end of civilization,” Gore said Thursday, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Gore suggested the United States and the world was “crossing an important political tipping point right now.” (RELATED: Al Gore ‘We’re Running Out Of Time On Global Warming’)

Al Gore, former U.S. Vice President and Climate Reality Project Chairman, gestures as he speaks at the COP24 UN Climate Change Conference 2018 in Katowice, Poland December 12, 2018. Agencja Gazeta/Grzegorz Celejewski/via REUTERS

Al Gore, former U.S. Vice President and Climate Reality Project Chairman, gestures as he speaks at the COP24 UN Climate Change Conference 2018 in Katowice, Poland December 12, 2018. Agencja Gazeta/Grzegorz Celejewski/via REUTERS

The former Democratic presidential candidate is the special guest at Atlanta’s Climate Reality Project that has been organized by local church leaders. Gore was joined by Saturday Night Live’s Pete Davidson, who said the environment is like “a girl you’re in love with who just got engaged to someone else. The situation is dire but there’s still time.”

Gore is hardly the first high-profile climate change proponent to warn of a coming Apocalypse if greenhouse gas emissions are not arrested. At last December’s United Nations Climate Change Conference, celebrity environmentalist Sir David Attenborough warned of “the collapse of civilizations” due to the alleged climate crisis.

The jet-setting Gore cited the Green New Deal, brainchild of New York Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, as the model for moving forward on climate change action. He then compared the plan, which aims to rid the United States of greenhouse gasses, air travel and cows within a decade, to the nuclear freeze proposals of the 1980s, when many anti-nuclear advocates were recommending unilateral nuclear disarmament. (RELATED: Report: Rep. Ocasio-Cortez Has Violated Her Own Green New Deal)

U.S. Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and Senator Ed Markey (D-MA) hold a news conference for their proposed "Green New Deal" to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions in 10 years, at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, U.S. February 7, 2019. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

U.S. Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and Senator Ed Markey (D-MA) hold a news conference for their proposed “Green New Deal” to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions in 10 years, at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, U.S. Feb. 7, 2019. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

“It’s similar to the nuclear freeze proposals, because it serves as a vehicle,” Gore insisted.

This past week, the co-founder of the environmental group Greenpeace said the hysteria surrounding climate change was completely unfounded. Patrick Moore said the climate crisis was “not only fake news, it’s fake science.”

Since losing the 2000 presidential race to then-Republican candidate George W. Bush, Gore has dedicated his professional life to global warming and climate change. He won an Academy Award for his 2006 film “An Inconvenient Truth.” The follow-up, “An Inconvenient Sequel” flopped at the box office. He won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007 for his environmental work.

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NHL: Tampa Bay Lightning at Detroit Red Wings
Mar 14, 2019; Detroit, MI, USA; Tampa Bay Lightning right wing Nikita Kucherov (86) celebrates with teammates after scoring a goal during the third period against the Detroit Red Wings at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

March 15, 2019

Nikita Kucherov had two goals and two assists, and the Tampa Bay Lightning rallied from a three-goal deficit to defeat the host Detroit Red Wings for the 15th consecutive time, 5-4, on Thursday.

Tampa Bay won its third straight while Detroit lost for the 12th time in 13 games (1-9-3). The Lightning matched their franchise record of 54 wins set last season.

Steven Stamkos tied Vincent Lecavalier’s franchise record of 383 goals during the second period, and he also had an assist. Brayden Point supplied a goal and two assists, and Tyler Johnson also scored for Tampa Bay. Andrei Vasilevskiy made 23 saves.

Darren Helm scored his 100th career goal during a short-handed situation for Detroit. Justin Abdelkader tallied his first goal in 41 games. Madison Bowey and Michael Rasmussen also scored, and Jimmy Howard stopped 34 shots.

Stars 4, Wild 1

Ben Bishop set a franchise-record shutout streak before exiting with an injury, and Dallas scored three goals in the second period in a victory over Minnesota at Saint Paul, Minn.

Radek Faksa and rookies Roope Hintz and Joel L’Esperance scored in a 2:22 span for the Stars, who have won six of their last seven games overall to pull even in points with St. Louis (79) for third place in the Central Division. Alexander Radulov sealed the victory with an empty-net goal.

Anton Khudobin turned aside 14 shots in relief of Bishop, who extended his shutout streak to a career-best 230:53 before leaving with a lower-body injury. The 32-year-old Bishop, who finished with seven saves, eclipsed the previous franchise mark of 219:26 set by Ed Belfour in November 2000.

Penguins 5, Sabres 0

Casey DeSmith made 26 saves, and Phil Kessel, Nick Bjugstad and Jake Guentzel each had a goal and an assist to pace visiting Pittsburgh past Buffalo for its third straight win.

It was the fourth career shutout and third of the season for DeSmith, who had not started since Feb. 21. Brian Dumoulin and Patric Hornqvist also scored for the Penguins, and Sidney Crosby had two assists to give him 31 points in the past 17 games.

Carter Hutton made 23 saves for Buffalo, which was shut out for the third straight game and has lost six in row.

Jets 4, Bruins 3

A third-period goal from Nikolaj Ehlers ended up being the deciding score as Winnipeg edged visiting Boston.

Some strong forechecking from the Jets led to a Boston turnover, with Ehlers pouncing on the loose puck for his 18th goal of the season at 13:02 of the third period. Ehlers’ score ended up being a critical one as Charlie Coyle tipped in a Zdeno Chara point shot at 17:04 of the final frame to pull Boston within one.

The victory snapped a two-game losing streak for Winnipeg and allowed the first-place Jets to maintain their lead over Nashville atop the Central Division. The Bruins have lost their last three games in regulation, following a stretch that saw them record points over 19 consecutive games (15-0-4).

Capitals 5, Flyers 2

Brett Connolly scored two goals and added an assist to lead visiting Washington past Philadelphia.

Lars Eller, Tom Wilson and Evgeny Kuznetsov each scored a goal while Braden Holtby stopped 22 shots. Kuznetsov also had an assist for the Capitals, who have won eight of nine.

James van Riemsdyk and Scott Laughton scored for the Flyers. Carter Hart played for the first time in three weeks and gave up all four goals while making 27 saves.

Senators 2, Blues 0

Anders Nilsson made 35 saves for his second shutout of the season as lowly host Ottawa beat struggling St. Louis. Chris Tierney and Christian Wolanin had the goals.

Nilsson made several key saves to help his team earn just its second win in the last 13 games. Ottawa, which has an NHL-low 54 points and has already been eliminated from the playoff race, snapped a five-game home losing streak and a four-game slide to St. Louis.

The result could prove costly for the playoff-hopeful Blues, who have totaled three goals during an 0-2-1 stretch that’s come without injured goal leader Vladimir Tarasenko. St. Louis had its chances in the third, particularly from Ryan O’Reilly and Robert Thomas, but was stopped on point-blank saves by Nilsson.

Islanders 2, Canadiens 1

Anders Lee scored the tiebreaking goal with 2:57 left in the third period as New York edged visiting Montreal.

Adam Pelech scored in the second period for the Islanders, who won for the fourth time in five games to remain two points behind the first-place Washington Capitals in the Metropolitan Division. Thomas Greiss made 33 saves.

Jordie Benn scored in the second period for the Canadiens, who lost for the fourth time in six games and missed a chance to move ahead of the idle Columbus Blue Jackets in the race for the second and final wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference. Carey Price made 36 saves.

Coyotes 6, Ducks 1

Vinnie Hinostroza scored his first career hat trick, and Arizona inched closer to its first Stanley Cup playoff appearance in seven years with a rout of visiting Anaheim.

The Coyotes moved three points ahead of Minnesota for the second wild card in the Western Conference. Jason Demers had a goal and an assist, and Oliver Ekman-Larsson tied the franchise record with the 15th short-handed goal of the season for the Coyotes. Darcy Kuemper made 37 saves for Arizona, which is 13-4-0 since Feb. 9.

Jakob Silfverberg extended his career-long point streak to seven games with a goal, and Ryan Miller made 18 saves for the Ducks.

Predators 3, Kings 1

Craig Smith and Colton Sissons scored second-period goals as visiting Nashville took the lead for good and defeated Los Angeles to keep pace in the Central Division.

Viktor Arvidsson also scored a goal as the Predators remained in second place, a point behind Winnipeg. Pekka Rinne had 25 saves as the Predators won in regulation for the first time in their past nine games.

Austin Wagner scored a goal for the Kings after missing the previous four games with a lower-body injury. Los Angeles lost for the fourth time in its past five games and for the 14th time in its past 16 games.

Panthers 4, Sharks 2

Mike Hoffman scored the go-ahead goal, and rookie goaltender Sam Montembeault won his third straight start to lead visiting Florida past San Jose.

Hoffman, who added an assist, set a career high for points (63). With his 32nd goal, he tied Ray Whitney (1997-98) for the most by a player in his first season with Florida.

Jamie McGinn, Dryden Hunt and Frank Vatrano also scored for the Panthers, who won their third straight overall. Montembeault, 22, made 26 saves in his first road start, and he improved to 3-0-1. Melker Karlsson and Kevin Labanc tallied for the Sharks, who had their six-game winning streak snapped.

–Field Level Media

Source: OANN

Bank of Canada Senior Deputy Governor Carolyn Wilkins poses for a photograph following an interview with Reuters in Montebello
FILE PHOTO: Bank of Canada Senior Deputy Governor Carolyn Wilkins poses for a photograph following an interview with Reuters in Montebello, Quebec, Canada, February 8, 2018. REUTERS/Chris Wattie

March 14, 2019

By Julie Gordon

OTTAWA (Reuters) – Rising global debt is slowing economic growth and making Canada, and the rest of the world, more vulnerable to another period of financial instability, Bank of Canada senior deputy governor Carolyn Wilkins said on Thursday.

Speaking to an audience of financial professionals and students in Vancouver, she noted that while the global financial system is in a better place than it was a decade ago, trade uncertainties and other geopolitical risks could throw things off track.

“Global debt now totals around $240 trillion – that’s $100 trillion higher than just before the financial crisis,” Wilkins said, adding: “That is a headwind to growth and makes us vulnerable to another period of financial instability.”

On the domestic front, Wilkins said that high household debt levels are “our number one domestic financial vulnerability,” but later added that more stringent mortgage rules introduced last year had improved the quality of new borrowing.

Canadian household debt-to-income widened to a record 174 percent in the fourth quarter of 2018, Statistics Canada said earlier on Thursday.

The Bank of Canada – which has hiked rates five times since July 2017 – stayed on the sidelines in its rate decision last week, warning there was “increased uncertainty” on the timing of future hikes and removing wording around the need for rates to rise to the neutral range over time.

The more dovish tone prompted money markets to price in the chance of a rate cut by year-end, with that probability hovering around 35 percent ahead of Wilkins speech. Wilkins did not mention the need for further rate hikes on Thursday.

Wilkins said that a long-lasting resolution to the current U.S.-China trade war was needed, as the conflict was threatening growth around the world.

“In a trade war, no one gains and everyone loses,” she said, adding an end to U.S. tariffs on steel and aluminum would also be a welcome relief for Canada and other impacted countries.

U.S. officials said last week that there had been progress in talks with China, but there was much work left to be done to reach a deal in the tit-for-tat tariff battle, which has weighed on global markets for months.

(Reporting by Julie Gordon and Dale Smith in Ottawa; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz and Senior Deputy Governor Carolyn Wilkins walk to a news conference in Ottawa
FILE PHOTO: Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz (R) and Senior Deputy Governor Carolyn Wilkins walk to a news conference in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, July 12, 2017. REUTERS/Chris Wattie

March 14, 2019

OTTAWA (Reuters) – Rising global debt is slowing economic growth and making Canada, and the rest of the world, more vulnerable to another period of financial instability, Bank of Canada senior deputy governor Carolyn Wilkins said on Thursday.

Speaking to an audience of financial professionals and students in Vancouver, she noted that while the global financial system is in a better place than it was a decade ago, trade uncertainties and other geopolitical risks could throw things off track.

“Global debt now totals around $240 trillion – that’s $100 trillion higher than just before the financial crisis,” Wilkins said, adding: “That is a headwind to growth and makes us vulnerable to another period of financial instability.”

The Bank of Canada – which has hiked rates five times since July 2017 – stayed on the sidelines in its rate decision last week, warning there was “increased uncertainty” on the timing of future hikes and removing wording around the need for rates to rise to the neutral range over time.

The more dovish tone prompted money markets to price in the chance of a rate cut by year-end, with that probability hovering around 35 percent ahead of Wilkins speech. Wilkins did not mention the need for further rate hikes.

(Reporting by Julie Gordon and Dale Smith)

Source: OANN

The Royal Bank of Canada logo is seen outside of a branch in Ottawa
The Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) logo is seen outside of a branch in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, February 14, 2019. REUTERS/Chris Wattie

March 14, 2019

By Jonathan Stempel

NEW YORK (Reuters) – A federal judge in Manhattan on Thursday dismissed a lawsuit by investors that accused nine large banks, including six from Canada, of conspiring to manipulate a Canadian rate benchmark to improve profits from derivatives trading.

U.S. District Judge Analisa Torres rejected racketeering and antitrust claims by the lead plaintiff, the Fire & Police Pension Association of Colorado, against Royal Bank of Canada, Toronto-Dominion Bank, Bank of Nova Scotia and other banks.

Lawyers for the plaintiff did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

The proposed class action concerned the alleged suppression from August 2007 to June 2014 of the Canadian Dealer Offered Rate (CDOR), a rate at which banks would lend to corporate clients using bankers’ acceptances, a short-term credit instrument.

CDOR, now called the Canadian Dollar Offered Rate, is calculated daily by Thomson Reuters based on rate submissions from banks.

The plaintiff accused banks of manipulating CDOR to reduce interest owed to investors on CDOR-based derivatives transactions in the United States, including swaps and Canadian dollar futures contracts, and boost profit.

But the judge said the alleged wrongful conduct occurred in Canada, which is not covered by the U.S. anti-racketeering law known as RICO, and the plaintiff failed to show that any rigging left it worse off.

Torres also found no proof of a common profit motive among banks to suppress CDOR because they held more CDOR-based derivative contracts, under which they made interest payments, than CDOR-based loans, on which they received interest payments.

Other defendants included Bank of Montreal, Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, National Bank of Canada, Bank of America Corp, Deutsche Bank AG and HSBC Holdings Plc.

Canadian regulators updated the CDOR-setting process after the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada in January 2013 identified “potential” for manipulation.

The case is Fire & Police Pension Association of Colorado v Bank of Montreal et al, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, No. 18-00342.

(Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; Editing by Richard Chang)

Source: OANN

A Canadian man who killed and dismembered his girlfriend in 1999 is out on parole and will legally live as a woman after deciding he is transgender.

Khaled Farhan murdered his then-girlfriend in 1999 and was nicknamed “The Butcher of Gatineau” following the horrific crime, Fox News reported Thursday. He was high on cocaine at the time of the murder. The court found Farhan guilty of second-degree murder in 2000, according to the Ottawa Citizen.

Farhan now identifies as a woman and is legally recognized as Zahra Farhan.

Farhan was granted parole in January. “You are assessed as a low to low end of moderate risk for both general and violence recidivism,” the parole board wrote, the Citizen reported.

Following a guilty conviction, Farhan was sent to a men’s prison and placed in solitary confinement in 2010 after sending inappropriate sexual letters to prison guards, according to the Citizen. (RELATED: Transgender Prisoner Assaults Four Women Days After He Was Jailed)

While in prison, Farhan began identifying as a woman and was transferred to a woman’s prison. Canada allows prisoners to be housed according to their gender identity rather than biological sex. Prison guards must address them according to their preferred pronouns and names. Transgender convicts also may choose whether a male or female officer will attend to them during drug tests and strip searches.

Following release from prison, Farhan must live at a halfway house and is barred from using any drugs or alcohol, according to parole conditions. Farhan must also report entry into any romantic relationships with another person, the Citizen reported.

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