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Air Canada Forced to Apologizes Over Insulting First Nations Chiefs Cultural Heritage

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Flight staff told Woodhouse Nepinak the case had to go into the cargo hold

Air Canada has had to apologise to an first nations chief after cabin workers attempted to remove her sacred headgear and place it in the cargo hold of a domestic flight last week.

Cindy Woodhouse Nepinak, the newly elected National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations, said she was “stunned” when crew members attempted to steal the sacred item from her on a flight between Montreal and Fredericton, throwing the case in which she was carrying the headdress into the hold.

“I was kind of stunned,” she told CBC News on Friday, explaining that her people view a headdress as “like your child, like your baby.” It is with you. “It is a part of you.”

The leader stated that she had previously traveled without incident, carrying the headgear in a dedicated case alongside her carry-on luggage, but this time the personnel took a different approach.

She told the outlet that the scenario became “pretty heated,” with workers removing the case from her after she requested to keep it under the seat in front of her.

Woodhouse Nepinak then removed the precious artifact from the case and carried it on her lap throughout the journey, but the crew insisted on putting the case in the hold and placing it in “garbage bags”.

Staff did not return the case to her at the end of the flight, and the captain reportedly had to intercede, despite the fact that fellow passengers treated her with great respect.

“There were Canadians from all walks of life sitting in the plane who were astounded, which I was delighted to see, because it wasn’t like people simply sat there and were quiet. “People were genuinely trying to help,” Woodhouse Nepinak said.

“I want to focus on making sure that First Nations can come through our airport and our airlines, all airlines, Air Canada included, in a safe way, in a respectful way.”

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Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau criticized Air Canada, calling the situation “unacceptable”.

“From my perspective, that is an unfortunate situation that I hope is going to lead to a bit of learning, not just by Air Canada, but a lot of different institutions,” the prime minister told reporters on Friday.

The Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs denounced the Air Canada crew’s actions and asked for extensive cultural sensitivity training throughout the airline sector.

“Systemic discrimination reveals itself in situations like this,” AMC Grand Chief Cathy Merrick stated in a statement.

“When our precious goods are treated as if they were mere objects. What happened to National Chief Woodhouse Nepinak is a horrible example of how ignorant Canadians are regarding First Nations’ treasured cultural goods and traditions.

Other tribe chiefs presented Woodhouse Nepinak with the headdress during a “headdress transfer” ceremony in January of this year, which is considered one of the highest accolades within First Nations.

National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations Cindy Woodhouse Nepinak

National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations Cindy Woodhouse Nepinak: CBC Image

AMC stated that by 2024, with knowledge freely available online, more people should comprehend these customs and beliefs, and Woodhouse Nepinak agreed.

“This can… set the motion in place for, you know, the airlines, Air Canada, WestJet, whomever, to have a, you know, an understanding of our way of life, our beliefs, and have that mutual respect,” she said in an interview with CBC.

On Thursday, Air Canada apologized, saying it will communicate with the leader to better understand the issue.

“Air Canada understands the importance of accommodating customers with items and symbols of sacred cultural significance, and in the past the chiefs have been able to travel while transporting their headdresses in the cabin,” the company said in a statement to CBC News.

Air Canada stated that the “regrettable incident” will prompt a review of company rules.

Air Canada Resumes Directs Flights from Vancouver to Thailand

Air Canada Resumes Directs Flights from Vancouver to Thailand

Geoff Thomas is a seasoned staff writer at VORNews, a reputable online publication. With his sharp writing skills and deep understanding of SEO, he consistently delivers high-quality, engaging content that resonates with readers. Thomas' articles are well-researched, informative, and written in a clear, concise style that keeps audiences hooked. His ability to craft compelling narratives while seamlessly incorporating relevant keywords has made him a valuable asset to the VORNews team.

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Putin Signs Decree Allowing Seizure Of Americans’ Assets If US Confiscates Russian Holdings

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President Vladimir Putin has signed a decree empowering Russia to seize assets from US corporations and individuals to compensate for any Russian assets confiscated in the US.

The mandate was published on the Russian government’s legal web on Thursday, as senior finance officials from the Group of Seven industrialized nations began a summit where the issue of what to do with Russian assets frozen in the West was at the forefront of the agenda.

Putin Signs Decree Allowing Seizure Of Americans’ Assets If US Confiscates Russian Holdings

Ukraine and several of its allies have asked for the confiscation of $260 billion in Russian assets held outside of the nation following Russia’s invasion on February 24, 2022. However, European officials have refused, citing legal and financial stability concerns.

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Putin | Reuters Image

Putin Signs Decree Allowing Seizure Of Americans’ Assets If US Confiscates Russian Holdings

However, in April, US President Joe Biden signed the Rebuilding Economic Prosperity and Opportunity for Ukrainians Act, which authorizes the administration to collect around $5 billion in Russian state assets in the United States. The legislation was included in a US aid package for Ukraine and other countries, which includes approximately $61 billion for Ukraine’s defense.

However, the United States will likely seize the assets with the approval of the other Group of Seven nations and the European Union.

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Putin | Poltico Image

Putin Signs Decree Allowing Seizure Of Americans’ Assets If US Confiscates Russian Holdings

According to Putin’s directive, Russian firms, the central bank, and individuals can appeal to Russian courts to have the seizure of property in the United States declared unreasonable. If the court approves, a government commission will give assets as compensation, which might include property owned by US people or companies in Russia and equities and interests in Russian enterprises.

SOURCE – (AP)

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Harvard Holding Commencement After Weekslong Pro-Palestinian Encampment Protest

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Harvard | Harvard.com Image

CAMBRIDGE, Massachusetts – Harvard University planned to host its commencement ceremony on Thursday, following a weeks-long pro-Palestinian encampment that closed off Harvard Yard to save individuals with university links and heightened campus tensions.

Those tensions were heightened on Wednesday when school authorities revealed that 13 Harvard students who participated in the encampment would not be permitted to graduate alongside their classmates.

Those in the encampment demanded a cease-fire in Gaza and Harvard’s divestment from firms that support the war.

Also on Thursday, Northwestern and Rutgers University presidents are scheduled to speak before the House Committee on Education and the Workforce on concessions they made to pro-Palestinian protesters to cease campus rallies. The Chancellor of the University of California, Los Angeles, was also due to attend the most recent hearings looking into how universities have responded to the protests and charges of antisemitism.

Harvard

Harvard | AP News Image

Harvard Holding Commencement After Weekslong Pro-Palestinian Encampment Protest

The decision by the school’s top governing board comes after faculty members recommended on Monday that the 13 students be allowed to graduate despite their participation in the encampment.

However, Harvard’s governing board, the Harvard Corporation, stated that each 13 had been determined to have violated university standards during the camping protest.

“In coming to this determination, we note that the express provisions of the Harvard College Student Handbook state that students who are not in good standing are not eligible for degrees,” the company stated in a written statement.

The statement did not rule out the possibility of an appeals procedure, stating that the corporation knows “that the inability to graduate is consequential for students and their families” and supports the Faculty of Arts and Sciences’ goal to accelerate the examination of appeal requests.

Harvard

Harvard | The Forward Image

Harvard Holding Commencement After Weekslong Pro-Palestinian Encampment Protest

“We care deeply about every member of our community — students, faculty, staff, researchers, and alumni — and we have chosen a path forward that accords with our responsibilities and reaffirms a process for our students to receive prompt and fair review,” said the statement.

Protesters packed up their things and departed a pro-Palestinian campsite at Drexel University in Philadelphia on Thursday after the school announced a decision to have police clear the area

Supporters of the students said that the decision not to allow them to earn degrees at commencement violated a May 14 agreement between interim President Alan Garber and the Harvard Out of Occupied Palestine alliance, which would have allowed them to graduate.

Protesters opposing Israel’s war with Hamas willingly demolished their tents after university administrators agreed to hear their concerns over the endowment, bringing a peaceful end to the types of demonstrations that were broken up by police on other campuses.

The group issued a statement late Wednesday, claiming that the decision jeopardizes the 13 students’ post-graduate careers.

“By rejecting a democratic faculty vote, the Corporation has proved itself to be a wholly illegitimate body, and Garber an illegitimate president, accountable to no one at the university,” claimed the organization.

Harvard

Harvard | Harvard Crimson Image

Harvard Holding Commencement After Weekslong Pro-Palestinian Encampment Protest

“Today’s actions have plunged the university even further into a crisis of legitimacy and governance, which will have major repercussions for Harvard in the coming months and years,” claimed the organization.

Supporters of the protestors planned a vigil outside Harvard Yard on Thursday to support the 13 and urge for a cease-fire in Gaza.

Protesters packed up their things and departed a pro-Palestinian campsite at Drexel University in Philadelphia on Thursday after the school announced a decision to have police clear the area. A wave of pro-Palestinian tent encampments on college campuses has resulted in over 3,000 arrests nationally.

SOURCE – (AP)

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Biden Is Honoring Kenya With State Visit As The East African Nation Prepares To Send Police To Haiti

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Biden | NBC Image

Washington — President Joe Biden is greeting Kenyan President William Ruto to the White House for a three-day state visit as the East African country prepares to send troops to Haiti as part of a United Nations-led effort to calm a deteriorating security situation in the Caribbean.

Some 1,000 Kenyan police personnel will soon arrive in Haiti as part of a multilateral security support operation aimed at reducing gang violence. Other countries anticipated to assist the Kenyan military include the Bahamas, Barbados, Benin, Chad, and Bangladesh.

For years, the United States has worked with Kenya on counterterrorism initiatives in Africa, notably the fight against the extremist group al-Shabab. Kenya has joined the Ukraine Defense Contact Group and an international maritime task force established by the Biden administration in December in response to Houthi attacks on shipping in the Red Sea.

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Biden | AP News Image

Biden Is Honoring Kenya With State Visit As The East African Nation Prepares To Send Police To Haiti

A top Biden administration official praised Ruto’s decision to send police personnel to Haiti, calling it an “unprecedented undertaking” and demonstrating Kenya’s international leadership.

Kenya is the first African nation to have a state visit from the United States since 2008.

“This is a deep and broad partnership,” White House principal deputy national security adviser Jon Finer said last week. He said it begins with combatting terrorism in Kenya’s region of Africa and progresses to “becoming a net security provider in our own hemisphere” with the upcoming deployment to Haiti.

The state visit begins with the two leaders meeting with CEOs at the White House in the afternoon. The goal is to increase relations between the American and Kenyan IT industries. The White House predicts that Teneo, Alphabet, and Semiconductor Technologies Limited executives will attend.

On Thursday, Biden and Ruto will hold formal talks and a joint press conference before attending a state dinner. Ruto is also scheduled to attend a U.S. Chamber of Commerce event with Vice President Kamala Harris this Friday.

Ruto began his journey to the United States in Atlanta, where he visited The King Center, met NBA icon Shaquille O’Neal, and dropped by Tyler Perry Studios.

The United States and Kenya are commemorating their 60th anniversary of diplomatic relations. According to White House officials, the leaders’ agenda will include trade and investment, technological innovation, climate and sustainable energy, as well as health and security.

Deputy Secretary of State Kurt Campbell stated that the two countries would make “substantial commitments” to strengthen Kenya’s technical industry. Kenya hosts Google and Microsoft headquarters and established itself as East Africa’s technology hub, the Silicon Savannah.

In December 2022, Biden gathered dozens of African leaders in Washington to make the case that the United States was “all in” on Africa’s future, promising billions of dollars in government and private investment in health, infrastructure, business, and technology. The Democrat also promised to visit Sub-Saharan Africa in 2023.

biden

Biden | AP news Image

Biden Is Honoring Kenya With State Visit As The East African Nation Prepares To Send Police To Haiti

But other issues got in the way last year, notably the Israel-Hamas conflict and Biden’s lengthy battle with Republicans to renew financing for Ukraine’s war with Russia. Biden’s projected journey to Africa never occurred.

All the while, Russia has attempted to strengthen its economic and military influence in Africa. The junta in the West African nation recently ordered the withdrawal of US troops from Niger, which should be complete by mid-September. Meanwhile, Russia sent military trainers to Niger.

In addition, the United States needs to catch up to rival China in terms of investment in Africa, which has emerged as a vital battleground in the rivalry between great powers.

Biden and his advisers foresee fierce economic competition with Beijing in Africa but have attempted to argue that Washington is a far more stable partner in the long run

To that purpose, Biden took steps early in his presidency to prioritize Africa over his predecessors, including hosting over 50 leaders for the U.S.-Africa Leaders Conference in December 2022. However, analysts think the administration’s involvement has waned since the summit.

Cameron Hudson, a senior scholar at the Center for Strategic and International Studies Africa Program, highlighted that Biden has only hosted one African leader, Angola President João Manuel Gonçalves Lourenço, for meetings at the White House since the conference.

“This visit today feels a bit like a fig leaf, not just for the Kenyans but for Africa in general, and a kind of a placeholder for the administration to say: All of those things that we said early on in the administration, they all remain true,” Hudson stated.

According to Macharia Munene, a professor of international relations at the United States International University in Africa, Ruto hopes to use the visit to boost his international reputation. He feels that deploying Kenyan police to Haiti will help him achieve that aim.

biden

Biden | AP news Image

Biden Is Honoring Kenya With State Visit As The East African Nation Prepares To Send Police To Haiti

“Ruto wishes to be known as the African leader, particularly in the West. “And this kind of recognition fuels that desire,” Munene explained.

Ruto has stated that Kenya’s mission to Haiti aims to “formulate actionable strategies that will lead to long-term solutions” in the poorest Western Hemisphere country. For decades, Haiti has suffered from poverty, political instability, and natural calamities. The United States has agreed to offer direct financial assistance to the United Nations-backed mission and training, logistics, and material support.

However, Ruto’s decision to involve Kenyan police in a crisis hundreds of miles abroad has sparked criticism in Nairobi, including legal challenges to prevent police troops from being deployed.

International intervention in Haiti has a complex history. A sexual abuse scandal and the arrival of cholera, which claimed over 10,000 lives, hindered a U.N.-approved stabilization operation in Haiti that started in June 2004. The mission concluded in October 2017.

SOURCE – (AP)

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