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Canada’s Trudeau Refuses to Step Aside Despite Tanking Support

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Canada’s Trudeau Refuses to Step Aside

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada has rejected the notion of resigning in the face of declining poll numbers and the rise of the country’s opposition Conservatives. When asked whether he would resign as party leader during a news conference on Wednesday afternoon, Trudeau told reporters he had more work to do.

“The next elections will occur in two years. I continue to perform my duties. In these trying times, there is a great deal of vital work to be done for the Canadian people. Regarding this endeavour, I continue to be ardent and persistent,” he stated in French.

In the 2015 federal elections, Trudeau led the Liberal Party to victory, ending nearly a decade of Conservative rule. Since then, however, he has experienced a decline in support due to increasing discontent over high inflation, rising housing costs, and other issues.

As a result, he became a frequent target of anti-vaccine protesters and right-wing legislators.

In a poll conducted by Abacus Data in late August, 56% of Canadians believed Trudeau should step down and allow someone else to lead the party, while only 27% believed he should run again.

This month, the Angus Reid Institute, another Canadian research organisation, placed Trudeau’s disapproval rating at 63%.

The findings coincide with a rise in support for the Conservative Party of Canada under its new leader Pierre Poilievre, a populist career politician who assumed the party’s leadership in September of last year.

Abacus Data reported last week that a recent national survey revealed that public perceptions of Poilievre were improving, while the Conservatives had the support of 40% of voters compared to 26% for the Liberals.

According to the firm, this is the Conservative Party’s largest lead over the Liberals since the 2015 election. “The primary driver, in our view, is the negative impression people have of the Liberal government and Prime Minister Trudeau,” the report continued.

Ahead of this week’s Liberal Party caucus retreat, media reports in Canada have centred on the decline in support for Trudeau.

Several Liberal members of parliament told CBC News on condition of anonymity that “they do not believe the prime minister listens to their opinions or seeks their counsel.”

Others have urged the government to better communicate its policies in the face of Poilievre’s relentless assaults, in which he blames Trudeau for the country’s ills.

“Has any prime minister inherited a more valuable legacy? Was there ever a prime minister who squandered power so thoroughly?” Poilievre stated during a speech at the Conservative Party convention last weekend that Trudeau had succeeded Stephen Harper as prime minister.

“After eight years, Justin Trudeau is not worth the cost, nor is he worth the country that we know and love,” he said to raucous applause.

This week, Immigration Minister Marc Miller told CBC that the Liberals do not know how to respond to Poilievre.

“There is tension regarding how to engage… “It depends on whether you fight fire with fire and descend to a level of politics that you swore to your constituents you would never engage in,” Miller said.

“There is a struggle and attention generally as to how to deal with a person like that, that Canadian politics, in particular, hasn’t seen much of.”

Wednesday, prior to attending the Liberal retreat in London, Ontario, Trudeau sought to focus on the issues, urging Canadian cities to do more to address the housing crisis and promising federal support.

When pressed again about when a party leader should step down, the prime minister told reporters in French, “We have two good days of conversations with the deputies, in which we will have very frank conversations.”

“However, I can assure you that the team is prepared to face all the challenges we face as a nation,” said Trudeau, citing rising living and housing costs. We maintain our concentration on the tasks at hand.

The next federal election in Canada is scheduled for October 2025, but Trudeau could call an early election before then.

According to a recent survey, more Canadians perceive Justin Trudeau to be the worst prime minister of the last 55 years than any other leader, while his father is the most popular.

According to a survey conducted by Research Co., 30% believe that the current prime minister is the worst among recent prime ministers, while his predecessor Stephen Harper ranks second with 18%.

In addition, 20% of Canadians surveyed believe that Pierre Trudeau was the greatest prime minister since 1968, a one-point increase from a survey conducted in June 2022. In contrast, 11% of Canadians held the same opinion about Justin Trudeau.

Despite being regarded the worst by 18% of Canadians, 17% of Canadians consider Harper to be the best, and his popularity is significantly higher in Alberta.

“More than a third of Albertans (36 per cent) believe Stephen Harper has been Canada’s best recent prime minister,” of Research Co. President Mario Canseco, said in a press release on Friday. The provinces where Pierre Trudeau performs best are British Columbia (27%), Ontario (23%), and Atlantic Canada (22%).

32% of Atlantic Canadians rated Harper as the worst Canadian prime minister in recent history.

In Alberta, 45 percent of respondents have a negative opinion of Justin Trudeau, compared to 36 percent in British Columbia, 36 percent in Saskatchewan, and 36 percent in Manitoba.

In addition, the survey inquired about ten distinct legislators who have served as leader of the Official Opposition in Ottawa during the past half-century. 48 percent of Canadians (a decrease of four points) believe former NDP leader Jack Layton would have made a “very good” or “good” prime minister, with 61 percent of respondents aged 55 and older agreeing.

In addition, more than one-fifth of Canadians have a favourable opinion of five former opposition leaders: former Reform Party leader Preston Manning (28%, down 1 point), former Progressive Conservative leader Robert Stanfield (27%, down 3 points), former New Democratic Party leader Tom Mulcair (27%, down 2 points), and former Conservative leaders Andrew Scheer (22%) and Erin O’Toole (22%, also down 1 point).

Former Liberal leaders Michael Ignatieff (19%, up 1 point), Stockwell Day (19%, down 1 point), former interim Conservative leader Rona Ambrose (18%, down 4 points), and former Liberal leader Stéphane Dion (18%, unchanged) have lower approval ratings.

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Ukraine War: Zelensky Says 31,000 Troops Killed Since Russia’s Full-Scale Invasion

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Volodymyr Zelensky claims 31,000 Ukrainian soldiers were killed during Russia’s full-scale invasion.

The Ukrainian president stated that he would not disclose the number of wounded because it would facilitate Russian military plans.

Typically, the Ukrainian government do not release casualty counts, and other estimates are significantly higher.

The defence minister said half of all Western aid to Ukraine had been delayed, costing lives and land.

Mr Zelensky said on Sunday that he would provide an updated death toll in reaction to Russia’s inflated estimates.

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Ukraine War: Zelensky Says 31,000 Troops Killed Since Russia’s Full-Scale Invasion

“31,000 Ukrainian soldiers have killed in this conflict. Not 300,000, 150,000, or whatever Putin and his dishonest circle claim. But each of these losses is a significant loss to us.”

Speaking about the war’s overall losses, Mr Zelensky stated that tens of thousands of civilians had been killed in Russian-occupied areas of Ukraine, but the exact figure was unknown.

“I don’t know how many of them died, how many were killed, how many were murdered, tortured, how many were deported.”

Ukraine rarely reports a military death toll, and other estimates suggest a far higher figure.

In August, US officials estimated that 70,000 Ukrainian soldiers had been killed, with up to 120,000 injured.

In terms of Russian losses, Mr Zelensky stated that 180,000 Russian soldiers were killed and tens of thousands more injured.

BBC Russian, in collaboration with the Mediazona website, has identified the names of more than 45,000 Russian servicemen who have perished. However, it thinks that the total number is larger than that.

In February, the UK military ministry claimed that 350,000 Russian soldiers had been killed or injured.
President Zelensky’s speech came after his defence minister, Rustam Umerov, chastised the country’s

Western partners for delays in military assistance.

“At the moment, commitment does not constitute delivery,” he added.

Ukraine is currently facing several setbacks in its efforts to expel Russia from its land.

Mr. Umerov stated that the lack of supplies put Ukraine at a greater disadvantage “in the mathematics of war”.

“We do everything possible and impossible but without timely supply it harms us,” he told reporters.
Germany warned in November that the European Union’s (EU) promise to provide a million artillery shells by March would not be met.

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Ukraine War: Zelensky Says 31,000 Troops Killed Since Russia’s Full-Scale Invasion

In January, the EU stated that little over half of these would reach Ukraine by the deadline, but the promised total would arrive at the end of 2024.

President Zelensky stated that a lack of armaments was one of the reasons Ukraine’s much-anticipated counter-offensive last year began later.

That counter-offensive was mostly unsuccessful, one of several failures for Kyiv following early victories in repelling Russia’s invasion in February 2022.

Last week, it was revealed that Ukrainian troops had withdrawn from the strategic eastern town of Avdiivka, Moscow’s largest victory in months.

Mr Zelensky further blamed the situation on dwindling Western military shipments.
Meanwhile, the Biden administration has claimed that the hold-up in Congress over a $60 billion aid plan for Ukraine led to the town’s fall.

Western leaders travelled to Kyiv on Saturday to demonstrate solidarity with Ukraine as it marked two years since Russia’s full-scale invasion.

There was an announcement that Italy and Canada had inked security agreements with Ukraine, increasing support until the country could join NATO.

Canada’s agreement comprised more than three billion Canadian dollars (£1.7 billion) in financial and military assistance.

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Ukraine War: Zelensky Says 31,000 Troops Killed Since Russia’s Full-Scale Invasion

It is not only Ukraine that is having difficulty funding its military activities. Western diplomats say Russia is also straining to send ammo and weaponry.

“Russia’s domestic ammunition production capabilities are currently insufficient for meeting the needs of the Ukraine conflict,” according to a Western diplomat.

They also stated that Moscow has only been able to augment its supply by exploring alternative sources of ammunition and weaponry, which provides a short-term answer.

Meanwhile, the director of Ukraine’s security service stated on Sunday that 47 Russian spy networks operating within Ukraine were discovered last year.

Vasyl Malik further stated that around 2,000 suspected “traitors” have been arrested since Russia’s full-scale invasion.

SOURCE – (BBC)

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Kenya Mourns As Marathon World Record-Holder Kelvin Kiptum Is Given A State Funeral

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NAIROBI, Kenya – Kelvin Kiptum, Kenya’s world marathon record holder, was accorded a state funeral Friday after being killed in a vehicle accident earlier this month, prompting many Kenyans to call on the government to do more to protect the country’s famed sportsmen.

Hundreds of dignitaries, including Kenyan President William Ruto and World Athletics Federation President Sebastian Coe, paid their final respects to Kiptum as he was interred in Naiberi, some 6 kilometres (4 miles) from his village of Chepkorio in western Kenya.

The 24-year-old runner and his Rwandan coach, Gervais Hakizimana, died in a collision two weeks ago near the town of Kaptagat in western Kenya, in the heart of a high-altitude region known as a training ground for Kenya’s and the world’s greatest distance runners.

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Kenya Mourns As Marathon World Record-Holder Kelvin Kiptum Is Given A State Funeral

Kiptum was one of the most promising road runners to emerge in recent years, breaking the world record in only his third competitive marathon outing. Just days before his death, the world track body World Athletics certified his record of 2 hours and 35 seconds achieved at the Chicago Marathon last October.

Kiptum intended to break the two-hour marathon record in Rotterdam in April and make his Olympic debut in Paris this year.

His death echoed throughout Kenya, where runners are the biggest sports heroes, and many people have become accustomed to tragedies involving their best athletes, with dozens dying in traffic accidents or as a result of domestic abuse.

According to officials, Kiptum was driving on the night of February 11 when the car went off the road into a ditch and collided with a huge tree. He and Hakizimana died instantly. Sharon Kosgei, another passenger, was also hurt in the incident.

Kiptum, an only child, leaves his wife, Asentah Cheruto, and their two children. A High Court on Thursday declined to postpone the funeral in response to a woman’s legal claim that Kiptum fathered her kid.

kiptum

Kenya Mourns As Marathon World Record-Holder Kelvin Kiptum Is Given A State Funeral

Kiptum ran the fastest as a marathon debutant in the 2022 Valencia Marathon. The next year, he won two of the world’s most prestigious marathons: London and Chicago. He set a new course record at the London Marathon in April; months later, he set the global record in Chicago.

He became the latest Kenyan celebrity to die in sad circumstances.

David Lelei, an All-Africa Games silver medalist, was killed in a car crash in 2010. Francis Kiplagat, a marathon runner, was among five individuals who died in a crash in 2018. Nicholas Bett, who won gold in the 400-meter hurdles at the 2015 World Championships, was also killed in a car accident in 2018.

Many Kenyans believe the government should do more to protect athletes who bring international attention to their country, such as providing them with security, drivers, and advisors.

Elizabeth Wairimu, a vegetable trader in the western Kenya town of Nakuru, said the number of athletes killed in road accidents was frightening.

“I am asking myself what is the problem with our athletes,” she said. “The government should look into this… figure out what is killing our athletes. Where are we headed?”

She expressed sadness that the government was rushing through the process instead of Kiptum, who had pledged to build a new house for his parents.

kiptum

Kenya Mourns As Marathon World Record-Holder Kelvin Kiptum Is Given A State Funeral

Others in the packed market agreed with Wairimu’s comments.

“The government should not wait until the legends are dead to start caring about their welfare,” said George Thuo, a market seller.

Jimmy Muindi, a six-time Honolulu Marathon winner from Kenya, believes young athletes who reach Kiptum’s level require assistance managing their newfound celebrity status. Former marathoner Isaac Macharia concurred, stating that a support system is required to develop stars.

Jack Tuwei, the president of Athletics Kenya, urged President Ruto and MPs to find a solution to secure the athletes’ well-being and “allow them to have everything they need to be safe.”

Ruto announced that an endowment fund would be established for athletes and that the government would provide Kiptum’s widow with another house and $34,000 in support.

SOURCE – (AP)

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Navalny: Body Returned To Mother, Spokeswoman Says

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The body of leading Russian opposition politician Alexei Navalny has been returned to his mother, according to his spokesman.

In a post on X, Kira Yarmysh thanked everyone who asked that the authorities hand over his remains.
“The funeral is yet to take place,” she wrote.

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Navalny: Body Returned To Mother, Spokeswoman Says

Navalny’s mother, Lyudmila, was reportedly told to agree to a “secret” funeral. If she refused, he would be buried in the penal colony where he had died.

She had spent the previous week in the town near the prison where he died, attempting to ascertain the whereabouts of his remains before requesting that they be delivered to her.

After signing a death certificate stating that he died of natural causes, she was allowed three hours to settle on a “secret” burial for her son.

Ms Yarmysh claims his mother was warned that if she did not consent, he would be buried on the grounds of the prison where he had died.

However, Lyudmila appears to have declined to engage with the authorities.

Ms Yarmysh stated that the funeral plans were still unclear.

“We don’t know whether the authorities will interfere with it being carried out in the way the family wants and as Alexei deserves,” she said.

Earlier on Saturday, Yulia Navalnaya, Navalny’s widow, accused Vladimir Putin of holding her late husband’s body “hostage” and demanded its unconditional release.

navalny

Navalny: Body Returned To Mother, Spokeswoman Says

“Give us the body of my husband,” she pleaded in a video message.

“You tortured him living, and now you continue to punish him in death. “You mock the remains of the deceased.”

Ms Navalnaya again accused the Russian president of being responsible for her husband’s death.
The Kremlin has dismissed the charges, calling the Western outrage to the killing “hysterical”.

Navalny died on February 16 in a Russian prison located inside the Arctic Circle.
Details concerning what happened to him are scant. His team has offered security officers €20,000 ($22,000; £17,000) as a prize and aid in fleeing Russia in exchange for information concerning his death in custody.

navalny

Navalny: Body Returned To Mother, Spokeswoman Says

For years, he was the most prominent critic of Russia’s leader.

In August 2020, a team of would-be assassins from the Russian secret services poisoned Navalny with the Novichok nerve agent.

He was airlifted to Germany and recovered before being imprisoned upon his return to Russia in January 2021.

Attempts to commemorate his death have been greeted with a heavy-handed response from Russian authorities, with improvised monuments removed and hundreds jailed.

SOURCE – (BBC)

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