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- Media Mornings broadcast studio at Vancouver Co-op Radio (Photo: David P. Ball)
TODAY’S TOP NEWS HEADLINES
- TOP STORY: BC: ENBRIDGE NORTHERN GATEWAY HEARINGS — Supporters and critics of the proposed Northern Gateway pipeline will make their final statements to a federal review panel starting today. This is the last stage of public hearings before the panel issues its decision later this year. The Calgary-based Enbridge Corporation will be first to present their final argument at the two weeks of hearings. Opponents held a public rally yesterday in the northern coastal community of Terrace, where the city council passed a resolution last year opposing the project (CBC).
- BC: CHICKEN FECES USED AGAINST HOMELESS AGAIN — The city of Port Coquitlam says two bylaw enforcement officers were out of line when they spread chicken fertilizer where a homeless man camps out. Officers had apparently repeatedly asked the man to move from a trail under the Lougheed Bridge bordering the Coquitlam River. But when he kept coming back, they dumped manure at the spot. Homeless advocates were outraged, but say they are confident the incident won’t be repeated. Port Coquitlam says while the city doesn’t have an official policy for dismantling homeless camps, it has taken steps to ensure that city staff’s actions won’t be repeated. Last week, the city of Abbotsford apologized after its staff were caught spreading manure over a homeless camp (CBC).
- CANADA: UNION TRANSPARENCY BILL — In Ottawa today, the controversial bill C-377 affecting trade unions is set to enter its final reading in the Senate today. Conservative Senator Hugh Segal will introduce amendments to the legislation in response to a growing chorus of criticism. The Conservative-dominated Senate committee that just finished studying the bill issued a rare “observation” about its concerns with the bill. Two other senators said they would also consider proposing amendments The Bill would compel trade unions to make highly detailed annual financial statements, potentially crippling many union locals by imposing stringent reporting requirements (iPOLITICS).
- TURKEY: UNIONS STRIKE AGAINST POLICE CRACKDOWN — There is no indication that the dispute over Istanbul’s Gezi Park is winding down. The Turkish deputy prime minister has said that the army could be deployed to halt protests that have swept the nation over the past two weeks. BBC journalist Selin Girit reported yesterday that Istanbul looks like a divided city more than ever. While Prime Minister Erdogan addressed tens of thousands of supporters, demonstrators were marching towards Taksim Square, despite new police tear gas attacks. Taksim and Gezi Park are completely cordoned off by the police. Crews have removed all traces of the peaceful sit-in that had occupied the park until it was attacked by security forces over the weekend. Police ripped down the tents, food distribution centres and library the protesters had set up. Today, unions in Turkey called a one-day nationwide strike over the eviction of demonstrators from Gezi Park.. The Confederation of Public Workers’ Unions (KESK) and Confederation of Progressive Trade Unions (DISK), which represent hundreds of thousands of workers across the country, are demanding an immediate end to police violence. Associations representing doctors, engineers and dentists have said they too will support the strike. Medical officials estimate that 5,000 people have been injured and at least four killed since the protests began (BBC).
- SYRIA: WESTERN ARMS — Russia and the UK still have very different approaches to the Syrian crisis, British PM Cameron said yesteday after meeting Russian president Vladimir Putin. Cameron said a decision to arm anti-government rebels in Syria has not yet been made. Putin warned against such a move,point to atrocities committed by the rebel forces. Putin also defended Russia’s arms supplies to the official government of Syria saying they are “in accordance with international laws.” Meanwhile, the Morning Star reports that the US has vowed to go ahead with war games less than 160 kilometers from Syria. Operation Eager Lion will see 4,500 US troops, as well as soldiers from 18 other countries, hold military manoeuvres in neighbouring Jordan. US President Barack Obama confirmed on Saturday that F-16 fighter jets and Patriot missiles will remain in Jordan even after the exercises finish (RT, MORNING STAR).
- ECUADOR/UK: WIKILEAKS ASSANGE ASYLUM — Ecuador’s foreign minister has arrived in London for talks with his British counterpart over the situation of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange. Assange has been granted political asylum by Ecuador but will be arrested by British authorities if he leaves the Ecuadorian embassy in London. The BBC reports that Ricardo Patino will visit both Assange and British Foreign Minister William Hague today. Assange is wanted in Sweden where he faces sexual assault allegations by two women. He denies the claims, arguing that the Swedish case is a fabrication to enable the U.S. to arrest him. Wikileaks is being investigated by US authorities for turning over thousands of confidential military documents which were published by major media outlets (BBC).