Trudeau Absent From Expanded Military Pact with Allies Against China
Trudeau has refused to say whether Canada was invited to join AUKUS
The United States, Britain, and Australia move forward on an expanded military pact, “AUKUS,” while Canada’s absence from that group indicates a serious problem. Especially after a flurry of recent media reports citing secret intelligence documents alleging China attempted to meddle in Canada’s 2019 and 2021 elections that helped Trudeau get elected.
On Monday, US President Joe Biden, British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, and Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese met at a San Diego naval base to discuss the trilateral agreement’s next steps, dubbed “AUKUS” after the three countries involved.
In response to growing concerns about China’s actions in the Indo-Pacific region, the next steps include formalizing American and British plans to assist Australia in developing a fleet of nuclear-powered submarines.
Justin Trudeau has downplayed the significance of AUKUS to Canada, claiming that Ottawa is not in the market for nuclear-powered submarines, even though others have lamented Canada’s absence from the treaty.
Vice-Admiral Bob Auchterlonie, a senior Canadian Armed Forces commander, told the CBC that he is concerned that Canada will not have access to the same cutting-edge technology as three of its closest allies.
Some see Canada’s exclusion as proof that its allies do not believe Justine Trudeau is serious about countering Chinese ambitions, despite releasing a new Indo-Pacific strategy late last year.
Former Canadian ambassador to China David Mulroney credited Australia with initiating AUKUS after seriously considering its future as a middle power in a world — and region — that China seeks to dominate.
Mulroney stated that this reflects Australia’s more realistic and innovative approach to diplomacy and Canberra’s willingness to invest the necessary resources in making such a partnership a reality.
Canada on sidelines as U.S., Britain, Australia move ahead on new security deal https://t.co/feNuOSMea7 “…the U.S., Britain and Australia are all spending two or more per cent of their national gross domestic product on defence, compared to less than 1.3 per cent in Canada”
— David Mulroney (@David_Mulroney) March 13, 2023
The exact figures are unknown, but Australia is expected to spend billions of dollars as part of the deal to purchase new submarines. The United Kingdom and the United States are also expected to contribute funds to the agreement for technology development, training, and other purposes.
Defense analyst David Perry of the Canadian Global Affairs Institute noted that the United States, Britain, and Australia all spend 2% or more of their national GDP on defense, compared to less than 1.3 percent in Canada.
Australis also have firm plans to build new submarines, whereas Trudeau has yet to commit to replacing the Royal Canadian Navy’s four troubled Victoria-class vessels, let alone begin planning for a new fleet. Canadian military leaders, including Chief of the Defence Staff Gen. Wayne Eyre, have repeatedly emphasized the importance of submarines.
Canadians Believe China Meddled in Getting Trudeau Elected
Meanwhile, a recent poll shows two-thirds of Canadians believe China attempted to meddle in the recent elections that returned Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his Liberals to power.
More than half of Canadians believe the alleged meddling seriously threatens democracy. A similar proportion believes Trudeau’s response to the brewing scandal has been too soft.
While supporters of the main opposition Conservatives strongly believe in Chinese interference, a survey released Wednesday by the Angus Reid Institute found majority support for the notion among supporters of all parties.
Friends and foes: Most Canadians say Ottawa should approach China as a ‘threat’ or ‘enemy’https://t.co/QXVXa09G2n pic.twitter.com/fJsFag1IH4
— Angus Reid Institute (@angusreidorg) March 10, 2023
“The political aspect of this is undeniable,” Angus Reid President Shachi Kurl said via email, referring to Conservatives’ belief that China denied them an election victory in 2021. “This is significant because it risks further undermining trust in the election process.”
32% of respondents said China tried to meddle in recent Canadian elections, while 33% said it probably did. Only 6% said unequivocally no to the question.
A bipartisan group released a study on the integrity of the last national election, in which Trudeau won a third term but fell short of a parliamentary majority that would have given him free rein to pursue the Liberal government’s agenda.
“National security agencies saw attempts at foreign interference, but not enough to impact electoral integrity,” the panel concluded.
On the other hand, Angus Reid discovered that 42% of Conservative voters believed the 2021 election was “stolen” due to Chinese interference, compared to only 2% of those supporting left-wing parties.
While Trudeau and Chinese President Xi Jinping have clashed publicly, the Liberals are seen as more open to doing business with the Asian superpower than the Conservatives, who are tough on human rights and national security.
China maintains that it does not interfere in Canada’s internal affairs and has warned the northern country to stop “smearing” Beijing’s government with unfounded allegations.
According to Kurl, it’s too early to tell whether the scandal will impact Trudeau long-term. “These data provide an early directional arrow in terms of expecting the Prime Minister and his government to be seen as taking this issue more seriously,” she said.
According to the poll, 53% of respondents believe Trudeau’s response to the allegations has been insufficient, and they want Canada to take further action. Approximately 64% believe Canada does not emphasize national security and defense enough.
When asked if Trudeau’s government is “afraid to stand up to China,” 69% agreed.
According to Global News and the Globe and Mail, Trudeau received secret intelligence briefings saying China tried to get certain candidates elected to parliament and preferred his Liberals to govern the country over the Conservatives.
The prime minister has called the stories false but has declined to elaborate on what he is disputing. According to the reports, China spread misinformation to harm certain candidates and directed money and volunteers toward people it wanted to see elected.
A parliamentary committee is investigating the matter and will hear testimony from government witnesses, including Trudeau’s national security adviser, Jody Thomas, later Wednesday.
The Angus Reid survey was conducted online between February 23 and 25 among 1,622 Canadian adults. According to the firm, a probability sample of this size would have a margin of error of 2 percentage points 19 times out of 20.
Some ‘Diablo IV’ Players Report Invalid License Error Message After Early Access Launch
Washington, D.C. The highly anticipated action role-playing video game “Diablo IV” launched its early access on Thursday night. However, there were some delays, particularly for PlayStation players.
While many players who pre-purchased eligible “Diablo IV” editions experienced no problems with the early access launch, some PS5 users reported getting an invalid licensing error message. After initially stating that a server-side balance update had been implemented, Blizzard acknowledged the problem.
A software upgrade known as a hotfix focuses on a single problem and normally does not cause service interruptions.
The most recent game in the Blizzard “Diablo” series, which debuted in 1996, is titled “Diablo IV” and was released in May 2012. This is more than ten years after “Diablo III”‘s debut. Although the game’s early access began on Thursday, the launch is set for the following week.
Diablo’s general manager, Rod Fergusson, referred to “Diablo IV” as “our most brutal vision of Sanctuary,” the make-believe setting for the game. He continued, saying that it incorporates “the darkness of the original game” and expands on significant elements from other games in the franchise.
Activision Blizzard, the parent business of Blizzard Entertainment, announced in April that its net sales for the first quarter of 2023 increased to $2.38 billion from $1.77 billion. Activision reported that “Diablo IV” presales were robust, indicating that the game had undergone successful public testing.
What you need to know about “Diablo IV’s” upcoming official release and early access launch on Thursday is provided here.
WHEN DOES DIABLO IV COMMENCE?
Depending on your local time zone, “Diablo IV” will be formally published on Tuesday or Wednesday next week. The game will begin in the United States on Tuesday at 7 p.m. ET (4 p.m. PT).
Although “Diablo IV” is set to be on sale next week, early access started a few days earlier, on either Thursday or Friday, depending on where you are. Players who pre-purchased the game’s digital deluxe or ultimate edition were expected to have early access.
Additionally, some devices allow players who have previously purchased “Diablo IV” to pre-load the game. According to Blizzard, pre-loading is possible for Windows PC, Xbox, and PlayStation.
DIABLO IV “UNABLE TO FIND LICENCE”?
Although early access appeared to open without incident for the majority of gamers, some PS5 users reported receiving an error message that stated, “unable to find a valid licence for Diablo IV,” according to posts on Blizzard’s community forums and social media. Players on the PS5 appeared to be the ones most affected by the problem, but some other users said they also received the notice on Xbox and other platforms.
In a forum post late Thursday night, Blizzard recognized the PlayStation customers’ complaints. Adam Fletcher, director of global community development, later claimed that “Diablo IV” had received a server-side balance update implemented across all platforms.
How many early access players were affected by the problem is unknown. On Blizzard’s forum, some angry customers reported that they were still having access issues as of Friday morning.
The Associated Press requested statements from Blizzard and PlayStation on Friday morning.
WHAT CLASSES DO DIABLO IV CHARACTERS FALL INTO?
“Diablo IV” reportedly takes place decades after the events of “Diablo III: Reaper of Souls.” The angel Inarius and the demon Lilith have started a battle and are at odds.
In “Diablo IV,” players can choose from one of five classes: Druids, Rogues, Sorceresses, Barbarians, or Necromancers.
At launch, “Diablo IV” will support couch co-op and cross-platform play on Windows PC, Xbox Series X, Xbox One, PlayStation 5, and PlayStation 4, among other platforms.
Financial results for Activation for 2022, Microsoft Deal
In 2022, Activision, the company behind “Call of Duty,” “Candy Crush,” and “World of Warcraft,” recorded net revenues of $7.53 billion, a decrease from the $8.8 billion reported in 2021.
Microsoft revealed plans to buy Activision in January 2022, but the historic transaction is doubtful more than a year later. Last month, the European Union authorized the $69 billion purchase, but British regulators halted it due to concerns about competition. Authorities in the US are also attempting to block the merger.
Regulators worldwide have scrutinized the agreement because of concern that it will give Microsoft and its Xbox platform control of popular s. PlayStation maker rival Sony has led a ferocious opposition.
Activision and Microsoft have appealed to a tribunal about the U.K. ruling. Liam Deane, a gaming industry analyst at digital research and consultancy firm Omdia, previously told The Associated Press that if the appeal is unsuccessful, Microsoft would be compelled to either cancel the arrangement or carve out the U.K. as a distinct market, which appeared to be an impractical choice.
SOURCE – (AP)
Passenger Train Derails In India, Killing At Least 50, Trapping Many Others
NEW DELHI — At least 50 people were killed, and hundreds more were trapped inside more than a dozen damaged rail cars when two passenger trains in India crashed on Friday, according to officials.
According to officials, the disaster occurred in eastern India, around 220 kilometers (137 miles) southwest of Kolkata, and about 400 people were sent to hospitals. The cause was being looked into.
Amitabh Sharma, a spokesman for the railway ministry, reported that ten to twelve coaches of one train derailed, and pieces of some of the damaged coaches fell onto an adjacent track.
According to Sharma, a passenger train traveling the other way struck the debris, and up to three coaches of the second train also derailed.
According to the Press Trust of India news agency, a third goods train was reportedly apparently involved, but there was no immediate confirmation from railway authorities.
Television photos from the aftermath showed rescuers scaling the rubble to pry open doors and windows and use cutting torches to free trapped survivors.
A passenger train traveling the other way struck the debris, and up to three coaches of the second train also derailed.
Vandana Kaleda, a passenger, said to the New Delhi Television news station that she “found people falling on each other” as her carriage shook erratically and deviated from the lines. She claimed that her survival was fortuitous.
Another survivor, who wished to remain anonymous, claimed that the impact woke him up while he was asleep. He claimed to have observed other people with damaged faces and shattered limbs.
At least 50 persons were reported dead, according to Balasore district’s senior administrator Dattatraya Bhausaheb Shinde. At least 70 people had died, according to The Press Trust.
According to Pradeep Jena, the state’s chief executive officer of Odisha, there were close to 500 police officers and rescue personnel at the scene, along with 75 ambulances and buses.
Rescuers were working to release 200 individuals who were thought to be trapped in the rubble, according to Shinde.
The Coromandel Express, which derailed, was traveling from Howrah in West Bengal state to Chennai, the state capital of southern Tamil Nadu, according to The Press Trust.
Narendra Modi, the prime minister of India, expressed sympathy for the deceased families.
Having spoken with the railway minister, Modi tweeted, “May the injured recover soon,” adding that “all possible assistance” was being provided.
Several hundred incidents happen annually on India’s railways, the world’s largest train network with single management, despite government efforts to increase rail safety.
The deadliest train catastrophe in Indian history occurred in August 1995 when two trains crashed close to New Delhi, killing 358 people.
Human mistakes or out-of-date signaling equipment are the main causes of trains accidents.
Every day, 14,000 trains carrying more than 12 million passengers traverse India’s 64,000 kilometers (40,000 miles) of railway.
SOURCE – (AP)
Tommy Prine, 27, Doesn’t Dodge His Father’s Legacy But Makes His Own Way
NASHVILLE, Tenn. Tommy Prine spoke about his father’s passing in front of a crowded audience in The Basement, one of Nashville’s most intimate music venues.
During a recent sold-out performance, he observed, “It stinks to lose a parent at any age — in my case, when he was the world’s greatest songwriter.”
Singer-songwriter John Prine, Prine’s father, passed away in April 2020 at 73 due to coronavirus complications. Even for a period when grieving had grown commonplace, his death sparked a flood of global mourning.
In the music industry, the heartbreak was especially severe. The bonds John Prine formed with his music were only strengthened by his generosity to budding musicians. Many others tried to digest the unthinkable by expressing their sadness through memorial songs.
It turns out that Prine’s own family was experiencing a similar situation.
Last year, Tommy Prine published “Ships in the Harbour,” a song about his father that is as heartfelt and open-hearted as ever. It resists the urge to curl up in the fetal position rather than flee from what he lost. It gets the closest of any song to properly expressing the immense weight of grief brought on by the pandemic.
Tommy Prine, now 27 years old, is set to release a whole album of songs that deal with growing up, love, and grief. The film “This Far South,” which will be released on June 23, is daring in how it faces his father’s passing head-on and how the son of a legend handles the inevitable concerns that arise from working in the same field.
Tommy Prine keeps going and works hard on a risky project. He created a unique album, and it is captivating.
According to Prine, “honestly, even if my Dad wasn’t who he was, I feel like I would’ve made the same record,” he stated in an interview with The Associated Press. Because of who he is, “I didn’t include these songs, but I also didn’t shy away from them.”
Writing songs enabled Prine to process everything he had lost. His father’s legendary position feels almost incidental to the intimacy of that journey.
“I’m Tommy Prine, and I lost my Dad in the pandemic, and that’s going to be the focal point of what I’m trying to get across,” he said. And while I am aware that it was a fairly public event and that most people will be aware of the background, I believe that they are optional.
I believe people may just listen to it from the viewpoint of a young man who lost his father unexpectedly.
The few allusions, such as the card games and talks they avoid, are vivid without ever becoming cloying. In a lovely song called “By the Way,” he discusses the singular sensation of occasionally hearing his father’s voice.
Prine sings, “I don’t want to talk about the day you slipped away.” The tunes we used to sing still make it difficult to hear your voice.
But Tommy also has other weaknesses and is more or less influenced by those who aren’t his biological father. For instance, the anthemic flourishes and introspective lyrics on the album show co-producer Ruston Kelly’s influence. The song “Reach the Sun” begins with a manic episode in the middle of the night but eventually soars to resemble Kelly’s best work, including the excellent album he recently published.
In an interview conducted after Kelly’s performance with Prine at The Basement, Sufjan Stevens was named another artist who influenced both. Prine heard a sound that matched the wistful desperation he wanted to express while listening to Stevens’ “Carrie & Lowell” album, which Kelly had directed him towards.
Tommy spoke about his father’s passing in front of a crowded audience in The Basement, one of Nashville’s most intimate music venues.
It was “probably the last thing I wanted to do for the rest of my life,” according to Prine, but it ended up being a “saving grace” for him as he dealt with the hardship of losing his father.
Listeners would do well to consider how they would react if they weren’t aware that this album was produced by the legendary John Prine’s son, given the darkness that hangs over anyone named Prine who dares to try his hand at making original music. Social media and other modern methods of music distribution make it plausible, if not probable, that Prine’s music will reach a brand-new audience. His father may not be well-known to some listeners his age or younger, but these songs will draw comparisons on their own.
But everyone who pays attention will hear the promise of a creative person who bravely followed his heart. Fans of John Prine may recognize elements of the album’s disarming honesty, but they will also hear a new voice presenting intense music that crackles.
Tommy claims that although having considered it, he rarely worries about the legacy issue. But that’s simply another thing he has arranged in its appropriate position.
“I’m just making the music I want to make, and music that is a representation of who I am as a person,” he stated. I have my tale to share because I had quite different childhood experiences than my father.
SOURCE – (AP)
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